Revelation Chapter 12
Having 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”.
Note: If you have not yet examined our study on the key word, “heaven”, please do it can be found under our blog post, “How to study the book of Revelation”. The word “heaven” as used in the scriptures carries various meanings both literal and symbolic and unless you are aware of these various meanings it is easy to get confused.
We now continue with,
Verse 1 “Now 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.”
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”. 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.
“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.”
Now before we present our final interpretation of the First Verse of Chapter 12 we should like (in our next post) 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.
Continued with next post.
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