THE SUN-CLAD WOMAN AND THE MAN CHILD [Rev. 12]
By C. G. A. GIBSON-SMITH
[Mr. Gibson-Smith's article may arouse differences of judgment on details, but it is worthy of the most careful study.- D. M. PANTON.]
0n the right interpretation of this chapter, more than any other, depends the correct interpretation of the book of Revelation.
As the sun and moon are the chief lights in the natural world, so Christ and Moses are in the spiritual. The Woman being clothed with the righteousness of Christ and having the Mosaic Dispensation under her feet, is at once seen to be the Church of Jesus Christ, there being no other company of people in this world of whom this is a true description.
The Woman goes into the wilderness for three and a half years, the duration of the Great Tribulation. The heat of the Great Tribulation will ripen these saints for the great Harvest Rapture and Resurrection, which takes place just before Armageddon, and is described in 1 Thess. 4: 14-17 and 1 Cor. 15: 51-53.
of old, the First fruits were taken to the
When our Lord returned to the Father's Throne, the Dragon was not cast down to the earth, but remained the Prince of the Power of the air, accusing Christ's people even until now. Before this Manchild is caught up, the Dragon is cast down; he then persecutes the Woman, knowing that she is destined to follow the Man-child and occupy with Christ and the Man-child the very region from which he has dominated mankind since the Fall. "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, for the Devil is come unto you, having great wrath, knowing that his time is short". The darkest period of man's existence begins now - the greatest of all delusions will now be spread abroad that they may believe the greatest of all lies, and so be ushered to their well-earned doom, seeing they loved unrighteousness and hated the truth (2 Thess, 2: 7-12).
to the Woman were given "two wings",
another way of saying God's protection is sure to her and the rest of her seed,
who keep the commandments of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Israel rejects the Testimony of Jesus
Christ until the Lord returns, hence only Christians are here meant. The Flood of troubles during the Great
Tribulation will prove the greatest of all blessings to the commandments of
God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
Let the reader clearly understand that all these groups are Overcomers of varying degrees, and they all have part in the First Resurrection, and live and reign with Christ a thousand years. This is the Resurrection from among the dead unto which Paul strove that he might attain (Phil. 3: 11, context 10-14). The First Resurrection commenced with the resurrection of Christ, 1 Cor 15: 23, followed by the Old Testament First fruits, Matt. 27: 52-53. The next in order of time is the Man-child, Rev. 12 and Rev. 14 : 1-5, the Bride, closely followed by the Wise Bridesmaids, Matt. 25. Only these are raptured before the Great Tribulation. The Sun-clad Woman or Harvest Saints need the Great Tribulation to make them fully ready to reign with Christ. Thus it is seen that the First Resurrection covers a period of at least 2,000 years and includes every Overcomer of whatever degree. Rev. 20: 4-6 is the last and most solemn utterance concerning it in the Bible.
Now let us most earnestly repeat that the First Resurrection is not a free gift to every believer in Christ. It is an attainment to which every believer may attain after he has received the free gift of Eternal Life from Christ, consequent upon faith in His death and resurrection. All Overcomers are believers, but all believers are not overcomers. Only Overcomers live and reign with Christ during the Millennium. What then happens to the believer who shows no desire to overcome, and will therefore not be accounted worthy to obtain that age, and the resurrection from among the dead ? Luke 20: 35. He will rise at the last or general resurrection, when “all that are left in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation,” John 5: 28-29. The Lord makes it perfectly clear in John 5 : 24. (1) Spiritual Resurrection - "Hath everlasting life" (v. 25). (2) First Resurrection - "and they that hear shall live," "and now is." We live in the period of the First Resurrection (v. 25-29). (3) The Last or General Resurrection - "All shall hear His voice." the good to life the evil to damnation. Note the mixed character of this resurrection. The Great White Throne judgment, Rev. 20: 11-15, is of a mixed character, with the Book of Life as the determining factor. The believer goes into life because his name is in the Book of Life, and Christ has bestowed upon him the gift of Eternal Life. (See the "First Resurrection and The Great White Throne Judgment" by the writer, also "Firstfruits and Harvest", "Overcomer and the Throne."