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The Persecution Of The Church
The Wrath Of Satan

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Background
Chapter 12 tells the story of the continuing persecution and escape of those who are loved by God.

- Christ Medieval Church Remnant
Persecuted by Dragon (Satan) Little Horn Beast (Babylon the Great)
Time 1260 Days 1260 Years Unknown (1260 days?)
Judgment Satan falls Little Horn falls Plagues (Babylon falls)
Rescued by Heaven United States Heaven

Symbols
Revelation 12 introduces Jesus as the judge and the one who shields His people from wrath. Here we see the wrath of Satan as he responds to the judgment and the loss of the empire he stole from Adam. He is exiled from heaven. He persecutes the people of God. He inflicts his pain of losing on those who are loved by God. The symbols used come directly from the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 which involve the struggle of empires in the war of the beasts. The wicked try to impose the terms of the curse on the righteous and God protects them with His blessings. But in this clash of Titans Satan will ultimately meet the wrath of God.

The Dragon With The Seven Heads
The Pure Woman (The Damsel In Distress).
Beast "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and look a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a male child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. And this woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days." (Revelation 12: 1-6)
As we noticed in our previous lessons, the woman in Revelation 12 is a symbol for God's true church. The woman is dressed in all the heavenly symbols of light.
This woman is the church called by God from the days of Abraham. It was the twelve sons of Israel who were pregnant with the Messiah and gave birth to Him. Then this church was given to the Gentiles under the leadership of the twelve apostles.

The Red Dragon (The Monster).

Rebellion in Heaven Rome Babylon the Great
Seven Heads and Ten Horns Seven Heads Ten Horns Seven Heads Ten Horns
Satan and his angels Seven military regions Emperors? Seven series of world empires Europe

Legions Provinces Region Date
Army ? Italia Italy-
- 0 Sicily Sicily 241 BC
- 0 Sardinia and Corsica Sardinia, Corsica 227 BC
Army 1 Tarraconensis (Hispania)Spain 197 BC
- 0 Achaea Greece 146 BC
Army 1 Africa (Carthage) Libya, Tunisia 146 BC
- 0 Asia (Pergamum), Mysia South Turkey 133 BC
- 0 Bithynia and Pontus North Turkey 74 BC
Army 4 Syria Syria 64 BC
- 0 Judea (Palaestina) Israel 63 BC
- 0 Numidia Algeria 60 BC
- 0 Gallia Narbonesis France 49 BC
Army 2 Aegyptus Egypt 30 BC
Army 2 Moesia Romania 28 BC
Army 3 Pannonia Hungary 12 BC
Jesus Christ 4BC-31
- 2 Dalmatia Croatia, Bosnia 10 AD
- 2 Britannia England 28 AD
- 4 Germany Germany 70 AD
- 0 Hibernia Ireland 70 AD
- 0 Dacia Romania 106 AD
- 0 Armenia Armenia 114 AD
More research needs to be done to see if this list is correct. Other provinces were created before Christ, but as far as I can tell, no army was assigned to them. Aquitania, Belgica, Lugdunensis, Cyprus, Cyrenaica and Creta, Epirus, Macedonia, Noricum, and Raetia.

Other provinces were annexed or subdivided after Christ.
Cappadocia, Arabia Petraea, Assyria, Thracia, Lycia and Pamphylia, Mauretania Caesariensis and Tingitana, and Mesopotamia.
» The Seven and Ten Organization. God is very meticulous with His symbols. When we are in Heaven, we will probably learn that Satan and his rebellious angels arranged themselves in this same seven and ten organization that is controlled by him. This seven and ten structure appears at every great persecution.
As a local fulfillment we may also see a global structure emerge with seven leaders in the United Nations and ten powerful European nations.

The Child

The Woman

The Persecution Of The Child
The dragon, which is a symbol for Satan, is also a symbol for the Roman Empire that stood ready to devour the male child, Jesus Christ, as he was born in Bethlehem. The Bible says the male child was caught up to heaven to God's throne where the dragon could not harm him. This is without a doubt a reference to the ascension of Christ and his enthronement at the time of Pentecost. This same cycle of persecution, death and escape is repeated for all three groups. In the end, the entire church escapes through the resurrection. So the United States represents a place where the dying church was resurrected.

4
BC
Male Child 31
AD
Woman 1798
AD
Other Children
ChristCrucifixion Resurrection ChurchMartyred United States RemnantDeath Second Coming

Layers The Great War.
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which accused them before our God day and night."
(Revelation 12: 7-10)

Here we encounter an amazing text. The Bible describes a war that broke out in heaven many ages ago. In this war heaven lost one third of its angels. In verse 9, we learn that Satan and his rebellious angels were expelled from Heaven. In verse 10, we learn that, since the cross, Satan no longer has access to heavenly beings. There are several wars or battles within the great war in which Satan progressively loses access to some part of creation.

War War in Heaven War War in Heaven War Bridegroom's War War Armageddon
Rebellion Creation to Christ Crucifixion Crucifixion to Second Coming Resurrection Millennium Hell After Judgment
Heaven Sea Earth No Heaven Sea Earth No Heaven No Sea Earth No Heaven No Sea No Earth
Total Access No Access to Heaven Access to Earth Only No Access
Satan's progressive loss of access after each battle

The Wrath Of Satan
And they overcame him because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony. And they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. (Revelation 12: 11-12)
In verse 12, the Bible reveals that Satan became more angry with God's people since the cross, because he knows that he is a defeated enemy. Now that he can no longer harass heaven, he focuses his attention on corrupting the earth and the sea. He tries to kill those who belong to Christ.
At the end, God will respond to this unjustified wrath with His own justified wrath.

Short Time. This suggests that after Christ, Satan's time was short. At a minimum it must mean that over fifty percent of the time spent in rebellion had gone. Jesus was born about four thousand years after the creation. The evidence suggests that Satan will be put in prison around the year six thousand and killed in the year seven thousand. So Jesus did come after the center point in human history.
The seventh head, the final empire through whom Satan rules will also have a short time (Revelation 17: 10).

The Persecution Of The Woman (Church)
Beast And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child." But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. (Revelation 12: 13-14)
In this verse the Bible reveals where Satan directed his anger immediately following the cross. He focused his anger at the church.

The Remnant
The Bible teaches that there has always been a remnant of commandment keeping people who loved God. The Bible also teaches that this remnant has been a visible body that can be seen. The remnant usually came out of a larger body after a great persecution and God reestablishes His covenant with them. God used them to rebuild His church and to spread knowledge of Him throughout the world.
The Remnant In Bible History
The concept of a remnant or a group that remains after a great persecution is a theme in bible history. This remnant rebuilds the foundations of the church of God in obedience to the covenant. The remnant have always been called out of idolatry in Babylon or out of slavery to sin. They are called from rebellion to obedience.

Idol Babel. Noah was called by God out of the old world. Only eight humans were faithful. It was their descendants that built Babylon as a place from which they would defy the judgments of God.

Idol Ur (Babylon). Abraham was called by God out of Ur, which is in Babylon. His descendants would be the people of God.

Pyramid Egypt. This was the land of slavery to sin. After the exodus, only three of the original group saw the Promised Land, two went in.

Idol Babylon. After this captivity, only a few wanted to leave Babylon. But Ezra and Nehemiah rebuilt the city and the knowledge of God.

Idol Rome. Babylon was a code name for Rome. The disciples recognized the similarities. After the crucifixion eleven apostles and a small group rebuilt the Christian church with the Gentiles and Jewish believers.

Idol Babylon the Great. After the papal persecution, the final remnant will call the church out of Babylon the Great. They will see both the Gentile and the Israel arm of the church unite into one global Israel.


Obedient. Abraham is called the "father of the faithful" in the Bible. He called him out of Ur in the land of Babylon When the majority of the world had turned their back on God, God still had a movement in a faithful remnant. God blesses Abraham for a very important reason. He was obedient.
Because Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. (Genesis 26: 5)

God's remnant, beginning in the days of Abraham, was a faithful body of believers that kept the commandments of God.

Small Group. The remnant have always been a minority.
For you are an holy people to the Lord your God: the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people. (Deuteronomy 7: 6)

The Remnant In The Last Days
The Characteristics Of The Remnant
And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off 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)

  1. Commandments. They keep the commandments of God according to verse 17.

    Since there are Ten Commandments, God's people must keep all Ten Commandments, including the Seventh day Sabbath which is Saturday. Therefore the remnant must be a Sabbath keeping Christian group.
  2. Prophecy. They have the testimony of Jesus Christ according to Verse 17. John defines the "testimony of Jesus" as the "Spirit of Prophecy."
    And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to to me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. (Revelation 19: 10)

    The Bible says that the gift of prophecy would be manifest among God's people right before the end. And Daniel 12 promises that God would give wisdom and knowledge to the church at the end so that they could understand the sealed prophecies.
    And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Also upon the servants and the handmaids in those days I will pour out my spirit. (Joel 2: 28)
    ... these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. ... but those who have insight will understand. (Daniel 12: 9-10)
    Because they are called by God, He must communicate His plans to them.
    Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3: 7)

    The Bible is very clear that the remnant would be a prophetic movement. The manifestation of the prophetic gift would be seen among the remnant church just before Jesus returns. And through this gift, it would bear witness to Jesus. This group will understand the prophecies that were sealed until the time of the end.
  3. Jesus Christ. They are a Gospel centered remnant. Revelation 14: 12 adds more.
    Here is the patience of the saints: Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
    The Bible says the remnant keep God's commandments. But it also says it has the "faith of Jesus." So the Bible teaches that the Remnant will lift up the Savior. It will be a movement that points to the cross of Christ as the only cure for sin.
  4. Small Group. They are a religious minority in Christianity
    In verse 17 the Bible says that they are the "remnant." A remnant is not a majority. It is a minority. It literally means "the remaining ones." Let there be no confusion here. The Bible clearly teaches that main line Christianity, with its popular, compromising theology, is not the remnant church. Christianity today is divided into two classes. The first class is the majority. They keep some of God's Commandments, and some of Man's. The second class is the minority. They follow all Ten of God's Commandments, including the seventh day Bible Sabbath, out of Love. Jesus said.
    If you love me, keep my commandments. (John 14: 15)
    and Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. (John 14: 23)
  5. After 1798. They arise after the 1260 years of papal persecution.
    In Revelation 12: 6,14 the Bible teaches that the church would go underground for 1260 years. After the persecutions of the Middle Ages, the remnant is pictured coming into existence shortly before the mark of the beast becomes an issue in America. The book of Daniel was unsealed in 1798. Revelation 10 taught, after the disappointment of 1844, God's people would emerge as a world wide movement.
  6. The New World. They find their beginnings in the New World of America. The Bible says the dragon stood on the sand of the sea. So after 1798 he followed the church to America. The Remnant of Revelation 12: 17 is pictured arising in the New World before the Lamb beast, which represents the United States, joins forces with the Roman Church to bring the Mark of the Beast issue to focus.
  7. Three Angel's Warnings. They teach the three angel's messages of Revelation 14: 6-12. These messages are the last warning to our world.
    1. Judgment Has Begun. Revelation 14: 6-7. The first angel proclaims the hour of God's judgment is come. Here the Bible teaches that the Remnant would proclaim the message of the judgment after the year 1844. The first angel's message also calls the last generation to return to the worship of the Creator. And the seventh day Sabbath is the sign of such worship.

      And it shall be for a sign to you upon your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the Lord's law may be in your mouth: for with a strong hand has the Lord brought you out of Egypt. (Exodus 13: 9)
      Speak you also to the children of Israel, saying, truly my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord that does sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you ... (Exodus 31: 13 ,14)
    2. Come out of Babylon. Revelation 14: 8. The second angel announces the fall of Babylon, the end time religious system which disobeys God. Like all the remnant messages before, these also call the people out of Babylon!
    3. Mark of the Beast. Revelation 14: 9-10. The Remnant would warn the world of giving in to forced Sunday worship and receiving the Mark of the Beast. It would also point people to the seal and sign of God, which is the seventh day Sabbath. This would make people commandment keepers.
  8. Global. They are a world wide movement. In Revelation 14: 6 the Bible says the remnant message must go with a "loud voice" to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."

While God had people in every denomination, there is only one group of people on earth today that meets or even professes to meet every one of these identifying marks of the prophetically identified remnant. That church is the Seventh day Adventist Church. This group has been called to be the prophets of Israel to rebuild the knowledge of God and to call the remaining church out of Babylon.

Wheel The Dragon, The Woman And The Seed
This is an example of a wheel within a wheel prophecy. At important phases within the fulfillment a persecuting dragon attacks a woman with an important seed. However, each phase produced a milestone in the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Dragon 7 Headed Dragon The Seven-Headed Dragon Eighth Head Dragon ... in The Sea
The Fall Of The Dragon The Mother Of The Seed The Birth Of The Seed The Rescue Of The Children
Dragon WomanSeed Dragon WomanSeed Dragon WomanSeed Dragon WomanSeed
Serpent EvePromised Nations IsraelJudah Rome MaryJesus Satan ChurchRemnant
Land Ruled People Ruled Sanctuary Ruled Sanctuary Vindicated

Repeat Repetition and Enlargement
Law Sanctuary Movement.
Pregnant WomanSigns in Heaven Dragon Dragon War Against The Remnant
Angel
Ark of the Covenant
Ark
The Goat Attacks The Little Horn Attacks Holy Objects ArriveFire
Moses
Aaron
Shofar
Judah
Sanctuary Taken Down Fabric and roof
Gershon
Sanctuary building
Merari
Shofar
Reuben
Sanctuary Restored Kohath: Holy Objects
Kohath
Joseph Dan Asher Naphtali
Arrow Left Led by Christ
(Priest and King)
Sanctuary Destroyed Affliction Wilderness
Sanctuary
Dragon's
Flood
Earth
Opens
Image
Lives
Child Killed and Escapes
The law about the disassembly and movement of the sanctuary and tribes gives us more insight into the sequence of events in Revelation 12 and 13. In it we can also see how Satan is responding to the movement of the righteous.

Law Time Prophecies.
1260 Years Of Persecution
Time Text Persecution and Protection The Tyrant Works
Evil
Rules
42 months Month
Moon
Revelation 13: 5-7 Beast with blasphemous words given authority Blasphemes God, kills
42 months Revelation 11: 2 The wicked trample the Holy city Tramples the church
5 months Revelation 9: 5,10 Smoke from the pit tormentsSatanic lies rule
Good
Afflicted
Time, times and
half a time
Year
Sun
Revelation 12: 14-15 Church in the wilderness protected Sends a flood after the church
Time, times
and half a time
Daniel 12: 7 How long until the power of the holy people are shattered? Shatters the holy people
Time, times
and the dividing of time
Daniel 7: 25 Saints given to a persecuting king who speaks against God Changes times and laws. Speaks against God. Wears out the saints
Many days Daniel 11: 33 Saints martyred by sword, flame and captivity The church falls by the sword, flame, captivity and plunder
Good are
Faithful
And Helped
1260 days Day
Sun
Revelation 11: 3 Two witnesses prophecy as they are in mourning Church prophesies under a difficult situation
1260 days Revelation 12: 6, 13 Woman nourished in the wilderness Dragon persecuted the church
1290, 1335 days Daniel 12: 11-12 Final abomination of desolation Waiting for vindication
Covenant
Judgment

(Messiah)
God Acts
3.5 time unitsYear
Sun
Deuteronomy 5: 9 Judgment falls between the third and fourth generation
3 to 4 Years Leviticus 19: 23-25 Fruit forbidden for three years, offered to God in the fourth
70 weeks of weeks Week Daniel 9: 24 Time given for the holy city and the holy people to finish transgression. Messiah Comes
7000 weeks of years Revelation 21 After 7000 years the Holy City comes down with the holy nation who will inherit the new earth
Day of Judgment Hour Revelation 16; 9:15;
Revelation 14:7
The time of judgment arrives. It is short or real time (1 hour to 15 days)
The time prophecies are based on the Hebrew calendar. It had 30 days in each month. That is 360 days in twelve months. Therefore, 3½ years is equal to 42 months and also 1260 days. Why does the bible use three different methods to describe the same time period?
Each method of description is related to the object given the specific type of time.

Days and Years. Then God said, "let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years". (Genesis 1: 14)
According to this covenant, the day and the year must be reliable and they are created by the actions of the sun, a symbol of God. However the month was not reliable because it is based on the actions of the moon, a symbol of the church.
The week was created by the actions of God as a covenant with all creation. WIthin this period the cycle of creation is completed.

The Time Laws.
These time prophecies are based in the law. As a righteous judge and ruler, God cannot allow sin to reign indefinitely and He cannot allow the righteous to suffer indefinitely. So the covenant had time built into the promises.
3.5 Periods 3.5 Periods
Period 1 Period 2Period 3 Righteous (40)Wicked (42)Period 4Period 5Period 6Sabbath
Seed No Results Expected God Inspects Fruit We Enjoy The Fruits
All these time periods have the same common elements. The third to fourth year (36-48 months) is the period of inspection or judgment. Historically, this has been 40 periods of time (months) for the righteous and 42 for the wicked, exactly 3.5 years.

Here we get a background into the reasons for Satan's animosity. This chapter chronicles his efforts to persecute the church of God.
He first tries to persecute Christ for 3.5 real years. After Christ escaped, he persecuted the object of God's affection - the church for 3.5 prophetic years. In this effort he corrupts the church as much as he could. We see the same time period of 1260 years mentioned in many prophecies. It is the longest persecution of the church.
Finally, when God rejects the corrupted church Satan goes after those that remain true to God - the remnant.

The next chapter talks about the last persecution. You will see how he tries to persecute this remnant who are devoted to his enemy - Christ. They stand in opposition to his desperate attempt to consolidate all power in the world and build his satanic empire. The remnant fight back by giving the last message of warning to the believers of God who are still a part of the corrupted empire - get out of Babylon! She has fallen.

Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.   2 Timothy 2: 15 Time: 60 minutes
Print: 12 pages
Copyright   Updated : November 2008, 2011
Credits:
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)