Revelation 12 is my favorite chapter 🙂 It begins with a specific sign in the sun, moon, and stars (fulfilled September 23, 2017). The woman, identified as Israel through strong connections to Joseph’s vision in Genesis 37, is pregnant and crying out in birth pains. This birth pain theme is a thread which ties together many verses about the Day of the Lord. Basically, Revelation 12 outlines that Israel about to enter her “birth pains”.
Revelation 12 gives an overview of the entire Day of the Lord from a unique vantage point. I believe that verses 1-6 give an overview, and the rest of the chapter fills in details. I have discussed Revelation 12 verse by verse HERE, but in this post I hope to visually demonstrate what I mean by rearranging the verses by subject. I will insert my comments in [brackets].
All scripture taken from the ESV:
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. [occurred September 23, 2017] 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. [Right before the resurrection/rapture? During the rapture? During the approximate 1/2 hour of silence of Seal 7?] And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. [Seal 6, Rev 6 – 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. Does the Holy Spirit (Restrainer) remove with a violent wind (gale) just as He came down with a violent wind in Acts 2?] And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, [resurrection/rapture event]
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. [Revelation 7 – 9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”]
12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” [1 week of years – 7 years – Restraint has now been lifted on the earth with the removal of the Restrainer, and satan will unleash his plan of deception. God will send a powerful delusion on those who refused to believe the truth, so that they will believe satan’s lies. 2 Thess. 2]
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. [First 1260 days, pursues Israel through arising the antichrist, who will likely fight and win wars for her and present as the “false messiah”; he will attempt to woo her through Messiah ben Joseph?]
[As for the wooing of Israel, in the sense of pursuing her for the first 1260 days, I want you to consider Messianic tradition. From wikipedia:]
Jewish tradition alludes to four messianic figures. Called the Four Craftsmen, each will be involved in ushering in the Messianic age. They are mentioned in the Talmud and the Book of Zechariah. Rashi in his commentary on the Talmud gives more details. Rashi explains that Messiah ben Joseph is called a craftsman because he will help rebuild the temple. Nahmanides also commented on Messiah ben Joseph’s rebuilding of the temple. The roles of the Four Craftsmen are as follows. Elijah will be the herald of the eschaton. If necessary, Messiah ben Joseph will wage war against the evil forces and die in combat with the enemies of God and Israel. According to Saadia Gaon the need for his appearance will depend on the spiritual condition of the Jewish people. In the Sefer Zerubbabel and later writings, after his death a period of great calamities will befall Israel. God will then resurrect the dead and usher in the Messianic Era of universal peace. Messiah ben David will reign as a Jewish king during the period when God will resurrect the dead. With the ascendancy of Rabbinic Judaism the Righteous Priest has largely not been the subject of Jewish messianic speculation. Most Jews believe that the Third Temple will be built during this era.
14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. [abomination of desolation until Second coming – second set of 1260 days] 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river [armies?] that the dragon had poured from his mouth.
6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
13:1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. [Antichrist gets world power at the abomination of desolation event]
5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
I hope this rearrangement is able to help you visually grasp how I see Revelation 12 giving an overview of the entire Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming
Revelation 12 – Rapture and Tribulation Overview
Revelation Outline and Summary
God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come
Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model
The Bible is infallible. I am not. I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture. I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details. I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!