Revelation Chapter 12
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 another fine brother in his book ("The Revelation Decoded and Explained", Page 160)
The thought expressed is 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 concerned primarily with 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 church “Babylon 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 that we clearly grasp what is being stated, “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 dispensational change.)
“Thus John, in vision, witnessed the first stage of the Church, the Ephesian (stage: meaning “First” or “desirable”) as a woman in “heaven”, the ecclesiastical heavens in strikingly beautiful array.
Initially seen in such favorable light, the scene swiftly changes into one of perplexing anxiety.”
We will take a look at Verse 2 in our next post.
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