A GREAT WONDER
Revelation 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: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 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. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 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.
This glorious chapter sets forth the spiritual realm of the true church’s existence from both the views of the Old and New Testaments. For she is seen both before the birth of the Lord Jesus, and after his resurrection and ascension. And this spiritual view also reveals how she appears in both her heavenly and earthly stations. She is The Great Wonder, while the involvement of Satan with her is only seen as “another wonder.” For the glory derived from raising up sinners into the realm of the sanctified redeemed is far greater than the falling of an angelic creature from his first estate. Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Sinful beings just fall into Hell. But it takes the power of applied redemption to defy the ‘gravitational pull’ of sin in order to raise a believer up to glory! 2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; Jude 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
We do see her as identified as appearing in heaven. For the Lord Jesus promised before his ascension, that he was going to the cross to prepare her a place to be with him. John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, (in the Person of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and in his own Person at the end of the age), and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
For he is not just her Saviour to recover her! He is also her Husband to be one with her! 1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Yet we also see her in this chapter pictured on earth as she fulfills her journey here in faith after the resurrection and ascension of her Lord. Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 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.
But just what is this “wilderness?” We are told in verse six of our text. There we read that it is “a place prepared of God.” It is a place that was prepared for the life and existence of the true church at the cross of the Lord Jesus. It is the place where our Lord defeated Satan in all his own temptations! And it was the place where he was ministered unto from heavenly sources. Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. And it is the same for the church. For there shall she defeat Satan in his temptations.
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by (or, on account of) the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto (or, even as far as) the death. And she is said to be “nourished” there in the wilderness. Revelation 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, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
The woman is farther identified as being “clothed.” And her clothing reveals her as “the light of the world,” reflecting the light of the sun into the darkness of sin’s night. Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
She stands on the moon, revealing that she originates no light of her own. All her light is reflective of her lord, the Sun of righteousness! (Malachi 4:2) For he alone brought forth the light. Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For the Lord Jesus alone is both the light of the world and the light of life. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
But then he speaks of her reflective light as if it were her own! Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We also take notice of how she is clothed for it has bearing upon our own forgiveness and righteousness. Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
The Apostle Paul speaks at some length concerning being clothed upon by our glorified bodies in eternity. He states that he does not wish to be unclothed, that is he has no death wish. He doesn’t just want to leave the ‘clothing’ of this body. But he desires to put on his glorified body. But the clothing of glory cannot take place without first being clothed in righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (that is, his human body), were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house (our glorified bodies), which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
The Lord Christ was stripped of his clothing at the cross in order that we might be clothed with righteousness. Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. He took on our sin and its shame, in order that we might take on his righteousness! 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
He was made naked before men in order that we might not be naked before God! How precious is that?!? What a glorious Saviour! Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Then there is that other wonder set forth in verse three of our text, the great red dragon. And there is no doubt concerning who this is. For in verse nine of this chapter we read: 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.
And we must take note that he has crowned himself, and the location of these crowns. For here we see them upon his heads. For Satan, the deceiver, crowns his heads in order to rule over the Harlot church as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. He imitates Christ as the true Head of the spiritual church in order to deceive.
But take a look at Revelation 13:1 and see there where his crowns are. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Here we see that his crowns are upon his horns. And horns always represent power. And whereas he was as an angel of light in order to deceive, with the horns upon his heads, now we see his crowns upon his horns as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour. For when he has gained those whom he has deceived, he now comes to destroy. For as angel of light he deceives. But as roaring lion he devours.
Satan has not an ounce of compassion. He is entirely given for destruction. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Notice the obvious difference between the great whore and the Bride of Christ. 1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Due to Satan’s many heads we understand that his bride is made up of all individuals of all religious affiliations. They have a profession, but not a possession. They are counterfeits, but not converts. They have a degree of legal morality, but not a particle of inputed righteousness. They have only lip service, with no heart for holiness.
Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Jude 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
But where does God dwell? Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Therefore listen to those who have His notice. Luke 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. Mark 14:8 She hath done what she could:
Pastor Gene Breed
August 15, 2019