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PAGE  12
                              CHAPTER   TWELVE

In Chapters 12 thru 14:4 we will return to the time just prior to the Rapture of the body of Christ, observing in detail what was previously omitted.

Verse  1
AND A great sign (wonder)--[warning of future events of ominous significance] appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a crownlike garland (tiara) of twelve stars on her head. 

The word sign in the Greek is a great wonder.  Therefore, what John observed is a wondrous sign.  The woman is symbolic for Israel declaring this is pertaining to her. The moon under her feet is suggestive of the authority a child receives from a parent, just as her being clothed with the sun is suggestive of the supreme authority of Jesus Christ. The crown is for life, joy and rewards. The twelve stars represent the twelve sons of Jacob, which as time passed, spawned the twelve tribes of Israel.

This all reflects on God’s divine love and protection of Israel. This vision is showing us that Israel has received power from her parent when she accepts and lives for Jesus Christ. We that are not Jewish but are Born Again in the body of Christ have this same promise, for we have been legally adopted and grafted into the family of God.

Mal 4:2-3
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.  And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3) On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Verse 2
She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.

Israel is travailing for the coming of her Messiah and the rebuilding of their Temple.

Verse 3
Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads.

Typically, the dragon is symbolic for Satan. Being the dragon is red indicates his cruelty.  The Seven heads points us to the imperial rulers of the new Roman Empire, which is the European Union.  The number seven is for complete.  The ten horns represent the Anti-Christ.  What this scripture is alluding to is the Anti-Christ will use the E.U. to rise to power while Satan is in complete control of this man and, as we know will eventually take possession of him.  The anti-Christ will use his power to spread much cruelty across the planet.

This will be addressed in more detail in chapter 13.

Verse  4
His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.

When Satan rebelled against God, he enticed one-third of the angels to follow him.  When the woman, which is Israel, brought forth Jesus, Satan tried to murder him (Matt 2:13-23).

Verse  5
She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne

She being Israel brought forth Jesus Christ.  Ruling with a rod of iron is figurative for chastisement. This verse is speaking of the birth and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Ps 2:7-9 
The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. 8)Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. 9) You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’”

Verse  6
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days.

This takes place at the middle (3 ½ year) of the Tribulation. During the first 3 ½ yrs the Jewish people were deceived into believing the anti-Christ was their long awaited Messiah. Until he defiled the temple and began persecuting the Jews, they realize this man was not of God at all.  At this time of terror, the Jews will run to Petra, which is an ancient city carved from solid rock making it a natural fortress. Petra once housed 200,000 people at one time.  

Matt 24:15-18
“The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17) A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18) A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat.

Petra is a natural strong hold, with a one-mile long entrance.  This entrance is so narrow no jeep can get through, but only a person on foot or mule can go all the way to the city.

Isa 33:15-17   
Those who are honest and fair, who refuse to profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong— 16) these are the ones who will dwell on high.   The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress.  Food will be supplied to them, and they will have water in abundance. 17) Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor, and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.

After the mile long entrance to Petra, called the "SIQ", you will be standing on the other side. This SIQ is so narrow it takes only a handful of men to hold off a whole army, making this a strong hold in the rocks. There is a natural spring called the,”Spring of Moses".  There are people putting in supplies now for when the time comes

Matt 24: 19-22 
How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20) And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21) For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22) In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.

The winters are cold in Petra, even having snow.  The old Jewish Law states that a person can only walk one-half a mile on the Sabbath. The Old Testament laws proclaim no traveling on the Sabbath.

Verse 7
Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.

As the archangel Michael guards Israel, Satan makes his last effort to defeat God with a battle in heaven between the angels of God and the fallen angels of Satan's army. This battle is not symbolic but completely literal.

Daniel 12 : 1-13
At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. 2) Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. 3) Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. 4) But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.” 5) Then I, Daniel, looked and saw two others standing on opposite banks of the river. 6) One of them asked the man dressed in linen, who was now standing above the river, “How long will it be until these shocking events are over?”

7) The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raised both his hands toward heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to an end, all these things will have happened.”   8) I heard what he said, but I did not understand what he meant. So I asked, “How will all this finally end, my lord?”   9) But he said, “Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end. 10) Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.  11) “From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecration is set up to be worshiped, there will be 1,290 days. 12) And blessed are those who wait and remain until the end of the 1,335 days! 13) “As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.”

This is about the most exciting passage I have read.  Daniel is being told about the tribulation when Satan will have rule over the earth, then he is told how after 3 1/2 yrs the anti-Christ will desecrate the temple showing the Lord's chosen people that he is not their promised messiah. The Daniel is told how the Lord will lift all of us including the dead, up to Heaven where we will no longer be any in harm.  What a joy to read this and poor Daniel had no idea what it all meant.  It was not until the past few years our eyes were opened enough to comprehend this great promise.

All of us Born Again in Jesus Christ shall be protected. The scriptures are warning us to be over-comers not to take part in the sins of this world. We need to put on the entire armor of God and keep it on.. Eph 6:12-24

Verses  8-10
And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. 9) This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. 10) Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—   the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

When Satan was cast out thousands of years ago, he was allowed to come and go to the throne room of God at will.  With this battle, this privilege is no longer open to him.  There will be no more false accusations of the Brethren. 

Job 1:6-12
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 7) “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”  8) Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”   9) Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10) You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11) But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 12) “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

Verse  11
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

Most of God's children are being harrassed right now, by demonic powers.How are we going to overcome?  By the Word of our testimony which is speaking the Word of God, and through the Blood of Jesus Christ, which is saying we must be followers of Jesus Christ and being really born again. There must be no compromise in our walking in obedience to the Lord.

Verses 12
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.”

While all Heaven rejoices over the defeat and ban of Satan, he now spends all his time and all his hate tormenting the inhabitants of this planet.

Verse 13
When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

Satan has always hated the Jews, because she brought forth the Lord Jesus Christ.  He has tried to kill these people way back in Esthers day, through Herod, Hitler, as well as through the Arabs.  His hatred for the Jews and Israel has never eased up, but now this hatred will intensify. 

Verse  14
But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.

Israel shall be given wings [air travel?] to the wilderness [Petra], where she will be nourished.  This could easily be manna and wild game, for three and one-half years. This takes place in the middle of the seven year tribulaion.  A group of people has begun lying in supplies for the time when the Jew’s take refuge there. At the back of this study you will find various pictures of Petra.

Petra Pictures

Ex 19:3-6
Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 4) ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I
carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5) Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6) And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

Isa 26:20-21
Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the Lord’s anger has passed. 21) Look! The Lord is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins.   The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed. They will be brought out for all to see.

Verse 15
Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth.

The word flood is often used to mean trials.

Verse 16
But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon.

It's very possible an earthquake will open the ground and swallow the army.

Isa 59:15-21
Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. 16) The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.
17) He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance   and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion. 18) He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds. His fury will fall on his foes. He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth.   19) In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord; in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord. 20) “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem   to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,”     says the Lord.   21) “And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!

God is going to protect Israel and all of His children. Those untaught ones that come against the Jewish nation are in dire trouble. There are those calling themselves Christians that speak ill of the Jewish people. My heart grieves for those foolish untaught people.  If we are walking with the Lord like we should, there will be a natural protective love for this precious chosen people of God.  They need to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior the same as we do and we need to pray for each of them to do just that as well as pray for their nation and leaders.

Verse 17
And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.

Now the anti-Christ is coming after the 144,000 redeemed Jew's as well as the Church of Jesus Christ in general.

Numbers 16:28-35
And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. 29) If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. 30) But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord.”  31) He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. 32)The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. 33) So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. 34) All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. “The earth will swallow us, too!” they cried. 35) Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.

Verse 18
Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea.

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