Revelation 12: The Truth About September 23, 2017


This part of the Bible is about a contrast between the two women.  Both are a type of church

  • One is Satan’s
  • The other is Christ’s

A church, whether false or true, is often depicted as a woman:


2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (Matthew 25:1; Revelation 14:4)

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”


Revelation 17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
Revelation 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Revelation 17:4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
Revelation 17:6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” (Revelation 18:3, 9)

Chapter 12 of Revelation addresses the enmity between the Woman and the Dragon

Revelation 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven… not in the sky or space; there are three;

Revelation 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
Revelation 4:2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Revelation 11:19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Then straight into 12:1

a woman… we are introduced to a symbolic woman here who is one of the main subjects of the chapter although there is a subtle but significant change in the woman later. The woman is a symbol of the church and she is described in the following way (which reveals her identity):

clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars….

An allusion to / an obvious reference to:

Genesis 37:9 Then he [Joseph] dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
Genesis 37:10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”

Jacob understood the dream signified him, Rachel and the other 11 brothers. So with Joseph this would be the 12 stars that comprised Jacob’s offspring at the time and would eventually become the nation of Israel.

Already we see that it does not refer to the second heaven and heavenly signs that some have interpreted this to mean, but rather

KJV: Acts 7:38  This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

This is the physical origin of the physical church: Israel which is called the church. It began with Abraham, the father of the faithful (Romans 4:16), then Isaac, and Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel).

Revelation 12:2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.

This is the condition of Israel (and the world) as it waits for the hope that comes with the delivery of the Savior.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
Romans 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Revelation 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.

Now we are introduced to the other main character of the chapter, who is none other than Satan

Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan

We are given several names for him that show that they all refer to the same being.

The two main points that I want to bring out here are:

1. This chapter reveals the past, present and future antagonistic relationship between the dragon and the woman or better Satan and the church or Israel

2. It also ties Satan into the Beast of Revelation 13, 17 etc which is a continuation of the the enmity between the Satan and the woman (compare Revelation 13:7 and 12:17)

Revelation 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

His tail drew a third of the stars… Speaking of the time of Satan’s rebellion (between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2; see Q&A on the subject) and his incredible ability to convince 1/3 of the angelic realm to follow him and take up his cause. (Ezekiel 28; Isaiah 14; Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Luke 10:18)

threw… put, laid, Mark 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

the woman who was ready to give birth…

this is still the woman of the first verse which is Israel of the Old Testament. It can not specifically be Mary because of :13

Revelation 12:13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

This is the end-time. Mary had died nearly 2000 years before this. So really the only way that it could be interpreted in light of all of this is that Mary was an Israelite and in that way the woman as Israel gave birth to Jesus Christ.

to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

Matthew 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Matthew 2:14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,
Matthew 2:15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON.”
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

Herod in a misguided attempt to protect his throne put out the most heinous of decrees to kill Jesus. But this plan of Satan’s was thwarted.

Revelation 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

She bore a male Child… Now the Child is identified:

…rule all nations with a rod of iron…

Revelation 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

…her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

Mark 16:19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Revelation 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Then the woman… Here we have the subtle change we previously discussed in :1. The woman as we discussed represents the church. But now that Jesus Christ has come, who is the church?

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

We have become a new creation in Christ and if we walk according to that then we are the Israel of God (Galatians 6:15-16) (Also Galatians 3:7, 29)

So what we have here now is that the woman is still Israel and still the church, but now it is better defined as spiritual Israel in whom God’s holy spirit resides.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Of course this is now going to be the focal point of Satan

  • previously his chosen people were the physical nation of Israel

  • now it is the spiritual nation of Israel

This woman, God says that He will protect from Satan who would love nothing more than to destroy it in the way that he tried to continually destroy the nation of Israel and Jesus Christ.

…fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God…

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days… I think that we have to apply the “day for a year” principle here (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6). We will have another reference to 3 ½ years later in this chapter and we will see that it is distinguished differently.

So, what see here and it fits with what we know of the history of the true Church of God, is that it continued on like Christ said it would but largely flew under the radar for the next 1260 years.

Revelation 12:7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

Now, after that compressed synopsis of the past conflict between Satan and the Woman we switch to the future strife between the two near the very end time

And war broke out in heaven… So now we have another war that breaks out

Michael and presumably the 2/3’s that remained will fight with that dragon Satan and his 1/3 of angels

Revelation 12:8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

Satan up to this point had been allowed a certain amount of latitude in coming before the throne of God (Job 1:6; 2:1). Of course he was always up to no good as we will see in a couple of verses (:10)

nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer… so now even the limited privileges he was allowed have been revoked for good. Now for sure he knows that his time is short (:12)

Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

We addressed this before, but here is the equating of dragon = Satan = devil = serpent of old

who deceives the whole world… Once again we see the difference in his power as compare to ours. He deceived 1/3 of the angels and now we see he deceives all humans – they do not see this or know it or feel it.

…he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Back to his temporary domain

(Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come… now we see why Satan’s time is short – because the Day of the Lord and the return of Christ is imminent.

…he accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night… This is what Satan does continuously. Just a side point, what kind of ammunition are you giving him by sinning?

…has been cast down. The final events are now in play and it will not be long before Christ assumes the throne, the one he qualified over Satan for (Matthew 4; Luke 4)

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

And they … the brethren being accused in the previous verse

overcame him by the blood of the Lamb… applied the sacrifice of Christ and asked for forgiveness and were given it.

…they did not love their lives to the death. They were willing to give up their lives for that belief and even showed this in their actions daily by being a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5)

Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth… this is everyone; all will suffer under what Satan has in store; that is gentile, Israelite and most church members.

Gentiles will be fighting one another as well as the Israelites

Physical Israelites:

Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale?
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
Jeremiah 30:8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them.

Spiritual Israelites:

Revelation 12:13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

Daniel 12:7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

I do not see how we will be able to preach the gospel freely, do the work or meet peacefully on the Sabbath, or let others know the truth without fear of reprisal – this is why it is called the Great Tribulation. A time of unprecedented trials upon both Israels.

Revelation 12:14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

The wings are not grown

Exodus 19:4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. (Deuteronomy 1:31; 32:11; Isaiah 63:9)

Here we have the other 3 ½ years (differentiated from 1260 days of :6)

During the time of the Great Tribulation a portion of the church will be sequestered away from the wrath that the Devil is bringing on the world

Place of Safety:

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 12:15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

As you can imagine Satan is not happy and he still tries to stop the church form escaping

The wood flood is often symbolic of army:

Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. (Psalm 69:1-4; 124:2-5; Isaiah 59:19; Jeremiah 47:2-3; Daniel 11:10; )

Side note: We are still on earth where Satan was previously cast to, so none of this is or can happen in a “rapture”

Revelation 12:16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

Reminiscence of Korah:

Numbers 16:31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them,
Numbers 16:32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now he is enrages especially with the commandment keepers

Notice the difference:

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

This comes about through the persecution of the church by the beast power

Revelation 13:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.


With Revelation 12 we see that God’s chosen ones are the focus of Satan’s wrath and will continue to be. It is not open to what we think or feel it means or any special insight that we conjure up.

When we let the Bible interpret the Bible we will see Satan’s devices that he tries to use against us – but more importantly we see God’s intervention and plan that He has to save us!