1. What was the great wonder seen in heaven at the opening of this vision?
“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 12:1.
2. What other wonder next appeared antagonistical to the woman?
“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,” verse 3.
3. What terrible deed did the dragon attempt to commit?
“And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born,” verse 4.
4. What was the next event to transpire, and was the dragon successful in his attempt?
“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,” verse 5.
NOTE: The woman brought to view here represents the church in the dispensation of the birth of Christ. The church is spoken of as a woman in several places in the Bible, for instance in Matthew 25th chapter, in the parable of the ten virgins which represent the church, which is spoken of as the bride and Christ as the bridegroom. In Revelation 21:9, the church is again spoken of as a woman, calling it “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
As the sun is the ruler of the day and the expeller of all darkness, the woman being clothed with the sun symbolized the church which in this dispensation was clothed with light and truth, with all darkness and error eliminated and expelled. The symbol of the moon under the feet of the woman, or church, means that in this age the church had the moon, the ruler of night or darkness, entirely subdued and under control. The crown of twelve stars symbolize the twelve apostles of the gospel age which crowned the church. The child born to the woman or church was Jesus Christ, who was caught up to God and to His throne.
The dragon represented here is a type of pagan Rome, which held power with Herod as king of the territory in which Jesus was born. He made an effort to destroy Christ while He was a babe. Read the second chapter of Matthew where a history of this is found, and how Herod issued the command to slay all the children under two years of age. He is represented here by the Dragon. That a beast in symbolic prophecy represents a king or kingdom see the lesson on the “Four Beasts” found on another page. See index.
Study it carefully,
Think of it prayerfully,
Deep in thy heart let its pure precepts dwell.
Slight not its history,
Ponder its mystery,
None can e’er prize it too fondly or well.
Accept the glad tidings,
The warnings and chidings,
Found in this volume of heavenly lore;
With faith that’s unfailing
And love all-prevailing,
Trust in its promise of life evermore.