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RE: [revelation-list] Continuing the Man Child and the woman

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  • Bob MacDonald
    Your archives reveal that the Apocalypse by Jacques Ellul (1978) has not been referenced in your discussions. While this book is a nuisance to search (no
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 10, 2003
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      Your archives reveal that the Apocalypse by Jacques Ellul (1978) has not
      been referenced in your discussions. While this book is a nuisance to search
      (no index), his thesis is that the book of the Apocalypse reveals the
      meaning of the incarnation, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.

      He identifies for instance, the woes, as the suffering of Christ (page 73):
      "all that happens to humanity is concentrated in fact upon his [Jesus]
      person. Thus we must never read the plagues and judgments of the Apocalypse
      outside of the perspective of perfect, absolute, unbreakable association
      between Christ and men..."

      The man-child and the woman are in the centre of the third woe, which is
      itself the centre of the keystone of the book (8:1 to 14:5) - the midsection
      of the 5 sections. Ellul considers this the unfolding of the mystery of the
      incarnation (pp 83-84) in heaven since its full understanding is invisible
      on earth - (too few words for summarizing these two pages).

      He considers the woman as having a plurality of meanings: Eve, (12:9), Zion
      and Israel who engender the Messiah and the believers; Mary in "celestial
      reduplication", but not the Church who does not give birth to the child but
      who derives from him. Finally, he writes: "we must not forget that the
      Incarnation is the total union of the whole of man with the whole of God. In
      this perspective, the woman appears to me to be the image of the entire
      creation (of earth and heaven) in some way synthesized to produce the fruit
      of the most decisively intimate covenant of God with his creation."

      The dragon must prevent the Incarnation - if the latter comes to pass, all
      is lost. So the fury that is unleashed at the Incarnation (12:2-5). So (my
      conjecture) the immediacy of the ascent of the child. In wrestling with this
      colourful imagery and refusing deliberately to take the Apocalypse as a map
      of the 'future', I think Ellul helps us see the celebration of the non-power
      power of God as revealed. The child (Jesus) is taken up to heaven (not I
      think away from the earth but in the bosom of the Father) from which the 3.5
      year (12:14) ministry proceeds. The woman is protected in the desert and by
      the earth from all that the dragons and beasts can imagine or deliver.

      This is long enough as a sampler - are there other commentators who have
      taken this thesis more recently than 1978? Ellul seems rarely quoted
      (Craigie, The Problem of War in the Old Testament 1972, Nanos, Mystery of
      Romans 1996). I wonder if others specifically studying Revelation had used
      his work.

      Bob

      mailto::BobMacDonald@...
      + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

      Catch the foxes for us,
      the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
      for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
      http://bobmacdonald.gx.ca
    • Don K
      I seems to me that this objection overlooks one thing. The Apocalypse is not just a prophecy of things to come but is a review of things that had been, and
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 10, 2003
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        I seems to me that this objection overlooks one thing. The Apocalypse is not
        just a prophecy of "things to come" but is a review of things that had been,
        and there were present (1:19). Thus, the vision of chapter 12 certainly
        could, it seems to me, be a review of the past, a vision of the present, and
        a foretaste of the immediate future as well.
        Don K

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Leo R Percer" <PercerL@...>
        To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 9:18 PM
        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Re: Continuing the Man Child and the woman


        >
        > On Thu, 09 Jan 2003 16:53:50 -0000 "Alan Fuller <rocsy@...>"
        > <rocsy@...> writes:
        >
        > > Although the man child is often interpreted as Christ I'm not sure
        > > that is the correct interpretation. The vision is supposed to be a
        > >
        > > prophecy and Jesus had already been resurrected. Svigel believes
        > > the
        > > church is the primary representation, and Rev 2:26,27 shows that the
        > >
        > > overcomers share the rod of iron. If I were a first century
        > > Christian I think I would take note that this was supposed to be a
        > > prophecy, and the man child was born in heaven.
        > >
        >
        > and
        >
        > > The only thing I can think of that would identify Jesus as the man
        > > child is Psalms 2:8,9. Svigel has made a convincing argument that
        > > this could also be the church.
        > >
        >
        > Psalm 2:8-9 shows up in one other place in Revelation--19:15. This is
        > the vision of the rider on a white horse, a rider who (by all
        > appearances, at any rate) seems to be Jesus. Curious, no?
        >
        > Leo Percer
        > Waco, TX
        >
        > (My dissertation--"The War in Heaven--Michael and Messiah in Revelation
        > 12"--looks at this issue in a little more depth. I am beginning to think
        > an article or book on Psalm 2:8-9 is also needed. Any takers?)
        >
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      • Keith Starkey
        DON: Thus, the vision of chapter 12 certainly could, it seems to me, be a review of the past, a vision of the present, and a foretaste of the immediate future
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 10, 2003
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          DON:
          Thus, the vision of chapter 12 certainly
          could, it seems to me, be a review of the past, a vision of the present, and
          a foretaste of the immediate future as well.


          KEITH:
          I am in COMPLETE agreement with this statement. We just weren't working
          from that perspective. It was Svigel's interpretation of the "catching up"
          being the issue of including or not including the entire body of Christ, not
          just resurrection of Jesus.

          Great comment, though, Don,

          Keith



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        • Alan Fuller <rocsy@yahoo.com>
          Hi Keith, ... Jesus?
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 10, 2003
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            Hi Keith,

            >>Who else or what else would you say the Child might be if it's not
            Jesus?<<

            Sviegel says it is primarily the body of Christ, meaning the church.
            That is more in line with my thinking, although I don't see the
            snatching away as a rapture. As the 17th century commentator Matthew
            Henry puts it;

            >Having on her head a crown of twelve stars; the doctrine of the
            gospel, preached by the twelve apostles, is a crown of glory to all
            true believers. As in pain to bring forth a holy family; desirous
            that the conviction of sinners might end in their conversion. <

            The heavenly Jerusalem is mother to those of the spirit whom the
            dragon wishes to devour (1 Pet 5:8). The spirit of God gives power
            over the dragons temptations. The catching away to God is the power
            the overcomer has been given to resist the wiley predator (Rev 2:26,
            17:14).

            The mother is the doctrine of the church that gives faith, and the
            spirit is the man child that is given protection by the Father.
            That's an idealistic interpretation that I prefer.


            Thanks for asking,

            Alan
          • Alan Fuller <rocsy@yahoo.com>
            Don, In 1:19 John is instructed to what he has seen, what he sees, and the following things he will see. It is popular to use this verse to divide the book
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 10, 2003
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              Don,

              In 1:19 John is instructed to what he has seen, what he sees,
              and the following things he will see.

              It is popular to use this verse to divide the book
              into three parts.

              Rev 1:11-20 The things John has
              seen perhaps representing events in John's
              past.
              Rev 2:1-3:22 The things that are, representing the
              first century churches with which John was familiar
              and, current events for John.
              Rev 4:1-22:21 The things that shall be, events future to John.

              In my opinion, too much importance is attached to this
              verse. It is simply an instruction to John to write
              everything he sees in the vision, and it is not a good method
              to use to divide the book of Revelation.

              Why should it be about past history, or events current to its
              writing?
              In Revelation 9:12 it says that some of the woes are past, yet most
              of us don't try to say the events described previous
              to 9:12 are in John's past.

              Also there is no special emphasis
              given to the verse as in the next verse, 1:20.
              Shouldn't 1:19 be viewed more like 9:12?

              Thanks,
              Alan
            • coates
              The thematic symbolism of the woman and her child here is too strong to reduce to a singular reference. Of course I come from the standpoint that the Bible is
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 11, 2003
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                The thematic symbolism of the woman and her child here is too strong to
                reduce to a singular reference. Of course I come from the standpoint that
                the Bible is a coherent and complete document plotting the Godhead's plan of
                human redemption through the Messiah. The imagery of the woman is so
                highlihted in this passage in association with a Christ figure that I
                beleive on needs to look to first reference.
                From: Alan Fuller <rocsy@...> [mailto:rocsy@...]
                Sent: 09 January 2003 06:54
                To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Continuing the Man Child and the woman


                Hi Keith,

                I am prepared to accept that in the vision the woman, dragon, and
                birth are in heaven because that's what the vision says. Of course
                that doesn't mean I think that those things literally happen in
                heaven because it is a vision, not a literal narrative. The idea
                that the woman represents Israel is not at all clear to me. Neither
                is the representation of Christ as the man child or the
                dispensational rapture clear to me.

                The dispensational rapture is supposed to be a resurrection in which
                believers meet Christ and are caught away into heaven. If that is
                the depiction in Revelation 12 I would expect those basic elements to
                be shown. In fact, both earth and heaven play key roles in the
                vision. The dragon is expelled from heaven and comes down to earth.
                Since the earth is a basic element in the vision why isn't the
                resurrection of the church, or for that matter Jesus shown coming
                from the earth? Yes it's a vision, but if it supposed to show
                someone going from earth to heaven it shouldn't show them originating
                in heaven while others travel from heaven to earth. That seems
                entirely inconsistent to me.

                Although the man child is often interpreted as Christ I'm not sure
                that is the correct interpretation. The vision is supposed to be a
                prophecy and Jesus had already been resurrected. Svigel believes the
                church is the primary representation, and Rev 2:26,27 shows that the
                overcomers share the rod of iron. If I were a first century
                Christian I think I would take note that this was supposed to be a
                prophecy, and the man child was born in heaven.

                Israel did not receive Jesus. Did the woman in the vision reject
                Jesus? Was He snatched into heaven to save Him from the devil? Was
                that the purpose of Jesus' resurrection?

                The only thing I can think of that would identify Jesus as the man
                child is Psalms 2:8,9. Svigel has made a convincing argument that
                this could also be the church.

                The earth swallows up the flood, as if it were diverted into a great
                pit. The remnant of her seed are identified as christians. So who is
                the mother of christians?



                Thanks,
                Alan



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              • coates
                Apologies for this last mail . . .it went off accidentally. The imagery of this woman in labour seems to trigger thoughts of Genesis 3v15. Here the first
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 11, 2003
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                  Apologies for this last mail . . .it went off accidentally. The imagery of
                  this woman in labour seems to trigger thoughts of Genesis 3v15. Here the
                  first reference to the holy war or two seeds begins and for me is continuous
                  throughout the Old and New Testament. It fits in with the imagery of a
                  conquering warrior/Christ. This passage is a recapitulation of the history
                  of God's plan for the souls of man and the ensuing struggle against the
                  enemy the dragon-serpent Satan. The idea of a struggling woman carrying the
                  seed of righteousness through the generations comes forth in figures such as
                  Rachel and Mary whose lives mirror this archetypical struggle. Time and time
                  again the idea of a an evil enemy whose head is ultimately to be crushed
                  comes through in this struggle. The women here is the Old Testament church,
                  if you want to call her Israel then so be it, who gives birth to the
                  Messiah. It is a labour or outworking made over many generations and the
                  birth pangs had been felt for many centuries.

                  The imagery of the woman gives some clues as to her identity. The sun and
                  moon and stars reminiscent of Joseph's dream where the mother and father and
                  brothers were symbolised. Stars are symbolic not only of power and
                  government but here directly of the 12 tribes of Israel . . . the OT Church.
                  Joseph's parentage is highlighted as a remberance of the first parents, Adam
                  and Eve, and an allusion agin to the seedbed of the struggle found in
                  Genesis. I have more, but will give more direct and precise responses later.

                  Jason Coates
                  Johannesburg

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: coates [mailto:jasonnola@...]
                  Sent: 11 January 2003 04:22
                  To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [revelation-list] Re: Continuing the Man Child and the
                  woman


                  The thematic symbolism of the woman and her child here is too strong to
                  reduce to a singular reference. Of course I come from the standpoint that
                  the Bible is a coherent and complete document plotting the Godhead's plan of
                  human redemption through the Messiah. The imagery of the woman is so
                  highlihted in this passage in association with a Christ figure that I
                  beleive on needs to look to first reference.
                  From: Alan Fuller <rocsy@...> [mailto:rocsy@...]
                  Sent: 09 January 2003 06:54
                  To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Continuing the Man Child and the woman


                  Hi Keith,

                  I am prepared to accept that in the vision the woman, dragon, and
                  birth are in heaven because that's what the vision says. Of course
                  that doesn't mean I think that those things literally happen in
                  heaven because it is a vision, not a literal narrative. The idea
                  that the woman represents Israel is not at all clear to me. Neither
                  is the representation of Christ as the man child or the
                  dispensational rapture clear to me.

                  The dispensational rapture is supposed to be a resurrection in which
                  believers meet Christ and are caught away into heaven. If that is
                  the depiction in Revelation 12 I would expect those basic elements to
                  be shown. In fact, both earth and heaven play key roles in the
                  vision. The dragon is expelled from heaven and comes down to earth.
                  Since the earth is a basic element in the vision why isn't the
                  resurrection of the church, or for that matter Jesus shown coming
                  from the earth? Yes it's a vision, but if it supposed to show
                  someone going from earth to heaven it shouldn't show them originating
                  in heaven while others travel from heaven to earth. That seems
                  entirely inconsistent to me.

                  Although the man child is often interpreted as Christ I'm not sure
                  that is the correct interpretation. The vision is supposed to be a
                  prophecy and Jesus had already been resurrected. Svigel believes the
                  church is the primary representation, and Rev 2:26,27 shows that the
                  overcomers share the rod of iron. If I were a first century
                  Christian I think I would take note that this was supposed to be a
                  prophecy, and the man child was born in heaven.

                  Israel did not receive Jesus. Did the woman in the vision reject
                  Jesus? Was He snatched into heaven to save Him from the devil? Was
                  that the purpose of Jesus' resurrection?

                  The only thing I can think of that would identify Jesus as the man
                  child is Psalms 2:8,9. Svigel has made a convincing argument that
                  this could also be the church.

                  The earth swallows up the flood, as if it were diverted into a great
                  pit. The remnant of her seed are identified as christians. So who is
                  the mother of christians?



                  Thanks,
                  Alan



                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  revelation-list-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  revelation-list-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • Keith Starkey
                  JASON: The idea of a struggling woman carrying the seed of righteousness through the generations comes forth in figures such as Rachel and Mary whose lives
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 13, 2003
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                    JASON:
                    "The idea of a struggling woman carrying the seed of righteousness through
                    the generations comes forth in figures such as Rachel and Mary whose lives
                    mirror this archetypical struggle. Time and time
                    again the idea of a an evil enemy whose head is ultimately to be crushed
                    comes through in this struggle."

                    KEITH:
                    Ultimately, however, what's the point of the passage? I think he had
                    something more specific in mind than the vagueness you've described, though
                    I like the theology.


                    JASON:
                    "The women here is the Old Testament church,
                    if you want to call her Israel then so be it, who gives birth to the
                    Messiah. It is a labour or outworking made over many generations and the
                    birth pangs had been felt for many centuries.

                    The imagery of the woman gives some clues as to her identity. The sun and
                    moon and stars reminiscent of Joseph's dream where the mother and father and
                    brothers were symbolised. Stars are symbolic not only of power and
                    government but here directly of the 12 tribes of Israel . . . the OT Church.
                    Joseph's parentage is highlighted as a remberance of the first parents, Adam
                    and Eve, and an allusion agin to the seedbed of the struggle found in
                    Genesis.

                    KEITH:
                    Here again, what is it that John is ultimately saying? It's not enough to
                    merely recap Joseph's vision; John was going somewhere with it, somewhere
                    very relative reason why he was given the visions in the first place.

                    I can't help but see the clarity of coming to terms with the language you've
                    used (good, by all means): Israel births the Christ (the Man Child). The
                    child is taken back to heaven, and Satan continues to make war on the
                    remnant; in this case the church, ultimately to include Israel. It seems
                    simple enough, I believe.

                    Thanks,

                    Keith R. Starkey

                    Keith R. Starkey

                    _________________________________________________________________
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                  • Juan Stam
                    I agree with Alan that this verse is not meant to give an outline of the book. (1) It is best translated, what you have seen, that is things that are and
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 25, 2003
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                      I agree with Alan that this verse is not meant to give an outline of the
                      book. (1) It is best translated, "what you have seen, that is things that
                      are and things that are to come. The book brings visions ("things seen")
                      right to the very end. It is two-fold, not three-fold, and nothing suggests
                      it was meant to divide up the book by these two (or three) categories. (2)
                      In fact, the first-century realities of the Roman Empire are present almost
                      to the end: Armageddon as a cavalry battle (14.20; 16.16), the seven hills
                      of imperial Rome and seven emperors, five already deceased etc; the bill of
                      lading for imperial commerce (18:11-14, fits roman luxury commerice
                      precisely but impossible to interpret in modern terms), etc. (This,
                      however, does not rule out also future significance of some visions, e.g.
                      coming of Conquerer ch 19, final judgment, new creation and more). (3) The
                      N.T. emphasis on both "already" and "not yet" makes the traditional schemes
                      of preterist, historicist, futurist etc really irrelevant; Revelation is all
                      of them but not only one of them. When it describes the future dimension of
                      our hope, it does so in the terms of its own world and its own reality.

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: <rocsy@...>
                      To: <revelation-list@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 1:50 PM
                      Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Things seen, what is now and what will take
                      place later


                      > Don,
                      >
                      > In 1:19 John is instructed to what he has seen, what he sees,
                      > and the following things he will see.
                      >
                      > It is popular to use this verse to divide the book
                      > into three parts.
                      >
                      > Rev 1:11-20 The things John has
                      > seen perhaps representing events in John's
                      > past.
                      > Rev 2:1-3:22 The things that are, representing the
                      > first century churches with which John was familiar
                      > and, current events for John.
                      > Rev 4:1-22:21 The things that shall be, events future to John.
                      >
                      > In my opinion, too much importance is attached to this
                      > verse. It is simply an instruction to John to write
                      > everything he sees in the vision, and it is not a good method
                      > to use to divide the book of Revelation.
                      >
                      > Why should it be about past history, or events current to its
                      > writing?
                      > In Revelation 9:12 it says that some of the woes are past, yet most
                      > of us don't try to say the events described previous
                      > to 9:12 are in John's past.
                      >
                      > Also there is no special emphasis
                      > given to the verse as in the next verse, 1:20.
                      > Shouldn't 1:19 be viewed more like 9:12?
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      > Alan
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > revelation-list-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
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