A glorious and awesome childbirth is about to happen. This event is
described in some detail in chapter 12 of the Revelation of Jesus Christ
which He gave to the apostle John in order to show future events to His
bondslaves. If you are not looking forward to this coming great birth
please stop reading as this note probably does not concern you. This
note is focused on a question of timing and is deliberately sparse on
the "who, what, where, why, how" type of details.
Rev 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman
clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a
garland of twelve stars.
Rev 12:2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
Jesus Himself summarized the associated labor pains in a key message to His disciples:
Mat 24:3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the
disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these
things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end
of the age?"
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.
Mat 24:5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
Mat 24:6 "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you
are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not
yet the end.
Mat 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
Mat 24:8 "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Mat 24:9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you,
and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
Mat 24:10 "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
Mat 24:11 "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
Mat 24:12 "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
Mat 24:13 "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
Mat 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole
world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The apostle Paul said that even the creation is groaning in labor pains
while it waits for the revealing (birthing) of the sons of God:
Rom 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
Rom 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Rom 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the
Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for
the adoption, the redemption of our body.
I hope that it is clear to you that the labor pains described by Paul
and Jesus have been taking place for thousands of years. (wars, famines,
Likewise you should understand that the "glory which shall be revealed in us" is actually Christ Himself:
Col 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the
glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the
hope of glory.
Jesus used the term "overcome" to describe the process by which an individual achieves this birth:
Rev 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations;
Rev 2:27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed
to pieces like the potter's vessels'; as I also have received from My
Rev 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My
throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations
with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his
Rev 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the
word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war
with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and
have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
In other words - the "man child" or more properly "son of man-kind" is
none other than Christ in us. (The One in the many!) I don't wish to
discuss here the identity of the symbolic woman who births the child but
I do want to point out that the scripture passage says that she will
have special protection from God for 3 and 1/2 years during very
troubled times on earth in which some of God's people are greatly
persecuted by Satan according to the rest of that chapter. The passage
thus describes at least three different though possibly overlapping
groups of God's people. (I am aware that some people think that being
"caught up" implies a physical movement, but that is not what I hear
from God and scripture itself says that being seated on Christ's throne
does not imply physical movement - Eph 2:6 and raised us up together,
and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.)
Many of Christ's followers throughout history have overcome and earned
the associated reward. Yet they have not received it, as Paul mentioned
in his time:
Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
I realize that all of the above information is simple review. But now it
is 2000 years later and some of us have been asking at least ourselves
the question "What is He waiting for?" Certainly Jesus has had all authority and power during that time.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Of course we know that He is waiting for the word from His father:
Acts 1:6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him,
saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
Acts 1:7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
Clearly God is waiting for a specific time to bring about a corporate
birthing or revealing of Christ in us. I don't want to discuss the
purpose of this corporate event here but only the personal aspect of the
timing as it applies to us. (If you are still confused about the
"second coming" of Christ and the many contradictory theories you may
have heard, please set that aside for the moment. All you need to
realize here is that Christ Jesus cannot return physically until God's
purpose for this age is completed.) When I asked God about it, He
reminded me of a certain scripture which I list here in context:
2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2 Cor 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
2 Cor 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts
itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ,
2 Cor 10:6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
The part called to my attention was the phrase "when your obedience is
fulfilled". While this has a personal application to us learning
obedience just as Christ Jesus our Lord did, the context of "punish all
disobedience" seems to apply it more specifically to the time of ruling
"all nations with a rod of iron". That means there is a corporate group
of God's people which must come to the maturity of full obedience to God
before Christ Jesus can take authority over the nations of the earth
and rule them. In this case, each person of the group must fulfill
obedience before the group itself is corporately one in obedience and
the end can come. Does that mean that if some believer refuses to learn
obedience that God's will is permanently thwarted? Not at all since such
a person has chosen to exclude themselves from this key "firstfruits"
group and yet may come to obedience later as a "prodigal" or "lump" (in
harvest terminology). However if you have responded to God's call to
join with this group you can "hasten" this revelation of Christ:
2 Pet 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what
manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
2 Pet 3:12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,...
He is waiting for us!