Revelation Chapter 12
In this study we will be utilizing various Bible Student materials chief among which will be the “New Albany Notes on Revelation”, and “The Keys of Revelation”.
“Before beginning our examination of this Chapter in detail, it is VERY IMPORTANT to remember the symbolic nature of Revelation (1:1).
“The greatest source of error in understanding the symbols of Revelation is a too literal interpretation; it is read as though it were a statement of facts, instead of a statement of symbols.”
Here is the KEY to understanding this Chapter:
“To have the proper perspective and interpretation of the drama unfolded in the 12th Chapter of Revelation, one must realize from the outset that, this chapter is the record of events as VIEWED IN OR THROUGH THE EYES OF ORTHODOXY (the nominal church, more specifically Papacy) as it was perceived by them, NOT as the true Church perceives it.
The events were viewed (by the false church) as something wonderful, indeed as God’s overruling providential care in granting His professed Church an astounding victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. That Constantine, the ruler of the mighty Roman Empire, would espouse Christianity and make it the religion of the realm was truly a surprising development. However instead of viewing the emperor’s nominal acceptance and adoption of Christianity as the religion of the empire in its proper light—that is, as being a most baneful and dangerous influence, as being a trap and an ensnarement of the true brotherhood—Christianity’s adherents, for the most part, considered this development a harbinger of better things to come and did not recognize it as an artifice and stratagem of the Adversary, (the Master Deceiver) who now would assume the role of an angel of light (Matt 4:8,9; John 5:43; 2 Cor 11:14).” "The Keys of Revelation", Page 293
Papacy itself has applied many scriptures to itself that were in truth applicable only to the Christ, both the Head and body (i.e. the true Church), and thus has ever been the method of the Adversary through his greatest deception of all, the ANTICHRIST. But not all have been deceived, the Lord has always provided for his true followers.
“Seeing as how the book of Revelation is considered a SYMBOLIC prophecy it behooves us that in order to properly understand this chapter that we understand the true significance and meanings of some of the key words used, most especially when they are applied symbolically. However we should not go to the extreme and assume that every single word is to be viewed as symbolic, some words or phrases may indeed be taken literally, while others may bare both a literal and symbolic meaning, it is up to the discriminating student of the Bible to seek for the true significance of any given word or phrase, by comparing scripture with scripture.”
Now I know that some may already be familiar with the significance of some of these key words, but for the sake of those not so acquainted we shall be happy to explain, keeping in mind that not everyone grasps things as easily as others. My neighbor used to say to me, ‘Slow down and explain things to me as though I have only a third grade education’. We likewise need to keep in mind (1 Cor 2:14) in this regards.
It is specifically because very little attention has been paid to the true significance and meaning of some of these key words that many have become confused and confounded over this particular chapter. I don’t believe it will be necessary to look at every single word just some of the ones which we believe may be causing some difficulties for some.
One of the chief stumbling blocks for the majority of bible students is the misperception that the events mentioned in Chapter 12 begin in “heaven” (one of our “key words”), that this is the literal heavens, the abode of God where they erroneously envision a battle takes place between Michael and his angels and the red dragon (whom they believe to be Satan), and that eventually this dragon (Satan) is defeated and cast out of heaven down to the earth, this however we understand is not actually what transpires here, and it is this erroneously view which we hope to correct. Thus you will see the necessity of our breaking down the text for better clarification. We will address this particular key word shortly, but first let us begin with our opening text.
Verse 1 “Now a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and on her head a garland of twelve stars.”
“Now a great sign appeared in heaven”
The word “sign” Strong’s # 4592 is in the Greek seemion and has the significance of proof or evidence as illustrated in the following cases:
“And many other signs truly did Jesus.” (John 20:30)
“The Lord...granted signs and wonders to be done by their [Paul's and Barnabas'] hands.” (Acts 14:3)
“Tongues are for a sign...to them that believe not.” (1 Cor 14:22)
“Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately saying, ‘Tell us when these things will be? And what will be the sign of your presence and of the end of the age?” (Matt 24:3)
Hence, we read, “There appeared a great sign (evidence) in heaven”.
Now the typical view (as held by the professing church) is that the “heavens” here referred to are the heavens in which God resides, the heavenly abode, and since this erroneous view is generally what has caused much of the confusion in regards to the interpretation of this Chapter we therefore believe a closer examination of the word heaven is in order.
Many are not fully cognizance of its various meanings.
Since this particular key word requires a bit more elaboration to fully comprehend its various applications we will present our findings under “Words and Phrases,” in our blog post, “How to study the book of Revelation”. Click on the link above to take you directly to the subject.
Continued with next post.
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