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
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
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
Why? What was happening?
Written by: Philip Mark Ames - - -
© 1975 Philip Mark Ames. All rights reserved.