5 Theologians on the Child of Revelation 12

Last weekend one of my favorite pastors implied that "Every conservative theologian that's worth reading..." interprets Revelation 12 in a way contrary to how those of us following the sign do. Among other things this pastor was quite adamant that Revelation 12 is simply talking about the birth and ascension of Jesus Christ, and has nothing to do with the rapture of the Church.  In his words this view is "longtime held, conservative, orthodox eschatology."

Well, I would like to address that statement...

Wait....who cares what I have to say?  How about we let some longtime, conservative, orthodox, eschatology teachers address the subject!  And when I say longtime, well, you'll see what I mean...

1. John Nelson Darby (1855)

"If the mighty man, the mystic man, the man-child of Revelation xii. is to act [in judging the world with a rod of iron], He must first be complete (of course He is so, essentially so, in Himself, but as Head over all things to the Church which is His body). The head and the body must be united before He can act as having this title before the world; because the mystic man as a whole cannot take it until the Church is taken up to Him. For not until then—until the Church, the body, is united to the Head, Christ, in heaven—is the mystic man in that sense complete; and therefore, the Church must be taken up before Christ can come in judgment. "

And this...

"In the chapter we have read, you have first Christ Himself and the church, figured in the man-child; and then in the woman who flees from persecution for 1260 days you have the Jewish remnant, those who are spared in the time of judgment but are not yet brought into glory."

And this...

"I have no doubt that the “man child” spoken of in the chapter that we have been reading includes the church as well as Christ. But it is Christ that is principally meant, for the church would be nothing without Christ; it would be a body without a head. It is Christ who has been caught up; but the church is included, for whenever He begins to act publicly, even as regards Satan being cast down, He must have His body, His bride, with Him; He must have His brethren, His joint-heirs."

Reference: John Nelson Darby, Seven Lectures on the Prophetical Addresses to the Seven Churches (3d rev. ed.; London: G. Morrish, c. 1855)

2. William Kelly (1870)

"On this principle then I cannot but consider that the rapture of the man-child to God and His throne involves the rapture of the church in itself. The explanation why it is thus introduced here depends on the truth that Christ and the church are one, and have a common destiny. Inasmuch as He went up to heaven, so also the church is to be caught up."

Reference: William Kelly, Lectures Introductory to the Study of the Acts, the Catholic Epistles, and the Revelation (London: W. H. Broom, 1870)

3. Richard Chester (1882)

"Now if the male Man-child of Rev. xii. is to be regarded as solely representing the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into the heavens, as some interpreters affirm; or as representing the visible Christian Church exalted into political power, as taught by others, it were not easy to establish any parallelism, or any correspondence whatsoever between Zech. iii. and Rev. xii. But if the Man-child represents, as is the belief of many students of prophecy, the entire body of “the dead in Christ” raised, and the living in Christ who shall be changed, and both together caught up to meet Him in the air—or if, as I have suggested in the article above referred to—he is to be rather regarded as a portion of the Jewish people—of “the remnant according to the election of grace” incorporated by conversion to Christ into the Church of this dispensation—and thus “brought forth”—“born again,”—and then, “caught up to God and to His throne,” in the rapture of the risen and living saints of 1 Thess. iv.—then, in either of these cases, I submit that this vision of Zechariah iii. corresponds most accurately."

Richard Chester, “Old Testament Light on New Testament Prophecy,” The Prophetic News and Israel’s Watchman (December, 1882)

She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
Revelation 12:5

4. Harry Ironside (1919)

"I have read or carefully examined several hundred books purporting to expound the Revelation. I have learned to look upon this twelfth chapter as the crucial test in regard to the correct prophetic outline. If the interpreters are wrong as to the woman and the man-child, it necessarily follows that they will be wrong as to many things connected with them."

And this...

"If we allow Scripture itself to answer, we find there is a person and a company of people answering to this description. In the 2d Psalm Jehovah says to Messiah, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (vers. 7–9). This, clearly enough, is our Lord Jesus Christ, who is soon to reign over all the earth, and undoubtedly He is primarily the Man-child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and the special object of Satan’s malignity. But we have already seen, in Rev. 2:26–28, that when He reigns He will not reign alone. . . . Is there then any incongruity in understanding the man-child to represent both Christ Jesus our Lord and His church? Surely not, for He is the Head of the body, the church, which is the fullness, or completion of Himself, so that the title, “The Church” is applied to both head and body viewed as one in 1 Cor. 12:12. . . . We may then, on the authority of Scripture itself, safely affirm that the man-child represents the one New Man who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron—Christ, the Head, and the church, His body. If this be so, then it is impossible that the woman should symbolize the church."

And this...

"We have seen that the man-child symbolizes both Head and body—the complete Christ. Therefore, as in other prophecies, the entire present dispensation is passed over in silence, and the church is represented in its Head, caught up with Christ. For immediately after this, Satan, again acting through the Roman Empire which is to be revived in the last days, turns upon the woman Israel and seeks to vent his wrath and indignation against her."

Reference: Harry A. Ironside, Lectures on the Revelation (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1919)

Quotes 1-4 were compiled by Dr Michael Svigel, a Department Chair and Associate Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.  You can read more context surrounding those quotes (and many more which weren't included) here:
Proof of the Rapture in Revelation 12


UPDATE: Unsealed.org just put up an amazing post listing 15 Conservative Scholars who agreed that the Male Child of Rev 12:5 Represented The Church. Be sure out that expanded list out as well!! 

Here is the link:
http://www.unsealed.org/2017/08/conservative-scholars-agree-male-child.html

5. Chuck Missler (approx. 2005) / G. H. Pember (1884)

We need one guy who is still living, don't we?   One of the greatest teachers of our lifetime, Chuck Missler, says the following about Rev 12:5...  He references a fairly famous book written in the 1800's by G.H. Pember:

"I always USED TO view that as the ascension of Our Lord.  But there is a guy by the name of Pember who wrote a book about Genesis, Earth's Earliest Ages.  And it BLEW ME AWAY because he see's this differently and I don't know that he's wrong.  He see's... that child... as the Body of Christ.  He see's in that The Rapture.   Isn't that wild?  And it doesn't alter the text because what happens from verse 6 on is Tribulational."

Listen to the quote for yourself here: (58 seconds)




Additional Notes

1. Here is the information for Svigel's paper:

"What Child is This?" 
Dabry's Early Exegetical Argument for the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church.
Dr Michael Svigel - Dallas Theological Seminary
Trinity Journal (2014)

According to the paper, others who held this view included Michael Baxter (1863),  Adolphus Spalding Worrell (1900), William E. Blackstone (1904) and Henry Proctor (1904). 


2. There are also commentaries on Revelation written long ago that include this view. 

Here is one example shared with me in the comments section of a previous post. Thank you, Myrhh!

The Millennium Bible
A Complete Commentary on All Scripture Passages Related to the Second Coming
William Biederwolf  (1924)

Here is a portion of what this commentary had to say under Revelation 12:5:

"Petingill, Mackintosh and a few others have a curious idea here. They think the "catching up" does not refer to the historical, bodily ascension of Christ from the Mount of Olives, but to His spiritual body, believers who are to be caught up at the coming rapture, that the manchild therefore is still in progress of birth, the Church not being fully formed as yet...."

FYI:  This is exactly what Scottie Clarke has been teaching lately.... makes total sense!

UPDATE 8/31/17: Here is another example shared with me on Facebook. Thank you, Christine!  This is huge!

Matthew Henry Commentary On The Whole Bible
Originally written in 1706, Matthew Henry's six volume Complete Commentary provides an exhaustive look at every verse in the Bible.

"The unsuccessfulness of these attempts against the church; for, 1. She was safely delivered of a man-child (v. 5), by which some understand Christ, others Constantine, but others, with greater propriety, a race of true believers, strong and united, resembling Christ, and designed, under him, to rule the nations with a rod of iron; that is, to judge the world by their doctrine and lives now, and as assessors with Christ at the great day. Care was taken of this child: it was caught up to God, and to his throne; that is, taken into his special, powerful, and immediate protection. The Christian religion has been from its infancy the special care of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. 3. Care was taken of the mother as well as of the child."

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/revelation/12.html

Did you notice the phrase Henry used there.... "greater propriety"....  Here is the definition:


3. Know Your Roots

Most Pretribulation Rapture teachers love John Nelson Darby.  Most think he is "a brilliant guy" as so eloquently put by my very own conservative pastor. But they simply aren't aware that the foundational verse for Darby's view of the timing of the rapture rested upon a correct interpretation of Revelation 12:5.  Darby saw Rev 12:5 has the KEY exegetical proof in regards to the timing of the event. In his mind it clearly differentiated it from Pre-Wrath which was more popular at the time.  Again, you can learn all about that in the paper from the professor at the Dallas Theological Seminary. Print it off, read it and share....

4. Need a Checklist?

For more information on why the Child is best interpreted as The Body of Christ, see here:
Who Is The Male Child In Revelation 12? | Unsealed

5. Still unsure of who the pastor is that inspired this article? 

See here and here.
And yes, I still love him... even though I think he is wrong on this one. : )

Comments

  1. Brad, this was fabulous! Thank you again for doing the research and putting it out there for us all!

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    1. Thank you Alice... Happy to do it and all praise to Christ.... Just hoping I did these guys justice!!

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    2. Brad, You rock brother. Ditto to what Alice said. Yes, you did these guys justice, and blessed my socks off....again! Thank you.

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    3. Appreciate that, Mike. Thank you.

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  2. Fantastic post Brad! Just awesome! Thank you for this. I'm sure there are many more if we dug deeper even. Dr. Henry Morris of Icr who put together the Defenders King James Study Bible has a commentary of Rev 12 and sees it as rapture of the church as well. Just found that out today. My buddy Dave also found the link to his version on line :) Here it is. It's a doozy of a link lol
    http://www.icr.org/home?f_search_type=icr&f_keyword_all=revelation+12&f_keyword_exact=&f_keyword_any=&f_keyword_without=&f_search_type=bible&f_articles_date_begin=&f_articles_date_end=&f_authorID=&f_typeID=&section=0&f_constraint=both&f_context_all=any&f_context_exact=any&f_context_any=any&f_context_without=any&module=home&action=submitsearch

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  3. I literally just asked for just such an article yesterday!! Thank you so much!!

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  4. It is SO helpful to have all of this in one place. Great work, Brad!

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  5. This is awesome! Great sources of info here. Thanks Brad.

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  6. Thank you Brad, this is amazing, I had once went hunting for tidbits of this information, but there really wasn't a place that it was all together, only in Scott's video could you get the references, sweet!

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  7. Brad, your website is a true treasure chest in gathering all these precious gems around Rev12-sign, thank you so much! I am ever learning more by your collections and by the diverse ideas and biblical hints in the comment sections of our beloved brethren in Christ until the last day on earth before rapture! :) Wonderful! YSIC

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  8. UPDATE: Just added Matthew Henry to the additional notes list.... his commentary is found EVERYWHERE and goes WAY back. Here is a portion of what he has to say about the child of Revelation 12:5!!!!!

    "She was safely delivered of a man-child (v. 5), by which some understand Christ, others Constantine, but others, with greater propriety, a race of true believers, strong and united, resembling Christ, and designed, under him, to rule the nations with a rod of iron; that is, to judge the world by their doctrine and lives now, and as assessors with Christ at the great day. Care was taken of this child: it was caught up to God, and to his throne; that is, taken into his special, powerful, and immediate protection."

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    1. Let me add here that I'm studying the book of Zechariah... especially Chapter 3. :-)

      I'm listening to Chuck Missler's study of Zechariah and he mentions Rev 12 verse 5. Here is the audio https://youtu.be/48xh2Wxmrbk?t=31m24s

      This is a recording of Chuck from the late 80's. Man Child could be the church!

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    2. Just a note, Chuck Missler equates the visual scene of Zechariah 3 = Rev 12 in the video URL I just posted above..

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  9. I want to share with everyone a crazy "coincidence" that happened to me this morning. Another confirmation -

    So I was driving to work. The time in the car is a good time for prayer, listening to worship music, listening to YouTube, and thinking about all kinds of things: what I'm gonna preach about next, work, the rapture, scripture, doctrine, family, etc. Pretty much just thinking about anything and everything going on. In my prayer, I always thank God for wisdom and understanding and to continue to confirm and solidify my understanding on Rev 12.

    So I am thinking about Rev 12, the feast of trumpets, what Paul wrote about the rapture, etc. Paul wrote that the rapture is at "the last trump." So I am researching how that is the term used for the 100th blow on the shofar at the feast of trumpets every year. So obviously if one knew the Jewish feasts, you would know Paul plainly foretold the rapture was on the feast of trumpets. But he didn't know the year.

    So considering John's revelation places the Rev 12 sign on the feast of trumpets, I decided to look up the sunset time in Jerusalem on Sep 21st. Since the feast of trumpets begins at the sighting of the new moon, it is likely that it will be seen at sunset on the 21st. This is when the shofar is blown and the most likely time for the rapture, if it is happening this year.

    So sunset in Jerusalem on 9/21 is at 6:37pm. So I go to plug that into my countdown timer on my phone. But to compensate for the time difference (Jerusalem is 8 hours ahead), I plug in 9/21 10:37am.

    The countdown timer shows:

    21 00 00 36
    Days/hours/minutes/seconds

    I see that and I immediately cover my mouth in shock...

    I just made this change to my timer at 10:37am exactly 21 days to the 21st. The exact moment of sunset on the feast of trumpets.

    I guess I can add that to the pile of "coincidences"

    -Jon

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    1. What are the odds the timing would work out like that! Astronomical!!

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    2. I don't understand. Please explain. Thank you and God Bless you.

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    3. Oops sorry I didn't mean to post twice. Please delete the first one. I didn't check the update square to let me know of a response. Thank you.

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  10. Thank you, awesome work!

    I just found your site when I watched Mr. Clarke's conference teaching and he mentioned your site.

    Nana
    Titus 2:13

    I have also been reading and posting at unsealed however the anonymous button is no longer there to post?

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  11. I thought this was beautiful describing Revelation 1:1."is a sign which is seen: not a mere wonder, but something which has a meaning; it is not “a surprise ending with itself,” but a signal to arrest attention, and possessing significance; there is “an idea concealed behind it.”

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    1. Whoops that was Revelation 12:1

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  12. Has anyone else noticed in Stellarium, that at approximately midnight (EST) on 9/23, that the moon (Israel perhaps) moves in to Libra (scales, judgement)? Maybe I am spending too much time looking at this stuff :)

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  13. ...so it would be 12:01 am EST on 9/24. The moon is moving in to Libra. Its almost all the way in by that time.

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  14. Arthur Bloomfield (1895 -1980) was a Methodist minister in the mid west. He taught often on Bible prophecy. His teachings sparked massive revivals.

    In 1945, at a prophecy seminar in Minnesota, five families who heard Bloomfield teach were moved to sell their homes, buy property, and start a missionary organization called Bethany House. They decided to pool their resources and made a factory where they could make goods and use the proceeds to live on, and then use the rest to send out 100 missionaries around the world. The company is known today as Bethany Housewares and is a leading company in the creation of cooking ware. In 1948, with just ten students, they started a missionary college to train their own missionaries. In 1956 they started a publishing company that has published thousands of books around the world. The Publishing Company is called Bethany House Publishers and The College is now an accredited university called Bethany Global University.

    In His book All Things New (a book on revelation) on page 215 Bloomfield said regarding the travailing woman and the man child " this is a picture of the rapture of the church"

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  15. Wow....at this point, you're willfully ignoring a mountain of evidence by saying this alignment is nothing. Well done!

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  16. Thank you for this space, Brad. Disappointed with preachers, teachers, etc... Actually spent a lot of time on the 'Updates...and other info' from this lot... Debunkers indeed... Was surprised and went over a statement made by one who actually mentioned, "... There were no blood moons...." when a friend and I spent time, looking up on time and saw what we did ( even though was a brief) and thank Our Creator for this said witness. Just sticking with the WORD, like the Berean and when directed to check the Media.Thank you, again the for this space.. to go through

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  17. (Amos 5:18) "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light."

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  18. I recently listened to a podcast by Evangelist Mike Parker of Prophecies of the End Times called, "No Mans Knows..."
    Copy & paste this link:

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/propheciesoftheendtimes/2017/08/06/no-man-knows

    to listen or download the podcast. It mentions Brad Hurst's study (Systematic Eschatology - The Hermeneutics of Bible Prophecy) concerning Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32, The Feasts of the LORD, The Great America Solar Eclipse, The Revelation 12 Sign and other amazing Hebrew traditions. It’s very interesting and insightfully supportive of the current Signs of the End Times. I prayed ten years ago for God to lead me to the truth of His Word and Prophecies and He led to this time and space. Thanks to Unsealed.org, Scott Clarke, Revelation 12 Daily, Parable of the Vineyard, Jonathan Cahn, Mark Biltz, Chuck Missler and many others for thinking outside the box of modern Christian thinking. Look up our redemption is nigh, God bless you all.

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  19. Great article!

    The rapture is SO CLOSE that mothers stopped telling their children to wear clean underwear in case they are involved in an accident; they are now told to wear clean underwear in case the rapture is today!

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  20. Isa 66:7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

    8 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.

    9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

    10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

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  21. First time here, what a blessing and insight of these men of YHWH. We wait, please Yashua if not now then when....Maranatha...

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  22. Here is an article that compiles very conclusive evidence from much scripture as to who the manchild is that is coming very very soon brethren:

    http://www.ubm1.org/?page=coming

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Colossians 3:2-4

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.