The Remnant of Her Seed
In Revelation 12 “the woman” who represents the faithful nation of Israel is introduced with the main focus in this chapter upon Satan’s attempts to eliminate the Messiah and the Jews as a people. God, during this end of the age assault gives her supernatural protection, and His protection continues throughout the entire second half of Daniel’s 70th Week.
The last verse of Revelation 12 introduces another group of Israelites who become Satan’s target after “the woman” escapes:
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant [rest] of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17)
The word translated “remnant” means remainder or rest, and the phrase “of her seed” indicates the physical relationship this group has with the woman. They are Israelites and their spiritual qualifications, they “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”, are indicated in the remainder of the verse.
While some interpret this group to be “the saints” of Revelation 14:12, there is no Biblical precedent for “the woman” (the faithful nation of Israel) or any other group to be identified as the spiritual head of the saints as was Abraham:
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
The word translated “seed” in Revelation 12:17 and Galatians 3:29 is the same Greek word “sperma” which is used over forty times in the New Testament. Every time it occurs it refers to physical seed, as in Revelation 12:17, except for Galatians 3:29 which is the only time it is used to show Abraham as the spiritual fountainhead or father of the faithful. He as the physical father of the Israelites was also the first to have his faith recorded indicating the doctrine of justification by faith:
“And Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:16)
Now, all before him were also justified by faith “by His [the Lord Jesus Christ’s] blood” (Romans 5:9). But, it was Abraham, the father of the faithful, to whom it was first recorded in Scripture that “it was imputed to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:22). Therefore he is the only one who can be defined as the spiritual fountainhead/father of the saints who are in Christ being justified by faith.
The purpose of this description in Revelation 12:17: “the remnant [rest] of her [physical] seed, who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” is to indicate exactly who Satan’s focus will be after “the woman” flees to the wilderness. Three groups of Israelites will remain in the land as described in the book of Daniel 11, 12.
The vast majority of faithful Israelites are protected in a place prepared by God for the last half of the 70th Week. But, this select group of Israelites, the 144 Thousand, remains to serve the Lord becoming the primary focus of Satan’s assault during the last 3-1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th Week.
Their vital Redemption Ministry is necessary in the plan of God as it will be key to the conversion of many Israelites who will receive their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ:
“But the people that do know their God, shall be strong and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil many days. Now when they fall they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them by flatteries [hypocrisy]. And some of them understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.” (Daniel 11:32-35)
These events occur during the days following the abomination of desolation at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel that is
recorded in the previous verse:
“And arms [forces] shall stand on his [the Antichrist] part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.”
These verses prove that there will be faithful Israelites who “know their God” and “understand” in the land after “the woman...flees into the wilderness” and, it will be their primary duty to minister to those who do not understand and are without Christ as the following verse affirms recording their success:
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)
The Lord’s purpose of purifying those Israelites who remain in the land after the abomination of desolation is also indicated in this chapter:
“Many will be purified and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10)
This prime group of witness for Christ their Messiah will be performing their service to the Lord in the toughest and most crucial environment ever when Satan and his angels will be cast into the earth as he will be inflicting his “great wrath” (Revelation 12:12) upon the people of God.
This will be the most intense persecution upon the faithful ever:
“For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)
Martyrdom as described in the Daniel 11 passage above will be the norm rather than the exception as they “will love not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11) demonstrating their willing self-sacrifice for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These words are spoken to the martyrs of that day after they asked “how long” inquiring of when God’s judgment would come:
“And it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation 6:11)
As in all things concerning His children, God is in complete control. He has predetermined the exact number of martyrs during the Great Tribulation until the fulfillment of that segment of His plan is accomplished and the exact amount of His people remain to carry on His testimony during the Day of the Lord.
It is from this very group of faithful Jews, “which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” that those “servants of our God” in Revelation 7:3-8, the 144 Thousand sons of Israel, will finally come forth to serve the Lord.
Sixteen descriptive characteristics of “the remnant of her seed” are indicated in Daniel 11, 12 and Revelation 12:
1. They shall know their God (Daniel 11:32).
2. They shall be strong (Daniel 11:32).
3. They shall do exploits (Daniel 11:32).
4. They shall understand (Daniel 11:33).
5. They shall instruct many (Daniel 11:33).
6. They shall fall by the sword, and by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil many days (Daniel 11:33).
7. They shall be tried (Daniel 11:35).
8. They shall be purified through trials and made pure/white (Daniel 11:35, 12:10).
9. They shall be wise (Daniel 12:3).
10. They shall shine as the brightness of the firmament (Daniel 12:3)
11. They shall turn many to righteousness (Daniel 12:3).
12. They shall shine as the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3).
13. They shall overcome the Devil by the Blood of the Lamb and word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11)
14. They shall love not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11)
15. They shall keep the commandments of God (Revelation 12:17b)
16. They shall have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17b)
This group called “the remnant of her seed” will continue their Redemption Ministry as priests unto God unto those who will be redeemed in the last half the 70th Week (Matthew 24:15-28) and the Day of the Lord’s seven trumpet judgments (Revelation 8-11).