Revelation Chapter 12
The first promise, which was the first prophecy of Elohim was given to Adam and Eve and their offspring, which includes us, and is found in Genesis 3:15. Elohim was speaking to Satan. "And I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman [the church of Elohim], and between thy [Satan's] seed and her [the church of Elohim's] seed; it [Yahushua’s death] shall bruise thy [Satan's] head, and thou [Satan] shalt bruise His [Yahushua's] heel.”
Without this “enmity,” humanity would remain the captive of Satan and become like him. But
it is through the bestowal of Elohim's transforming grace (this "enmity") that man can resist his inherited, fallen human nature and overcome Satan. The seed of the woman, Yahushua, bruised Satan's head at Calvary even though Satan bruised the heel of Yahushua. One was a lethal blow and the other only a temporary wound.
The drama of how Elohim’s promise and prophecy took place and is still taking place today and into the future is recorded in Revelation chapters twelve and thirteen. The conflict has continued with increased intensity since the birth of Yahushua and will climax in the “last days” of this earth’s history before Yahushua returns.
"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: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered" (Rev. 12:1-2). This is the same woman mentioned in Genesis 3:15. She represents the church of Elohim, which has existed throughout the centuries and is composed of the faithful and obedient followers of Yahuwah Elohim.
The great controversy between Yahushua and Satan was begun in heaven and continues on planet Earth and is portrayed in Revelation chapters twelve and thirteen covering the final two thousand years of the conflict. "Who is she that looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" (Song 6:10). The woman, being portrayed for us in Revelation 12:1-2, is the church of Elohim and is pictured here as about to deliver a child.
To understand the symbolism found in Revelation 12:1, we need to go back to Genesis 37:9. "And he [Joseph] dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream more; and behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."
In the dream, Joseph tells us there were the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars representing his father and mother and eleven brothers. He is the twelfth star we find mentioned in Revelation 12:1. This is the symbolism Elohim used to denote His church (the woman) that had its beginning back in the days of Jacob and his sons (the nation of Israel) and through whom Messiah would come. It is seen at the end of time as the remnant of the woman’s seed "which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yahushua Messiah" (Rev. 12:17), and the woman (the church of Elohim) was included in Elohim's promise made in Genesis 3:15.
“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. And his tail drew the third part of the stars, 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” (Rev. 12:3-4, emphasis added).
Who is this “great red dragon?” "And the great [‘red’] dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan” (Rev. 12:9, emphasis added). The first four verses of Revelation chapter twelve picture Satan ready to “devour” or destroy this child as soon as he is born.
Who is this child? “And she [the woman] brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5, emphasis added). The child about to be brought forth is Yahushua. In referring to Yahushua, we read, “And He shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 2:27, emphasis added).
We read in Psalm 2:9, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (emphasis added).
“Yahuwah is my shepherd; I shall not want . . . Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me” (Ps. 23:1-4, emphasis added). Depending on whose side you are on, you can find it either comforting or threatening that someday Elohim and His Son, Yahushua, will be ruling for a time with this “rod of iron."
Again, Satan is pictured as a dragon standing ready to “devour” this “man child” as soon as He is born. In Matthew 2:16, we read, “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.”
Satan attempted to have Yahushua killed as He came to live among us. Satan worked through men to try to accomplish his schemes against the Son of Elohim, as pictured by the "seven heads and ten horns" (Rev. 12:3). We will see this symbolism throughout the book of Revelation as opposing Elohim’s purposes upon the earth.
But all of Satan’s opposition did not prevent Yahushua’s mission for the salvation of humanity: "And her child was caught up unto Elohim, and to His throne” (Rev. 12:5).
The church which Yahushua established has also faced opposition. "And the woman [the church of Elohim] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of Elohim, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (Rev. 12:6) or one thousand two hundred and sixty years in prophetic time.
Elohim’s church did not inhabit the city of Rome, but it “fled into the wilderness” to escape the persecution that was unleashed upon her by the Church of Rome.
The “one thousand two hundred and sixty years” is the same period as was seen in Daniel 7:25 in which the papacy would be persecuting (“wear out the saints of the most High”) Elohim's faithful children of the woman. As we discovered in our study of Daniel chapter seven, that time was from AD 538 until AD 1798. The true church of Elohim found its safety in the mountains and the remote and hidden places of the earth during the “one thousand two hundred and sixty years” of papal persecution.
But this conflict originated in heaven of all places! "And there was war in heaven: Michael [Yahushua] and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and he prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven. And the dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Rev. 12:7-9, emphasis added).
“Michael” means “like Elohim.” This was Yahushua’s name before He came to this earth and was His name at the time the prophecies of Daniel were given.
While the movie Star Wars portrays a fictional war between the forces of good and evil, this war pictured in Revelation chapter twelve is real. The outcome has already been determined, and we are in the middle of it. The only matter to be decided is on whose side we will be. The majority will end up on the wrong side. There is no neutral ground. You are either on Yahushua's side or on the Devil's side (Matt. 12:30).
Satan was not cast out into a place called hell. "He was cast out into the earth,” and the conflict which he began in heaven has continued for the past six thousand years on this planet. It is soon to be concluded during our lifetime – earth’s last generation (Matt. 24:34).
When Yahuwah Elohim first created this earth, He said it “was very good” (Gen. 1:31). But since the fall of man through the deceptions of Satan, the earth, along with humanity, has been suffering under the consequences of that fall. Elohim will say someday, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). Elohim is going to give this world an “extreme makeover."
Yahuwah wants us to be aware that our adversary, the Devil, is “going to and fro on the earth and walking up and down on it” (Job 1:7) “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
If the Devil attacked the Son of Elohim, do you suppose he is after you also? If Elohim interposed on behalf of His Son, shall He not do the same for us? He has promised, "He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Ps. 91:11-12). That promise is given to us on the condition that we are dwelling “in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Ps. 91:1).
He does not give us a promise without there being a good reason. And if we are presumptuous, as the Devil tempted Yahushua to be when he told Him to cast Himself down from the temple, we cannot be assured of Elohim's protection. Satan cannot force us to sin, but he can and will tempt us to be presumptuous to cause us to fall.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). In addition to the physical forces of evil that we see active in this world, the invisible forces of Satan and his fallen angels are always working at odds against Elohim's purposes and His people. We are told that Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Elohim, and the power of His Messiah: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before Elohim day and night. And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them” (Rev. 12:10-12, emphasis added).
“The accuser of our brethren,” Satan, was not cast down until he revealed his true character before the Universe in his treatment of Yahushua. Before that time, he had brought a multitude of accusations against humanity, Yahushua, and Yahuwah, but the cross is an argument that silences most of Satan’s charges against Yahuwah Elohim, Yahushua, and Their followers.
Zechariah 3:1-7 describes the scene. "And he showed me Joshua the high priest before the angel of Yahuwah, and Satan at his right hand to resist Him. And Yahuwah said unto Satan, Yahuwah rebuke thee, O Satan; even Yahuwah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spoke unto those that stood before him saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of Yahuwah stood by. And the angel of Yahuwah protested unto Joshua, saying, thus saith Yahuwah of hosts; If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by” (emphasis added).
Satan has and still does resist Yahuwah and the plan of salvation, but Yahushua, when He was crucified, brought an argument that cannot be refuted by Satan. His sacrifice answered every accusation Satan could bring against Yahuwah Elohim, Yahushua, and Their followers.
Even though Satan and his sympathizers (the angels who were kicked out of heaven with him) had been physically cast out of heaven four thousand years earlier, there may have remained a few sympathetic feelings among the angelic beings connected to Satan. "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world [Satan] be cast out” (John 12:31). It was not until the crucifixion of Yahushua that Satan was "cast out" of the hearts of every intelligent being in the Universe.
As I mentioned earlier, the Rolling Stones have a song entitled “Sympathy for the Devil.” Satan has won over many with his complaints that he has not been treated fairly. Self-pity is such a shameful thing. There are many of earth's inhabitants who sympathize with Satan because he has deceived them with his lies. Many things baffle us that happen in this world, and we wonder why? Some things that happen do not make sense to us. So thoroughly have many of the inhabitants of this planet been deceived that there can be no logical explanation given (Rev. 12:9).
Yahushua told the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). Even though Satan murdered no one at the beginning of his rebellion against Yahuwah Elohim, the seed of murder exists in his fallen nature, waiting only for the opportunity to be manifested. Those who live a life filled with lies are of their father, the Devil, also. I was once this way, and Satan was my father.
Satan stood exposed as to what he had become before the heavenly Universe when he had Yahushua crucified. Satan had the One killed Who had created him and all the other inhabitants of the Universe!
Today, there remains no sympathy for him with the angelic host and the inhabitants of the Universe.
The seeds of rebellion that began in heaven have been developing in his character and in the lives of his followers. During “the time of the end,” they will come to full maturity and will expose what in heaven six thousand years ago was not fully apparent at that time and needed more time to develop. An oak tree starts as a seed, but when it is fully grown, we see it for what it truly is. So it is with Satan.
Only Yahuwah Elohim knew what Satan would become when he first rebelled against His authority. It will have taken these six thousand years for Satan to be fully exposed and to see to what his rebellion would lead. Look around, and you will see this world is in chaos all due to his rebellion.
But how is it with you and me? Do we have any sympathy for the Devil? It is written, “the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). When we discover the truth about Yahuwah Elohim, Yahushua, Satan, and the conflict going on in this world over the last six thousand years, hopefully, Satan will be uprooted from our hearts also and “cast down.” We are that "brand plucked out of the fire" mentioned in Zechariah 3:2, but Satan would have us join him in the “lake of fire” to be destroyed forever.
"Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [the true church of Elohim] which brought forth the man child” (Rev. 12:12-13).
Ever since Satan was cast out of heaven, he has pursued, persecuted, and killed the offspring of “the woman,” the true church of Elohim, through his human agents. Abel was the first martyr for his faith in Messiah.
The early followers of Messiah, after He was crucified, were hunted like wild animals. The persecution of the followers of Messiah raged for centuries until most compromised with paganism, accepted worldly honor and temporal prosperity, or composed the few who fled into the wilderness to escape persecution. "He [Satan] knows that he hath but a short time” (Rev. 12:12). The shed blood of Yahushua assures us Satan’s end has been made certain.
The reason Satan has continued his existence since the cross will be made manifest during these last days. Evil will be permitted to come to full maturity at “the time of the end.” Satan will be seen for what he has fully become. Before he is destroyed forever, he will be allowed to fully display the character he has been masking for six thousand years.
The wheat will grow up with the tares. Both the righteous and the wicked will be fully ripe at the time of the harvest. None need be deceived as to what Satan has become, and in his final destruction all the Universe will be in agreement.
If Satan had been destroyed when he first began his rebellion in heaven, there could have been uncertainty in many minds about what he was guilty of. The intelligent beings in the Universe could not have foreseen the results of what he had begun and to where it would lead. Even Satan did not realize to where he was headed. Satan has clothed himself with lies and deceptions. But not so in the end! Every tongue, even of those who will be destroyed, will confess that Yahuwah is just and right in all of His ways. "Howbeit Thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for Thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly" (Neh. 9:33).
“And the dragon [Satan]) was wroth with the woman [the true church of Elohim], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yahushua Messiah” (Rev. 12:17, emphasis added).
“Remnant of her seed” means the last remaining part of the true church of Elohim. They are identified as keeping "the commandments of Elohim” as Elohim had initially given them; not as they were changed by the papal power as foretold in Daniel 7:25. They will be keeping the Biblical Lunar-solar Sabbath as was established at Creation (Gen. 1:14, Ps. 104:19, Lev. 23:3) and the Ten Commandments as listed in Exodus 20:1-17, and not as the papacy changed them.
“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 a half a time [same time as was described in Daniel 7:25], from the face of the serpent. 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. 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" (Rev. 12:14-16).
Toward the end of the “one thousand two hundred and sixty years” of persecution of the true church of Elohim, “the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth” (Rev. 12:16).
As the “one thousand two hundred and sixty years” of persecution was nearing its end, the true church of Elohim was encountering opposition and persecution from various sources other than the papacy but also including the papacy. The Church of England had separated itself from papal control but was still controlled by the same spirit. It, too, began persecuting those who refused to conform to their creed. Those who sought to maintain their freedom of conscience in their worship of Elohim were forced to flee their homeland.
The New World, which was to become America, opened its doors to them and to others who sought freedom to worship Elohim according to the dictates of their conscience. America was initially settled by those seeking freedom to worship Elohim according to what they understood from the Word of Elohim, and to this day, that right is still guaranteed as part of that heritage. Will that right continue? We see those rights that were guaranteed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights eroding today.
What is “the testimony of Yahushua Messiah” mentioned in Revelation 12:17? We find in Revelation 19:10 the definition: "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Yahushua: worship Elohim: for the testimony of Yahushua is the spirit of prophecy” (emphasis added).
“The testimony of Yahushua is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 1:9 tells us, "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Yahushua Messiah, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of Elohim, and for the testimony of Yahushua Messiah” (emphasis added).
John was persecuted for the same reason the remnant will be persecuted: for having "the spirit of prophecy" in addition to the "word of Elohim.” This gift is not confined to one individual or to one period of earth’s history; it is possessed by those to whom Elohim gives it.
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues [languages]; to another the interpretation of tongues [languages]: but all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (1 Cor. 12:8-11, emphasis added).
There are many instances in the Old Testament where the gift of prophecy was bestowed upon humanity. Numbers 11:25, 26 and 1 Samuel 10:10, 11 are just two of the instances mentioned in the Old Testament.
It is Yahuwah Who decides who gets what gifts and may give multiple gifts to some. We have the parable of the talents; one was given five and another two and another one (Matt. 25:14-30).
One of the unique features of the remnant will be “the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 10:8-11 tells us those who are eating from the "little book" which is open in the hand of the Angel "must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." We will discover in Revelation 11:3 that the 144,000 (“two witnesses”) “shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore [literal] days, clothed in sackcloth.”
The conflict between Yahushua and Satan began in heaven and continues on this earth. Satan has used men in this battle to accomplish his purposes, even daring to attempt to have Yahushua killed when He was an infant. But Elohim has countered every attempt Satan has made to hinder the plan of salvation, from when Satan attempted to kill Yahushua as an infant when He came into this world; to Satan’s attempts to destroy the church Yahushua raised up. Elohim has always spoiled Satan's plans and will continue to do so to the end! Revelation chapter thirteen continues this scenario begun in Revelation chapter twelve into the last days we are about to enter!
1. Who does the woman pictured in Revelation chapter twelve represent?
2. Who is the child born of the woman?
3. Who is the “great red dragon?”
4. How long was the woman persecuted?
5. Where did many of Elohim’s people find refuge from the persecution?