Monday, May 27, 2013

The Book of Revelation: Lesson 27 - Chapter 12:1-10

Here’s some good news.
Chapters 12-14 of Revelation are a single vision. They also contain critical information about the future. Fortunately, they are not all that difficult to understand.
It would be helpful to read revelation 12 verses 1-10 before continuing.
Chapter 12 sets the scene of the Christ coming to Earth and winning the victory through His death and resurrection. Three of the four personalities introduced in these verses are easy to figure out. The enormous red dragon is named in verse 9. That’s Satan.
Michael (verse 7) is the archangel, or chief angel, according to Jude 1:9. He is also the guardian angel of Israel. You can check that out in Daniel 12:1.
Practically all Bible scholars are in agreement that the baby is Jesus. Revelation 19:11-16, which is certainly about Him, should convince you if you have any doubts. It includes these words: “He will rule them [the nations] with an iron scepter.”
But who is the pregnant woman? It’s obvious that she is on the side of God and good. It’s Satan who wants to devour her offspring. But what does she represent?
Is she the Virgin Mary?
Maybe she’s the Church, and the twelve stars stand for the twelve apostles.
My vote would be that she represents the Jewish nation, and the stars are symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel.
BUT THE TRUTH IS, at this point her identity really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that Jesus entered our world, and wonder of wonders, He wasn’t devoured by the dragon. Instead:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
         and the kingdom of our God,
         and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
         who accuses them before our God day and night,
         has been hurled down.”
  —Revelation 12:10
That’s how this extended vision begins. What follows is what all this means for the earth.

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