Revelation 12:1-17 Part 8


1)    Then a great sign in the heaven was made visible: a woman sun-clothed, the moon underneath her feet, a crown of twelve stars on her head,

2)    having in her belly, crying out travailing and pained to bring forth.

3)    Then another sign in the heaven was made visible: and lo, a great fiery dragon having seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems,

4)    and its tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven and cast them into the earth.  And the dragon stands before the woman who is about to bring forth, that when she brings forth it might devour the child.

5)    And she did bring forth a son, a male who intends to rule all the nations by means of a rod of iron; and her child was hastened away to God and to His throne.

6)    But the woman did flee into the wilderness where she has a place having been prepared there of God, that there they may feed her a thousand two hundred and sixty days.

7)    And fighting was in the heaven, Michael with His messengers to fight the dragon; and the dragon (and its messengers) fought,

8)    but it did not prevail, a place no longer found for them in the heaven;

9)    and the great dragon, that old serpent (the whole world’s deceiver) called diabolos and ‘o Satanas, was cast into the earth and its messengers cast with it.

10) And I heard a great sound in the heaven declaring ‘now the salvation and the might and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ did come to be, for the accuser of our brothers that accuses them before our God day and night was cast;

11) for they did overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their life even unto death.

12) Because of this rejoice, heavens and you who dwell in them; woe the land and the sea for the devil did go down to you having great wrath, knowing that it has little time.’

13) And when the dragon beheld that it had been cast into the earth it did pursue the woman whoso brought forth the male;

14) and the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she could fly into the wilderness into her place away from the presence of the serpent where she is fed there a time, times and a half time.

15) And the serpent did cast water from its mouth as flood after the woman that it might bring about her carrying away,

16) and the earth did run to the aid of the woman; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast from its mouth.

17) And the dragon was enraged regarding the woman and did go forth to make war with the rest of her seed, that is those keeping the commandments of God and holding the testimony of Jesus.



The sign of Yahveh in the heaven, described and sent by John to the Churches, is for the Church and about the Church.  The Church is the seed of the woman; it is the Daughter of Zion; it is the remnant of the twelve tribes; it is the bride of Christ (all of those analogies inherent in the language of God) – it is the newborn that overcomes by the blood of the Lamb (verse eleven); and the Church is reminded, in Yahveh’s view of the whole, of the entire history of the creation during which the birth of the coming Savior of the World was prophesied and providentially preserved from the abortion attempts of the great beast.

Therefore, the newborn daughter (the Church), having been reminded of all of that, is to see its own birth in the same light!  It has been providentially “brought forth” in pain and travail.  Its very existence is of the Christ of God – IN Christ.  And its loving care is OF Him.  For HE, before them, was at the center of this beast’s attention.

And, to take that a step further, the newborn’s existence has always been IN HIM, since it is of HIS humanity, and since it is of-the-essence of the covenantal decree from the beginning!  So, aborting the male child would also cut off the “bringing forth” of the Daughter of Zion; for, as the apostle Paul wrote, the “seed” is Christ and His newborns!

So, the last half of verse four, and then verse five of the sign, is for the purpose of comforting the Church – the newborn daughter – with the providential care given (all through history) to the coming birth of its Savior.

The Churches which are to receive this Revelation are to remember all of this; and they are to rejoice – in that they too were birthed in pain and travail, and that they are now, just as the Savior was, objects of the devil’s fury; but that this beast is under the authority of the risen and ascended Lord.

The devil is bound in its own darkness; it does only what it is permitted to do – what it is “decreed” to do; it’s “house” is being invaded, and all of its goods are being confiscated; it is deceived into doing what it does; it has a decreed end; and all its provocation is for the purpose of manifesting the Lord’s newborns and glorifying the God of the heaven and the earth!

For four or five thousand years of creation history, it did its worst to abort the birth of God-man – the male child.  But at-the appointed-time He was made manifest!

And, now, for the Church, the sign of the dragon is shown to the Church; for the daughter of Zion is made manifest in its Lord.  And the beast will, once again, do its worst to incite another world dominion to quash the Church… or even to abort just one of His newborns.

The Church, by this sign, is to remember those millennia of creation history, and all of Israel’s history, and be strengthened in the providential care in which the male child was “brought forth”; for the “newborn in Him” was then brought forth in pangs and travail.

But the sign of Yahveh isn’t finished with the male child yet, is it?  The sign continues to bring assurance to the Churches as John describes more with regard to the birth of the “seed” (verse five).

Last Lord’s Day we heard a very short review of the intense trials and sufferings of The Christ, instigated by the devil, from His having been “brought forth” of Mary to His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

Verse five of the text is the sign of the male child having been born, and His intent to rule the Father’s creation as prophesied in the older Scripture, and His ascent to the throne-room/sanctuary in the heaven (it’s all one event in the sign).  And as the Church reads and hears the sign of Yahveh, and remembers the prophetic Word, it receives even more assurance; for the Child, decreed from the beginning, has all authority in the heaven and upon the earth.

After John’s description to the Churches of the sign regarding the Child (verse five), the sign then returns to the woman – the daughter of Zion – and the providential care taken to remove her from the danger shortly to come in the wrath of the Lamb (verse six).  We’ll see that in a little while.

But first:


5)And she did bring forth a son, a male who intends to rule all the nations by means of a rod of iron; and her child was hastened away to God and to His throne.


Please remember all our discussions of the “sign”.  The sign is the woman.  The woman is the “sign”.  And the sign cannot be a sign and the thing signified at the same time.  I have to say that, because there’s so much confusion about it.

Surely there are “allusions” to Mary here, since she was Jesus’ mother.  And surely she was prophesied in the older Scripture.  But there is no intent whatever to equate the sign of the woman with Mary.

Our teaching and conversations with regard to the sign included references to the bread and wine at the Lord’s Table as “sign (and seal) of the covenant”.  The bread that’s baked for us to eat is the sign of our Lord’s body – His Person… it is not His actual flesh.  And the wine that you pour and drink is the sign of His blood which was shed for many.  It is not blood… it is the sign of His blood.

The sign can’t be that which it signifies.  If the bread and wine were actually the body of blood of Christ, then they wouldn’t be the “sign” of His body and blood.

The same is true of baptism.  Water baptism is not the baptism of Holy Spirit (which occurred at Pentecost 30AD); it is the sign of baptism.  Water baptism cannot be both the sign of baptism and baptism itself.

Roman Catholicism (and others) departed Biblical Theology long ago and fell into a deplorable mysticism with regard to Mary, and with regard to the sacraments; for they confuse (on purpose it seems – for the sake of mystical control) (they confuse) the signs and the things signified.

So as we read Yahveh’s Revelation of the “great” sign – the woman – it (the sign) cannot be equated with Mary – or any other woman!  It can’t be equated with any particular woman at all!  The sign is a woman!

There is a “group-think” that has to be dealt with here; and it says that there must be a precise statement of definition for everything in the faith.  And that there has to be a paradigm of reason (or a taxonomy, if you will) for the sake of clarity.

But at the point at which human reason collides with God’s perspective and language, our simplistic paradigms run into difficulty!  Much of what we read in Scripture we can put in some kind of Theological order (such as the Westminster Confession does, and the catechisms), and their purpose is good; but the “order” in which we put things mustn’t persuade us that we can categorize everything!  Everything in God’s Word may not fit into the paradigms that man formulates.

Everything doesn’t conform itself to the order that’s been developed.  Now, some might say that I’m not preaching with “precision” because I don’t follow the paradigms, such as “this-equals-that”, or “this-always-means-that”, or “that-always-fits-right-here”.

But when the text of Scripture doesn’t fit what man has developed for it, it’s not being true to God’s Word to force it!  So I guess I’ll just have to accept whatever criticism that may come, and go on; because texts such as Revelation chapter twelve don’t call for paradigmatic precision!  They call for “language precision”.  And one doesn’t take the language (God’s language) any further than what it, itself, allows.  And that’s why we go back into the Scripture and let it speak for itself.

And Yahveh’s language isn’t something to be trifled with!  When John writes to the Churches, he writes what was “shown” him in the heaven.  And the woman was the sign!  In Yahveh’s incomprehensible mind, there has always been the birthing (bringing forth) of the appointed seed.  And it was always accompanied by the rage of the devil – seeking to devour the child.

From Eve was brought forth the “seed”; and when Able was murdered at the instigation of the devil, there was birthed Seth – the “appointed one” – in place of Abel.

In the flood there was birthed Noah and his family – the new “in the beginning, God….” (just like we find in Genesis one).  Noah and his family were the appointed seed; and they were “saved” in the flood.

At the exodus, Israel was brought forth – birthed (in great travail) – out of Egypt … brought forth with blood on the doorposts (the blood of a new birth).  And she was “baptized” in the Red Sea (Peter’s words); and Egypt was inundated in the flood (inundation being the sign of wrath).

And all through Israel’s history we see, in Yahveh’s language, the analogy of the unfaithful woman-of-harlotry.  Since it is an analogy, it doesn’t indicate whatsoever that Israel is “married” to Yahveh.  What it means is that she is “covenanted” to Him.  She’s taken a “vow” to be faithful – as a wife is to be faithful to her husband.

At the birth to the virgin, the male seed is brought forth; and the elect remnant of the house of Jacob is birthed in blood – the blood of the male seed – born anew in an exodus out of Zion.  The exodus of the daughter “out of Zion” is a new birth in blood, you see.  It is a “newborn” birthed in the blood of the Christ.  From the midst of the great harlot, Yahveh has preserved the seed from the rage of the devil.

You see, all through His history Yahveh has preserved the “newborn”… the seed of the woman, brought forth in pangs and travail, the devil always struggling to abort the child, and the child always being preserved by God and manifest through it all. 

And it should now be obvious that the great sign of Revelation twelve is the sign of the woman.  Since the “birthing” and providential care of the covenantal seed through history, and the “birthing” of a nation out of Egypt, and the “birthing” of the male child of the virgin, and the “birthing” of the newborn in Christ out of Zion - of necessity – involves a woman, how could anyone ever argue with Yahveh’s sign of the woman! 

Any questioning of the wondrous mind of The Lord of Hosts only reveals an impudence on the part of His creatures!

Now.  There are two portions of the prophetic Scripture to which John’s letter refers as he writes verse five.  The first, having to do with the birth of the male child, is from Isaiah chapter sixty-six.  And just as we do, the pastors and elders and teachers would have gone back and read this to the assemblies in the nations.  And that would have strengthened them and given them assurance.  Listen carefully to the prophet Isaiah:


6)    A sound of tumult from the city, a sound from the temple; it is the voice of Yahveh, who brings recompence to His enemies.

7)    Before she is pained she hath brought forth. Before a pang comes to her, she has delivered a male child.

8)    Who has heard anything like this? Who has seen anything like this?  Is the earth caused to bring forth in one day? Is a nation born all at once?  As soon as she travailed, Zion brought forth her sons.

9)    `Do I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?' says Yahveh; `Am I not He who causes to bring forth?  Shall I then shut the womb?' says Yahveh.

10) Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad in her, all ye loving her. Rejoice with her for joy, all who mourn for her,

11) that you may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations, that you wring out the breasts, and delight yourselves with the abundance of her glory.

12) For thus says Yahveh: `Lo, I will extend to her peace as a river, and the glory of nations as an overflowing stream; and you shall suck thereof; on the side you shall be carried, and on the knees you shall be dandled.

13) As one who his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; yea, you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.


The voice of Yahveh is heard from the temple and from the city and from the nation that, in great pain and travail, HE has brought forth a newborn – a daughter of Zion.

And the sign of Yahveh then sees the “bringing forth” of the male child and His ascension to the throne to rule the nations; and it sees it as one magnificent event as Yahveh decrees the whole in Psalm two.  Listen carefully and you’ll hear the decree for His birth and His rulership of the nations from the heaven.  It’s one decree; and it is seen as one event:


1)    Why have nations tumultuously assembled? and peoples meditate vanity?

2)    Kings of the earth set themselves, and princes have been united together against Yahveh and against His Messiah:

3)    `Let us draw off Their cords’ (they say), ‘and cast from us Their thick bands.'  (please notice the plural: Their cords – Their bands)

4)     but He who is sitting in the heaven just laughs, Yahveh mocks  them.

5)    Then He speaks to them in His anger, and in His wrath He  troubles them:

6)    `I – I have anointed My King, Upon Zion –  My holy hill.'  (the second Person then speaks and, of course, it is the Son) ‘I declare concerning a decree: Yahveh said unto Me, `You are My Son, today I have brought You forth (birthing language).

7)    Ask of Me and I will give nations -- Your inheritance; and the ends of earth -- Your possession.

8)    You shall rule them with a scepter of iron (the eternal standard of Almighty God); You shall crush them as a vessel of a potter' (that’s the end of the second Person speaking).

9)    (then the first Person speaks again, and it’s the Son’s Father) And now, O kings, act wisely; be instructed, O judges of earth.

10) Serve Yahveh with fear; and rejoice with trembling.

11) Kiss this Chosen One, lest He be angry, and you lose the way when His anger burns but a little; O the happiness of all trusting in Him!


In the sign of Yahveh John sees and describes exactly that which was prophesied in the older Scripture.  As the decree states in the Psalm, the great beast and the four beast nations have lined up against Yahveh and His Anointed – seeking to throw off all attachments to them (the cords).  Yahveh laughs and mocks them; and in the appointed time the male child was quietly born without earthly fanfare and in obscurity, and quickly hastened away into the heaven where He now wields the Scepter of the eternal Law of God – the “standard” for all His creation.  In other words, He is King!

And should the nations not acknowledge Him, He will break and scatter them as a potter crushes a pot that was made for the purpose.

And just as an aside, it’s pretty obvious that our nation is doing all it can to “cut the cords” (Yahveh’s words), to throw off any attachments that this nation has with The Father and His Son The Messiah and King; and the nation has set itself against them (plural), as there is another in a long line of satanic provocations against the Seed - The Christ and His “newborns”.  And the nation is becoming a “beast” in its own right – after the image of the “great” beast.

But our God just laughs; for who could ever imagine a “pot” telling its potter that it actually made itself, and therefore has no relationship with the potter!  At that point it is only worthy of being shattered and scattered. 

The impudence of independence-from-one’s-Creator is “breathtaking”.

Returning now, for the comfort and assurance of the newborn Church of Jesus Christ, (returning now) to the sign of the woman…. … I guess I shouldn’t say “returning”, since John is describing all that he sees and hears; and he never leaves one and goes to the other.  The sign of the dragon comes directly after the sign of the woman; and then the two signs run interchangeably through the chapter and into the next one.  And the whole sign reflects the decreed conflict that takes place between the seed of the devil and the seed of the woman.

And from God’s perspective, that’s the history of the world, isn’t it? ... those who belong to the devil being provoked by this creature to cut off the seed of the woman; it’s a constant conflict that was decreed in Genesis chapter three.

And verse six is an integral incident in that conflict; for John describes the “woman-sign” fleeing into the wilderness in the “last days” in order to be safe from the “dragon-sign”.

We’ve looked at a number of events in creation history, and in Israel’s history, reflecting that conflict – not the least of which was the murder of Abel and the appointing of Seth as the “seed” in his place; and the “saving” of the appointed seed (Noah) in the flood that destroyed the earth; and the struggle of the twins (Jacob and Esau) in the womb (Jacob being the appointed seed, from whom came the twelve tribes of Israel); and others….

And there were also numbers of these events in which the flight of the seed of the woman into the wilderness saved the appointed seed from being cut off by the seed of the dragon.  And that’s what John now sees and describes here in verse six.

For example, the woman’s flight into the wilderness reminds the Churches of the flight of Israel from Egypt into the desert where Yahveh preserved her from the Egypt-beast, and fed her with manna and watered her from the Rock (which was Christ).

The Church can also remember Yahveh’s preservation of the appointed seed as David fled into the wilderness; for Saul, in an instigation of the dragon, had enlisted the entire kingdom mechanism into finding and killing him.  But he was preserved there, and fed there. And David’s son, and David’s Lord, was born of him a thousand years later.

And who could ever forget the words of Yahveh to the prophet Elijah in First Kings chapter seventeen as the prophet was told to flee into the wilderness.  Listen to it:


2)    And the word of Yahveh came unto him, saying,

3)    Get you hence, and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith which is before the Jordan.

4)    And it shall be that you shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.

5)    So he went and did according unto the word of Yahveh; for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is before the Jordan.

6)    And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank of the brook.


And what does our text say in verse six?  The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her, that they may feed her….

It’s also of great significance here that Elijah, having been “saved” from the dragon’s seed in his flight to a prepared place in the wilderness, was afterward sent by Yahveh into a Gentile nation, to a Gentile woman (the widow of Zarephath), whose son he raised up out of death!

And who could possibly overlook the “great” beast provoking the first “nation-beast” – Babylon – which was inflamed and incited against the “seed”.  And it destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem and the nation; and it took all who were left into wilderness captivity for seventy years.  And there she was preserved and fed.

Enraged once again, the “great beast” incited the second “beast-nation” – Persia.  And, again, the beast-nation sought to kill all the Jews (still in captivity in the Babylon wilderness).  But Yahveh protected her (and the appointed seed) through Queen Esther; and the king finally released her and sent her back to “the land”.

Then, once again, the “great beast” provoked the third “beast-nation” to rise up from the sea of humanity; one that sought to enslave the woman, and instill her with mythologies, and change her language and culture and government, and fill her with philosophies, and make her a harlot, and cause her to sacrifice her children and her virgins to false gods… all in a devil-inspired attempt to cut off the covenant seed from being brought forth.

But God preserved the seed of the woman against the rage of the seed of the devil.  God preserved some for Himself; and they didn’t bow the knee to ba’al worship.

All of this is remembered by the Churches as they hear John’s letter; and they are strengthened and given assurances that they, too, have been preserved, having been sent into the wilderness.

And who of them didn’t remember the flight of Mary and Joseph and the appointed Male Child into the wilderness.  Having been brought forth of the virgin, the child was sought by the Edomite king Herod – a direct descendant of Esau – in a dragon-provoked attempt to devour the Child when He was brought forth!  Esau was still struggling to regain his inheritance from the appointed seed – Jacob!  From the womb of Rebekah the struggle continued.

And now (here in the text), in the last days, the “great beast” has raised up another “beast-nation” out of the sea – this one described by Daniel as one ten horns, and with iron teeth – a ferocious beast more terrible than the first three.

And in the last days that beast-nation (the seed of the devil) has been infuriated at the seed of the woman.  The “great beast” the serpent of old, diabolos, the satan (the sign of which is the dragon) has so enraged this beast-nation (Rome) that it now seeks to utterly destroy Israel in an attempt to cut off the entire covenant seed.

In the last days all of Israel has been laid waste; and now the beast-nation lays siege to the city for three and a half years… a thousand two hundred and sixty days; time, times, and a half time.  And the nation of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the temple, cease to exist.

But our Lord and His apostles have found every last one of the lost sheep… twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Jacob (the appointed one of the two twins struggling in the womb of Rebekah). 

There has been an “exodus” from Zion.  The remnant has been saved.  The “Daughter” has been brought forth.  She has been birthed out of Zion into the wilderness where she is protected from the wrath of the Lamb as the “great beast” and its seed (the beast-nation) are tricked into destroying the great harlot.

And she is fed there in the wilderness nations as God fed Israel in the desert after the first exodus; and as the ravens were sent to feed Elijah in the wilderness “that there they may feed her a thousand two hundred and sixty days” (verse six).

The “Seed of the Woman” has been born – and His newborns in Him.  And He has ascended the throne.  And He reigns with the scepter of iron.

And the devils and beasts are under His authority.  They accomplish the original decree of enmity for the purpose of glorifying the Father and manifesting the newborns.

And by the blood of the Lamb they are re-birthed into the new humanity of the Christ; and they suffer no wrath of the Lamb.  And they keep the commandments of God, and they hold the testimony of Jesus.

Along with our Lord’s apostles and the three thousand added at Pentecost, these are the “firstfruits”.  They are the “remnant” of the tribes of Jacob.  They are the “daughter” birthed out of Zion.

And from their “holding the testimony of Jesus” there are now many re-birthed newborns in all the nations; and we, too, are safe from the wrath of the Lamb.  However, the enmity is there….

It was decreed in the garden.

The seed of the devil is continually provoked by the devil into furious hatred of the seed of the woman.  That beast has no choice but to continue that conflict.

But it is also decreed that the time will come when the earth is filled with the knowledge of Yahveh and His Messiah “as the water covers the sea” - of humanity.

Then our Lord will dispense with the “great beast”, terminate death itself, and raise His elect to everlasting life in His very Presence.


We will be manifest in the resurrection!

The creation itself will realize its redemption, for it will all be returned to the Father in its pristine condition for His glory… all accomplished by the King of Kings in His reign from the heaven.

Here in the first eight hours of preaching, we’ve actually touched on much of the entire twelfth chapter as John describes the signs.  We’ve actually done a lot more than just “touch” on it.  So, as a result, we’ll probably finish the chapter next Lord’s Day.