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4 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2010 - 12:13AM #1
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hey guys,


Revelation 12:


1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.


Just curious, I was studying this passage today and I believe I have found some understanding in this passage, but I'm wondering first if any others have been able to decipher this prophecy?


God bless.


In Christ, Ted.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2010 - 12:50AM #2
sincerly
Posts: 4,049

Oct 20, 2010 -- 12:13AM, miami-ted wrote:

Hey guys, Just curious, I was studying this passage today and I believe I have found some understanding in this passage, but I'm wondering first if any others have been able to decipher this prophecy?



Hi Ted, I was impressed to drop by this Forum again and noticed your topic.  I will post my response in blue as we go verse by verse. Remember, that John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, "for the word of God, and testimony of Jesus Christ."  Therefore, he has reverted back(with the help of the Holy Spirit) to the same symbolism as was seen in Daniel's Prophecies which covered the period from John to the end of time.(as well as the fall of Satan and prophesied persecution ). Therefore, to confuse those who might intercept the messages he had written. Believers(God's People) would understand; others wouldn't understand.(Rev.1:3)


Revelation 12:1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.


A virtuous/pure woman used in prophecy denoted the Truth of God's Word/faithful Israel/Saints. And a Whore denoted a rebellious/unfaithful  people  (as seen in Hosea). In this verse, where Paul was up front with his preaching to the Jews concerning the truths God had given to them from the beginning of his ministry. John is using Symbolism.  From Sinai, the Israelites were clothed in all the Truths of GOD which was to go to all the peoples of the world. The Moon represented the reflection of that Truth which was to be shed through the 12 tribes.


 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.


The Gospel "as a light to all nations" was supposed to be Preached. (See Heb.4:2) and was to a large extent---mixed with a lot of rebellion.


 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.


John is directed to give details of how Satan had brought the peoples of earth to this point.


4. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.


John now brings back in the pregnancy. Herod did all that he could and fulfilled prophecy in doing so----when he ordered the killing "of all infants in Jerusalem and the coasts thereof".(Matt. 2:16)


 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.


Yes, the Church established by Jesus Christ(Acts.7;38) was/is to be to be ruled by HIM.  It was the People who desired/insisted to be ruled by a king. but it was a theocracy as initially established and will end as such. 


   6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.


[color=blue]John is directed to the future form his time to answer more details of the prophesied persecution of the saints as was seen in Daniel.  The persecution had exacerbated to the point of, not just penances, but open cripling and slaughter/putting to death. Not weeks---but 1260 years..


 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.


More return for another look at the rebellion in heaven against GOD..  It appears that Satan wasn't cast out until Satan caused Adan and Eve to fall by subtlety. (Just a thought)  Satan and those who follow him are reserved until the day of their "reward".


10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.


Yes, The "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" brings the Salvation and power which is found in Jesus Christ which reveals the overcoming by which Satan is defeated. He and his evil angels and all who has chosen to follow Satan are reserved to the day of executing their "Rewards".


 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.


Those who overcame Satan, the accuser of the brethren, did so by Faith in the Atoning Blood of the "Lamb"--Jesus.   They didn't hesitate or pull back from being Obedient because of the thread of death. (Matt.10:39; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24)( And Believing and Obeying the Testimony as to the plan of Salvationseen from the foundation of the world.   John is again pointing to the only means by which one can be saved, the testimony of Jesus  and the bearers of HIS messages. 


 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." 


13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.


 Pet.5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaringlion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"  There has been no time since the "Fall of Mankind" that Satan hasn't impressed his fallacious ways upon mankind. Almost overcoming at the Flood when the "thoughts were only evil continually."  


  14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.


During that 1260 years of persecution, large numbers fled fromEurope to the "new world " because because of the persecution and with the "flood of coming persons"(Daniel 7:2-3-----the worldly empires all came up out of the populace of nations) with various beliefs and the correction of some of the erroneous beliefs. In the New world/the wilderness the land "absorbed" the peoples and NO King ruled over the people to set up a religious system to control the people--- "Freedom of religion" "protected the True Believers". 


 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.


 While that persecuting Power did persecute all who opposed her teachings. Some continued with various and sundry elements of false Doctrines.  But the "dragon" is focusing on the True Believers which "obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus." That is why Rev. 17:5 indicates that power as the mother of harlots, and GOD has issued a call to "Come out of her my people."(Rev.18:4)


It is all the true Believers who are in Unity with Jesus and the Father as well as the Holy Spirit. Otherwise as Paul stated, 2Tim. 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."


  


       


 



Peace,   Sincerly.      As long as sin is practiced, one will search for a means to validate the continuing therein. ANON

The greatest want of the world is the want of men--men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.---- ANON  (Ellen G. White. 1882)
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2010 - 1:58AM #3
birwin4
Posts: 569

Just some preliminary thoughts on a passage which is clothed in imagery which would obviously be understood by the early readers of this book but which eludes us because we do not have the background of the ancient church. All reading of the book of Revelation should be done humbly and carefully because it is so full of metaphors and symbolism which are really foreign to the modern Christian. There is real danger in reading into such apocalyptic literature 21st century events as is done by some folk. Interestingly in every century a minority of commentators have seen evidence of events of their time as being 'revealed' in Revelation only to be proved wrong. Thus a caution would seem appropriate here also.


 This woman is in labour to bear a child who is undoubtedly the Messiah, Christ, compare Rev.12:5 where he is said to be destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron. That is a quotation from Ps.2:9 and was an accepted description of the Messiah. The woman, then, is the mother of the Messiah.


  (i) If the woman is the "mother" of the Messiah, an obvious suggestion is that she should be identified with Mary; but she is so clearly a superhuman figure that she can hardly be identified with any single human being.


  (ii) The persecution of the woman by the dragon suggests that she might be identified with the Christian Church. The objection is that the Christian Church could hardly be called the mother of the Messiah.


  (iii) In the Old Testament the chosen people, the ideal Israel, the community of the people of God, is often called the Bride of God. "Your Maker is your husband" (Isa.54:5). It is Jeremiah's sad complaint that Israel has played the harlot in disloyalty to God (Jer.3:6-10). Hosea hears God say: "I will betroth you to me for ever" (Hos.2:19-20). In the Revelation itself we hear of the marriage feast of the Lamb and the Bride of the Lamb (Rev.19:7; Rev.21:9). "I betrothed you to Christ," writes Paul to the Corinthian Church, "to present you as a pure bride to her one husband" (2Cor.11:2).


  This is perhaps a hint at the meaning. It was from the chosen people that Jesus Christ sprang in his human lineage. It is for the ideal community of the chosen ones of God that the woman stands. Out of that community Christ came and it was that community which underwent such terrible suffering at the hands of the hostile world. We may indeed call this the Church, if we remember that the Church is the community of God's people in every age.


  From this picture we learn three great things about this community of God. First, it was out of it that Christ came; and out of it Christ has still to come for those who have never known him. Second, there are forces of evil, spiritual and human, which are set on the destruction of the community of God. Third, however strong the opposition against it and however sore its sufferings, the community of God is under the protection of God and, therefore, it can never be ultimately destroyed.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2010 - 12:08AM #4
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hi guys,


Well, I've been studying this a bit and I'm one who believes that the Revelation has some very important information for God's people.  However, like most of God's prophecies, they become easier to see and understand after the events that they foretell have taken place.


I like the way Sincerly advanced verse by verse, so I will follow a similar pattern.  There are still a couple of places that I'm a bit foggy, but I hope that as we all read and study and pray about this particular passage that maybe the Holy Spirit will give us understanding of these things.


 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.


I believe that this entire passage deals with the 'account' of God's people beginning with the birth of our Lord.  This beginning sentence is obviously, to me, describing Israel.  It is under the authority of God that through Israel His Christ will be born, hence she is clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet.  This is a description of the Creator.  However, that this description refers to the Jews is explained by the crown of twelves stars on her head.  So she is a Jewish woman who is pregnant by the authority and power of the Creator.  This is written to us, who are willing to sincerly seek God, that we might know that Jesus is the Messiah.  The Messiah must come from Israel.  Look for no other and do not be deceived by any other.


She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.


I think most everyone agrees that this pregnancy is the coming Messiah and this passage merely points us to a baby.  We are to be looking for a baby who has come from God.


Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.


This is obviously Satan, but the description is, much like the description of the authority of God in the first verse, spoken in metaphoricals.  He is an 'enormous' red dragon.  He is powerful.  Certainly more powerful than any of us.  Being 'enormous', he will also take over the people of the earth.  He has seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.  This description sounds much like the visions given to Daniel.  Many commentaries say that the seven heads signify Rome and that may very possibly be.  We do know that Caeser Augustus divided Rome into ten provinces and so the picture of Satan persecuting Israel through the Roman government is a very real possibility, and we now know, a historical reality.  The seven crowns are later explained in chapter 17 to be seven kings.


His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.


I am fully convicted that this gives us some account of the demon forces which Satan has to work with upon this earth, and which we need to be fully aware will always be tormenting us, the believers.  It would seem that Satan, knowing that the Savior for mankind was about to arrive, pulled out all the stops.  Satan would have known that the baby inside Mary's womb was not just any human child as like the millions who had preceeded him.  Satan, as an angel, who it would seem still had face to face contact before Godif we are to believe the account of the angels gathering before God in the book of Job, would know of the visitations to Mary and Joseph.  He would have know that this child to be born was the very Son of God.  As a matter of fact, as Jesus taught throughout Israel, he did come upon several of these demons and some said that they knew who he was, the Son of God.  As a sort of timeline, though, these events would have occurred just before Jesus birth, for the very next passage tells us:


The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.


Yes, this describes the work of Satan in using Herod to destroy the Christ and the account of Joseph and Mary's travels to Egypt give further insight to another of God's great prophecies.  David wrote:  When he wrote his own prophecies regarding the Messiah - For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; - Sure enough, God sent angels to warn them to take Jesus into Egypt where the child would be safe for a time.


She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.


Now, this passage covers 33 years. Mary gave birth to Jesus, but it wasn't until after the resurrection that he was snatched up to God and to his throne.  Curiously, there is some question as to whose throne John is writing about here.  Jesus was surely snatched up to God, but another prophecy tells us that Jesus also sits on a throne and so it is very possible that John added the, 'and to his throne', referring to Jesus' throne.  Nevertheless, this passage covers the entire life of Jesus on the earth.


The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.


Ok, now here is where I believe my understanding may make a major change from some of the posts already made.  The woman is Israel, as explained before and she has now done all that is her part to do.  If any of you have read my synopsis of the Scriptures, then you know that I believe that the Jewish faith is a dead faith.  The call to the children of Abraham, the descendents of Isaac and Jacob were raised up for a purpose.  That purpose was, as Paul himself tells us, they were to be entrusted with the very oracles of God.  And so they were.  God worked in and through many of the children of Israel specifically as prophets and kings to have a written account of who He is and what He has done.  Without the Jew and all the Scriptures that they have scrupulously maintained for 1500 years, beginning with Moses in the desert and ending with John (also a Jew) in the Revelation, we would not any of us know who the Savior is.  We could just as easily fall under the delusion of Muhammad or Mahatma Ghandi or the great Buddha or any of the other several dozen religious 'saviors' without the word of God which has been written and preserved by Israel.  But that work is now done.  They have recorded and written down all that God wanted handed forth to us and as the Scriptures say, in the fullness of time, Jesus has been born and delivered to us right in line with all of the prophecies that Israel wrote for us.  Now, their work is done.  So, she flees and finds rest in the place that God has prepared for her.  Now, I will readily admit that I haven't yet gained understanding of the 1260 days, but I'm still praying and maybe some of you might have some ideas on this.


And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.


I believe that this fight, and yes, I believe it was a literal fight in heaven among the angels, took place shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven, although an argument could be made that it happened while Jesus was among us.  In either case, the war was fought sometime during the account of the previous passages. Satan lost the battle and he no longer has the ability to stand around the throne of God as he did in the book of Job.  Satan has, since Jesus won the victory, been cast down to the earth and now knows that his power is no match for God's and he has but a short time before God's Revelation is complete. Notice that it says that not only was Satan hurled to the earth, but also those angels obedient to him.  All of these angels, along with Satan now torment God's people here on the earth. This is why Paul accounts for us that Satan is roaming like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour.  Satan has no place else to go any more.


Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.


This is just a confirmation that the battle has been won and the salvation of our God, through Jesus, has been successfully accomplished.


They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.  Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."



So, the angels in heaven can now rejoice that they no longer have to deal with Satan face to face, but things look tough for us.


When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.


Now the dragon starts by pursuing Israel and this is where we find that he uses the Roman government to persecute and murder many Jews.


The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.


So, Israel flees, this is an apt description of the diaspora of the first century.  After Jerusalem fell, Israelites began to flee their small crescent of land in droves.  Jesus even foretold this and recommended it.  He told his disciples that when they see the abomination that makes desolate, that they should flee.  Do not return to your homes he says, but flee.  So, this is exactly what any Jews who were left did.  They fled.


But there are even more descriptives about this 'flight'.  The serpent spews water like a torrent, the persecution was great!  Even Hitler's Germany may well be included in this descriptive account.  But the people of the earth helped the Jews by taking them in, all over the world, the Jews were taken in by various nations.  Question for all those thinking believers out there.  Could it have been the 1260 days from the time of the Jews first fleeing until Hitler began his nearly worldwide pogrom against them?  The passage here describes that the Jews enjoyed relative peace when they first fled into the desert, but then after the times, times and half a time, the water spews like a torrent from the serpents mouth.


Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.


So, now the people of the earth have taken in the Jews and Satan can no longer attack them as one body any longer.  God has actually given Israel peace by spreading them throughout the world.  The dragon, now seeing that he cannot continue to attack the Israelites, and of course, knowing that it really isn't them any longer he need be concerned about, he turns his attention to Christians.  The 'offspring' of the Jewish faith.


So, this chapter gives us a glimpse into not only the past of Jesus, and remember that this was originally written in the first century so the people who read this prophecy, just as many of God's prophecies, wouldn't have put two and two together in exactly this manner, but also the events as history unfolded from the first century when it was written.  Remember also, that Jesus told John that the vision he was receiving was to give him insight into 'things which must soon take place'.


Now, it is important that we consider the approximate date that the Revelation was probably written.  Many believe that it was written sometime in 90 A.D., however I'm not completely convinced of this.  I think it very possible that the Revelation was written sometime before 70 A.D.  Mainly, because there is still no talk of the fall of Jerusalem and the prophecy given seems to give an account for that.  Further, if we assume an earlier date, then the first prophecies of the beginning attack of the 'enormous dragon' would easily be understood as the Roman government.  If we assume the later date, then all of this would have been history by the time it was written.  Not God's usual way of handing out prophetic warnings.  Lastly, let's recognize John's age.  John and Jesus seemed to be very, very close and this might be cause to believe that they were of similar age.  In any case, that John would be at least 25 by the time that Jesus was crucified in 32 A.D. would make him 55-62 before the fall of Jerusalem and well into his 80's in the last decade of the first century.  If we assume that John and Jesus were closer in age, then John gets 5 or 6 years older in each case.  Jesus would have been about 35 in 32 A.D. as most scholars believe he was actually born 2 or 3 B.C.


Anyway, at 60, John would have been a wise man still physically able to write, as many men suffered from loss of eyesight as they got very old and glasses weren't available in those days.  His writing would have probably been poor by the time he was 80 or 90 if he even lived that long.  I believe that 80 or 90 year ages were fairly rare in those days, however, I don't really have any hard evidence to support that belief.  I just know that life was hard and there was no medicine of any account to extend life as we have today.  Quite frankly, if we threw out all the medicine we take today we'd probably all die 10 or 20 years earlier.


So just keep in mind that if this revelation was written before 70A.D. there my be quite a few things that can be looked at differently.  Oh, and one more scholar I read says that the earlier date would also fit with the seven church letters.  Seems that Paul started churches in 9 cities, but three were destroyed, although one was rebuilt, leaving, ta-dah, seven churches.


That's my take.  I'm open to discussion.
God bless all of you.
In Christ, Ted.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2010 - 11:47AM #5
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,620

This is a HEAVY one...trying to interpret one isolated piece of Revelations to the Apostle John while on the Isle of Patmos!


The best that I could do was a cursory research and try to find some consensus of opinion!


www.tribulation.com/dragon.htm


The Woman, The Great Red Dragon and The Man Child   ~= 
          Israel, ............Satan................and Jesus Christ


www.whatsaiththescripture.com/The.Holy.B...


jfb.biblecommenter.com/revelation/12.htm


clarke.biblecommenter.com/revelation/12....


gill.biblecommenter.com/revelation/12.ht...


The Catholic view???


The Woman in Revelation 12 is part of the fusion imagery / polyvalent symbolism that is found in the book.
She has four referents: 1. Israel, ...the Church, ...Eve, and ....Mary.


www.catholic.com/thisrock/1997/9705chap....

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2010 - 1:41PM #6
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hi Ron?


Yes, most all scholars agree that the woman is Israel and the pregnancy and birth are the arrival of Jesus through the nation of Israel, just as God had been working out since His call to Abraham.  What I'm really focusing on is the events portrayed after Jesus birth. 


Let me just say, since I know that there are so many various 'understandings' of the Revelation, that I understand the Revelation as a book of prophecy that was addressing all believers from the days of Paul and John and Peter right up through the last days of this creation.  In other words, now, some 2,000 years after its writing, some of the prophecies have been fulfilled.  When the Revelation opens up with the scene in heaven and John watching and crying that no one was found to open the scroll, but then the angel tells him that, yes, one has been found, the Lamb of God, I believe that that scene actually occurred shortly after Jesus ascension.  Jesus was worthy to begin opening the scroll as soon as he returned to the Father.


So, here's the timeline I believe the Revelation is portraying to us and is following.  First, Jesus instructed John to write the letters to the seven churches that were the first churches started by Paul and the other first disciples.  Jesus saw already that some of the fellowships were going off in the wrong direction and so he instructed John to write to them specifically and in real time to correct their mistakes in their infancy.  Today, these same letters are good for us to also keep in mind as we fellowship and worship in our services, but in that day they were letters of fact that were directed to the actual churches in the various cities.  Today, we can use those letters to see where we might also be falling away and what were the things that Jesus looked for and commended in the first churches.


After the letters, Jesus then begins to peel back the seals holding the scroll of God's plan shut.  Now, as I see it the scroll itself has the plan for God's punishing the wicked and rewarding the righteous.  I mean, that's what a scroll is, right?  It's a written document.  However, before that document can be opened and the things that it instructs, followed, some righteous person had to be able to open it.  That person is Jesus and as we see in the next few chapters, Jesus begins to remove the seals and as each is removed, something happens on the earth.


I believe that the Revelation shows us that very shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven he was worthy to open the scroll and he began to remove the seals.  Not in a rip, rip, rip fashion, but rather methodically and patiently, because once this scroll is opned, literally, all God's wrath is loosed upon the earth.  But the seals are removed slowly in keeping with Peter's telling us that this is the time of God's patience that all may come to salvation.


Chapter 5 of the Revelation recounts for us Jesus' reception into heaven.  It describes a scene of great joy and grandeur as the Lord, the Christ of God, takes his rightful place at the right hand of the Father.  All the angels sing loud praises to announce his return to his heavenly home.


The Father hands the Son the scroll and the first seal is removed and the gospel begins its spread across the globe.  This seal represents the work of Paul and Peter and every evangelical that has ever lived that proclaimed the truth of God to the people of the earth and that horseman of the gospel, clothed in white, holding bow and a crown is conquering the hearts of men and women still today, just as it has been since it was first released shortly after Jesus ascension into heaven.


Then Jesus removes the second seal and a fiery red horseman gallops about the earth taking away our peace and bringing about wars and he carries with him a large sword to inflict great death.  That horsemen was released shortly after the gospel began to circulate and he has still until this day been riding around and stealing our peace and causing us to hate one another and to kill one another.


Then the third horseman is released and he brings greed and the desire to keep 'stuff'.


Finally the fourth horseman is released and he brings death to the people of the earth by famine and plague and natural disasters.


All of these things are ongoing from the time that the various seals are opened until today.  I believe that right now we are somewhere between the fifth and sixth seal.  All of these seals represent small tribulations upon the earth that are intended to turn us back to God.  I fully believe that when Jesus opens the sixth seal, those who have studied these things will know what time it is.


As I understand the Revelation, all that follows from the opening of the sixth seal to the end of chapter 11 is still future to us.  However, in chapter 12, as God often does in prophecy, He backtracks and shows us what the plan is for just Israel.  Up until now we have been dealing with what's going to happen to the entire world, but in chapter 12 God gives us some prophecy of what will be happening with His people and we will also be able to keep record of things by watching Israel, which has always been a part of God's plan.


It opens with Israel bringing forth the Messiah, the Christ, of God.  Satan knows that Jesus is being sent from heaven to avenge the sin of man and redeem some of them for God.  He prepares himself and all his angels to destroy the Christ, but God's angels protect him.  After Jesus wins the victory over sin and death, he is taken back to be with the Father and Israel flees into the desert from the persecution and destruction wrought by Satan through the Roman government.


Now there is a great war in heaven between God's angels and those who chose to follow Satan and Satan is defeated in heaven and cast down to the earth.  This war in heaven appears to have taken place about the time that Jesus was on the cross.  How long it lasts we really have no way of knowing, but God's angels won the victory and the woman, Israel, goes into the desert where she is taken care of.  However, Israel was not to enjoy her peace for too long.  After the 1260 days Satan again begins to pursue the woman and he spews a flood against her.  Now, for just a moment let me add that this could very well be the holocaust of Germany, the pogroms of Russia and the various other 'flood' of hate and death that was directed to the Jews in the early 19th century and, of course, we also have no way of knowing exactly how long this 'flood' of hate was directed towards the Jews, but we do know that shortly after all of these persecutions that many nations of the earth opened their 'mouths' and took in the dislocated and persecuted Jews.


When that happened, then Satan turned his full attention to the Christians.


So, I'm gaining an understanding that seems to reflect that the Revelation that John wrote to us, began shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven and then gives a timeline account of various signs and prophecies that we should be able to tie to various world 'events' in probably every lifetime.  While it does surely describe some things that are still future to even us, we must remember that it was written 2,000 years ago and, therefore, could very well be fulfilling as we have been living since Jesus' ascension.  It is not now all still future events.  Just as the vision given to Daniel showed the kingdoms who had already come along with the kingdoms yet to come, the Revelation is an ongoing account and as we move ahead in time the prophecies of the Revelation begin to become history to the future generations from John's first receipt of his vision.


God bless you all.


In Christ, Ted.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2010 - 11:47PM #7
sincerly
Posts: 4,049

  


Hi Ted, My computer has been acting up(or I have been careless and deleted two previous responses before submitting). Since your response was in agreement with my post in some areas, I'll only comment in those areas where I see a conflict with scriptures.


Vs.1, I see I didn't clarify my comments on this. The NT writers/Apostles had to bring the Jews and Gentiles into agreement concerning the prophecies and their fulfillment. Isa.60:19 has this information. "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory." and with Rev.21:22-23, "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof."


That which was clothed in the Creator Jesus was reflected by the 12 tribes of Israel and then the 12 Apostles to everyone by the Body of Christ/ the Church. Jesus was born literally and the Church was "Called out from the masses". Satan has tried to destroy both over the ages.


Ted, Jesus said that Satan was the "prince of this world"(John 12:31--"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.) and that was the status he had during Job's problems when meeting with GOD.


Re:"his throne". Notice this verse. Matt.19:38, "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."


Oct 23, 2010 -- 12:08AM, miami-ted wrote:

Ok, now here is where I believe my understanding may make a major change from some of the posts already made.  The woman is Israel,...



Ted, I will agree with you if you are saying that ISRAEL IS THE REMNANT----NOT the nation of Israel. Jesus said of it---"Thy house is left to you desolate."  Individual decendants are welcomed into the kingdom just as anyone else is.  However, Paul in Rom.9:4-8 declares the "True Israelite" to be the ones of the "PROMISE". This is seen in Gal.3:26-29. (and Rom.11:5;Rev.12:17)


It wasn't the nation of Israel that was fleeing at this time, but the "Church"/"True Israel" from the persecution of the "usurping false church" seen in 2Thess.2:3-4. which would occur during that 1260 years as prophesied. Those "Dark Ages" recorded in History.


That usurping false church used the pagan Roman Empire to enforce its false decreed laws which was prophesied to "think to change GOD's Laws." In order to understand Rev.12, one needs to understand Daniel's(7:19-25) companion visions of these times. The Roman Empire was broken into ten kingdoms as prophesied. Three of them were Arian. That "littlle Horn" which did the persecuting of the "Saints" was the power upon which Emporer Justinian bestowed by Edict the bishop of Rome as the head of all the churches in 533 A.D.. But, that couldn't take effect until the last of those three Arian "horns" had been "plucked" up in 538 A.D.    It was at that point that the "usurping church" became "official"---and the 1260 years of persecution began.  In 1798, the French Army, under Berthier, entered Rome and took the pope prisoner.(inflicting the deadly wound upon the papacy(Rev.13:3) from whince it is well healed today).


1798-538=1260. This time period is a part of a larger period of time which began in Daniel's time and associated with the Prophesied visions. (Dan.8:14.)  Why is prophetic time a day for a year instead of literal--day for day?  God Said, Num.14;34, "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."  And again in Ezek.4:6, "And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year."


That 2300 day/year prophecy brings Christ on the cross (Dan.9:26)as prophesied. in the 70 week/ 490 year span from the Decree.----the end of the Prophecy was in 1844 A.D. Therefore, according to GOD'S Time-table.


Oct 23, 2010 -- 12:08AM, miami-ted wrote:

  I believe that this fight, and yes, I believe it was a literal fight in heaven among the angels, took place shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven,



Ted, Satan took dominion of this earth when Adam relinquished it to him at the Fall. see above. He became "prince of it". However, with the defeat of Satan at the Cross, the time is short until the final person will make that decision for or against having Jesus Christ reign over him/her.


 Ted, I have no problem/concerns with Revelation being written in the 90's A.D. It is still GOD'S Word and will be fulfilled as prophesied----and on time.  

Peace,   Sincerly.      As long as sin is practiced, one will search for a means to validate the continuing therein. ANON

The greatest want of the world is the want of men--men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.---- ANON  (Ellen G. White. 1882)
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2010 - 12:35PM #8
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hi Sincerly,


Thanks for your response. As I said in my opening, there are a lot of various 'interpretations/understandings' regarding the great Revelation of our Lord. Many believe that the entire vision is still of a future time, but I'm more of a mind that the vision was given to John prior to the fall of Jerusalem and as a revelation of Jesus it tells all about him from the beginning of the church age, to the end of it.  For the readers in the first century, yes it would have pretty much all been future unfulfilled prophecy, but as the years have progressed since then, many of the prophecies have been fulfilled.


The letters to the churches seem to be obviously intended for those very real churches that Paul and the first disciples were planting throughout the region.  They were written to address problems that had already sprung up in the various churches and I'm confident that if we had lived in those days, we would see the indications and understand much of what is portrayed in them.  For example, we would have easily recognized what the Lord meant when he had John write, "I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not." Or, "You also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans."


You wrote:


Ted, Jesus said that Satan was the "prince of this world"(John 12:31--"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.) and that was the status he had during Job's problems when meeting with GOD.


You will get no argument with me on this point other than to say that the Revelation seems to portray a time, after Jesus came, that there was a war in heaven and Satan and his demons were cast down to the earth.  This would lead me to believe that while he had the freedom of movement from earth to heaven in the time of Job, he no longer has access to heaven.  He is now confined and constrained upon the earth.  Just following the chronology of the account, the war in heaven and the fleeing of Israel into the desert all are recorded as taking place after:  "She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne."


Now, I fully realize that chapter and verse divisions are a modern concept in the Scriptures and often times tend to make us understand separation or division of the original textual intent, that really isn't there.  However, this is a case where one sentence follows the other in the original texts and so other than the numbers 6 and 7 to denote the verses, there is nothing to indicate that there is some unnatural separation between these statements.  The Christ was born and then was taken up to heaven and then there was war in heaven between the angels of God and the angels of Satan and he and his angels lost and were cast down to the earth.  Then for further emphasis we are told that John saw the angels of God declaring woe upon the earth because this had happened.  However, I am fully ready to concede that the connector 'and' used to describe the time of the war may indicate that this war was going on during Christ's ministry or even at his death.  This would fully agree with Jesus' own statements that he made regarding the prince of this world.  John records three times that Jesus spoke about the prince of this world being driven out, coming, and standing condemned, and every one of them tells us that Jesus says, "Now" is that time.  I am willing to agree that his use of the word 'now' could mean that very instant that Jesus spoke the words or that it referred to a more general meaning of time such as 'now that I am here' or 'now that I have come to fulfill the law'.  In either case, Jesus seems to agree and confirm that 'now' something is happening regarding Satan.


So, while I agree that since the fall Satan has had dominion over the earth, there is quite obviously a change in that order in this vision.  The change I see is that Satan has now been 'cast out of heaven' and no longer has the freedom to wander back and forth.


You then responded:


It wasn't the nation of Israel that was fleeing at this time, but the "Church"/"True Israel" from the persecution of the "usurping false church" seen in 2Thess.2:3-4. which would occur during that 1260 years as prophesied. Those "Dark Ages" recorded in History.


You possibly haven't read your history, but in 70 A.D all of the Israelites that were left fled the destruction and persecution that the Roman armies wrought upon the Jews.  The 'church' has never 'fled', but rather been persecuted in place.  I can't think of a single historical account of great widespread fleeing of Christians.  Christians were just persecuted where they lived.  Certainly some may have tried to escape by fleeing, but I can find neither Scriptural nor historical accounts that would indicate that that is the 'fleeing' referred to here.  As I stated in the original post, even Jesus warned the disciples that destruction was coming upon Jerusalem and that everyone should flee.  At the time of the destruction Jersusalem was still a predominantly Jewish people.  It was the Jews that Jesus was warning to flee and they did.


As I stated at the beginning of this post, some of this account, such as the birth of the Christ and his being snatched up into heaven had already occurred when this vision was given to John.  However, it depends on the dating of the text as to whether this fleeing from persecution would have been a prophecy of the Jewish flight from the Roman armies or an historical recollection.


You then wrote:


That usurping false church used the pagan Roman Empire to enforce its false decreed laws which was prophesied to "think to change GOD's Laws." In order to understand Rev.12, one needs to understand Daniel's(7:19-25) companion visions of these times. The Roman Empire was broken into ten kingdoms as prophesied. Three of them were Arian. That "littlle Horn" which did the persecuting of the "Saints" was the power upon which Emporer Justinian bestowed by Edict the bishop of Rome as the head of all the churches in 533 A.D.. But, that couldn't take effect until the last of those three Arian "horns" had been "plucked" up in 538 A.D.    It was at that point that the "usurping church" became "official"---and the 1260 years of persecution began.  In 1798, the French Army, under Berthier, entered Rome and took the pope prisoner.(inflicting the deadly wound upon the papacy(Rev.13:3) from whince it is well healed today).


I'm with you on most of what you have written here as being applied just as you have stated.  Yes, the RCC was an amalgam of religion and government that stands to this day as the apostate church.  Yes, the Roman Empire was broken into ten kingdoms, as I also noted.  However, I am at a slight loss in your explanation of the 1260 days.  The Scriptures say that this 1260 days will be a time that Israel is 'taken care of'.  In both references in chapter 12 these days seem to be shown as a time that Israel will have peace or at least be cared for by God.  You have turned the 1260 days into a time of persecution for the church.  How do you explain that?  Here are the references:


The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.


The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach.


You see my consternation here, hopefully, the woman flees into the desert where she might be taken care of and the second refence says that she is out of the serpent's reach.  How do you explain this as the persecution of the church?  Where did the 'church' flee to that it was out of the reach of the dragon?  America?


Finally you responed:


Ted, I have no problem/concerns with Revelation being written in the 90's A.D. It is still GOD'S Word and will be fulfilled as prophesied----and on time. 


Thanks and I appreciate your thoughts here, but ultimately I'm not trying to determine what does or doesn't cause you problems.  I'm a bit more interested in what is the truth.  There are several scholars which place the writing of this text much earlier than 90 A.D. and most of them that date it in the 90's do so because of a notation in a later text written in the 3rd century.  Here is some of what I base my understanding on:


Those who hold to the "late date," have Revelation written during the time of Domitian Caesar (AD 95-96). This date is determined by the following statement by Irenaeus (AD 130 to AD 202), as quoted by Eusebius, the church historian, in AD 325: "We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign."



There are things about this statement that need to be noted. First, Irenaeus did not witness this. He referred to Polycarp (who supposedly knew the apostle John). Secondly, the key part — "it is not long since it was seen" — is ambiguous. According to Irenaeus recollection, Polycarp saw "it" sometime in AD 95-96, during the last part Domitian's reign. Thirdly, we do not know if the "it" Polycarp was referring to was John, the visions he saw, the name of anti-christ, or the book itself and we do not know if he meant that the book was written at that time or not. Furthermore, it comes to us through three people separated by three centuries. Simply put, this is hear-say.



This statement, even with all of this uncertainty, is the only evidence used to support the "late date" theory. It has been accepted by generations of people without really questioning it or examining it in light of the book itself. The late date has been passed on to us in the same way it was passed on to Eusebius, "…it [was] handed down by tradition…" Tradition is not the way to interpret Scripture.



Another statement by Irenaeus seems to indicate the earlier date also. In his fifth book, he speaks as follows concerning the Apocalypse of John and the number of the name of the Antichrist: "As these things are so, and this number is found in all the approved and ancient copies." Domitian's reign was almost in his own day, but now he speaks of the Revelation being written in ancient copies. His statement at least gives some doubt as to the "vision" being seen in 95 AD which was almost in his day, and even suggests a time somewhat removed from his own day for him to consider the copies available to him as ancient.


I think it good of us to visualize the receipt of the Revelation to John.  It probably was not that he sat at a table or upon a rock and saw a bit of the vision and then stopped and wrote that part down.  Then returned to the vision and then stopped and wrote down more of it.  John may have received the vision years before it was written down and generally handed around as a part of the Scriptures.  Just as with Daniel's visions, the written record of them may not have been made until many years after he actually recieved the visions.  So, it's very possible that John received the vision in the 60's A.D., but it wasn't written down until the 90's, although I personally find this a stretch.  To be honest, we don't any of us have any first hand knowledge of what it is like to receive such 'visions' from God, nor when the actual recording of the 'visions by pen and ink may have occurred.  However, I am in full agreement with the last part of your statement.  It is God's word! And it will be fulfilled just as God has revealed it to us!


God bless you.
In Christ, Ted.

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2010 - 1:52AM #9
sincerly
Posts: 4,049

Oct 27, 2010 -- 12:35PM, miami-ted wrote:

Hi Sincerly, Thanks for your response. As I said in my opening, there are a lot of various 'interpretations/understandings' regarding the great Revelation of our Lord. Many believe that the entire vision is still of a future time, but I'm more of a mind that the vision was given to John prior to the fall of Jerusalem and as a revelation of Jesus it tells all about him from the beginning of the church age, to the end of it.  For the readers in the first century, yes it would have pretty much all been future unfulfilled prophecy, but as the years have progressed since then, many of the prophecies have been fulfilled.



Hi Ted, if I understand you correctly, "It tells about Jesus....from the beginning of the church age to the end of it".  I have to disagree. Why? Because Jesus has finished HIS Atoning work on earth.  We have that recorded in the Gospels and epistles. As Revelation starts out , it is a revealing of events which is the effect every age(church) period of HIS servants from the early periods of the Church until they are safely Home in the "new heavens and new earth."---eternally.


The "seven churches" are symbolic of those various periods of time. Isn't there a tendency for the New Believer to "hot for the Lord" initially and over a period on time to become "luke-warm"? But, Here, Jesus is addressing the entire Church(HE Came to Save all of mankind) and is encouraging all the persons during all the seven periods to "hold fast" and "over- come" even through the predicted long period of persecutions and bleak looking days ahead-----the end is worth it.


When Paul last saw those Ephesian leaders  he said, (Acts 20:28-31) "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."  Paul wasn't just giving his thoughts, but was warning of the Prophecies of Daniel which were to be "opened". As seen in 2Thess. 2:3-4, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."


Now notice what Jesus says, Rev.2:4,  to that first church period, "Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."   What was a "candlestick"==a church. And a "church" is a called out body of Believers.  Remember it wasn't until  Emp. Justinin placed "all churches under one head in 538 A.D." that "so-called-heretics" could be dealt with as a whole.  When was it that "imposter above" began to "oppose" GOD'S way of worship?? That period of time is seen in the address to the Smyrna church.   There was 10 years of pagan Rome persecution under Diocletian(303  to 313 A.D.). What edict did Constitine make in A.D.321 which effected the Worship of GOD'S servants? I think you get the picture here of the symbolic meaning given for the "Churches".  The True Church was Persecuted by the prevailing imposter who "thinks tho change times and laws" of GOD-----even down to its Remnant.


Ted, While the writing of the Scriptures had no "divisions, etc", that didn't stop the writer from expressing  or adding other thoughts as just as modern writers.  "Meanwhile back..." or "now, let me show you what that meant." or "this is the reason for" or "the explanation for---- is". Yes, something did happen, but I can not reconcile 4000 years before Satan was cst out of heaven. I can understand where Satan has ever since Eden been trying to derail GOD'S plan of Salvation and destroy GOD'S faithful Servants.


Oct 27, 2010 -- 12:35PM, miami-ted wrote:

You possibly haven't read your history, but in 70 A.D all of the Israelites that were left fled the destruction and persecution that the Roman armies wrought upon the Jews.  The 'church' has never 'fled', but rather been persecuted in place. 



Ted,  Jesus told the (Jewish) Believers to flee from the Temple during that 70A.D. period.  It was the Jews who didn't and were slaughtered. You must be thinking of that "usurping power" which does the persecuting and "shows himself as GOD".


Ted, was this "power" contrary to GOD which showed himself as GOD and had fallen away from GOD? He was in the temple of GOD?


 


 

Oct 27, 2010 -- 12:35PM, miami-ted wrote:

As I stated at the beginning of this post, some of this account, such as the birth of the Christ and his being snatched up into heaven had already occurred when this vision was given to John.  However, it depends on the dating of the text as to whether this fleeing from persecution would have been a prophecy of the Jewish flight from the Roman armies or an historical recollection.



Ted, The Roman Army at the time of the temple destruction were not persecuting the "christian Believers" per se---Jewish or Gentile. There were there to crush the Jewish rebellion to Roman rule.


This "seige" of the temple wasn't the 1260 Years (the great tribulation).----It has passed as previously shown.


Oct 27, 2010 -- 12:35PM, miami-ted wrote:

The Scriptures say that this 1260 days will be a time that Israel is 'taken care of'.  In both references in chapter 12 these days seem to be shown as a time that Israel will have peace or at least be cared for by God.  You have turned the 1260 days into a time of persecution for the church.  How do you explain that?  Here are the references:


The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.


The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach.



Ted, The "Church" is the "Bride of Christ"----NOT Israel. The "Saints" which are persecuted are NOT Israel.  But the Remnant of the woman (Church's )seed were being persecuted, therefore, the safe place where the dragon had no 'persecuting authority". and Yes, to America. Separation of Church and State/ Freedom of Religion. And I am interested in Truth , also.


Oct 27, 2010 -- 12:35PM, miami-ted wrote:

However, I am in full agreement with the last part of your statement.  It is God's word! And it will be fulfilled just as God has revealed it to us!



 Amen.


 

Peace,   Sincerly.      As long as sin is practiced, one will search for a means to validate the continuing therein. ANON

The greatest want of the world is the want of men--men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.---- ANON  (Ellen G. White. 1882)
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4 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2010 - 4:39PM #10
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hey Sincerly,


Thanks for your well thought reply.  As stated in my opening there are many interpretations and since I have written mine I won't belabor the point by revisiting all of what I posted, but let me just interject at a couple of your comments.  You wrote:


The "seven churches" are symbolic of those various periods of time. Isn't there a tendency for the New Believer to "hot for the Lord" initially and over a period on time to become "luke-warm"? But, Here, Jesus is addressing the entire Church(HE Came to Save all of mankind) and is encouraging all the persons during all the seven periods to "hold fast" and "over- come" even through the predicted long period of persecutions and bleak looking days ahead-----the end is worth it.


While I fully agree that we can look at the 'churches' today and see many of the same problems in our fellowships today that Jesus addresses with the first churches, that only confirms that the church, begun then with fallen sinners and still today calling fallen sinners, still suffers many of the same problems.  I'm confident that the letters Jesus instructed John to write to the various churches that Paul and the first apostles had begun in the various cities of the first century were intended for those specific fellowships mentioned.  We, the born again believers, are to understand from these errors of the first churches the things that we should be wary of still today in our fellowships.  I steadfastly disagree on any understanding of some 'seven periods' that you refer to as being the intended meaning of the letters.


I wrote: 


You possibly haven't read your history, but in 70 A.D all of the Israelites that were left fled the destruction and persecution that the Roman armies wrought upon the Jews.  The 'church' has never 'fled', but rather been persecuted in place. 


and you responded:


Ted,  Jesus told the (Jewish) Believers to flee from the Temple during that 70A.D. period.  It was the Jews who didn't and were slaughtered. You must be thinking of that "usurping power" which does the persecuting and "shows himself as GOD".


I'm not sure exactly what point you are making here, but nevertheless, give me some historical event which would be seen as a time when Christians have ever fled from persecution.  Links to the reports would be helpful. 


You asked:


Ted, was this "power" contrary to GOD which showed himself as GOD and had fallen away from GOD? He was in the temple of GOD?


My response is total befuddlement.  What are you talking about?


You then wrote:


Ted, The Roman Army at the time of the temple destruction were not persecuting the "christian Believers" per se---Jewish or Gentile. There were there to crush the Jewish rebellion to Roman rule.


I'm again lost at your point.  I'm the one that's saying that there is no historical evidence that Christians have ever run from persecution.  It was the Jews and Jesus' warning was to the Jews.  It doesn't really matter why the Romans overran Jerusalem.  Jesus just warned them that a time was coming when they should not return to their homes but flee.  Whether they did or not isn't really the issue either.  The issue is that Jesus warned them to and this seige against Jerusalem by the Roman armies is the event that Jesus was prophesying.  Now you seem to be implying that the Jews didn't flee.  Friend, the reason that there are Jews all over the world today is confirmation of the fact that they did flee.  Certainly, many were destroyed, but thousands upon thousands of Jews in all of the land of Israel fled to other countries.  So much so that Israel ceased to be a nation.  There were not enough Jews in all of the promised land of Israel to maintain their nationhood and the land was taken over by the Gentile nations around them.  This is the whole issue of the struggle today.  They want their land back!!!!  As I said, your historical knowledge is sadly lacking.  You are confounded by thinking that the Revelation is all some future event to us, and it is not.  It was pretty much future to those to whom the Revelation was first received, but over the last 2000 years, much of what has been prophesied has come to pass.


Just as with the prophesy of the 70 weeks of Daniel.  It was all future to Daniel, but as the edict was given to allow the Jews to return and restore and rebuild Jerusalem a part of the prophecy was fulfilled and a part was still to be fulfilled.  As the city was rebuilt with trenches and the people holding weapons in one hand and a brick in the other still another part of the prophecy became history and there was still more to be fulfilled.  When the Messiah came, still another part of the prophecy fell into history and there was yet more to be fulfilled.  The great Revelation is similar.  To John, it was pretty much all future prophecy.  The letters to the churches was addressed to events happening at the time the prophecy was given.  However, much of what follows that was future to John, but has been steadily fulfilling just as the prophecy to Daniel.


Then you wrote:


This "seige" of the temple wasn't the 1260 Years (the great tribulation).----It has passed as previously shown.


Agreed, that the siege of Jerusalem, not the temple, is not the great tribulation.  That is still a future event and will be a terrible time of persecution of the 'church'.


You wrote:


Ted, The "Church" is the "Bride of Christ"----NOT Israel. The "Saints" which are persecuted are NOT Israel.  But the Remnant of the woman (Church's )seed were being persecuted, therefore, the safe place where the dragon had no 'persecuting authority". and Yes, to America. Separation of Church and State/ Freedom of Religion.


Agreed that the 'Bride of Christ' is not Israel, but neither is the Bride of Christ the reference in this passage.  It is the 'woman'.  Now you seem to think that this reference to 'woman' is the Bride of Christ.  No, the woman is Israel and the woman carried the baby, the Christ.  This entire passage has nothing to do with the church until the very end where it says that after finding that he (Satan) could no longer attack the woman, then he turned his attention to those who hold to the testimony of Christ.  That is the church.  The Jews, as an entire people, have never held to the testimony of the Christ.


So, when you write back, please give some historical evidence of the church fleeing and hopefully some links to where you found such information.


God bless you.


In Christ, Ted.

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