The Woman, the Child and Satan: Revelation 12:1-12:17

Revelation 12:1-2 “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. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.”
 
Here we are taken back in time to the time of Christ. The woman clothed with the sun represents Mary who was with child about to conceive the Light of the world. In Genesis 37:9 the sun, moon and stars represented the family of Joseph. But here, the sun represents the glory of Mary in motherhood. The moon under her feet represents the nature of this child. The sun represents the Father; the Child represents the lesser light, the moon. The twelve stars are the twelve apostles.
 
Revelation 12:3-6 “And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 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. 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.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Scarlet Beast from Revelation 17, Brent Dawes, 2015
 
 
Satan is described as being exactly like the sea beast in Revelation indicating that Satan has control over the kingdom of the beast and therefore Rome and Britain. This the same beast mentioned by Daniel and by John in Revelation 17. The scarlet beast and therefore all beasts represent the kingdom of the beast which is Satan’s kingdom on earth.
 
The prophecy is about the birth of Jesus and His eventual reign over the earth which we have just read. After Jesus was crucified the true church flourished until c.100 AD. By then many of the true Christians had been persecuted and killed by Rome and they literally fled into the wilderness for twelve hundred and sixty years until c.1360 AD.
 
Most people would be familiar with Martin Luther and the Reformation, but some reformers had already started to dispute the Roman Catholic doctrine and the established system before Martin Luther. Jan Hus or John Huss was a Czech priest of Prague in 1402 AD he began preaching and demanding the reformation of the church. Hus is considered the first reformer preaching a reformation before Luther, Calvin and Zwingli.1 But even before Hus there was another reformer in England, of course. John Wycliffe began questioning the governing of the church around 1376 AD. In 1378 AD Wycliffe began a systematic attack on the beliefs and practices of the church. He began questioning many established beliefs like predestination and saw many problems within the Monastic priesthood. His reforms were not well received by Rome and delegates were sent with a Papal bull condemning his preaching. But this didn't stop Wycliffe as he had powerful friends in England. Wycliffe was responsible for the English translation of the New Testament particularly the four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. His teachings led the way for future reformers like Hus.2 It is no coincidence that these reformers started shorlty after 1360 AD. The church had been in the wilderness for 1260 years and a new age was dawning for the church and for mankind in general with the start of the Reformation of the church in Europe and the Rennaissance in Italy.
 
Revelation 12:7-9 “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 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.”
 
Many commentators say that the war in heaven was at the beginning and that Satan still had access to heaven even though he was thrown to the earth. But in this verses it appears that the war in heaven broke out as a result of the birth of Christ. Satan would not have been happy when God sent His only begotten Son to earth in order to defeat him.
 
Revelation 12:10-12 “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. 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. 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.””
 
In the previous verses Christ was born and then was caught up to God and His throne. Then we hear the words from heaven, “Now salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ have come.” At this moment heaven rejoices but woe to the inhabitants of the earth because the Devil has come down to earth and he only has a short time. Again this verse indicates that Satan was cast to earth between c.4 BC - 31 AD.
 
Revelation 12:13 “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.”
 
Once again this verse tells us quite blatantly that Satan was cast to earth about the time of the birth of Christ. Satan was one of the two covering cherubs he had always been there standing next to God in opposition to the prophets and the men of God. When Jesus ascended to heaven He took Satan's position at the right hand side of God, (Hebrews 8:1).
 
Most people will say, "But what about Isaiah?" Isaiah was foremost a prophet of God and he links the fall of Satan with the demise of Tyre (Isaiah 14;12-17). Isaiah's prophecy could be a future prediction about Satan's fall in the time of Christ afterall Isaiah was reknowned for predicting the future of Israel.
 
Revelation 12:14 “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.”
 
Once again we have the time period of twelve hundred and sixty years when the church fled into the wilderness. This verse lets us know for sure that a "time" equals three hundred and sixty years when we compare this verse with the previous one in Revelation 12:6.
 
Revelation 12:15-17 “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. 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. 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.”
 
Papal Rome changed the word of God and attempted to convert all the people of the earth. They sent a flood of people [clergy] into their empire and beyond in an attempt to nullify the true teachings of the true Christian church. But the people of the earth helped the true church and some rejected the word of the dragon. Thus the dragon was enraged with the true church and he went to make war with those true Christians who keep all the commandments of God, (".... the testimony of Jesus Christ", see -  Revelation 19:10 ).
 
As an Adventist we often here that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. Which has often been identified with the spiritual gift of prophecy giving to Ellen White. However, all this verse means is that true Christians, who keep the ten commandments, have the testimony which Jesus preached. Jesus came to earth to declare that the kingdom of God was near, and that it was not only for the righteous, but for each and every one of us. His testimony both prophetical and real were recorded in the Bible and we all have access to it.
 
 
References
1. Jan Hus, Wikipedia, 2015
2. John Wycliffe English theologian Written by: The Rev. John Stacey, http://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Wycliffe
 
The scarlet Beast