Bible Study: Revelation 12 – Israel, Rome & Christians

Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 12 and understand what it says.

(Rev 1:3) Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.  

(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?

Israel

(Rev 12:1-5) 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. 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.

The woman is Israel gave birth to Jesus Christ who is to rule all nations with rod of iron.

(Rev 19:15) Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

(Mal 4:2) But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. 

(Ezek 16:8) “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time [was] the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord GOD. 

(Gen 37:10) So he told [it] to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What [is] this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 

(Gal 4:26) but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all

Sun of Righteousness is the name of God the Father and Israel is clothed by God Himself. Moon represents Mother as in Joseph’s dream, which refers to Jerusalem.

Rome

(Rev 12:3-4) 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.

The dragon is the serpent of the old, who is the Devil and Satan.

(Rev 12:9) 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.

Let us understand the heads, horns and diadems.

(Rev 17:12) “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

(Rev 17:9) “Here [is] the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

(Dan 2:35;44) “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

Horns are kings who don’t receive kingdom. Heads represents kingdoms and diadems represents the rule over the kingdoms.

It is important to understand that the time-frame was during the time of Jesus when Israel was ruled by Roman Empire. During the time of Jesus, Rome exactly had 10 senatorial provinces where Roman Senate appoints the governor (proconsul) who are the 10 horns who don’t have a kingdom of their own. According to the book Roman Political Institutions, Rome had 10 senatorial provinces and 7 imperial provinces in 27 BC. 7 heads are the imperial provinces.

Without going deeper into history, which is not our focus here, it is important to understand God knows history more than man does for He appointed kings and removes kings and the great, fiery red dragon is the Roman Empire and the power behind is Satan.

1260 days

(Rev 12:6) 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. 

Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD marked the beginning of Jewish diaspora.

War in Heaven

(Rev 12:7-12) 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. 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.

Now, the accuser cannot accuse us in heaven because, we can now overcome the devil by the blood of Christ and the accuser which is the devil is being cast out. However, it is a warning for us because the devil is of great wrath since he has only a short time.

Time, times, half a time …

(Rev 12:13-14) Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male [Child.] 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.

When Jews were persecuted in ancient Rome and it’s previous provinces specifically in Europe, God did prepared places they were safe and had refuge. Some included as far as South India where Jews were safe until the Goa Inquisition by Portuguese colonialists in 16th Century. God also prepared other far countries who did not persecute Jews.

(Luke 21:24) “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Time, times and half a time is also referred as time of the gentiles.

(Rev 12:15-16) 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.

Waters are attributed to people and multitudes. So, the devil wanted to remove the identity of Jews by being washed away by the flood.

Christian Persecution

(Rev 12:17) 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.

It is a well known fact that Christians were severely persecuted in Rome Empire before Constantine made Christianity the state religion. True Christians were always persecuted under Papacy.