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Sunday: The Woman and the Dragon — 21 Comments

  1. The war between evil and those who follow Jesus is represented by a dragon and a pregnant women - an image of strength and fear versus vulnerability. It is highly dramatic imagery and portrays the intensity of the battle clearly. Mostly we think of persecution when we read these passages, and later in the lesson, we link this prophecy to a particular time period.

    It must be remembered though that the battle continues. It has not ended simply because persecution is not front page news. The battle for our minds may not leave blood in the streets now, but the conflict is still there and the final consequences are as devastating.

    This lesson has been chopped up into "day-sized" pieces for convenience but to get a full panorama we need to read Rev 12-14 to see how the pieces fit together.

    • I will never cease to thank God for His grace in revealing to me, and leading me to His remnant church 20 years ago. I still marvel at His goodness in granting us such insight and clarity of vision in being able to see the full story of the great unfolding drama that has affected all of us.
      But to whom much is revealed, much is required. May God help us all to live up to the wonderful light He has bestowed upon us, and in faith, hope, and love deliver the message of mercy at every opportunity.

  2. Which is God's true church?

    With so many churches in the last days, how can we distinguish God's true church?

    We have to use the sword of God's word just as King Solomon used a sword to distinguish the woman who had the living son from the counterfeiter. Heb 4:12.

    Rev 12:1-5. In prophecy God's true church is symbolized as a great wonder in heaven of a lovely woman. A comely and a delicate woman jer 6:2. A chaste virgin 2 cor 11:2.

    Her clothing is the most glorious that ever a woman wore. The natural lights of God's creation.

    She is clothed with Christ and his righteousness. Jesus loves her and gave himself for her. Eph 5:25. The song of Solomon is a song of Christ to his bride, the church.

    This pure woman is the true church.

    • Three verses came to mind when I read the question, Which is God's true church?
      Revelation 14:12 Kings James Version (KJV)
      12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
      Hebrews 10:25 King James Version (KJV)
      25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
      1 Corinthians 3:16-17 King James Version (KJV)
      16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

    • The “Church” is God’s faithful people and not any individual institution. The Church is made up of people from everywhere, countries, races and churches. They are the ones sealed in the forehead with His name, His Character. Micah 6:8, “Oh man, what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”.

  3. Fire breathing dragon should be frightening but it is not to my grandchildren as they have a DVD series called how to train your dragon which makes them friends. This is part of Satan's war of deception. Another which is scary to me is the dragon's tail which according to Isa 9:14-15 is prophets teaching lies! How do I know who to believe? Could I be in the wrong?
    It shows how important it is to read and meditate on the clear sections of the Word of the LORD to get to understand the character of the LORD and His Everlasting Covenant and His Principles of Life and Love which all together will help me when I compare Scripture with Scripture and keep me safe from deceptions. We can learn from others as well who submit their work as it were to peer review, although we have seen there are different views on some subjects, so long as they agree on the Pillars of our Faith.

    • "... the Pillars of our Faith."

      I agree with everything you have said up to the point about "the Pillars of our faith". And the only reason I haven't yet agreed with that part is because I would first need to know what exactly they are.

      I see this phrase from time to time but I've not yet seen what it is specifically referring to.

      So, only because you've raised the term, do you happen to know where can I find an explanation of specifically what those pillars are? Is the term referring to Pillars of Adventist faith more specifically or of Christian faith more broadly?

      Thanks Shirley...

      • Phil, type in, pillars of Adventism, under Wikipedia. You will have all the information you asked for, and references.
        Happy Sabbath,

        • Thanks for the reference, John. However, the problem with your suggestion is that it depends on whether or not Shirley wrote that Wikipedia entry or if she agrees completely with whoever wrote it.
          I have a feeling that not all of the people who post here regularly have the same idea of the "pillars of Adventism."
          The other issue, of course, is that by the time someone reads that entry it may be different from the time you wrote your suggestion. 😉
          I'm copying the current summary here because I'm rather pleasantly surprised by it:

          Seven Distinctive SDA Doctrines
          2.1 The faith of Jesus (Righteousness of Christ)
          2.2 The Three Angels' Messages
          2.3 The special gift of prophecy
          2.4 The law of God's love
          2.5 The Sabbath
          2.6 The sanctuary service and the investigative judgment
          2.7 The state of the dead (and the Millennium)

          Of course, if someone sees it here and disagrees with it, the next time we look, it may be different ..

          • No Inge I didn't write the article in Wikipedia 😂, I used the term Pillars of our Faith as short hand to refer to our - SDA - 28 fundamental beliefs. I was also referencing Ellen White's comments in Counsels to Writers pg 28-32 about not forgetting what our pioneers wrote. Prov 9:1 talks of 7 pillars but strangely when searching what comes up is Wikipedia not SDA documents. Wikipedia seems to be listing how SDA are different to mainstream churches. I would like to challenge all to summarize - what are the 7 pillars of your faith?

    • Well said, Shirley. I appreciate your allusion to Is. 9:14-15, which I found in my own study time recently. I see a few more elements that can help with discerning truth from lies. 1) Truth is established by two or three witnesses, 2) Belief in the Holy Spirit's guidance as He brings us convicting messages from Jesus.

      You must have been a writing teacher because you mentioned peer review. I teach writing and literature at one of our colleges on the West coast. I want to thank you for your inspiring comments here.

      • Hi Melissa, yes I agree with your important additional points. Jesus specially sends the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth John 16:13.
        Thank you for your kind words, I enjoy
        reading and learning and sharing.

  4. If there is one current trend that points to the certainty of Christ’s 2nd coming, it is the issue of late, now even full, term abortions in the USA. Seven states, Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, along with Washington, D.C., now allow full term infanticide. Child sacrifice brought on the end of the southern kingdom of Israel in 457 BC and it will usher in the end of the age. This is the worst kind of evil, the killing of innocents!

    • Is one sin greater than the next? We seem to tend to focus on a certain highly charged issues and virtually ignore the e.g. habitual liar, the fornicator. Is it all not the same in the eyes of God?

  5. In symbolic language the apostle John describes how the true church of God will stand on the promises of the Old Testament as they look forward to the coming of the Messiah. This church will also be guided the pioneering of work of the 12 apostles represented by the the crown of 12 stars 🌟

  6. Who was the pregnant woman? Or the better question is 'How many women has the LORD had in the Bible?'Of course only one!

    So who is she in this chapter? The Old Testament church, as she was about to give birth to the Messiah. Naturally, she is the same new testament church, as established by Christ Himself. Matt 16:18.

  7. I like the picture for this lesson. How many pictures do we see of a pregnant woman? Very few in my experience. The woman is God's people down through all of time. She was the OT church through giving birth and Christ being taken to heaven in which the New Covenant came into effect, thus then she becomes the NT church. Putting the woman in heaven with the dragon impresses us with the fact this is a cosmic contest that has come to earth to be fully played out. The woman is in heaven, then is found running from the dragon upon earth. She finishes the race through the steadfastness of the remnant, encompassing all saints through history all the way to those that come out of Babylon.

  8. Similar to the experience of Apollos (Act 18:24-28), I'm convinced that God has made adequate provisions for His body's constant "system upgrades", resulting in us declaring "the way of God more accurately". This mutual sharing ripples outwards and provides continuous uplift (Act 18:27).

    Consider for example the opening paragraph of Sunday's lesson which said, "A woman in the Bible is used as a symbol for God’s people (2 Cor. 11:2): a chaste woman stands for faithful believers, while a harlot stands for apostate Christians. The woman in Revelation 12 first symbolizes Israel, to whom the Messiah came (Rev. 12:1-5); in verses 13-17 she stands for the true church that gives birth to the remnant." Is this ripe for an upgrade?
    Now, I realize that there is an inherent language problem that might arise when a single word like "nation" is used to describe a collective, but individual, experience as exemplified in Tit 1:12. However, having acknowledged that, is it completely accurate to say that "The woman in Revelation 12 first symbolizes Israel"? How does this align with Jesus' declaration in Mt 23:37-39? Or Paul's (Gal 4:25-26)? Isn't the "woman" in Rev 12 depicted as preceding AND succeeding "the Child"? Isn't the "woman" depicted as not only surviving the Child's ascension, but goes on producing His other siblings (Rev 12:17)?

    I believe a call for accuracy shouldn't just be pointless "hair-splitting". Here's why. When the word "Israel" is mentioned, there is a temptation to think in terms of a physically identifiable, people and their location (which has literally caused some problems for an offshoot of Adventism called the Shepherd's Rod, or Davidians). However, accuracy screams for attention to Christ's teaching regarding the "woman". First, while the "woman" symbolize actual persons, Jesus pointed AWAY from the physical (Mt 3:8-9; Jn 8:33-34) and instead TOWARD her SPIRITUAL identity (Lk 17:21; Jn 3:5-6; 1 Cor 6:19). The OT and the NT Scriptures overflow with numerous examples that there were "good" and "bad" "Israel".

    Of note, however, was the CHARACTER, or SPIRITUAL NATURE of the young woman who physically gave birth to Christ--Mary (Lk 1:37-38). A reading of the entire account shows her listening to the heavenly messenger, and even though she doesn't fully understand the "how" of the message (Lk 1:34), she submits to its manifestation in her life. Her Spirit-filled (Lk 1:41) relative, Elizabeth, links Mary's actions to her faith (Lk 1:45). Interestingly, later in what has the appearance of a snub of His physical mother and brothers, Scripture records Jesus again highlighting the CHARACTER issue (Mt 12:47-50). With careful attention to His words in Mt 12:50, it should be noted that the "woman" (Lk 1:38) who gives birth to "the Child" (Mt 26:39), as well as the Child's "brothers" (Mt 12:49), all share the same CHARACTER, and consequently the same "testimony" (Rev 12:17; Mt 10:24-25; Jn 15:7-8; 7:16-17).

    The "woman" of Rev 12 therefore symbolizes every individual, before AND after Christ, who has and are being clothed with a CHARACTER LIKE HIS (Rev 12:1; 22:16; Mal 4:2) for the purpose of glorifying God (Mt 5:16; Rev 2:26-28; Prov 11:30), by the destruction of satan's domain (Jn 12:31; Rev 19:11-15) and the building of God's Kingdom (Mt 6:10; 2 Cor 5:17-20). The "woman" of Rev 12 is therefore a symbol of all those who, like Mary, has and are having CHRIST'S CHARACTER REPRODUCED in them by faith and submission to the EXCLUSIVE workings of His Holy Spirit (Eph 1:3-14).


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