CHAPTER TWELVE





THE WOMAN AND HER CHILD

As previously noted, most of the book of Revelation is written in such a way as to present a continually-unfolding description of events which began during the first century, and continues up to the end of time as we now know it. For this reason, unfortunately, many prophetic writers follow the rule that everything you read in Revelation must be a description of a later time period than all previous passages. However, there are some very important exceptions to this format. In fact, if one insists on absolute non-deviation from this general rule of progression, then chapter twelve is one which can't be understood --- period.

There are also other chapters which prevent this ironclad approach. For example, we saw that by the time the Sixth Seal was opened we were up to WW1. Then we found chapter 11 presents a description of the two witnesses who began their 'testimony' in the early 700s. Thus, chapter 11 discusses events of the 8th century and yet an earlier chapter covered things clear up to the 1900sa terrible dilemma if no re-tracing of history is allowable in a later chapter!

Next, we shall see that Revelation Twelve gives a generalized recapitulation of God's plan of the ages relative to the nation Israel. It reveals some of her troubles in a very broad sense, plus provides an explanation of what her main, God-designed purpose would be.

It is amazing how much wisdom God can pack into seventeen short statements. Let's look now at the very interesting way John describes it, noting just how far God allowed him to see into the past, and future. It is a view which clearly and thoroughly refutes the above-described 'rule of exegesis'.

1 "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

2 "And being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth."

In Genesis 37:9, there is a description of a man named Joseph, the next youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob. Now Jacob's name was later changed to Israel, the indication being that all the nation of Israel would come from him. That is, Jacob's twelve sons would become the foundation of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Joseph once had a dream, seeing the sun as his father, the moon as his mother, and 11 stars which signified his 11 brothers. Joseph foresaw them all eventually giving obeisance to him. And as we study the Scriptures about this family, we learn that the dream was truly prophetic. Joseph did indeed rise to a great position in Egypt under King Pharaoh. Later, Jacob and the other eleven sons would come to seek food and counsel from Joseph, and did, in fact, bow down to him. (It is important to note in this Old Testament pre-figurement, that they did not at first recognize Joseph.)

John's vision was very similar to Joseph's dream. Once the ancient, foreshadowing model is seen, it becomes clear that the "woman" John saw could only be the nation Israel. The twelve stars John saw would be the same "sons of Jacob" in Joseph's dream; except, in John's case, the twelve stars comprise the whole nation which, collectively, he identified as the "woman". Another point which needs to be observed here is this: Just as Joseph's father and brothers didn't recognize him at first in Egypt, so likewise national Israel didn't recognize their "brother", Jesus, as the one to whom they must eventually give obeisance if they wish to receive His "food".

The apostle Paul describes vividly the spiritual state of national Israel in Romans 11: 25 - 27: (This remains in force even till this day.)

25 "For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in."

26 "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

'The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

27 "For this is My covenant with them, When I shall take away their sins."

Here Paul is predicting national Israel will eventually see and understand who their Messiah is. If not for the fact that God's Word declares it, it seems incomprehensible that the vast majority of national Israel can't see that Jesus was their Old Testament-predicted Messiah. But, that's the nature of God's sovereignty in action. It is for the benefit of the rest of the world, the Gentiles, that God has seen fit to allow Israel to be in the state of spiritual blindness these past 2,000 years. (Suggested reading: Romans, chapters 9, 10 & 11.) After reading this, I think you will probably have a greater appreciation of Israel and, more importantly, praise God for this fantastic piece of Great-Commission strategy.

Israel was the nation which God chose, beginning with Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, to deliver God's total revelation to all humanity. For 2,000 years God called and anointed kings, prophets, and priests of Israel and through them, painstakingly gave His Wisdom we have recorded in 39 books we today call the Old Testament. Thus, God chose one nation to deliver His plan of salvation, not only for Israel, but eventually all people.

The irony is that the nation responsible for all this, except for a remnant, virtually missed the point! They remained hardened-of-heart and refused to believe their own prophets, even promoting the crucifixion of their promised Deliverer, Jesus Christ! No nation (other than perhaps the British Commonwealth or the USA) has been more blessed than Israel. God "clothed" them with every good thing. Being "clothed with the sun" implies Israel was surrounded and protected by God Himself. Being "clothed with the moon" (the moon being closer to earth than the sun) alludes to having God-given, physical, earthly benefits.

In short, Israel had it all. God's chosen people. The problem with them was that they thought all these benefits were either of their own making, or resulted from inherent goodness. They were lifted up in pride and subsequently (again, except for a remnant) God elected to leave them in a state of spiritual blindness during the whole Christian era.

THE 'TRAVAIL' AND THE 'CHILD'

Israel went through tremendous struggles and pain from 2,000 B.C. up until the birth of Christ. The wilderness years, continuous battles with surrounding nations, the captivities, etc., all attest to the reality of this conclusion. The combination of these facts relate to John's comment that the woman "cried out in labor and in pain to give birth" (see verse two above). The Lord God told the serpent (Satan) that some day a child would be born of a woman who would ultimately spell his destruction. We read in Genesis 3:14 & 15.

14 "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:"

15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,..."

Satan is smart. He knew from that time on, if he could stop the "seed" from developing, he could prevent the final crushing of his own "head". Volumns could be written just discussing his attempts to stop this prophecy from occurring as described throughout the Old Testament. For now though, it is only important that we focus in and see that the intended meaning and relationship between the "woman" and her "travail" described here in Revelation 12, is the very same "woman" God alluded to in the Garden of Eden. (This "woman" shifts her identity from the first woman in the Garden, Eve, who later gave birth to righteous Seth, then broadening in meaning to include the whole nation of Israel, and finally narrows to one "woman" again (Mary) who gave birth to "THE SEED" --- Jesus.

So, in summary of Revelation Twelve, verses 1 & 2, we can be definite on these conclusions: (1) A certain "child" would be born through a particular nation. (2) Israel would be the nation who, through great pre-birthing difficulties, is seen here as the "woman" that was responsible for delivering this "child". (3) Furthermore, the "child" can be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as will be made even plainer as we proceed.

(The wide assortment other writers give the identities of this woman and her child is amazing. I won't confuse you here with all those views. However, concerning the understanding as given above, I only ask that you search the Scriptures and see if the thoughts and ideas presented align with God's Word.)

THE DEVIL AND HIS ARMY OF DEMONS

3 "And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads."

4 "And his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born."

Most evangelical Christians agree that this passage is speaking of Satan (the "red dragon") and his demons (the "stars from heaven"). Since even the Futurists agree here, I feel impressed to point out that these two verses greatly weaken their own stand of the literal-only interpretation of the book of Revelation. If their view is followed completely, i.e., with the assumption that everything from Revelation 4:1 owward describes only the last seven-year tribulation period, then this chapter completely destroys their position. If the "red dragon" is the devil and if the "stars" here are fallen angels (demons), which most agree to be so, this passage can't possibly be referring to some future time from now because the devil and his angels have been here since Eden!

The apostle John was getting a post-view of what happened a long time ago when he saw the "dragon" and the "stars" thrown to the earth. However, some hold to the notion that Satan and the fallen angels, although already found guilty of treason and sent to live in the space among the stars we see (including earth), somehow, still have access to come and go as they please into God's heavenly throne until we get to the time forecast by John here in Rev. 12. I don't buy it.

(It is believed by most students of Biblical prophecy that this passage reveals that Lucifer (Satan), before his fall, enticed one third of all God's angels to agree with and follow him in his act of rebellion against God. I accept this concept but an interesting thought has just occurred to me. If the predicted time here is yet future, as the Futurists claim, why are demons called "fallen {past tense} angels"? Think about it.)

THE "MULTIFACETED" DRAGON

John mentions that the "red dragon" (Satan) had seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. In the next chapter we will see a beast which has seven heads, ten horns and ten crowns. Although they are not identical, these "beasts" must be inter-related in some way. I'll reserve part of my explanation until chapter thirteen. But the multi-headed, multi-horned, multi-crowned "dragon" here in Revelation 12 seems to be a picture of the spiritual heirarchy of Satan's regime. Therefore, since these two verses refer mainly to the devil and his army, one reaches the inevitable conclusion that John got a glimpse of Satan's entire strategic forces in the spiritual realm.

I think for every spiritual reality in the heavenlies, there is a physical, earthly counterpart. Watch this carefully now: Satan has his demonic armies set up in a certain power structure (similar to nations and governments), over which are leaders, commanders, etc. We must remember that Lucifer didn't keep his first estate, whatever that was. He rebelled and subsequently has tried to usurp god-like authority over mankind. Ever since his fall, Satan has desired and plotted to superimpose his spiritual heirarchy upon the world and its human systems, in order to have tangible evidence of his power to control and influence people here on earth. He wants to be worshipped as god. If this presumption is correct, it should be possible to analyze worldly powers and determine which nations and powers (historical and current) would best fit Satan's ways, ways clearly described in the Bible. If such a system exists and can be identified, much credibility would be added to my overall position on prophecy.

SATAN TRIES TO KILL THE "WOMAN'S" CHILD

Verse four says the dragon attempted to devour the woman's Child (Jesus), as soon as it was born. How did the devil try to destroy the baby Jesus? To fulfill his desires among humans, Satan usually lures certain people whose fallen nature is in agreement with his own nature. In this case it was King Herod. Note: (Matt. 2: 7 & 8).

7 "Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared."

8 "And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."

But, Herod was lying, as proven in Matt. 2: 13 & 16.

13 "And when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."...

16 "Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all that region, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men."

But Satan and Herod were unsuccessful. God protected the "Child". God's Garden-of-Eden promise of the "seed" had come to crush the head of the serpent and He was overseeing every eventuality to see to it that this would ultimately occur. Satan would be able to "hurt the heel" of the "Child" (implying Jesus' human death at the crucifixion) but in the end, this "Child" would destroy the adversary (the dragon) and his works, through His perfect obedience to the heavenly Father.

A "CHILD" RULER?

5 "And she brought forth a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and to His throne."

Some view this "Child" as the Church. By now you know that it's fine with me to look below the surface to see if anything can be seen other than that which appears obvious. But defining this "Child" as the Church won't hold up in its own context nor will it stand in light of all the other Scriptures. It's okay to explore seemingly far-fetched ideas but in the final analysis, conclusions must be based on sound balance of the Scriptures and the facts of history. God authored both!

Using the balancing system of interpretation, I see no way to accept that the "Child" of this passage alludes to the Church. Note this important point in verse 5: the "Child" is precisely identified as male! Now why in the world would John make such a specific fact known unless he wished to convey (1) individual personhood and (2) even the Child's gender? Therefore, if this male-Child is the Church, one would have to conclude no women would go to heaven!

But there are other excellent Scriptural confirmations that the "Child" can only be Jesus. Most expositors agree that psalm 2 is a picture of the Messiah. Whoever the "Child" is here in Revelation 12:5, we see that he eventually rules the nations with a "rod of iron". Look at this prophecy from psalm 2: 7 - 9:

7 ..."Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee..."

8 ..."and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance,..."

9 ..."Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron,..."

Note the perfect language agreement. But, that isn't all. In Revelation 19:15 we again find that same phrase:

15 "And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty."

Further, in verse 19:13, the one who uses the "rod of iron" is identified this way: "...and His Name is called The Word of God". Remember now who is recording Revelation: the apostle John. The very same man who wrote here that the "word of God" would rule with a "rod of iron", said in his Gospel that the "Word of God" was the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Folks, things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. There is no getting around it: the "Child" of Revelation 12 is Jesus!

THE "CHILD" ASCENDS UP TO GOD

We see also in verse 5 that this "Child" is "caught up to God and His throne". I guess those who hold the 'Child-Church' idea assume this describes the rapture. However, not only do they ignore all the above better references indicating John is speaking of Jesus but they also forget that Jesus too was, in a sense, raptured. (See Acts 1:9.) The Bible says that Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father today making intercession for Christian believers. He is at the throne of God. That's clearly what Revelation 12:5 is talking about.

THE "WOMAN'S" WILDERNESS YEARS

Now John brings the "woman" back into the picture again. We read in Revelation 12:6:

6 "And the woman fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days."

The literal-only Futurists, who see practically the whole book of Revelation (chapters 4 - 18) as all yet future, have this verse worked out this way: they correctly identify the woman as Israel but say that it only applies to a small remnant who will be living in Israel near the end of the tribulation. The persecution against them by the anti-Christ will become so intense that they must flee from the cities out into "the wilderness" and there find a place to hide. They even speculate on the exact site. It's called "Petra", which means rock. (The Petra people ought to run to and hide in is Jesus Christ --- the Rock of our salvation.)

However, as you might suspect, I have a different viewpoint of this passage. It is much clearer if interpreted historically. Actually, I have already partially discussed this in Revelation 11:2, which spoke of the "holy city" being "tread under foot" for "forty-two" months, which we learned is the same time period as the 1,260 prophetic-days as indicated here in 12:6. I'm convinced both passages, (as well as verse 14 coming up), refer to the same time and the same situation. Now, let's look briefly at it again.

We've agreed (I hope) that the "woman" is national Israel, God's national, prophetic-time-piece. Her fleeing "into the wilderness" where God would "feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days" means Israel would leave her homeland for 1,260 years, although remaining in God's sovereign care. As pointed out previously, that would have commenced around the time Mohammad and his followers devastated Palestine; I gave it a beginning date in accord with the crowning of the Dome of the Rock, 688 A.D. Why then? Well, the thinking correlates so well with Jesus' words in Mark 13:14:

4 "But when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), 'then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."

Note Jesus' words carefully. He referred to:

1. An "abomination". The Dome of the Rock sits where the old temple used to be.

2. "Desolation". The land of Israel became "desolate" of Jews from 688 A.D. until 1948. This abomination would be...

3. "Standing". Implication of a structure. A building.

4. "Those in Judea" = Jews in the Land.

5. "Flee to the mountains". The Jews would flee to certain other nations (= "mountains") where God had prepared a place for the Jews during most of the Christian era.

Can you see how closely Jesus' comments parallel John's description of the "woman" here in Revelation? Re-read verse 12:6 and note the striking similarities, then skip over to Rev. 12:14 and read that verse. Note how all these Scriptural passages fit the historical facts surrounding Israel: her plights throughout the world these past several centuries, the reality of the Dome of the Rock as it still sits in the very place God originally planned for Jewish temples, etc. Surely these are not mere-chance-coincidences. Perhaps in time the Futuristic analysis of these verses and events will also have credibility, but let's not leave out that which we know is already so!

SATAN THROWN OUT OF HEAVEN

7 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

8 and they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has only a short time!"

Again, we have a passage which doesn't fit in with the Futuristic concept. This is not a "will be" situation. Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven centuries ago!

The war between Satan and Michael is difficult to understand. Apparently there was some kind of great conflict between these two, including other angels which followed each of them. It's hard to believe this war occurred in heaven where the Father and the Lord Jesus reside. So, it makes me think the war took place in another heaven. Biblically, heaven is described in at least three ways:

(1) heaven, where God is;

(2) heaven, meaning the outer galaxies, and

(3) heaven, where the planes and birds fly.

Perhaps John is referring to the second of these. Satan and his angels were kicked out of heaven, where God is, prior to Adam and Eve in the Garden. After that, he was allowed freedom to explore everything you and I can see in the upper heavenlies and maybe it was there where the war occurred between Satan and Michael. But, the main thing to realize is that it was Jesus Christ who really defeated Satan when He took the sin-penalty for all mankind at Calvary. That's when salvation, strength, the kingdom of God and the power of His Christ came to man. (see verse 10 above).

Satan has been persecuting the Church ever since the ascension of Christ but Christians overcome him by the "blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" (verse 11). This is all history, plus current events, not merely some yet-to-come tribulation period as the Futurists ascribe to it.

Satan's warfare has been intensifying throughout the past 1,950 years and his time is ever-diminishing. As he realizes this fact, he becomes more wrathful in his vengeance against God's plans and against mankind. Satan's chief pre-occupation is influencing humanity. He has a plan similar to God's (although perverted) to reign over and be among mankind. The Church represents the only threat against this plan so it should come as no surprise that Christians will always face spiritual evil forces in our days on this earth. But we can have joy in the midst of these conflicts, knowing we can overcome Satan and his angels by the "blood of the Lamb". The writer of Hebrews admonished the Church as to what Christians must do as we approach the end of the age:

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Hebrews 10:25.

This is not talking about ecuminism (all denominations together under one ecclesiastical roof), but about Christian unity. Satan understands arithmetic. He likes to single Christians out because he knows that strength multiplies rather than adds when Christians come together to fellowship in true, Godly love. Jesus was illustrating this principle when He told the story about the shepherd leaving the large group of sheep to go after the lost one.

THE "WOMAN" IS PERSECUTED

13 "And when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

14 And 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 face of the serpent.

15 And 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.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon spewed out of his mouth."

Recapping the identities in chapter 12, the dragon (or serpent) is Satan; the woman is Israel; the male Child is Jesus. Verse 13 reveals Satan would persecute the woman because she gave birth to the Child, Jesus. Many historical events testify to the reality of this persecution. Here are the 3 main ones:

1. The destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., by Titus and his Roman army.

2. The final dispersion of the Jews from their homeland by Mohammad and his followers in the seventh century.

3. Hitler's annihilation of 6,000,000 Jews during WW2.

(Let's skip verse 14 for now.)

THE FLOOD

We need to learn what is meant by Satan spewing water out of his mouth like a "flood" in his attempt to destroy Israel. The devil had a twofold purpose in all this:

(1) to eliminate Israelthe "woman" who delivered the "Child" into the world, and

(2) to eliminate the "Child's" followers --- the Church. Since Satan was kicked out of heaven, Israel and the Church have been his only two spiritual enemies.

In the early Church era, Satan's enemies involved primarily Jews. However, as the Gospel spread, Satan realized the conflict was now broadening to include God-believing Gentiles (who he probably presumed were already his). He could no longer limit his attacks to one target, so he had to broaden his scope hoping to wipe out everybody connected to the God of the Bible. There are many examples of his strategy but two are of particular importance we should note:



(1) Satan 'joined the church' --- that is, he began working within certain ecclesiastical structures, perverting the doctrines etc., and

(2) He also inspired wars, aiming especially at those nations which housed most of the Jews and the Christians.

Then things got further and further out of Satan's ability to control so he stepped up his activities. The "waters" (see verse 15) would have to reach "flood" level --- the world wars. But God came to the rescue and the "earth swallowed up the flood", His instruments being the 'of God' nations (i.e. the two witnesses). The British and the Americans (plus some Godly, behind-the-scenes, German Christians), were the main allies of Israel and they were chiefly God's agents who were responsible for "swallowing up the flood" which Satan "spewed out of his mouth" in his attempt to destroy Israel.

THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

Now, let's back-track a little and look more critically at verses 6 and 14:

6 "And the woman fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days."

14 And 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 face of the serpent."

Now, read these two verses again and note the incredible similarity when they are placed side by side. They are so nearly alike one wonders why both were included. But there is a key difference. First of all, the "woman" (Israel), was dispersed into different nations to be protected by the sovereign influences of God in those places. Surely America is one of the main locations as one-third of all Jews remain here until this day. England and Canada were also very much involved in Israel's hiding place. This is the central meaning of these two verses.

Clearly, the "woman" and her "fleeing" is identical in both verses. But the time factors are stated differently. In verse 6 the "woman" would be in the wilderness for 1,260 days; but in verse 14 it would be for a time, times and half a time. Now what conclusion can we draw from this?

A mathematical law is again applicable: things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. In other words, if the two women here are one and the same (which they obviously are for there is no change in their identities suggested anywhere throughout chapter 12), and if they are describing the same movement --- into "the wilderness" --- (of which there can be do doubt), then the two time statements are one and the same also. This was God's way of telling us that a time, times and half a time is equal to 1,260 days. (We will later see just how needful this discovery is in order to unscramble a few other appropriate Scriptures.)

I entitled this section the "Abomination of Desolation" and you may be wondering why I didn't put this part in the earlier discussion of verse 6. At times, our understanding is enhanced if we group certain verses from different passages once we discover they are obvious references to the same thing. There's nothing wrong with this approach as long as we don't abuse the context. After all, Jesus Himself often referred to seemingly-obscure passages which He said alluded to Him. The Pharisees hated and accused Him for doing this, in spite of His clear explanation which would follow that He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. With this thought in mind, I would like to put 4 verses before you, all of which indirectly relate to our current topicIsrael in 'the wilderness' for 1,260 years.

I mentioned the Abomination of Desolation earlier in chapter 11, suggesting that it refers to the Muslim Dome of the Rock which sits in Jerusalem at the site where King Solomon's Temple once stood. Jesus declared Daniel as a Prophet of God, and He told the Jews in His day, (1), to be aware of what Daniel said about the "abomination of desolation", and (2), that those Jews who saw it should "flee to the mountains".

Now, let's look at the pertinent Scriptures:

1.

"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place' (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Matt. 24:15&16.

2.

"But when you see the 'abomination of desolation', spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not' (let the reader understand), 'then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Mark 13:14.

3.

"And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation." Daniel 11:31.

4.

"And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days." Dan. 12:11.

There are many points which could be made here but I want to draw your attention mainly to four key words in these four references to the "abomination of desolation".

Matthew says the abomination STANDS.

Mark calls the abomination an IT.

Daniel says the abomination was PLACED.

And lastly, Daniel tells us that the abomination was SET UP.

Something which is called an IT, is PLACED, SET UP, and STANDS is a clear description of a building! The only thing ever set up in Jerusalem (the Holy City) which was placed where it "ought not" be (since 688 A.D.), is the Islamic Dome of the Rock. And, this building stands till this day as a constant reminder that it was the Muslims who made the land "desolate" of Jews for 1,260 years --- or a time, times and half a timethe exact number of years between 688 and 1948 when the Jews were re-established as a nation.

One final point in this regard: you need to read all of Matthew 24 to see the obvious tie-in concerning the old Temple and its site. For example, in Matt. 24:1, Jesus spoke of the Jewish Temple He and the disciples were then looking at:

2 "...Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2.

Titus and his Roman army invaded Jerusalem, fulfilling this prophecy in 70 A.D. But, history clearly records that it was the Muslims who much later made sure no Jews remained in the land of Israel and later placed their "holy shrine" on the same site as the Temple Jesus and His disciples were discussing. I believe it is reasonable to assume that the Lord Jesus was seeing into the future when another building would sit in the same site as the Temple they were then observing, referring to it a few moments later as the Abomination of Desolation, today's Dome of the Rock. Surely we must come to this conclusion as we study everything the Bible teaches on this subject and relate it to plain, observable, historical facts. To me, all these truths just can't be meaningless, unrelated chance-coincidences. Also, we have seen even simple arithmetic and a little common sense confirms it.

Friends, let's be rational. We shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a 'painting' set so blatantly-plain right before our eyes. The Futurists would say giving this inference a historical label just isn't important. They believe Jesus was alluding to the final anti-Christ who will someday sit in the holy place (a supposed new Jewish Temple). Well, again, these Futuristic concepts may have LODR validity too, but those views do not change nor supplant the historical fulfillment of God's Word.

IF YOU CAN'T KILL "MOM", THEN KILL HER KIDS!

17 "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."

It may sound sadistic but I love this verse. It shows that God is sovereignly watching out for His Own. Here John introduces us to a new personality. We already know two he mentions but look at the third:

1. We know the "dragon" is Satan.

2. We also know the "woman" is national Israel.

3. But who is this "rest of her offspring"? It can be none other than those who believe in the "Child" and the Gospel delivered to them through the "woman"; namely, the Church.



How did I arrive at that? The answer is right in the verse itself: the "offspring" are the ones who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ". Folks, Christians alone meet the requirements of this definition! (Futurists will tell you that this verse is a reference to other saved Jews and/or those who become believers during the tribulation, leaving history out altogether.)

As I said earlier, Futurists make a lot out of the fact that the word "Church" is not mentioned after Revelation chapter 4. Thus, they conclude the Church isn't here. They obviously haven't discovered that Israel's "offspring" = the Church. (The whole book of Esther never mentions the word God! Does that mean that God isn't in it?)

THE DRAGON "MAKES WAR" with the OFFSPRING

Now where else did we see the expression "makes war"? Wasn't it back in Revelation chapter 11? My, My! Are we at last establishing a point here? Is this not a Biblical confirmation of the interpretation concerning God's "two witnesses"? Surely it is so. We, the saved, are the "offspring" of the "woman".

As already suggested, the national two witnesses may have been started by two individual disciples who were first-century Christian offspring of the woman. Perhaps they found their way into England and Scotland, or England and Ireland, and began their testimony of Jesus to people there. Later, what those two disciples commenced, may have broadened into groups which led eventually to the English-speaking British nations and English-speaking America. It was against these that the "dragon" exerted his greatest attention. From their beginnings, he has "made war" against them. He has been unsuccessful only because of God's protection reigning over them.

Now, those Christians in lands other than GB, Canada or America, may tend to be resentful of my views here. I understand that but truth must prevail over the ridicule. I'm really not prejudiced against other peoples or other nations. I'm simply declaring what I believe the Scriptures teach. If two other nations were just as strongly implied in prophecy as Great Britain and America I would be just as quick to make the identification regarding them.

SUMMARY OF REVELATION 12

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God deals in the affairs of men! It is He that ties historical events together. Never forget that. Israel, the British and the Americans have been, and are, inexorably-linked together by God Almighty. We shall also see this in chapters yet to come. Again, please understand that I'm not saying ALL people within the confines of these national entities are believers. However, I am saying the anointing of God is, and has been, upon these nations like no others. Therefore, there are God-given benefits everyone receive by just being here --- although obviously not extending to eternal life being given to anyone other than Christian believers.

The next chapter will give us further insights regarding how the "dragon" has operated in the past, and what his plans are for the future.