Dear Joe and Sally,
Many events have happened recently some more surprising than others. Were one to write a friend concerning some of them where would one begin?
The same could be said if one were to write a friend concerning Jesus’ becoming a Son of mankind who dwelt among us as is written, “And, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld the glory of Him, a glory as of an only born of a father, full of favour and of truthness.” Where would one begin? Who ‘fathered’ Jesus?
The Bible consists of 66 ‘books’ telling us concerning Why are we all here?. Jesus told the unbelieving Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” that was about 1,984 years ago.
Jesus said, prior to his ascension, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. And behold, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Many events have happened since then; some more amazing than others. The most astonishing, to my mind, are the thousands of different denominations each with different ‘teachings’ people are to ‘observe’ and the hundreds of Bible translations to choose from. The surprising part is that Paul said this would happen, “I charge you therefore before the God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who is going to judge living and dead in accordance with the appearing of Him and the kingdom of Him: preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove! Rebuke! Comfort with all patience and teaching.
“For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, they will heap up for themselves teachers, tickling their ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to ‘Myths’.”
Were one to choose one of the shortest chapters, in the entire Bible, as a starting point to explain concerning Jesus I would opt for Rev 12 with its only 17 verses. Believe me, one will find hundreds of different teachings concerning chapter 12. Popular among them is that the rapture will be this year Sept 23rd. Do they wilfully ignore 2Th 2:-3-, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is unveiled, the son of perdition…”?
Let’s consider Rev 12.
Rev 12:1, And a great marvel was seen in the Heaven—a woman who was robed with the sun and had the moon under her feet, and had also a wreath of twelve stars round her head,
Bear in mind John had been called up to the heaven where he was shown all the events. What comes to mind are the dreams Joseph had. Joseph was sold to slavery in Egypt and concerning Jesus it is written, “Out of Egypt I have called the Son of mine.”
2 and having One in womb, she cries, being in travail, having been distressed to bear.
One can imagine Mary ‘being distressed to bear’ having just traveled all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem and, “Sorry, no room in the inn. All we have to offer, as roof over your heads, is a stable,” as is written Luk 2:7, “And she brought forth her son, the First-born, and wrapped Him, and laid Him in a manger—because there was no room for them in the inn.”
3 And another marvel was seen in the Heaven—a great fiery-red Dragon, with seven heads and ten horns; and on his heads were seven kingly crowns.
The fiery red Dragon reminds one of the visions Daniel saw and in particular Dan 7:23-, “Thus the angel explained, ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings. And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.”
The ‘beast’ is Satan and the seven ‘heads’ represents the seven kingdoms that afflicted Israel namely Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greece and Rome. Out of ‘Rome’ ten kings shall arise and an eleventh after them; the Antichrist. Note, Antichrist is not the ‘beast’ but one of Satan’s ‘agents’, if you will.
4 His tail was drawing after it a third part of the stars of Heaven, and it dashed them to the ground. And in front of the woman who was about to become a mother, the Dragon was standing in order to devour the Child as soon as it was born.
Here Herod, Satan’s agent, was about to kill Jesus but Joseph was told to take the Child and his mother and flee to Egypt fulfilling Mat 2:-15-, “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt have I called the Son of Mine…’”
Concerning the Dragon, Satan; he was Lucifer, son of the morning! who fell from ‘grace’, him and a third of the angels, when he said Isa 14:-14, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
However, a time will come when he, the ‘beast’, will again be of importance as is written Rev 20:7-, “And when the thousand years are expired, the Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, the Gog and the Magog, to gather them together for the battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea…”
Rev 17:8, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [Rev 20:7], and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
5 She gave birth to a son—a male child, destined before long to rule all nations with an iron scepter. But her child was caught up to the God and the throne of Him.
Yes, a time will come when Jesus will again come down to earth to rule all the nations during the thousand years of peace. First He had to come to announce the kingdom of God the Father Joh 1:10-, “He was in the world, and the world through Him became, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received Him not. “But, as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of a God, even to them that believe unto his Name. Who, neither of bloods nor of a will of flesh, or of a will of man but, of a God were begotten.”
Jesus’ mission was to die for the ‘sin of the world’; Adam’s eating of the forbidden fruit. For this reason one must be ‘born again’; no more ‘in Adam’ but, ‘in Jesus’. one cannot be ‘born again’ unless one first ‘dies to sin’ order to belong to Another [being ‘bride of Christ]
When Jesus had completed his mission Jesus too, like Phillip, who was caught away after baptising the eunuch and found himself in Azotus , was caught up to his throne at the right of God the Father where He is presently still interceding for the Father’s children.
6 And the woman fled into the Desert, there to be cared for, for 1,260 days, in a place which God had prepared for her.
We know from Rom 11:5 that at this present time there is only a remnant of Israelites who, according to the election of grace, have been ‘reserved’ and only until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, :25, will the rest be ‘saved’. The question that begs an answer is, “From what will the rest be ‘saved’?”
Jesus, in Mat 24:-14-, explains, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand). Then let them which be in Judaea flee unto the mountains… For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
So, ‘They’, who flee, will be ‘saved ‘ from the great tribulation; being protected as is written Isa 16:2- “For it shall be as a fleeing bird cast out of the nest, the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, do judgment; make your shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; do not betray the fugitive…”
7 And war broke out in Heaven, Michael and his angels engaging in battle with the Dragon.
Just before the great tribulation, Michael and his angels will engage in battle with the Satan.
8 The Dragon fought and so did his angels; but they were defeated, and there was no longer any room found for them in Heaven.
9 The great Dragon, the ancient serpent, he who is called ‘a Devil’ and ‘an Adversary’ the one who leads the whole earth astray, was hurled down: he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice speaking in Heaven. It said, “The salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God have now come, and the sovereignty of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren has been hurled down—he who, day after day and night after night, was wont to accuse them in the presence of God.”
The time had come for ‘the gospel of the kingdom’ to be preached to all the world. The three angels do the preaching, Rev 14:6-, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people… then the rapture :-15-, “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe…”
11 But they have gained the victory over him because of the blood of the Lamb and of the testimony which they have borne, and because they held their lives cheap and did not shrink even from death.
Only those who endure to the end will be saved from the wrath of God the Father, Rev 15 and 16.
12 For this reason be glad, the heavens, and the ones in them tabernacling. Woe to the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down having fierce anger, knowing that his appointed time is short.”
For soon Satan will be annihilated; there’ll be a new heaven and a new earth, Rev 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
13 And when the Dragon saw that he was hurled down to the earth, he went in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the male child.
It is for this very reason Jesus’ warning Mat 24:-17-, “Let him on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; nor let him in the field turn back to take his clothes…”
14 Then, the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman that she could fly unto the wilderness to the place assigned her, there to be cared for, for a period of time, two periods of time, and half a period of time, beyond the reach of the serpent.”
It could be that John saw a jumbo jet lifting off so how else good he explain what he saw? By the time that the 42 months are over Jesus would have returned to earth on his white horse for the Battle of Azal.
The Jews, who did not flee to the mountains, will witness Zec 14:-4- “And His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives… And you shall flee to the valley of the Mountains of Mine; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal…
“And shall come a Jehovah the God of me, and all the saints with Him [Rev 19:14, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean”] and the ruler of Moab will be told that the Antichrist has been taken ‘captive’ and that they must send a lamb to the new King of Jerusalem as is written Isa 16:1-, “Send a male lamb to the ruler of the land from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Zion…
“Hide the outcasts; do not betray the fugitive. Let my outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be a shelter to them from the face of the destroyer; for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land…” as is written Rev 19:20-, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet doing signs before it…The two were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone…”
15 And the serpent poured water from his mouth—a very river it seemed—after the woman, in the hope that she would be carried away by its flood.
16 But the earth came to the woman’s help: it opened its mouth and drank up the river which the Dragon had poured from his mouth.
17 This made the Dragon furiously angry with the woman, and he went elsewhere to make war upon her other children those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.
Her ‘other children’ are those of Gal 3:29, “And if you are Christ’s :26-, “For ye are all the children of a God by faith in Christ Jesus. If ye be Christ’s, you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.
Rev 13 is the Great Tribulation when ‘we’, if we are still here, will hear the three angels of Rev 14 ‘preaching the gospel’ and then the rapture :-15-, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, because the time has come to reap, because the harvest of the earth has withered.” If we endure, we will be saved from God’s wrath, Rev 15 and 16. See you on the clouds,