Study Notes on Revelation chapter 12: The "Man child".
This booklet may well change the whole concept of theology presently existing on the subject: ‘The Man-child of Chapter 12 Book of Revelation’.
Let us therefore, examine and find out whether ‘The Church Caught up’ and ‘The Man-child’ are one and the same or not.
While there are five major and twelve minor prophets who wrote a total of 17 books of prophesy in the Old Testament, the New Testament produced only one namely ‘The Book of Revelation’. In both cases, prophetical events are not written in any chronological order. The prophets often view a long distant future as very close and a close event at a distance, just as we see a distant mountain top so close to us; but, in reality, as we drive on to reach that mountain top, it takes miles!
Based on this principle, and by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, if any one strive to read and interpret the Book of Revelation, there shall be no cause for falling away from the truth.(1 Cor.2:13,14) “We speak not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth; but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual”.
Time and time again, reputable T.V. Evangelists and other teachers and pastors of great many churches bombard the hearts and minds of innocent believers in Christ and make them believe that the only reference to the rapture is found in verse 1(b), Rev. chapter 4, which reads: “Come up hither and I will show thee things which must be hereafter”. I read this verse over and over again but I could not see any mention of the church or any catching away at all. John was an individual not the church. In spirit John began to see and hear what was happening ‘hereafter’.
The victorious church’s ultimate destiny is the very throne of God. (Ref. Rev.3:21) In chapter four, in fact, we do not see any reference of rapture at all.
Before I touch on the subject of Man-child in chapter 12, I earnestly call upon you to read and study the Book of Revelation under the following order:-
Chapters 4-11: Read these chapters under the Jewish perspective.
Chapters 12-22 Read these chapters under the church perspective.
The first part is a continuation of Daniel’s prophesy which reads: “I ,O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end: (Dan.12:8,9) The book that was sealed before Daniel is now opened beginning with Rev. Chapter 6. This period covers 7 years which are the 70th week so mentioned in Daniel Chapter 9 verse 24-27. When we come to Rev. Chapter 11 verse 15 we find that “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever. By this declaration, the seven seals completely are opened and the seven angels’ activities are ended. This agrees with Chapter 10 verse seven which reads: ‘But in the days of the voice of the 7th angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as he hath declared to his servants the prophets”.
Let us now read what is written in the church perspective. Rev.16:17 reads: “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, ‘It is done’.
You may wonder how there comes two endings? No, there is only one ending. What we see here is two announcements of the same thing, one to Israel and the other to the church. Again, look at the 7 trumpets in Rev. 8:7 to 11:15. and the 7 vials in Rev.16:2 to verses 18, 19, 20 and 21! Alas! we were made to believe that there are two sets of 7 angels who bring down a total of 14 judgments! But, truly speaking, the Revelation writer is telling us there are only 7 plagues or judgments in total coming under the 7th seal opening, besides of course, the six judgments falling during the course of the openings of the previous six seals.
If you compare the catastrophic events as described in Revelation chapter 16,activated by the seven angels, with Rev. chapter 8: 7 to Chapt.11:15, you will find in both cases, the chronological judgments are one and the same. The judgments are: 1) Earth , 2) Sea, 3) River, 4) Sun, Moon and the stars .. and so on…
Let me repeat: We who are in this dispensation of grace, can now read and understand that both messages (one from the Jewish angle and the other from the church angle) of judgments are one and the same and there is no repeat performance. The seven trumpets and seven vials are not relating to 14 events but seven. These seven events take place during the second half of the great tribulation. That part of tribulation is called Jacob’s sorrow. This covers the opening of the seventh seal followed by the actions of seven angels. Biblical reference for this period (2nd half of tribulation) is as follows:
For Israel perspective-Read Rev.8:7- 11:15
For church perspective- Read Rev. Chapter 16.
The first half of tribulation is meant for the people who missed the rapture. During this period there are two group of people who live in safety:
The whore- the One World Church under the False Prophet (Rev. Chapt.17;
13:11-18) That is the woman who sits upon the beast.
Israel (Jews) who enter into a seven year covenant with the beast: but the beast after having served his purpose, destroys the whore (Rev. Chapter 18). In the middle of the seven year peace agreement he breaks it and enters into Jerusalem and the Jacob’s troubles (Jer.30:6,7) begin.
We were made to believe that there are 14 pestilences during the second half of the great tribulation. No, there are only 7 plagues or pestilences in total. You compare both, with one to another. In both cases the chronological judgments are the same. 1) Earth, 2) Sea, 3)Rivers/Fountains of waters, 4)Sun, Moon & Stars, 5)Darkness, 6) Judgment to river Euphrates, 7) Finished/done. How can a condemned prisoner once hanged, receive a second execution?
We who are in this dispensation of grace, can now read and understand that both messages (one in the Jewish angle and the other in the church angle) of judgments are one and the same and there is no repetition. The seven trumpets and the seven vials are the same operations which events take place during the second half of the great tribulation. That part of tribulation is called Jacob’s sorrows. The first half of tribulation is meant for the people who missed the rapture. If they die as martyrs without taking the mark of the Anti-Christ, they will be resurrected between the opening of the 6th and the 7th seals(Rev.7:9&14). The one third backsliders who were cast down to the earth by the great dragon’s tail (refer this matter elsewhere in this write up) may also be included among those martyrs if they do not take the mark of the Anti-Christ.
Are we preparing to loose our throne-room position to the un-regenerated Israel? Are we preparing people of God for the rapture or for tribulation? If you insist that the Man-child is Israel’s 144,000 (Chapt.7) you are pitiably mistaken. I am freely available to explain matters at any place and time suitable to you.
During the first half of tribulation, Israel will have no trouble with the Anti-Christ because of their entering into certain covenant between the two. Israel only accept our Messiah as Lord only at the close of 7 year Tribulation- only after the resurrection of the two witnesses. Then only will they confess “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”. Jesus spoke to the Jews that they shall never see him again until they say: ‘blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord’. (Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 13:35). In the light of the foregoing long introduction, let us now study and examine my following article on the Man-child.
Text: “As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children”. Isaiah 66: 8b
Zion speaks of heavenly perspective. It refers first-fruit. In Exodus 4:22 we read “Israel is my son, even my firstborn. “ I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my firstborn.(Jer.31:9b)
It is important that the firstborn is given the pre-eminent position in a household. But God has always chosen the second. Consider the case of Cain and Abel. Abel’s sacrifice was accepted and recognized by God. Abraham, initially, had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac was chosen to receive the covenant. Look at his children, Esau and Jacob! The younger one was chosen to receive the blessings of Abraham and we read the elder serves the younger. Take the case of Ephraim and Manasseh . The latter was the eldest; but Ephraim was considered as the first-born (Jer.31:9).
God of Abraham said : ‘Israel was my son, even my firstborn’ Exodus 4:22. But Israel rejected the Holy One of Israel. He came unto his own, and his own received him not ( John 1:11). Therefore God has chosen the gentile, to be his people or bride. He brought the Gentiles and Jews (Israel) into one body. Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
In Isaiah chapter 66 verse 7 we read about a woman who gave birth even before travailing. “Before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child”. The mention of the birth of a man-child may bring the readers to immediate conclusion that the woman is Israel. It is true indeed .But the question here is whether this Man-child is caught up to the throne of God? Not at all! This speaks of a nation’s birth. Verse seven reads that the man-child is brought forth before her pain came. Before she travailed she brought forth. Prophet Isaiah was wondering (verse 8) who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? In one day a new nation appeared on the face of the earth. On 14th May 1948 Israel was resurrected to be a nation. The United Nation accepted them to be a nation. The Holy Spirit did not stop it there. The prophet knowing that it was not meant for the Old Testament saints, began to utter about another Woman. That Woman travailed and brought forth her children. While the first Woman was spoken as a single nation, Zion on the other hand brought forth her children as soon as she travailed. She is Jerusalem of the above. She is free which is the mother of us all. There is another witness to prove the authenticity of the travailing woman in Zion. “for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. (10) Be in pain and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail. (birth pangs Micah 4:9b and 10a). But the son of the bond woman shall not be heirs with the son of the free woman. He is in fact the victorious church mentioned in Rev. 2:26-27; and 12:5 to whom was given power over the nations. He shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers even as I received of my Father (Psalm 2:8-9)
Remnant of the Seed of the Woman.
In Rev.12 verse 5 we see the Man Child was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne. The woman, who brought forth the man child, was left in the spiritual wilderness, for three and a half years although she kept the commandments of God and had the testimony of Jesus Christ.(Rev.12:6,14). Having the Man-child left, the woman is now described as the remnant of her seed (Rev.12:13,17)
The sun clad woman is the present day church, which has the testimony of Jesus Christ. Israel, on the other hand, recognizes Jesus our Saviour only at the close of the seven year tribulation.
Prophet Daniel saw many of the righteous shine as the brightness of the firmament. “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3) Apostle Paul speaks that we are seated together with Christ in heavenly places. They are wise virgins with extra oil in their vessel. They are the ones that turned many to righteousness. They are Zion with travail bringing forth her children. They are the one persecuted by “he that was born after the flesh. They are the desolate which hath many more children than she which hath an husband”. (Gal.4:27b). They have earned the name as stars of heaven (Dan.12:3).
It is remarkable to notice here that the great red dragon is ready to devour the Man-child when the woman is expected to deliver and at the same time, he draws one third of such stars that shone in the heavenly places and cast them down to earth with his tail. Imagine how great a tragedy that befalls to the church in that one third of the saints are become backsliders and as a result they have to miss the rapture. Alas, they have to enter into the great tribulation period along with the remnant of the seed of the woman which keep the commandment of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Suddenly the Man-child was brought forth and was caught up to God and to his throne. (Rev.12:5)
I have come across certain teachings that say that the Man-child is Jesus Christ and the woman which brought forth the Man-child is Virgin Mary. How can it be? John was asked to record what things are in the future. Jesus’ ascension to the Father in Heaven was just after 40 days of the resurrection day. It is an event of the past. Virgin Mary was not persecuted by the red dragon. (Rev.12:13) The earth did not save her from the flood that came out of the mouth of the dragon. (Rev.12:16)
Some others teach that the woman is Israel and the man-child is 144,000 Israelis. Israel as a nation will accept Jesus as their Saviour only after the resurrection of the two witnesses and when the total seven years tribulation is over. That 144,000 mentioned in Revelation chapter seven are sealed by angels (Ezekiel 9:4, and Rev. 7:3-8) to survive the great tribulation. This sealing occurs between the openings of the sixth and seventh seals. They will be the first subject in the millennial reign of Christ. Following execution and the resurrection of the two witnesses (Rev.11:7 and 12) and in the midst of the preparation of the great battle of God Almighty (Rev.16:14) when the second woe is past and the seventh angel sounds the trumpet, “Then there were great voices in heaven, saying, The Kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever”.(Rev.11:15) If we look at this situation in the church angle we will find: “There came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done”.(Rev.16:17) There shall be a mighty earth-quake and further catastrophic calamities will take place. Perhaps at the sight of the impending battle of Armageddon and the remembrance of the two witnesses’ testimony, the surviving people of Israel would turn their yes upon Jesus. In Rev.1:7 we red: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. (Read also Zach.12:10-14) No doubt this could be the time when Israel would say: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.(Mat.23:39; Luke 13:35)
It may not be necessary that 144,000 is a fixed number. Perhaps they are the family heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. They will be in flesh and blood but the church, the bride of Christ will be in the resurrected bodies. How can an un-regenerated Jew be caught up to the throne of God. Even before they accept our Messiah they are sealed, because of the election, it is written, they are dear!
There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. Michael and his angels prevailed and Satan has no more place in heaven. The prince of the air has no more entrance to heavenly places to deceive or to accuse the saints of God.
The earth will be full of Satan and his angels. People on the earth will be mad and kill one another. They will be worse than the legion possessed at the country of the Gadarenes. (Mark 5:2-17)
Prophet Daniel saw many shine as the brightness of the firmament and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever (Dan.12:3) Apostle Paul, on the other hand, through his spiritual eye, sees that we are seated together with Jesus Christ in heavenly places. John the revelation writer saw that one third of those stars of heaven are being drawn with the dragon’s tail to the earth. This shows that almost one third of the followers of Christ are going to miss the rapture. Considering the ‘dead in Christ’ and the episode of the ten virgins there might be a possibility of only 50% of the total full gospel people would be included in the rapture. You may wonder how I set up the percentage. Look at the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew chapter 25:1-13. All the ten were virgins. All were looking forward to meet the bridegroom. All took their lamps. But five were wise and 5 were foolish. The foolish took no oil in their lamps. When the time arrived the foolish were shut out of the door and the wise five only could enter into wedding. Also we read in both Matthew 24:40,41 and Luke 17:34-36 three instances where 50% of each group of people are taken away. From this we conclude that all nominal Christians are not caught up at the coming of the Lord.
If one has missed the rapture, the only other alternative is to die as a great tribulation martyr or wait for the general resurrection after the millennium. Many of the original one third, if they do not take the mark of the beast, they shall die as martyrs during the first half of the great tribulation. These martyrs will be resurrected between the opening of the sixth and the 7th seals.
No Entry to Satan
With the rapture (i.e after the Man-child is caught up to God and to his throne and following Michael and other angels’ prevailing warfare), Satan and his angels were cast out into the earth.(Rev.12:9) Satan could no more accuse the saints of God.
Now, his fury could only be leveled at the woman which brought forth the Man-child for he knew that he has only a short period for his own judgment. The grace period ends with the rapture. The people who remain on earth shall be dealt with as in the days of the dispensation of Conscience when God dealt with people on an individual basis. The remnants cannot have a fellowship or true corporate worship, unless they join the One World Church led by the False prophet. (Rev.13:11-18)
The dragon wars against the remnant of the seed of the woman. This is accomplished through satanic trinity, namely the False Prophet, The Beast and the Dragon.
Before I close this article on the Man-child, I feel it is important to write something on the travailing woman which brought forth the Man-child.
The Sun-clad Travailing Woman
In Revelation Chapter 12 we see a Sun-clad woman. Where do we find this woman? John saw this woman not on the earth. What we read is: “…there appeared a great wonder in heaven”. She is standing on the moon. Moon speaks of grace. (Rom 5:2) It reads: “By the Lord Jesus Christ… we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand” . She has on her head a victor’s crown of 12 stars. The number 12 speaks of the church and apostles. Stars speak of the wise virgins who turn many to righteousness and shine as the brightness of the firmament. (Daniel 12:3)
In apostle Paul’s language: “God has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Eph.2:5&6).
How can this woman be considered as Israel? Some sources teach by picking up a word for example the word ‘star’ and apply it at a wrong place and misinterpret and wrest the word of God to their own advantage. Thus, innocent believers in Christ are led to believe a lie. In order to establish that the woman John saw in the heavenly place, is Israel, they bring Joseph’s dream that the Sun and Moon and Stars paid obeisance to Joseph. They maintain that Jacob who was named Israel speaks of the Sun, Moon speaks of Joseph’s mother and his brethren speaks of stars.
If we look into this interpretation, you will find how absurd and irrelevant it is. It is true that Jacob received a new name Israel but none other similarities fit into any other elements for comparison or proof that the sun-clad woman is Israel. Jacob was an individual and not a nation or a church. There is no reference in the Bible to prove that Jacob paid obeisance to Joseph. His brethren did it, but not Jacob or Joseph’s mother. His mother died years ago. Jacob definitely did not bow down before Joseph but he might have hugged his long lost son. (Gen.46:29)
Speaking on the stars, Joseph’s dream involved eleven stars. But our sun-clad woman has a victor’s crown of twelve stars. Here again, the erroneous interpretation should be discarded. The true meaning of Joseph’s dream need not be analyzed thus. What we should understand from Joseph’s dream is that the Lord would raise Joseph to be a reigning monarch worthy to be honoured by all.
So our sun-clad woman has another qualification beside that she was covered by the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2) and standing in the grace. She was groaning with labour pain. Apostle Paul writes to Romans, that the people who have received the first fruits of the Spirit groan. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Every one should receive the Holy Spirit. This body which we have, is a sort of the purchased possession and it should be sealed with Holy Spirit of promise until the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13-14). Only Holy Spirit baptized will be included in the rapture.
In these circumstances we know that the sun-clad woman is the present day church. But even though she has the testimony of Christ and has kept the commandment of God, only those that are with oil in their vessel could enter into the bride chamber. That is the Victorious church. That is the Man-child who is destined to the very throne of God.
We know what the destiny of the Satanic trinity. Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon to judge the quick and the dead (2 Tim.4:1; 1 Pet.4:5; Acts.10:42). We who are the bride caught up, shall, together with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, judge all the small and great, saved and the unsaved at the white throne judgment (Rev.3:21; 1 Cor.6:2,3; Rev.20:4). Many believe that in the last day resurrection only the wicked or unsaved will be resurrected and stand before the white throne judgment. This is a subject for another study. There shall indeed be a separation before the throne between chaff and the wheat or sheep and the goats or the righteous and unrighteous (Mat.3:12; Luke 3:17; Mat.25:32; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; Rev.20:12).
Both Daniel and Jesus Christ could not lie. Jesus said: “Marvel not at this” for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, 29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28,29) See what Daniel says on this: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)
Are we ready for the rapture? The time is at hand. Do not wait for the last day resurrection when some would rise up for the resurrection to life and some for the resurrection unto damnation. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection on such the second death hath no power. But, (remember) the rest of the dead lived not again until the 1000 years were finished. (Rev.20-:5&6)
In Psalm 48 we read bout a mountain. It is a mountain of God’s holiness. It is the City of our God. It is “Beautiful for situation”. It is the joy of all earth. It is Mount Zion on the sides of the north. Apostle John sighted the Lamb standing with 144,000, having his name and the Father’s name written on their foreheads.
The characteristics and the qualifications of these 144,000 as listed from Rev.chapt.14 verses 1-5 totally agree with that of the church victorious (Ref. Chapters two and three):
The Lamb’s name and the Father’s names written in their forehead.(Rev.14:1; 3:12b).
Their new song cannot be learned by any others (Rev.14:3
They were redeemed from the earth(Rev.14:3;1Cor.15:52)
They were not defiled with women (Re.14:4; 18:4; 2Cor.6:14-18). They were separated from the world church.
They were virgins (Rev.14:4). In matrimony they are within the precinct of the word of God.
They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth (Rev.14:4). Where the head is, there shall the body too (Eph.2:16).
They were redeemed from among men (Rev.14:4; 1 Thes.4:16-17)
They are the first fruits (Rev.14:4; James 1:18; Rom.8:23). Those who received the first fruits of the Spirit are the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb(1Cor.15:23)
They have no guile (deceit) in their mouth (Rev.14:5). They uphold the word of God. Neither they diminish from or add to the existing word of God.
They are without fault before the throne of God (Rev.14:5; Eph.4:13).
These 144,000 are entirely different from those numbers appearing in Revelation chapter 7. If you read chapter seven from the Jewish angle, you will find they are in flesh and blood- living in Israel. On the other hand, 144,000 in Chapter 14 speak of the multiples of the biblical numerals denoting the church and apostles(12x12xthousand)-not necessarily be a fixed number. They stand with the Lamb on the ‘sides of the North’.
Lucifer attempted to enter into this place in heaven, but God brought him down to the grave (hell)- to the sides of the pit. Read Isaiah chapter 14:13. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the north. V.14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high”.
Apostle John had a glimpse of this great city of God. An angel talked with him saying: “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God (Rev.21:10). The position of the bride is heavenly and not earthly.
Before closing let me quote a notable quotation which I came across recently:
“The Mount Morgan Gold Mine in Queensland, Australia is one of the richest in the world. For many years, though, the original landowners lived in deep poverty on the mountain surface. Even though the vast wealth was out-of-sight, it was beneath their feet all the time. Many Christians live in a similar situation”. Let us therefore, dig deep and discover what a great hope , goal and riches in glory we have in Christ. Now, let us have the following prayer together:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing”.
“Father God, I thank thee for redeeming me from sin and guilt. I ask thee to forgive me all of my sins of omissions and commission. Give me the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel and might and of the fear of the Lord. I thank thee for giving me thy word. I need to be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of my inheritance. I thank thee to know that I am begotten by the word of truth that I may become a kind of first fruits unto thee to stand with the Lamb on the Mount Zion of heaven. Keep me in perfect holiness and in faith until I hear the trumpet of God when the Lord himself shall come with a shout. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Pastor A.M.Mathew, W.R.P.F Canada