A Manchild Ministry

 

By Craig Bluemel

 

 

TO THE READER: This is a relatively advanced teaching, and requires a working knowledge of the history of the Christian church in the 20th Century, as well as some background in end-time event prophecies in scripture.

 

Revelation 12:1-5 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.  2         And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.  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 throne.  King James Version

 

Origin of the Manchild Ministry:

 

History of the Neo-Pentecostal Movement of 1901

 

The origin and concept of a “Manchild Ministry” dates back as early as the early neo-Pentecostal movement which started at the beginning of the 20Th Century.  The teaching espoused what was also synonymous with what was often called the “Latter Rain Movement.”  On January 1, 1901, in Topeka, Kansas, and soon thereafter at the ‘Azusa Street Revival’ in Azusa, California, what was coined as, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” was experienced by people across the United States, and then throughout the world.  A visible and audible manifestation of Christians speaking in other tongues was evident, just as it had been in the Book of Acts during the inception of the Christian church. 

 

Revival spread across the land for the next several decades, and soon there were revivals with miraculous healings occurring.  God raised up men like Oral Roberts, Joe Coe, Billie Sunday, Smith Wigglesworth, John Lake, Ern Baxter, William Branham, and many more, through whom He performed miracle healings.  Miracles of this magnitude were not palpable since the days of the first apostles.  Christians everywhere were convinced these signs marked the beginning of the last generation of God’s people just prior to the return of the Lord Jesus, as he had promised nearly 2000 years earlier.

 

As the fervor and excitement for the coming of Jesus ran high, there was opposition from the mainline denominations denouncing speaking in tongues and claiming it was, “of the devil.”  These self-righteous hypocrites rejected any new gift of the spirit, and said speaking in tongues had ceased with the days of the apostles. 

 

Eventually, even most mainline denominations had to concede that this was the work of God, for it was too widespread, and hundreds of miraculous healings were filmed and medically documented.  This did not persuade the Baptists, Methodist, Presbyterians and others to adopt the speaking in tongues as part of their doctrine, yet great numbers of their parishioners were experiencing it, and were leaving the orthodox denominations for this fresh moving of the Spirit of God.   In fact, this gave birth to a whole new breed of churches that called themselves “non-denominational.”

 

During this 20TH Century revival, many teachers of the scripture began to study end-time events as never before, pondering the return of Jesus Christ.  The teaching of the “Rapture” surfaced, and it was established as an event distinct from the “Second Coming” of Christ.

 

The Pre-tribulation Rapture teaching said Jesus would appear before the Great Tribulation, and then the ‘Second Coming” of Christ.  Some teachers taught that the Rapture would be the physical removal of all born-again Christians from the earth prior to the rise of the Antichrist and the mark of the Beast (666). 

 

As teaching on the Rapture progressed, more differing views were taken.  While some held that all Christians would go in the Rapture, others began to teach only certain believers who were totally committed to Christ would be “caught away” to escape the Great Tribulation.  Hence  terms like, “Total Pre-Tribulation Rapture” and “Partial Pre-Tribulation Rapture” began.

 

Many churches rejected the notion and teaching of the ”Rapture” and said it was a doctrine seeking to avoid the kind of suffering all Christians must endure.  “Post-Tribulation” believers took this view and posture by teaching all true Christians must suffer and endure the time of Great Tribulation, and be martyred for Christ by their refusal to take the mark of the Beast.  Their reward would be resurrection from the dead just prior to the return of Jesus, then ascending And descending to earth with Him to defeat the Antichrist and his armies, who would be attacking Jerusalem during the Battle of Armageddon.

 

The “Latter Rain Movement” aka  “Manchild Ministry”

 

This study is not intended to unravel the many diverse views on the Rapture or the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  Rather, it is to define what the “Latter Rain Movement” aka the “Manchild Ministry” is, and to examine whether or not it has scriptural merit.

The proponents of the “Partial Pre-Tribulation Rapture” teaching were primarily responsible for the creation of another end-time event doctrine known as, “The Manchild Ministry.”  The foundation for this doctrine is the word “manchild” in the King James Version of the Bible in Revelation 12:5.    The context of Revelation 12:1-6 is used to elaborate exactly what the “manchild” is, and what its purpose and function are.

 

Two concepts were key to the development of the teaching of the Manchild Ministry.  First, as certain leaders in the churches noticed a tremendous lack of holiness (i.e.-purity) in the lives of many Christians.  Receiving the, “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” was not enough to sustain a righteous and blameless walk with God.   God was calling His people to become overcomers together with Jesus Christ.

 

Sloppy Christian living, fraternizing with the world, pursuing the cares of life, and a desire for wealth and financial prosperity were proof that a Christians’ love for Jesus could die, or at best, become “lukewarm.”

 

Many statistics today offer undeniable proof that Christians, on a per capita basis, watch the same movies and participate in many of the same secular activities as those who are unbelievers.  Scripture distinguishes between different types of believers and in the gospels Jesus gives many warnings to those who seek to follow him.  One notable example is the parable of the four different types of soil.  In this parable, the seed (symbolic of the word of God) fell into rocky soil, shallow soil, soil overgrown with thorns, and finally the good soil.  Only one type of soil (good soil) is the kind necessary to bear fruit to eternal life (Matthew 13:3-23).

 

Theologians and teachers deduced that only “overcomer” type Christians would be taken to heaven alive at the time of the Rapture.  Their deduction was based upon observations in scripture; bearing in mind certain believers would either be “taken” and or be “left” behind.  The ones left behind seemed apparent because of the tide of materialism and lukewarm attitude prevalent in many, if not most churches.  The “overcomers” would be the “manchild” of Revelation 12:5 that were “caught up” to the throne of God.

 

The following Scriptures are a sampling of may used to prove “overcomers will been “taken” while others shall be “left”:

 

Revelation 2:26-29 And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.  ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’  (NAS)

 

Matthew 24:38-44  “For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.  Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.  Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.  (NAS)

 

In Revelation 12:5 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18, the words “caught up” are used with reference to the church.  These words “caught up” are the basis for the Rapture doctrine, since the word “Rapture” cannot be found anywhere in scripture.  The Manchild Ministry is said to take place prior to this catching up of believers into the air.

 

There are many conflicting views regarding the Rapture.  The recent “Left Behind” series of books and movies have been instrumental in copious numbers of readers believing Jesus will indeed come to rescue the faithful from the clutches of a one-world government and the man called the antichrist.  The common view portrays millions of Christians instantly taken upward (literally) alive to heaven, leaving homes, cars, airplanes, schools and other places vacant.

 

There is a rising number of Christians who reject the notion of a “Rapture” altogether, and believe every Christian still living during the reign of antichrist terror will either die by rejecting the “Mark of the Beast” (666) or barely survive to see the Second Coming of Christ.

 

Although the word “Rapture” is never used anywhere in scripture, the concept of being “snatched” or “seized” towards the throne of God and the presence of Jesus Christ is evident in the original Greek text of Revelation 12:5 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18.  Determining who the “manchild” of Revelation 12:5 is, and making the connection between the manchild and those that are “alive and remain” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 is, at best, an ambiguous link.  It is not beyond the scope of possibility, since both Greek texts use the word “harpazo” translated erroneously in English as “caught up.”

 

A companion teaching that preceded the Manchild Ministry doctrine was the “Latter Rain Movement” teaching, originating from three basic text of scripture found in Joel 2:28, Acts 2:16-18 and James 5:7.  These texts are: which read in contexts below:

 

Joel 2:23-32 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army that I sent among you.  And you shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.  And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.  (KJV)

 

Acts 2:1-21 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, “Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, “What meaneth this?”  Others mocking said, “These men are full of new wine.”  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, “Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (KJV)

 

James 5:1-8 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.  Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.  Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire.  It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!  Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.  You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.  You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.  Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.  Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.  (NAS)

       

Latter Rain – Manchild Ministry Doctrine Defined

 

The “Latter Rain Movement” teaching became synonymous with the “Manchild Ministry” and, from the three passages listed above, its proponents came to the following six conclusions:

 

1. The “latter rain” is mentioned in the Book of Joel and NOT in the Book of Acts; nevertheless, one part of Joel’s prophecy IS connected to what God said in Acts 2:16-17, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.”  This is what happened following the death and resurrection of Jesus, and marks the beginning of the Christian church on the day of Pentecost.  This outpouring of the Spirit also marks what could be called the beginning of the “last days.”  This seems to be a reasonable conclusion, and the context of Acts 2 supports this teaching.  Hence, from that time forward, all Christian churches and believers that spoke in other (unknown) tongues were labeled as “Pentecostals” because their experience coincides with the original Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:4.

 

2. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit has end-time ramifications because, in both Joel and Acts, there are horrible events that will precede the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord:

 

Acts 2:19-20  “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.”

 

Latter Rain-Manchild doctrine teaches neither “wonders” in heaven nor “signs” in the earth beneath has yet occurred.  These events will follow the Rapture, and occur during the time period known as ‘The Great Tribulation.”  This too seems like a reasonable conclusion, because in the Book of Revelation, such “signs” and “wonders” DO occur during a period of great tribulation:

 

Revelation 6:9-17 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?  (KJV)

 

3. The disciples were purportedly “filled” with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other tongues, marking the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy: In the “last days” God would pour out His spirit on “all flesh” and sons and daughters would “prophesy.”  To “prophesy” is simply to utter something by way of divine inspiration and illumination, which is what the disciples did when they spoke in the tongues of all ethnic Jewish groups in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, declaring, “…the wonderful works of God.”  On January 1, 1900, at Topeka, Kansas and Azusa Street in California, nearly 2000 years after the first outpouring of God’s spirit, Christians gathered and also spoke in other tongues.  This glossa (tongue) was the result and for a sign, it is claimed, of a new tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit prophesied by Joel.

 

Latter Rain-Manchild proponents laid claim to a part of Joel’s prophecy regarding the “former” rain, (because the word “former” in the Hebrew means “teaching”).  Subsequent to the 1900 outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Topeka, Kansas and Azusa Street, “teaching” about the return of Jesus became the primary emphasis in most churches and many ministries across the globe.  Overzealous Christians hastily concluded the “former rain” (i.e. – teaching rain) had begun, and according to Joel’s prophecy the, “latter rain,” (in Hebrew meaning a “strong deluge”), was yet to come.

 

To Latter Rain Revivalists, the “former and latter” rain in Joel 2:28-29 are prophetic promises to the church, or what they call “spiritual Israel.”  They do not delineate the two distinct promises; that is, the former and latter rain to the “children of Zion” (Israel) and what God promises to His church saying, “it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit.” The prophecies concerning the outpouring of God’s Spirit on “all flesh” and the “former and latter rain” must be distinguished as two separate events.  More detail will be provided on this later.

 

4. As noted above, the proponents of the “Latter Rain-Manchild Ministry” are thoroughly convinced the “latter rain” is a supernatural event yet to come.  One of their emotionally charged arguments goes something like this, “The great and notable day of the Lord hasn’t come yet!  Since the Hebrew word for ‘latter rain’ means ‘a deluge’ it MUST refer to a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in preparation for the great end time harvest of souls.”

 

Quick to use James 5:7 as further proof, they say, “The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, until it gets the early and late rains.  This is what the church is doing now…patiently waiting, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

 

Undeniably, the text in James is a message to the church.  It verifies the need for patience too, because no one knows the day or hour of the Lord’s return.  Latter Rain doctrine makes a presumptuous and inexplicable quantum leap from Joel’s prophecy to Israel regarding former and latter rain in the same month, and James’ exhortation to the church using the analogy of the patience of an ancient farmer waiting for the harvest (latter) rains to gather in his crops. 

 

Believing that God has a spectacular event in store for those who patiently wait for the great latter rain outpouring of His spirit, a great deal of apathy exists in the ranks of many charismatic circles.  People are “waiting” for Jesus to return, running to and fro from one charismatic renewal meeting to the next, forgetting necessity of demonstrating “works” to validate their so-called faith.

 

5. Because James 5:7 mentions “the last days” in the same context as “the early and late rains,” it appeases the appetite of teachers that are looking for “proof” to authenticate their view as they promote the Latter Rain-Manchild Ministry doctrine.  Who can turn a blind eye when comparing those prophesied of in James 5:7 with those in the churches today that hoard wealth and prosperity? 

 

Wouldn’t this equation be a perfect match for the lukewarm condition of the church of Laodicea?

         

Revelation 3:14-19 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  (KJV)

 

This aspect of the teaching seems reasonable.  There is a rampant teaching of prosperity and seeking after financial gain in the Christian church today.  This teaching draws believers away from their first love, and causes them to be selfish, self-serving, and lukewarm.  The Latter Rain folks see such lukewarm commitment as the need for God to pour out His holy spirit in one last deluge upon the church, thus reviving the materialistic Christians, and rapidly maturing them in order that they not be left behind with the unbelieving world during the time of the Great Tribulation.  This error in doctrine abnegates the personal responsibility of the lukewarm to repent, and offers instead a miraculous touch from God instead.

 

6. When God pours out the “latter rain” it is purported to be a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which the farmer in James 5 is patiently waiting for.  This farmer represents all the true Christians, who will become a powerful army, with a mighty anointing of God upon them, do great miracles, signs and wonders, and then after 3 ½ years of potent ministry be “caught up” to God and His throne as the mighty “Manchild” company of Revelation 12:5-6.  

 

The view and concept of a mighty “Manchild” army of New Testament believers is not only contrary to scripture, but feeds the human ego and pride.  It says, “ I can become part of a special breed of believer in the last days that will conquer the antichrist and win the world for Jesus Christ.  Only those who understand God’s plan can step into the anointing when He pours out the latter rain of His spirit.”  

 

The “Latter Rain” teaching specifies the “crops” will be a last day harvest of souls just prior to the “Rapture’ and “The Great tribulation.”  These crops are harvested from the seed of God’s word planted in the soil of men’s hearts, as in Jesus’ teaching about the four kinds of soil (Matthew13:3-18,18-23; Mark 4:2-20; Luke 8:5-15).  Here is an example from Mark 4:8:    

 

Mark 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.  (KJV)

 

Agriculture in the East needs both early (former) and late (latter) rains.  The early rains are needed to help germinate the seed and grow the tender shoots, while the late rains come toward the end on the growing season, and help bring the heads of grain to full maturity so the can be harvested when ripe. 

 

Latter-Rain teachers believe the late rains, or the heavier deluge is symbolic of what God will do in the last days.  They claim He will pour out His spirit in such a mighty way it will mature the church much more quickly because Joel says the early and late rains will come in the same month.  Thus they anticipate a great revival and put all their eggs into one basket, believing this is the only way the church as a body of Christ can be made ready for the Rapture.  In so doing, they are blind guides, ignoring the many warnings from the Lord Jesus to be dressed in readiness (Read Luke chapter twelve).

 

The “latter rain” in Joel 2:23-24 is NOT a prophecy regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on God’s people in the last days, but rather, it is a promise from Yahweh to Israel for restoration to their crops:

 

Joel 2:23-24 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.  And the threshing floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice of the grape and oil.   AMP

Who is the Manchild?

 

The “manchild” found in Revelation 12:5 is the subject of much controversy amongst the ranks of eschatologists.  Many theologians consider the manchild to be Christ, and the “woman” who gives birth to the child as Israel, and her crown of twelve stars as the twelve individual tribes of Israel.  This is the most common view.  Others view the manchild as offspring of the church, portrayed as the pregnant woman, whose crown of twelve stars is symbolic of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

The problem with the view of the woman as Israel giving birth to Christ is that it violates the context of chapter 12 of Revelation, which takes place during the time of the dragon with 7 heads (each head representing one of seven world governments that have existed since the time of Egypt). 

 

The last, and seventh head of the dragon is said to be the “beast” (Revelation 13:1‑6) that “wages war” against the saints and overcomes them (Revelation 13:7).  If the manchild in 12:5 was Christ, then he would have been caught up to the throne of God as soon as he was born from Mary’s womb, which did NOT happen.

 

This seventh headed beast is said to have power, which causes the whole earth to worship his image, (Revelation 13:15‑18), and to take make people take the mark of the beast (666), or the number of his name.  There are numerous scripture passages proving the beast with seven heads exists in the end times, and not during the time of Jesus Christ’s birth or earthly ministry; these verses are found in Revelation 14:9,11; 15:2; 16:2,10,13; 17:3,7,8,11‑13,16, 17; 19:20; 20:4,10.

 

Since it is clear that the manchild is born during the time of the “beast” with 7 heads, this child must be symbolic of someone other than Jesus Christ.  In Revelation 1:1 the angel showed the apostle John “the things which must shortly take place.”  Most authorities agree that John’s book of Revelation was written about 96 A.D.  Therefore the, “things, which must shortly take place,” is a reference to future events from 96 A.D. onward.

 

The book of Revelation is a book about events that are futuristic in time; it is a prophetic book using signs and symbols to convey its message (see Revelation 1:3; 22:7,10,18,19).  In fact the Greek word for “signified” in the King James Version (KJV) translation of Rev. 1:1 literally means “signs and symbols.” 

 

The question is: WHAT does the “manchild” of Revelation 12:5 represent?  This male child is symbolic of something or someone, but what or who? The Worrell New Testament (A.S. Worrell’s Translation With Study Notes), Copyright 1904 by A.S. Worrell. Copyright assigned to the Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO. 1980 edition published by the Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, No 65802. Printed in the U.S.A. Page 382, NOTES ON CHAPTER XII says:

 

We understand the woman in this chapter to represent Christendom, and the man‑child to represent the overcoming portion of the raptured saints.  This chapter, chronologically, seems to fit on to the close of the third chapter. Chapters 4 and 5 present a heavenly vision; chapters 6‑11 set forth in symbol the woes that are to follow the rapture; and chapters 13‑19 execute these foretold woes.

 

Verses 1,2  “Clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet”; this indicates the great honor and dignity that attach to the woman.  “Travailing in birth, and being in pain to bring forth”; this seems to represent the great labor and pain of Christendom, in bringing forth the full overcomer, who is, with Jesus, to rule the world with a rod of iron, (chapter 3:21).

 

Verses 3,4 these verses seem to represent Satan who is striving to thwart the purpose of God to elevate to the throne a portion of the seed of Christ.

 

Verses 5  “She brought forth a manchild”; not Jesus Christ, as we understand it, but some believers of the overcoming type (Ephesians 4:13,15), who are fit to reign with Jesus by reason of His fully developed life in them.  To make this man‑child refer to Jesus Christ is to violate the universal principle in the language, which forbids, in the very nature of things, the symbolizing of a past historical event!  Christ had been born not far from ninety years, when John wrote the book of Revelation; but if we understand this man‑child as representing one of a class of full overcomers, who are to reign with Jesus, and then there seems to be no violence done to the language.

 

In Revelation 12:5 the manchild is “caught up” to God and to His throne.  The Greek word for “caught” is “harpazo.”  Harpazo means, “to seize” (in various applications), such as, “catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).”  See Strong’s #726.  There is no Greek word in the original text indicating upward movement in Revelation 12:5.  The word that follows “caught” does not mean “up,” but rather, “toward.”  In fact, the Greek interlinear uses the word “prós”; prós (Strong’s #4314) is a preposition meaning “toward.”

 

In Greek, when a preposition “pros” follows a verb “caught” which is in the aorist indicative passive, it implies action at a particular point in time, and would read in English like this:

 

Revelation 12:5 And her child was seized toward the throne of the God (at a particular point in time).” 

 

Here, the “child” is the object of what it is being “seized toward” (i.e. – the throne of the God).  This shows a relationship between God and the child, causing us to believe the child is referring to the church, for they are God’s children:

 

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  (NAS)

 

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.  (NAS)

 

Romans 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.  (NAS)

 

Hebrews 2:11-13 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise.”  And again, “I will put my trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given me.”

 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, there is a reference to the return of Jesus Christ for His church, and the same Greek word “harpazo” is used for the believers being “caught” or “seized.”  

 

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.  (NAS)

 

Again, the Greek text in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 does not support the idea of being caught “up” (as in an upward direction); the Greek word for “up” (apo) is not used.  Rather, a primary preposition “en” is used; the Greek preposition “en” denotes those being “seized” or taken into a fixed (permanent) position in their state of existence and their relation of eternal rest with the Lord.  This word “en” is rarely used with verbs of motion, and even then is not to indicate direction.  In other words, 1 Thessalonians 4:17 reads as follows using the Greek construction:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:17 b  “Then we which are alive and surviving shall be seized together into a fixed position, into a relation of rest.”

 

If we compare Revelation 12:5 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17 side by side, we can see a definite relationship between the two verses:

 

Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was seized toward the throne of the God, (at a particular point in time). *Literal Greek rendering.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and surviving shall be seized together into a fixed position in a relation of rest with them in clouds, to meet coming from different directions, the Lord into the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  *Literal Greek rendering  (KJV)

 

The Greek word for “coming” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is parousía meaning ‘presence’; Jesus Christ is portrayed as “coming” in a “presence” from multiple different directions.  When the text says the believers meet him in the air, it speaks not of our immediate natural atmosphere, but a spiritual realm or dimension.

 

The Jews did not designate the “air” as the dwelling place of angels, but of Satan and his demons.  It is in this context that Paul designates Satan as being the ruler of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2 & 6:12).  The Lord will penetrate this realm or area in order to deliver His own people from the earthly dimension.

 

Thus far, we have established three points:

 

The “manchild” symbolizes the church; male & female believers collectively

 

The “harpazo” or “seizing” of the child toward God’s throne indicates a relationship of parent to child.

 

There is a clear relationship in the use of the word “harpazo” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Revelation 12:5 to offer proof of a “seizing” of certain believers from the realm of this earth, and from Satan, the god of this world, into another realm.

 

The Manchild and the Overcomers

 

The manchild represents the overcoming believers who are watching and praying (Luke 21:34-36) in order to escape the beast, which brings the Great Tribulation upon the lukewarm Christendom, which is deceived by the cares of life.  The manchild will be “seized” toward the throne of God in Revelation 12:5, and “seized” into the presence of Jesus in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.  The verses below give us a better understanding of what exactly a believer should be doing in order to escape the great tribulation:

 

Luke 21:25-36  “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  And He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near.  Even so you, too, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.  Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.  But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  (NAS)

 

Something distinguishes the manchild overcomers from other believers in the last days.  That distinction is their fervent (i.e. - boiling) love for Jesus Christ.  Unlike the Laodicean church, which has become lukewarm by seeking material and financial gain, the manchild is also symbolized as the Philadelphia church, which has maintained their love and zeal for Jesus Christ. 

 

The book of Revelation contrasts the church of Philadelphia with the church at Laodicea. Philadelphia represents the church of overcomers, the manchild.  Why?  Because the text of Revelation 3:7-13 says they have kept the word of Jesus’ patience, and are therefore they will be kept “from” (Greek word is “ek”, meaning “out of”) the hour of temptation (the Greek word means “testing”), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 

 

Revelation 3:10-13  ‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from (The Greek preposition is “ek” meaning, “out of”) the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.  I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’  (NAS)

 

Laodicea seeks materialistic goals (Revelation 3:17), and therefore they are similar to the rich in the “last days” that hoard wealth and riches, as mentioned earlier in James 5:7.  This group of believers will not be one heart and mind with the manchild during its development in the womb of the visible church (i.e. – Christendom), which is symbolized by the pregnant woman in travail in Revelation 12:5.  They will find repentance at a later time, when they are tried by fire, so to speak, in the Great Tribulation, which shall come upon the entire earth.

 

The church at Philadelphia has but a “little power,” yet those who are part of Philadelphia are faithful to hold fast the word of God, and will not abnegate or deny the name, character, authority, and reputation of Jesus (see Revelation 3:8).  This is solid proof that the manchild is not some last day’s powerhouse army of believers, but a meek and humble group of Christians, who have taken the role as servants.

 

In fact, the Greek words “little power” in Revelation 3:8 are “mikrán dúnamin” meaning, “microscopic in strength, ability, power.”  God is saying the Philadelphia church is not noted for their miraculous demonstration of signs and wonders.  In fact, they are actually quite weak; but in this weakness, they find they are strong in God.  If the Philadelphia church is synonymous with the manchild of Revelation 12:5, then the Latter Rain concept of a manchild company of believers endued with miraculous power, and doing greater works than Jesus did is fallacious.

 

Philadelphia means literally “in the direction of being in a fixed position, of close association in dear, and active fondness as friends, coming from the same womb.“  This shows the primary characteristic of the Philadelphia-manchild church is characterized by their committed friendships love one for another.

 

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)   Perhaps this is what Christ meant in John 14:12 by His church doing “greater works” than He did.  After all, the greatest of all of Christ’s works was being humbled, even to the point of death on a cross.  We are His servants, and the servant is not greater than His master, is he? (Read John 15:20) 

 

John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”  NAS

 

One interesting note in the Greek text of John 14:12 is the fact the word “works” following the word “greater” has been omitted.  The English Bible translators erroneously added the word “works” to comply with either their doctrine or assumption.  Latter Rain – Manchild doctrine emphasizes this verse, and uses it as a hallmark characteristic of what the Manchild Ministry will be like.  They believe when God pours out the Latter Rain” or strong deluge of His spirit in the last days, it will result in the manchild company doing greater miracles and signs and wonders than Jesus Christ ever did. 

 

The simple fact is John 14:12 reads from the Greek as, “…the works that I do shall he do also; and greater…” Greater what?  Not miracles, for sure.  Philadelphia has only microscopic strength, but they have the love of God, which is greater than any miracle or sign or wonder.

 

The following is a list of the “greater” characteristics of the Philadelphia church/manchild; note that not one verse associates miraculous power as being part of what God or Jesus considers “greater!”

 

Matthew 11:11 "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. New American Standard 

 

Mark 12:31 “The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.”  New American Standard Bible

 

Luke 22:27 For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.  New American Standard Bible

 

John 13:13-17 “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.  14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.  15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.  16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.  17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.  New American Standard Bible

 

John 15:12-14 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  14 You are My friends, if you do what I command you.”  New American Standard Bible

 

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:2 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.  13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  New American Standard Bible

 

1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  New American Standard Bible

 

3 John 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.  New American Standard Bible

 

Note that the literal definition of Philadelphia includes this church as “coming from the same womb.”  This simple fact gives the Philadelphia a clear and direct tie to the birth of the manchild from the womb of the woman in Rev. 12:5.  Ironically, with regards to the birth of a Manchild, the Greek word “arsen” is used in reference to the womb in another NT reference:

 

Luke 2:23 As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;  (KJV)

 

The word “manchild” is from two Greek words.  Man” is the Greek “arsen” meaning “male”, (as stronger for lifting), and is from a root word “airo” meaning, “to lift”; by implication, “to take away”.  The second part of the word “child” is the Greek word “huios” and this word primarily signifies the relation of an offspring to parent and not simply the birth as indicated by the usual Greek word “teknon.” 

 

In Matt. 19:4 “arsen” is used when Jesus said, “...He (God) who created them from the beginning made them male (arsen) and female.” 

 

When we compare the concept of both male and female being made into what scripture calls, “man,” the account in Gen. 5:2 applies:

 

“He (God) created them male and female, and He blessed them & named them man (adam) in the day when they were created.”

 

Gen. 5:2 refers to both male and female as the “manchild.”  We know this because of the manner in which Gal. 3:28 is written, and includes ‘arsen’ to refer to both man and woman in Christ.  In the NT “arsen” is used in Gal. 3:28 which reads:

 

“... there is neither male (arsen) nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28

 

Combining these thoughts, “arsen” can refer to the strength (lifting) of a body of believers in Christ who are born of the Spirit (John 3:3,8) and are made one in the Spirit by God.   The manchild of Rev. 12:5 symbolizes groups of believers, both male and female, who have come from one Father; who have been born of the Spirit of God, and nurtured in the womb of the visible church.  Their oneness with God is seen in their friendship and love for one another:

 

John 17:11, 21  “And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are…that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. (NAS)

 

John 13:34-35  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (NAS)

 

As stated earlier, the Greek word “huios” primarily signifies the relation of an offspring to parent and not simply the birth as indicated by the usual Greek word  “teknon.”  The Greek word “huios” used for the “child” part of “manchild” shows the relationship of this body of believers to their God.  Huios is used in the relationship between God and Christ as Father and Son.  Huios is also used of the spiritual parental relationship of God and His children, the body of Christ, referred to as “sons” (though it is not speaking of the male and female gender; rather by way of analogy) in the following scripture references:

 

Rom. 8:14  “For all who are being led by the spirit of God, these are the sons (huios) of God.”

 

Rom 8:19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons (huios) of God to be revealed.  (NIV)

 

Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son (huios), that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  (NIV)

 

Rom 9:25-26 As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, beloved.’  And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons (huios)  of the living God.” (NAS)

 

2 Cor 6:14-18 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.  And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons (huios)  and daughters to me,” says the Lord Almighty.  (NAS)

 

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children (huios)  of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  (KJV)

 

Gal 4:4-7 But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son (huios), born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (huios).  And because you are sons (huios), God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son (huios)  into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son (huios); and if a son (huios), then an heir through God.  (NAS)

 

Heb 12:7-11 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons (huios); for what son (huios) is there whom his father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons (huios).  Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  (NAS)

 

SUMMARY OF THE ABOVE:  The word “manchild” in Revelation 12:5 refers to a body of believers who are made one by the Spirit of God, as long as they are willing to be led by His spirit.  Huios is also used in Rom. 8:19 “sons”, Rom. 9:26 “children” or “sons” and in other texts in reference to the body of Christ, both male and female.

 

We are to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  We do this by walking in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Just like a child grows inside the nurturing womb of its mother, the manchild is to grow up into Him who is the Head, even Christ (Eph.4:15-16).  As the context of Ephesians chapter four indicates, this growing up, or maturing into Christ can only happen through the ministry of the different members of His spiritual body:

 

Eph 4:11-16 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.  (NAS)

 

 

BECOMING A PART OF THE MANCHILD

 

Phil.2: 1-5,12-15 shows us that in order to be presented blameless as the people who will be a part of the “manchild” we are to be conformed to the image of Christ.  We are to have the same attitude in us that was in Him; taking on the form of servants, regarding one another as more important than ourselves.

 

Jesus was the example of what we are to be to one another and to the world…. humble servants.   Servitude is an expression of sacrificial love, genuine friendship, and the effectual working of each individual member of the manchild’s body.

 

Phil 2:1-5 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves that was also in Christ Jesus.  (NAS)

 

It has always been a command to every believer in Jesus Christ to, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”  It is now, as it has always been in times past, the choice of the individual believer. 

 

Phil 2:12-15 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.  Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.  (NAS)

 

Mankind is basically selfish by nature, but God’s Word demands death to self (Gal. 2:20) through serving others (Matt.23: 11).  Through this death to self comes the new life in Christ (Rom. 6:4-11), but it is a narrow path to follow, and few choose to go this path:

 

Matt 7:13-14  “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.  (NAS)

 

This is why the manchild of Revelation 12:5 is seen as a smaller body than that of the woman; they are those “few” who walk on the narrow path.  The manchild is not a great powerhouse last day’s army as supposed by the early neo-Pentecostal revivalists.  The manchild is the same as the church in Philadelphia that has but a  “little power,” (Lit. Greek=micro amount of miraculous power).

 

Christendom at large is lukewarm and selfish, but within the body of the woman is growing a smaller company of believers who is beginning to learn the meaning of becoming bondservants of Christ.  These few believers are treading the path of thousands of believers in days gone by who have also walked as bondservants.  The difference is, that they live in an age, pre-determined by God that will make them a company of believers who are “seized” from this earth into the realm of God.

 

Just as the symbolic woman in Revelation 12:5 is travailing in pain, trying to give birth to her manchild, so the church today is in the “pains of childbirth” until now, eagerly awaiting the “revealing of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19-22).

 

Jesus asked His Father, and was assured of a promise that one day the church would give birth to a body of believers that would truly be “one” (John 17:11-12).

 

In Isaiah 66 there is a prophecy that coincides with the prophecy of the manchild birth in Revelation 12:5.  Isaiah speaks first of the birth of Christ as a man child, and then the birth of many children:

 

Isaiah 66:7-9  Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child (Jesus the Christ).  Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?  Shall a land be born in one day?  Shall a nation be brought forth at once?  For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children (the Manchild of Rev. 12:5).  “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?” saith Jehovah: “shall I that cause to bring forth shut (the womb)?” saith thy God.  (ASV)

 

The womb of the church has been barren for almost 2000 years since the death and resurrection of Jesus.  But just like Sarah who was past her child bearing years, God produced a manchild (see Ro.4:17-25).  Isaiah 66:8 says this manchild will be a nation brought forth all at once; 1 Pet.2:9 confirms this as a “holy nation.” 

 

In this last generation before the Lord’s return (Luke 21:32), God is bringing to the breach a people who “tremble at His Word.” (Isaiah 66:5)  But just like Christ was hated by the religious men of His day, and delivered up because of their envy and jealousy, so the manchild shall be “hated for His Name’s sake,” (Is.66:5; Matt.10:22; 24:8-9; Mk.13:13), even by their own brethren. 

 

Nevertheless, Gal. 4:26-29 promises that the Jerusalem above is free, she is our mother, and she will cause the barren woman to give birth in the midst of persecution (see Gal. 4:29).  Perhaps this hatred and persecution is what is meant by the “pains” of childbirth the visible church experiences, as a body of believers develops within its womb, kicking and moving against the walls of tradition, and causing the woman to separate the child from itself.

 

One of the characteristics of the manchild is their love for the truth of God’s word, and a desire to obey it, no matter the cost (John 17:14-17; 7:16-17; 4:23).

 

·        They value God’s truth above the traditions and orthodoxy of man (Col. 2:8; Mk. 7:8-9).

·        They recognize the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God, and study it to show themselves approved of God, not men (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

·        They grow in the truth, not for the sake of doctrine alone, but to draw closer to their Lord and to one another (John 5:39-40).

 

The Scriptures say that there will be a great falling away of believers in the last days because Christians don’t have a love for the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:3; l0-l2; l:Tim.4:l). God’s Word is said to be the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17), and Christ said that this “sword” would bring division, even in the family of God (Matt.10:34). The word of God shall either unify those who speak it to one another in love (Eph. 4:15,21,25), or it will divide those who are disobedient to it.

 

The greatest commandment Jesus gave His disciples is found in Mark 12:29-31. It is to:

 

1.         Hear that the Lord our God is one Lord

2.         Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength

3.         Love your neighbor as yourself.

 

Jesus, prayer that we become one, as He and the Father are one, is relational.  A man cannot say he loves God whom he has not seen, yet hate his brother whom he has seen (l Jn.2:3- 6, 9-11; 4:20-21).  The “manchild” in the womb of the church is perfected (Greek means matured) by the love they have for one another (1 John 4:7-19).

 

After the manchild has fully matured within the womb of the visible church, and the woman with a crown of 12 stars gives birth to the child (Revelation 12:1-2,5), she flees into the wilderness to be nourished by God for 3 ½  years (Revelation 12:6). The seven-headed dragon pursues the woman with a flood of destruction, but she was protected for 3 ½  years (see Revelation 12:14-16). The crown of 12 stars on her head represents the 12 tribes of Israel, each with 12,000 members, totaling 144,000; and symbolically these represent the first fruits of national Israel who are sealed in Christ (Revelation 7:4-8; 14:4).

 

The 144,000 which are known as the “first-fruits” of national Israel, will fulfill the last half of the 70 weeks of Daniel by confirming the covenant with Messiah the Prince (Jesus) during the time of God’s wrath upon the Gentiles. (See Daniel 9:24-27) The 144,000 are Messianic Jews, who, like some of their Jewish brethren in the days of Jesus’ 3 ½ year ministry, and confirmed the covenant with Jesus for the first half of the 70Th week, now complete the prophecy by doing the same during the last 3 ½ years before the Second Coming of Christ to earth.  Like the manchild, they will rule and reign with Christ upon the earth for 1000 years during the period known as the Millennium.

 

What will happen to the lukewarm Laodicean church?  These are the same as the “two witnesses” who prophesy for 3-21 years, and then are martyred for Christ (see Revelation 11:1-14).  They are also seen in Revelation chapter 12 as the “remnant” of the woman’s seed upon whom the seven-headed dragon makes war with when he is unable to destroy the woman with the crown of 12 stars (see Revelation 12:17).  These Laodicean believers are now compelled to become red hot, and repent of their lukewarmness, because they will be tried in the fires of the great tribulation (Rev.3: 18-19).  These believers will sit down with Jesus on His throne, but they are not mentioned as reigning with Him like the manchild is.

 

SUMMARY:

 

The manchild of Revelation 12 is not Jesus Christ, but a body of overcomers in Christ, both male and female, made one with Him and with one another as they are led by God’s Spirit, and as they manifest His love to each other and the world. These believers escape the great tribulation, although some of them will suffer as martyrs before the Great tribulation. Their escape as the living will come when they are “seized toward the throne of the God” after the birth from the womb of the visible church.

Their distinctive qualities are:

 

1.         Love for the truth (i.e.-God Himself through His Word and Spirit

2.         Love for one another

3.         Perseverance

4.         Watch and pray

5.         They have a love for Jesus Christ that is “hot”; like a bride for her groom - (See Song 6:8-10)

6.         They won’t deny His Name

7.         Have a little power, and an open door for ministry.

8.         They have the same attitude as Jesus had; to be servants, meeting needs wherever the opportunity provides

 

The manchild is a direct contrast to the lukewarm Laodicean church that is weighed down by the cares of life, and so misses the upward calling in Christ.  These Laodiceans are the same as the “remnant” of the woman’s seed, or the same as the two witnesses, upon whom the beast with seven heads wages war.  They had the same opportunity as the manchild to be caught up, but they were foolish, and they hated their own brethren who were following the truth; this hatred was fueled by envy and jealousy.

The 144,000 are Messianic Jews who are the same as the woman with the crown of 12 stars who flees into the wilderness to be nourished by God for the 3 ½  year period of the wrath of the beast.  Then, after the two witnesses are killed, the 144,000 are sealed during the wrath of God upon the Gentiles for 3 ½  years, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the 70 weeks of Daniel to confirm the covenant with Messiah the Prince for one week (i.e. a week of years), help bring in everlasting righteousness, and rule and reign with Christ and His manchild during the Millennium.

 

NOTE - The manchild only represents the overcomers at the end of time. There are believers throughout the history of the church who have attained to a state of full maturity, or completion for their era. The manchild group is significant because they develop into their mature state as a cooperative body of believers, not just as individuals.

 

Becoming the “man” & “child” God wants:

 

Eph 3:14-19 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.  (NAS)

 

Matt 18:2-6 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.  (NAS)

 

Acts 13:22  “And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’  (NAS)

 

Luke 18:16-17 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.   (NAS)

 

Rom 2:9-11 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For there is no partiality with God.  (NAS)

 

1 Thessalonians 5:2-9 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief;  for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (NAS)

 

Revelation 3:13  ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (NAS)

 

 


 

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