REVELATION 12 - THE CHURCH
Revelation chapter 12 is an enormously figurative account, but is in reality an overview of the history of God's true spiritual children, from the time prior to the birth of Christ, until the era we are in today.
1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman (spiritual Israel) clothed with the sun (having the character of God through the indwelling of His spirit), and the moon under her feet (she is figuratively in charge of the moon, in that she determines how much of God's sunlight she reflects into the world), and upon her head a crown of twelve stars (symbolic of the twelve divisions of the people of God):
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered (Israel went through years of pain and suffering to get to the point of delivering Christ into the world).
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon (Satan), having seven heads and ten horns (representing the Gentile nations that Satan empowered for 2520 years to trample down Jerusalem and the Jews - see the page "The Times of the Gentiles"), and seven crowns upon his heads (the time of the event here described is during the rule of the seven heads; to be exact, during the reign of the sixth head, Rome).
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven (prior to the creation of man), and did cast them to the earth (when permanently cut off from God after Christ ascended to heaven - see the page "The Seven Day Blueprint"): and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born (Satan tried to kill Christ right from the start of his life).
5 And she brought forth a man child (Christ), who was to rule (who is to rule - Lit.) all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne (after He succeeded in His mission, overcoming Satan and dying for the sins of mankind).
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 (see verse 14).
7 And (for) there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the 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 (this permanently separated Satan and his demons from God and His angels. This event must have occurred at the very start of the fifth Millennium - see the page "The Seven Day Blueprint").
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 (defeated), which accused them before our God day and night (which no longer has a purpose, as Christ has paid the penalty for man's sins).
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.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth (Israel) and of the sea (the Gentiles)! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child (Acts 8:1 describes "great persecution" breaking out against the Church, only a few years after its inception, and therefore only a few years into the fifth Millennium).
14 And to the woman were given (as time wore on, and conditions gradually worsened) 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, and half a time, from the face of the serpent (The timing of this 1260 year period is related to when false Christianity became organised under the umbrella of the ruling Roman authorities. Constantine the Great's embrace of the "Christian" religion and attempt to standardise doctrine at the council of Nicea in 325AD acts as a very likely starting point of this long period, when true believers had to disappear from view and practise their religion out of the public eye).
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood (lit. a river, denoting false "Christian" teachings) after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And (but) the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth (this is very figurative language. The woman is of the "earth" of Israel, and grounded in the true teachings of the religion of Israel. It is that grounding that enabled her to survive the onslaught of false teachings. Individual members of the Church were affected, as testified by the Church era messages. The Church as a whole, however, was able to survive. This picture is also found in the cryptic account of how a man (a type of Christ) is to deal with a woman (a type of the Church) who is suspected of adultery, detailed in Numb 5:11-28).
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and (when he was able to again) went to make war with the remnant (the surviving remnant, at the end of the 1260 years) of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (After the 1260 years were over, Satan resumed his physical persecution of true Christians in earnest, as testified by Church records from England in particular. Note the description of a true believer here: one who keeps God's commandments and accepts the testimony of Jesus. Jews will acknowledge the former, "Christians" the latter, but very few people accept and teach both).