And she gave birth to a son, a male child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
 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.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Revelation Chapter 12 is talking about the past, present, and future of Israel using metaphors and symbols.
The people of Israel are God’s chosen people, and they are a nation clothed with glory like the sun.
God Himself has intervened and guided Israel, and Jesus Christ the Savior was born in their line.
However, because they are chosen people, they also had to suffer from countless afflictions and hardships.
Especially, since they didn’t believe in, but in fact shunned Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born in their line, they have had to undergo serious hardships.
However, even though they will fall into the 7 Year Great Tribulation, they still have a ray of hope.
Even though it’s late, if they accept Jesus Christ and overcome the persecutions in martyrdom, they will then receive the opportunity to gain salvation.
This process is explained here in Chapter 12.
The verse 5 says, “And she gave birth to a son, a male childwho is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
I already explained that the woman refers to Israel.
When the woman was about to give birth to the son, the dragon was waiting to devour her son.
The scripture says this son is “a male child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.”
In the Revelation Chapter 2, I already explained what it means to say, “to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.”
Revelation 2:26-27 says, “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father.”
It says, our Lord has authority over the nations, and rules them with a rod of iron. The authority, here, refers to the authority of judgment.
And the vessels of the potter symbolize human beings who are created from dust of the ground.
‘Breaking the vessels of the potter’ means that the people who live in evil will be judged according to their sin.
Just as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces by the rod of iron, they will be judged and fall into eternal pain.
Those who believe in the Lord, however, will not receive this judgment of punishment.
Instead, they will join the glory of the Lord.
Only those who overcome and those who keep the Word until the very end will be given gifts.
Jesus was born and His is the one who has the authority to judge. It says, “her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
Jesus came to this earth, He was crucified on the cross, He resurrected, and He became the Savior of mankind.
He ascended into heaven, and sat on the right side of God’s throne.
God’s children who believe in the Lord will eventually be caught up into heaven and stand before God.
However, along with the people of Israel, those who believe in the Lord after they remain on the earth during the 7 Year Great Tribulation cannot reach salvation easily.
Since they haven’t been able to reach salvation in the age of grace, they have to pass through great afflictions, all kinds of persecutions and finally, martyrdom.
‘To rule all the nations with a rod of iron” explains the process of salvation for the people of Israel who are left on the earth during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
It means that they will be saved through hardships, afflictions and martyrdom.
Even though the Lord has authority to rule all the nations, He doesn’t necessarily lead all the people of Israel to salvation just because they are chosen people.
They can also reach salvation, but only when they pay the proper price in the strictness of the (spiritual) Law of Justice.
Now, the verse 6 says, “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.”
Those people of Israel who accept the Lord during the 7 Year Great Tribulation will flee into the wilderness to escape from the severe persecution of the antichrist.
They will hide themselves for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, 3 and a half years.
Dear brothers and sisters.
When the 7 Year Great Tribulation begins, Israel and the force of the antichrist are not opposed to each other at first.
During the Tribulation, the situation for Israel becomes worse, but greater (power and opportunity) for the force of the antichrist.
And as I explained before, in the midst of the Third World War the Middle East area experiences terrible loss and destruction.
The destruction of Israel is not an exception.
It is this time when the antichrist stretches its helping hand to Israel.
The antichrist does so because it needs Israel’s help to acquire worldwide power.
The people of Israel, especially Jewish people, exercise great influence over world economy and politics.
As a concession to Israel, the antichrist makes promises to provide various support.
One of the promises, and the most crucial one, is the promise for the construction of the Holy Temple of God.
The dearest wish of Israel is to once again construct the Holy Temple of God.
In 70 B.C., when Israel was destroyed by Roman troops, the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple were demolished.
There remains only the 15 meter high West Wall of the Temple, and this wall is still standing there.
Jewish people call it the Wailing Wall, and they pray for the reconstruction of the Temple before this wall.
For a long time, Jewish people, who had to scatter around the world, have come to this Wailing Wall with their sorrow and grief in their hearts, and prayed in tears.
They have prayed for the restoration of their country and the Temple.
Of course, Israel has been re-established and they’ve regained Jerusalem.
Yet, in the current situation, they cannot reconstruct the Temple, their dearest wish.
That’s because an Islamic temple is constructed on the building site of the Temple.
After Israel was destroyed, Muslims conquered Jerusalem, and they made Jerusalem a sacred place of Islam.
Even until now, the situation in Jerusalem is still unstable because of the dispute between Israel and Islamic people.
If Israel destroys the Islamic temple in order to restore their Temple, the result will be (catastrophic) beyond description.
Israel would have to make a decision to have an all-out war confronting the entire Islamic nation and all Muslims.
It is as clear as daylight.
Therefore, Israel cannot even begin to think of doing such a thing.
And many nations around the world would try hard not to allow it to happen.
In this situation, the people of Israel believe that the one who will restore the Holy Temple is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for.
Now, the antichrist promises the restoration of Holy Temple of Jerusalem to the nation of Israel.
How pleased is Israel with this promise?
Israel actively cooperates with the antichrist.
However, after working with Israel and taking advantage of Israel to gain needed cooperation, the antichrist finds no further value in using Israel.
That’s because the force of the antichrist already will have secured its power over the whole world.
It is this time when the true identity of the antichrist is revealed.
The antichrist sets up an idol in the Temple of Jerusalem.
Daniel 9:27 says, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Jesus also told about it while explaining the end time of the world.
He said in Matthew 24:14-16, “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.”
It is after they realize that they have been deceived that they firmly stand against the antichrist.
And many people accept the Gospel and the works of repentance take place.
They come to realize that Jesus, whom their ancestors crucified, is truly their king and Messiah.
Since the people of Israel have upright hearts, once they realize the truth, they do everything to keep it.
That’s why, even though they undergo many afflictions, they don’t deny the name of the Lord, and reach salvation.
In this situation, the antichrist tries to completely destroy the people of God who stand in opposition.
And thus, many people are persecuted and killed.
In the mean time, some people flee. They hide themselves and survive.
There is a place of refuge that God has prepared.
Some Biblical scholars say that the refugee is ‘Petra’ which is located in the wilderness of Jordan river.
Petra is an archaeological site which was discovered in 1800. It is located in a place that is an hour’s drive from Israel.
It’s lying on the slope of a rocky mountain. There is a narrow road on which not a great number of people can walk along together. The narrow road leads into this place located deep inside.
That’s why people call it a fortress blessed with natural barriers for defense.
It is said that some Christians in the western world have stored up canned food and the Bibles in preparation for a terrible calamity.
Even if Petra is not the place that God has set aside, God will surely lead the people of Israel to a place that He has prepared.
There will be people who survive the terrible calamities of the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Now, what will happen to people who survived?
After the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the saints who enjoyed the 7 Year Wedding Banquet in the air will come down to the earth with the Lord.
At this time the peaceful Millennium Kingdom begins.
The enemy devil and Satan are tied up for a thousand years, and the Lord reigns over the kingdom.
Those who survive the 7 Year Great Tribulation will enter into this Millennium Kingdom.
It is not just the people of Israel, but all people who survive on the earth will see the Millennium Kingdom.
A more detailed explanation about the Millennium will come soon.
Now back to the scripture, the verses 7 to 9 say, “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.”
Heaven in the verse 7 refers to the air of the second heaven.
Ephesians 2:2 says, “in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
Lucifer, the dragons, and their messengers still have the authority in the air.
In the providence of human cultivation, God handed the second heaven over to them.
Until the time comes, they have authority in the air, and have charge of the darkness of this earth.
Now, at the beginning of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the Holy Spirit is taken away.
And the evil becomes more rampant.
The earth becomes an even better place for the evil spirits to play.
The darker this earth becomes, the more active the evil spirits become.
The same applies to each of you, as individuals.
The more darkness you have in your heart, the easier it is for Satan to control you.
Since the evil spirits have authority over the darkness, the deeper the darkness that people live in, the more strongly they can be controlled by the evil spirits.
Therefore, if you have more evil in your heart, you will be influenced by the evil spirits to that same extent.
But, if you cast evil from your heart, you will escape from their influence.
Those who live in the light perfectly are completely outside of the influence of the evil spirits.
It is just as written in 1 John 5:18, which reads, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”
Since evil is all the more rampant in the world during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the world becomes quite a lucrative place for the evil spirits to play.
Especially since the Holy Spirit is taken away from this world, the evil spirits play and control the evil people as if it were their world.
When evil is rampant like this, the whole world is covered in the darkness.
And, when it is close to the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the number of those who are able to receive even the Gleaning Salvation decreases.
The time is coming when the light will finally taken away.
This is the time when God is going to drive the evil spirits that have had authority over the darkness in the air to the earth.
At the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the time finally comes when the evil spirits themselves come down to the earth and control the darkness.
When they control the darkness in this earth it is very much different from the days when they controlled the darkness in the air.
The level of evilness is much more severe.
And finally, it reaches the uppermost limit when God has no other choice but to destroy all the evil in this world according to the justice.
This is the situation when the 7 Year Great Tribulation is about to come to an end.
By the way, the evil spirits which used to have authority over the air, do not come down to the earth by themselves.
They don’t give up the air, which was a place given to them, and from where they worked quietly.
That’s why Archangel Michael and his angels wage war against them, and they are driven out to the earth.
In other words, they quietly come down to the earth not because they desire to, but they are thrown down to the earth because they lose the war against the army of God.
Once they are thrown out of the air, they have no place to go.
The only place they can go is the earth where they can exercise their authority.
Since they are thrown down reluctantly like this, how much evil will they do in the earth?
They will persecute those who believe in the Lord all the more severely. Even though some believers have survived so far, it’s not easy to overcome such persecution of the antichrist.
In the situation where the force of the darkness has the complete control of the earth, there is no more help of the Holy Spirit of any kind; people won’t even have some others they can depend on to help keep their faith.
It is no easy matter to keep faith until the end under such circumstances.
In addition, once the force of the darkness has the complete control of this earth, the world becomes completely dark so that goodness cannot be found anywhere.
The world is under the control of the enemy devil and Satan who ‘deceive the whole world.’
Now, the scripture says, the great dragon is also called ‘the serpent of old’ and ‘the devil and Satan.’
In the world of evil spirits, there are orders and organization; they have their own roles.
I once gave you very detailed explanation regarding this in the message, “The Realm of Evil Spirits.”
The head of the evil spirits is Lucifer.
He organizes the world of evil spirits, and he leads and controls the entire flow of things under his control.
Underneath him are the dragons and their messengers, and Satan, the devil, and demons. And they are assigned to their own roles.
It is the dragons that have the actual authority and control in the darkness.
The dragons are playing the role of the leaders among the forces of the darkness.
Since the dragons have the heart of Lucifer, even though they don’t receive complete and specific orders from Lucifer, they accomplish the work as Lucifer wants.
Beneath the dragons are messengers that help the dragons. They take the instructions from the dragons and supervise all the things of the darkness.
By the way, the actual evil spirits that have direct influence over the mankind are Satan, devil, and demons.
Satan is a being who has the same heart and mind of Lucifer; it is originally one with Lucifer.
But Satan exists as a separate being from Lucifer.
For your better understanding, just like the relationship of God and the Holy Spirit, so it is with Lucifer and Satan.
Satan works through the mind of a man, and it supervises the works of the darkness.
Satan spreads what belongs to the darkness as if it were an electric wave in the air.
When a man accepts it in his mind, the man comes to have evil in his mind and evil thoughts, and the man further reaches a point where he puts the evil things into practice- the works of evil.
Once he reaches the point where he commits works of evil, the devil takes control.
The devil makes people commit actual sin in actions, and makes them live contrary to the will of God.
And when the level of evilness is beyond a limit, or when a certain conditions are met according to the law of the spiritual realm, demons may start to act.
Demons go into a man, and make the man play a role of a servant of the evil spirits regardless of his will.
As I explained briefly, even in the world of evil spirits, there are many beings and they control the works of the darkness.
The serpent which deceived Adam and Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of good and evil was also motivated by Satan.
The serpent, which has the most cunning character among the animals, played the role of a servant of Satan, and deceived Adam and Eve.
And it was the dragons and Lucifer that supervises all these things.
Spiritually, they are all connected and they control the things of the darkness.
That’s why the great dragon is called the serpent of old, Satan, and the devil.
They are the beings that work under the instruction of the head of the evil spirits for the one goal with one mind.
These evil spirits wage war against the archangel Michael and his angels, and they are defeated and thrown down to the earth.
We will take a look into the situation after this, in the next lecture.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Tonight’s scripture deals with the war of the spiritual realm which will take place in heaven.
It is the war between the spirits that belong to God and the spirits that belong to Lucifer.
The result is, of course, the victory of the spirits that belong to God.
Then, what about your personal spiritual warfare?
When you previously lived in the world without knowing the Lord, you belonged to the darkness.
However, after you accept Christ Jesus and came to know the truth, the light entered your heart.
From that moment on, the spiritual warfare between spirit and flesh started.
When the Holy Spirit gave birth to spirit, the war broke out between the heart which follows the desire of the Holy Spirit and the heart which follows the ways of the flesh.
Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”
Like this, there is a fierce war between the desire of the spirit and the desire of the flesh.
When the heart of goodness which follows the truth is stronger, the spirit defeats the flesh, and you will follow the desire of the spirit.
However when the heart that follows the darkness of the world is stronger, you will follow the desire of the flesh.
At this moment, God and the Holy Spirit are the managers of the goodness, and the enemy devil and Satan are in charge of the things of evil.
When the strength of goodness and evil are equally matched, the war is the fiercest.
When the desire of the spirit wins, your heart is filled with joy and peace. But when the flesh wins, your heart suffers and struggles.
Until your heart is sanctified and the spirit achieves victory completely, such spiritual warfare exists in your heart.
Now, what is the result of your spiritual warfare?
Do you have more times that you follow the desires of the body since the flesh wins?
Or, are you in the process of the desire of the spirit overcoming the desire of the flesh?
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
If you receive the full strength of the Holy Spirit, then you will achieve victory following the desire of the spirit.
Through tonight’s Divine Healing Meeting, or 7 Week Special Prayer Meeting, I hope you will receive such fullness and strength of the Holy Spirit.
And may you always win the victory in the spiritual war between the spirit and the flesh, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!