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: Revelation 12:1 (KJV)
Continuing on with our study of the book of Revelation, we detour to a brief historical sideline. This is one of the mystic visions, and it supports a strong tenet of Dispensationalism: That there is a difference between Christianity and Israel. Christianity. This is not the only chapter or verse in the bible to teach this.
“Wait! The Bible says, 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:12-13 (KJV) !”
Okay, and what is this verse teaching?
“That there’s no longer Jews and Gentiles! We’re ALL Jews!”
No, that’s not it. I’m Jewish, because my ancestry goes back to Judah, son of Jacob. If your ancestry does not come from any of the children of Jacob, you are a Gentile. That’s the facts.
Romans 10 is talking about Salvation, as do all the other “there is no more Jew and Greek” verses. Is there still men and women? Yes. Are some people worldwide still bought and sold as slaves? Regrettably, yes. So the “Bond or free. male or female” has to do with salvation. Men and women are saved in the same way. There isn’t a different way for Jew and Gentile to be saved – it’s the same way, by faith and repentance toward Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
There is no such thing as a two-covenant theory. Hebrews makes it abundantly clear in Hebrews 11 that Jews are saved by faith, running through a list of Biblical heroes, concluding they all showed faith.
so there still is a difference between Jews and Gentiles. There are MANY promises in the Scriptures to the Jews that do not apply to the Gentiles. Just as there are responsibilities incumbent on Jews that are not required of Gentiles.
Most commentators are agreed – the Jewish people owe God proper worship. They owe God the Sabbath day, the Holy days, the offerings rightly done and with the right devotion and attitudes. That’s why there’s a millennium – My people owe it to God. Some observances are done away with, some are required throughout the Millennium. Be careful with your claim to be a “spiritual” Jew – because if you’re saved, you may find yourself being required to keep the sabbath and a couple of the holy days during the Millennium!
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Romans 11:18-21 (KJV)
Returning to our text…
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 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. Revelation 12:2-4 (KJV)
Israel in Scripture is often pictured as a woman. We see the correct interpretation here is reinforced by the reference to Jesus Christ. The great red dragon here is both a symbol of Satan, and of the world system he created – Rome.
some commentators somehow confuse the manchild with the churchES. I personally think this is a misappropriation of Scripture as the reference to “ruling with a rod of iron” shows quite clearly this is the Lord Jesus Christ we’re talking about. Do the churchES have any guarantee ANYWHERE in the Bible we are to rule with a rod of Iron? If this is a references to the churches, then we have to conclude its one more reference to the Pre-trib rapture, because the man child is caught up into heaven, and the Dragon is still on the earth. However, for reasons stated, I’m pretty sure its the Lord.
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. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 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. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 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. Revelation 12:5-11 (KJV)
There’s a shift in time now in between verse 5 and 6. Now, it is possible that verse 6 is a multiple fulfillment verse – there’s no denying the Jewish people have been forced out of their homeland and forced many times to relocate for safety’s sake. It’s also true that Petra in Jordan is prophesied to be the place that the believers are to go to during the last half of the Tribulation. So (yes, I’m hedging my bets here!) it is possible this verse refers to BOTH – in which case the verse bridges nicely from the time of the resurrection/ascension unto the time of the Tribulation.
How can I say this? Can’t this be a reference to something that happened in 70 AD? Well…. uh… that would place the devil in the bottomless pit in AD 74 or so. And then, around 1074, the new heavens and the new earth would have been created. I don’t think there’s any reference to this in history. Or… what about all those people that have died between 1075 and, let’s say, a minute ago? How do you explain that? The Bible says there shall be no more death or sorrows in the new heavens and new earth. Perhaps it’s just me, and I’m not playing along – but I can recall being very sad a few times in my life. Like, when people I loved died (again, that death thing – thought we weren’t supposed to have that in the New Heavens and New Earth?)
To quote Marc Monte, if this is heaven, I am woefully disappointed.
“You’re an idiot! The Bible doesn’t literally mean a thousand years!!!”
In other words, what the preterist is saying is – he doesn’t literally believe the Bible. Bottom line. Let’s disregard such a heretical view of the word of God, and proceed.
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. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 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 half a time, from the face of the serpent. 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. Revelation 12:12-17 (KJV)
Satan is cast out of heaven once and for all, where he takes over the body of the Antichrist. That’s not a LaHeye thing, that’s a Biblical thing. Several interpreters have come to the same conclusion that Satan indwells the Antichrist during the last half of the Tribulation. This coincides with the “Resurrection” of the Antichrist. For the preterist who insists on this being a reference to the pope – hey, at least you’re recognizing the evil nature of the Roman Catholic Church. Good job! Alas, there’s never been a Pope that suffered a grevious head wound and died… then rose from the dead. So again, this HAS to refer to a future event.
Okay, this brings us up to the midpoint of the tribulation! Tomorrow – Rev. 14!