"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"
Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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Friday, March 28, 2014
Revelation 12 - It Makes Sense - It's so Simple
Revelation 12 is one of many intriguing chapters in that enigmatic book. But today, I believe God opened my understanding to be able to get a grip on this chapter.
Previously, I tried to make sense out of it thinking that the incidents portrayed were all in random chronological order – going back and forth through the ages from before man to the future.
Today, I have come to understand that the entire chapter is figurative, not literal. And yet, I tried to understand the chapter while assuming that the time references in it were, in fact, literal.
1260 days (v6) meant 1260 days, or possibly years. And “time, and times, and half a time” (v14) meant 3.5 years – time = 1 year; times = 2 years; and half a time = half a year. Both of these numbers then signify 3.5 years, which is half of the 7 year period of the Great Tribulation. What could be neater?
However, 1260 days does not equal 3.5 years no matter which way you slice it, it's a month short. 3.5 years is closer to 1290 days. 1290 days happens to be one of the numbers prophesied by Daniel in Ch 12:
9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end.
10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.
Of course, 1290 days is not 1260 days, nor is it 1335 days. So what does it mean? I think the answer is in verse 9, “the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end.” God wouldn't tell Daniel when ‘these things’ would come to be – He sealed them up. In other words, we are not supposed to know.
Consequently, I have come to believe that the number of days cannot be taken literally or even as referring to years. The entire chapter 12 of Revelation is figurative, why would we assume those numbers to be the only literal references? They cannot be literal.
The number 144,000 (Rev 7 & 14) is considered by most Biblical scholars to be figurative. They believe 12x12 represents a complete number. When God told the martyrs to “rest a while longer until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also', He was referring to a number that only He knows, but when reached will signify that the Tribulation period is about to end. 144,000 is a complete number but it certainly represents another number that is much, much larger.
I contend that these numbers, 1260, 1290, 1335 days, and 3.5 years are representative of the completion of something in the mind of God, and should not be taken literally.
Once you remove the literal reading of those numbers from Rev 12, it becomes amazingly simple to read. It is completely chronological!
The woman clothed in the sun represents God’s chosen people, out of whom came the Christ child. The fiery, red dragon is Satan who stands before the woman in an attempt to destroy the Child. Can you attribute Herod’s ordering the death of every male child under 3 years of age, to being anything less than Satanic?
The woman, still representing the Jewish people, fled into the wilderness. This is quite obviously a reference to the diaspora of the Jews which began in 70 AD and was completed early in the 2nd century.
War between Michael, his angels, and Satan and his demons. This is not a reference to the original rebellion in Heaven, but occurred after the death of Jesus. Up until then, Satan and his demons had a right to have access to Heaven. References to ‘the sons of God’ in Genesis and Satan standing before God accusing the brethren, (see Job), make it clear that they had access to Heaven.
‘Nor was a place found for them in Heaven any longer’, I believe signifies an end to that privilege which was then enforced by Michael, somehow using the Blood of Christ and the testimony of martyrs. Use of the Blood of Christ and the testimony of martyrs confirms that this war between Michael and Satan occurred after the Crucifixion of Jesus. This could also be an indication that it took many years to accomplish the expelling of Satan and his brood from Heaven.
About the woman’s time in the wilderness, v14 says that she was away from the presence of the serpent, which would mean that Satan could hardly touch her. Jews lived mostly in peace in their new homes until early in the 19th century, when the first of many Russian pogroms were executed against the Jews.
'The flood from the serpent’s mouth' is almost certainly a reference to Hitler and Nazi Germany’s attempt to annihilate the Jews. Could it be that the reference to 'the earth swallowing up the flood' is an allusion to Hitler’s offing himself in a bunker below ground and perhaps his continued descent into Hell?
'to make war with the rest of her offspring' is obviously a reference to the persecution of Christians, first through communism, then through Islam. That brings us right up to very recently where, I think, Chapter 13 picks up, but that’s for another day.
I would be very pleased with your thoughts and criticisms.