The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
A symbol appeared in heaven, a representation of something. A woman stood on the moon, dressed in sunlight with a crown of twelve stars. She was giving birth to a child and cried out in pain.
This is the first of the signs and seems very plain to me, but since Barkley was a great writer we should consider what he said before I tell you why I disagree.
The woman, says Barkley[i], is the mother of the Mashiach, Jesus, and is a super human figure and; therefore, cannot be Mary, who is a single human being. Since the Church can’t be his mother and Scripture calls the Ideal Israel leads to the idea that Israel is his mother. Also it is from the Ideal Israel that Yeshua sprang in his linage. But since the Ideal Israel includes believers before and after the birth of Yeshua, the woman represents the complete church that includes believers from both B.C. and A.D. He identifies her dress in the sun and her footstool on the moon with Psalm 104:2 – a song of praise to Yahweh; and the Song of Solomon 6:9 where the man is extolling the beauty of the woman he loves. So far most of it makes very good sense but Barkley believes that her crown with the 12 stars represents the crowns that Babylonian goddesses were crowned with that had the 12 signs of the zodiac. He says that john gave her every aspect of beauty he could think of.
I don’t agree. The first reason I differ is because John didn’t make up these visions of his. They were given to him, through the angel, by Yeshua himself. I also disagree because I don’t believe Yahweh imitated Satan. The opposite is true. Satan has always imitated Yahweh because he can’t do anything original and counterfeits what Yahweh does to confuse Yahweh’s creation. The twelve stars, in my view, would represent the twelve tribes of Israel. David Jeramiah identifies the sun, moon, and stars with the degrees recorded in Genesis 37:9, the stars being the founders of Israel’s race. In Joseph’s dream, the sun and moon represented Jacob and Leah. In Isaiah 52:7-53 we are given Yahweh’s prophesy of salvation for Israel through Yeshua, his suffering servant; and chapter 54 pretty much covers all the ages between the first and second comings of our Savior. Isaiah 66:7-10 is the prophesy of the recorded history of Revelation 12:1, 2.
I believe the clothing of the sun represents the light that Yahweh immersed Israel in by giving her the law and then the Mashiach. It may be that he position on her footstool – the moon that reflects the light – is her dominion over, and her responsibility for, the light reflectors. I have a note in my bible that says, “Remember the garden” so I went back to the story of creation and saw that the moon rules the night and must be separated from the light. Her standing on the moon, it seems to me, that she has complete victory over darkness. Joshua told Israel to not be afraid or hold back, timid; but to be strong and confident;[ii] and Paul told the Romans the whole creation is pregnant and the pains we see around us are birth pangs and we wait in joyous anticipation for what is to come.
There is no doubt the child Israel gave birth to is Yeshua. Israel’s transition period was painful. She was a nation split apart and scattered over the world. Civil wars had raged throughout the Roman Empire until Augustus came to power and initiated “Pax Romona.” But Israel was not independent and free. The conditions of the world have always been such that the Mashiach would not fit into its ways. The birth of Yeshua signaling the beginning of a new era as Yahweh entered history in a personal way.
The second sign[iii] appeared: an enormous fiery[iv]dragon[v]. It had seven heads[vi] and ten horns[vii]. It knocked 1/3 of the stars[viii] from the sky and dumps them on earth. Then it readied itself to consume the child when it came forth.
Barkley[ix]believes that John got his picture from the “red-gleaming serpent” (the defeated dragon of chaos) of Babylonian tradition[x]. He says the seven heads and ten horns signify its mighty power. Its seven diadems signify complete power over the world. David Jeramiah says the dragon is a symbolic representation of its cruel nature. Red is the color of blood. His “path has always been covered with blood and death.” His seven heads show him to be a monster with an IQ that goes off the chart. “He is so clever that he can pull the wool over a person’s eyes, blinding him to the truth.” (This is pretty much the state of the world today – and they all think they are intelligent and wise[xi].) David also points out that Satan’s greatest disguise is that of “Mr. Nice Guy”[xii].
Satan is the dragon[xiii] . Seven being the number of perfection or completion and ten being the number of worldly power, we can deduce that the dragon is given perfect worldly power. We learned in chapter 11:7-10 that the beast from the Abyss is given the power even to kill the witnesses and in chapter 13:1-4 we can see that the dragon gives his power to the Beast. The dragon, while still in heaven, flips his tail and it hits 1/3 of the stars and knocks them down to earth[xiv]. The stars are often interchangeable in Scripture[xv]. Satan’s followers are taken from the angels of Yahweh[xvi]. They are destined for an eternal hell[xvii], but for now they are on the earth leading anyone who will follow on the path to destruction[xviii].
The dragon, Satan, prepared from the birth of the child to destroy him. Remember that when Mary was still carrying him, Joseph was forced to take her on a long, arduous trip to Jerusalem for the census. Of course everything that happened was a fulfillment of prophesy, but that wasn’t because Yahweh planned the hardships, he planned for their detailed protection because of his fore-knowledge. And remember how Satan worked through Herod to have all the babies under two years old killed hoping Yeshua would perish that way, Satan has always underestimated Yahweh. Then he spent thirty years agitating trouble within the Jewish community, especially with the leadership, using fear and jealousy trying to destroy him.
Israel (the woman) gave birth to a Son[xix] who will shepherd the nations and lead with strength and power. He was seized from the jowls of the dragon and placed on his throne. Israel escaped to a safe place in the desert that Yahweh had prepared for her’ where she was safe for 1,260 days[xx] .
The child, of course, is Yeshua. He is the Good Shepherd[xxi]. Psalm 23 refers to the rod that comforts. A rod was used to pull the sheep from danger and keep them on the right path. Just when Satan thought his plans to destroy Yeshua had worked, he found himself foiled again when Yeshua conquered death and the grave[xxii]; and before Satan could think of another plan, Yahweh snatched him up to his throne in heaven. Israel is protected in a place of safety for that same 3 ½ year period of time; whether it is a literal 24 hour day time, or half a period of completion we don’t know.
Prayer: Lord, we don’t need to know the exact timing of everything you are doing, nor do we need to know everything you are going to do; we just need to know what you have told us: that you have everything under your powerful and loving control. We praise you and thank you for your great love and mercy and agree with you that we need your rod and staff to lead and protect us.
[i] Volume II, pages 92, 93
[ii] Joshua 10:24, 25
[iii] Something significant
[iv] fiery – blistering with anger
[v] a fierce person
[vi][vi] Completely “big headed”
[vii] Points of worldly power
[viii] Stars are interchangeable with angels in Scripture
[ix] Pages 93, 94
[x] Isaiah 51”9
[xi] II Corinthians 4:4
[xii] Revelation 11:7-10; Barkley, pages 70-77
[xiii] Revelation 12:9
[xiv] Daniel 8:10
[xv] Job 38:7; Revelation 22:16; Psalm 147:4
[xvi] Job 4:18; Matthew 25:41
[xvii] II Peter 2:4; Jude 6
[xviii] Misery loves company
[xix] Revelation 12:5, 6
[xx] Luke 10:18-20
[xxi] Isaiah 40”11; John 10:11
[xxii] I Corinthians 15:3-9: 54-57