17. In the Wilderness

Jesus said the kingdom of heaven does not come by observation (Luke 17:20). Daniel said that God’s kingdom will “never be destroyed,” and “it shall not be given to other people; it shall break and consume all (earthly) kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

The bishop of Rome cast down the sanctuary of God, but he could not destroy the kingdom of heaven.

After the saints were given into the hand of Satan, the Woman, New Jerusalem, flew into the wilderness to be nurtured for a time, times, and half a time, away from the presence of the serpent (Revelation 12:14).

John called the saints “two witnesses,” clothed in sackcloth for a time, times and half a time (Revelation 11:3).  Zechariah said they dripped of the oil of the Spirit of Christ (Zechariah 4:12), “not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). The Targum translated “by My Spirit” as “by My Word.”

John said the saints “overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:11).

In his Song of Songs, King Solomon described New Jerusalem as a bride that went into the wilderness to find her lover: “A spring shut up, is My sister, My spouse, a fountain sealed” (Song of Songs 4:11).

Solomon’s bride called out, “Awake, oh north wind, come, oh south” (Song of Songs 4:16).

The Spirit of Christ nurtured her in “His garden.”

Jesus described the work of the Spirit, saying, “The wind blows, and you hear the sound of it … But you do not know where it is going, so is everyone who is born of spirit” (John 3:8).

The fruit of the Spirit became the evidence of the calling and election of the saints. Peter said, “Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and election … As long as you practice these things, you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:12).