Revelation 11:13-12:17 The Persecution Of Israel

by | May 10, 2023 | New Testament, Revelation

11:13, 14 The location is Jerusalem, just after the two witnesses are raised from the dead.
An earthquake follows their raising and ascension, with 10% of Jerusalem being destroyed, and 7k deaths. At least some of the survivors recognize that God did these things, and they give Him glory.

11:15 I believe that this is a pre-announcement of the certainty that will follow.
It is like a candidate being officially elected but waiting to take office.
It is officially going to happen soon, but it hasn’t happened yet.

11:16-18 This is a Biblical response to the announcement that a time is coming when God will absolutely rule over the affairs of man.

11:19 This speaks of John seeing the place where God was speaking from.
On Earth, the Temple was where God said He would meet with man, and where His glory was manifested. As these proclamations are made, we see them being followed by a supernatural display of God’s power, perhaps understood as types of confirmations.

12:1 This vision describes the nation of Israel during the second half of the Great Tribulation period.
This period of time is known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.
We read about it in Jeremiah 30:7-11; Matthew 24:6-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

John’s vision paralleled Jacob’s dream in Genesis 37:9-11, describing his parents and brothers

So far in Revelation, we have seen God dealing uniquely with the nation of Israel
Chapter 7- 144,000 uniquely chosen Jewish men, set apart to serve God during the Tribulation period
Chapter 11- We read about the future building of a temple in Jerusalem, for the restarting of Temple sacrifices. Also, two presumably Jewish witnesses that serve as prophetic voices in Jerusalem.
Chapter 12- We read about a spiritually motivated physical attack against Jews, led by Satan.
Chapter 14- We see the 144,000 Jewish men once again appearing with Jesus.

In chapters 12-14, we will see different visions.

  • The woman, representing Israel
  • The dragon, representing Satan
  • The man-child, referring to Jesus
  • The angel Michael, head of the angelic host
  • The offspring of the woman, representing Gentiles who come to faith in the Tribulation
  • The beast out of the sea, representing the antichrist
  • The beast out of the earth, representing the false prophet who promotes the antichrist

12:2 This speaks of Jesus being born as a Jew during a time of intense oppression by Rome.

12:3 The dragon represents Satan. The heads w/crowns-authority, the horns-power & strength
The crowns represent Satan’s efforts and desire for self-coronation and rule over God and man.
The heads and the horns represent a gathering of nations through whom Satan will organize.
Many believe this to be a gathering of Western European nations similar to the first Roman Empire.
Satan-Dragon. Revelation 20:1-3
12:4 This points to Satan drawing a third of the angels of God to follow him when he rebelled against God. Angels were created with free will, as was Satan (Lucifer). They rebelled with Satan.
Satan also inspired the killing of baby boys in Israel during the time of Jesus. (Matthew 2:16-20)
The Gospels record Satanic opposition against Jesus throughout His life. (Luke 4:1-12)

12:5 This speaks not of Mary, but of Israel as a nation. Psalm 2 speaks of Jesus’ eventual world rule.

12:6 The vision now fast forwards to the future. Prophecy often has a near/far presentation
This seems to take place 3.5 years into the 7-year Tribulation.
This is when we see Antichrist rising to power, and possessed by Satan, and he persecutes Jews.
The Jews physically flee Israel to a location prepared by God; maybe Petra, 23 square miles.
This connects very closely to Daniel 9:27, and the idea of Antichrist helping the Jews to build a temple, only to enter it and demand to be worshipped as God.

12:7-9 The Bible tells us that Satan and his angels (demons) have access into Heaven until this point.
During this time of spiritual/physical persecution, there is an angelic battle in heaven.
We can have no idea what that looks like.
We fight spiritual battles, but there are also physical angelic battles that we are told nothing about.
During this Antichrist/Satan persecution of Israel Satan is finally and forever cast forth from Heaven
This seems to take place 3.5 years into the Tribulation period and corresponds with Daniel 12:1
Jude 9 tells us of Satan and Michael fighting over the body of Moses.

12:10 Satan accuses Christians before God, and in our ears/minds. He condemns/lies constantly.
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

12:11 Three truths regarding them and us overcoming Satan.
1. By the blood: our sins are paid for. 2. Testimony: real experience w/Jesus. 3. Living sacrifices

12:12 Being cast out of heaven, Satan turned his fury upon humanity.

12:13, 14 Upon being cast out from Heaven, Satan intensifies his efforts to attack Jews, but God aids and protects Israel for the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation period.
Guzik- Why does Satan attack the Jewish people? This is a question for all history, not only for the Great Tribulation. The reason is because from the time of Abraham, Israel holds a critical role in God’s plan of redemption. First, it was in bringing forth the Messiah and Redeemer. Then, it was in the fulfillment of His plan, because Jesus promised that the Jewish people would exist and welcome Him when He returns in glory to this world (Matthew 23:39). If Satan succeeds in destroying the Jewish people, then God’s eternal plan is in some way thwarted.

12:15, 16 This may be an actual flood. Satan can manipulate nature as God allows. (Job 1:16,18-19)
Whatever kind of attack this is, God protects these Jews from Satan’s attack.

12:17 Offspring- This may refer to Gentiles who come to faith during the Tribulation as a result of the ministry of the 144,000 Jewish servants of God, or the two witnesses who spoke in Jerusalem.

Farrer – It is precisely when Satan has lost the battle for the souls of saints in heaven that he begins the fruitless persecution of their bodies.
What is clear- These are people saved during the Tribulation. They have the testimony of Christ.