Good morning everybody. A happy last Sunday in April to everybody. Let’s take our Bibles and open them to the Book of Revelation, chapter 12 and verse 13. The title of our message this morning is Why the World Hates Israel. Just this week, if I read the news report right, there was yet another shooting in a synagogue, I think this time in California last week. Anybody see that news report? What in the world is going on? Why is it that the Jews and the nation of Israel is so hated, so despised by so many people? The nice thing about being a student of the Bible, particularly a student of Bible prophecy is you don’t have to guess as to the answers to deep questions like this; the Bible very matter-of-factly comes out and tells us why these things are happening. And we’re going to see the answer to that question here in Revelation 12:13-17.
Let me review a little bit, last week was Resurrection Sunday so we did a message not related to the Book of Revelation directly so you may not have been thinking about the Book of Revelation for the last couple of weeks. So to refresh our recollection we are in a section of the book where the trumpet judgments have been sounded and as each trumpet is sounded another judgment comes to the earth. And we have made our way all the way to the end of Revelation 11 related to trumpet number seven. Once the seventh trumpet is sounded what essentially is happening is there’s being orchestrated in heaven a legal transfer. Revelation 11:15 concerning that seventh angel and seventh trumpet says “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ….” Authority over the world is being transferred from Satan to God the Son. And what you discover when we go through the Book of Revelation is although the chronology is meant to be taken in order there are times in the Book of Revelation when the chronology stops to give us sort of a glimpse related to something specifically happening related to the chronology.
And so the pause in the action occurs about five times in this book and we are at the third pause in the action, right at the conclusion of the seven trumpets. It’s probably the largest pause recorded in the Book of Revelation. It starts in chapter 12 and stretches all the way to chapter 14. And it’s very instrumental to the chronology that has taken place. Revelation 12, the chapter that we are (by God’s grace) going to complete today has become a chapter that I’ve spent an awful lot of time studying. I’ve often asked myself, why am I so drawn to this chapter? Well, one of the reason is it reveals (this chapter) the biblical reality of the angelic world. Angels are real, Satan is real, demons are real, and they are constantly involved in a conflict in the heavenlies that we can’t necessarily see.
1. First Trumpet, (8:7) – 1/3 vegetation destroyed
2. Second Trumpet, – (8:8-9) ocean destroyed
3. Third Trumpet, – (8:10 -11) 1/3 water destroyed
4. Fourth Trumpet, – (8:12-13) destroyed, 1/3 luminaries darkened
5. Fifth Trumpet, – (9-1-12) – demons released
6. Sixth Trumpet – (9:13-21) humanity destroyed
7. Seventh Trumpet – (11:14-19) legal transfer announced
We looked at many of these passages on the screen which reveal this reality of the invisible war all around us. There are certain chapters of the Bible that simply pull back the veil and allow us to see clearly into this angelic conflict. Revelation 12 is one of those chapters. And I also appreciate so much what God has given us in this chapter because this chapter reveals to us the two great strategies of Satan. There is no doubt that there are many strategies that Satan uses, but these are his two main ones that he’s used throughout human history, the latter of which he’s using today. Did you know Satan has strategies? Paul, the apostle, in 2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” A scheme is a strategy, it’s a plot it’s a plan.
Satan’s strategies have been, according to Ezekiel 28:17 corrupted. [Ezekiel 28:17] Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you.”] They’re not necessarily logic based, rationally based, they’re power based and it really has everything to do with Satan wanting to stay in control of things when history from a biblical perspective indicates that he will lose control. He will lose control of this world that he has governed since the fall of man. And people, when they’re losing control of the situation become very… I don’t know, crazy, they do crazy irrational things. And that’s what’s happening here in Revelation 12, two strategies. The first strategy is in verses 1-5, we’ve already studied it, it’s the past strategy that Satan has used that has failed and it relates to his desire to prevent the birth of Jesus Christ. You have to understand that as you go through the Bible and you see that Messianic line in the Old Testament leading towards Christ there was an all-out war against that line trying to prevent the birth of Jesus.
And you can’t really understand this chapter until you understand what the three major symbols are or who the three principle players are in the chapter. And we’ve gone through deciphering the symbols. Remember that there’s a son, s-o-n; who would that son be? Jesus Christ? Secondly, there’s a dragon, who is that dragon? Satan himself. Now sometimes he’s called the serpent, but we know from Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 that dragon, serpent and Satan are all synonyms for one another. [Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;”]
And we’ve also run into, this this chapter, a woman clothed with the sun, s-u-n, and the moon and the twelve stars and we’ve demonstrated that that woman represents who? The nation of Israel. Now if you’re confused as to these symbols and their identification go back to a couple of sermons ago and we taught exactly how each of those symbols is identifiable. Relative to strategy number one we read these words in Revelation 12:4, “And the dragon” who would that be? Satan! “… stood before the woman” who would that be? Israel! “who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.” Who would the child be? Jesus Christ. So what it is, it’s a commentary, if you will, it’s a history lesson, if you will, on the events by the devil to stop the birth of Jesus.
You say well wait a minute, I read about that story in Matthew 2, I thought it was just Herod insecure over his own throne killing all of the male infants in Bethlehem and Matthew 2 simply gives you that perspective. But if you want to understand the whole picture, the complete story, you have to begin to factor in Revelation 12 which gives us glimpse into the angelic conflict. It was actually the devil himself using Herod as a pawn, using his insecurity over his own throne to try to stop the birth of Jesus Christ. And it’s not just the birth of Jesus that Satan tried to stop, he’s worked in history to stop Messianic prophecy, not the least of which is Genesis 3:15 where a prediction is given in the very presence that there’s coming one from the woman, who would be Eve in this case, who will crush your head. [Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”]
Satan says well, we’ll see about that, and that explains all of the attempts to snuff out, to destroy the Messianic line going all the way through the Old Testament. And Satan worked overtime to prevent the birth of Jesus. And guess what? He has lost round one, the first strategy has failed. And now I believe in the present and it will reach its height in the second half of the tribulation period Satan begins to pursue strategy number two, which is to destroy the nation of Israel, to destroy the Jewish race, to destroy the Jewish people, and to make sure that every Jewish person who was a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is eradicated from the earth.
You say how can you be so aggressive on teaching this? The answer is related to the power, Satan has been the ruler of the present world system ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden. All of these verses on the screen, and we’ve looked at these, communicate that. And he likes his position of power, he doesn’t want to see his power relinquished. And if there’s something that Satan understands he understands Messianic prophecy. He understands prophecies like Genesis 12:3 indicating that God has covenanted to bless the world through the Jewish nation. That is not my blueprint, I did not come up with this, this is the design of God. This is the calling on Abraham and the beginning of the Hebrew race, going back to Genesis 12.
And think about how accurate this prophecy has been. “And in you” God said to Abram, “all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Think of the blessings that we have today which we wouldn’t have had it not been for the creator’s work with the Jewish people and nation. We wouldn’t have a Bible, we wouldn’t have a Savior. Now there’s a third blessing that Satan knows is coming that he wants to stop and it has to do with blessing number three, the Kingdom (Isaiah 2:2-3).
[Isaiah 2:2-3, “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.  And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”]
If there’s something that Satan wants to prevent from coming to the earth it would be the kingdom which will come to the world through the nation of Israel. The Bible is very clear that when the kingdom comes it will last a thousand years, it will be headquartered in the city of Jerusalem. This is the last and final blessing that Satan’s seeks do prevent or preempt because he knows that when the kingdom comes his days are over. Bible prophecy indicates that he will be bound for a thousand years, Revelation 20:2-3 and at the end of that thousand year time period he will be hurled into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:10.
[Revelation 20:1-3, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”  “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”]
This is what the kingdom and its manifestation upon the earth means to Satan himself. And he works in history to prevent that blessing from coming and what better way to prevent that blessing from coming than to destroy the instrument or the channel or the intermediary through which the kingdom will come, the Jewish nation. And why is he all concerned about this now in the Book of Revelation? Because of trumpet seven which indicates the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our LORD and of His Christ.” [Revelation 11:15, “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”]
It’s just a matter of time, three and a half years to be exact, before the kingdom materializes and just as he worked to stop the birth of Christ he’s now working in history to eradicate the Jewish nation preemptively so that the kingdom can never come. Now you begin to understand this and you begin to understand Revelation chapter 12 and suddenly you begin to understand what motivates Jew hatred. What motivates the irrational acts of violence committed on the Jewish people? What motivates anti-Semitism? Revelation 12, if we did not have it in our Bible we would have no real explanation of this reality and this phenomenon.
And what happens now midway through the tribulation period, as we have studied, verses 6-12, is now Satan permanently loses access to heaven. [Revelation 12:6, ” Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.  And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,  and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.  ‘And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.  ‘For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”]
You see, Satan, in his fallen state, according to these verses that we have looked at, has the ability to still go into heaven as a fallen angel, not to worship and serve as he once was able to do as a high-ranking angel prior to his fall due to pride but now to communicate and to accuse. Your Bible from cover to cover teaches this reality. Take a look sometime at those five verses that I have on the board and you’ll see it very clearly. [Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Zechariah 3:1, Luke 22:31, Revelation 12:10.
[Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.” Job 2:1, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.” Zechariah 3:1, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.” Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;” Revelation 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.”]
See, what’s happened here in Revelation chapter 12 beginning in verse 6 is he now loses that privilege and consequently what does he begin to do? He begins to plummet to the earth because the earth is the only domain he has left; heaven has been taken away from him. And he’s got exactly three and a half years left, forth-two months left to gobble up Israel to stop the birth of the kingdom. And so Revelation 12:6-17 is describing the second half of the tribulation period for the Jewish people from the perspective of the angels.
[Revelation 12:6-17, “Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.  And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,  and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.  “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.  “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”  And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.  But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.  And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.  But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.  So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”]
But if you want to understand the same story from the human perspective you would read Matthew 24:14-22, same story. Matthew 14 human point of view, Revelation 12 spiritual point of view. [Matthew 24:14-22, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.  “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),  then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.  ] “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.  “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.  “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days  “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.  “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.  “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”]
Just like verses 1-5, it gives you the story of Herod from the spiritual angelic perspective, Matthew 2 gives you the exact same story from the human perspective. This is the value of Revelation chapter 12, it explains so many phenomena taking place in our world.
I’m always looking for ways in which to better organize these chapters in outline form so I can teach more effectively and this outline may appeal to you. Revelation 12 is a description of three wars: war number one is a past war that Satan lost because he sought to prevent the birth of Jesus; he went down in round number one. War number two is a war in heaven, verses 6—12 where Satan’s final privilege of going into heaven to communicate and accuse is now taken away and he plummets to the earth. Spiritual war one, spiritual war two, and now what we’re moving into there, verses 13-17 is spiritual war number three.
And we know that this war is going to last about forty-two months and in the second half of the coming tribulation period he is trying to devour the nation of Israel because he knows the divine blueprint of God that the kingdom is going to come to the world through Israel and his thinking is if there’s no more Jews left there could be no kingdom and if there’s no kingdom then His kingdom stays intact, and that’s what you see happening in the verses we’re looking at here, verses 13-17.
One of the greatest wars we’re reading about here, yet to come, described in the entire Bible, and this war has two cycles. Verses 13-14 is cycle one, verses 15-16 is cycle two, and verse 17 is sort of a summary statement. And in each cycle here’s what’s going to happen, Satan will attack and God will protect, cycle one. Satan will attack, God will protect, cycle two. Satan realizing that he can’t get the upper hand is going to go away in a rage at the conclusion of verse 17 which sort of summarizes the mindset of this darkened being Satan towards the Jewish people.
Notice, if you will, cycle number one, notice Revelation 12:13, notice what it says. “And when the dragon saw that he was hurled down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.” Here is an attack by Satan, and you’ll notice our three characters there, dragon, woman and child who represent… dragon is who? Satan. Child is who? Jesus. Woman is who? Israel. Don’t lose sight of those three symbols and their meaning. Only understanding these symbols the way the Bible defines them gives you insight into this great spiritual conflict that is yet on the horizon.
You’ll notice here that it says, “when the dragon,” or Satan, “saw that he was been hurled to the earth….” He is now recognized that any privilege he had of entering heaven, at least to communicate and accuse, is gone. He’s got only one realm left in him which is the earth and he begins to pursue this woman, or Israel, upon the earth. And you’ll notice what it says here, notice the word “persecuted,” “when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman” you ought to underline that word “persecuted.” The word “persecuted” in Greek is the Greek verb dioko/diogmos and it’s used in Matthew 5:11 concerning things that the world system does to us as Christians. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” It’s talking about the reaction of the world against God’s people, in this case persecution.
The Bible says we’re blessed when we’re persecuted. We’re not persecuted because we’re rude, crude and obnoxious, it’s very clear here in verse 11 we’re persecuted “because of Me,” because of Him in other words, because of Jesus. And if that’s happening in your life then what happens is God calls you “blessed,” a badge of honor is on your life. And this persecution, same verb that the world has for a Christian, is what Satan himself launches against Israel in the second half of the tribulation period. What an explanation as to why believers are persecuted, why the Jews, no matter where they’ve gone in world history always seem to be persecuted no matter where they end up.
And what God does there in verse 14 is He performs a rescue operation, just like God stepped in providentially and sovereignly to protect the lineage leading to Christ, Revelation 12:1-5 so that Jesus could be born into this world at the expense of great warfare that took place. Apparently in the second half of the tribulation period God is going to do the exact same thing for the nation of Israel.
Now when I say that and we read verse 14 I don’t want to give you the impression that God steps in and there’s no actual battle, there’s no casualties because there is. That’s what war means; war always involves a casualty count and when you look at Zechariah 13:8-9, what you’ll discover is this casualty count is going to be so severe because of this spiritual war that two-thirds, think about that) two-thirds of the Jewish people will be eliminated.
[Zechariah 13:8, ““It will come about in all the land,” declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”]
The Jewish mindset today, coming out of the holocaust and the World War II era is never again and they say that because in the holocaust under the diabolical and demonically possessed (I believe) Adolf Hitler a third of the Jews lost their lives. And if I’m reading my Bible correctly the next go-around the Jewish nation will lose a third, this time the number will be much higher, it will be two-thirds. And if God doesn’t supernaturally step in and do something then the whole nation of Israel could be completely eradicated. And so, God steps in to preserve the third.
And the preservation of God is described there in verse 14. Notice what it says: “But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” [Revelation 12:14] Who’s the serpent? Satan. Now look at verse 14 at the word “place,” she’s going to s special place, she’s actually going to her place to receive relief from this attack. Now, when we were back at verse 6 I told you exactly where that place is. I don’t think the Bible is silent as to place that the woman or Israel will flee to; we looked at seven clues in the Bible pointing to the place of geography that Israel will flee to. Just by way of review and I have all of the verses on the screen that you can look up in your own study time.
Initial eviction from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-17
Eden (Genesis 3:15)
Pre-diluvium world (1 Peter 3:19-20)
Cross (John 12:31; 16:11, Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8
Midpoint of the Tribulation, Revelation 12:9
Beginning of millennium, Revelation 20:2-3
End of millennium, Revelation 20:10
But the place, wherever it is, it’s got to meet seven characteristics. Number one, it’s got to be a place prepared by God. Number two, it’s got to be a place where God can miraculously give Israel divine provision of food and water. Number three, it’s in the wilderness. Number four, it’s in the mountains. Number five, it’s a defensible place. Number six, it’s in today what we call modern day Jordan, Daniel 11:41. [Daniel 11:41, “He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.”] And number seven, the place is identified, Micah 2:12 as Bozrah. [Micah 2:12, “”I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture they will be noisy with men.”]
The only place to my knowledge that fits all seven clues or characteristics is the modern country of Jordan and a place called Petra. In fact, when you go to the nation of Israel today you can typically take a Jordan extension and go to Petra in Mt. Seir area and see the exact place where the Jews will flee into the wilderness during this horrific spiritual battle that will take place in the second half of the tribulation. I’ve given you this extended quote from Arnold Fruchtenbaum indicating that all of the clues point to this place called Petra in the modern state of Jordan.
“The name Bozrah means ‘sheepfold.’ An ancient sheepfold had a narrow entrance so that the shepherd could count his sheep. Once inside the fold, the sheep had more room to move around. Petra is shaped like a giant sheepfold, with its narrow passage opening up to a spacious circle surrounded by cliffs. This is not true of the town of Buseira. Furthermore, by modern Petra is a site known as Buseira, which retains the Hebrew Bozrah… It will be a very defensible city located in Mount Seir…. Furthermore, as they flee and while they are living three, food and water will be miraculously provided.” [Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Footsteps of the Messiah, Page 296-97]
In fact, he says here, “by modern Petra is a site known as Buseira, which retains the Hebrew Bozrah…” or sheepfold, which is one of the clues in the Book of Micah, chapter 2 and verse 12. [Micah 2:12, “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men. So hopefully some of this is sort of a review as we see the place that the Jews are going to flee midway through the tribulation period. It is so interesting to discover that God has given so much information about this end time battle, things that we should know about even as church age believers, things he wants us to understand. And yet how many sermons do you think are taking place in America today on this subject? I would estimate very few. Most of the ear-tickling type preaching and teaching that occurs today in your typical evangelical church will never touch a subject like this. And the fact of the matter is God has disclosed so much of this information to us in His Word.
If you look back at verse 14 you’ll notice that the verb there, “nourished” is passive. It says, “[“But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” And an active verb of course is doing the action; a passive verb is receiving the action. So this woman is receiving or Israel is receiving in the midst of this spiritual conflict where all hell is breaking loose, she’s receiving sustenance and nourishment from God.
One of the questions that comes up is who is God going to use to sustain this woman. Well, no doubt God Himself is acting directly because it says there in verse 14, “to be nourished by God.” It actually says in verse 14, “But the wings of the great eagle were given to the woman,” who is giving these things to the woman? God is! So, God no doubt is the ultimate cause of the woman’s nourishment but you know, God is pretty good at using intermediaries. What are some of the intermediaries that God is going to use. I mean, God uses intermediaries all the time, doesn’t He? Didn’t He use Moses as His instrument during the Jewish wilderness wandering years? I think one of the intermediaries that God is going to use are angels. Did you know, for example, that according to Matthew 4:11 that after Jesus had gone through the three temptations we read these words in Matthew 4:11, “Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”
Isn’t that what angels do? Hebrews 1:14 says, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?’” That’s what angels do, they are designed by God to minister to human needs. I think when you get to heaven and God perhaps allows you to look back on the course of your life you’re going to be shocked at how many times the Lord dispatched angels from heaven that you couldn’t see to help you in your specific time of need. And we know from the Book of Daniel, chapter 12 and verse 1 that Michael exists, Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people will arise. [Daniel 12:1, “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”]
That’s Michael’s job, he protects Israel, he helps Israel out. It’s unfathomable to me that Michael would not somehow be involved in this nourishment to the nation of Israel. But besides angels you know God can use anything He wants to minister to us. In the days of Elijah did He not use ravens, 1 Kings 17:2-7. [1 Kings 17:2-7, “The word of the LORD came to him, saying,  “Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.  “It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.”  So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.  The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.  It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.”]
Did He not use a widow, 1 Kings 17:8-15. [1 Kings 17:8-15, “Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,  “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”  So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.”  As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.”  But she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”  Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.  “For thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.’”  So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days.”]
Did He not use a bird that is considered by most people to be unclean and someone that is sort of pushed out as society itself, a widow, Luke 4:26-29, to minister to Elijah during his time of need. [Luke 4:26-29, ““But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land;  and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.  “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”  And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things;  and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.  But passing through their midst, He went His way.”]
You see, everybody is worried today about gosh, what if I lose my job? What if my stocks and 401K plan becomes a 201K plan? What’s going to happen to my source of revenue if my business takes a downturn? What’s going to happen to me if all of a sudden, I’m the owner of an apartment building and I can’t get people to rent. And we’re all worried about our source of revenue and income as if God is somehow worried about that. God can provide to you through a job, through a career but you think God’s hands are somehow handcuffed. Oh no, the economy went south, the interest rates went up, inflation went up, the business had a downturn…poor God, what’s He going to do now. The fact of the matter is God has a plethora of intermediaries and avenues open to Him.
I mean, we’re told that God will meet our needs, not necessarily our greeds, but our needs, and it’s interesting that when God makes that promise He doesn’t tell you exactly how He’s going to pull it off, does He. I mean, we assume He’s going to use that path or that route but God is not bound by that, He never promises to use that path or that route, He simply promises to meet our needs. And that’s clearly what He did in the days of Elisha. I also think this, that the Gentiles living on the earth at the time, those that happened to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that they will be many, I think they will play some kind of role in ministering to Israel during her darkest hour. I
Isn’t that the whole basis of the sheep and goat judgment which takes place at the end of the tribulation period when the Lord returns, Matthew25:37-40? “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  Then King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” Have you ever stopped and thought about the context of that, as who these brothers might be? The last time I checked wasn’t Jesus Jewish? Wouldn’t His genealogical brothers be Jewish? Wouldn’t the Jews need a lot of help during the biblical time considering the warfare that they’re going to be under.
And isn’t it interesting that the Gentiles who stepped forward during this time period, kind of like Oscar Schindler, the movie Schindler’s List and actually step forward and help demonstrate what’s really in their heart. And born-again Christians amongst the Gentiles on the earth at the time will have a natural desire to bless Israel, to help Israel and the Lord will actually look at that in the sheep and goat judgment and see that as what James 2:10 says, your faith is revealed by what you do by your works. [James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”] Faith without works is dead! Isn’t it interesting that we demonstrate what’s really inside of us by our hearts and our desire to help the Jewish people. I would think angels God would use, perhaps ravens, perhaps widows, but He’ll use the Gentiles as well.
And you’ll notice that the expression here in Revelation 12:14, all of this is taking place “for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” [Revelation 12:14b] A “time” is a Jewish year; times is two years, half a time is half a Jewish year. Add up 1 plus 2 plus ½ and what do you get? Three and a half years. Sometimes this time period is called (we saw it back in verse 6) “one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” Sometimes it’s called, Revelation 13:5, forty-two months. [Revelation 13:5, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.”]
These are all time increments indicating the second half of the tribulation period after Satan has been removed from heaven and is attacking Israel with everything that he’s got. And you’ll notice this expression here, verse 14, that the woman will be protected “from the presence of the serpent.” The serpent of course is Satan. God is shielding her, protecting her, helping her.
And isn’t it interesting that in the darkest place of human need for the believer God has already provided the pathway out. Did you know that? Did you know that you may be walking through in your life perhaps the darkest time period you’ve ever walked through. And what you’ll discover is that through the valleys of life you’re going to discover something that you can’t discover any other way, you can’t even understand it on the mountain tops what you’re going to see is the faithfulness of God. No matter how severe it gets God is always there to provide needs, not necessarily greeds but certainly needs and boy does He come through in the second half of the tribulation period for the nation of Israel.
And why wouldn’t God come through? Isn’t that His character? Isn’t His character that of faithfulness? And doesn’t the Bible say that God cannot change? God cannot lie? Doesn’t the Bible say He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.” [Malachi 3:6, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Why wouldn’t you expect God to show up in your life, to minister to you in your most difficult time. Clearly, He’s doing that here for the nation of Israel.
And this whole process of provision and protection is analogized, verse 14, to what? The “two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she could fly to the wilderness to her place.” Eagle’s wings! “But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, [where she was nourished for a time and times and times and a half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” James1:17] Eagle’s wings.
Let me tell you how not to understand that verse because there’s a lot of people out there teaching prophecy that get an A+ in imagination and an F- when it comes to accurate Bible interpretation. There are many people that would tell you, you know what, the eagle is the symbol of the United States of America, and so we know that the United States of America is going to Israel’s rescue at just the right time, just like Israel America has always helped Israel, right? I’m about as patriotic as you can get, if you cut me open I would probably bleed red, white and blue, I love the United States of America so much I want that to be true. But here’s the reality of the situation folks. God doesn’t need the United States! Can I say that here in Texas without getting stoned to death? Do we understand that God got along real well before this country was founded a couple hundred or more years ago? And God is going to do just fine after the United States goes its own way.
Who then is this eagle? Well, if you go into the Book of Exodus, chapter 19:4 you’ll see exactly who this eagle is and what this imagery represents. Remember we talked about the rules for interpreting symbols in the Book of Revelation? You search the immediate context, if that doesn’t work you go into the Old Testament. And when you go back to the Book of Exodus, chapter 19 and verse 4 it says this: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself.”
You know the whole process of the nation of Israel coming out of four hundred years of Egyptian bondage, passing through the Red Sea, being sustained in the wilderness, being taken care of even while they were in rebellion for forty years until they finally entered the land under Joshua. That whole process according to Exodus 19:4 is analogized to the imagery of being sustained on the wings of an eagle. And what it’s saying is this: God is saying just like I protected the Moses’ generation from a relentless assault by Pharaoh himself, who after Israel left he had a change of heart and tried to recapture them and they went through the Red Sea, a wall of tall water on each side and the Egyptians pursued and God just closed the Red Sea, end of problem. Just like I did that miracle I’m going to do similar miracles for Israel in the second half of the tribulation period to such an extent that a third of them will be saved and the kingdom at the end of that forty-two-month period will finally materialize. And so that’s cycle number one in this war. Now we move into verses 15 and 16 where you see cycle number two.
Notice, if you will, Revelation 12 verse 15, here’s the second attack. “And the serpent” who’s that—Satan “poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman” who’s the woman? Israel, “so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” Persecution doesn’t work let’s try a flood. You say well what’s the flood? Is the flood actual water? It very well could be but remember the basement for the Book of Revelation is the Book of Daniel. Remember what Daniel 9:26 predicts after the nation of Israel… this is predicted six hundred years in advance after the nation of Israel rejects her king and look what Daniel predicted, “and the people of the prince who is to come” this is Titus of Rome in A.D.70 to destroy the city and the sanctuary, “the people” forty years after the life of Christ, “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary and its end will come with a” what? the armies under Titus coming into Jerusalem is analogized to a flood.
I would say this, either Satan is trying to physically drown the Jews or perhaps he’s unleashing an army, an army of a size and a capacity the world has never seen and is so profound that it looks like a tidal wave coming against the nation of Israel. You say well gee, pastor, do you respect anything about Satan and I do, he’s a hard worker! Satan has a work ethic that you can’t even believe. First of all he tries persecution, verse 13, that doesn’t work let’s try the army or the flood, let’s see if that works, verse 15. Satan never gives up, that’s part of who he is, part of his nature. In fact, I’m reminded of the verse where Jesus experienced the three temptations in the wilderness in Luke’s account says this: “Satan left him for a more opportune time.” I simply lost this round but I’ll win the next one. And you may have had a victory or two spiritually in your life this week but the fact of the matter is that doesn’t mean that the conflict is called off. In fact, the conflict now intensifies because you now are a greater threat to the kingdom of darkness because you’re walking in obedience under the power of the Holy Spirit.
And what does God do? Satan attacks, doesn’t God always show Himself faithful in life’s valleys? You’ll see the rescue operation, verse 16, “The earth helped the woman” who’s the woman? Israel, “and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon had poured out of his mouth. Now the chapter in the Bible that you want to study to get the background of this is Numbers 16, and it relates to Korah’s rebellion where a bunch of people got together and they didn’t like what their pastor was doing and he preached sermons, and they were refurbishing their sanctuary and some of them were mad about the color of the carpet and the color of the chairs and we’re not getting our way here, we’re not getting our preferences met here and they ganged up on Moses and they began to grumble against the established leadership and God says to Moses, don’t worry about it, this one’s on Me, and the whole ground opened up and all of the disgruntled churchgoers went right into the ground.
And I say wow Lord, would you do that today…. I’m just joking around with you. [Laughter] It’s almost like a pastoral dream, I don’t have any problems at this church so I’m not threatening anybody but I do know an awful lot of pastors that are basically under siege by their own congregation. And it’s like my goodness, Numbers 16, grumbling against established leadership you’d better be very sure that you’re doing that under God’s direction because it’s not something that God takes very lightly. And so God is very good at opening the ground to dissolve enemies and apparently this whole army coming in like a flood is swallowed up into the earth as God again is proving Himself faithful in the second half of the tribulation period.
So cycle one, cycle two, and then we have a summary of the whole thing, Revelation 12, verse 17, “So the dragon” who’s the dragon? “was enraged with the woman,” who’s the woman? Israel, “and he went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” If I don’t have Israel then I will attack the two things I hate the most, people that are commandment keepers of God, people that are not only saved on the basis of faith, that are making progress in their spiritual growth, the middle tense of their salvation, and I don’t want them to give their testimony about Jesus because once they start to talk about their testimony about Jesus people are going to start to think and they’re going to start to understand that God changes people’s lives. That’s what a testimony is.
Satan doesn’t want your testimony out there, he doesn’t want you talking about what God has done in your life because that might give somebody else hope. And he certainly doesn’t want you to be following the commandments of God and growing in the middle tense of your salvation. You’re a Christian that’s a testimony Christian, you want to talk about what God has done in your life and you’re a Christian that wants to grow in their faith and you become in the process and opponent of Satan. The church, we believe, won’t be here during this time period, but those that have been positively impacted by the Israeli message of the gospel will have a target on their back. And the reason I like verse 17 is it summarizes the satanic hatred for the woman. It’s right there, folks, for the world to see.
The descriptors that I have on the screen reveal a mindset of Satan towards Israel. He pursues them with great wrath, verse 12. He persecutes them, verse 13. His whole ambition is to sweep them away, verse 15. He is enraged at them. Now the Greek word for enraged there, verse 17, is orgizō think of the words that are derived from orgizō or orge, a sexual term communicating unrestrained passion. But here the word is not being used in the sexual sense; it’s being used in the anger sense and it’s talking about what goes through the devil’s mind when he looks at Israel? And anger comes over him that he can’t even control. It’s a lot like when you’re working in the garage and your hammering away and you miss the nail and you whack yourself right on the thumb and for an instant you’re just so angry that you could be so dumb. It’s almost like an uncontrolled anger. Now you guys don’t look at me all spiritual like it never happens to you. [Laughter]
And you’re so angry you could take the thing and throw it right through the window. That’s how Satan is when he looks at Israel. And then the word “war” is used; the word war is polemos, where we get the word polemical, or a polemicist, someone who is warlike. It’s the opposite of someone who is eirenic or peace like. Satan hates the nation of Israel; he hates the Jewish people. Why is that? Because it’s through the nation of Israel that the world has been blessed and will be blessed. The patriots, the Law, the prophets, the Messiah Himself, Jesus, (who by the way was not a Southern Baptist). I can get myself lynched in Texas for saying that. Jesus was not a Southern Baptist, He was not a Presbyterian, He was not a Methodist, He wasn’t even a member of a Bible church. He was as Jewish as they come. We wouldn’t have Jesus or His proper name, Yeshua, had God not worked providentially through the Jewish nation. The apostles were all Jewish. Every writer of this book is Jewish. The only one they debate any more is Luke, and some people think Luke was Jewish too, but I would make all of them Jewish. All of the early church was Jewish; no Gentiles in the early church. The early Christian martyrs, like Stephen, all Jewish. Paul, where would we be without Paul? The missionary journeys, the two-thirds of the New Testament letters that he wrote, all Jewish, and the future kingdom. That’s the blessing that Satan hates is the Jewish kingdom headquartered in the city of Jerusalem.
Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 23:37-39? Jesus said to the Jews who were rejecting them, the nation that is, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” there’s no doubt who He’s talking to here, “who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Behold, your house” their temple, “is being left to you desolate!  For I say to you,” watch this now, “For I say to you from now on you” Israel, “will not see Me again” second coming, “until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” This is not the rapture, this is the Second Advent where He comes to rescue Israel at the end of the tribulation period. I’m not coming for you until you say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” That’s Psalm 118:26 which is a Messianic Psalm. Translation, “I am not coming back for this nation until this nation acknowledges Me as their Messiah.
Now what would you do if you were the devil? The devil says I’ll stop this from happening. I’ll just kill every Jew. If every Jew is dead and the earth no longer has any representatives from the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this conversion can’t happen, the second coming will never occur and I continue reigning over the world as I always have since Genesis 3. What’s the title of this sermon? Why the World Hates Israel. It explains an awful lot, doesn’t it? It certainly explains that guy in the middle, Adolf Hitler. It explains the Middle Eastern Islamic fundamentalists abhorrence for the nation of Israel where in their very charters it’s revealed that they want to drive Israel into the sea, in this case the Mediterranean. How do you make a deal for peace with someone like that? You CAN’T! In fact, whatever ground is given they will take it as a beachhead to launch another attack, and another attack
And you say well, wait a minute, they promised they wouldn’t. Hitler made that same promise of a similar kind, did he not, to Neville Chamberlain. In the Middle East they don’t operate by Biblicist principles. They don’t operate in good faith. They follow something called Takeo, where you are allowed to lie to advance your agenda. Do you understand that? Every time the United States sits down with Israel over here and the Muslims over here carving out some kind of deal, land for peace, you have to understand something, that one of the sides is lying right through their teeth, as is called for by their own religious system, Takeo. And isn’t it tragic when antisemitism enters the ranks of Christianity?
There’s a lot of wonderful things that Martin Luther, the great church reformer did but let me tell you something—the man had a dark side and he wrote about it in a tract that you can find online for free and download it to your Kindle, it spans 80 pages, it’s The Jews and Their Lies. You want a few snippets of this? First, their synagogues should be set on fire… Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmud’s. Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more. Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be forbidden to the Jews. Sixthly, they ought to be stopped from charging interest on loans. Seventhly, let the young Jews and Jewesses be given the flail, the axe, the hoe, the spade, the distaff that’s in both; let them earn their bread by the sweat of their noses…. We ought to drive the rascally lazy bones out of our system. Therefore, away with them. Sum up your princes and nobles who have Jews in your domain and this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden—the Jews. [Martin Luther, Concerning The Jews and Their Lies, cited in Michael Brown’s Our Hands Are Stained with Blood, pp. 14-15.]
I’m to a very large extent a fan of Martin Luther for the good things that he did, but I’m not one of those people that will whitewash something and cover up something because he may have scored some points for God in one game… what about the rest of his career and the rest of his life? In fact, today when you go to Israel you can go to a place called Yad Vashem. It’s the Holocaust Museum. It’s one of the smartest things the Jews ever did is put that museum together because today you know what we have? Holocaust deniers. That museum shows you that it’s a fact, the holocaust happened. Here are the names, here are the lives that were lost. It is documented history and in fact here are the names, here are the lives that were lost, it is documented history. In fact, when you walk into the Holocaust Museum do you know one of the first pictures you run into in Yad Vashem? Martin Luther. The Jews understand exactly what this man was saying in this horrific book that he wrote, The Jews and Their Lies. In fact, encyclopedia Judaica says this: “Short of the Auschwitz oven and the extermination, the whole Nazi holocaust is pre-outlined here.” [Martin Luther, in Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 8, 693.]
In the same encyclopedia Lucy Davidowitz says this, “… both Luther and Hitler were obsessed by the demonologized universe, inhabited by the Jews. [I’ve talked about this openly and every time I do I get a bunch of people mad at me because they want to protect their guy. The reality of the situation is the Lutheran denomination itself, Luther’s spiritual descendants offered an apology for what he said. Here’s the way it reads: “We Lutherans take our name and much of our understanding of Christianity from Martin Luther. But we cannot accept or condone the violent verbal attacks that the Reformer made against the Jews…. The sins of Luther’s anti-Jewish remarks, the violence of his attacks on the Jews, must be acknowledged with deep distress. And all occasions for similar sin in the present or the future must be removed from our churches…. Lutherans of today refuse to be bound by all of Luther’s utterances on the Jews.” [Lucy Dawidoowicz, “Martin Luther in Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol 8, 693.]
They’re acknowledging what he did do to them positively but they’re distancing himself from some of the other things that he said. I’ve done this talk and talks like this and people say well, Luther, you know, towards the end of his life he was just grumpy, he was angry, he was mad at everybody, grumpy old man syndrome. Let me tell you something, to go on for 80 pages line after line after line after line after line in such detail shows me there’s something far more going on than just someone in a bad mood, that didn’t have enough coffee that morning or was having a bad hair day. There was something whispering in his ear.
And that same something is alive and well in the second half of the tribulation period. How can you attribute this to grumpiness when Luther’s own denomination distanced themselves from his remark? And you say well, I’m glad we have John Calvin, he was better, wasn’t he? Well Calvin was a little smarter in how he said things but he was just as bad. John Calvin says, criticizing a rabbi, “But here [the rabbi] not only betrays his ignorance, but his utter stupidity, since God so blinded the whole people that they were like restive dogs. I have had much conversations with many Jews and I have never seen a drop of piety or a grain of truth or an ingenuousness—nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew.” Could you imagine today saying something like that about a race of people? “But this fellow, who seems so sharp and ingenious, displays his own impudence to his great disgrace.” [Commentary on the Prophet Daniel (Vol 1, p 185). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software. Commentary on Daniel 2:44-45. (2010)]
What did Calvin call the Jews? Profane, unholy, sacrilegious dogs, describing them as a barbaric nation; he says the people of Israel are rejected by God. I don’t think you can trace antisemitism all the way back to the fourth century but they sure carried it over. And they may have made some great contributions to Christianity but they didn’t do a lot to stem this problem. In fact, what does your Bible say? Your Bible says, “The day will come,” God says, “when I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for” who? “all peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”” Zechariah 14:2, the same prophet, Zechariah, “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished” do you understand that in Islam a man has a right to rape his wife? “…the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.” Your Bible predicts a pretty difficult time that’s coming when all the nations… last time I checked “all” means “ALL” doesn’t it? That would even include the late great United States of America wouldn’t it? I hope and pray it doesn’t happen on our watch but it’s in the cards because all means ALL! This explains the total irrational mindset of antisemitism.
You see those countries up there, those are Islamic countries. Do you see that little red dot, it’s so small you can’t even see it, I had to draw arrow to it. That’s Israel. Do you know what the United Nations thinks? If Israel just gave up a little more we’d have world peace, which is insane, it defies logic. Benjamin Netanyahu put it this way, (and I’m very happy, by the way, he got re-elected). “If the Arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel,” because it’s spiritually motivated. Well, gee pastor, this is pretty heavy-duty stuff, what do you want us to do about it? Six quick things: Who are we? We are those unnatural branches that have been brought in; the natural branches broken off of Israel, the unnatural branches brought in is us, Gentile Christians. You know Paul gives some pretty specific instructions to those unnatural branches as they think about the natural branches? You know what he says? Romans 11:18, “Do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.” You would have nothing spiritually speaking if God hadn’t worked providentially and sovereignly through the Jewish people. And you Gentiles never forget that! You should NEVER develop in your mind a calloused and hardened heart towards the nation of Israel, even while they are in unbelief because God says, Romans 11:28-29, from the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice “they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;  for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
Is that how you look at the nation of Israel that has been such an irritant to Christians and Christianity? Do you understand that maybe they are enemies now but they are beloved for the sake of the patriarchs? Number one, don’t be arrogant towards them. Number two, love them. And by the way, love doesn’t mean you don’t give them the gospel; there’s a mindset in Christianity today that says the Jews have been beaten down so far that we’re not even going to give them the gospel any more. You know what that is? That’s your ultimate act of antisemitism.
If you deprive a Jewish person of the gospel that is not love. Number one, don’t be arrogant towards them. Number two, love them. Number three, regarding antisemitism recognize its source, the devil, it’s from the pit of hell. Number four, do not take part in it! Don’t laugh at the stereo typical joke that makes fun of a Jewish person. Don’t support and promote churches that cut Israel off. In fact, when I was living in the Dallas area… I am getting ready to wrap up, believe it or not, I had to make a choice related to a church that I was going to leave that particular church and believe it or not I can be pretty tolerant, I can put up with an awful lot of stuff but the straw that broke the camel’s back is when they brought a missionary speaker into the pulpit and he sat up in front of the congregation and he said the modern state of Israel is not Isaac but it is Ishmael.
In other words, the modern state of Israel has nothing to do with God, it’s a work of man. And I said to my wife, we’ve got to leaven, we can’t support this through our finances, we can’t support this through our attendance, because that puts us on the wrong side of the angelic conflict, doesn’t it? Don’t take part in it, expose it. Ephesians 5:11 says “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.” And then finally, number six, don’t be surprised by anti-Semitism, isn’t it a shock that you can have anti-Semitism in our world today so close to the holocaust? How could it happen? Revelation 12 tells you exactly what happened. It’s not logic based at all, it’s related to Satan and his desire to retain power and a position in the angelic conflict.
You know, God said this in Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will” what? “curse.” Did you know that there’s one of Abraham’s descendants that you have to bless to get to heaven? And who is that? That’s Jesus of Yeshua. If you won’t bless Him by believing in Him then you’ll be under a curse which is hell itself. You see the outworking of Genesis 12:3 in the proclamation of the gospel. If you won’t bless Him you don’t get in. How do you bless Him? You believe in what He’s done or you trust in what He has done. We call this the gospel, good news, He did everything necessary to bridge the gap between fallen humanity and a holy God. Everything that can be done has been done, He simply asks you to bless Him and you bless Him by believing in Him, trusting in Him.
If the Spirit of God is convicting anybody within the sound of my voice to bless that descendant of the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our exhortation to you is to do that today; to do that now, even as I am speaking and to move out of the curses of the Abrahamic promises into the blessings. If it’s something you need more explanation on I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray. Father, we’re grateful for Revelation 12 and what it speaks to us, what it reveals to us about the angelic conflict and why the world hates Israel. Help us to be a people in these last days on Your side. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said…. Amen.