In my last post I focused entirely on Revelation 12:11 as I asked the question, how and why did “they” overcome? The short answer is, because of the blood of the Lamb. That Lamb is Jesus, and no, He is not eternally pouring out His blood for us – besides, that would be disgusting and feed into the idea that Christ’s sacrifice was not enough; it was.
As we sat at the last of the summer concerts in the park, the singer, who had sounded fine to me, spoke out saying, “let me come clean. Two days ago I did not have a voice, at all.” Well, you would never have known it and he finished the night strong. Why tell you this? Because we can easily put our trust in a human, giving them a chance to pull through for us, and yet, struggle with putting our faith in God, His Word, and the sacrifice of His son.
Allow me to come clean.
I have done just that, struggling at times with my faith. I must tell you though, that any struggle I had believing came to an end around 2008 when I began to purposefully study the gospels with the express purpose of finding out who God is and what is His character.
I believed in God and His Son, but why did I struggle with the frequent moments of doubt. The main question was, is this “hope” that scripture speaks of, for real? In the gospels, I found the Jesus Christ I never knew; and, in Him, I saw the Father.
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
(Hebrews 1:2-3 KJV)
Jesus, for the joy set before Him, voluntarily sacrificed His life, rose from the dead, intentionally poured out His blood as a high priest, and offered up Himself as the final sacrificial lamb for our sins.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand, there are pleasures forever. (Psalms 16:9-11 NASB)
He knew that the brutal torture and the pains of hell, would end back in the Father’s arms, and we would be His prize. He rescued all those who would accept His rescue.
He paid the bloody price for our redemption, can you accept that?
For us, it is really that simple.
Finally understanding the nature and character of God, I understood that the earth and the evil would be purged, sort of. I now had a hope that I could cling to; and yet, here we are, not only studying the Revelation but living it out before us, the scariest aspect of this destruction is that it would consume us all disregarding our hope.
Several people I pay attention to have done their homework and told us that God follows, with precision, the feasts that He laid out for the Jewish people, such as Passover. As these feasts have come up, (and no we gentile believers don’t really have a clue, unless you do your homework,) we have been told that these feasts are times within which we should watch for Jesus’ return for His bride. Sadly, I am still here, but I still have hope. A major anchor point that allows us to understand and advocate for prophecy, was Israel – the fig tree, and its rebirth as a nation, which happened in 1948. It is this generation that shall not pass away.
On that note, we are still in Revelation chapter twelve, and it seems we are returning to our history lesson.
Revelation 12:12 Moffatt NT (12) Rejoice for this, O heavens and ye that dwell in them! But woe to earth and sea! The devil has descended to you in fierce anger, knowing that his time is short.”
Eugene Peterson put it that way.
“So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,”
Who is God talking to?
Assuming that this is a pre-creation scenario, then we are talking about the trinity and the remaining angels.
And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads! And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them onto the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman being about to bear, so that when she bears he might devour her child. (Revelation 12:3-4 MKJV)
We know that the stars are angels.
And the fifth angel sounded. And I saw a star fall from the heaven to the earth, and it was given the key of the abyss. (Revelation 9:1 MKJV)
This “star” is a physical or spiritual being, we know this because it is given a key to hell. (Don’t foolishly assume that God would simply hand Satan the keys to hell; Satan deceived Eve to get them, while Adam, stood there doing nothing to stop Satan’s action, and therefore committed treason against God and handed the dominion of earth over to Satan.) Jesus said I beheld Satan fall like lightning to earth. (Luke 10:18). So, if I put together my evidence, then I can build a case proving that it was Satan that fell and he took a third of the angels with him.
Why in the world would they rejoice, because as we have witnessed, simply having Satan thrown to earth has done little more than cause the loss of generations of humans, endless wars, death, and a loss of peace?
The answer to this lies in a word, mystery, and God intentionally let the clues come out that day in the Garden, as He explained to Eve.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
(Genesis 3:15 NASB)
Paul told us that the plan to restore all things has been a mystery since the beginning of time.
… according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, (Romans 16:25b NASB)
But it is NOT still a mystery and we can understand it through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.
(Ephesians 1:7-9 NASB)
“But woe to earth and sea! The devil has descended to you in fierce anger, knowing that his time is short.”
We understand that Satan was thrown to earth by God, but what we don’t see is the anger. Lacking scripture, all we have is an assumption, and that does not work. But we do have well-defined reasoning for Satan’s anger and scripture gives it to us.
One of those answers comes from the passage itself and Revelation 12:12 tells us that his time is limited. In trying to understand this lack of time, I am well aware that just since Christ’s resurrection Satan has had over two thousand years. I suppose in contrast to eternity 2000 years is just a drop in the bucket.
When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. (Revelation 12:13 NLT)
“When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth,”
Assuming that God lives among the stars, and God threw Satan to earth; that is a long, fast fall.
How do you not realize that you have been thrown to earth and that the party is over?
Maybe, it is not that far, or Satan is just that dense. Notice how the passage indicates that once he realized he was thrown down, where God’s plan, the mystery, would take place, he/Satan immediately began pursuing the woman who had given birth to the male child.
“he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.”
Does this include Eve?
I ask because Satan immediately takes out both Cain and Able. Every possibility since has been attacked, including Jesus.
The woman is Israel giving birth to the nation. Israel was a nation before it ever became a nation in 1948. So, Satan has been going after God’s people, trying to kill them, since the beginning of time; yes.
But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time. (Revelation 12:14 NLT)
This idea of God carrying His people on His wings was not new.
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4 NLT)
Revelation 12:14 tells us,
“ But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness.”
Dr. J. Vernon McGee states, “Into the wilderness, into her place.” Scripture does not say that the rock-hewn city of Petra will be that place. It could be, but we just simply do not know. This “wilderness” has been variously identified—Petra is not the only place. Some say that it is the wilderness of the peoples of the world; that is, that there will be another worldwide scattering of Israel. Since Christ said, “… flee into the mountains” (Mat_24:16), we believe it to be a literal wilderness, possibly that same one in which Israel spent forty years under Moses.”
A friend asked me about how I do Bible study. I have talked in the past about my disdain for commentaries, and one by Warren Wiersbe, who is renowned for his knowledge and wisdom. In my case, the group leader chose to use the Wiersbe commentary on Romans instead of focusing on the Bible. My feeling. and I get this to some degree from Pastor Tom Hughes of 411 church in San Jacinto, is that I no longer wish to lean upon commentaries. If I can’t figure it out from scripture, then I can resort to commentaries that I feel I can trust.
As you can see above, even Dr. McGee, attempted to direct our thinking to Israel running back into the world.
I have a problem with that idea for this reason.
“then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.”
(Matthew 24:16-20 NASB)
When Jesus said these words, He said them to a Jewish audience that would never see this particular event, and the circumstances of what appears to be a catastrophic attack, are centered on Jerusalem. This doesn’t seem like a global event that would drive them back into the nations as we have for several years see a push (Aliyah) to come back to Israel and the Jews know that. The fact that He spoke specifically about Judea should be a tremendous clue.
The prophet Zechariah established the fact that Israel would be the focus of the attack.
“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3 NASB)
Just to say the focus is on Jerusalem is not enough. There was a time when “Israel” was a divided kingdom. Israel was the northern kingdom and Judea was the southern kingdom. Obviously, they are one nation, Israel, at this point. So the terminology is meant to promote the idea that the entirety of Israel will be under siege, and soon.
How many people in Israel escape?
“One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.” Ezekiel 5:12 NASB
Do the math. Only one-third survives and they do so by fleeing into the mountains.
If you were to say, but there a Jews everywhere and not all them come back to Israel, you would be correct; and this is where our presumptive statements, such as the Jews will flee to Petra, in Lebanon, get us into trouble. I realize that these assumptions have been made because 1.) it appeared to be the most logical place considering that scripture speaks of the dragon pouring out a flood, that God diverts, and Petra makes the most sense to some. But have you ever seen pictures of that place? Yes, it is amazing but it is not as expansive as people make it sound, and there is no plumbing if you catch my drift. And 2.) As of 2019, there were a little over 9 million people living in Israel. And you are expecting me to believe that 3 million people will jam themselves into that water-carved canyon for three and one-half years? Obviously and miraculously, some of God’s people will be saved, but it is NOT clear where.
Ezekiel chapter seven defines where and how these deaths will come.
‘The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city.” (Ezekiel 7:15 NASB)
I want you to pay attention to the word plague. Covid falls under this category.
Considering that the Jews are a target of God’s wrath during the “tribulation years,” doesn’t it seem feasible that many of them died directly related to what is coming? Let me point out that George Soros is a European Jew that hates God.
Just in case you don’t know, or you have forgotten, here is a bit of what God will bring:
The antichrist arrives and brings death with him. Revelation 6:2.
And another, a red horse. To take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; Revelation 6:4.
Behold an ashen horse. Authority was given to them to kill a fourth of the earth, Revelation 6:8.
With the sixth seal there was another deadly earthquake. Revelation 6:12.
We are still looking at Revelation 12:14.
“ But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness.”
Wings is the Greek word pterux and surprise, it means wings, as in bird wings.
Is there a practical way to understand this?
Some would yes, as their idea gives Israel the ability to jump on an airplane and fly someone where else.
Really, do you actually think that is going to happen, especially in this newly improved Covid world we live in where Israel itself has gone back on full lockdown?
No, there will be no escape from Israel, outside of God’s plan; that only leaves one other possibility, and that is that Jews, globally, will have to run in any safe direction they can find.
Why make an analogy to an eagle’s wings?
Because this is the language that God has used with Israel on previous occasions.
“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” Exodus 19:4.
Having read about Israel’s escape from Egypt, on several occasions, I can remember no references to eagles’ wings, this leads me to believe that God used the phrase “I bore you on eagles’ wings” as an analogy to the magnificence of His actions.
Another reference to eagle wings is found in Deuteronomy.
“Like an eagle teaching its young to fly, catching them safely on its spreading wings, the LORD kept Israel from falling.” Deuteronomy 32:11 GNB
So, when Israel has to run for their lives, God is letting us and them know that He will carry them safely.
If the eagle’s wings are synonymous with the catching away of the church, will you get caught up to meet Him in the air? Those that are not caught up will have to prove their allegiance to Jesus Christ, almost without exception, through their death as a martyr.