The seventh trumpet has sounded, and things are happening, but there is a little break here where John writes about the seven key “players” in the end times “game”. In Revelation 12, we are told of five of them.
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.” ~Revelation 12:1-2
The first key figure is the nation of Israel. She will be terribly persecuted during the Tribulation. The description given matches a passage from Genesis- I love how the Old and New Testaments connect and complement each other! Joseph the son of Israel/Jacob (God changed Jacob’s name to Israel), describes to his brothers a dream he had- “‘Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.'” ~Genesis 37:9 (Joseph, of course, would be the twelfth star, and the sun and the moon represent his mother and father.) Jacob begat the nation of Israel, his sons the beginning of the twelve tribes of Israel.
In vs. 6 we are told that for 3 1/2 years God will miraculously hide and protect the remnant of Israel~ “And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”
“And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.” ~Revelation 12:3-4
The second and third key figures are Satan, the dragon, and demons, one-third of the angels from heaven cast down to earth. Remember how Herod killed all of the young boys, two and under, hoping to kill the baby king of which the wise men spoke? Satan was hoping to kill the Messiah before He could become the payment for our sins on the cross. Satan is desperate to destroy.
“And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” ~Revelation 12:5
The fourth, and most important player, is Jesus! He was born of Israel, their Messiah, and ascended to heaven after His death and resurrection. In Psalm 2:7-9, we read~ “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.'”
“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.” ~Revelation 12:7a
The fifth player is Michael, the archangel. Michael is a great warrior angel, the protector of Israel. Jude 9 makes mention of Michael, as does Daniel 12:1~ “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”
“And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” ~Revelation 12:7b-9
The above passage is not telling of something from the past. This is prophecy, something that will happen. The war will be in heaven. Even heaven will be touched by the Tribulation. Satan still has access there (see Job 1-2, Zechariah 3, Luke 22:31-32) and will lead an attack. Wow.
Satan, the devil, the serpent of old, the accuser of our brethren (vs. 10), who deceives the whole world, will be cast down upon the earth, out of heaven. “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” ~Revelation 12:12