Revelation chapters 12 & 13 are revelations about the church, with the focus on the sufferings and afflictions of the church with purpose. The Woman in today’s passage refers to the church of the End Time, the bride of Jesus Christ (Lam 4:10, Matt 25:1, 2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:23). The Bible also compares the suffering the church will have to go through to the pain a mother has to go through in giving birth to a child (John 16:21).
Whenever when a woman is in labour, she has pain because her hour has come. Similarly, when the church goes through pain, the time is near. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of a child being born into the world, because life has been given life has come into the world. One who is evangelising has to go through that pain until that person comes to believe and understand the Word, to be born again. Then all the heartache goes away. That’s the joy of new life. As people of heaven, when we realise somebody else became Jesus’ child, we are joyful because His will is being fulfilled. That’s the Woman clothed with the Sun in chapter 12; sacrificing herself in order to give birth to life.
We see a competition between this woman and another woman that represents the great harlot of Babylon in chapter 17 (Rev 17:4). This woman refers to the world and the church that has compromised and given herself to adultery with the world (Jas 4:4). May Zion Church become the Woman, the Church in chapter 12 that follows Jesus wholly all the way:
1. Clothed with a sun
Clothes in the Bible signifies deeds, identity, role and even times of God’s people. Our garments represent us in different ways. Example, those in different careers or service lines they have uniforms. There are times we put on different garments. This woman was clothed with the garment of the Sun.
When you look at the Sun, your eyes get blinded for a while. This woman clothed with the Sun, how bright and radiant she is. It means she is clothed with the glory of God, protected, covered and presented with the Sun, the light. The brightest light that the people on earth can describe is the Sun. But that light is spiritually referring to the light of God’s glory which is the Word. In John 1 – in the beginning was the Word. And that Word was light, and that light gave life. And that light and life is Jesus who came, the Word that came in the flesh. She is the Church surrounded by the Word of eternal life, the light of God’s glory and shines. The church that has become like the image of Jesus Christ (Gen 1:16, Ps 84:11, Isa 60:19-20, Ps 27:1; 34:9). This image of being clothed with the sun is the image of Jesus when He was transfigured (Matt 17:2).
2. Moon under her feet
The moon governs the night. Night refers to the time, space and conditions where there is no light. If the light is the Word of God, night refers to our spiritual condition when the Word of God is not ruling or governing over us.
Moon is a reflector, it takes the light from the sun and reflects it upon the earth. However, the moon is not strong enough to remove all darkness. We see the moonlight but there is still darkness. The moon is still there but when the Sun comes up, we don’t see the moon because the sunlight is so bright. If the sun is referring to Jesus who comes to this earth, what is the moon? Those who prophesy, those who testify about the coming Jesus, the Light but not strong enough to cast out all darkness.
Putting the moon under her feet, refers to the church that puts the night time under her feet; the church that has overcome its darkness, sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, and is now covered with light of hope and light of God’s Word.
3. On her head, a crown of 12 stars
Star/stars in the Bible represents ① Jesus Christ (Rev 22:16), ② Ministers and God’s servants (Rev 21:20), ③ God’s glory (Dan 12:3, 1 Cor 15:41)
The number 12 represents the 12 tribes in the Old Testament, and the 12 apostles in the New Testament. In the New Jerusalem, we see the mention of both. Having the crown of 12 stars demonstrates that she represents the church of God’s people continuing the faith upon the foundation of the 12 apostles; meaning continuing the redemptive work that Jesus gave to the church.
The woman is clothed with the Sun that governs the day and has the night under her feet, she’s in the day time where darkness cannot penetrate, and she is busy doing God’s work (John 9:4, Rom 13:12-14, Eph 6:11-13, 1 Thess 5:8).
4. She was with child
Just like mothers going through suffering & labour pain because she has that love for the child, she has to give birth. Same with the church. The church has to go through suffering because she has the child, the Seed (Rev 12:5).
In Gal 4:19, Apostle Paul speaks about evangelism, Christ being formed in us as going through labour. This Child can be understood in 2 ways: (i) Jesus Christ, the Son in us. (ii) Seed of the Word. Sons of the kingdom are the ones who have the Seed of God’s Word (Matt 13:38). If we don’t have that seed, we will be judged like Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa 1:9, Rom 9:29). There may be difficulties and hardships but when there’s labour pain, we have to realise the time is near to give birth. I pray Zion Church will be the field where many sons of the kingdom are born.
To the church that gives birth to life, the church that goes through the agony, the pain of giving birth, God will surely allow that Son to be born. And God will give that church a nurturing, protection from the red dragon. AMEN.