Revelation 12 shows the first group of God’s people who will be raptured to the throne when the 6th seal opens.
“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth” (Rev. 12:1-2).
This great sign in heaven appeared on September 23, 2017, indicating that the time is near. What does this mean to you?
Many have the misconception that the woman refers to the virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus. But the subsequent verses show this cannot be (vv. 4-17). For example, Jesus was not raptured to the throne of God immediately after His birth and Mary did not flee to the wilderness. Who then is the woman with her child in chapter 12 of Revelation?
The Corporate Woman
The woman represents the totality of God’s people from the time of Adam until the present who have died. The 12 stars represent the age of the Patriarchs, i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons. The moon represents the age of the Old Covenant. (The things in the Old Covenant, as Paul wrote, are only “a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” – Col. 2:17). The sun represents the age of the New Covenant, from the time of the first coming of Christ to His return. Jesus Christ is the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2), and His countenance shines as the sun (Rev. 1:16). So, the universal woman represents the totality of God’s people from Adam until today who have died.
The Corporate Male-Child
This woman was with child (v. 2). Since this child is in the womb of the woman, it is a part of her, yet only a very small part, the minority. “She bore a male-child…” (Rev. 12:5a). In the Bible, the woman represents the “weaker vessel” (1 Pet. 3:7). The MALE-CHILD signifies the stronger and victorious part of God’s people. Isaiah refers to them as a very small remnant (Is. 1:9). Revelation 12:11 describes them as overcomers with these qualifications: “They overcame him (the accuser of the brethren) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” The last phrase also proves that these overcomers include the martyrs.
The Great Red Dragon (Satan)
Satan, called “the serpent of old” or the ancient serpent (Rev. 12:9), grew into “a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns” (Rev. 12:3). He was not afraid of the weak woman, but was very eager to devour the MALE-CHILD, “who was to rule (with Christ) all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5).
The Male-Child Raptured to the Throne of God
Immediately after the resurrection of all of God’s people, the male-child was “caught up to God and His throne” (v. 5), raptured! These faithful ones of God will rejoice before His throne (v. 12). At the end of the 3½ years they will receive the crown of righteousness at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Tim. 4:8).
The Woman Fled to the Wilderness
Because the dragon was cast down to the earth and could not devour the male child, he persecutes the woman sending a flood towards her, but the earth protected her (vv. 13-16). With God’s help, she fled to the wilderness and was nourished for 1,260 days (v. 6) (a time and times and half a time (v. 14) = the final 3½ years) awaiting the judgment seat of Christ at the end of the 3½ years.
The Scriptural Principle of the Remnant and the Majority
The principle of the unfaithful majority and faithful remnant is seen throughout the Bible. For example, God delivered approximately 2 million Israelites from the slavery of Pharaoh in Egypt; but only 2 of them inherited the promised land (Num. 26:64-65). Soon after, God’s people became disobedient and idolatrous and God gave them up to their enemies. Only a few faithful judges were called by the Lord to deliver His people and judge over them (i.e. Deborah, Gideon, and Samson). Even after 70 years of captivity, only a very small remnant answered God’s call to rebuild the temple and Jerusalem (Ezra 2:64). During Jesus Christ’s ministry, thousands of people were healed, yet on the day of the Pentecost, only 120 faithful disciples remained (Acts 1:15). At the end of the Bible in Revelation 2 and 3, the Lord warned the 7 churches of what He hated, and exhorted His people to overcome. In all these cases, only a very small remnant was willing and obedient to follow Him; the majority of God’s people do not. God will only rapture the male-child to the throne, not the woman.
Today, we need to redeem the time, being willing to follow the Lord with absolute obedience. Once you die, there will be no more time, no more opportunities to prepare for Christ’s 2nd coming. It is certain that if we die before Christ returns, we will either be part of the majority, the woman who flees to the wilderness; or we will be part of the small minority, the Male-Child, to be raptured to the throne. The choice is yours! Let’s overcome together!
Next up: The Rapture as the Firstfruits – click HERE.