Revelation Chapter 12, Part 2

Verse 1Now a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and with the
moon under her feet and on her head a garland of twelve stars
.”

“Seeing as how the book of Revelation is considered
a SYMBOLIC prophesy it behooves us that in order
to properly understand this chapter that we understand the true significance and meanings of some of the
key words used, most especially when they are applied symbolically. However we should not go to the
extreme and assume that every single word is to be viewed as symbolic, some words or phrases may
indeed be taken literally, while others may bare both a literal and symbolic meaning, it is up to the
discriminating student of the Bible to seek for the true significance of any given word or phrase, by
comparing scripture with scripture.”

Now I know that many of the brethren here are already well familiar with the significance of some of
these “
key words”, but for the sake of those not so acquainted we shall be happy to explain,
remembering that not everyone grasps things as easily as some. My neighbor used to say to me, ‘
Slow
down and explain things to me as though I have only a third grade education
’. We likewise need
to keep in mind (
1 Cor 2:14) in this regards.

It is specifically because very little attention has been paid to the true significance and meaning of some
of these key words that many have become confused and confounded over this particular chapter. I don’
t believe it will be necessary to look at every single word just some of the ones which we believe may be
causing some difficulties for some. If however any wish to elaborate on any others please feel free to do
so.

One of the chief stumbling blocks for the majority of bible students is the misperception that the events
mentioned in
Chapter 12 begin in “heaven” (one of our “key words”), that this is the literal heavens,
the abode of God where they erroneously envision a battle takes place between Michael and his angels
and the red dragon (whom they believe to be Satan), and that eventually this dragon (Satan) is defeated
and cast out of heaven down to the earth, this however we understand is not actually what transpires
here, and it is this erroneously view which we hope to correct. Thus you will see the necessity of our
breaking down the text for better clarification
.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven

The word “
signStrong’s # 4592 is in the Greek seemion and has the significance of proof or evidence
as illustrated in the following cases:

And many other signs truly did Jesus.” John 20:30

The Lord...granted signs and wonders to be done by their [Paul's and Barnabas'] hands.” Acts
14:3

Tongues are for a sign...to them that believe not.” 1 Cor 14:22

Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately saying, ‘Tell us when
these things will be? And what will be the
sign (the evidence) of your presence and of the end of
the age?
Matt 24:3

Hence, we read, “There appeared a great sign (or evidence) in heaven”. (See D598)

Now the typical view as we had alluded to is that the “heavens” here spoken of are the heavens
in which God resides, the heavenly abode, and since this erroneous view is generally what has
caused the most confusion in regards to the interpretation of this Chapter we therefore believe
a closer examination of the word “heaven” and its significance is in order that we might clarify
things for those not fully cognizance of its various meanings.  So to those of you who already
know these things please exercise a little patience as we endeavor to explain this to those who
do not
.  

The word “heaven” as found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is defined as follows,

Heavenin the Hebrew is Strong’s # 8064 shamayim from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the
sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move the firmament, as
well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve, the stars, space): air, X astrologer, heaven
(s).

Heavenin the Greek is Strong’s # 3772 ouranos the sky; by extension heaven (as the abode of
God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specially the Gospel (Christianity): — air, heaven(ly),
sky.
Keep these definitions in mind as we proceed.

Throughout the scriptures reference is made to the heaven(s). The scriptures speak of different types of
heavens, those which are
LITERAL, and those which are SYMBOLIC.

THE LITERAL HEAVENS

The First Literal Heavens mentioned, is that which our Strong’s definition (3772) designates as the
sky”, or “air”, this in regards to the “firmament” [Hebrew, “raqiya”] properly, an expanse, i.e. the
firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky: — firmament (
Strong’s # 7549). The Lord himself
designates this so,

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters
from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters, which were under the
firmament from the waters, which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the
firmament heaven
. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Gen 1:6-8)

And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl
that may fly above the earth in the open
firmament of heaven (the visible arch in which the clouds
move, the sky).”
Gen 1:20

This word “firmament” also stands in regards to the starry “heavens” of the universe, i.e. the expanse
of space,
The Second Literal Heavens See Gen 1:14-18; Psa 19:1-3; Isa 40:22

And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the
night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years, and let them be for lights
in the firmament of the heavens to give light on earth, and it was so. Then God made two great
lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars
also. God set them in the
firmament of the heavens (the universe or space) to give light on the
earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.
And God saw that it was good. So the evening and morning were the fourth day
.” (Gen 1:14-19
also see Deut 4:19: Psa 19:1-3 and Isa 40:22
)

The Third Literal Heavens mentioned in the scriptures is in reference to the physical heavens, the
dwelling place of the Most High, Jehovah God, the place of his throne or (supreme ruler-ship), the abode
of all the holy hosts. See Revelation Chapters 4 and 5, although this is a symbolic picture the implication
is clear that this is in regards to the physical heavens where Gods throne is.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)

But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne” (Matt 5:34)

Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Matt 23:9)

The heaven, even the heavens are the LORD’s, but the earth hath he given to the children of
men
.” (Psa 115:16)

In my Father’s house (his residence, abode, home, Strong’s # 3614) are many mansions: if it
were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a
place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be
also
.” (John 14:2, 3)

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must
receive
(contain) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth
of all his holy prophets since the world began
.” (Acts 3:20, 21)

Having established now, we believe the
three literal heavens we shall take a look at the symbolic
heavens
in our next post.


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