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 Satan, 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 inhabiters 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 swallowed 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.
The two main characters of the 12th chapter of Revelation are visible as a sign in heaven. The woman is clothed with the sun and also appears in bright light, like the face of Jesus in the first chapter. The moon is under her feet, which means that neither night nor darkness reign over her. So she wears a royal crown of twelve stars on her head, symbolising true authority and power in heavenly places. Persons may think that Psalm 136 is obsolete in the proclamation of the Lord of lords, whose kindness endures forever, and who has created the sun to rule by the day and the moon and the stars to rule over the night. Sun, moon and stars praise the Creator, who counts them and knows them all by name, in the following Psalms 147 and 148, for thousands of years. Now the sun has not ceased to shine in power and the moon changes its appearance not necessarily because progressive astronauts hoist a stars and stripes banner or shrewd brokers split the extraterrestrial plots. But what about a third of the stars and the fiery red dragon? When did they fall, and can we find the old serpent such as the decomposed skeleton of a dinosaur?
The crooked way of the devil can be tracked by the interested readers already in the notes of the 8th chapter (Isaiah 14, 12, Ezekiel 28, 12-19, Luke 10, 18). As is generally known, pride comes before a fall, an experience which the beautiful morning star and shielding cherub has been made in ancient times, respectively he must repeatedly undergo it. From the self-degrading Son of God, who humbly chose to leave the glory of his father to live with us on earth, we can learn a special point of view. Jesus saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven, when the demons were expelled by his send out disciples. Whereas King Herod the Great actually attracted Lucifer’s entourage by commanding a cruel child murder, which might be known from the Christmas story in the Gospel of Matthew. This report is disputed by historians who see in the significant Jewish ruler not the incarnation of evil, although they convey that he killed the brother-in-law, wife, and sons and even before his own death he unsuccessfully ordered to entrap the most distinguished Jewish men in the track of Jericho to murder them so that the mourning will be greater.
The same demons have willy-nilly taken possession of the playing with the fire, Christian persecutor Emperor Nero, who was acting in his paranoia in the same way. First, he let his power-obsessed mother Agrippina sink in a ship, until the cast away was killed in her villa; not enough he gave his pregnant wife Poppaea a deadly kick in the abdomen. Alone, there is a lack of evidence. Please note: A flash is seen only briefly in the sky, and yet it leaves audible thunder and traces of strikes on earth.
From Antiquity to the Middle Ages, the red dragon is depicted as frightening image and symbol of power, such as on the battlefield in the form of the Draco standard or as a badge of royalty. Ancient mythology tells of dragons, which as snake-like hybrids exercise the reign of terror over a territory. To appease them own human sacrifices were demanded. How skilfully that old serpent at the foot of the tree of knowledge deceives the whole earth for thousands of years could be recently seen in the script of Avatar. The latest demonic joke is actually the into a blue Na’vi alien driven false wheelchair Messiah, who comes flying on the mentally tame, red dragon, to defeat the evil earthly invaders in the most expensive drama ever. Strange, how often we fall into the trap of the everything perverting snake, believing the lie that we are gods and will never die in getting united with nature.
Strange and very mystical seems to be the description of the dragon, which has seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns. Pictorial representations of this beast always look highly contrived, for how is it possible to arrange 10 horns on 7 heads? Seven crowned heads represent the full number of all the ruling decision makers, which may consist of a different number, and their strength and authority (derived from the 10 Commandments) is the law. What demon possessed dictators and their followers are capable of, German history proves with the Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz 1933) and the Nuremberg Race Laws (Nürnberger Rassengesetz 1935), which primal allowed the cruel persecution of the Jews. In this regard, I am sure that only a few readers have seen in the section sign 2 snakes (§).
But why do we make everything so complicated when it woerks much easier. The Mosaic Law with the two tablets of the covenant were reduced from Jesus to love God and one’s neighbour. Even the search for the male child who was caught up into heaven is more simple than the interpretation of women and dragon. The Son of God alone can and will from a Christian perspective and Psalm 2 shepherd the nations with a rod of iron and rule from Zion throughout the world. As noted elsewhere, this is an indication that the spiritual pictures and truths of Revelation should not be squeezed into a rigid time lapse, because they happen not only at a particular time (was, and is and is to come – time, times and half a time). The past, present and future can be easily read off in the history of the dragon that persecutes the woman. Harmless churchgoers remain today in the belief that they can avoid for themselves the evil (the fall of the dragon to earth) in being nice, doing good, and loving all.
Anyway, usually men don’t believe in the existence of the devil and of fallen angels. We often ignore that Christians are according to Ephesians 6 in a battle against evil spiritual forces in the heavenly places and that hell on earth again and again breaks out by false anointed ones (see Revelation 6 – apocalyptic horsemen). Repeatedly stoned apostle Paul recommends not in vain to put on an armour – with the sword (Word of God) as a weapon not only to defend enemy attacks, but also to strike. Of course, the warriors of faith have nothing in common with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather expose them. In the light of the Letter to the Ephesians, the church of God appears in many ways as his body, temple, family, bride and finally as an army.
In the following course of this passage, the woman – as a synonym for the persecuted church of Jesus and Army of God – has to flee in the desert because she is attacked from the dragon. Jesus was tempted from the devil before his public ministry after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, and the people of Israel walked in a similar privation test 40 years in a circuit in the desert on their way to the promised land. The church age is also a time of trial of the Lord, who knows our hearts, what the epistles to the churches in chapter 2 and 3 clearly prove.
The woman is clothed with the sun and the twelve stars on her head, which can be a picture of the twelve apostles as leaders, and of course first and foremost a reflection of the light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 49, 6). Thus, the twelve tribes of Israel have longed for the coming of the Messiah repeatedly in times of great tribulation, such as in labour pains. In many places of the Old Testament God’s covenant people are represented as unfaithful wife of Jehovah (theme of the book Hosea, Isaiah 54, 5 & 6, Jeremiah 3, 6-8). The flowing transition from the people of Israel to the collective followers of Jesus, who were first called Christians in Antioch, allows no strict distinction or separation of God’s adherent women. The first apostles met in this time with the believers at the temple in Jerusalem, and as Jews they kept the ordinances of the Old Covenant. Also today many Messianic Jews as believers in Yeshua keep the Jewish festivals and customs and do not want to be imputed to a new Christian denomination. At the end of the unveiling the Jew and Christian Yochanan sees the New Jerusalem as a bride adorned for God from heaven, with twelve gates (tribes of Israel) and 12 foundation stones (apostles) which are connected to each other!
Until then, unfortunately recurring woes can be heard. A sad crisis of the persecution of the Jews by the insane German ‘Führer and Chancellor of the Reich’ was the ordered Holocaust (Greek completely burned, Hebrew great catastrophe), whose appearance and approach is comparable with the emergence of the beast in the 13th chapter. In addition to the cruel murder of approximately six million Jews during the Nazi dictatorship, one should keep in mind that when the Second Temple was destroyed in AD 70 about a million victims perished. Pregnant women have been slashed open the bellies from Roman soldiers, because temple gold was suspected inside, which fulfilled the words of Jesus: “But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21 , 23 & 24).
Mark 13 verse 20 adds: And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he has shortened the days.
The shortening of the time and the war in the heavenly places are also described by the prophet Daniel, whose book is regarded by me as the revelation of the Old Testament. Undoubtedly, the Archangel Michael in Daniel chapter 10, 13 is fighting against the prince of Persia, and later, the supreme angel stands up in a time of great tribulation for the children of God (Daniel 12, 1). As well as with Michael, the wording of time, times and half a time, is found several times in Daniel again (chapter 7, 25 and 12, 7), but in place of 1260 days at the end 1290 and 1335 days are mentioned. Most copying Bible teachers refer the three and half years to the coming end time government of a particular person as the Antichrist; unbiased readers will find the specified time again elsewhere in the Word of God.
James 5, 17 and Luke 4, 25 mention the with authority praying Elijah. On his word 3 years and 6 months it did not rain (1 Kings 17 and 18). King Ahab’s accusation that the great prophet is responsible for the misfortunes of Israel sounds logical and understandable, for drought and famine came too long over the land. But the together with Jezebel ruling monarch left the commandments of God and ran after other gods, as the real cause of the crisis. Before it started again to rain, at the end of the trial, 850 sitting at the king’s table, false prophets had to be slaughtered. These 1260 days were really no nice time period.
I admit that many things are difficult to understand in the Bible. For that reason I give a small lesson in Bible mathematics:
Time, times and half a time are transmitted
1 + 2 + 0.5 = 3.5 years
This corresponds logically to a biblical year of 360 days
3.5 x 360 days = 1260, which are 42 months of 30 days
1260 + 30 + 60 + 15 = 1365 in the addition of 1 month plus 2 months plus 0.5 months after the same pattern. But why 1335 days in Daniel 12?
1260 + 30 + 60 – 15 = 1335
The last half month is shortened instead of extended, according to the days be shortened for the elect’s sake (Matthew 24, 21).
The wise shall understand, but the wicked will not understand it and continue to act wickedly. The abomination of desolation is a sign that for the mockers nothing is sacred any longer and every possible taboo is broken, of which all readers can convince themselves on Saturday nights. You simply have to zap the TV program. The people of God (Jews and Christians), during the still unfinished history (3.5 the half of 7), have kept and appreciated the commandments of God, which led to violent reactions of the enemies of the Holy Scriptures. Out of the mouth of the snake that goes crooked ways comes a stream or barrage of lies and slander, which the earth has taken through time, because they have been proven wrong.
God is dead and life has no meaning philosophized Nitsche, the passed away in mental derangement existentialist. The lack of morality and the teaching of evolution in which the stronger race triumphs got visible in two horrific world wars. The not evolving, on and on warring nations should change in this way that they thank the Lord for having survived all the crises relatively quickly (Exodus 34, 6). In the emergency case people cry out for God, but in times of prosperity he is easily forgotten.
That good years can be replaced by bad, Joseph already concluded in a dream interpretation for the Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 41). Seven good ears of corn and fat cows were followed by seven ugly and lean ones, as confirmation that God had decided a coming famine. In turn, that does not fit in the modern theology of the loving, all-reconciling father, who impassively watches our sinful acts from a distance like an old, weak man. Most readers are probably aware that a famine was necessary in the parable of the Prodigal Son to bring the repenting swineherd back into the arms of his rich father (Luke 15). Not welcome from the older brother, the resulting feast of joy reminds us of the feast of the overcomers, who need no longer to be afraid of the from heaven thrown out accuser of the brethren.
In one of the oldest books of the Bible comes at the beginning Satan before God to get the permission to attack on earth the godly, righteous servant Job. I was wondering if the dragon, who was falling from the sky and who is the accuser of the brethren, can still do this today. After the crucifixion of the Eternal High Priest Yeshua, I think it is impossible that stripped of his power Satan can come in front of the throne of the victorious Lamb. This is confirmed by the loud voice in heaven: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”
But perhaps this cunning snake manages still to be heard in heaven. To wit, through the prayers of the saints, which are collected in bowls. In fact, we can bind our brothers and sisters when they have wronged us or hurt us, and we don’t want them to let go, speaking the forgiveness of their debt, instead of continually complaining to God our suffering. Reading Matthew 18, 18 in the context one can realise that forgiveness is the surrounding of binding and loosing. The Sermon on the Mount in the very same gospel teaches that we should not bring our gift to the altar, when we remember an unshriven brother who has something against us. Pacing walls, the penetrating peace of God goes so far in John 20, 23: If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.
The real fight for believers begins in their thoughts. Thereby the daily battlefield are our interpersonal relationships; at the same time it is the strategy of the devil to built walls and fences of separation in our family and fellowships. For example I could watch as part of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement how dominant leaders in deafening prayers bound the mighty one over certain areas. However, the untouchable, autocratic pastors of these groups are responsible of much suffering caused in their minor subordinates through the abuse of power. Often it is about the self-centred services of a super-apostle, instead of the Gospel, in which no differences between big and small or young and old are made. Folks, if you think that can’t happen to us then look at this example from Cologne of ‘world famous’ Terry Jones (Quran burn), whom I personally met years ago with other members of the Gospel Forum at his Europe Faith Convention: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastor_Jones
The human binding and loosing of spiritual powers (strong ones over areas) is justified with the angelic war in the heavenly places, already known from the book of Daniel, and the fight against the invisible in Ephesians. 24-hour prayer warriors who want to enforce a revival can find more serenity in studying the 20th Chapter of Revelation. In any case, an angel is strong enough to bind the devil 1000 years with a large chain and God is so sovereign to let go Satan before his final judgment. But what did Daniel really induce through his prayer and fasting? He made intercession for his nation who was deported to Babylon due to their large guilt. Thus, he prepared the way back to Jerusalem in understanding the words of the Lord in Jeremiah 29, 10: When 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.
Genuine repentance precedes the conversion, which epitomized John the Baptist in the for every believer binding action of water baptism. The precursor and forerunner of the Lord proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”
Who wants to overcome doesn’t love his life unto death, and confesses his master, like the locusts and wild honey eating John in the Jordan did. One of the repeated principles of followers of Jesus Christ was and is: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it (Mark 8, 35).
Have you made provision for your heavenly tent? Jesus promises for his return in John 14, 2: In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place you.
Besides the foreshadowing of the future heavenly abode in the form of the Feast of Tabernacles, there is a guide in Matthew 25 how we should prepare for the coming of the Lord. The parable of the 10 virgins and the talents should be known. In the parallel passage about the kingdom of God in Luke 17, 20-37, we learn that we shouldn’t go down to take stuff from our house when we are on the roof, and likewise we shouldn’t turn back on the field. Lot’s wife is cited as a cautionary tale, not to yearn for the old life, in turning and looking back. For my part, the vultures can eat my flesh, figuratively speaking they can have my old, dead, sinful life, because I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5, 17b: Old things have passed away, behold all things are become new), and instead of my natural, mortal body I get a new, spiritual resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15, 44).
The body of Christ deceiving rapture teachers spread fairy tales, such as there are two pilots on the plane, one is caught up and the other remains (Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins). They prove that they have not read Luke 17 in context. What I mean to have identified with the help of the Holy Spirit is that the two (men) in a bed are not homosexuals but one and the same person (old man – new person), just as the grain grinding women. In any case, we must not only be vigilant in relation to seducers, but also we have to work in the harvest (go on the field and grind flour). The two-time warning not to lead an unprepared everyday life in seeking earthly pleasures and procurements, as the people in Noah’s day did shows a very clear result. Water and fire killed them all. How in the world can one spread then that the remaining people (left alone from the born again Christians) can live further in the tribulation and possibly get saved?
Finally, a word of comfort to all disappointed, disillusioned science fiction readers, whom the teachings of Darby and Scofield have put a bee in ones bonnet, without ever really understanding the modern Dispensationalism. To my own confusion, I myself studied several interpretations and charts of processes of the rapture and the millennium without progress. The simple reason is that all are wrong.
If you would like to study temporal sequences (past – present – future), you should deal with the three major Jewish festivals Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. The joyful pilgrimage festivals represent the once and for all slaughtered Passover Lamb, the new church age and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, and the prophesied second coming of the Lord: Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them…
Nothing more needs to be added to the perfect work of Calvary. For that reason we can here on earth eagerly confess the Lord and turn away from the old sinful life, because our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also await our Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord (Philippians 3, 20).