In the twelfth chapter of Revelation we come upon a dramatic scene of a woman giving birth and dragon trying to devour her child.
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Rev 12:1-6)
The woman represents the church and her child is Christ. The devil tried to destroy the child but failed. The same scene is visited from the vantage point of heaven, where we see a war:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Rev 12:7-12)
Remember satan coming before God and accusing Job?
“The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason?…” (Job 1:7-9)
At the cross, where Christ rendered full atonement for our sin, satan lost his place as accuser of the brethren before God.
“Who shall bring any accusation against God’s elect?” (Rom 8:33, also Rom 8, Lk 10:18)
Revelation 12:7-12 is in harmony with scriptures that tell us about satan’s expulsion from heaven.
“And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” (Luke 10:18)
“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (Jn 12:31)
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:15)
God’s salvation in Christ was made manifest; His power has been vindicated, His rule in our hearts is established, His authority triumphantly revealed.
Jesus’ victory and satan’s defeat were the beginning of the true New World Order/ the new humanity governed by God, or what we know as the “Gospel Age” or “Church Age”.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,” (2 Eph 14-15) more on this
The “New World Order” being propagandized and brought about today is a COUNTERFEIT. Satan, unable to create anything of his own, can only counterfeit God. During God’s New World Order the devil has been partially bound. Restricted from preventing the good news of salvation through Jesus to spread throughout the world, the devil persecutes the woman (the church).
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. (Rev 12:9)
The dragon knows that his time is short and his second and ultimate defeat inevitable. He is filled with wrath and persecutes the woman/the church, who proves the genuineness of her faith, triumphing over the dragon’s worldly kingdom as it perseveres even unto death and the gospel goes forth. Unable to silence her;
The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Rev 12:1-17)
The dragon pours out his strongest weapon: deception; depicted here as a great river of water. This flood of deception is seen throughout church history in the various denominational errors that are reaching zenith today. Matthew Henry says of this verse that;
“[T]his may be meant of a flood of error, by which the church of God was in danger of being overwhelmed and carried away “ (Matthew Henry Commentary)
But God bears us on eagles wings! (also Ex 19:4; Dt. 32:11; Isa 40:31) In the desert of affliction, in this earthly sojourn, He has prepared a place for us and nourishes us with the manna of His Word. The devil,
“continuously tries to engulf the Church with a stream of lies, delusions, religious ‘isms’, philosophical falsehoods, political utopias, quasi-scientific dogma, but the true Church will not be fooled[!] Worldly people, on the other hand, are ready to swallow the entire river! This failure to deceive the Church makes the devil very angry. He is determined to direct his attack against ‘the rest of the woman’s seed’, that is, against individual believers.” (Hendriksen 142)
The time referred to in the book of Revelation as “a time and times and half a time,” that is, for a thousand two hundred and sixty days; the church age,
“beginning at the moment of Christ’s first coming – His birth, ministry, cross, coronation and extends to a point of time very near to His second coming in judgment. There, too, the long period during which the Church is nourished ‘away from the serpent’ so that satan’s influence is curbed is followed by a very brief span of time during which the devil marshals the armies of God and Magog against ‘the camp of the saints.’” (Hendriksen 143)
The brief span of time following (depicted here as three days and a half or 3-1/2 years Rev 11:11) is a time of severe persecution, when “the beast that comes up out of the abyss” (Rev 11:7) – when the antichristian world in its final phase will kill the witnesses and finally silence the voice of the gospel. The world will celebrate at the destruction of the church and that they no longer need to hear the Word, but their celebration will be short lived.
Reading these passages today made me reflect back on the life-changing vision that was given to me 10 years ago (my “NDE”) during which I woke up to find myself resting on an enormous wing.
From Glimpse of Glory – “Glimpse”:
In my next moment of awareness, I was in a place that was completely foreign, and yet in a strange way, it felt like “home.” It was more vivid and real than the reality I’d known all my life. I was wide awake, but it took me a bit to get my bearings. This was not a dream, not anything remotely like a dream. My thoughts were lucid. I was acutely aware. Unlike dream scenes that fade in and out, where you can’t quite put everything together, this was well organized and in clear focus. I wasn’t in the operating room, the hospital, or even anything I could recognize as this world… Surrounding me were beautiful warm colors: red, orange, gold and auburn… The colors were so bright that they should have been blinding, but they didn’t bother my eyes at all. My vision was different there. I could somehow see the tiniest detail with perfect clarity.
I was trying to figure out where I was and realized that I was being held on what looked like an enormous, beautiful wing. In the natural world I would describe it as being maybe sixty feet long, maybe even bigger. It was immense. As I was taking in what I was seeing and where I was, the thought crossed my mind, “I didn’t make it,” but the thought didn’t upset me. There was absolutely no fear.
Instead there was a LOVE all around me that’s beyond my ability to describe. It was strong and tangible, as if it were an actual substance. The nearest way that I can use to describe it is the love you feel toward your newborn baby, only that love was directed toward me and was all around me. The angel (I assumed) whose wing I was sitting on radiated with this love. It was everywhere. The entire atmosphere was filled with it. I somehow knew that this love was the natural and right state of things and it brought an indescribable rest and peace. I felt like I was finally home, that this was where I’d always belonged.
I was able to see what I’d only felt in the physical world. I realized that this wing and the being it belonged to was what had been holding me through the past days and weeks. It was holding me in that moment the doctor walked in to tell me there was a large mass in my brain. It / he had been there all along, only I wasn’t able to see him. The peace I’d had from that moment, and what I had been feeling for several days now, was because God had instructed this being to care for me and he was holding me on his wing.
For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:11)
Further down I wrote,
“The most overwhelming thing about that place was an all-encompassing feeling of love like I’d never known but somehow had always known existed. I knew it was God’s Love, but it was so much more intense than I could ever have imagined.
It was soothing and comforting.
It was irresistible.
It was strong and more powerful than anything else in all of existence!
It filled me with joy and hope…
There was no fear, no sadness, no insecurity.
I was aware of how heavily the fear of people’s disapproval had weighed on me while I was in the world. I now knew that it had all been a lie. The only approval and love that mattered was right here, God’s love, and I was loved completely! If there is anything I’ve fought to hold onto from the experience, it’s that realization! It felt like I could spend forever taking in the beauty, joy and the love and the incomprehensible glory and wonder surrounding me.”
It struck me when I read the passage in Revelation this morning:
We ARE ALL the woman on the wing!
That love, brothers and sisters, is the love our Father has for every one of us! And the devil will do all in his power to remove the knowledge of that love from us! But if we are to endure through the days ahead we must know Whose we are – who we are in Him and how dearly we are loved. We CANNOT succumb to the flood of lies and deception pouring from the devil’s mouth through the voices of the world, voices that sadly include false teachers claiming to be “The Church!”
Precious believer; do you know that Love? Do you know who you are in Him? An ocean of deception has been poured out against the church to obscure the most precious of truths, the truth that makes her impermeable against the assaults of the evil one. That truth is the miraculous supernatural kingdom that has come and that dwells in the hearts of all who have fallen on their knees in repentance to stop following the ways of world and its god, to stop trying to find life on their own and to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior, their life and their hope.
If you aren’t sure of your salvation, find a quiet place where you can be alone and ask Him to show you – He will! Read your Bible and ask Him to show Himself to you in His Word.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have [true, spiritual] life and have it abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)