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And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

A Great Wonder.—

“‘A great sign,’ (Margin and R.V.) This indicates that symbols are being employed.” Bunch, TR, 132.

There Appeared A Great Wonder in Heaven.—

“Some are puzzled over the fact that the symbolic woman representing the church is seen ‘in heaven.’ In the first place the church is of heavenly origin and even while in this earth, in rebellion against God, she lives ‘in heavenly places,’ dwelling in the atmosphere of heaven. Christians have already been ‘delivered from the power of darkness,’ and ‘translated into the kingdom’ of God. See Eph. 2:6; Col. 1:13. ...Not only did the attack of Satan against the church begin in heaven, but the conflict of the church is still ‘against principalities, against

powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ Eph. 6:12. ‘Wicked spirits’ in ‘heavenly places’ is the marginal reading.” Bunch, TR, 135.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Revelation 14:6.

A Woman.

“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

“I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” Jeremiah 6:2.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2.

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water

by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:23-27.

“What may we understand by woman in our text? I answer, We must understand the people of God, in all ages of the church, whether among the Jew or Gentile. She is called a woman because she is the spouse of Christ; she is likewise called a woman because of her

dependence on Christ for all things. As a man is the head of the woman, so is Christ the head over all things to the church, says the apostle. As the woman depends on her husband for a name, for food, and for raiment, so likewise the church of Christ, for a name— ‘And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name,’ Isa. 62:2-5. ‘And they

were called Christians first at Antioch.’ For food, our text says, ‘that they should feed her there,’ etc. The prophet Isaiah says, 40:11, ‘He shall feed his flock as a shepherd.’ John 6:53,

‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.’

For raiment, the Psalmist, speaking of the church, says, ‘She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework; her clothing is wrought gold.’ The angel to the seven churches says, ‘He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.’” Miller, Evidence, 205,206.

‘A woman,’ signifies the true church. (2 Corinthians 11:2.) A corrupt woman is used to represent an apostate church. (Ezekiel 23:2-4; Rev. 17:3-6,15,18.) By parity of reasoning, a pure woman, as in this instance, would represent the true church.” Smith, DR, 549.

“The faithful ones, the church of the living God—few as their numbers may be, are represented as the ‘woman’ [verse 1 quoted].” Haskell, SSP, 212.

“The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed.” (Signs, 11/1/1899). 7BC, 972.

“In Revelation the radiant woman of chapter 12 stands in stark contrast with the whore of chapter 17 decked out in gold, scarlet, and precious stones.” Biblical Research Inst., 2SOR, 17.

The Woman Is Not Mary.—

“All efforts to make this woman represent the virgin Mary fail in the light of the fact that the same woman continues the object of Satan’s wrath till the second advent of Christ.” Bunch, TR, 132,133.

“Roman Catholic interpreters have sometimes interpreted the woman in Revelation 12 as Mary. But the highly symbolic character of the whole book, as well as John’s introductory words—‘and there appeared a great wonder in heaven’—indicate that the woman is a

symbol for the church of God.” Biblical Research Inst., 2SOR, 301.

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