End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 15 w/AnswersRevelation Chapter 12
Our End Times study now moves into Revelation Chapter 12, in which Christ introduces John to several key figures, or symbols, that will be pivotal participants in the events of the last days of the Tribulation Period leading up to Christ’s actual return. Between this chapter and Chapter 13, we will be introduced to several figures: the sun-clad woman, the great red dragon, the man child, the "seed" of the woman, the first beast, and the second beast.
Read Revelation Chapter 12 and respond to the following questions:
- In Revelation 12:1-2, a "great sign" appears in heaven. Now read Genesis 37:9 and Isaiah 9:6. Between what we are told in verses in Revelation and these two Old Testament references, can you discern what this sign is?
- ANSWER: This sign represents the Nation of Israel — a depiction of God’s Chosen People about to "give birth" to Christ the Messiah, who is born of the Jews, the tribe of Judah, in Bethlehem.
- What do we see in Revelation 12:3-4 that would indicate that the great red dragon referenced in that passage symbolizes Satan? Also read John 8:44, Revelation 12:9, and Revelation 20:2.
- ANSWER: Via our exploration of these passages, the great red dragon is clearly identified as Satan, the murderer; and even here, we see that his desire is to kill the baby the moment that it is born.
- What is being described in Revelation 12:5-6? What happened to the child, and to the woman?
- ANSWER: The original goal of Satan was to destroy the nation of Israel so that it could not give birth to Christ. However, when that didn’t happen, he was left needing to kill Christ. Instead, Christ was caught up into heaven, and when Satan comes to take retribution on the nation of Israel, God takes care of her in a desert place for 1,260 days.
- Now, re-read Revelation 12:6-14. List beside each verse referenced below the specific activity described in that verse.
- Revelation 12:6
- ANSWER: The mother of the child flees to the desert for 1,260 days.
- Revelation 12:7
- ANSWER: A war breaks out in heaven.
- Revelation 12:8
- ANSWER: Satan and his demons lose the war in heaven.
- Revelation 12:9
- ANSWER: Satan and his demons are cast out of heaven and down to earth.
- Revelation 12:10
- ANSWER: There is rejoicing in heaven over the defeat of Satan and his ejection from heaven.
- Revelation 12:11
- ANSWER: It is asserted that Christ’s blood won the victory over Satan.
- Revelation 12:12
- ANSWER: Satan realizes that his time is short. As a result, the latter half of the Tribulation Period will be an unimaginably horrible time.
- Revelation 12:13
- ANSWER: Satan blames his defeat on the Nation of Israel and pursues after her to destroy her.
- Revelation 12:14
- ANSWER: The woman is taken to a place out of Satan’s reach for a time, times, and a half-time; or three and one-half years.
- Revelation 12:6
- In the passages pertinent to the previous question, how do we know that this means Satan is still not cast down to earth, and that he still has access to heaven? And if it means that he is not cast down until the second half of the Tribulation Period, called the Great Tribulation (or the "Great and Terrible Day of the Lord"), what words might indicate this in Revelation 12:8-10?
- ANSWER: The King James Version of Rev. 12:8, referencing Satan and his angels, asserts that "neither was their place found any more in heaven". The term "any more" implies a final end of Satan’ presence in heaven during the Tribulation Period. In verse 10, we see that Satan is accusing us before God day and night — but no more, once he is cast down to earth. What a terrible day for all mankind, and especially the Jews, when Satan is cast down and confined to the earth!
- When do the events described in Revelation 12:13 occur within the overall seven-year period of the tribulation period? (see also Matthew 24:9-27)
- ANSWER: The events described in Rev. 12:13 occur in the mid-tribulation period and are further described by Christ in Matt 24:9-27.
- Examining Revelation 12:15, what does the phrase "water like a flood (or river)" represent?
- ANSWER: It represents poisonous things: words, activities, etc., that Satan unleashes against the Jews so as to cause them to be hunted down and destroyed.
- Given your interpretation of Revelation 12:15 above, how do verses 16 and 17 relate? What do they indicate to us about the earth, and "the woman" during this time?
- ANSWER: The earth protects the Jews and prevents them from being destroyed by Satan’s activities and his followers. In verse 17, all of those won to Christ during the tribulation period by the testimony of the 144,000 are sought after by Satan, in order to kill and destroy them; the 144,000 Jews are of course blamed for having proselytized the people who now follow Christ as a result of their testimony and preaching of the gospel.
- In Revelation 12:17, what group of people is being referred to as "her offspring"?
- ANSWER: The passage refers to the offspring of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the children of God.
So, in this chapter of Revelation, we have observed Satan’s real agenda firsthand: the destruction of Israel, the killing of the son of God, and the killing of all who follow God. Truly, Satan is revealed in this chapter as the murderer that John told us about. Satan’s intent is to completely terminate God’s plan and to set himself up as God. We will see how he plans to do that in our next lesson, in which we study Chapter 13.