Things to Come, Lesson 26, The Seven Personages of Revelation, Chapter 12, Part I
We will continue our lessons in our "Things to Come" series by beginning a study of chapters 12 and 13 of the book of Revelation.
We have concluded our study of the seven seal book with its seven trumpets which has basically given us a summary of what is to take place during the seven year tribulation period.
Later chapters will provide additional details of what is to occur during that time.
However God, in chapters 12 through 13 brings into view a focus upon seven personages who are prominent during this same period and not only this period but all of Jewish history up to and including the tribulation period.
We are to remember that the seven years of the tribulation is a period of the prominence of Israel for the church, the body of Christ is with Christ in heaven during this time where the marriage of Christ and the church takes place.
So in part, chapters 12 and 13 restate or summarize that same period, but describe events from Satanís vantage point including his original rebellion where Satan is cast to the earth along with one third of the angels.
We have already seen and will see again that the book of Revelation is a book of sevens:
- In chapters 2 and 3 we have the seven churches.
- In chapter 5 - the seven-sealed book.
- In chapter 6 - the beginning of the seven seals.
- In chapter 8 - the beginning of the seven trumpets.
- In chapters 12 and 13 - the seven personages.
- In chapter 16 - the seven vials.
- In chapters 17, 18, 19, 20 - the seven dooms.
- In chapters 21 and 22 - the seven new things.
In our last lesson we learned: that in the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The fact that Revelation is a book of sevens emphasizes ending or conclusion or finishing.
Seven is Godís number of completion.
God rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens and the earth.
In Revelation God is making a complete end of sin and sorrow.
He will complete His wonderful plan of redemption for all creation.
In the first few chapters of Genesis, Eden is lost.
In the last two chapters of Revelation, all of Godís creation with all of its original glory, is restored.
To everything there is a season and there is an ending for everything concerning time.
Time means that there is a beginning and an ending.
So God uses the number seven to tell us of the end of Satanís rule and the beginning of the rule of Christ.
And in this telling he tells us of seven personages.
We are told of a woman being with child clothed with the sun, the moon and the stars
We are told of a great red dragon
We are told of a man child
We are told of an archangel
We are told of the remnant of the seed of the woman
We are told of the Beast of the Sea
And the seventh personage of whom we are told is the Beast out of the Earth.
To begin with we will read the first six verses of Chapter 12
Revelation 12:1-6, 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: 2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And 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. 5And 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. 6And 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.
So the first of the seven personages is a woman.
She is described as a great wonder clothed in a manner unknown to humanity.
She must be a very unique woman for she is wearing the sun, and her feet are supported by the moon, and for a hat she wears a crown of twelve stars.
She is with child and not only with child but this is the time when the child is to come forth for she is in travail, pained to be delivered of this child.
There is another personage, a dark and evil personage, waiting for this to take place.
He has been waiting for centuries for this child to be born and he is not late to the childís appearing.
He is in the delivery room witnessing the birth of the child, not to celebrate his entry into the world, but to terminate his existence, to devour her child as soon as it was born.
What a description we are given, so current to our times as we today are witness to Satanís offspring who follow his leadership as they abort innocent children, devouring them by the millions.
O God forgive us our apathy and for being a part of this vile generation!
Now we are told there appeared a great wonder in heaven.
The view of what takes place is from heaven but the place it occurs is the earth for this woman flees into the wilderness.
By comparing scripture with scripture there is no doubt this woman clothed with the sun, the moon and a crown of twelve stars is Israel.
Remember Josephís prophetic dream in Genesis 37 where he saw the sun, the moon and the stars bowing down to him.
The sun represented Jacob, father Israel, the moon represented his wife, and the stars represented his 12 sons.
This woman in Johnís vision encompasses all of Israel.
Josephís dream was a prophetic picture pointing to his exaltation after he had been sold into Egyptian slavery by his wicked brethren.
It was also a prophetic picture of the nation Israel.
As Joseph was sold into the hands of Gentiles, Israel has been sold into captivity, scattered to the four corners of the earth, suppressed and persecuted by Gentiles.
Through the centuries Satan has tried his best to annihilate Israel and his efforts continues at their highest intensity today and will come to a climactic close in the Great Tribulation.
Little Antichrists of the past did their best to wipe out Israel, but they are gone and Israel remains!
Israel is the woman who brought forth the man-child who is to rule with a rod of iron.
God describes this woman clothed with the sun.
Malachi 4 describes an arising of the Sun (S-U-N) with healing in his wings.
He is described as the one who will tread down the wicked, making them ashes under the soles of Israelís feet.
Malachi 4:1-3, For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
The woman is Israel, not the church as some say, and the child is Christ. Also remember that Israel is the wife of Jehovah, the wife who bears the man-child.
At this point she is with child and ready to deliver.
The church has never been with child.
The church is a virgin preparing for marriage to the child and has never brought forth one who will rule with a rod of iron.
That is Israelís role for he shall come out of the root of David which means Israel is his mother.
Much is symbolized as God clothes the woman with the sun, the moon and the crown of twelve stars upon her head.
The crown is a symbol of her royalty for royalty brings forth kings and this king will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Her crown is twelve stars.
The number twelve is found 187 times in the Bible, 22 of which are in the book of Revelation.
Twelve signifies perfection of government or divine authority.
God connects the sun, the moon and twelve stars around this woman.
The sun rules by day and the moon by night.
The moon circles the earth and the earth circles the sun.
The circle is composed of 360 degrees or 30 - 12ís.
12 is composed of 3 times 4, 3 being the number of the divine, the trinity, and four the number of all that is earthly, 4 winds, 4 directions, 4 seasons.
There were 12 sons of Jacob, there were 12 princes of Ishmael.
The high priestís breastplate, used for judgment, had 12 stones representing the 12 tribes.
The showbread consisted of 12 loaves.
At age 12, Jesus appeared at the temple and indicated a turning point is his life as he told his parents, he must be about his fatherís business.
His authority was expressed.
Jesus ordained 12 apostles, who were sent with authority to preach the Gospel and to be witnesses of His resurrection.
During the great tribulation, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel are saved, totaling 144,000 (Revelation 7).
The New Jerusalem has 12 gates of pearls, 12 angels at the gates and the names of the 12 tribes of Israel over the gates.
Three gates on each of four sides totaling twelve gates.
The wall of the city has 12 foundations of precious stones; in them are the names of the 12 apostles.
The wall is 144 cubits high (12 x 12).
The city is 12,000 furlongs (1,500 miles) square.
So this woman with a crown of twelve stars:
ÖÖÖ.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. 6And 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.
Part of this passage is past history and part is history to come.
The man child is born, the man child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron is caught up unto God.
This one verse wraps up the birth, the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ to a throne position at the right hand of God.
It transcends the church age without mentioning the church for the history of Israel as far as the Bible is concerned goes from the resurrection of Christ directly to the Great Tribulation for Israel flees to the place prepared for her by God where she is fed for 1260 days, 3 and one half years. (1260 days is another number divisible by 12, 105 12"s)
There is no other who will rule all nations with a rod of iron, except Jesus Christ, Godís son.
A vision of this rule was captured long ago by the writer of Psalm 2:
Psalm 2:1-12, Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potterís vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
It is interesting to note that Israelís travail was not completed in her bringing forth this man child for scripture tells of another birth with its connected travail which will take place in what is described as the wilderness where she shall be fed for 1260 days.
For the tribulation is a time of great labor, the labor common to women in child birth, and God uses this simile to describe the birth of a nation.
We read of this in Isaiah 66:7-10, Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. 8Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 9Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. 10Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:
So here we see the birth of a man child before she travailed, before the pain came but when the pain did come she brought forth a nation.
God is saying that the nation born in a day requires the travail and pain which leads to the birth in order to come forth.
Tribulation is necessary for the birth of a nation.
9Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
So this travailing and pain for Israel which will bring forth a nation, is yet future, during the last half of Danielís seventieth week, the time of great tribulation, which God compares to human birth.
But as in human birth the pain and suffering are forgotten with the arrival of new life.
Jesus alluded to this principle in: John 16:21, A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
What an admonition to us who look only at the birth pangs of the tribulation when God desires for us to look at what comes forth from that Great Tribulation for a nation will be born in a day.
Jehovah will have His wife!