"Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever." Dan 12:3
"At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! "My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."Matt 11:25-30(NLT)
1. Then a great mysterious sight appeared in the sky.
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars." Rev 12:1
In this vision, the woman is symbolic of God’s people in both the Old and New testaments. (Church in the wilderness. Acts 8:37) At the right time, Jesus was born of a human mother and lived under the Jewish Law (Gal. 4.4). There is a continuity between the Jewish church and the church of Christ (see Heb. 9:15).
In Rev. 12, verses 1-6 form one central idea - God‘s act in history! The sun: the New Testament [the Christian system]. The moon: The Old Testament [the Law]. Twelve stars: the twelve apostles. To give birth: The Incarnation [Christ taking human form]. Another mysterious sight appeared in the sky. In this vision, the huge red dragon is Satan, The seven heads, ten horns, and the crowns are a lot like those of the beast in Rev. 17. These can be understood as symbolic of the Roman Empire, but Satan uses all the governments of the world against Christ and His church.
"For we have to struggle not with blood and flesh but with the angelic Rulers, the angelic Authorities, the potentates of the dark present, the spirit-forces of evil in the heavenly sphere. So take God's armour, that you may be able to make a stand upon the evil day and hold your ground by overcoming all the foe." Eph 6:12-13 (MOFF)
2. Yet God is in control. Satan’s plans are frustrated by God. Even before Creation God had planned for the Eternal Word to come in flesh & blood among the sons and daughters of Adam.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love..." Eph 1:3-4
a) Satan cast out of heaven.
"Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." Rev 12:10-12
b) The woman is protected.
"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." Rev 12:14
"You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself." Exodus 19:4
"The church needs to know that its present struggles and sufferings are not a sign that God has gone to sleep on the job. They are the sign that a great, cosmic drama is being staged, in which they are being given a vital though terrible role to play." Wright
c) Satan desperately tries but fails.
"So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth." Rev 12:15-16
"The decisive battle has been won, and the devil knows it; but his basic nature of ‘accuser’ is now driving him, more and more frantically, to the attack, to accuse where it’s justified and where it isn’t, to drag down, to slander, to vilify, to deny the truth of what the creator God and His Son, the Lamb, have accomplished and are accomplishing. This is the ongoing battle in which all Christians are engaged, whether they know it or not." Wright