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Back To The Future – Sermon #28


Revelation 12:1-6


Intro: We are moving into the second half of the book of Revelation today. This second portion opens with an amazing vision of some great wonders on the heavens.

      Let me remind you that the book of Revelation is not written in chronological order. Chapters 4-9 take us all the way through the end of the Tribulation Period. Chapters 10-11 are passages that stand as like a parenthesis in the action. They reveal some of the “behind the scenes” activities of the Lord. Chapter 11 takes us to the very edge of eternity. It closes with the Lord Jesus claiming His rightful dominion over this universe and it reveals as the inhabitants of that glorious land praise their King. Chapters 12-19 take us back through the Tribulation once again.

      While chapters 4-9 deal with the timeline or the plan of the Tribulation, chapters 12-19 deal with the characters, or the people of the Tribulation. We are introduced to some of the individuals who will figure greatly during that period of time.

      So, we are going to tread once again on ground we have already visited. As one writer said, “In Revelation 4-9 we see the events of the Tribulation through a telescope; in Revelation 12-19 we see things through a microscope.” In other words, we are about to get a more detailed look at the events of this period.

      What is said in chapter 12 is essential to a proper understanding of what is going to be said in the rest of the book. If we misinterpret things here, we are going to be off tract the rest of the way through Revelation.

      Dr. Ken Trivette shares the story of a young preacher speaking to a pulpit committee. He relates the story as follows: “You could be like the young preacher who was interviewing for his first Church. The Pulpit Committee had met with him to interview him. One of the committee asked, “Son, do you know your Bible pretty good?” The young preacher said, “Yes, pretty good.” The chairman asked, “Which part do you know best?” “The New Testament” was the young preachers answer. The chairman said, “Well, why don’t you tell us the story of the Prodigal Son.” The young preacher said he would be glad to and proceeded.


      “There was a man of the Pharisees name Nicodemus, who went down to Jericho by night and he fell upon stony ground and the thorns choked him half to death. The next morning Solomon and his wife, Gomorrah, came by, and carried him down to the ark for Moses to take care of. But, as he was going through the Eastern Gate into the Ark, he caught his hair in a limb and he hung there forty days and forty nights and he afterwards did hunger. And, the ravens came and fed him.

      The next day, the three wise men came and carried him down to the boat dock and he caught a ship to Nineveh. And when he got there he found Delilah sitting on the wall. He said, ‘Chunk her down, boys, chunk her down.’ And, they said, ‘How many times shall we chunk her down, till seven times seven?’ And he said, ‘Nay, but seventy times seven.’ And they chucked her down four hundred and ninety times. And, she burst asunder in their midst. And they picked up twelve baskets of the leftovers. And, in the resurrection whose wife shall she be?”

      The Committee chairman suddenly interrupted the young minister and said to the remainder of the committee, “Fellows, I think we ought to ask the church to call him as our minister. He is awfully young, but he sure does know his Bible.”[1]

      So, let’s look into these six important verses today. And see the truths that are revealed here. I want to preach on the subject: Great Wonders In Heaven. The primary characters of this passage are a woman and a red dragon. Let’s see what we can learn about them today.



(Ill. The identity of this woman has been the subject of debate and false doctrine for centuries. Let me share a few of those with you.

1.) Roman Catholics have said that this woman is Mary. There are several reasons why this cannot be true: Mary never ascended in Heaven; Mary gave birth on earth and not in Heaven; Mary cannot be wedged into verse 6.

2.) Some believe the woman is the church. However, it was Christ, the man-child that gave birth to the church and not the other way around.

3.) A woman by the name of Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy claimed that she was the woman and the religion she gave birth to in 1879, Christian Science, was the man-child. For sake of time, let me just say, it ain’t her either!

      So, who is this mysterious woman? The clues given in the text tell us all we need to know about her identity.)

A.  v. 1  Her Description – The woman is “clothed with the sun”. This speaks of heavenly glory. The “Moon” is “under her feet”. This speaks of dominion and power. She wears “a crown”. This speaks of royalty. The “twelve stars” speak of the twelve tribes of Israel.

            I believe this woman is none other than the nation of Israel. I think this is born out by a couple of Old Testament passages. The first tells of a dream that Joseph had thousands of years ago, Gen. 37:9-11. It is obvious from Jacob’s reaction to Joseph’s dream that the sun, moon and stars represent the nation of Israel. The second passage is Gen. 15:5. There, the seed of Abraham is compared to “stars”.

            This verse reminds us of what we already know to be true. God is not finished with Israel! He chose them out of the nations of the earth for His purposes and He has not written them off forever. They will once again be clothed with glory and have dominion over the earth.

B.  v. 2  Her Destiny – The woman here is in the throes of childbirth. She is in great travail as she tried to being her child into the world.

            We are told in verse 5 that her son is to the ruler of the world. This is a reference to the Messiah, to the Lord Jesus Christ. We will say more about Him in a moment. For now, our focus is on the woman.

            This picture of Israel in childbirth reminds us that it was nation of Israel God used to bring His Savior into the world. Jesus Christ is Jewish. In Matthew 1:11 He is called both “the Son of David” and the “Son of Abraham”. When God gave the great prophecy of Gen. 3:15, He said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The woman is Israel and the seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus.

            Again, Romans 9:4-5 says, “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;  (5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

            So, it was the nation of Israel that God chose to be the womb through which He sent His Son into the world. Did you notice that this woman was in travail? She is in labor and she brings forth this Son with pain and suffering. This calls to mind all the pains and persecutions suffered by Israel as Satan tried his best to short circuit the plan of God. In fact, when Jesus was born, the nation of Israel was writhing under the iron heel of the Roman Empire.

            So, this expectant woman is Israel who brought the Messiah into the world. She paid a price for that privilege. That was her destiny!


  I.  The Personality Of This Woman



A.  v. 3  The Personality Of The Dragon – The next vision is of a “great red dragon” who has “seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.” Let’s take this description of the dragon and break it down symbol by symbol,

1.  Red – The color of war and bloodshed. It brings to mind the red horse of Rev. 6:4. This dragon is a killer. He brings death, war and bloodshed with him when he comes.

2.  Dragon – A dragon is a winged serpent. There is no such thing in our natural world. It is a picture of the devil. In fact, we are very safe in identifying the dragon and the devil because of what Rev. 12:9.

3.  Seven heads – Speak of vast intelligence. We are dealing with a brilliant and wise creature. Ill. Eze. 28:12, “thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.”

4.  Ten horns – Horns are a symbol of power. Satan is not all-powerful, but his power is cast. The number ten may refer to a ten nation kingdom that will figure greatly during the last days.

5.  Seven crowns – Crowns are a symbol of authority. Satan is still “the god of this world”, 2 Cor. 4:4.

B.  v. 4a  The Pollution Of The Dragon – The reference to the “stars of heaven” being “cast down to the earth” by the tail of the dragon refer us back to the fall of Satan. He has not always been an evil creature. In the beginning, he was the ranking angel in Heaven, Eze. 28:12-15. But pride was found in Lucifer’s heart and he tried to take God’s throne. He tried to over throw the Lord, Isa. 14:12-14. Lucifer sinned and became Satan. He was cast out of Heaven, Isa. 14:15; Eze. 28:16-18. When Lucifer fell, he drew one-third of the angels of Heaven into his rebellion. They were cast out of Heaven as well. We call these fallen angels demons. They are part of Satan’s kingdom and do his bidding, Eph. 6:12.

C.  v. 4b  The Plans Of The Dragon – Satan is pictured as standing before Israel waiting for the birth of her child. His intention is to destroy the seed of the woman as soon as He is born.

      Satan had worked from the beginning of time in order to prevent the birth of the Promised Seed of the woman.

Satan moved Cain to kill Abel, thinking he could stop God’s plan. He did not know that God would send Seth.

·        He tried to corrupt the human blood line by having the godly line of Seth intermarry with the evil line of Cain. He did not know about Noah and the Ark.

·        He aroused Esau to anger so that Jacob might be killed. He did not know God would help Jacob escape.

·        He tried to kill off the Jews in Egypt by having Pharaoh slay all the little boys. He did not know that God would save a little boy named Moses who would lead the people out of Egypt.

·        He tried to lead Israel away into idolatry thinking God would destroy the nation. He did not see God sending them into captivity, where He would forever rid them of their idols.

      He failed in every attempt to stop the birth of Christ. And, when the time came for Jesus to enter the world, Satan did everything in his power to slay the Christ child when He was an infant. He moved Herod to destroy all the babies in Bethlehem under the age of two, Matt. 2:16-18.


  I.  The Personality Of This Woman

 II.  The Persecutor Of This Woman



(Ill. This verse speaks of the Seed of the Woman.

A.  His Description – He is called a “man child”. The Seed of the Woman came into the world like every other baby. He came from the womb of His mother; but this child unlike any other child that had ever, or would ever, be born.

            You see, this Seed of the Woman was born without a human father, Matt. 1:20. His mother was a virgin, Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:34. And He was and is God in human flesh, John 1:1; 14; Phil 2:5-8! It is clear that the Seed of the Woman is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

B.  His Destiny – His destiny is “to rule the nations with a rod of iron”. This man child would come into the world and He would one day rule the world. We see this prophecy fulfilled in Rev. 19:15. He will rule for several reasons. First, He will rule because He created this universe and it is His, Col. 1:16-17. Second, He will rule because He purchased this world with His Own blood when He died in the cross, Rev. 5:9. Third, He will rule because He alone is worthy to rule and reign, Rev. 4:11.

C.  His Deliverance – The man child is pictured being caught up to God and to the throne of God. Here is the good news of the Gospel contained in this verse. Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross. But, He did not stay dead! He arose from the dead three days later, Rev. 1:18. After He arose from the dead, He ascended back to Heaven, Acts 1:9-11. He sat down at the right hand of His Father in Heaven, Heb. 1:3; 10:12. He will not stay there forever! He is returning for His bride real soon, 1 Thes. 4:16-18. Then, He will come to defeat His enemies and assume His rightful place as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”.


  I.  The Personality Of This Woman

 II.  The Persecutor Of This Woman

III.  The Progeny Of This Woman




A.  Her Distress – The Woman flees from the Dragon and she goes away into the wilderness to hide. We are reminded here that Satan hates the nation of Israel. He has tried to defeat her and destroy her since she first appeared. I have already touched on this. No other nation on the face of the earth has suffered as much as Israel. No other race has been persecuted as have the Jews.

      The history of the Old Testament is filled with story after story of nations coming against Israel to destroy it. The pages of history are filled with hatred, persecution, racism and murder, all aimed at the Jew. Just a generation ago a man name Adolph Hitler did his best to destroy the Jew in what he called “The Final Solution”. He did not destroy them, but he did manage to murder over 6 million in the death camps of Nazi Germany. Josef Stalin killed millions in the gulags of the Soviet Union.

      The Jew had suffered, but the Jew has survived! They have survived because of the providence of God. He is not through with Israel. Ill. Jer. 31:35-36! The only way to get rid of the Jew is to drag the sun, moon and stars from their places in Heaven!

      The hatred against the Jew is growing stronger in our day as the Muslim nations of the Middle East cry for the destruction of Israel. This hatred will continue to grow into the Tribulation Period. During that Time, the Antichrist will bring persecution upon the nation of Israel and the Jewish people like nothing they have ever experienced. When that persecution arises, Israel will seek refuge. This was prophesied by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 24:15-22. Yet, they will survive that too, for God has a plan for them!         


(Ill. Satan hates Israel for two reasons. He hates Israel because she is a constant reminder to him that his power is limited. He attempts to destroy Israel and time and again she is delivered by the power of God. Satan hates that!

      He also hates her because she is a constant reminder to him of the glory he used to wear. The glory of Heaven rests on Israel just as it used to rest upon him.)


B.  Her Deliverance – Israel will find refuge in a wilderness place. Some believe this will be in the ancient Edomite city of Petra. The city is surrounded by towering hills of rust-colored sandstone which gave the city some natural protection against invaders. The entrance into Petra is through what is called the Sig, a ravine enclosed by immense walls that reach hundreds of feet at places. Its layout makes for a good place to hide and seek shelter.

      Back in the 1920’s, there was a man in US, known as W. E. Blackstone. This man was so certain that Petra would be the secret hideout of Jews during the tribulation, that he invested $8,000.00 to place boxes of Bibles in all of the caves in Petra, so that the Jews would have some interesting reading when they were hiding from the ravages of war.

      We do not know if it be the place they will seek shelter or not, but there will be a place prepared for them by God that will give them protection from the anti-Christ and his armies, all energized by Satan and his hatred for Christ and the people from whom He came.[2]

      We are told that in this wilderness refuge the people of Israel will be taken care of. We do not know who the “they” are who will feed the Jews, but we do know that for the last half of the Tribulation Period, 1,260 days, Israel will be cared for. In spite of the sin, the hatred and the evil of those days, God will see to the needs of His people. He will either use friendly nations or supernatural means, but when the Tribulation ends and Jesus returns, there will be a remnant of the nation of Israel left. These faithful Jews will embrace the Lord Jesus and they will worship Him as their Messiah.


Conc: The Jews are waiting for the coming of the Messiah. According to the Jewish Talmud, Jews are obligated not only to believe in the Messiah, but to yearn for his arrival. Many traditional Jews recite a creed that concludes with this statement: “I believe with perfect faith in the advent of the messiah, and though he may tarry, I will await his arrival every day.”

      During the Jewish Passover Seder, the Passover meal, there is the tradition of opening the door for Elijah, who will precede the coming of the Messiah.

      What they don’t understand is that Messiah has already come and His name is Jesus. The nation of Israel gave birth to their long awaited Messiah, yet they failed to recognize Him. John said in John 1:10-11, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

      The Messiah died on Calvary’s cross, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day and was caught up to heaven where He awaits the hour when He will come back to rule and reign upon the earth.

      That is the truth these verses emphasize. God has a plan for the ages and that plan will be worked out in His way in His time.

      Are you part of God’s plan? Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? Have your sins been washed away by the blood of the crucified and risen Lord? Are you saved? Are you living for Him as your should? Are you thankful that He saved your soul?

      You might want to talk to Him about your relationship with Him. You might want to thank Him for saving you. You might want to come pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Psalm 122:6. If there are needs, you come!

[1] http://www.thelivingwordtbc.com/rev-ch12(1-6).htm

[2] IBID

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