Isaiah, prophesying about an entity and calling it “the king of Tyre”, also a real person, puts the king of Tyre in the garden of Eden, addresses him the anointed cherub and speaks of how perfect he was. Common sense would tell you that this had nothing to do with the literal king because he was never in the garden, nor was he a cherub. It might be speaking of a fallen angel, now referred to as a demon, but the most logical chance is that this is speaking of Satan/Lucifer.
Because we assume that the garden incident – you know, the one which brought about the corruption of every human being, happened so quickly, we must assume that Satan’s transition and mutiny happened a short time before the fall of man. We can also assume that after man’s banishment from “the garden” Satan made a concerted effort to kill anything that looked like it might carry the seed that would bring the Messiah. This, in a nutshell, is the mystery.
Perhaps this explains what almost sounds like an apology.
Revelation 12:12 ESV “Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
It seems, in the scheme of things, these segments of time are nothing more than a blink in God’s eyes. Consider how Daniel asks for understanding of a dream he had and the explanation comes like this:
Daniel 9:24 ESV “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.”
The LASB says this about the 70 weeks,
“some scholars see this figure of 70 weeks as a figurative time period. Others, however, interpret this time period as a literal 70 weeks or 490 years, observing that Christ’s death came at the end of the 69 weeks (i.e., 483 years later).”
I take it literally. What we come to understand is that the part that says, “to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a holiest place” has not happened yet. For those who think it might have, just ask yourself, are we living in an everlasting righteousness yet? The answer is NO. So, the distance between the 69th and 70th year was an indeterminate time, known only by God.
Religious folk love to quote the verse from Matthew 24 that says, “no man knows the day or the hour.” The problem is, they take the verse out of context. The context actually begins in Matthew 22 when at his instructions they went and obtained the young colt and it’s mother, placed Jesus on the colt and walked him into town.
The context continues with much drama, violence and an exit past the temple.
The disciples did not understand Jesus mission and reasons for being on the earth, they only knew what every other good Jew knew, that the Messiah would come some day and clean house, making all things right. So when Jesus did not do that and instead began violently throwing the flea market salesmen out of the temple courts, the disciples were completely lost, as were the chief priests and elders. A raging verbal battle ensued for two days. Finally, the yelling stopped and the disciples began to move with Jesus to the mount of Olives. At a loss for an intelligent response to what they had saw, the disciples merely pointed out the magnificence of the temple as they went by.
Everything Jesus had said and done was meant to show them that He was the Messiah and they could not comprehend that truth yet; they only saw the temple – the source of Jewish pride and one of the main things that pulled the eyes of the Jew away from the truth. This may be one of the reasons that God split the veil in the temple.
Jesus responded to their statement about the temple with:
Matthew 24:2 MKJV And Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone on another that shall not be thrown down.
That surely seemed like an impossibility but they had to know and so a short time later they asked him two pointed and very Jewish-oriented questions.
Matthew 24:3 MKJV And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?
It is in response to these questions that he says,
Matthew 24:36 MKJV But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not the angels of Heaven, but only My Father.
He is telling them that no one knows when he will physically return and make all things right. In reading about the end times, we see terminology such as times-time-and half a time, referring to 1260 days or three-and-one-half years. But, we all seem to have this solid idea in our head that God has to hold fast to any of it. Can we pinpoint the moment that the timing of God’s wrath will come? NO. As a matter of fact, we could already be in it. Just because the Antichrist makes a seven-year treaty with many, does that mean God must honor some man’s timetable? NO. So, in truth, we do not know with precision when Jesus will come riding back to the earth on a white horse.
Are we in the darkness, unable to comprehend the times and the seasons upon us? NO.
1 Thessalonians 5:3-5 ESV (3) While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (4) But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. (5) For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
Since I advocate that we think like a Jew, then we too should go with the two witness concept demanded by God. Speaking to his own disciples, not yet filled the Holy Spirit of God, that aspect that teaches us all things and shows things to come, Jesus said:
Mark 4:11 ESV And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,
They, of all people, would have had the inside track to knowledge as they walked with God himself; and yet they were clueless. We do not have to be clueless, do we, and yet religious zealots will oppose what I just stated, even when confronted with scripture that proves them wrong. Does anyone else see this as a problem?
Where were we? Ah, yes, “the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short.”
Revelation 12:13 ESV “And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.”
The woman is Israel, but, could it also apply to the followers of Christ who has been grafted into the vine? The dragon has certainly done his fair share of pursuing believers. Israel really pertains to the Jews, so it seems reasonable to consider what has become of Israel since Jesus birth. In short, tumult. Controlled by Rome for many years the region seems to have been filled with insurrections and Rome crushing those insurrections. Thousands were slaughtered and impaled on poles as a warning to others. Islam comes into full force around 640 A.D.” with the Rashidun Caliphate. Israel increasingly took on a Muslim flavor. Even as the British took control it seems there was no resemblance of sanity as violence continually filled the streets of Jerusalem. There were struggles with the Arab community and struggles against the British as Jews strained to regain some form of homeland again.
In the Balfour Declaration (November 1917) a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, was transmitted to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, with the intent of the establishing a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with the people who now claimed Palestine as their homeland. The Balfour Declaration was, if nothing else, an encouragement. Eventually, Israel fought for and gained its independence as a nation in 1948.
So we see, that at no time has the dragon/Satan, ever stopped in his pursuit of the Jewish people.
As you are reading through chapter twelve the chronological clock takes a huge jump forward in time.
Revelation 12:14 ESV “But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.”
“a time, and times, and half a time.” This terminology, when we find it, is only referring to events occurring at the end of time.
Prior to the birth of the Messiah we see this:
Revelation 12:4 ESV His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
Having missed his opportunity Satan goes into a constant and deadly pursuit of those who carry the name Jew, and of the Lord. Unfortunately, this will continue until the Jesus physically comes back, eliminates those who choose to fight and tosses Satan into the bottomless pit for a thousand years, while tossing the Antichrist, and the false prophet into the lake of fire for their eternal damnation.
I can never read this without picturing a rather deadly end for Israel. We are told that two-thirds of Israel will be killed. Fortunately, we serve a merciful God and this happens:
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (Revelation 12:14 KJV)
Once again I beseech you to think as much as a Jew as possible and remember that no testimony is valid without two or three witnesses. This is no different in prophecy, which this is. For God to speak these words bears witness through the symbolic speech he had used already.
Exodus 19:4 ESV “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”
Deuteronomy 32:9-12 ESV (9) But the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (10) “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (11) Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, (12) the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.
Let’s assume we do not know if this is literal or symbolic, does it really matter? What matters is that God always has a plan, and his plan includes saving a remnant of Israel. Where the place is, is also speculation and many suggest that Israel will run to Petra. Listen, having watched many cowboy movies as a child, the bad guys would always be waiting up on the edges of the canyon to shoot those who tried to escape. But, as you might be seeing yourself, God is not terribly concerned with the bad guys.
However, it is the serpent that pours out this flood. I am not so sure that Satan has creative abilities like God but maybe he does. It could also be that he breaks a dam or something. Regardless, it is meant to take Israel off the map.
Revelation 12:15 ESV “The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.”
What would be the corresponding scriptural equivalents?
Isaiah 8:7-8 ESV therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, (8) and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”
Obviously, God has played a role in washing away the wrongs done by men during their existence upon the earth. One of the first events that demonstrated that a Godless lifestyle could and would be done away with is found in Genesis.
Genesis 6:17 ESV For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
In both cases, it is God that is bringing the judgment, but in Revelation 12:15 it is Satan. Once again, we struggle to decide if this is literal or symbolic, but I can guarantee you that the Genesis flood was literal.
Revelation 12:16 KJV “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
As you read your bible, how many times does the earth open up swallowing people? Several, correct? God had the earth open and swallow many of Israel’s number as they rebelled in the desert; he swallowed up the Philistines on several occasions, and it was the earth that opened up and poured out some of the flood waters that cleansed the earth in Genesis. So, the concept and validity of such a statement are rather common to the Jewish mind.
With this look into verse 17, we finish up chapter twelve.
“Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.” (Revelation 12:17 ESV)
This, should at a minimum, cause us ask about the timing.
If this is a throw back in time, then when did this flood take place? Since we really have no evidence of such a flood, then it implies something more spiritual than physical. If it is still speaking of a future event, and I want to get an idea of when this is going to happen, then I need to apply some focus to events pertaining to Israel and this time frame 1260 days.
Give some consideration to this as I try to show a timeline that represents the time of wrath.
What’s my point? The rapid changes initiating the removal of the church from the earth and all the associated events that go along with that event could happen any day. What happens within days or almost simultaneously will be life changing for the commoners, of which I am one. Grief will rise exponentially, but then, so will the spirit of God. I believe that the majority who call ourselves Christians have done a poor job of showing the world what Godly people look like, and trust me on this, it has little with acting like you are uber religious. I prefer to think it is acting more like Elijah the prophet. Regardless, keep your eyes, if you can, on the streets of Jerusalem, for there will two witnesses, sent from God standing there. Follow their lead.
Turn your hearts toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not worship the beast; worship his image when it gets set up in the temple; and, do not take his mark. Stay committed to these three things at all cost. Failure to do so will separate you from God permanently.