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September 17, 2020 1:00 am
We can draw any analogy from the chosen nation of Israel to the chosen bride of Christ. It would be this just as God has kept every promise and will keep every promise to Israel. He will keep every promise to you when I feel like any man I want more positive grace for today is sufficient for the install not to get ultimate wonderful promise to those who believe in him, so I will come again and I will receive you on the myself and where I am, there you maybe also. However, as Stephen noted a moment ago. It's not an indication that God has abandoned God still responds in grace and mercy even in his discipline. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. Today Stephen Davey begins a series entitled antichrist and the many faces of evil as we work through this passage of Scripture will find practical insight regarding how we should live today. Let's get started with this lesson called the relentless red Dragon were about to be introduced to the crisis. Profit. In fact, if you have your Bibles open Revelation chapter 12 Revelation chapters 12 and 13 are primarily devoted to introducing to us the key players; series of many faces of evil as we continue toward the final days of the tribulation and the battle of Armageddon got this new global killer, which is about to make his appearance in the text of Scripture before introduced to him, however, John has several introductions to make.
So let's begin with Revelation chapter 12 and verse one. A great sign appeared in heaven. You want to serve the Lord sign. Get that word a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was with child, and she cried out, being in the labor and in pain to give birth of the wonderful thing about approaching prophecy literally is that you're able to literally interpret every metaphor, every symbol as symbols and metaphors in this text indicates this is a clear symbol to sign the Greek language because of the same eon Magog, a major AA big sign of great sign which immediately tells us that this woman is not an actual woman but that she symbolically represents something else to keep that in mind. John writes a great sign appeared in heaven and in the symbolic vision, John sees her clothes with the sun and the moon at her feet, wearing a crown of stars. She's not the first symbolic woman to appear in Revelation chapter 2. We've already met a woman symbolically named Jezebel because she was leaving the church into immorality and sin in chapter 17 were going to be introduced to a harlot who will represent the false religion of the antichrist. In chapter 19 we see another woman who symbolizes the bride of Christ. She simply referred to as the bride of the Lamb that you and me here in chapter 12 we see another symbolic woman this line in the pain of childbirth, and she's dressed very differently than your wife was when she went into the delivery room to deliver your baby right no crown stars and moon and there they are here so then the question is what does this or who does this woman represent my research I found at least five different opinions. I'll give you the four wrong views it in the correct view, you don't have to believe me choose to be wrong. You get a bad grade on the final exam day. The first is Mary Baker Eddy Mary Baker Eddy believed with all humility that she was this woman and that she bore the Christian science movement into being in 1879, of course.
Tragically, she knows that she wasn't the woman. The Roman Catholic Church believes the woman is Mary. They often referred to as the queen of heaven.
Certainly Mary was the mother of Christ, they would view her here in this text as ascended without having died, making her virtually deified in equal with Christ, specifically as it relates to this text you have problem. A major problem areas already ascended, so to speak. She is crowned in heaven, but she still carrying Jesus so that among others presents difficulty. The third view holds that the woman represents God himself. This leaves unexplained then why God would have to run from the Dragon as we'll see later in this text. Family was God fourth view is that the woman is the church. Though the church is certainly represented as a woman, the bride of Christ.
Keep in mind that she is the bride of Christ, but the woman giving birth to Christ. The church did not give birth to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gave birth to the church.
The view that fits the context in my opinion of this chapter, as well as the rest of Scripture is that this woman represents Israel. This woman symbolizes Israel well at all points. Certainly, because Christ was born of the seed of Israel, the God man was of Jewish can affect the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah referred Israel as a woman in labor is not unusual symbol for Israel, and Israel was certainly suffering under the heel of Roman Christ was born. In fact, the story the incarnation is the story of of the difficult times intrigue, poverty, give the birth of the Messiah in a stable, late in the trough surrounded by smelling animal maneuver. You have it. In addition, as Satan whose they are ready trying to wipe out the Messiah. Just as we'll see him picture ready to devour the child if he could one of the underlying dramas of what we call the Christmas story.
The anguish of Israel will be heard as Herod has all the Jewish boys under the age of two, slaughtered in his attempt to put away to kill this one born King of the Jews that you 260.
He was born when Israel was and still is great travail. Notice again in verse one that her symbolic appearance can be tied to Israel as well. Vectors only one other place in Scripture where these symbols are clustered together in one place, sun, moon and stars and that's in Joseph's dream. In Genesis chapter 37 where he describes to his father.
His mother and his brothers are often a bow down to him.
Three of us on the mood of the 12 stars representing the nation Israel.
If you parallel the symbols in the first book of the Bible Genesis in that dream and in the last book of the Bible Revelation in John's vision you had Israel been clothed with the sun an illusion. In Genesis 37 in Jacob who is the inheritor of the Abraham covenant from the moon representing his wife Rachel Jacobs wife and mother of Joseph and then you have the 12 stars representing the 12 tribes who discarded Joseph thrown a parent who ascended so to speak, and they all bowed to him a wonderful illustration of our Lord.
Now you get into the introduction. Following this one will simply call the first face of evil notices lurking about. And in verse three of Revelation chapter 12 in another sign didn't underline or circle that word and connect with the other.
Another sign appeared in heaven, and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his head were seven diagrams for crowns and his tail swept away 1/3 of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth and the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour the child and this is where your thinking okay that sounds like a monster movie than anything else. This is where you starting to like the Philippians or Psalms and pick up there we left off.
This is why we stay with him. Revelation we are horns and and and and multi-headed dragons waiting the baby before anybody thinks this is pure fiction, or worse yet you take from this text, what our world has taken and that is the devil wears a red suit has a long tail and horn understand this is a Sammy on this is another sign. This is a a symbolic scene that represents an invisible drama. In fact, this signed by John does not tell us what Satan looks like it's telling us what Satan acts like he acts like a destructive terrible Dragon who wants to eat, consume, kill the Messiah and the seed of this one as well or later in the chapter, the Jewish people.
So to give you for descriptions that come out of this particular sign given to us by John about Satan himself. First, Satan is seen as a destroyer is referred to here is a red Dragon, a red beast that kills and names his victims only in the book of Revelation as Satan viewed as a referred to as a dragonfly. We know for sure that this Dragon is Satan with the look over in verse nine of the same chapter discovered very clearly a John telling us there, that the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan. So there's a question about it. Thank you goes on and never to say, he deceives the whole world and he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. He's described back in verse three with the color red. The red Dragon is nothing wrong with the color red. All those wearing red you displayed in your seat is a reference tool for in Revelation fact we've encountered. The only other use of per us or read that showed up back in chapter 6 where a horseman comes writing out on red horse and brings war to the planet so this is a reference to the destructive beast who will destroy all who attempt to oppose him.
Secondly, Satan is seen in this text as a dictator look again at verse three behold, here's the sign, a great red dragon, having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven died… Break this down one at a time and it will make sense to the seven heads of Satan simply refer to the seven consecutive world empires that we've observed in history we've seen six of them, not the seven. It all begins with Egypt and then to Syria and then Babylon and then Babylon's conquered by the Medo Persians and in Greece conquers and rules the known world and then Rome conquers Greece and rules the Western world.
The final seventh kingdom Revelation will inform us will be the kingdom ruled by the Antichrist or literally, this Dragon and that kingdom will be made up 10 horns.
Daniel helps us immensely here because he tells us that horn is a king. These are 10 kings. So what you have here from Daniel chapter 7, coordinated with Revelation chapter 12 as you have eight a 10 kings or 10 nation confederacy under the sway of the Dragon in this final, or seventh world Empire so Satan is pictured here as a destroyer of all who oppose as a dictator of a new confederation of 10 nations in this coalition of nations will be ruled by the satanically empowered Antichrist.
Then you have next Satan pictured as a deceiver. Notice verse four again and his tail swept away 1/3 of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Now we know that when Satan fell after attempting to wrestle away from God. His throne Isaiah and Ezekiel inform us that when he fell. Angels fell within angels having been deceived by Satan into believing that he could somehow conquer God and the throne of heaven. John tells us here in this text in chapter 12 that Satan was able to deceive one third of the angelic hosts and these angels followed him believing he would succeed. In fact, since that time, they and save the been confirmed in their unholy state and they wait their sentence in and eternal hell that were never told how many angels God created so we don't know how many 1/3 is okay.
We are told. However, in Revelation chapter 9 that at least 200 million demons terrorize the planet for space of time that were given the impression that that's not all there is to imagine then you have to do 300 million demons, representing perhaps only one third of the angelic host created by God which means were pressing if you're keeping the math with me.
We got about a billion angels created and they were created. Job 38 verse seven said before the universe was created and they all in unity, saying together until 1/3 of them followed this one Lucifer who attempted to seize the throne of God and they were all cast down. That is, they fell in here, they remain attempting to thwart the purposes of Christ, we have no idea. Frankly, how many demons there are, but we do know this. Greater is he that is in us and he that is in the world, even if the evil one in his horde of demons are vicious destroyers and and representing him as a world dictator and they are persuasive in their deception. In fact, signal be further described in John's vision as a devourer of the seed of Israel what you noticing in the graphic picture of Satan's all-consuming desire to verse four and that in the Dragon apart and the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. In other words you he is waiting.
He knows the prophecies will come true.
That from Israel from the womb of Israel will, Jewish Messiah is always on the lookout he's watching and is waiting as it were, like a Dragon crouched with eyes glaring waiting for that boy to be delivered. So Herod would be nothing more than us that upon in the talons of this Dragon is he sends soldiers raising to Bethlehem to slaughter the Jewish boys two years and of age and under notice what happens, however, is the male child is delivered.
The text tells us, and she gave birth to a son, a male, you might think that's redundant, but male son is simply an expression of one who is heir to the throne he is on who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.
Clearly, the Messiah, and her child was caught up to God and to his throne.
What you have in John's vision. Here's something he's done often and will do again.
He gives you two events that are separated by distance of time as if they happened together so he talks about the birth and then he talks about the ascension going back to the father leaves all the little details out for us, but he gives them to us by the way this gospel called the gospel of John.
Go there to get those pieces and fill in the details. That of course the Dragon who fails to corrupt this seed, this boy who fails to cause him to send Wendy Thompson who fails to succeed when he attempts to incite those the California rises from the dead and ascends to the father. The text of Scripture here in this chapter.
In fact, in verse 13 even further.
What tell us that he then takes the focus of his anger and his hatred and he focuses on the people. The seed he wages war against the woman who bore the child. In other words, he couldn't kill the Jewish Messiah, so he will vent his hatred and he still does to this day against the Jewish people to try to keep all the other promises about the second coming of Christ from coming true. And so we have world news today informing us of his ongoing hatred and anti-Semitism which is growing. Even now so you can hear the president of Iran talking about his desire to exterminate the Jews from the planet and push her into the sea countries around our world are registering anti-Jewish sentiment and ridicule the Muslim world that is probably personifying more than anything else. The murderers hatred against her so bent on killing Jews that they will sacrifice their own sons and daughters to kill a handful of them.
One commentator quoted from an article 1st published in Harper's magazine were Muslim mother was interviewed as she learned of sons death a suicide bombing that killed her son and 10 Jews and she said and I quote, because I love my son. I encouraged him to die a martyr's death for the sake of Allah G.I. is a religious obligation incumbent upon us. We must carry it out. So I sacrifice my son is a part of my obligation. I asked Allah to give me 10 Israelis for my son and granted my request. Our God honored him even more that there were many Israelis wounded. How tragic is that how utterly tragic. Islam is a religion where sons are called on to die for their God. Listen Christianity is a religion where God sent his son to die for us. Muslim extremists are sacrificing their lives so that others will dying. We as believers living in this world should sacrifice our lives so that others can live by leas or gray days to be alive and III tired of people talking at the post-Christian world. I really like the term I like to think of it as pre-Christian world where the where the edge of some wonderful things. This is pre-Christian. That means you gotta start at the beginning because now I need to talk to people on the street about God or to say which one. So you start out you start out introducing them to the unknown God, which Paul did in Athens because they don't know who you when you talk about the Scriptures and they'll say which one you introduce them to the we live in pre-Christian days, and a great harvest away. Casper 10 boom, the godly father of Cory that many of you read about and heard about. She survived the concentration camp.
She and her family hid away. Choose during the days of the Gestapo in World War II. They had a chamber built up upstairs with a fake brick wall that looked like it was the exterior wall of your house early wasn't and through the linen closet Jews could could scurry and then back in there. They can be kept safely when the house was inspected. I've had the privilege of walking up there and looking at the chamber little bedroom when they were finally caught in the entire family sent away before being separated. Casper 10 boom who would not survive. Said if I die in prison. It will be an honor to have sacrifice my life so that God's people could live let me add that Muslims are not our enemies. Their mission field. If XOR Jews don't overlook the fact Jews are a mission field as well. For Jews living in this age of grace, they must come to faith in Jesus Christ as well, as their personal society if they ever hope to inherit the kingdom of God go back to Nicodemus, the Jewish leader again a Jesus ear is nobody see them coming and he said to Jesus, thinking he was in the kingdom because he belonged to Abraham Jewish blood flowing through his veins and he had questions and Jesus said, I'm looking to understand unless one is born again he cannot see or enter the kingdom of heaven. John 33 is a Nicodemus that will have to do that born again packet to be born again. Jesus only bring it on the very simply. Here's how it happens and he said in the same chapter for God so loved the world, stay with me that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believe it in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
There are not two plans of salvation. There is not one plan for the Gentiles, and one for the Jews. All must come to faith in Jesus Christ.
What a wonderful thing. It was little Jewish lady come up and give me a hug come to faith in Christ here at this church say this meant so much to me. I'm a Jew who has accepted by faith in Christ.
That's collective or six and wrap it up here it says the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God want you to note that phrase in your mind prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for 1260 days, which just so happens to be 3 1/2 years where all the pieces come together. We just take it at face value. They had three and have years of relative peace. The temple was built. The antichrist was her friend at the middle point he desecrated the temple and they went running if I Jesus predicted earlier in the Gospel of Matthew.
What are you if you're ready to deliver a child.
When this happens you gonna need a and run they will together.
What I want you to notice in this one to a place prepared by God.
Sound familiar. The only other time in the New Testament. That phrase appears that construct is in John 14 where the disciples are troubled. Jesus said to them, looking to go way back to my father in a nursing have to go with you and he says no more him to come back and get in take you where I am to a place prepared for you. John 14 verse three place where we will be as well protected and provided for supernaturally. In fact, were we will spend eternity. Listen, if we can draw any analogy from the chosen nation of Israel to the chosen bride of Christ today, it would be this just as God has kept every promise and will keep every promise to Israel. He will keep every promise to you and to me, Jesus Christ, promise I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13 five that's for today. He promised my grace is sufficient for you when I feel like any man want more, but the deposit of grace for today is sufficient for the install night and again that ultimate wonderful promise to those who believe in him. He said I will come again and I will receive you on the myself and where I am, there you may be also done.
These are his promises to you, count on them, mark them down lien on where you are right now. You may need one of those promises lean on them heavily rest in them paying them.
His promises are true is unchanging promises to them and to us. He will never fail to keep his word. It's encouraging to know that even those patent is a deceiver and destroyer. God is sovereign even over him and God always wins. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Davey.
Today's lesson was part one of a series entitled antichrist and the many faces of evil.
I hope you will be with us for this entire series. In the days ahead as America moves toward the time of electing our next president. We focused the next issue of our magazine on politics and helping Christians think biblically about our relationship with the government. If you don't receive our heart-to-heart magazine.
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