Realization of Prophetic Visions

By Philip Mark Ames

The Woman Flees

John reports that after that, the woman fled into the desert where God had prepared a place for her. This is reminiscent of what Joseph and Mary did shortly after Jesus' human birth. They fled to Egypt and remained there with the child Jesus until after the death of the mad King Herod.

But what John saw was the flight of the spiritual woman into the desert. This took place as a result of the great persecution of Christians, which began with the stoning of the disciple Stephen. (Acts 7, 8) Tradition has it that about 2,000 Christians were killed at that time. All the remaining ones, except the twelve Apostles, fled from Jerusalem into the areas of Judea and Samaria. Where they went, they preached. Until that time, the disciples had limited their preaching primarily to the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem. But Jesus had foretold their extensive migration. (Acts 1:4-8)

Before those Christians arrived with spiritual seed and water (Matt. 13; I Cor. 3:5-9), the Jewish and pagan worlds were like desolate areas. But God had prepared the minds and hearts of thousands of individuals to receive the seeds and waters of truth. So in the desert, God's Spirit fed the woman. John says that the woman was nourished in that wilderness for 1,260 days. That is approximately 3 1/2 years.

That period of time began shortly after the stoning of Stephen. The man named Saul was present when Stephen was killed. Saul was one of the foremost persecutors of the Christians. After they fled from Jerusalem, he received authority from the Jewish high priest to go as far as Damascus in Syria to track them down and bring them back for punishment and possible execution. But, when he neared Damascus, Jesus Christ appeared to him from heaven. Saul became a Christian, and was later known as the Apostle Paul. He was baptized in Damascus. He then went to Arabia, then returned to Damascus. He did not return to Jerusalem until after three years from the time of his conversion. He then stayed there with the Apostle Peter for fifteen days. Soon Hellenistic Jews tried to kill him. Thereupon he traveled to the city of Tarsus in the district of Cilicia. (Acts 9:3-30; Galatians 1:13-24)

So, the period of time from when Stephen was stoned and the Christians fled, until Saul (Paul) left Jerusalem for Tarsus, would have been just about 31/2 years. That was the time when the woman was being fed in the wilderness. All during those 1,260 days. it would have been dangerous for the true worshippers of God to have returned to Jerusalem. The Jews in Jerusalem still wanted to kill any who were really submissive to God's will, But when the Apostle Paul went to Tarsus, the 1,260 days ended. With that, the persecution ceased. The whole congregation of Christians in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace, with no fear of persecution. (Acts 9:31) God's woman was safe even in Jerusalem. Why? What was happening?

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Written by: Philip Mark Ames - - - 1975 Philip Mark Ames. All rights reserved.