12-8 The Judaizers
The Jewish Satan
Rev. 12:10,11 tells us that the satan was cast out by the blood of Jesus- which the Mosaic Law was. "They overcame him by the blood of the lamb". This seems another allusion back to the upper room discourse- "I have overcome the (Jewish) world" (Jn. 16:33); as if as Jesus overcame the Jewish system, so they too overcame that system as represented by the dragon. "Now is come salvation"- a system of salvation rather than condemnation- "and the Kingdom of our God", which the Church was constituted as in prospect through the work of Christ (Col. 1:13). "Salvation" was apocalypsed in "the last time"- i. e. AD70 (1 Peter 1:5). 1 Thess. 5:9 is also relevant here: "God hath not appointed us to wrath ("the law worketh wrath", Rom. 4:15) but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ". Perhaps this last phrase implies 'at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in AD70'- which is the repeated theme of Thessalonians. "Salvation" was thus to be obtained in a sense when the Law was ended and at the AD70 coming of Christ- just as in Rev. 12.
Rev. 12:9 stresses that the dragon was a deceiver, as the Law also was; it offered life, but it was impossible to obtain. The Judaizers deceived the hearts of the simple (Rom. 16:18; Eph. 5:6; 1 Jn. 3:7; 2 Peter 2:13). Sin took occasion by the commandment of the Law to deceive men (Rom. 7:11). Eve, representing the ecclesia, was deceived by the serpent, representing the Judaizers. The dragon accused men as guilty to God "day and night" before the Law was cast out- every moment it was brought to God's attention by the Angels administering the Law that man was disobeying it. We learn from Heb. 12:20-28 that when the Jewish heavens ended there was to be a repeat of the scenario at Sinai, with Angels very much in evidence (v. 22), and "we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved "(v. 28), like Israel's was (Ez. 21:25-27). This connects with Rev. 12 saying that when the Angels had ended the Law, the believers would recognize that "now is come. . the Kingdom of our God"; in prospect the ecclesia was constituted the Kingdom of God then.
There are of course implications of these suggestions for our understanding of other parts of Scripture. The whole of Rev. 12 is couched in terms of the fall in Gen. 3, with the dragon-serpent temporarily wounding the woman. Compare the casting out of water from his mouth with a serpent hissing. The comment "woe to the inhabitors of earth and sea" in Rev. 12:12 refers to the Judaizers / Jewish persecution of the ecclesia both in Israel (the "earth"-land) and the sea of nations. This would lead us to interpret the three woes of Rev. 8:13 and Rev. 9 as primarily describing the Jewish persecution of the saints in the first century.
Taking up the connection between Heaven and the temple, the "man of sin" sitting in the temple of God in 2 Thess. 2 would appear to be primarily Jewish; "the son of perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3) must be a connection with Judas, who was an epitome of the Jewish satan (see Jn. 6:70,71 cp. 8:44), and probably connected in first century thought with the Judaizer false teachers (e. g. 1 Jn. 2:18 describes them in Judas language). The Judaizers were in the 'heavenly places' of the church. The "mystery of iniquity" preached by the man of sin contrasts with the revealed mystery Paul frequently speaks about, that both Jews and Gentiles had equal access to God through Christ. The mystery of iniquity stood in direct opposition to this, by saying that only by the Law could men have access to God, and even that was mainly for Jews. The coming of Jesus in AD70 is associated in 2 Thess. with Angels- see 1:7,8; 2:8
We are now in a position to see how Revelation 12 complements the chronological details of the destruction of the Jewish system seen in Mt. 24 and 2 Thess. 2.
1. False claims of Christ's coming
2. Be not deceived
3. Wars, birth pangs, delivered up
4. False prophets - the Judaizers- deceive many; love of many believers for the truth shall wax cold
5. Gospel to all the world
6. Abomination of desolation in the temple
7. False signs and wonders
8. Coming of Christ
9. Tribes (of Israel) mourn
2 Thessalonians 2
1. "Be not soon shaken. . by word. . as that the day of Christ is at hand" (v. 2)
2. "Let no man deceive you" (v. 3= Mt. 24:4)
6. Man of sin revealed in the temple; the mystery of iniquity; that wicked revealed
7. Lying signs by the Judaizers
8. Brightness of His coming
3. Birth pangs, delivered up- tribulation for Jewish Christians in the land
5. Woman to the wilderness (Gentile world)
6. War in Heaven, resulting in the Judaizers / the dragon in the temple/Heaven being thrown out
8. "Now is come. . the Kingdom of our God" (v. 10); rejoicing amongst Angels and Christians
9. Woe (mourning) to all believers in earth (land of Israel) and sea (Gentile world) because of the second wave of dragon persecution- in the immediate aftermath of AD70. From now on the dragon increasingly takes on its Roman role (note that the 'devil' and satan refer to both Jewish and Roman systems).
Item 6 being mentioned in all three passages would indicate that the abomination of desolation largely had reference to the spiritual desolation the Jews made of the temple rather than any Roman sacrilege there. The final horrors committed by Simon and the Jewish leaders in the temple just before and during the siege would seem a more likely reference. The desolation is described in 2 Thess. 2 as sitting in the temple self confidently- hard to apply to the Roman desecration of the temple.