The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
The Woman flies into the Wilderness
The Woman flies into the Wilderness.
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time" (Rev. xii. 14). When that wicked King shall first set up his worship he will show, or rather pretend to show, some sort of humanity. Whilst proclaiming his law of worship he will, at the same time, allow those who object to his law to betake themselves to an appointed place, "a wilderness." As this place is called "a wilderness," it will not therefore be a particularly pleasant spot; but there will nevertheless be found people living there who receive the refugees and supply their wants; for verse 6 says "they should feed her there."
When permission is given by the King to leave his dominions, many will doubtless obey the heavenly voice, "Come out of her, my people" (Rev. xviii. 4); and, quite contrary to the King's calculation, and that of his prophet, a large number of those who are properly informed of what is to take place will leave the kingdom. The time specified for the people to leave will probably be very short, for verse 14 states that "to the woman were given two wings as a great eagle, seeming to indicate the necessity for quick despatch. Our Lord also alludes to this speedy flight (Mat. xxiv. 15—20), which he speaks of as taking place when the abomination spoken of by Daniel the prophet is set up in the holy place. That this is the time alluded to we may be sure, because with no other event will it agree. The "abomination of desolation" cannot possibly refer to that abomination set up in the temple of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanus, at the time of the Maccabees, for not worshipping which the Jews were so greatly persecuted, as that occurred many years before our Lord spake these words. That was of course an abomination; but no desolation or final destruction followed, such as that which is page 19 predicted in Daniel ix. 27; for the Temple was afterwards cleansed again, and the worship of God re-established. Some refer the words of our Lord to the time when the Roman army besieged Jerusalem; but a little attention will show that there is no comparison between that event and what is predicted by Daniel.
The King will soon see the mistake he made in allowing the people to leave his dominions, for his prophet will point out to him that, as such a number take advantage of his proclamation to get away, in course of time many will return, and the annoyance of their religious worship will commence again. The King will then, at the suggestion of his prophet and that of his image—which shall have life, and be able to speak (Rev. xiii. 15)—send an army after those who have taken to flight, to sweep them from the face of the earth (Rev. xii. 15). But that design (rod will frustrate by a miraculous interference, and destroy his army utterly (verse 6). This miraculous preservation of God's people will have such an effect on the King, that in his rage, and inspired by the devil, he will take vengeance on all those who will not receive his mark (Rev. xii. 17; xiii. 15—18). For it is to be noticed that that mark will be really given as a token of his subjects being thereby naturalized, and will be eagerly received as a token of honour from that great King, saying "Who is like unto the beast (King) ? Who is able to make war with him ?" (Rev. xiii. 4). But those who know their God (Daniel xi. 32) will refuse to take the mark, and there will probably be found a great number who will not receive it; for whilst many will embrace the invitation to leave the King's dominions, God will so order it that not a few—strong in faith and firm in spirit—will remain and give their testimony against that abominable worship, and will teach and persuade the people to resist, even at the risk of their lives. And, as a consequence, a great number will be awakened and converted, and these will fall by the sword (verse 33).