Revelation Chapter 12
"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:"
Today, many of us live so close to areas where there is artificial lighting at night, that the splendor of seeing the beauty of the night sky is blinded. However, when we consider John's position, we can see how natural it would have been for him to use star terminology in his writings. It is in this chapter we find the great red dragon that is also talked about in Job 26:13 and Isaiah 27:1. In Job 9:9 we find reference to Arcturus, Orion, Pleiades and the constellations that tell the story of man and the coming Messiah. The Mazzaloth (Zodiac) is found In Job 38:32 where God challenges Job with the message of the stars. Most people will view the stars as a nice wonder of God's creation, but before God's word had been written, the stars were a way God communicated with man.
The writing I am called to do at this time does not allow me to get into a discussion of astronomy, but I suggest that many of us would learn some "great wonders" of the ways of God by reading children's books about the stars and constellations instead of relying on theologians to give us their "end-time" interpretations. Remember, the stars are a natural manifestation of spiritual understanding. God is Spirit, and it is in the spirit realm that we come to understand His way, His truth, and His life.
The moon represents the law or the powers of darkness. It is also symbolic of a woman, but not of the church that is known as the bride of Christ. This religious system may call themselves Christians, but are governed by a spirit that is ruled by reason, logic, doctrine, and denomination. This may also be known as the Babylonian church (confusion) which is so prevalent in Christian circles today, represented by the many different denominations and doctrines.
This "woman" or "bride of Christ" comes to the conclusion that says, "Christianity is not about me, but about unifying the body of Christ through the mind of Jesus Christ." She has put the "moon" under her feet (Romans 16:20). Christianity is not about "self" getting into heaven, but awakening to the awareness that heaven is here and now in the midst of the world. An overcomer has the responsibility to intercede for others who are still in bondage of a religious system. They cannot go off and do their own thing because they don't want to be part of a religious system of doctrine and denomination. Those that have detached themselves from the body completely have simply formed another denomination and have created their own religion. An overcomer has the responsibility to "be in the world, but not of the world" being an intercessor for others as Jesus Christ did for each of us while we were in ignorance and darkness.
The crown with the twelve stars upon her head represents the government of God. It is a victor's wreath signifying a way of thinking and is symbolic of the mind of Christ ruling and reigning. Ask yourself, what is in your head? Do you think and respond the way Jesus would if he was in that same situation? We tend to forget that HE IS in that situation because we are in it, and because he is with us now and not sitting on a cloud somewhere. Jesus has already completed what was started from the beginning and has given all to the glory of the Father. Paul told the Colossians in 4:12 that, "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always laboring (interceding) fervently for you in prayers, that ye may (come to the understanding) stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." God does not play a game of "chance" with us. Today we are complete and righteous in Him.
(Just for your information: whenever you read "may or might" in Scripture, understand that this is King James's language and not representative of God's mind. He does not do anything with "may or might." His ways are perfect, complete, whole, and finished before time even existed. His ways are not dependent upon our "may or might." He chose us before the foundation of the world, and loves us despite the limitations we place upon ourselves and others).
David shares a song that we would do well to keep in our heart: "The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever" (Psalm 138:8 NKJV).
What is it that concerns you? The Lord will reveal His perfection no matter what this concern is, allowing His mercy to endure forever, according to His good pleasure. So what is on the mind of this woman who wears a crown upon her head that has 12 stars? She has the mind of CHRIST; the mind of her husband, Jesus Christ, whom she knows intimately with an understanding of His unconditional love. She knows in her heart that "as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). When diverse situations occur she hears her husband say, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God ALL things are possible" (Mark 10:27).
If we move ahead to verse 9 of this chapter, this red dragon is also referred to as: the old serpent, the dragon, the devil, and Satan. All of these names are about one thing; the thought process of humanity as separated from the mind of Christ.
The seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads are not describing a literal monster, but are symbolic of the perfection, rulership, and complete authority of this creature. Who would this be? It is the first Adam.
The seven heads are symbolic of the fullness of the perfection of humanity. The ten horns refer to the law. All of this is spiritual bondage surrounded by death, incarceration, imprisonment, and captivity locked in human reason and logic. Adam was given complete rulership of everything through the ability to speak words. His source of creativity came from God (the Tree of Life) but he chose to challenge that source by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This separated himself from his Father's wisdom until the time of Jesus.
The 12 stars signify the finished work of the government of God which we are to manifest by coming through the 12 temple gates of pearl (Rev. 21:21). Pearls are formed by the transformation of sand inside an oyster. As the oyster tries to get the sand out, the pearl is formed and the animal dies. The number 12 takes us back to Genesis with the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel where the corporate body was first presented in scripture. Each son represents a portion of the different stages of growth and maturity we must go through spiritually as we come into our inheritance as a son of God. Remember, "the earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who LIVE in it" (Psalm 24:1 NIV). This is a promise for sons of God today, who we are not waiting until they get on the other side to receive their full inheritance.
means "behold a son." This is the "new birth gate." We must be born again by coming to realize we are new creatures in Christ.
means "hearing." This is the "hear the word of God gate." Faith comes by hearing the word speak to us personally.
means "union." We receive gifts from the Holy Spirit to bring us to the union gate. This gate brings us into full union and communion with all that God is.
means "praise." This is the "true worship" gate. This gate is a praise and releasing of our life to worship God in Spirit and Truth.
means "habitation." This gate is the "dwelling place." This is the place that we know we are in Christ and that Christ is in us.
means "reward." This is the gate of "faithfulness." When we dwell with Christ we receive the reward of His peace, nature, identity. So often, this is where traditional interpretations of scripture end our Christian growth and maturity. This gate is not intended to be a place we enter after leaving our natural body. It is a stage of life we are meant to go through as new creations growing while we are on this earth as part of the maturing process. However, it is not the end of our maturation process, it is only half of the fullness that we are to receive.
means "judge." This is the "judgment" gate. When we are in Christ we have the ability to judge righteously by seeing through the eyes of His righteous judgment of mankind.
means "trouper." This is the "good fortune" gate. Our life in Christ is to be prosperous, not for ourselves, but so that we are able to bless others. We cannot give away what we don't have, so God will challenge us first to prove the condition of our hearts. What have we done with what He has already blessed us with?
means "happy." This is the gate of "contentment." We come through this gate as we go beyond finding happiness and peace in things that they can see. We are now happy in the midst of trials. We have found His peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the joy of the Lord that gives us strength to overcome the challenges and hardships we are in.
means "restlessness." This is the gate of "resting in the Lord." This gate must be entered after the other gates. If we go through this gate before any of the others, we will find ourselves wrestling with God instead of resting in His peace when trials come along.
means "abundant life." This is the gate of "overflowing LIFE." The life of Christ is manifesting through us as we come through this gate. Our lives are now all about showing others their heavenly Father. We now have a heart cry that says, "Father forgive them for they no not what they do." Our one desire is to bring unity to the body of Christ through unconditional love and intercessory prayer. This gate is the way to the throne or mercy seat of God.
means "son of my right hand." This is the "son company" gate. When we come to this gate, we know the reality and full manifestation of being a son of God with all the power and authority we have in Christ Jesus. Our heart cry is "as He is, so am I in this world. I can do nothing except what my Father reveals to me." Paul tells us in Hebrews 6:1-3, "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so" (NIV).
The Father draws those He has called though this gate. It is not a gate we can seek after, thinking it will make us more holy, but it is a place where we come to realize that we have the same heart as Jesus when he cried out to the Father, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:21-23).
The tail, or false Christian mindset, drew a third part of the stars of heaven. The stars are the overcomers of the seed of Abraham. Remember the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 15:5, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be" (NIV). The stars are symbolic of people. Abraham's seed was made of "dust, sand, and stars." These represented the three realms of the temple of God: outer court, middle court, and inner court or the Holy of Holies.
How often are we confronted with criticism once we receive a revelation from God that goes outside the box of current Christian teachings and are told "we have our doctrine wrong." In Paul's day those who went outside the box of traditional teachings were called "heretics." Remember, the label "Christian" was not a label Paul or the apostles placed upon themselves, but was a title given to them by those that did NOT believe. It wasn't until later that the name was used in a positive way to describe followers of Christ as one who had the identity and character of Jesus Christ.
What we call traditional Christian teachings today would not have caused an uproar among the gentiles and would not have brought Paul to martyrdom. The way Christianity at large portrays God today would have been accepted as similar in manner to the gods of the Greeks. The unique difference that caused the people to turn from their Greek mythology was that Paul revealed the resurrection power of Jesus Christ to the people. He didn't just talk about God identity as something that would occur someday when they would die. These people already believed they would be children of the god they worshipped when they left the natural realm. Part of their worship included picking out statues of what they wanted their bodies to look like and having a "bust" of themselves placed on this statue so that their families would have a visual of what they would look like as a "child" of the god they had been worshipping.
Paul preached that resurrection power in Christ Jesus is for NOW, not someday in the future. This is the message that challenged even the gentile people to the point of wanting to persecute him. It is still the message most churches that call themselves Christian refuse to allow as truth because in doing so it would remove the control they have over the institution and the people. It is the same threat that existed between the Jewish leaders and Jesus. "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Phil. 3:10-11 NIV).
The word "huios"(mature son) was used to clarify the message of the Holy Spirit revealed by John and is also the same word being revealed through Paul when he wrote in Romans 8:29, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." This man-child is the "word" in us; the DNA of Christ formed in Genesis 1:1-3 from the very beginning.
The WORD in us will rule all nations or anything that opposes God. The rod of iron is not a literal 'iron club' ready to strike when confronted with opposition, but symbolizes the uncompromising mind of Christ that mature sons of God manifest with their thoughts, character, and emotions. As mature sons, we will not be using scripture to justify what God says through carnal thoughts or reasoning. Once the Holy Spirit has revealed our true identity in Christ, we will battle to cast down the imaginations once stirred by the old religious system of Christianity. These concepts and imagination will try to use reason and justification to take away the revelation given by the Holy Spirit.
God protects His seed and will bring the mature son to the throne or mercy seat of the Holy of Holies. God's word cannot be processed in a nursery school by those that have not been given the revelation. Only God can give the understanding and guidance of what is required in the Holy of Holies to mature sons of God. However, this is not a position of isolation where we separate ourselves from the body of Christ! It is a mindset of being a king and priest (maturity and intercession), that is full of mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love to those that don't deserve it.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." People that have not matured in Christ are like little children that need to be protected with the love of God by those that are walking in sonship. When we are living a life with the mind of Christ ruling us, we have the responsibility to be a king and priest to those that come across our path, utilizing the same wisdom and rulership that Jesus Christ revealed in our life for others. We are not to judge by sight, but by the Spirit of God.
The "thousand two hundred and three score days" is equivalent to three and a half years. This is symbolic of "ministry," not literally three and a half years. This is the amount of time that Jesus ministered on the earth. As I said earlier, there is a process of growth and development that each person is required to go through to become a son of God. Jesus' ministry involved the lives of twelve men and several women that were already children of God but were held in the captivity of religious bondage. Jesus ministered to them so that they would grow up in Christ for the purpose of doing the Father's business as He did. After Jesus ascended, the disciples were equipped to preach the good news of resurrection life found through Jesus Christ. No other 'god' being worshipped at that time could heal the sick and raise the dead. This is why the message of the Gospel was so powerful and threatening to those who were in control of the pagan temples.
While I recently visited the Island of Patmos in Greece, I was able to spend some time exploring the monastery's museum. There I saw a particular piece that looked like an ancient chandelier. I found it to be intriguing and was fortunate to have one of the monks explain the symbolism which surrounded it. The chandelier was made of silver covered in gold. It dated back to the early 2nd or 3rd century, and hung in the middle court of an Eastern Orthodox Church. At this time in history, the church was designed from the format of the Jewish temple (having outer, middle, and inner courts). Church hierarchies were established with priests likened to the Old Testament, but the people now had acceptance into the middle courts if they had been baptized. This monk explained to me that baptism to believers during this time in history was more than just symbolic to the public that they had received Jesus Christ as their personal savior. They believed they had literally experienced death and were now new creations in Christ; they knew that death would not be able to have an affect on them (body, soul, and spirit) from this point on, as long as they kept the faith as described in Paul's letters. However, they would experience temptation which is where the chandelier comes into the picture.
Now this is the intriguing part about the chandelier when all of the candles were not lit. The people would not see light when they looked up, but the head of many dragons. They would not be any light coming from the reflective power of the gold that was surrounding them etched throughout the room, but would be sensitive to a dark, isolated environment that was cold and eerie.
If all of the candles in the chandelier were lit except one, there would be a sense of God's presence, but because the people could still see a faint image of the dragon's head from the unlit candle, they would not have the peace that surpasses all their body, soul, and spirit. It took ALL of the candles to be burning to have the room filled with the glory and presence of God, not only by what the candles created above, but by the reflection of the light that came from the gold in the furnishing in order for the people to experience total peace.
This chandelier was used during a time where communication was limited and most people did not read or write. They relied on visual understanding, which is why so many icons were created, not to be worshiped, but to tell the story of Jesus Christ. The people needed the visual presence of worship created in this room to release the peace in their hearts of knowing of their connection as brothers and sisters of a living Savior who conquered death, hell, and the grave. The illustration of the chandelier revealed to them that everyone's candle must be lit in order for the dragon's image to be removed. It took ALL of the candles on the chandelier to be lit in order to remove the ability to see the dragons.
The chandelier reminded them who they were in Christ, and it also reminded them of their ability to overcome death, hell, and the grave as Jesus did through the Holy Spirit. I also learned from the monk that this is the message that Paul, the Apostles, and John all preached and taught in the New Testament. Salvation has already been given to all at Calvary; however, to obtain the power of resurrection life it takes allowing the faith of Jesus Christ (given to each of us) to be released on a personal level. Not one Apostle experienced a natural death. History tells us they were all martyred except for John who did not die. It is believed by faith that he was transformed into the spiritual realm just as Moses, Enoch, and Elijah. Even many of the disciples of the Apostles had to be martyred because of the faith they too had in overcoming death. It wasn't until the third and fourth generations that the apostles' and their disciples' teachings began to be watered down and used to control and manipulate Christians with fear which we now know is in the realm of imagination.
To this day, those on the Island of Patmos consider there is a divine presence that death has been done away with because of the Apostle John never experiencing a physical death. Many of those that were born on the island have never left and have no desire to explore the other parts of the world. Many believe that they are as close to God as a person can obtain while on the earth which they would not be able to experience any where else. When I asked a native who was about 40 years old if he had any desire to even see the other islands or to go to the main land of Greece, he just said, "Why would I want to leave the presence of God here? I have everything I need here."
This voice being heard in heaven is coming from within each one of us. Notice the word "now" is applied when the voice of God is heard. He doesn't say someday you will receive salvation, power, and the kingdom of God, but when you hear His voice. With the hearing we receive the authority of "his Christ." This is an interesting way of declaring the authority of God has been released. The word "his" signifies that the power and authority is not coming from someplace in the sky, but from within us to be released. We are kings, lords, and sons of God now. Once we hear the voice of our Father declaring that we are His beloved son in whom He is well pleased (because we are part of the body of Christ in whom Jesus Christ is the head) we instantly have the power and authority of the kingdom of God to cast down the accuser that has been in our head tormenting us day and night with thoughts of accusations, judgment, condemnation, and separation from the grace and mercy of God.
Jesus said to the people in John 12:32-36, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto myself. But this he said, signifying by what manner of death he should die. The multitude therefore answered him, We have heard out of the law that the Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said unto them, yet a little while is the light among you. Walk while ye have the light, that darkness overtake you not: and he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe on the light, that ye may become sons of light. These things spake Jesus, and he departed and hid himself from them" (ASV).
Jesus shared with the people that the accuser would be finished and no longer able to cause separation between God and mankind on the earth. The biggest lie that we have today in our Christian doctrine is that there is a place called eternal hell, and that God could be separated forever from mankind because of their unbelief. If this were true, then Jesus Christ did not finish the job of salvation, and He will never be able to have a perfect bride/body (Rev. 19:7). Salvation would not be a free gift based on God's unconditional love that endures forever, but a condition of law.
Today, there is nothing more for Jesus to do. It is up to us as the body of Christ to grow up and mature into sonship by realizing that when Jesus died on the cross, we died also, and that when He arose from the grave, so did we. Today, as new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), we have already been resurrected with Him and we have been given the power and authority of the kingdom of God to fulfill the law of love so that Christ will abide forever through the sons of God who have put all things under His feet (Hebrews 2:8).
Paul tells us that there is NOTHING that can separate us from our Father's love (Romans 8:39). God's love is not something that He has to make a choice about sharing, but it is the fullness of who He already is. We cannot separate ourselves from our Father no matter how much we may stumble in our thoughts and actions that do not line up with His character or nature. The trials of our hearts and minds are all part of the process that He created for us in order to grow up in Christ (James 1:2), so that His grace and mercy would be sufficient in all things.
These are overcomers that do not expect to receive the fullness of their identity someday when they die a natural death and go off someplace called heaven to be with the Lord. They have already put aside their natural understanding of where the kingdom of God is; giving no power to their soul that a literal death of the flesh is necessary to be with God. They are not going to someday be with the resurrected Jesus Christ, but consider themselves today as part of His resurrected body with His DNA, His power and authority, to overcome death, hell, and the grave. Not by anything that their natural mind can do, but because the life that is now being lived within them in the flesh is the life of Christ. Paul shared with the Galatians, "If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I HAVE (it is already finished) been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live (NOW) in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:17-20 NIV).
"Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and sea." "Woe" means "pain, grief, and suffering." The devil can't touch those that know who they are in Christ as a son of God. However, those that are Christians waiting for their inheritance when they die "someday" are open invitations for the devil to cause chaos and havoc in their minds. Earth inhabiters would say, "I'm a sinner saved by grace, and need to crucify my flesh." They have an "outer court" or literal mentality of interpreting Scripture.
The inhabiters of the sea are those that have entered into the middle court, or Holy Place. They have an understanding of the things of God through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, but they allow their carnal understanding (devil mentality) to enter this area also. They are the ones that are "casting off demons" or blaming the devil for the things that occur. They are bringing "strange fire" into a Holy Place, or the mind of Christ in them.
When we come to the understanding of WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST there is no room for a devil. We realize that the real enemy of Christ is our own imagination and that we are dealing with the Battle of Armageddon in our head. The acknowledgment that I AM A SON OF GOD declares that the battle is finished and the devil (ego) must leave the body of Christ. Believe me, he doesn't go willingly, but will continue to challenge every cell of our body, soul, and spirit (likened to a cancer) until we know that we have been washed with the blood of the lamb, and know that we are the bride who has made herself ready…"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God IS WITH MEN, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Rev. 21: 2-3).
Over two-thousand years ago, all of mankind was sealed in the tomb with Jesus. Three days later the stone was rolled away and Jesus came out as THE RESURRECTED LIFE. Today, we are all free. There is no death in the tomb, but the majority of people would rather stay shackled to the bondages of their imagination than leaving the tomb behind to emerge as a new creature in Christ.
The Christian church has gone through many generations of turmoil as the innocence and ignorance of believers left themselves bound and controlled by those who manipulated the Scriptures. Yet, in every generation God has equipped a company of believers to carry the seed of His divine truth of unconditional love, peace, and mercy into the next generation. The Holy Spirit gave John graphic physical imagery to help us understand spiritual wisdom.
Remember the story of Jesus healing the man with palsy in Mark 2:5-12? "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS BUT GOD ALONE? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that YE MAY KNOW THAT THE SON OF MAN HAS POWER ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SIN, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."
The ability for us today to forgive one another unconditionally was not part of the culture during the time of Jesus. Only those of the Levite tribe had any ability to extend forgiveness to the people. The fact that we can forgive unconditionally is the inheritance given to us by God through Jesus Christ (since it is now our nature in Him to forgive).
As children of God we each have a ministry established by our Heavenly Father to unite the body of Christ together in His identity, character, and nature. We are protected by the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus demonstrated while on the earth, that the face of the serpent, or the logic and reasoning of humanity, will not be able to hinder the divine calling on our life.
Unfortunately, we still find the accuser of the brethren (the serpent) trying to subtly use the scriptures (the water) to control and manipulate the body of Christ through legalism, doctrines, and traditions. The church has been bombarded with bondages that have caused separation and division in the body of Christ. In order to break free from these bondages of control, the church must realize who she is as the body of God (Jesus Christ). Since we know the finished work of Jesus Christ, we know that "as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17), and that it is God's divine will that He is all and in all (1 Corinthians 15: 28).
Paul presents this to us in Romans 8:19-23 where we read, "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body" (NKJV).