The End Times is a topic most people—the Christians in particular—would rather avoid discussing. After all, when one reads through the entire book, sino ba ang hindi matatakot sa mga pangyayari lalo sa mga Seals, Trumpets at Bowls. I admit, right after reading the book, I was depressed for almost 2 weeks, saw myself suddenly crying out of the blue, and wished those days would never come. But… the Lord made me understand that those events are inevitable—it will come, terrible things will happen, but HE will come to rescue all who had endured until the end.
Among my Christian friends (and when I say Christian I do not only mean the Born-Agains or the Protestants, I mean everyone who is a follower and believer of Christ) I was one of the last to have read the entire Revelation. I mean I did read it a couple of years back, I just never understood it. One of them suggested that it would be easier for new readers of the Revelation to read through Matthew 24, then Daniel and Revelation. What I did, however, was dive right into Revelation then Daniel and Ezekiel, after which I went back to Matthew 24. That was kind of foolish on my part; if it wasn’t for her notes and the teachings imparted to us by a bible scholar, I wouldn’t be able to decipher the symbols in the book. And if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I wouldn’t have understood a single thing written in those books! Also, the Holy Spirit led me to the right person to ask questions or to the right passages to understand the meaning of what was written in these books of prophecies.
Anyway, I digress.
Among the End Times interpretations, the most popular one would be the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I, however, have been a Post-Tribber from the very start. I will not debunk whatever Pre-Tribbers believe. But I will share the least popular interpretation that I know of.
Most believe that the church was never mentioned between Rev 4 to Rev 20. What most failed to realize is that a church is not physical, but rather spiritual where the Christians are spiritually attached in a form of a common core doctrine about God which kept true branches united despite divisions caused by Satan throughout history: and that is the belief in only ONE GOD with proper acknowledgment to the TRUE NATURE OF JESUS.
Also, the church has been mentioned in the book several times, it was just termed differently.
Let me talk about Revelation 12 first for us to fully understand Revelation 11. (Feel free to refer to the image below. Revelation 12 ESV.) Pray for discernment first before proceeding.
In v. 1, the woman clothed with the sun has 2 meanings: 1st is she represents Israel and the twelve stars on her head are the 12 tribes of Israel; the 2nd is she represents the Church (Judeo-Christian Church established by Jesus) and the 12 stars are the 12 apostles who spread the True Church of Christ. The moon under her feet represents fertility. The fact that she is stepping on the moon means this Church is the most fertile collective church in the world.
The red dragon in v.3-4, as we all know, is Satan and the ⅓ of the stars he swept down were the angels who joined him in his rebellion with God. The woman (Israel) in v.5 gave birth to a Son who will rule all nations with an iron rod (Jesus Christ, Rev 19:15) and was caught up to God and His throne (ascended into heaven 1 Peter 3:22).
The woman fled into the wilderness v.6: (1) the dispersion of the Jews; and (2) persecution of the Church in the early days.
V.7 After Jesus ascended to heaven, war broke out between Satan (and his angels) and Michael (and his angels). But Satan was defeated and he and his angels were banished from the 3rd heaven or God’s dwelling place. They were thrown down to earth, and they turned their anger toward mankind.
Satan then pursued the woman (Church). This symbolizes the persecution of the Christians in the early days. After being persecuted in the wilderness, God gave the Church 2 wings which flew the Church all over the world v.14. The 2 wings were attached by God to the Church during the 1st council of Nicaea. Historically, the Eastern Wing is the Eastern Church that spread Christianity towards the east (Turkey, Russia), and the Western Wing is called the Western Church that spread Christianity towards the west.
V.15 Even though Satan tried to stop the Church from spreading (poured water like a river), it continued to flourish.
Unfortunately, by the time Christianity reached our shores (Philippines), it was already corrupted because of what happened during the 2nd Council of Nicaea when these 2 wings conspired against the Lord when they disobeyed Him by allowing the restoration of graven images in worship houses. Further disobedience resulted in schisms (Read The Great Schism and 16th Century Schism). This was all allowed by the Lord to happen.
V.17 Satan then pursued to make war with “obedient offspring” through spiritual warfare and / or through persecutions / Great Tribulation. These offsprings are those who strictly adhere to the word of GOD or scriptures (known as reformed Christians). They are also called the Church’s remnants; they are called as such because of what will take place in Revelation 11.
The Eastern Wing is known today as the Eastern Orthodox Church while the Western Wing is the Western Roman Catholic Church. The Offsprings (in v.17) are what we know today as the Protestants.
Like I said earlier, this is the least popular interpretation but this is the truth that I know.
Next to post: Revelation 11 (Will post Part II soon)