The True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12! Pt 1
(Ver 3.4) This is the Part 1 of a series of extremely advanced Bible lessons that will reveal the “True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12“. It is intended for spiritually mature Christians that are not easily offended at learning things that they have not seen before in the Bible. There are many opinions on who this symbolic woman represents. You can go and search the internet and find various approaches to the interpretation of this chapter. However the vast majority of these interpretations that I found are based upon limited scriptures and significant human reasoning and human opinion of the subject. These sound like they are private invalid interpretations of the scripture based upon 2 Peter 1:20. An opinion is always trumped by a known fact of truth. A factual truth will always take presedence over my opinion. Then there is God’s Truth that will always trump any known natural fact. What God has declared in His Word will always take presedence over any natural fact that is known by a man. So in this lesson we are going to focus primarily on God’s truths while we evaluate known created natural facts but ignoring man’s opinions, prejudices and conclusions. Also, if you are a true believer and have been born again, you have the same Holy Spirit inside of you that Paul had in him. You are in the same church that Paul is in. Often times I think that we forget this, or don’t know this or just ignore this fact. But, because we don’t know this we don’t realize that what God did for Paul He will do for us also. God is no respecter of persons. This is what Paul said about what he taught:
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
So where did Paul claim to get the information that he was teaching? Apparently it was not from any seminary, synagogue temple or human teacher on this earth. Therefore, this information did not originate on the earth, but rather came directly from God. So when I read through some of the lessons on the subject of the identity of the woman in Revelation 12, I was very surprised to see how many quoted sources from some human reference or commentary. Many of the lessons simply said “I think this woman is __________. What do you think?” Few could provided significant Biblical proof or evidence for the identity to the woman, and to much of what was taught was based upon ignorance, human reasoning, presumption or speculation. I do not believe that is a valid approach to the interpretation of the Bible.
I cannot emphasize enough the complexity of the Bible and the infinite knowledge of the Holy Spirit Author. He has written the Bible in a fashion that conceals vast amounts of information, making it very challenging for natural humans to understand. We can begin to learn spiritual truths of the methods and techniques that God has used in writing the Bible to conceal information in plain sight. As we grow spiritually, we will soon begin to understand much more of the Bible. If you would like to study some of the techniques that God uses for “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” then please read that first.
Finally, in this opening, I would like to emphasize one key to understanding any part of the Bible is to first learn that the Bible interprets itself. There are divinely designed spiritual laws of interpretations that must be known and applied with the Holy Spirit’s help in order to begin to understand any subject. The woman in Revelation 12 is no exception. Please, keep this in your mind as you study this subject. Ask questions while you read a chapter and then look for the answers to your questions in the Bible and I believe the Holy Spirit will lead us to the truth (John 16:13).
In this lesson we will be going over several key subjects. These topics will lay the foundation for the lessons that will follow. We will address numerous issues that will be key to understanding this woman and this chapter of the Bible. Here are the sections that will be covered:
- WHO CAN THE REVELATION 12 WOMAN BE?
- WHEN DOES THE EVENTS IN REVELATION 12 OCCURR?
- WHAT ARE THE SYMBOLS RELATED TO THE WOMAN?
- WHAT DO THE GIVEN SYMBOLS MEAN TO GOD?
- WHAT IS THE CROWN OF 12 STARS? – THE NUMBER 12
- WHAT IS THE CROWN OF 12 STARS? – THE STARS
- WHAT IS THE CROWN OF 12 STARS? – THE CROWN
- WHO IS THE SYMBOLIC SUN?
- WHO IN THE BIBLE IS TO WEAR THE SUN?
That is a lot of questions to answer and new information to learn. I would recommend that you break this lesson into sections and take one at a time. Read what is written and revealed by the Holy Spirit and then go look up all the scriptures in your own Bible to verify that this is what the Holy Spirit inside of you says. Let’s get started.
WHO CAN THE REVELATION 12 WOMAN BE?
Let us start with an identification of the possible candidates for the identity of the woman in Revelation 12. I would strongly suggest that you go find your Bible and open it and read the entire chapter 12 of Revelation. Write down all of the symbols and descriptions in a list to help you organize your thoughts. There is only one woman listed in this chapter and she is our focused priority. However, there are many other symbols and descriptions that are used by God to describe her and all of these are very important.
What does “identity” means? Here is one definition that I found; “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is”. Ok, when a crime is committed in modern times a video camera usually captures images of a suspect. The police detective is charged with the assignment of evaluating the images to determine the “identity” of that suspect. Many times the detective will use facial recognition software to compare the images with other known criminals from the past. If that does not give them an answer, then sometimes I have seen them post the picture on the news to allow others to call in and help identify them. Well that is a similar paradigm to us determining the identity of the woman in Revelation 12. We are detectives charged with discovering her identity.
Like the detective of a crime the suspect woman in Revelation 12 might be a brand new never identified woman or she is more likely a known woman that has been already mentioned before in the Bible. I am a believer that this woman is someone who occurs in the Bible and has been previously identified using another name or description. Therefore, I will start by providing a list of possible suspect women found in the Bible. However, it is a good time to ask another logical question to begin our search. We should ask “Is this woman in Revelation 12 a literal previously named or unnamed physical natural woman or is she a symbolic representation for a known or unknown spiritual woman?” From everything that I have studied so far in the Bible, here are the possibilities of greatest probability suspects for the identity of the woman:
- The Earthly Jerusalem, the natural nation of Israel, the Old Testament Covenant Wife of God Jehovah (Gal 4:25, Jer 31:32)
- The Heavenly Jerusalem (Heb 12:22), the spiritual mother of Jesus and the church (Gal 4:26) all those born from the dead (Col 1:15-18, Rom 8:29)
- The New Jerusalem, the Church, the Bride, the New Covenant Wife of Jesus Christ the Lamb (Rev 21:2)
- The physical natural woman named Mary, the natural virgin mother of the naturally born Son of God/Son of Man named Jesus (Mat 1:16)
No doubt there will be many that will read my list of 4 possible suspect candidates and not understand it. Possibly you have other women in the Bible that you can think of that this woman in Revelation 12 could possibly fit the profile for. If you would like to leave a comment and share her with us, I will read what you think. I would however, ask that you please give us Bible verses that help to confirm what you are saying.
I believe that if we study the Bible very closely and carefully observe what is said, we will discover that there are 3 completely different covenant cities in the Bible all called by the exact same name Jerusalem. This is just one technique that God used to conceal truth in the Bible (Prov 25:2). He calls multiple separate things by the exact same name. We must also realize that there are natural things and simultaneously there are spiritual things and both of these can be called by the same name, title or description. I believe every one of these cities named Jerusalem represents a female in a separate covenant relationship with God. Also, I have found verses that all four of these suspect women in my list are described in the Bible as having children and being mothers. For example, Heavenly Jerusalem is called a spiritual mother of the church in Galatians 4:26. The virgin Mary is obviously called a mother in Matthew and Luke. The natural nation of Israel also called Earthly Jerusalem is called a mother in Galatians 4;25. We will hopefully get to the verses about the New Jerusalem later in the series. But, any of these suspected women could fit the pattern description of being the pregnant woman in Rev 12. I do not have the time to completely explain all of this in this lesson, so please go and study it for yourself. I also have multiple other Bible lessons on this website that will help you.
WHEN DOES THE EVENTS IN REVELATION 12 OCCUR?
There are 5 basic “W” questions to ask when studying any Bible subject. This is for us to ask God “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why”. I would like address these questions in this Bible study series. We will start this lesson on Revelation 12 with the basic and very important question “when does this chapter 12 of Revelation occur?” I believe that when we can understand the timing given of the events being described we can better understand which suspected women can be eliminated because of their potential alibies. Ha ha!
It should be obvious that Revelation 12 is either 1) a past historical event, 2) a present day current event or 3) a future coming event. This may be a new approach for many. I also may begin this study from a very different scripture than what you might expect. Since we are studying about chapter 12 of Revelation, I would like for us to back up and begin reading with Revelation chapter 4 to learn something very important that God says concerning the timing of events in Revelation 12. Determining the correct timing will help us tremendously to understand which interpretation is applicable and valid and which interpretations are easily excused or dismissed as suspects. Can we agree with that? Let’s read Revelation 4 to find out the timing of the Revelation 12 events:
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Some obviously read scriptures and just ignore them or fail to apply them later. Either way we are going to fall short in our understanding of the Bible if we do that. Here we have God in Heaven telling the apostle John to “come up” to heaven so that He can show him things that will occur from this point in time forward. We know this by studying the Greek word “metah-taupah” that was translated as the English word “hereafter”. This is the exact same word used in Revelation 1:19 where Jesus gave us the outline of the book of Revelation to John saying “write what you have seen (Past Tense), the things that are (Present Tense) and the things that will come hereafter (Future Tense). Revelation chapter 1 is the past tense division of the boo. Revelation 2 and 3 were the present tense division of chapters and beginning in Revelation 4 and following are the thins that had not occurred and are the designated division of future tense events.
Therefore, we should realize that from chapter 4 forward, whatever was written by John, God says has NOT occurred at the exact time of the words being written down. Is this complicated to understand? Can we decide to just believe God? The Bible says numerous times that God is not a man that he should lie. I did not say this, God did in His Word. Can we trust Him? I believe that we can. Therefore, please do not throw this truth in the garbage or explain it away as not applying to our study of Revelation 12.
I think what potentially confuses us, is the fact that God uses future event symbolism in Revelation for previous scriptural things and individuals. All of these things and individuals existed prior to this writing of Revelation and were written about in other books. Some of these future symbols will reflect historical and existing spiritual and physical realities like Jesus, Satan, angels, the church, the nation of Israel, and other spiritual entities that must already pre-exist before Revelation 4:1. Therefore, what is prophesied to happen to these historical or existing entities in the future is easily confused with past event occurrences that have already occurred because of the similarities and patterns of the future descriptions.
Please understand the difference between something that is prophesied to happen to someone that already exists, is not a conflict or a problem unless we say that it has already occurred because that would violate the definition of a prophecy and the scripture we just read in Revelation 4:1 where God says everything that is stated from this point forward has NOT yet occurred. I pray that this brings clarity and agreement.
What we are going to soon discover is that there are statements found in Revelation 12 that will cause most people to gravitate to a specific pre-drawn conclusion of the identity of the woman in Revelation 12 because she is described to be 1) pregnant, 2) her child after birth is said to be caught up to heaven and 3) because he is said to rule with a rod of iron Therefore we all have automatically been drawn to and concluded without studying or taking into account Revelation 4:1 that the child must be the naturally born Jesus and that forces the woman in Revelation 12 to either be 1) physical Mary or 2) the natural nation of Israel (Earthly Jerusalem).
However, I believe that this rapid jump into an interpretation potentially causes God to be interpreted to be someone that does not know the truth. I do not personally believe that God is confused that this event has not already occurred in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels! But we should know that this interpretation of Jesus being identified as the child born cannot be truthful. It would be like a detective assuming a suspect without examining all of the evidence just because it resembles someone else they remembered. Just because one man fits the partial description of the suspect does not cause that person to be arrested and found guilty without substantial proof and evidence. What if that suspect arrested had an unknown twin brother and he committed the crime. What if that twin that did not commit the crime became the identified and assumed suspect and got arrested, tried and convicted based upon just the video camera recordings? Is that fair to him? Why then is it fair to this woman in Revelation to claim that she is the virgin Mary or Israel when all of the evidence has not been found or analyzed?
Clearly in Revelation 12 God is now revealing new Revelation to John a long time after the physical birth, death, resurrection and the ascension of Jesus into heaven. I also would like to point out that Revelation 12 says the “child” is “caught up” and that does not match the description of the ascension description of the man Jesus ascending into heaven. Jesus was a full grown mature man of at least 33 years of age. I would also love to point out that this word translated as “caught up” is G726 (harpazo) and it literally means to “seize by force. The ascension of Jesus in Acts 1 uses the different Greek word G1869 (epairo) and this does not match the type or way of Jess being taken up. The evidence is just not in complete alignment even though there are similarities. I think we are getting off of our main line of thought so let’s wrap this part up and move on to the next topic.
What I believe that God is trying to get us to see, is the fact that the prophecies going forward from Revelation 4 are all about coming future events and not about historical past events that have already occurred. We can easily disagree with God, if we would like to but that is probably why our Bible interpretations are so poor and easily torn down. Please join me in read the Bible and following and applying what it says. Let’s take preceding scriptural truths and apply them to the following verses and learn by using what they say wisely. Always remember man added the chapters and the verses for reference. These books were written without them as complete letters and ever word is truly important.
Forgive me for asking this again, but if God says that I will show you things to come in Revelation 4:1, does chapter 12 come before or after chapter 4? Please agree with me that chapter 12 follows in sequence after chapter 4. So that is the problem with the majority of interpretations of the woman in Revelation 12 that I have heard and read. Too many have jumped to a quick conclusion that the child born must describe the birth of the physical natural child named Jesus in Bethlehem and therefore the woman must be the natural nation of Israel or the physical woman Mary. Please do not ignore all of the scriptural evidence that will be presented in this lesson series that reveals that she must be another suspect than the obvious one.
Maybe this will help us to ask this, when did John write this book? Was it after Jesus was born or before Jesus was born? Most Bible scholars will agree that the book of Revelation was written a long time after the birth of Jesus and could have been written somewhere around the year 96 AD. Obviously it should be clear in your mind that Revelation was written well after the physical birth of Jesus, so therefore we must conclude that the baby described in Revelation 12 can NOT be physical Jesus using this logic and factual truths alone.
I know that may upset a great number of readers that have already determined who the woman represents. But yet I’m just reading and studying the Bible and seeing what God says. If God would have said in Rev 4:1 come up here and I will show you the things that have already happened and the things that will come hereafter, then that changes our view of the possible interpretations significantly. Since that is not the case what we must conclude based upon the Word of God is that the pregnancy of the woman and the birth of the child in Revelation 12 are both future events.
Let’s agree with God and move forward asking more questions. I would personally rather stay on God’s side. Therefore we have started to answer the “when” question. I could spend a lot of time on this topic but I will conclude this section with asking you when do the events of the rest of these chapters occur? Chapters 4 through 22, study and read them and ask have any of these events occurred yet? Has the anti-Christ been revealed? Has the judgments of God been initiated? Are there two witnesses standing in the city of Jerusalem preaching to the nations? On and on we could go. I know that some say that these have already occurred but they are clearly wrong. Don’t be deceived to believe these events have occurred already. They are ALL about to happen in a very short time from now. Amen.
WHAT ARE THE SYMBOLS RELATED TO THE WOMAN?
In order to identify the woman in Revelation 12 correctly, I found that it was critical to accurately identify the woman’s associated symbolic characteristics and descriptions first. This is us asking some of the “what” questions about the woman. What is she wearing, what is she standing on, what is she doing? What we will discover when we study is that the given symbolic descriptions of the woman’s features surrounding her clearly point us to ONLY one possible valid truthful identity in our suspect list. It is what I call dependent truth relationships. Until we identify the “parent” truths, we will never understand the “child” truths. I am not really sure if you understand this concept that I just introduced you to. But, please give me a chance to explain.
This concept of dependency is found in the Bible, computer programming and other paradigms. For example we view this truth in the natural world when speaking of children born from their parents. In object oriented computer programming languages this feature can be called “inheritance”. This is where one computer object (class) inherits or takes on the qualities and features from another pre-defined dependent object (class). We can not fully understand the child’s object capabilities without fully understanding the source of inherited parent’s object characteristics. If you do know anything about object oriented computer programming you still may be struggling with this concept applying to the Bible, so I’ll try to show you by teaching you about the parent symbols found in Revelation 12 to help you understand the woman’s dependent characteristic identities and this will help us narrow the woman’s identity eliminating everyone it can’t be.. Many of these dependent parent symbol truths start with information found in Revelation 12:1:
Rev 12:1 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:
We can see immediately in verse 1 that this referenced woman is “clothed” with a very significant object referred to as a symbolic “sun”. Then we are informed that she is “standing with her feet” upon another very significant specific object named to be a symbolic “moon”. Finally on her head she is “crowned” with another symbolic item of a crown of “12 stars”. What we should start with is to realize that this information dictates a fact of truth that this woman MUST be a symbolic representation of a greater spiritual truth because of the nature of the symbolic descriptions selected and used by God to describe her. Normally God gives us symbolic information using natural objects that we can understand to help represent spiritual truths that we have never seen or understood. Jesus did this numerous times in the form of parables like the Parable of the Sower, the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, etc. By us understanding these natural object identities we can then transfer this knowledge into the required unstated and unseen spiritual truth dimension. What are the given key symbols from Revelation 12:1?
- A Woman
- Clothed with Sun
- Standing on the Moon
- Crowned with 12 Stars
The most important things to take away from what we have read so far is to understand that there is a woman, the sun, the moon and the stars and these must ALL be symbolic references using naturally created God objects pointing us to much greater hidden spiritual truths. We know this fact of truth because it is impossible to physically wear the literal “sun” as clothing. We might could place a picture representation of the sun on our shirt, pants, robe or whatever we were wearing but that is not what God said. God literally says she is wearing the sun not a picture. Therefore this is a word description and association containing a hidden definition that God must provide the meaning to us in His Word.
I’ll try to go further with the objected oriented programming concepts because this does apply to understanding the Bible and our specific subject. Any named object (class) can possess pre-defined data members and member function methods. These can be inherited by a new dependent object type of a similar kind with new data and feature methods. Let’s go a bit deeper. For example, the Sun is also a Star. Therefore, the Sun object could inherit specific characteristics from the more generic (general) Star object but the Sun implementation can contain new specific data, information and methods that pertain only to our closest star object we call the sun. If you are struggling with this concept, I understand.
Maybe this will be more understandable for non-programmers if we view it in the terms of a new child born to any woman. This new child will obviously inherit DNA characteristics from the contributing parents (mother and father). These DNA characteristics will include possible hair color, nose shape and size, eye color and shape and on and on. I know people when they looked at my son, they knew I was his father because of the passed down resemblance characteristics. Hopefully, this knowledge will help you as we continue to study because it is taught to us in the Bible.
For example, go and read Genesis 1:26 when God said “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness…”. The Hebrew word translated as “image” means a “resemblance” and a “a representative example”. Believe it or not that describes the Object Oriented programming type of inheritance. We can look at the Originating God Creator (class/object) and begin to understand the created man (class/object) because of man’s similar inherited features, abilities, etc. I hope and pray that this knowledge does not complicate your ability to understand this study. Let’s continue to explore the dependent symbols given to us by God.
These symbols of the woman clothed with the sun, standing on the moon and crowned with 12 stars are six of the most important dependent parent/child truths that I was referring to earlier and these must be understood correctly in order to identify the woman in Revelation 12 accurately with confidence. In other words, if we understand these symbolic object details we will better understand who the woman truly represents and can not possibly represent.
This is where many Bible teachers and students have started to miss it in their interpretations. Many have focused in on the woman and her child predominately and missed or ignored the other key symbols given to us by God that are very significant. Or they focus only on the existence of sun, moon and stars and do not explain what wearing the sun means, standing on the moon means or to be crowned with 12 stars means. Uh oh, that sounds like a very significant problem of fact and truth omission.
My approach as I have already tried to say will be to ignore the woman and the child to begin with and to focus in on these other three object symbols and how they are mentioned with the functions of being clothed, standing on and crowned with. When we do this we obtain the keys to unlock the identity of this woman in Revelation 12. This is a radical departure from natural human logic and reasoning, but we will soon discover it will help us tremendously in our understanding of eliminating women suspects.
WHAT DO THE GIVEN SYMBOLS MEAN TO GOD?
What does the sun, the moon and the stars all have in common? They are ALL heavenly created bodies that surround or can be seen and observed from the earth. That information right there ought to start us thinking in a different way. What does the earth represent in other symbols given in the scriptures? Jesus taught us in the parable of the sower that earth represented the hearts of men. I believe that is very relevant to know so keep that in mind. Then consider this, these objects exist in varying distances from the earth. The earth revolves around one object the sun specifically. Second, the moon revolves around the earth primarily and the sun secondarily and this is very important to understand. Third, the stars are just very distant suns that are too innumerable to count in the heaven. This is just basic cosmological information that we can gather on the internet. But, I believe very sincerely that all of these natural objects have much greater spiritual significance by God’s divine wisdom and design. Let’s start to analyze individually the crown of 12 stars first and then we will move to the sun and her clothing.
WHAT IS THE CROWN OF 12 STARS? – THE NUMBER 12
Let’s start briefly with the crown of 12 stars and the number 12. I believe that many Bible teachers focus with too much emphasis of the woman’s identity on the number 12 even though it is important. We should know from Bible study that the number 12 has a lot of significance throughout the book. This number could apply to the natural nation of Israel who originated from the 12 sons of Jacob (Gen 35:22) to produce 12 tribes of Israel. But the number 12 could also apply to the spiritual church (a spiritual Israel according to Galatians 6:16, 1 Peter 2:9 and others) that also produced 12 spiritual tribes (James 1:1) that originated from the 12 called apostles of the Lamb (Mat 10:2). There are also other twelves in the Bible that I find very interesting. For example, did you know that Ishmael the first son of Abram by Hagar had 12 sons (Gen 25:16)? I wonder why God put that in the Bible? There appears to be connection to Hagar and the Earthly Jerusalem and the chapter in Revelation 12. However, that is a new problem for a different Bible study. Did you know that the Levite High Priest wore a breastplate with 12 stones and the names of 12 tribes on them? Did you know that Satan’s breastplate only had 9 stones with one row missing from the Israel Hight Priest breastplate? That too is another problem for another lesson. Did you know that the foundation of the New Jerusalem had 12 layers of similar stones like the High Priest and will contain the names of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb (Rev 21:14)? There are just a lot of patterns that are parallel. Did you know that there are 12 gates into the city New Jerusalem? Also in the New Jerusalem we find it is 144 cubits tall which is twelve multiplied by twelve as well as being 12,000 furlongs square? We could go on and on with the number 12 study.
The Number 12 in Biblical numerological terms typically represents a perfected governmental foundation. For example, a jury in a court of Law normally is comprised of 12 Jurors in the U.S. There are over 180 references in the Bible to the number 12. There are 22 references found in the book of Revelation alone. We could spend days on this study of the number 12. It is also important to note that the number 12 is very specifically related by God to be a descriptive quantifier for the number of “stars” and does not specifically address the woman directly. Even though this number 12 does appear important it is not specific enough to anyone that I have found as to establish one possible candidate individually.
What I am trying to teach in this section is that the number 12 is; in and of itself not sufficient to say which possible candidate could be selected. However, it may be sufficient to exclude or eliminate at least 1 possible candidate. Using this number “12” information alone we could interpret that the woman is potentially either 1). natural Israel or 2). the spiritual church because of the tribe association. Currently I do not know of any Bible number of 12 that God has associated with the physical natural woman Mary. Therefore, based upon this information we can almost guarantee that the woman is not the physical virgin Mary. However, if you search the internet you will find many people that believe this woman is Mary and they have created pictures of a woman that they call Mary wearing a crown of 12 starts. Personally, I do not agree with them because of what we learn soon. But we will explore Mary more as we continue our search and confirmation.
WHAT IS THE CROWN OF 12 STARS? – THE STARS
Let’s now go through a brief discussion of the Bible subject of the “stars”. From my Bible study I have found that there are many references in the Bible that directly or indirectly identify stars to be symbolic references to angels. We can see one very important example of this directly in this chapter 12 of Revelation in verse 4. In verse 4 God describes the tail of the dragon sweeping 1/3 of the stars down to the earth from heaven. Most Bible scholars believe this is a clear reference to the number of angels that fell with Lucifer in time past. I do agree with that interpretation completely.
The Greek word G792 translated as “star” is the word that we are currently discovering. This is the Greek word found in Revelation 12:1 and 4. It is used by God in the New Testament 24 times in 21 verses. Wow, 12 + 12 = 24 and there are 12 stars on her head. I wonder if that is significant? Revelation chapter 1 verses 16 and 20 also provides some very relevant star information and definition. In verse 156 of Revelation 1 Jesus is described to have seven stars in His hand. Then in verse 20 Jesus Himself defines what this symbol means by saying the 7 stars are the 7 angels of the 7 churches.
Now we are really getting much deeper into this star subject than I really wanted to, but we will continue. The Greek word G32 is this word translated as angel widely in the New Testament. However, God does occasionally use it to mean a “messenger” and even a “pastor”. We know heavenly angels are widely used as messengers for God sent to men. We can find this in the Old and New Testament several times. In the KJV Bible, translators chose to translate G32 as “messenger” in 7 verses. For example, it is used this way in Matthew, Mark and Luke to describe John the Baptist and his disciples. It is translated as “messenger of Satan” in 2 Corinthians 12:7 in reference to the thorn in Paul’s side that he prayed for God to take from him three times. Finally, in the book of James it is written and used to describe the two spies that were sent into Jericho for Rahab the harlot’s salvation.
Ok, this word translated as angel, angels, messenger or messengers is also used in the seven letters written to the 7 churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Remember Jesus said in Revelation 1 the 7 stars in His right hand were the 7 angels. But, I believe that these references should also be messengers or more specifically “pastors”. You see Jesus said in the letters “Unto the angel of the church of ….”. Why would Jesus write a letter to an angel when He can talk to that angel in heaven anytime He wants. That just doesn’t logically make sense to me.
No, I believe these 7 angels in Revelation 2 and 3 should be referred to as the 7 pastors that bring the message of God to His people in the church. Jesus is bringing information for the benefit, edification, correction and warning to church people here on the earth. These 7 letters were written for all of our benefit. We in the church are the ones that needs the help that is offered.
What I have concluded is that the 12 stars on the head of the woman in Revelation 12 represents the 12 Apostles of the Lamb who were shepherds (aka Pastors) to spread the good news of Jesus to others in the world. Through them this good news spread and grew. On the Day of Pentecost when the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit (12 times 10 equals 120 an interesting 12 relationship). While the number of 12 Stars does not specifically confirm the church it certainly does not eliminate the church either. If you are able to see things differently you are welcome to share your verses with me. Let’s move the study to that of the “crown”. Which woman does the Bible claim is to be crowned?
WHAT IS THE CROWN OF 12 STARS? – THE CROWN
I will now go over the specific “Crown” symbol to determine who can qualify Biblically to be this crowned woman in Revelation 12. We are going to do this by studying the Greek word G4735 that was translated as “crown”. This Greek word is defined as an “intertwined or woven wreath worn on the head as a symbol of royalty, or as a symbol for the prize for winning the victory in the public games, or as a symbol of honor. I think all of these are great descriptions and helps to narrow the focused candidates very significantly. Think about the definition and then think what else you know of the Bible. If nothing comes to mind immediately I’ll give you a few important things to consider.
The Greek word translated as “crown” (G4735) is used by the Holy Spirit in 18 verses. That is a fairly narrow number to study them all but I will be selective to limit the size of the lesson. I would suggest that you go and read them all when you have the time. We will begin with an overview of the Gospels first.
In the Gospels this Greek word is found 4 times in association with the crucifixion of Jesus. However, in this example it was not used as a crown of victory, honor or royalty but rather as a crown of mockery because it was made of “thorns”. It caused Jesus great pain and great humiliation and caused His head to bleed. Roman’s used this symbol as a mockery to laugh at him crying “Hail the King of the Jews”. Wow, that is the opposite of how the woman in Revelation is described.
Ok, next is the letters to the church and the first time this Greek word is mentioned is in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25. Here we have a very applicable description for the church obtaining this crown. Verse 24 speaks of people running a race and in verse 25 Paul wrote of them seeking for a “corruptible crown”. A corruptible crown is one that will not last, in other words it represents a temporary honor given from a temporary victory. You see in these types of games they never end. It is like the Olympics where runners run every 4 years to compete for the same prize. Someone will obtain the victor’s crown for that race but they know that there will soon be another contest that may be won by another faster stronger younger competitor. It is a very fleeting recognition and victory.
Now Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit compares this temporary crown to a crown that the church is seeking to obtain. This crown he called an “incorruptible crown”. This is a lasting type of honor rewarded from a victorious ending from a life-time of victories. Incorruptible means this crown will not decay or fade to nothing. It will be one that endures eternally. This is a reward from a spiritual contest. You see the church is told to “Fight the Good Fight” (1 Tim 6:12). The Church is told “Run the Race” (1 Cor 9:24). The church is told “we wrestle not with flesh and blood….” (Eph 6:12). All of these admonitions are types of Olympic events and contests to whom the winner gets the reward. Wow, I think that is amazing. This crown of victory worn by the woman in Revelation 12 sure sounds like the description of a victorious church and we will learn a lot more about who this victory is over very soon in this lesson series.
I am not going to go over any more verses, because of the amount of information, space and time it would take to write about it in full and the time increase required for you to read about it. I will recommend again that you go and search your New Testament for the Greek word G4735 and study them all. I believe you will find overwhelming evidence that this woman in Revelation 12 is only confirmed to be the church. I have not found a direct reference to it being anyone else using this divinely chosen Greek word. I will end this section with 1 Peter 5:4 “When the Chief Shepherd (Jesus) shall appear you will receive a crown (G4735) of glory that will not fade away”. Wow, Wow and Wow. Praise the LORD! Let’ change subjects and learn the most important dependent subject, the Sun.
WHO IS THE SYMBOLIC SUN?
What I want to do now is to address the easiest and most profound symbol concerning the identity of the woman in Revelation 12, the “Sun”. There are literally more conformations in the Bible that identify the Sun than any other current symbol topic. It is also very profound that this woman is said to be “clothed” with the Sun and this means that she is literally “wearing” the sun. Please understand that she is described as a woman wearing the physical sun as her clothing. Therefore, this “sun” clothing MUST be understood in order to determine her identity correctly. Who or what is this sun? Is the sun literal or symbolic? Why is she wearing the Sun? What purpose or benefit would it be to be clothed with this object? Why is it described as clothing and not some other relationship? What does a woman do with clothing? There are a lot of questions that need to be understood and answered using the Bible. So let’s get started.
The Greek word translated as “clothed” is G4016 and it means “to put on” or to “invest with clothing”. This is an absolutely fascinating concept. The sun is very bright, very warm and hot, the source of life and light for our planet earth. Without the sun’s exact distance from the earth our planet earth would be as all the other planets without life. The sun is also the closest star to our planet and the center of our solar system that everything else in this system revolves around. These physical attributes actually give us parallels into the spiritual realm and help us to identify who this symbolic spiritual sun is. Let me list the physical qualities of the sun again for those that may have missed them..
The Sun is:
- The Source of Light
- A very Bright Light
- The Source of Life
- The Source of Heat and Warmth
- Only Present during the Day when we normally work
- Not present or seen at Night when we normally sleep
These might seem very obvious, but yet we still may not understand the significance to what they mean. I just gave you 6 descriptive characteristics of the natural sun that the woman is clothed with. In knowing these we could describe that this woman is wearing, life, light, brightness, warmth and the day. Her clothing is described in these very specific terms. Keep these in mind as we go forward with this study because they are all very important. Also begin to ask yourself who should be clothed with these types of features in the Bible?
So what or who does this symbolic sun represent? I will not keep you in suspense any longer because the sun according to verses found in the Bible is one of the key symbols of “the Lord Jesus Christ”. How did I come to that conclusion? It is simply what the Bible says. It is always good to just go and start searching for the word “sun” in the Bible and read all of the verses. I did this and found 160 times the word occurs in the KJV Bible in 152 verses. The vast majority of verses speaks of the literal sun. But there are a number of verses that use the term in a figurative way to describe a greater truth. I don’t have the time to address every verse, but, I found one quickly that literally should shake our internal spirit being that must apply to our subject search. Let’s read a direct verse reference of a figurative “sun” found in the book of Malachi:
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Here we see a verse that speaks directly about Jesus Christ, but without using His direct name. God in this verse does not call Jesus His “SON of Righteousness”, but rather He calls Him the “SUN of Righteousness”. God says “Sun” not “Son” in this verse. If this was my speaking it could have been a typo, because I am human and have done that before. But, because it is God speaking, I believe He said what He meant and meant what He said. Surely you can see this and understand who God is talking about? If not, take note of the fact that something or someone is named as the Sun and that he will be rising somewhere to bring healing to someone through the gift of righteousness. Please note that God says the sun rises and this is a symbolic spiritual prophecy of someone that brings healing that will come into the world. Finally note the beginning statement that this prophecy is ONLY for them that “fear His name”! Who can that be? That is one of your first major clues because I’m in that classification and I hope you are also. Now with all that in mind, let’s research, find and confirm who this Sun of Righteousness represents:
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
In this verse we can see another reference to Jesus being a light that rises and shines in the hearts of us believers. We can also clearly see that He is called the “Day Star”. This is just another way to describe the closest star to our planet that shines in the daylight hours and is normally called our “Sun”. Do you get it? Remember when I just taught you that the “Sun” object could inherit from the “star” object to contain additional new features and specific data types and descriptions. God created the sun as a “day star” and it is usually the only star that is visible until the sun sets. The other stars are widely visible in the darkness of night and these are very important created facts that teach us things in the unseen spiritual dimension of truth.
Calling and describing the exact same object by different symbols, names, titles and descriptions is a very tricky method that God uses to hide the meaning of the sun. Differing symbols, names, titles and descriptions permits Him to conceal it while simultaneously placing it in plain sight and this make it more challenging to search and find. But, Jesus is clearly again called the spiritual Sun (Star Shinning during the Day) that rises in the human heart. The reference to dawn is a description of sunrise when light first breaks in the morning and the darkness has to vanish. These are all spiritual truths reflected in natural symbolism. Who in this verse is God referring to that the “Day Star” should arise within? Again I claim to be guilty of receiving this light of life and I pray you are also one.
But, wait, I’m not done yet. For those skeptics who have been spiritually blinded or are dull of sight through Satan’s work, I’ll give you another great verses for the identity of the TRUE identity of the symbolic Sun. This time it is Jesus himself talking and the words were written in red ink in my Bible:
Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Here we have the same method used by God, calling the Sun by still another new name. God calls the Sun the “Bright Morning Star“. This is another in-direct reference to the “dawn” when the Sun rises trhough the usage of the term “morning”. We can easily understand that Jesus is the Sun that rises in the hearts of Christians to bring us light into our previously very dark spirits. If you don’t understand this you are in trouble. Have you ever looked into the physical sun accidently and noticed how bright it is? The woman in Revelation 12 who is clothed with the sun would also be called this bright. This verse in Revelation is referring to this bright star (Sun) that rises in the morning in new and different terms.
The reason people have not seen this reference is because they think this morning star is a reference to a planet like Venus. But, that interpretation ignores the fact that God says this is a star and not a planet. Venus is clearly not a star. These are also the words of Jesus telling us personally who He is, if you think He is a dead planet and not the life giving star of our planet (heart) then I really cannot help you see it. Let me give you another new title for the same Sun. This time it is in the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father when speaking of Jesus:
Luk 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
So Jesus is prophesied to be the “Dayspring”. If you look up the definition of this Greek word G395 in the Strong’s it means “a rising light”. Isn’t this what the sun does every day? You can also see that this is the same synonymous meaning of “dawn” when the sun rises. What we see is a clear reference to the coming Jesus being the Sun and the light of the world that will rise. When Jesus was born into the world He brought the light with Him. Remember what or who light is in the Bible? Read 1 John 1:5 where we are clearly informed “God is Light and in Him is NO darkness”. Uh oh, that sounds very important to me. Who in the Bible are we taught that must be clothed with this Light of God?
Let me give you another reference for the identity of the Sun. Again we will look at the words of Jesus himself when he walked the face of the earth in the flesh.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
WOW! You do understand the source of the light and life for our planet, yes? The natural sun produces the light on our planet and is the primary source of life also. In this verse in John, Jesus reveals himself to be the spiritual light of the world and the source of spiritual life. This is a direct parallel to the physical nature of the sun light of our world. We can clearly see that Jesus informs us if we continue to follow Him, that we would NOT walk in darkness. Wow, can you see the message? If we were walking in darkness that is very similar to being clothed in the substance. But, if we choose to walk in the light this appears to say we should be clothed with “light” (the Sun).
Jesus is referring to the heart of man in this verse and tells us that He will light us internally, or spiritually. Since the physical sun is one key for the source of natural life on this planet, we can understand that the spiritual Sun of Righteousness is the spiritual source for our spiritual life. What we have is a natural pattern given for a far greater and much more significant spiritual reality. We can see the same physical qualities being described in Jesus. Jesus is calling himself the light of life, that is clearly the type and symbol of the sun. Jesus is calling himself the light of the world, that again is the sun. Jesus says we will not walk in darkness or the night, because again we have or are clothed with Jesus the source of our life as the Sun.
There are many verses in the Bible that I can include in this lesson to illustrate the truth of the identity of the symbolic “Sun” clothing being Christ. I will only go with one more that repeats some of the basics that we have already witnessed in other verses, but since we are suppose to establish every word of truth using 2 or 3 witnesses, I will give you this one as another confirming witness:
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
This verse is very informative. It first confirms that the Genesis 1 account contains hidden spiritual prophetic statements within it. God who on day 1 of creation, commanded the light to be, declares that this was a prophesied future spiritual event that would occur when Jesus came to earth. The location of this shining or enlightenment is clearly given to be the hearts of mankind. This is the inward spiritual location of your eternal spirit being. Then the verse ends with how this occurs. It is through knowing Christ. Finally, there is a reference given to the “face” of Jesus Christ. I found that this is fascinating and informative. You see in the book of Revelation the “face” of Jesus is described this way:
Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
You see in this verse of Revelation, God is describing some spiritual qualities of Jesus Christ. I’ll skip the first two and go directly to the last part of that verse that says “his countenance was as the sun shining in his strength”. Isn’t that an interesting way to describe Jesus? The word “countenance” can be translated as “face”. So the “face” of Jesus is said to be symbolically shining like the sun at noonday. This I believe is highly significant and just further confirms that Jesus Christ is the symbolic Sun found in Revelation 12. Here is a list of scriptures that all refer to Jesus Christ in terms describing Him to be the Sun. Some of these I have given you already and some are new:
- The Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)
- The Greater Light that Rules the Day (Gen 1:16)
- The Day Star (2 Peter 1:19)
- The Bright and Morning Star (Rev 22:16)
- The Morning Star (Rev 2:28)
- The Dayspring (Luke 1:78)
- The True Light (John 1:9, 1 John 2:8)
- The Light of the World (John 8:12, John 9:5)
- The Light of Life (John 8:12)
- The Sun (Rev 1:16, Rev 12:1)
To me this is overwhelming evidence that Jesus Christ is the Sun. Therefore, I have concluded from all of these verses that the Bible informs us this symbolic sun is LORD Jesus Christ. Now we must ask who is instructed or commanded to wear this symbol in the Bible? That is where we will go next.
WHO IN THE BIBLE IS TO WEAR THE SUN?
Let me now approach this subject from a different angle to give you some additional perspectives on this topic of the identity of the Sun in relation to the identity of the woman. I want to specifically focus on any commandment in the Bible given by God for us (the church) or anyone else to be clothed. Is the church ever told to wear this symbolic sun? As you recall, the woman in Revelation 12 is said to be clothed with the Sun. Of course the church must be commanded to wear the Sun in order to be qualified to be the woman in Revelation 12. But realize that this command may not just be in so many direct obvious words. This again is another way God hides the truth for a given time to reveal it. You have to look for it, study it and allow the Holy Spirit to show you. But we started this by allowing the Holy Spirit to give us the understanding who the spiritual Sun is. By now I hope that you can see that the spiritual Sun is Jesus Christ. Now direct your focus upon verses applying the new knowledge of who the Bible says is the symbolic Sun looking for verses that inform someone to wear Jesus Christ directly or indirectly (light, sun, etc.):
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
The Greek word G1746 that was translated as “put on” here means to “invest with clothing” or to “be clothed” with. Interesting, is it not? Isn’t this what God is talking about, to be clothed with the Sun in Revelation 12? If Jesus Christ is the Sun, and we have clearly seen that He is, then the church is instructed to wear this Sun like clothing. This verse in Romans tells us to wear Jesus Christ like a garment, robe or a coat. If Jesus is the Light and the Sun, then we would be wearing the correct symbol describing the woman in Revelation 12, right? Please relate this news with being a Christian. If we are required to put on Christ this makes Him visible outwardly as we walk and live our lives on the earth to those that are still walking in darkness. People need to be able to see Christ’s light in your actions, your morals, your choices and life style long before they hear your words about Jesus. This is a major part of developing the identity of the woman that appears in heaven in Revelation 12. Here is another witness to this revelation:
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Again we clearly see a new synonymous reference of the church being clothed when they were baptized into Christ. To be baptized is a complete immersion and the covering of the body by water. This is clearly a symbolic synonymous reference of a person wearing something. In this verse we are wearing symbolic water and in Revelation 12 we are wearing the Light of the World (the Sun). You do understand Water and Light are both key elements of the source of Life on our planet? Without either of these life would not exist. We also understand that Water is a symbol of the Word of God (Eph 5:26). Then we can further connect that Jesus is called by the title of the “Word of God” in Revelation 19:13. Therefore, we can logically and mathematically conclude that if we are told that we were baptized into Christ this means were clothed with His Word. I know this is all new and very deep new revelation. But, this is what God teaches us in the Bible.
Now if that is true then according to this verse we also have “put on” Christ. Put on again means to “be clothed” with Christ. The church should be going around wearing the garment of Jesus Christ, right here, right now. Let’s look at a new verse:
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
In this verse it compares two states, one physical with the other one being spiritual. The words “borne” and “bear” are the same Greek word that means to “wear”. God is telling us that we previously wore our flesh bodies, but now we have been re-clothed with a heavenly body and this of course is covered with the Sun. To me this will become very obvious to what God is talking about as we continue to learn. I hope that you are beginning to see it also. Let me briefly give you an Old Testament prophecy that goes into a bit of relevant information on this topic of wearing the “Sun”.
Dan 12:3 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.
So as you read this prophecy in Daniel it should be self evident that it is talking about the church. The church is the only group that is attempting to turn anyone from their darkness into the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But, notice the terms that are used. It declares that we will “shine” with a “brightness”. The firmament is another word for the sky. The earth’s atmosphere when it is lit by the sun can be very intensely bright. This is a clear reference to the “day”. That describes someone that could be wearing the sun, doesn’t it? This chapter in Daniel is an end time prophetic message. It describes many things that are occurring right now. In context with that we see the righteous being hailed as light bearers. Jesus made several statements in regard to this also. In calling Himself the light of the world in John, He also said “ye are the light of the world”. How can the church and Jesus both be the same light? It only really makes sense if we put Christ on and wear Him around for others to see. This is a revelation of letting Jesus be seen on the outside in the visible world. Too many Christians want to keep Jesus on the inside and never let Him be seen outside of a physical church building. This is not what the Bible says to do. We are to wear Jesus Christ like a garment that everyone can clearly see. Here is another very relevant scripture on the subject of wearing the Sun.
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
God has clothed the church with the garment of Salvation first and then the robe of Righteousness second. Do you remember who the Sun of Righteousness was? It is Jesus Christ. So we have very clear evidence that the church is to be clothed with the Spiritual Sun of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. So the primary clothing in Bible days were not jeans and t-shirts, but were then robes. So we can understand that to be clothed with the Robe of Righteousness means everyday clothing and not just a special wedding garment. The Hebrew word translated as righteousness is the exact same word found in Malachi 4:2 describing Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness. So Isaiah 61:10 describing the church is definitely related to the verse in Malachi 4:2 describing our clothing of the Sun of Righteousness. This is not an accident nor was it placed in the Bible by chance. This is God’s designed plan to reveal this information at the right time. I’ll end this Bible lesson with just one more reference since I am running long.
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
So we can see another very similar word association being made by God the author. This time the church is told to put on the “armor of light”. Since it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where we get our daylight from, I think it is clear that we are being told to put on the Sun as our protection against our enemy. This clothing that we are commanded to put on, is now described in a military design as the “armor” of light. Armor is what a soldier would wear for protection against an enemy in battle. Modern body armor is common place for Police, law enforcement and military personnel. These are all people that have enemies of evil trying to kill them. We will soon learn from the meaning of other symbols given in Revelation 12 that this is true for Christians and this symbolic woman. This “light” armor should have the same protecting affect for a us as Christians. By a Christian wearing light we are walking in the light and we should never be found in the darkness. The clear reference in this verse is to the spiritual day or night condition of our hearts. So there are many verses that instruct the church to shine and put on Christ. I’ll end with the words of Jesus himself that also speak prophetically about the church at the end of the world:
Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The Words of God, from the mouth of the True and Faithful One declares the righteous to be the ones that will shine forth as the sun at the end of the world. Doesn’t that testify and witness to you that the righteous church will be the woman wearing the “Sun of God”? It sure looks like it to me.
I have provided numerous key scriptures that identify the symbolic Sun as being Jesus Christ. This is us allowing God to interpret His own symbols. I have revealed several other verses that either instruct, prophesy or declare the church to be clothed with this Sun Light. We can learn and confirm this truth further in many other verses in the Bible that I have not covered yet, but I will end now with this question:
What woman in the Bible must be clothed with Jesus Christ?
We can certainly eliminate a lot of the 4 potential candidates for this woman in Revelation 12. She cannot be natural Israel also known as the Earthly Jerusalem, she cannot be the heavenly Jerusalem and she cannot even be natural woman Mary. Just figuring out the identity of the single dependent symbolic “Sun” and how and who can be clothed with Him, changes the meaning of the woman in chapter 12 of Revelation dramatically. This lesson has introduced you to the subject and yet we still have a lot more to learn and figure out. In my next lesson the Lord willing I will talk more about the other symbols, to help us better understand this woman’s true identity. The second most important symbol in this dependent truth relationship we will find is the “moon” under her feet. God Bless you and I pray that you have the spiritual eyes and vision to see and to understand God’s Word.
If you want to continue to Part 2 of this series, click HERE!
Posted on December 3, 2009, in Bible Study, Chapter 12, Revelation and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Sun, Symbolism, understanding, woman. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.