The notion of a place of refuge during the tribulation might be a fresh concept for you. It was for us. We accepted that the last days would hold troublesome times for all the earth. Now, another layer of the plan is exposed.
This post is about Revelation chapter twelve.
There you will find two similar stories. The first six verses are about a Woman, a Child, and a Dragon. This account is associated with Messiah’s first coming. It rehearses Yeshua’s birth, King Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and the family’s flight to Egypt.
The second version in verses seven through seventeen is a sequel, mostly about the same characters. It is set in the future and coincides with Messiah’s second coming. I will unpack it as we proceed.
Genesis 1:14 tells us that the lights in the heavens were created to give us signs, seasons, days, and years. The signs mentioned in Revelation 12 reference the positions of the sun, moon, and stars in specific locations in reference to one another and are to be understood from Earth’s perspective. They form patterns which became known as constellations.
The constellations mentioned are Virgo, the virgin, and Draco, the dragon. A computer model of how the stars were arranged the night Yeshua was born depicts the alignment of the heavenly bodies in these constellations according to Revelation 12:1-6.
The characters, their actions, and their destinations have long-standing interpretations. It is not my objective to give an exhaustive commentary in a five-minute blog, but I hope to bring you enough understanding to make the point that Edom, Moab, and Ammon can easily fit as the wilderness to where the woman flees for protection in the second story.
Here is a roll-out of the characters, that is, the “stars” in this drama:
The first five verses are the most understandable since they deal with Messiah’s first coming.
Is it possible that the time period given here could equal the time Joseph, Mary, and Yeshua spent in Egypt in safety from Herod?
Now, let’s focus on verses seven through seventeen.
The second story starts with the clash of mighty angelic beings. Satan is leading a rebellion with multiple legions against Michael and his faithful ones. The devil has convinced one third of the angelic host to follow him in an attempted coup d’état against the magnificent throne of the Most High.
At the time of this battle, Satan has already lost his place on the Divine Council because of the iniquity he nurtured in his heart. He has persuaded millions of other discontents to sharpen their glistening swords to support him in taking over Heaven. He wants to become equal with or superior to the Creator of the universe. He still does to this day.
He made his plans, selected his leadership, and launched his attack.
We don’t know how long that battle lasted, but the devil and his army were defeated by Michael and his forces. The loser was thrown out of Heaven down to Earth. This is his confinement for now, but a greater restraint in a worse place awaits him.
Yeshua saw that war in the unseen realm and testified to His disciples of this fact when He said, “…I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18 KJV
He spent a sizable part of His ministry delivering people who were attacked and controlled by those daemons (Latin: demon). His work was to restore His kingdom from the demonic invaders. He and His disciples cast them out from those who were lost to the dark side.
They saved them.
The devil forfeited his place on the Divine Council; then, he was kicked out of his residence in Heaven. When the ages-long war is over, he and his daemons will lose their place on Earth and be confined to the lake of fire.
Until then, he and those with him will continue to destroy the lives of as many people as they can.
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. Revelation 12:13 KJV
The time space between verse thirteen and fourteen covers at least the last 2,000 years. It was during this period that the Jewish people have had the most violent persecution by the devil and those he controlled. Almost every nation has at one time persecuted and purged the Jews from among their people. True Bible-believing Christians, too, were met with similar hatred. Often the persecutors were zealots who perverted their religions to do the dastardly deeds.
As we get closer to the end, persecution will surge to such an unbearable level that the faithful will scream for relief. Also known as the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” the woman in the story does not fear for her child but for her own life. Now verses fourteen through sixteen come into play.
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
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. Revelation 12:14-16 KJV
When Antichrist arises, he will be the embodiment of Satan. His persecution of the woman will be so strong that she will not survive without divine intervention. When he learns he cannot succeed in destroying her because she has escaped to a place of safety and provision, he turns his fury on her offspring.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17 KJV
The remnant of her seed has two characteristics:
They keep the commandments of God
They have the testimony of Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah
This is borne out by Yeshua, Paul and John.
Don’t suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. Matthew 5:17 CEV
The KJV uses the words, “destroy the law”. This is a Hebrew idiom meaning to wrongly interpret the law.
It also uses the words, “fulfill the law”. This idiom means to rightly interpret the law.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2 KJV
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4 KJV
And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: Acts 21:20 KJV
The remnant of the woman’s seed has the testimony of Jesus Christ, and they keep the Torah. They walk as He walked in agreement with Moses as their act of obedience, and they trust in His atoning sacrifice for their sins.
All four gospels relate the incident when Yeshua/Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was. His answer was straight out of Deuteronomy:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 KJV
He went on to give the second greatest commandment from Leviticus:
You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yehovah. Leviticus 19:18 MKJV
He finished his remarks saying, “On these two commandments hang all the law/Torah and the prophets.”
The words, “on these two commandments hang all the law/Torah and the prophets,” implies that these two are only the beginning point for obeying the rest of the commandments.
What was Yeshua’s answer when asked what to do to have eternal life?
And behold, one came and said to Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?
And He said to him, Why do you call Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19:16-17 MKJV
This story is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
Whew! Let’s take a deep breath.
To some degree, Judaism holds to the commandments of God. To some degree, Christianity holds to the testimony of Jesus Christ. Neither is perfect.
One day, both will divest themselves of human tradition and become one new man in full agreement with the Messiah.
Review Revelation 12:14 above and think about the wings of a great eagle, then look at the map of the Dead Sea in the map at the top of this blog.
The head of the eagle and its wings cover almost all of the eastern side of the Valley of Achor, which will serve as the door of hope.
Find the white eagle head in the middle of the sea. Notice the broad wingspan below the head outlined in red. The head of the eagle and its wings cover almost all of the eastern side of the Valley of Achor, which will serve as the door of hope. This is the same area mentioned by the prophet Daniel. It encompasses Edom and Moab up to the region of Amman.
Have you connected the dots?
That’s where we’re going. It’s a place of safety during the Great Tribulation.