The Sun-Clothed Woman
The Sun-Clothed Woman (12:1,2)
A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
Who is this woman?
Who the woman is not.
She is not Mary —
Mary was of a very lowly and poverty stricken condition. Can we really interpret properly the lowly state of that little peasant woman that brought Jesus into the world, with this prophecy, fulfilling this position of a woman clothed with the sun and moon under her feet and crowned with twelve stars?
It was a woman that brought a man-child into this world, but was that man-child caught up to God as a child? Was Jesus just a child when He went to Heaven? “And her child was caught up unto God and to His throne.” This does not speak of a man 33 years old, fully matured, fully grown and fully developed. If John wanted us to understand that this was Jesus, I’m sure he would have said that the Lord Jesus was caught up to the throne. Also, Mary had passed away a long time before this vision.
Now, let us look back into the first chapter of Revelation. I think there are some keys for interpretation there. Rev. 1 :3 says “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy.” “This prophecy” has to do with prophetic utterance, foretelling something that is to come to pass. This book was written sixty years or more after the ascension of Christ. Remember, he is speaking of prophecy, something that is yet to take place. Also, in Rev. 1: 1 “Things which must shortly come to pass.” That is these things have not come to pass. This is not a record of history, but this is something that is to come to pass. Again, in Rev. 4: 1 ” And I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” When Christ was caught up to God, this Revelation was not yet written and it was said at the time of writing these were future. Also, is Jesus the only one that will rule the nations with a rod of iron? Rev.2:24-27.
She is not Israel —
There is another school of thought, and probably this is the more prominent teaching today. This is the belief that this is literal Israel. Israel was an earthly heritage. An earthly people- An earthly kingdom - Earthly possessions. The only time anything is mentioned to Israel with the heavens is Abraham’s seed being as the starts of the sky, and then, only of those that are believers. Rom. 9:6-8.
Israel as a nation is pictured in the Scriptures, especially in the book of Hosea, as an unfaithful wife and as a harlot on the streets. As you look at Israel today you can see that this is her condition rather that in the place of honor. Also, Israel was clothed with the law which speaks of judgment, darkness, and death. This woman is clothed with the “sun“.
Some say this must be Israel because of what Isaiah said - Isa. 66:6, Look closely at the two texts. They are the opposite of each other.
She is not the world church —
A look at the condition of the church universally will reveal that she is not arrayed in this fashion - but, is worldly, ungodly, and devilish. How can an unholy thing produce a holy thing that is to be caught up to God and to His throne?
Who the woman is
The key to help interpret is in Rev. 1:4 “John to the Seven Churches.” Are we left to interpret whom John is speaking to? “The Seven Churches” The whole church age. John, when referring to something else, indicates this -when there is an absence of explanation -doesn’t it only make sense that he is speaking then to the Churches?
A woman in scripture - Rev. 17 - False here. Rev. 12 - True Church. The woman is the Church. It is a revelation of Christ and the Church. Remember -” A great wonder in heaven.” This is the Church - the Body of Christ. Eph. 1 :22,23
We see not a fulfillment but a beautiful type and foreshadowing of the birthing of the Man-child in the account of Mary and the birth of Christ in Luke The Church will prepared for her work by the Word of God.
The Angel Brought a Word Luke 1:28; Eph. 1:6
The Word brought was that she was “highly favored” of the Lord. This means she was “endued with grace“. God was with her and she was accepted by Him. What made her “favored” or “accepted” by God? (1) She was dedicated to the Lord [Jewish custom to dedicate their children to God by taking them to the temple when they are young.] (2) She was separated [vs. 27 She was a virgin] (3) She was a Believer though limited in her belief [vs. 29 “troubled” diatarasso — beyond her ability to believe.]
Her question in verse 34 “How shall this be” was answered before she knew it- she was brought a Word and this Word must be germinated by the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost Has to Germinate the Word
Luke 1:35 …The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: …
“The Power” is that “dunamis” which is the supreme, infinite power of God. This was the same power with which God created the worlds. This work of perfecting the Believer is an IMPOSSIBLE one with us, but not with God!
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Mary Had to Fully Surrender to the Word
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
“Word” in verse 38 is the Greek word “rhema“. “Rhema” is the revealed Word of God. Mary fully surrendered to the: (1) Written Word—Whatever WAS said, (2) Spoken Word—the preached Word and the (3) Living Word—Follow the Lamb!
I Peter 1:4-5 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.