John is shown a great sign in heaven as he sees a vision of a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. The sun is representative of the glory and brilliance of Gods righteousness that surrounds her and protects her. Under her feet the moon which is illustrative of eternity, light, Gods faithfulness in His Son Jesus who is the greater light of the gospel age as Jesus being the light of the world that shines in darkness, but the darkness can not comprehend the light, Psalms 72:5-7; Isaiah 2:3-5; Jeremiah 31:35-37; Isaiah 30:26-33; John 1:1-5.
The woman is symbolic of Israel and the congregation of Gods people as she wears a crown of twelve stars which represents the twelve tribes of Israel that have repented of their arrogance as they felt they deserved Gods favor, but yet kept killing the prophets God sent to them, including the very Messiah they were waiting for. This is when the times of the Gentiles began as God went to them to take Himself a people that were humbled enough to receive salvation as God had mercy on them, Matthew 23:37-39; Acts 15:14; Romans 11:25-27.
Paul also warned the Gentiles against being lifted up in pride because they had been favored by God with salvation as he explained the blindness of Israel would not last forever as when they see the Gentiles now having favor in the Lord and being grafted into the branch of Israel they repent of their sin and turn back to God being once again found in His favor, Romans Chapter 11.
The true congregation of God can be symbolized here as a mother that has all here children gathered in one place for safety which in this case is under the wings of the almighty God, Psalms 91. She cries out like a woman in labor as the pain of her persecutions has become too great to bear as she waits to be delivered from her persecutors, 2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 2:9; Colossians 1:13.
The other sign John saw was a great red dragon meaning Satan. Remember, this is a vision and a sign as Satan has not yet been thrown out of heaven yet. The description of the dragon being great and red depicts its nature and character as being fierce and murderous, John 8:44. This red dragon is depicted as having seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. The seven heads and ten horns refer to the original ten kingdoms of which three were subdued by the little horn of Daniel 7:8. The last kingdom which stands greater than all the others is that of a revived Roman Empire that takes control over all the ten nations who then implements a deceiving peace treaty to a world that is in great distress. Below is that of the seven kingdoms described as four beasts in Daniel 7:1-8 and the three kingdoms that were subdued by the little horn, which is the Roman Empire.
The three kingdoms that were subdued by the little horn of Daniel 7:24 are the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths who were eliminated by the year 538 AD under the leadership of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian whose deadly wound came in 1798. The wound was largely healed in 1929 when Mussolini gave the Vatican back to the Pope and established it as a country in it’s own right in the Lateran Treaty. Today the Vatican has formal diplomatic relations with almost every country in the world. We will study this more in Chapter 13.
Seven remaining nations that still exist today:
(Iraq) The lion represents the winged lions that guarded the royal places of Babylon.
Medo – Persian Empire:
(Iran) The ribs of the bear are part of the consuming greed that devours the first empire.
(Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt) Four wings of the leopard described the swiftness of this empire that ran from 334-331BC. It wrestled world dominion from Medo-Persia. After the death of Alexander, the Great the kingdom was divided into four minor kingdoms that continued as prominent factors in world politics until the Roman Empire gathered it back as one kingdom.
Roman Empire: (little horn, Daniel 8:9-14, 23-27)
Iron represents the stronghold this nation had. Daniel chapter 2 mentions the iron element of this empire that it to will be divided and broken as God will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed.
The crowns on its heads show that this dragon claims royal authority against the true King who is God of all creation as he prepares to take his seat above all that which is Gods Kingdom claiming he is God as he prepares to deceive the world through that of an existing Roman Empire, Daniel 8:9-12; Isaiah 14:12-15.
These angels that Satan cast down to earth are a third part of Gods holy angels that have made their allegiance to Satan as he uses them to work through the lust of others here on earth. The spiritual kingdom of Satan and his demon angels is the spiritual realm below the Spiritual realm where God and His angels dwell. Satan is called the prince of the power of the air as being the ruler of the kingdom of the air, Ephesians 2:2-6; 6:12. He has access to the heavenly realm of God, but only through Gods permission as he stands before God accusing the brethren, Zechariah 3:1, Job 1:6, 7; Revelation 12:10. Satan has access to God and also spiritually walks to and fro on earth as he works through others to deceive the nations, Job 1:7. This is how he was allowed to tempt Job and tried to deceive Jesus, Matthew 4:1.
These angels are used of Satan to speak heresies against God as Satan uses them to control the thoughts and minds of those with a lustful heart. Hebrews 13:2 says not to be forgetful to entertain strangers as some are angels unaware to them. Satan also uses his angels unaware to people to deceive them with a twisted word and false religions that lead into idol worshiping as these idols become their gods.
Israel, being the seed of Abraham and the Gentile being grafted into the seed, have always been persecuted by the Roman Empire that Satan works through. By their hands Satan tried to devour the Christ child using Herod to kill all those children from birth to two years old, Matthew Chapter 2. Satan tried again through that of the Roman Empire to do away with Jesus by crucifying Him to death, but God caught Him up to sit at His right hand and will live forever, 1 Corinthians 15:55, 56.
From 1798 until 1929 the Roman Empire was abolished for a time as a secular government was set up that allowed the freedom of the Gospel to be preached and published in print so now it was an opened display for all to read and hear. The Roman Empire was revived again in 1929 as these angels unaware to man crept in with Satan’s twisted word and continued idol worshiping that has deceived many into a false teaching of the word of God, which in scripture is called the falling away, 2Thessalonians 2:3.
The woman here represents the true congregation of God that flees to the wilderness for 1290 days just as Jesus forewarned her to do so in Matthew 24:15, 16. Jesus said when you see the abomination that causes desolation stand in the holy place Jesus is speaking about the son of perdition (the beast out of the earth, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Rev 13) taking a literal seat in Jerusalem on the very Temple Mount of God where the Dome of the Rock presently stands.
The abomination will be that of a New World Order with a singular governmental power that controls all economic, political, military, educational and religious authority that takes its seat in Jerusalem, Isaiah 14:12, 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. This new government is a Global power giving false hope to the entire world as even the very elect of God will be deceived if possible, Matthew 24:24. The four horsemen in chapter 6 represent the false Christ, global wars, famine, sickness and disease that is brought on by mans sinful nature as they refuse to repent and turn back to God as they are lovers of self and their heart is full of pride and lust.
The scenario of the first six trumpets as Gods wrath is poured out into the world is that now the nations are in total chaos and left with little to no resources for sustaining life. Many are sick and dying from disease as there are no provisions to make medicine. Unemployment is at its all time lowest that causes many to lose everything they own. Governments collapse as civil wars and rioting break out as one covets that of what another has as they give no regard for the law and will take away what others possess just to survive. Marshal Law will come prevalent in all nations to control the people. Here in America do a study on Marshal Law and FEMA camps as it is an eye opener many people are not aware of.
The world cries out for a savior but rejects the one already given to them as they fall prey to that which comes under Satan’s control that is even secretly working in the world today. Jesus warned us to flee into the mountains/wilderness from this abomination and not to enter in and be yoked with the darkness as there is no communion with light and darkness, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. This will be the greatest time of faith as we rely on God to supply our need and avoid the temptations that are set before us, 1 Peter 5:8.
Satan and his unholy angels are now cast out of heaven forever and cast down to the earth. He is full of wrath as he has no more access to heaven where he stood before the Lord accusing the brethren while Jesus made intercession for them, Romans 8:34. Now is come salvation, strength and the kingdom of our Lord and the power of His Christ as we have overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony as we love not our lives unto death.
Now that Satan has been cast down to earth he is furious as he knows his time is short and he is going to do everything in his own power to silence and destroy the anointed of God as he works through those who have bowed down to him. Salvation brings with its Gods power and authority that gives us the strength to stand against Satan. Strength refreshes us to stand and not be weary, to walk and not give up. We rely on Gods strength to help us through every obstacle that stands in our way. Satan has always tried to fight against us and wear the flesh down, but our strength comes by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit living in us, Isaiah 40:31; Matthew 26:41.
We have been instructed of God to not conform to the world, but to be transformed in the renewing of our mind, Romans 12:2.
Those who have picked up their cross to follow Jesus, Matthew 16:24-28, need not worry that Satan is now out for blood as he will succeed in killing many saints as they die a martyr’s death like those saints before them as they loved not their own life, but have life eternal with the Father. Satan used Emperor Justinian who had around five hundred million Christians killed during his reign and used Paul before his conversion to slaughter the Christians as they both did this in the name of God, 2 Timothy 3:5.
War begins on earth as prophesied by in Daniel 12:1-3. The woman (Jew and Gentile as the Gentile is grafted into that vine that is Jesus) goes into her place in the wilderness as she is given two eagle wings, Exodus 19:4, where she is nourished for three and a half years or 1260 days, Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 11:1-3.
Her place means to stand in the holy place, which is our strength and faith that is Christ whom we call upon in our time of need as we pray for courage and fortitude to stand against Satan especially now that he has been cast out of heaven and placed here on earth. Satan is now ready to persecute the woman to death and she is told to flee from the temptation that is about to take place as many will renounce Jesus at this time as they truly do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.
Satan cast water out of his mouth (water is a metaphor for word as in John 3:5) as a flood or powerful words sent forth to persecute the woman to death, but the earth, the Spirit of the Lord, Isaiah 59:19, set up a standard against Satan that he saw no fear in them. This greatly angered Satan as he went out to destroy the remnant of her seed meaning all who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior all over the world.
Up to this point in Revelation we have seen the woman as only being Israel under the covenant of promise of eternal life with the father. The outer court given to the Gentile as they will trample it and bring back the sacrifices, but not the sacrifice that is for sin as they are under the cloud of darkness as they are ruled by Satan unaware. We have seen a standard set up against Satan that he saw no fear in the house of Israel as they have always kept Gods commandments and the testimony of Christ as they and their generations after them were sent out to preach to the Jew only, Matthew 10:6, that have been scattered all over the world.
Satan is enraged with anger against Israel now because he found no fear in them and now seeks to destroy her remnant which are those Gentiles that Paul was instructed to go out and preach to, Acts 22:21. Daniel had no insight of a Gentile nation turning to God so this is why only Israel is mentioned, but now it has become Israel and those Gentiles grafted into her branch that makes up the whole body of Christ.