“She Gave Birth to A Male Child” Whom the Dragon Wanted to Devour

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God will nourish and preserve you in your pilgrimage through this wilderness of sin. He nourishes your souls when you read and hear the preaching of his Word and when you partake of the Lord’s Supper. These are your weapons against Satan’s raging flood of wicked lies and deceptions through false teachers and others who would destroy the church.

Psalm 2:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12; Revelation 12:1-17 (text)
December 19, 2010

"The Woman of the Apocalypse" by Peter Paul Rubens, 1623 - 1624

"The Woman of the Apocalypse" by Peter Paul Rubens, 1623 - 1624 (click to enlarge)

Introduction
In our lifetime, the Book of Revelation has been mostly interpreted by evangelicals according to what current spectacular event in the world was happening, especially in relation to the Middle East, and more specifically to Israel. Which world power is the current threat against Israel’s existence? It was the Soviet Union, then Iraq, now Iran. Which countries would figure prominently in Israel’s future? It was the Soviet Union, the European Common Market, China, and of course, the United States.

Why this focus on Israel? It is because these evangelicals read John’s Revelation through the lens of what will be the future of Israel, especially in these “last days,” which usually means the last seven years before the second coming of Christ. Thus, it is all too well-accepted to scan the pages of newspapers and the Internet and watch television news for the latest spectacular event in Israel and the Middle East and see them as the Book of Revelation unfolding before our very eyes today. This is because the book was written for us in pictures familiar to first century Christians, but only we, the “terminal generation,” could understand and interpret. Not only is the Apocalypse—but all prophetical books and events of the Bible—are read from this Jewish focus, because these evangelicals still regard present-day Israel as God’s “chosen nation.”

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