Revelation 12:1: 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 12:2: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. (ASV) 1901 A description of the church of Christ and of Satan, under the figures of a woman and of a great red dragon. (1-6) Michael and his angels fight against the devil and his angels, who are defeated. (7-12) The dragon persecutes the church. (13,14) His vain endeavours to destroy her, He renews his war against her seed. (14-17) Revelation 12:1 1-6 The church, under the emblem of a woman, the mother of believers, was seen by the apostle in vision, in heaven. She was clothed with the sun, justified, sanctified, and shining by union with Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. The moon was under her feet; she was superior to the reflected and feebler light of the revelation made by Moses. (MHCC) It can be tempting to see Mary with Jesus here but we need to remember that these verses are the revelation of Jesus to John about the future to come. If we look at our Church Family today it is in travail and birthing new Christians is more and more difficult and almost worse from day to day. It is my personal belief that, although I have lived a full life and even though I am in the final stage of MS, I expect to live until the Rapture. Revelation 12:3: 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. Revelation 12:4: 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. Here comes Satan, performing miraculous feats for the world to be amazed at. Revelation 12:5: 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. Revelation 12:6: 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. This is so easily misunderstood but we must remember that Mary did not spend three and a half years in the wilderness. She, led by her husband, Joseph, did escape the murder of the children of Bethlehem by going into Egypt, perhaps the second most developed nation in the world at that time. (HCC) A description of the church of Christ and of Satan, under the figures of a woman and of a great red dragon. (1-6) Michael and his angels fight against the devil and his angels, who are defeated. (7-12) The dragon persecutes the church. (13,14) His vain endeavours to destroy her, He renews his war against her seed. (14-17) Revelation of John 12:1 1-6 The church, under the emblem of a woman, the mother of believers, was seen by the apostle in vision, in heaven. She was clothed with the sun, justified, sanctified, and shining by union with Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. The moon was under her feet; she was superior to the reflected and feebler light of the revelation made by Moses. Having on her head a crown of twelve stars; the doctrine of the gospel, preached by the twelve apostles, is a crown of glory to all true believers. As in pain to bring forth a holy family; desirous that the conviction of sinners might end in their conversion. A dragon is a known emblem of Satan, and his chief agents, or those who govern for him on earth, at that time the pagan empire of Rome, the city built upon seven hills. As having ten horns, divided into ten kingdoms. Having seven crowns, representing seven forms of government. As drawing with his tail a third part of the stars in heaven, and casting them down to the earth; persecuting and seducing the ministers and teachers. As watchful to crush the Christian religion; but in spite of the opposition of enemies, the church brought forth a manly issue of true and faithful professors, in whom Christ was truly formed anew; even the mystery of Christ, that Son of God who should rule the nations, and in whose right his members partake the same glory. This blessed offspring was protected of God. Revelation 12:7: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, Revelation 12:8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. Revelation 12:9: 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. And some, being careful and paying close attention, find themselves in Heaven, before the Earth was created. And then, again, when we read Isaiah 14 we see that this also might be the future encounter, resulting in Satan being cast out once more. My own view is the later of the two making this the encounter where Satan, once more, tries to ascend to the Throne of God. I find the story of Job and God giving permission to Satan to harm Job important to understanding all the possibilities in this portion of the Revelation. Satan, today, still approaches the Throne of God to accuse. Revelation 12:10: 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. Revelation 12:11: 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. And in these two verses we find the reason for my position on this. It is always important and in my opinion, critical, to keep verses of scripture in context. (MHCC) 7-11 The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. The seat of this war was in heaven; in the church of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers; and Satan and his instruments. The strength of the church is in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation. Pagan idolatry, which was the worship of devils, was cast out of the empire by the spreading of Christianity. The salvation and strength of the church, are only to be ascribed to the King and Head of the church. The conquered enemy hates the presence of God, yet he is willing to appear there, to accuse the people of God. Let us take heed that we give him no cause to accuse us; and that, when we have sinned, we go before the Lord, condemn ourselves, and commit our cause to Christ as our Advocate. The servants of God overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, as the cause. By the word of their testimony: the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds. By their courage and patience in sufferings: they loved not their lives so well but they could lay them down in Christ's cause. These were the warriors and the weapons by which Christianity overthrew the power of pagan idolatry; and if Christians had continued to fight with these weapons, and such as these, their victories would have been more numerous and glorious, and the effects more lasting. The redeemed overcame by a simple reliance on the blood of Christ, as the only ground of their hopes. In this we must be like them. We must not blend any thing else with this. Revelation 12:12: 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. Revelation 12:13: And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. Isa. 14:13 And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. These two verses are applicable to both of the times that Satan is cast down. Once more remember when we read the book of Job we find that Satan still presents himself in the courts of Heaven to accuse the Church and there is found no reason to believe that this will ever change before the Tribulation period.. It is popular to be a Liberal Christian today because the very term is almost without limit in it´s diversity. But we must remember that Heaven is, in no form, a Democracy! Heaven (my words) is a Theocracy with a Monarch on the Throne with unlimited power! God has not ever been, nor will He ever be, amused by our attempts to unseat Him. When we look at Satan, the single, most powerful being on the Earth we see that he and all of his angels will spend the time from the destruction of the Earth through Eternity in the Abyss. Can the Lost Man/Liberal Christian actually believe they will change the nature of Father God? Then there is the matter brought forward in the discussion about Revelation 11 on one of the forums, ¨Did Jesus really abolish/replace or supersede the Ten Commandments?¨ The answer, of course, is no! The words of Jesus, Himself, are critical here. In the much touted (by the Liberal) Sermon On The Mount, Matt. 5:18, Jesus teaches exactly the opposite. I often encounter the, ¨Are you for real¨ crowd when I explain this but in Mal. 3:6 we learn that God never has nor will He change, He is the ¨one¨ unchanging constant in all of Creation. And then when we look at John 1:1-3 we learn that Jesus created all things and that nothing was created without Him. That means that He is the God of both Testaments. That brings me to the one point I always stand by, ¨The Old Testament, also known as the Jewish Bible, is still the Bible Jesus, Paul, Peter and the rest of the Disciples taught from, making the New Testament the most authoritative Life Application Commentary ever written on the Bible.¨ It is so important that God has seen fit to have it included in the transcript and printing of today´s copies of the Bible. Revelation 12:14: 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. Revelation 12:15: 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. Revelation 12:16: 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. Revelation 12:17: 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. (MHCC) 12-17 The church and all her friends might well be called to praise God for deliverance from pagan persecution, though other troubles awaited her. The wilderness is a desolate place, and full of serpents and scorpions, uncomfortable and destitute of provisions; yet a place of safety, as well as where one might be alone. But being thus retired could not protect the woman. The flood of water is explained by many to mean the invasions of barbarians, by which the western empire was overwhelmed; for the heathen encouraged their attacks, in the hope of destroying Christianity. But ungodly men, for their worldly interests, protected the church amidst these tumults, and the overthrow of the empire did not help the cause of idolatry. Or, this may be meant of a flood of error, by which the church of God was in danger of being overwhelmed and carried away. The devil, defeated in his designs upon the church, turns his rage against persons and places. Being faithful to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship, and practice, exposes to the rage of Satan; and will do so till the last enemy shall be destroyed. If there ever was any doubt this last verse, in this chapter, settles the issue. To the Jewish believer, the Law was given. Here we find a Church, a Jewish Christian Church, after the Gentile and Jewish Christians are raptured from the Earth and for that to be, there is Salvation during the Seven Year Tribulation.