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Revealing Revelation - Part 8
It is becoming obvious to me that I am pressed for time in this study. I want to cover as much as possible, but it will not be possible to cover everything in detail. If there is something that is left out that you would like explained, please let me know and I will do my best, but I'm looking to complete this series in the next few days. In the meantime, it is on to chapter 12.
When we get to chapter 12, we need to go back to the Old Testament to get the meaning. But first let us look at verse one. “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.” Remember that John is seeing a vision, and here he sees a “wonder” - a miracle, a sign.
We see who this woman is when we go back to the Old Testament book of Genesis. You may recall that Joseph had a dream and in that dream he saw the sun, moon, and 11 stars making obeisance to him. That is, they bowed down and reverenced him. The objects in the dream represent Joseph’s father, mother, and 11 brethren. What we have in Revelation 12:1 is a woman representative of the nation of Israel.
Roman Catholic teaching would have us believe that this woman is the virgin Mary. Quite often when one examines denominational literature, it would seem that Mary is the one that is pointed to, but I am not a denominationalist. If the woman represents Mary and the Catholic Church, we have a major doctrinal problem. You see, the true church has been removed at the beginning of chapter four. This woman cannot be the church.
Verse two she is seen bringing forth a man-child, Jesus Christ from the offspring of Judah, one of the stars. Verse 3 brings to another “wonder”. That old dragon, satan is pictured here. How do we know? Verse 9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil . . . "His fall from glory is told in verse 4 as he draws 1/3 of the angels with his tail. His ultimate goal is to kill the woman’s child, Jesus Christ.
He is referred to as “great” because of his vast power. His red coloring pictures murder and disregard for human life, and he is represented by a dragon to illustrate his viciousness.
We see that he has seven heads signifying perfection of wisdom. Ezekiel 28 gives an account of the devil and in verse 12 says “…Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty.” Again, Revelation 17:9 gives us another side to this creature. “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” The woman mentioned here is not Israel, but the great whore of Babylon (verse 5). The dragon is carried through here with his seven heads which represent seven mountains.
The word for “mountains” can be translated “hills”. Geographically, the place on earth that is described as a city of seven hills is Rome. By this time the revived Roman Empire will be back as well as the Roman church will continue to be strong. The word “catholic” means “universal”, and that is exactly what the Catholic Church intends to be.
The 10 horns represent the final division of the Roman Empire. This revived Roman Empire is foretold in Daniel 2:33.
Revelation 12:13 continue the drama. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” Israel has been and is still in a state of returning to their homeland. There is a strong movement for the Jews to reside in their own country of Israel. They are not heading there for the millennium, but for the last wave of anti-semitism. This will be the worst persecution the Jews will ever experience, known as Jacob’s Trouble, the second half of the Great Tribulation.
The woman is given a pair of wings to fly away to the wilderness where God will protect her (verse 14) for 3 and a ½ years. Satan comes behind in verse 15 and sends out a flood to destroy her. This could be a literal flood or possibly a flood of armies flowing like a river.
In chapter 13 we meet the beast of the sea. Quite often in Scripture, the sea is a symbol for a multitude of people. Out of the sea of people still living on the earth, we see a beast rise. “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain” (Revelation 16:10). We will discuss this further when we come to the Vial Judgments. The beast has risen to power.
The beast of Revelation is the same fourth beast of Daniel 7:3-8.. The antichrist will rise out of the revived Roman Empire—the deadly wound that was healed. Some would take this to be a physical resurrection of the antichrist in verse 3, but notice that it talks of “one of his heads.” The individual antichrist will only have one head, not many as represented by the countries under his control. The ten horns are ten countries that will receive power with the beast (Revelation 17:12).
Satan finally has his big moment in verse 4, as he receives the worship of men.
The Christ imitator, the false prophet rises to action in verse 11. We see the second beast rise from the rubble. Notice verse 13. He causes fire to come down from Heaven. See too, that he has two horns like a lamb (verse 11), but speaks as a dragon. This is not the Lamb of God. That is for sure. He is the false prophet of the Roman Empire. Very likely, the religion of Rome, the Catholic Church will be much involved in this as well.
In verse 15 we have the one world church. Verse 16 gives us the one world government, and verse 17 reveals the one world economy. There can be no doubt the groundwork for these have already been laid. The ecumenical and New Age movements are in place. In government everything is the New World Order. Smart cards and microchips are paving the way for the one world economy.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:18).