By God’s grace, in this article, we desire to learn of exactly what the woman represents and what the man child represents, so that we have a better clue of how the prophecy in Revelation 12:5-6 will be fulfilled. As we would see, the man child is a Church that has matured to the stature of a perfect man, and operate in the measure of life and grace as was displayed in our Lord Jesus Christ while He was on earth (Ephesians 4:13).
When we read Revelation 12, we are told of a woman that is clothed with the sun, has the moon under her feet, and upon her head she has a crown of twelve stars.
What does this mean?
The woman represents the bride of Christ, which is the Church. The members of this Church are all persons who truly believe, with a sincere heart, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He died and rose up on the third day. In Galatians 4:26, Paul refers to the Church as Jerusalem which is above. He said:
“ But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.  For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.” (Galatians 4:26-27, NKJV)
When he said, she is the mother of us all, it simply means that we belong to her, the bride of Christ. In other words, every true believer in Christ Jesus is seen as a seed, or an offspring, of the bride of Christ.
How do we identify the woman physically?
We have understood that the woman represents the bride of Christ, which is the Church of God. As such, ideally, every church assembly in a community should be a local expression of the woman in that community. But we are faced with an unfortunate reality. There are actually two women mentioned in the book of Revelation. One is the woman in Revelation 12 which is the faithful bride of Christ (the faithful church), while the other is the woman in Revelation 17 which is referred to as a whore (an adulterous wife). Being called a whore, it means that she represents backslidden church organizations. This is because in the Old Testament, in Jeremiah 3, God referred to the Israelites as a whore when they turned from Him, their spiritual Husband, and went to worship idols of stone and stocks (verse 9). As such, in the New Testament, since the bride of Christ is the Church, then a whore represent an adulterous Church that has turned from allowing Christ to be the head, and has set up another to take His place in the lives of the congregation.
So then, back to the question: How do we identify the faithful woman physically?
We can identify her as any church assembly that is faithful to Christ. In other words, the local expressions of the faithful woman are church assemblies that are faithful to Christ.
So how do we define a faithful Church, considering that the people in a church are not usually at the same level in their spiritual life?
To answer, we should first of all make the distinction that a faithful Church is not necessarily perfect. They are faithful because their leadership allows the Spirit of God to rule over them. They may still have some weaknesses, but they are on the path to being a perfect Church.
What is a perfect Church?
A perfect Church is a Church that has developed to meet the full description in Ephesians 4:13. That is, they are a church that has come to the unity of Spirit, unity of faith, and unity of the knowledge of the Son of God. They have matured, as a body, to become a perfect man in oneness, operating according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Meaning, they have come to perfect oneness with each other, and together, they operate as one man, one perfect man, displaying the full measure of life and power that was displayed in our Lord Jesus Christ while He was on earth.
It is until all the church of God on earth comes to this point that she can be declared ready for marriage (Revelation 19:7) – a bride without spot or wrinkle. But before all the Church of God on earth comes to this full maturity, the prophecy in Revelation 12:5 is telling us that some fellowships of God’s people will come to this level of maturity first. They are the ones symbolized as the man child (the male child) that emerged from the woman (Revelation 12:5). The male gender is used to describe them because, as a Church, they have come to the stature of a perfect man, which is God’s intention for all His Church, as Paul mentioned in Ephesians 4:13. In Matthew 16:18, our Lord Jesus said:
“… I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Building His Church to this stature of a perfect man is what our Lord Jesus has been working on through His Spirit, and the “man child” are a prophecy of when He will yield a first fruit result – a church, within His church, that has come to the full stature of maturity He has been working for; a church that displays the same measure of life and grace that He did while He was upon the earth; a church that in whom is fulfilled His prayer in John 17:
“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one –  I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:21-23, NKJV)
Seeing that this man child church is very important to God, we should ask:
What is God’s plan for the man child church when they emerge?
To answer, we need to consider the things written in Revelation 12:5-6. It reads:
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” (Revelation 12:5-6, KJV)
Upon reading this, we see that these things are quite similar to what Gabriel said to Mary about our Lord Jesus, when He was to be born into the world. Luke 1:31-33 reads:
“ And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33, KJV)
Considering these similarities, we can begin to understand that our Lord Jesus Christ’s life is a prophecy of the things that God has planned to accomplish through this man child church. In other words, to understand what God has planned for the man child church, we can interpret Revelation 12:5-6 according to the pattern we see in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, the things spoken about our Lord Jesus Christ did not happen immediately He was born, although He was destined for it. That is, He did not take on the throne of David immediately, neither did He begin to reign over the house of Jacob immediately. He first of all ministered for three and half years as a natural man, full of God’s anointing, before these things became a reality.
With this in mind, we can consider that when we are told in Revelation 12:5 that the man child was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, it will not happen immediately they emerge. They will first of all accomplish a ministry for three and half years (1260 days) before they begin to rule all nations with a rod of iron. It also means that they are not caught up to God’s throne immediately, just as our Lord Jesus did not ascend the throne of David immediately. It is after they finish their ministry of nourishing the church of God for 1260 days, that they will be caught up to the throne. However, they are caught up to God immediately they emerge. Following this order of events, we can understand that to be caught up to God means to be taken over in full ministry, just as our Lord Jesus was immediately minded to do His Father’s business from His young age, while in a natural body. This means that the prophecy in Revelation 12:5 is saying that soon, some churches will measure up to the perfect standard of the man child, and when they do, they will be caught up to God, to carry out a ministry of nourishing the whole church of God for 1260 days, as our Lord Jesus ministered for three and half years, nourishing the lost sheep of Israel, and delivering them from the burden placed on them by the backslidden Jewish religious leaders.
We can also use the man child Samuel to learn about this order of service. Just as Samuel was lent to God to serve in the temple all the days of his life, so also, the man child will be caught up to God, to live completely for Him, doing absolutely nothing else, but nourishing the church of God for 1260 days. They will not be subject to a normal routine lifestyle. And just as Samuel became a judge over Israel, and carried out a higher level of service to God, so also the man child church will be caught up to God’s throne, to carry out a higher level of service (in immortality), after finishing their ministry for 1260 days, as Christ finished His.
In Revelation 12:14, more is spoken about this ministry that the man child church will carry out towards the woman (the church of God). It reads: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
In this passage, the man child are now described as a great eagle – a great eagle with two wings. Why are they referred to as a great eagle? It is because, in Job 39:27-30, God explained that an eagle is a bird that mounts up at His command, and dwells on high, in the mountains (far above an earthy life). The eagle also has eyes that can see far.
Using the eagle as a symbol to describe the man child church therefore means that the man child church is such that is led strictly by Him (they mount up in ministry when He commands). They are spiritually minded and not earthy minded (dwelling in the mountains, spiritually). As a church, their spiritual eyes are open, and they can see deep into the will of God, and can perceive things that have not yet happened, as the Lord reveals it to them.
We are told that as a great eagle, they have two wings. Wings represent ministry. Malachi 4:2 says: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”. In this passage, the Sun of righteousness is our Lord Jesus Christ, and when He comes to us, He brings healing in His wings. It is with His wings that He lifts us up, and takes us to a higher level of walk with Him.
We can thus learn that the two wings of the great eagle represent a two-fold ministry that will be carried out by the man child church (symbolized as a great eagle). The purpose of this ministry is to be lift the whole church of God on earth to the level of maturity where she is ready for marriage to the Lamb (our Lord Jesus Christ). But to do this, the man child church will need to contend with the backslidden church system to deliver many of God’s people from their hold, just as our Lord Jesus, in the course of His ministry, openly resisted the Pharisees and the hierarchy of the priests in order to teach the truth and deliver the people of Israel from the bondage of their false religion.
This two fold ministry of the man child church is the one that is described as the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-4. It reads:
“ And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
(Revelation 11:3-4, KJV)
With the descriptions given in this passage, we can learn some more things about this two fold ministry that the man child church (the great eagle) will carry out. First of all, they are described as two witnesses, even before the empowerment. This means that as a church, they already have a missionary spirit of witnessing for Christ through various means, and it is as they faithfully witness for Christ that they will be empowered. Next, in verse 4, they are described as two candlesticks. This confirms that they operate as a church, because in Revelation 1:20, our Lord Jesus explained that a candlestick represents a church (a fellowship of God’s people). The other thing we are told in verse 4 is that they are also two olive trees. In Zechariah 4, we are shown a similar picture where two olive trees empty out their oil into the bowl of a candlestick so that the fire of the candlestick can be sustained and made bright. With this, we can understand that the persons in this man child church have all matured to be able to dispense life to their brethren so that the faith and zeal of everyone is kept alive and made stronger daily. As described in Isaiah 61:3, they are all trees of righteousness – trees that are full of oil, the oil of anointing needed to keep the light of the church burning bright, as they carry out their ministry of nourishing the whole church of God for 1260 days.
As mentioned before, the purpose of the ministry is to deliver the people of God from the backslidden and apostate church system, just as our Lord Jesus ministered to deliver the lost sheep of Israel from the backslidden Jewish religious system that kept God’s people in bondage, and made merchandise of their souls, riding on their ignorance to glorify and enrich themselves. In Revelation 11:8, the backslidden and apostate church system is described as the great city (Babylon), which is also spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. It is a city that began as the backslidden Jewish religious system that crucified our Lord Jesus Christ, and has not evolved to be the backslidden church system (beginning with the Roman Catholic organization, and all her daughters that have become harlots like her, including many Pentecostal, or Evangelical, church organizations).
By the description we are given in Revelation 11:6, we can understand that this two fold ministry that will be carried out by the man child church, is symbolized by Elijah and Moses.
Elijah’s ministry was to turn Israel back to God and deliver them from the negative influence of Jezebel who introduced them to the worship of baal. In like manner, the man child church will turn God’s church back to Him and deliver them from the influence of false prophets and false men of God (whom our Lord Jesus describe as Jezebel in Revelation 2:20).
Moses’s ministry was to deliver Israel from Egypt and lead them to the wilderness where they will be able to worship God as God wants them to. To do this, he had to resist pharaoh, and smite Egypt with plagues, until the people of God were set free. In like manner, God will empower the man child church to resist the leaders of the backslidden church system, symbolized as Egypt, in order to deliver God’s people and lead them to simple fellowships (without a city structure), where they can worship God in spirit and in truth as they ought to.
Now, as we know, God took Moses out of Egypt first, and led him into the wilderness where he unlearned the things of Egypt, and learnt a new way of life, the life of a shepherd. Then, at some time, God revealed Himself to him, and empowered him to return to Egypt to deliver his brethren from the hands of their slave masters. So we see that Moses’ training did not take place in Egypt. It took place in the wilderness.
This is a similar path God is taking towards those who will be part of the man child church. He is already building this perfect church, by bringing them out of Egypt (Babylon – the backslidden church system). He is making them fellowship in the “wilderness”. In simple gatherings without a city structure. In these fellowship gatherings, He has provided different ministries, apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherds, and teachers, so that they will be edified with the truth of God’s word, and come to the unity of spirit, the unity of faith, the unity of the knowledge of the Son of God, and mature to become as one perfect man, operating in the full measure of the stature of Christ. And when they emerge in this stature as a perfect man, God will empower them to minister for 1260 days to deliver their brethren from the backslidden church system (who began as an adulterous bride of Christ). This ministry that they will carry out for 1260 days is like a combination of the ministry of Elijah and Moses, just as our Lord Jesus’ ministry was like a combination of Elijah and Moses’ ministry. How do we know this? In Matthew 17, when our Lord Jesus transfigured, His glory was revealed to the disciples, but also His ministry was broken down for them to appreciate. They saw a vision of Elijah and Moses talking with our Lord Jesus, and then they heard a voice from the cloud instructing them that our Lord Jesus is the Son of God, and that they should hear Him. Meaning, as they hear Him, they will be hearing Elijah and they will be hearing Moses. This was done to witness of height of our Lord Jesus’s ministry so that His disciples will believe Him more. As such, our Lord Jesus’ ministry was a combination of the ministry of Elijah and Moses, and even more glorious. So also, the ministry of the man child church is a combination of the ministry of Elijah and Moses, because our Lord Jesus will walk upon the earth again through them, and perform His ministry of building His Church, as He would have done if He were bodily present. Although this time, He has the liberty of using the many bodies of people who operate as a perfect church (the man child church that has come to the full stature of a perfect man).
Indeed we are told in Revelation 11:7-8 that when they have finished their ministry of 1260 days, the beast will kill them, just as it killed our Lord Jesus. The beast that killed our Lord Jesus is the Roman Empire, while the beast that will kill these man child church is the evolved, or resurrected Roman Empire.
Just as our Lord Jesus resurrected into immortality, so also the members of this man child church will resurrect into immortality. Although all of them will be persecuted by the backslidden church system, as our Lord Jesus was persecuted by the backslidden Jewish religious system (John 5:16, 15:20), not all of them will be killed by the beast, just as not all the disciples died through persecution. Those who are killed will resurrect into immortality, demonstrate the two ways of resurrection into immortality, which are: dying and returning with an immortal body, and directly changing into an immortal body without dying. It should be noted that those who do not die are not necessarily better than those who die. It is the Father’s will that will be done over every person, just as our Lord Jesus told Peter that it should not be his business whether or not John dies. The important thing is that he should follow him. Such is the mind of the Lord for each of us that will be part of the man child church that He is building. Luke 21:14-19 says:
“Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: (15) For I will give you a mouth and a wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. (16) And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. (17) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. (18) But there shall not an hair of your head perish. (19) In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:14-19, KJV)
We shouldn’t shy away from this. James 1:2-3 says: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”. Moreover, Revelation 11:5 makes us understand that in the days of our ministry, as we declare the truth of God’s word, anyone who seeks to hurt us will be consumed by the fire of God’s judgement as we decree it against them. It will be similar to what our Lord Jesus told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 5:14:
“Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: Because you speak this word, Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.” (Jeremiah 5:14, NKJV)
We would not be preys in the hand of the enemy. Like our Lord Jesus, we will see the unpleasant day afar off, and agree to lay down our lives, according to the will of the Father. And just as it is written that if the princes of this world understood the wisdom of God, they would not have slain the Lord of glory, so also, if they have any understanding of God’s wisdom, they will not touch this man child church. But because they are ignorant, they will, and their blood will be the token by which satan will be permanently cast down from the second heaven, and lose his place (his license) to operate from there (Revelation 12:8). Because, when the man child church emerges as first fruits of God’s work on the church, God will conclude that the new Eve has been established, and satan’s right to operate as the prince of this world, will be completely revoked – a right he stole from the first Adam and Eve, by making them yield themselves in obedience to Him (Romans 6:16).
This is what is prophesied, and it pleases the Lord that we be reminded of it, so that we will not be offended when it comes, and so that we will be minded to submit to His work in His church as He molds us to become a perfect church, operating in oneness as a perfect man. Blessed are those assemblies that will be become a perfect Church; they will join our Lord Jesus to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and dash the civilization of humanity to pieces in stage 6 – the great day of God’s judgement.
The kingdoms of this world shall surely become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15). “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27)
The church of God will surely be built and perfected, even in troublous times, and it is good that we all gird up our loins like men and be ready to work the works of our God in this season, not trying to save our lives, even in the face of death.
The song says:
Stand up, Stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross
Lift high His royal banner it must not suffer loss
From victory unto victory, His army shall He lead
Till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed
Stand up, stand up for Jesus! The trumpet call obey
Forth to the mighty conflict in this His glorious day
Ye that are men now serve Him against unnumbered foes
Let courage rise with danger and strength to strength oppose
Stand up, stand up for Jesus! Stand in His strength alone
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own
Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer
Where duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there
Stand up, stand up for Jesus! The strife will not be long
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song
To him that overcometh, a crown of life shall be
He with the King of glory, shall reign eternally
As the Lord said to His disciples before heading to the garden of Gethsemane, so He says again to us:
“… Arise, let us go hence.” (John 14:31)