Jesus' First Coming was when He was born as a baby to Mary. When He was crucified and resurrected, He spent some time with His disciples. Then He ascended into the clouds to sit at the right hand of God. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in His people. The Holy Spirit descended on the Day of Pentecost and has remained and will remain until the Rapture. I believe in the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church where Jesus returns without putting a foot on the earth. He stays in the sky, a trump is blown and He draws His Children unto Himself. Then the Tribulation. His Second Coming is when He returns at the end of the Tribulation and this time His feet touch earth.
Others believe the Rapture comes at different times. Here are the theories.
We have studied the Seven Seals and six of the seven Trumpets. We studied the interlude between the sixth and seventh Trumpets.
Now it's time to look at the Seventh Trumpet.
Hebrews 9 1 That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. 2 There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. 3 Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. 4 In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now.
6 When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. 7 But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle, and the system it represented, were still in use.
9 This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. 10 For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established.
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come.e He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
16 Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.h 17 The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.
18 That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. 19 For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats,i along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. 20 Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” 21 And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. 22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
23 That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.
24 For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. 25 And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
Why am I bringing up the Tabernacle?Temple? The woman in Rev. 12 dwells inside “the temple” of God (Revelation 11:19- 12:1)
Revelation 11:19 19 Then the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and rolls of thunder, and an earthquake, and a great hailstorm. Revelation 12:1-2 1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
- she is clothed with the sun;
- she wears a crown with twelve stars;
- she has the moon under her feet;
- she cries out in labor;
- she birthed Christ;
- she is the mother of others who follow Jesus.
- She is the Virgin Mary.
- She is the true church.
- She is the nation Israel.
- She is the faithful Jewish remnant.
2. Throughout the Bible a pure “woman” is a symbol of God’s true church. The depiction of the woman being protected and nourished by God in Revelation 12:13–16 describes God protecting His People in the New Covenant age. Her seed, or the child and following children would be faithful members of the Church, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. She is said to be “clothed with the sun,” the glory of the gospel of Christ, and have “the moon under her feet,” the reflected glory of Christ as foreshadowed in the Old Testament sanctuary services and rituals. John 8:12; Colossians 2:11-17. The “crown of twelve stars” represents the twelve apostles. The woman who gives birth to Messiah represents the true church through its entire history—from Adam and the Jewish nation to the Christian Church. The Church is the bearer of divine supernatural light in the world, the gospel, and His righteousness. The church reflects His light. The moon is under her feet. The moon could represent the Jewish religion and sacrificial system. The moon shines at night and Israel is to give a light, a witness, amid the world’s darkness. It is through Israel’s seed that God promises to bring forth His Son - the Messiah. In Genesis, God repeatedly promises Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (later renamed Israel) that “in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
"In Revelation 2:18-29, the Church in Thyatira is promised that the faithful shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. In Revelation 19:15 the same thing is stated of Jesus. In Galatians 4:26, Paul the Apostle refers to the 'New Jerusalem' as 'our mother', and in Revelation 21:2 and Ephesians 5:21-32 the New Jerusalem and the Church is portrayed as the Bride of Christ." - Wikipedia
"There was some light in it, and it gave light to the saints in the night of Jewish darkness; it pointed out Christ to them, and was their schoolmaster to teach and lead them to him; yet, like the moon, it was the lesser light, the light it gave was inferior to that which the Gospel now gives; and as the moon has its shortcomings and its imperfections; had it been faultless, there had been no need of another, and a new dispensation, but that could make nothing perfect; and, as the moon, it was variable and changeable; it was but for a time, and is now done away; it is not only waxen old like the moon in the wane, but is entirely vanished away" - Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The New Testament Church is called “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16) and likened to “Jerusalem above,” which is called “the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22-23). Members of the Church are described as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, [God’s] own special people” (1 Peter 2:9). When Christ returns to earth, He is going to marry the Church, which is called “His wife” in Revelation 19:7.
In the New Testament, God’s Church is symbolized as a woman; and its members are likened to virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The New Testament Church is called “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16) and likened to “Jerusalem above,” which is called “the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22-23). When Christ returns to earth, He is going to marry the Church. It is even called “His wife” in Revelation 19:7. But Christ gives birth to the church; the church does not give birth to the Lord. If the woman is the true church, who is the child?
3. While it is true that Mary gave birth to Jesus, it is also true that Jesus, the son of David from the tribe of Judah, came from Israel. Mary was a descendant of King David. She was a Jew, a Hebrew, an Israelite. Israel gave birth to Jesus Christ. If the woman is seen as the Jewish nation, then the Gentile Christians, “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” would be those referred to as “the rest of her offspring.” The symbols of sun, moon and stars could be drawn from Genesis 37:9–11. Joseph has a dream of the sun and moon (symbolizing his father and mother) and stars (representing his brothers), which bow down to him. Jacob (the "sun"), Rachel (the "moon"), and Jacob's twelve sons (the "twelve stars"). The sun, moon, and twelve stars symbolize the people of Israel. Israel was the "embodiment" of the Law. Israel is often depicted in Scripture as a woman.
Ezekiel 16:1-15 1 Then another message came to me from the LORD: 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable sins. 3 Give her this message from the Sovereign LORD: You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 On the day you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was not cut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in cloth. 5 No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were unwanted, dumped in a field and left to die. 6 “But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’... 9 “Then I bathed you and washed off your blood, and I rubbed fragrant oils into your skin. 10 I gave you expensive clothing of fine linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine goatskin leather. 11 I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, beautiful necklaces, 12 a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head. 13 And so you were adorned with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—choice flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever. You looked like a queen, and so you were! 14 Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign LORD. 15 “But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along.
4. Is she the faithful Jewish remnant, through whom God brought the Messiah into the world, and which followed Him as His first disciples. The Judean remnant, the spiritual Israel, thus became the beginnings of the church. In Revelation 12:1, Israel may be seen, not as she was or is, but as she will be. It is the nation as God intended her to be, a condition that will be fulfilled in the Messiah's reign. This "woman" is the earthly city of Jerusalem and the Israelites primary and capital city was Jerusalem. Jerusalem was considered to be the "wife" or "bride" of God in Jeremiah 2:2; however, she was an "adulterous wife" in Ezekiel 16:32. The woman represents the people who bring about the child, Jesus. Mary was the individual member of the faithful remnant who brought forth the Messiah. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops concurs with Victorinus: “The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars…symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Revelation 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church.”
And, of course, it could be all of the above. John's vision contains "fusion imagery," in which one symbol is composed of elements from several different things. It is called polyvalent symbolism, in which symbols have more than one meaning. This woman is a four-way symbol: Israel, the Church, Eve, and Mary. This woman could be the new Eve, God's people personified, the mother of the Messiah AND the church. She is the new Eve, and Eve is “mother of all living”. Eve was a physical mother, Mary is a spiritual mother. Like Mary, she is pictured as the mother of the Messiah. Like the Church, she is persecuted by satan. Like Israel, she experiences great birth pangs as the Messiah is brought forth from the nation. And like Eve, it is her Seed whom the dragon, satan, hates. And the church as the New Israel includes believing Jews, the remnant, as well as believing Gentiles. Let's keep reading for now.
Revelation 12: 3- 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky, tossing them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her child as soon as He was born.
- Seven heads
- Ten horns
- Seven royal crowns
- His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky
Revelation 12:9 identifies this dragon as satan. "The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
“The dragon represents evil, chaos, and ancient opposition to God. Revelation explicitly identifies the dragon with Satan, the archenemy of God and his people. As God defeated the beast from the sea in Daniel and the dragon of Egypt through the Exodus, so he will defeat Satan (Revelation 20:3, 7-10). In the new heaven and earth there will no longer be a sea (21:1) or an ancient sea dragon to threaten God’s new creation” - Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy and End Times, p. 125.
Job 41:1-34 1 Can you catch Leviathan with a hook or put a noose around its jaw?
2 Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike?
3 Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity?
4 Will it agree to work for you, to be your slave for life?
5 Can you make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your little girls to play with?
6 Will merchants try to buy it to sell it in their shops?
7 Will its hide be hurt by spears or its head by a harpoon?
8 If you lay a hand on it, you will certainly remember the battle that follows.
You won’t try that again!
9 No, it is useless to try to capture it.
The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down.
10 And since no one dares to disturb it, who then can stand up to Me?
11 Who has given Me anything that I need to pay back?
Everything under heaven is Mine.
12 I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs and its enormous strength and graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?
14 Who could pry open its jaws?
For its teeth are terrible!
15 Its scales are like rows of shields tightly sealed together.
16 They are so close together that no air can get between them.
17 Each scale sticks tight to the next.
They interlock and cannot be penetrated.
18 When it sneezes, it flashes light!
Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
19 Lightning leaps from its mouth;
flames of fire flash out.
20 Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.
21 Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth.
22 The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck strikes terror wherever it goes.
23 Its flesh is hard and firm and cannot be penetrated.
24 Its heart is hard as rock, hard as a millstone.
25 When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by terror.
26 No sword can stop it, no spear, dart, or javelin.
27 Iron is nothing but straw to that creature, and bronze is like rotten wood.
28 Arrows cannot make it flee.
Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass.
29 Clubs are like a blade of grass, and it laughs at the swish of javelins.
30 Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass.
It plows up the ground as it drags through the mud.
31 Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion.
It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment.
32 The water glistens in its wake, making the sea look white.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless.
34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest.
It is the king of beasts.
Psalm 74:10-14 10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?
Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!
12 But God is my King from long ago; He brings salvation on the earth.
13 It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
Isaiah 27:1 In that day the LORD will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea.
Leviathan is a sea monster while behemoth is a land monster. The leviathan, in the natural world, could be a whale, crocodile or a prehistoric sea dinosaur. While the behemoth, in the natural world, could be a hippopotamus or prehistoric land dinosaur. Using these terms as adjectives would mean someone, or something, is huge, powerful, muscular, dangerous, formidable, immense, uncontrollable, vicious, with monstrous ferocity.
Sometimes "leviathan" is used as a symbol for the wicked kings of the earth who have tremendous power such as the King of Babylon or a Pharoah of Egypt. In all of the scriptural references, the one thing to keep in mind is that God has absolute control over this leviathan! It is described as being much more than any man, or men, could handle. No weapon we devise can kill it. We are defenseless in the face of leviathan but God is not! The Bible says that God originally created the leviathan and gave it a home "to frolic in" but the leviathan turns evil and only God can deal with it, which He does. Satan was created by God and was one of His angels. In fact, satan was one of the very highest order of angels and he had a place in God's realm. But he turned evil and led a rebellion against God. Due to pride (Job 40:34) and the desire to be God, satan led 1/3 of the angels in rebellion and God kicked satan and 1/3 of the angels out of Heaven. God has dealt with him and has the final victory when he is thrown in the Lake of Fire.
Matthew 12:29 (Jesus speaking) "For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house."
So, in Job, "Can you catch Leviathan with a hook or put a noose around its jaw? Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike?" These were ways to control animals.
The rhetorical question in Job 41:1-2 is answered by: only God can control leviathan. No man can control leviathan.
We may think we can. "Can you make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your little girls to play with?" and the answer is NO! Satan is real good at making sin look enticing, flattering, cute, fun, and the answer to all your problems. But you play around with him and he will have YOU hooked, controlled, and lead by the nose. Sin is anything BUT cute.
Some people may think they can enslave, or harness, the power of leviathan to do their bidding. "Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity? Will it agree to work for you, to be your slave for life?" I have to think of people who believe in black magic, voodoo, satanism. Do you really believe you can play with something like this? Do you really think that you can control and order leviathan around to do your bidding? Have you ever read Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe's poem, Faust? It's a two part tragedy that made it's full debut in 1831 (parts were written much earlier). Heinrich Faust is the main character. He is a scholar trying to learn about everything. He begins to despair and takes a walk in with his assistant, Wagner, in which a stray black standard poodle follows them home. The poodle transforms into satan's agent, Mephistopheles, who offers Faust a deal.
We may also think we can harness leviathan and use it for our gain. "Will merchants try to buy it to sell it in their shops?" How many people try to make money off of sin? But they will find out they can't control leviathan and it will eat them up one way or another. Any money they make will melt like snow.
You think you can make money off of sin.
You can market it and get rich.
You think it's just another way to make a living.
You don't do it, someone else will.
You think everyone else does it, why not me?
You can overlook the misery.
The wages of sin is death; it's what the Bible says.
The money you make is tainted.
The souls you rob just might be your own.
The Bible says sin has a price.
There is never a justification good enough.
The devil says, "That's tough!"
So who does have the power to control leviathan and to destroy him? God and God only! Thank the Lord, we have a God who has the power and the desire to save us from such a beast! We are weak but God is strong! "In that day the LORD will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan". The seven heads and seven crowns may symbolize the dragon’s false claims to divine sovereignty. The number seven in the Bible has always meant perfection and completeness. There is no one perfect and complete but God. Remember the seven crowns upon the head of the Lamb in Revelation 5:6. Satan is counterfeit. He is the Father of lies and there is no truth in him so his masquerade is fake. He wants us to think he is God and he is the almighty one. But it's nothing but a veneer, a mask, whitewash, theater makeup; it's false, counterfeit, fake.
Matthew 12:26 (Jesus speaking) "And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive".
In Daniel 7, the prophet sees a terrifying beast with 10 horns, which represent 10 kings. Satan has a kingdom and Jesus calls him the Prince of this world. Apostle Paul calls him the prince of the power of the air. His kingdom is temporary, his reign on earth is soon coming to an end. His end will be the Lake of Fire for eternal torment.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
The dragon's tail sweeps one third of the stars from the sky. Satan had been involved in a rebellion against God in which he attempted to exalt his “throne above the stars of God” and “be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). Satan lead one third of the angels in this rebellion. In the wake of his pride and rebellion, one third of the angels fell with him. They were swept from Heaven. Fallen angels are called demons. These spirit beings can make themselves look like anything, even something good, in order to entice humans to sin. Personally, I think all these ghosts being seen by people are this very thing. They are demons in a human form so that those who see, or hear, them will be frightened, and will begin following after ghosts and the occult, rather than followers of Jesus Christ. It's hard to understand how we can be so tricked into believing in ghosts but we refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We have seen people spend all their free time trying to contact ghosts, trying to become mediums, trying to find comfort or direction from the "other side". But they are following after the wrong thing.
Leviticus 19:31 Don't make yourselves disgusting to Me by going to people who claim they can talk to the dead.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Why is it bad? It is an ignorant attempt to gain knowledge or help from some creature other than God. If we need to know something about the future, God tells us. Otherwise, it is for us to trust HIM and keep our focus on Him. We should have no dealings with satan and his demons, however appealing and enticing they appear. It's not Great Grandma haunting the house. Great Grandma died and she is either with the Lord or in torment awaiting final judgment. It's a demon dressed up like Great Grandma to try and frighten, confuse and entice you in a wrong direction and away from God. Do people see or hear ghosts? I'm sure they do but it's not the spirit of a dead person but a demon tricking you. Can it be caught on film or recorded? Probably. I'm not disbelieving anyone's experience. I'm just saying that it's not the spirit of dead human beings but spirit beings, demons, appearing in a way that you want them to appear. Their goal is to scare you, trick you and get you involved in anything other than God. If you are hunting ghosts, looking for ghosts, then satan and his demons will appear as a ghost. If you are expecting ghosts, afraid of ghosts, and think something is haunted, then satan and his demons will not disappoint you. But it's trickery. So God says don't fall for it, don't go after it, don't follow it, don't fool with it, don't play with it.
The sweeping of the stars is also a display of the dragon’s authority. Stars sometimes symbolized nations and kings. The dragon seems to have some power over nations and kings, able to sweep them into his wake. We know satan is the dragon and we know he has tremendous power and strength to push his agenda of control. A crown represents a permanent victory, while the diadem represents a ruling authority and power. In this verse, the word "diadem" is used rather than "crown". The horns are a symbol of power and the crowns are a representation of authority. Who can defeat leviathan, the red dragon, satan? God has! Jesus Christ dealt satan a death blow on the cross and He was resurrected in victory! Satan's end is assured. He is defeated, even though he is still feeling his power and running around on earth, his days are numbered! Satan may inspire a ruler here on earth and help him attempt to take over the world. But he is defeated. He and his tools will be ineffective against God. Man cannot overcome leviathan. But God can and He has. As God's children, we have no fear of leviathan. Our Father has him on a leash and has his days numbered. God's children will have no need to fear the red dragon, leviathan, or any satanic inspired world governments. All he can do is look scary, but he has no power over us. We need have no fear!
We know that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem to Mary. Satan was waiting for Him and inspired Herod to try to kill the Son of God.
Matthew 2:16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
But God warned Joseph in a dream and they escaped safely. We also know that satan tries to attack God's children but...
John 10:29 (Jesus speaking) "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand".
Satan will try to destroy the church. The church has been the object of attack from Satan from both within and without. Within, he has attacked the church by introducing false teaching and false teachers. From without with persecution.
Matthew 16:18 (Jesus speaking) "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it".
Satan will try to destroy those who accept Christ during the Tribulation but God will save them. Satan will try to destroy the Jewish remnant who turn to God in the Tribulation. There will be a torrent of persecution against all believers. But God rescues. Bible prophecy tells us a day is coming when a great remnant will repent and receive Jesus as Savior, Messiah, Son of God, King!
Psalm 18:1-6, 16-19 1 I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice;
my cry came before Him, into his ears.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
God made promises to the Israelite nation. He chose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) and made covenant promises to them. If they disobeyed and turned their backs on God, rejected Jesus Christ, it wasn't all of them. Remember the disciples were Jews, the first church was made of Jews, the Apostle Paul was a Jew. There has always been a remnant that believed and there will be during the Tribulation.
Romans 11:1-5 1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,
Romans 9:27 27 And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, “Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved."
As a Christian, I am safe. The church is safe. The remnant is safe. God is in control and He has defeated satan and satan's end is known. He is scary, with a lot of sound and fury, but we are safe in the Father's hand and He has the power to defeat satan. However big satan is, God is bigger. However loud satan is, God is louder. However powerful satan is, God is stronger. So be encouraged if you are a Christian.
Revelation 12:5-6 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Psalm 2:6-9 6 For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” 7 The king proclaims the LORD’s decree: “The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. 9 You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’”
This male child may reference Jesus Christ who was born on this earth. Satan hated Jesus and tried to kill Him before and after His birth.
After His death and resurrection, He ascended in the clouds back to His Father to sit at His Father's right hand. The Greek word here is harpazo, which means "caught up" or "snatched up" and indicates quickly, instantaneously. It is the word used for the rapture of the Church in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
He has been given the Kingdom, a kingdom that will never be taken away from Him. He will take it by force from satan, the prince of the earth. He will judge satan, his demons and those who have rejected Jesus as the Son of God and as their Savior and King.
But there are other applications, or theories, concerning the "male child".
This is a prophecy concerning things to come. Jesus had already been born, crucified, resurrected and ascended when John wrote Revelation.
Jesus will rule with a rod of iron. But according to Revelation 2:26-27, so will the church.
Revelation 2:26-27 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.
In the Greek, the word for child is teknon which is the simple and informal "child". But Jesus was always referred to as huios which is Greek for "son of honor". John uses teknon to refer to the Church as the children of God in his first epistle (1 John 3:1-2, 10, 1 John 5:2), and uses huios exclusively in reference to Christ in his gospel and first epistle (John 1:49, 59, John 3:13, 16, John 5:19, John 14:13, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 4:15, 1 John 5:5, 1 John 5:20) so would he use teknon for Christ in this passage?
Isaiah 66:7 7 “Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son."
This woman may have given birth before labor pains. I.e. the woman did not have pre-birth labor pains, contractions. If the woman is Mary, the mother of Jesus, did she have labor pains before giving birth to Jesus? Or does this child symbolize the Church and we are raptured before the pains of the Tribulation?
Jesus' ascension is described using the words epairo or anabaino, both of which indicate a gradual rising (like climbing a mountain) not the harpazo, "snatching up".
Christ is the head of the Church and believers make up the body of the Church. We are united and one with Christ, our head. Believers have died to self and been resurrected with a new spirit. Our spirit will eventually be reunited with our perfected and resurrected bodies to live eternally with Christ. The Church will be raptured. We become co-rulers with Christ over the earth. So, in a sense, this male child is Christ AND His Church. Dual fulfillment through Christ and His Church.
1 Timothy 2:11-13 11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
Psalm 8:3-6 3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? 5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority
Let's look at two of the Prophet Daniel's prophecies:
Daniel 2:27-47 27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:
29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
Daniel 7 (NIV) 1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
6 “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
7 “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted
9 “As I looked,
thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.
11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,a coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
23v“He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”
The number four is, in apocalyptic writings, significant of the world; "the four winds" mean the whole world. The great sea would most likely be the Mediterranean Sea (but could represent any sea) but symbolically represents the world's heathen nations with it's constant political and social agitations. The "four winds" may be angels, either good or bad, concerned in the affairs on earth, either by divine order or permission. If each nation has an angel at it's head, this would also make sense. Good angels may be commanded to stir up nations by divine order. Bad angels may be allowed to stir up nations by permission from God. But the end result is the constant shifting of political power through wars, invasions, treaties; striving and fighting to enlarge their power and territory; conquering and falling.
Babylonia was an ancient state based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 b.c., which contained the minor town of Babylon. Under Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century b.c. it became a major capital city. Babylonia briefly became the major power in the region after Hammurabi. He conquered what is today Iran, Syria, Jordan. After Hammurabi, his empire declined and over centuries Babylon and the Mesopotamian region were ruled by many different groups and leaders. In 620 b.c. Nabopolassar seized control over much of Babylonia with the support of most of the inhabitants. He was forced to contend with an occupying Assyrian army encamped in Babylonia. The stalemate ended in 615 b.c., when Nabopolassar entered the Babylonians and Chaldeans into alliance with Cyaxares, an erstwhile vassal of Assyria, and king of the Iranian peoples; the Medes, Persians, Sagartians and Parthians. The coalition of Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Scythians, Cimmerians and Sagartians fought in unison against a civil war ravaged Assyria eventually earning the hard won victory. Nabopolassar was followed by his son Nebuchadnezzar II (605–562 BC), whose reign of 43 years made Babylon once more the ruler of much of the civilized world, taking over portions of the former Assyrian Empire, with the eastern and north eastern portion being taken by the Medes and the far north by the Scythians. Amel-Marduk succeeded to the throne and reigned for only two years when he was murdered. Neriglissar (560–556 BC), son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar II, also had a short reign. Then Labashi-Marduk (556 BC), who was still a boy. He was deposed and killed during the same year in a palace conspiracy. The last Babylonian king, Nabonidus (556–539 BC) who is the son of the Assyrian priestess Adda-Guppi and who managed to kill the last Chaldean king, Labashi-Marduk. He seemed to have left the defense of his kingdom to his son Belshazzar (a capable soldier but poor diplomat who alienated the political elite). It was in the sixth year of Nabonidus (549 BC) that Cyrus the Great, the Achaemenid Persian king revolted against the King of the Medes and in 3 years he became king of all Persia. In 539 BC Cyrus invaded Babylonia. The Babylonians were defeated.
The "beasts" here represent the world powers: Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman.
The lion and the eagle are chosen as being emblems of strength and swiftness and represent Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, or the Assyrian monarchy, founded by Nimrod, increased by the Assyrians, and brought to its height under Nebuchadnezzar. By plucking the eagle's wings, the beast was no longer as swift and mobile. It also began to walk on two legs rather than as a beast on four. I.e. it began to be more civilized. It became less like a lion and more like a man, with a man's weak, timid, fearful heart.
The second kingdom consists of two parts, and the raising up of one side implies that one part of the kingdom would come into greater prominence than the other. Such was the case with the Medo-Persian Empire. The 3 ribs are kingdoms subdued by the Bear of Medo-Persia, most likely the the Babylonians, the Lydians, and the Egyptians. The bear is rough, uncivilized, voracious and cruel.
Three of the historical books of the Bible: Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, and three of the minor prophets: Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, have their context in the reign of the Medo-Persian Empire. The Medo-Persian Empire first came into prominence in the ninth century b.c. under Shalmaneser III (about 836 b.c.). Assyria was the dominant side until the seventh century b.c., but their decline began in 614 b.c. when the Medes captured Asshur, the capitol city of Assyria. In 612 b.c. the Medes allied with the Chaldeans and captured Nineveh resulting in the downfall of the Assyrian Empire. In the years which followed the Medes-Persians were an important ally of Babylonia and formed various alliances and intermarriages. Toward the end of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the Persians began more powerful. Under Cyrus II Media was conquered in 549 b.c. and was combined with the empire of the Persians to form the Medo-Persian Empire. The combined strength of the Persians and the Medes led to conquest of Babylon in 539 b.c., and they ruled over much of the Middle East until the conquest of Alexander the Great in 331 b.c. Darius I (c. 550–486) was the fourth king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (established by Cyrus I, Cyrus the Great, it was the First Persian Empire.) Darius the Great ruled the empire at its peak. He supported faiths and religions that were "alien" as long as the adherents were submissive and peaceable, sometimes funding them from his treasury. He had funded the restoration of the Israelite temple which had originally been decreed by Cyrus. His successor was Xerxes I (identified as Ahasuerus in the biblical Book of Esther) Xerxes crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon after which he ceased to use the title of 'King of Babylon', calling himself simply 'King of the Persians and the Medes'. Burying people alive is a Persian custom and Xerxes' wife, Amestris, buried, twice, seven sons of notable Persians as an offering on her own behalf to the fabled god beneath the earth. Xerxes buried alive nine boys and nine girls who were children of local people one time. In August 465 b.c., Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard and the most powerful official in the Persian court, assassinated Xerxes with the help of a eunuch, Aspamitres. He put his seven sons in key positions. Artabanus then accused the Crown Prince Darius, Xerxes's eldest son, of the murder and persuaded another of Xerxes's sons, Artaxerxes I, to avenge the patricide by killing Darius. After Artaxerxes discovered the lie, he killed Artabanus and his sons. Artaxerxes I reigned from 465-424 b.c. He commissioned Ezra, a Jewish priest and scribe, by means of a letter of decree, to take charge of the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the Jewish nation. Ezra left Babylon in the first month of the seventh year of Artaxerxes' reign, at the head of a company of Jews that included priests and Levites. They arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month of the seventh year (Hebrew Calendar). The rebuilding of the city had begun under Cyrus the Great, who had permitted Jews held captive in Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple of Solomon. Consequently, a number of Jews returned to Jerusalem in 538 BC, and the foundation of this "Second Temple" was laid in 536 b.c., (Ezra 3:8). The temple was finally completed in the sixth year of Darius, 516 BC (Ezra 6:15). In Artaxerxes' 20th year (445 b.c.), Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer and friend, was sad. Artaxerxes inquired after Nehemiah's sadness. Nehemiah related to him the plight of the Jewish people and that the city of Jerusalem was undefended. The king sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem. (sources: Wikipedia and the Bible)
The next beast is a leopard. The swiftness, vigilance, suddenness, cruelty of the leopard who hunts by speed is indicated. The Greek Empire under Alexander the Great conquered so much so quickly. In just 12 years he had subjugated much of Europe and Asia. At the death of Alexander, the Macedonian empire was divided four ways under his generals: Macedon and Greece under Cassander, Thrace and Bithynia under Lysimachus, Egypt under Ptolemy, and Syria under Seleucus.
The fourth beast... it was such a monster, it had no natural comparison. Cruelty, oppression, and tyranny signified the Roman Empire. What wasn't destroyed by it's iron teeth was trampled by it's feet. The ten kingdoms into which Rome shall be divided are future kingdoms when the Antichrist, the little horn, shall appear. The little horn shall appear and three of the horns (kingdoms) shall fall and the rest will submit. This horn with eyes and mouth, is the AntiChrist. It has great intelligence and charm. He fancies himself as god. He will make all kinds of promises but cannot be trusted.
Daniel 8 (NIV, parenthesis mine) 1 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. 2 In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. 3 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.
5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”
14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings (about 6 1/3 years); then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”
15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”
18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.
19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”
27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.
The ram with 2 horns symbolizes the Medo-Persian Empire again. The goat is the Greek Empire. Antiochus Epiphanes is the small horn of verse 9.
The prophet Daniel predicts an atrocity in the temple in the end times (Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11). Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 8 came true during Antiochus Epiphanes time.
Verses 17, 19, 26 says the vision pertains to the end times. What are the "end times" to Daniel? We can conclude that Daniel's prophecy has dual fulfillment. It was fulfilled before Christ came to earth the first time as a baby born in Bethlehem. But it will also become fulfilled, in a fuller sense, before Christ's second coming at the end of the Great Tribulation. The "end time", and this king, serves as a prototype of another “horn” in the last days, who brings about such tribulation as the world has never seen. The angel, Gabriel, informs Daniel of events in the “final period of the indignation” (verse 19). The AntiChrist will be allowed to rebel against God for a period of time. It will appear he is successful. Satan is behind this arrogant, wicked, charismatic liar. He is the power behind this puppet who only thinks he is the master of the universe. His pride, deceit and destruction are beyond compare.
Revelation 12: 6 The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place for her to be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days. 1,260 days
Revelation 11:2-3 [The Gentiles] will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
The time period covered, 1,260 days, figures to 42 months, or 3 1/2 years.
Historicist interpreters have usually understood the "time, times and half a time" (i.e. 1+2+0.5=3.5), "1,260 days" and "42 months" mentioned in Daniel and Revelation to be references to represent a period of 1260 years (based on the 360 day Jewish year multiplied by 3.5).
The Tribulation begins and for 3 1/2 years the AntiChrist grows in power and strength. He makes promises to the Jewish nation and they will think he is their long awaited Messiah. Mid-way, he enters the new Jewish Temple and makes it his own. He demands to be worshiped as god. The Jews will be aghast and realization will come hard that the man they thought was their Messiah, is really the AntiChrist, the opposite of their Messiah. For the next 3 1/2 years, the tribulation will be greatly increased, especially directed against all who accept Jesus as the Messiah and their Savior. They are protected in the wilderness by God. At the end of the 7 year tribulation period, the AntiChrist will be defeated at Armageddon.
Revelation 12:7-9 7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Lucifer, satan, the devil, was a created being called a Cherubim, an angelic or heavenly being. He and the hosts of angels were probably created sometime between Days 1-3 of Creation.
Satan was originally perfect (blameless) from the day he was created until he sinned (wickedness was found in him). Thus, we can deduce that Satan was created during creation week; since he was blameless, he was under God’s “very good” proclamation.
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 NKJV)
Ezekiel 28:1-19 1 The LORD God said: 2 Ezekiel, son of man, tell the king of Tyre that I am saying:
You are so arrogant that you think you're a god and that the city of Tyre is your throne. You may claim to be a god, though you're nothing but a mere human. 3 You think you're wiser than Daniel and know everything.
4 Your wisdom has certainly made you rich, because you have storehouses filled with gold and silver. 5 You're a clever businessman and are extremely wealthy, but your wealth has led to arrogance!
6 You compared yourself to a god, so now I, the LORD God, 7 will make you the victim of cruel enemies. They will destroy all the possessions you've worked so hard to get. 8 Your enemies will brutally kill you, and the sea will be your only grave.
9 When you face your enemies, will you still claim to be a god? They will attack, and you will suffer like any other human. 10 Foreigners will kill you, and you will die the death of those who don't worship me. I, the LORD, have spoken.
A Funeral Song for the King of Tyre
11 The LORD said:
12 Ezekiel, son of man, sing a funeral song for the king of Tyre+ and tell him I am saying:
At one time, you were perfect,+ intelligent, and good-looking. 13 You lived in the garden of Eden and wore jewelry made of brightly colored gems and precious stones.
They were all set in gold+ and were ready for you on the day you were born. 14 I appointed a winged creature to guard your home+ on my holy mountain, where you walked among gems that dazzled like fire.
15 You were truly good from the time of your birth, but later you started doing wicked things. 16 You traded with other nations and became more and more cruel and evil. So I forced you to leave my mountain, and the creature that had been your protector now chased you away from the jewels.
17 It was your good looks that made you arrogant, and you were so famous that you started acting like a fool. That's why I threw you to the ground and let other kings sneer at you. 18 You have cheated so many other merchants that your places of worship are corrupt. So I set your city on fire and burned it down. Now everyone sees only ashes where your city once stood, 19 and the people of other nations are shocked. Your punishment was horrible, and you are gone forever.
This passage not only describes an earthly king, King of Tyre, but is a picture of what happened to satan.
The prince of Tyre of the time was probably Ithobal II (aka Ethbaal, or Ithobalus). It is not, however, any individual prince that the prophet threatens, but the ruler of Tyre, who is the embodiment of the spirit of the proud commercial city. The sin with which the prophet charges the prince is pride of heart and self-deification. - The Cambridge Bible For School And College
Idolatrous nations and idolatrous kings were, in the eyes of the prophet, antagonists to the true God. In them was embodied the principle of evil opposing itself to the divine government of the world. Hence, some of the fathers saw upon the throne, not simply a hostile monarch, but “the Prince of this world, spiritual wickedness (or wicked spirits) in high places.” Whenever evil in any way domineers over good, there is a “prince of Tyrus,” against whom God utters His voice. The “mystery of iniquity is ever working, and in that working we recognize the power of Satan whom God condemns and will destroy. -Albert Barnes' Notes On The Bible
The vision is not of Satan in his own person, but of Satan fulfilling himself in and through an earthly king who arrogates to himself divine honours, so that the prince of Tyrus foreshadows the Beast. -Scofield Reference Notes
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14, New King James Version)
Isaiah 14:11-20 11 Your might and power were buried with you.
The sound of the harp in your palace has ceased.
Now maggots are your sheet,
and worms your blanket.’
12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth,
you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself,
‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.
14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’
15 Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead,
down to its lowest depths.
16 Everyone there will stare at you and ask,
‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble?
17 Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland?
Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’
18 “The kings of the nations lie in stately glory, each in his own tomb,
19 but you will be thrown out of your grave like a worthless branch.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
you will be dumped into a mass grave with those killed in battle.
You will descend to the pit.
20 You will not be given a proper burial,
for you have destroyed your nation and slaughtered your people.
The descendants of such an evil person will never again receive honor.
Through these scriptures, God has revealed to us satan's history and his future. Let's look at Jude 1:6 in several translations.
Jude 1:6 (King James Version) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jude 1:6 (Young's Literal Translation) messengers also, those who did not keep their own principality, but did leave their proper dwelling, to a judgment of a great day, in bonds everlasting, under darkness He hath kept,
Jude 1:6 (New International Version) And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
Jude 1:6 (New Living Translation) And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.
Jude 1: 6 (Good News Bible) Remember the angels who did not stay within the limits of their proper authority, but abandoned their own dwelling place: they are bound with eternal chains in the darkness below, where God is keeping them for that great Day on which they will be condemned.
This scripture is also talking about what happened to satan and his following angels. They were cast out of heaven and are on a leash that God controls. Their final end will be in the Lake of Fire. What happened to them is a warning to everyone that God is in control and sin will not be tolerated. Those who give their lives to sin will join satan and his angels in the Lake of Fire. Those who give their lives to Christ are saved from this eternal punishment.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell, delivering them in chains to be held in gloomy darkness until their judgment;
Look at this teaching straight from the mouth of Christ:
Matthew 25:31-46 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Are you a sheep or a goat? Have you realized that you cannot save yourself from sin? Have you realized your need of a Savior? Are you willing to confess your sins to God and accept the free forgiveness of Jesus Christ? Do you believe that He is the Son of God and that He died on the cross to save us from our sins and that He rose again to give us eternal life? Do you believe He is the only way to salvation and eternal life? If you believe Jesus is the Son of God; that He died and was resurrected; that He loves you and did this work for you; that He forgives and give you eternal life... then you are saved and are one of the sheep. The sheep are blessed by God and will receive the kingdom. Once you believe... the very moment you believe, the Holy Spirit enters into you and your spirit is born. The Holy Spirit will then begin to teach and train and empower you to become more like Jesus and your spirit will grow and mature. If you refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And if you refuse to believe that Jesus died and rose again and ascended into heaven. And if you refuse to accept Jesus' offering of forgiveness and salvation. And if you think there are other roads to forgiveness and salvation... then you are lost and are one of the goats who will suffer eternal torment in the Lake of Fire with satan and his demons. The work has been done by Jesus Christ. It is only for you to believe and accept or to reject.
Who is this Michael? Michael is an archangel.
Daniel 12:1-3 1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
Jude 1:9 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
What is an archangel? An angel of high rank. Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel. Michael was the advocate of the Jews and Prince of the Jewish nation. Michael has special responsibilities for Israel. In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where, during the war in heaven, He defeats Satan.
Daniel 10:4-14 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.
10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Judaism and Catholicism usually see Michael as an angel of the highest order and obedient to God. Some protestants tend to see Michael as actually the pre-incarnate Christ (Jesus before He came to earth as a human) and they take the meaning that "archangel" is the "head of angels" rather than "head angel". Only Jesus is the Supreme Commander of the Heavenly Hosts but we also know that every Commander in Chief has commanders under him to carry out His orders and report to Him. Michael is twice called a prince and a prince can be a son of a king or a high noble. Is it possible that Michael was the name of the pre-incarnate Jesus, whose name was changed upon the commencement of His earthly mission? Or is Michael an archangel that does the will of Jesus and obeys Him. Michael's name means "he who is as God". I know there are times in the Old Testament when humans saw the pre-incarnate Jesus. Let's look at some examples.
Genesis 18:1-15 1 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,a do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Joshua 5:10-15 10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day afterd they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Joshua 6:1-5 1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
I think you can see in these two examples that first Abraham and, then, Joshua, saw the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. Only Jesus would accept their worship and let them call Him "Lord." Whenever humans have wanted to worship angels, the angel always stops them and directs their worship to God.
But is Michael Jesus? Or is Michael an archangel who takes his orders from Jesus? I personally think he is an archangel rather than our Lord Himself. Because of what Jesus has done for me, I do not need to pray for an angel to intercede on my behalf. I do not worship angels and I do not pray to angels. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have been adopted into the family of God and I now can have a personal relationship with God, my Father. Therefore I can go to the very throne room of God and make my petitions directly to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. I need have no other middle man, intermediary, or intercessor than Jesus Christ Himself. I do not worship, or pray, to anyone else whether it be a saint or angel. I go straight to the source.
Since Jesus Christ died, rose again and ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, we have an Advocate on our behalf.
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Hebrews 7:24-25 24 But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.
Although Michael has authority over other angels, Jesus Christ is far superior as the Son of God and all angels are to worship Him (Hebrews 1:5–9). Michael only says four words in the Bible, in Jude 9, Michael says to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you!” Jesus often rebuked Satan and demons in His own authority (Matthew 17:18, Mark 1:25, 9:25, Luke 4:8, 4:35). Michael is the only angel specifically referred to in the Bible as an "archangel." There may be others. Some say as many as seven or ten archangels. But that's not revealed in the Bible. Some say Gabriel is an archangel but he is not specifically called that in the Bible. Michael is a warrior angel who engages in spiritual combat. Daniel’s people are the Jews, and the fact that Michael “protects” them suggests that God has set various angels over nations or people groups. The demons seem to have a similar hierarchy (see Daniel 10:20). Michael the archangel, is a strong angelic prince who protects Israel and submissively serves God by doing battle against Satan. The Devil is not strong enough to conquer heaven’s forces. Other angels are called messengers as they appear in the Bible. In Job 1:6-11; Job 2:1-6, and Zechariah 3:1-2, Satan appears among the sons of God (angels), presenting himself before God in heaven, as the accuser of the saints. The accuser has no power because we have an Advocate on our side! The accuser has no case because believers are covered by the blood of Jesus.
From the moment Jesus Christ appears, satan, the enemy of God, tries to extinguish his life, but God protects him and exalts him. So satan turns his attack on the woman who gave birth to the child. Satan's attack is both on the world, which he attempts to deceive, and on the church, which he attempts to accuse. The only way in which satan can continue to attack Christ is by attacking His church here on earth. There is a spiritual war going on; a spiritual battle. But satan's attempts to overthrow the church will only have passing effect. We may be a little wounded but we will prevail because of Jesus Christ. He is the Victor! Satan will not win! That has already been decided - when Jesus died and rose again. He is merely harassing and cannot defeat God's people.This battle occurs at the mid-point of the seven-year period of Tribulation.
"Michael and the dragon (Satan) have known each other since they were created, and the battle during the Tribulation will not be the first time they have opposed each other. Michael is always seen in scripture as the defender of God’s people against satanic destruction." - John MacArthur
"What is this celestial conflict all about? The fact that Michael led God’s angels to victory is significant, because Michael is identified with the nation Israel (Daniel 10:10-21; Daniel 12:1; Jude 9). The name Michael means ‘Who is like God?’ and this certainly parallels Satan’s egocentric attack on Jehovah – ‘I will be like the Most High’ (Isa. 14:14). Apparently, the devil’s hatred of Israel will spur him to make one final assault against the throne of God, but he will be defeated by Michael and a heavenly host." - Warren W. Wiersbe in his book, " Be Victorious (Revelation): In Christ You Are an Overcomer"
The Bible describes four different falls of Satan. Revelation 12:9 describes the second of these four falls.
· From glorified to profane (Ezekiel 28:14-16). Luke 10:18, Jesus said “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” This refers to the first fall of Satan (from glorified to profane) and has a double fulfillment as prophecy in the second of the four falls, right here in Revelation 12.
· From having access to heaven (Job 1:12, 1 Kings 22:21, Zechariah 3:1) to restriction here on the earth (Revelation 12)
· From the earth to bondage in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20)
· From the pit to the lake of fire (Revelation 20)
Even though satan was thrown to earth, he evidently still has limited access to God in order to accuse. Accuse who?
Revelation 12:10 For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down
Job 1:6-12 6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” 8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Satan relentlessly accuses God’s children. He hates God, which means he also hates God’s mercy and forgiveness extended to His creation, Man. Satan goes to God in an attempt to push God into withholding mercy, love, forgiveness. I guess he expects God to say one day, "YES, YOU ARE RIGHT! THEY ARE ALL GUILTY AND ARE DAMNED!" But it will never happen. Don't forget, we have a High Priest, Jesus, who tells satan, "That has been paid for, he/she is no longer Guilty. I died for them and my blood cleanses them from all unrighteousness. And I am the Son of God so my blood was sufficient!"
Why did God allow satan to accuse and torment Job? You have to know the story of Job. God is omniscient and God has the all knowing wisdom to know how each of us is going to respond. We have free will, but our free will doesn't mean that God is surprised with whatever we choose. He knows beforehand who will choose Him and who will not. He knew Job and He knew just what would happen and how Job would react. Maybe Job needed some lessons because he certainly learned some things about God (read the book of Job). His friends also needed some lessons taught. And the end result was that Job worked his trauma out WITH God and was blessed double what he lost because of it. Job didn't say and do everything right. But he did not turn away from God, he dialogued with God and worked through it with God. Job was not sinless, but he had a heart after God and wanted to trust God. He had some complaints and very valid ones. But he took them to God and listened as God answered and accepted God's answer and worshiped God. What if Job had decided God was dead and he hated God and if God was that kind of God he would never worship Him or follow Him? Then Job would have remained in his bitterness, lost everything here on earth and damned for eternity. But Job worked through his honest emotions and questions with God and he listened and accepted God with a humble attitude. The result was no more anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness ruining his emotional and spiritual life and God blessed him double what he had before and he is eternally secure. He got the far better deal by sticking with God.
To get back to the accuser, satan, we see that he was still able to gain access to God to accuse, but we have the very Son of God, Jesus Christ, to take our case. Jesus is sort of like the Judge and the Defense Attorney all at once. Whenever a saved believer is accused by satan, Jesus says, "Not Guilty" and we are acquitted. Because He took on all the sin and the guilt upon Himself on the cross. If you aren't saved, you don't have the "Not Guilty" verdict. You have the "Guilty" verdict. But, as long as you are breathing, you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and ask for forgiveness. We never know when our time is over. We aren't promised another minute of life. Your life will end in one second and it could be today or 50 years from now. Please don't put off accepting the saving grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ so that you will stand before God and hear Jesus say, "This one is Not Guilty".
Revelation 12:10-12 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
Satan no longer has access to accuse believers before God. This is his second fall.
Romans 8:33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one--for God himself has given us right standing with himself.
"Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!" The word translated as "dwell" here is actually "tabernacle". The Greek word is skēnóō and means abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), to dwell. God will spread his tabernacle over them, so that they may dwell in safety and security under its cover and protection. But it means more than just living with someone. It means to have a deep relationship with the one you live with. To have an intimacy that comes with knowing each other so well. Close like a married couple who communicate and have a good marriage. God wants to dwell with His people. He wants to live among them, but not just live among them, He wants a relationship with them. A deep, intimate relationship. The word denotes much more than the general notion of dwelling. Skēnóō is dwelling in intimate communion with the resurrected Christ – even as He who Himself lived in unbroken communion with the Father during His days here on earth as He lived in flesh (John 1:14). Have you ever lived under the same roof with someone but that someone is really not "there". They aren't present in your relationship. They sort of take you for granted, run in and out, don't speak, don't care, they basically just sleep there. That is definitely NOT what we are talking about. God wants you to come in and speak to Him. He wants you to include Him in your schedule. He wants to have meaningful communication and deep talks. He wants to do things for you, and you do things for Him, just because you love each other. He wants you present and focused on your relationship with Him. He showers us with His love, His blessings, His attention, and will do anything for us. But do we just sort of take Him for granted? Let's "tabernacle", "dwell", abide with Him!!
John 15:4-7 Jesus speaking: "4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you".
Not only angels and the souls of the just with God, but also the faithful militant on earth, who already in spirit tabernacle in heaven, having their home and citizenship there, rejoice that Satan is cast out of their home. "Tabernacle" for dwell is used to mark that, though still on the earth, they in spirit are hidden "in the secret of God's tabernacle." They belong not to the world, and, therefore, exult in judgment having been passed on the prince of this world. - Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
The overthrow of satan is a cause of rejoicing in Heaven. His defeat is assured. Jesus Christ won the victory. But, for a time (a time that has an END) satan is temporarily loose on the earth. And because of his defeat, he is furious! He knows his time is short (in comparison to eternity) so he is ravenously seeking whom he can destroy.
1 Peter 5:8 8 Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
For those of us who are saved through Jesus Christ, satan cannot take our salvation away. If we have sincerely accepted Christ as our Savior, we are saved and no one can remove us from His Hands.
John 10:28-29 Jesus is speaking: 28 "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand".
But satan will try to scare us and make us ineffective for the kingdom. He attempts to weaken us, scare us, fill us with the lies of doubt. He doesn't want us to realize the truth and the true power we have because of the blood of Jesus and the residing Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
For those who aren't saved, satan attempts every trick in his toolbox to keep them from receiving Jesus Christ. He will try to fill their minds, their days, with incessant noise so they will not be able to think and they won't be able to hear the still small voice of God calling them. He will fill up their schedule with events and demands so they can't stand still for a moment and contemplate on Jesus Christ. Have you ever tried to talk to someone who simply can't be still and who cannot focus? Have you ever tried to talk to someone whose child then comes running in and demanding the parent's attention with shouting, jumping up and down and making as much noise and demands as possible? My niece has 4 children and she swears that every time she gets on the telephone to try to talk to another adult (her parents, us, friends, etc) her children will do anything to get her attention back to them. She can't talk because they are shouting at her, asking her questions, demanding something, or, if that doesn't work, breaking something, spilling something, etc. I know they don't deliberately do it. But it seems that way and, of course, she has to cut the conversation short and attend to them and she was unable to focus and hear what you had to say. Satan will try to do you the same way. The moment you have some peace and quiet and you can hear yourself think, is the moment he will attempt to send noise, confusion, demands, and chaos to rip you away from those "dangerous" thoughts that might lead to salvation. Your boss calls and sets a deadline, little Junior has a baseball game and his team needs a ride, oh, and by the way, did you wash his baseball socks? Your husband comes in the door with the notice that came in the mail that you forgot to pay the power bill. You neighbor decides it's a good time to ring the doorbell. Your teenager cranks up the speakers... and all thoughts of God are out the window!
And if he can't keep you away from God with noise and chaos, he will pull out the big guns. He loves to masquerade. He will dress up sin to make it look like it's just something you have to have. Everybody else can see the real picture, but to you it's intoxicating. That woman who isn't your wife, is so sexy and all you want is to be with her. Of course, once you are with her, she won't be so sexy any more. In fact, the bloom comes off pretty quickly. Once you've ruined your marriage, devastated your kids, and are stuck with hefty alimony and child support payments you are stuck with a new woman who had no compunction or shame about how she seduced you and broke up your family. Do you really think she will remain faithful to you once the bloom is worn off? Once she has what she wanted and reality comes crashing in, she will begin to look elsewhere. Those sexy tattoos that made her so alluring begin to look like the "tramp stamps" that now turn you off. And then there's that man you thought was so hunky and muscular... you just had to have him. You walked away from everything good in your life so you could be with him 24/7. Everyone else around you sees him as the pot bellied pig he really is, but to you, satan has air brushed away all the imperfections and you can't get enough. Of course, once you have him 24/7 you realize he snores, he drinks too much, and those 6 pack abs are beginning to slide down. That man who was so in love with you and had to be with you every moment, is really insecure and jealous. If your every thought is not about him, and you don't revolve around him, he beats you. He is so whiny and and desperate for constant attention and love that he gets on your every nerve. Then beats you to control you and force you to "love" him.
Satan just loves to masquerade, deceive and flatter. He makes you think you have to be drunk or high or having continuous sex in order to "have a good time". Only to find out rather quickly you are now a drug addict or alcoholic. Or you have a sexual disease, an unwanted pregnancy, or can no longer have a normal relationship with a normal person because it always has to be sexual and constantly sex, a sexual addiction, pornography and perversion. The misery that comes from addictions and perversions take over a person's life. They can no longer function normally, everything revolves around that next experience whether it's drugs/alcohol, sex/pornography/perverted sex, gambling, tobacco, shopping, body modifications, a hobby (yes, people can become addicted to hobbies), hoarding, etc. Satan hooked you and then reality came crashing in.
Even Christians can get hoodwinked and snookered into a life of sin. The consequences can be ruinous. A Christian is saved, but they can still sin and sin has consequences.
The best way to avoid the miseries of sin is to stay close to God. Keep your relationship with Him fresh, i.e. spend time with Him daily. You want to have an intimate, deep, close, loving relationship with Him. You want to dwell under His tent in relationship with Him. Shutting out the world, relaxing with Him and talk about everything.
Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Revelation 12:13-17 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
Back in the Garden of Eden, after satan tempted Eve and she sinned and then took it to Adam and he sinned, God came. Instead of their usual running to meet Him, they hid. God knew exactly what had happened, but He knew they needed to come out of hiding and confess their sin. So He called to them and began asking them questions to draw them out. At first they tried to hide behind bushes, then fig leaves, then they tried to hide by pointing blame at each other and finally by justifying. It was her fault, it was the serpent's fault, it was God's fault. Now remember, before the temptation and the fall into sin, Adam and Eve had full use of their brain and intellectual power. God had created their minds and they had full use of it. In fact, God had given them jobs to do:
Genesis 1:28 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Genesis 2:15 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Genesis 2:19-20 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
So these were not some primitive knuckle draggers. They were intelligent, reasoning humans whom God had made to be perfect and immortal. Yes, they were made to be immortal. Sin brought death. And God didn't make a whole complex religious system that they had to follow. He only gave them one rule, "you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
But, as we know, they couldn't keep the only rule God made. They ate from the tree of good and evil and God came down to confront them. He dealt with the serpent, then Eve, then Adam.
Genesis 3:14-15 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock, and every beast of the field! On your belly will you go, and dust you will eat, all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
If you notice, the verse says the serpent will strike someone on the heel which is a nuisance, but that person will "crush your head" which is a mortal, death blow. Who is this person prophesied about in Genesis 3:15? Jesus Christ! Satan attempted to stop Jesus from the very beginning. He tried to stop Him through Herod the Great, even to killing all the babies in Bethlehem up to 2 years old. He tried to stop Him by tempting Him as he had done Adam and Eve but that failed too. He tried to stop him through the religious leaders.
Luke 4:28-30 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
And, with Jesus Christ, those who believe in Him as the Son of God, are also part of that seed. True believers, the saints (of which I am one, and so are you if you are saved through Jesus). Jesus and His saints are the seed of the woman. Jesus Christ is our sacred Head. He, along with the Body of Christ, are the Seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:29).
Satan thought he had finally done it when Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. But then Jesus won the victory by resurrecting! He had dealt the death blow to satan! Just think, satan is really in his death throes. Now he can no longer accuse the saints and he knows his time is short. Which is why he is so angry, enraged!
In Revelation 12, I believe the woman represents Israel, God's chosen people (which will later include the church, Jew and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ). Israel began with God choosing Abraham and blessing the descendants of Isaac, the Israelites. The Twelve Tribes of Israel are represented by the 12 stars. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was a Jew so Jesus, who was wholly divine but also completely human, was born from Israel. I believe He is the Child referred to. I think the description of the woman in the first part of chapter 12 is historical. Israel gave birth to Jesus and satan attempted to stop Jesus all along the way.
The first disciples and believers were Jews but the Jewish nation as a whole rejected Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God so God mercifully included the Gentiles who would believe in Jesus. The Church includes both Messianic Jews (the ones who have accepted Jesus Christ as Messiah, Savior, Son of God, Redeemer) and believing Gentiles. The devil was defeated in his attempts against God in heaven and defeated in his attack upon the man child - Christ Jesus, so now he directs his efforts against the woman, Israel. Satan has persecuted the Jews for centuries but there is going to be a time in the future where he will target them again to try and keep Jesus from coming back.
Satan may have bruised the heel of Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ crushed his head. He only has 3 1/2 years left! The AntiChrist sets up the Abomination in the new Jewish Temple and establishes his new world religion in which he must be worshiped. This breaks the pact between the AntiChrist and Israel. The Jews will see they have been deceived. They had thought this AntiChrist might be their long awaited Messiah, especially when he agreed to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. But what he does halfway through the Tribulation opens their eyes. Many of the Jews will become believers in Jesus Christ because of this. The Jews will evacuate to the wilderness desert, possibly Petra, as it is in a rocky, mountainous desert.
Are the "two wings of a great eagle" transport planes that will evacuate the people? Will the Jews be removed to the desert into refugee camps? Because they refuse to worship the anti-Christ, the satanic leader who rules the world in a one world government. Because they are considered dangerous thinkers, stubborn obstructionists. But, at least for 1,260 days they are safe and provided for in this place.
Exodus 19:4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
But satan, knowing he only has 3 1/2 years left tries another tactic. If he can gather all the Jews in one place and then destroy them, maybe he has a chance to stop Jesus. He sends some type river, or flood, but it is supernaturally intercepted by God. Much like the parting of the Red Sea for the great Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites walked on dry land to the other side and made it safely before the Egyptian Pharaoh and his chariots started crossing. When all of the Egyptian army got into the path God had made for the Israelites, God caused the sea to tumble down and swallow them up! Something like that is evidently going to happen again. Whether it is a flood of water or of soldiers who head their way to kill them all; or whether it's a gas or some type of released biological warfare; or bombs...? It will come all at one time as a flood but God will make it disappear into the earth. Maybe an earthquake? Or, like Stephen King's famous book, The Dome, God will put an unseen dome over the Jewish refugees and the planes, bombs or biological weapons will smash and fall to the earth never touching the Jews. Maybe it is a literal flood? I don't know if there will be a dam somewhere that satan will smash and send the water as a flood that runs straight for the refugee camps? I don't know, nor do I have to worry about it. God protects the Jews supernaturally. That's all I need to know.
Psalm 18:1-17 1 I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
Why does God rescue the Jews? God said there would be a remnant from each tribe. A remnant who are not only Jews but believers in Jesus Christ. Maybe what they saw happen with the AntiChrist, his abomination and demands to be worshiped, are what causes them to finally see Jesus for who He is, their Messiah. Also, God made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Jewish nation and God fulfills His promises despite the nation's idolatry and rejection of Jesus. (How doubly blessed is a Messianic Jew, first as Jew and second, as a believer and part of the Church.) As a Christian, I'm glad that my God keeps His promises despite my sins. His love never fails and He is always faithful! He is our Rock! I'm glad He keeps His promises to the Jews because it means He will keep His promises to me.
This is another defeat for satan and, knowing he can't touch them, "he went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus." Who is the "rest of her offspring"? Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior since the Rapture. The remnant of believers who have risen during the Tribulation. The Church. He will up his persecution of the Church in the last 1,260 days.