Monday, February 16, 2009

Revelation 12 - Christ Protecting His Bride

Mary giving birth to Jesus

1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: 2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. 7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, (Revelation 12:1-8)

The woman is the virgin Mary who gives birth to Jesus. Satan tried to kill Jesus as a baby (Rev. 12:4b) through king Herod. We know that Joseph and Mary fled with infant Jesus to Egypt. According to this scripture, they lived and were cared for in Egypt for 1,260 days, or 3 ½ years using the 360-day calendar. There was a large Jewish population in Egypt which likely took them in as the refugees they were. As a second fulfillment of "I called my son out of Egypt," (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15) they returned and settled in Nazareth. Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven ("caught up to God") and sits at the right hand of His Father.

Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen 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. (Psalm 2:6-9)

Satan accusing and persecuting Jews and Christians

Much like Daniel 10 describes the angelic spiritual battle in the middle of two similar prophecies in Daniel 9 and 11, the interlude of Michael fighting Satan in Revelation 12:7-11, separates the first prophecy about a woman who fled to the wilderness with a second one.

10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death. 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. (Revelation 12:10-13)

The kingdom of our God and of His Christ has been persecuted throughout the ages. The Spanish Inquisition brings to mind those who were accused day and night, but Protestants held onto their faith in Jesus and Jews held onto their faith in Jehovah even as they were exiled, tortured, and martyred. Sephardic Jews are those who lived in Spain and Portugal. Ferdinand and Isabella made the Alhambra Decree on March 31, 1492 ordering the conversion or expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain by July 31st of that year. Thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands left, and tens of thousands were baptized into the Catholic church (conversos). This has been confirmed using Y chromosome DNA testing which indicated that around 20% of Spanish men today have direct patrilineal descent from Sephardic Jews (University of Leicester and Pompeu Fara University, 2008). Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World three days after the Alhambra Decree deadline, which has caused some to consider he may have been a converso.

Christ's Bride is Protected in America for 3 1/2 Centuries

14And 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. 15And 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. 16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17And 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. (Revelation 12:14-17)

Beginning in Revelation 12:14 and through the next chapter, the animals of Daniel's fourth beast (Daniel 7) come back into play, beginning with the eagle wings which were plucked from the lion. These were the American colonies detached from the lion of England. A group of Puritans settled Jamestown in 1611; the same year the King James Bible was published back in England. America was still known as "the wilderness" for the next two hundred years.

In this case, "time, times, and half a time" equal 350 years. 2000 - 350 = 1650. From 1650-1726 the first wave of Jewish immigration came to the American colonies. The Jewish population rose to ten thousand. [According to US Census Bureau, the total population of colonies in 1650 was 4,700, and in 1720 it was 466,200.] From 1630-1650 the Puritans tried to establish a new Parliamentary system in England established on the sure foundation of Biblical Christianity. They won the civil war and installed Oliver Cromwell. In 1656, Cromwell allowed Jews to establish a Jewish Cemetery, and to have protection during prayers, but not to worship publicly. This was the end of the expulsion of the Jews from England. But the Puritans of England were grossly disappointed in Cromwell and the Parliament they set up, and continued to immigrate to America by the thousands.

Satan sent a flood of people to America's shores to try to water down the kingdom of God through the influx of foreigners with foreign beliefs, but America became a melting pot which allowed for cultural differences while maintaining the high ideals of Christianity (at least until the 1900's). So Satan sought to destroy Christians and Jews elsewhere around the globe.

No comments:

Post a Comment