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By Daniel Matson - Signs of the End
“I think I may say without exaggeration that I have read or carefully examined several hundred books purporting to expound the Revelation. I have learned to view this twelfth chapter as the crucial test in regard to the correct prophetic outline. If the interpreters are wrong as to the woman and the man-child, it necessarily follows that they will be wrong as to many things connected with them. Therefore I ask your particular attention as we endeavor to see what light Scripture itself throws on this remarkable vision.”
Signs of the End - Orders
Revelation 12 contains the Sign of the Woman and the Male-Child. The Sign of the Woman physically appears in the heavens on September 23, 2017 and it won’t appear again for at least a thousand years. Attempts have been made to dismiss the significant elements of this sign, but to do so reduces this sign to the ordinary. But the Sign cannot be ordinary, if it is to be great as the Apostle John described it. Since it hasn’t happened in nearly 6,000 years and it will not occur again for another 1,000 in the least–that would seem to be pretty great. Here on this site, focus has been placed on the timing of this sign and the deduction that the 70th Week of Daniel or the Day of the Lord must soon begin. But let us get to the core of this sign that has even eluded this author for some time. The core being what these signs represent, especially the Man-Child. Let us look closer at this crucial chapter that H.A. Ironside knew it was decades ago.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
It is first of all crucial that we understand where Revelation 12 fits into the order of events. Revelation 12 comes after Revelation 11, which concludes the Tribulation or time of judgment. Therefore, the Book of Revelation is not totally linear. Revelation 12 is part of a parenthesis that lays out the unfolding players and plan of God and goes back to the beginning. This has confused many people who think Revelation 12 occurs chronologically after Revelation 11. Understanding this correctly will of course help alleviate some of the confusion.
The Woman with the sun, moon, and twelve stars is a reference back to Joseph and his dream that equated it to his family. This sign is therefore representative of the Nation of Israel. The Sign of the Dragon is Satan and his world system that will persecute the Woman after she gives birth to the Man-Child. The Dragon waits to devour the Man-Child, but the Man-Child is taken or seized to the throne of God. So instead the Dragon goes after the Woman in an attempt to persecute her or more accurately to purge her from the earth.
The crux of the passage is the identity of the Male-Child. Naturally, it is obvious to most readers that this speaks of Christ. Christ was the promised seed of the woman. Here the Woman is Israel and the Messiah came from Israel and more specifically He came through the line of David through Nathan to Mary. The Messiah, Jesus the Christ, was born but did not rule the nations since he instead suffered on our behalf the death of the cross. He then ascended to heaven. However, one day He will rule from Jerusalem as was anticipated by Psalm 2:6-9.
Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’
One day Jesus the Son of God will reign from Jerusalem and the Book of Revelation describes that final step. John is referring back to the Psalm to make his point that Jesus will rule the nations. In Revelation 12:5, the Greek uses the word huios for child in “Man-Child”. Huios is the word used for the Son through the whole New Testament. Only once was Jesus not referred to with huios (Son) and the word teknon was used. In 91 verses teknon is used 99 times and only once for Christ. Teknon is the word used for natural offspring where huios speaks of a mature son and heir. Teknon was used by Mary in her quote of erroneously rebuking Jesus for being about His Father’s business when he was thirteen at the Temple. Her use of teknon shows her diminutive treatment of Jesus and forgetting who He really was. So when John penned Revelation 12:5 he rightly used huios to refer to the Son of God, but in the second half he used teknon. That would appear almost scandalous, but that only means we are missing the idea of what John has communicated. Who then does this Male-Child represent in The Revelation?
When John uses huios with male (arsen) in verse 5, he is “guilty” of bad grammar. Huios is masculine and arsen is in the neuter, but this is not a mistake in the least. John is basically copying the Greek from the LXX in Isaiah 66:7. He is using an Old Testament reference that he wants the reader to understand and see the parallel. This will then unlock why he used huios first with teknon at the end of Revelation 12:5.
Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
Before her pain came,
She delivered a male child.
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children.
Isaiah 66 coupled with Revelation 12 is amazing. First we see that the Woman delivers the Male-Child before the pain of childbirth. Isaiah makes it clear that this is not natural that the Child comes before the labor. This fits the scenario of Revelation 12:5 where the Child is born and taken to God before the Woman (Israel) goes into the Tribulation (labor). Isaiah then makes clear that this birth happens in one day and that the earth gives this birth (Isaiah 26:19-21). Furthermore, this is the birth of a nation. This male child is thus a corporate body. Therefore, the Male-Child of Revelation is a corporate body and this agrees with the similar corporate imagery of the Woman and Dragon. The Woman is the Nation of Israel and the Dragon is Satan heading up his whole world system. The Male-Child is then the corporate Body of Christ with Christ as its head and the Church as its body. The consistent New Testament picture of Christ and the Church is of one body (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:4-6, Ephesians 5:23). The Church is also called His bride, but this is the same concept since a man and woman are to be unified in one unit–the two shall be one flesh. This unity is strengthened by the Book of Revelation 2:26-28.
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.
Christ’s coming rule over the nations will include the Church as part of His administration. One great theologian who believed this way was John Nelson Darby. The following words from him best summarize Christ and the Church’s rule as one body:
“If the mighty man, the mystic man, the man-child of Revelation xii. is to act, He must first be complete. . . . For not until then—until the Church, the body, is united to the Head, Christ, in heaven—is the mystic man in that sense complete; and therefore, the Church must be taken up before Christ can come in judgment.”
—John Nelson Darby, Seven Lectures on the Prophetical Addresses to the Seven Churches, 3d rev. ed. (London: G. Morrish, c. 1855), 153–154.
To John Darby, Revelation 12:5 was a cornerstone passage for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. It is most interesting that teknon is the word used when used with the Church. Here in Revelation the teknon child is taken or seized to the throne of God. The word used here for taking the child is harpazo. Harpazo is the word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught (harpazo) up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Here then we see the same scenario. The Body of Christ, the Church, is caught up to Heaven to join the Lord. The corporate body is unified before it can conduct its judgement and rule. As Isaiah 66 says, this nation will be born in one day. In one day, in the twinkling of an eye, the Church will be born again through its promised resurrection and rapture to the Lord. Before Jesus Christ breaks the seals of Revelation, the Church will be there at God’s throne as the corporate body. This fits the scene of Revelation 4-5.
It must also be noted that harpazo is the word reserved for the Rapture and it refers to the snatching away by a thief. This word was not used in the Ascension of Christ. The thief imagery is also consistent with the fact that the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5). But be careful, Paul explains further that those in the light should not be caught by surprise. Those caught in the world system will be.
It is also important in understanding the Man-Child concept to consider Micah 5:2-3.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem and He was to be ruler, but instead was rejected, died, and ascended to heaven. Jesus then gave up Israel and called out a people for His name (Acts 15:4). Jesus gives Israel up until the time the Woman gives birth. That birth then is the birth of the Man-Child–the Church, the Body of Christ when it is transformed and taken to heaven. After that birth, the remnant of the Nation of Israel will return. The remaining entire Nation of Israel will be saved after the seven years.
Clearly then, Revelation 12:5 is the description of the Rapture of the Body of Christ to the throne of God. With the Sign of the Woman this September 23, 2017, it is time to be Rapture ready. The Church will soon put on what is incorruptible via the Rapture and then the rest of the world will face the Tribulation of seven years. These final seven years are for Israel (Daniel 9:24, 27) who will become the primary source for evangelism in a world under judgement. Christ will be preparing the way to rule the planet and will rid the earth of the wicked, then the Messianic Kingdom will exist with the ruling of the Man-Child. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!
1Thessalonians 5:16 -18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
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