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On the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, Part 15: The Birth of a New World Order
In our last presentation in this commentary, discussing Revelation chapter 11 and The Two Witnesses, we saw in the period of the Reformation two significant events, each which had lasted for three-and-a-half days, or prophetic years in prophecy. These two witnesses represent those men who sought to keep the Word of God, but having seemingly been defeated they appeared to lie dead in the streets for that length of time. However they were revived, they recovered, and they were caught up into heaven, which we interpret to indicate that they would rise up and prevail so that they would assume a position of governance over the people in the place of those who slew them. In the ancient world, the seats of power and authority were esteemed to represent heaven on earth, and the architecture of palaces and temples reflected that belief. The very concept of kingship was said to have descended from heaven, ordained by the gods, and the kings were declared to be the sun on earth, the light of the world, and often they were even considered to be gods themselves. This is a complex subject, and an academic paper which discusses it at great length is titled Heaven On Earth, Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World, from a seminar held at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
Now here in Revelation chapter 12, we shall encounter this ancient view of heaven once again, and we shall see that it is indeed expressed in the allegories of the Revelation. But Paul of Tarsus had also used similar allegories, where he wrote in Ephesians chapter 6 urging his readers to: “11 Put on the full armor of Yahweh, for you to be able to stand against the methods of the False Accuser, 12 because for us the struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against realms, against authorities, against the rulers of the order of this darkness, against the spiritual things of wickedness among the heavenly places.” Paul was not describing a battle with invisible demons, but a battle for the hearts and minds of men who would hear the Gospel of Christ. Earlier in that epistle, in chapter 3, he expressed the purpose of his own ministry and said: “8 To me, the least of all saints, has been given this favor, to announce the good message to the Nations - the unsearchable riches of the Anointed, 9 and to enlighten all concerning the management of the household of the mystery which was concealed from the ages by Yahweh, by whom all things are being established. 10 In order that the exceedingly intricate wisdom of Yahweh would now become known to the realms and to the authorities in heavenly places through the assembly, 11 in accordance with the purpose of the ages, which He has done in Yahshua Christ our Prince.” Of course, the household of the mystery is the nations of the children of Israel who were no longer aware of their heritage, but Paul was announcing it to them.
Paul had written those things while he was in bonds in Rome, and he was about to go to trial for his heresy before Caesar Nero, where he was prepared to defend the Gospel of Christ. His original commission, as it was expressed years earlier in Acts chapter 9, is found in the words of Christ to Hananias, where He was referring to Paul and said: “15 … For he is a vessel chosen by Me who is to bear My Name before both the Nations and kings of the sons of Israel.” Therefore the references to heavenly places in the epistle to the Ephesians are indeed references to the seats of worldly power and authority, especially to that of the emperor of Rome before whom Paul had professed the Gospel. Then just after Paul had that experience, he wrote summoning Timothy to come to him in Rome, and in chapter 4 of his second epistle to his younger colleague he said: “16 At my first defense no one stood by me, rather all forsook me. You should not account it to them. 17 But the Prince stood by me and strengthened me in order that through me the proclamation would be fully assured and all the Nations should hear. I have even been delivered from the mouth of a lion.” Paul was not immediately executed, and seems to have expected another appearance before Nero where he said “at my first defense”. However he was not quite optimistic, as he also wrote in that same chapter that “6 … I am already offered and the time of my departure approaches.” Timothy would go to Rome to see Paul, and after he arrived three final epistles were written, which are the last recorded acts in Paul’s life.
So in Revelation chapters 6 through 8 we have seen in prophecy both the fall of Rome and the rise of Justinian, who established the primacy of the bishops of Rome as popes. Then in chapter 9 we saw the Islamic conquests as a condemnation of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. In chapters 10 and 11, we saw the period known to us as the Reformation, and the independence of at least many of the peoples of Europe from the corrupt power of the Roman Catholic church. Now we stand at Revelation chapter 12, and we are about to see further history revealed in prophecy, in the aftermath of the Reformation. But first, it is fitting to discuss the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 a little further.
In our commentaries on Revelation chapters 10 and 11, we explained that the events which each chapter describes are related to one another. There is no break in the narrative, and they each belong to the same vision. The two witnesses, when they prevailed, would hold open the little book which the angel had brought to earth in Revelation chapter 10. Upon John’s having eaten the book he was told that “It is necessary for you to prophecy again concerning many people and nations and tongues and kings!” Then in chapter 11, the testimony of the two witnesses also represents the Word of God.
In our commentary on those chapters, we had discussed how the popes over the centuries leading up to the Reformation had endeavored to take the Word of God out of the hands of the people, forbidding all translations of Scripture. So finally, at the Fifth Lateran Council, even the printing of Bibles and other books was forbidden outside of the supervision of the bishops of the Church. But when the Reformers managed to break from the Church, one of the first acts which they accomplished was to translate and publish Bibles. So in Germany, the complete Luther Bible was first published in 1534. Then in England under Henry VIII, the Great Bible was published in 1539. Following the oppressive rule of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary, the Church of England produced the Bishop’s Bible in 1568. During the intervening years, many Englishmen also used the Geneva Bible first published in Switzerland in 1557, but the Calvinist perspective of the notes in that Bible offended the Church of England. Finally, the King James Bible was produced in 1611. However our point is to illustrate the fact that after the period of the two witnesses, the Roman Catholic popes lost control of northern Europe, and ultimately the Word of God was placed into the hands of the people, regardless of the faults that each translation may have had. The little book had indeed remained open, so that Christians could receive the words of the prophets of God and the apostles of Christ.
Revelation chapter 12 is yet another chapter which should dispel the silly musings of those who hold either the futurist or preterist views of prophecy. If the birth of the Christ child is apparent in history, then the fulfillments of the rest of the visions here must also be apparent in history. However most futurists – since they have ignored history – cannot see the fulfillments since they cannot properly identify the entities which the allegories represent. But once those entities are identified and their manifestations in history are revealed, it is absolutely clear that Yahshua Christ had indeed related a broad panorama of future events to John, as well as some past events, all of which are among the defining moments in the history of our wider European race.
As a digression, it may be observed that much of the imagery seen here in Revelation chapter 12 is not new to the readers of the Old Testament scriptures, nor was it new to pagan Greeks and Romans. For instance, the Greeks had various ancient but differing myths concerning the casting down of the serpent Typhon by Zeus, or the slaying of the serpent Python by Apollo. [i.e. Apollodorus. The Library, 1.6.3, 1.4.1] But since it can be demonstrated that the origins of the various Greek tribes are found in the east, and especially with the Hebrews, these stories are certainly also recognizable as embellishments on the memory of the oldest Biblical accounts. Many other similarities are also found in the earliest Greek myths, such as the engendering of the giants by various gods, the mating of gods and women, and the battles between the gods and the giants. However the earliest surviving Greek writings had followed Moses by as many as eight hundred years.
Now we shall commence with our commentary and Revelation chapter 12:
XII 1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman cloaked with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And she conceiving in the womb then cries [C has “cried”] out travailing and being in distress to give birth.
The phrase “conceiving in the womb” is literally “having in the womb”, but colloquially it means being pregnant, as we would say in modern English. The same language was used by Luke of the conception of Christ by Mary (1:31) and of women in general (21:23), and also by Paul in chapter 5 of his first epistle to the Thessalonians. The construction also appears often in the Septuagint.
As we progress through this chapter, it shall become even more evident that this woman with the twelve stars crowning her head represents the body of the children of Israel, who are the body of Christ, as the Bride of Yahweh, as Christ is the Bridegroom. While it is certain that it was Mariam, or Mary, who gave birth to the Christ child, she is nevertheless a part of the nation through which both her and the Christ child had been brought forth. So while Mary may have travailed at His birth, as all women do, the body of the people of Israel itself had nevertheless suffered throughout its history up to the time when the Messiah had finally become incarnate. Every legitimate child born is a product of its nation, and not merely of its mother, because the child’s ancestors and kinsmen contributed to the circumstances by which the birth was made possible.
In Revelation chapter 12 there is a very complex prophetic vision written in rather simple and poetical terms, which fully reveals the prescience, the power and the inspiration of Yahweh our God in what may clearly be considered one of the Bible's finest moments. The interpretation of this prophecy is manifold, and reveals the truths underlying many aspects of Scripture in one broad stroke. First, it elucidates many of the secrets of past history, things were not revealed in the Old Testament. Then it describes the birth of the Christ, the circumstances surrounding His birth, and in those circumstances it identifies His people, while it also describes both the origin and the nature of His enemies, of those who had attempted to kill Him as soon as He was born. But it also seems to describe the birth of a new world order at this very point in history, following the Reformation, and the circumstances of the events which had led to the so-called Age of Liberty, and ultimately also to the birth of the only nation which has ever been founded upon Christian principles. Hopefully this shall all become manifest as we proceed with our commentary throughout the balance of the chapter.
This is also the meaning of the declaration which we had seen towards the end of Revelation chapter 11, after the two witnesses had overcome the enemies of Christ, and we read: “15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” So this was the first announcement of this new world order, and here in chapter 12 it is more fully described. So we interpret this chapter as an explanation of both the birth of the actual Christ-child, and once the children of Israel emerged from their seven times of punishment, as the birth of this new world order, where the nations of Christendom would govern themselves, for better or worse. The next five chapters of the Revelation, through chapter 17, all treat this very subject.
So the woman with the twelve stars represents the people of Israel in their twelve tribes, and they shall be described as having fled to the wilderness, which is in Europe. At the time of the birth of Christ, much of Europe was still a virtual wilderness. Strabo of Cappadocia had described the Germanic people as still having their dwellings in tents and wagons in his own time, to a great extent not yet having been settled into towns and cities. Many of the German cities which emerged later in history had their beginnings as Roman forts built along the rivers. In Revelation chapters 6 through 8, in prophecies which also correspond to Daniel chapters 2 and 7, it is further demonstrated that the same Germanic peoples are saints of the Most High who would destroy the Roman empire. Revelation chapters 10 and 11 show that those same people, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, are also represented by the Two Witnesses, who fulfilled their testimony in the period known to us as the Reformation. That alone is the proof of their identity as true Israel, where they had chosen to adhere to the Word of God and Gospel of Christ, to the little book which is the Bible, rather than the devices and rule of men found in the papacy and the Roman church. Since the origin of the children of Israel is found some time around the 19th century BC, this woman does not represent Israel at any particular time, but rather she represents Israel throughout all time, who is described here as having given birth to the man child, which is the Christ, and also as having fled into the wilderness. So here we have Israel at the birth of Christ as well as post-Reformation Israel, with visions of both the past and the future being revealed to us, so that we may have a deeper understanding of the nature of what has happened during these periods and throughout history.
As for the vision of the woman cloaked with the sun and standing on the moon, the signification of this is manifest in other prophecies. For example in Isaiah chapter 30 where it says “26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Earlier in Isaiah, in chapter 13 we read: “10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” It is evident that the sun is often used to describe the ruling authority which is ordained by Yahweh God, while the moon is used to describe the earthly powers which are mere reflections of the sun. Here the woman is seen cloaked with the sun, which represents authority from God, and standing on the moon, which symbolizes the woman's having overcome the earthly powers.
The woman conceiving in the womb, being about to give birth, primarily describes the birth of the Christ. However this is evidently a dual prophecy, since in the overall context in which it is presented here it also describes the Age of Liberty and ultimate birth of America, the only nation in history, since the Exodus, which was ever founded as a Christian nation. America was founded on the principles expressed at the dawn of the Age of Liberty, but it was also founded on the heels of the Reformation, on Protestant Christian principles. Most of its original colonies were formed by men seeking religious freedom to live by the Word of God as they interpreted it, rather than under the will of secular kings or popes. Even Thomas Paine, in Common Sense had declared that in America, the law is king, writing in reference to “the divine law, the word of God”. This comparison cannot be taken lightly or as a mere coincidence, since in reference to this same event there is very similar language in Micah chapter 4, which shall be explained below after verse 6.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven, and behold! A great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and upon his [P47 has “the”; A “their”] heads seven diadems, 4 and his tail sweeps away [or “drags away” or “sweeps down”, σύρω] a third of the stars of heaven and cast them into the earth.
We have not reached the end of verse 4. The verb for sweeps away, σύρω, is in a present active tense while the verb for cast, βάλλω, is an aorist active tense.
The woman represents the children of Israel all throughout time, although from another perspective she also represents the woman of Genesis chapter 3, with whose seed the serpent would forever be at enmity, as we shall see further on in this chapter. It was, after all, Abraham’s seed through Jacob Israel which was to inherit the earth, and that would also mean that the commission and inheritance of Adam would also be passed down through Abraham to Jacob, whose seed the woman represents.
So in like manner, this dragon represents the satanic power, Satan or the Adversary, all throughout time. The seven heads and seven crowns, or diadems, and the ten horns all represent the power and earthly realms of the Adversary, and they are also described in Revelation chapters 13 and 17 where they appear as seven heads and ten horns. Ten horns are also mentioned in Daniel chapter 7 where they describe earthly kings. In Revelation chapter 17 there is a vision of seven mountains upon which this same woman sits, and they are the series of world empires to which the woman has been subject throughout history. But only four of those empires were relevant to Daniel, so the scope of his prophecy was more narrow than what we shall see in the Revelation. That the power of Satan was behind each one of those empires is revealed in Revelation chapter 13, where we read that it is the dragon which gives its power to the beast. Therefore it is evident that the satanic power has been behind the building of every world empire.
The third of the stars of heaven represents those angels of God who joined with the dragon in an ancient revolt, which – as it shall be demonstrated below after verse 9 – is something that occurred long before John's time, and which must have occurred even before the time of Adam. These have made war with the Adamic people of God ever since Adam was first created here on this earth. However in another perspective, here they also may represent those of the race of Israel, since the children of Israel are often described as the stars of heaven, who throughout time have sided with the dragon, rather than with God. Since this entire prophecy has manifold fulfillments, such may also be the case here, that this aspect also has more than one fulfillment.
Continuing with verse 4:
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, in order that when she should give birth he may devour her child.
The dragon here is represented by the historical Herod the Great, since only he had attempted to murder the Christ child as soon as he was born, which is recorded in the Gospel accounts in Matthew chapter 2. But there it is also written that when the magi declared the birth of the Messiah, “3 And hearing it King Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Herod had then asked the magi to report to him the location of the Christ child once they had found him, and they agreed. But receiving a premonition from God not to return to Herod, after seeing the Christ child for themselves they departed the country. So we read further on in the chapter: “13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.”
As the Gospel explains, only Herod wanted to kill Christ as soon as he was born, so the dragon here must represent Herod, and in turn, Herod is a representative of the dragon. The fact that Herod is represented by the dragon is quite significant once we learn that he was not a true Israelite, but rather that he was an Edomite by race. The fact that Herod was indeed of the seed of Esau is fully apparent in the pages of the Judaean historian, Flavius Josephus, where it is attested to directly or indirectly on at least five occasions, and here each of those instances shall be cited:
Josephus, Antiquities, 14:8: “But there was a certain friend of Hyrcanus, an Idumean, called Antipater, who was very rich, and in his nature an active and a seditious man; who was at enmity with Aristobulus, and had differences with him on account of his goodwill to Hyrcanus.”
Hyrcanus here is Hyrcanus II, high priest from approximately 67 to 40 BC. If a very rich man was showing goodwill to a high priest, who in this case was also the civil ruler of the people, then it is likely that the kindness was only to corrupt him. The Antipater described here was the father of this Herod who sought to slay the Christ child.
Josephus, Antiquities, 14:120-121, speaking of the Roman general Cassius [the same man who was later involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar]: “and as he came back to Tyre, he went up into Judea also, and attacked Taricheae, and presently took it, and carried about thirty thousand Judaeans captives; and slew Pitholaus, who succeeded Aristobulus in his seditious practices, and that by the persuasion of Antipater, who proved to have great interest in him, and was at that time in great repute with the Idumeans also: out of which nation he married a wife, who was the daughter of one of their eminent men, and her name was Cypros, by whom he had four sons, Phasael, and Herod, who was afterward made king, and Joseph, and Pheroras; and a daughter, named Salome.”
Hyrcanus II was the high priest who allowed Antipater and his sons Herod and Pheroras into the government of Judaea. But Aristobulus the brother of Hyrcanus, and Antigonus the son of Aristobulus, had despised Antipater and his sons. Later, with the help of the Parthians, Aristobulus succeeded in having his uncle deposed. But he only held the government for about three years, as he was opposed by the Romans, who forcibly removed him and made Herod the king of Judaea, as Herod had fought on the side of the Romans with his own Idumaean armies, and had also bribed Mark Antony to be king.
Josephus, Antiquities, 14:403: “but Antigonus, by way of reply to what Herod had caused to be proclaimed, and this before the Romans, and before Silo also, said that they would not do justly if they gave the kingdom to Herod, who was no more than a private man, and an Idumean, i.e. a half Judaean, whereas they ought to bestow it on one of the royal family, as their custom was.”
We have already seen in the previous citations that both Herod’s father, Antipater, and his mother, Cypros, were Idumaeans. But here it was the opinion of Antigonus, whose words Josephus had recorded, that Herod having been converted to Judaism was therefore half a Judaean, although both of his parents were Idumaeans. So he was called “an Idumean, i.e. a half Judaean” because the Idumeans were being called Judaeans but they were certainly not Israelites. There should be no doubt that Herod was not a true Judaean.
Josephus, Wars, 1:123: “Now, those other people which were at variance with Aristobulus were afraid, upon his unexpectedly obtaining the government; and especially this concerned Antipater, whom Aristobulus hated of old. He was by birth an Idumean, and one of the principal of that nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority to him belonging.”
It is apparent that Aristobulus had sought to take the government from his uncle in order to preserve it against these Edomite intruders, but he failed to do so as he was in turn deposed by the Romans and killed, and Herod was made king of Judaea in 37 BC.
Josephus, Wars, 1:312-313: “And here a certain old man, the father of seven children, whose children, together with their mother, desired him to give them permission to go out, upon the assurance and right hand that was offered them, slew them after the following manner: he ordered everyone of them to go out, while he stood himself at the cave's mouth, and slew each son of his as went out. Herod was near enough to see this sight, and his bowels of compassion were moved at it, and he stretched out his right hand to the old man, and besought him to spare his children; yet did not he relent at all upon what he said, but over and above reproached Herod on the lowness of his descent, and slew his wife as well as his children; and when he had thrown their dead bodies down the precipice, he at last threw himself down after them.”
This event happened during the rebellion of Aristobulus against Rome, when Herod assisted the Romans under Antony in regaining Judaea from Aristobulus, who had been aided by the Parthians. Apparently this happened in the region of Galilee, as Herod had just retaken Sepphoris from the forces of Aristobulus, and went after rebels who were hiding in some caves in the mountains. So this also shows that there were other Judaeans who had also despised Herod for reason that he was an Edomite, even to the point of killing themselves and their children rather than yielding to him.
Therefore it is fully evident in history that Herod, represented by the dragon, was fully an Edomite by blood. The identification of the Idumaeans of Palestine with the Biblical Edomites is ascertained not only in Ezekiel chapters 34 and 35 but also in many ancient inscriptions dating from before the Hellenistic period. While many denominational Christians scoff at the identification, it is well known and commonly accepted amongst archaeologists and historians, and even among Jewish historians. Examples are found in Jews, Idumaeans, and ancient Arabs by Aryeh Kasher, and in the article for Edom in Encyclopædia Biblica: A Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 2, p. 1187, London: Adam, Charles and Black, 1899, as well as in many later sources. But as it is mentioned in both Malachi chapter 1 and in Romans chapter 9, Yahweh God hates Esau. Paul even referred to the Edomites as “vessels of destruction” in that same chapter. The complete nature of this dragon shall be discussed at greater length below following verse 9.
Now we have an assurance that this child is indeed the Christ child:
5 And she bore a man-child, He who is going to shepherd all the nations with an iron staff. And her child was carried up to Yahweh and to [the MT mss. based on Andreas of Caesareia want “to” here] His throne.
The phrase υἱὸν ἄρσεν is “a man-child” here, but it is literally “a male son”, which seems redundant. However perhaps that is also prophetic, since today many sinners actually believe that they may have female sons.
Without a doubt, this is a description of Yahshua Christ, who will rule all of the Adamic nations with a rod of iron – after the tares (Matthew 13:40), the goats (Matthew 25:32-46), everything which offends (Matthew 13:41), and every plant which Yahweh God did not plant are all removed (Matthew 15:13), as the Scriptures also assure throughout the words of the prophets of God.
The 118th Psalm, which is a Messianic prophecy that was cited by Christ Himself, reads in part: “22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 This is Yahweh's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.”, and it also assures us of the fate of all those who would oppose the children of Israel. So we read a little earlier in the Psalm: “10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of Yahweh will I destroy them. 11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them. 12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them.” These verses, to which we shall refer once again later in this chapter, describe practically all of the non-Israel peoples in the world today, and correspond to prophecies found in Revelation chapter 20 and the Book of Obadiah.
So Christ shall not rule over all of the nations of the planet, all of the non-Adamic races which we may consider to be nations today. Rather, He shall only rule over all of the nations of the promises of God, as the seed of Abraham was prophesied to become many nations, and that was fulfilled as the woman fled into the wilderness. Paul made references to that fulfillment in Romans chapter 4, 1 Corinthians chapter 10, and elsewhere in his epistles. So in that light we read:
6 And the woman fled into the desert [or “wilderness”] where she has there [C and the MT mss. based on Andreas of Caesareia want “there”] a place having been prepared from Yahweh, in order that there they may nourish her for a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
This flight of the woman and the period of time are mentioned again later in this chapter at verse 14, except that there the thousand two hundred and sixty days are described as “a time times and half a time”. Three-and-a-half times 360 being 1,260 days, which is also 42 months of 30 days, the same number is expressed in all of these ways in various prophecies in both the Revelation and the Book of Daniel.
The place having been prepared for the woman by Yahweh God must also be in the fulfillment of certain promises in Scripture which are found in Deuteronomy 32:8 and 2 Samuel 7:10. In these passages it is quite evident that Yahweh God had never intended Palestine to be a permanent home for His people.
First we read in Deuteronomy chapter 32, from a passage which was alluded to by Paul of Tarsus in Acts chapter 17, that “8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.” But the land of Canaan had not been left open for the sons of Israel. Throughout the Genesis narrative Abraham and his household in Canaan were described as strangers sojourning in a strange land. Rather, Canaan was also a son of Adam, in spite of his curse, but because those people had corrupted themselves Yahweh demanded that the Israelites destroy them all. They failed to do that, but He has promised that He shall destroy them in the end. In modern times, they are predominantly found in the peoples of the Arabs and Jews.
Then we read in 2 Samuel chapter 7, in the words of Nathan the prophet: “10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.” These words were spoken to David by Nathan while they were in Palestine, and therefore the appointed place to which he had referred cannot be Palestine. It must be somewhere else, and if the woman is never to move again then it must be this wilderness to which she had fled, which was prepared for her by God.
The verb translated as nourish has a wide range of meanings, and does not simply mean feed. Among other things, Liddell & Scott define τρέφω primarily as to “thicken or congeal a liquid,”and then “usually, [to] cause to grow or increase, bring up, rear, especially of children bred and brought up in a house…”
Since Yahshua Christ is the Word of Life, and He is also the Bread of Life, the true nourishment of the children of Israel can only come from the Gospel, which is the message of John chapter 6. Therefore we would assert that the thousand two hundred and sixty days represents the nourishing of the woman, who represents the nations of Israel, with the Gospel of Christ. This is the period of time during which the nations of Europe had accepted and adopted Christianity. This also seems to be the same period of the Two Witnesses of chapter 11. The three-and-a-half days of their ministry may represent three-and-a-half years, the historic periods in which they had each lay dead in the streets, but from another perspective that three-and-a-half years may also in turn be understood to point at these thousand two hundred and sixty days. So after the thousand two hundred and sixty days during which she was nourished, the woman represented by the two witnesses attested to the Truth of Yahweh their God by clinging to His Word, which is their testimony, and which is also apparent later in verse 17 of this chapter.
Now when we make the assertion that in another aspect of its fulfillment, the Age of Liberty and the birth of America are also being prophesied here, we do not mean to discount the children of Israel who had stayed behind in Europe, or those who had migrated to other places, such as Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Rather, America is the product of the ideals which have come to govern the world since the dawn of the Age of Liberty, and it quickly became the most powerful of the nations of Christendom once it was founded. But of course, not all of this was good, as the new Liberalism was also imbued with many anti-Christian ideas, and they also shall be a subject of our commentary on later chapters of the Revelation. But here concerning America we shall offer examples, both good and bad.
First, in the words of Thomas Paine, from his booklet Common Sense, which was widely circulated and accepted just months before the Declaration of Independence from Britain, we read: “But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.” Thomas Paine was not alone in believing that the so-called law of the land was truly the laws of God.
But the Word of God was not always properly understood, and that has led men to many other errors. For example, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul of Tarsus had asked a rhetorical question and wrote in part “… for what reason is my freedom decided by another’s conscience?” But missing the fact that Paul was advising his readers to act in a way that does not violate the consciences of their fellow Christians, men interpreted his words as a right to worship God according to their own conscience. For that reason, the American founders rejected any religious test as a requirement for public office. But doing this, they neglected the general context of Paul’s words in that passage, and also his words in chapter 8 of that same epistle where he wrote “12 … failing in regard for the brethren, and striking their weak consciences, towards Christ you fail.” Paul was not teaching that men should worship God according to their own consciences. Rather Paul was teaching that men should not conduct themselves in a manner which may damage the consciences of their fellows.
So while the men of this period had clung to the Word of God, they errantly sought to live and worship after their own consciences, which was a founding ideal of the original American States, and it was expressed in the writings of many men of the period, one example of them being John Leland. Leland was a clergyman whose writings on the perceived Rights of Conscience had deeply influenced Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both of whom he had also befriended, and also many others of the founders. It was James Madison, a man educated for the clergy but who had become a lawyer instead, who had actually authored the Constitution. So while it was adversely affected with the false ideals of Liberalism, with the exception of the ancient Israelite kingdom America was the first and only nation to have been founded as a Christian nation, or actually as a federation of Christian nations - which are the original individual States. But because of men such as Leland, the founding documents left too much liberty to conscience, and therefore they had little defense against subversive elements. Once again, the Dragon would seek to kill the man-child as soon as it was born.
The American founders, believing that they created a republic based on Christian ideals and the concept of Christian liberty expressed by Thomas Paine in his Common Sense and echoed by many others, had declared a “new world order.” They were the first Christian nation to erect a system of self-government, although Britain had such a government in part. So on the official seal of their government they maintained the inscription Novus Ordo Seclorum or “new order of the ages”, which was first added by Charles Thomson, who was the secretary of the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation. The same Charles Thomson is also noted for a translation of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which was popular for many years.
So just as the Dragon tried to kill the Christ child as soon as it was born, the international Jewish merchants and bankers had subverted America ever since it was born, destroying the true Liberty which is in Christ, and which was one of the important ideals of its founders. But the Jews of Europe had also infected and in many ways had subverted the various Protestant Church movements as soon as they were born, and they injected their false ideas of liberty into the Age of Liberty as soon as it dawned. Freemasonry was one important vehicle through which they were able to accomplish such subversion. But America was the first significant product of the Age of Liberty, when all of the nations of Europe were still subject to kings. The second product was the post-revolutionary government of France. But contrary to the American experience, the French had initially sought to eliminate the God of Scripture and appoint their own god, the god of reason. Ultimately, the kings of Europe were reduced to figureheads, when they were permitted to survive, while at the same time the Jews were emancipated, an event which shall also be addressed in later chapters of the Revelation, and the Christian nations which imagined that they could rule themselves would all fall into the hands of the devil.
In Jeremiah chapter 3, where the children of Israel who were scattered in the lands of the north were being addressed, we read: “14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” This seems to describe a process which would unfold over many centuries, as elements of the scattered tribes left Mesopotamia and the regions around the Black and Caspian Seas to which they were deported, and began to migrate north and west into Europe. But they all did not necessarily stop there, and especially in the period following the Reformation, they began to spread overseas into many other desolate lands.
So while there are other prophecies which make allusions to this phenomenon, it is evident that Micah chapter 4 is the most complete prophecy of America in the Scripture. Like Hosea and Amos, Micah was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah, and conducted his ministry as the children of Israel were being taken into Assyrian captivity. Here, because it is an integral witness to the veracity of our interpretation of this chapter of the Revelation, it will be repeated in its entirety, with some of our own comments:
Micah 4:1 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” This passage evokes the words we have just read in Jeremiah 3:14, although Jeremiah was written at least a hundred years after Micah. “2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.” Both Zion and Jerusalem are allegories for the body of the people of Yahweh and their seats of government. Here, in connection with this discussion, the reference to the Word of Yahweh should also remind us of the words of Thomas Paine which we have already cited. “3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Not all of this is yet fulfilled, and it cannot be fulfilled completely until the promised return of the Christ. But America was also founded upon this principle, since although it has failed, the Constitution did endeavor to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”, as it declares in its preamble.
Continuing with Micah: “4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” America, which began as a federation of White Christian States, has become a multi-religious land because of the many alien peoples who have come here seeking its riches. However the ultimate fate of the non-Israelite people is to walk with their own gods, which are not, since Yahweh is the God of Israel alone, and all of the gods of the heathen are idols.
Returning to Micah: “6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.” The references to her that halted, her that is driven out, and her that is afflicted are all references to the children of Israel who were deported by the Assyrians. In their captivity, the further that the children of Israel removed from Mesopotamia, the stronger they became in the nations which they had eventually established. [Daniel 7:22 and 27]
Once more, continuing with Micah: “8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” This verse should be cross-referenced to the words of Christ in Matthew chapter 41 where He told His adversaries that 21: “43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Continuing with Micah: “9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.” This also seems to describe America today, not knowing that God is their king, as Thomas Paine had implied. But it must be correlated to Revelation 12:2, but here the woman had tried to birth a Christian nation, and instead it has been suffering in travail. First Britain, and then America, have ruled virtually the entire planet, but both of those nations were subverted from within by the enemies of Christ, and today that rule is greatly diminished in their favor. That is a facet of the fulfillment of prophecy found in Revelation chapter 17, and we shall discuss it then. In another prophecy which seems to have a dual fulfillment, the later not yet being completed, we read in Isaiah chapter 66: “8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Zion was in travail after the Assyrian deportations, and Zion travails once again today. Later in this chapter we see that Satan was ejected from heaven, and because history has repeated itself, this chapter is also prophesying to us of the future as well as of the past.
Getting toward the end of Micah chapter 4: “10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. 11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.” This must be correlated to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, and to Psalm 118:10-12 which we have already read, and also to the prophecy in Revelation chapter 20 where Satan is described as gathering all of the world’s nations against the Camp of the Saints. Now America and all of Christendom are indeed held captive in Mystery Babylon, and from that we await our deliverance from the hand of our enemies – the antichrist Jews.
Now as we finish this chapter of Micah, verse 12 describes the gathering of the tares, and this is within the context of those enemies from which Israel is to be delivered: “12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.” Finally, the children of Israel are called to: “13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.” This surely describes America, and it is no mistake that this nation declared its freedom from the tyrannical institutions of the old world 2,520 years, or seven times, after the children of Israel first began to go into captivity.
We only made a passing reference to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Prophesying of the invasions of Gog and Magog into the lands of Israel at the end of days, we read in Ezekiel chapter 38 that “8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” This surely must describe America, and what is happening to the nation these last sixty or so years. But it also describes the other nations of Christendom to some degree. Yet there is a promise from Yahweh God, that all of those who come into the lands of the children of Israel in these last days shall be destroyed. Note that Micah 4:13 that it says “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion”. Likewise, as we have already cited from the 118th Psalm, in a Messianic prophecy which can only be of the Second Advent: “10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of Yahweh will I destroy them. 11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them. 12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of Yahweh I will destroy them.” All non-Israel peoples who have come into the nations of Christendom shall ultimately be destroyed. This being the Word of Yahweh, anyone who thinks evil of it shall indeed be ashamed!
Now to continue with one more passage from this chapter of the Revelation, although we shall not finish our commentary on it this evening:
7 And there was a war in heaven, Michael and his messengers fighting with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his messengers, 8 and they [A and the traditional MT mss. have “he”; the text follows P47, א and C] did not prevail [א inserts “against him”], nor was their place [א has “a place”] found any longer in heaven. 9 And the great dragon had been cast down, that Serpent of old, who is called the False Accuser and the Adversary; he who deceives the whole inhabited earth had been cast into the earth, and his [P47 has “the”] messengers had been cast down with him [the MT mss. based on Andreas of Caesareia want “with him”].
The phrase rendered simply as fighting here is τοῦ πολεμῆσαι, which is a substantive. The Codices Alexandrinus (A) and Ephraemi Syri (C) want the article. The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P47, the Codex Sinaiticus (א) and the Majority Text.
The phrase translated “that serpent of old” is ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, which is literally “the serpent from the beginning”. The word ἀρχαῖος is defined by Liddell & Scott to mean “from the beginning… of things, ancient, primeval, olden… like ἀρχαϊκός, old-fashioned, antiquated, primitive… ancient, former… of persons, ancient, old…” and therefore there should be no doubt that the reference is to the serpent of Genesis chapter 3.
For our purposes here we shall discuss only one aspect of this passage. This entity, Satan, or the Adversary, and the Devil, or the False Accuser, which is also described as “that old serpent” and the “great dragon”, is not necessarily a supernatural entity. Rather, angels appear to look very much like men all throughout Scripture, and as Paul had written, Satan can make himself appear as an angel of light, which we would interpret as a man who claims to be a bearer of light. But “heaven” does not necessarily mean “space” or the sky or the stars. Rather, as we have already elucidated earlier in this presentation, in ancient inscriptions as well as in various Scriptures, heaven is used as an allegory for seats of government and authority, the pagan temples and the palaces of the kings in the ancient world.
So the angels did not necessarily fall from the sky. Rather, they may have been a race of men here on earth who had at one time rebelled against God, and therefore lost their dominion, as Jude describes them as having left their first estate. They are not necessarily supernatural, but they had indeed corrupted the Creation of God, and that is evident in Scripture, for example in 2 Peter chapter 2 where speaking of them he called them “evil beasts made to be taken and destroyed”. Yet everything which Yahweh made was good, and none of it was to be taken and destroyed. Furthermore it is evident throughout the apocryphal Enoch literature, which certainly belonged in Scripture, if it were still in its original ancient form, as the apostles themselves had cited Enoch. We cannot trust the Ethiopic Enoch, as it is demonstrably corrupt, but it does represent something which the apostles had cited, and which is also found in part in the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In the Enoch literature, a phrase which the King James Version has as “sons of God” in Genesis chapter 6, after the Masoretic Text, is often expressed as “sons of heaven”, and the Alexandrian manuscript of the Septuagint has “angels”. Here the fallen angels are associated with “that old serpent”, which can only be a reference to the serpent of Genesis chapter 3. So if the race of the fallen angels which the serpent represents is also called the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”, that explains why there were two trees in the garden of Genesis chapter 2 which were not planted in the ground but were only “in the midst of the garden” and distinguished from the trees which were good for food.
Adam was commanded not to touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and that was the only law which he had been given up to that point. But Adam and Eve transgressed that law, and found death in their transgression. Later their Genesis 6 offspring mingled in sexual relations with the same Nephilim, which means fallen ones and which must therefore be a reference to the same fallen angels which are described here in the Revelation and associated with “that old serpent”. They were destroyed for what they had done, but the apostle Paul had attested, in Romans chapter 5, that “13 … until the law sin was in the Society; but sin was not accounted, there not being law.” If sin is not imputed where there is no law, just as Cain was not executed for the murder of Abel, then how were the descendants of Adam punished with the flood in Genesis chapter 6?
They could only have been punished because there was one law, which is found in Genesis chapter 2: “17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” That is the only law given to Adam, it must be the law which they had transgressed, and otherwise they could not have justly been punished. Therefore we see just how they had transgressed that law, by having sexual relations with the Nephilim. We also see just how Adam and Eve had also transgressed, as it must have been the same sin of Genesis chapter 6. By that we know that the fallen angels are indeed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good an Evil, and also what had transpired in the garden of Eden.
This is something which man could not fully perceive until the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, however as Matthew declared in chapter 13 of his Gospel, “34 All these things Yahshua had spoken in parables to the crowds, and without a parable He spoke nothing to them, 35 that that which was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, saying: ‘I shall open My mouth in parables; I shall bellow things kept secret from the foundation of Society!’” That also explains why they were not included in the Genesis account, because Yahweh God did not want to reveal them to men until the Revelation of the Christ.
Yahweh willing, we shall continue this conversation when we present the second half of Revelation chapter 12, and discuss more fully The Nature of the Devil and Satan.