Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hope in the Midst of Evil



The one thing I believe I want you to take away from this study more than anything is that God never rejects us. It is us that rejects God. We don't want Him telling us what to do, what is wrong versus right and we simply want to be left alone to manage things as we see fit and what works for us. If you reject God, it is you doing the rejecting not Him. When bad things happen, like earthquakes, school shootings, murder and violence across the world, we shouldn't be blaming God. It's evil. It's not of God. God doesn't approve or sanction it. That's evil and it comes from from Satan and the influence of the world.

Remember that it was humanity the rejected God. We can be grateful that God is not fair. If He were we might not be getting the opportunities we have now. But God in His grace and mercy keeps on extending those opportunities for us to come to have that personal relationship with him. As we dive deeper into our study today and finish up Revelation 12, we need to remember a few things. This is a chapter of a battle and a war that is both past and future tense.

We need to understand the woman represented here is the nation of Israel.
The Son she gives birth to is Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
The great dragon is none other than Satan.
The believers mentioned here are the ones that come to Christ, Jews first and then Gentiles following during the Tribulation Period.

Do not let anyone confuse you and tell you that this is referring to the church. The church was removed from the earth during the rapture in Revelation 4:1. All the believers that will come to Christ at this point are Tribulation Saints.

In verses 1-6 of Revelation 12, we studied how this is a war that started on earth and is still affecting earth and it's inhabitants since the creation of the world, the fall in the Garden of Eden and through the birth of Jesus Christ.

One thing to consider is the ancient Roman Empire was never conquered. No one ever defeated the Roman Empire. It simply fragmented into the world. It's a rule that went away for a time, but it will be resurrected in the last days. To know where, we simply need to look back on a history map to see where the ancient Roman Empire existed and we know that it was in Europe. This is where it will all happen. It will come out of Europe with Rome as it's capital base. We know this place as the EU or European Union or as some have called it the US of E or the United States of Europe. 10 leaders will rise from the group with 3 of them being the final key players.

Christians will not be on the earth when that happens but we are beginning to see the assemblance of this beginning to happen. The last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation is when Satan and his angels are cast down from heaven for the last time to earth. They will no longer have heavenly access. That has been revoked. There is no race, no people, no nation, that is hated and persecuted in all of human history like the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. Israel has experienced more wars in their territory than any place in history as well as the Valley of Armageddon which is right in Israel's backyard. Jerusalem is the most hotly contested piece of real estate in the entire world.

Revelation 12:13-17 ~ "When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and her offspring - those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."

The offspring referred to here is any of those believers who hold onto the truth of God's Word. A time is coming of unprecedented persecution to the nation of Israel but that has not happened yet. It will be far worse than anything they have experienced up to this point.

2 Peter 1:4 ~ "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

It is God and God alone who is faithful and He is ever present to help us. God have given the Jewish people a time of unbelief to allow for the Gentiles to come to faith. God will NOT forsake Israel. The time clock began moving forward on May 14, 1948 when the nation of Israel became a nation in one day for the second time.

Hebrews 4:14-16 ~ "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Revelation 12"13-14~ " "When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach." 

On the onslaught of an enemy attacks against Israel, God always gives them hope.

Isaiah 40:31 ~ "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

God will swoop down and rescue a remnant of His people. He rescued them from Egypt and He will do it again.

Revelation 12:15 ~ "Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent."

Notice the words "like a river" this mean it is not an actual river but something that acts like one. It is something that comes from the order of the serpent (Antichrist). a security detail or an army who will go after the Jewish people.

Remember Tribulation saints will be called to die for their faith but as Church Age believers, we are called to live for our faith as a church. Let's make sure we stay busy sharing the good news and our testimony along with a healthy dose of prayer daily. We will pick back up again in this study tomorrow.

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