The Blood of the Lamb
|into the wilderness||into the wilderness|
|place prepared of God||into her place|
|they should feed her there||where she is nourished|
|1260 days||a time and times and half a time|
It certainly looks like these 2 verses are talking about the same event. However, we can identify at least three differences.
1. The mention of wings is added in verse 14. Wings can indicate speed and, if verse 6 is referring to a historical (Middle Ages) persecution and verse 14 is referring to an end-time persecution, there would certainly be a difference in terms of the duration of the wilderness experience.
2. Verse 14 says the woman is nourished during this time "from the face of the serpent" which may be a way of indicating his visible presence. This would fit an end-of-time scenario when Satan manifests himself:
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." (2 Cor 11:14)
3. The Greek word translated as "time" or "times" in verse 14 is "kairos." It is most often translated as "time" or "season" and never, in any of its 87 uses, is it translated as "year." Read through those verses inserting year(s) in place of time(s) and it will rarely make sense. It is often used in an agricultural setting (as in the four seasons) as we would use it. Here is a verse that makes a distinction between "kairos" (times) and years:
"Ye observe days, and months ("men," Strong's #3376), and times ("kairos," Strong's #2540), and years." (Gal 4:10)
They obviously would not mean the same thing in that verse. So there is the possibility that the meaning, in the end-time setting of verse 14, is 3 ½ seasons which would be less than one year.
There is another theory about these times and how there might yet be an adjustment in God's calendar.
There is also a similarity between all the mentions of this time period which supports the idea that it represents a time of persecution. Also, if you haven't read it, it might be useful here to look at the page describing the significance of a wilderness experience.
"And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." (Rev 12:15)
In the following verse, it sounds like God Himself will provide protection from this flood:
"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isa 59:19)
Of course, we are blessed by many promises of divine protection during the time of trouble. God does, at times, use natural means to protect His people:
"He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." (Isa 33:16)
"And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." (Rev 12:16)
In this case, somehow, "the earth" is involved. In the historical application of this verse, the earth is considered to be North America as opposed to Europe. Many people suffering persecution in Europe during the Dark Ages fled to North America. The question is what could "the earth" mean in an end-time setting?
"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev 12:17)
The dragon (Satan, verse 9) is wroth (angry) with the remnant and makes war with them. The remnant is the last part of something. In this case, it is the last part of the seed of the woman.
A remnant can also refer to what is left over after a sorting process. Gideon's army in Judges 7 is a good example of this:
The people that started with Gideon 32,000 Those who were fearful and afraid -22,000 The number that remained 10,000 The number that bowed to drink -9,700 The final size (remnant) of Gideon's army 300
Those that were fearful and afraid and those who did not keep their eyes on the enemy were separated and sent home. Those that remained, the remnant, meet the criteria, they passed the test and went on to a great victory.
Characteristics of the Remnant
In addition to overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the remnant is described as having these characteristics:
They "keep the commandments of God" so they certainly must keep the Ten Commandments. Most of even the Christian world, while they profess to keep keep the Ten Commandments, disregard the fourth commandment and teach Sunday observance which the Bible never commands.
They "have the testimony of Jesus Christ" which is defined later in Revelation:
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev 19:10)
"Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." (Rev 22:9)
Comparing the two verses above, we have:
"... I am thy fellowservant and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus ..." (Rev 19:10)
"... I am thy fellowservant and of thy brethren the prophets ..." (Rev 22:9)
Can we not, from this, equate the prophets with those that have the testimony of Jesus? Then the remnant of Rev 12:17, described as having the testimony of Jesus Christ, must have the prophetic gift. This must be distinct from just owning books containing prophecies or the Bible itself that has so many prophecies as even many ungodly people own those.
There is yet another way to understand the testimony of Jesus:
"And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (John 8:29)
Enoch also had that testimony and the result was that he was translated to heaven (like Jesus being "caught up unto God, and to his throne" Rev 12:5) without seeing death:
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Heb 11:5)
This suggests the idea that the 144,000 who are described as being "... without fault before the throne of God." (Rev 14:5) could be translated to heaven as Enoch was - without seeing death. We know that some people will be alive at the Second Coming (1 Thess 4:17) so this is quite reasonable.
The remnant will, at last, gain the victory over the dragon. They will form God's end-time army, they will keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Depending completely upon God, they will form such an effective force that even "... the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (the church)." (Matt 16:18)The end of the great controversy described in Revelation chapter 12 will be victory for God's people, victory by the blood of the Lamb.