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Chapter 11=    =Chapter 13


:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

:5 And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne.

:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels,

:8 And prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven,

:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Sa'tan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water, as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swollowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


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Statement of Faith

Revelation of Jesus Christ


Verses 1 - 2

"...a great wonder in heaven..."

John sees here a wonderful and marvellous sight in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, having the moon under her feet and a crown (garland) of twelve stars upon her head.

"...crown of twelve stars..."

As mentioned earlier in this study (Chapter 6) there are only three place in all of the New Testament where the word "crown" refers to the headdress of royalty. All other references to crowns are to an honorary headdress (garland) given to those who are victorious against their competitors or adversaries.

It has also been previously stated that public games, such as the Olympics, are an example of the type of honor which was conferred upon those who exemplify excellence in their area of testing. In modern times the Gold Medal is seen as the prize to strive for in the Olympics. In Biblical days, the garland was the much sought after symbol of excellence.

The crown of twelve stars worn by this woman is likened unto one of those garlands of victory, and should not be seen here as the headdress of royalty. Those who were deemed worthy to wear such garlands were held in high esteem, and as such were lifted up to an exhalted position.

This appears to be what is being portrayed here, with the woman pictured as being in heaven. It's not that she is physically in the heavens, but that she has received an elevated status from heaven itself; giving her a position above all of her earthly peers. She is lifted up symbolically. As we get further into this chapter it will become clear that the woman is, in a literal sense, living on the earth.

The woman pictured in this verse is the first of three women mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The others are found in chapters {17:18} and {21:9-10}.

There are a number of opinions as to who, or what the woman of this chapter represents.

Some believe the segment presented here, shows the woman to be Mary, with the man child representing Jesus. This appears to be based on the account of the birth of Jesus, and Herod's subsequent attempt to destroy Him (Matt. chapter 2).

The events depicted there however, appear to be a prophetic foreshadow of what is to transpire during the tribulation period, as portrayed here in the Book of Revelation. An initial attempt to destroy the man child (Jesus) will be followed by an attempt to destroy the other children of Bethlehem (Israel). So it is that we also see in Rev. 12. First there is an attempt to destroy the man child. Being unsuccessful in this, Satan next turns his wrath upon the remnant of the woman's seed (verse 17).

One of the problems with the above view point is that Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled into Egypt together to escape Herod's wrath. Here in Chapter 12, the child alone is being caught up to heaven. Also, if we take the woman here, in the literal sense, to be Mary, we are also forced to take the dragon mention in this chapter to be literal, as well. We are clearly told however, that the dragon of this chapter represents Satan. We know, from this, that we are dealing with symbolic terms here.

The Roman Catholic Church often depicts, in its art work, the scene of this woman clothed with the sun, as though it was literal. She is seen as the Virgin Mary, wearing a crown as the Queen of Heaven, and holding the Christ Child in her arms. This view seems to be little bit out of line, given the fact, that they view the entire Book of Revelation as allegorical (totally figurative in its presentation).

That view point came into prominence in the church through the writings of Saint Augustine in the 5th century. There is no belief, in the Catholic Church, that Jesus is destined to rule this world for a thousand years {Rev. 20:4}. The declared position of the Roman Catholic Church is that when Jesus does returns; the world as we know it will be judged, and then come to a fiery end. This is the Amillennial (no Millennium) view point. Those who adhere to the thousand years reign of Jesus, followed by a fiery judgment of the world, are referred to as Premillenial Christians.

Still others view the woman as representing Israel, with the man child constituting the church, which was born in that nation; and which is destined to be caught up to heaven to rule with Jesus. This child however, is caught up just prior to the mid-point of the tribulation period. Other evidence indicates that the church will be caught up before the tribulation period begins, not at the mid-point.

Given the fact that the other two women of the Book of Revelation are representative of great cities (Babylon and new Jerusalem), it seems more probable that the woman of chapter 12 also represent such an entity. Biblically speaking, the prime candidate for that honor would be have to be earthly Jerusalem. As we continue through this study, we shall see that her anti-type will be one of the other two women: Babylon the Great (17:5,18).

The woman of chapter 12 (earthly Jerusalem), becomes the faithful one, true to the King of Heaven. Her counterpart, Babylon, on the other hand, is the great prostitute, who gives herself to the many kings of the earth. She will be destroyed near the end of the tribulation period. Earthly Jerusalem, on the other hand, will ultimately be snatched out of the hands of the Antichrist, in the midst of the Battle of Armageddon.

Earthly Jerusalem will continue its existence through the millennial reign of Christ {Luke 1:32 ; Rev. 20:4}. After that, it will be incinerated with the earth and heavenly elements, {Rev. 20:7-9 ; II Peter. 2:10} and pass away as God brings forth a new heaven and earth. Earthly Jerusalem will be replaced by the new eternal Jerusalem, which will then descend out of heaven to its place on the new earth {Rev. 21:1} .

"...moon under her feet..."

It is with this phrase that we are given understanding of the reason this woman is seen wearing the garland of victory upon her head. What exactly has she prevailed over?

The moon here appears to represent the ruler of darkness {Gen. 1:16}. The primary sin of the entire Book of Revelation is idolatry. This is portrayed most clearly in the worship of the image of the beast, as well as, the worship of the materialism of Babylon. It may also point back to the measuring of the temple in chapter 11 to see who is worthy to receive the garland of victory, which is seen upon the head of the woman in this chapter.

In that the moon is shown here as being under her feet; seems to signify that she has put the perverted ways of the ruler of darkness (Satan) away from herself. No matter how far she has strayed in the past, Satan has been unsuccessful in getting her to forsake the God of Israel and turn to him. She has gotten victory over his wiles and the deception, and as such, has been given to wear the garland of victory {REVIEW}. The garland which she wears represents a unified Israel, and the twelve stars in it, are representative of the twelve tribes which make up that unity.

In a sense, Jerusalem is the mother of all the Jewish people. In Matt. 23:37 Jesus said," ...O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,... how often I would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chicks under her wings, and ye would not!"

Now God has sent His two witnesses (Chapter 11), and she has finally received their testimony. In doing so, she has received what is necessary to prevailed over the Prince of Darkness.

"...woman clothed with the sun..."

The light radiating from the woman is probably being emitted by the holy child within her, of which she is about to give birth (verse 2).

As stated above, many believe that the child spoken of here is Jesus, and point to Herod's attempt to destroy Him (Matt. 2:7-18) as the literal fulfillment of this. The fact that Jesus is also to rule the nations with a "rod of iron" {Ps. 2:7-9 ; Rev 19:15}, is another point used to support this view. We will now look at a couple of strong reasons why this may not be the correct interpretation for this passage.

Firstly, the man child of chapter 12 ascends up to heaven once. Jesus, on the other hand, ascended to heaven twice: once before appearing to the disciples {John 20:17} ; and then after appearing to them {Acts 1:9}.

In Matt. 28, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary encountered an angel at the tomb, who told them Jesus was not there, but had risen from the grave. They were then told to go tell the disciples this news. As they ran from the tomb, Mary Magdalene presumably in the lead, they met Jesus. Scripture says that Mary Magdalene was the first to see him (Mark 16:9). As they both came to Him, they fell down and held Him by the feet (verse 9).

In John 20:17, Jesus told Mary Magdalene,

"...Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethern, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.".

This was said to her because He was then acting in the role of the priest, who was carrying the sacrificial blood of the Passover Lamb (His own blood).

At some point, after this encounter, Jesus ascended to heaven and applied his own blood to the altar of sacrifice which is located there, to finally wash away (not cover) the sins of those who would trust in Him.

Later, on the same day, He appeared to some of the disciples. A week later He appeared again, and "doubting Thomas" was allowed to touch the nail prints in His hands and feel the spear wound in His side (John 20:19-27).

Secondly, we see in Acts chapter 1, with all the faithful assembled together, Jesus ascends to heaven. When He ascended, He did so as a conquering prince {Col. 2:15} ; {Eph. 4:8}; not as a child needing the protection of the archangel Michael and his army. Remember that the Dragon stood before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was born. Here we see the reason for the arrival of Michael and his army.

While it is true that Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron, He stated in {Rev. 2:26-27} that those who overcome the world, would also rule with a rod of iron.


Verses 3 - 9

"...great red dragon..."

Beginning with verse 3, we see another great wonder in heaven. In order to gain a better understanding of what is going on there, we need to jump ahead a few verses to see where the dragon came from, and what he was doing before coming to stand before the woman.

Verse 9 identifies the great dragon who stands before the woman as, "...that old serpent, called the De'vil and Sa'tan..." In verse 10 we are told, in an indirect manner, that prior to the dragon appearing before the woman (verse 3), he was standing before God casting accusations at the saints who dwell in heaven.

We, in general, tend to think of Satan as constantly roaming about the earth wreaking havoc wherever he goes. In chapter 2, Jesus stated that Satan's throne and dwelling place was located at Pergamos (Pergamum). That is consistent with the idea that he would set himself in close proximity to the churches with which he was doing battle. Since those days, and the disappearance of the church there, verse 10 appears to indicate that Satan has now set up camp at the very gates of heaven itself. The phrase "has been cast down" shows Satan's prior ability, to mount up to heaven at will.

As far as the earth is concerned, he has a hierarchy of angels and demonic spirits which carry out his agenda in the world {Eph. 6:12}.

Satan is not omnipresent, nor is he omniscient. This hierarcy of fallen beings not only carry out his will, but most certainly report to him on any significant events, and on the progress which they are making in the earth realm. Although he may come into the earth realm from time to time as in former days {Job 1:7}, the Scripture here makes it clear that Satan has posted himself in heaven and is busy "...day and night..." accusing the saints before God.

The day is coming however, when his accusations will be interrupted by the distant echo of a woman travailing in birth. This is obviously something of considerable importance to him, for he will immediately ceases his accusations, and race to the scene where the woman is situated.

He knows the child being brought forth by the woman's travail is dangerous to his plan. So dangerous in fact, that he is forced to leave his post before God and personally attend to this situation. However, little does he know, or believe, that it will be the last time he will be able to approach God, and cast accusations against the saints who dwell in heaven. With this information in mind we can now return to verses 3-4 with a better understanding of the events which are unfolding there.

In the midst of the cries of the woman in labor, John sees a second wondrous sight. A great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, with seven crown (diadems) upon its heads, appears sailing through the heavens to the place where the woman is about to be delivered of her child. The significance of the heads, horns and crowns will be explored a little later in this chapter.

Showing his great power and authority, and as a precursor to his arrival, the dragon thrust down, with a flick of his tail, a third of the stars of heaven to the earth to where the exhalted woman is about to give birth. The stars here are generally understood to be the heavenly angels which rebelled with Satan at his initial expulsion from heaven.

He understands who the man child is and that he must be destroyed. Hurling his angels to the earth in quick dispatch, is probably intended to seal up any possible routes of escape for the woman and her child: a primary rule of military strategy. However, just as the child is being born (about to be caught up to heaven), the archangel Michael, along with a host of holy angels, appear and come to the defense of the child.

This is certainly not the picture we see in Acts 1:6-11. There Jesus ascended, not as a helpless child in need of the protection of Michael and his army, but as one who had singularly descended into the kingdom of darkness, took possession of the keys of death and the grave, and ascended triumphantly into heaven {Rev. 1:18}.

This seems to be tied to Daniel 12:1 which states, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of your people:..."

War in heaven then breaks out between the two armies of angelic beings. The confrontation appears to begin as a running battle, which is carried to the very gates of heaven. There, Satan's advance is halted.

After safely delivering the man child to heaven, Michael and his angels launch a counter-offensive against Satan and his army, driving them completely and permanently out of heaven. No longer will Satan be able to stand before the God of heaven and cast accusations at the saints who dwell there. He and his army of fallen angels have now been thrown down and confined to the earth realm.

This confinement will continue until the end of the millenial reign of Jesus, after which Satan and his angelic host will be cast into the Lake of Fire; as will also the wicked people of all ages {Rev. 20:10 ; Matt. 25:41}.

Who exactly is this man child, to whom so much attention has been devoted by the dragon?

The evidence seems to point to the idea that the "man child" is representative of the 144,000 who are spoken of in chapters 7 and 14. If the woman who brings forth the man child represents Jerusalem, as stated above, then it becomes clear that the man child who comes out of her is Jewish, like herself. Let's look at some evidence which seems to support this idea.

Chapter 7 basically identifies the 144,000 as those which are sealed with the "seal of Almighty God". There are 12,000 sealed from each of the 12 tribes, "of the children of Israel". As already stated, the woman of Chapter 12 is seen wearing a garland of twelve stars; an obvious reference to the twelve tribes of chapter 7. So we see a woman (Jerusalem) whose crowning glory is manifested in the form of twelve stars (the twelve tribes of Israel).

Chapter 14 gives us more details concerning the 144,000. From there we learn that these "...are they which were not defiled with women;..." (verse 4), which likens them to be male saints. This is further amplified in that these, "... were redeemed from among men..." They were not redeemed from among men in general, but only from the twelve tribes of Israel; represented by the garland of twelve stars upon the mother's head.

In verse 5, we see that, "...in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God." In this, it can be understood that the 144,000 are viewed as though they were an innocent new born child.

Putting it all together, we can see the picture of a new born male child whose Father's name has been imprinted in his forehead, and who is caught up to heaven, representing the "...firstfruits to God and to Lamb."

These were standing on Mount Sion in Jerusalem with the Lamb Himself and then follow Him up to God's throne under the protection of Michael and his army of angels. For these "...follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth..." (14:4). It is, in effect, the beginning (the firstfruits) of the redemption of all of Israel, as stated in Romans 11:26-27:

"And so all Is'ra-el shall be saved: as it is written,

There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."

Scripture implies that those sealed (the 144,000) will be present in the earth during at least some of the judgments which are release against the unsealed wicked of the world {7:2-3 ; 9:3-4}. The travail of childbirth which the woman is experiencing in chapter 12 appears to be the results of the sealing of the 144,000 within her.

Satan is standing before the woman waiting for this child to come out of her (be caught up) and be taken up to heaven. It is stated that the 144,000 follow the Lamb wherever He goes (14:4). So, based on this understanding, when He ascends to heaven from Mount Zion, the 144,000 who follow Him, will ascend with Him.

The winner: Heaven, and all of those who dwell there, including the male child who is caught up here.

The loser: Satan and his host, who will be cast down; never again to approach the pricincts of Heaven. All future railing against the saints of heaven will have to be done by him from the earth realm {13:6}.


Verses 10 - 11

"...Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of God, and the power of his Christ:..."

Satan has now been cast down and the salvation and strength of the saints in heaven is made perfect. He can no longer come before God to accuse them. Because His Christ has used His power to cast down the accuser of the brethren, and forever rid heaven of his presence; the Kingdom of God is also realized, as God intended it to be. Satan being cast down is the first step in eradicating evil and sin from God's creation.

Prior to being cast down, Satan had the power to come before God and accuse every saint who entered heaven through death. This suggest that he was standing before God when the woman who was to give birth to the man child appeared. On her appearance, he left the immediate presence of God and raced to the scene where the woman was about to give birth.

As the child is caught up to heaven, a pursuit is initiated by Satan and his angels. However, when He reaches heaven this time, he and his host are repelled and cast down to the earth, being permanently barred from entering heaven.

It appears, from this passage, that Satan currently spends most of his time before God, accusing every saint who enters heaven. The individual testimony of their trust in the shed blood of the Lamb by the saints in heaven, makes void all of his accusations against them. Because of their testimony, God will not consider Satan's accusations.

Verses 12

"...Woe to the inhabiters of the earth..."

Here the last and most terrible of the three great woes mentioned in chapter 8:13, is initiated. Satan, who had previously set himself in heaven to accuse the saints, is now cast down to the earth filled with wrath against God and everything that is godly in the earth. Finally, Satan realizes his time is running out. Knowing that he is appointed to the wrath of God, and having nothing more to lose, he goes forth to attack and destroy everything that he believes is a part of God's eternal plan.

Verses 13 - 14

"...he persecuted the woman..."

Having lost the war in heaven, Satan now turns his attention to the woman (Jerusalem) which brought forth the man child. The word "persecuted" as used here means, "to pursue with the intent to do harm". He however, will be unsuccessful in this attempt just as he was in the war in heaven, because the woman is aided in an escape from the presence of the dragon.

"...two wings of a great eagle..."

Some believe the "two wings of a great eagle", mentioned here, is a reference to Exodus 19:4, where it speaks of God delivering Israel from bondage in Egypt, "...on eagles wings...". Others see this as more figurative, by saying that these two represent the Old and New Testaments, which bear witness to God's plan to redeem Israel.

A more likely reference however, can be found in Malachi Chapter 4 where we read, "But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings;..." The Hebrew word used there for healing (pronounced mar-pay') can also be translated as "deliverance", so as to read: "... the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with deliverance in his wings;..."

Chapter 4 of Malachi ends by speaking of Moses and Elijah. Both healing and deliverance seem to be indicated in these verses. God will restore the Law and the Prophets to Israel through these two men. By again receiving the Law and the Prophets, and realizing that they both point to Jesus, the Jewish people will receive a great spiritual healing. At the same time, they will also be physically delivered, from Satan's coming fury.

The fact that the woman is given the wings after Satan is cast down can be understood to indicate that while the two witnesses have visited the woman before, they have now come to her with the specific mission of helping her escape the wrath of Satan. Every indication is that it is the testimony of these two which brings the Jewish people, including the 144,000, to faith in Jesus Christ.

The woman's flight "...into the wilderness..." will be quick, and in the face of the events which are to unfold in verses 15 and 16.

Where is it that the woman flees to escape the wrath of the Dragon? First of all, it is very curious thing, that after chapter 12, there is no apparent further reference to this woman in the remainder of the Book of Revelation, except for one possible place (18:4). There it is speaking of the time of the judgment of the great city, Babylon, and the words "...come out of her my people..." are spoken.

In chapter 17:3, Babylon is seen sitting upon the beast, "...in the wilderness...". As strange or unlikely as it may sound, The woman (the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem) may flee to Babylon for refuge from the Dragon. She has a place prepared of God,"...in the wilderness...", where she will dwell securely for 3 1/2 years.

The flight to Babylon, by her, may possibly be at the direction of the two witnesses, indicating that returning to the land of her prior captivity (606 - 536 B.C.) is necessary for God's judgment upon that city to be fulfilled according to Scripture: thus the phrase, "...come out of her my people...", is uttered prior to that judgemnt being carried out..

Both God and Israel will be fully vindicated of Babylon's former treatment of Jerusalem (in the days of Daniel), when her destruction is finalized at the end of the great tribulation.

Saddam Hussein spent more than a billion dollars rebuilding portions of Babylon on the original Iraqi desert site. Babylon is pictured in the Book of Revelation (17:16-17) as a great enemy of the Beast (Antichrist). However, she is also shown to be a great enemy of the saints of God, and judgment will fall upon her because of this; even if for a short time she welcomes the woman of chapter 12 to dwell in her presence.

In both Isaiah (Chapter 13) and Jeremiah (Chapters 50 & 51), it is prophesied that when the judgement of God is executed against Babylon, the city will be so utterly destroyed that it will never rise again. The modern rebuilding of parts of Babylon, points to the idea that its judgment as prophesied, has yet to be fulfilled.

There are some who say that Babylon's judgment has already been executed, and the city doesn't need to be rebuilt for the prophecy concerning her to be fulfilled. The problem with this understanding is: What do you do with the parts of Babylon which are now in existence on the original site? Buildings and walls have been erected on the original site, using brick from the original city, which God said would not occur after He brings about Babylon's destruction.

The small Iraqi town of Hillah, located within the perimeters of the original Babylon site, is said to be built almost exclusively of brick taken from the ruins of Babylon. In God's judgment against her, there is no accomodation for those who would use material from the site to create new structures {Jer. 51:26}.

Can we overlook such passages which show a well defined violent and final judgment of that city; or do we simply redefine them because they don't fit our escatology?

Also, God's people are told to flee Babylon before it is destroyed {Jer. 51:6}. This never happened during the days of Israel's captivity in Babylon. It was not until many years, after the fall of Babylon, and by the authority of Persian Kings, that the Jews left there and returned to the land of Israel. They didn't flee as people escaping a catastrophe, such as Lot and his family did when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

It simply comes down to whether, or not, we believe that God literally intends to pay back Babylon for all of her past sins: or if Sodom and Gomorrah will have reason to stand up before Him and say, "Is the harlot, who plundered Jerusalem better than us?" Indeed, God has not forgotten what Babylon did to Jerusalem, and to His Temple in the days of Daniel. The times of Daniel may seem like ages ago to us, but to God those days are as yesterday. He will have the final say concerning the judgment of all things.

It would seem most appropriate that God would return His people to Babylon first; and then execute the final judgment upon her, wherein He will use the Antichrist to strip her of her wealth and utterly destroys her with fire, just as the Babylonians had done to Jerusalem in the past. It is so stated in Scripture that, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with the measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." {Matt. 7:2}

This judgment was never carried out in the days when the Jews were carried into exile by the Babylonians. In those days, Babylon was not overthrown with such violent force as described in the Book of Jeremiah. It actually fell by the stealth of the Persians, who diverted the flow of the Euphrates River, and then entered the city by going under the river gates which had protected that area prior to the diversion.

Because the Babylonians were in a drunken stupor, due to celebrating a feast day, the Persians were able to pass into the city and take it without the proverbial "firing a shot". Revelation chapter 17, also portrays Babylon the Great as being in a drunken stupor, prior to her destruction.

It's as though God's judgment, as declared by His prophets, was suspended when the Persians came forth to conquer Babylon; only to be reinstated at the end of the tribulation period, when her eternal destruction will be fully realized. A similiar situation exist with a lull in the fulfillment of the "70th week of Daniel" (Dan. 9:27). The tribulation period will show revived Babylon, in her opulence, to be totally unrepentant of her past.

History shows that Babylon continued to exist for centuries, through the times of the Greek Empire. Alexander the Great intended to make it into one of his capital cities, but that plan fell through with his death (at Babylon). His successors decided to build a new capital elsewhere, and in time, Babylon simply faded away into the desert to became the heap that it was; until Saddam Hussein began pulling her up from the dust again.

It cannot be over emphasized that Scripture makes it abundantly clear that Babylon's ultimate demise will be extremely violent, not natural! Once the Antichrist has plundered the city, set it ablaze and withdrawn, God will rain fire and brimstone down on the site (as in the destruction of Sodom & Gommorah - {Jer. 50:40}); creating a varitable lake of fire which will make it totally unhabitable by people or animals forever {Jer. 51:62}.

The 3 1/2 years during which the woman is in the wilderness extends from just before the mid-point of the tribulation period, until just before its conclusion. The reason for this overlapping is that that woman must return from her stent in the wilderness and re-possess the City of Jerusalem again {Jer. 51:49-50} before Messiah comes to their rescue.

We find the Jewish people again in control of Jerusalem just prior to the Revelation of Jesus {Zech.12:8-9 ; 14:4}. It will be recalled in Chapter 11 that the city had been given into the hands of the Gentiles for 3 1/2 years; the same period of time when the woman of Chapter 12 is in the wilderness.

Why would the woman of chapter 12 flee to Babylon for protection? Because, aside from the reasons cited above, Babylon will still be the premier economic super-power in the world, and shall enjoys the protection of the "Kings of the Earth" (17:18). As such, she represents a counter-force which the Antichrist must deal with, and eliminate, before his dominion over the earth can be realized. He however, will be unable to remove her from the scene until the end of the tribulation period.

Just prior to her destruction, God calls for His people (the woman of chapter 12) to "...come out of her..."; and while the Antichrist is busy executing his wrath (and God's) upon her, it appears that the woman will steal away and retake Jerusalem from the enemies of God.

This then sets the stage for the Antichrist, returning from the Babylonian campaign, to regather his forces at Megiddo; in readiness for the final battle against the returned Jews, and the Messiah (Jesus) who shall come to deliver them (i.e. the Battle of Armageddon).

The immense oil wealth of the Middle-East may well be the catalyst which propels Babylon to become the meteoric economic super-power depicted here in the Book of Revelation.

Her mysterious rise to power again will be stunning. At a time when the mark of the Beast (chapter 13) will be in place, she will be the great powerhouse: buying and selling the earth's merchandise, in defiance of the Beast's economic control system; that is, until he brings destruction upon her. {13: 16-17 ; 18:10-11}.

One of the world's top economist has stated that if middle-eastern oil was maintained at $75 a barrel for the next 100 years; there are enough proven oil reserves there to generate 15,000 trillion dollars in revenues! Such mind-boggling amount of wealth could easily propel Babylon to the greatness which Scripture indicates. This will be covered further in chapter 18. The future will probably see Babylon emerging as the Islamic Capital of the World, as well.

Verses 15 - 16

"..water ... as a flood..."

There is enough similarity in verses 15 and 16 of this chapter to point us to events which unfold in Ez. 38 - 39. In those chapters we learn that a great northern leader, named Gog, will lead a confederation which will invade Israel during the tribulation period.

Here in Revelation 12, we see the Dragon having seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on its heads. The seven heads with the crowns may ultimately represent a seven region division of the earth, as a first step towards world government. This will be covered further in chapter 17.

In Ezekiel, we also see Gog leading seven principal entities in his invasion of Israel, They are: Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah, Persia, Ethiopia and Libya. They are accompanied by "...many people with thee..." (ten horns?).

Again, here in Revelation, the Dragon cast a flood of water out of his mouth after the woman.

In Ezekiel, Gog and his allies come like a cloud (water) to cover the land. In Revelation 12:16, the earth opens up it mouth and swallows up the flood. In Ezekiel, there is a great earthquake and the astonishing defeat of Gog and his forces. They are subsequently buried in the Valley of Hamon-Gog (literally swallowed up by the earth).

The terminology used to describe the destruction of Gog's army in Ez. 39:17-20 is near identical to that used to describe the destruction of the Antichrist's army in Rev. 19:17-21. Furthermore, both armies are said to come from the far north {Ez. 38:15 ; Jer. 50:9}.

It is quite possible that Gog, and the Antichrist, of the tribulation period are one and the same person; and that the death blow which he encounters upon "...the mountains of Israel...", will be the action which will lands him temporarily in the bottomless pit. After a brief incarceration there, he will ascend, from the sea (the body of water created in 12:16), to be revealed as the beastly person of chapter 13.

In that chapter, we see that he receives a head wound unto death, by a sword. This is interesting because the saints who refuse to accept the mark of the Beast (20:4) were beheaded. What we may be seeing here, is the Antichrist himself being beheaded, even as David beheaded Goliath {I Sam. 17:51}. In the natural, recovery from such a wound would be an impossibility, however; with the Antichrist, we are not dealing with natural conditions. This "seed of the serpent" (Gen. 3:15), may possibly be referred to in {Isa. 27:1)

Unlike Goliath, this one will recover from his head wound, and apparently adopt beheading as the punishment of choice for those who would resist submitting to his marking system: killing the enemy, just as he was killed.

It may be noted here, that beheading is also a standard punishment for capital crimes under Islamic law. Babylon, which is in the heart of the Islamic world, shall be charged with the death of the saints who are beheaded {19:2).

What a stunning and marvelous thing it would be, to see one make such a miraculous recovery. Scripture states that the whole world will marvel at his recovery. Bear in mind, that with the Antichrist, we are seeing a being, who possesses super natural power.

When we get to chapter 13, we shall see that the Antichrist or beastly person, shall also inflict a wound unto death upon the beastly kingdom which rises up among the nations. That wound may be what gives rise to second beast (the False Prophet) of chapter 13.

It appears that the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with Israel at the beginning of the seven year tribulation period (Dan. 9:27); then near the middle of that time (and in the midst of his illegitimate relationship with Babylon) will break it by attacking an unsuspecting Israel (Ez.38: 11). Who would expect to be attacked by their "friend"? According to Scripture, Israel's covenant with the Antichrist shall not stand {Isa. 28:15 ; 28:17-18}.

As with the army which Gog shall lead against Israel; we also learn again from {Jer. 50:41) that Babylon's attacker (the Antichrist of Rev. 13) will lead a great army from the nations of the far north.

Unknown to Gog however, is that many in Israel have received the testimony of the two witnesses, after which they will abide under protection of the Almighty {Ez. 38:14 ; Rev. 12:14}. God may use the two witnesses to bring initial destruction upon Gog, while the woman flees into the wilderness to her prepared place of safety.

The super human power of the two witnesses may be what is required to counter and bring bring down the super human power of Gog; and may also serve as the fuel in his war with the two witnesses, upon ascending from the bottomless pit (11:7). Ezekiel 38:22 relates that God will bring about Gog's downfall through, "and overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone." Revelation 11:5 states that those who would attempt to hurt the two witnesses would be killed by the fire which proceeds out of their mouths.

Why would the woman need to flee into the wilderness if Gog is destroyed? Because that's not the end of the story! This resurrected leader of the great northern army is destined to return a second time, in full fury, not only gaining victory over Israel, but over the two witnesses as well {11:7).

In Ezekiel 38:21 we are told that God will call for a sword against Gog. In Rev. 13:14 we are told that the Beast (Antichrist) was wounded unto death by a sword.

Revelation 6:1 depicts the rider on the white horse (generally understood to be the Antichrist) as having a crown and a bow in his hand (going forth conquering and to conquer). Ezekiel 39: 3 relates that God will smite the bow out of Gog's left hand. Are these merely figures of speech, or are they references to things of a more literal nature?

Verse 17

"..make war with the remnant of her seed..."

Further enraged by his second failure, Satan now sets forth to make war with those saints who remain in the land after the faithful of Jerusalem escape safely into the wilderness. Those remaining appear to be the ones mentioned in Matthew 24:15 which flee into the mountains when the "overflowing scourge" comes through the land, and they see the Abomination of Desolation placed in the Holy Place. These too are likely the ones of Israel chosen to bury the hordes of Gog in the Valley of Hamon-Gog (Ezekiel 38:12).

They are distinguished from their mother (the woman) who fled into the wilderness, by the fact that she fled (Chapter 12:6) before the revelation of the Antichrist (Chapter 13:1,5). The remnant of her seed will flee into the mountains when they see the abomination of desolation set up, at his revelation.

It may well be that these are the ones which many believe will flee the the ancient city of Petra in the desert south of Jerusalem. Scripture states that those which live in Judea should not enter into Jerusalem, but should flee into the mountains when they see the "abomination of desolation" stand in the Holy Place.

With this great defeat, Satan becomes further enraged. Unable to get at the woman, he now turns his attention to making war with the remnant of her seed (those in Israel, who did not initially flee into the wilderness). To accomplish this, Satan moves to transfer his "royal power" to another, who appears capable of carrying out his agenda: the resurrected Beast of chapter 13.


CHAPTER SUMMARY

In this chapter John sees two great wonders in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun who is about to give birth to a man child; and a great red dragon who is standing before her, seeking to devour her child as soon as it is born.

An understanding is put forth here that the woman represents the City of Jerusalem, with her child symbolizing the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel, as mentioned in chapters 7 and 14.

The dragon, representing Satan, goes forth in an effort to destroy the child which is caught up to heaven, when it is born. This is followed by a war in heaven which ends with the dragon and his army being cast down and permanently barred from entering heaven.

Filled with anger over his downfall, Satan goes forth with a plan to destroy the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They however, are given two wings of an eagle (the two witnesses of chapter 11) which aid her in an escape, into the wilderness, from the presence of the dragon. She is to remain there in a place of safety for 3 1/2 years, during which time the city itself will be given into the hands of the Gentiles.

The attempt by Satan to destroy the woman is portrayed here as the invasion of Gog (Ezekiel 38-39) which ends with the invader being totally defeated.

With this great defeat, Satan becomes further enraged. Unable to get at the woman, he now turns his attention to making war with the remnant of her seed (those in Israel, who do not flee into the wilderness). To accomplish this, Satan moves to transfer his "royal power" to another, who appears capable of carrying out his agenda: the Antichrist of chapter 13.

 

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