Sunday, 28 February 2021
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. Revelation 12:6
Here we have a portion of the timeline that corresponds to Daniel 9:27 –
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
What appears to be the case, is that the prophesying of the two witnesses comprised the first half of the tribulation period. As it said in Chapter 11 –
“But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” Revelation 11:2, 3
After that point, they are killed and taken to heaven (11:12). This corresponds to Daniel 9:27 that says, “But in the middle of the week.” Their prophesying is 42 months, or three- and one-half years. That is “the middle of the week,” meaning the middle of this seven-year period.
It is at the middle of the week that the two witnesses are killed, and sacrifice and offering are also ended. It would be at this point that the words of Paul also come into play –
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4
It is this person that confirms the covenant of Daniel 9, and it is this person who will end the sacrifice and offering at the temple and sit in the temple of God. It appears that at this time, Israel will realize that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies, hence the words of verse 12:4 where it says that the woman was “ready to give birth.” In other words, the understanding of who their Messiah is begins to become known to the people.
If this is the proper understanding of the timeline and events, John now says, “Then the woman fled into the wilderness.” In understanding that Jesus is their long-rejected Messiah, they will also begin to read His words for understanding of what is expected of them. Why would they flee into the wilderness? It is because the Lord told them to do so –
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:15-22
Jesus’ words of the “abomination of desolation” speak of Daniel 9:27 cited above. The believers in Israel are told, in advance, that when they see this occur, they are to flee to the mountains. This is the second half of the tribulation period, and it will be the worst time ever experienced on the planet. But in taking Jesus’ words to heart, believing (not all, only the believers) Israel will be saved. This is because they will flee into the wilderness “where she has a place prepared by God.”
There is much speculation as to where this is. Based on the words of Jesus, this is a real group of people who will actually flee from Judea into the mountains. This is not to be taken metaphorically. Some speculate that they will flee to Petra, in Jordan. Wherever it is, the place is prepared for these people, and God will sustain them. As it says, “that they should feed her there.”
This clearly and absolutely defines the woman of verse 12:1 as Israel. It is Israel who is now in the land, it is Israel who Jesus was speaking to concerning events that would come upon them, and the church has already been taken at the rapture. Those of Israel who believe in Jesus will follow His word, flee into the mountains, and God will tend to them there. And this will be for “one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”
This is, again, a period of three- and one-half years. The Bible’s dating is one based on a three-hundred-and sixty-day calendar. Three- and one-half years, then, is one thousand two hundred and sixty days. This period then corresponds to the second half of the prophecy of Daniel 9:27. The timing fits, the actors in the great unfolding drama are identified, and the events of the other portions of Scripture properly align with what is stated in Daniel, Matthew, 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation.
Life application: With Israel in the land once again, many prophecies will be set to come to fulfillment. At the half-way point of the tribulation, which is forty-two months, the covenant which was made with Israel by the anti-Christ three- and one-half years earlier will be broken. These day and month timeframes are certainly to be taken literally and there are several reasons for this.
The first is that the 490-year period of Daniel 9:24-27 has been fulfilled literally, and to exact and verifiable dates. Of this 490-year period, 483 years have come to completion. This leaves a 7-year period remaining, which was promised to Israel by God. Like the other dating, this will also be exact.
A second reason to take this timeframe literally is because it is repeated several times in Revelation. It is a strong indication that they are not merely symbolic of an unknown timeframe. Israel, the woman, will be facing destruction at this mid-point of the tribulation, but God has prepared a place for her.
There is no need to worry about the ravings of people like the Iranians who say they will wipe Israel from the map. This will never happen. God will keep and protect His people in anticipation of the millennial reign of Christ. The promises have been made, God is faithful in keeping them, and He shall do so for the world to know and understand who His Christ is. They will come to see that He is JESUS!
Lord God, the events in the world today are lining up with what Your word says things will be like at the end of days. Because of this, we can look around and discern that You are in complete control of the ages. This beautiful play spans millennia, and yet is revealed beforehand in Your word. This tells us that You see all of time at once and have complete control over it! How absolutely magnificent You are! Amen.