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Revelation 12:2-3
The Eternal Old Testament Church in heaven pregnant and in labor, & Satan's perfect rule and complete power  
By Brother Mike (1-22-22; 35 minutes) 


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 . {wonder: or, sign }  


INTRODUCTION 

In this study, we will cover verses 2 and 3 of Revelation 12, and we will answer the following questions: First, why is the Eternal Old Testament Church described as being pregnant, in labor, and pained to be delivered? And how could have the Old Testament Church been eternally saved before Christ actually came to earth to die for their sins and save them? Finally, what does verse 3 mean that a great red dragon was seen in heaven, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads? 

Now, may our Lord, Jesus Christ, God almighty, and Father who is in heaven, teach us by His Holy Spirit, amen.

Revelation 12:2: 

2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered

In this verse, we are being told that the eternal Church in heaven, the elect in heaven, who were saved throughout the Old Testament period are pictured as being pregnant; crying out in travail and pain to give birth to who we will discover is the Christ-child. During the Old Testament period, Satan had such power over the world that only a very small amount of people were ever saved, and those people were primarily within the nation of Israel. Virtually none were being saved from other nations. Nevertheless, people were being eternally saved but on a much less grandeur scale than during the New Testament period because Satan had not yet been cast out of heaven and bound in the bottomless pit where he could no longer completely thwart the gospel from going out to all the nations of the world. In fact, during the Old Testament, Satan was allowed to freely roam both on earth and in heaven, but at the cross, we will see that that all changed. At the cross Satan was not only cast out of heaven, but he was also bound in the bottomless pit where he could no longer frustrate the gospel from going out to every nation and saving a multitude of people. It didn't mean that he could no longer go about as a roaring lion seeking whom to devour and do much evil, but it meant that he could no longer keep the gospel from going into all the nations of the world.

But, back to our verse, we ask the question, why is the Old Testament, eternal Church in heaven pictured as being in pain to give birth to the Christ-child?

Well, let's think about that! Everything the Old Testament believers looked forward to in the coming Messiah, they never actually saw. They looked forward to it through the types and figures of the law, but virtually all of them perished before their Savior came to earth. Yes, they died and went to heaven, but they went through great sufferings and hardships during their lives on earth without ever seeing the Christ who would come to save His people from their sins. Furthermore, everything the Old Testament pointed to was the coming Christ, and unless that Christ was revealed to pay for the sins of all the Old Testament Saints, their sins could not have been retroactively paid for like they were before Christ even came to earth. Therefore, the Old Testament, eternal Church in heaven cries out, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered by the coming Christ-child who would pay for their sins and fulfill the promises to them: not only that they would receive new incorruptible bodies on the Last Day, but also that they would inherit the promised land of Canaan; not the earthly land of Canaan next to the Mediterranean Sea, but the eternal and heavenly land of the new heaven and earth that the earthly land of Canaan only typified and pointed to. So, the Old Testament Church in heaven is pictured as in travail and pain to give birth to the Christ-child because unless the Christ-child be born into this world and die for their sins to validate their salvations in the past, and unless He rise from the dead to ensure that the promises made to them would be fulfilled, none of what they looked forward to would ever come true.

But now, we ask the question, how could the Old Testament Church be pictured as already eternally saved in heaven when Christ had not yet even come to earth to die for their sins? Some will say that Christ died for their sins before the foundation of the world, and when He came to earth and died on the cross, it was only a demonstration of what He had done already from all eternity. We call this the Demonstration Gospel because it says that Christ's death on earth in 33 AD was only a demonstration (not the real thing) of Christ having died for sins.

Those who hold to this Demonstration Gospel believe that Christ already paid for sins before the foundation of the world, and so they say that Christ did not actually die for the sins of His people on the cross in 33 AD. Although this is a false understanding of Holy Scripture (see The Demonstration Gospel is False and read all studies given after it), it could, if it was true, explain how the Old Testament Church was eternally saved before Christ came to earth to pay for their sins. Those who hold to the false Demonstration Gospel would say that the reason that the Old Testament Saints could be saved before Christ came to earth to die is because Christ actually paid for their sins before the beginning of the world. But this cannot be because the Demonstration Gospel can be shown to be in error (see The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world ).

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Sadly, the Demonstration Gospel was a false doctrine that Harold Camping began to teach in his latter days. I believe Mr. Camping was saved and certainly one of God's great teachers, especially gifted by God to decipher and reveal the true Biblical Timeline of Holy Scripture, but by teaching the Demonstration Gospel, he made a huge error that may have led many into a false gospel. Those who continue teaching and supporting the Demonstration Gospel are sinning without knowing it even though there are those who still hold to this false doctrine that may be saved. So, pray that those who are truly saved come to the truth that we all may be of one mind and faith, to be a perfect Bride of Christ before that final day.
 

Well, if Christ did not die for the sins of the Old Testament Church before the world began but on the cross in 33 AD, how were their sins paid for? Well, when Christ paid for sins on the cross in 33 AD, He made His payment for the sins of His Old Testament people retroactive. What I mean is that Yahweh can at one point of time enter into the human race in time to atone for the sins of all the elect as He did in 33 AD, and then He go back in time to apply that blood of that atonement to the elect in the past as well as the elect in the present and future. This is due to the fact that Yahweh is not bound by time, or subject to its rules, but is, indeed, Master over time. Yes, he can accomplish something in time, and then apply that accomplishment to any time: past, present, or future. Therefore, the atonement does not need to take place first at the foundation of the world before anyone can be saved, but the atonement could even take place last of all on the Last Day,

and Yahweh would still be able to save all of His elect in the past because He can take that blood of the atonement, say, as an example, on the Last Day, and He can apply it backwards in time to all of His elect. He is not subject to time; He is outside of time; He is Master over time. Yahweh, the magnificent!  

We can see that Christ's atonement in 33 AD went retroactive to pay for the sins of the Old Testament believers in a verse like Romans 3:24-25. It states,

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

First of all, let's recognize that the Whom God has set forth ... refers to Christ Jesus who was mentioned just previous. In other words, God has set forth Jesus Christ to be a propitiation. The Greek word for set forth, protithemi, is a compound word which consists of the prefix pro, which means before, and the root word tithemi, which means to put, set, or place. So, putting the prefix and roots together, it means to put before, set before, or place before. The entire sentence, then, should read, God has put before, set before, or placed before Jesus Christ to be a propitiation. But the question now is, who has Jesus Christ been put before, set before, or placed before? The obvious answer is that He has been put, set, or placed before humankind when He came to this earth to be a propitiation for our sins. What this all means is that for Christ to be set forth means that He was set forth into this world.

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Thus, this is not saying that Christ was set forth to be a propitiation before the world began

Now we read that He was set forth [into this world] to be a propitiation through faith in His blood. The word propitiation in this verse is not the same word for propitiation that we find in 1John 4:10. It is the Greek word hilasterion, and although it is translated as propitiation here in Romans 3:25, it is translated as mercy seat in Hebrews 9:5, which states, 

"And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat of which we cannot now speak particularly ." 

It was on the mercy seat that the high priest would sprinkle blood once a year which pointed to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So, in a real sense, propitiation is very closely associated with the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ so that we will substitute the term atoning sacrifice for the word propitiation in Romans 3:24-25 to make things more clear, which now reads,  

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [into this world] to be a propitiation [atoning sacrifice] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God ."

The point I want to focus in on is this: Christ Jesus was set forth [into this world] to be a propitiation [atoning sacrifice].

And to be an atoning sacrifice when He came to this earth, He must have shed His blood for sin when He came to this earth and when He died on the cross in 33 AD. Nothing in this verse, either direct or otherwise, says or infers that Christ was set forth into this world to be but a demonstration of the propitiation that He was before the foundation of the world. Rather, this verse, by clearly saying that Christ came to this earth to be a propitiation, or an atoning sacrifice for our sins, makes it clear that Christ must have come to die for our sins when He came to this earth, which time we know was in 33 AD and not at or before the foundation of the world. Once again, we see that the scriptures do not support the idea that Christ died for sin at or before the foundation of the world, but it all points to Him having paid for sin on this earth in 33 AD (see The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world ).  

But here's what I am getting to: there is something else quite interesting in these verses. We already learned in the first part of the verse that Christ was set forth into this world in order to be a propitiation or atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, but next we read that His atoning sacrifice (His payment for the sins of His people) in 33 AD was to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. In other words, Christ's atoning sacrifice in 33 AD for the remission of sins that are past (including the sins of His Old Testament people) declares His righteousness because if He did not pay for the sins of His Old Testament people at the cross in 33 AD but only paid for the sins of His people at that time and in the future, His righteousness in having already saved an Old Testament people for Himself could not be declared, for he would have saved them without having fulfilled the law and all righteousness,

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which would make Christ to be unrighteous. But Christ did pay for the sins of the past (the sins of His Old Testament people) at the cross in 33 AD to declare His righteous in having fulfilled the law and all righteousness to have saved His Old Testament people in the past before He actually came to earth and died for their sins in 33 AD. Thus, we know that the Old Testament, eternal Church was not saved because Christ paid for their sins at some imaginary time before the world began, but they were eternally saved in advance to Christ paying for their sins on earth in 33 AD because God looked forward to His one-time atonement in 33 AD and retroactively applied its blood to the Old Testament people. God could do this because He is outside of time and Master over time. He could move forward in time to shed His blood for His people, and He could then move back in time to apply His blood of atonement to His people. He is Lord over everything, including time (see also Without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins ). 

 

Well, now that we already discussed Revelation 12:2, and we can now see how the Old Testament, eternal Church can be pictured as saved in Revelation 12:1 before the Christ-child was even born to pay for their sins, let's move onto Revelation 12:3. There we read,


Revelation 12:3: 

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 . {wonder: or, sign }

In this verse, we first read, And there appeared another wonder in heaven. More literally, it reads, And another sign was seen in heaven. When it states that another sign was seen in heaven, it means that another sign in addition to the sign in heaven of a wife clothed with the Sun that was seen in verse 1 of Revelation 12, which, if you will remember, symbolized the saved Old Testament Church in heaven ruled over by Christ. We find out what this other sign in heaven is when our verse then says, and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. When this verse states, and behold, it is literally a command that says, you be perceiving. So, the verse can be literally translated like this: And another sign was seen in heaven; and you [are commanded to] be perceiving. That is, you really need to tune in and pay attention to this next sign in heaven. And what is this other sign in heaven? We read, a great red dragon

Now, what does this great red dragon symbolize? We have the answer in Revelation 12:9 where we read, 

Re 12:9 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

Thus, the great dragon in verse 3 of Revelation 12 is the Devil who is Satan

But then, we wonder why the great red dragon, Satan, is called great, and why he is described as being red in color. We can understand why he is called great because he was said in Revelation 12:9 to be deceiving the whole world.

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Ever since the beginning when he got Adam and Eve to disobey Yahweh and eat of the forbidden fruit to become ruler over humankind, and even up to the beginning of the New Testament Period, which is the context of Revelation 12, Satan ruled over virtually everyone except the few who were saved primarily in national Israel. Indeed, throughout the Old Testament Period, Satan was able to keep almost everyone in every nation from being saved, and so we can see why he is called the great dragon. 

But why is he pictured as being the color red in Revelation 12? We read in Isaiah 1:18, 

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they [your sins] be red like crimson, they shall be as wool .

Here we see that the color red is identified with people's sins or wickedness. And if you remember when Yahweh divided the red sea for the Israelites to walk through on dry ground, the red sea is a picture of hell through which Christ of who Moses was a type brought His elect people through when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. So, the color red in the term red sea is associated with hell, and from this as well as Isaiah 1:18 that was previously read, we can conclude that the color red has to do with sin, wickedness, or hell. And since Satan has everything to do with sin, wickedness, and hell, we can now better understand why he, the dragon, is pictured as being red in color.

But, next, our verse continues by saying that this great red dragon who is Satan, the Devil, has seven heads and ten horns. What does this mean?

Well, the head of someone in the Bible is the one who has authority over that someone. For instance, we read in 1Corinthians 11, 

1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God

Notice how the head of man is Christ; the head of woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Even as the head with its brain has authority or rule over its body, so also when God says that Christ is the head of man, it means that Christ has authority or rule over man. And when God says that the head of woman is the man, it means that the man has authority or rule over the woman. And when God says that the head of Christ is God, it means that God has authority or rule over Christ. Thus, the head symbolizes authority or rule, and so in that our verse says that the great red dragon, Satan, has 7 heads, it means that he has perfect authority or rule because his heads symbolize authority or rule, and the number 7 in the Bible symbolizes the perfection of whatever is in view, namely the perfection of his authority or rule (see Bible Number 7 ). 

But we are also told that he has 10 horns. The number 10 in the Bible symbolizes the completeness of whatever is in view (see Bible Number 10 ), and what is in view are horns. So, what do horns symbolize in the Bible? If you think of a ram or a goat that has horns, they will always put their heads down to charge something in order to show their strength or power. So, just looking at nature alone, and nature does shine forth truths of God, we would be correct to say that horns represent strength or power.

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And the number 7 symbolizes the perfection of whatever is in view (see Bible Number 7 ). So, the 7 crowns on the great red dragon's, Satan's, heads symbolize his perfect kingship over the world.   


CONCLUSION 

We learned that the woman clothed with the Sun, and the moon under her feet, and a crown of 7 stars on her head, which symbolized the Old Testament, eternally saved Church of Christ in heaven, being pregnant, cried out, travailing in birth, and pain to be delivered, and we asked the question, why was she so pictured? And we concluded that she was so pictured in pain and about to give birth to the Christ-child because unless Christ was born to pay for the sins of the Old Testament believers in heaven, all the pain and sufferings they went through in their lives that pointed to the coming Christ would mean absolutely nothing until the Christ-child was born to prove that their sins had been paid for and to ensure them new incorruptible bodies and the eternally promised land of Canaan on the Last Day; not the land of Canaan in the Old Testament, but the new heaven and earth that the land of Canaan only typified. So, the Old Testament believers in heaven are pictured as in pain to bring forth the Christ-child, for if He is not born to prove the validity of their salvations in the Old Testament, they would be a miserable people indeed.

Then, we asked the question, how could the Old Testament believers or Saints have been eternally saved from their sins before Christ was even born to suffer and die to pay for their sins?

The answer was not that Christ had already paid for their sins before the world began as those who hold to the false Demonstration Gospel would say, but that God, being outside of time and Master and Lord over time, was able to take the blood of the cross in 33 AD and go back in time to apply it to each of the Old Testament Saints to save them before Christ had even come to earth to die for their sins. In support of this, we looked at Romans 3:24-25 which made it clear that Christ was set forth or born into this world to be an atoning sacrifice to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. That is, unless Christ's atoning sacrifice took place on earth in 33 AD, there would be no basis for God having saved the Old Testament Saints in the past, and so Christ would have been declared unrighteous. But, because Christ's atoning sacrifice in 33 AD was the basis for the salvations of the Old Testament Saints, His righteousness was upheld and declared.   

Finally, we looked at verse 3 of Revelation 12 which says, And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads, and we found that this great red dragon was a picture of Satan, the Devil, in heaven before the Christ-child was born. And in that he had seven heads and ten horns meant that he had perfect authority and complete power and strength over the world. And in that he had seven crowns upon his heads meant that his kingship was perfect.

Now, until the next time, may Yahweh bless thee, and keep thee: Yahweh make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: Yahweh lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

But we can also see that horns symbolize power or strength in the Bible. For instance, we read,

Hab 3:4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power . {horns ... : or, bright beams out of his side }

That is, the hiding of his power were the horns coming out of his hand. The horns were his power, and it was hidden because it was in his hand. Thus, we see that horns can symbolize power in the Bible. Furthermore, we read, 

Daniel 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat [this he goat can be shown to symbolize Satan] came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes . {touched ... : or, none touched him in the earth } {a notable ... : Heb. a horn of sight }
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And he came to the ram that had two horns [this ram can be shown to symbolizes Christ], which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power .
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And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler [anger] against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand .

This is a picture of Satan conquering Christ at the end of the Church Age on May 21, 1988 when he rose out of the bottomless pit and began ruling in all the churches as the Little Horn.

But, for our purposes, notice that after the he-goat broke the ram's two horns that there was no power in the ram to stand before him. In other words, the two horns represented the power or strength of the ram, and when they were broken, that power and strength was gone. Thus, once again, we see that horns symbolize power or strength, and now we can better understand other verses in the Bible like 2Chronicles 8:10 where we read, 

2Ch 18:10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed . {they ... : Heb. thou consume them } 

In saying that with these horns of iron thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed, he does not mean that with those physical horns that Chenaanah had made that they would destroy Syria, but he means that with power and strength, which the horns symbolize, they would push Syria until they be consumed. And when we read in Ps 75:10, All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted, we now can know that this means, All the power and strength of the wicked also will I cut off; but the power and strength of the righteous shall be exalted. Thus, we conclude that horns symbolize power and strength, and so when our verse says that this great red dragon, Satan, has 10 horns, it means that he has complete strength and power.

Finally, we also read that this great red dragon, Satan, has 7 crowns on his heads. Crowns symbolize kingship or rulership because they are what kings or rulers wear to symbolize their rule.

11:11-19 
12:1 
12:2-3 
12:4-6
12:7-11 
12:12 
12:13-14 
12:15-17
13:1-p.1

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