Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Apocalyptic? #5: The 7000 Year Drama and the 3 Women

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.

She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

 (Revelation 12:1-2 NIV)


The Dedication Page of my book Revelation:  The Human Drama reads:

Adam had Eve.

God had Israel (and the first Jerusalem).

Jesus has the Church (the 144,000, the New Jerusalem).

I have Linda.

This is dedicated to my bride.

Of the women mentioned in that dedication, Linda is the only one who is not strictly alluded to in the Book of Revelation.  The three key women of the Revelation Drama are:  1) Eve, 2) Israel and 3) the Church.  These three women easily correspond to the three periods of human history considered in the previous post as Six Thousand-Year-Long Days.  They all experienced a struggle with the serpent/dragon.  There were two days WITHOUT THE LAW (from Adam to Abraham) corresponding to the woman Eve.  There were two days WITH THE LAW (from Abraham to Christ) corresponding to the woman Israel.  There were two days WITH CHRIST (from Jesus to Today) corresponding to the third woman:  The Church.  The seventh day, you will remember, is a World Sabbath, in which all of God’s children REST from their labors (i.e., the world to come, the New Heavens and New Earth, commonly referred to, simply, as Heaven). 
As in the Mirror Image, discussed from blogposts 2 through 4, John is writing in the middle age of 2000 years (from Abraham to Christ), looking back to the first age of 2000 years (from Adam to Abraham) and forward to the third age of 2000 years (from Jesus to Today).  John is instructed by the angel in Revelation 1:19 (NIV): “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is NOW and what will take place later.”  John is not instructed to write much about the past (the age from Adam to Abraham), but he sees himself nearing the END of the second period (from Abraham to Christ).  The “what is NOW” from John’s perspective is the End (or TELOS) of the second 2000-year era—the age corresponding to the woman Israel.  Revelation 1:1 (NIV) indicates that John is primarily charged with writing: “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must SOON take place.”  John is to be listened to by his audience, according to Revelation 1:3 (NIV): “because the time is NEAR.”  Those who attempt to place the vast majority of John’s Revelation in the present age (21st Century) are misreading the book.  “What will take place later” certainly includes the last two chapters of Revelation, as John describes the New Heavens and New Earth, with the New Jerusalem coming down from God (the 7th day, World Sabbath).  “What will take place later” also includes Revelation chapter 20 that will last more than 1000 years (the 5th and 6th day, with Christ)—including the time when Satan is confined to and, subsequently, released from prison until the Battle with Gog and Magog, Satan’s being cast into the Lake of Fire, and Judgment Day),
but everything before that in Revelation is referring to the last “week of years” from Daniel, the 3 ½ years, starting in 66 AD, before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and the 3 ½ years after the destruction of the Temple until the 7-year war with Rome ends and Masada falls, in 73 AD. 
This is the “what is NOW” and the “what must SOON take place” from John’s perspective.  John repeats his consciousness of the “what must SOON take place” throughout Revelation.  John predicts that the "time" is "near" (Revelation 1:3, 22:10), that Jesus is "coming soon" (Revelation 3:11, 22:20), that the dragon’s "time is short" (Revelation 12:12), and that these things “must soon take place" (Revelation 22:6).

Just as there are multiple "ends" in Greek dramas and other entelechies, there are multiple "ends" in John's Human Drama.  The Greek trilogy has three "ends," one for each of the three dramas that comprise the trilogy-turned-tetralogy.  This is similar to the three 2000-year segments of the Human Drama, according to the previous post.  In Revelation, John is primarily preparing his 69 AD audience for the end of the Israel-as-bride entelechy, and looking forward to the beginning of the Church-as-bride entelechy.  The end of the Church-as-bride entelechy is, then, to be followed by the world sabbath in the New Heavens and New Earth.

The woman described in Revelation 12:1-2 represents all three of the women—Eve, Israel, and Church.  A “woman vs. serpent” metaphor informs all of John’s Revelation.  WOMAN #1, Eve (Adam’s bride), was the first to have a conflict with the Serpent (/Dragon) as she allowed the Serpent to deceive her, she disbelieved God, and she lost Paradise (the Garden of Eden).  WOMAN #2, the people of Israel, following in the tradition of Israel’s (/Jacob’s) grandfather Abraham, then, became God’s bride/wife (Ezekiel 16:8-14, 32-34, 43, 59-60, 62, Jeremiah 2:2, 32, 3:6-10, 12-14, 20, 31:31-33, Isaiah 50:1, 54:5-8, 62:4-5, Hosea 1:2, 2:2, 7, 14-16, 3:1-3, 9:1, Joel 1:8).  Like Eve, Israel turned her back on God and (once again being tempted by the serpent/devil/dragon) played the harlot (Ezekiel 16:32-34, 43, 59-60, Jeremiah 3:6-10, 20, 31:31-33, Hosea 1:2, 2:2, 7, 3:1-3, 9:1) and, as John is seeing in Revelation, she is in the process of being DIVORCED from God (as the prophets warned:  Jeremiah 3:6-10, Isaiah 50:1) at the time John writes in 69 AD.  She is the woman mentioned in Revelation 12:1-2 with the “crown of twelve stars on her head.”  The twelve stars are the twelve tribes.  The part of Israel who is the HARLOT is the woman dressed in scarlet in Revelation 17, Mystery Babylon.  The part of the woman who is the remnant and represents true Israel is the 144,000 “VIRGINS” referred to in Revelation 14:4:  These are they which were not defiled among women; for they are VIRGINS. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  Technically, the HARLOT is being divorced, but the VIRGINS are the bride of Christ in the next woman (II Corinthians 11:2, "I have espoused [or rather, betrothed] you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste VIRGIN to Christ."):  

This third woman—the Church—is described as the bride of Christ in Mark 2:19-20, John 3:29, II Corinthians 11:1-4, and Ephesians 5:25-27, in addition to Revelation 19:7-9 and 21:2, 9-11.  While this third woman in Revelation 12:1-2 has allusions to Mary the mother of Jesus (“She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth”), Mary should probably be counted as still being a representative of Israel (bride of God), since Jesus’ birth (the last Adam:  I Corinthians 15:45-49) actually begins the new (third) entelechy.  It is Jesus’ bride who, unlike Eve and Israel, actually resists the Dragon and is married to the Lamb who Himself defeated the Dragon through His crucifixion.  Notice how much of Revelation revolves around the “woman vs. serpent” metaphor.  Eve, an actual woman, engages in battle with the Serpent in Eden.  Israel, a metaphorical woman engages in battle with a metaphorical serpent (Satan).  The Church, a metaphorical woman, engages in battle with a metaphorical serpent (Satan/Devil/Dragon).  We will discuss, later, the conquest of the third woman and the end of the old heavens and old earth, but next, we turn to the major emphasis of John’s vision—the divorce of the second woman (Israel), the bride of God.

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