Revelation 12:1-6
(Rev 12:1 KJV)
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

The next set of visions begins in this chapter and ends in chapter 14 with the reaping of the earth, which is the removal of the believers from earth to Heaven, as we saw in Revelation 11:12. Chapters 12-22 will give us greater detail in the age old conflict between God and Satan and the Church and the world.

John now sees a great wonder in heaven. The word “wonder” may be understood as “sign.” Many Catholic commentators have tried to convince the world that the woman in view is the Virgin Mary, however that would be wrong. What is in view here is the Old Testament church which existed inside of the nation of Israel. It was the believing remnant through which the Lord Jesus came.
(Gal 4:26 KJV) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Paul speaks of the heavenly Jerusalem which is the mother of us all and by that he means that it is the true church which gives birth to Christians. As we go out and evangelize, those whom the Father has chosen will become saved and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It was through this believing remnant in the nation of Israel that the Lord Jesus Christ came. The woman is clothed with the Sun and that would be the Sun of Righteousness who would be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. (Mal 4:2 KJV) But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Then we are told that the moon was under her feet. The moon reflects the light of the sun and in this verse we are seeing the believing remnant of Israel, who waited for the Messiah. They had the reflected light of God as the true believer does.
(John 1:8-9 KJV) He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. {9} That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. The Lord Jesus Christ is the source of the light of the Gospel and the true believer is a reflection of that light to the world. The fact that she has the reflected light under her feet tells us that it is God who guides her footsteps and upholds her. (Psa 119:105 KJV) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet as it illumines our paths upon the earth.

On her head was a crown with twelve stars. The number twelve gives us a meaning of fullness. The twelve stars represent the true believers in Israel and all those believers who will come afterward, up until the last day. So in this verse, we are told that all believers from the first one who was saved to the last one who will be saved before the Lord returns.

(Rev 12:2 KJV)
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

The child which the believing remnant of Israel was going to bring forth was the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Isa 26:17 KJV) Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. Isaiah teaches the same principle that the Lord Jesus Christ came at a time thousands of years after the first announcement in Genesis 3:15 and in the time period after the nation of Israel was formed, that nation faced many enemies who had tried to extinguish her. If Satan could annihilate the ancient nation of Israel, then it would have been possible to annihilate the divine line which was to bring forth the Lord Jesus Christ. Israel had faced many enemies which was to them as a woman in labor pains. The pains are excruciating and labor being very painful may seem to the woman that they may never come to an end. The believing remnant of Israel was also in much pain to bring forth the Messiah at the appointed time.

(Rev 12:3 KJV)
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.

John now sees another sign in heaven but this time he sees a red dragon. The color of the dragon possibly represents the fact that Satan is a murderer and his kingdom is drenched in the blood of the martyrs.
(Rev 18:24 KJV) And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. Revelation 18 speaks of the universality of the kingdom of Satan and we see in this verse that the seven heads with crowns and the ten horns signifies that it engulfs the entire earth.

(Dan 7:7 KJV) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Daniel had seen them in his visions of Satan as ruler of all the evil kingdoms which have been constantly persecuting the eternal church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The seven crowns tells us that Satan has been given authority to wage that war against the church which will culminate in Armageddon which is the final battle between God and Satan. The ten horns tell us that his kingdom is complete engulfing the whole world as ten is the number of completeness. Daniel also saw this in his vision.

(Dan 7:24 KJV) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Ten kings tells us that there is going to be a completeness to the kingdom of Satan which is conjoined by the ten kings. These ten kings represent all the evil kingdoms of the world which oppose Christ and Christianity. Horns in Scripture represent authority or power. Satan’s power is not of himself but has been given to him by God for an established purpose.

(Rev 12:4 KJV)
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

(Dan 8:10 KJV) And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

In Rev. 12:4, we are seeing that the wrath of Satan is so great concerning the coming Messiah, that he actually drew one third of the stars and cast them to the earth. This could be speaking of the time when Satan first rebelled against God and took many of the angels with him in that rebellion. However, while that may seem like a plausible interpretation, rather, this verse is showing us that Satan does have enormous power and that his war against Christ is no small skirmish but a full fledged war. This is what we see in that he can draw the stars of heaven. The word “drew” carries with it the meaning of “haul or drag.” This word is also in the present tense which means that the above action of Satan would not be a one time event. This would indicate that this war is a continuous war and he will use all his power to try and win.

Then we are told that the dragon stood by the woman to devour the child as soon as he was born. The word “devour” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “consume or destroy.” Satan used his earthly evil kingdoms to try and kill Christ. Herod tried to kill him by having all the babies killed. Satan tried to destroy Christ by tempting Him and to try and get Him to bow down and worship him. If you look at the history of ancient Israel, Satan tried to destroy them by getting them into idolatrous alliances and having their enemies like the Moabites and Philistines attempt to annihilate them. God sent prophets to the nation of Israel, not only to bring them unto repentance but also to protect the divine line of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Rev 12:5 KJV)
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

In this verse we have a capsulated view of the life of Christ. John begins with His birth in Bethlehem and we are told that eventually He is going to rule all the nations of this world after Satan and all the evil is finally judged. We saw this back in Revelation 11:15. In Psalm 2, we read that the Lord Jesus Christ was to receive the heathen (the nations of the world) as His inheritance and he shall break the evil kingdoms with a rod of iron. We have been seeing that judgments have been going out throughout the world against those heathen nations who have opposed the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Psa 2:8-9 KJV) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. {9} Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Then John goes on to give us His ascension into Heaven and His rightful ascent to His throne and His Father’s throne, which we have seen in the book of Revelation.

(Rev 12:6 KJV)
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

The woman, who is the body of believers, after bringing forth the Lord Jesus Christ now flees into the wilderness. The wilderness is not some barren desert but it is into the entire world as the church was to go worldwide.
(John 14:2 KJV) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. When the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross, the place He prepared for us was Heaven.

(1 Pet 1:3-4 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

However, the church had to remain on earth until the last day because it was commissioned to evangelize the world and bring home all the Elect of God. God is not promising that there will be physical protection of the Elect because down through history the church has faced major persecution which resulted in millions of martyrs. The place which is prepared for us where God feeds us goes back to the beginning of Revelation 11, when John was told to measure the temple and all that worship therein. God was stating that He would protect His church from spiritual deceptions which would come at the Christians from every angle. This feeding is for the entire New Testament period as we are once again given the twelve hundred and sixty days or forty two months. The feeding is also spiritual truth so no true Christian will ever accept a false gospel and the one who brings the believer this truth is God Himself in the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.