Revelation Chapter 12, Part 4

Verse 1Now a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and with the
moon under her feet and on her head a garland of twelve stars
.”

Having now we believe established the fact that the scriptures clearly imply both LITERAL heavens as
well as
SYMBOLIC heavens, we will now proceed in our study of Rev 12:1 to determine which of these
heavens” is being referred to in our text. We believe that the answer will be made quite clear upon a
further explanation of the “
woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon
her head a crown of twelve stars
” that seen found in these “heavens”.

In the Bible a woman can represent either the true Church, if she’s a virgin, (See Matt 25), or the
false
[apostate] church, if she’s a harlot (Rev 17:1, 18)

“Now notice in
Rev 17:18 that the “woman” being referred to there by the angel of the Lord, was
likewise referred to as a “
Great City”, i.e. “Babylon the Great” the great counterfeit or apostate church
(See Chapter 18 which speaks of “
her” fall and final demise). Then turn to Rev 21:9, 10 and notice this
same angle speaks of
the TRUE Church, the “bride, the Lambs wife” also as a “Great City”, i.e. “The
Holy Jerusalem
”.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matt 5:14)

A woman as used in the scriptures can also represent a covenant.

As a covenant she pictures the “
Sarah Covenant” (“The New Jerusalem Covenant” of Gal 4:26, the
Covenant of sacrifice” of Psa 50:5). Some call her the “Grace Covenant”. She is the Covenant
under which the Church is developed. (Rom 6:14)

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond-WOMAN, the other by a free-
WOMAN
. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by
promise.
Which things are symbolic (an allegory, a type): FOR THESE ARE THE TWO COVENANTS;
the one from the Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount
Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children (i.e.
Israel after the flesh, the natural seed).
But Jerusalem (the city) which is above is free, which is the
mother of us all
(“The Church is developed under the same Covenant-Mother as was Christ. His was a
Covenant of sacrifice”,
See Q 362:3).” Gal 4:22-26

Regardless of whether she be considered as representing the true Church or the Covenant of
Grace,
(for in truth they are one in the same); she is clothed with the sun (the Gospel) but has her
standing upon the moon
(the Law and prophets) as a foundation. Her head (the part which thinks) is
crowned by the 12 light-bearers
(the 12 Apostles, her divinely appointed and inspired teachers). As
the moon symbolized "the Law," so the sun symbolizes the Gospel light
. The former was but a
shadow or reflection of the latter. The Law, which supports her, is nevertheless not the source of her
light. She is not under (
developed by) the Law (the moon), but under Grace (sunlight, the Gospel light);
yet she is supported by the teachings of the Law and rested on the foundation of the apostles and
prophets. (
N.A.N.O.R. Page 156)

The moon is pictured as being under the feet of the woman because she is (a) above the Law,
and yet
(b) in harmony with its principles... “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled
in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit
” (Rom 8:4). Just as the sun is superior to
the moon in the natural heavens, and is the greater of the two lights (
Gen. 1:16), so the illumination of
the Gospel is superior to that of the Law.” (
T.K.O.R. Page 294)

Now before we present our final interpretation of the first verse of Chapter 12 we should like first to go
back and review some of the facts we have learned thus far, filling in some of the blanks if you will which
we may have overlooked.

Now as you recall we broke down the “
heavens” into two distinct groups, the literal heavens and the
symbolic heavens, and then further went on to show how each of these two groups were subsequently
divided into three parts. Now however we would like to consider another view of the “
heavens” take from
another perspective one which we believe might shed further light upon our subject, this view is
expressed by our dear
Brother Bob in his book ("The Revelation Decoded and Explained", Page 160)

It is Brother Bob’s thought that the “heavens” are divided into three parts which he designates
as follows:
1) The far off “heaven of heavens” the abode of God all Mighty and the heavenly host, 2)
the unseen, invisible heaven; in the atmosphere of this earth, the abode of Satan and his cohorts the
fallen angels, and
3) that which we find most enlightening the heaven in the society of our world. This
third heaven consists of the “
powers that be”; the political, the financial, and the ecclesiastical
organizations, which are the controlling elements in our society, although in the verse under discussion
we are learning of primarily the ecclesiastical arrangement during its inception into the heavenly society.

I personally find this most enlightening as this takes in the full spectrum of the woman, the “
Great
City
”, the great counterfeit or apostate churchBabylon the Great” with consideration for her three
parts
(Rev 16:19) the political, the financial, and the ecclesiastical parts the controlling elements
of our society
.

Keeping this in mind will aid in our interpretation of the text.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman ...”

It is important here there we clearly grasp what is being stated here, “
a great sign appeared in
heaven;
a woman”, the woman IS the sign; her appearance in the heavens at this particular time
gives sign
evidence or proof to something. Just as in Matt 24:29 a sign appeared in heaven which
gave
evidence or proof to something, in that particular instance the sign was the thing which testified
or verified to us
the presence of the Son of Man (his Parousia). What was this thing this proof? There
were many proofs, but what was the one central proof or evidence which testified to us that the Lord was
present, the sign?

And then he shall send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, [even] Jesus: whom the
heaven must receive
until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spoke by the
mouth of His holy prophets that have been from of old
.” (Acts 3:20, 21)

The dispensational change, from the Gospel Age to the Millennial Age this was the sign, the sign
which likewise marked the end of the 6,000 year reign of evil and beginning of the thousand
year reign of Christ. The date marked by the Jubilee cycles as the beginning of the Times of
Restitution
.

Some brethren likewise consider the appearance of the man with the “writer’s inkhorn” (the “Seventh
Messenger
”) at this time, who was likewise told to “Go in among the wheels” to be associated with
this “
sign” (Ezek 9:2; 10:2) as an additional evidence of the Lord's Parousia.

And so too in regards to our texts, with a slight adjustment we see it thusly viz.  
 

Now a great sign; a woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and on her
head a garland of twelve stars appeared
in heaven (in the controlling elements of society, the
ecclesiastical element or realm), the appearance of this sign the “
woman”, the true Church, marked the
end of the Jewish Age and the beginning of the Gospel Age, a change of dispensation.)

“Thus John, in vision, saw the Ephesian (stage of the) Church as a woman in “heaven” or earth’s
atmosphere in strikingly beautiful array.
Initially seen in such favorable light, the scene swiftly
changes into one of perplexing anxiety
.” (T.K.O.R. Page 294)

We will take a look at
Verse 2 in our next post.


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