Evility was absorbed with the details of Operation Takeover. One of his more challenging assignments was to explain Revelation 12. After pondering for days and making copious notes he had an outline for his presentation. He decided to practice his discourse aloud. He drifted to a remote part of the desert and began a monologue.
"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. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth." Rev 12:1,2
This woman is not a literal, physical woman. Her name is not Mary. She is a symbol for God’s kingdom. Her name is the New Jerusalem. She is a dazzling, brilliant, gorgeous city radiating the light of God’s glory. Jesus gives her His light.
A detailed description of her is given in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. The moon is under her feet because it is in subjection to her. The moon rules the night. The moon being under her feet symbolizes the idea that there is no night or darkness in the New Jerusalem.
Stars symbolize angels. (Rev 1:20) The 12 stars on her head represent the 12 angels who stand at the 12 gates leading into the kingdom – into the New Jerusalem. The names of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel are written on the 12 gates.
She is in labor, ready to deliver her first child. Her pain is intense.
"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. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth." Rev 12:3,4
This is not a literal, physical dragon with seven heads and ten horns. It does not represent a person or a country. The dragon is a symbol for Satan. It is clearly identified in Revelation 12:9 as “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.”
The seven heads and ten horns are unique to Satan. Any time you see a creature in the Bible with seven heads and ten horns you will know immediately that the creature is Satan. He uses his seven heads to control.
All seven of his heads exist at the same time (See Daniel 7:6). Each of his seven heads has a different name and is a different manifestation of himself. Each one is a king, which is why it is wearing a crown. The names of his seven heads are:
|2||Serpent of old||Rev 12:9|
|5||Star (Lucifer)||Rev 9:1 (Isaiah 14:12)|
|7||Beast||Rev 13:1, 17:3|
The dragon has ten horns. They are ten of his evil angels – leading demons.
The dragon’s tail symbolizes his lies and deceptions. Stars symbolize angels. (Rev 1:20) By lying to the angels in heaven, the dragon was able to deceive 1/3 of the angels and convince them to worship him instead of God.
"4 And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 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." Rev 12:4,5
The Child represents Jesus Christ. The dragon (Satan) desperately wanted to kill the woman’s (kingdom of God) first Child as soon as He was born. Satan wanted God’s kingdom to be barren and empty with no inhabitants.
Jesus was the first Child born into the kingdom of God. This birth was not His literal, physical birth on earth. His birth into the kingdom of God was His Spiritual birth that occurred at His baptism when He was 30 years old. Jesus said that a person must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.
"3 Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'" John 3:3
A persons first birth is when he is physically born as a baby and his second birth is a spiritual birth when he is born into the kingdom of God. This second birth must be of water and the Spirit.
"5 Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.'" John 3:5-6
It was at His second, spiritual birth that Jesus was born of the woman and was born into the kingdom. This occurred at His baptism. He was born of water and the Spirit.
"16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." Matt 3:16 – 4:1
At 30 years of age Jesus began His public ministry. First he was baptized by water and then by the Spirit. He was born again into the kingdom of God. Then the voice of God the Father, who sits on the throne, could be heard saying, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Jesus was reconnected with the throne of God. He was spiritually caught up to the throne. Immediately after this He went into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan and He began to preach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.
"17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Matt 4:17
"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." Rev 12:6
Satan attempted to destroy Jesus and His kingdom by tempting Him to sin in the wilderness. But each time Jesus used the word of God as His defense against Satan, and each time Satan was defeated.
God had prepared a place for His kingdom in the wilderness and He fed her there for 1260 days. The food she ate was manna which represents the Word of God. The purpose of the food was to make the kingdom grow and prosper. As people accept, receive and abide in Jesus by His word, they are sustained and grow.
Jesus preached about the kingdom of heaven and it grew for 1260 literal days (3 ½ years). The 1260 days started when Jesus was baptized and ended when He was crucified on the cross.
Notice the three characters we have just learned about:
|1||Woman||Kingdom of God|
|2||Dragon||Satan, serpent of old|
These are the same three characters we are told about in Genesis 3.
Garden of Eden
One beautiful day, about 6,000 years ago, Eve was exploring in the garden of Eden. She came to a tree that was covered with delightful fruit. There was also an enchanting, cunning serpent in the tree. The serpent could talk and Eve was fascinated as she listened.
The serpent told Eve that if she ate the fruit of that tree her powers would expand and she would become like God. He told her that he had eaten the fruit and now he was able to speak. But God had told her not to eat the fruit from that tree or she would die. Eve was deceived by the serpent’s lie.
The serpent was not just a snake. It was Satan pretending to talk through a snake. Eve believed the serpent and ate the fruit. She sinned against God by disobeying His command.
" 14 So the LORD God said to
'Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.'
" 16 To the woman He said:
'I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children.'” Gen 3:14-16
This promise of God was literally fulfilled about 6,000 years ago. The serpent lost its wings and had to crawl on its belly. Women began having pain when they bore children.
But more importantly, it was a promise for the future when it would have a spiritual fulfillment. The Lord said to the serpent,
" I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel." Gen 3:15
The serpent is the dragon and Satan. The woman is God’s kingdom. The Seed is Jesus. God would put hatred between Satan and God’s kingdom and between the people in Satan’s kingdom and Jesus. Jesus would bruise, or crush, Satan’s serpent head and Satan would bruise Jesus’ heel.
This prophecy was exactly fulfilled when Jesus was crucified on the cross. When Jesus died, Satan bruised His heel. But it was only a bruise and Jesus was raised from the grave to live forever. But Jesus crushed the serpent’s head. When Jesus died Satan understood that one day his own kingdom would end and he must die forever.
War in Heaven
"7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 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. 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. 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. 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.'" Rev 12:7-12
This war in heaven has not taken place yet. There have been wars in heaven and Satan has been cast out of heaven twice already, but he will be cast out a third time when these verses are completely fulfilled.
The first time Satan was cast out of heaven was about 6,000 years ago. Satan lived in heaven and went by the name Lucifer – light bearer. He was a perfect, glorious angel. He was the commanding angel over all the millions of angels in heaven. Then he rebelled against God and persistently refused to repent. He also persuaded 1/3 of the angels in heaven to rebel. When God had exhausted all possibilities and there was no chance that Satan or his angels would repent, they were physically thrown out of heaven. He was still able to visit heaven, but his new home was the earth.
The second time Satan was cast out of heaven was about 2,000 years ago. Satan caused Jesus to be crucified. After Jesus was raised from the dead and returned to heaven Satan was cast out of heaven again. This time he was cast out in the respect that the angels in heaven had no more sympathy for him. But he was still able to act as accuser of God’s people.
In the near future a third war will break out in heaven between Satan and his angels and Jesus and His angels. In the Bible Jesus is sometimes called Michael when he is battling directly with Satan. Satan will lose the battle and for the third time he and his angels will be cast out of heaven. This time he will be cast down as accuser of God’s people.
When Satan loses this battle he is furious! He knows that the final sequence of events on earth – the Great Tribulation – has begun. He realizes that his remaining time on earth to deceive people and gain their worship is very short. He has less than four years to convince every person on earth to worship him instead of God. The timer on this bomb has been started and there is no way to delay or disable it.
Dragon is furious
"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. 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. 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. 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. 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." Rev 12:13-17
Satan’s serpent head was crushed and killed when Jesus died. The serpent head received a deadly wound. When he is cast to earth the third time his deadly wound is healed. God allows his serpent head to come back to life to engage in the last war with people on earth.
The first thing the dragon does when he sees that he has been cast to the earth is to pursue and persecute God’s kingdom. But God’s kingdom is given two wings of a great eagle to fly into the wilderness. She will again be fed manna (God’s word) in the wilderness so she can grow. She will be there for 3 ½ years (time, times and ½ a time), protected from the presence of the serpent. The serpent will shoot water out of his mouth to try to wash the woman away. This flood of water will be a flood of evil spirits who will attempt to deceive and destroy God’s kingdom. They will not be successful.
Then the dragon goes off to make war with the children of God’s kingdom. They are identified in two ways:
- They keep all ten of the commandments of God. (Exodus 20)
- They have the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10)
Since Satan will not be able to destroy God’s kingdom he will fight against the people who are born into it. The children born into God's kingdom are holy and will be able to enter through her gates into the city. They are the only people who can enter. . . .
Evility's voice drifted off as he got to the end of his speech. He hadn't even noticed the dropping temperature and the gathering gloom of night. Evility was absorbed with the details of Operation Takeover.
Read the Beast next.