After watching the videos of Irvin Baxter, EndTime ministries for several months, and studying the Bible, I have acquired a better sense of what Revelation is about.
Let us begin at the beginning. 12:1. 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:
From Irvin Baxter, I have learned that the crown of twelve stars represents the 12 tribes of Israel. The passage is telling us of the birth of the child named Jesus to this woman.
12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Note: I have realized what I believe is an important thing about the prophecy in Revelation in the Bible. That is, in both reading and writing, Man uses “linear” thought: First this, then this, then this, in chronological order. Well, in 12:2, we have the birth of Jesus. But the birth of Jesus is 2,000 years earlier than what most of Revelation is talking about. And so, one must “fit” the various verses to the whole story of time from the birth of Jesus to Armageddon, a period of time covering well over 2,000 years.
12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven crowns upon his heads.
12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
Is this poetic license, literal, or is the symbol of a dragon referring to Satan, or evil? When we get to 12:9, we are told: […the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world]. In my own research of Eastern mysticism, it seems clear that prior to the casting out of evil [or Satan] from Heaven, the presence of evil was a factor in Heaven. Like good vs evil is now present on Earth, although these energies cannot be “seen”. That is, we can see the symptoms of either good or evil, but that which works behind or “causes” ones symptoms or actions cannot be seen. I use the term “factor” for evil to suggest that it exists, but as a form of energy that, although capable of impacting a Soul, cannot actually become or possess that Soul. And for most people, the notion of an energy, or “spirit” that can impact or influence ones Soul… and yet not be a part of ones Soul… is a difficult concept to get ones arms around.
And the reason is that in the West, we largely deny and ignore the thousands of years of Eastern mysticism. As much so as most ignore the Popes in the 5th to the 15th centuries and what they did to bend the scriptures to conform to that which was presented by these Popes? Even scholars of scriptures are hard pressed to “clearly” explain what happened to the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th, 1307?
That is, how many actually Know what the Spirit of the Soul is, and what makes it vulnerable to the Spirit of evil, or Satan? Or how does one discover whether one is in the Book of Life, or not?
One is left with ‘belief’ or ‘faith’. And what I would personally recommend is for one to hold a love of God in ones heart, and try ones best to be honest, truthful, and to the best of ones ability to stoutly fight against evil. And… one’s personal Spiritual journey is just that; that is, personal.
12:5 And she brought forth a man [male] child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
A “rod of iron”? I believe this refers to a clear set of principles that do not allow for compromise, which are laid out in the Bible.
12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Now comes a battle between Satan and Michael, which takes place just before Armageddon, which is 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus.
12:7 And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
12:9 And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
“And they overcame him” refers to “our brethren” whom Satan accused [or tempted] day and night. “Blood of the Lamb,” is obviously speaking of the death of Christ on the cross, and “by their testimony;” refers to the goodness and strong belief in God maintained by the brethren in the face of evil.
12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which bought forth the man child.
Now, here is a reference to what? What is “the woman” being addressed? It is not Mary, as some might believe. Last time the “woman” was wearing 12 crowns, right? 12:13 uses “the woman” to refer to the nation of Israel, or the Jews, and the Jews that had been persecuted by Satan over many, many years.
12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, ands half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Irvin Baxter explains that the “two wings of a great eagle” is a reference to the United States of America. How this will be accomplished is up to the reader’s imagination. What is “her place”? Remember “she” is the nation of Israel, and this must mean Israel itself. And, when this happens it is 3.5 years [time +times+half a time] until Armageddon.
12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
There will be a lull, during which the Jews will rebuild their Temple, and this period is said to be 3.5 years in the Bible [during which WWIII will remove 2.2 billion people from the Earth]; and the revealing of the Anti-christ in the Jewish Temple takes place; and the final 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation where many nations will war against Israel, finally ending with Armageddon, during which all Souls will be judged, and those found wanting will be cast into the Lake of Fire with the False Prophet and the Anti-christ.
This then begins the 1,000 year reign of Christ… however, I do not believe this reign will be on Earth, but rather in Heaven.