The True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12! Pt 5
(Ver 3.1) This is “Part 5” in an advanced Bible study series concerning the subject of the True Identity of the Woman found in Revelation chapter 12. This Bible study is intended for spiritually mature Christians only. Please understand this before continuing with your reading. Also, if you have not read this series from the beginning, it is highly recommended that you and start with Part 1. In the last lesson we went into verses found in Revelation 12 that described dependent qualities and features of the woman. A dependent quality or description is simply one that must be found true and be present in the primary object in order for the identity to be known or to be true. These dependent descriptive terms spoke of 1) those that overcame with the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, 2) those that kept the commandments of God and 3) those who possessed the testimony of Jesus Christ. I provided a number of verses that demonstrated these qualities are describing the church. I hope and pray that you have read all of the lessons because these dependent facts of truth only point us to one possible identity of the woman in Revelation 12. I believe she is the church. Today I would like to begin the challenging process of identifying the man child that this woman in Revelation 12 is stated to be pregnant with to deliver in verse 5. I do not think that I will be able to go into everything that I would like to today, but with the LORD’s help we will get there eventually.
PERSECUTION BECAUSE SATAN KNOWS HIS TIME IS SHORT
First, why is Satan persecuting the woman in Revelation 12? This is just another basic who, what, when, where and why question, that we need to ask about for the woman in Revelation 12. I want to briefly answer this difficult question without going into a lot of the complex details about the subject of persecution. In more than one verse of chapter 12 we can clearly see that whoever this woman represents, she is heavily persecuted by Satan (for example, Rev 12:13). We can further read that a hatred and anger is directed at the woman by Satan for some reason that is not directly stated. Satan is said to be literally at war with this woman (Rev 12:17).
Let’s begin this part of the lesson with the definition of “persecution” (G1377). The Greek word G1377 translated as “persecuted” in Revelation 12:13 is defined by Strong as “to pursue”. This Greek word is akin to the Hebrew word H7291 that is defined by Strong as “to run after with hostile intent”. Obviously, this is Satan chasing after this woman for an evil purpose (John 10:10). I personally believe that this purpose was to attempt to eliminate this woman and her seed. We can read about the kind of persecution being done by Satan in Revelation 20:4. Here we are told that John was given a future vision of the “souls that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus Christ”. This Greek word G3141 translated as “witness” in Revelation 20:4 is the same word that was translated as “testimony” in Revelation 12:17. I do not believe that this is a coincidence. In fact, I call it a divine clue to the woman’s identity, and she speaks like a Christian in the Church.
However, I believe these statements of being pursued by evil can and do apply to both the natural Jewish people in the nation of Israel as well as the Church. This persecution is one major reason why many Christians have assumed that this woman in Revelation 12 must be natural Israel. Anyone living in modern history of the last 100 years has seen the Jewish persecution increase firsthand. It happens frequently even today. But, during World War II, persecution of the Jews occurred on a scale that is staggering. It is very obvious to me that Satan filled the heart of Hitler with his desire to wipe Jews off the planet earth. This same spirit is now working in the middle east to drive out Israel from their land into the sea. Therefore, natural Israel more than qualifies to be this woman in Revelation 12 on this single point of persecution. But this one truth is not the only truth that we need to identify our suspect.
For example, someone might say they just saw a man with a blue shirt and jeans rob the bank. Could the policeman go and arrest the first man that they saw fitting this narrow description? Would they feel confident that this man was their suspect bank robber? Obviously, I do not believe they could. There could be thousands of men on the street wearing those items that match closely and all of these can’t be the one alleged bank robber. Therefore, we still need a more complete confirmation by examining all of the evidence and facts given to us.
Let’s get back to answering the question “why is this woman persecuted”. I believe the Lord has shown me that there are two completely different reasons why Satan is persecuting these two possible named Bible women (Natural Israel and the Church). However, both of these reasons are motivated by Satan’s desire and need for self-preservation and survival. Going deeper, I believe that this desire for self-preservation is rooted in Satan’s fear. Let’s read what one demon cried out to Jesus in fear:
Mat 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
If you haven’t figured it out, Satan knows that he has a specific time limit to legally be here on the earth. When we read Matthew 8:29, we learn how the devil that being cast out by Jesus was crying “Have you come to torment us before the time?”. What time does this evil spiritual being understand, that is coming before he can be legally tormented? The Greek word G928 translated as “torment” literally means to “torture” and cause “pain”. Therefore, the devil has a great fear-based concern that this time of pain was coming too fast and too soon. He implies to Jesus “has the time been shortened and is now about to happen to us?” This is great wisdom to learn from. Devils do not understand everything about the timing of events that are prophesied to be coming.
But, we later read and learn in Revelation 12 that Satan discovers and understands the time is now very, very short. This occurs after he is thrown out of heaven during the first half of the 7-year tribulation (Rev 12:12). From all of this information we learn there is a specific time of pain and torture punishment coming for evil spiritual beings. We also learn that it has not yet occurred. Just as no one knows the exact timing of the rapture, no one knows the exact time the tribulation will occur after the rapture. Therefore, Satan is living in constant fear awaiting the clock to tick down.
We do know from reading Romans 11:25 that there appears to be a limit to God’s patience in the church age. I still believe that this is approximately 2000 years. But in this verse God declares that there is a “fulness of the Gentiles” that must occur before He returns to get us. The Greek word G4138 that was translated as “fulness” literally means to fill up a container like a cup to overflowing. In other words, when the cup is full the time of the end of the church age is now complete. Satan is definitely not looking forward to this coming fulness.
Satan is doing everything that he can, in his power to try to stop the planned design of God and save himself from being cast into hell. I could go into this in much more depth, but I believe I will save that for possibly a future Bible study topic. Just keep in mind that both women named 1) natural Israel and 2) the Church Bride are being persecuted by Satan to try to stop the plan of God. Therefore, both partially qualify based upon that truth to be the woman suspect in Revelation 12.
But, as we have learned from verses in this chapter, there are other dependent truths that must line up in order to conclude the true identity of the woman. We can’t just take a few parts of the chapter, ignoring the rest and to say this is why I believe the woman is Mary, or Israel or the Church, etc. Any conclusion of identity must be based upon an complete factual list of all known parts. We must not ignore or omit any fact that we don’t like or don’t understand. Doing this provides a legal basis of reasonable doubt to possibly exclude any woman from being our suspect. In legal terms this is called “exculpatory” evidence. If a prosecutor knows facts that will exclude the defendant from prosecution and they do not present them to the defense or the judge, that prosecutor is evil and unjust. That is the reason we are going through as many facts as we can to determine the identity of this woman. We will now continue to explore the subject of why and how the woman is pregnant?
INTRODUCTION TO THE MALE CHILD
This of course will be something new and challenging. As if nothing that has been said in this series has not been something new and challenging. Because of our previous human bias and prejudices that came from our past teachings of the Bible, some can tune out what may be new or different too easily and fast. This part of the lesson about the male child in Revelation 12, is the part of the lesson that most people believe they are so sure who this baby represents. This causes a stronghold of resistance and for a lot of baby Christians a hatred to what is being given to them to help them grow. This is exactly what Paul said in Galatians 4:16, “I have become your enemy because I tell you the truth”. Please do not be like others that refuse to at least taste what is presented to see if it is good before you spit it out (Psalm 34:8).
We can begin our search for the identity of the child by looking into our Bibles for qualifying descriptions found in Revelation 12:5. Let’s read the important verses in question. Hopefully, we will see what is stated because this is what has been used by many Bible teachers to select their definition and identity of the woman and the child:
Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Rev 12:5 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.
We can read about a man child that is brought forth after the woman was crying out in travail in birth pains in verse 2. Then in verse 5, it should be very clear, that whoever this child represents, that we are told by God that he is “to rule all nations with a rod of iron“. Who can this be? Almost everyone teaches that this is only speaking of Jesus. That certainly sounds true. But is that the complete truth? But what do we find if we search our entire Bible for the phrase “rod of iron“? We will find only 4 verses that contain this phrase.
First, this statement of a “rod of iron” was given to us by God in Psalm 2:9 as a prophecy. This verse prophecy must be Jesus based upon the contextual content. But then we discover the next time this phrase occurs is when the Lord Jesus himself quotes from Psalm 2:9 in His letter written to Thyatira in Revelation 2:26-27. In these verses spoken to the “Church” of Thyatira, it is amazing what Jesus says. Jesus said to them, “that whoever overcomes and continues His works to the end, they will be given power over nations to rule with a rod of iron“. Wow, that appears to change the perspective and the possible inclusions of who the prophecy is speaking of dramatically. Here we literally have the LORD Jesus (who most believes this rod of iron is speaking of), and He was speaking to the church and transferring this authority and responsibility to the church that overcomes. What we have just observed is a prophecy and Jesus teaching us about it by quoting it about the church. I believe that is VERY IMPORTANT new information to use to interpret and understand Revelation 12.
Finally, we can see the fourth and last reference to someone “ruling with a rod of iron” in Revelation 19:15. This is when Jesus is returning to earth riding a white horse, with a double-edged sword coming out of His mouth. It now appears from this verse the focus has shifted again back to Jesus ruling with a rod of iron. However, it is very interesting to back up in Revelation 19:14, to read about the church coming back with Him to rule. These people must represent the church that overcame their enemy back in Revelation 2:27.
This is very interesting information to consider. We have two verses about subjects “ruling with a rod of iron” that appear to be in apparent direct contradiction. When this occurs, it is usually our ignorance that causes the only conflict. God always has an answer in the Bible for every apparent contradiction. The Bible never contradicts itself. God never contradicts Himself. God and alol of His Word are faithfully in harmony. It is only our human lack of understanding of what was said that causes any confusion.
We can begin to resolve the conflict when we apply the light of the Church being called Body of Christ in verses like Romans 12:5, and 1 Corinthians 12:12. It would appear logically that if Jesus the Head of the church body rules with “a rod of iron“, then His body must also rule with Him, the same way. How can the main part “head” of the complete body rule and all of the other parts of His body be excluded? If my head goes to the restaurant for dinner, my feet usually must take me there in order to feed my stomach. I believe this is what is being taught to us in these passages. Please keep this in mind as we study this child ruling with a rod of iron over all nations.
POSSIBLE CHILD SUSPECTS
Please allow me to continue by giving you a list of possible candidates for the identity of the male child in Revelation 12. One of these candidates you have all heard of before but the others maybe you have not given them much thought:
- The physical male child named Jesus born in Bethlehem brought forth from the virgin Mary.
- The Risen Savior Jesus Christ, the “first born” from the dead.
- The Holy Spirit of God also known as the Spirit of Christ that indwells believers.
As you can tell by my short list of possible male child candidates, I believe that the child can only be the omnipotent God in some manifested form. I am convinced that the child cannot be anyone else, but 1) God in the flesh or 2) Jesus risen from the dead, or 3) God in the Spirit. So let us do some logical analysis of the verse in Revelation 12 that speak about this birth of this male child using other truths that are given to help us understand the concepts of birth. We will begin this discussion with a basic law of birth given to us directly by Jesus.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Please see what this verse says and apply it to the woman and her child in Revelation 12. If the symbolic woman is a spiritual reality (being like the church body), then the child MUST also be a divine spiritual child and cannot be a physical or natural child named Jesus. Therefore, the church cannot give birth to physical Jesus. Also, if the woman is a natural human being (like Mary), then the child must also be natural baby child. That is just basic logic based upon law and it is what the Word of God says. Therefore only Mary could have given birth to a male child named baby Jesus.
Jesus himself, taught us “that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is spirit”. Taking what Jesus said literally we can learn that there are ONLY two kinds or types of female birthing dimensions that are possible. One is natural and the other is spiritual. This would agree with Jesus other major lesson in John 3 when He taught us, “You must be born again to see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus explained to a natural man that he could be born again spiritually.
Therefore, this woman in Revelation 12 must either be one natural physical woman with a naturally birthed physical male child or one spiritual woman with a spiritually birthed male child. Notice that Jesus claims that these two types can’t be mixed up. If there was an attempt to change the natural and supernatural in any other way, it would violate God’s Word! Therefore, there can’t be a spiritual woman that gives birth to a physical child. Nor can there be a natural woman giving birth to a spiritual child. I pray that we all agree with the Word of God so far.
Now let’s go through the women and child possibilities, one at a time to see who might fit this Revelation 12 pattern. This will help us determine or at the least narrow who the child could be. We will begin with the Virgin Mary.
CAN THE CHILD BE THE ONLYBEGOTTEN SON OF GOD?
So, what is the best way to describe the physical Jesus born to natural Mary in Bethlehem found in Matthew 1 and Luke 2? There are actually two different descriptions used by God to describe “Jesus”. We should already know that Jesus was born naturally through a literal physical woman named Mary who experienced all the normal natural pains of childbirth. All of her natural travail physically produced a male child in a Bethlehem manger. One description of Jesus is found in Matthew 1:25. This title teaches us that Jesus was the first child that Mary, she ever birthed. It also implies by the description of “first” that she birthed other children. But notice the title “the First Born” of Mary.
Now let us review a verse that we should all have memorized. John 3:16 informs us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”. The Greek word G3439 that was translated as “only begotten” literally means “only born”. This description contradicts with the Matthew 1:25 title of firstborn. The terms “Only” and “First” cannot agree to both be true simultaneously unless there is a greater hidden meaning that needs to be revealed. Therefore, we can resolve this conflict by learning that the “firstborn” title could only be directed at only human Mary’s first child of many. This simply teaches us that the other children that were born from human Mary did not come from the Holy Spirit. Then we can begin to understand that the term from John 3:16 “only begotten” could only be speaking of God the Father in having just “one naturally born” Son of God. So far, we are just addressing the physical birth process of Jesus and one potential conflict.
But there is a new conflict that arises from other scripture verses. For example, the term “only begotten” Son found in John 3:16 would conflict with Romans 8:29 where Jesus is called the “firstborn” (G4416) of many brothers”. Here we have the same type of conflict that God was using to describe Mary’s child being her first born with God’s Son being His “Only naturally born” child. We resolved this conflict by understanding “first” naturally born child was only speaking of Mary’s son and “only” naturally born Son was speaking of God’s child born though Mary. Same child but from two different perspectives.
Can we understand the new conflict being presented to us in the scripture? One verse claimed that Jesus was the “only born” Son of God (John 3:16) and the other claimed Jesus to be the “first born” Son of many others. The word “only” means there are no others and the verse with “first born” means or implies there can be many others (Romans 8:29). The only resolution for this conflict is what God calls rightly dividing the Word of Truth. “Only Begotten” has to be defined as a “natural birth” (flesh) and “First Born/Begotten” has to be defined as a “spiritual birth” within the Spiritual realm. I do not believe many Christians have been taught that Jesus was born twice, once naturally through Mary and once spiritually through a currently unknown spiritual mother. But that is what the Bible is teaching us. This knowledge also establishes a pattern of truth that it is possible for God to do whatever He pleases to accomplish His plan and will. I know that this is a very deep subject, and I pray that no one is drowning in the depths.
Please just remember that Jesus (God in the flesh) was the only begotten son of God birthed naturally from the natural physical woman named Mary. Let’s quickly establish the proof that Jesus was 100% deity being God as well as Jesus being 100% a man simultaneously. That blows the mind of a lot of religious people. But nothing is impossible with God. We learn His deity by knowing that Jesus was the Word of God (Rev 19:13). Then we combine that knowledge with the Word was God who created everything (John 1:1-3). Then later in the same chapter God says the Word (God) was made to be flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). Therefore, Jesus was God and God was Jesus, but He entered legally into the world being born in the flesh as a natural human male child (John 10:1). We also learn in Matthew 1:23 that Jesus was given the name Emmanuel meaning “God With US”. So, baby Jesus was a physical male child born of the flesh, even though He was still the Son of God. If anyone does not understand the virgin birth, I would recommend that you go and study this subject on this website. I do not have the time to teach that again here.
Now the humanity of Jesus must be confirmed. Jesus always made a major point when walking the face of the earth in the flesh. He called himself the “son of Adam” also known as the “son of Man” repeatedly. I believe He did this to prove to Satan He was legally here on the earth. I counted 81 verses in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with this phrase “Son of Man”. If you have read my other Bible lessons, you already know that “Adam” and “man” are the same Hebrew word (H120). Jesus was declaring His humanity by calling himself the son of Adam. Many Bible teachers have declared that this child born in Revelation 12 is this Bethlehem only naturally born male child named Jesus. Therefore, the woman in Revelation 12 MUST be Mary His natural physical mother.
Remember by Jesus’ own mouth “that which is born of flesh (Mary) is flesh (baby Jesus)”. But also remember what we read in lesson 1 of the series. We answered the question “When did these Revelation 12 events occur?” According to Revelation 4:1, everything that happens after this verse is a future tense prophetical statement. That means it had not occurred at the time this book was written by John. That statement alone still makes it impossible for this child being birthed to be the natural baby Jesus. Uh, oh? Who then can it be? Could this Son in Revelation 12 be the “first born” Son of God that we just learned about Romans 8:29? It is entirely possible that this is what God could be revealing to us. There will be more scriptures coming to help you see this as a very real possibility for the identity of the male child in Revelation 12.
I need to conclude this Virgin Mary suspect study. I believe that what we should take away from this discussion is this; if this child in Rev 12 is baby Jesus the only begotten natural male child of God that was born to die on a cross, then he had to be born of a natural woman named Mary. This means the woman cannot represent natural Israel as many other teachers have claimed. We would also need to look at every other verse in chapter 12 of Revelation and determine how natural Mary could fit in with those given dependent facts. I believe that we can immediately see that Mary does not fit with any of the other detailed descriptive qualities of the woman in Revelation 12, other than being a woman and being pregnant with a natural male child and that is just a small part of the whole picture.
CAN THE CHILD BE THE FIRSTBORN SON OF GOD?
Next, we have to determine if the child is the risen from the dead Lord Jesus. The Bible teaches us that Jesus was born from above after He was raised from the dead. Jesus is called the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18, Romans 8:29). Jesus himself taught that a man must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Knowing that Jesus was the only naturally born Son of God now, He must have included Himself into that John 3:3 requirement statement. If Jesus did not include himself into that statement, he would be denying his physical humanity quality as being a natural Son of Adam.
Jesus being God in the flesh is therefore, committed to abide by His own statement of truth since it is impossible for God to lie. Jesus said a man must be born again or He cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. We all know that Jesus died on a cross, and his natural body was buried in a tomb for 3 days and 3 nights. We also should know that Jesus gave up His Spirit on the cross when He died (John 19:30). But what happened to His Spirit while His body was in the tomb? Jesus answered this question in Matthew 12:40. He said, “As Jonah was 3 days in the belly of the fish, the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights”. That was my paraphrase, but the concept was accurately stated. Therefore, the Spirit of Jesus had to go to hell. Now ask the question how did the Spirit of Jesus come out of this underworld dimension of the dead? According to what we are learning Jesus became the “first born” to be taken out of that separated spiritual dimension of the dead. Therefore, we have to conclude that Jesus was the very first spiritual birth to be the first spirit that was born again from the dead.
I believe that this is a Bible fact. That any man in heaven must have been spiritually born again, in order to get into heaven and out of going to hell. What this does is amazing. This was God’s way of eliminating entrance into heaven for those that did not meet His new requirement for Kingdom entrance, including Satan. Colossians 1:18 gives us the reason why Jesus was spiritually born again FIRST. God says this occurred “in order to give Him (Jesus) preeminence over ALL other spirit beings” This made Him the “Head” of a new spiritual family. We in the church then become His body, and the bride of His new family. Every spiritual being has become secondary beneath Him. Preeminence is the Greek word G4409 that means “first in rank or order”. The firstborn throughout the Bible was given a special place of inheritance in a family but this is a different subject that cannot be fully taught today.
I know this is a difficult new subject, but I believe that it is one that has great spiritual significance if we can see it. If the child is a spiritual child in Revelation 12, like I believe he is, then the woman giving birth has to be a spiritual mother and a spiritual wife. The Bible is complicated and there are many potential interpretations, but still only one truth. Let us therefore strive to understand the truth.
So, can a spiritual woman have spiritual children? Of course, she can and Jesus claimed she could. Here is a scriptural precedence for that statement:
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Jesus in this verse is again called the first born (begotten) from the dead. This was obviously a spiritual birth and not His natural birth, yes? Notice that this verse implies that this birth occurred at His resurrection from the dead. Who then was His spiritual mother that gave birth to the Head of the Church? If Jesus was the first spiritually re-born man, then that demands by logical deduction, the pre-existence of a mature spiritual mother. That which is born of spirit is spirit, Jesus taught us! Some have tried to conclude that the woman in Revelation is the Spirit of God. But I have bad news for these people, God is not a female woman in the Bible. Nor, have I found in the Bible where God gives birth as a female? I believe that as the Bible states the woman originates from the side of a male and she is the one that gives birth to children. We find this pattern in Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 as well as Jesus on the cross when stabbed in His side to pour out His blood on the ground for His church bride.
There is a very strong implication when thinking about Jesus being the firstborn from the dead. As I have stated there must be a spiritual woman that existed, prior to His resurrection in order to provide this spiritual birth from the dead. This also reveals to us that this same spiritual woman must have existed prior to the new birth of the church another spiritual bride. This implied spiritual woman must be mature enough to give birth to spiritual children. Are we following this logic? These are all awesome statements of truth. So, who is this spiritual woman that is mature enough to give birth to a risen Lord Jesus Christ? Here is another verse that God gives us in Romans that sheds more light on the subject. I mentioned this verse earlier and we should have already read it, but we will go over it again for more study:
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Again, we see Jesus called the firstborn, but this time it says very clearly that there is an implied second born, a third born and on and on we go. God actually claims in this verse that Jesus has many spiritual brothers and sisters. What we see is another implied reference to a spiritual woman that gives birth to these spiritual siblings. This is such an important concept to fully grasp and understand. Now let us figure out who this mature spiritual woman is that gave birth to all of these newborn spiritual babies and children:
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
This of course is a scripture that has been bypassed and overlooked for lack of understanding for a very long time. We can see that this verse was written to and is speaking about the church directly. Therefore, we can conclude that the church are the inferred children in this verse that must be the many brothers of Christ. It also indirectly implies that the same mother that birthed the church must have birthed Jesus our Big Brother! I pray that we understand, that when we were born again it was a spiritual birth and not another natural birth process. Jesus addressed this topic very clearly in John 3 when a natural man asks Him how to go back into his natural mother’s womb to be born again. If we apply the logic that only spirit beings can have spiritual babies, then the woman mentioned here in Galatians 4, this Jerusalem Above has to be a mature existing spiritual woman, that gives birth to only new spirits.
We can also see the location of this woman as being somewhere above. Meaning she is not the earthly Jerusalem or any other physical natural location on our planet. The Greek word translated as “above” is G503 and means “on top” or “above”. It is the exact same word used by Jesus to describe where He was from in John 8:23. In this verse Jesus speaking to the Jewish leaders said, “You are from beneath but, I am from above” and then he continued by saying “you are from this world, I am not from this world”. This would clearly define this “above” to be the third heaven where God’s throne is located.
Now some might try to conclude that this “above” is the New Jerusalem, but it cannot be. You see I haven’t taught you directly yet, but I believe the church is the New Jerusalem. By using basic logic, a mother has to exist prior to having her children. And a woman does not give birth to herself. If Jesus was the firstborn from the dead, His spiritual mother had to exist prior to any new spiritual births. If the church is the New Jerusalem like I believe she is, then there is no way she could be the mother of Jesus and herself. Also, I do not believe that the New Jerusalem existed until the New Covenant came into being. Also, remember that this woman New Jerusalem is said to be the covenant wife of the LAMB (Jesus) in Revelation 21:2. This also must align with the truth that this Lamb was slain and is now risen/born from the dead. That describes this wife to be the church and the church did not exist in marriage covenant with Jesus before Jesus was raised from the dead.
I recommend that you go and read the entire chapter of Galatians 4. When we do this, we begin to see that there are two different Jerusalems being contrasted and compared. One is said to be a type of Hagar and she is called the “earthly Jerusalem” or the “Jerusalem that now is (physically on the earth)”. The Jerusalem that now is on the earth could also be called the “Jerusalem that is beneath” using the understanding of John 8:23. Beneath can further be implied by the opposite term of “above” also. This is just a basic law of interpretation that is called the “Law of Antithesis Truth”. If there is an above, there must be an unstated or implied “below or beneath”. It is also very important to remember that this other “Jerusalem from above” was called a type of Sarah. Both of these women were Abraham’s wives, and I don’t have time to explain that in depth. But we will continue with an overview of the Genesis account written for us by God.
The earthly Jerusalem, we are told is Israel and the Old Covenant (Gal 4:24) is represented by “Hagar” the Egyptian (Gen 25:12) bond slave. God informs us in Genesis 16:3 that Hagar is the much younger woman and a new wife given to Abraham by Sarah his much older barren wife. God gives us a very important confirming connection to this Egyptian Hagar being Earthly Jerusalem in Revelation 11:8 where He informs us this “great city” is spiritually called “Egypt”. Wow, I don’t have time to teach that either. Abraham was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. This was 14 years before Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac. That is important to understand. Remember Jacob contracted with his father-in-law for 7 years of labor to earn his wife that he loved. But he had to work 14 years for this first love, his wife Rachel (Gen 39). His first wife Leah was given to him by trickery after his fulfillment of the 7 years. Then he had to work 7 more years for the one that he really wanted. I don’t have time to teach about that either. Just realize that 14 years, connects these stories.
Sarah represents the spiritual Jerusalem from above in Galatians 4. We are told that she is a “freewoman” not under the bondage of “law” of Jehovah. That is very important, and I do not have time to teach that either. We are taught by God in Genesis 21 that Sarah is the much older “barren woman” who eventually gives birth to Isaac when Abraham was 100 years old. In this Genesis story of Abraham, Sarah was 90 years old when she had her first child. Notice that Isaac is called the promised son in both Genesis and Galatians. That is a type and a pattern of spiritual things to come. That birth was truly a miraculous sign from God for the spiritual births that the barren woman Heavenly Jerusalem Above was going to produce after Jesus arose from the dead. Jesus we are taught is implied to be the promised spiritual birth. We can read this in Galatians 3 when we are told God did not speak to Abraham of “seeds” many but “seed” singular being Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus was the promised Seed to come naturally and spiritually speaking.
We can understand that Ishmael was around 14 years old when Isaac was born. Sarah (the type of the Jerusalem Above) is the mature woman that has been alive for much longer than Hagar. Therefore, Sarah was in Covenant marriage longer with Abraham (a type of God) than Hagar (the Earthly Jerusalem) was with Abraham (a type of God) (Jer 31:32). These are all valid allegorical types and patterns that I know are difficult to grasp at first.
God calls this real Genesis account of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar an allegorical story according to Galatians 4:24. An allegory is nothing but a true natural story of real people doing real things. But these natural story truths teach us far greater parallel spiritual truths that cannot be seen or observed with physical senses or natural reasoning. In fact, if God had not told us that this Genesis story was an allegory in Galatians 4, I do not believe that anyone would have understood it to teach anything greater than what historically occurred in the natural. In fact, I believe Jesus literally gave Paul this allegory personally in a vision, otherwise Paul would not have been able to write about it.
In a real allegory the events stay the same in the identical order and the characters in the story are repeated as similar characters, but the names of the participants change in the spiritual realm. In Galatians 4 we are given the natural women’s names Hagar and Sarah to be the spiritual names “Earthly Jerusalem” and “Jerusalem Above” respectfully. We are not directly informed in Galatians but the husband in these two covenants was Abraham, and he must represent the Father God in Heaven for these two women. We know this because we are told in Galatians 4:24 that this allegorical information represents the descriptions of two covenants. A covenant is a marriage, and a marriage is a covenant by God’s design (Mal 2:14).
Wow, two covenants is where God gets us even deeper. Most Christians assume and are wrong that these covenants are the Old Covenant and the New Covenant because that is the only two covenants that they have ever heard of. But that is impossible because it would fail the allegory litmus test description. Hagar is the younger wife, and she represents the second marriage covenant with Abraham. Therefore, Sarah the older barren wife had to be the first covenant with Abraham. Sarah could not be the New Covenant because the word “new”, dictates a more recent covenant than the old! Right?
We also need to realize that the New Covenant is with the risen from the dead Lord Jesus (first born again) and not with Father God that natural Israel was in. Here in Galatians God is speaking of these two covenants as being between Him as Jehovah God and 2 women. We learn from reading Romans 7:4 that natural Jews are legally freed from their covenant marriage with Jehovah because Jesus died on the cross. Then God says they (those Old Covenant People) are now legally freed from legal bondage under the law, to be legally remarried in the New Covenant with the risen from the dead, Lord Jesus. Notice this New Covenant marriage relationship is with the riser Son and not Jehovah the Father God. Wow, I don’t have time to teach that fully either.
We are getting so very deep here, but please understand this is important. This Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) represents a covenant that pre-existed with the angels being in covenant with God the Father (Jehovah) prior to the covenant that God (Jehovah) made with natural Israel (Egypt). Not a lot of people understand it yet, but the angels were created a long time before humans. We are not informed exactly how long before, but we know from reading Job 38:7 that the angels sang for joy at the creation events described in Genesis 1 for our current world.
I guess I will throw you another deep subject curve to consider since I already mentioned it. In Genesis 39 we read about Jacob (a type of God and Jesus) working 7 years for a wife that he did not want. He then was forced to work another 7 years for the wife that his heart was set on having. Well, I believe the second wife in this story is an allegorical type for God working for His desired church bride. I believe that God first worked 7000 years for the first wife Leah who was a type of the Jerusalem Above containing all of the angels. But, when sin was found in His covenanted wife, Lucifer and 1/3 of the angles that fell with him, that presented God with a major problem. God of course already had the solution by working just 7000 more years for us in the church. We are going to be a people called His wife that will be so eternally glad to be saved from going to hell that we will never desire to be like Satan and try to exalt ourselves above anyone. Ok, that was more new Bible information that is profound. It also explains creation more clearly. I believe in the Gap Theory of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 being a major catastrophic destruction of a previous world ruled by Lucifer. I don’t have time to teach this truth either. But you can read more about it in the series of lessons called “The World that Was”.
What am I teaching? I would recommend that you go and read the series of lessons on this website called “Understanding the Spiritual Family of God”. What God reveals in the Bible is a truth that there are 3 stated divine covenants. The first “God to creation covenant” was between Him being in a relation with His angels. We already have learned that this wife had no LAWs or rules to be in bondage to. This was revealed in the type of Abraham with Sarah (Gal 4). The second “God to creation covenant” was a covenant between God and natural Israel being a type of Abraham with Hagar. We already know from Galatians 4 that His 2nd wife was in bondage to the LAW. That is very important. And the third “God to creation covenant” that we call the “New Covenant” was the covenant between NOT Jehovah but the risen firstborn from the dead the LORD Jesus Christ to the church. Remember that Jesus is in covenant with the New Jerusalem which is His Church.
Let’s study this Jerusalem that is above a little more to confirm what has been said. Read this verse in Hebrews carefully and we can see another reference to this identical spiritual woman in Hebrews that was given to be a type of Sarah in the Genesis allegory of Galatians 4:
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
We can clearly see that this city Jerusalem is said to be the city of the living God whois a Spirit (John 4:24). I believe that this is the current location of heaven where God has His spiritual throne. This city as it says in this verse is comprised of an innumerable company of angels. These were the only spiritual beings in the city prior to Jesus’ resurrection.
I want to also say that I believe this verse could have been translated more accurately. The Greek word G4334 that was translated as “come unto” could have been translated “came from”. It is translated as “came” more than any other word in the N.T. This translation would be more in line with what we read in Galatians 4 as her being our mother. When a child is born to a woman, it should be obvious that the child came from her body, even though the child was not her body. The same can be said about us being born from this spiritual city above. We would have “come from” the Heavenly Jerusalem being spiritually reborn from there.
Notice the reference to Mount Zion in this verse. Then back up in the context of this verse to read in verse 18 concerning another mountain not named. This mountain is implied to be Mt Sinai that we read about in Galatians 4:24. In Hebrews 12:18 God says Mt Sinai can be touched physically but it is implied that the Mt Zion in Hebrews 12:22 is not touchable using our current physical body or senses. I think this is all amazing information to learn. What we see are patterns being given to us of a spiritual mountain to a spiritual city, being contrasted with a natural mountain to a natural city. This spiritual location we are told is a place with a lot of angels in it. It is beginning to make sense to us I hope and pray.
Think about where the angels were in Job 38 when they sang for joy witnessing what I believe was the re-creation of our physical world. If the earth was un-inhabitable as Genesis 1:2 states, then all of the beings that were there on earth previously have now been taken up into heaven and are now singing for joy to see their previous earth being restored. Like I said before I believe that this is the first wife that God did not really want. I believe that it is this heavenly city that full of angels that is called the spiritual mother of Jesus and the church. She had to be barren like Sarah was with no children for literally thousands of years. Wow, this is so very deep.
From the information that is presented, we understand that this heavenly woman existed a long time before the earthly Jerusalem ever existed. At Jesus’ physical only begotten birth in Bethlehem, the New Jerusalem could not exist so we know that this woman in Revelation 12 cannot be either of these two Jerusalem’s. Here again are the cities that we have just furthered identified and confirmed:
- The Earthly Jerusalem (Gal 4:25)
- The Heavenly Jerusalem (Gal 4:26, Heb 12:22)
- The New Jerusalem (Rev 3:12, Rev 21:2)
So, what we have is the clear reference in the Bible to three completely different cities, all named Jerusalem and all three in a covenant relationship with God at some point in time. I know this is complicated and totally new to most of you, but you don’t know everything that you need to yet and I can’t teach you everything that I know all at once. What we need to realize is that there is a spiritual woman called the heavenly Jerusalem that has given birth to a spiritual Son named the Riser LORD JESUS and His sibling and wife a daughter called the New Jerusalem, and both of these women are not related to the earthly Jerusalem covenant.
The next thing that we should realize is that, if one spiritual woman (the Heavenly Jerusalem) can have children, then another spiritual woman (New Jerusalem) can also have children. This is in fact a very significant statement to consider. If the woman in Revelation 12 gives birth to a spiritual child, she has to be a spiritual woman. The natural nation of Israel (Earthly Jerusalem) is a natural woman and not a spiritual woman and cannot give birth spiritually. However, I believe that the natural nation of Israel represents a natural pattern for the church a spiritual woman in a New Covenant with the risen Jesus Christ. I know I need to discuss my third suspect possibility for the child next. This child in Revelation 12 could still be the Spirit of God, but why would it be necessary for the Holy Spirit of God to be born from a new spiritual mother? That is a very interesting question to consider.
IS THE CHILD THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST BEING BIRTHED?
Here we go again with a potentially brand new and never heard of revelation from the LORD for many Christians. I have recently updated this Bible lesson to include this section because it was not addressed previously. This information will probably be some of the most important information in the entire series. I do request that you please pray to allow the Holy Spirit to open your spiritual eyes to see the truth and receive it. But receive it only if the Holy Spirit on the inside of you confirms it to be the truth. Let’s go back to Revelation 12:2 and learn more of what we have missed:
Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth (G5605), and pained to be delivered.
We talked about this verse earlier in the lesson. But it is now time to go into it in greater detail. I would like to say that this verse describes natural childbirth very well. I was present when my son was born. What my wife went though was certainly not a pleasant experience. Anyone that has experienced giving birth, should know it is a painful process without receiving any drugs to block the pain. This process was a resulting part of the curse placed upon the woman in Genesis 3:16 for sin entering into the world. This curse caused every woman to experience great pain during childbirth. I believe this physical birthing pain is symbolically representative of the spiritual birthing process, as we will very soon observe.
The Greek word G5605 translated as “travailing in birth” literally means to experience the pains of giving birth. It is only found in two chapters in the entire New Testament and that makes it very special to our study. I believe that God specifically chose to limit the scope usage of this Greek word in the text, to provide us clues to the identity of the mother and the child. Does that make sense? If God used the word 1000 times and it described 100 different women, then that does not help us very much solve our mystery. But a narrowed usage is a gift that just keeps giving by God’s design. Where is the only other time this Greek word is used in the N.T.? If we search, we will find it is only used in Galatians chapter 4. Wow, we have been in this chapter before, haven’t we? Do you believe that this is a coincidence? I definitely do not believe in God rolling dice. Everything in the Bible is there by design for a purpose to teach us. Let’s read the first occurrence:
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth (G5605) again until Christ be formed in you,
This is truly amazing information to consider in the light of our discussion of the pregnant woman in chapter 12 of Revelation. Here we have a spiritual woman being inferred, a spiritual pregnancy, a spiritual birth experience as well as a spiritual child being brought forth. I mean WOW! Can this be true? Who wrote this book? We should know that it was the Holy Spirit using the Apostle Paul. Now, who was he writing it to? We should know it was the people in the Galatians church. Now, who is having the similar birth pain experience described again in Revelation 12? It is clearly the Apostle Paul. Who is the Apostle Paul? He is clearly one of the foundational leaders in the Christian Church. He can also be referred to as being a member in the larger Body of Christ also called the Bride of Christ. Ok, it appears that we are being led somewhere by the Holy Spirit.
Who is identified to be the child that the Man of God, is birthing inside of the people in Galatia? We are given a very specific named child called “Christ”. Who is Christ? Christ is the Greek word for Messiah in the Old Testament. Who is the Messiah? We should all know this is Jesus (Matthew 1:16). It appears that God is teaching us something that is very profound.
God is teaching us that Christ is being birthed inside of every believer. But this Christ is NOT the physical Jesus. Is it? No, that does not fit or make sense. Therefore, this reference to “Christ” must be His “Holy Spirit”. WOW! Let us confirm this with a verse:
Romans 8:9 – But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
The Christ that is the child in Galatians is referred to as the Holy Spirit according to Paul in Roman 8:9. In this verse the Holy Spirit is called by 2 direct names. The first name being the “Spirit of God” and second name being the “Spirit of Christ”. We are also taught that both are the same Spirit that must be living on the inside of us. Wow, is this the Omnipotent Spirit of God? Can the Holy Spirit of CHrist be birthed inside someone through another human in the church travailing with great birth pains? According to Galatians 4:9 anyone in the Church can and do this.
I personally believe that this birthing pain and travailing is the Church’s work of prayer and intercession for someone that is lost or not able to receive the truth on their own ability to receive the truth. I believe this based upon Romans 8:26 where Paul says when we do not know how to pray as we should, the Spirit helps our weakness by interceding through us with our inarticulate groanings. Any woman that has given birth naturally has experienced at minimum groanings. I believe the spiritual birthing process for some individuals can be very similar. But that is another subject for another lesson. Let’s move to another key part of the child study by returning to a previous verse:
Rev 12:5 – 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.
We have already discussed ruling with a rod of iron and that quick study led us to join the church to be the body of Jesus Christ that could potentially rule the nations with Him. This is my belief based upon what we have read. Since the Spirit of Christ appears to be birthed inside of every Christian. Therefore, if He rules with a rod of iron then He on the inside of us rules and we rule with Him. Remember the Spirit of Christ we learned that He was called the “Firstborn” from the dead and this makes Him the Head with preeminence over us all.
The LORD willing we will talk more about this child in a future lesson. But notice from the list of our three possible male children, there is only one that could fit with what we have learned in the Word of God.
We will stop this lesson here for now. I have given you a lot of new spiritual meaty spiritual concepts to chew on and consider. We have learned a significant amount of new information to consider. We should remember what Jesus said in John 3, “that which is born of spirit is spirit, and that which is born of flesh is flesh”. These were two radically different types of births. Being born upon the earth in the flesh is the first birth and being born from above in the spirit is the second.
Based upon this divine law, we know that only one mother and child example can match what we are seeing in Revelation 12. How do we know this? The pregnant woman in Revelation 12:1, suddenly appears in heaven, and therefore her child must also be a “Spirit”, to make Jesus’ words truthful. Mary never appeared in heaven pregnant. Nor has the natural nation of Israel ever appear in heaven to give birth to Christ. Please give this significant thought before you reject it, or try to explain it away.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and study the Bible with us. We are very humble that we can be a blessing to so many people in the world. We love you all very much. Please study to show yourself approved a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Be a Berean type of Acts 17;11 Christian that is a more noble Christ follower. This church received new things with an open mind and then studied their Bibles daily to see if what was taught was what the Word of God actually said. This study effort will probably take reading this series many times and picking it apart into smaller chunks. This lesson series is certainly not an exhaustive complete word for word study. I am still learning new things everyday so these lessons may be changed to add this new information in the future. Please come back and study this again to check for updates. The version numbers at the top of each lesson show if they are updated. God Bless you richly until the next lesson.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, please continue to “Part 6“.
Posted on December 8, 2009, in Bible Study, Chapter 12, Revelation and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Symbolism, understanding, woman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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