Today: [Revelation 12:] The Sun Clothed Woman. Who is the Sun Clothed Woman in Rev. 12? Is she the virgin Mary? Is she an astrological sign? Does this chapter speak of a catching up? Are you destined to be a member of the manchild company? On what grounds? We will study this and more in our chapter today.
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[Rev 12:1-17 KJV] 1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. 14 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, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
After the vision of the appearing of the two witnesses, the vision of the sun-clothed woman is unveiled. Whatever the interpretation of this vision it is curious to make note that scholars and theologians for 2000 years have never made the connection between the sun-clothed woman in this chapter and the transfigured Christ in Matthew 17:
[Mat 17:1-2 KJV] 1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
The comparison between the two events especially in terms of describing Jesus and this figure in Rev. 12 is compelling. What might it mean? From the early centuries of the church and particularly during the middle ages and in the current Catholic viewpoint – this woman can be none other than the Virgin Mary seen both to be the mother of God and the mother of the Church. If that were the case why did John not identify her? When Jesus was on the cross (John 19:26-27), He appointed John as His mother’s guardian decades before John’s exile on Patmos – yet John does not recognize her? That fact in consideration with the idolatrous veneration of Mary excludes her as the figure in Rev. 12.
Still, others maintain that the woman in Revelation 12 is the nation of Israel because there are ancient Jewish writings describing Israel in comparison to the mythical Apollo, son of Zeus contending with the dragon Pythos in a fiery confrontation in the heavens. The accusation would be then that John was fantasizing about Jewish mystical truth and Greco-Roman mythology and merely invented the apocalypse contrived from a fevered imagination during his time on Patmos.
In v. 1 the account is of a great wonder or sign appearing in the heaven who goes on to give birth to a son who is assaulted by a red dragon. Being a wonder and a sign in the sky we might consider the astronomical elements of this vision to see if there is some correlation with the movements of the stars and constellations that would be descriptive of these events. In September of 2017, there was an alignment of the planets in our solar system that somewhat reflects the imagery and events of Revelation 12. During this time the constellations Virgo and Leo aligned in tandem with Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter at which time a comet traveled from the loins of the Leo constellation to the womb of Virgo constellation.
Do we dismiss such things as astrology which is forbidden in the scripture? Let us remember that the birth of Jesus was attended by the sign of a star in the heavens. In Gen. 1:14 God tells Adam that the stars in their arrangements were for signs, seasons, days and years. In Gen. 11 Nimrod gathers nations together to build an astronomical observation platform to study the stars with the intent of overthrowing the plan of God. Job twice mentions the constellation Pleiades (John 9:9; Job 38:31) otherwise known as the seven sisters that evoke the imagery of Jesus with seven stars in His hand in Rev. 1:16.
While many suggest that the September 2017 alignment is the fulfillment of Rev. 12 they fail to interpret the sign accurately. In this celestial event, the woman in Virgo does not give birth, in fact, the comet proceeding through Leo’s loins in a trajectory to transect Virgo’s loins is an insemination which of course would then lead to a birth. From that perspective, we might then suggest that the events of September 2017 presage what Revelation 12 reveals in full.
Who is the woman clothed with the sun? It is the fire-baptized church. In Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 John declares a three-fold baptism for the believer:
1. Baptism in Water (Salvation)
2. Baptism in the Holy Ghost (Baptism in Fire)
3. Baptism in Fire (???)
Now those who do not believe in a subsequent experience to the new birth claim that when you receive Christ as your savior, you are in fact baptized in water, in the Spirit, and in fire. Likewise, those who contend that the experience of the New Birth attended by baptism in water is separate from and independent of the baptism of the Holy Ghost which should be understood as accompanied with speaking in other tongues. However, those who see the baptism in the Spirit as a second definite work of grace then make the same erroneous conclusion, i.e., that the baptism in the Spirit is simultaneous with the baptism in fire. Why would they think this? Because religious mentalities are loathed to consider that perhaps there is an experience in God they are not in receipt of neither have they experienced it.
The sun-clothed woman is a company of believers within the church who will experience the third definitive work of grace by experiencing the same fire-baptism that Jesus demonstrated on the mount of transfiguration. When this fire baptism comes upon them, they will as a sun-clothed woman be caught up to the heavens. Not the third heaven but the intermediate realm between the natural world (the first heaven) and the third heaven where God’s throne is. This is the realm witnessed by Jacob where he saw the angels ascending and descending between the third and first heaven.
Is there confirmation of this viewpoint elsewhere in scripture? Consider Paul’s teaching in 1 Thess. 4 concerning the parousia of God:
[1Th 4:16-17 KJV] . 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Now make note – the Lord descends from the third heaven to the second heaven (his feet do not yet touch the earth at this point). The church is caught up into a cloud of witnesses (not mere meteorological formations of water vapor). This is not about flying like Superman. This is Jesus bringing His bride company into the intermediate realm unseen to us where angels and demons contend in their influence among the sons of men. How do we know this? Because in Rev. 12:3 a dragon (the devil) appears incensed with great wrath because his territory as a usurper has been challenged by the saints.
What does the dragon do? He comes with seven heads – the antithesis to the seven spirits of God in Isa. 11:1-3 with ten horns and seven crowns. It used to be held that the ten horns were the nations of the EU, but that is not likely given the fact that many more nations than the EU are in that coalition today. They could be ten dominate Islamic states including:
1. Saudi Arabia
This interpretation is compelling in light of the fact that the dragon draws a third of the stars after himself. This could very well speak of the pervasiveness of Islam among the peoples of the earth. Currently, 25 percent of the earth’s population is Muslim with more being added every day. It is possible that the continued expansion of Muslim adherents reaching 30 percent may point to the imminent fulfillment of Rev. 12.
When the Dragon makes his appearance, he vomits out of his mouth a flood of waters against the woman. Water represents doctrine and teaching. In other words, this dragon and the stream out of his mouth represents a flood of vitriol and hate speech against the fire-baptized company of believers and the church itself. It isn’t difficult to see this fulfillment in the growing anti-Christian sentiment not only in Islam but from the secular world as well. We see this happens, but v. 16 says the earth helps the woman. What is it about the earth working to the churches advantage? Think about the landmasses where Islam is concentrated? In remote, hostile and difficult terrains of desert, island and mountainous regions. Can you imagine how dominant Islam would be if it were centered in the fertile fields of North America or Western Europe? In this way, Islam is held back by its own geography from attaining its goal of destroying Christianity.
When the woman appears in the heavens she is not only clothed in transfiguring fire she is also seen giving birth to a child. We surmise then that the marriage of the Bridegroom and the Bride have taken place because this child would not come forth illegitimately. This marriage and conception then would have been spoken of in the sign of September 2017 not necessarily as having been fulfilled but about to be.
The manchild is caught up from the fire clothed woman to the third heaven and the throne of God. We see then a fire baptized company caught up from the preponderance of Christianity on the earth and then a second catching up of a manchild company to God and to His throne. Therefore whatever the parousia is it is not an all-inclusive egalitarian event applying equally to all. There will be born again people in Christianity who will not experience this. Likewise, among the fire-baptized company, not all will be a part of the manchild caught up to God’s throne. This offends the modern mind causing men to pervert the message because they don’t want to be seen as not eligible for everything we see happening here – but it is evident that this is the case.
When the woman brings forth the manchild, she is given wings of an eagle to fly to safety. This may represent the United States in a resurgence of faith being protected even by a faith-friendly administration from the ravages of secularism and Islam against her. The events of the last election cycle and the faith advocacy of the current administration might give us an idea of what that would look like. That being the case what comes next? After the ascension of the fire-baptized company and the catching up of the manchild, the woman is once again seen in the earth realm along with the dragon from whence the dragon wages war on the people of God. Why? Because He was ejected from the second heaven when the church appeared clothed with the sun. What does this speak of? There will come a day that a group of people in the church will be baptized in fire and step into the realm of angels and demons to serve Satan an eviction notice from the thrones that he stole when Adam abdicated his dominion in the fall at the beginning. Then the church and her seed which keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Christ will take her possessions and begin the last and final war against the Devil in the earth.
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