Revelation Chapter 12: 13-17
“Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Wow! I keep getting some challenging questions from these articles. Thank you and keep them coming. It makes me have to research more. I began reading the book of Job for the umpteenth time again today. It is a reminder that Satan is truly our enemy, always looking for ways to get to us. He observes us very closely and is always looking for ways to attack us, trip us up, and shake us up to see if we will curse God.
Far too often there has not been systematic teaching in the Lord’s churches about the kingdom of darkness. But all through the Bible, beginning with the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, there has been a systematic fight against God and His Word. Not to glorify Satan, but he is a skilled and highly intelligent angel, one who has vast power, is able to amass armies, and even call fire down from Heaven (see in Job 1); and he can cause disease in your bodies and mine (see Job 2).
Satan can only go as far as God will allow; and as intelligent as he is, he does not know the future. He did not know that Job would behave the way he did and become a champion to the downtrodden and spiritually afflicted for the last 4,000 years. If he did, he would never have asked for the fight with Job. What he intended for evil, God intended for good.
Sadly, many do not understand that we are in a very vicious fight. Yes, angels may not be able to be killed and die, but many human servants of the Lord, like Job, have lost people, things and health in the fight. It is real. It is violent and it is way beyond what we mere humans could handle were it not for the grace, power and protection of the Loving God that we serve.
When we ended the last article, Satan had been permanently evicted from Heaven by Michael, one of the Arch Angels, and was now confined to the earth. This must be a slap in the face when this happens. Satan will know for sure that his end is near. Maybe he can feel the flames of Hell burning already, and in his wrath, he turns on the Jews.
Over the past 2,000 or so years since Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, Satan has launched many attacks on the Jews using various characters in history. Beginning with the Romans in 70 AD when they sacked the city of Jerusalem and scattered the Jews to the very corners of the known world; in 1492 all Jews were expelled from Spain; and under the Tsars of Russia in the 1880s, the Jews lived under great peril and in fear of their lives There is a prophecy from Moses in the Torah that says this:
“Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart” (Deuteronomy 28:65).
This has been proven to be true. In the countries where the Jews have had relative peace, like in the UK and then now in the West like Canada and the USA, there is still anti-Semitism. They are safe for the most part but still at times subject to ridicule and even death as we saw just a few weeks ago.
Satan has hunted the Jews for a long time; and as he is evicted from heaven, he sees a settled nation with millions of Jews looking like sitting ducks. But, as usual, he cannot see the Great God, even though he knows God is ready to defend them and kill their adversaries. There are none so blind as those who choose not to see. Satan is the ‘poster boy’ for these people.
Israel, the woman who gave birth to the Son, Jesus (Revelation 12:13)
A few weeks ago when we began to look at this chapter, someone asked me if the ‘Child’ mentioned in the early verses could refer to the New Testament church. I think we can clearly say no to that. Here we are specifically told that Satan persecutes the woman who gave birth to the “male Child,” obviously a reference to Jesus.
Satan is evicted from entering Heaven, and he immediately turns his wrath on the nation of Israel and the Chosen People who are living there. We are in the very middle of the Tribulation, and this persecution, this war on Israel, is going to last for 3.5 years. In this passage, Satan is called the dragon, the serpent (vs. 15), and earlier he is called Devil and Satan.
Each name offers a different look at the nature of Satan. As the Devil, the root meaning is accuser – he is always accusing the saints; as Satan, meaning one who plots against or opposes; as the Dragon, he is a dangerous and fierce adversary; and as the Serpent, he is sly and cunning. This is why we are warned to be vigilant when dealing with evil. We are to avoid it whenever possible and to be fully armed and prepared spiritually in the event that we have to fight it.
Satan, the Dragon, launches an attack or series of very aggressive attacks on the nation of Israel. The root meaning of persecute is to oppress and also to hunt down. Satan is going to do both here. He will oppress Israel but he will also hunt them down.
He hates Israel; they are the earthly vessel that brought salvation to the world. The birth, life, ministry, death and the resurrection of Jesus, followed by the empowerment that He gave to the New Testament Jews to evangelize the world, has been a pain in the posterior of Satan since the days of Abraham. If he could just eradicate Israel, just wipe them out and stop the redemptive plan of God, then maybe, just maybe there was hope for him, Satan, to win.
Unfortunately for Satan, Israel has God as their protector; He has protected them in Egypt, in an amongst the various peoples who have tried to kill them in the Old Testament, He preserved them in Assyria and Babylon, He protected them under the Romans, found a way to preserve them under Hitler and kept enough of them hidden around the world to repopulate the nation once it was re-established in May 1948. Since you cannot beat God, it is impossible to beat Israel. Those who love the Lord God understand this; those who worship Satan will never get it.
God rescues Israel, as usual, Revelation 12:14-15
I have heard some say that the eagle’s wings may represent a military rescue for the nation of Israel. A few have inferred that the USA may be the help that comes, as the eagle is a symbol of the USA. Surely God can use the military of any nation if He chooses. He sent the armies of Babylon to punish the Southern Kingdom, He sent the Medes to destroy Babylon and resettle the Jews in Israel, He used the Roman government and their meticulous record-taking as well as their professional soldiers to sacrifice Jesus, and then used the roads built for the military to export the Gospel as far as the shores of modern western Europe. God has anything and anyone at His disposal. But in Exodus 19:4 we see this verse,
“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”
God did not need a military, whether from the USA or otherwise to deliver Israel from Egypt, and it is unlikely that He will need one now. God knows how to deliver His people. He has resources that we have not even thought of yet with which to make it clear to the nation of Israel – she who is now disillusioned with the rebellious and defiant anti-Christ – that it is Yahweh who delivers them as He has from their very birth at the end of Genesis 11.
God has been and always will be the eagle’s wings for Israel. The final betrayal by the anti-Christ, his desecration of the Temple, and his war against them will finally take the scales from their eyes; and they will long for their true Messiah. God will show up to rescue them. He will hide them in the wilderness, and there He will nourish them; does this sound familiar?
Go and read the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles and see the amazing ways that God used to destroy the enemies of Israel. He used light reflecting off water to confuse an invading army, He once sent hail stones, and He even used the woods around the nation of Israel to help kill off invading armies. Sometimes God just sends a death angel to kill them off while they sleep. Other times He just turns them on each other, and they kill each other. No matter what way He uses, God has ways to kill the enemies of Israel that even the most cunning and shrewd military minds on earth have not come up with yet. God does not need our ‘two-cents’ input to defend Israel.
On August 3rd, 2014, this quote was published in the magazine, Israel Today:
“We do aim [our rockets], but their God changes their path in mid-air,” a Hamas commander was said to have told someone who wondered why Gaza-based militants can’t seem to hit their targets.
Even the enemies of Israel know that God fights for them. There is simply no other explanation. Sadly, due to their disobedience and spiritual adultery, God has allowed His Jews to be hurt and killed in horrendous ways, but never to the point of extinction.
Satan will send some kind of flood, and God will absorb it.
Isaiah 59:19 “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.”
Kill them all, Revelation 12:6-17
With this attack thwarted, Satan turns on the rest of the world. Satan cannot annihilate Israel so he turns to her offspring. These could be other Jews who are not in Israel or these could also be those who have turned to God in the Tribulation. All believers are the offspring of Israel. Abraham, we are told in Romans 4, is the father of those who believe. Paul calls us a wild olive branch that is grafted into the original vine (Romans 11:17).
The New Testament church is not here at this time; it has been raptured, so the people that Satan attacks are Jews from all around the world and with them those Gentiles that will not submit to the anti-Christ. They will not accept his ‘lordship’ or that he is anything more than just a mere man, not a God to be worshipped. Satan, now filled with rage, will begin to exterminate the redeemed of the Tribulation age. We see in Revelation 6:9-11 and 7:9-17 vast assemblies of those that had been killed in the Tribulation period for not obeying the anti-Christ, and they worshipped the Lord God.
The death toll will be extensive. Satan will execute a vast attempt at the extinction of those that still believe in the God of Israel. This will be a bloodbath probably not ever witnessed by the world before. The loss of life will be extensive and the cost of faith in the Lord will be paid with your life.
We live in a time when the tides are turning on Christianity; there is an ever-broadening hatred for THE TRUTH. People just don’t want to hear it anymore; it is offensive to those who deny the existence of God and defy His absolutes. But we have not seen anything yet. The coming Tribulation will literally be the bloodiest time that Christians have ever walked on the earth, and this is taking into account the death at the hands of the Catholic church over many centuries.
A quote from The Trail of Blood by Dr. J.M Carroll:
“Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the Council of Trent: ‘Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers.” (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)
Today is the day of Salvation. Come to Jesus and be saved. He is the only Way of Salvation that the Bible tells us is available to all men. The Day of the Lord is soon upon us. Even now, obedience to the Lord will cost you a job, soon maybe imprisonment, maybe your family and then your life. Even with the risks, death in this life is nothing compared to an eternity without Jesus.