The Church of All Ages
1. 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.
Woman with Child: There can be little doubt that the woman described here is Zion, the mother of us all, described in Isaiah 66.
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.
The Dragon Beast is identified in verse 9 below as Satan himself. But he is garbed in the figure of the Roman Empire. This figure is explained in Chapter 13 in detail where it is seen to be based on the fourth beast of the seventh chapter of Daniel and is almost universally seen to be fulfilled in the Roman Empire.
Here Satan appears in the Garb of the Roman Empire. He appears again in history in the form of the Dragon Beast again after the demise of the Roman Empire, in the historical attempts to restore godless secular pagan government: He is mentioned in this way in Chapter 11:7 where he appears as the godless secular paganism of the French Revolution and again as the political power in the atheistic pagan Soviet Union. He is pictured at the Dragon Beast in the Soviet Union in Revelation 16. Read the comments on Armageddon.
The Man Child: The picture here is of the Messiah being born from a Jewish Mother and the history of the persecution of the Messiah by the Roman Empire is easy to see but after struggling with Satan He obtained Divine protection at the throne of the Almighty where he can no longer be reached by Satan. But more on the struggle with Satan before he was “caught up” below
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
1260 Days or 3 and 1/2 lunar years which contain 42 months: This period: This figure is one of several that describe the same period of time and events that synchronize during this period of time. It is elaborated on below in verse 14 where the same period is called “time times and half a time.” see 14 below
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.
Satan not Found anymore in Heaven This verse describes the Spiritual warfare which resulted in the casting out of Satan from the presence of God’s throne to a limited realm in the physical universe. He could not walk any longer in the presence of God as he did in the patriarchal dispensation as described in the Book of Job. There he assumes the role given to him in verse 10 below as the “accuser of our brethren.” The war and its results and when it took place in relationship to earth time is described below.
Cast out: Where he was cast out from is described in the verse above. He is cast out of heaven but into the earth. He was not cast out of earth in this war mentioned here. On the contrary earth (the physical universe) is now the limit of his province and he is called the Prince of demons in Mt 9:34; and 12:24 and in Mk. 3:22. He is still the Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph 2:2) and John record’s Jesus’ words calling him the Prince of this world three times in Jo. 14:30 and 16:11 and in the verse below.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
It is this verse which marks the point in “time” when Satan was cast out of heaven. Jesus said that his death on the cross would be the event that would cause the casting out of Satan. Since that time Satan can not appear before God as the “accuser of our brethren” or in any other way. The next verse gives it more plainly.
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.
Accuser of our brethren is cast down The comments in the verse above quote the verse that marks the terminal point in the conflict in heaven. The final battle is fought in the earth and is still raging. Salvation and the Kingdom come as a result of the Cross to the earth to those who accept the covenant.
Verse 11 makes it very clear how we in the earth overcome in the battle which is still raging here. We overcome by the blood of Jesus and by the word of our own testimony and we certainly do not love our own earthly lives in relation to that which is promised. If physical death is necessary let it come.
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.
A Short time: The cross of Christ is the point at which Satan was cast out of heaven and he now rages because his time is short. He is to have a temporal end.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
He persecuted the woman: There are many levels of persecution which the Remnant Church has endured including 300 years of actually being put to death at the hand of Roman rulers followed by the adoption of the false religion of the Papal system which persecuted the true believers for many centuries.
It is that period: The period when the true church was obscured in history and the false Papal System pretended to be the church, fusing the secular and false spiritual power in one system for the period that comprises the 1260 days. Another symbol of this period is given in the next verse.
The woman was given two wings of a great eagle: The woman who is the Church, the continuing Zion of God, the Remnant Church of all ages, then fled before the persecution into the wilderness of obscurity.
Here the period is called “time times and 1/2 time” which identifies this figure as the same period of 1260 days in verse 6 above. The figure in this verse was given first in Daniel 7 and 12. Here it is plain that “time times and a half” is also 1260 day/years. See the explanation of this period in Daniel 12. Also see the synchronizing of all the figures of the same period (1260 days, 42 months, and 3 and 1/2 years) in the chapter that deals with these numbers.
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 dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed The continuation is confirmed here of the same spiritual battle which was waged in heaven and on that field was won by the greatest event of history on earth at Mount Calvary. This battle will continue to rage on through the centuries and not be complete until well after Armageddon. But it will be won by individuals in the manner described in verse 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.”
The next chapter of Revelation, Chapter 13, describes in detail the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns and how Satan used it, and its two other entities. against the woman (the church) in history. Only a small remnant of that beast, a shadow of former power, remains at this time in history but its end is very near.