Today I want to explore Rev. 12 more deeply and talk about the Child who was caught up to God and His throne and why I believe this is the body of Christ, the Church—who is different than the other "saints" mentioned throughout the book of Revelation.
Revelation 12:7-17 says:
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon ["huge serpent" in Greek]; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. [Perhaps because the Child (body of Christ) was caught up to God and to his throne, and is now in heaven?]
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power ["authority" in Greek] of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 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. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! [The host of heaven and the newly-arrived male Child, which I believe is the corporate body of Christ, the Church.] Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
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 [3.5 lunar years], from the presence of the serpent. 15 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. 16 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. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
A child in the womb is not appointed to the mother's birth pains.
Here we see two corporate descendants of the woman:
1. The male Child, described as "our brethren" in verse 10, who "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. 12:11)
2. Those who are "the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17)
These powerful descriptions create a portrait that shows us clearly who they are.
Who are those who hold to the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, other than those who are saved by faith in the atoning work of Christ during the Church age, this Age of Grace? Jesus describes them as the faithful church in Revelation 3:8.
Once the Age of Grace is past, who are they who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ? "He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true." (John 3:33) I believe these are the tribulation saints, or the Jews and Gentiles who come to faith during the final seven years on earth. We see this again later, in Revelation 14:12-14. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
To the serpent of old, God said,
"And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed [Christ and his Church];
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15
In glorious confirmation that the body of Christ is indeed the male Child of Revelation 12:5, the "brethren" of verse 10, and the seed of the woman described in Genesis 3:15, we have the following life-giving remark from Apostle Paul in Romans 16 as he wrote to the "brethren" (vs. 17):