GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 01/25/04
The Earth and the Flood, Divine Protection in Historical Disaster
Revelation 12:14 Nevertheless, the two wings of the great eagle [divine protection for true Israel] were given to the woman, so that she [true Israel] might fly to her place of refuge [the mountains (Mat 24:16) of Edom, Moab, and Ammon], where in that place [the place of refuge provided by God], she will be sustained three and a half years from the presence of the serpent.
Here we see Satan the “serpent,” the deceiver, attempting to lure the born-again Jews from their place of refuge.
We now move on to the first attack of the third demon assault army in REV 12:15, “And the serpent poured water like a violent flood out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.”The first demon assault army is mentioned in REV 9:3, “And out of the smoke locusts [the first demon army from the Abyss where they had been imprisoned] invaded the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
In REV 9:13-14, we have the attack of the second demon assault army in the Tribulation period, “And the sixth angel sounded [a winner angel from the prehistoric angelic conflict], and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one commanding the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels [the demon army commanders] who have been imprisoned at the great river Euphrates.'” In REV 9:15-16 we see their intent and their numbers: “And the four angels [the demon generals commanding this second assault army group], who had been kept in state of readiness for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.”
In REV 12:15, “serpent” is the title of Satan based on his tactical victory in regaining rulership of this world, when he tempted the woman in the Garden, and in this verse he “poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman [Israel].” “Water” is used here as in ISA 8:7-8, to represent a flood, an invading army, or a disaster. Believers must always remember that the Lord Jesus Christ controls history, Psa 29:10, “The Lord sits as King at the flood; yes, the Lord sits as King forever.” The Psalmist wrote in PSA 32:6, “Therefore, let everyone who is spiritual pray to Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not reach him.” In REV 12:15, “water” refers to the third demon assault army, which has already been defeated in the battle of heaven, and is now taking out its frustration on the human race.
In REV 12:15 the word for “river” is the Greek noun potamos, which means a river moving with a “tearing” speed, therefore it is used in the noun form for water rushing rapidly; it is used in the Attic (classical) Greek as an analogy for violence or sudden disaster. The “woman” is Israel, and the phrase “after the woman” is an idiom meaning“overtaking the woman.” The portion of Israel destroyed in this holocaust is the unbelieving Jews, but the born-again Jews who follow the instructions of Mat 24 are safe. The third demon assault army is portrayed as attacking a helpless person who is about to be overtaken in the rapids and drowned; this demon army is likened to a wall of water or flood. In this analogy Israel is helpless apart from divine intervention. However, God keeps His word, and there will be Jewish believers preserved alive who will receive the promises of the unconditional covenants at the Second Advent.
While Satan seeks to destroy all Jews in this great attack by the third demon assault army, the evangelizing of Jews will still take place. Those who respond to the word of God and grow in grace, and live in the faith-rest drill, will survive and will advance to spiritual maturity in times of historical disaster. And not only will they survive, but they will also have fantastic blessings. There has never been a disaster in history without survivors. Survival depends on having great flexibility, and having already developed the habit of making good decisions from the application of doctrine. When personal or historical disaster hits, you must always be flexible. This requires the ability to think and to improvise, and it means the absence of fear, because fear is inability to think under pressure. It begins with the confidence that God has a plan for your life, and as long as you are alive, it is not too late. God has a purpose for your life, and you must learn to respond and adapt in whatever situation God has placed you. This is how you handle the storms of life; He is at your side and you will never be lost, JOH 18:9, “That the word might be fulfilled which He spoke, ‘Of those whom Thou hast given Me I lost not one.'”
The more doctrine you learn, the greater your ability will be to change to handle situations as they arise, even though it is not what you desire for your life. The grace of God always meets the flexibility of believers who apply doctrine in adverse conditions. While the believer’s flexibility is manifesting itself in the application of doctrine, the grace of God is always providing the means of escape. In God’s way of escape, there are certain decisions you must be willing to make, instead of being arrogant and stubborn, and therefore inflexible, as we see in the divine instructions in Mat 24, such as “Don’t come down from the rooftop to get your things,” and “Don’t even turn back to get your cloak.”Flexibility is required for obedience.
Historical peril and dangers do not take away the volitional choices of the Jews, who are the targets of this demonic attack. God has a greater purpose and His purpose will be accomplished, and the Jews who do not survive are simply those who rejected the doctrine, and therefore did not have the preparation and grace orientation to make the right choice when the time came. You must be able to enjoy what you have, but also be able to walk away from it at any time that becomes necessary. Paul stated this same principle in PHI 4:11-13; he knew how to live when “having abundance and suffering need”; he had learned how to handle every situation. The flexibility he had developed in his life is revealed in the great statement, “I can do all things through Him who keeps on pouring the power into me.”The power, of course, is Bible doctrine and the ability to apply it to his life. He had lived in prosperous situations, and he had lived in adverse situations, and he could handle them all. He was a survivor until God called him home according to His divine will.
In REV 12:15, Satan’s goal is to leave no Jew alive by the time of the return of Jesus Christ, so that God will not be able to keep his promises: “And the serpent poured water like a violent flood out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” The Greek verb poieo, which means to be “swept away” is in the aorist active subjunctive form, and therefore means to do, to make, to manufacture, or to cause. This verb is in the causative active voice, indicating that Satan, as the subject, performs the action of the verb through intermediary means. Satan always uses an agent, a “middleman.” This is why the Bible teaches that we must know our enemy.
· He used the serpent as an intermediary agent to get to the woman in the Garden, and then he used the woman to get to the man, GEN 6:1-5.
· He used fear to get Abraham to lie about his wife, GEN 12:13.
· He used love and sex to get to Samson, who had a lust for prostitutes.
· He used boredom to get David to sin with Bathsheba when he should have been at work leading the Israeli army to victory, 2SA 11:1.
· He used a lust for an excessive luxurious lifestyle against Solomon, 1KI 4:22-23.
· He used Korah, Dathan, and Abiram to attack Moses and try to discredit his authority. Be careful of those who reject authority and attack it and speak lightly of it.
· He used a love for money to entice Balaam to curse the Jews, Deu 23.
· For money, Ananias and Sapphire became the first recorded hypocrites in the Church, and God executed them as a testimony against their deceit.
· For money Judas betrayed Jesus.
Satan is always looking for an intermediary agent to do his dirty work. That is why you are to guard your tongue,JAM 3:2-10. We must be careful to recognize the agent Satan uses against us. It could be a bad marriage, a romantic relationship, fear, worry, doubt, jealousy, alcohol, drugs, sex, or a lust for authority and power, among many others.
In REV 12:15, the objective of Satan then is twofold:
1. To attack Israel to the point where she has lost control of her own destiny-like one helplessly swept away in a flood and drowned (a perfect analogy in REV 12:15).
2. To ultimately destroy Israel completely, so that she has no future, therefore frustrating the plan of God.
From the time of Abraham to the present and continuing into the Tribulation and up to the Second Advent, Satan has always been and will always be the enemy of Israel. Only those Jews who have believed in Christ and learned Bible doctrine will have a personal sense of destiny in this crisis. They will maintain control of their lives, continue to make decisions from a position of strength, and survive. The Jews who have believed in Christ and who advance to maturity are alive in the midst of the flood, and they can see the whole picture. Israel can only have a personal sense of destiny through the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of Israel. Those who reject Him will flounder in these terrible attacks from Satan, which we know as the “holocausts.”
To be a racial Jew does not provide a personal sense of destiny. To be a racial Jew and to reject Jesus Christ as Savior substitutes arrogance for a personal sense of destiny. Arrogance destroys one’s true personal sense of destiny, and, even worse, gives him a false personal sense of destiny. Apart from faith in Jesus Christ and His saving work, no one can have a personal sense of destiny, for the plan of God begins at the Cross. Therefore being a racial Jew does not equal being a true (regenerate) Jew, until one is born again by faith in Jesus Christ. True Israel is regenerate Israel, and only true Israel will not lose its sense of destiny, which means that many Jewish unbelievers are going to die in this great Tribulational holocaust.
Revelation 12:15-16“>REV 12:15-16 And the serpent projected from his mouth water [great adversity] like a violent flood [the third demon assault army] after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.
In verse 16, we begin to see the divine deliverance of Israel. No matter how great the historical disaster, God always delivers winner believers. Winners have their “survival kit” built up and constructed in their soul through the perception of Bible doctrine, and with it they have the innate ability to be flexible in every circumstance of disaster.REV 12:16 is a continuation of the analogy, and it is now an analogy of deliverance. The “earth” in this verse refers to the divine protection of the Jews in the land of Edom, Moab, and Ammon of DAN 11:41, the mountains of Mat 24:16, and the high desert country of Revelation 12:14“>REV 12:14. This is the area designated for their safety. This is the place of refuge God has provided for the Jewish believers converted by the 144,000 evangelists in the first half of the Tribulation.
God always provides a place for divine solutions and a plan for His people. In the analogy of REV 12:16, the landmass (the earth) is greater than the flood, and this becomes a picture of divine deliverance of Israel, during the greatest holocaust of their history. In this analogy, the landmass protects from the waters. The land can be interpreted both literally and figuratively, and communicates the concept of God’s faithfulness to Israel, and their deliverance from the flood waters of anti-Semitism, in the future as well as now.
REV 12:16 And the land [which means safety from water for regenerate Israel of the first half of the Tribulation] helped the woman&ldots;
The verb boetheo is in the aorist active indicative form, and it means to help or provide aid. There is more divine power (the landmass) than disaster (the water). In this passage, the interpretation deals with a future time, the middle of the Tribulation; however, it has an application for us today. When you have tried everything to find a way of escape in time of disaster, you must remember that God has a plan for your life, and that plan includes being in the right place at the right time.
In the worst historical disasters that history has ever known, we still can go back to the principle that God has a plan for your life. According to His plan and His purpose, He will deliver you in time of historical disaster, provided, of course, that the disaster is not intended for your discipline. Your deliverance from historical disaster inevitably comes from your perception of Bible doctrine. Your willingness to look at life from the divine viewpoint makes it possible for you to be delivered. Deliverance takes place in the soul for those who are in the plan of God, and if God is not using disaster to punish you, he is using it to demonstrate His power, His grace, and His deliverance. Above all, it is to orient us to the grace of God. It is very easy for us to forget the grace of God as soon as we experience any prosperity and blessing, and we take our eyes off the source of our blessing.
REV 12:16 And the land helped the woman [the nation of Israel], and the land opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.
The analogy to water in the form of flooding represents the tremendous power of Satan and the attack of his demon assault army; the land represents the greater power of God crushing the power of the kingdom of darkness.