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Revelation 12:13-17 “The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 12:13-17 KJV

(13)  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man 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 of the flood.
(16)  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
(17)  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Following the sounding of trumpet seven, in preparation for the completion of God’s wrath upon lost mankind and the kingdoms of the world, John’s attention is now turned to another amazing symbolic vision.

To help us better understand the contents of the seventh trumpet, the Lord gives to John a vision that will explain, in great detail, the history of the world’s kingdoms.  This will keep the wrath of trumpet seven in the context of world history and the great wrongs that have been committed by the world’s kingdoms, and the judgment that they face because of those wrongs.

A short outline of chapter 12 includes:

  1. The Woman and The Child (12:1-6)
  2. Michael’s Defeat Of The Dragon (12:7-12)
  3. The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman (12:13-17)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please keep in mind, in the previous verse we saw the saints of God in heaven praising the Lord for gaining the victory over Satan on the cross..

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

 

This thought continues in our text for this morning….

Rev 12:13-17 KJV

(13)  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

When Satan “saw that he was cast out on the earth”… in other words, when Satan saw that, in the future, he would be defeated by Christ…  Please keep in mind that his casting out heaven was proof that, in the unchangeable counsels of God, he would be defeated by Christ on the cross.  At his casting out he recognized he was a defeated foe.

Based upon his defeat he, angrily, began to seek out God’s people (the woman) seeking to hunt down, oppose, abuse, and martyr God’s people (Rev 12:12).

 

(14)  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place,

The woman (symbolic of the believers on earth) is said to be given two wings.  These wings picture for us God’s protection (Exo 19:4) and strength (Isa 40:30-31) being given to them as they continue to serve Him on earth.  These wings will allow the people of God to keep close to Him where they will find healing and comfort in the midst of Satanic opposition (Mal 4:2, Psa 55:6, 1 K 6:24-27, etc).

This is a vivid picture for us of the wonderful promise that the Lord has given to us, who remain on the earth (John 14:16-27)…

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

During the time of Satanic opposition against the people of God, God’s people will be nourished (cherished, needs supplied).   Note this care of the Lord’s people will be given in a place of refuge from Satan.   Although Satan can attack God’s people from the outside, inwardly God’s people can have peace, security, strength and rest in Christ as they walk in close communion with Him.

Keep in mind, the phrase “time, times and half a time” refers to the time period between Babylon’s defeat of Judah and Christ’s second coming.  It is symbolic of the times on earth when the worship of God is publically opposed by the world’s kingdoms under the leadership of Satan.   The time period we are looking at here, (from the ascension of Christ to His second coming), takes place DURING this “time, times and half a time” era.

 

(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 of the flood.

Just as the gospel message is described as “living waters”, so too, false teaching from Satan is pictured as a harmful flood.

One of the greatest ways that Satan opposes the worship of God is through false teaching that contradicts the Word of God.  He uses false teaching in an effort to make ineffective, and ultimately destroy, the ministry of God’s people while on earth.

In addition through false teaching, Satan attempts to accomplish two important goals: lead astray the lost (2 Thess 2:9-12) and confuse the saved (Matt 24:24).  However, if a person is truly saved and mature in the faith, they will be able to recognize false teaching and stand against it (John 16:13, John 10:27, John 14:26).

 

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

As the flood of false teaching spreads over the earth, lost mankind blindly accepts these false teachings as the truth.  Because of this, they continue on with their sinful lifestyles and teachings, never being made a new creature in Christ, living holy lives for Him.

How does the lost’s acceptance of false teaching help the people of God? It makes it much easier to recognize those truly saved and those who are lost.   If all lost men intellectually accepted the truths of God Word, they could be more easily mistaken as those who are saved.  However, with their beliefs based on false doctrine, it becomes very easy to discern those who need Christ around us.

One of the most common proofs of a person’s spiritual condition can be seen by asking the simple question… “What do you believe about Christ”?   Their answer, although not perfect proof of their spiritual condition, does go a long way to helping us discern if they are saved or lost.

Also, when the world sees the godless lifestyles of the lost…. it is the lost’s beliefs that help the world understand they are not Christians, and their lifestyles should not be looked upon as a Christian lifestyle.  Sadly, however, there are many professing Christians who also live ungodly lifestyles in the world around us.  It is those professing Christians that are hurting the cause of Christ and the service of those Christians who are seeking to please the Lord with their lives.

 

(17)  And the dragon was wroth with the woman,

The dragon (Satan) is enraged at the woman, seeing that she is protected by Almighty God and his false teaching has been turned on its head and used of God to further the ministry of the woman (Psa 76:10).

 

and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Satan’s anger drives him to continue to conflict with the succeeding generations of God’s people.  As each generation comes and goes, the genuine Christians hand down God’s truths and continue in their faithful lifestyle.  Everything Satan has “thrown at them” has come to nought. This enrages him that much more and continues the fight.

Why are the descendants of the woman described as a “remnant”?   “Remnant” means “the remaining ones”.  Keep in mind, as each Christian generation comes and goes they are only a small part of the entire family of God (spiritual Israel).  Most of God’s people (in OT and NT) have already gone home to be with the Lord, the ones that live, and will live, on earth are few in comparison to the whole.  They are the ones that will “remain” and serve the Lord following the example of those who have gone before them.

 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

We can see Christ revealed to us as the great protector of His people.  Throughout God’s Word, the Lord is described as a refuge in the time of storm for His people…

Psa 9:9-10 KJV – “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.   And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

2Sa 22:3 KJV – “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.”

Psa 37:39-40 KJV – “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.   And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we are confronted and opposed by those who hold to false teachings, we need to remember their great need of Christ.  They are blinded to His truths and following the path that was laid by the god of this world (Satan).

As easy as it is to become angry towards them and desire to retaliate, one of the greatest testimonies we can have is to love our enemies in the midst of their opposition.  This love for them can be displayed by kindly, humbly sharing the Word with them, followed by consistent prayer, while attempting to meet their physical needs will go far as we seek to minister to them.  This is pleasing to the Lord, displaying His mercy and grace to the lost that are around us…

Luk 6:27-35 KJV – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

 

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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5 Comments

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this study

  2. Streim says:

    Finally I am back! So happy to be able to continue on in this study! May our Lord bless you with abundant “spiritual blessings”.
    Stephanie

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Great to have you back Stephanie. Thanks for the kind words and thoughts…. Lord bless you as you continue to study His Word and grow in Him!

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