Revelation 11 and 12Lorraine Day, M.D.
“Revelation 11 offers a preview of the last crisis of faith for the true believers on earth. It will be a worldwide religious crisis (the word “earth” is mentioned four times), brought on by the courageous testimonies of God’s witnesses among a hostile population described by the stereotypical phrase, “the inhabitants of the earth.” (11:10). For John “the inhabitants of the earth” are defined theologically as those who are deceived by the idolatrous worship of the beast (see Rev 13:8, 12, 14; 17:2) and whose names are not written in the book of life (17:8).” Hans LaRondelle, End-Time Prophecies of the Bible, pg 213.
This reminds us of Jesus’ words in Matt 26 when He said, regarding the time leading up to His crucifixion, that He would be “in the heart of the earth” 3 days and 3 nights. He was referring to the seal of His fate when Judas FIRST betrayed Him on Tuesday night (Jesus kept the Passover on Thursday night) prior to His crucifixion on Friday. Being “in the heart of the earth” is NOT the same as being in the grave. Jesus was “in the heart of the earth” BEFORE He was crucified. (See: “Was Jesus Really Resurrected on Sunday?”)
Who are the “inhabitants of the earth”?
Two specific and very different groups are spoken of in Revelation:
1) In Rev 1:6, John portrays the apostolic church as “kings and priests unto God and His Father”, the new Israel of God, the new-covenant people. the true followers of Jesus Christ.
2) The Jews who are persecuting God’s true people are characterized as a “synagogue of Satan” (Rev 2:9; 3:9).
As we learned from our study of “The Stones and the Temple”, Christ’s true followers are called the “temple of God” (2 Cor 6:1,16) and the (symbolic number of) 144,000 spiritual (not literal) Israelites who serve God “day and night in His temple" (Rev 7:14,15).
Revelation, Chapter 11:
1 And there was given me a measuring rod like unto a staff and the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court that is outside the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Unbelievers (mistranslated Gentiles): and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
In Rev 11:1, John is given a measuring rod by the angel and told to “Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”
In both Ezekiel and Zechariah, visions are described in which the promised new temple and city of God are measured. For Zechariah, the “measuring” signified the promise of restoration and of protection of the faithful remnant of Israel (Zech 1:16; 2:1-5).
In Ezekiel, Chapters 40-48, we read of a divine messenger measuring with a rod the promised temple and holy city. This vision also conveys a promise of restoration of the pure worship of God for post-exile Israel (44:15,16,24). Ezekiel stresses the spiritual holiness and purity of the worship in the new temple and separates “the holy from the common” (Ezekiel 42:20; 44:9,23).
It is widely recognized by scholars that Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and its measurements is advanced as the New Jerusalem by John in Rev 21-22.
“This ‘measuring’ indicates John’s responsibility to separate the holy community from the defilement of false worship and to restore their true worship in the ‘temple of God’… Because their names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, they are no longer part of the idolatrous ‘inhabitants of the earth.’ Although physically living on earth, their ‘citizenship is in heaven’ (Phil 3:20). They are ‘in Christ’ and, therefore, already seated with Him ‘in the heavenly realms’ (Eph. 2:6).” LaRondelle pg 216.
John must also “measure” the worshipers themselves. This means separating true worshipers from the universal apostasy in the end-time. This understanding is confirmed by the command to “exclude” (literally: “throw out”) the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the unbelievers (nations - improperly translated Gentiles) (Rev 11:2). This “outer court” represents the territory of the “inhabitants of the earth”, where the unbelievers have established their idolatrous worship.
“Measuring the holy city and excluding the unbelievers precedes the Seventh Trumpet (Rev 11:15), just as the sealing of the elect preceded the Seventh Seal.” J. M. Ford, Rev., p. 177).
“Therefore, the measuring of the Temple can be understood as a symbolic way of saying that God preserves or ‘seals’ His church during the final judgments poured on the wicked prior to Jesus’ return” (The Lamb Among the Beasts, p. 172)
God is sealing His true worshipers as His special people to set them apart for a special service in the world.
Let’s Straighten Out a BIG ERROR!
*** A lack of understanding of the true meaning of the term “nations”, which is frequently mis-translated as “Gentiles” leads to one of the BIGGEST INTERPRETATIVE ERRORS IN ALL OF CHRISTENDOM! The evangelicals and many other Christians believe that the “Gentiles” are those who are “NON-Jews” ethnically. But we have learned that there is no such thing as an “ethnic Jew.” (See “Who is Israel? Who is the Church?”)
The word “nations” refers to “unbelievers.” The word “Judean”, frequently mistranslated “Jew” refers to “believers”, those who KNEW (historically) and NOW KNOW (presently) and WORSHIP the true God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Thus, present day “Jews” are actually “Gentiles” because they DON’T believe in Christ, and present-day “Gentiles” (believers) are actually the “Jews,” or “Judeans,” spoken of in the Bible, who DO believe in Christ!
The Trampling of the Holy City
“The holy city (God’s true followers) shall they (the unbelievers) tread under foot (persecute) forty and two (42) months. . . And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days (1260 days), clothed in sackcloth ” (a time of trial, tribulation, mourning and repentance) (Rev 11:2,3).
This clearly means that the unbelievers will persecute God’s true followers for 3 1/2 years. Forty-two months and 1260 days are the same time period. When John speaks of what the wicked people are doing (persecuting God’s people) he uses the term “months” to denote “darkness” (months are determined by the moon).
When John speaks of what the righteous are doing, he uses the term “days” (days are determined by the sunlight - not darkness).
This 3 1/2 year period is the same time period spoken of in Dan 7:25, “The saints will be handed over to him (the antichrist power) for a time (one year), times (two years) and half a time (or ‘dividing of times’ = 1/2 year);” for a total of 3 1/2 years.
This time period also corresponds with the 3 1/2 years of Elijah’s witness during his persecution by Israel’s apostate King Ahab and his pagan wife Jezebel (see Luke 4:25; James 5:17).
Does Revelation 11 deal with the “Jewish” People?
“The Apocalypse does NOT focus on Jews, nor Jewish Christians, in any of its visions or angelic interpretations. The ‘temple of God’ is consistently the heavenly temple, where the risen Christ ministers before the throne of God (Rev 11:19; 15:5,8). Its spiritual ‘’pillars’ are all the true believing members of the Christian “church” (ecclesia = Called ones) (Rev 3:12). Through Christ, true worshipers from ALL nations have become ‘a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father’ (Rev. 1:6, 5:10) All Christian believers enter by faith into the heavenly temple (Rev 5:8; 8:3,4). They constitute the ‘kingdom’ of God on earth (Rev 1:6; 5:10) or the ‘ holy city’ (Rev 11:2).
“The theology of worship in the Apocalypse does not allow any expositor to restrict ‘the worshipers in the ‘temple of God’ to Jewish people or to limit ‘the holy city’ to Christ-believing Jews. These Hebrew terms are the apocalyptic symbols for the new-covenant people of Jesus, the Messiah, as described in the seven churches (ecclesias) of Rev. 2-3.” LaRondelle, pg 220.
3 And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 There are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
What or who are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks (lampstands) standing before the God of the earth?
Jesus is the “light of the world.” (John 9:5) He is represented as the lampstand in the Old Testament Tabernacle.
The olive trees give olive oil, used to keep the lamps of the lampstand lit, symbolizing God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit, or more accurately “God’s Spirit of holiness). See the parable of the Ten Virgins. (Matthew 25:1-13) The oil in their lamps resents God’s Spirit of holiness.
Notice that the two witnesses function as an unbreakable unit, experiencing everything together. The basic characteristic of their mission is their proclamation of God’s word of warning. The “word of God” and the “testimony of Jesus” provide a concept that permeates and underlies the entire book of Revelation. * * * READ Rev 1:2,9; 6:9; 12:17; 14:12; 20:4.
The “Word of God” is the Old Testament. The “testimony of Jesus” is the New Testament, including the Gospels. The life Jesus lived on earth plus His message of Universal Restoration as revealed to Paul, in the New Testament ARE the “Testimony of Jesus.”
This means that God’s twofold testimony consists of the Old and the New Testaments as an unbreakable unit. And by extension, this refers also to God’s saints on earth who proclaim the TRUTH of the Bible.
5 “And if any man will hurt them (the Old and New Testaments), fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies; …
This passage is CLEARLY symbolic. This will NOT be a fire-breathing Bible walking around burning people up! In Jer 5:14, Jeremiah also speaks figuratively in the same way “I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.”
The “fire” that comes out of the mouths of the two witnesses (Two witnesses = The Old and New Testaments) is the “fire” of purification, the “truth” that will DEVOUR wickedness, the evil in men’s lives, NOT the “wicked” people themselves.
This is the same type of “Fire” that will come down from God out of heaven and “devour” the wicked (more accurately - their wickedness) in Rev 20:9, in fact the word “devour” in the Greek is EXACTLY the same word used in BOTH instances!
During this time period, the forces of evil will do everything they can to stamp out the worship of God and the study of the Bible. They will try to abolish the Bible, Christianity and Christians from the face of the earth. We can see that beginning to happen right now.
“and if any man will hurt them (the Two Witnesses), he must in this manner be killed.” Rev 11:5 (The old man of sin must be destroyed - as Paul, says “I die daily.”)
1 Cor. 15:31 “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live.” (Galatians 2:20).
There will also undoubtedly be human physical killing during these times as well, as there was during the French Revolution, when the Illuminati/Free Masonry/New World Order/Jewish Zionism cabal tried to stamp out the Word of God. The same group is still at it today and many true Christians will be martyred.
6 These have authority to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and have authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will
There will be weather changes, droughts, famines, pollution of the waters and the plagues that we see the beginnings of on the earth right now.
In addition, God's truth, represented symbolically by rain, will not be known by the unbelievers.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit (abyss) shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them.
The “beast from the ‘bottomless pit’ ‘is obviously Satan, probably in the form of the antichrist power. The phrase “bottomless pit” is actually the word “Abyss.”
This hearkens back to Gen 1:2 where it says, “. . . and the earth BECAME chaos and an abyss (empty - a “bottomless pit”), showing that Satan had already had a chance to show what he could do to the earth, even BEFORE human beings were created. His “marks” were already on the earth! God then re-created the earth and created humanity (The word “Adam” means mankind or humanity).
The beast “shall make war against them (the Truth of God’s word and those proclaiming it) and shall overcome them, and kill them.” Again, we see the plan to eliminate Christ, the Bible, True Christianity and True Christians!
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord was crucified.
“Revelation 11 focuses on the martyred saints that are left unburied “in the streets of the ‘great city’ . . . “where Christ was crucified.” John is now describing Jerusalem as a city that has become, in God’s eyes, morally degenerate like Sodom, oppressive like Egypt (see also Isa 1:9; Ezek. 16:26; Jer 23:14), and guilty of the crucifixion of Christ (11:8). This denotes apostate Christianity - Christian Zionism - (the Second Beast of Revelation 13) and Jewish Zionism, the political beast power that demands to be worshipped (The First Beast of Revelation 13).
“John calls it “the great city,” a phrase used seven times exclusively for ‘Babylon’ throughout the rest of the book of Revelation (Rev 16:19; 17:18; 18:10,16, 18-19, 21). This “great city” is placed in glaring contrast to “the holy city” (11:2). The range of both cities is world wide in the end time.” LaRondelle, pg 228
“This event (the crucifixion of Christ), discloses. . . the presence of ‘the great city’ wherever men reject the ‘word of God and the testimony of Jesus’, and the presence of ‘the holy city’ wherever men are faithful to that word and testimony. . . The holy city is described as the temple of God, its altar, and those who worship there. The other is described as the place where the earth-dwellers serve and worship the beast.” (New Testament Studies 13 (1966); 98,99,100).
“It is remarkable that God permits His two witnesses to be killed after their mission has been completed, that is, after the 1260 days (3 1/2 years). We observe here an essential correspondence with the mission and death of the Son of God, who was crucified AFTER His mission was completed (after 3 1/2 years)(John 12:23; 13:1; 17:1).
“This Messianic model is extended further to the resurrection of the witnesses and to their heavenly ascension in a cloud of glory (Rev 11:11,12). Their mission is closely united with that of their Lord, whom John calls “the faithful witness, the first born from the dead” (Rev 1:5; also 3:14). La Rondelle, pg 228.
This is accompanied by a great earthquake and a tenth part of the city (the unbelieving world) fell, and in the “earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” This is a limited judgment intended for repentance of those who are far from God. Apparently many DO repent and turn to God.
The 7,000 idol-worshipers, killed by the earthquake, appear to function as the counterpart of the 7,000 faithful worshipers of God who were preserved by God in the time of the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:18, Rom 11:4). This is obviously a symbolic number.
“The survivors appear to genuinely repent and acknowledge the one true God.” Notice the kindness of God in sparing the faithless majority so that they may come to repentance and faith. “Thanks to the witness of the witnesses, the judgment is actually salvific (provides salvation).” (The Theology of the Book of Revelation, pp. 86, 87)
Of course! Judgments are ALWAYS salvific. They ALL ultimately lead to salvation of the individual. They are ALL meant to turn God’s children BACK to Him!
Look at these texts!
“ALL the nations (unbelievers) you have made, WILL come and worship before you, O Lord; they WILL bring glory to your name (Ps 86:9).
“Before Me EVERY knee will bow; by Me EVERY tongue will swear” (Isa 45:23).
But judgment shall return unto righteousness (right-doing). . . " Psalm 94:15
". . . for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (right-doing)." Isaiah 26:9
9 And they of peoples and kindreds and languages and nations (everyone in the world) shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not allow their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
In Verses 9 and 10, it is apparent that the whole world will rejoice (for awhile) when they believe that they have stamped out Christ, the Bible, True Christianity and True Christians once and for all!
11 And after three days and an half the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud and their enemies beheld them.
The 3 1/2 year Time of Trouble will end with the coming of Christ and the resurrection of the righteous dead who, with the righteous living, will be taken up into heaven.
John continues to speak of the end time events:
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand; and the remnant were fearful and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past: and behold d, the third woe comes quickly.
15 And the seventh angel blew his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The Kingdoms of this world (inhabitants of the earth) are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for the eons of the eons.
The Seventh Trumpet!
The Seventh Trumpet actually introduces the Seven Last Plagues. However, there are some other visions in the interlude. The Seventh Trumpet implies the woes of the last plagues of Revelation 16.
The prophetic song of the elders in Rev 11 comforts the threatened people of Christ that the time has come for three final events: 1) for judging the dead; 2) for rewarding all the saints; 3) for destroying those who destroy the earth (11:18).
16 And the twenty-four elders that sat before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshipped God.
17 Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Who is and was and who are to come; because You have taken to Thee thy great power, and have reigned.
The 24 elders are thought to be human beings who were resurrected when Christ was resurrected and went to heaven with Him.
18 And the nations were angry and Thy wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou should give reward unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth.
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His Testament (Covenant): and there were lightnings and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Remember that God’s “wrath” is nothing more than allowing US to reap the consequences of our OWN poor decisions and desires. God does NOT punish us. He just allows us to reap what we have sown.
“This new visibility of the ark of God’s covenant, combined with the instruments of divine warfare (earthquake, hail, thunder etc.), dramatically assures the church that Christ will rise to fulfill God’s covenant promises.” LaRondelle, pg 235.
This passage in Revelation shows that the Ten Commandments (the Covenent in the Ark in heaven) are still in effect. They were NOT "done away with" at the Cross, a false doctrine perpetuated by most Christian denominations.
The fundamental assurance of Revelation 11 can be summed up in these words: “Judgment on God’s enemies and vindication for the church (ecclesia = God’s Called Ones) have both been guaranteed. This is the great message of Revelation 11” (R. Naden, The Lamb Among the Beasts, p. 179).
Lorraine Day, M.D
1 And there appeared a great sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a garland of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing (being in labour) and in pain to be delivered (give birth).
3 And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of haven, and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born.
The conflict between Israel and her enemies in the Old Testament, is now applied to the people of the Messiah, the true followers of Christ.
The great red dragon as the symbol of evil is immediately identified as “that ancient serpent, called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray (the deceiver of the whole world, RSV)” (12:9)
On the other hand, two women are used to contrast between “Israel” and “Babylon” in Rev 12 and 17. “This becomes even more striking when we pay attention to their detailed descriptions.
“While the faithful woman of God in Chapter 12 appears ‘in heaven, ‘enlightened with the sun and stars,’ the things of God, the unfaithful woman of Chapter 17 is adorned with the fabrications of man (she “drips” with gold - money - and jewels) and ‘sits on many waters’ and ‘on a scarlet beast’ (17:1-3). While the woman of Chapter 12 bears a child to whom she has given birth, the woman of Chapter 17 holds a cup filled with the blood of the other woman’s children. The first woman is protected, the second is destroyed.” LaRondelle, pg 346.
“John further blends Moses and the prophets in his creative symbolism. He advances from the single woman, Eve, to a woman symbolizing Israel as God’s covenant people, in keeping with prophetic tradition. Isaiah portrayed Israel consistently “as a woman with child and about to give birth” (Isa 26:17; 54:1,6,13). She was about to give birth to Jesus (2000 years ago) and to Christ’s true followers NOW!
“John is NOT focusing on the mother of Jesus, Mary, but on the covenant people of God. In particular, John dwells on the Messiah of Israel and on the new-covenant people of that Messiah, the true followers of Christ. If Christ is the Messiah of prophecy, then the church of Christ is the true Israel of God.” LaRondelle, pg 272
It is important to note here that the Catholic church worships Mary because she gave birth to Christ. This doctrine means that a human being can produce God! That is blasphemy. The Catholics also claim that when the priest blesses the wafer, it becomes the actual body of Christ, and when the priest blesses the wine, it becomes the actual blood of Christ. This is also blasphemy because it means that a human being can “create” God.
Also, note that in Catholic, Lutheran and many other churches, fermented wine is used for communion. But fermentation is a sign of SIN in the Bible and should NEVER be used to symbolize anything pertaining to Christ. What that practice says, though the church leaders are blind to it, is that Christ was a sinner!
Similarly, in the future, the Jews and the literal nation of Israel will demand to be worshiped because they claim they “gave birth” to the Messiah. The churches are being “Judaized” to an enormous degree. The Messianic Jews are telling the Christians that Christianity came from the Jews - - and that Jesus was a Jew, that Judaism must be thanked for giving the world Jesus, the Messiah!
Nothing could be further from the truth on ALL counts! Christianity is the ANTITHESIS of Judaism. Judaism is Pharaseeism, the religion of the Talmud, the religion of lies that Jesus constantly denounced vehemently!
And Jesus was NOT a “Jew.” Jesus was/is God in human form - - and God is NOT Jewish. (See “Who is Israel? Who is the Church?” at www.goodnewsaboutgod.com)
So the Jews future demand that they be worshiped because they are God’s chosen people and because THEY “produced the Messiah” (a situation that is essentially occurring right now if one considers the mindless, almost idolatrous, adoration the Evangelical Christians have for the Jews), is essentially synonymous with the blasphemy of the Catholics.
In fact, all of this is the worship of “man” ABOVE the worship of God! The Catholics worship Mary ABOVE Jesus.
The JEWS worship “man” ABOVE God.
The Evangelical Christians worship “the Jews” above God by condoning Israel’s abhorrent, barbarian, torturing treatment of the Palestinians.
The Freemasons exalt “man” ONLY, and Lucifer (Satan) is their God! (This, of course, is only known at the 33rd degree and above.)
So the Catholics, the Jews, the Freemasons and the Zionist Christians are ALL 666 - - the number of the “Beast” which is the “Number of Man” (or humanity: the Greek word is anthropos - root word for anthropology, the study of “man.”)
They ALL exalt ‘man” ABOVE God.
Back to Rev 12:1-4: The “woman” is a collective figure, like the two witnesses. In the Old Testament, the image of a woman is a classical symbol for God’s people, (Zion, Jerusalem, and Israel) Zion’s husband is Jesus Christ (Yahweh) (Isa 54:1,5,6; Jer 3:20; Ezek. 16:8-14)
The faithful woman in Rev 12 is shown in glaring contrast to the bloodthirsty harlot in Rev 17.
The “faithful woman” representing God’s end-time people will NOT be defined as a group of “New Testament Christians” as so many Christians describe themselves today. In numerous places in Revelation, Christ’s true followers are defined as 1) those who “hold fast to the Word of God (The Old Testament) AND 2) the testimony of Jesus (The New Testament). (See Rev 1:2,9; 6:9; 12:17; 14:12; 20:4)
* * * These Two Important Characteristics define the difference between true worship and apostate worship!
Read Rev 12:3: “And there appeared another sign (wonder) in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads.”
Notice that the Red Dragon has:
SEVEN Crowns on his SEVEN heads
Heads = major powers, rulers, governments
Horns = Power and strength, or King or Kingdom
Crowns = Kingship, victory
Seven is the number of completeness, meaning that the red dragon has control of ALL governments.
Now read Rev 13:1: And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads a blasphemous name.”
Notice that THIS Beast has:
TEN horns, and
TEN crowns on his TEN horns
See the New World Order map of the Ten Kingdoms! These Ten Kingdoms are the Ten Horns or Kingdoms of the Beast Power.
It’s absolutely vital to understand world events in order to interpret Bible prophecy.
Notice ALSO, that the “little horn” who will persecute the saints for “3 1/2 times” (3 1/2 years) arises ONLY after the “ten horns” have been established (See Dan 7:8, 24-25). So the “little horn” will NOT rise until the Ten Kingdoms of the New World Order are established.
Rev 12:4 obviously refers to Satan and his evil angels.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God and to His throne.
Rev 12:5 refers to Christ (and eventually His true followers).
What does it mean to “rule with a rod of iron”?
Answer: Look at Rev 2:27 where Jesus is speaking to the ecclesia of Thyatira. In His message, He quotes a prophecy about Himself recorded by David in Psalm 2:8,9:
“And He (Jesus) shall rule them with a rod of iron: as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces; even as I received of My Father.”
Through Jesus’ life and eventual crucifixion, Jesus had been “broken to pieces” by His Father.
The “rod of iron” is meant to break the vessels to pieces, but remember that the vessels never leave the Potter’s hands while they are being broken to pieces, and He eventually makes EVERY vessel new. See Jeremiah 18:1-6:
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: Arise, and go down to the potter’s house and there I will cause you to hear My words.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he wrought a work on the Potter’s wheel. And the vessel that he was making of clay was ruined in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make it. (God’s Will - NOT our will!)
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.
God will “break everyone into pieces” then re-make them again in His own image. But while this “destruction” is going on, the vessel NEVER leaves the hand of the Potter. This is what the Bible means by “destruction of the wicked.”
God promises, “Behold, I make ALL new!” (Revelation 21:5)
Please note, the Lord does ALL the “making new.” There is no contribution by the clay (meaning that there is NO contribution by man). God does it ALL!
Question: How much “free will” does clay have? In this story, God makes it very clear that the clay has NO “free will.”
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed here there a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
The woman (the true followers of Christ) flees into the “wilderness” (out-of-the-way hiding places where God leads them) where she has a place prepared by God, to be taken care of for 3 1/2 years, during the persecution.
Let’s now look at verses 14-16.
14 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 (3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent.”
The Concordant literal translation uses the word “vulture” instead of the word “eagle.” The Eagle is the occult symbol used by the Illuminati in the U.S. Seal, but the behavior of that evil group resembles a ravenous vulture.
In Ex 19:4, God is speaking to Israel, reminding them of His constant care “and how I bare you on eagles’ wings…”
15 “And the serpent spewed out of his mouth a river of water after the woman, (waters = multitudes of people - persecuting 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.”
The secular laws of various countries have “swallowed up” by and large the religious intolerance and excommunications of the medieval society. The “earth” has indeed come to the rescue of the Christ-following believers at times through the ages. But Revelation 12 predicts something other than tolerance. A renewed, ferocious persecution of the end-time church of Christ is the concluding theme of Revelation 12.” LaRondelle, pg 279.
Yet, it is very possible that true Christians will be sustained, inadvertently, by the very evil powers that want to destroy them. God often works this way. Remember that Pharaoh’s desire was to continue to enslave the Israelites. Yet Pharaoh nurtured and raised, in his own household, Moses, the very person God had chosen to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh’s bondage.
God does have a sense of humor!
Back to Rev 12: 7-13:
7 “There was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.
8 And prevailed not; neither was a place found for them anymore in heaven.
Who is Michael, the archangel?
Michael the archangel is clearly Jesus Christ (God) in “angel form," just as Jesus Christ is God in “human” form. See Jude, verse 9.
Jude, verse 9: Yet Michael the archangel, when disputing with the devil He discussed about the body of Moses, dared not to bring against him (the devil) a reviling accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
If that is true, then God is in FOUR forms, not THREE: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit of holiness) and Michael, are NOT four different personalities which would be four different Gods, but ONE God who appears in four different forms. What does that do to the doctrine of the Trinity?
NOTICE ALSO that Jesus and His apostles NEVER referred to Satan as “Lucifer”, they always referred to him as Satan (which means Adversary) or the devil, or a serpent. As we know, the name “Lucifer” NEVER appears in the original Scriptures in Hebrew or Greek. It has been “written in.” It has been inaccurately translated in Isaiah 14:12. The word translated as “Lucifer” is actually the word “wail” meaning to “cry out.” Every other time in Isaiah that that same Hebrew word is used, it is accurately translated “wail.”
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the WHOLE WORLD; he was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
10 And 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 brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
This casting out of Satan” appears to occur right at the end of time, right before Jesus comes. Why do I say that? First, verse 12 says that he "knows he has but a short time." If Satan was cast out of heaven when Jesus was crucified, then there would be at least 2000 years until Jesus would return. It is a “stretch” to believe that either God or Satan would think 2000 years was a short time in human terms, and the Bible IS written for human beings.
And we know that Satan was NOT cast out when this earth was created, because he was being allowed into heaven during Job’s lifetime. See Job 1:6 and Job 2:1.
In addition, John tells us that his vision was about the “time of the end” (Rev 1:10 “I was in the spirit IN - original Greek - NOT “on” - the Lord’s Day.” The Lord’s Day is grammatically the “Day of the Lord” spoken of in 2 Peter 3:10 and other places in the New Testament, which refers to the time right before Jesus returns.
So Satan’s “casting out” has NOT YET OCCURRED!
Remarkably, the prophetic emphasis of Rev 12 is NOT on the persecution of the woman and her offspring but on their abiding loyalty and steadfast faith in God. In addition, it shows God’s loving care and encouragement for His persecuted people.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 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 knows that he has but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child
The Twofold Hallmark of Christ’s True Followers
17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (rest of her offspring), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Let us look once again at the twofold hallmark of Christ’s true followers at the end of time: they will be “those who OBEY GOD’S COMMANDMENTS and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 12:17; cf. 1:2,9)
Even though most Christians believe that “the Law was done away with at the cross” most Christians agree that it is important to keep at least NINE of God’s Ten Commandments. The one they always want to leave out is Commandment No. 4, the Seventh-day Sabbath Commandment. Yet, keeping all of God’s Commandments is a critical characteristic of God’s last-day people!
“A striking parallel of this twofold hallmark can be seen in Isaiah’s test for truth and error: ‘To the LAW and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa 8:20). This twofold phrase indicates that the final authority within Israel was the union of Moses and the Prophets (see 2 Kings 17:13)
“Do NOT think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets’, said Jesus, “I have NOT come to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until ALL be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
Jesus did NOT abolish the Law, He magnified it, He enlarged it, He made it more specific but took away all the burdens that the Pharisees had placed upon it. He did NOT do away with the Sabbath, He taught us how it should be kept, just like He taught us how the other commandments should be kept.
Jesus was/is the Ten Commandments in living, human form.
He said, (to paraphrase) “You think you are keeping the commandments if you don’t murder. However, I say, if you hate your brother in your heart, you are a murderer.” (Matthew 5:21,22)
“You think that you are keeping the 7th commandment because you have not physically committed adultery, but I am telling you that if you lust after a woman, you have committed adultery in your heart.” (Matthew 5:27,28)
In each instance Jesus was magnifying and interpreting the commandment and making it more specific. In no instance was He abolishing the commandment.
Jesus’ life shows us that He not only KEPT the Seventh-day Sabbath, but He showed us HOW to keep it. We ALWAYS must look to His life for perfect guidance in our Christian walk.
Heb 1:1, 2 says “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.”
In the historical past, God spoke through prophets. But when Jesus came, God spoke through Jesus. Jesus’ life is the final and complete revelation of the perfect Christian walk.
Isaiah 58:13,14 says:
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words;
Then shall you delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride upon the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob, your father: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
Therefore we MUST look at Christ’s example. Jesus showed us that if we turn away from doing OUR OWN pleasure on God’s holy day, the Sabbath, we will find the Sabbath a “delight”, a wonderful day to spend with God.
“As the Son of God is infinitely greater than every prophet, so the testimony of Christ functions as the final authority to interpret the law and the prophets of Israel. Jesus declared of Himself: ‘The One who comes from heaven is above all, He testifies to what He has seen and heard, but no one accepts His testimony” (John 3:31,32). LaRondelle, pg. 282
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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