Revelation 12: The Woman Brought Forth A MAN CHILD (Part 3)

In PART 1 and 2 of the Revelation 12 series, we were already able to explain some of the symbolisms contained therein – “woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet” and “the great red dragon and the third of the stars” prophecies. Let us pick up the thought in verse 4 again to better understand the context of the whole chapter:

“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…”

Since the vision in Revelation 12 is all about the WOMAN which is comprised by the seven successive eras as written in chapters 2 and 3, as explained in part 2 that “THE THIRD OF THE STARS” among the seven stars, apparently leads us to the Pergamos era – THE THIRD ERA of God’s Church! Again, why the Pergamos era? As we have seen without any shadow of a doubt, that it was during THIS THIRD ERA that Satan was able to successfully infiltrate God’s Church and implement his counterfeit doctrines (the MOON as explained in part 1) – the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans! What is even more interesting is that the Pergamos era Church has dwelt where Satan’s seat was!

“I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is” (verse 13).

It is interesting to note that this prophecy of the Pergamos era is very much like what the PCG through the leadership of Mr. Gerald Flurry’s son, Stephen Flurry who successfully brought the last phase of God’s work to Edstone, Warwickshire, England which is known to be the Kingdom of the WITCHES, a place rich in witchcraft and paganism! Stephen and his fellows were able to bring forth the EDSTONE by esteeming God through Mr. Gerald Flurry as a CLAY IN THEIR HANDS and they thought that they are the POTTERS (Zechariah 3:1-2, 8; Isaiah 29:16) In his 1st Day of Unleavened Bread (2015) sermon in Edmond, Oklahoma before going to Edstone, England, Mr. Gerald Flurry gave a reassurance that Edstone is the NEW phase of God’s Work. Oh, how happy and jubilant the 25 men of Ezekiel 8 were upon hearing such a confirmation (that’s what they thought, but God has another plan in mind)! Some may think, what’s the connection between the Pergamos era and the Philadelphia Church of God in the Laodicean era? Do we have any tangible proof to establish its relationship?

A Fantastic Find

This is the latest of a series of extraordinary finds Dr. Mazar has unearthed in recent years. Working on behalf of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she has been uncovering Jerusalem’s history for decades. In 2009, she renewed work in the Ophel, at the foot of the Temple Mount, which she had once excavated with her grandfather, Prof. Benjamin Mazar, in the 1970s. A second phase of excavation in 2012 yielded her most recent remarkable find: a piece of pottery bearing the oldest alphabetical inscription yet to be found in Jerusalem.

This past April, Dr. Mazar and her staff went back into the field to continue the second phase of the renewed Ophel excavations. Just five days in, workers Caridad French and Ahinoam Meyers were excavating in a Byzantine-era structure when they uncovered a large gold earring. The find was particularly startling because of its proximity to modern debris. As they continued, the second earring appeared, and then a number of gold coins began emerging, strewn across the area.

Further excavation carried out by the team, including Dr. Mazar herself, revealed the menorah medallion buried in a depression in the floor and a cache of jewelry items tucked underneath it. Remnants of fabric found on the items indicate that they were at one time packaged in two separate cloth purses.

The first bundle, containing the menorah medallion and other jewelry, was found undisturbed where it had been carefully hidden in the chalky floor. The second had a more dramatic fate. Its items were found scattered across the floor; apparently there had not been enough time to bury them.

Dr. Mazar and her team believe the menorah medallion, which hangs from a gold chain, and the other jewelry items found with it were probably used to adorn a Torah scroll–a practice that Jews have been known to do for millennia. If so, the medallion and accompanying items would be the earliest known Torah scroll ornaments ever discovered. This appears to be corroborated by the appearance of the Torah symbol on the medallion itself. A similar medallion displaying a Torah scroll alongside a menorah can be found on display in the Jewish Museum in London, though its origins are unknown.

The second bundle held 36 gold coins, two gold earrings, a broken gold-plated silver pendant and a pure silver ingot–probably all items that a Jewish resident of the city had intended to use as payment. Numismatics expert Lior Sandberg, who examined the coins, concludes that the last possible date for their minting is 602 C.E. Therefore, the gold coins and their accompanying items must have been abandoned sometime after this date. Dr. Mazar postulates that the treasure was abandoned around the time of the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 C.E.

Source: http://www.keytodavidscity.com/rich-history-unearthed-in-jerusalem-gold-treasure-with-jewish-menorah-found-near-temple-mount/

Trumpet 1013

We must remember the date 614 C.E. is very much in the midst of the PERGAMOS ERA! The golden menorah medallion and the 36 gold coins that were found during the 2013 Ophel Mount excavation participated by the Philadelphia Church of God is a SINGLE TANGIBLE PROOF of its connection to that era. Now notice here what happened on this forgotten chapter of Jewish history surrounding the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 C.E.

The Persian Conquest of Jerusalem

By Meir Loewenberg

The Jewish people encountered the Persian people at different points in history. The Purim story, as recorded in the Book of Esther, is perhaps the best remembered of these encounters, but there are others, less well known. The story of the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 C.E. is almost unknown. The Encyclopedia Judaica devotes less than three lines to this event, while many Jewish history books ignore it altogether.

Ever since the establishment of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Jews and other non-Christians were the objects of discrimination and worse. In the fifth and sixth centuries, the lot of the Jews who had remained in Palestine became unbearable. They were the victims of heavy taxes, confiscation of property and even forced conversions. Messianic hopes and dreams were the only thing that kept them going.

Just at this point in history, King Khosrau II (591-628) became the Sassanid king of Persia. He followed his predecessor’s liberal policy towards the local Jews. Within the Persian royal circles, the Jews had recognized rights and privileges, but due to the fanaticism of some of the Persian people they were not always able to exercise these. At one point Khosrau considered the idea of relocating the Jews, but the opportunity to do this never presented itself.

Early in his reign, King Khosrau attempted to re-establish the ancient Achaemenid Empire by aggressively conquering neighboring countries. In 602 he launched an offensive against Constantinople with the aim of annexing as much Byzantine territory as possible. His armies invaded and plundered Syria and Asia Minor and by 608 advanced as far as Chalcedon (nowadays a neighborhood in Instanbul). Soon afterwords his armies besieged and captured Damascus.

Jews everywhere were eager to aid and abet the Persian army. When they heard the news that Jewish soldiers had joined the Persian forces, they fully expected that a miracle would soon occur. The Jews of Antioch rioted and killed the Christian Patriarch. In Yemen the Jews also rioted and killed the Christian clergy.

The next target of the Persian army was Jerusalem, capital of the Byzantine province of Palaestina Prima. Capturing this province would provide Persia direct access to the Mediterranean Sea, thereby threatening Byzantine hegemony of that ocean. Prior to embarking on the invasion of Palestine, King Khosrau made a treaty with the Reish Galuta, the head of Babylonian Jewry. Even though many historians doubt whether there actually was such a treaty, it was widely believed both at the time and in later centuries that this treaty called upon the Jews to provide 20,000 soldiers for the Persian army. In return for joining the Persian army, these Jewish soldiers were given permission to participate in the capture of Jerusalem – which they did in 614. King Khosrau appointed Nehemiah ben Hushiel, the son of the Exilarch, as the symbolic leader of Persian troops. Since Nehemiah was known to be a mystic, Khosrau was certain that he would not interfere in military affairs.

Benjamin of Tiberias, a Jew of immense wealth, enlisted and armed additional Jewish soldiers for the Persian army. Tiberian Jews, together with others from Nazareth and the mountain cities of Galilee, joined the Persian divisions commanded by Shahrbaraz on the march to Jerusalem. The united forces took Jerusalem by storm after a 21 day siege (July, 614 CE). The fall of Jerusalem’s walls meant not only the capture of Jerusalem, but also of all of Palaestina Prima. Subsequent to the conquest of Jerusalem, the local Jews assisted the Persian troops in putting down a revolt of the Christian population against their new rulers.

One of the conditions for the enlistment of twenty thousand Jewish soldiers was a formal promise that a Jewish governor would be appointed to rule over Persian Jerusalem. Once the city was captured, Nehemiah ben Hushiel was appointed governor of Jerusalem. There are reports that he was a strong young man, handsome and adorned in royal robes, but actually we know very little about his reign because no contemporary accounts have survived. There are reports that he had Messianic pretensions. Soon after his appointment the new governor reestablished the sacrificial service on the Temple Mount – something that had not occurred in over five hundred years. He began to make arrangements for the rebuilding of the Temple. At the same time, he tried to clarify the genealogies of the priests in order to appoint a new High Priest. Rabbi Elazer Kalir, one of the earliest and most prolific of Jewish liturgical poets who lived in Palestine at the time of the Persian invasion, described these events in one of his piyutim (that is not found in the liturgy) as follows:

When Assyria [Persia] came to the city and pitched his tents there / the holy people [Jews] were a bit relieved / because he permitted the reestablishment of the Temple / and they built there the holy altar / and offered upon it holy sacrifices / but they did not manage to build the Temple / because the Messiah had not yet come.

Several other sources also confirm that sacrifices were offered on the Temple Mount during the years of the Persian occupation. According to Antiochus Strategos, a 7th century monk who witnessed the Persian conquest of Jerusalem, an “unprecedented looting and sacrilege” occurred shortly after the Persian army entered Jerusalem…

Antiochus Strategos also claimed that many Christians were captured and held for ransom. Jews offered to help them escape if they “become Jews and deny Christ”. The Christian captives refused this offer. The Jews then purchased the Christians from the Persians and massacred them. He claimed that the total Christian death toll was 66,509.

The immediate results of the conquest of Jerusalem by a Persian-Jewish force filled the Jews with joy and pride. Many Christians became Jews through fear. The Jews were free from the Christian yoke for about fourteen years. They hoped that King Khosrau would permit them to establish a Jewish commonwealth. Some suggest that such an autonomous Jewish province was indeed established. If so, it barely got off the ground before the tide turned.

Three years after Nehemiah was appointed, the Persians removed the Jewish governor of Jerusalem for reasons that were never clearly stated. Perhaps they feared his messianic pretensions – or they made a strategic decision that the support of the larger Christian population was more valuable than that of the smaller number of Jews. After executing the Jewish governor and ending the Jewish rule of the city, the Persians forbade Jews from settling within a three-mile radius of Jerusalem.

Source: http://www.jewishmag.com/161mag/persian_conquest_jerusalem/persian_conquest_jerusalem.htm

These Jews who supported the Persians in its conquest of Jerusalem were most likely the militant Paulicians who trusted in their worldly alliances instead of relying on Jesus’ protection. Apparently, these Paulician Jews attempted to build the THIRD TEMPLE:

Following the unopposed capture of Jerusalem,[4]: 207 control of the city was handed to Nehemiah ben Hushiel and Benjamin of Tiberias. Nehemiah was then appointed the ruler of Jerusalem.[6][17] He began making arrangements for the building of the Third Temple, and sorting out genealogies to establish a new High Priesthood.[18] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasanian_conquest_and_occupation_of_Jerusalem

This thought is aligned with what Mr. Loewenberg wrote:

Rabbi Elazer Kalir, one of the earliest and most prolific of Jewish liturgical poets who lived in Palestine at the time of the Persian invasion, described these events in one of his piyutim (that is not found in the liturgy) as follows:

When Assyria [Persia] came to the city and pitched his tents there / the holy people [Jews] were a bit relieved / because he permitted the reestablishment of the Temple / and they built there the holy altar / and offered upon it holy sacrifices / but they did not manage to build the Temple / because the Messiah had not yet come.

Just like what the Paulician Jews thought that their Jerusalem conquest would lead to the rebuilding of the THIRD TEMPLE, the PCG also believed to be so.

The Philadelphia Trumpet May 2007 issue Is it wrong to think that way? Of course NOT! But what’s wrong with that? We must remember Pergamos era’s stumblingblock:

Although the Pergamos era works were exemplary at times, this Church epoch was not without some very serious spiritual problems. Christ warned this era, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth” (Rev. 2:14-16).

Some had allowed doctrinal errors to creep into the Church. Christ names these doctrinal errors as the “doctrine of Balaam” and the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans.” Christ warned of “them” who held to these doctrines. Not everyone was holding to these doctrines. Only them.Some were holding to these doctrines, some were not. The Greek word for “hold” means “prepared, made ready, or in readiness.” In other words, some from Pergamos were in such a sad spiritual condition that they were ready for such doctrinal error…

(Church History—Part Six, The Sword of My Mouth, The Philadelphia Trumpet, June 1996)

Although the Paulicians in 614 C.E. intended to prepare Jerusalem and build the Third Temple there, yet because they were holding the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, God did not allow them to do so. The same is true with the Philadelphia Church of God, although we have the intention back then to prepare Jerusalem for its KING, yet because we also hold the same doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans in our midst and we chose to work in Edstone – “a land that they know not” (Jeremiah 14:18), God will not allow them as well to go back there in Jerusalem. He will instead use His TWO WITNESSES to revive the work in Jerusalem which the PCG has abandoned in this last end.

Devour Her Child As Soon As It Was Born

Let’s go back in verse 4 to understand what has happened after the third of the stars, the Pergamos era has been constantly coerced and terrorized by the great red dragon, Satan the devil. He was very successful in giving pressure and intimidation to the Pergamos Church. He was able to force them into doing something that which is contrary to the pure doctrines of God – the end result of which was more violence and threats.

“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:”  (Revelation 12:4)

Now notice the colon that has been used which is meant to introduce the next thought:

“…and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

Has this prophecy been fulfilled? Before, we used to think that this verse points us to the prophecy of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. But when you deeply consider the whole vision of Revelation 12, it is all about the WOMAN (God’s Church) and the DRAGON (Satan the devil). Also we must not forget the context of the whole book of Revelation – it is all about the Day of the Lord (Revelation 1:10). Therefore, God’s main concern here is the WAR waging between His Church and Satan the devil that leads to the Day of the Lord. In verse 4, the vision God gave to the apostle John speaks of the ferocious Satan being so zealous with the sole intent of destroying any man whom God shall bring forth (another word of “born” in Strong’s Concordance) from His Pergamos Church and onward.

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” (Revelation 2:12-13)

Here is what the PCG wrote about the fulfillment of this prophecy (emphasis mine in bold):

Antipas My Faithful Martyr

The most important thing to remember about the true Church during this era was that it was continually harassed—so much that it had to remain in hiding to survive. However, this era did accomplish a work, even in such difficult times. Jesus Christ stated, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth” (Rev. 2:13). This era did a great work for God, at least at its beginning. Christ said that they held fast to His name and did not deny His faith. Christ says specifically that this era remained faithful in the days of Antipas, who was His “faithful martyr.” The name Antipas is very interesting to study. If you look up the word in Strong’s you will find that the number for this word is 493. It is a combination of two other words, anti (473) and pater (3962). Pater in the Greek means father. Antipas is a shortened form of Antipater or literally, Antifather. When we understand what was happening inside the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church during this Church era, it is not hard for us to understand that Antipas really means anti-papal. Who was Antipas? Did he really exist? Remember, the biggest handicap in studying true Church history is the lack of well-documented facts about the people we want to know the most. There is a historical figure who does appear to fulfill the role or title of Antipas. History records him as Constantine of Mananeli. You can read his story in chapter 54 of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The city of Mananeli was part of a localized district of Anatolia, a geographically small area of Armenia. The details about Constantine’s conversion follow along these lines. He received a returning resident who had been held captive in Syria. This gentleman had obtained a manuscript of the New Testament. Together they studied the Scriptures. Constantine took a particular affinity to the apostle Paul. (Some scholars think this was the origin of the name, Paulician.) Constantine taught the basic tenets of commandment observance. He taught that the Sabbath must be observed. His enemies went on record that he taught specifically against papal authority.

The Paulician Work

Many people in his locality became believers. They took on biblical names, such as Timothy and Silvanus, striving to imitate the historical characters of the early New Testament writings. All were highly motivated to live by the teachings they had discovered. History records that their numbers grew rapidly. The Roman emperor, then stationed at Byzantium, sent a warrior named Simeon to crush the new movement. Simeon gathered several of Constantine’s followers and under penalty of death if they failed to collaborate, ordered them to stone Constantine to death. Constantine’s followers were shocked at the request. At least one of his followers weakened and stoned him. It is estimated that Constantine’s ministry lasted from about A.D. 650 to 684. Constantine was considered one of the most colorful personalities of the Pergamos era. Some very positive results came about as a result of Constantine’s death. Simeon was so moved by Constantine’s faith that he also became a convert. Simeon joined with the Paulicians. In a similar fashion to the apostle Paul, Simeon embraced the faith that he was supposed to stamp out. History tells us that Simeon renounced his former life and soon became a leading minister of the movement. Simeon preached from 684 to 687. He was martyred by Justinian II.  (Church History—Part Five, Her Place in the WildernessThe Philadelphia Trumpet, May 1996)

The ministry of Constantine of Mananeli, who was also called Antipas in Revelation 2:13, was short lived because Satan devoured him early on. The same was true of Simeon his persecutor who eventually became a convert himself. They were both martyred – “…and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was BROUGHT FORTH.” Actually, it was Christ coming in the flesh through Antipas who was martyred then.

God’s Church Brought Forth A MAN CHILD

Let us review some of the highlights in part 2 of the Revelation 12 series: For emphasis, as Satan the devil through Balaam and Nicolas, who apparently were Nimrod’s successors, was able to ruin God’s people through their influence in the Pergamos era, their doctrines were able to crept in to the Pergamos Church which gave way for Satan to drag most of God’s people in that era into ruin. Yet there were still faithful Christians who held on to God’s truth.

Christians Kept the Passover

Jesus Christ kept the Passover. So did the Apostle John. And so did some Christians in Scotland even until the 7th century A.D.Christians Kept the Passover This information comes from no less an ecclesiastical authority than the church historian Bede. His Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation would astound many who have assumed that Christ and the early apostles all kept Easter. He writes that “John, following the customs of the Law, used to begin the Feast of Easter [actually the Passover] on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, whether it fell on the Sabbath or on any other day” (III, 25)… Bede thus reiterates what the Bible itself plainly tells us — that Christ partook of the old Passover and then substituted the New Testament symbols of the bread and wine on the 14th of the first month. The custom of keeping the New Testament Passover, after the example of Christ and John, persisted among isolated groups for centuries. Bede tells us that some faithful were still keeping it in Scotland in the 7th century! (II, 19.) (p. 19, The Plain Truth About Easter)

But something tragic happened during the 7th century that drove God’s Church into the wildernessWhat took place was like a death blow to the third era of God’s Church.

The Synod of Whitby (AD 664)

As historians have rightly observed, “there seems to be no reasonable doubt but that the cleavage between Roman and Celtic Christians was very wide, and could not be bridged without one party’s giving way to the other.” This, then, was the reason and setting for the Synod of Whitby. There were grave differences in many areas of doctrine and ecclesiastical polity between the Celtic Christians and the church of Rome. The prevailing mindset of the day was that the all those who were called by the name of Christian should agree on all things. Since the differences between the two organizations were of such a gravity and nature as compromise was not a possibility, it was certain that either the Celts or the Romans would have to give way entirely to the other; so the Synod of Whitby was called to settle the matter… The Significance of the Synod for the Celtic Church and Roman Church With the declarations of the Synod handed down by the king, a process of Romanization began, which would take centuries to finally complete but which was immediate in its impact. The significance of the agreement should not be underestimated. Formerly, “wherever and whenever these (contacts between Celtic Christians and the representatives of the bishop of Rome) initially took place there was conflict,” but now, for the most part, there was peace since the Roman way was accepted by most. One significant impact that must not be overlooked, then, is simply the resolution of conflict. Where Christians had formerly not been able to be civil with each other, or even eat with each other, now there was mainly peace. Everything in the church’s structure and theological life would begin to change from this point; even its geographical centre moved as a result of this Synod. “York supplanted Lindisfarne as northern England’s spiritual center, and the conformist discipline of the Roman organization was at last supreme in all of England.” Lindisfarne, which had been identified with Irish-Celtic spirituality had become outmoded overnight with the rejection of Bishop Colman, and the much more easily Roman affected York became the hub of theological and ecclesiological thought and activity…

Life after Whitby was not nearly as easy as it sounds, however. The resolution of the conflict was far from being absolute. Many Scots, for example were forced to adjust immediately or move. Centuries of debate would follow on the heels of Whitby, and the Celtic Christians continued to oppose Rome until the eleventh century when they were finally assimilated into the Roman religion. Following Whitby, the Roman mission in the Celtic world prospered and grew in force and influence. Wilfred’s achievements have been recorded thus: “He introduced into the English churches many Catholic customs, with the result that the Catholic Rite daily gained support, and all the Scots remaining in England either conformed to it or returned to their own land.” Though the Roman victory was far from complete in AD 664 at the conclusion of the Synod of Whitby, King Oswy’s decision had indeed signalled the beginning of the end for autonomous Celtic Christian spirituality and the coming to power of the Roman church in Celtic lands. In short, “the Synod of Whitby … confirmed the Romanization of British Christianity.”

Source: http://julianfreeman.ca/articles/synod-whitby-ad-664

This is a VITAL TURNING POINT for God’s Church then – “Many Scots, for example were forced to adjust immediately or move – they were driven into the WILDERNESS! The true Church of God during the Pergamos era started to VANISH from this point onward, and the true doctrines of Christ including the knowledge of the true gospel of the kingdom of God suffered a death knell.

Synod of Whitby, a meeting held by the Christian Church of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria in 663/664 to decide whether to follow Celtic or Roman usages. It marked a VITAL TURNING POINT in the development of the church in England. Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/641992/Synod-of-Whitby

We must remember that this time period was still very much into the Pergamos era which Christ has this to say:

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. (Revelation 2:14-15)

During this 664 A.D. debacle over the Easter and Passover issue, it was Wilfred, holding to the doctrine of Balaam, who taught King Oswy to actually cast a stumblingblock before the true Church of God then. To emphasize the seriousness of the impact, let us consider this again: “With the declarations of the Synod handed down by the king, a process of Romanization began, which would take centuries to finally complete but which was immediate in its impact. The significance of the agreement should not be underestimated.” – this is the specific actual fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation 2:14-15! The declaration favoring Easter over Passover at the Synod of Whitby in 664 A.D. was a massive stumblingblock that had a ripple effect up until the Sardis era that almost caused its very life (Revelation 3:1-6). But as for those few in Pergamos who remained faithful, they were forced out and driven into the wilderness:

And so the baton passed from the Smyrna Christians to those of the Pergamos era. These had been called to carry the truth through one of history’s most difficult periods—the Dark Ages. The power and influence of the great universal church spread far and wide, driving those who clung to the truth of God ever further into the wilderness. But they were never far from threat of persecution and martyrdom. And so very few of the Pergamos Christians remained faithful. (p. 220, Mystery of the Ages, 2009 edition)

Mystery of the Ages book

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The wilderness being discussed here does not necessarily pertain to a specific place but it describe a condition wherein God’s people were scattered all over.

“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (Revelation 12:6)

For 1,260 years (i.e., a day for each year in prophetic fulfillment, Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:5-6), God’s faithful few in the Pergamos era FLED INTO THE WILDERNESS (later including the Waldensians). When did God’s Church begin to flee? From the time of the Synod of Whitby in A.D. 664! Again, the declaration favoring Easter over Passover at the Synod of Whitby in 664 A.D. was a massive stumblingblock that had a ripple effect even until the Sardis era of God’s Church that almost caused its very existence (Revelation 3:1-6)! But as for those faithful few in Pergamos era, they were forced out and driven into the wilderness until God has brought forth a MAN CHILD from His own Church.

“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 throne.”  (Revelation 12:5)

Who is this MAN CHILD? Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong taught us that it refer to Jesus Christ as he discussed in one of his sermons:

That of course is the Christ child, born of Judah. Jesus came to His own, the tribe of Judah, the Kingdom of Judah; and His own received Him not. But Satan tried to devour Him through the Roman king and through the Roman government that was in authority in Palestine at the time as soon as Jesus was born. God had to warn Joseph and Mary (Mary was the mother of Jesus.) to flee with the Christ child into Egypt until king Herod (I believe it was Herod, wasn’t it?) was dead. And then they came back, and they went up to Nazareth where Jesus was brought up; and he failed in that attempt. Again Satan tried to devour Jesus when he was thirty years old — before He began to preach, before He began His ministry.

Source: Sermon transcript – “Revelation 12″ by Herbert W. Armstrong, April 18,1981

But when we consider again the context of the vision which God gave to the apostle John in the Island of Patmos while he was in exile and writing the book of Revelation around A.D. 85 to 95, take a careful notice that the time frame of the fulfillment of the prophecy he was writing, has to be from that time during the Ephesus era (of which his death was coterminous to the end of that era) up to the time of the Day of the Lord and Christ’s Second Coming.

So with that information in mind, the “man child” being discussed in verse 5 is not exclusively referring to the CHILD Jesus back then, but it also points to a latter fulfillment AFTER the book of Revelation has been written. So there’s a DUALITY here. That specific event when Satan wanted to devour the child Jesus was a type of what is to happen in the end time, since He is also coming in the flesh through His servants.

Let us consider the following truth of God taught by the end time Elijah:

  • Christ was crucified and died on April 25 (Wednesday) which was the date of the Passover of 31 A.D.
  • The true Church of God was founded by Jesus Christ in June of A.D. 31 on the day of Pentecost.

“And she brought forth a man child” – the word “she” here refers to the woman whom we have identified as the true Church of God. Therefore this MAN CHILD has to come out or must be brought forth FROM God’s own Church. Since God’s Church has been founded by Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost in June of A.D. 31, He was actually the one who brought forth the true Church of God – the woman in Revelation 12.

“…and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Jesus Christ was not brought forth by the Church but it was He who built it. So the MAN CHILD in verse 5 has to be BROUGHT FORTH BY GOD’S CHURCH! Who was he? He was none other than Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong! He came on the scene during the closing moments of the Sardis era when he saw God’s Church dying.

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art deadBe watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Revelation 3:1-3)

Jesus Christ specifically fulfilled the prophecy in verse 3 when He came as a thief in 1924 through Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong when he and his wife Loma moved to the Willamette Valley in Oregon where she was introduced by her in-laws’ neighbor to the truth about the seventh day Sabbath. God was about to transition from the Sardis era to the Philadelphia era. Notice very carefully the precise fulfillment of Bible prophecy in Revelation 12:6 – from the Synod of Whitby in 664 A.D. when the Church fled into the wilderness down to the time when Christ through Mr. Armstrong came to Willamette Valley in Oregon in 1924 is EXACTLY 1,260 years! The Church after this time period was now being prepared for a dynamic revival never before experienced in all of the eras combined. A VOICE HAS CRIED OUT IN THE WILDERNESS OF RELIGIOUS CONFUSION. Consider what Mr. Armstrong wrote about God’s planned acts leading to his ordination as a minister of God:

Coincidence?—or DESlGN!

This brings us to a series of almost incredible facts. Whether strange coincidence or planned acts of God I cannot now say. But these are facts, nonetheless. I never recognized these facts until just a few months before the writing of this present chapter. Certainly this strange chain of occurrences was not of my planning. Here, then, are the actual facts: First, Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry at about age 30. God took away my business, moved me from Chicago, started bringing me to repentance and conversion preparatory to inducting me into His ministry, when I was 30! Second, Jesus began the actual teaching and training of His original disciples for carrying His Gospel to the world in the year A.D. 27. Precisely 100 time-cycles later, in 1927, He began my intensive study and training for carrying His same Gospel to all nations of today’s world.

l00 Time-Cycles

It is important that we realize the significance of 100 time-cycles! God set the earth, sun, and moon in their orbits to mark off divisions of time on the earth. One revolution of the earth is a day. One revolution of the moon around the earth is a lunar month (according to God’s sacred calendar). One revolution of the earth around the sun is a solar year. But the earth, the sun, and the moon come into almost exact conjunction only once in 19 years. Thus 19 years mark off one complete time-cycle! Now consider further facts—whether strange coincidence, or providential design. The actual ordination, or completing of the ordination and enduement of power for sending out the original disciples into the ministry occurred after 31/2 years of intensive instruction and experience. It was on the Day of Pentecost. And the year was A.D. 31. Exactly 100 time-cycles later, after 31/2 years of intensive study and training, Christ ordained me to preach this same Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a witness to all nations (Matt. 24:14). This ordination took place at, or very near, the Day of Pentecost, 1931. I do not remember the exact day of the month of this ordination. No special significance was attached to the date then. Most of those who participated are now dead. But the date was June, 1931.

(Source: Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Vol. 1 – Chapter 25: Ordained to Christ’s Ministry, pp. 427-429)

Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong being ordained at the day of Pentecost 1931? Is this not the same as the WOMAN BROUGHT FORTH A MAN CHILD? The Church began on Pentecost 31 A.D. – 100 time cycles later on Pentecost of 1931, an end time Elijah came on the scene and restored all things! (Matthew 17:11)

A Man Child Shepherds All Nations with God’s Government

Mr. Armstrong has written a great deal of literature and articles that explained in plain understandable language the MYSTERIES OF GOD. He was able to establish the family structure in the Church and how it relates directly to the soon coming FAMILY OF GOD. He also restored ALL THINGS including the knowledge about GOD’S GOVERNMENT that implements His LAW OF LOVE which is actually His WAY OF LIFE. He was also able to share that same way of life, the true gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the world leaders as a WITNESS unto ALL NATIONS.

A Lifes Work by HWA

“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 throne.”  (Revelation 12:5)

The word “rule” is G4165 in Strong’s Concordance and is transliterated in the Greek as “poimaino

From G4166; tend as a shepherd (or figuratively superviser): – feed (cattle), rule

(G4166 in Strong’s means a SHEPHERD, PASTOR)

The WOMAN or God’s Church has produced Mr. Armstrong who became the PASTOR GENERAL of the Worldwide Church of God – the Philadelphia era. He fed and tended as a SHEPHERD the spiritual needs of all the members AROUND THE WORLD with God’s government. This is the reason God inspired Mr. Armstrong to add the adjective “WORLDWIDE” to the name of God’s Church so that it can best describe the extent or magnitude of his job – “who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” He even preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the world leaders in this end time.

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)

Herbert W Armstrong & World Leaders

“…and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”

Here is how Thayer’s Lexicon defines the word “caught up”:

  • to seize, carry off by force
  • to seize on, claim for oneself eagerly
  • to snatch out or away

While in Strong’s it is defined this way: to seize, pluck, take (by force). Putting the meanings together, we can clearly see that the prophecy in Revelation 12:5 really points us to Christ coming in the flesh through His end time Elijah being taken out of the way on January 16, 1986 (2 Thessalonians 2:7). God has eagerly claimed Mr. Armstrong for Himself awaiting his glorious reward of ruling over all the nations of this world with His Son Jesus Christ on His throne implementing His LAW OF LOVE using His loving government.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LordAnd he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6)

Look at how prominent this MAN CHILD is in Biblical prophecy – he is even called by God, the end-time Elijah the prophet. Notice the time frame God has emphasized here – “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Now compare that with the time setting in the book of Revelation which is the DAY OF THE LORD (Revelation 1:10). It appears that God has anchored on Mr. Armstrong being the end-time Elijah, the time line prior to or BEFORE the Day of the Lord which is the Great Tribulation. (It will be explained in part 4).  

God said He would send a messenger to us in this end time. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:1). The messenger of the covenant is Jesus Christ. The other messenger prepared the way for Christ’s return. This was the end-time type of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Christ’s Second Coming. “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap” (verse 2). This is obviously referring to Christ’s Second Coming. His first appearance was not like a “refiner’s fire.”

For years Mr. Armstrong said repeatedly that he fulfilled this office. He was an end-time type of John the Baptist… God said He would send an end-time Elijah, and that “he” (singular) would turn the hearts of the fathers. The Bible clearly states one man would fulfill that office. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap” (Malachi 3:1-2).

The subject is obviously referring to Christ’s Second Coming. Christ said He would send His “messenger” (singular) and “he” (singular) would prepare the way for Christ. Just as one John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ the first time, so one messenger (Mr. Armstrong) has prepared the way for Christ’s Second Coming…

“And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11). An “Elijah” (Herbert Armstrong) did come— A MAJOR EVENT THAT OCCURRED IN THIS END TIME!

Do God’s disciples today know that Christ is talking about an end-time Elijah type who fulfilled the role of John the Baptist in preparing for the Second Coming of Christ? Do we know this by faith based on God’s words? God’s people must walk by the faith of Christ! And remember, the Elijah discussed in these verses is the same Elijah discussed in Malachi 4:5-6. Mr. Armstrong said he fulfilled the Elijah role. Most WCG members heard him say that…

The Bible says only one man would restore truths to prepare the way for Christ’s Second Coming (just as there was only one John who prepared the way for Christ’s first coming). The big issue in this subject is this: Christ said an end-time Elijah would come and restore all things. “Elijah” (Herbert Armstrong) did come. NOW IF WE DENY THAT, WE ARE CALLING CHRIST A LIAR! (p. xi, 12-14, Malachi’s Message)

Have we seen that MAJOR EVENT IN GOD’S CHURCH THAT OCCURRED IN THIS END TIME? Do you believe that God did send an end-time Elijah in our midst? Again as Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote, “NOW IF WE DENY THAT, WE ARE CALLING CHRIST A LIAR!” God’s Church has BROUGHT FORTH A MAN CHILD who fed and tended the SHEEP around the world using God’s government. Christ came in the flesh through Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong as that MAN CHILD. Do you believe God?

One thought on “Revelation 12: The Woman Brought Forth A MAN CHILD (Part 3)

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