REVELATION CHAPTER TWELVE
CHAPTER TWELVE PREFACE
In studying the Book of Revelation thus far, we have learned some things that are contradictory to the "normal" doctrinal teachings of many different denominations. We have found some verses that reveal truths that are contradictory to the teaching of Post-Millennial and A-Millennial "one world" socialists. We should notice that these "new truths" (they are not new to the Holy Ghost but to us within our limited understanding!) have not been obtained by inventing a quaint and novel teaching. They have not been revealed by "going to the Greek" or the "Hebrew." They have not been revealed by obtaining more "original manuscripts," or by doing greater research into "original sources," nor by any of the ways by which new revelations are supposed to appear. We need to stress this because all revelation of truth comes from God. God the Holy Spirit is the Author of scripture, and the scripture that God, the Holy Spirit, reveals to the English-speaking people is the plain English as we find it, where we find it.
If we've discovered any new or novel things in this commentary on the Book of Revelation, we must remember where we learned them. We learned them from the English text with the English text, in the context where we found it, as God intended it to be. We did not learn it from any "man!" We are not capable of interpreting it. All the understanding and knowledge any English-speaking man has, he receives directly from the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, through simply reading and believing the plain English text.
So far, we have seen that the Book of Revelation contains four accounts of the Tribulation, and that the Book of Revelation is divided into three sections-Chapters 1-3; Chapters 4-19; and Chapters 20-22. We've seen that in these three sections that the Church Age is pictured in Revelation 1-3, the Tribulation is pictured in Revelation 4-19, and the Millennium and new heavens and new earth are found in the remainder of the book.
Hopefully, we've learned that this division is reliable, as far as its application goes, by the fact that heaven opens two times - once in Revelation 4 and once in Revelation 19. In Revelation 4 somebody went up and in Revelation 19 somebody came down.
John was told to write the book in three tenses - what he had seen, what he was seeing, and what God was going to show him. We've seen that the Church Age the Body of Christ is caught out (Revelation 4:1,2, with John being a type of the Body of Christ) and the Tribulation takes place on this earth. It is a period called "Daniel's Seventieth Week" or "the time of Jacob's trouble." (It is two equal periods of 3½ years.)
We have seen that most likely the Book of Revelation records four successive accounts of the events that take place in this time. Just as there are four gospels recording the first coming of Christ (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), there are four accounts of the Tribulation in the Book of Revelation. One of them ends in Revelation 6; one of them ends in Revelation 11; one ends in Revelation 14; and the last one ends in Revelation 19. The first account of the Tribulation is under the figure of "seals" (Revelation 4-6); the second account is under the figure of "trumpets"(Revelation 7-11); the third account is discussing the work and ministry of the Antichrist (Revelation 12-14); the last account is under the figure of "vials" or "bowls" (Revelation 16-19).
Some of the odd facts that we have discussed in this study are:
When we get into studying the Bible like this, we will suddenly find that we are "way out" by ourselves. The same chapter of Acts from which we draw our Home Group name, Bereans (Acts 17:10,11), also tells of the Athenians who spent their time in nothing else but to tell or hear something new (Acts 17:21.) We must remain humble Bereans and avoid being proud Athenians! The average response of some saved people towards our enthusiasm for learning might be, "They think they're right and everybody else is wrong."
Now, we have come to Revelation 12, and again, we will discuss events that take place in the Tribulation. The time period of 3½ years is given again in this chapter. In Revelation 12:6, we'll see that this woman is fed "a thousand two hundred and threescore days," exactly as we saw in Revelation 11:3. We'll also see (in 12:14) that this woman is fed "for a time (one unit), and times (two units), and a half a time" (½ unit), making 3½. This figure is prominent in this section of the Bible (Revelation 11,12,13). This, then, describes events that take place in the last half of the Tribulation. Since the end of the Tribulation was found in Revelation 11:15, and since the two witnesses prophesy 3½ years before the end, it stands to reason that Moses and Elijah begin their prophetic ministry to Israel in the middle of the Tribulation - at the 3½ year mark.
The events that take place in Revelation 12 take place in the same period, and the events that take place in Revelation 13 take place in the same period. Therefore, Revelation 11-14 is a birdseye view of the last events of the last 3½ years of the Tribulation. In Revelation 11, the primary concern is about the ministry of the two witnesses; in Revelation 12 the primary concern is over the place of Israel, in the Tribulation; in Revelation 13 we will see the ministry of the "christ" who returns to earth to damn the whole world. The "christ" who returns in Revelation 13 is not the Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible, but the traditional, mythological, legendary "christ" of some "Christian" fiction.
Revelation 12:1,2 - 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: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Here we have another wonderful place to study how "private interpretation" of the Word of God operates. For example, in Revelation 12:1,2 we see "a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." Who could this woman be? Many pictures of the mother of Jesus depict the "virgin Mary" standing on the moon with the sun around her and the stars over her head! Obviously many believe that since Mary brought forth Jesus Christ and is His mother, the woman of Revelation 12:1,2 must be His mother!
Let's pretend, for just a moment, that the "woman" is Mary. Let's replace the word "woman" with Mary and read through the text and watch what happens!
12:1 "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; (Mary) clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."
The an "ex-cathedra" statement by Pope Pius in 1920 (supposedly an "infallible teaching" of the Roman Catholic Church!), is that Mary is now up in heaven. This is based on Revelation 12:1. (You're not a good Roman Catholic if you don't believe this!)
12:2-6 "And (Mary) being with child (Jesus) cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 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. 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 (Mary) which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she (Mary) brought forth a man child (Jesus), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman (Mary) fled into the wilderness, where she (Mary) hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her (Mary) there a thousand two hundred and threescore days."
Revelation 12:13,14- "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Mary) which brought forth the man child. And to the woman (Mary) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she (Mary) might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she (Mary) is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."
Now, let's take the Protestant Reformation interpretation of this passage - this interpretation is taught by all the major denominational seminaries. They believe the "woman" is the church. Again, let's pretend. This time that the "woman" is "the Church." Let's replace the word "woman" with "the church," read through the text, and watch what happens!
12:1,2 "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman (the church) clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And (the church) being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."
12:5,6 "And (the church) brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and (the church's) child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And (the church) fled into the wilderness, where (the church) hath a place prepared of God .... "
Revelation 12:14 - "And to (the church) were given two wings of a great eagle, that (the church) might fly into the wilderness .... "
If this woman is the church, what is the church doing keeping the Old Testament Ten Commandments given under the law? (See Revelation 12:17.) The seed of this "woman" keeps the Old Testament law. The church, the Body of Christ, is not under Mosaic Law in this age; they are under grace (Romans 6:14). They are under the "law of liberty" and not the Mosaic Law (Galatians 5:12). They are given new commandments instead of the Ten Commandments (John 14:21; 15:10-18). They are given the commandments of Jesus Christ, not the "commandments of God." In Revelation 12:17, the remnant of the seed of the woman "keep the commandments of God," and have the "testimony of Jesus Christ." This is "faith and works" as we find it in James 2:24, written to the twelve tribes (Revelation 14:12, James 1:1).
Revelation 22:14 - "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
This is not the church, the Body of Christ. We don't have to eat of the "tree of life." We already have the Saviour who gave us eternal life. We don't have to get our life off a tree! "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12). The people who get life, in the Tribulation, are under Old Testament Mosaic law. Those in the Millennium are under the Sermon on the Mount "conventions," which are much more difficult to keep than the Mosaic Law!
"The woman" is not the church, and "the woman" is not Mary. This is the analysis of the scripture; this is the judgment of the scriptures themselves on the verse. The scriptures interpret themselves for they are their own best critic. The text says that whoever the "woman" is, that she has to bring forth Jesus Christ; she has to flee to the wilderness; she has to fly there with two wings; she has to be fed for 3½ years.
Well, who is she? Let's find out! Notice in Genesis 37:9 - "And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."
In our English Bible, the Holy Spirit has preserved the interpretation for us, without any reference to Mary or the church. In the context, Joseph is dreaming dreams and telling his father, "Israel," about the dreams. (Notice, the only difference in the text of Revelation 12:1 and Genesis 37:9 is the number of stars - twelve stars in Revelation 12:1 and eleven stars in Genesis 37:9.)
Genesis 37:10 - "And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?"
In the passage (Genesis 37:9,10), we see that "the sun" stood for Israel, the father; we see that "the moon" stood for Rachel, the mother of Joseph; we see that "the eleven stars" stood for his brothers; and Joseph is the twelfth brother. In Revelation 12:1 we see a woman clothed with the sun, the moon, and the twelve stars. We couldn't miss this interpretation unless we are trying to bend the scriptures to fit our system of belief! The "woman" is Israel. Watch how the English Bible brings out the unsearchable riches of the Holy Spirit! The context is God speaking to Israel.
Hosea 2:14,15 - "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness (exactly as we find it mentioned three times in Revelation 12) and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt."
When Israel came up out of the land of Egypt, do we know how she was brought up? Do we know what figure God the Holy Spirit uses in reference to Israel coming up out of Egypt? Check out the following reference.
Deuteronomy 32:11 - "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her w-i-n-g-s." (See Revelation 12:14.) Emphasis on wings is not in the Bible!
Here is a perfect correlation of scripture with scripture. Revelation 12 is dealing with Israel in the Tribulation, so we should look for Israel. Israel is called "a woman," and a woman is called "Israel." The church is never referred to as a "woman." She is always referred to as a "wife," "bride," or "virgin," but never a woman (see 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:9). The "woman" in Revelation 12 is called a "woman." The "woman" in Revelation 12 goes into the wilderness. Israel is prophesied to go back into the wilderness (in Hosea) as a "woman." When she goes she is told to go "as she came out of Egypt." When she came out of Egypt, she came out on two wings of an eagle. When she goes in Revelation 12, she goes on two wings of an eagle into the wilderness. Now, do you think the "woman" is Mary? Is the "woman" the church? Or, is the "woman" Israel?
Revelation 12:2 - And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
This "woman" brings forth the Lord Jesus Christ. (We know that Mary "brought forth the Lord Jesus Christ," but Mary only fits verse 2. She can't fit verses 3,4,6,14, or 17. So, Israel must be the one who brings forth the Lord Jesus Christ.) The Lord Jesus Christ is not only called the "seed of woman," but the "seed of Abraham" (Galatians 3), and the "seed of David" (Romans 1:1-6). Jesus is also called the "chosen one of Israel." From His human parentage by Mary, He comes from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So Israel brings forth the Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:3 - 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.
In the Bible "red" always symbolizes blood. This dragon is identified in Revelation 12:9, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world .... "
He is Satan: he is the Devil; he is called a "dragon." Hence, Satan is very careful to encourage the writers of Greek and Chinese mythology to talk about "dragons!" That is so that when a sinner reads about a "dragon" in the Bible he will laugh it off and say that it was a "mythological monster," and therefore, "the apocalypse was written in apocalyptic language that is figurative and obscure," etc. But Satan has a great deal more sense than the scholars who study mythology. When we read of a dragon in the Bible, do we know what the word means? It means a dragon!
Let's take the time, now, to detail the description of this "dragon."
Lucifer was an "anointed cherub," and he fell and became a "red dragon." When he appears, he appears as an "angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:11-14). (He will probably appear to emulate Jesus Christ as much as possible by looking like a 33 year old male!) Although Satan appears as an "angel of light," we should never assume that the Devil was an angel. It is a common fable among Christians that Satan is a fallen angel. The Devil is never an angel; he is a Cherubim, and has wings, and no angel in the Bible has wings. The Devil was "the anointed cherub that covereth," and as "the anointed cherub that covereth," he had wings. (See Lesson on Chapter Four for a complete discussion of the Cherub that Covereth.) Angels do not have wings because wings, in the Bible, are not connected with angels! Of course every picture or image of an angel we see has wings but these are angels of fiction and are the real subjects of mythology. Many professing Christians in America believe that angels have wings.
In Satan's present condition, he is not a winged cherub, but a "red dragon." He may appear as an "angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:11-14), but this is a false appearance and a deception. His actual condition is found in the Book of Job. (The Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible, and therefore, it deals more in detail with the events that took place in Genesis 1:1,2 than does the Book of Genesis.)
In Job 41 a strange creature is described.
Job 41:1 - "Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook?" The word "leviathan" is described in some commentaries as a "crocodile," in others the "leviathan" is called a "hippopotamus" or a "crocodile." The general consensus of opinion is that "leviathan" is some kind of a sea monster, like a whale or a crocodile. But look in Psalm 74:14. Here we find the phrase, "Thou brakest the h-e-a-d-s of leviathan." Here, we are told that "leviathan" has more than one head! In Revelation 12:3 (the passage under discussion), we notice that the "dragon" has seven heads (plural). In the context of Psalm 74:14 (just quoted), note verse 13. "Thou brakest the heads (plural) of the dragons in the waters." Here we have compared context with context, scripture with scripture, again yielding an interpretation that did not require a Greek nor Hebrew scholar! The key to Bible revelation is belief in what we read, as we read it.
If this were not enough, "leviathan" is described in Isaiah 27:1, "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent (as in Revelation 12), even leviathan that crooked serpent (as in Revelation 12); and he shall slay the dragon (as in Revelation 12) that is in the sea."
Comparing scripture with scripture yields the truth.
In Isaiah 27:1, Revelation 12, and Job 41, scripture with scripture, we have the scripture interpreting the scripture to give us the scriptural interpretation of scripture, without any reference to any set of commentaries, directly or indirectly.
These passages, Job 41, Revelation 12, Isaiah 27, and Psalm 74, are all dealing with a powerful, spiritual being, who operates in a spiritual realm that was here before there was a material creation, and before there were physical phenomena present. "Leviathan" is a being who is not interested in the "psychosomatic relations" of our physical and emotional structure; he is interested in damning our souls to hell! When dealing with such a being, we should fear but we had better take God's Word as the highest more authoritative source of revelation.
Job 41:1 - "Canst thou draw out leviathan with a hook? (That's why many commentators think it's a sea monster - a hook is mentioned!) or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?"
When we tie a hook on the cord and let it down, we catch fish. So it occurs to many scholars that this must be a great big fish. But, as we have pointed out above, the English Bible straightens this out. The word for this in English is D-R-A-G-O-N!
Job 41:9 - "Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?"
This being has no hope. If we saw him, the sight would make us fall flat on our faces! (Hmm? Think of the "manifestations" at some of these so-called revivals that are attributed to the power of the Holy Ghost - what is really being seen? Who is really in "power?" 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.")
Job 41:10 - "None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?"
"None is so fierce that dare stir him up," and yet, God made him. If we can't stand before Satan, we certainly can't "stand" before God.
Job 41:19-21 - "Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth."
I have seen this scene in front of Children's Education Building! People are outside puffing on their cigarettes! People think that nothing about smoking is mentioned in the Bible, but maybe they are wrong. The first mention of "kindling a coal" by inhaling our breath, and "blowing smoke out of our nose" is found in Job 41:19-21.
Since this custom probably originated with the peace pipe, among pagan people (who dance around the totem pole and worship the "great white father," the god of this world - 2 Corinthians 4:4), there is little doubt about the reference at all.
God never intended for us to breathe smoke unless it is in hell. Revelation 14:11 speaks about the "smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever." The only time smoke is mentioned in connection with God is when there is a cloud of smoke covering the holy place, and the smoke representing the fire of God's wrath (as we will find it everywhere in the word of God). Smoke is always something off a sacrifice that is being burned. Even where the smoke is from the altar of incense (where the prayers of the saints are going up - Revelation 8:3,4), the saints have had their heads cut off and their bodies have been burned. (Check out another reference in Isaiah 50:11 about lighting cigarettes! If you smoke you will get cancer!)
Many will approach Job 41 and say, "Why I never heard such private interpretation! The idea of applying these passages in Job, written in the apocalyptic, symbolic language of the ancient Hebrew, in the wisdom literature of Baal language, etc." The fact that a sinner, resents passages which apply to his particular sin, is "no sweat" to the writers of the Holy Scriptures, or to the Lord, or to Job. The fact remains that the context of the chapter is a description of Satan in his present condition, and his present condition (in its description) is the picture of a man kindling a coal with his breath, and blowing smoke out through his nose and mouth. Christ says to a certain group of people, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do (John 8:44)." Like father, like son.
Job 41:33 - "Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear."
This is not the description of a hippopotamus. (Hippopotami can get scared to death.) This is not a crocodile or a whale. (Crocodiles and whales have been scared to death.) Many a whale has run for his life and sounded for the deep to shake off a harpoon. This monster (Job 41) here has no fear! "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Job 28:28). This monster has no fear and "Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear." It's not a whale. It's not a crocodile. It's not a hippopotamus. There is no way for us or our church to get a private interpretation which says that leviathan is a "whale," "crocodile," or "hippopotamus." We simply can't get that unless we just plain reject what God says, the way He says it, where He says it! This passage is dealing with the "king over all the children of pride," who is over all this earth, and everything on it is given to his hand, as the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). He doesn't fear God or anybody else. He wasn't afraid to step up to God's Son and say, "If thou be the Son of God" etc. He's audacious. He walks before the throne and says, "Doth Job fear God for naught?" No fear! Ever see a "T" shirt with that slogan on it? Where does it come from?
Job 41:23,24 - "The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone."
His heart is as hard as a piece of millstone, and he has scales.
Job 41:27-29- "He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble. Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear."
The "normal" weapons we would use against him are useless. The only weapon we can use against him is Hebrews 4:12, and if we don't use that weapon right, we'll just cut ourselves with it!)
Then, Job 41 is a detailed description of Satan in his present condition. The description given in Job 41 is the description of a coiled, twisted, serpentine sea-monster with seven heads, and scales, breathing fire and smoke. It is a description of what we wouldn't believe because we have been raised to believe that such a description is not to be believed! The text implies that if we could see him we would pass out cold. There are operations in the spirit world, in a world of beings who are not dependent upon the physical construction of matter or the atomic structure, which are unknown to science, and only revealed in the textbook of truth - the Word of God. The proof is in the revelation. Nothing like this is revealed anywhere or anyplace else.
Then this is a great, "red dragon with seven heads," who runs and rules this world, as "king over all the children of pride." "The kingdoms of the world" are his (Luke 4); he gives them to whomever he will. He appears as an "angel of light" and he is a "christ." He is an anointed messiah (Ezekiel 28:14). Naturally, he would claim to have the one, true "church of christ!" He desires worship as a god; he's called a prince (John 14:30); he's called a king; he's called an angel (2 Corinthians 11:10-19); he's called an angel of light. He quotes scripture (Luke 4) and he has a bride who is his body (as Christ's bride is His body- Revelation 17). His sphere of activity is primarily religious. We don't find the Devil in a pool hall or a beer joint - that's the flesh. We will find the Devil at the Ecumenical Council, the National Council of Churches or some other religious organization.
12:3 "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."
This is a seven-headed, coiled, twisted, serpentine monster who moves up and down in the water.
Job 41:31,32 - "He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary."
(See Revelation 4:6 and comments.) In Chapter Four we discussed the body of water above the firmament, in Genesis 1, was a frozen body of water. We saw that there is a body of water above the galaxies and solar systems that goes right up to the throne of God, frozen over the north, into a sea of glass, solid on top. Now we will see in Job 41:31,32, that Satan in his sphere of activity, being religious, goes up and down through that water. Hence, he is likened unto a "sea monster." But he is not one of these literal fish or monsters, out of a lake, a river or a sea. The reference is to the waters above the heavens, revealed in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 1, Job 41, Revelation 4,5)! The reference has nothing to do with the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Nile, or the Dead Sea, or the Galilee, or the Jordan. The reference is to a body of water unknown to modern scientific astronomers, and Satan moves up and down in it.
Isaiah 27:1 - "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
So Satan goes up and down through this water, and controls the earth by a system of kingdoms set up under seven crowns or kings. Although the red dragon has ten horns, he has only seven crowns - one crown for each head (Revelation 12:3). This brings us to another great truth of scripture; the Bible itself encompasses all kingdoms from the beginning to the end of history, under the picture of seven heads and seven kings. All of these seven heads, or kings of kingdoms, are listed in the word of God. They have no reference whatsoever to the seven Roman Emperors as we read in many commentaries. Some commentaries always try to put Revelation in the past to get rid of its future application to any present day religious system. In doing so, they have to make the seven kings and the ten horns refer to contemporary emperors, who lived in John's day. This is typical of how we can pervert the word of God - we make all the Bible prophecy refer to past historical fulfillment, and we make it a dead word instead of the living word (Mark 8:1-12). Think about it!
These seven kings and ten horns are clearly given in scripture by name. The first head that Satan uses to rule the world is found in Genesis 10.
Genesis 10:9 - "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord."
Nimrod is the son of Cush (verse 6), and Cush is a full-blooded African black man - probably an Ethiopian.
Genesis 10:10 - "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Caineh, in the land of Shinar."
Ten is the number of the Gentiles - the Gentiles spring from Noah, the tenth from Adam. The first head on Satan is Nimrod, the king of Babel (Genesis 10:10). This is the first type of the antichrist. He is a half-breed, Hamitic, black man, who tried to settle in Asia instead of the land of Ham (where he should have been - see Psalm 105:23; 106:22). (This begins the confusion of Babel in Genesis 11.)
Exodus 5:2 - "And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go."
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is the second head with which Satan ruled the world. If there is any doubt about this, Pharaoh is called "a dragon" in Ezekiel 29:3. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is the second king, the second head, and the second kingdom - Egypt being a type of the world.
2 Kings 18:13 - "Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them."
The third head found on this "leviathan," who runs and rules the kingdoms of this world, is Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The Antichrist is called "the Assyrian," and we'll find at least one Pharaoh was an Assyrian (Isaiah 52:4; Hosea 5:13; 11:5; Micah 5:5,6) - not a full-blooded Egyptian. He was a half-breed, Hamitic Assyrian. Here, we find Sennacherib, the king of Assyria (type of the Antichrist), coming up and attacking Jerusalem to wipe out the Jews exactly as the Antichrist will do in the Tribulation.
In the Book of Daniel, we will find all the other four heads given. The fourth head is found in Daniel 3 - Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. If there is any doubt about this, please notice that Sennacherib, the king of Assyria and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon are both called "dragons" (Jeremiah 51:34, 50:17,18)!
There is no doubt about the remaining three kingdoms. They are all prophesied in Daniel 2, anywhere from fifty years to four hundred years before they show up. In the vision of the great image (Daniel 2), Daniel prophesies on the four coming kingdoms pictured by that image, and they come to pass just as prophesied. The true prophet of God is always 100% correct, not 60 or 70%, but 100%!
The kingdom that follows Babylon is Media-Persia (Daniel 5:28). Darius, who befriends the Jews, comes in here. Darius is a friend of Israel, but the Antichrist will be a friend of Israel for three and a half years during the Tribulation. So we have Darius, king of Persia, representing the fifth head of Satan.
There is little doubt about the sixth head. Years and years before Greece ever became a power under Alexander the Great, Daniel was told in Daniel 10:20; 11:2; 8:20,21 that the next kingdom would be Greece. Although he is not mentioned in scripture, this king is Alexander the Great.
Luke 1:68-71; 2:1 - "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us. - And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."
This means that at the Second Coming of Christ, the Jews will be in the homeland (as they were the first time), Rome is going to be in power (as it was the first time), and the whole world is going to be in subjection to the king of Rome (as it was the first time!) So, the seventh and last head of Satan is the head of the Roman Empire, Caesar Augustus. It is called the "Holy Roman Empire." Is this an accident? Satan claims holiness - the "Holy" Roman Empire! This is now called the "Holy" Catholic Church. Do we get all that? The basic root meaning of the word "cat," by the way, is "mother!" Hence - "Cat-Holy" = Catholic; Holy Cats = Holy Mother! (Webster's Dictionary: Etymology: Middle English, from Old English catt, probably from Late Latin cattus, catta cat. Date: before 12th century
2nd Definition: a malicious woman.)
12:3 "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."
The seven crowned heads represent seven kings or kingdoms by which Satan controls this earth. The first of these kings is Nimrod, king of Babel, who ruled about 2400 BC. The second of these kingdoms (called the Ancient Kingdom, or Early Kingdom, and much studied by archaeologists) was the Egyptian Empire. This kingdom was under Pharaoh, king of Egypt, until approximately 800 BC. (We don't hear much about Gentile empires during this time because the crown has gone from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, unconditionally, to the twelve tribes under Saul, David, and the succession of kings.) With the collapse of the literal, physical, visible kingdom of heaven promised to Israel (around 710 BC), the third head of Satan appears - Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. He rules until the succession of Nebuchadnezzar shows up about 606 BC. The Babylonian Kingdom, under Nebuchadnezzar, runs from this date until about 536 BC. Then in 536 BC, the kingdom of Media-Persia takes over and runs until about 330 BC. Then, in 330 BC, we have the ascendancy of Greece under Alexander the Great and Phillip of Macedonia until about 100 BC, the Roman "kingdom" takes over to 346 AD. This is the last head on Satan. Then, this Roman kingdom goes into a mystery form called "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." (Remember in Chapter 11, how we found that the church has a mystery form too! Satan has an imitation of almost every thing!) Notice, very carefully, the first head on Satan is Babel (Babylonia), the middle (fourth) head is Babylon, and the last head is "Mystery, Babylon the great." Babel is mentioned at the beginning, in the middle, and on the end. Get that connection? The last kingdom, under Caesar Augustus, is called "Babylon." Now notice:
1 Peter 5:13- "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."
This is the proof text used by the Roman Catholic Church to prove that Simon Peter was not in literal Babylon, but was in Rome. In the official literature of the Knights of Columbus, there is the reference to 1 Peter 5:13 (Watch out for the 13's!) as it applies to Rome. This means that the seventh head, historically - Caesar Augustus (Rome), had the Roman kingdom in ascendance until 346 AD. Then, instead of being cut off by the Huns, Visigoths, Vandals, etc., after Constantine (313 AD), this seventh head of Satan went into a mystery, religious form to maintain its political hold over the kingdoms of this world. So, there never have been more than seven kingdoms, and there never will be. The seventh and last kingdom on this earth goes into a religious form to maintain its political hold. Should we ever wonder why today the Roman Catholic Church is also the Vatican State? Cardinal Spellman (writing in books as late as the 1900's) says that the pope is head of a political state as well as a spiritual realm. The scriptures clearly indicate that the seventh and final head on Satan is the seventh, final, and last kingdom, which as a political entity, lasts until 346 AD when it goes into a mystery religious form. We still find Rome on the seven hills at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 17:5-9).
So this seven-headed dragon is Satan, who controls this world under seven kingdoms. Interesting isn't it?
Revelation 12:4 - 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.
Notice that in the passage the dragon is said to be a heavenly being, or at least "in the heavens." As his sphere of operation on this earth is religious, his geographical location is up and down through the waters - the heavens.
The scriptures interpret themselves and a "star" in scripture does not always refer to a sun. Sometimes it does, but where the first definition appears in Revelation 1:20, a star is called "an angel." When these stars are cast to the earth in Revelation 6:13, they are obviously angels and not suns. If the stars, as such, fell to the earth as suns or planets, they would burn the earth up immediately. The scriptures plainly reveal that these stars are "angels." So in Revelation 12:14 we have the coming of fallen angels back to this earth again, as they are found in Genesis 6:1-6. The scene is not the "Miltonic" scene of the Devil's angels getting kicked out of Paradise in Genesis 1. The scene is the future coming of visitors from outer space. (Notice, in Revelation 12:7-9, they do not come down to this earth until the Tribulation.) Of course, this is another shocker. It means that the long awaited visitors from outer space are going to show up! With all the recent emphasis on aliens, outer space, catastrophes, etc. the "stage" has been set so when these show up, they will probably be mistaken for men from outer space. All the gullible, 20th century educators, scientists, and church leaders will receive them as visitors from outer space, since they have rejected the literal passages in their own Bibles given to them by God, to show them that these voyagers who are coming are demons! This is the judgment that God brings on men for not believing His word. It is a just judgment; it is proper and in place. And there is no doubt about these activities that are going to take place; they are very clear from the word of God.
In Genesis 1 and 2, we are told that man's sphere of dominion or activity is to be limited to the earth.
Psalm 115:16 - "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men."
Here, we are told that the heavens belong to the Lord, and they do not belong to man; He has given the earth to man on which to operate. In Genesis 5:24 there is recorded the translation of a man from earth to heaven - caught out from earth to heaven "that he should not see death." In 2 Kings 2 we have a man making an outer space trip. We have another man caught up into outer space after he is dead and brought back in the New Testament - Moses. We see another man who goes up to heaven after he is resurrected from the dead, and when he returns in a few hours, preaches on the earth forty days and forty nights, and then goes up again in Acts 1 - Jesus Christ. There have been numerous trips into outer space long before Christopher Columbus. The "space age" is just a little late getting here!
The most effective thing for Satan to do during the Tribulation (which he is described as doing here - Revelation 12:4) is to come down from outer space. This is always very effective, and as a matter of fact, it is the way Christ returns in Revelation 19. Also, Satan tempted Christ to do it in Luke 4:9-12. Therefore, what Satan does is a counterfeit. Men are now looking for it and so, naturally, it would be the thing to do. It has been done before. In Genesis 6:1-4 the "sons of God" came down and cohabited with the daughters of men. It has not only been done before, but it will be done again (Luke 17:26,27). In Acts 14, Paul and Silas were accepted as "gods" from outer space, although they were only men. (As we have found out before, "angels" in the Bible are men.) Therefore, if fallen angels came to this earth, they would not come floating down, flapping their wings; they would come down and appear as men. They would be accepted as men; they would be accepted as men from other planets coming down to this earth from outer space; they would be accepted as supermen - "men of another race," above and beyond the power of ordinary man. All they will have to do is show a few scientific feats, they will be considered superior to modern man, and they will be accepted as "gods." They will be held in the utmost reverence by people as "humanoids" with great and vast knowledge. Anybody who opposes these beings will be considered to be a crackpot, or a fanatic, or dangerous to human progress. When this thing takes place, all the Bible-believing people are going to be marked off as nuts!
This thing is going to be so perfect and so slick that there isn't any way for the world to be able to see through it. That is, the world today is eager for visitors from outer space; they are expecting it, longing for it, and looking for it.
Romans 10:6-9 - "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
In general, we ("mankind") are ignoring the word of God. God's judgment upon man for doing this - despising and ignoring the word of God - is to bring visitors down from outer space that are the wrong visitors.
In Genesis 6, some of the first visitors from outer space, the fallen angels, are said to be cohabiting with the daughters of men. These fallen angels are interpreted by a very conservative Bible - believing, Pre-Millennialist, C.I. Scoffeld. Now I "love" the Scoffeld Bible and the study notes that it provides. The notes have assisted me greatly in rightly dividing the word of truth. But sometimes the notes just don't make sense. As the following discussion will show.)
The footnote in the Scoffeld Reference Bible for Genesis 6 reads:
"Some hold that these 'sons of God' were the 'angels which kept not their first estate' (Jude 6). It is asserted that the title is in the O.T. exclusively used of angels. But this is an error (Isaiah 43:6). Angels are spoken of in a sexless way. No female angels are mentioned in Scripture, and we are expressly told that marriage is unknown among angels (Matthew 22:30). The uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation has been that verse 2 marks the breaking down of the separation between the godly line of Seth and the godless line of Cain, and so the failure of the testimony to Jehovah committed to the line of Seth (Genesis 4:26). For apostasy there is no remedy but judgment (Isaiah 1:2-7,24,25, Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31). Noah, 'a preacher of righteousness,' is given 120 years, but he won no convert, and the judgment predicted by his great-grandfather fell (Jude 14,15, Genesis 7:11.)"
In this footnote, the Scoffeld Board of Editors give what they term to be the "uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation." However, the Bible interpretation, uniform by the Holy Spirit, turns out to be something entirely different.
Revelation 12:5 - 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.
Now this verse refers to the "man child" as the Lord Jesus Christ for several reasons. He is said to "rule the nations with a rod of iron," (Psalms 2) which we know the Lord Jesus Christ is going to do. The woman is Israel and she brings Him forth, as Christ came from Israel. The child is caught up, as Christ was caught up in Acts 1.
There are some who claim that Christ and the church together constitute this "man child" because of the message to the Church at Thyatira, where there is the promise to the "overcomers" is that they should rule with a rod of iron. But these folks forget that the promise is not to the whole church but just to the "overcomers." In other words it seems that the "overcomers" of the Thyatira church period shall hold some prominent "ruling" power with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom.
Revelation 12:6 - 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.
After the catching up of this child, Israel flees to the wilderness to be fed. Now this did not take place in Acts 1 when Christ was caught up. (Please realize that in the Old Testament many times there is a gap between the first and Second Coming of Christ that is only indicated by a comma, semi-colon, or a period. But there would be no need for this in the Book of Revelation. The "gap" that the Holy Spirit skips in the Old Testament is the Church Age, and when John writes, he is well into the Church Age, he has the Pauline epistles before him, and he knows of the gap between the two Comings.)
Hoping not to cause confusion, we mention several references that indicate that in the Tribulation the "man child" is not the Lord Jesus Christ at the first coming, but a literal man child in the Tribulation sent to deliver Israel. As Bereans we need to check these out and see for ourselves! Right?
These references are as follows:
In these references, there seems to be something else occurring in the Tribulation (especially in Isaiah 66:7). (Notice the cross reference in Jeremiah 1:6, and Jeremiah is plainly a type of a man in the Tribulation who is prophesying to Israel.) When we read the gospels, we will see that many Jews expected the return of Moses and Elijah, but many thought that Jesus Christ was the second coming of Jeremiah (Matthew 16:14)! There is little doubt about the time of Jeremiah's prophecy. Jeremiah, at the time of the king of Babylon (type of Antichrist), prophesies to Israel (about to be thrown out of the land as they are in the time of the Antichrist), concerning the destruction of Jerusalem (as it will be destroyed in the Tribulation by the Antichrist), and he disappears down into Egypt to pronounce the final prophecies on the Second Advent, "the day of the Lord" - Jeremiah 50-52. That isn't all.
Lamentations 4:20 - "The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen."
Here Jeremiah says that in the Tribulation the Jews will be trusting a man who is said to be "the anointed of the Lord," and who is taken by the Antichrist and his troop "in their pits."
Lamentations 4:21 - "Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked."
Notice that the Jew is at Uz (where Job was persecuted 42 chapters under Satan). He was saved by the literal appearance of God to restore his captivity and turn him about, as will happen to the Jew in the Tribulation.
Lamentations 4:19- "Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness."
Persecutors, flying machines similar to airplanes, will hunt the Jew in the wilderness, where he will be fed.
Lamentations 5:9 - "We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness."
Notice, the Jew is getting bread under peril of being killed every time he goes out to get it. Also, in Lamentations 4:21,22, he is praying for God to reappear the second time to fulfill the promises God gave to him in the Old Testament.
So, there is a chance that the "man child" in Revelation 12:3-5 is a reference to an Israelitish remnant, or a certain individual who is raised up in the Tribulation. (Frankly, the bottom line is, I can't explain the entire meaning of these references, but you ought to know about them!)
12:6 "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 is identified as Israel, and Israel is going to go back into the wilderness, exactly as she went back in the days that she came up out of the land of Egypt (Hosea 2:14-19). When she came out of the land of Egypt, she went into the wilderness on eagle's wings (Deuteronomy 32:11, Revelation 12:14).
Revelation 12:13 - "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child."
In the Tribulation, Satan will be personally occupied with the persecution of Israel, as he always has been.
Revelation 12:14-17 - "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 (1), and times (2), and half a time (½ - making 3½), from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood that the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which (1) keep the commandments of God (Old Testament Ten Commandments), and (2) have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
These are saved, Hebrew-Christian Jews in the Tribulation, who still observe the Old Testament commandments. It is to this group that perhaps one book in the Bible is aimed - "Hebrews" (appropriately called). Because "Hebrews" was written historically before 60 AD or 70 AD, the A-Millennial and Post-Millennial scholarship, and the Pre-Millennial scholarship have relegated the book backwards and have tried to limit its application to Jews in the early part of the Book of Acts. This overlooks the fact that every verse of scripture has three applications - historical, inspirational, and doctrinal. (See Chapter 1.) To limit the Book of Hebrews to the past tense - the early part of the Book of Acts- is a grievous mistake. All the way through the book, our attention is called to the Second Coming of Christ, again and again, in relation to Israel. Notice that all of Hebrews 3, the first half of Hebrews 6, all of Hebrews 8, and half of Hebrews 10 deal with this subject. Then, the book is appropriately titled (not to the Christians, not to the church, not to the Gentiles), to the "Hebrews." This is the group that is referred to primarily, in Revelation 12:17.
Now, we have a number of facts about this woman. This woman whom John sees is a picture that represents Israel. She is defined in Genesis 37 without any shadow of a doubt. This figure is used for Israel in the Old Testament in Hosea and many other passages. This woman is said to be the "cast off wife of Jehovah."
A "woman" in the Bible where she stands for something else, refers to only two groups. We find a woman in Revelation 17 and 18, and there is no doubt about her identity. This woman is built on seven hills: her colors are purple and scarlet: she has a golden cup,' she reigns over the kings of the earth; she kills the martyrs of Jesus Christ. The woman in Revelation 12 is a woman who is hated by Satan, persecuted by Satan, driven into the wilderness by Satan, fed by God, protected by God, while the seed of this woman keeps the Old Testament Ten Commandments and believes on Jesus Christ. There can't be much doubt about who the "seed" is. They are not Seventh Day Adventists (who mess up the passage). (We'll find that every false doctrine, or cult, in America today comes from refusal to believe the Book of Revelation, as it is written. They get their theologies by trying to pretend that they are "Hebrew Christians," obligated to keep both sets of commandments. Of course, the "Church of Christ" elder breaks his neck in the same place, and is even weaker in his exegesis. He tries to form the "law of liberty" - the Christian law of the Spirit which operates automatically in the body of the regenerated believer into a legal, formal, ritualistic set of precepts to be followed as a continuation of the Old Testament law!
The woman, therefore, is plainly Israel: she goes to the wilderness in the Tribulation for three and a half years; and she is fed by God as she was fed when she came out of the land of Egypt.
Micah 7:14 - "Feed thy people .... " We've read the expression, "thy people" enough now to know that it is not referring to Christians, but to Israel. However, some Christians have some wild idea that every time it says "thy people" in the Bible, that it is referring to Christians. God's people are called "servants of Christ"; they're called "sons of God"; they're called "little children"; they're called "children": they're called "babies": they're called "brethren": they're called the "seed of God." They are never called "thy people." Israel is God's people, and the expressions "thy people" and "my people" are always a reference in the Old Testament to Israel and never had any reference to the church at all. "... with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old."
Micah 7:15 - "According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things."
Notice, God is going to bring Israel out into the wilderness as He did in Exodus 15-20. He is going to feed them as He did in Exodus! He names the places where He is going to feed them; He is going to do in the future what He did in the past when they came out of the land of Egypt. (History is a circle, and the thing that has been "will be." There is no new thing "under the sun.") This makes the books of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy a picture of things to come. That's why the Devil wants us to stick to John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13 only, and then maybe we won't know what's coming!
So we find in Micah 7:14,15 that Israel is going to come out into the wilderness and be fed as they were before. The references for this are Jeremiah 50:19,20, Ezekiel 20:30-37, and 1 Samuel 25:2. The Bible is very clear. They are going to be fed exactly as they were when they came out of Egypt. This means that they are going to be fed, miraculously, from heaven, with manna. God is going to dump it out of the sky again; we'll find this remarkable event recorded in Exodus 16. We find later that the Antichrist prevents people from buying or selling unless they take his mark. Since the Jew will not take his mark, the Jew has to be fed supernaturally to stay alive. So, he is fed with manna from heaven exactly as he was when he came out of the land of Egypt!
Job 38:22,23 - "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?"
Here is a passage on this. Job is a picture of the Tribulation. Job is on the ground 7 days and 7 nights (one for each year in the Tribulation). Job is in the land of Uz where Israel will be; Job is persecuted by the Devil as Israel will be; Job is rescued by God at the end, as Israel is in Revelation 19.
"Treasures of snow." "Treasures of hail." The manna was small and round, and when it got hot, it melted. It was small, round, and white, and the Bible is careful to note that it lay like the "hoar frost" (the white frost), on the ground. The picture, then, is Israel during the Tribulation, south of the Dead Sea in Sela (or Petra), the rock city (back there in the holes where they will hide like they did in the ghettos of Warsaw), coming out at night to get their bread as God drops it on the ground, and God providing the provision daily for them, while the Antichrist tries to wipe them out!
12:6 ,"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."
Israel's flight to this wilderness is evidently on the Sabbath, perhaps by airplanes. This opens up a remarkable verse in Matthew 24. The Lord Jesus Christ says to Jews in the Tribulation in Matthew 24:20, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day."
The context is the Tribulation. When we read "flight," anybody in the 20th century automatically thinks of taking a plane. However, in Israel the airlines are grounded on the Sabbath - Friday night and Saturday. There are no commercial flights on the Sabbath in modern, 20th century Israel. The indication is, that if we took a flight out of Jerusalem on the Sabbath, we'd have to break the law to do it. In Revelation 12 we are told that this Jewish remnant in the Tribulation "keep the commandments of God."
Revelation 12:14 - "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."
If it says "eagle," why don't we say that she flew away on the wings of an eagle? (The Bible is always literal except where it is impossible to take it so.) But in Revelation 12:1 we know the "woman" is figurative, because Israel is pictured as a woman. The "dragon" is a picture of a literal beast described literally in Job 41. The "woman" is a picture of a literal group of twelve tribes described literally in Genesis 37 and Hosea 2. Then, the two great wings of an eagle is a picture of something else that is literal. If this woman flees on "the wings of an eagle," it is plainly not an ordinary eagle because the woman is twelve tribes! We can't imagine getting twelve tribes on the wings of an eagle but we can load them into 747s!
In the passage, it says that the "woman" (identified as Israel), goes on "two wings of a great eagle" (unidentified), but indicated as a flight on the Sabbath in Matthew 24.
Revelation 12:15 - "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood."
This is a literal flood that will take place in the land of Palestine and it is described in Daniel 9, Job 40:23, Jeremiah 12:5, and 45:7,8. It is not a flood of troops. It is a flood as in a floodwater, as a flood. It is water. There is going to be another miraculous intervention that is going to save Israel from drowning exactly as there was in Exodus 15,16. In Exodus 15,16, we read that when they came to the Red Sea the waters parted, and the children of Israel were not drowned. This probably means that the events of Exodus all take place over again. Pharaoh, a type of Antichrist, will show up again; Moses and Aaron, types of Moses and Elijah, will show up again; Israel in bondage to Hamitic "Egyptians" will show up again; the escape from them and their liberation will show up again; they will be fed by manna again; they will return to Palestine and possess the land again.
Revelation 12:7 - And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Notice, this war takes place in the future. In the 1990s, wars aren't over even in heaven! God declares war in Genesis 3:15, and there is still fighting in Revelation 12 - 66 books and 6,000 years later. "The Lord God is a Man of War" (Exodus 15:3), and if we think that there is going to be "peace on this earth" in 30 years, we are sadly mistaken. There is no end of war until Revelation 20. In the Holy Bible there are only four chapters in which somebody is not fighting - Genesis 1,2, and Revelation 21,22. The rest of the time there is war!
Michael is peculiarly Jewish in his operations and work (and has nothing to do with the church), showing again that the "woman" could not be the church. Michael, in Daniel 12:1, is said to be the particular spiritual being who stands up and fights for Israel, and represents Israel, in heavenly places. As the angelic representative in heaven, Michael stands for the children of Daniel's people (Daniel 10:21).
Revelation 12:8,9 - And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Satan does not prevail against Michael, and he is cast out into the earth. Down comes Satan, and other angels (who look like men), come with him. This is one of the great events in the future. These "visitors from outer space" are going to show up; they are going to come down to this earth. These "visitors from outer space" are going to show up on schedule, and they will come as men from other planets, and will be accepted as such.
Revelation 12:10 - And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Here Satan is pointed out as an "accuser," or an adversary, a kind of a "prosecuting attorney." We are told in the passage that he has been accusing Christians and saints until the middle of the Tribulation. As the middle of the Tribulation has not showed up yet, the Devil is still in full power, going up and down, carrying on the accusation, as he did in Job 1,2.
Revelation 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
"The death" means a particular kind of death, as that found in the Tribulation.
Revelation 12:12 - Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
The time element is given - 3½ years. This passage explodes all kinds of theories and myths in modern Christianity and ancient Christianity. The picture is not the picture of a winged angel falling out of heaven with a spear in his hand (as Dore has drawn in Milton's "Paradise Lost"). The picture is an "angel of light" (professing to be Jesus Christ), "the god of this world" (the anointed "Xristos" of Ezekiel 28), a magnetic, charming personality, coming down to this earth professing to be God in the flesh. He doesn't show up as a monster. (The monsters come up from below! See Revelation 9.) He comes down as a magnetic, attractive personality to take over the earth under one ecumenical, world movement (Revelation 13:3-8). When he shows up from outer space (the "superman from outer space, "the "man from Mars"), all science, education, philosophy, art, music, media - radio, television, and press will hail him as the greatest superhuman being which evolution ever produced! The judgment of heaven on this scene is "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!" For this is the one who took the kingdoms from Adam, who caused God's Son to die for sin, and damned so many souls into hell!
In Revelation 12:11 there are three classifications of believers listed, and this threefold classification occurs a number of times in the word of God. Of course, the direct context has reference to Tribulation saints. "And they overcame him (the direct reference is to the "dragon" or "serpent" in verse 9) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony (as John says he is there for the testimony of God); and they loved not their lives unto the death (a particular kind of death - decapitation)." Although there is a direct reference to Tribulation saints, there is a definite spiritual application here to three types of Christians.
Of the twelve apostles (class one), there were three (class two) who were in the inner circle - Peter, James, and John. Then, of these three, there was one - John (class three), the beloved disciple, who was closer than any of the rest of them. He lay on the Lord's breast at the Last Supper; he went with Him all the way to the cross. John is in a class by himself. We read of the betrayal at the Last Supper, when they were all sitting around the table, that the Lord said, "One of you shall betray me." We read that each disciple said, "Lord, is it I? .... Lord, is it I?" But John said, "Lord, who is it?" John had a clear conscience about the matter (John 13:13-26).
So we have three classes of Christians.
Matthew 13:8 - "But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold." The best, the next best, the least. Thirty, sixty, hundred - different degrees of fruit bearing for the Lord. In John 15, the Lord Jesus Christ says that a Christian can bear "fruit" (verse 4), class one; "more fruit" (verse 2), class two; or "much fruit" (verse 8), class three. Christians serve the Lord through three motives:
1. Those who serve because they are afraid of Him, serve as slaves.
2. Those who serve just to get rewards, or wages, serve as hirelings.
3. Those who serve because they love Him, serve as sons.
This threefold classification occurs in Revelation 12:11. Every Christian overcomes the Devil by the blood of the Lamb because every Christian is saved by the blood of the Lamb (class one). But not every Christian testifies for the Lord, and those who do make up the next classification - those who overcome the Devil by the word of their testimony. Yet, those who testify of Christ do not all love the Lord Jesus Christ more than they love their lives, their families, or the world. This bunch "loved not their lives unto the death," making the third distinct classification. The same classifications are found in Revelation 17:14.
Revelation 17:14 - "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are (1) called, and (2) chosen, and (3) faithful."
Every Christian is "called" (Romans 8:29,30). Not every Christian is "chosen" for a job, out of those who are called. Of those that are "chosen," not every one is "faithful." So we have the three classifications again in Revelation 17 - called, chosen, and faithful.
Then, this threefold classification is of a practical use. The twelve disciples (exclusive of Judas Iscariot) represent those thirty-fold Christians, who have faith, who are called, who overcome the Devil by the blood of the Lamb, and who "bring forth fruit." The three disciples- Peter, James, and John- are representative of those sixty-fold bearing Christians, who are chosen, that "bring forth more fruit," and that have "the word of their testimony." The last group is representative of John, the beloved disciple, who was called, chosen, and faithful, who was saved by the blood, who had a word of testimony, who loved his life not unto the death, and who brought forth much fruit-one hundredfold.
Revelation 12:13-17 - And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 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. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 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. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Now in this last verse, there are two things we need to observe.
The first thing is the peculiar, vehement hatred Satan holds against the nation of Israel - which is manifest in history. Satan's object of hatred is Israel because the Saviour came from Israel and every book in the Bible was written by somebody from Israel. Also, this hatred stems from the fact that Israel is promised this world, and since Satan is the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4,5), he does not particularly relish seeing Israel take it from him (which is going to happen at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ).
John 18:36 - "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
Romans 11:25-28 - "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes."
In plain words, God is going to take up His dealing with the Jews and drop His dealing with the Gentiles. As the Holy Spirit moves on (East to West, as He always moves), and finishes dealing with the Gentiles, there is going to be nothing left behind but a huge, apostate, God-forsaken, ecclesiastical morgue, headed up by some "rogue religious personage" who claim to be the spiritual, "true Israel," because it has spiritualized the promises of the Old Testament. This Godless, apostate, ecclesiastical abomination is all that is going to be left of the Gentile church. God is not through with Israel; God is going to restore Israel, so in this age, the Devil's peculiar wrath is aimed against Israel. There is no doubt about the accuracy of scripture on this point. When the Lord Jesus Christ is crucified, the Jewish people reject the crown that God gave them (to the kingdom of heaven), and give it to Rome. The Jewish people, led by their rulers and chief priests, said, "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matthew 27:25). They forsook the Lord God Jehovah, their Old Testament leader, and said that the only king they wanted was the Roman pope, the "holy father," Caesar (John 19:15).
So the course for this age is clearly defined. In this age, Israel is in temporary rejection, and will only be restored at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan's particular object of hatred, in this age and dispensation, is Israel, whom he has power over by the permissive will of God because they rejected their Messiah. At a future date, when Israel is restored under the Messiah, then Israel is going to be converted and saved. As this time approaches, the Devil is going to launch a vehement, concentrated attack on Israel, which is what we are now studying in Revelation 12:16,17.
If there is any doubt about this supernatural hatred of Israel as a nation, then let history speak for itself. In 135 AD, Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, had 580,000 Jews killed. (We understand that this was after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Titus wiped out Jerusalem in 70 AD, and crucified 500 Jews outside the walls of Jerusalem. People got so hungry, at this time of the seige of Jerusalem, that they boiled their own children and ate them. We can read the account of this, in detail, in the books by Josephus.) In 1020 King Canute banished all Jews from England. In 1096 a "Holy War" was started in Europe to exterminate all who would not submit to Roman Catholic baptism. In 1272, Edward I (Catholic) confiscated all Jewish property, and exiled 16,500 Jews from England. In 1306, in France, 100,000 Jews were stripped of all their possessions and exiled. Under Louis XIV (Catholic), in 1683, all the Jews were exiled from the French Colonies. Under Louis XV (Catholic), in 1723, the Jews were given permission to hold real estate in France.
In 1345-1350 the Jews were burned in Germany, and were accused of murdering Catholic children in order to eat them as Passover Lambs! The Jews escaped the "Black Death" which swept Europe at this time, through the sanitary laws they observed in Leviticus, but they were then accused of starting the "Black Death." They were banished from Prague and Constantinople in 1560-1600.
Dominican Catholics ran them out of Spain in "The Inquisition" in 1492. In 1938 Hitler (a Roman Catholic), and Joseph Paul Goebbels (a Roman Catholic), got to work on the Jews, and we know what happened then. Never let the newspapers fool us about the Roman Catholic Church "helping out Jews in the underground" during the time of Hitler. The Roman Catholic Church had a concordat signed with Hitler during the entire operation.
Two ships (with no port to land at), left England around 1918 (after the Balfour Declaration), and couldn't unload in Palestine. These ships, with people on board starving, went around the world looking for a place to land, and finally wound up at Shanghai.
Nicholas I of Russia (in 1825) ordered 5,000,000 Jews to move into a separate town. In 1215, Pope Innocent III made all Jews wear a yellow badge. (That's what Hitler made them wear - a yellow badge. In 1242 Roman Catholics had 24 wagon loads of written Hebrew records burned in France. One hundred and twenty communities were massacred by mobs of 5,000 Catholics in 1336. In Alsace, Bavaria, and Austria 800,000 Jews disappeared in 1684. In the Ukraine, 500,000 Jews were butchered between 1943-45, or they disappeared, in the area around Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Austria. (These statistics are according to the President of the Hungarian Independent Party. He also said that 5,000,000 were cremated in murder factories at Auschwitz.)
The Jews said, "His blood be on us, and on our children," and that's just exactly where it went. This persecution of the Jews has gone on years and years and years and years and years. Mohammed and the Arabs persecuted these Jews, drove them out, and killed them. The Jews have been driven, killed, and kicked across this earth for 1900 years, and will continue to be driven, kicked, and killed until they get driven right back to Palestine, where God told them to go, in the last book in their Old Testament, and then He is going to "come on the scene."
Jews have been persecuted continually, and will continue to be persecuted. The Roman Catholic information, which Adolph Hitler used in "Mein Kampf", was literature written by the Dominican monks in Spain, at the time of the "Inquisition." This collection of papers is called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which supposedly proves that the "Seventy International Jewish Bankers" are planning to take over the world with its gold, and then wipe out the Gentile race by making them a mongrel race, in subservience to Israel. This is what Hitler used, and this is what is being used in the United States today to promote anti-Semitism. (We'll probably see it come on more in the future. It extends throughout history.)
In the Russian Revolution (1916-1918), the Jews of Eastern Europe became the victims of pogroms in Poland, and large-scale massacres perpetrated by the White Russians, or counter-revolutionary forces. The bloody events of 1918 were repeated in 1945, and the Jewish self-defense groups could do little against the organized armies. They were killed: they were persecuted: they were tortured. (The official teaching in the Roman Catholic Church is that every orthodox Jew on the face of the earth is cursed by Almighty God. A good Roman Catholic believes that every orthodox Jew in the world is cursed [Anathema] by God because every one of his popes, bishops, and priests has to accept as infallible doctrine, the teaching that everybody who doesn't subscribe to the articles of the Roman Catholic Church [in the Council of Trent, 1546] is cursed.)
In Otto von Bismarck's reign, the Jews were persecuted. He made use of anti-Semitism in his war against the liberals, radicals, Karl Marx, and Ferdinand Lasalle, and the leaders of the socialist movement in Germany, who were of Jewish origin. There were "blood accusations" against the Jews in countries like Germany, Austria, and Hungary in 1930. The Jew said, "His blood be on us, and on our children," and it has been required ever since the resurrection of Christ, and it will be required until the Second Coming of Christ. So we are not surprised to read in Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed." The church that Christ built, founded upon the Rock, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10), might make the Devil angry. But he is not even as "put out" with that true Church as he is with the nation that brought forth the Saviour and the Bible.
In the final analysis, his wrath is turned against the nation which God called out, the nation of whom God said (through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), in Genesis 12:3, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Now we come again to that startling doctrine in the Bible - the doctrine that a man can lose his salvation. (Of course, this is shocking news to a Baptist and a Presbyterian!) Before we begin with the passage, let it be stated very clearly, and thoroughly understood by all, that there are passages in the Bible which definitely indicate that somebody can lose salvation after they have it. Let's qualify that statement by saying that some of these passages are distorted to prove that a Christian can lose it. Then again, many of them are distorted to prove that a Christian can't lose it. Before we study these passages, let's understand very clearly that the period in which these verses take place is the period that follows the Church Age - the Tribulation. This is after the Body of Christ is "caught out."
To say that the people in the Tribulation have the same thing happen to them when they get saved as we do in this dispensation is a gross error. For example, in this age we are "born again" (no man in the Old Testament ever was, or ever will be "born again"). In this age we become part of Jesus Christ (nobody in the Old Testament was ever part of Jesus Christ, nor is there any indication that they were directly, or indirectly familiar with such a doctrine, nor are they in the Tribulation). In this age when we are saved the Holy Spirit comes in and spiritually circumcizes us from the body of our flesh, and baptizes us into the Body of Christ (There is no indication that this operation happens anytime in the Old Testament, or anytime in the Tribulation, nor is there any reason why anybody would think that it would.).
Why some people, who believe in eternal security, think for some reason that everybody who was ever saved was saved "by grace through faith" plus nothing is a great mystery. Noah was saved by building an ark. Some say, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." He found grace, but he was not saved by grace. Noah was saved by water (1 Peter 3:20,21).
We suddenly come upon another doctrine that is unfamiliar in the following verses.
Revelation 12:17 - "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 14:12- "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Revelation 22:14- "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
Now these verses are used by the Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of Christ to prove that we have to keep the commandments to get to heaven. (Of course, both of these groups ignore the fact that the passages, as given, refer to the Old Testament Ten Commandments given to Israel, and apply in the Tribulation and the Old Testament. They were never given to the New Testament believer in the Church Age.)
Observe how the entire Bible begins to bear witness to a period of time in which a man can lose salvation! Keep in mind that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came into men and left them (as in the case of Saul). He came in them, and did not leave them (as in the case of David). He came in them, left them, and came back on them (as in the case of Samson). That is, there is no fixed doctrine on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. He comes and goes as the situation demands. Since the Old Testament saint is not circumcised, since his soul is stuck to the body of his flesh, the Holy Spirit can only remain in a man as long as he obeys the law. David realized this, and when he committed his terrible sin, he prayed, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me" (Psalms 51:11). The Spirit of the Lord departs from Samson, but He returns. The Spirit of the Lord departs from Saul and does not return. (Hence, Saul is the favorite example from the Old Testament, for many people to point at to prove that a born-again Christian in the New Testament can lose his salvation! Of course this kind of private interpretation indicates what kind of people these are. They are people under the curse of the law trying to be saved by their self-righteous works. They voluntarily reject the shed blood of Christ as the complete solution for the problem of justification, and count it as only part in a series of self-righteous works, where they are going to earn heaven by their own goodness.)
Matthew 24:13 - "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Notice, the indication is that if he doesn't "endure until the end" that he will not be saved. Notice that in the context that the "gospel of the grace of God" is not being preached, but the "gospel of the kingdom" is (verse 14). The "end" is not the end of our life, but the end of a period of time called the "Tribulation" (verses 14,21,22,29).
Matthew 24:50,51 "The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Here we have a servant serving the Lord, and he is cut asunder and goes to hell with the hypocrites. In Matthew 25 we have a bunch of people who lose oil (a type of the Holy Spirit), and cannot see the Lord, or greet Him when He comes back.
Matthew 25:30 "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Here we have a servant of Christ being "cast into outer darkness"! (If these people who believe in eternal security keep trying to twist these verses around to prove that this fellow was just a "professor" instead of a "possessor," let them face the horrible, terrible fact that in the next series of verses - Matthew 25:31-46 - we are told that every sheep who was ever saved was saved by works!) This is why we find Matthew 25 used by many, especially the Roman Catholic Church, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormon, and others to try to prove that a man can get righteous enough to gain heaven by his works. They use Matthew 25:31-46. Notice that in this passage nobody is saved by grace, and nobody in the passage is saved by faith. Notice, too, that nobody in the passage is a "born-again Christian." Nobody in the passage is called a "Christian." Nobody in the passage is in the "church," and the church is not in the passage! When God told us to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," He wasn't trying to browbeat us He was telling us a great truth. Matthew 25 plainly teaches salvation by good works. Let's face it, it's there! Exactly as we find it in James 2 - "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." But what everybody fails to believe (and the problem is always belief) is that the passage (Matthew 25) said, "When the son of man shall come in his glory" (verse 31) "and before him shall be gathered all nations" (verse 32).
In Matthew 25:31,32, the Son of God is not referred to, but the Son of man. (Paul never refers to Jesus Christ as the Son of man.) The Son of man is always Jesus' earthly, literal, designation to Israel, as the Messiah over the literal, physical, visible kingdom. The passage states when He comes "in His glory," not when He comes at the Rapture to catch out the Christians! In Matthew 25:32, He is judging nations - not Christians! There are three classes present - "His brethren" (verses 40,45), "the sheep," and "the goats." There's no discussion of "saved" and "lost." The text has to do with the sheep treating brethren right, and the goats not treating them right. To add insult to injury (in view of the fact that Matthew 25 is a reference to the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20) in Matthew 25:34 the reading is not. "Come get to heaven or New Jerusalem," but "Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom." The "inheritance" is always gotten by works every time we find it mentioned in the New Testament (Colossians 3:24).
We are saved "by grace through faith," but that inheritance is not "by grace through faith" - it's earned! Notice, it is earned by clean living in 1 Corinthians 6:9-12; it is earned by serving the Lord and working for Christ in Colossians 3:24,25; it is earned by works in resisting temptation and loving the Lord in James 2:5; it is earned by works after we are saved by walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh in Galatians 5:16-21. The expression "inherit the kingdom" in Matthew 25 never refers to getting to heaven, and there isn't any place in any Bible where it ever referred to that!
The Bible tells us all too plainly in this passage that any man who teaches that Matthew 25 is a picture of the Church Age, or the Christians, or the White Throne Judgment, or the plan of salvation, or the Christian "enduring to the end" by good works, is a false prophet! That is, in Matthew 25, we might as well face it, we have some people who are saved by works. We have some people who are lost because they don't do the works. Some of us born-again people know that the entire Bible is not doctrinally applicable to the way of salvation in this dispensation. We know that Noah was saved by building an ark, and saved by water. We know that we can build an ark until we are blue in the face, and go under that water 50,000 times, or float on top of it like Noah did, shut werself out from it like Noah did, or get sprinkled like Judas, and we still will wind up in the Lake - and the "Lake" is not water!
The point is, that when a man is saved in this age, there are things which happen to him that did not happen to Noah, or Abraham, or Moses, or David, or Isaac, or Jacob, or Enoch, or any of the heroes of faith in the Old Testament. "By faith" they may have done a number of things, but that doesn't mean that when they got saved that anything happened to them other than that they just believed in God. Those of us who believe on Jesus Christ as our Saviour in this dispensation are:
We couldn't find these things mentioned, or said, in connection with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Samson, or Jephthah.
Let us look further in Hebrews 3. (These, too, are verses that probably deal with the Jews in the Tribulation.)
Hebrews 3:6 - "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
There is the verse many people will try to prove that we can lose our salvation! Notice in the context that the "end" is not the end of our life, but the end of a period of time. Look at the context (verses 7-15), and remember that "a text without a context is a pretext!"
Hebrews 3:14 - "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end."
The end of what? Verses 16,17.18,19 - a period of time! Look at the context Hebrews 4:1-9. We are not made a partaker of Christ if we "hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end." We were made partaker of Christ the moment we trusted Him as our own personal Saviour (John 1:12, Ephesians 1, Romans 10:9,10, etc.). I don't have to worry about becoming part of His house if I "hold." I am in His body which is a part of "His household" (Ephesians 2,3).
In Hebrews 6:4-6 we might as well face it, it appears that they lost it.
Hebrews 6:11,12 - "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
"Inherit the promises." Not get eternal life! Don't read something into it that isn't there.
Look at Hebrews 8:8-12, and observe that the New covenant used in the Book of Hebrews is aimed at "the house of Israel" and "the house of Judah." It is not aimed at "spiritual Jews." It is not aimed at "spiritual Hebrews." It is not aimed at "heirs of Abraham." It means what it says. When God says, "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," in Hebrews 8:8, do we know what He means? He means the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
Notice the same thing in Hebrews 10:26-31. Here is one of the most famous passages in the Bible used to prove that we can lose salvation. Look at Hebrews 10:26-30, notice that Hebrews 10:30 is a quotation from Deuteronomy 32:35,36? What a jolt! It is a passage addressed to Hebrews in the Tribulation, immediately preceding the restoration of Israel, and the setting up of the Davidic kingdom, in the land of Palestine. There are scores of verses in the New Testament that teach that someone can lose salvation, but not a single one of them is aimed directly at a New Testament, born-again, Gentile, Christian believer, who is in the Body of Jesus Christ.
Any poor, lost sinner who comes to Jesus Christ and receives Him by faith as his personal Saviour, is born again, sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, and baptized into the Body of Christ. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes and the Body of Christ is caught, we are then entering back into an Old Testament situation, like we had before the Church Age. We are going back into a system that is under law. The Seventh Day Adventists capitalize on this error in fundamental theology, just like the Church of Christ capitalizes on the refusal of Baptists to believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That is, God allows the Devil to raise up heretics to make His people study.
By the same token, the Lord has allowed the Seventh Day Adventist group to come up to show the Christian that although the Christian is not under law but under grace, that the law will be re-instituted in the Tribulation and in the Millennium when Israel comes back into prominence, and the Sabbath day will be observed again (Colossians 2:16,17, Isaiah 66:21-24). The "Sabbath" and the "new moon" will be observed in eternity, and the Sabbath is observed in the Tribulation (Matthew 24) where the Tribulation saints keep the commandments of God.
In the Tribulation, although a man is saved by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, a number of things do not happen to him when he gets saved that happen to us when we get saved in this age. When that man is saved, he is not put into Christ's Body because the Body of Christ is gone. When that man is saved, the Holy Spirit does not circumcise his soul from the "body of his flesh." Although a man is saved in the Tribulation "by grace through faith," he has to "endure to the end" of that period to be a "partaker of Christ." If a man in the Tribulation does not "endure until the end," and have "faith plus works," he can lose his salvation, because his salvation is not based on a permanent, indwelling Christ, but upon the continued act of his personal obedience to the commandments of God. When we find a verse in the Bible that teaches we can lose salvation, that verse will apply every time, DOCTRINALLY, to the Tribulation.
2 Timothy 3:16 - "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
A Christian can learn something from every verse in the Bible. Every verse in the Bible can be a blessing to a Christian; every verse in the Bible can be used by a Christian. But, if we are going to get our doctrine straight - the truth of God, as God wrote it, where He wrote it, as He said it - we've got to believe what He said, as He said it, where it's written, the way we find it.
CHAPTER TWELVE POSTSCRIPT
This brings us to the end of Revelation 12. There's been a lot of material in Revelation 11 and 12, and there's a lot more new material coming in Revelation 13. This middle portion of the Book of Revelation (Chapters 11,12 and 13) is the most loaded portion of scripture anywhere in the word of God. The only three chapters that can compete with Revelation 11,12, and 13 are Genesis 1,2, and 3. Outside of Genesis 1,2, and 3, Revelation 11,12, and 13 has more new material in it than any other three chapters in the word of God - exclusive of none. (There is a great deal of spiritual material in John 1,2, and 3, but oh, the light that Revelation 11,12, and 13 gives on the entire body of scripture!)
In these last two chapters we've seen that most likely:
And above all, we've found the key to Matthew, Acts, and Hebrews. That is, the passages that deal doctrinally with the Tribulation period, which precede the Second Advent, are given in Matthew and Acts 1-7, because for all practical purposes, the Second Advent is about to be fulfilled.
In the next chapter, we run head on into the man about whom there is more information in the Bible than any two other men put together, outside of Jesus Christ; for there is more information in the Bible about the "Antichrist" than there is on Moses and Paul combined.
How about you developing a list of questions to ask of the home group for a deeper study?
Is there something our home group can pray with you about?