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Revelation 12:5-6


Revelation 12:5 - She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.

The woman in the sign in heaven bore a male child who would rule the world with a "rod of iron." The phrase "male child" calls to mind the promise to Eve, that the Messiah would come through her seed:

Genesis 3:15-16 - "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
Genesis 4:1 - Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."

When Eve bore her first son, she might have thought Cain or Abel was the promised seed, but that was not the case. After Cain killed Abel, Eve seemed to think that Seth was the promised seed:

Genesis 4:25 - And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed."

Abel was not the promised seed as the Messiah came through Seth's seed. But Satan might have thought that the promised seed would come through Abel. Cain's murder of Abel was likely Satan's first attempt to thwart God's plan of redemption through the seed of the woman, like he did through all seven kingdoms or heads of the dragon, as discussed in Revelation 12:4.

To rule with a rod of iron means the ruling body is just, but punishment is swift and harsh. The one who will rule with a "rod of iron" is the Son of God and King of kings, Jesus Christ, as discussed in Revelation 2:27. While ruling with a rod of iron sounds harsh, the Lord's strict enforcement of the law will bolster a peaceful kingdom:

Isaiah 2:2-4 - Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

The Greek word for "rule" means to shepherd, which is fitting since the following passages describe the Messiah as a shepherd:

Matthew 2:6 - 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.'
Matthew 26:31 - Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'"
John 10:14-16 - I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Hebrews 13:20 - Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant....
Revelation 7:16-17 - "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

A shepherd leads, nourishes, and protects his sheep. Likewise, the Lord leads his flock like a shepherd and gives refuge to those who seek it:

Psalms 23:1-4 - A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Isaiah 40:10-11 - Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.
Jeremiah 31:10-12 - "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.' For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the LORD for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all."

However, those who don't seek the Shepherd's refuge, the Lord will dash them to pieces like pottery with a rod of iron:

Psalms 2:7-9 - "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
Revelation 2:26-27 - And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations - 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' - as I also have received from My Father...
Revelation 19:15-16 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 12:5 - And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

John sees the woman's child "caught up" to God's throne in Heaven after the woman gives birth to him. As discussed in the last section, this child is the promised seed and Messiah who will rule the nations with a "rod of iron" after He defeats the dragon who rules over the nations. The Greek word for "caught up" is "harpazó," which means to take by force (Matthew 11:12, 12:29, 13:19, John 6:15, 10:12, 28-29, Acts 23:10, Jude 1:23). This word is also found in the following passages which describe a supernatural movement of persons either on the earth or between the earth and Heaven:

Acts 8:39 - Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 - I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows - such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows - how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 - For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The Messiah was also supernaturally taken up to Heaven after rising from the dead:

Acts 1:6-9 - Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Luke 24:51 - Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.

The Messiah now sits at the right hand of God on His throne in Heaven:

Mark 16:19 - So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Ephesians 1:19-20 - ...and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places....
Hebrews 12:2 - ...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Messiah will remain at the right hand of God until it is time to defeat His enemies:

Acts 2:32-35 - This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'

Some believe that the male child "caught up" to Heaven is a picture of the rapture of the Church. That said, it is true that the Church is the "body" of Christ:

Romans 12:4-5 - For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 27 - For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.... Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

The Church is "caught up" (harpazó) to Heaven in the rapture like the child of the woman:

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 - For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The Church also appears at the throne in Heaven represented by the twenty-four elders (Revelation 4:4). Chronologically, Christ's ascension and rapture of the Church both occur between the birth of the child and the middle of the Tribulation, which is where the narrative of the sign in heaven brings us to in the next verse. That said, Christ's ascension is the primary meaning of the sign of the woman's child who is "caught up" to God's throne in Heaven, but the rapture of the Church could also be in view, as the Church is the body of Christ and it fits chronologically in the narrative. However, this secondary meaning is a weak argument used by some to show that the rapture occurs before the middle of the Tribulation. That said, it does not contradict the numerous proof-texts that clearly teach a Pre-Tribulation rapture. Click here for more on placement of the rapture on the prophetic timeline.


Revelation 12:6 - Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

After the woman's child is "caught up" to Heaven, the woman flees to the wilderness away from the dragon. These two events are separated by a long period-of-time. The first event is Christ's ascension that took place nearly 2,000 years ago, as discussed in the last section. The second event is the flight of the Jews to the wilderness in the middle of the Tribulation.

When studying prophetic Scripture, we find that God gave the prophets only tidbits of future events that many times covered more than one event. In many prophecies, the prophets saw one event, but what God revealed to them actually covered more than one event at different times. Clarence Larkin illustrates this in the following chart: "The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy." The following passage is an example of a prophecy that covers two related events separated by roughly the same time between Christ's ascension and the woman fleeing to the wilderness:

Zechariah 13:7-9 - "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion," Says the LORD of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones. [Crucifixion] And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; and each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" [Tribulation]

The first part of this passage prophesies Christ's death and the second part looks beyond the Church Age to the Tribulation where we see a third of the Jews preserved through the fiery trial. Later we will see that God preserves these Jews supernaturally in the wilderness. Incidentally, in His "Olivet Discourse," Jesus specifies when the Jews should flee to the wilderness for protection:

 Matthew 24 Mark 13
15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand),14"So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand),
16"Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.15Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house.
18And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.16And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!17But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
20And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.18And pray that your flight may not be in winter.
21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.19For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.20And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

Jesus warns the Jews to flee to the wilderness when they see the "abomination of desolation." To find out what the "abomination of desolation" is, we need to look at a similar prophecy in Daniel that was fulfilled in history:

Daniel 11:30-31 - ...So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.

The ruler of the Seleucid Empire, Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled this prophecy in the second century BC. The "abomination of desolation" described Epiphanes' desecration of the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar. He also set up a statue of a Greek god in the place of the Most Holy. This desecration of the temple has not happened again since Christ reiterated Daniel's prophecy (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14). Recall from Revelation 11:1-2, a Jewish temple will stand in the Tribulation and sacrifices will begin again. The antichrist will fulfill the future "abomination of desolation" by defiling the temple and stopping the sacrifices in the middle of the Tribulation. The antichrist will also proclaim himself as God:

2 Thessalonians 2:3 - Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

The "abomination of desolation" of the Jewish temple will mark the point in the Tribulation when the antichrist begins to take full reign. When the Jews see the "abomination of desolation" in their Jewish temple, Jesus urges them to flee to the wilderness, and the following passage shows that the Lord's warning was definitely directed to Jews:

Matthew 24:15-16, 20 - "Therefore when you see the 'ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.... And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath."

Those who flee to safety are inhabitants of ancient Judea, which today is in south-central Israel, including Jerusalem. Jesus says to pray that their flight will not happen on the Sabbath, which shows that those who flee from Judea are Jews trying to follow the Law, which attests to their return from global exile found in many Old Testament prophecies that has found fulfillment in our generation. While we don't know how these Jews come to know about the Lord's warning in the middle of the Tribulation, since most Jews have rejected Jesus and the New Testament, it is possible the two witnesses who begin to prophesy in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:3) shortly before the "abomination of desolation," quote the Lord's warning from His "Olivet Discourse" to the Jews.

Israel and West Jordan Topography

Source: Wikipedia

John sees the woman who represents Israel fleeing to the wilderness, but Jesus tells the Jews to flee to the mountains. The topographical map to the right shows that both are correct. Judea is in the mountains of Israel, so the Jews would flee east down the mountains into the Judean Wilderness and cross the Jordan Valley to the Mountain Heights Plateau of Jordan, which is both mountainous and largely desolate. And east of the plateau is the Arabian Desert.

Incidentally, this is the reverse path that Israel took when they crossed over the Jordan River from the wilderness and defeated Jericho. God is going to take Israel back to the wilderness to purge the rebels (two-thirds) and preserve a believing remnant (one-third) who will accept God's new covenant that Christ offered through His shed blood which they previously had rejected (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25):

Ezekiel 20:33-38 - "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you," says the Lord GOD. "I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD."
Jeremiah 31:31-34 - "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Zechariah 13:8-9 - And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"

God has prepared a place in the wilderness for the woman who represents Israel. This suggests that the Jews will flee to a particular place together and not randomly scatter to the wilderness. In fact, the prophet Micah shows that the Lord will gather a Jewish remnant together like "sheep of the fold" before He returns to rule over them as a shepherd, as discussed in Revelation 12:5:

Micah 2:12-13 - "I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise because of so many people. The one who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; their king will pass before them, with the LORD at their head."

While the Lord describes Israel as sheep in several places in Scripture, Jesus showed that he would bring other sheep outside of Israel into His fold:

John 10:14-16 - I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

The Church will join Israel in the Lord's sheepfold:

Hebrews 13:20-21 - Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 2:21-25 - For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Interestingly, there is evidence that the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, also known as the big and little bears, or the big and little dippers, originally represented sheep folds. Based on research of the names of the stars in the constellations and their associations with neighboring constellations called decans, as well as a possible mistranslation due to similar words between languages, all suggest that these two constellations may have originally represented two sheep folds - one greater and one lesser sheepfold. Click here for more details about the possible original meaning of these two constellations.

So how does God protecting the Jewish remnant like sheep in a fold fit into our redemption story in heaven? Recall from Revelation 12:2, the constellation Leo the lion represents Jesus, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah." The constellation that comes before Leo in the Zodiac is Cancer. Cancer is a crab that has a firm grasp with its claws. In the redemptive story of man in heaven, Cancer represents the Messiah's permanent hold on His sheep, as shown in Revelation 12:1:

John 10:27-29 - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.

The decans, or constellations associated with Cancer are Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, which may have originally represented sheep folds. Note that Ursa Major, or the greater sheepfold is near Leo the lion and Cancer the crab, which both represent Christ, and Draco the dragon surrounds Ursa Minor, or the lesser sheepfold as shown below:

Sheepfolds
Source: Stellarium

Just as Draco surrounds the lesser sheepfold in the sky, the dragon will pursue the woman who represents the Jews, but God will protect them from the serpent like sheep of a fold (Micah 2:12-13):

Revelation 12:13-14 - Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Therefore, the greater sheepfold represents the Old Testament saints and the Church who will be with Jesus, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Revelation 5:5), around God's throne in Heaven during the Tribulation (Revelation 4:4-6). The lesser sheepfold represents the Jewish remnant who will join the greater sheepfold when Jesus returns to rule as the Great Shepherd after the Tribulation (John 10:16).

Incidentally, there is a city in Edom called "Bozrah" which means "sheepfold." As shown in the "Great Middle East War" study, Edom, which is the area of southern Jordan, will be severely judged near the beginning of the Tribulation along with Israel's other neighbors in a regional war. The parallel passages below show that God will eventually destroy Bozrah completely:

Amos 1:11-12 - Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because he pursued his brother with the sword, and cast off all pity; his anger tore perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever. But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah."
Jeremiah 49:20-22 - Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that He has taken against Edom, and His purposes that He has proposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out; surely He shall make their dwelling places desolate with them. The earth shakes at the noise of their fall; at the cry its noise is heard at the Red Sea. Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah; the heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.

But the Lord is not finished with Edom in the regional war at the beginning of the Tribulation. When Jesus returns to the earth to set up His Kingdom He goes first to Edom to fight a battle:

Isaiah 34:2-8 - For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree. "For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made overflowing with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild oxen shall come down with them, and the young bulls with the mighty bulls; their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust saturated with fatness." For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
Isaiah 63:1-6 - Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? - "I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth."

As shown in the rest of the Isaiah passage below, the Lord is not returning to Edom just to fight a battle, but to save His flock and lead them out of the wilderness like He did during the days of Moses:

Isaiah 63:7-10 - I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, "Surely they are My people, children who will not lie." So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.
Isaiah 63:11-14 - Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: "Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them, who led them by the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, who led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they might not stumble?" As a beast goes down into the valley, and the Spirit of the LORD causes him to rest, so You lead Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name.

This suggests that the Jewish remnant flees to the desolate area in Edom near Bozrah. Satan will pursue the remnant, but God will protect them. As mentioned eariler, it appears that Edom is left desolate and uninhabitable like Sodom and Gomorrah early in the Tribulation in the "Great Middle East War." However, it is possible that Edom is not completely devastated in this regional war, but after the Tribulation when the Lord returns. In other words, there might be a partial fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy near the beginning of the Tribulation with destruction leaving the land desolate but not completely uninhabitable, and the complete fulfillment with total destruction after the Tribulation when Jesus returns.

On that note, the following passage shows that the Messiah will return to a place in the wilderness greeted by Kedar nomads and the inhabitants of Sela, where He will strike down his enemies like we saw in the Isaiah passages above. This supports the complete fulfillment of Edom's prophesied devastation at the end of the Tribulation when it becomes uninhabitable (Jeremiah 49:17-18). The phrase, "cry like a woman in labor" is reminiscent of Revelation 12:2, where the woman is in labor with the male child who is the Messiah:

Isaiah 42:11-16 - Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare His praise in the coastlands. The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies. "I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once. I will lay waste the mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will make the rivers coastlands, and I will dry up the pools. I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them."

Sela is the biblical name for Petra, an ancient city in Edom, which means "rock" or "stronghold." Many Bible scholars believe the Jewish remnant will go to Petra after gathering near Bozrah. Petra is an ancient city carved in a rock cliff just south of Bozrah. The houses carved into the bed rock over a vast area at Petra could reasonably house several thousand people. The following Psalms have the same ending and talk about a "strong city" in Edom, where God will lead His people during a time of trouble and save them from their enemies:

Psalms 60:9-12 - Who will bring me to the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom? Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
Psalms 108:10-13 - Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom? Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.

It is reasonable to believe that this "strong city" in Edom is Petra. Some point to the following passage to support the notion that God protects the Jewish remnant at Petra:

Isaiah 16:1-7 - Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; so shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon. "Take counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; hide the outcasts, do not betray him who escapes. Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, devastation ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness." We have heard of the pride of Moab - He is very proud - Of his haughtiness and his pride and his wrath; but his lies shall not be so. Therefore Moab shall wail for Moab; everyone shall wail. For the foundations of Kir Hareseth you shall mourn; surely they are stricken.

Moab, which is just north of Edom, used to pay tribute to Israel with sheep (2 Kings 3). The Lord warned Moab to pay the tribute again or they would face judgment. Note that the path that the lambs traveled was from Sela through the wilderness in Moab to Zion, which is Jerusalem. Also note that the Lord tells Moab to shelter His outcasts, the Jewish remnant, until the Messiah returns to defeat "the oppressors." In other words, this prophecy found partial fulfillment in history, but also looks forward to the future when the Messiah leads His people from the wilderness back to Israel and sets up His throne on the earth.

Since the area of Moab is also devastated in the "Great Middle East War" near the beginning of the Tribulation (Zephaniah 2:9), perhaps it is the land and not its inhabitants that protect the Jewish remnant, especially since Moab's inhabitant may be few to none after the war. In fact, later we will see the dragon, or the serpent, tries to attack the fleeing woman, but the earth saves the woman:

Revelation 12:15-16 - So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, 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 flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

Incidentally, Daniel shows that the beast, or the antichrist, who operates with the power and authority of the dragon, will begin his conquest in the middle of the Tribulation. It is likely that the "abomination of desolation" that initiates the Jew's flight will occur after the antichrist conquers Israel, or the "Glorious Land":

Daniel 11:40-45 - "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him."

After overthrowing Israel, the antichrist, or the "king of the north" broadens his conquest to the south, but is unable to take the area of modern-day Jordan, which includes Edom, Moab, and Ammon, and where many believe that God protects the Jewish remnant during the Tribulation. In fact, the flood from the dragon (Revelation 12:15) might be the antichrist's army who fails to take the area of Jordan because God causes the earth to consume them to protect His people (Revelation 12:15-16). God continues to protect His people through the last half of the Tribulation, but the antichrist must send more forces to pursue the Jewish remnant after the earth swallows the flood, otherwise there would not be a bloodbath in Edom when the Lord arrives:

Isaiah 63:1-3 - Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? - "I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes."

If the Jewish remnant continues on to Petra from Moab through Bozrah, it is interesting that the Shepherd will lead this "flock" on the same route that the lambs traveled when Moab used to pay tribute to Israel in Isaiah's day - from Sela, through the wilderness in Moab, and then on to Jerusalem. This is roughly the same path through which Moses and Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, although they will go through Edom and Moab from the area of Petra and Bozrah. The first time Israel entered the Promised Land they had to go just east of Edom because their king would not let Israel pass (Numbers 20:14-21).

Israel and West Jordan topography

Source: Wikipedia

After crossing the Jordan River, Joshua led Israel across the Valley of Achor to Jericho. After their defeat at Ai for disobedience, Israel built a memorial in the Valley of Achor:

Joshua 7:26 - Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.

God will bring Israel through the wilderness again, where they will accept the new covenant established by Christ whom they previously rejected. The Valley of Achor will no longer be a reminder of their disobedience but will be called "a door of hope":

Hosea 2:14-16, 18-20, 23 - "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. "And it shall be, in that day," Says the LORD, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master...'" In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. "I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD..... Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!'"

God will feed the Jewish remnant in the place He has prepared for them in the wilderness like He did during the Exodus, but we are not told who God uses to feed them. The "they" who feed the Jewish remnant could be angels. While we do not know if angels actually fed Israel in the wilderness, the manna they ate was angels' food:

Psalms 78:18-22 - And they tested God in their heart by asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, so that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?" Therefore the LORD heard this and was furious; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel, because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in His salvation.
Psalms 78:23-27, 52 - Yet He had commanded the clouds above, and opened the doors of heaven, had rained down manna on them to eat, and given them of the bread of heaven. Men ate angels' food; He sent them food to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; and by His power He brought in the south wind. He also rained meat on them like the dust, feathered fowl like the sand of the seas... But He made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock....

Another possibility is that God will send birds or other creatures to feed His flock like He did for Elijah:

1 Kings 17:1-6 - And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word." Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there." So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.

After the brook dried up, God fed Elijah through a Gentile woman:

1 Kings 17:7-12 - And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, "Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink." And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." So she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
1 Kings 17:13-16 - And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.' " So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

Since the Lord judges the Gentiles who survived the Tribulation based on how they treat the Jews - the Lord's brethren - in the "Sheep and Goat Judgment," perhaps God uses Gentiles to take care of His Jewish remnant like He did Elijah:

Matthew 25:31-36, 40-41, 45 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me....' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.... Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'"

God will protect the Jewish remnant in the wilderness for 1,260 days, or 3 ½ years. This day-count begins after the "abomination of desolation" which is the dividing point of "Daniel's 70th Week," therefore, the Jewish remnant will stay in the wilderness for the last half of the Tribulation. Incidentally, this is the same length of time God provided for Elijah during the drought:

Luke 4:25-26 - But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
James 5:17-18 - Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Many believe Elijah is one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:6 who withhold rain from the earth like he did in the Old Testament, and there is good biblical merit to support this notion, as discussed in Revelation 11:4. But others believe Elijah's mission is different from the two witnesses' ministry. The two witnesses prophesy to more than just Jews and call down plagues on the world, but the passage below shows that God will send Elijah to minister to the Jews and prepare them for the Lord's return:

Malachi 4:4-6 - "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."

John the Baptist could have fulfilled the role of Elijah had Israel accepted Jesus as Messiah, but they rejected Him, so Elijah will prepare Israel for the Lord's return. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus when He came the first time, but the earth was not renovated and the glory of the Lord was not revealed, thus the complete fulfillment is yet to come with the return of Elijah:

Isaiah 40:3-5 - The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Also, the two witnesses prophesy in Jerusalem, not the wilderness. John the Baptist ministered in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord when He came the first time, so it makes sense that Elijah may also minister in the wilderness to prepare the Jews for the Lord's return in the complete fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. If Elijah is not one of the two witnesses, perhaps he will minister to the Jews in the wilderness and prepare their hearts for the Lord's return like John the Baptist did in his ministry.

Whether or not Elijah is sent to the wilderness to minister to the Jewish remnant, he will nevertheless return to prepare the Jews for the Messiah, and perhaps in that mission he will warn the Jews to flee to the wilderness as one of the two witnesses. Either way, God has prepared a place for the Jewish remnant in the wilderness, where He will protect them from their enemies and provide for their physical needs. But more importantly, God is going to prepare the Jewish remnant for the coming of the Messiah by pleading His case with them. By the end of the wilderness experience, God will bring the Jewish remnant under the new covenant, after they finally and corporately accept the fact that Jesus is the Messiah:

Ezekiel 20:35-38 - And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you," says the Lord GOD. "I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD."

Revelation 12:7-12


Revelation 12:7-8 - And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

After the woman flees from the dragon to the wilderness, a war breaks out in Heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels. The dragon is Satan and his angels are the fallen angels who followed Satan in rebellion against God, as discussed in Revelation 12:4. The angels who fight with Michael are the holy angels who did not rebel against God with Satan. Michael is an archangel (Jude 1:9), or chief prince (Daniel 10:13), which means he is a commander over other angels. Chief princes also have power over nations:

Daniel 10:10-11, 13, 20-21 - Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.... But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.... Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.)"

Michael is the chief prince over Israel (Daniel 12:1) and is able to "uphold" against the other chief princes of other nations. As discussed in Revelation 10:1, the Hebrew word "chazaq" translated "upholds" literally means "strong." In other words, Michael has power and strength against evil princes, who are the "principalities," "powers," and "rulers of darkness" that Paul talks about:

Ephesians 6:12 - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Since angels cannot be defeated by conventional means, the war in Heaven is presumably a spiritual battle. Paul describes how to wage a spiritual battle:

Ephesians 6:13-17 - Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God....

Jesus waged such a spiritual battle when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Jesus defeated Satan with the truth and righteousness of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit:

Luke 4:1-4 - Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD.'"
Luke 4:5-8 - Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND HIM ONLY YOU SHALL SERVE.'"
Luke 4:9-13 - Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: 'HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE OVER YOU, TO KEEP YOU,' and, 'IN THEIR HANDS THEY SHALL BEAR YOU UP, LEST YOU DASH YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.' " And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, 'YOU SHALL NOT TEMPT THE LORD YOUR GOD.' " Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Likewise, Michael and his angels will fight a spiritual battle and prevail against the dragon and his angels because the Lord gives them strength because they obey His Word:

Psalms 103:19-21 - The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure.

The battle ends when Michael and his angels cast the dragon and his angels out of Heaven. Up until this war, all the sons of God, both the holy and fallen angels continue to have access before God's presence in Heaven:

Job 1:6-12 - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Job 2:1-7 - Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause." So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

Satan stood before God in Heaven and asserted that if he tested Job, he would sin against God. Satan is an adversary and has always accused the brethren, trying to ensnare them:

Revelation 12:10 - Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."

At the end of the battle in Heaven, the dragon and his angels will not have a place in Heaven anymore, which is in contrast to the place in the wilderness God prepared for the woman (Revelation 12:6). As we will see in the next section, Michael and his angels win the war in Heaven and cast them out of Heaven. But Michael is not finished with his battle against the dragon, as he stands to protect Israel through the rest of the Tribulation:

Daniel 12:1 - "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book."

Revelation 12:9 - So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

As discussed in the last section, Michael and his angels win the war in Heaven. Here we see that they cast the dragon and his angels out of Heaven to the earth. The dragon is also known as the "serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan." These four depictions of the great adversary describe his character, which we covered in previous sections and summarized in the table below:


Depiction Greek Meaning Character
Dragon Drakón Serpent, or sea monster Formidable beast like the sea monster Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1)
Serpent of Old Ophis Serpent or snake who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden Crafty in deception (Genesis 3, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-14, Revelation 20:2-10)
Devil Diabolos Slanderer Throws false accusations against the saints to ensnare or destroy them (Revelation 12:10, John 8:44, 1 Timothy 3:6-7)
Satan Satanas The adversary Stands in opposition to God and His people and angels (1 Chronicles 21:1, Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7, Zechariah 3:1-2, Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 8:33, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Revelation 12:7-8)

While the dragon is a formidable creature who slanders and stands in opposition to God and His people, this section highlights the dragon's craft for deception. Satan is called "the serpent of old," which takes us back to the Garden of Eden, where Satan deceived Eve in the form of a serpent, a crafty or cunning creature:

Genesis 3:1-6 - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:12-13 - Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Deception is of the spirit of antichrist:

2 John 1:7 - For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

The spirit of antichrist is the deceptive working of Satan through men who work against Christ and put themselves in the place of Christ. Ultimately, Satan will bestow the full power of the spirit of antichrist on the "lawless one" who tries to place himself in the place of God and works to deceive the world through signs and wonders:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 - Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 - The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

John calls the lawless one "the beast" and scholars usually call him "the antichrist." The dragon and the beast give another beast called the false prophet power and authority to perform signs and wonders to deceive the world during the Tribulation:

Revelation 13:11-14 - Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth - by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

Babylon will become the capital city of the beast system, which is in the land of Shinar, or modern-day Iraq (Zechariah 5:5-11). Satan will use fleshly lust and sorcery (enchantments using drugs) to deceive people and cause them to fall into spiritual idolatry, commit fornication with the material wealth of Babylon, and not follow after God:

Revelation 18:2-3, 23 - And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.... For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.... For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived."

In short, the dragon gives power to the beast and the false prophet to deceive the world through signs, wonders and material wealth to deceive the world. The fate of all three is the lake of fire:

Revelation 19:20 - Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:7-10 - Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The angels who are cast out of Heaven with the dragon will also spend eternity with the dragon in the lake of fire:

Matthew 25:41 - "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels...."

The fall of Satan and his angels occurs in a four-step descent. First they fell spiritually after they sinned. Satan sinned when he became prideful:

Ezekiel 28:13-16 - You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. "By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones."
1 Timothy 3:6 - ...lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

Extra-scriptural sources show that some of the angels followed Satan and rebelled against God (source). The sign of the dragon in the sky shows that a third of the angels rebelled with Satan:

Revelation 12:3-4 - And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

As discussed in the last section, Satan and the fallen angels still have access before God's throne in Heaven, even though they fell spiritually. After the war in Heaven, Satan and his angels will fall physically from Heaven to Earth, when they are cast out by Michael and the holy angels. Satan and his angels are confined to Earth during the last half of the Tribulation, which is the "time, times, and half a time." God protects the woman who represents Israel from the dragon who pursues her:

Revelation 12:12-14 - Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

After the Tribulation, Satan is bound and thrown down into the bottomless pit for a thousand years:

Revelation 20:1-3 - Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
Isaiah 14:11-17 - Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you.' "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. "Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?'"

While Satan is held in the bottomless pit, his minions are held in a Hades-like prison in Babylon starting at the end of the Tribulation:

Revelation 18:2, 8, 19:3 - And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird....! Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.... Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!"

After the Millennium, Satan and all those who rejected God, which include Satan's angels, are cast into the lake of fire:

Revelation 20:10, 14-15 - The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.... Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

In summary, Satan and his angels fell spiritually after they sinned, they will fall from Heaven to the earth in the middle of the Tribulation, then they are imprisoned in the earth during the millennial kingdom, and finally they are all cast into the lake of fire.


Revelation 12:10 - Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."

A loud voice in Heaven praises the Lord and announces Satan's defeat in Heaven. Both angels and saints in Heaven cry out in a loud voice (Revelation 6:10, 7:2, 10:3, 18:2, 19:17). This loud voice speaks about their brethren, and is reminiscent of the martyrs under the altar who spoke in a loud voice:

Revelation 6:10-11 - And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

In fact, as we will see in the next section, the loud voice speaks specifically of saints who are martyred for their faith. So, the loud voice could be the martyrs, but they could be the elders, or even some or all redeemed men speaking in a unified accord for their fellow believers on Earth. Regardless, this is a praise from redeemed people and not angels. In fact, the loud voice praises the Lord for salvation, which shows they are redeemed. As discussed in Revelation 5:12, Jesus is the "Lamb that was slain," to redeem men, which made Him worthy to receive power and strength, among other things. The great multitude in Heaven also praises the Lord for salvation, and proclaims that power and might (or strength) belong to God:

Revelation 7:9-12 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Jesus comes with power when He returns to redeem the world:

Luke 21:27-28 - "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

Loud voices in Heaven praise the Lord for taking power to reign over His Kingdom:

Revelation 11:15-17 - Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned."

Jesus begins His reign in Heaven after Satan and his angels are cast out, but does not take power to reign on Earth until He returns. Near the end of the Tribulation, shortly after the Lord defeats the beast when He resurrects the two witnesses', Jesus takes power to reign on Earth, as discussed in Revelation 11:17. But before Jesus physically rules on Earth, He will use His strength and power to defeat His enemies. The beast is cast into the lake of fire and Satan is cast into the bottomless pit. After this, God's will is done in His kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven:

Matthew 6:9-13 - In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

After the loud voice praises the Lord, the voice announces that the accuser of the brethren is cast out of Heaven to Earth, which we know is Satan (Revelation 12:10). Satan spends his time in Heaven continually, day and night, accusing believers. Paul and Peter admonish us to guard our testimony and try to live holy lives so we don't give Satan something to indict us on:

Ephesians 4:26-27 - "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
1 Timothy 3:7 - Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Fortunately, Jesus is our intercessor, even when we do sin:

1 John 2:1 - My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Hebrews 7:25 - Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Romans 8:33-34, 38-39 - Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.... For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Even so, Heaven will rejoice when Satan is cast out of Heaven (Revelation 12:12) and can no longer accuse the saints. In short, when Satan and his angels are cast to the earth, they will no longer be able rail accusations against believers on Earth, and the saints in Heaven will praise the Lord when He takes power and strength to finally defeat the enemy, so He can begin to reign over His kingdom and redeem the world.


Revelation 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

As discussed in the last section, the voice in Heaven announces that Satan is cast out of Heaven and is no longer able to accuse the brethren alive on the earth. These Tribulation saints have an advocate against Satan through Jesus (1 John 2:1), who died and shed His blood as a substitutionary atonement for our sin (Hebrews 10:10-12). As discussed in Revelation 7:14, the Tribulation saints wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, which symbolically shows that they trust in Christ's sacrifice for salvation and have set themselves apart to serve the Lord:

Revelation 7:9-14 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Note that the elders and four living creatures praise the Lord for His salvation, power, and strength (or might), while the multitude arrives in Heaven, which is similar to the praise from the loud voice in Heaven who praises the Lord in the last section. The elders and four living creatures also praise the Lord for redeeming them through the blood of the Lamb:

Revelation 5:8-10 - Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

The Tribulation saints also defeat Satan by the word of their testimony. Someone's testimony gives evidence or proof for something (Revelation 11:3). The Tribulation saints' testimony is tied to their willingness to die for their faith, as they do not "love their lives to the death," and they die for the Word of God:

Revelation 6:9-11 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

Jesus calls those who follow Him to hate this life and look forward to eternal life. Jesus will give them the crown of life because they love Him (James 1:12, Revelation 2:8-11):

John 12:25-26 - He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Mark 8:34-38 - When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

During the Tribulation many will love their life and choose to reject Christ; they will take the mark of the beast and worship his image to try to save their life, but instead they will lose their life:

Revelation 14:9-11 - Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

But those who choose Christ and refuse the mark of the beast will die because of their testimony, but will have eternal life:

Revelation 20:4 - And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Later, we will see that those who have the testimony of the Lamb are considered offspring of the woman:

Revelation 12:17 - And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Recall that the woman represents Israel (Revelation 12:1). Jesus is the woman's notable child and those who have His testimony are the rest of her offspring. As we will discuss in Revelation 12:17, Paul compares Israel to an olive tree, where Jewish believers are the natural branches and Gentiles believers are grafted-in branches to the same tree (Romans 11). In other words, those who hold the testimony of Jesus Christ are spiritual offspring of Israel.


Revelation 12:12 - "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."

As discussed over the last few sections, the loud voice in Heaven praises the Lord for defeating Satan in Heaven, and reports that the saints on Earth continue to defeat Satan through the blood of the Lamb and their testimony, even to their death. The loud voice in Heaven tells the inhabitants of the heavens to rejoice because of Satan's defeat.

Today, Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and accuser of the brethren before the throne (Revelation 12:10). When Satan is permanently cast to the earth he will no longer have access to the throne, nor will he be prince over the power of the air, so both the dwelling place of God and the physical heavens will no longer have to endure the railings of the adversary. But the heavens not only rejoice just because Satan and his angels get evicted from Heaven - they know that the defeat of all the Lord's enemies and redemption of the earth is not far behind:

Psalms 96:11-13 - Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and all its fullness; let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.

The inhabitants of Heaven also rejoice when the Lord takes vengeance on Babylon the city and Babylon the religious system, both of which will play a role in deceiving the world and murdering the saints for their testimony:

Revelation 18:20-21 - "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!" Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore."
Revelation 19:1-2 - After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!"

While the inhabitants in the heavens rejoice that Satan is cast out of Heaven, the inhabitants of Earth will mourn in affliction because he comes down to the earth having great wrath. The loud voice in Heaven warns the inhabitants of the earth of the coming affliction with the word "woe." Recall from Revelation 8:13, the prophets often used the word "woe" usually while they were rebuking and prophesying, showing grief, affliction, anguish, deep distress, and lamentation over coming judgment, instead of protection and well-being from the Lord:

Lamentations 3:38 - Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?
Jeremiah 45:3-5 - 'You said, "Woe is me now! For the LORD has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest." "Thus you shall say to him, 'Thus says the LORD: "Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh," says the LORD. "But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go."'"

Satan will cause much "woe" to the inhabitants of the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. That said, recall from Revelation 9:1 that a "fallen star" releases the fifth Trumpet judgment on the earth, which is also the first of three "woes" of judgment. Satan is likely this "fallen star" who releases the tormenting locusts from the bottomless pit. So the "woe" in the warning from the loud voice in Heaven may allude to the general affliction Satan causes through the beast or antichrist, but the "woe" may also point to the torment Satan causes if he is the "fallen star" who releases the tormenting locusts in the fifth Trumpet judgment. The timeline fits, since Satan is cast from Heaven as a fallen star in the middle of the Tribulation, and the fifth Trumpet judgment occurs sometime into the second half of the Tribulation, as shown below:

fallen star unlocks abyss order of events

The reason Satan has great wrath when he is cast to Earth is because he knows his time is short. As shown in several places of Scripture, Satan knows God's Word, but tries to pervert it. That being case, Satan knows that once he is cast to the earth he only has 3 ½ years left to wreak as much havoc as possible in a final effort to subvert God's plan. Satan does make an effort to gather the armies to battle against Christ at the end of the Tribulation, so he must believe that he can somehow circumvent what God prophesied. Yet at the same time Satan acknowledges that the prophecies show God's plan and timeline. In other words, Satan understands from prophecy that God intends to bind him 3 ½ years after he gets evicted from Heaven, but he wreaks as much havoc as possible to try to thwart God's plan in the limited time he knows he has.

As discussed in Revelation 7:14, Jesus calls the last half of the Tribulation "great tribulation," because it will comparatively be the worst tribulation the world has ever experienced. When you consider that the inhabitants of the earth endure both the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan at the same time, no other time on earth could compare to the affliction experienced by the inhabitants of both the earth and the sea. It is no wonder that Jesus characterizes the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation as "great tribulation." Fortunately, God's wrath and Satan's wrath only last for a short time before Jesus returns to defeat Satan and redeem the earth.

Revelation 12:13-17


Revelation 12:13 - Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

As discussed in the last section, Satan knows the scriptures and is aware of God's plan. Satan apparently believes that he can somehow thwart God's plan to retain his control over the kingdoms of the world. Satan has tried and failed to subvert God's plan from the beginning, when he set out to destroy the seed of the woman, as discussed in Revelation 12:4. After the woman's male child was caught up to God's throne, Satan the dragon pursued the woman who represents Israel. Satan knows that if he can annihilate the Jews then he can defeat God because of His promise to Israel:

Jeremiah 31:35-37 - Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): "If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD: "If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD."

Sarcastically speaking, Satan might do better to try to and change the ordinances of Heaven. But perhaps Satan has tried to disrupt the ordinances of the heavenly bodies and failed, or maybe the war in Heaven is more than a spiritual war but also a physical battle over the ordinances of the cosmos. Whether the war is spiritual or physical Satan loses, leading him to persecute the woman in hostile pursuit after he is banished to Earth. Centuries of attacks and attempted genocide against the Jews - including the Spanish Inquisition, Russian Pogroms, and the Holocaust - show that the dragon already has been pursuing and persecuting the woman already for nearly two-thousand years since her child was caught up to God's throne.

After Satan is cast out of Heaven, he will have great wrath because he knows his times is short, as discussed in the last section. Satan will attempt to destroy the woman as part of his strategy to defeat God, because Israel is the center of God's redemptive plan and God promised Israel that He would always preserve a remnant of the seed of Israel. If Satan can destroy the Jewish remnant, then all of the promises God made to Israel cannot come to pass, which means he defeats God and retains control over the kingdoms of the earth. Of course, God's Word is true and Satan will lose, even though he is arrogant enough to think he can change God's foreknowledge and sovereignty.


Revelation 12:14 - But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Recall from Revelation 12:6, that the woman flees to the wilderness for protection during the last half of the Tribulation. This section gives more details on the woman's flight. She flees from the presence of the dragon - literally, from the face of the dragon - and flies to the wilderness with eagle wings. The following passages explain the symbolism of flying with eagle's wings:

Exodus 19:1-4 - In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.'"
Deuteronomy 32:9-12 - For the LORD's portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. "He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him."
Isaiah 40:28-31 - Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

God brought Israel out of the wilderness on eagle's wings, which shows that they followed God through the wilderness without growing weary or faint because He gave them strength. The eagle's wings also show God's protection from the enemy. In fact, there are several other passages that show that God is a refuge for those who trust Him:

Psalms 36:7 - How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
Ruth 2:12 - "The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
Psalms 17:8-9 - Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.
Psalms 57:1 - ...Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.
Psalms 61:3-4 - For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
Psalms 91:4 - He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

Incidentally, when the Lord returns He is going to fly like an eagle and spread His wings over Bozrah:

Jeremiah 49:22 - Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah; the heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.

Recall from Revelation 12:6, that there is evidence that the woman will flee to the area of Bozrah, where God will give the Jewish remnant refuge and protect them from the dragon Satan. Ironically, the men in Edom will have fear like a woman in labor - instead of the woman who was in travail before - because the Lord comes to destroy them while protecting His people.

God will protect and feed the woman in the wilderness for precisely 1,260 days according to Revelation 12:6. In this verse we are told that God will protect the woman for "time, times, and half a time." Denoting the time in this manner shows that this is the same time period prophesied in Daniel:

Daniel 12:1, 6-7 - "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book....." And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?" Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

This passage shows a different perspective of the same scene in Revelation 12:7, where Michael the chief prince stands up and defeats the dragon. Here we see that Michael protects Israel and will watch over them during the worst time of trouble on the earth, which is the last half of the Tribulation, or "time, times, and half a time."

Recall from Revelation 10:6, the Hebrew word translated "shatter" in Daniel 12:7can also mean "scatter." The "abomination of desolation" in the middle of the Tribulation "shatters" Israel's power because the beast takes over Israel and desecrates the temple, and the Jews will lose their sovereignty as a nation. In addition, the Jews will physically scatter to the wilderness, where God provides a place of refuge for them from the dragon.

On the other hand, the rest of the woman's offspring are given over to the beast, or the horn (Revelation 12:3) who works under the authority and power of the dragon (Revelation 13:2) during the same "time, times, and half a time" that God protects the woman in the wilderness. As we will see in Revelation 12:17, the rest of the woman's offspring are believers who have the testimony of Jesus Christ, or the Tribulation saints:

Daniel 7:23-25 - "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.'"

Some believe that the woman's two wings of an eagle are more than figurative language and the Jewish remnant will flee to the wilderness via air travel such as planes or helicopters provided by Gentile believers. On that note, recall from Revelation 12:6 that the Lord judges the Gentiles who survive the Tribulation in the "Sheep and Goat Judgment" based on how they treat the Jews during the Tribulation:

Matthew 25:31-36, 40-41, 45 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me....' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.... Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'"

God used a Gentile woman to feed and house Elijah during a 3 ½ year drought (Luke 4:25-26). While God can supernaturally provide for the Jews with manna from Heaven the way He did during the Exodus, or have birds bring them food the way He did for Elijah before he went to the Gentile woman, it is also possible that God will use Gentiles to help the Jews escape from the dragon with "wings of an eagle" in the form of air transportation and provide the Jews provisions to survive the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.


Revelation 12:15 - So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

While the woman who represents Israel is fleeing to the wilderness, Satan, pictured as the water serpent known as Leviathan (Revelation 12:3) will try to stop her by spewing water out of his mouth to sweep her away with the flood. Some believe that Satan will use a literal flood to try to wipe out the Jewish remnant as they flee to the wilderness. On that note, God supernaturally brought Israel through the Red Sea and the Jordan River by dividing physical waters during the Exodus.

God causes the earth to open and swallow the flood, as shown in the next section. The Greek word translated flood can also mean river. If the Jewish remnant flees to Jordan as discussed in Revelation 12:6, they will have to cross the Jordan River as they did when they crossed the flooded river into the Promised Land during the days of Joshua:

Joshua 3:14-17 - So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

On the other hand, some believe the "flood" represents Israel enemies, based on the following passages:

Isaiah 59:18-21 - According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay. So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. "The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the LORD. "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore."
Psalms 124:1-8 - A Song of Ascents. Of David. "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side," Let Israel now say - "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul." Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Incidentally, the end of the Tribulation will come in like a "flood":

Daniel 9:26-27 - "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."

The beginning of this "flood" is tied to the "abomination of desolation," which prompts the Jewish remnant to flee to the wilderness in the middle of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:6) and leads to the Lord's return and final wrath:

Nahum 1:6-8 - Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, and darkness will pursue His enemies.

Many believe that the beast, or antichrist begins his conquest against the king of the south near the middle of the Tribulation and takes the "Glorious Land" of Israel in the battle, and desecrates the temple causing the "abomination of desolation" at that time:

Daniel 11:40-45 - "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him."

Note that the areas of Edom, Moab, and Ammon escape from the antichrist's hand. These ancient areas cover modern-day Jordan. Edom is where many believe God will protect the Jewish remnant in the Tribulation, as discussed in Revelation 12:6. It makes sense that the antichrist is on his global conquest when he takes over Israel, desecrates the temple in Jerusalem, and then pursues the Jewish remnant to the wilderness in Jordan, seeking to take that area too.

This is similar to when Pharaoh sent his army to pursue Israel into the wilderness during the Exodus and thought they had the Hebrews trapped by the Red Sea. Satan may even cause the Jordan River to flood its banks to try to trap the Jewish remnant between the antichrist's army, a figurative flood, and a literal flooding river. But God will provide a way for them to escape the dragon's flood, figurative or literal, as He did during the Exodus, and the antichrist will fail to conquer Jordan.

As discussed in the last section, the Jews may escape from the dragon through air travel, but it also possible that God will be more dramatic and supernaturally bring them across a flooded river just as He brought Israel across the parted Red Sea. On that note, we will see in the next section that God will consume the dragon's flood like He consumed Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea:

Exodus 14:27-29 - And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Revelation 12:16 - But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

As discussed in the last section, Satan, pictured as the water serpent known as Leviathan (Revelation 12:3), sends a flood after the woman who represents Israel to try to consume the Jews before they can reach the place of safety God has prepared for them in the wilderness. The flood could be a literal flood of water, or it could be an army of enemies, or even a combination of both. In the Exodus, God caused a wind to draw the sea back for Israel to cross over on dry ground:

Exodus 14:21-22 - Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

When Israel entered the Promised Land, God supernaturally piled up the Jordan River upstream allowing them to cross on dry ground:

Joshua 3:14-17 - So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

In the Tribulation, God will open the earth to consume the flood. Regardless if literal water is involved or if the flood is in the form of an enemy army, the earth will open up with a sinkhole like a mouth to consume the flood the dragon spews out to harm the woman. Such was the case when the sons of Korah rebelled against Moses - God opened the earth and swallowed them:

Numbers 16:1-3 - Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?"
Numbers 16:30-34 - "But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD." Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, "Lest the earth swallow us up also!"

It is interesting to note that the same Greek word translated "swallow" is found in the following passage which describes how God used the Red Sea to drown the Egyptian army, which lends support to the flood being a human army:

Hebrews 11:29 - By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

In short, the flood from the serpent's mouth could be literal water, or an enemy army, or even a combination of both. Whether the flood is literal or figurative, God will protect the Jews and use the earth to swallow the flood the way He did during the Exodus when the sons of Korah rebelled.


Revelation 12:17 - And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

After God blocks the dragon's pursuit of the woman, the dragon becomes enraged. Recall from Revelation 12:12, that Satan knows his time is short and he will have great wrath against the inhabitants of the earth in his last attempt to thwart God's redemptive plan. After he fails to annihilate the woman, he takes his hostile pursuit against her offspring. Recall from Revelation 12:11, the woman represents Israel and Jesus is the woman's notable child. The rest of the woman's offspring are those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Those who keep the commandments are the saints:

Revelation 14:12 - Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The commandments that the saints keep are 1) to believe that Jesus is Messiah and 2) to love one another:

1 John 3:23 - And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

As noted in Revelation 12:14, the Lord will give the Tribulation saints over to the antichrist in the last half of the Tribulation:

Daniel 7:25 - He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.

However, while the antichrist kills most of the Tribulation saints, they still win the war by the word of their testimony. A person's testimony gives evidence or proof for something (Revelation 11:3). The Tribulation saint's testimony is tied to their willingness to die for their faith, as they do not "love their lives to the death." The following passage shows that the Tribulation saints die for the Word of God:

Revelation 6:9-11 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

So we see that the woman Israel has other offspring, but they are not physical offspring like the Messiah - they are spiritual offspring. Paul explains the difference between spiritual and physical Israel in the passage below:

Romans 11:13-15 - For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Romans 11:16-24 - For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Romans 11:22-24 - Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Paul compares Israel to an olive tree, where Jewish believers are the natural branches and Gentile believers are wild branches grafted into the same tree (Romans 11). In other words, physical Israel is the natural tree and its branches, but Jews can be cut off from the tree and Gentiles can be grafted into the tree by believing that Jesus is Messiah. In short, belief that Jesus is the Messiah is required to take part of the spiritual tree of Israel. This shows that the saints who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus Christ are spiritual offspring of Israel, but that does not mean they receive the promises God made to the physical descendants of Israel, which He will fulfill in the Kingdom Age.

In summary, God chose Israel as the centerpiece in His redemptive plan for man. God called Israel out of the nations to share His Word with the Gentiles (Romans 3:2) after His redemptive plan in the heavens was corrupted through pagan religions (Romans 1:20-21). God also brought forth the Messiah, the seed of the woman, through the nation Israel. Now all who believe that Jesus is Messiah are spiritual offspring of Israel, which means they are part of the family of God.

God still has a plan for the physical seed of Israel, which Satan continually tries to thwart. But God will protect a Jewish remnant in the wilderness from Satan during the most horrific time on earth. After the Tribulation, the seed of the woman, the Messiah, will return and defeat Satan, the dragon and serpent of old, fulfill the promises He made to Abraham's physical descendants, and rule over all the kingdoms of the world from Israel.

It is amazing that God put this redemptive plan for man and Israel in the heavens at the beginning of creation as signs to declare the glory of God and share His plan with mankind:

Psalms 19:1-4 - To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world....
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Revelation Flow Chart:

Revelation Flow Chart

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