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THE GIFT OF PROPHECY AND GOD’S REMNANT CHURCH. Lesson 4 for the 24 th of January, 2009. This week, we’re going to study Revelation 12 vision, and the relation between it and the remnant church .

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slide1

THE GIFT OF

PROPHECY

AND GOD’S

REMNANT

CHURCH

Lesson 4 for the 24th of January, 2009

slide2

This week, we’re going to study Revelation 12 vision, and the relation between it and the remnant church.

So we have to interpret and to clarify the symbols of this vision (the woman, the dragon, the male child, etc.)

slide3

This chapter has three well-differentiated parts:

First part: In verses 1-6 we find the vision of a woman who gives birth to the male child and is attacked by the dragon.

Second part: In verses 7-14 we find the same events, but focusing the subject on the action of the dragon. This part ends in the same prophetic time as the first part.

Appendix: Verses 15-17 go beyond the two parts; they describe the action of the dragon after the 1,260 days or a time, and times, and half a time. The remnant shows up.

slide4

FIRST PART

SECOND PART

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labour and in pain to give birth. 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 the 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. She bore a male child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God, and His throne. 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(vs. 1-6)

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. 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. 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. 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. 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 thrown down 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 (vs. 7-14)

APPENDIX

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. 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 (vs. 15-17)

slide5

SYMBOLS IN THE VISION

The woman

She is GOD’S CHURCH, made up by true believers through history (Isaiah, 54: 5-6; 2 Corinthians, 11: 2)

She’s clothed with the sun, which is Christ (Malachi, 4: 2; Revelation, 1: 16)

She wears a crown of victory(Revelation, 2: 10)

She wears twelve stars, which represent God’s people in the Old Pact (12 tribes) and in the New Pact (12 apostles)

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SYMBOLS IN THE VISION

The woman

In verse 1, she represents God’s people, who waited eagerly the coming of the Messiah, with their feet consolidated on Sanctuary’s sacrifice system, which was copy and shadow of Christ’s work, as the moon reflects sun’s light (Hebrews, 8: 5)

In verses 6 and 14, she represents the pursued church.

slide7

SYMBOLS IN THE VISION

The male child

He’s clearly Jesus, the promised Messiah, who ascended to heaven (verse 5) and who was glorified (verse 10)

slide8

SYMBOLS IN THE VISION

The dragon

As it is explained here, he’s Satan(vs. 9)who drew the third part of the angels after his rebellion(vs. 4), who was cast out of heaven (vs. 8)and who was exiled in earth after Christ’s glorification(vs. 10-13)

slide9

SYMBOLS IN THE VISION

The wilderness and the water

The water represents “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation, 17: 15)and the flood represents an invasion(Daniel, 9: 26)

Satan “inundated” the true church with non-converted people, corrupting it and causing a persecution against those who embraced the truth.

True believers had to hide in the wilderness (places with few people), as Waldenses and other groups of believers did.

slide10

LET’S PUT THE TWO PARTS TOGETHER

1

There’s a war in heaven and Satan and his angels are thrown out.

“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” (vs. 7-8)

“His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth” (vs. 4)

slide11

LET’S PUT THE TWO PARTS TOGETHER

2

Jesus is born in the heart of the church and is taken by God to heaven, where He’s glorified. In that moment, Satan is permanently exiled to the Earth, and he has no more access to heaven (Job, 1: 6)

“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. 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 … 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” (vs. 9-10, 12)

“And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne” (vs. 4-5)

slide12

LET’S PUT THE TWO PARTS TOGETHER

3

Satan tries to destroy God’s church in a period of 1,260 years. The wilderness helps the woman.

“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” (vs. 6)

“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” (vs. 13-14)

slide13

1,260 DAYS

This persecution period appears in Daniel and in Revelation in different terms:

One thousand two hundred and sixty days:

Revelation, 11: 3; Revelation, 12: 6.

A time and times and half a time:

Daniel, 7: 25; Daniel, 12: 7; Revelation, 12: 14.

Forty two months:

Revelation, 11: 2; Revelation, 13: 5.

slide14

1,260 DAYS

They are prophetic periods, so we have to use prophetic arithmetic:

One day = 1 year (Numbers, 14: 34; Ezekiel, 4: 6)One month = 30 days = 30 yearsOne year = 360 days = 360 years

One thousand two hundred and sixty days  1,260 years

1,260 days = 1,260 years

A time and times and half a time  1,260 years

1 + 2 + ½ = 3 ½ times = 3 ½ years

Time = year, from Aramaic ‘iddan, that in the LXX version is translated as year (Daniel, 4: 16)Times = 2 years. The Aramaic term for “times” means “two times”.

3 ½ years x 360 days = 1,260 days = 1,260 years

Forty two months  1,260 years

42 months x 30 days = 1,260 days = 1,260 years

3½ years =42 months =1.260 days/years

slide15

1,260 DAYS

Year 538

Year 1798

It’s the domination period of the apostate Church, which persecuted cruelly to anyone who objected its teachings. It used civil power.

slide16

“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. 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” (Revelation, 12: 15-17)

APPENDIX:

THE REMNANT

slide17

The woman (God’s church) is helped by the earth (not the wilderness), which prevented the flood of false believers and persecution from destroying her.

This happened in 1620, when “Pilgrim Fathers” came to America in the Mayflower ship. They could worship God with freedom of conscience in the new world.

APPENDIX:

THE REMNANT

slide18

APPENDIX:

THE REMNANT

Therefore, 178 years before the persecution end would come, it was shortened.

“The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the "great tribulation" to befall the church, the Saviour said: "Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (S. Matthew 24: 22). Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798” E.G.W. (The Great Controversy, chapter 15, page 266)

slide19

Satan shows his anger against part of God’s church: “the rest of her offspring” (vs. 17)Who are they?What characteristics do they have?

APPENDIX:

THE REMNANT

  • They emerge starting from 1798.
  • In the “earth” that helped the woman: America.
  • They keep the commandments of God.
  • They have the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is “the spirit of prophecy”(Revelation, 19: 10)
slide20

APPENDIX: THE REMNANT

1

The Adventist Church showed up in history in the first half of the 19th century, few years after 1798.

2

The Adventist Church was born in North America, spreading throughout the world from there.

3

The Adventist Church teaches to keep all the commandments of God’s law.

4

The Adventist Church admits the gift of prophecy in Ellen Gould White. Likewise, it admits that a great gift of prophecy will show in the heart of the church as a sign of the End Time (Joel, 2: 28)

slide21

“God's remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in”

E.G.W. (Conflict and Courage, September 20)