The Metaphors of Revelation 12
by northwye @ 2013-10-11 – 12:53:50
In Revelation 12: 14 the woman goes to the wilderness where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the dragon. She is protected from the dragon. The dragon in verse 15, called a serpent, casts out of his mouth a flood to try to cause the woman to be carried away in the flood. The flood is the false doctrines which are spoken by the mouths of the huge number of false prophets (Matthew 24: 11). But in verse 16 the flood of false doctrines is not successful in defeating the woman and her seed – because in verse 17 the remnant still has the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Which theologies would teach that the woman of Revelation 12 is physical Israel? It would be dispensatiomnalism, as well as Messianic Judaism and the Hebrew Roots movement.
The woman is a metaphor. It is not literal, not Mary or Sarah, or any other literal woman. The woman in verse 5 is said to bring forth a man child, which sounds like Christ. Yet this woman of Revelation 12 remains a metaphoric concept, not Mary or some other lady of scripture, and not physical Israel, the lost sheep to which Christ was sent (Matthew 15: 24).
The woman of Revelation 12 cannot be physical Israel because physical Israel as a house, the majority in it, rejected Christ and became anti-Christ. That remnant in Romans 11: 5 of physical Israel which accepted Christ became the beginning of Israel reborn in Christ. The woman cannot be physical Israel because in Revelation 12: 17 her spiritual seed, the remnant, has the testimony of Jesus Christ. How can the seed of physical Israel, which as a house rejected Christ, have his testimony?
It is not necessary to know what every little detail of a heavily metaphoric chapter means – and in fact every little part of the metaphoric whole may not be necessary to understanding of the whole.
The wilderness is not literal. It is metaphoric for being outside of Babylon. Revelation 18: 23 says Christ and his bride are not in Babylon. Christ is not in Babylon after the falling away from sound doctrine of II Thessalonians 2: 3-4.
When Christ was in what the Catholics and dispensationalists call the capital C Church, which is a meeting, assembly or congregation of Israel reborn in Christ, he was the source of its light to the world. It in itself was not the light to the world, but Christ in it was the light. When that light left, then the capital C Church has no light. The candle in Revelation 18: 23 no longer shines “in thee.” The light has left. Another metaphor in Revelation 18: 23 says the voice of the bridegroom and the bride are heard “no more at all in thee.”
Isaiah 10: 17 says “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;” Isaiah 49: 6 says “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” “Thee” is physical Israel. Then Isaiah 42: 6 says ” I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;”
Physical Israel, or most of the people, thought they were the light to the nations, the Gentiles. But these texts in Isaiah imply the light of physical Israel was Christ in them, not physical Israel without Christ. Christ says in John 8: 12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” In Isaiah, Christ in physical Israel making them the light to the world is partly veiled. But in the New Testament Christ clearly states that he is the light. And then he gives his light to those who are transformed in him. In Matthew 5: 14 he says “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
Matthew 23: 37-38 says “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
This is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 9: 27, “…and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” This prophecy is fulfilled also in the New Covenant timeline.
The woman in Revelation 12: 6, 14 going out into the wilderness means she as Israel reborn in Christ has left what is now Babylon – the capital C Church in false doctrines – where the light no longer shines and the voice of Christ and his elect are no longer heard, but the voice of another Jesus is heard and another Gospel is preached. Out in the wilderness, out of Babylon as Revelation 18: 4 commands, the seed of the woman, the remnant, has the testimony of Jesus Christ in Revelation 12: 17, which is the light.
Also, it is confusing to equate the church with the Israel of God. It is confusing in one way because dispensationalism has made the church something equal to Israel. The church is not something which gives the elect its identity in Christ as does the Israel of God of Galatians 6: 16, the Body of Christ, or the elect of Christ. Israel was changed, but its still Israel as something which gives us our identity in Christ.
The woman is the spirit of wisdom, read proverbs 3,8,9…
27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
19The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
2She … she hath also furnished her table.
3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Excellent insight by Bernard
The two spiritual influences and two kinds of people, those who sow to the flesh and those who sow to the Spirit.(Esau & Jacob) Each of these spiritual influences (women), as the tree grows, produces a fruit from her matrix, (good fruit & bad fruit). Those who sow to the Spirit (Jacob) are second in the world of gains, those who sow to the flesh are first in worldliness (self) and all that she affords. But liken to the birth of Jacob, the last shall be first in the kingdom. The rich man and Lazarus Luke 16…
The woman is the spiritual influence of which people are gathered under by freewill choice. God influences with “truth” (the wisdom of God), and the serpent influences with lies that are carnally perceived to be as wisdom, which in reality is the inverse of the wisdom of God. (the tree of life and the tree of knowledge)..The Harlot of mystery Babylon that hid leaven into the 3 measures of meal an influenza of lies, bringing sickness and corruption as she influences mankind to sow to the flesh (establishing the wisdom of men). The results of this influence is a tree that produces sour grapes of rebellion and ruin. The woman in the wilderness is the spiritual influence of truth which influences by sowing to the Spirit (obedience through love from the heart that reaps life everlasting) .
Hosea; “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge”> Receiving not the wisdom of God that brings life everlasting, which establishes obedience from the heart) (faith establishes the law). Thus, they receive not the love of the truth 2 Thes.. 2-10.