REVELATION 12Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 12:1-1712:1,2 THE WOMAN12:3,4 THE DRAGONORIGIN OF SATAN AND SINWAR IN HEAVENTHE ERADICATION OF SIN12: 4,5 THE MALE CHILD12:7-9 MICHAEL CASTS SATAN OUT12:10 ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN12: 11,12 THEY OVERCAME BY THE BLOODAND BY THEIR TESTIMONY12:12-14 THE WOMAN IN THE WILDERNESSONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY DAYS12:15,16 A FLOOD AFTER THE WOMAN12:17 THE REMNANTCOMMANDMENTS OF GOD, TESTIMONY OF JESUS


12: 4,5 THE MALE CHILD

And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, in order 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 to His throne” (Revelation 12:4,5). The “male child” who “rules...with a rod of iron” is a reference to Psalm 2 in which Christ is portrayed, not as “meek and lowly in heart” or “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Matthew 11:29, Isaiah 53:3), but as the Ruler of the nations. “Why do the nations rage?… The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed…. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:1-9). This passage helps us to keep in perspective the next two chapters of Revelation, which show the success of the nations under Satan’s leadership in persecuting God’s people.

This theme is picked up again in Revelation 19. John saw “heaven opened” and the rider on a white horse, obviously Jesus, “clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” He has “a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:11-16). This shows us that even though in Revelation 12 Jesus is pictured as a child who was caught up to heaven to escape from the dragon, He will ultimately triumph over evil and rule all nations with a rod of iron—sin and and those who cling to sin will be destroyed.

As we saw above, "the woman who was ready to give birth” symbolizesIsrael, God’s chosen people, represented by Mary the mother of Jesus.[1] “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4,5). Satan, the dragon, represented by the wicked king Herod, was indeed there “before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.” In the killing of “all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16), Satan showed the fiendish and desperate lengths he is willing to go to in order to prevent the destruction of his kingdom. But God preserved His Son, and after living a perfect life and making a perfect sacrifice, Jesus “was caught up to God and His throne.” As Paul expressed it in Hebrews, “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).[2]

Continue to next section: 12:7-9 MICHAEL CASTS SATAN OUT



[1] Mary was the human agent but she was simply a representative of Israel, God’s chosen “bride.” That the woman is not primarily a symbol of the virgin Mary is seen by the fact that after the birth the dragon pursues the woman for “one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Revelation 12:6). As we will see later in this chapter, this represents the centuries during which God’s people (the woman) were persecuted. This shows that the woman represents all of God’s true people, not just a particular person.

[2] See also Hebrews 1:13, 8:1, 10:12,13, 1 Peter 3:22.