12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the male child.

14 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.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

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

17 And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

PART 2

 

*** What did the dragon do? ***: It’s time now to look more closely at the verses in this section. Over the past three studies, we saw how Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension to the throne of God meant that Satan became a defeated enemy. The dragon realized he could no longer attack Jesus directly, so he turned his attention to God’s people. Once again, the word ‘dragon’ is used in this section as a symbol for Satan (Revelation 12:9), and the expression ‘woman who had brought forth the male child’ is used as a symbol for the Church (see studies #78 and #80 for details). Satan began persecuting the woman (Revelation 12:13).

*** What did the woman do? ***: There are two verses that talk about what the woman did after giving birth. These verses are very important. They help us understand God’s protection, and our freedom to accept or not His help. Let’s look at these verses:

Revelation 12:6: “Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” (NAS)

Revelation 12:14: “But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” (NAS)

After giving birth, the woman fled to the wilderness. What we cannot miss here, is that the ‘wilderness’ was not a random place where she ran away to. Revelation 12:6 tells us that the woman went to “a place prepared by God”. Just like He had guided the ancient Israel to the wilderness, and nourished them there, He guided the woman through her difficult time. He provided everything for His people. Look at how Deuteronomy 8:14-16 describes how miraculous was God’s care for Israel: “Then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and thirsty land, where there was no water; who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers knew not, that he might humble you, and that he might test you, to do you good in the end”. Look at the elements that God protected them from: serpents, scorpions, and lack of water. All of these are present in Revelation, as we’ve seen in our previous studies. And also pay close attention to why He did it, on the last part of the text: “that he might humble you, and that he might test you, to do you good in the end”. Many times in the Bible, God directs His beloved people to the wilderness, so they can keep and grow their connection with the Heavenly Father. Here are a few examples of how God guided people to and through the wilderness: David (1 Samuel 23:14), Elijah (1 Kings 17:3-4), John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:3-5; Matthew 3:1-3), and Jesus (Luke 4:1,2; Matthew 4:11).

*** Wings of an eagle ***: The way the Church was protected during her journey to the wilderness is nothing short of a miracle. Revelation 12:14 tells us the woman received wings of a great eagle which allowed her to fly to the place where God had prepared for her. Having wings like eagles in a moment where human strength would just not be enough to keep going, reminds us of the verses in Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” As the verse says, the key is to “wait upon the Lord”. Just as God carried Israel out of Egipt on His wings (Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11-12), he had also prepared a way to protect the Church and carry her to safety on His wings.

*** Nourished for a time, and times, and half a time ***: This prophetic period of time keeps showing up in Revelation. We have discussed this many times. Please see studies #16, #20, #68, #71, #72, AND #80). This is the time the two witnesses would be prophesying in sackcloth and the gentiles would be treading over the holy city (Revelation 11:2,3, see also Daniel 7:25). This period covers literal 1260 years during the Dark Ages, where Christians suffered greatly, and had practically no access to scripture. Still, God kept His message alive, and He still had faithful followers throughout all those years. Being in the “wilderness” is more about God’s care than it is about the wilderness itself. The focus is on the divine nourishing, not on the dangers all around.

*** The serpent’s weapon ***: As we saw in part 1 of this study, the serpents weapon is water. The symbol for Satan in this verse is ‘serpent’, which reminds of the form he took when he deceived Eve in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-4). The water is coming out of his mouth. Just as Jesus’ Truth comes out of His mouth as a two-edged sword to free people from sin (Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Hebrews 4:12), Satan’s lies flow out of his mouth to deceive people and bind them to death. Jesus is offering His everlasting water, so we would never thirst again. The water that flows from Jesus, meaning His Truth, doesn’t change and lasts forever. God’s message is like a river that flows in the life of the Christian and that takes them to Eternal life (John 4:14; John 7:37-39; Revelation 21:6-7). On the other hand, the river that flows from the serpent’s mouth leads to eternal death. Satan wants to flood the church with poisonous teachings. We can see how clear it says in Revelation 12:15 that Satan wants to cause the Church “to be carried away by the flood.” He wants to wash her out with his lies. He wants to harm and deceive people.

*** What did the earth do? ***: We saw in our last study that when Satan wasn’t cast out of Heaven, he went on to persecute the people of the earth and of the sea. We studied in detail that the people of the earth represent those who have rejected God’s message. These people had already been deceived by the enemy. The sudden participation of the earth in this section can raise a very important question in our minds. If God was already protecting the woman, did she really need outside help? God was indeed protecting the woman. The earth, however, offered help, and then the woman was faced with 2 choices: to accept a visible and quick fix help from the earth or to accept God’s unconventional ways of protection. The woman accepted the earth's help, and so the earth absorbed all the serpent’s poisonous water, apparently saving the Church that way. The Church began to suffer from Second-hand poisoning. By choosing to leave God’s protection, a good portion of the Church began to receive its nourishment from the earth, which had been poisoned by the water that came from the serpent’s mouth. False teachings were incorporated into the Church in a very inconspicuous and gradual way. The majority of the Church was compromised. So much so that Revelation 12:17 says that Satan stopped persecuting the woman exclusively and went on to persecute "the remnant of her offspring”, those who remained faithful to God. The imagery of evildoers being swallowed by the earth is seen in the Bible when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against Moses (Numbers 16:32; Numbers 26:10; Deuteronomy 11:6; Psalms 116:17). It is also seen when the earth swallowed the Egyptians who were pursuing the Israelites as they were fleeing to the wilderness (Exodus 15:12). In those cases, the rebellious people were swallowed. In Revelation, even though the Earth is opening its mouth to swallow, it is actually absorbing lies, not people. In both scenarios, where the earth is swallowing evil people or evil teachings, God is still under control of the situation. He allowed the swallowing to happen, given that the people involved in each of those stories had chosen to move away from God’s original plan. God was still working to save His Church.

*** What did the faithful remnant do? ***: If we read Revelation 12:17 too quickly, we may miss something very important. The dragon was angry at the woman, and yet, he stopped persecuting her and went after her remnant. We see here a division in the ‘woman’ symbol. A split separating the part of the Church who had accepted nourishment from the contaminated earth, and the part of the Church who had remained faithful. The expression “the remnant of her offspring” in this verse is, in some versions, translated as ‘the rest of her children’ and ‘the remnant of her seed’. The word remnant comes from the Greek word loipos, which means “the rest, the remaining”. But we can ask ourselves, what makes the remnant so different from the woman that prompts the dragon to leave the woman alone and go after them instead? The answer comes at the end of Revelation 12:17: they are the ones “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This is the key to understand what kind of poison the serpent used on the water coming out of his mouth. He wanted to trick people into breaking God’s commandments and abandoning the teachings of Jesus. By breaking God’s commandments (Exodus 20), people break the mirror that tells them they need a Savior. The commandments cannot save anyone, but it can show them they need One. If people don’t recognize their need for Jesus, they will reject Christ’s death at the cross as the payment for our transgression. His death will mean nothing to them. This way, Satan’s direct attack on the people would be an indirect attack on God’s plan. The testimony of Jesus points to the Savior Himself. The testimony of Jesus is at the same time from Jesus to us and about Jesus.

*** Overview ***: When Satan saw that he had been defeated at the end of the war in Heaven (Revelation 12:7,13), he started his direct attack on the people. His attack was not only on God’s people but also on the people who had rejected God’s Truth as well. The weapon is the same: false teachings that flow out of his mouth to deceive people and keep them from recognizing their need for a Savior, who is Jesus Christ. God always has a plan to protect His faithful followers. It may seem like a strange plan sometimes, it may take believers to the wilderness and harsh environments. But God always provides the care that they need. It is up to us to trust Him, and accept His help. The serpent is trying to keep Gods people from keeping God’s Commandments and to keep them away from Jesus’ teachings. But it is by faith in Jesus that we are saved by His grace. We cannot move away from Biblical truth and exchange it with humanity traditions because it is more convenient. The false teachings coming from the serpent sound very good, and may even bring a superficial sense of comfort and safety. But we must not be deceived by his flood of lies, which are intended to destroy us. We must stand firm on the source of the Everlasting Water, the true fountain of Eternal Life: Jesus.

5 And she brought forth a male child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

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

 

PART 3

 

*** Background ***: The woman was in labor. She was about to give birth and the dragon was standing in front of her, waiting for the child to be born. The dragon wanted to destroy the child. (Revelation 12:1-4). As we saw in the previous two studies, the pregnant woman is the Israel church. It was from that nation that the Messiah would be born. The dragon is Satan, waiting for the Messiah to be born. He wanted to place his attack as soon as possible.

*** The child was born ***: As prophesied, a male child was indeed born. There are many prophecies in the Bible concerning the birth of Christ such as the ones we see in Micah 5:2-4; Isaiah 7:14. "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." (Isaiah 11:1-4). Isaiah 9:6 says: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Jesus is the male child Revelation 12:5 is referring to. Christ is the fulfillment of the first prophecy about the messiah written in Genesis 3:15 (see study #78).

*** He would rule the nations with a rod of iron ***: In order to understand this verse, we need to look at a few verses in the Bible. There are three important elements in this section of Revelation 12:5: "the male child", "the nations", and the “rod of iron". Let's read Psalm 2:7-12:

"I will declare the decree: the LORD has said unto me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."

- The male child: All the verses we are studying point to Jesus as the male child. The Bible leaves no doubt about the interpretation of this first element.

- The nations: In this text of Psalm2:7-12, we see the same three elements of Revelation 12:5: the son, the nations, and the rod of iron. In this Psalm, we learn that the Son will break the nations unless they repent and decide to serve the Lord (Psalm 2:11). Now we know that 'the nations' are those people who do not yet serve God.

- The rod of iron: The rod is the instrument Christ would use to break the nations, so they could see clearly the decision they have to make: to trust Him or not (Psalm 2:12). Revelation 19:15 tells us what is this rod of iron that He uses on the nations: "And out of his mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." The Rod of iron is the sharp sword that comes out of Jesus' mouth. Remember John's description of the glorified Christ in Revelation 1:16? And how Jesus introduced Himself to the church of Pergamum in Revelation 2:12? Jesus has a sharp sword that comes out of His mouth. He uses it to smite the nations and bring them to repentance. This sword is the Word of God, which is now contained in the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says: "For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (See studies #9, #17 and #18).

*** The child was caught up unto a God ***: At a first glance, it seems that the child was born and was immediately caught up to God as a baby. But when we look closely to Revelation 12:5, we start to see the progression of events. The Messiah was born into the Jewish nation. He then spread His Truth during His ministry, calling people to repentance. Finally, he died and resurrected. He went back to Heaven and was caught up to the Father and His throne. In Revelation 4 and 5 (studies #28-36), we see Christ’s arrival in Heaven, as the Lamb who was slain. He was worthy to sit down on the throne, at the right side of the Father. The expression "caught up unto God" reminds us of another expression we see in Daniel 9:26, where the "Messiah [would be] be cut off, but not for himself". This verse in Daniel is talking about the time when Christ would die, sealing the fate of sin forever.

*** What happened to the woman after she gave birth ***: Revelation 12:6 says: "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days." It is clear that after giving birth the woman ran away from the dragon. But what does that mean? As we've mentioned many times before, in Bible analogies, 'woman' is always a reference to the church. The pregnant woman was a reference to the Israel church. Christ was born from the line of David, from the tribe of Juda (Mateus 1:1-2). The woman after she gave birth still continues to be a symbol for God's church. But keep in mind that she became a symbol for the church of a different time period from the one when she was pregnant. We saw that the son had returned to Heaven by the time the woman ran away from the dragon. At that point, God's church was not made up of Israelites alone. Anyone who accepts Jesus becomes part of God's family. "For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29). Revelation 12:6 is not a reference to the original Israel church. After Christ's death, anyone who accepts Him as Savior can be included. The woman after giving birth is a symbol for the worldwide Church. This Church is formed by those who remain faithful to the iron rod message of Jesus.

- She fled to the wilderness: The dragon was now persecuting the woman in such intensity that she needed to run away into the wilderness. The Christian church had to run away just like the ancient Israelites had to flee from Egipt into the wilderness (Exodus 13:17; Exodus 16:21). And just as God had provided a land for the Israelites, He had also prepared a place for the woman. This period of hardship would last for 1260 days (Revelation 12:6). Once again, we see this prophetic time period. We saw this period in Revelation 11:2-3 when the faithful people of God (represented by the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth) suffered oppression in the hand of those who do not follow God's Truth (see studies #16, #20, #68, #71 and #72). Revelation 12:14 makes it clear that this period of 1260 prophetic days (or 3.5 prophetic years, which equals to 1260 literal years) is identical to the expression "time, times, and half a time": "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". Daniel 7:25 also talks about this, when he mentions a power that would "wear out the saints of the most High" for "a time, times and half a time". (See also Daniel 12:7).

All of these references to 1260 years seem to point to the same period of time. The focus of this passage in Revelation is not on the exact length of time the Church would suffer, but that God would protect His faithful people from spiritual death. This period corresponds to the Dark Ages, a time when Christians suffered terribly. We know that this period was to end before the Second Coming of Jesus. This is because after this initial persecution, he would go on to persecute "the remnant of her offspring" (Revelation 12:17).

*** Overview ***: The emphasis of Revelation 12:5 seems to be in the fact that the Messiah completed His mission. The dragon was powerless and unable to devour the Son in any point of Christ's life on Earth. The dragon was ready to devour, and yet, the Son came and went flawlessly. After Jesus's death and resurrection, the identity of the faithful church changed. It was no longer a matter of being genetically linked to Abraham. The connection now was done through Christ's blood. Anyone who truly accepts Him becomes part of the Church. After giving birth, the woman became a symbol for the Christian Church. Christians suffered terrible persecution during the Dark Ages, a period that lasted about 1200 years. This time of suffering parallels the 3.5 years Christ suffered during His ministry on Earth. God, in His infinite love and mercy, cared for His people during that difficult time, by sustaining and nourishing them spiritually. Like Jesus, they may have suffered and faced death. Jesus warned us about the persecution we would suffer for following His Word: "But they will treat you like this on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father as well. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.’ When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—He will testify about Me. And you also must testify, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (John 15:21-27, Berean Study Bible). We must keep on testifying and live according to God's instructions. We must trust that God will continue to nourish us here on Earth while He is preparing a place for us in Heaven. Jesus said: "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world". (John 16:33, New American Standard Bible).

7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

 

PART 3

 

*** When they shall have finished their testimony ***: Revelation 11:7 starts out by giving us a time frame of when the next event will take place. The time is when the two witnesses finish their testimony. To find out when that is, we need to go back to Revelation 11:3, where we learned the two witnesses would prophesy in sackcloth for 1260 days. The events described in verse 7 and 8 will not take place until that time was over. As we've seen in study #71, the period of 1260 prophetic days (or prophetic 42 months/3.5 years) equals a literal time of 1260 years during the Dark Ages (see also studies #16, #20 and #68 for a detailed explanation). We know this because the book of Daniel also mentions this same period of time, which happened during the Roman Empire (Daniel 7:25).

*** The beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit ***: At the end of that period of 1260 years, the beast that comes out of the bottomless pit would come out and make war against the two witnesses (Revelation 11:7). This same beast is also referred as the beast coming out of the sea (Revelation 13:1-10). The expression translated as the abyss, or the bottomless pit is the Greek word abussos, which means "the abyss, unfathomable depth", and also the abode of evil spirits. It is from the bottomless pit that the enemy forces come out symbolized by the army of locusts (Revelation 9:1-2, Revelation 13:7; Daniel 7:21; see also study #57). Based on all these passages, we can understand that the war being waged against God's people and their message happened after the period of testifying in sackcloth. The attack is led by satanic powers, since the beast attacking the two witnesses comes out of the bottomless pit. But who or what is this beast? It is most definitely not an actual grotesque animal coming to attack the church. The attack is real, but we must understand the symbol in order to understand who is the attacker.

The element 'beast' was also used in the book of Daniel as a symbol for a politico and religious power that would overcome God's people for a certain period of time (Daniel 7:17, 21). This beast is not Satan, because Revelation refers to Satan as the dragon (Revelation 12:9). The beast that comes out of the sea receives power directly from the dragon (Revelation 13:2). The focus of the verse in not necessarily on the precise identification of the beast. Basically, the information given in the texts informs the reader that this beast is a demonic agent responsible for the death of the two witnesses. We will study the identity of the beast in later chapters of Revelation.

*** Dead body on the street ***: The beast coming out of the abyss ends up killing the two witnesses. We would expect that the two witnesses would each have their own body lying down where they had been killed. This is not what we read in Revelation 11:8. As Stefanovic mentions in his book*, the expression in Greek is written in the collective singular "to ptōma autōn", which means "the dead body of them". In the Greek version, Revelation 11:9 also includes this reference in the singular, and only then the text switches back to the plural form 'bodies' (ptōmata). We saw this unity of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:5, where we read the expression stated in the singular form: "the mouth of them" (tou stomatos autōn). The two witnesses are a unit. The messenger and the message, working as one to spread God's truth to the world - the faithful Church and Scripture, working together. As they lived in one accord, witnessing, they also died as one, at the hand of this political power represented by the beast that comes from the abyss. The "body of them" was lying down on the street in disgrace. In ancient times, depriving people from burial was great tragedy and a form of humiliation (1 Kings: 13:22-31; Psalm 79:3; Jeremiah 8:1-2;Jeremiah 14:16). Leaving the witnesses without a proper burial was like taking away their dignity.

*** The great city where Christ was crucified ***: According to Revelation 11:8, the two witnesses died in the same great city as Christ. The text, however, is symbolic, and it mentions two great cities, and none of them is directly stated as Jerusalem. In contrast to the two witnesses that have one body, here we have one city that has two names. As the text says, the reference is spiritual. The two cities mentioned, Sodom and Egypt, are to be understood in a spiritual context: "the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt" (Revelation 11:8). Just like Jesus, the two witnesses were rejected, and persecuted before dying.

- Sodom: this great city is known for the wickedness and immoral behaviors of its citizens (Genesis 18:20,21; Genesis 19:4-11).

- Egypt: this great city, in relation to God's people, is known for their arrogance towards acknowledging God's sovereignty, in the words of pharaoh "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go" (Exodus 5:2).

In a way, both cities were oppressing God's people living there. And God had to intervene in both occasions. The great city where the two witnesses died had immoral and self-sufficient arrogance, where God centered values were not upheld. Spiritual immorality refers to the engaging in false teachings that lead to the complete denial of the deity of God. That is exactly what happened in Jerusalem, when the Jewish leaders ignored all the prophecies that pointed to Jesus. They actively refused to support Jesus' message, which led them to deny the divinity of Christ. They completely rejected His sacrifice.

*** Prophetic application ***: The big clue pointing to the actual time in History when the death of the two witnesses happened is found in the prophetic period provided in the texts of Revelation 11:3,4,7 and Daniel 7:25. The witnesses would be allowed to preach for 1260 years, and then they would be killed. That period, as we mentioned previously, corresponds to the time of the Dark Ages. Based on those verses, an event would happened, where there would be a public denial of God, in an act of spiritual immorality. This means that atheistic beliefs would be widely promoted. Often in the Bible, God refers to His relationship with His people as that of a bride and a groom. It should be a relationship as solid and faithful as that of a husband and a wife. When the Israelites involved themselves with pagan rituals and broke their covenant, God compared that to adultery or harlotry (Ezekiel 16:15-59; Hosea 1:2). It is in this sense that spiritual immorality, symbolized by the city of Sodom, combined with atheistic and arrogant views, symbolized by Egypt, need to be understood. After the Dark Ages, there was a period in history where the world saw a movement with these exact characteristics during the French Revolution. Reason was being valued above all else, and the Bible and Christianity were being openly rejected and despised. The scene of the two witnesses dead on the streets of the rejection of Christ certainly apply to what happened during the French revolution. That is not where it stops, the interpretation goes beyond that. This scenario is one that will be present in different degrees until the Second Coming. This situation may become more and more intense as we approach the finals events of this world.

*** Overview ***: After the time allowed for their preaching, the two witnesses, they were persecuted and killed. God's message was despised rejected. The cult of reason took its place. It is important to understand the attack on the two witnesses not as an attack on a particular denomination at the time of the French Revolution. It was an attack on God's truth, represented by His true followers and the Bible. The emphasis on "the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt" (Revelation 11:8) tells us that we must focus on the spiritual aspect of any historical event which prophecy is pointing to. The rise of reason as a substitute for God reached a status of spiritual immorality. It was promoted in the name of peace and human enlightenment. God and His message were being rejected, just as Jesus was rejected before the cross.

 

 

* Stefanovic's Bible commentary: Revelation of Jesus Christ.

2  But the court which is outside the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

PART 2

 

*** Outer court ***: In the measurements noted by Ezekiel, we see the mention to an inner court and to an outer court (Ezekiel 40:17,19,27,44; Ezekiel 42:1,3,7-9). In John's time, the temple had gone through some renovation since the rebuilding described by Ezekiel, but it also had these two courts. The inner court was divided into three areas: the court of the women, the court of the Israelites, and the court of the priests. The outer court was the court of the Gentiles. The Gentiles, meaning non-Israelites, were only permitted to go to the outer court. There was a barrier demarcating the limits of that area. Any Gentile going beyond those limits would suffer the penalty of death. Revelation 11:2 said that the outer court had been given to the Gentiles, or to the nations, as some versions say. The verse says that this court "is outside the temple". This is a contrast to where God's people are: the worshipers are inside the temple (Revelation 11:1).

*** Do not measure ***: In Revelation 11:1, John was called to measure the temple of God, the altar, and the worshipers. In verse 2, he is told not to measure the outer court because it had been given to the Gentiles. When Ezekiel was witnessing the measuring of the temple in his vision, God said: "Thus says the Lord GOD; No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any foreigner that is among the children of Israel." (Ezekiel 44:9). Note that God qualified the foreigner: "uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh". Those are the non-believers. Bringing this concept into the verse of Revelation 11:2, we can see that the nations or Gentiles do not truly believe God's message. They stand in opposition to God's people. They do not have a true connection with God. As we saw in study #70, the measuring has to do with the connection God has made available to His followers. The nations are not seeking to have a connection with God, therefore, they are not part of the measuring. Revelation 21:15-17 also gives us measurements of another building. The New Jerusalem was measured with a golden reed (Revelation 21:15). The New Jerusalem is where God will reside in the New Earth. In this sense, the New Jerusalem is a symbol for the temple of God in the New Earth (Revelation 21:2-3). Those who can enter it are the ones "who are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21:27). "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14). Outside the city limits are the ones who decided to do the exact opposite. The Bible says: "For outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie." (Revelation 22:15).

*** Trampling over for forty-two months ***: In the Old Testament, the expression 'trample over' or 'trodden down' was used to refer to the oppression God's people suffered under enemy rule: "The people of your holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down your sanctuary." (Isaiah 63:18. Also see Jeremiah 12:10). We also see this expression in the book of Daniel (Daniel 7:7,19,23), and in the words of Jesus (Luke 21:24). We also see the trampling of the holy city in Revelation 13:1-10. There is a very close link between the passages in Daniel and Revelation, regarding the trampling over God's people. They all last forty-two months. As we've said many times in previous studies, in prophecy, time is to be understood differently, with 1 prophetic day = 1 literal year (Ezekiel 4:6,7; Numbers 14:34; Leviticus 25:8; please also see studies #16, #20 and #68 for a detailed explanation). Let's compare some of the passages involving the trampling of God's people by the Gentiles.

 

 
Daniel 7 and 12
The trampling over A power that will "wear down the saints of the Highest One" (Daniel 7:25) "and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) "they will tread under foot the holy city" (Revelation 11:2) The dragon "persecuted the woman" (Revelation 12:13)
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations." (Revelation 13:7)
 
"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." (Revelation 13:6)
Duration
"and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time" (Daniel 7:25).
 
"it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed" (Daniel 12:7)
"until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" (Luke 21:24) "for forty-two months" (Revelation 11:2) "into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time" (Revelation 12:14) "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." (Revelation 13:5)
Who is trampling "a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it" (Daniel 7:23) "the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) "the Gentiles" (Revelation 11:2) Running away "from the face of the serpent" (Revelation 12:14)
The sea beast (Revelation 13:1-10)
 
"was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations" (Revelation 13:7)

 

*** Prophetic Application ***: In Luke 21:24, Jesus was referring to the actual destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD, and to what would happen during the end times. He was drawing a parallel between the two events. When we compare all these verses from Daniel, Luke, and Revelation, we can see that the people of God are the ones whom God consider as being citizens of Heaven. Those whom he made "kings and priests" (Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10). His people are His church, symbolized by the woman. The woman was being persecuted by the serpent, also known as Satan (Revelation 12:7, see also Revelation 12:9). Revelation 13 sheds some light over the nature of the trampling: "And [the sea beast] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven". As we will see later in Revelation, the sea beast is a politico-religious power that deceives the entire world and preaches a message contrary to God's truth. This entity is able to do that because it has power "over all tribes, and tongues, and nations" (Revelation 13:7). In other words, this power controls the "Gentiles", and it is under Satan's direction. The Bible says that Satan is the one deceiving the whole world (Revelation 12:9). Comparing this sea beast power with the passage in Daniel 7:23, we can see that this power has to do with the fourth kingdom, which is "different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth". When we studied Daniel 2 (study #3), we saw that the fourth kingdom was the Roman Empire, which was represented by the legs of iron. The Roman Empire was never really defeated, as we see in the History books. The Roman Empire was, in a way, diluted or divided. And that is exactly what we see portrayed in Daniel 2: the feet and toes of iron are mixed with clay (Daniel 2:41-43). The politico-religio power trampling over God's people is a power led by Satan and that has its roots in the Roman Empire.

This prophetic period of forty-two months is the period of more than 1200 years known as the Middle Ages when Christians suffered tremendously. The Bible was not allowed in the hand of the people during that time. The prophetic time of 42 months, or 1260 literal years, points to the Middle Ages but is a reference to other 42 month periods mentioned in the Bible. This way we can see in context the behavior of the Gentiles and the behavior of God's people during this period:

- Elijah: He announced that a period of drought lasting 42-month (3.5 years) would fall over the nation if Israel. The drought happened because of the apostasy of the leadership of God's people (king Ahab). Ahab led the people into idolatry and away from God's teachings. Few continued to be faithful, but as the woman in Revelation 12, they had to flee into the wilderness or hide in caves.

- Jesus: His ministry lasted about 3.5 years. He faced much suffering and persecution by the leadership of the Jews, as He spread the Truth. He was faithful to the point of death, and that is how He overcame and was able to sit in the Father's throne (Revelation 3:21). But the leaders of the Jewish nation were against Jesus' teachings and did not receive Him as the Messiah (John 1:11; Matthew 26:57-68).

*** Overview ***: Both in the time of Elijah and during Jesus' ministry on Earth, the leadership of God's people was doing work contrary to God's teachings. That is not to say that the leadership of a local church is inevitably wicked. The references are pointing to the leadership as a system. When the system which was supposed to follow God's commands move away from God's instructions, they automatically align themselves with God's enemy and start doing Satan's work instead. Those faithfully following God's commands are God's true church. His church is not made of people carrying a title that states they are God's church. What counts is not saying you are God's church, but actually living God's Truth with sincerity. His faithful church at the time of Elijah or prior to Jesus' death was not represented by the leadership of the people. Anyone or any system who is not aligning themselves with God's measuring reed is considered a Gentile: those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8). And they will be found outside of God's temple, in the outer court. The citizens of God's kingdom should actually be comforted by the measuring taking place because Jesus will only take with Him the true worshipers of God. They will be able to go inside the actual Temple of God in Heaven.

5 And the angel whom I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

6 And swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are therein, and the earth, and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets.

 

Part 3 - Revelation 10:5-7

 

*** Background text ***: We read about a very similar scene in Daniel 12:7:"And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished the shattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." Let's take a look, and compare the text in Revelation 10:1, 2, 6 and 7 and Daniel 12:7, so we can have a better understanding of what John was seeing in his vision.

 

  Revelation 10:1, 2, 6 and 7 Daniel 12:7
A messenger clothed with a cloud (verse 1) in linen
Was standing up with his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth (verses 2 and 5) above the waters of the river
Had hands lifted up lifted up his hand to heaven (verse 5) he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven
Swore the oath by God swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are therein, and the earth, and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein (verse 6) swore by him that lives forever
The oath had to do with time there should be time no longer (verse 6) it shall be for a time, times, and a half
The time frame in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets (verse 7) when he shall have accomplished the shattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

The messengers in the texts of Revelation 10 and Daniel 12:7 are making an oath about a prophetic time. In Daniel 12:7, the emphasis is on when that period of time will end. The emphasis in Revelation is on when that time would begin. Are they talking about the same period of time? Or does one time begin when the other one ends? If they are different, which one comes first? Clearly, both passages are related. Let's look further into the text in Revelation, in order to answer these questions.

*** Hands lifted up ***: John was paying close attention to the strong angel in his vision. In study #66 and #67, we saw the description of the angel and the importance of the unsealed prophetic message of God. John saw the angel lift up his hand to Heaven (Revelation 10:5). The angel was about to swear an oath. The angel is the vessel for the message, but the oath the angel is pronouncing is God's own oath. The angel has no control over God's timing of events. God is in control of determining when "there should be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6).

*** The oath: There should be time no longer ***: The oath itself is very short. It tell us that "there should be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6). In contrast, the oath in Daniel 12:7 has to do with the setting of a time: "it shall be for a time, times, and a half". In other words, in Revelation, there is no more time. In Daniel, there is one. Here we can see that these oaths refer to different moments in the history of humanity. The message in Revelation is open, unsealed. The message in Daniel 12 is to be "closed up and sealed up until the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9). Then we ask ourselves: what does God mean by "time"? There are two Greek words which are translated as time: kairos and chronos. Kairos refers to a single and fixed point in time, like a moment, a day, or a season. Chronos, which is the root of the word chronometer, refers to a span of time, the duration of a period, a time frame with a beginning and end. In mathematical terms, it would be the same as describing kairos as a dot, and chronos as a line. The word used for 'time' in Revelation 10 is the word chronos. Some Bible scholars suggest that the phrase could read as "there will be no more 'delay'". The word 'delay', however, implies that the events of the time of the end have been shifted to a later time. God's time is perfect, and nothing is unforeseen that should make Him change His timing of things. Perhaps, a better understanding of the oath would be to say that the span of time given is over. The time of precisely determined dates being revealed to mankind is up. The last events are about to unfold.

The time mentioned in Daniel 12:7 is also a span of time: "it shall be for a time, times, and a half". The Hebrew word translated as time is moed, which means "appointed time, place, or meeting". In Hebrew, they used this term "a time" to refer to one year. The term times referred to two years. The prophecy in Daniel 12:7 then reads as "a year, 2 years, and half a year", which totals 3.5 years. As we've seen in studies #16 and #20, the time periods in prophecy are often not literal. In prophecy, 1 prophetic day equals 1 literal year (Ezekiel 4:6,7; Numbers 14:34; Leviticus 25:8). In the case of Daniel 12:7, which includes 3.5 prophetic years, the span of literal time of this prophecy is actually 1260 literal years. Le'ts take a closer look at how we arrived at this number:

- First, we need to know that the Jewish people counted years and months differently than we do today. They followed the lunar cycle. The months had 30 days, and a year had 360 days. Every so often, they would have an extra month to compensate. Today, we do basically the same thing on our calendar. We add an extra day to February every 4 years and we have some months with 31 days.

 

- 1 year = 360 days
- 3.5 years = 3 x 360 = 1260 days

- 1 prophetic day = 1 literal year
- 1260 prophetic days = 1260 literal years

 

This prophetic period in Daniel is part of an even bigger time prophecy: the 2300-day prophecy (Daniel 8:14). The 2300-day prophecy is the longest time-prophecy stated in the Bible. Using the '1 day = 1 year' rule, the prophecy in Daniel 8:14 equals to 2300 years. This period would be useless to us if we did not know when it started. But the Bible tells us exactly when it did. This period started when the decree to restore Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). That happened in 457 BC. When we add 2300 years to the year 457 BC, we arrive at the year 1844. If you are calculating it yourself, remember to add 1 year to your result to compensate for the lack of a year zero. There was no year zero. The AD calendar started in the year 1.

The prophecy of Daniel 12:7 does not end in 1844, but is rather contained within the 2300 prophecy. The study today is not aimed to describe the prophecies in the book of Daniel in great detail, but just to situate them in relation to the oath stated in Revelation 10:6. The sections of time contained in the 2300-day prophecy were very accurate and pointed to an exact year in the calendar. The Bible, however, does not give us a specific time prophecy after the end of the 2300-day one. We have prophecies of things that will happen after the year 1844, such as the final events and the Second Coming itself. But we don't know the exact year when those things will happen. In that sense, "time should be no longer" after 1844. Exact dates are no longer directly revealed to humans after that year. And so, after 1844, the last period of human history began.

*** The mystery of God ***: The little scroll contained a small section of the mystery of God. The disclosure of the contents of the larger sealed scroll seen in Revelation 5 will only take place at the sound of the seventh trumpet (Revelation 10:7). The scene where the little scroll is being presented to John happens between the sixth and the seventh trumpet. But God has always revealed portions of His mystery to humans. He has been doing that since the Garden of Eden. He continued to do so throughout History. We can see God's revelations through many books in the Bible, especially the prophetic ones in the Old Testament (such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zachariah, and many others). God never leaves His people in the dark. He always tells them what His plans are: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7). Today, we continue to preach God's mystery, as we spread the Gospel (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:4-12; Colossians 1:26,27). Just like the small scroll John saw, at this point, we only have a portion of the complexities that are involved in the entirety of God's mystery. No one prophet was given the complete message. Even when we put together all that we know to date, we still can't comprehend the depths of the love of God, His plan of Salvation, or God Himself.

*** Overview ***: The strong angel is the one proclaiming the statement, but actually, God is the One making the oath. When God makes such a declaration, it cannot be revoked: "So God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in that it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" (Hebrews 6:17,18). God's promise is immutable, as well as the oath that confirms His promise. Christ's death on the cross was in itself the revelation of a great part of God's mystery. Salvation through Jesus' sacrifice is the key element in the proclamation of God's mystery through the Gospel (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:4-12; Colossians 1:26,27). The scene with the little scroll takes place in or after 1844, which is much later than the end of the prophecy of Daniel 12 in 1798. Times which had been set are now in the past - "there should be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6). The contiguous time of the end has started.

To answer our initial questions regarding the oaths in Daniel 12 and Revelation 10: Are they talking about the same period of time? No. they refer to different periods in history. Does one time begin when the other one ends? Not quite. The prophecy in Daniel 12 ends in 1798, and the oath marks the time beginning after the year 1844. There is a gap there, which is covered by other prophecies.

The main point of the oath stated in Revelation 10:6 is that just as God had kept His promise regarding the prophecies given in Daniel 12, He will continue to keep His promises to His people after the sixth trumpet. This message is directed to Christians living in the last days. God is once again reassuring us that He is Truth. The circumstances around the end-time believers may be grim as if the enemy could be dominating the spiritual war. But we must not be afraid. We can trust God. We can feel encouraged because His word is immutable (Hebrews 6:17,18). God will prevail!

 

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of God, who has his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine bronze;

19 I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her time to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say; I will put upon you no other burden.

25 But that which you have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

 

PART 2

As we saw in lesson #13, Jezebel was a Phoenician princess who married Ahab, King of Israel. She was the daughter of the king of Sidom-Tyre, Ethbaal. They worshiped the god Baal, who was a god believed to have power over lightening, wind, rain, and fertility. Jezebel had great influence over Ahab and the Israelites. She led them to apostasy, idolatry, and immoral conduct. As the Leader of the people, Ahab further encouraged the people to abandon the worship to the true God (1 kings 21:25). The Bible says that Ahab "did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him” (1 Kings 16:32-33). We probably cannot even imagine how bad that is! One of Ahab's first mistakes was to actually marry a pagan woman. God had already commanded that the Israelites should not marry people from the surrounding pagan nations (Deuteronomy 7:3-4).

God sent the prophet Elijah to Ahab and Jezebel. Due to their disobedience, there would be drought on the land (1 Kings 17:1). And just as he said, there was a severe drought for 3.5 years (Luke 4:25; James 5:17). After giving the news to the king, Elijah fled to the wilderness, where God miraculously fed him daily (1 Kings 17:2-7). He stayed away for the 3.5 years of drought.

At the end of that time, God ordered Elijah to return to Ahab. The drought was severe. Famine had spread throughout the land. All through that time, Jezebel had been killing out the prophets of God. Obadiah, who worked for the king, but who was a follower of the true God, had been hiding 100 of God’s prophets in a couple of caves, and supplying them with food and water (1 Kings 18:4). Elijah went back to meet with Ahab. The king had stopped following God’s commands, and was following Baal’s instead (1 Kings 18:18). Elijah requested that Ahab gather the people and meet with him at Mount Carmel. He also asked that Ahab bring 850 pagan prophets "who eat at Jezebel’s table" (1 Kings 18:19). Four hundred and fifty of those prophets were Baal's. This meeting was not a secret. All the Israelites were gathered there. The people had been caught in the middle, between the worship to the God of Israel and the pagan practices promoted by their royal leaders. They had not totally abandoned one or fully joined the other. Elijah pleaded with the people, calling them to make a decision, and stop wavering between God and Baal (1 Kings 18:20-21). They did not respond.

At Mount Carmel, Elijah stood alone on one side, and the 850 pagan prophets on the other. A pivot point in the history of God's people was about to happen. Both Elijah and the prophets of Baal prepared a sacrifice. Whichever sacrifice burned with fire sent from heaven would indicate which one was God (1 Kings 18:22-24). The prophets of Baal prayed and chanted all day long, from morning to evening, and received no response. Then it was Elijah's turn at the end of the day. All eyes were on this one man by the altar he had built for the Lord. Elijah prayed one time and God sent fire from Heaven, which consumed even the ground where the altar was on (1 Kings 18:38). God had answered Elijah's prayer: "Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." (1 Kings 18:36-37).

God had given Ahab, Jezebel, and the Israelites time to repent. Three and a half years to be exact. But they did not. After God consumed the altar with fire, Elijah prayed for rain seven times, until he saw a small dark cloud on the horizon. And a strong rain came pouring down. Ahab returned home and told Jezebel about all that had happened (1 Kings 19:1). He told her how God had sent fire from Heaven, and how all the prophets were also killed by the sword after that. God had made Himself very clear. Still, Jezebel did not repent. She actually called for Elijah’s death after hearing what Ahab had to say about the episode at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 19:2). But God continued to protect Elijah, and he did not die. He remained faithful, and some time later God took Elijah to Heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11).

Jezebel continued to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. One event sealed her fate. It was the Naboth incident. Naboth had a vineyard near Ahab’s palace, and Ahab wished to buy it. Naboth replied he could not sell it. When Jezebel heard this, she devised a plan, and told her husband she would get the vineyard for him (1 Kings 21:7). She wrote an official letter posing as the king, even used the king's official seal. She had a fake celebratory party organized in honor of Naboth. She had him sit at a prominent place, but she also had two of her man sit next to him. They were instructed to kill Naboth at a certain time during the party. After Jezebel’s men raised false accusations against Naboth, they took him outside, and stoned him to death (1 Kings 21:10). When Ahab learned of Naboth’s death, Jezebel encouraged her husband to go up and take possession of that land. And so he did. Because of this incident, Jezebel’s death was prophesied, along with Ahab’s and his children (1 Kings 21:20-25; 1 Kings 22:34-38; 2 Kings 9:6-10). They died just as God had revealed it to the prophets. Jezebel was devoured by dogs, and no one could recognize her body (2 Kings 9:30-37).

Jezebel had a daughter, named Athaliah. Her daughter was just as evil as the mother. Athaliah ordered the death of all her own relatives, including her grandchildren, just so she could be the queen of Israel (2 Kings 11:1). All but one of Athaliah’s descendants died. A little boy survived, and he was later crowned king at the age of 7 (2 Kings 11:2-3; 2 Kings 11:12; 2 Reis 11:21). He re-established the worship to the true God during his reign. Queen Athaliah was put to death for all the abominations she had committed (2 Kings 11:15-20).

God had said, through the prophet, that a king named Jehu would kill all Ahab’s male descendants. Ahab had failed to keep the Commands of God (1 Kings 18:18). Jehu did kill all Ahab’s male children, as well as all Baal’s prophets (2 Kings 10). But Jehu himself did not do all that God had requested either. Jehu did not follow God’s Law with all his heart, and God allowed the Israel territory to be reduced (2 Kings 10:31-32).

During the 3.5 years of drought during Jezebel’s time, the word of God was scarce. Jezebel was killing the Lord's prophets. Spiritual drought, or famine of the Word, is always more serious than the physical devastation caused by the lack of rain. But because God is so merciful and loving, He gives people time to see His truth. In the Bible, this time is often a period marked by the number 3.5 (half of the number 7):

- Abraham and Isaac went on a 3.5 day journey to Mount Moriah, where Abraham was supposed to offer Isaac in sacrifice. The Bible tells us they walked 3 days, left the 2 servants waiting at that location, and then continued on to the place God had determined * Genesis 22:1-6

- In the third year of his reign, King Ahasuerus hosted a party lasting 6 months. At the end of that time, the search for a new queen started, and Esther, a Jewish young woman was chosen. She ultimately was able to save the Jewish people from destruction * Esther 1:1-22;

- Prophecy of Daniel: the people of God would be under the rule of the fourth kingdom (Roman Empire) for a time, times and half of time (“time” is 1 prophetic year, “times” is 2 prophetic years, “half a time” is 0.5 prophetic years; for a total of 3.5 prophetic years * Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7);

- Jesus’s ministry lasted for 3.5 years before He was crucified (about 6 months into His ministry, He used prophetic language of 1 day = 1 year [Ezekiel 4:6/7; Numbers 14:34; Leviticus 25:8], when He prophesied about the length of His work * Luke 13:32);

- Stephen was stoned for his faith in Jesus 3.5 years after Christ’s death, marking the prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 (the stoning of Stephen: Acts 7:54-59);

- The gentiles would trample the Holy City for 42 months (42 months = 3.5 years, which is the prophetic time Christians would be oppressed and persecuted * Revelation 11:2);

- Jesus’ two witnesses will prophesy clothed in sackcloth for a period of 1260 days (1260 days = 3.5 years, which is a prophetic time when God’s people suffer persecution for bearing witness for Christ’s truth * Revelation 11:3);

- The woman who had given birth to a male child fled into the wilderness for 1260 days (Revelation 12:6); where she would be taken care of for the prophetic period of a time, times, and half of time (1260 days = 3.5 years) * Revelation 12:14;
- The beast was allotted 42 prophetic months to exercise his authority over the inhabitants of the earth (42 months = 3.5 years) * Revelation 13:5.

God also gave the Jezebel in Thyatira time to repent, but, like her counterpart in the Old Testament, she refused to do so (Revelation 2:21). She was set on her ways. This caused a definite tear in the church. Just like it happened at Mount Carmel, Thyatira was divided. On one side, the few faithful people, who had rejected the "deep things of Satan" (Revelation 2:24); and on the other, Jezebel and her children.

In Bible prophecy, women, wether faithful or unfaithful, represent the church (Jeremiah 6:2; Isaiah 51:16; Ephesians 5:25-32). This is a fundamental concept when studying the book of Revelation. Throughout the Old Testament, God compared His chosen people to a woman. His forgiving and transforming love would call this woman pure and perfect when Israel repented and followed God’s instructions (Isaiah 54:5-6; Ezekiel 16:8-14; Hosea 2:14-23; Amos 5:2) And at other times, God would call this same people an unfaithful woman, or a prostitute, when Israel turned into idolatry and immorality (Jeremiah 3:20; Hosea 1:2; Hosea 2:2-13; Ezekiel 16:15-19; Ezekiel 16:32) . This same concept of the church as Christ’s bride is carried into the New Testament (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 12:1-6; Revelation 19:7-8). Later in Revelation 12 and 17, we will study more about two women. One represents the pure church, and the other an unfaithful church.

 

*** Overview ***: Jezebel represents the unfaithful church. Her children are her followers. In essence, her children are any church that does not teach the truth according to the Scripture. They are all considered to be an unfaithful church. And the members who had remained faithful to the original message of the Gospel were the remnant church of Christ - Jesus’ faithful bride. Jezebel from the Old Testament faked the authenticity of her rights over Naboth’s vineyard, falsely accused him, and became guilty of this innocent man’s death. Jezebel from Thyatira faked the authenticity of her rights to change God’s truth, seduced the church with false doctrines, and became guilty of the death of her followers. Just because the side of the church following Jezebel’s theology had a larger number of members, it didn’t make it the original church. Even if the world thought that the group with the most followers was the original church, that would not change Jesus’ assessment of the situation. Size is not a defining factor of character. It is usually the other way around. In the battle at the Mount Carmel, Elijah was standing alone against 850 false teachers. And yet, Elijah was the one representing God’s truth. He was the remnant of God, and His faithful witness. God made Himself known at the right time, showing everyone He is ready to defend His chosen people from anyone who stand to oppose His truth.

   
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