FREE EBook – THE FIRST AND THE LAST by Ira Surface 1921
Republished by TheBibleGuy Thomas Spencer 2014
THE SUN-CLAD WOMAN
The twelfth chapter of Revelation is, in many respects, one of the most wonderful chapters in the book. The first thing that appears to us is the great wonder in heaven, or sign, as most of the translations give it. This woman, clothed with the sun, crowned with the stars, and standing on the moon, represents something, is a sign of something. This chapter is written to identify her.
1. Is the Sun-Clad Woman Not the Church?
Some say she represents the church, but you will notice that six seals, which represent six time periods, have been broken; their time periods have expired, and their events have all been fulfilled, before the opening of the seventh seal, in which the events of the twelfth chapter are to take place. You will notice on the chart that the end of the church period is the full measure of the Gentiles, and that the Gentile church was completed in the gathering in of the Gentile tribulation saints. This event is recorded in Rev. 7:16, 17:
Therefore this sun-clad woman can not be the Gentile church.
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” They are no longer on earth, but the woman is still on earth.
2. Is the Sun-Clad Woman Not the Virgin Mary?
Again, some say she represents the mother of Christ. But this would be taking the events which John says will take place when the seventh seal is broken, – events which will take place after the church periods have expired (Rev. 4:1), – and be placing their fulfilment back before the time of the cross at the birth of Jesus. So the sun-clad woman can not be the mother of Christ.
3. Sun-Clad Woman in Joseph’s Dream
Whom does the sun-clad woman represent? She represents national Israel. If you will turn to Gen. 37:9, you will read the forecast of this sun-clad woman in Joseph’s dream:
This dream is significant in itself, as it pertains to Israel; but the interpretation which Joseph’s father Jacob gave it, makes the identity of the sun-clad woman clear to us. We turn to Rev. 12:1, and we read: There can be no mistake that Israel, in some phase, is seen in this wonder, but let us confirm it. In Gen. 37:10, 11, we see the interpretation which Jacob gave of the sun, moon, and stars:
The fact that there were eleven stars makes the identity more definite, as the twelfth star, evidently, was Joseph.
There can be no question that the interpretation of the sun, moon, and eleven stars, was as Jacob gave it; Joseph’s father, mother and his eleven brothers. It is clear then that the dream meant the house of Jacob, or the house of Israel, and it would be so recorded in the annals of heaven. Therefore, the identity of the woman, clothes with the sun, crowned with twelve stars, with the moon under her feet, is evidently the framework, or government, of the house of Israel.”
“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.”
“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”
4. Sun-Clad Woman National Israel
This gloriously clothed and crowned woman will be national Israel, the house of Jacob in all their political power and prominence. Her clothing is the sun, for this nation, although rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, will still be looking for the glorious fulfilment of that covenant which was renewed with Jacob at Bethel. It was not for Jacob only, but for fulfilment in a nation, at that time still unborn. That nation was to be no other than the nation of Israel. Then the sun, moon, and stars of Joseph’s dream were a prophetic sign of the nation of Israel. Therefore, the sign of the sun-clad woman of Rev. 12:1 must mean national Israel in great prominence before all the nations of the earth.
5. Israel in the Latter Days
“Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days,” Dan. 10:14.
I have said, in a previous chapter, that Israel will come to national prominence during the time of her treaty with the Antichrist. Both the Antichrist and Israel will develop great political power at the same time. The Antichrist will have become the leader of the federated Gentile nations, and Israel will stand alone, except for her treaty relations with the Antichrist. At this time two important events will take place:
Second, the Antichrist will reveal himself, and then the only things of which Paul speaks in 2 Thess. 2:8 will be fulfilled. We can not tell when this point of time will be reached, but even now we see signs which point toward the fulfilment of these prophecies.
Not prophecy locates this time definitely as the midst of the week. Dan. 9:27: “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation: (end of the week).
First, the Antichrist will break his treaty with Israel, after three and a half years.
Having identified the sun-clad woman as national Israel, let us now speak of the things which will befall her in the latter days.
6. Israel Unconsciously Fulfilling Prophecy
Israel is slowing gathering back in unbelief. The Zionist movement is not necessarily a religious movement. In fact, many of its leaders are agnostics; but this movement is everywhere working toward the national organization of Israel. England, France, and the United States are lending this movement their influence.
This is seen in the deliverance of the man child, Rev. 12:5: “And she brought forth a man child who was to rule the nations with a rod of iron and her child was caught up to God and His throne.” We will speak of this birth further on. It is the same birth of which Isaiah speaks in 66:7:
Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
This is the fall of national Israel. The man child has been caught up to God and His throne, and the woman has fled into the wilderness, where she has a placed prepared of God, that they should feed her there for twelve hundred sixty days, or three and a half years.
But Isaiah speaks also of another birth. He says, “After Zion travailed she brought forth her children.” This is the nation born in a day; born at the sight of Jesus when He shall have returned, at the time of His glorious appearing. For they shall see Him whom they have pierced and shall repent. This will be the birth of that part of Israel which belongs to the unbelieving class.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
“In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart, the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart, and the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication; and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, and one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
The first birth will produce the overcomers, to be raptured out of Israel. The last birth will come through the terrific pangs of national tribulation which will come upon those of Israel who are left, after the overcoming ones have been caught up in their rapture. When Zion travails she will bring forth her children, for the spirit of real repentance will be poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Zech. 12:9-14 says:
It may be asked, “Who are those who pass into great trouble after the man child is caught up, if the woman is to be caught away to a place of safety?” I answer, this woman represents the frame work of Israel’s government with all her records and laws. This explains the travail of Zion, spoken of in Isaiah 66, which we have already mentioned. Only the woman, the framework of the government, will be moved to a place of safety during the time that Zion travails. Those of her citizens who are not taken out at the rapture of the man child, will be the mourners of Zion.
At this time (the middle of the week) the woman flees into the wilderness to a place prepared of God, where she is fed for three and a half years, or until the end of the desolation. During this time there will be a reign of terror for Israel. Daniel speaks of this as a time of trouble such as never was even unto that time. Jesus also refers to the trouble of which Daniel spoke.
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
The spirit of unrest and uncertainty, as expressed in the social and industrial upheavals in all nations, is no small factor in making the return of Israel more prominent. As time moves on toward the prophetic time when Israel will return, we may expect that there will be more and more of a spirit of unrest among them, until there will be a real exodus of the Jews from all nations toward the holy land of their fathers. We are astonished and our hearts weep when we think how this nation will again, still in stubborn unbelief in Jesus, try to take the promised land. This unbelief will be their undoing. In this beautiful sign of national Israel in her great prominence we see, also, the sign of her fall as a nation. Of this fall of national Israel we now wish to speak.
This is the day of Israel’s repentance. This is the day in which a fountain will be opened in the house of David, Zech. 13:1: “In that day there shall be a fountain opened in the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. This is the glorious day of His glorious appearing, for which Paul so ardently looked, Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”