Thursday, October 22, 2009

Revelation 12:13-14

Verse 13-14 "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

This takes us back to earth where we left off at verse 6, so we know that we are still at that same exact time of the abomination of desolation when Israel flees. God deliberately goes back and reiterates this information to make sure we realize that all of this is happening simultaneously on earth and in heaven and takes place in a very brief period of time. He had left us at the woman fleeing into the wilderness on earth, showed us what was happening at the same time in heaven, then brought us back down to where he left off on earth.

The first thing Satan does upon arrival on the planet is to try to kill all of the Jews he can (through antichrist declaring himself God). He will be able to kill a lot of them. In Zechariah 13 we find a prophecy about Israel for the last days. In verses 8-9 it tells how many will die. "And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God." So two thirds of the Jewish population will die. The world's Jewish population is over 13 million, and Israel's Jewish population is roughly 5 1/2 million. Considering just the Jewish population of Israel, as they are the ones who are told to flee to the wilderness, one third of this population number would be roughly 1,850,000. It seems unlikely that this many people would be able to flee out of Israel (technically it only says Judea) for safety. I am not even sure how many peope live in that particular area of Israel. It is more probable that the bulk of the third that are saved are found in the rest of the world, and that more die in Israel than elsewhere, although there is no way to say that for certain. The actual place spoken of (Judea) in Luke is what is today the West Bank, where all the Palestinians live alongside the Israelis, and it is that particular section that is told to flee. Naturally any place where an Israeli's literal neighbor is his enemy is the most dangerous, although the entire country of Israel is literally in the midst of their enemies. Anyone in Jerusalem should obviously flee, as well as anyone in the West Bank. As for the rest of the country, they might stay put and take their chances, fighting.

Among those that do remain alive, at least some are the remnant that flee to the mountains. As said before, God brings them into the wilderness to bring them back to Himself, Ez. 20:33-38, “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” and Jer. 30:11 “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” That this speaks of that future time cannot be in doubt, as it will be the second sojourn in the wilderness similar to the Egyptian exodus, God brings them into the covenant, and he will make a full end of all of the nations where they have been scattered. Clearly this speaks of the Day of the Lord.

Help is given to the remnant of Israel to make their escape. Two wings of a great eagle carry them by flight to that place that has been prepared by God. Here we see the time frame has been changed from 1260 days to time, times, and half a time. If there was any doubt that "time" refers to a year, it is clearly laid out in this chapter. It also clearly identifies with the same time frame as Daniel. God uses these numbers (1260 days; time, times, half a time; 3 1/2 years; and forty-two months) interchangeably so that we will know that He is always referring to the same time frame, that last half of the 70th week, no matter which number He uses or to what he is referring. They will be protected from Satan and antichrist for this entire time until Christ returns. All of their needs will be miraculously supplied, just as they were in the wilderness when they left Egypt. This will make Satan very frustrated and angry to not be able to touch them. So close, yet so far. It will be at Christ's Second Coming that they will realize exactly who He is. This group will definitely be going into the millennium.

As to what the great eagle is? Well, if we take this literally, it would seem absurd. There is no eagle big enough to fly a huge group of people to a place of safety. It would seem that common sense clearly indicates that this is not to be taken literally. Unless of course there is a plane named the eagle. We have had a spaceship by that name, and it seems that most planes get a name from the men who fly them. John had never seen a plane, so this may be his only reference by which to call it. It could be that the Israelis themselves just commandeer aircraft and make a hasty retreat. Another possibility is that the eagle stands for America’s planes. We are presently about the only friend Israel has, although it would be hard to prove that given the past few government administrations' attempts to make Israel give away their land and make peace with the people who would see them annihilated. In fact I believe this current president is already showing he is not going to side with Israel, and we may find our country siding against Israel in the future. Possibly this could mean miraculous and angelic interference in the affairs of man. There is a scriptural reference that may give some credence to that idea. It has to do with the exodus from Egypt. Ex. 19:4 “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.“ The many miracles, and I am sure angelic protection and help, is referred to symbolically here in Exodus as eagles’ wings. As symbolism does hold through scripture, there is an argument for this being the case again in Revelation. It will be a shortened repeat of the Egyptian exodus and wilderness experience, (God does have a penchant for repeating things in the same manner) and their survival will depend upon God's miraculous provision, so the possibility of this verse being the source of how this should be interpreted is strong, although any one of these is a possibility. Only time will tell. As stated before, Satan will not be allowed to touch her there. Israel's running to the mountains would explain why Moab, Edom, and Ammon (all part of Jordan) escape out of antichrist's hands. All of the children of Israel will be hiding out there.

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