The Woman and the Dragon
1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who "will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
[First the woman represents Israel
The twelve stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel some argue in prophecy after the advent of Grace that Israel is replaced by the Church. In Luke 22:28 Jesus tells his disciples that they will set on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes. In Rev. 7 the 144,000 are sealed before the day of wrath, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes. In Rev. 21:9-21 John saw New Jerusalem with 12 gates and over each gate was written the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, so yes Israel is still very relevant to prophecy.
The Dragon is Satan, throughout the Old Testament Satan is referred to as the serpent, even a flying fiery serpent, In Rev. 20:2 is says an Angel "laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years".
The 1/3 of the stars of heaven are the angels who rebelled with Satan we will see that in a few verses.
The woman's child is Jesus Christ, as Psalm 2:7-12 tells us he will rule with an iron rod or scepter, as does Revelation 2:27, and 19:15. This also is another strong indicator that the woman is Israel as Mary was a Jewish maiden, as the Church cannot give birth to her own Lord.]
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
[This is the rebellion of Satan against God, Also recorded Isaiah 14
12 " How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
' I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.'
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
Since that rebellion Satan has made himself an enemy of God, and tries to oppose every plan of God.]
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
[The "wings of a great eagle" represent deliverance from the persecution of Satan. In Exodus 19:4 God speaking of delivering Israel out of Egypt said "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings", Isaiah 40:31 says that those who wait on the Lord will "shall mount up with wings like eagles". So eagle's wings are a sign of divine deliverance. This is one of those prophecies that could refer to two different time periods. It probably most directly refers to the protection or sealing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7 prior to the pouring out of God's wrath. It could also refer to Matthew 2, the flight to Egypt, of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, to escape Herod's conspiracy, to kill the newborn, "King of the Jews".]
Matthew 24:3-14, 30-31, 36-44
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
[Wars, false Christ's, conflict around the world, famine, and earthquakes in various or "diverse" places, are all signs of the "season" that will precede the end-times.
- There are 42 current world armed conflicts
- There were 32 earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or higher in the last 7 days
- Estimates of world famine range from 800 million to 2 billion people, as much as a third of the world population.]
9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
[Christian persecution is already happening in China, Singapore, and almost every Muslim country, but verse 9 says this will expand to "all nations". Any many who profess faith in Christ will turn away, and even betray other believers, following false prophets, and helping to persecute Christians. But even during this terrible time, the faithful will preach the gospel to all nations, before the end.]
30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
[The world will mourn, but everyone will know when Christ returns. And Angels will gather in the elect from all over the world, north, south, east and west.]
The Day and Hour Unknown
36 "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, [e] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
[So no one knows the day and hour of the Lord's return, but Jesus said we can know the season. More important than knowing the time of Christ' return, is being prepared for his return. Every day we should ask, "If this was the day, what would I want to be doing when the Lord returns".]