Notes on Revelation 11:19 and 12

Revelation 11:19; Revelation 12; Matthew 24:16
CHAPTERS 11: 19; and 12
What precedes verse 19 of chapter 11 brings the general history of the ways of God to a termination. And before entering upon the judgments peculiar to the apostasy, the Apocalypse reveals to us more in detail what is to take place on earth. Verse 18 had brought us to the end-to the seventh trumpet. Verse 19 resumes the history from a higher point.
We have in what follows, first, the causes of evil, and what proceeds from those causes; secondly, the development of Satan's power and of the moving springs of evil in the instruments he uses, and which manifests itself under a very decided form; and thirdly, what God does in order to destroy the evil.
Chapter 11: 19. The temple of God is seen open in heaven, and the ark of the covenant is seen in the temple. Before the evil is manifested, we have the joy that nothing can touch the ark, and that everything concerning the people of God is firmly settled and secured in heaven. In treating with His people God is binding Himself. This is the ark of His covenant. The power of God and His holiness must be manifested towards His people, and displayed in their favor. This is precious, for man's heart will fail him at the sight of evil. But before God lets the evil be seen, He manifests to the eye of faith His temple and the ark of His covenant, where everything is stable, where nothing can be touched. The thunders can fall on the earth, but they cannot fall on God's temple. It is no more the throne; it is the place for worship, the place where God is adored. The lightnings, the voices, the thunders, and the hail, are the action of God on the atmosphere of the earth, on what envelopes it. The terrors of God are acting on the world. The Apocalypse after this shows us the sources of evil, and the judgment of God on them.
Chapters 12, 13, 14 form a whole. Chapter 12 presents to us, in their great characters, the sources and the results; chapter 13 the development of evil on the earth, through Satan's instruments; chapter 14 God's relation with His people and with the world for good, and His judgment on Satan's instruments which chapter 13 had made known to us.
Chapter 12 is divided into three parts; the first, beginning with verse 1 down to verse 6; the second, from verse 7 down to verse 12; the third, from verse 13 down to verse 17. First part. Verses 1-6 place before us the actors in this scene, viz., a woman with child of Him who is the object of all the counsels of God, and the vessel of His power on earth, while herself weak (she is, according to His counsels, clothed with supreme glory); a child mighty, but who does not yet act in His might, but is hidden and withdrawn into heaven, while the woman flees into the wilderness; a great red dragon, Satan, who would devour the child, and who hates the woman and persecutes her. The woman is clothed with the sun, with the glory of God, with all supreme authority. The moon is under her feet; all subordinate and derivative authority is under her feet. She has upon her head a crown of twelve stars-power in man displayed to perfection.
The second sign in heaven is a child, the heir of strength. The woman is not the church. There is a great red dragon who is against the woman; it is Satan who resists the manifestation of the glory of the child and of the woman. His power is perfect in its kind; he has seven heads, with crowns, and ten horns. The tail is designative of the bad influence of error in doctrine. The dragon draws after him the third part of the stars of heaven, the authorities. Satan would devour the child. The child is Christ; it is also the church, as associated with Christ. Like Christ she is to govern the nations; Psa. 2 and Rev. 2:26, 2726And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26‑27). The church receives this power from her being associated with Christ; she will, notwithstanding, be also active in heaven. When the Lord Jesus comes again, it will be in the display of His authority, for He shall rule all nations with a rod of iron, and the church will be with Him; Psa. 2:6-96Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Psalm 2:6‑9); Rev. 2:2727And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:27). It is what Christ will do when He has taken possession of the inheritance of the nations. Now, He looks for the church; John 17:99I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (John 17:9). Later, He will look for the world; Psa. 2:77I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (Psalm 2:7). He makes the church to be partaker with Him in the possession of the world; Rev. 2:2727And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:27).
The male child then is Christ, the Head of the church which is His body. The Man complete is Christ and the church. Christ imparts to the church all He has; but the power of Christ is not yet displayed. Christ and the church are hidden in God. The woman, on the contrary, who was clothed with the sun, remains on the earth, and is in the desert. As soon as we are obliged to seek the woman on earth, it can be none else but the Jews. The church is only in heavenly places, she is not known on earth. Jerusalem is the center where God recognizes His people. It is the people of God, in relation with God, which becomes the woman on earth when the male child is in heaven. If we seek for the instruments on earth, we shall find that Christ was born of the Jews. In Zion it shall be said " This man was born there," Psa. 87 We have the thought of God in the woman and the glory. We have, besides, the result of this thought, which is Christ. It is to the woman that Satan bears an ill-will; he hates her; but he cannot touch the child who is in heaven.
Second part, verses 7-12. We are told here the circumstances which force the woman to flee. Satan and his angels are in heaven; Eph. 6:1212For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12). Satan has access to the heavens which God created, where His throne is placed. It is there he was the accuser of Job; but Satan has no entrance into the light, which cannot be approached. Jesus says, speaking of the miracles of His disciples, " I saw Satan like lightning fall from heaven." From a feeble sample of the power of His name He sees all the power of Satan cast out from heaven. A war takes place now in heaven. Michael and his angels fight against the dragon and his angels. Michael is called the archangel in Jude 99Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 9). The word of God speaks of only one archangel. The immediate result of this war is that Satan is cast out from heaven into the earth. He has no more power in heaven. It is a great mistake to believe that Satan is in the lake of fire. He is with the angels in heavenly places. Men will be found in the lake of fire burning with brimstone before Satan is there; chap. 19:20. He shall be cast out of heaven into the earth, where he will still act and deceive the nations. He is already worshipped amongst the pagans. As soon as the event here anticipatively announced by prophecy takes place, the heavens are forever cleansed from the defilement and presence of Satan. He was overcome by those on earth, as accuser, by the blood of the Lamb. Satan's accusations only draw out the manifestation of God's favor towards His children. Cast out from heaven, Satan shall come again on the earth to gather the nations from the four quarters of the earth to battle, and to make war against heaven.
Third part, verses 13-17. Instead of seeing, as in verse the woman in heaven, having the sun for a crown (that is to say, agreeably to the thought and the counsels of God, a vessel without strength, but clothed with supreme authority), we find her in the earth. Christ issued from the woman, the Jews. The church is in nowise the mother of Christ; she is His bride. When Satan is cast out from heaven, he begins to make war with the seed of the woman, the Jews, the only testimony of God remaining then on earth.
Two wings of a great eagle are given to the woman. The strong man of God, Christ, does not yet exercise His power. The woman has nothing else to do but to flee for three years and a half, during which time Satan exercises his power on earth with great fury. The only resource of the woman is to flee. Jesus foretold this in Matt. 24:1616Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: (Matthew 24:16). As soon as the abomination that makes desolate shall stand in the holy place (Matt. 24:1515When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15); Dan. 11), three years and a half will elapse until the deliverance. At the beginning of these three years and a half the disciples are to flee to the mountains; Matt. 24:1616Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: (Matthew 24:16). The woman fled to the desert. It is the last end of the -indignation (Dan. 8:1919And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. (Daniel 8:19)) and of the vengeance; Isa. 34:88For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. (Isaiah 34:8); ch. 60: 2; Jer. 50:15, 2815Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her. (Jeremiah 50:15)
28The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple. (Jeremiah 50:28)
; ch. 51: 6, 22, etc.
One cannot apply to the Roman eagles what is said of the abomination of desolation. Nothing, from the time Jerusalem was taken by Titus, coincides with the twelve hundred and ninety days in Dan. 12:1111And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11), even calculating, as some would do, twelve hundred and ninety years instead of twelve hundred and ninety days.
The serpent does all he can to kill the woman, even when she flees. There remaineth (v. 17) a remnant of the seed of the woman, with whom Satan shall make war. Those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, are those who have the Spirit of prophecy, who are attached to Jesus (that is to say, to the testimony of the Spirit of prophecy, which is God's testimony to God's promise, and not to Antichrist). The flood which the dragon casts out of his mouth is a mass of people; Isa. 8:7, 87Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: 8And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. (Isaiah 8:7‑8). When the king of Assyria and all his glory come to lay waste through Judea, they are presented under the image of a flood and of waters strong and many. The earth swallows the flood which the dragon casts out after the woman. God, in His providence, prevents these nations from devouring and destroying Israel.
We have here the end of the last week in Daniel. What remains of the week is connected with the things of the earth. It still remains to be fulfilled. After the way which we find mentioned here, Satan will never regain heaven. After having been cast into the bottomless pit and bound there for a thousand years, he shall regain the earth and seduce the nations (chap. 20: 8), but he will never regain heaven.
The inhabiters of the earth are never the church. They are those who are attached to the system of this world in the prophetic earth of the latter days, and who abide there. The inhabiters of the sea are the nations outside the prophetic earth. Those who thus inhabit the earth, without being righteous, have against them Satan in all his fury.