Revelation Series #5
Revelation 1 & 12
Fred R. Coulter—October 13, 2005

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How do we know what the last seven years have in store? We will see the prophecy that tells us this. Dan. 9 talks about the coming of the Messiah, and it is called the '70-weeks prophecy.' From the time that Jesus was cut off, there is a gap in history from that time until the fulfillment of the 70th week which is the last seven years in prophecy.

Daniel 9:24: "Seventy weeks are [#1]decreed upon your people and [#2]upon your Holy city [#3]to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and [#4]to make reconciliation for iniquity, and [#5]to bring in everlasting righteousness, and [#6]to seal up the vision and prophecy, and [#7]to anoint the Most Holy." This is a multifaceted verse. Many of these things are not going to be fulfilled until the book of Revelation has been completely fulfilled. Let's look at it and analyze some of these statements.

  • "…decreed upon your people…"—Israel and Judah—ten tribes of Israel and then the tribe of Judah.
  • "…upon your Holy City…" which is Jerusalem—everything concerning Jerusalem has not yet been fulfilled, which we will see in time when we come to Rev. 11.
  • "…to finish the transgression…." There are two things involved in finishing the transgression:
  • to get rid of Satan the devil
  • to get rid of his system, his representatives, his religion and everything about his society

This has to do with Rev. 18 and the judgment against Babylon the Great.

  • "…to make reconciliation for iniquity…" That began for the Church with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That was also applied to the ancient patriarchs ahead of time because they were faithful and they were the ones who received the Holy Spirit of God as well as some of the kings—and I'm sure, some of the very righteous priests.
  • "…to bring in everlasting righteousness…" Cannot be brought in until the fulfillment of Rev. 21—and that has to be after the incorrigible wicked are cast into the Lake of Fire and are burned up. Because until that happens, you haven't made a complete reconciliation for sin.
  • "…to seal up the vision and prophecy…"Look at the different visions all the way through the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, and it's not sealed up and finished until the beginning of Rev. 21.
  • "…to anoint the Most Holy." Jesus was anointed—as we find in the book of Matthew and the book of John—for His burial. He was going to be anointed to be King of the world. I am sure that will happen after the marriage of the Lamb and the Church. Then He will be anointed King to rule the world.

That will undoubtedly happen on the Sea of Glass—He will be anointed as King because He'll be King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19). The Church, being spirit beings, will be anointed as kings and priests to rule and reign with Him. It will be quite a fantastic ceremony that's going to go on.

In order to understand these prophecies you have got to understand a great deal about the Bible. I just need to inject here: Most of the commentaries, outside of the accurate, historical information of the fulfillments that are obviously fulfilled—covered in the short series in Daniel—do not have very much understanding concerning prophecy. We will see the reason is because it's sealed to the time of the end. Many of their interpretations of the prophecies may have some validity as they viewed it from their point in time, when they wrote the commentary.

God views it from His point of view and His Word as to how He's going to fulfill it. We need to also understand that God is under no obligation to fulfill human prophecy to satisfy the whims and intellects of men. That's why all these prophecies, and so forth, have to be based upon events—based upon things that the Scriptures tell us—and the things we know that we know; and the things we don't know we don't know. That's why in the sermon How to Understand Prophecy that when you don't know, you admit you don't know. When you guess, you make sure you let everyone know it's a guess.

I'm not going to go through the historical timing here in Dan. 9, because I've covered that already in the series on Daniel.

Verse 25: "Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, to Messiah the Prince… [The Messiah Jesus Christ; and then the 'people of the prince'—two different personages.] …shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks…. [69 weeks] …It shall be built again with streets and the wall, even in troublous times."

You can read the book of Ezra and Nehemiah and see how that was done. Please understand that when you read the book of Josephus you cannot depend upon him concerning the things that occurred in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. He puts them way too late because he does not want to admit that the Jews who left to form the Samaritan religion broke away from Judaism; therefore, he puts it way late. We'll have a chronology of that when we're ready for it. Look at it today; is Jerusalem in troublous times? Yes!

It divides the 69 weeks into two parts. "…from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks…" (v 25). Within that 69 weeks is included the last week before Christ is crucified. This means that the 70th week has not been fulfilled, and that 70th week—each day in prophecy being a year in length—is seven years. That's where we get the last seven years that we have on the chart.

Verse 26: "And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off… [we know that happened on the Passover Day in 30A.D.] …but not for Himself…. ['stop'—is what it is in the Hebrew—stop, a new thought]: …And the people of the prince who shall come… [this is the 'beast' of Rev., the last 'beast'] …shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. But his end shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

Here is where a great mistake has been made by many commentaries, v 27: "And he… [the prince of the people] …shall confirm a covenant with many for one week…. [not Christ—this is the coming 'beast power'] …And in the midst of the week…" Because Christ was crucified in the midst of the week—on a Wednesday—this verse has been applied to Christ. But that's not true. Already talks about the Messiah being cut off, but not for Himself.

"…he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease…" (v 27). When Jesus died, He did not stop the sacrifice and oblations. Yes, the veil in the temple was rent, which is true. But sacrifices and oblations continued until the destruction of the temple in 70A.D. The sacrifice of Christ did not stop the animal sacrifices that were going on there. You can see that from history and you can also understand that from the book of Hebrews because Paul is continually making the comparison between the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of animals that were carried out at the temple. And he speaks of it in the present tense, showing that it was still going on.

"…and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate even until the consummation.… [the end of the age] …And the fully determined end which is decreed shall be poured out upon the desolator" (v 27). In other words, God is determining the time. So, the 70th week after the death of Christ is pushed way on out into the future at the end-time; the other prophecies in Daniel show that.

Let's just review Daniel 12:9: "And he said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and refined. But the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand…. [the time of the end] …And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days'" (vs 9-11). We'll cover that later, but I just wanted to cover this prophecy to show that the abomination of desolation is clarified and spoken of in the New Testament. That's important to understand.

This last week being seven days equals seven years in the fulfillment of prophecy—and this is where we get the seven last years. Let's finish here concerning the abomination that makes desolate. I've covered this in some other sermons, but it fits right here.

John and the elders who were with him—probably Andrew and Philip and a couple of other of the original apostles—finished canonizing the New Testament. They canonized it in about 96, 97, 98A.D. That's 26-28 years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem was not the destruction with the abomination of desolation.

Let's bring it up to our time, Matthew 24:12 "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied…" Is it any wonder that things are happening the way they are in the world? Iniquity is not just increasing it's multiplying! Just like the penny that is doubled every day, it's multiplied. That's why when you read the news or hear the news there's so many evil things going on.

Let's also understand something here about Matt. 24: It was meant to be understood in the end-time, though there are many parallels and typical fulfillments of some of what Jesus said down through history. But God is going to give a witness that every human being on earth is going to know. It's why we have such instant communication. That's why we have these things.

Just to give you an example, where it talks about earthquakes and so forth (v 7). How quickly did the world know about the earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia? Minutes after it happened—right? A hundred years ago you'd have never heard about it. In 1840 Krakatoa blew! People in other parts of the world didn't know about it. The only thing they knew was that they had winter in summer, because everything that was blasted off into the air was up in the atmosphere so that the sun couldn't come through.

When there are famines, how quickly do we know it today? Instantly! You could live your whole life a hundred years ago, cut off and isolated from other people, you'd never know if there's a famine in some land or another, whether there was a war in another land or whatever. Matt. 24 was designed to be fully understood at the end-time, just like many of the prophecies that we're covering here.

Verse 12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved" (vs 12-13). There are two ends:

  • You die before Christ returns, that's your end. You go into your place of safety, which is the grave.
  • If you live until Christ returns, and you endure to the end, you're going to be saved.

Just like the one who was faithful unto the end of the physical life and died and was put in the grave.

Verse 14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations…" In spite of the powerful work that different Churches of God have done down through history, this has not been fulfilled. It will be! It will be fulfilled by the Church and by the two witnesses. But this witness has to be at the end-time because:

"…and then shall the end come" (v 14). You cannot count a witness that was done 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, 100 years ago as a witness to the end—because the end hasn't come!

Verse 15 is a very enigmatic verse because of the way that Jesus spoke the words and the inserted parenthetical statement that is there in the written word.

Verse 15: "'Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place' (the one who reads, let him understand)." This is really a key verse. I've covered this in the past, but this is key to understanding. What is this telling us?

When John and the elders canonized the New Testament—and you'll find several editorial remarks that they've added in there just like Ezra and Nehemiah did when they canonized the Old Testament—this tells us that when they looked back and saw the destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D. there was not the abomination that made desolate. This also tells us they did not understand that prophecy. The enigma was this: The Apostle John was given the prophecy to the book of Revelation and in Rev. 11 it showed a vision of the temple and the temple grounds.

So, after having the vision and seeing it in vision and then looking at the current ruins of Jerusalem and it's desolation at that time, he knew that there had to be a future temple, and he knew that in order to fulfill 2-Thess. 2 and Rev. 13 there had to be the abomination of desolation to stand in the temple, which would be built.

This is why the parenthetical statement is here: "…the one who reads, let him understand" (v 15). That was an added, editorial comment, because—if you have a red-letter Bible quoting the words of Jesus, you will see that parenthetical statement is in black, showing that Jesus didn't speak these words. Jesus did not say, "…the one who reads, let him understand," because He was giving the prophecy verbally.

And then He says, v 16: "Then let those who are in Judea…."—and so forth.

Verse 21: "For then… [referring back to the 'when' (v 15)] …shall there be great tribulation… [refers back to the 'when'] …then shall there be great tribulation… [refers back to "… when you see the abomination of desolation…" (v 15). That is a key in understanding when the Tribulation begins.

  • when the abomination of desolation takes place
  • then the Tribulation begins

"…such as has not been from thebeginning of the world until this time…" Beginning is important because the book of Revelation talks about the Beginning and the Ending and so forth.

"…of the world until this time… [the end-time] …nor ever shall be again" (v 21). If anyone tells you that this was all fulfilled in 70A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem, you know they don't understand what they're talking about.

Verse 22: "And if those days were not limited…" It says in the King James, 'cut short'—and that's an unfortunately improper translation. God does everything on time. He's not going to 'cut it short.' It means unless those days were limited. Did God limit it in advance? Yes, He did! He limited it to seven years and there's three and a half years, first part of it; and three and one-half years the second part of it.

"…there would no flesh be saved…" (v 22). We're talking about a time that's never ever been. We've had inklings of it: with atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, and with different wars; but never to the point of exterminating all life on the earth. This is a worldwide event!

"…but for the elect's sake… [stop and think how important that the Church of God is to God] …those days shall be limited." Combine that with the last seven years of Dan. 9:27 with the different prophecies that we have here, and you will see that you have the time limited to seven years. We have the Tribulation limited to three and a half years.

This tells us many different things. This tells us that there are going to be such awesome engines of destructions and war and so many things happening—as well as the events of God's intervention, as we will see through the different plagues and the different things that take place—that if God had not limited it and pre-determined the time to end when it should, there would be no human flesh alive.

2-Thess. 2 becomes far more important as we're going on down in time when we come to it. This tells us what the abomination of desolation is. When the Apostle John and the elders with him were canonizing the New Testament, when they read 2-Thess. 2 and were already seeing Jerusalem destroyed, they knew it was not desolated, as it says here. Paul warns them concerning the coming of Christ and everything.

2-Thessalonians 2:1: "Now, we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled…" In other words, don't worry if it looks like prophecies are not being fulfilled or other people are coming and saying prophecies are being fulfilled when they're not. We've lived through that—haven't we? Yes!

"…—neither by spirit… [there are going to be a lot of spirit apparitions] …nor by word… [by a message that you may hear someone preach] …nor by epistle… [a letter] …as if from us… [They had to fight against counterfeiters then—didn't they? Yes!] …saying that the day of Christ is present" (vs 1-2).

It's very interesting the way that is worded, because with the false Christs that have already been pronounced that are to come, like 'Lord Maitreya.' They are saying that the Christ is present and all you have to do is tune into them.

Verse 3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means…" You can apply that to everything:

  • to the end-time events
  • to prophecy
  • to doctrine
  • to many different things

You know that Satan is out there trying to deceive in every way and in every thing that he can. {note book: Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which?} I've had to set aside, and save for another time, every single argument against the Passover and Holy Days and the hateful, bitter attack brought upon it by Orthodox Christendom and Protestantism, etc., because if I had to go through all of those it would never be written. It brought to, again, the realization that Satan the devil so hates the Sabbath, the Passover, Holy Days and Feasts of God, that he has caused great confusion and arguments and bitterness. Who's the most bitter one in the world? Satan the devil! Against those days of God! Why would he do such a thing? Because those are the days that are:

  • the Sabbath

Keeps you in contact with God so that you know God, that you're justified and sanctified by Him!

  • the Passover

Renewing the covenant keeps you in covenant with Jesus Christ and God the Father!

  • the Holy Days

Gives you a general outline to understand the fulfillment of prophecy

All of those things Satan does not want people to really understand; so therefore, he has destroyed the knowledge of it as much as he can. I could not possibly address all of the arguments against them.

Satan is against that. He wants to take it from the people of God! He will use every means and every device because he does not want you to attain to the resurrection of the dead when Christ returns in the first resurrection and become a son or daughter of God and live forever.

The grand finale is going to be, v 3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means because that day will not come unless the apostasy shall come first… [when the whole world rejects God and embraces the open worship of Satan the devil] …and… [out of that system] …the man of sin shall be revealed—the son of perdition, the one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is an object of worship; so that he comes into the temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God" (vs 3-4).

All you have to do is read the account of the Romans and the destruction of Jerusalem in Josephus and you know that when the temple was destroyed then there was not a man who fulfilled the bill here as being the one who calls himself God and exalts himself above all that is called God. That's why that parenthetical statement is in Matt. 24—'the one who reads, let him understand'—because they didn't understand it. They could read this and see that this was not fulfilled. Furthermore, as we go on we will see that it cannot be fulfilled until the second coming of Christ, at His return. Then we will see how and when it's fulfilled when we get into the book of Revelation.

Verse 5: "Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things?" That was beginning of the mystery of lawlessness or the mystery of iniquity, which goes all the way back to Babylon. It was coming into the Churches of God through false prophets.

Verse 6: "And now you understand what is holding him back in order for him to be revealed in his own set time." This connects with the 70th-week prophecy in Dan. 9, and it is a set time. God has determined the times and the seasons.

Verse 7: "For the mystery of lawlessness [iniquity] is already working; only there is One Who [Christ] is restraining at the present time until it arises out of the midst." He's not going to come on the scene until the time is ready to fulfill the prophecy according to the timing of God. That's when it's going to happen.

Verse 8: "And then the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming)." What does this tell us? That's the second return of Christ! This also makes it very clear what we said concerning the parenthetical statement in Matt. 24. When John and the elders with him were canonizing the New Testament, they knew that this hadn't happened. Christ had not returned. There was no man of sin, the son of perdition, who went into the Holy place and proclaimed himself God. The temple was destroyed, but Christ had not returned. This prophecy of Paul is very pivotal in understanding that.

Now notice the power that it's going to be, v 9: "Even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved" (vs 9-10).

Here is a great and fantastic key of understanding in our relationship with God: Not only do we want to have a personal relationship; not only do we want to have our sins covered through the sacrifice of Christ—and grow in grace and knowledge and grow in understanding—through the trials and difficulties that we go through to build the character of Christ and Christ in us, and all of that—there's one thing we all need to have, and this is the only way that we stay right with God, understand the Word of God and understand prophecy.

God wants us to understand: You must love the Truth, at all times—the Word of God and the truth of history—because if you don't love the Truth, then sooner or later you're going to have an agenda. That's how false doctrine comes in! People think of political position or they have an agenda, or that they have a 'movement and a religion' rather than following Christ! That's why to go after numbers and money is creating a 'movement,' and even though in the name of Christ, is doomed for destruction!You have to love the Truth, and Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life!

  • You have to love the Truth
  • God's Word is Truth
  • His commandments are Truth
  • His laws are Truth
  • His Holy Spirit is Truth

All of that is combined in the whole package of loving the Truth. The only way that we're going to understand the prophecies that God allows us to understand is because we love God and love the Truth.

  • it's not a matter of how smart you are
  • it's not a matter of how many theological degrees you have
  • it doesn't matter how important you are, or how unimportant you are
  • it's a matter thatyou need to love the Truth.

Then as Jesus said, 'the Truth will set you free.' If you live in the Truth you will be constantly be free and justified by God and living in His grace and favor.

That's what we need to understand. That's why I said in the sermon that I gave on How to Understand Prophecy, it is not necessary to understand prophecy to receive salvation. Just think: The majority of people that are going to rise in the first resurrection never understood the prophecies, even the personal, hand-picked, chosen apostles of Jesus Christ; as shown by the statement 'whosoever reads, let him understand.' Isn't that amazing? You have to love the Truth that you might be saved.

If you don't—and we've seen this happen over and over again—whenever someone rejects Truth and doesn't repent and rejects some more—what happens? Self-deception sets in! Then when self-deception sets in Satan comes to make the deception powerful and permanent. It's what he's talking about here.

Verse 11: "And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie." What is the lie? That this man who proclaims as God, is God!That's what the lie is! We tie that in with other sermons and Rev. 13, and so forth. This gives us the setting as to why it's the seven last years and the things to take place within that. Now we will come to the book of Revelation.

This makes it clear that you also must understand the Beginning and the Ending. Revelation 1:1:"The revelation of Jesus Christ… [it's not the revelation of John, it's the revelation of Jesus Christ] …which God gave to Him… [God the Father gave it to Him] …to show to His servants the things that are ordained tocome to pass shortly… [this also is a clue that this is to be understood at the end-time] …and He made it known, having sent it by His angel to His servant John; Who gave witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all the things he saw" (vs 1-2).

Here's another key of the book of Revelation: It must be read and studied over and over again in order to relate it to the events that are taking place so that you have a proper understanding of it.

Verse 3: "Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things thatare written therein; for the time is at hand." That means two things:

  • the time is at hand to be given to John
  • and the time is at hand that you can understand these things referring to the end-time

There's a blessing that comes from reading it and hearing it. I'm going to give you a little Bible study assignment here. It says: "…who keep the things thatare written therein…" What I want you to do is read the book of Revelation, not to understand the prophecy but:

  • to understand the historical events in it, which relate to the Church in Rev. 2 & 3
  • to understand that the commandments of God are all the way through the book of Revelation
  • the faith of Jesus Christ is also all the way through the book of Revelation, which also means that you keep the commandments of God
  • to keep the things that are written therein

—which means to keep the Words of God and to let God give us the understanding.

The first thing that Christ is concerned about—because He's the Head of the Church—is this, v 4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia…" Rev. 2 & 3 tells us the current condition of the churches when John wrote this; the prophetic condition of the churches down through time; and, the prophetic condition of the churches at the end.

"…Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness…" (vs 4-5). This comes directly from Christ and God the Father. That's why this message and what is written here is so powerful and important.

"…the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth…." (v 5). As we saw in the book of Daniel, God rules over the kings of the earth and sets up over the nations the basest of men, as well as the coming kings of the earth: sons and daughters of God who are going to rule and reign with Christ.

"…To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us… [this is a prophetic statement] …kings and priests to God and His Father; to Him be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 5-6).

This is the introduction; this sets the whole stage. Then it talks about the return of Christ. We will go to the oldest chapter historically, not in time-written chronology, but historically in the Bible (Rev. 12).

Verse 7: "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him…" That's quite an interesting statement—isn't it? This tells us two things:

  • Everyone is involved in the death of Christ, in His crucifixion and the spear that was thrust in His side by the soldier.

Symbolically, we're all a part of that.

  • It tells us that those who personally did it—when we understand the Scriptures and the second resurrection—and will see Him at the time that they are resurrected in the second resurrection.

"…and all the tribes of the earth shall… [and rejoice and welcome Him with open arms; NO!] …all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen" (v 7). "…all the tribes of the earth…" breaks it down into pretty small segments—doesn't it? All—when it says all, the Bible means ALL. This is going to be a worldwide event of gigantic proportions.

Verse 8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega…" That's the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—showing that the New Testament was originally written in Greek and that Christ could speak Greek. As a matter of fact, being God and having created all the languages when He confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel, can speak any language that He wants to at any time, whether in the flesh or whether in the spirit. So the argument over Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or whatever is futile argument.

Verse 8 "'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending,' says the Lord…" He says that the only way you're going to understand anything is you've got to understand 'the Beginning' and you've got to understand 'the End.'

Now in some of the sermons that I've given concerning the Feast of Tabernacles, I've shown the connection between Gen. and Rev.—that's another whole thing concerning prophecy that needs to be understood, too.

"'…Who is… [He's existing now] …and Who was… [He was in the flesh, and He was God before He became Jesus Christ in the flesh] …and Who is to come—the Almighty'" (v 8). You cannot get any greater authority than that, except the authority of God the Father. No man on earth can claim this authority.

Verse 9: "I, John, who am also your brother and joint partaker…" He doesn't say, 'I, John, the greatest living apostle of Jesus Christ; all bow down to me when I walk in the room.' NO!

"I, John, who am also your brother… [John following what Jesus said: not to exalt yourself over the brethren] …and joint partaker in the tribulation and in the kingdom and endurance of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v 9). John was exiled there by the Roman emperor, and when that emperor died he was allowed to go back to Ephesus where he brought the book of Revelation with him. And here the New Testament was canonized, by the way, and he died and was buried there.

Verse 10: "I was in the Spirit on the day of the Lord…" Some translations have it: 'I was in the Spirit on Sunday' in a vain attempt to give the approval of Sunday-keeping in the Bible. That is a complete and total, unwarranted mistranslation, and a flagrant violation of translation to translate it 'Sunday.'

"…and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me, saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last'; and, 'What you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea'" (vs 10-11).

Which also tells us that the understanding of the book of Revelation will come from His Churches, not from the counterfeit Christianity, orthodox Christendom of the world. As a matter of fact, the Vaticanous New Testament does not have the book of Revelation in it. And until just a few years ago, most Catholic Bibles only had the first chapter or so of the book of Revelation in it. They tell you that you can't understand it because 'this book is sealed.' Sounds a little bit like 2-Thess. 2, because they 'don't love the Truth', given to deception. If you're given to a deception you're blinded! Who blinds the eyes? Satan the devil! So, that tells us a lot.

Rev. 12 is a classic example of needing to understand major portions of the Bible and fulfillment of prophecy in order to understand it. That's why on the chart for the last seven years I start out with Rev. 12. Why do I do that? Why should that be? Because that's what God is telling us! We're going to see that this begins before the beginning of the heaven and the earth. Because it's talking about a prophetic time, looking back at historical times before Satan the devil falls.

Revelation 12:1: "Then there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and having the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." What is this?

  • a prophecy of the fulfillment of God's plan that was known ahead of time by God
  • the one who fell and became Satan
  • God was going to have His nation Israel—and His Church as depicted by the woman

And you have two fulfillments of this:

  • the 12 tribes of Israel

You find them also listed as part of the New Jerusalem.

  • concerning the Church, who is going to marry Christ—spiritual Israel

In order to understand, even this first verse, you've got to have a good understanding of the Word of God, because the symbolism of the woman changes as it goes through the whole chapter. And you don't understand the change of that symbolism unless you understand the events that occurred, and the events that are going to take place.

Verse 2: "And being with child, she cried in travail, and was in pain to deliver."

Rev. 13:8 will help give us some understanding. All of sudden this shifts fromIsrael and the Church to the person of Mary!

Revelation 13:8: "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him [the beast], whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." This is telling us that God had pre-determined—in His plan—already knowing that there would be sin with human beings. And, of course, making us He would know that—wouldn't He? The sin in the Garden of Eden was no surprise to God; it did not catch Him off-guard at all. He had planned for it before He even created them. We find in Gen. 3:15 that after the sin of Adam and Eve we have the first prophecy of the coming Messiah and His death. It was planned for from 'the foundation of the world.'

Let's see what it says in Titus 1. This is something! This is really quite a thing to understand. This will also help us understand why Satan the devil rebelled; because he did not want to be subordinate to the family and sons of God and the created wife of Jesus Christ: Israel. Satan wanted to hold the preeminence.

Titus 1:1: "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the Truth that is according to Godliness; in the hope of eternal life, which God Who cannot lie promised before the ages of time" (vs 1-2)—and the ages of time are part of eternity.

I translated forever from the Greek 'into the ages of eternity'—because there are different ages within the realm of eternity and the eternity is a whole other level of existence and way of measuring time. "…before the ages of time."

Revelation 12:2: "And being with child, she cried in travail, and was in pain to deliver." That has to refer directly to Mary. It was prophesied: behold a virgin shall conceive (Isa. 8). In the Hebrew it means behold the virgin shall conceive. Matt. 1 quotes Isa. 8, it also in the Greek says, behold the virgin shall conceive. It was the virgin, which came down to Mary, and she was the one with child.

As soon as Satan the devil understood that, and that his eventual destiny was to be demoted and be subordinate to the sons and daughters of God, he rebelled because he wanted to be as God. All of this is talking about God's plan before the ages of time in relationship to human beings.

Verse 3 "And another sign was seen in heaven, and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads; and his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to deliver, so that he might devour her child when she gave birth" (vs 3-4).

Here we have condensed into just few words a tremendous amount of the Bible. You cannot understand it unless you understand the rebellion of Satan the devil as it's revealed in Isa. 14 and Ezek. 28. You must understand that before you can understand these verses that we just read. You cannot understand it unless you realize that a third of the stars of heaven were a third of the angels.

Let's come back to Luke 10, we'll just add in one verse, where Jesus talks of the fall of Satan the devil. You need to realize that this occurred before the beginning of time as related to human beings. That's why when you come to Gen. 3, Satan already appears as a serpent; he had already rebelled—hadn't he? Yes!

Luke 10:16—this after Jesus sent the 70, two-by-two, out to preach the Gospel and prepare the way. And He told them this: "'The one who hears you hears Me… [provided that you speak the Word of God] …and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and the one who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me.' Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.' And He said to them, 'I was watching when Satan fell from heaven like lightning'" (vs 16-18).

That was before the re-creation of the earth in seven days, and the creation of man: Adam and Eve. Satan fell and he rebelled. What did he rebel at? The plan of God! He wanted to become God, and he got jealous because God was going to make human beings to become like Him and Jesus Christ—in existence, not in authority or power by any stretch of the imagination—to be immortal and live forever and carry out the work of God into the ages of eternity. This is condensed; there's an awful lot into it.

Let's see what happened, Revelation 12:5: "And she gave birth to a man Child…" That's what Gospels are all about. You can read in the book of Matthew what happened. The first instrumentality in the hands of Satan the devil to try and kill Jesus Christ was Herod the king, who was an Edomite. In the war between Edom and Amalek, and God and Israel, was one that God prophesied in the book of Exodus that would be in every generation.

So, here was a literal use and fulfillment of that prophecy by God because Herod was an Edomite—half Jew, half Edom. What did he do? He sought to kill Jesus! What did God have to do? He had to warn Joseph: 'take the mother and child, get out of here and go to Egypt until I tell you to return.' Herod came and killed all the male children two-years and under, in Bethlehem, ready to devour her child once she gave birth.

"…Who was to shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron…" (v 5). That's Christ!

It goes from the prophecy of Israel and the Church and the marriage between the Lamb and Church; then it comes down to the virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. If you just had the book of Revelation, without the rest of the Bible to interpret this, you couldn't imagine what this could be. That's why you have to let the Bible interpret the Bible.

Verse 6: "And the woman escaped into the wilderness…" Now it switches to the Church, the woman, the bride of Christ to be. When Mary and Joseph and Jesus fled the Holy Land, where did they go? They didn't go into the wilderness, they went into Egypt, where everything was plush and they had plenty of food and peace and all that sort of thing during that time when they were there. And also to fulfill the prophecy that said He would call His Son out of Egypt.

Here the woman escapes into the wilderness. Now we get into prophecy, because what happened with this? You've got to know history and you've got to know when the intense persecution against the Church of God occurred in the days of Constantine, after he enforced Sunday-worship upon the apostate, newly developed Catholic Church under his Egypt; and the attempt to force it upon the people of God wherever they were. So, the body of the Church escaped into the wilderness. History shows they went into the area of the Alps, where they were protected, where they had the New Testament translation in what is now called Old Latin. You've got to understand a lot of Scripture and a lot of history in order to understand this verse.

"…where she had a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there for a thousand two hundred and sixty days" (v 6). Another key we find in Num. 14:34—a day in prophecy equals a year in fulfillment. God said that for every day that the spies were searching out the land, and they didn't believe the report 'you didn't trust in Me, so you're going to spend a year wandering in the wilderness.' So, a day in prophecy equals a year in fulfillment. The Church was in this area in the Alps for a 1,260 days or 1,260 years.

Now then, the scene changes again, v 7: "And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels warred against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels warred." WOW! That's something! When is this going to be? As we've seen in the book of Daniel, the angels of God fight against the powers and principalities and the hierarchy of Satan the devil for control of this world. That's why some nations are more evil and more into total Satanism because they are ruled by the principalities and powers of Satan the devil, and they do not have the blessing of God.

Israel has had the blessing of God because of the promises given to Abraham, and Michael, who stands up for the people of Israel at the end-time. As you know, through the book of Daniel and also in the first chapter of Luke, that the other archangel—Gabriel—was the one who is charge of making sure that all of the events relating to the birth of Jesus Christ were fulfilled in the time and in the way that God wanted. That's why Gabriel came and talked to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. That's why Gabriel came and talked to Mary, to tell her what was going to happen. Gabriel was in charge of that part. Michael was in charge of watching over the nation of Israel.

Daniel 12:1: "And at that time…" What time is that? That's at the time of the end!

Daniel 11:40: "And at the time of the end, the King of the South shall push at him. And the King of the North shall come against him…"

Daniel 21:1: "…Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people…." That is Israel, because you also have to know that in order to understand the prophecies of who and where the ten tribes of Israel went and are today. If you don't understand that, you cannot understand prophecy.

"…And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation... [That ties in with Matt. 24] …even until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered… [Israel is going to be delivered, as well as their Church.] …—every one who shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever" (vs 1-3).

So, Michael is involved again in the war in heaven—which concerns Israel and the Church, because the Church is spiritual Israel. There is war in heaven; that is yet to happen. When this war happens, it is going to be something!

What are they building in space right now? A space station! Since we don't know how long we have until the end really comes, we don't know how big that is going to be; or how much they will develop it; or how much that men are going to be allowed to be able to put implements of war in the heavens. What is that they are afraid of? They are afraid that they could make weapons of mass destruction small enough to send up and be in orbit in a satellite! Maybe that'll happen, because it says of the beast: Who is able to make war against him?

Maybe there are a whole lot of things we don't understand, yet. We get a little inkling of it. But when you go back 50, 75, 100, 150, 200 years and on back they wouldn't have an inkling of any of these things. The only way we're able to have an inkling of it, and understand some of it, is because we live in the end-time and we can look and see that many of these things can really come to pass, exactly as it says in the book of Revelation. Whereas when they read it, they could not have imagined it.

Revelation 12:8: "But they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven." That's when Satan and the demons are cut off from going before God.

Verse 9 gives an interpretation: "And the great dragon was cast out… [again] …the ancient serpent…" Alerts us that this goes clear back to before the beginning of the ages for man; it goes back to the Garden of Eden—both.

"…who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world… [the condition of the world at the end-time] …he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him" (v 9). When that event takes place it's going to be an awesome event indeed! When that happens Satan is going to come and personally possess the man who is called the beast (Rev. 13—the first beast) who is the one who will go into the temple and proclaim himself to be God, and will initiate the Great Tribulation. This takes place just before the Tribulation.

The one who is cast down; salvation is near, v 10: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'"

Sidebar of this spiritual lesson: When you repent of your sins daily, Satan has nothing to accuse you of—does he? No! That's why in the daily model prayer, we're to say and we're to ask from the heart, 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive others who sin against us.' When you're covered by the blood of Christ and you're justified by Him, there is no accusation that God can receive, even though Satan brings it.

Verse 11: "But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death." When you understand that that goes all the way back to being buried with Christ and you die in the watery grave, and since we've already died in the watery grave, if we become a martyr then it really doesn't make any difference because we're already dead in Christ as far as the world is concerned. If it comes down to the time of martyrdom God will give us enough strength that we'll be able to go through it. So, don't worry about it.

Verse 12: "Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in them…." The plan of God now is coming to fruition. The limited time it was going to happen, which comes as you look at the chart: The Last 3-1/2 Years; this is just about where we are. So, you can see under Rev. 12 you have 'Satan cast down.'

"…For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time" (v 12). How long is that short time? That short time is a little longer than 3-1/2 years! I need to say that when this war occurs in heaven this is going to be something for the whole world to see. It's going to be absolutely something!

Verse 12: "'…Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time.' And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man Child" (vs 12-13). That is the Church! He's not coming down here to go after one single woman. What a waste of energy and time! It's the Church!

Verse 14: "…And two wings of a great eagle…" That's a sign of God's supernatural protection. {note sermons on the Place of Safety}

"…were given to the woman, so that she might fly to her place in the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [3-1/2 yrs.], from the face of the serpent" (v 14).

Not everyone who is in the Church of God at that time is going to go to a place of safety; only those whom God selects.  Luke 17 shows that God is going to send angels to take them there. No one can decide who's going to go there; only God the Father and Jesus Christ. The angels are going to take them! If you go there, you'll know where it is, and if you don't go you've got to give your life in martyrdom. So, don't sweat it!

Verse 15: "And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the river that the dragon had cast out of his mouth" (vs 15-16)—which is going to be a literal thing. He's going to absolutely try and do that. Satan has power to do those kinds of things (Job 1).
Verse 17: "Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed…" The King James says 'remnant' but that is not correct:

  • remnant implies a small number left
  • rest can include a great number

Of course, the greater number are going to be martyred, rather than the few who are taken into a place of safety.

"…the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God… [at the end-time the commandments of God are still in effect] …and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v 17). They know and understand all about Jesus Christ:

  • His sacrifice!
  • His crucifixion!
  • His death!
  • His resurrection!
  • His ministry!
  • His teachings!

All Scriptures from: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Daniel 9:24-27
  • Daniel 12:9-11
  • Matthew 24:12-16, 21-22
  • 2-Thessalonians 2:1-11
  • Revelation 1:1-11
  • Revelation 12:1-2
  • Revelation 13:8
  • Titus 1:1-2
  • Revelation 12:2-4
  • Luke 10:16-18
  • Revelation 12:5-7
  • Daniel 12:1
  • Daniel 11:40
  • Daniel 12:1-3
  • Revelation 12:8-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 11, 18, 21, 19
  • Era
  • Nehemiah
  • Matthew 24:7
  • Revelation 11, 13, 2, 3
  • Genesis 3:15
  • Matthew 1
  • Isaiah 8, 14
  • Ezekiel 28
  • Numbers 14:34
  • Revelation 13
  • Luke 17
  • Job 1

 

Also referenced:

Sermons:

  • How to Understand Prophecy
  • Place of Safety

Sermon Series: Daniel (part of Rev. series)

Books:

  • Josephus
  • Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter

Chart of Revelation—Last 3-1/2 Years

FRC:(initial transcriber initials missing)
Reformatted: bo—3/2014

BOOKS