“God has a church upon the earth who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people.”
-- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 61.--
The Lord has only one Church on the earth, who are His chosen people. They are always identified as His commandments keeping people. Therefore as citizens of the
God they are worthy of His protection and leading. This is the only people very much hated by Satan and his angels ever since the beginning of creation.
Through the prophecy of Revelation chapter 12 the story of the long enmity between Satan and God’s people up to the time of the end has been prepared for us in a simple prophetic and parabolic words.
As the prophetic words of Daniel were to berevealed just in the time of the end (Daniel 12 : 8 – 10), and since the book of Revelation is the complement of the book of Daniel (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 585), we may be sure that the prophecy of Revelation chapter 12 is indeed presented to you and me.They are presented us in the prophetic and parabolic words so that the wicked ones shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise among us shall understand. The servant of the Lord ever said :
“The chief purpose of teaching by parables is that the truth may be revealed to God’s children and at the same time concealed from His enemies. …………………..
For this same reason the prophecies that described the great antichristian powers and their work down to the end of time had to be clothed in symbolic and parabolic language to insure their preservation.” – “
SabbathSchool Lesson Quarterly,” p. 33. Second Quarter, 1932.
The interpretations of all prophecies of the Bible have now been provided us in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECIES. No one of us could ever plead himself unguilty of ignorance of the prophecies, because we are now living in the time when the Spirit of Truth is leading, not only into the all Truth but even the Things to come through the interpretations of the prophecies.
Revelation12 :1 – 6
“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:And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 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. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and didst 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. 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. 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 three score days.” – Revelation 12 : 1 – 6.
“The woman”, in this prophecy, symbolizes the
God, or His people. But there is also the
Satan symbolized by the woman in the prophecy. The woman in this prophecy was clothed with the sun, that is, the Church was clothed with the Light from Heaven, which is the Bible. Whereas the moon was found under her feet. Since the function of the moon is only to reflect the light of the sun on the earth during the night, then it must represent the period before the Bible was written. Thus the woman must represent the Church of God ever since the creation of the world, before the Bible was written, even up to the time of the end, wherein the Bible as the Light from Heaven is now enlightening the wholeearth, beginning in the Church of God. The servant of the Lord said:
“During the first twenty-five hundred years of human history, there was no written revelation. Those who had been taught of God, communicated their knowledge to others, and it was handed down from father to son, through successive generations. The preparation of the written word began in the time Moses. Inspired revelation were then embodied in an inspired book. This work continued during the long period of sixteen hundred years, --- from Moses, the historian of creation and the law, to John, the recorder of the most sublime truths of the gospel.” – The Great Controversy, p. 7.
The woman, moreover, was clothed with the sun and the moon was under her feet, when she was being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. What does this mean? The servant of the Lord has revealed, that at that time the woman had been given a promise that she would give birth to a man child,who was Christ, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And the man-child was later caught up unto God, and to his throne.
Jesus was ever caught up unto God, and to His throne. 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 three score days. Jesus was ever born on the earth, in
Palestine, and in the year 31 He returned to His Father and His throne. This is clearly known from His own statement when He said: “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.”Revelation 3 : 21.
The twelve stars that formed a throne upon the head of the woman appear to represent God’s government on the earth. It is the cumulative power possessed by the Church of God, by the twelve patriarchs of the Israelites, by the twelve tribes of the Israelites, by the twelve apostles, and by the 12.000 out of every tribe of the twelve antitypical tribes of the Israelites of the time of the end, who are the 144.000 saints of God in the future. Therefore, it is clearly understood that the woman is truly symbolizing the living
God on the earth, ever since the beginning, who is in war on and on with the enemy up to this time of the end. In regard to this enemy John said:
“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. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and didst 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.”— Revelation 12 : 3, 4.
The beast in the prophecy of Daniel and the Revelation represents a period in world history and all the people who lived during the period. The heads and the horns of the beast represent the leaderships, either the church leaderships on one side and the civil authorities on the other side. The crown represents kingly authority. Therefore whereupon the crown was found, there the power of authority would be very marked demonstrated. From the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY we read further here below:
“Under the symbols of a great red dragon, a leopard like beast, and a beast with lamblike horns, the earthly governments which would especially engage in trampling upon God’s law and persecuting His people, were presented to John. The war is carried on till the close of time. The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed. Of these John speaks as they “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”-- EGW. SDA Bible Commentary, vol.7 – A, p. 416.
“The line of prophecy in which these symbols are found begins with Revelation 12, with the dragon that sought to destroy Christ at His birth. The dragon is said to be Satan (Revelation 12 : 9); he it was that moved upon Herod to put the Saviour to death. But the chief agent of Satan in making war upon Christ and His people during the first centuries of the Christian era was the
Roman Empire, in which paganism was the prevailing religion. Thus while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan
Rome.”--The Great Controversy, p. 438.
“In chapter 13 (verses 1 – 10) is described another beast, “like unto a leopard,” to which the dragon gave “power, and his seat, and great authority.” This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient
Roman Empire.”- The Great Controversy, p. 439.
From the three quotations presented above we could be assured that the red dragon represents Satan. During the period of the prophecy Satan had seven crowned headsand ten non crowned horns. The seven heads and ten horns represent the leaderships of religious bodies on the one side and the authorities of civil governments on other side during the prophetic period. The number “7” (seven) represents completeness and the number “10” (ten) represents the wholeness or universal.
Since the crowns were found only upon the seven heads of the dragon, and not upon the ten horns, it is understandable to conclude that though both the heads and the hornswereSatan’s,his authority is fully entrusted to only the leadership of the religious bodies during the prophetic period. Thus the fulfillment of this prophecy was very marked demonstrated in the time of Jesus in
Palestine. We see how the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin were fully authorized by Satan to carry out his death sentence upon Jesuswithout first being properly investigated His case in the court of justice of the Roman Civil Government. We could now see that at the height of the process of redemption Jesus had suffered Himself to be subdued by Satan through both his civil authorities and his religious leaders of that time.
Thus by the Jewish leaders and Roman authorities executing Jesus up to His death on the cross of Calvary, it is now clear of how the dragon as a beast to represent the world history in the time of Jesus, before His birth and after His death, under the domination of Satan. And how he has ever successfully dominated the Roman civil government and the Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin altogether to repress the Church. How powerful was the Sanhedrin of the time, that after successfully crucifying Jesus, and after stoning to deathStephanus,and then beheading most of the apostles of Jesus during the first century, no single case of the criminal acts being brought to be arraigned before the court of justice of the Roman civil government. The civil authorities of the
Roman Empire seemed to be empowered by the JewishSanhedrin of the time. And so is the prophecy to be fulfilled why the crowns were placed upon the ten heads of the dragon instead of upon the seven horns.
It is for the sake of the salvation of men that the world Redeemer must come. It has been promised beforehand to all men that Jesus must come, that the Church symbolized by the woman having a child was to give birth to a baby boy which is Jesus Christ.And Satan knew it ever since that he was also ready to destroy Jesus as soon as at His birth. Now you might also ask the following question:Why was not Jesus be killed at His birth, although at the end the Jews has also succeeded to have Him crucified?
The first coming of Jesus is for the accomplishing of the work of redemption, that He must pay for us the death penalty for our sins. The work of redemption has not as yet begun at His birth. It is also not as yet accomplished before He died on the cross of
Calvary. The work of redemption had just accomplished when Jesus uttered His last words: “It is finished.”, and then gave up His ghost. The death of Jesus does not mean the victory gained by Satan, but just to be an everlasting loss for the Devil himself and all his followers. This is to be understood, because Jesus has successfully paid the ransom without Himself committing in any wrong doing against the Law. The consequence of this grand event, however, has caused Satan to wrath to such as could be read in Revelation 12 :7, 8, 13.
And after accomplishing His work of redemption here on earth, He was then “caught up unto God, and to His throne.” (Verse 5).But just due to the wrath of Satan “the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God that they should feed her there 1.260 days.” (Verse 6).From THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY we could again read the following story:
“In the sixth century the papacy had become firmly established. Its seat of power was fixed in the imperial city, and the bishop of
Rome was declared to be the head over the entire church. Paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast “his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Revelation 13 : 2. And now began the 1.260 years of papal oppression foretold in the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. Daniel 7 : 25; Revelation 13 : 5 – 7.Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons, or to suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headman’s ax... Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus : “Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.” Luke 21 : 16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the
Christ found refuge in the seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: “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.” Revelation 12 : 6. --- The Great Controversy, pp. 54 – 55. The 1.260 days, or years, terminated in 1798.”-- The Great Controversy,p. 306.
After being left by Christ in 31, the church had to suffer execution time and again. And even ever since 538 up to 1798 she had to live under the dire oppression of the powerful Roman pope in Europe to meet the prophetic words : ‘The woman fled to the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there 1.260 days’. What is meant by “fleeing into the wilderness” ? Let us read here below :
Wilderness is an opposite of the vineyard of the Lord. What is meant by the vineyard of the Lord, the prophet Isaiah has the following explanation: “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts are the house of
Israel, and the men of
Judah his pleasant plant ….” Isaiah 5 : 7. So the wilderness would inevitably mean the land of the Gentiles.
Satan obviously had dominated the whole house of
Israel (in the
Palestine) during the first century that the woman had to migrate to
Europe. Even here the dragon still succeeded to catch her, so that the Lord Himself had to prepare a place for her and to care for her safety during the 1.260 years of her suffering.
The Beginning of the Fall of Satan
Mrs. Ellen G. White said :
“The Lord has shown me that Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ. His countenance was mild, expressive of happiness like the other angels. His forehead was high and broad, and showed great intelligence. His form was perfect. He had a noble, majestic bearing. And I show that when God said to His Son, Let us make man in our image, Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man. He was filled with envy, jealousy and hatred. He wished to be the highest in heaven, next to God, and receive the highest honors. Until this time all heaven was in order, harmonious and perfect subjection to the government of God.
It was the highest sin to rebel against the order and will of God. All heaven seemed in commotion. The angels were marshaled in companies with a commanding angel at their head. All the angels were astir. Satan was insinuating against the government of God, ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus.”-- Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, pp.17, 18.
John the Revelator said :
“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.”
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven. 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...
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child...”— Revelation 12 : 4, 7 – 9, 13.
From the above verses of Revelation 12, we could see that there are two castings of the dragon unto the earth. At the first casting the dragon with his tail drew a third part of the heavenly angels (the stars of heaven), and did cast himself with them to the earth, and then he stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered. (Revelation 12 : 4). At the second casting the Lord God Himself did cast the dragon unto the earth as shown in Revelation 12 : 9. The two events will be treated separately here below.
The first Casting of Revelation 12 : 4
John the Revelator said:“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.”—Revelation 12 : 4.
The dragon drewthe third part of the heavenly angels (the stars of heaven)not with his claws but with his tail. What does it mean? One should be intelligent enough to know that the beast drawing its prey with claws or teeth would mean the victim should have been first paralyzed or killed. In this prophecy, however, just Satan did not prevailed in heaven. That is the reason why it is symbolically said: “...his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.”And together with himself they all cast themselves to the earth prior to the first coming of Jesus in
Palestine. Therefore it could be understood that the heavenly angels have joined themselves to Satan, not by force but by their own will to join voluntarily to descend to the earth. They are just the angels who had joined Satan to rebel against God and Jesus in heaven, that have been symbolically shownin the prophecy as the stars hanging upon the tail of the dragon along the way on their way down to the earth. From the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY we again be informed as follows:
“When Satan became disaffected in heaven, he did not lay his complaint before God and Christ; but he went among the angels who thought him perfect and represented that God had done him injustice in preferring Christ to himself. The result of this misrepresentation was that through their sympathy with him one third of the angels lost their innocence, their high estate, and their happy home. Satan is instigating men to continue on earth the same work of jealousy and evil surmising that he commenced in heaven.”-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 291.
“Satan in his rebellion took a third part of the angels. They turned from the Father and from His Son, and united with the instigator of rebellion.” Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 115.
The second casting of Revelation 12 : 9
After the first casting Satan seemed to be still having access to the heavenly courts. Even though after Adam and Eve have been stumbled by him into sin in their beautiful home of
Eden, Satan still had access to the heavenly beings. This is clearly seen from the words of Prophet Job and from Mrs. Ellen G. White as here below:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” – Job 1 : 6, 7.
“The Scriptures declare that upon one occasion, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them (Job 1 : 6), not to bow before the Eternal King, but to further his own malicious designs against the righteous.”-- The Great Controversy, p. 518.
But later from John the Revelator we have been informed:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven. 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...”— Revelation 12 : 7 – 9. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child...”— Revelation 12 : 13.
The event of the second casting had truly taken place after the war in heaven. Through the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY Mrs. White gave us the following story:
“The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realm over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion; --- all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.................
“He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming. He approaches the Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents; who rejoices over one with singing. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. ............................
“The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. Christ’s toiling, struggling ones on earth are “accepted in the Beloved.”Eph. 1 : 6. Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of unfallen worlds, they are declared justified. Where He is, there His church shall be.”
“Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.”-- The Desire of Ages, pp. 834, 761.
Afteraccomplishing His workof redemption on the earth, after His resurrection from the death and after returning to His Father in Heaven in 31 to be welcomed by all heavenly beings as narrated above in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, and then the last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly worlds was broken. This is marked clearly when the voice of God officially proclaimed to the whole attendees of the angelic hosts and their commanders, and all representatives from the unfallen worlds, even unto the entire heavenly universe, that justice was satisfied, and then Satan was vanquished. So was Satan cast out from heaven unto our world ever since year 31 to stay with us up to this day?Here is fulfilled the words:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven. 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...” — Revelation 12 : 8 – 9.
The W a r in Heaven
Prophetically the second casting out of Satan unto our earth was preceded by a war in heaven. It is the war between Michael and His angels fighting the dragon and his angels. It appeared to be not a physical war we have been familiar with during the world wars in the past, but a war in the prophetic sense. It seemed to be a war of nerve, the hardest one, ever experienced by the holy angels of Jesus Himself who observed the last process of His sufferings to accomplish the main task of atonement during the last three days and three nights in the “heart” of the earth. This is the hardest war of nerve to be fought by Jesus and His angels during the last three days and three nights in the hands of the Sanhedrin and the Jews and the Roman civil authority. It is the hardest war indeed, why? Through His own servant Jesus said:
“Could one sin have been found in Christ, had He in one particular yielded to Satan to escape the terrible torture, the enemy of God and man would have triumphed. Christ bowed His head and died, but He held fast His faith and His submission to God.”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.”Revelation 12 : 10.” -- The Desire of Ages, p. 761.
We may ask ourselves, how hard is the sufferings of Jesus to compare with the present-day sufferings of men who suffered tortures in the camp of detainment during the war, or of those who suffer from poverty, or from diseases, etc? The answer is simple. Sin is the transgression of the law, and the wage of sin is death. Every sinner suffers all sorts of sufferings, because of his own sin. But he could also bear sufferings as the result of sins of his ancestors. Read Exodus 20 : 5.
But the tortures suffered by Jesus are not the wages of His own sin. He bore the wages of all sins of men ever since Adam and Eve up to you and me, even of those of the coming generations. That is the reason to bear in mind, that no human being could ever bear all the wages of sins of so many people of the world except Jesus the Savior.
Therefore after losing the war to Jesus and His angels, Satan could no more cover up his wickedness in disguise. He can no more accuse the brethren night and day in the heavenly courts as ever before, because John the Revelator said:
“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. Therefore rejoice ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters 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.” – Revelation 12 : 11, 12.
Persecution of the
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child...”— Revelation 12 : 13.
This verse is to be fulfilled after Jesus returned to His Father, after the year 31. To this end let us read the following statement:
“And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at
Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and
Samaria, except the apostles.” – The Acts of the Apostles 8 : 1
The fact that the persecution did not end with only the Christians in the time of the Apostles, because they were later chased on and on up to beyond their own border line. So that prophetically speaking the woman was to flee to the wilderness. John the Revelator said: “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.”— Revelation 12 : 14.
Since the Christians have been rejected by the whole house of the Israelites themselves, then they should inevitably flee to the so-called “wilderness”, that is, they were forced to develop their wings to fly away to disseminate the gospel message of salvation unto the Gentile nations. This is testified in the following words:
“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you : but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout the entire region.”— The Acts 13 : 46 – 49.
Even in the land of the Gentiles the Christians were not as yet free from the reach of the dragon. However, as ever had been foretold by John that the woman was to flee to the wilderness, a place there prepared for her by the Lord, that she may be nourished for a period of a time, and times, and a half of time, or three and a half prophetic years, or 1.260 prophetic days, or 1260 years, from 538 through 1798.It is just the long period of execution well-known in the history of the Church as the “dark ages of religion” under the oppressive power of the Pope and his Roman Catholic Church.
Although during the long period the law on the Sabbath of the fourth commandment has been officially changed with the Sunday, and though no more Sabbath observance could be seen among Christian leaderships of the time, there were still some honest Christians observed the Day of the Lord tacitly in seclusion.
Thus is the Sabbath Truth of the fourth commandment and the Sanctuary Truth of the Bible preserved for centuries up to the time Bro. William Miller and Mrs. Ellen G. White and her associates emerged in the time of the end? Bro. William Miller was known in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY as the messenger of God to proclaim the Sanctuary Truth of Daniel 8 : 14, and Mrs. Ellen G. White as the messenger to re-proclaim the Sabbath Truth and the Judgment of the Dead in the heavenly Sanctuary. This is again to prove how the Lord has preserved the woman and His Truth during the long period of her execution up to this very moment. Then after that she would again develop her wings to reach all corners of the world.
“Wings” represent a means of transportation to carry the woman wherever she goes to reach her destination. Therefore the wings had successfully carried the woman ever since the beginning of creation in the past up to now, and are yet to carry her further up to the holy city of the New Jerusalem in the future.
To Cast Out Water as a Flood after the Woman that She might be Carried Away
“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.” – Revelation 12 : 15.
The old serpent or Satan has many ways to destroy the
God. One of the ways, he used in the past after Jesus returned to His Father to leave behind His followers here on earth, is by forceful intimidation and tortures of every kind, evenimprisonment up to the punishment of death. Satan thought that through his horrible acts he could have gained submission of the Christians to his will, and the Church could soon be erased from the face of the earth. However, after having witnessed by himself how firm the Christians were to defend their faith during the long period of his suppression, “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,”(Revelation 12 : 11), he then resorted to another tactical means, “tocast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”
We must be fully alert toward thepresence of thewater cast out of the mouth of the serpent as a flood after the woman, to cause her be carried away, so that we should not ourselves be easily carried away by the flood. The cast out water of the serpent’s mouth would no more be harmful to our people than the execution and tortures afore mentioned. It is even more refreshing at the glance and prospering. And what is really meant by casting out water of the serpent’s mouth as a flood after the woman to cause her being carried away?
Along her journey to flee to the wilderness, Satan actually had already begun to cast water out of the serpent’s mouth after the woman, to cause her bit by bit carried away by the flood. The very fact in the history of the Church that affected her much in the past is the edicts issued by the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, on a forced Christianization, addressed to the Gentiles in the fourth century.
From the history itself we have been informed that though Emperor Constantine the Great himself had never before been baptized into a Christian church of the time, he was not hesitated to regard himself as a Christian. And he played very important role in helping to find solutions for so many problems of the Church of the time. Thus is the way how Satan successfully cast water out of his mouth after the woman, that is, how he entered into Church membership the political elites of the Gentiles and even the heathen, who were so easy getting access to Church membership without properly conversion into the faith of the Bible. The speedy increase in number of Church membership in the fourth century under the reign of Emperor Constantine was indeed wonderful, so that it seemed as if the Church was ever undergoing a refreshing right from the presence of the Lord...A partial description of the history written by Mr. Gibbon –
Rome quoted here below will help to confirm the fact as follows:
“By the edicts of toleration, he (Constantine) removed the temporal disadvantages which had hitherto retarded the progress of Christianity; and its active and numerous ministers received a free permission, a liberal encouragement, to recommend the salutary truths of revelation by every argument which could affect the reason or piety of mankind. The exact balance of the two religions (Christian and Pagan) continued but a moment ……… The cities which signalized a forward zeal by the voluntary destruction of their temples (the Pagans’) were distinguished by municipal privileges, and rewarded with popular donatives ……….The salvation of the common people was purchased at an easy rate, if it be true that, in one year, twelve thousand men were baptized at Rome, besides a proportion able number of women and children, and that a white garment, with twenty pieces of gold, had been promised by the emperor to every convert.”This was “a law of
Constantine, which gave freedom to all the slaves who should embrace Christianity.” – Gibbon’s
Rome, Vol. 2, pp. 273, 274.
Thus it is clear that the casting out of water from the mouth of the serpent after the woman, should mean how Satan successfully entered the paganismintoChurch membership, by way of granting baptism to the Gentiles, whom without having fully repented of their sins, and without proper conversion into the true faith of the Bible.
The way to enter paganism into the Church, was not only carried out in the fourth century , but up to this very day , and even up to a certain time in the near future, when the Lord Himself would rise up to help the woman to have the flood water be swallowed up by the earth. This is the purification of the Church in the near future predicted by John the Revelator in the following prophecy:
“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.” – Revelation 12 : 16.
Actually those predicted by John the Revelator of the flood water cast out of the mouth of the dragon after the woman, are of the same things presented us by Jesus Himself in His parables concerning the enemy who sowed the seed of tares among the wheat in the field of a good sower. Read Matthew 13 : 24 – 30. The Lord through His SPIRIT OF PROPHECY gives us the following explanation here below:
“While the Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God.” --- Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 46.
“Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. T o o m u c h h a s t y w o r k i sd o n e in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, we will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working in their hearts. Many of those whose names are registered on the church books are not Christians.”---E.G.W. Review and Herald,
May 21, 1901
“The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear? -- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 371.
Those who were onceconverted but who have backslidden are the people of God who have been carried out by the flood water cast out of the mouth of the dragon. It is proven now that even up to this very day the dragon is still doing the same way to cast water out of his mouth after the woman representing our churches.
The Purification of the
“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.” – Revelation 12 : 16
Since the prophecy concerning the casting out of water from the mouth of the dragon is the same with the parable of Jesus (Matthew 13 : 24 – 30) of how the enemy sowed his seed of tares among the wheat in the field of the good Sower, then the fulfillment of the prophecy of Revelation 12 : 16 would unavoidably meet its counterpart in the same parable of Jesus of the good Sower. To this end Jesus said: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” – Matthew 13 : 30.
When the flood water out of the mouth of the dragon be swallowed up by the earth, or in other words, when the tares sowed by the enemy of the good Sower be bound together in bundles and then burned, then the “woman” or the “wheat” which symbolizes the Laodicean Church of God would be completely purified from sin and sinners. And all the paganism in her midst would be driven out completely. This purification of the Church of the Laodiceans will be carried out through a judicial process in the heavenly sanctuary, which is called “the investigative judgment.” To this end The SPIRIT OF PROPHECY says:
“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. “-- The Great Controversy, p.425.
“But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of
Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.”-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 80
“The time of the harvest will fully determine the character of the two classes specified under the figure of the tares and the wheat. The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man.” --- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 47.
After the purification of the Church, and when she has achieved her proper standard of holiness, then the Church will be commissioned to accomplish the gospel work of salvation unto the entire world under the power of the Holy Spirit up to the close of probation. Then is the following word of Sister White to be fulfilled:
“Those who have been timid and self-distrustful will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church will be as David --- willing to do and dare. The deeper the night for God’s people, the more brilliant the stars. Satan will sorely harass the faithful; but in the name of Jesus, they will come off more than conquerors. Then will the
Christ appear “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” – Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 81, 82.“Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners (Song of Solomon
), she is to go forth into the entire world, conquering and to conquer.” -- Prophets and Kings, p.725.
Do not ever think or say that as soon as the purification of the Church be accomplished, the people of God will be taken right to the heavenly abodes. Isaiah the prophet has just said:
“For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tar shish, Pull, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tu-bal, and Ja-van, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory, and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for anoffering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD”— Isaiah 66 : 18- 20.
The Process of Purification Foretold through several Versions
Let it be intelligently understood that despite so many prophecies and parables of Jesus are there found in the Bible, they are all predicting the only same history of the Church along the way from the beginning of creation up to the time of the end. Therefore in regard to the purification of the Church, the process has been presented us in several versions, either through the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets or through the parables of Jesus Himself.
John the Revelator in his prophetic words presented in Revelation 12 : 16 showing us that all the wicked and all sorts of paganism symbolized by the waters cast out of the mouth of the dragon will be swallowed up by the earth.
Prophet Isaiah in his prophetic words of Isaiah 66 : 16, 17 says that by fire and by His sword the Lord will plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
Prophet Ezekiel, in his book chapter 9, has prophesied of the coming slaughtering to take place in the Laodicean Church of Seventh-Day Adventists. The angels of the Lord will do the slaughtering themselves, and it will be literally fulfilled, according to the servant of the Lord Mrs. Ellen G. White. Read : Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, p. 260.
And just from Malachi 3 : 2 the prophet asked the following questions, :”But who may abide the day of His coming ? And who may stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” It means that many would not be able to stand at that day of the purification of the Church.
In the parable of Jesus the process of purification of the Church has been likened to the harvest, which is to separate the wheat from the tares in the Church.“The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man.”--Testimonies to Ministers, p. 47.
Before terminating His mission on earth, Jesus has ever said: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth …….. and he will shew yout h i n g sto come.” – John 16 : 13.
Since we are now living in the time of the end, the Lord must have shown us the things to come through His New Testament prophets: Mrs. Ellen G. White in her Spirit of Prophecy publications and Bro. Victor T. Houteff in his Shepherd’s Rod books. These two publications have now prophetically united in the so-called THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY of Revelation 19 : 10 margins. To this end Mrs. White said:
“In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles (in the Bible). In these days (in this time of the end). He speaks to them by the t e s t i m o n i e so fH i sS p i r i t. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will, and the course that He would have them pursue” –Evangelism, p. 255, 256 (In brackets added).
Through the testimony of Jesus’ Spirit which is provided us now in THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECYwe have been warned of the coming process ofpurification of the Laodicean Church of Seventh-Day Adventists, prior to the second coming of Jesus.
Satan last attempt to overthrow the remnant of h e r seedto cause a very hard time of trouble
(Revelation 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.” – Revelation 12 : 17.
The woman is the Church; her child is Jesus Christ; her seed are the Christians. And the remnant of her seed must be those Christians who live during the last remnant of time before the close of probation, a short time before Jesus accomplished His work of mediation in the heavenly sanctuary.
As we are now living in the time of the end, and as we have been just now in the harvest time of the 144.000 first fruits to be reaped from within the Church, then it could be understood how serious is the enmity of the dragon against the very elects of God. Therefore, as soon as the purification of the Church is accomplished with the living, and the 144.000 elects of God be sealed, this special company must first face their last ordeal in a short period of Jacob time of trouble, prior to being taken to the Palestine to stand with the Lamb on the mount Zion. This is the time of trouble prophesied in the book Daniel as follows:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people : and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time : and at that time thy people (the Jacobites) shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book.” – Daniel 12 : 1.(In brackets added).
As well as how Jacob the type had to pass through his time of trouble in the past to evade his own brother Esau seeking to kill him, so it is now in its antitypical event the present Jacobites (the 144.000) have first to pass a short time of Jacob trouble at the hands of their own fellow believers in Church, prior to their going back home to the Palestine to stand with the Lamb. (Revelation 14 : 1).
The coming slaughtering of the wicked in the Church prophesied in Ezekiel 9 would accomplish the coming purification of the Church, and to enable her to accommodate more people of the great multitude to come in from the second harvest.
Since there is still another harvest to garner the second fruits of the great multitude of people (Revelation 7 : 9) from outside the Church in the whole world, then it is the very last chance for the dragon to release his wrath against them. And this is the very last war of the dragon against the Church as prophesied in the Revelation 12 : 17.Then comes the close of probation for the whole world.
Neither the Jacobites of the 144.000 elects of God nor the great multitude of God’speople, garnered through both the harvests, could be subdued by Satan during the times of trouble, because their names have been found registered in the book of life in the heavenly sanctuary. In her statements in THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY Sister White said :
“Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of war is stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming --- a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation --- God’s chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his angels cannot destroy them, for angels that excel in strength will protect them.— Letter 119, 1904.” – 2 Selected Messages, p. 55.