Summer 2017: The Manifestation of Jesus Christ Part 5
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Summary: If there is a most important verse in the Book of Revelation, will it possibly be found right in the middle of the book?

If there is a most important verse in the Book of Revelation, will it possibly be found right in the middle of the book? In the paper copy of the King James Version Bible I have, Revelation comprises 16 pages. This places the middle of the book on the 8th and the 9th page. It is a surprising coincidence (or not?) that these two pages cut right through Chapter 12. Revelation 12 recounts the story of redemption and salvation -although from a slightly different angle than it is told in the gospels. Revelation 12 reveals Emmanuel, God With Us. Four entities appear in this chapter: the woman; the Child -His name is Michael, and He is also the Lamb-, the dragon and the remnant. It is easy to recognize that Michael, the Child and Lamb, is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.

From the larger context, we can conclude that the woman cannot be Mary, Jesus's biological mother. Comparing the scenario of Revelation 12, verses 6 and 14, with Revelation 11:3, it becomes apparent that the woman, who was forced to flee into the wilderness after the Child was received in Heaven, must represent God’s true church, which was persecuted by the “beast” power for 1260 years. If this is so, then verse 2 indicates that Jesus is a descendant of God’s church. Indeed, God’s church, the church of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David, carried the human lineage of Jesus Christ, the son of David. God had always a small faithful group of people on earth that had the privilege of carrying the Promise of salvation for mankind, whether spiritually, or with respect to Jesus' biological lineage.

The original promise was given to Eve immediately after man’s fall:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.(Genesis 3:15)

In this sense, Eve fulfills a dual role: she is the biological mother of all mankind and as such the biological mother of Jesus. But Adam and Eve also represent the first community of believers and thus constitute God’s original church. Ever since the serpent knew about the Promise, he has been engaging in every effort to ruin and destroy the Promise through the constant attack of God’s church. The dragon’s last physical attempt to avert the advent of the Promise was Herods’ heinous command to have all babies of two years and under executed (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16). Nevertheless, the Child was born, was sacrificed as the Lamb, and was caught up to God’s throne as the future Ruler of the human race (Revelation 12:5).

The Rest of God's Children

This Ruler was not someone who had been exalting Himself only to come down from lofty places like an alien in a science fiction movie to “save” the world. No, this Ruler, Emmanuel, had been with His people for thousands of years even before He was born in the flesh. He has thousands of years of intimate experience with man’s strengths and weaknesses, failures, desires and hopes; He is truly a compassionate Ruler and Shepherd. God’s love is expressed in the sacrificial death of the Lamb, but it is also demonstrated in the mother-child relationship of God’s church and the Son and in the very special way in which the final, residual small group of believers are called out:

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. (Revelation 12:17)

“The remnant of her seed”, meaning “The rest of the children of God’s church” are consequently spiritual brothers and sisters of Jesus; God’s beloved family. Here is emphasized that Jesus is Lord and Brother of all those who belong to that final little flock that will resist the forces of the dragon. In his work Truth Triumphant, Adventist theologian Benjamin George Wilkinson portrays the fascinating history of God’s true church; beginning from the apostolic time down to the times of the church in the wilderness down to the remnant church:

Even as a remnant of cloth will identify the bolt from which it is taken, so the last church is a continuation of the Church in the Wilderness, and identifies it. [..] In his vision John turns immediately from the scenes of the Church in the Wilderness to the outstanding work of the remnant church in the following words: "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." These scriptures plainly present inspiration’s insistent call upon the children of men to know and recognize God's true church in all ages.” Mankind should ponder the fact that the history of the Church in the Wilderness is linked with a definite period of 1260 years. 1

“Inspiration’s insistent call upon the children of men” has to be viewed in the context of another interesting detail we learn from Revelation 12. In God’s eyes, the woman has always been the same woman, the same entity – in the continuous progression of revealed truth - beginning from Adam and Eve leading to Abraham, Jacob and Moses, then to the apostolic church and the church in the wilderness; finally down to the remnant church. There was no “change in dispensation” in the transition from the Hebrew church to the Christian church. God’s church has always been recognized through the ages by the keeping of God’s law and through the testimony of and faith in the Redeemer.

God’s Love for Man

Why does Satan hate man and God’s children in particular? The irony is that the dragon’s wrath and hatred can only be understood in the light of God’s love towards man. Satan hates, because God loves. God loves man so much that He Himself became a man and died as a man:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6).

Despite Satan’s hate, God’s plan of salvation has been accomplished:

Notwithstanding Satan's persistent opposition, the plan of redemption was being carried out. Man was esteemed of sufficient value for Christ to sacrifice His life for him. Satan, knowing that the empire he had usurped would in the end be wrested from him, determined to spare no pains to destroy as many as possible of the creatures whom God had created in His image. He hated man because Christ had manifested for him such forgiving love and pity, and he now prepared to practice upon him every species of deception by which he might be lost; he pursued his course with more energy because of his own hopeless condition. (The Spirit of Prophecy 3:194, 195). 7BC 973.10

In Revelation 12:10, Satan is depicted as “the accuser of the brethren”, which borrows from the scene of Joshua the high priest, found in Zechariah 3:1-4:

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

God’s love towards the sinner is expressed as the righteousness (change of raiment) that is bestowed on everyone who responds to His love; in this manner, Satan’s accusations are rendered void and irrelevant. Christ’s love is reciprocated in those faithful followers who overcome Satan in that they “love not their lives unto death”:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11

We discovered in Part 2 of this series that “overcoming” means more than passively accepting the change of raiment; overcoming is keeping God’s commandments and having faith in Jesus. In fact, as we read on in Zechariah 3:6-7, And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by, salvation only starts with the replacement of raiment (justification): it continues to be a process where we walk in the ways of the Lord (sanctification).

As readers might have noticed already in the “Truth” article (Part 4 of this series), the Book of Revelation shows some parallels to the Book of Ezekiel. It even seems that Ezekiel constitutes a type of the antitype Revelation: while Ezekiel's message targeted the Hebrew nation in the Babylonian captivity, Revelation targets the entire human race in Satan’s captivity. Revelation 12 makes it clear where the great controversy originated, how Christ excluded Satan from the Heavenly courts by means of the Lamb’s sacrifice on the cross, and how He finally takes man’s case to victory as the righteous Ruler of the universe. Likewise, the Book of Ezekiel traces Satan’s fall and exclusion from heaven in Ezekiel 28, a chapter that appears to narrate a story in partial parallelism to Revelation 12.

Satan will launch his final military campaign against the remnant, in which he will muster his confederate forces; the last conspiracy against Jesus and His followers. An alliance of the sun worshipping elite, the merchants, the Babylonian religious leaders and the political leaders of a doomed geopolitical system controlled by the great whore (Revelation 17:2.5.; 18:3) will attempt to war against the remnant. But the Lord will deliver His beloved.

The Spirit of Prophecy promises:

When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. [..]

The people of God — some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains — still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen.... Great hailstones, every one “about the weight of a talent,” are doing their work of destruction. [..]. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world's great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God's people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free. (Mar 269.2; 278.3; 280.4)

Christ's Character Manifested

This series started out with the assumption that the Book of Revelation is arranged in a chiastic structure with four chiastic ring segments and a fifth segment that is imaged onto itself; in fact, that will provide the imaging plane for the entire chiasm: A, B, C, D, E, D’, C’, B’, A’, with “E” providing the imaging plane. We finally closed in on this imaging plane of Revelation's chiasm, the plane where the mirror is placed. What is so important about Revelation 12? In a unique way - as we won’t find it in the remainder of Scripture - this chapter contrasts God’s love and affection for man before Satan's selfish, psychopathic hate. Ellen White states that

in his enmity to Christ until He hung upon the cross of Calvary, with wounded, bruised body and broken heart, Satan completely uprooted himself from the affections of the universe. 7BC 974.1

Revelation 12 also testifies of the remnant’s ultimate response to God’s love, again from a unique perspective that is absent in the rest of Bible: while the gospels emphasize salvation of the individual believer, Revelation 12 clearly conveys Christ’s relationship to and the testimony of the final congregation of believers, the true church. With its chiastic structure unveiled and with all themes identified, what then is the overall message of the Book of Revelation? If we take our themes together: Trustworthiness, Faithfulness, Justice, Truth and Love, we have all the attributes of the perfect character of Jesus Christ! This is the character God wants everyone of us to grow into. These are the traits all Christian parents want to pass to their children. In Revelation 12, God explains where sin and sorrow started (with Satan’s rebellion), where the world’s history ultimately will lead up to (to Jesus ruling with an iron rod), and how we can become a citizen of the new earth: by overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and by having the testimony of Jesus.

If one were to ask for the single most important chapter of the Book of Revelation, this chapter would be Revelation 12; if one were to read the most important verse of the book, this verse must be verse 11; it summarizes how redemption is obtained: by believing in Jesus, by witnessing and by living a life prepared for sacrifice.

Ellen White implies that the Bible will eventually be taken away from us:

Study the Word of God. Commit its precious promises to memory so that, when we shall be deprived of our Bibles, we may still be in possession of the Word of God. —Manuscript Releases 10:298 (1909). {LDE 67.6}

Is it far-fetched that the possession of God’s written word will eventually be prohibited? Rome and its subordinate agencies certainly don’t like that people study God’s word, especially the prophetic books Daniel and Revelation. Civil rights lawyer John W. Whitehead warns that everyone who “subscribes to religious views concerning the book of Revelations” or who “believes in a New World Order conspiracy” and “expounds about constitutional rights and civil liberties” might be suspicious of domestic terrorism 2. Let us wake up and think about what this means! Winning the spiritual warfare finally means to be counted among God’s spiritual elite,

the little company who keep the commandments of God and are resisting the supremacy of Satan who numbers the world as his subjects. (Mar 272.3).

Since Revelation provides us with the vital information, (God’s intelligence) to win this war for eternal salvation, this last book of the Holy Writ is worth gold. It may be a hard endeavor to memorize Revelation word by word, but it is easy to remember that in it Christ’s character is unveiled; something every child is able to understand. The book that is the “hardest one in the Bible to understand” for accomplished theologians, may thus become the most fascinating book to read and absorb for every Bible student. Every child of God is to become more trustworthy, faithful, just, true and loving; so that God will find them worthy of receiving the seal of God on their foreheads. In this sense, the Book of Revelation truly becomes the scroll of The Manifestation of Jesus Christ. Will you join Ezekiel and John and incorporate it into your heart and mind? Then it is yours to keep!

Michael E Fassbender, Ph.D., is a nuclear scientist. Originally from Germany, he spent a threeyear stint in South Africa. He now works for the U.S. Government and lives with his wife and two daughters in New Mexico, USA. Michael and his wife are members of the Texico Conference of Seventh-Day-Adventists

1. Benjamin G. Wilkinson, “Truth Triumphant”,


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