Lesson 42 – Revelation 12:13-13:1
Lesson 42 – Revelation 12:13-13:1
Revelation 12:13-17 This passage describes three attacks that Satan’s forces will mount against Israel during the Tribulation. The first attack is described in Revelation 12:13-14. Here it describes Satan’s pursuit and persecution of the Jews as they flee into the wilderness (Revelation 12:6; 13:4-7). Jesus warned the Jewish people of the danger they will face (Matthew 24:15-22) and that they should flee.
The Jewish people will be in desperate need of any help they can get and, in God’s providence, there will be some people who will help them, and as a result receive God’s blessings (Matthew 25:31-40). They will receive help from individual Gentiles who will demonstrate the genuineness of their faith in Christ by their willingness to help these persecuted Jewish people even at the risk of their own lives, such as the Ten Boom family of WWII.
God will also act their behalf supernaturally. The imagery of the two wings of the great eagle is taken from Exodus 19:4, God will bring Israel to safety, just as He delivered the nation from bondage in Egypt (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4; 63:7; 91:4). Jesus’ warning to flee to the mountains (Matthew 24:15-16) suggests the mountainous region east of Jerusalem.
Daniel 11:41 provides further evidence for that view that lead many to believe that God will spare Edom, Moab, and Ammon, ancient countries to the east of Israel, to provide a refuge for His people this area is modern day Jordan. Israel will be supernaturally fed by God. Cut off from the world system, and unable in any case to buy and sell (Revelation 13:17), the Jews will need outside help to survive. God in a supernatural way supply them with food, just as he did by providing their ancestors with manna and quail in the wilderness (Exodus 16:12), and Elijah with food at the brook Cherith (1 Kings 17:1-6). Since God will protect Israel, Satan will try another strategy.
In this second attack Satan is described as spewing water like a river out of his mouth. The floods symbolize trouble in general (2 Samuel 22:17; Job 27:20; Psalm 18:16; 32:6; 69:1-2, 13-14; 124:2-5; 144:7) and an invading, destroying army (Jeremiah 46:8; 47:2; Daniel 11:26).
Satan’s attacking force will sweep toward the Jews’ hiding place like a great flood. But as God sheltered Israel from Satan’s first attacks, so also will God defeat this second assault. The earth is described as helping the woman by opening its mouth and drinking up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. The picture is similar to events in Exodus 15:12 and in Numbers 16:28-33.
Failing once again Satan launches a third attack against the rest of the children of the woman. Some have identified the rest of her children as the 144,000 (Revelation 7:2-8; 14:1-5); others see them as believing Gentile Tribulation saints (Revelation 7:9-14), who are sons of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:7). It seems best to take this as an all-inclusive phrase, referring to all those who name the name of Yeshua who are described as those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. This attack also will fail.
Revelation 13:1 This chapter is the key to the whole book of Revelation. It covers the Antichrist the world ruler who is going to arise in the end time and embody evil. If we understand this chapter, it will you understand the book of Revelation.
To understand the Antichrist is to understand how and why the end time will be swept with so much evil and horror; how and why the judgments of God will fall on the ungodly and those who are part of the evil of the world; how and why God will end the world when He does; how and why such wonderful promises are given to Israel and believers who trust, follow and obey Him; and finally the how and why so many of the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in the end time.
This chapter discusses the two terrible rulers that are to arise in the end time, the Antichrist and his false prophet, the world-wide religious leader who will help him gain and maintain control over the world. Their rule will be so savage and cruel that Scripture calls them beasts. They will launch the worst holocaust ever witnessed by the world. Millions of people will be slaughtered from and in every nation. The murder and evil will be so terrible that God, as in the days just before the flood, will not take the evil of man any longer. The Antichrist will cause mass disaster and destruction of the world as we know it.
John wrote of the Antichrist in his first letter so his presence here is not new to readers of Scripture (1 John 2:18). Paul also spoke of the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). The truth about Antichrist was common knowledge in New Testament times. The source of the biblical teaching of Antichrist is the book of Daniel. Daniel 7 pictures the Antichrist as a little horn (Daniel 7:8), arising from the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision. Daniel notes that “three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots indicating Antichrist will destroy three of the other rulers (Daniel 7:24) and rule the rest in his rise to power.
In Daniel 7, we see the “horn [Antichrist] waging war with the saints and overpowering them” (Daniel 7:21). He is described there waging war against God’s people “until the Ancient of Days establishes His Kingdom (Daniel 7:22). Daniel described Antichrist’s kingdom as one “which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it” (Daniel 7:23). In addition to Daniel’s prophecy, Yeshua speaks of the Antichrist in Matthew 24:15-16 where Jesus quotes Daniel’s prophecy about Antichrist. Paul describes the Antichrist in words similar to Daniel’s prophecy (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10).