Things to Come, Lesson 28, The Seven Personages of Revelation, Satan and the Man-Child, Chapter 12, Part III
A woman, a great red dragon, a man child, an archangel, the remnant, the Beast of the Sea and the Beast of the Earth are the seven personages of the book of Revelation.
Our study has revealed the woman to be Israel and the great red dragon to be Satan.
The Apostle John, spoke of Satan, apart from the book of Revelation, when in 1 John 5:19 he said the whole world lieth in wickedness.
And when he said wickedness he spoke of the author of wickedness, Satan, whom our Lord said was a murderer from the beginning.
He abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him.
He is completely wicked and rightly called by the personal name, LIE.
Peter said he is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
We have seen him in action as he awaited the man child born of the woman in travail.
His one thought was to devour.
Our first parents in the Garden of Eden experienced his deceit.
He tried every deception to corrupt Jesus while he was on the Earth.
He is the cause of every murder committed on every day of the Earthís existence.
He was the cause of the Holocaust where millions were destroyed.
He was the cause of all the violence in New York on 9/11.
He is the cause of every violent death in Chicago and New York and Pensacola and Milton.
He is the reason why those 20 poor children and 6 school personnel were gunned down 6 weeks ago just before Christmas.
Every deathbed scene happens because of Satan.
His existence and fall from heaven are the underlying reason for every tear that is shed.
He is the cause of every war, every unrest and every unhappiness.
Every hand that stole, hurt, plundered or scarred was because of the LIE.
Satan is alive and well and as we get closer to our Lordís return his presence will be more evident as wickedness becomes bolder and fearless.
Satan desires all his wickedness and all of those who choose his wicked ways to bring him glory.
Were it not for Godís restraining arm, were it not for Godís Spirit in restraining evil in this world Satan would have his way so that perfect corruption would pervade the Earth.
For we are to always remember that the battle is the Lordís.
Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
This of course is revealed again in Chapter 12 of Revelation where we are told that:
His tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:
The battle lines were drawn long ago.
Long before man entered the picture.
We are new comers to this battle waged in the heavens.
The scriptures give us glimpses of the battle lines from time to time and those glimpses should convince us that there exists a great and mighty alliance of fallen angels, demons, and disembodied spirits numbering in the millions.
These, under Satanís direction bring the Earth evil, wickedness, disorder, anarchy, darkness, sorrow, tears, and death.
Left to ourselves we have no match for such power.
God himself is the only one who can defeat such a foe and to do this He has sent His Son Jesus Christ to the front lines of the battle.
And on those front lines, in spite of Satan and his followerís attacks Jesus allowed himself to drink the cup of suffering to the last drop, and as his blood flowed to the ground, and his heart sounded its last beat, declared "It is finished."
He could have also said, Satan is finished.
The battle was won at Calvary and we now come to the mop up operation in the Great Tribulation where Satan is hiding but will be arrested and with a great chain be cast into the bottomless pit.
Revelation 20:1-3, And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
It is an amazing thought and it should bring such joy and thanksgiving to our hearts that God could have accomplished this mop up operation immediately after the victorious battle of the cross.
Then he could have ushered in the Great Tribulation, but instead choose to offer his grace to a people for his Sonís name, a people who are the body and bride of Christ.
For God has for the last two thousand years, long suffered the binding of Satan in order to bring forth a bride for His Son Jesus Christ.
Oh, the wonder of Godís Grace!
I'm so glad that He included me, when Jesus put a 2000 year parentheses in
history and said that whosoever will may come!
Notice the focal point of Satanís interest.
He is not ready to devour the woman for she is not capable of doing battle with him.
The red dragon was not trying to destroy the woman, but
the SON, the SON who is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
In Genesis 3:15 God told Satan in clear terms that the Seed of the woman would bruise or overwhelm his head.
God, at that point declared war between the Seed of the woman and the seed of Satan already declaring victory.
Soon evidence of the battle was clear when Cain killed Abel, for Satan was the father of this first murder, thinking to destroy the Seed of the woman in Abel.
The battle is clearly displayed throughout the Old Testament and continued in the New Testament even before Jesus was born.
Satan, moved his seed, Herod who was known as the King but in reality Satanís tool, to pronounce the death sentence upon all babies who were two years old and under in order to destroy the seed of the woman.
Today we sorrow for the deaths of innocents at Newtown, but this is nothing new to the evil one who ordered the slaughter of every little baby in Bethlehem and its surroundings in order to insure that the Baby Jesus, who was born in the stable, be killed.
But God always protected His Son and thwarted every scheme of Satan in order to bring Him to the cross, where those wonderful words, It is finished were spoken.
Now moving to Revelation 12:5-6, we will speak further of the man child born of the woman, the woman who is Israel.
Verses 5 and 6: "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. 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."
In verse 5, we see how God always protects his Son for He is caught up to God, and in verse 6, we see how God also protects the woman who flees into the wilderness where God has a place prepared for her.
In this place she will be fed for 1,260 days, a period equaling the last half of the Tribulation.
Again we see the emphasis upon Israel during this time, with no mention of the body of Christ whom we are told in scripture will be with Christ, protected from Godís great wrath exercised during the Great Tribulation.
Johnís use of the words, caught up in verse 5, har-pad'-zo in the Greek, is the same as that used in II Thess 4:17,
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
(har-pad'-zo) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The man child is caught up and we are caught up with him for he will never leave us or forsake us and that includes avoidance of Godís wrath.
Every communion service reminds us we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh with Christ in us and us in Christ.
When all of these unbelievable things take place on Earth, we, as Christ is caught up, will also have been caught up.
Now God by His grace has chosen to long suffer a period in which we live, a period as of now almost reaching 2000 years.
So between verse 5 and verse 6 there is time element consisting
of the Church age - the day of grace.
We do not know how many more years remain until the woman will flee into her place of protection.
But upon the closing of this age those saved during this period of Godís grace will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air.
The Antichrist will begin his reign of doom, and in the middle of the seven years of tribulation Israel, the woman, will be forced to flee into the prepared place to avoid annihilation.
Godís timing is perfect. We see time in relation to our lives but to God a thousand years is as one day.
Only God knows the centuries covered in Revelation 12.
When times indicate, we will know what is coming, and then we are to lift up our heads knowing that our redemption draweth nigh.
Regardless of the times in which we live, whether peace or war Godís children in Christ may rest assured that Godís program is running on schedule:
"Known unto the Lord are all His ways from the beginning" (Acts 15:18).
Now the woman who is Israel flees into the wilderness, which signifies a place devoid of natural resources . . . a place of complete isolation.
Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness where he challenged Jesus to turn the rocks into bread.
Wilderness is a barren foodless place.
But in our passage in Chapter 12 we learn that Israel will again be fed as they were fed in the wilderness in the days when God rained manna from Heaven and sent quail.
6And 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.
Donít you suppose the word "they" refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
They fed Israel in the wilderness after exciting Egypt, they could certainly do it again.
In Jeremiah 30:6,7 we read, 6Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacobís trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
It will be the time described by Jesus in that great twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew:
Matthew 24:15-23, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
(This refers to the middle of Danielís seventieth week of prophecy . . . the time when Antichrist breaks all his promises to the Jews who are then back in their own land.):
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake, those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not"
The people in Judea are instructed to flee to the mountains when they see the "abomination of desolation" stand in the holy place.
This time of tribulation will be so terrible that the Bible instructs those who are on the housetop not to return into the house to take any of their possessions.
In the Holy Land the porch is on the housetop.
On those houses with flat roofs, with concrete tops, the people sit up on the housetop in the cool of the day.
The urgency is such that those who are sitting on the housetop are instructed not to go inside to take anything, but to flee to the mountains.
Those who are in the field are not to return to their homes for anything, but they, too, are to flee for their lives.
This kind of urgency shows the imminent terror and horrible days of persecution that Israel will face.
It will be a time where complete trust in Godís care for everything is exercised.
Run to the mountains! But wait I must pack my belongings.
No, just run and trust that God will take care of you.
Ladies could you do that?
Men is it possible to take your family away from all things dear and simply trust in Godís care.
That is what Jesus says to those who will be there when these things take place.
The message is addressed to the people in Judea and surrounding territory.
It will be a time of sorrow and woe to the Jewish mothers with young children and to the expectant mothers, but it does not refer to any mother who is born again during the age of grace.
This part of the Great Tribulation has to do with Israel, and as we read in Matthew 24:22, except those days should be shortened there would not be any flesh saved.
But for the sake of Israel those days will be shortened for Jesus is coming to the rescue.
Revelation 19:11, And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.