Janet Smith ©gardenministries.org, 9-4-2014
Throughout the Old Testament, we read story after story of how God, through His covenant of love for Israel, supernaturally manifested Himself to her as a good and faithful Husband. He lavishly loved, favored, and provided for His wife Israel. Yet, in spite of all of His outpoured blessings and faithfulness to her, only a few believed and stayed true to Him while the masses rejected Him and turned away and worshiped other gods. Jeremiah 3:20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” declares the LORD.
Revelation 12 describes a woman who represents a significant end-time portion of the unfolding, eternal love relationship of God with His beloved human creation. Revelation 12:1-2 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
The Revelation 12 “sign” of a woman may have a two-fold interpretation. First, the woman represents Israel who has birthed the male child, Jesus. Secondly, the woman represents Christ’s body–the believing church.
But then a separating comes into view in the second “phase” of the Revelation 12:1-2 woman/child scenario. The woman, who represents the believing church, bears and births a male child, who represents the bride of Christ who are the matured sons of God (Romans 8:19). Both the woman and the child have a relationship with Jesus but one goes through the trial of their faith earlier (the child) and goes on to the next level sooner and one goes through their trial of faith later (and goes into the protected wilderness).
Both are so threatening to the dragon that he literally sits in front of the woman waiting to devour the child who instead, is caught up to heaven and is supernaturally brought to the next level of heavenly interaction and then he goes after the woman to kill her and anymore overcoming children she may bear.
The woman, i.e., the believing church, whether she knows it or not, has been pregnant with the hidden-in-plain-sight answer to her painful cries for deliverance. She bears a child who represents a company of saints who have entered Phase 2 and ultimately, breakthrough and make a way for all of them to be saved from the fiery dragon’s assault. Whether caught up and “in heaven” or on the earth, the child and the woman are uniquely protected from the onslaughts of the evil dragon.
Unlike faithless Israel of old, who rejected God even as He relentlessly and benevolently pursued her; this lovesick bride child carried within the woman will have very little upfront except for an insatiable hunger for the word of God, an inborn passion to know Him, and a relentless drive to pursue oneness with Jesus.
In John 17:22 Jesus has asked for this oneness with His bride when He prayed, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.” Jesus also said in John 17:6 that “keeping God’s word” is what “qualifies” any believer to engage in this process of becoming one with Him. What makes the bride ready to marry Jesus is how she stands firm believing His word no matter how long He takes to fulfill it.
Jeremiah prophesied of this bridal company and how she/he is markedly different from the old covenant, faithless Israel. Jeremiah 31:22 How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter [Israel]? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth–A woman will encompass [i.e., pursue, court, shelter, protect, and surround] a man.
No wonder the enemy has fought long and hard to undermine God’s word. It is the very weapon that God uses that displaces him when the people of God choose to stand and believe God’s word. Those who accept the entirety of God’s word and hold fast to it; they can expect that the Holy Spirit will work through their enduring faith in His word to completely transform them. His word cuts off and literally washes away all of their unfaithfulness, unbelief, and fear. His responsive love to their relentless cries for help increasingly transforms them and rebuilds their confidence as they are grounded in Jesus and Him alone.
In Matthew 25, we see another illustration of separating happen. Jesus described the 5 wise and the 5 foolish virgins who were all waiting for the bridegroom to come. Even though all of them fell asleep in the waiting zone, why were five ready and why were the other five not ready? The ready ones had purified heart motives. Their heart had been postured to say with conviction, “as long as it takes, I will wait.” Being postured for the long haul makes you prepare differently than if you are expecting or presuming a shorter timeline. Endurance and perseverance must finish its work of purifying our heart from running its gamut (i.e., its full range) of fearful, self-protective, self-centered motivations.
This pure and spotless bridal company make themselves ready because they refuse to stop pursuing the fullness of Jesus through hunger for fresh revelation from His word, and applying its transformational affects through active obedience. Like good Acts 17 Bible-studying Bereans, this fiery-hot bridal pursuit of oneness with Jesus results in a completely cleansed-by-the-water-of-His-word, free bride, who’s Holy Spirit sanctified faithfulness moves Jesus to come to her and come for her.
Luke 18:7 will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?â€
There is a special blessing that comes to those who pursue oneness with Jesus in such undying devotion, even though they have so little to go on with so little favor and blessing that drives them. The blessing of seeing Jesus face to face and being transformed into His likeness is the fulfillment they seek and will find if they faint not.
John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
1 Peter 1:7-8 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
The 5 distinguishing characteristics describing the Revelation 12:1-2 woman and her child
1. Woman: the believing, end-time church who experiences the events of the time of tribulation differently with greater difficulty and separate from her child who has been “caught up.”
2. Clothed with the sun: clothed with Christ’s salvation (the Sun)
3. Moon under her feet: the cycles of time (symbolized by the Moon) are transitioning into eternity
4. Crown of 12 stars on her head: having now entered Phase 2, the woman exercises divine authority in the earth in ever-increasing Christ-like fullness as she prepares for Christ’s millennial reign
5. Pregnant and about to give birth: the time to birth what had been hidden for ages has come (the bride-child experiences the affects of the tribulation differently with less difficulty and separate from his mother)
The 5 distinguishing characteristics describing the Revelation 12:1-2 woman and her child explained:
1. The Woman: the believing, end-time church who experiences the events of the time of tribulation differently with greater difficulty and separate from her child who has been “caught up.”
When the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, then the time comes for the Jews to “look upon the One they pierced” and believe in Jesus as their Messiah (Romans 11:25, John 10:16, John 19:37). The first interpretation/application of the sign of the Revelation 12 woman has happened: Israel has birthed the male child, Jesus. Now the second interpretation/application is in motion. The end-time body of Christ believing church will birth an overcoming remnant, mature sonship child, uniquely called “The Bride.”
The woman in Revelation 12:1 represents the believing church that is pregnant with her fruitful harvest of faith-unto-righteousness believers. In great pain, she cries out as she births a first-fruits, remnant company of overcoming believers, the great champions of God, the very elect of His heart, the manifest sons of God (Romans 8:19-39).
These champions emerge in the earth and fight their assigned, end-time breakthrough battle. Through the resurrection power of the risen Christ, these dread champions, by faith in God’s word, partner with heaven’s warriors, such as Revelation 12 describes as Michael and his angels. While all dark rulers and powers are already under Jesus’ feet, this powerful angelic company cast out all dark rulers and powers of the air from middle heaven and put them under the feet of Christ’s overcoming body (Ephesians 1:21-23, Hebrews 2:8).
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (“take it” in Greek is harpazó), and “violent” in Greek is biastá positive assertiveness; used of the believer living in faith guiding and empowering them to act forcefully (i.e. “fired up” by God to act by His revelation.)
All along the way, heaven has fully participated in helping this overcoming remnant company pierce the veil and break through. The Phase 2 process of surrender through the testings and trial of their faith in God and His word has broken through and pierced their own personal dark veils of fear, doubt, and unbelief. In response to this bride child’s lovesick pursuit of oneness with Jesus and for His supernatural presence to be made manifest in their lives, Michael and his angels have been fighting heaven-downward as long as all believers are fully engaged in cultivating their love relationships with God through faithfulness to their individual and corporate assignments.
What made the champions-of-old great, and what makes these end-time champions of God great, is the same. Like Jesus and like His champions of the Old and New Testament, these end-time warriors will not get offended with the extremes that the Father asks them to endure for His sake (Hebrews 12:2-3). In great faith, hope, love, and death to self, they overcome the enemy because of a threefold application of their faith: 1.) they fully believe in and apply the blood of the Lamb, 2.) they are in touch with the truth of their God-given identity in Christ and the word of their testimony is prophetically true, and 3.) they live very sacrificially in that they do not love their life even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11).
Though violently opposed by a watchful dragon, this overcoming, Remnant Company of champions breaks through the dark veil that stretches across the middle heavens. Once that breakthrough has occurred, the enemy, the accuser of the brethren, will be completely displaced from that area of middle heaven and thrown down, once and for all. This dark veil in the middle heaven, that has long separated humanity from experiencing a full-on supernatural release of God in the earth, will be fully pierced through as this believing remnant forcefully takes hold of heaven (Greek: harpazó) and heaven forcefully takes hold of them (Greek: harpazó). By continually turning to the Lord and believing His word, the veil of darkness must thin and finally, is pierced through and taken away.
1 Corinthians 3:16 whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wherever the overcomer remnant pierces the veil and heaven’s gates are opened wide in those areas, an outpouring of the supernatural of God will begin in that area and the kingdom of heaven will forcefully advance out from there. We expect to see those “portals” or open-heaven’s happen especially in the end-time cities of refuge where apostolic hubs have been planted.
An apostolically anointed “Two Witnesses” company of fiery messengers of God will be sent out from these city-of-refuge hubs throughout the earth to bring the message of hope to the nations and gather a harvest of righteousness for the Lord. They will take His Fire to the nations. Just as there is only one Elijah but also a company of those who operate in the spirit and power of Elijah, there will be only Two Revelation 11 Witnesses but also a company of those overcomers who operate in the spirit and power of the “Two Witnesses” and cannot be harmed as they preach the gospel.
The floods of the living God will come and directly confront and oppose the floods that the evil one is sending.
Isaiah 59:19 “From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.” Another translation of this verse says, “…when the enemy comes in like a flood, the LORD raises up a standard against him.”
Once the supernatural of God breaks forth, the progressive nature of the advancing and expanding kingdom of God on earth will correlate with the ever-expanding company of believing saints who grow in their faith and “forcefully” take and occupy the land. There is the initial piercing-through and then that opening makes way for the rest of the floods of God’s manifested supernatural presence to come and pour out upon His people and the earth.
This open heaven releases the great, end-time supernatural power of God that results in a mighty harvest for the ever increasing redeemed and restored family of God. As billions of people witness and experience the one true God in resurrection power, for those who believe in Jesus and take His Name as their own and turn to Him with their all, they will be saved and will be agents of change who bring the Father’s will in heaven down to earth (Revelation 12:7-10, Matthew 6:10 …on earth as it is in heaven).
This great harvest joins with Jesus, the Lamb, the Son of God, Who was and is and is to come and Who is, forever timeless, forever the same, forever the one true God, blameless before the foundation of the earth, created and chosen by God to overcome all evil by His sacrificial love. His great and mighty love was perfectly displayed through the shedding of blood on the cross and, as He was delivered up to life by the Father, the curse of death was swallowed up forever, as He, Jesus, the Lamb of God, one with the one true and only, everlasting God, completely disarmed the powers and authorities of the evil one, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15). Amen and Amen.
2. Clothed with the sun: clothed with Christ’s salvation (the Sun)
The woman has chosen and entered Phase 1: SALVATION
3. Moon under her feet: the cycles of time (symbolized by the Moon) are transitioning into eternity
The Moon symbolizes the cycles of time: Psalm 104:19, “He made the Moon to mark time.” (ISV)
Enduring through her own trial of her faith during the tribulation, the woman, as the believing church, is also called to overcome by the blood of the Lamb, the word of her testimony, and she does not love her life unto death and thus, finds dominion over the power of death and the cycles of time because she is no longer subject to the limiting parameters of the curse of death that is attached to the ever-shortening timeframe of this present age.
The age that currently is, and the age to come have entered her and within her transforming body, soul, and spirit, these ages have now merged into one timeline through the transcendence of the eternal, indwelling fullness of the Holy Sprit, Who is Life. In and through her enduring faith, she has now overcome death through the inworking fullness of Jesus Christ fully forming within her.
4. Crown of 12 stars on her head: having now entered Phase 2, the woman exercises divine authority in the earth in ever-increasing Christ-like fullness as she prepares for Christ’s millennial reign.
The woman has entered Phase 2 and is wearing the crown of 12 stars prophetically telling us that she too enters into overcoming faith during the tribulation and wears the crown that represents her millennial authority to rule and reign with Christ in the Ephesians 1 fullness.
5. The Child: the time to birth what had been hidden for ages has come (the bride-child experiences the affects of the tribulation differently with less difficulty and separate from his mother)
The time to birth what the Spirit has carried in hiddenness has come. The bridal fullness has come to all who are of the first-fruits company. The bride child represents those who have fought the good fight of faith in hiddenness, who have come to fully believe in Jesus as their LORD, and have entered into the Phase 2 promised reward of fullness with Jesus Christ. They have continually said “Yes!” to the Holy Spirit who has made them ready and Who has now enabled them to see Jesus face to face, just as He is in His glory. As 2 Timothy 2:10 says, They “obtained the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
Seeing Jesus face to face has a supernatural affect on the viewer and they are instantly changed into what that revelation of Jesus imparted. Upon the final unveiling of Jesus face to us, we will enter into complete union with Him. His light explodes in us and we are transformed into His likenessâ€”going from glory to GLORY! Finally, we are one with Jesus and are fully operative in His fullness. We are completely “lit up!”
Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
By His Word and inworking Holy Spirit, Jesus has changed His “Transformers” to be just like Him and to be with Him where He is in His glory. The fullness of Him who is the Christ, the one true God, the only God, the everlasting God, has come just as He has promised. He has completed His first-fruits work in the saints and delivered them from darkness and fully invested them into His eternal, everlasting Light. The Ancient of Days has rendered His BIG “YES!” to His beloved bride child. And now the child turns to bring His glory to those who are also called and invited into Father’s family.
John 17: 24 Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Fully clothed in the fullness of Christ, these “wise ones” will turn and lead many to righteousness, including those who are their “mother”–the believing church.
Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
2 Peter 1:18-19 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
In summary and some additional thoughts:
–Hear God’s words and put them into practice and you will be able to withstand the floods (Matthew 7:21)
–Ask to see God’s face and don’t stop asking until you have seen Him face to face (2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 John 3:2)
–The Revelation church in Philadelphia who has endured patiently and kept His word experiences the “hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth” differently than the Laodicean church. Both churches are called to overcome and will be rewarded for doing so. Philadelphia overcomes before the tribulation and is “kept” through the time of trial. The Laodicean church overcomers do so during the trial and testing of the tribulation.
–The bride child will enter into the fullness before the rest of the believing church, i.e., the woman does. This is because the bride child will experience their trial of faith before the tribulation and come into the fullness of Christ, i.e., “caught up” before the floods of destruction come into the earth. Though the bride child will still be on earth, they will also be fully in heaven as Romans 8:19 describes the revealing of the mature sons who will carry the LORD’s glory and fullness to a groaning, travailing creation.
–The woman will experience her trial of faith and testing after the floods come. The floods will polarize her “lukewarm” non-committal Laodicean church perspective into becoming either cold and offended toward God (the great apostasy) or hot-in-pursuit of Him, as one seeking to overcome what the Laodicean church was given to overcome (Revelation 3:14-21).
–In the midst of the devastation, the woman, i.e., the Laodicean believing church will also receive a supernatural protection from the LORD, though it will be different than the protection given the bride child.
–The bride child’s protection seems to be a more “kept from” Philadelphia-church-style form of protection. Their protection seems more supernaturally all-encompassing, as though they wear the very presence of God Himself as clothing of light and glory and can go about unharmed wherever the Holy Spirit sends them. It is likely that the glorified, heaven-on-earth bride child functions as the “Two Witnesses” company sent out throughout the earth as witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
–The Revelation 12 woman’s protection seems to be more geographically and physically imparted.