Revelation Revisited

Every couple of years I reread the book of Revelation hoping that the Lord will give me some new insight into what it all means. As the time of the end approaches the Lord will reveal more of what it means to those who are willing to wait patiently and persistently on the Lord. I am in disagreement with most of what I have read that has been written about the book of Revelation. But what can I expect. Very few of the authors have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and even fewer have been baptized in the Name of Jesus. On the other hand, I have been filled with the Holy Ghost for nearly twenty-two years and was baptized in Jesus's name on March the fifth of 1977. I have spent many days during the past twenty years seeking truth from the Lord Jesus with prayer and fasting. Some of these fasts have been as long as four days without food and water. I have also made other sacrifices to the Lord with the main purpose being that the Lord would reveal more of His Word to me. The Lord has blessed me with a very personal revelation of who he is. I have also been examining the book of Revelation for some twenty-four years. It is with this background that I have decided to put my thoughts in print.

It was shortly after I turned to the Lord in the spring of 1974 that I first read the book of Revelation. I had just managed to get my little light blue Toyota pickup truck out of a very wide and sandy, dry river bottom west of Buckeye, Arizona. The sun was beginning to set and I was about fifteen miles west of the atomic power plant. This was back before the Brenda Cut-off had been completed and it was a very desolate area. I had to jack up the truck and dig under the back tires to place branches of desert shrubs in order to get enough traction to start moving. I had to go down the river bottom, which was in the opposite direction of where I came in , in order to build up enough speed to get out of the deep soft sand. After putting branches under the back tires and laying out quite a few in front of the truck, I got in and started off down the river bottom. I built up speed to about 40 mph and swerved around, barely keeping my momentum, and gunned that little blue baby for all it was worth. I got back up to the bank where I had entered and blasted my way up, over and out of the mess I was in with quite a bit of commotion. When I finally came to a stop I had made it to safety and breathed a great "thank you Jesus" sigh of relief. It was definitely a blood rushing, Adrenalin gushing experience. It seemed to me no less than a miracle that I was able to get out of the sand . I had tried unsuccessfully for over an hour before my final attempt and was getting a bit nervous. I was very thankful to the Lord for his timely help and I showed my appreciation by stopping to say a word of thanks and by reading the book of Revelation from my little pocket sized Gideon New Testament. I still carry one in my back pocket everywhere I go. Some people stand on the Word of God, I sit on it. As the last rays of the sun faded into dark dusk, I was very fascinated by what I read. I marveled at such passages as "there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour," and "a voice from heaven said seal up those things which were uttered by the seven thunders." No mere man wrote this book. It was definitely the Lord Jesus who was speaking through these passages.

 

I remember my first Apostolic pastor, Carl Franklin Nevels of Yuma, Arizona, telling me that mostly white ministers were interested in the book of Revelation. He spent very little time teaching out of Revelation. Pastor Nevels passed away about fifteen years ago and maybe that's why he was never compelled to look deeply into the book of Revelation. It was not for his time. Pastor Nevels was a great man of God with wonderful revelations of the full deity of Jesus Christ and of the saving name of Jesus. I was extremely blessed to have been under his ministry for the first four years of my Apostolic experience. But he did not share any insights with me about the book of Revelation other than the fact that it was not a book of chronological order. He reminded me that the book skipped around from the past, present and the future, and that nobody he knew had a real handle on what that order was.

As I recall, one of the first real eye openers to me about the book of Revelation was that It was the only place that I could find anything written about the war in heaven. Many people speak about a great war in heaven back before Adam was created and that the devil was cast out into the earth back in the Old Testament. When I searched this out, I found it not to be so. Revelation, chapter 12, is the account of the war in heaven in which Satan was cast out of heaven along with his angels. When I tried to place this event in historical context, I decided that the war probably took place when the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and went to hell. While he was in hell preaching to the spirits of men, Satan was trying to enter heaven and he and his angels were defeated by Michael and his angels. I know of no one other than myself who believes it this way, so if you do, please let me know.

Here is my blow by blow account of chapter 12.

Rev. 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

(The Bible interprets this in Gen. 37:9-10 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? The woman is Israel. )

Rev. 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

(Israel is about to bring forth the Lord Jesus Christ.)

Rev. 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

(Satan is here depicted as being in heaven. He has not yet been cast out but has access to heaven. Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 1Kgs. 22:21-22 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.)

Rev. 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

(Satan deceives and persuades a third of the angles(stars) of heaven to follow him to earth to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ at his birth. Matt. 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. )

Rev. 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

(Israel brings forth Jesus Christ who is crucified, raised from the dead, and is seated on the throne of God. He will rule the nations with a rod of Iron. Rev. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. Rev. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Rev. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. )

Rev. 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

(This verse is out of context and is the same as Rev. 12:14. I think that that is where it fits chronologically. )

Rev. 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

(In verse 12:5 it omits the fact that Jesus died before being caught up to God and it was at this time that he went to Hades and preached to the dead. While Jesus was setting free the faithful captives of the Old Testament, Satan thought that he had won the battle against Christ and tried to ascend into heaven and to the throne of God. He was met, not by Christ, who was in hell, but by Michael and his angles. Satan was out numbered two to one and was defeated and cast out of heaven once and for all. Praise be to God! 1Pet. 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 1Pet. 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. Ps. 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. Matt. 27:52-53 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.)

Rev. 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

(When Satan first sinned against God, he was not banned from heaven, he only fell from his position of light to an angel of darkness(deception). He still had access into heaven until this final battle with Michael. Now he is the prince of the power of the air, the first heaven, and not allowed into the third heaven, or God's heaven, any longer.)

Rev. 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

(Notice that all his angels are also cast down to the earth with him. These evil spirits are often referred to as demons and they fulfill their evil deeds by dwelling in the bodies of humans and even animals. These evil spirits, which came down with Satan at the birth of Jesus, have already inhabited many individuals. One of the main miracles that Jesus performed was the casting out of evil spirits, i.e. Satan's angles. Today's psychics are in direct contact with these fallen angels.)

Rev. 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

(I find this verse most significant in determining when Satan was cast out of heaven. Salvation came with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the Kingdom of God. Christ ascends into heaven having all power. Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Paul quotes the Old Testament in 2Cor. 6:2 ( behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Which he uses to clearly state that this dispensation of the church age is truly the day of salvation. Now is come salvation. Praise God. Now, instead of Satan accusing us before the Father day and night, 1John 2:1 we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. )

Rev. 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

(Now is the day of salvation because we can be baptized into the name of Jesus and have his blood applied to our hearts and lives. And after being baptized in Jesus' name and filled with the Holy Spirit we can hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. (Acts 2:38-39, Hebr. 10:23) I will not be surprised if some of us are put to death for Christ's sake just as some of the early saints were. )

Rev. 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

(This last phrase, a short time, has troubled me because I don't think 2,000 years is a short time. I did some checking in my Greek dictionary of the New Testament and discovered that the term "short time" could also be translated as a "set time." I think this is more accurate and fits with the context of the surrounding verses. Having been defeated by Michael in heaven and the blood of Christ on earth, Satan knows that his days are numbered. His reign will come to an end and he has been doing everything within his power since the first New Testament Day of Pentecost to destroy the Church of Christ. There has been an incredible amount of death and destruction wrought upon this old earth through wars, famine and disease. Fear of persecution and deception through false doctrine has also prevented many a soul from living for God. Of course there has always been the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life to prevent us from living for God and Satan has promoted these vices to the utmost.)

Rev. 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

(If ever there was a persecuted people it has been the Jews. They have been driven from one country to the next and have been slaughtered by the millions. Finally, in this last hour of the church, Israel has been gathered together to their homeland as prophesied by all the prophets of God.)

Rev. 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

(It is now the end of the church dispensation and the anti-christ has risen to power. A select remnant of Jews will be sealed by God and protected against the destructive powers of Satan, and will go through a great period of tribulation and finally call upon the Lord Jesus Christ. He will come and save them and set up his new kingdom in Israel. Praise be to God! Exod. 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. )

Rev. 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

(Several times in the Old Testament the armies of great nations that rose up against other nations were referred to as a flood. Isa. 59:19 ...When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. )

Rev. 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

(The earth could either represent another nation or nations that come to the rescue of Israel or perhaps an actual earthquake. Several great earthquakes are scheduled to occur during the great tribulation.)

Rev. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

(Dan. 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Rev. 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. In Rev. 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. I believe that the Old Testament saints asked how long they should have to wait to be avenged against their enemies and it was told them that they must wait until the new testament saints that are to be martyred are slain. Then the final wrath and judgment of God is going be poured out on this world as never before.)

So there you have it. The Devil is as real as the nose on your face and he is after your soul to destroy it. Chances are he already has it and you don't know it. Have you been baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins? Have you received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance? Have you repented of your sins and are you living a holy and righteous life before the Lord? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the devil has you in the palm of his hand. Look Out!

1Cor. 6:9 -11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

In Christ's Love,

Charles G. Marlowe