Dee Finney's blog
start date July 20, 2011
today's date December 25, 2013
TOPIC: THE DRAGON OF REVELATION
FOLLOWING IS THE DREAM OF JOSEPH MASON. HE DOESN'T NORMALLY BOTHER TO WRITE DOWN HIS DREAMS. THIS ONE REALLY GOT HIS ATTENTION!
I GOT PARTICULARY INTERESTED BECAUSE I HAD TWO DREAMS ABOUT A POND BEING CREATED THE VERY SAME DAY!
THIS IS JOE'S DREAM!
DEE'S POND DREAMS
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
NOTE: IT SEEMS THAT THE DRAGON AND THE BEAST OUT OF THE SEA ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. IN PREVIOUS STUDIES, THE BEAST IS A SERIES OF COUNTRIES... SO WHAT IS THE DRAGON?
RUBENS WOMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE
The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
12 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 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 His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Satan Thrown Out of Heaven
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
The Woman Persecuted
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.[b]
The Beast from the Sea
13 Then I[a] stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,[b] and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue[c] for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe,[d] tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
The Beast from the Earth
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those[e] who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[f] the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
The Dragon and the Woman
Frustrated in his attempt to devour the woman's child (v. 5), the dragon pursues the woman herself. This explains her flight to the desert described in verse 6. Like Israel in ancient times (Ex 19:4), the woman is carried by the two wings of a great eagle to her place of protection for a time, times and half a time (compare Dan 7:25; 12:7). Hers is the promise of Isaiah, that "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Is 40:31).
The dragon in his pursuit of the woman abruptly becomes the serpent(vv. 14-15), recalling once more his identity as "the ancient serpent" (v. 9) and the curse on the serpent in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:15). The "enmity" between serpent and woman now becomes open conflict. In an extraordinary scene the earth, regarded from earliest times as a woman, often as Mother Earth, comes to the rescue of one who is herself both woman and mother. The earth is personified over against the dragon, or serpent. He spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent (v. 15), but the earth in turn helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth (v. 16). The dragon, who had tried todevour or "eat up" the woman's child (Greek katesthio, v. 4), meets his equal here in a creature of God swallowing or "drinking up"(Greek katapino) his deadly stream of water. Yet the woman's real protector is God, who had prepared the desert as her place of refuge on earth (vv. 6, 14). The earth is simply the instrument by which God keeps the woman safe.
The Dragon's Departure to the Sea
The dragon has now been defeated and frustrated at every turn. First he was driven out of his place in heaven (vv. 4, 7-9). Next he failed in his attempt to devour the woman's child (vv. 4-5), and when he tried to destroy the woman herself in her own "place" of refuge prepared by God (vv. 6, 13-16), he failed again. Three strikes and out--almost! The dragon's last recourse is to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. To this end he leaves the desert and is seen standing on the shore of the sea (v. 17).
If the woman's child was Jesus (v. 5), who are the rest of her offspring,who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus?They can only be the Christian communities to which John was writing. The patient reader who has been asking, What has all this to do with me? finally has an answer. Here if anywhere we find ourselves in these confusing middle chapters of the book, for the war between the dragon and us will play itself out in the scenes shortly to follow. It now becomes evident that John's visions bring to realization a two-part interpretation of the ancient prophecy addressed to the serpent in Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity  between you and the woman [fulfilled in Rev 12], and  between your offspring and hers" [fulfilled in Rev 13].
The woman's "offspring" in the first instance is Christ (12:5), but the focus of attention is not on the conflict between the dragon and Christ (which is in the past), but on the conflict between the dragon's "offspring" (not yet identified) and the followers of Christ, those whoobey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. That will be the subject of the next chapter.
The Woman Clothed with the Sun
The source of the story below of the woman, her baby, and the dragon is clearly rooted in pagan mythology. Almost universally ancient cultures of this region contained stories of a woman giving birth to a son who would fight dragon that had either disposed or killed the ruling god. Greece had Leto, Apollo, and Python; Babylonia had Marduk and Tiamat; in Egypt there were Isis, Horus, and Typhon. The striking similarities with all these stories show that John was intentionally drawing on this material and one may assume that his original audience knew this. John uses these myths to teach about Christ. Christ becomes the fulfillment of accepted universal truths, the archetype of all myths. This chapter also undermines Domitian’s claim that he was the incarnation of Apollo, i.e., the fulfillment of the myth. Christ alone has the power to triumph and therefore he alone is worthy of our praise and worship.
Commentary: Many have speculated as to the identity of this women, but her precise identity is unknown because John does not name her. Many scholars have understood the woman to be a symbolic representation of Israel, from whom the messiah is born (see v. 5). Others, particularly the Roman Catholic scholars, have suggested that the woman is actually Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. The problem with thinking of the woman as Mary is that in versus 17 we will hear "...the rest of her offspring..." Still others propose that the woman represents the Church. The woman symbolizing the church would be a logical guess if "the rest of her offspring" is referring to believers. The sun with which she is clothed could represent God, while the moon could represent the people of God. The twelve stars may refer to the twelve tribes of Israel or the constellations (more specifically, the 12 signs of the zodiac). It is interesting to note that numerous elements of her description are characteristic of several ancient goddesses.The woman could be a symbol for the destiny of the whole world, if you conclude the notion that star's control our fate.
The Greek word "ouranos" is translated here as "heaven," but it can also be understood as "sky." Scholars have debated as to which interpretation is more fitting.
Commentary: If the woman represents Israel, the child represents the Church, which was the offspring of Israel. (This will become clearer as the chapter progresses.) Christianity began as a Jewish sect until it came of age, so to speak, and established itself as a separate religion, as described in the Book of Acts. There are a number of other passages in Revelation that describe or refer to the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, which was in many ways still emerging. For example, in Revelation 7 there are the 144,000 that come from the twelve tribes of Israel that are joined by an innumerable multitude, which symbolizes Christianity being extended out beyond Judaism, which is an exclusive religion. That Christianity is shown here as the child of Judaism shows that although Christianity was coming into its independence, it still felt a very strong connection to Judaism. In fact, at the time of the writing of Revelation, many Christians of Jewish origin would still think of themselves as Jewish, not Christian. That distinction did not occur immediately, but happened over the first hundred years of Christianity.
Commentary: The "dragon" is identified in Verse 9 as Satan. The dragon, the beast from the sea of chapter 13 (generally identified with the Antichrist), and the Babylon of chapter 17 are all described as having seven heads and ten horns, which implies that the three are connected. It may be that Satan is the spiritual driving force, the Antichrist is the emperor, and Babylon is the political-religious empire over which he has power.
Commentary: The tail drawing 1/3 of the stars of heaven demonstrates the supernatural power of the dragon. "A third of the stars of heaven" may be those angels who followed Satan in his rebellion against God. Having been expelled from heaven, they have made their home on Earth. The dragon (Satan) stands before the woman who is giving birth (Israel) to destroy her child (the Church). As the Church was going through the stages of birth and growth on its way to eventual independence from its mother (Israel), the forces of evil sought to destroy it, as recorded in the Gospels and Acts. The reason to kill this child is not stated. Why is he waiting until the child is given life on earth? Why does the dragon just want the child? There is a parallel with Herod the Great's attempt to destroy Christ at his coming by having all the infants of Bethlehem slaughtered (Mt 2). Perhaps this is alluding to the dragon (Satan) seeking to destroy the seed of the women who will eventually destroy him (Gen 3: 15 & Rom. 16:20).The dragon in chapter 12 represents the devil. In verse 4 the dragon is waiting for the woman (who represents the Church of Zion) to have her child, so he may kill it. This being said, means that even Christians are not free from the evil acts of the devil. They will be tortured, but the devil cannot stop them from having eternal salvation through Christ. The Lord protects His church.
Commentary: The male child, who is Jesus Christ, is to rule all of the nations as mentioned in the verse, showing that he is the Messiah. He is to rule with a rod of iron, which suggest strict rule with no room for acting out. The Christian countries of the world did, in fact, eventually rule most of the globe "with a rod of iron" during the European colonial period. Israel's escape to the wilderness for 1,260 days (3½ years) may be in response to a terrible persecution which takes place after the “rapture” of the Church, which is “caught up to God and to his throne.” The place that is prepared by God for the woman who fled could potentially symbolize Jesus Christ taking rule over the people. With regard to the 1,260 day time period (3½ years), see note on 13:4-6 .
This passage is used in support of a midtribulation rapture because the woman's child is "caught up to God and to his throne" at this point, immediately after the seventh trumpet. Earlier in the New Testament, Paul writes:
If we equate Paul’s “last trumpet” with the last trumpet of Revelation, then the resurrection and the rapture would be in the middle of the tribulation, after the seal and trumpet judgments, but before the bowl judgments. Nevertheless, there are also arguments for a pretribulation rapture and a posttribulation rapture.
There is a limited parallel, begun in the previous verse, with Herod’s efforts to kill the infant Christ and the escape of Joseph and Mary to Egypt with him (Mt 2).The child being caught up could be referring to the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. He is going from his earthly figure to the Son of God with even more incredible power.
Satan Is Cast Down to the Earth
Commentary: Although angels play a highly visible part throughout Revelation, Michael is the only one mentioned by name (12:7). He is given the considerable responsibility of expelling Satan and his demonic armies from heaven. He is first mentioned in the Bible in a vision of Daniel, where another angel refers to him as “one of the chief princes” (Dan 10:13). Even then, he was involved in the battle against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms, for the other angel tells of how Michael came to his aid against the angels of Persia and Greece, saying, “No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince” (Dan 10:21). In a further mention of Michael in Daniel, we find out that he is the protector of Israel, for in a passage about the end times, the angel tells Daniel, “At that time, Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise” (Dan 12:1). We hear of him again in the New Testament epistle of Jude, which shows that he was active in Moses’ time also. Jude writes, “Even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude 9).
Commentary: This is another representation of Satan as the Fallen One and the Great Deceiver and its hosts. This is also the beginning of the fall of Satan, which starts here with Satan falling from heaven to earth, then from earth to the abyss (20.2), and from the abyss into the lake of fire (20.10). This can also be seen as a mirror of Christ rising to heaven after his death. Since Christ relieved the people of the world from sin, it is logical that Satan would no longer have a place in heaven since he was an accuser of the people of God of sin. On the other hand, Satan's expulsion from Heaven, and his banishment to earth, could also be indicative of the beginning of the God's judgment, through trials and tests of his people.
Commentary: Without the divisive energies of Satan and his angels, heaven gains in strength and unity. This transfer from heaven to Earth is the first of three downward steps for Satan. The second is into the Abyss (Rev 20:1-3). The third is into the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:10).
In this verse "our bretheren" may refer to the martyrs already killed. The accuser, of course, represents Satan. Witherington places then the casting down of Satan to earth at the point of Christ's death, when his full power was revealed. Koester imagines Satan now as a creature on the run, banished from heaven and corralled on earth to vent and rage. Satan's rampage on earth, then, can be perceived as his last hurrah and a signal that he is near defeat.
Commentary: By giving his life as an atoning sacrifice, Christ has foiled Satan's attempt to lead the people of the Earth to their destruction. Their faith in Christ and their love for truth have saved them. A loud voice comes form Heaven announcing that it is time for the power of the Kongdom of God. This passage says that those who overcame Satan did so because Jesus shed his own blood for the sake of man. The people who overcame Satan died for their faith in Jesus, which cost them their natural lives. Thus, they are modern martyrs
Commentary: Satan is angry at his defeat by the powers of heaven. This is bad news for the Earth, which will suffer the brunt of his anger, but we may take comfort in the fact that his days are numbered. Satan will use his dark angels to destroy all of mankind left on earth. He will do this even though he knows that Jesus will return to earth with his Angels. This verse really shows the darkness of Revelation and how terrifying the final judgement days will be.
Satan Persecutes the Woman
Commentary:The dragon being put on earth shows that Satan was cast out of heaven. The woman could represent Israel, Virgin Mary, or the church. As the women is the first of Satan’s persecution, this mirrors that the woman is the first of creation to fall into sin in the Garden of Eden.
An alternative view is that Satan is persecuting the woman (Israel) so that God's people will be exterminated and His promise to the descendants of Abraham will not be fulfilled.
Commentary: Once again, we see the flight into the wilderness. The "two wings of a great eagle" may be a first-century description of modern aircraft. The "place where she is nourished" may be a country that offers her a safe haven. The time period described in v5-7 above as 1,260 days is here called a "time" (one year), and times (two years), and half a time (six months), but is still the same three-and-a-half year period.
The two wings could also be viewed as two prophets sent to carry Israel and her people away in a great Exodus.
Commentary: This mysterious flood is probably symbolic, though of what is hard to say. It is possibly a huge military force. Regardless, natural phenomena prevent the "flood" from destroying Israel.
There is a parallel here with the flight of the Israelites from Egypt (Ex 14), where "Satan" (acting through Pharaoh) sends a "flood" (military force) in pursuit of the "woman" (Israel), but the Earth "swallowed up the flood" (the military force was engulfed by the Red Sea).
The sea, in Babylonian and Canaanite traditions, embodied the original chaos of the world. The sea monster, called in the Jewish tradition Leviathan, can be associated here with Satan, as he harnesses the power of the sea to attack the woman.
Commentary: The dragon’s anger with the women shows the response the dragon had to the women’s escape and his loss of an army. The dragon went off to make war shows that the dragon was not able to persecute the woman (Virgin Mary, Israel, the Church), which provides some light of hope. However, the dragon focuses his aggression to her children which comes from the Greek term for “her seed”, which is a term usually assigned to a man, not a woman. Galatians 3:16 refers to Christ as the seed of the woman. See also Genesis 3:15, Revelation 14:12, and I John 5:3.
Revelation chapter 12 -14 are explanatory prophecies that describe some of the major personages and movements of the second half of the Tribulation period. Beginning with the woman who represents Israel and her child who is Christ, the Messiah.
Although chapter 11 verse 15 records the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the effects it produces are not described until chapters 15 through 18. Chapters 12 - 14 restates or summarizes that same period, but describing events from Satan's vantage point. Including taking the readers back to the original rebellion as Satan is cast to the earth along with one third of the angels. (demons)
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:
The woman represents Israel, and her child is Christ; the Messiah (12:5; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 66:7.8; Micah 5:2; Romans. 9:4,5)
The woman is not the church, since the church did not bring forth Christ, But rather He brought forth the church.
The sun reflects redeemed Israel's unique glory, brilliance and dignity because of her exulted status and shows her as God's chosen nation.
The moon under her feet alludes to God's promise of dominion, and the crown of twelve stars pictures royalty and relates to the 12 tribes of Israel. Go to Genesis 37 verses 9 - 11 and read about the dream Joseph had about the sun, moon and 11 stars which were bowing down to Joseph. (who was the 12th)
In this look toward heaven by John, we are taken to a different aspect of the battle that has gone on through all ages between Jesus and Satan. If Jesus is in warfare with Satan, then His people are in battle as well.
12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Women, who have had children, know that there is pain involved in birth. This Scripture is spiritually speaking of the birth of Jesus and of Christianity.
The birth pains refer to the period before the birth of Christ when Israel was waiting for redemption by the Messiah (Rom. 8:22, 23).
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.
We see here this "red dragon". This is the devil, and he is shown red all over to show his murderous and destructive personality. This is the only place in the New Testament that dragon is used. Here it is not a literal "dragon", but a figure of Satan. (Satan)
These seven are heads of evil governments. This world power, through these earthly kingdoms, comes from Satan himself. The seven crowned heads mean universal rule, and the ten horns mean world power to the utmost.
Five emperors had come and gone by the Apostle John's time; one ruled during his time; and the seventh represents the Antichrist to come. We will get into more on this in a later chapter about the 6 empires that have come which is most interesting.
His ten horns show Satan's connection with the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (verses 7 and 24) and with the Beast from the sea in Chapter 13 of Rev.
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.
When John tells us that the devils' tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to earth, he is describing the original demonic uprising against God.
Satan somehow managed to convince a third of all God's angels to join him in his rebellion; these beings we now call "demons" or "fallen angels." They serve Satan and play an important role in the judgments of the Tribulation.
We see here, also, the woman about to birth, and this is the birth of Jesus the Christ.
Satan used Herod to try to kill Jesus the moment He was born. That was not God's plan, so Jesus was protected until the time of the cross. This also indicates here the birth of the church, which the devil has tried to devour every way he could.
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.
This is speaking of Jesus Christ. Jesus was caught up unto God to set on the right hand of God at the resurrection and is setting at the right hand of God. When He returns, Jesus will rule all nations as Lord of lords and King of kings.
During Jesus' earthly, millennium kingdom, this rule is a breaking, and shattering work of judgment.
An iron rod is one that cannot be broken and speaks of the resoluteness of Christ's rule. He will swiftly and immediately judge all sin and put down any rebellion.
The wilderness represents anywhere outside Palestine. During the last half of the Tribulation period (1260 days is three and one half years), Israel will take refuge among the Gentile nations, where God will care for her. (Perhaps through the Gentile believers) (Tribulation)
God will frustrate Satan's attempt to destroy Israel during the Tribulation and will hide His people just a Jesus stated in Matthew chapter 24 verses 15 - 21.
The vision of war in heaven anticipates Satan's exclusion from "heaven" and his restriction to the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Michael the archangel is the leader of God's holy angels (Dan 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 9).
At some point of the Tribulation period, God will empower Michael and his forces to cast Satan and his forces out of access to heaven, so that Satan must thereafter confine his activities to the earthly sphere.
I believe there is an order of command in heaven as there is here on the earth. We see here, that not only the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is being attacked here on the earth, but that there is war in heaven as well. Here we see defeat of Satan to such an extent that he is not allowed in heaven any more, not even to accuse the believers.
His defeat on the earth is complete as well. His doom was sealed when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.
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.
The evil one is given four designations: (1) Dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God; (2) Serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve in Genesis 3; (3) Devil means "slanderer" (v. 10); (4) Satan means "Adversary" (1 Pet. 5:8). He also deceiveth the whole world (20:8).
Notice we are told here, that the serpent that tricked Eve was the devil as well. You can call him by any name you want to. If whatever you call him is evil, it is the devil or his handiwork.
Here we see that he deceiveth (is continually deceiving) the whole world. The devil runs to and fro throughout the earth seeking whom he may devour. The devil does not even bother the lost at all. He already has them. He is after the believer.
He comes to church regularly, trying to coax you away. He brings false doctrine and strife in the church. Check everyone and everything they say by the Word of God. The deceiver will come dressed in sheep's clothing, Matt. 7:15 He plants doubt and fear wherever he goes.
The devil is the very one who brings in the "feel good" religion. Beware, he is a destroyer, he appealed to Eve's flesh and destroyed her. The flesh is at war with the Spirit. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE FLESH.
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.
The words salvation, strength (Greek dunamis, "power"), kingdom, and power (Gr. exousia, "authority") all refer to the coming of the millennial kingdom of Christ. Kingdom
He (the devil) is tossed out once and for all time. His day is over. The last half of the Tribulation will be a time of terrible trouble on earth (Jer. 30:7; Dan 9:27; 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt 24:15-22). It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ's kingdom so his wrath intensifies of his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation.
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.
Victory is Theirs - Thank God that His Word does not leave the story of the Tribulation saints with their earthly demise, but loudly proclaims their ultimate victory through the blood of the Lamb. The "they" here are the Christians. When Jesus shed his blood on Calvary and became the perfect Lamb sacrifice once for all time, Satan was defeated.
You can see here the word of our testimony is when we open our mouths and declare that we believe Jesus Christ is Lord, and also believe He rose from the grave; we will be saved. We must proclaim this, even if we know it will mean our life. We are not to regard life here on this earth as very valuable. The life that is important is in heaven. This world is not the Christian's home. We are just passing through.
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.
Here we Christians are told to look up and rejoice when we see terrible things happening, because our redemption draweth nigh. The devil, even now, is in an all out push to destroy the church as it used to be fifty years ago. He realizes his time is running out, and he is working on the believers, trying to convert them to his way. His scheme is to tell us not to be a radical Christian. He is trying to make us not take God real seriously. He doesn't mind going to most churches, because he hears very little pure Word of God and no sermons on the blood. Watering down Jesus is one of his favorite tools to destroy the church.
It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ's kingdom. Therefore he has great wrath and intensifies his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation, which setting up his own counterfeit kingdom through the Beast, the false messiah.
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].
Satan's persecution of Israel is apparently an attempt to exterminate God's chosen people, thereby preventing the fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham and David in the messianic from persecution.
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.
The wings of a great eagle represent swift escape from persecution. The eagle in many instances in the Bible is symbolic of God. I believe, it means that God will protect us in the midst of the problems. This I believe is what the "sealing of the believers" is all about.
That phrase comes from Dan. 12 verse 11. This refers to the second half of the Tribulation which begins by the abomination of desolation. In Matt. 24 verse 15 Jesus said "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)." Abomination of Desolation
During this time, God protects Israel for the Satan who may know where the Jews are hiding, but will be unable to get at them because of God's divine protection.
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.
The flood symbolizes overwhelming evil and persecution.
This imagery symbolizes trouble in general. Satan's forces will sweep towards the Jew's hiding place like a great flood so as to be drown, killed or consumed by them.
12:16-17 "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." "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."
This is liken to the army of Pharaoh's went all of his chariots were destroyed in Exodus 15. Verse 12 states: You stretched out Your right Hand, the earth swallowed them."
This really angers Satan. He cannot get to Jesus, as we said before, so he is venting his anger on the followers of Jesus. Notice here that there is only a remnant left that has not fallen for the devils false doctrine. A remnant means a very small portion that is left.
You see here, that this small portion (remnant) of Christians are still keeping God's commandants, and even though the opposition has been great, they still have given the testimony of Jesus Christ. These two names (Jesus, Christ) together mean The Savior, the Anointed One.
The remnant may be a reference either to (1) Jewish believers, who have refused to worship Satan and his Beast or (2) Gentile Believers, who are the seed of Abraham through Christ.
MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARYMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
12:7-11 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 20 COMMENTARY
The Imprisonment of the Dragon, or Satan
The thousand-year interval is used in two connections in this passage: the imprisonment of Satan in the Abyss and his subsequent release (vv. 1-3, 7-10) and the reign of God's martyrs and saints (vv. 4-6). Although the view of J. A. Bengel (1877:5:368-69) that the text pointed to two distinct thousand-year periods, one after the other, cannot be sustained, we are dealing here with two distinct (though closely related) visions. If verses 4-6 were left out, a reader could move directly from verses 1-3 to verses 7-10 with scarcely a clue that anything was missing.
John gives Satan a very formal introduction as the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan (v. 2), almost exactly as in 12:9. The additional phrase in 12:9, "who leads the whole earth astray," is echoed here in the statement that Satan was imprisoned to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore (v. 3). This is part of a pattern of correspondence and contrast between this passage and 12:7-12. There the dragon was thrown down from heaven to earth (12:9, 12); here he is thrown from earth into the Abyss. There it was for only a short time (12:12); here it is for a thousand years. There his downfall meant deception and woe for the earth (12:12); here it means freedom from deception, and therefore peace and rest for the earth. Chapters 12 and 20 neatly frame the dragon's career. Chapter 12 marks the beginning of his activity on earth, chapter 20 its end.
Two things are important in this connection. First, the language of verses 1-3 presupposes all that has transpired in chapters 12-19. The dragon is imprisoned so as not to deceive the nations anymore (Greek eti, v. 3). Second, there is an explicit recognition that the thousand-year imprisonment of the dragon is not quite the last word. Verse 3 (that is,after this he must be set free for a short time) anticipates verses 7-10 with their renewed outburst of activity and the dragon's final judgment in the lake of fire. This is a hint that the dragon is going to disappear from the scene in two stages rather than one.
The vision of the millennium begins when John sees an unidentifiedangel coming down out of heaven, like others he has seen before (10:1; 18:8). The angel, like the fallen star of 9:1, holds the key to the Abyss,not to release powers of evil (as in 9:1-11), but to seal up the terrible place with the source of all evil bound within (vv. 1-3). This first stage of the dragon's disappearance marks a time of temporary relief for the troubled earth. The battle is over. The beast and the false prophet are gone (19:20). But otherwise we are told nothing about this worldwide utopia. John knows only that God is in control. Later, in connection with the second stage, we will learn that "the camp of God's people" and a "the city he loves" are on earth during the thousand years (v. 9), but for now all we know is that Satan and his cohorts are gone and the nations are no longer being deceived.WOMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE
The Woman of the Apocalypse is a figure from Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation (ca. 95 AD). Her identity has been the subject of a wide variety of interpretations.
From the Book of Revelation, 11:19—12:1-18.
The Blessed Virgin Mary
One strain of Catholic tradition assigns the identity of the woman to the Virgin Mary after her assumption into heaven, where she is revealed in all her glory as the "Queen of Heaven", "Mother of God", and "Mother of the Church". This view has been affirmed by Pope Pius X, Pope Pius XII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II. According to this view, the woman's "male child," is a reference to Jesus (Revelation 12:5), since he is destined to "rule all nations with a rod of iron" (Revelation 12:5). The dragon trying to devour the woman's child at the moment of his birth (Revelation 12:4) is a reference to Herod the Great's attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16). Through his death and resurrection, Jesus "was snatched up to God and to his throne" (Revelation 12:5).
However, most of the ancient commentators identified her with the Church, while in the Middle Ages it was widely held that she represented Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Modern exegetes, have generally held to the older interpretation, with certain modifications, on the strength of contextual details, while in recent years several Catholics have championed the Marian interpretation. Ancient witnesses to the Marian interpretation include St. Epiphanius, Tychonius (who heavily influenced St. Augustine), the unknown author of the History of Joseph the Carpenter, Quodvultdeus (a disciple of St. Augustine), Cassiodorus (Complexiones in Apocalypsi, written c. 570 AD), and the Greek Fathers Andreas and Oikoumenios (sixth century). For an assessment of the logical and theological reasons for identifying the Woman of Revelation 12 with Mary Mother of God, see Brunero Gherardini, Raised to Heaven because Co-Redemptrix on Earth. Thoughts on the Foundation of the Catholic Dogma.
The commentary of the New American Bible (the official Roman Catholic Bible for America) states that "The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Gn 37:9–10) symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (Rev 12:6, 13–17); cf. Is 50:1; 66:7; Jer 50:12." 
The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, has been described as a representation of the Woman of the Apocalypse. Mary of Velankanni, of the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, at Tamil Nadu, is also said to be a depiction of the Woman of the Apocalypse.
Some Catholic commentary, such as Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary (1859) allows for both the church (primarily) and Mary to be what the woman represents.
Commentators who adhere to Reformed Theology and are amillennial in their eschatology identify the woman as the Church, and the man-child she gives birth to are the saints. According to this interpretation, Revelation 12:17 describes the remnant of the seed of the woman as those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The offspring of the Woman, the Woman's seed, then refers to the saints. The man child "who shall rule the nations with a rod of iron" is a symbol of the faithful members of the Church. In Revelation 2:18-29, the Church in Thyatira is promised that the faithful shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. In Revelation 19:15 the same thing is stated of Jesus. In Galatians 4:26, Paul the Apostle refers to the "New Jerusalem" as "our mother", and in Revelation 21:2 and Ephesians 5:21-32 the New Jerusalem and the Church is portrayed as the Bride of Christ.
The Catholic Church recognizes the 'woman' as Mary the Mother of the Christ and the Church. The Church acknowledges what it considers an invitation in the holy verses for the reader to ponder the mysteries between The Mother of God and the Mother of the Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also interprets the woman to be the Church, and the man-child to be the political kingdom that will grow out of the Church prior to or during the Second Coming of Christ.
Christian Scientists understand the woman in the Apocalypse to symbolize "generic man, the spiritual idea of God; she illustrates the coincidence of God and man as the divine Principle and divine idea...the spiritual idea of God's motherhood." The man child represents "Christ, God's idea, [which] will eventually rule all nations and peoples - imperatively, absolutely, finally - with divine Science." 
The Nation of Israel
Dispensational Premillennialists, and Amillennialists who believe in multiple valid interpretations will often identify the woman as the nation of Israel. There are several reasons given to support this interpretation. The woman is said to be clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and twelve stars. These symbols are drawn from Genesis 37:9–11, in which Joseph has a dream of the sun and moon symbolizing his father and mother, and stars representing his brothers, which bow down to him. The Old Testament's prophets referred to Israel as a "woman" (Isaiah 54:5-6; Jeremiah 4:31; Micah 4:9-10). The woman flees into the wilderness where she is nourished for 1260 days, the equivalent of three and a half years or forty-two months (cf. Rev. 11:1-3). According to this interpretation, these terms are used prophetically in Scripture either for the first half or the last half of the "Seventieth Week of Daniel," in Daniel 9:24-27, a prophecy specifically addressed to Daniel and his people, Israel (Dan. 9:24). In the latter part of the seventieth week, a remnant of Israel will flee into the wilderness to escape the persecution of Antichrist, who is called "the son of destruction," "the lawless one," and "whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan" (2 Thess. 2:1-12; cf. Rev. 12:4,9). Jesus, in the Olivet discourse, warned the people of this time which would occur just prior to His return to set up His earthly, Millennial kingdom (Matt. 24:15-22). Further, the archangel Michael is called the guardian over the sons of Israel in Dan. 12:1. And he will arise at that time of national Israel's tribulation (Dan. 12:1; cf. Rev. 12:7).
Amillennialist belief can also interpret this passage as the nation of Israel, however this belief as expressed by amillennialists refers, not to the modern Israel, but to the Ancient religious state of Israel(Judea) as it existed in the time of Christ. The Child is Christ, born into the then existing state of Israel, and of Israel's linage. The Anti-christ is interpreted, often(although not always the case) not as being a specific person, but as being that which is not of Christ, often considered to be the antagonistic Political states of both Rome and Judea due to the Sea political metaphor being employed.
The remnant or sons of Israel is, in this understanding, the followers of Christ, the followers of the true religion of Israel as it exists after the coming of the messiah. The "Seventieth Week of Daniel," and prophecy of the Olivet discourse, in this belief, are ascribed as concerning the first coming of Christ, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D(During which enforced emperor worship occurred in the temple of Jerusalem, which was later almost totally destroyed, and many Jews were made slaves in distant lands resulting presumably in their remaining families not knowing what happened to them or where they were), and the establishment of Christ's Church, as it currently exists, both on earth and in heaven. Amillennialist understanding of this interpretation points to the fact that the plot narrative of the segment containing the Birth of Christ, is a reason it is a description of either past or current religious events as opposed to future events, and point to this fact as making the Dispensational view rather untenable.
Lutheran scholar Craig Koester, for example, says, "The woman encompasses the story of Israel, from whom the Messiah was born, as well as the story of the church, which was persecuted after Jesus' death and resurrection... John's visionary account of the threat against the woman and the woman's preservation uses imagery that encompasses many moments in the story of God's people. This allows the story to apply to people in many times and places."
The Woman Eve
The Woman is also identified as Eve because she is part of the three-way conflict also involving her Seed and the Dragon, who is identified with the ancient serpent (the one from Eden) in Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2. This mirrors the conflict in Genesis 3:15 between Eve, the serpent, and her unborn seed—which in turn is a symbol of the conflict between Mary, Satan, and Jesus.