Gen. 3:6-7 π Psa. 104:19 π Psa. 136:9 π Isa. 11:2-4 π Mt. 12:8 π Mk. 5:14 π Jn. 8:12 π Jn. 11:9 π Jn. 14:6 π 2 Cor. 3:17 π 2 Cor. 5:21 π Gal. 5:13 π Rev. 1:4 π Rev. 12:1; 2nd; 3rd; 4th π Rev. 12:5; 2nd π Rev. 12:5-6 π Rev. 12:13-17 π Rev. 12:14 π Rev. 12:17; 2nd; 3rd Rev. 13:1 π Rev. 13:11 π Rev. 14:4 Find abc Rev. 12:17
Perhaps the best illustration of how liberty could work was demonstrated by the relationship of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Indeed, their lives are intricately involved with America as both of them participated deeply in the founding of the country and they both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the nation’s official celebration of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, exactly 50 years after the nation’s birthday. God wanted to place an asterisk, as it were, on their lives if we will but see it.
To see the depth to which liberty can go, we must recognize that Adams was a Federalist and Jefferson was a Democrat-Republican and bitter political feuds developed around this split. Still even more deeply, Adams was a fervent Christian, deeply committed to Christ and the Bible. Jefferson, on the other hand was more a son of the Enlightenment (which denied and opposed God for the most part) though he may have been something of a Deist as, at one point, he went so far as to attempt an analysis of the New Testament that virtually removed Jesus and the miraculous! The two parted ways for a time but were reunited in friendship in 1812 with the aid of Benjamin Rush, a fellow patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and they lived the rest of their days as friends in spite of their very different political, philosophical and religious beliefs. We could learn something from these two men.
But let us turn our attention back to liberty, especially how she is often depicted as “Lady Liberty.” The most famous of these is the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, New York. There are several phrases associated with the Statue of Liberty, but the most recognizable is “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This quote comes from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus. She wrote the poem for an auction to raise the money needed to build the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now sits. Similar to Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, at first the poem went virtually unnoticed and was forgotten until the early 1900s and after Lazarus’ death, a friend began a campaign to memorialize Lazarus and her New Colossus sonnet. The campaign succeeded and the poem is now memorialized on a plaque inside the pedestal of the statue. Here is her poem:
It is in the picture of Liberty as a lady who embraces all those who seek her wisdom and shelter, especially as we recall that so many fled from religious persecution in Europe and sought liberty in America, that we can perhaps look and find Liberty’s place in prophesy.
As we approach this picture in the Scriptures, please keep in mind this view is advanced as simply one more theory about the book of Revelation. You will have to, before God, decide for yourself if it has any application to your life.
In the Revelation we find an interesting picture drawn for us. John wrote,
“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.” ( Rev. 12:1; top )
When one turns to commentaries and such to find out what people think of this woman, we find that historically nearly all have concluded that she is either Israel or the Bride of Christ. But these do not line up with what is said of her. The Child of this woman is Christ ( Rev. 12:5 ) but she is also said to have other “offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev. 12:17; top ) The first description rules out the Bride of Christ because the Bride cannot be the Mother of the Christ and the second description rules out Israel because the followers of Judaism do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. So we can immediately rule out the traditional interpretations of this prophecy.
If this usual interpretation is incorrect – and obviously it is incorrect – then who is this woman? I would like to suggest that we could call her Liberty. Consider:
- Where the Lord is, there is liberty. ( 2 Cor. 3:17 ) Many people object to God being called “He.” Indeed, God transcends gender so the argument is moot from its inception. But there are reasons God is called He but it must not be overlooked that God made them (plural, male and female) in His (singular) likeness. Since God transcends gender, male and female attributes are contained within His nature. Of the seven spirits of God ( Isa. 11:2-4 , Rev. 1:4 , etc.; top), at least two are referred to as feminine. Is it not conceivable that a concealed aspect of God might be prophetically described as a woman whom we might now, as we enter into the last of the days, be named as Liberty?
- This woman – and nothing says this has to be a “person,” in fact, it is more a spirit, a zeitgeist (spirit of the age), if you will – was the mother of the Child who will rule all nations with a rod of iron. ( Rev. 12:5 ) This Child grew and knew no sin ( 2 Cor. 5:21; top ) – He lived the liberty which God offers to us in Christ.
- This woman is said to have other “offspring, [those] who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev. 12:17 ) These are the same people who are called to liberty but who are not to use their liberty to indulge their flesh. ( Gal. 5:13; top )
- She is “clothed with the sun.” ( Rev. 12:1 ) Another term for the sun is “the light of the world.” ( Jn. 11:9 ) Jesus both said that He was that light ( Jn. 8:12 ) and that His disciples were the light of the world. ( Mk. 5:14 ) Before they gave in to sin, Adam and Eve were clothed in light being both naked and unashamed, free ( Gen. 3:6-7; top ), a perfect picture of the liberty to which we are called.
- The moon is “under her feet” ( Rev. 12:1 ) and in this regard, she is unique in the Scriptures as no one else is similarly described. The moon was the light given to rule by night ( Psa. 136:9 ) and was appointed for seasons. ( Psa. 104:19 ) We know that the Son of Man was Lord even of the Sabbath. ( Mt. 12:8; top ) Days and times were under the feet of this Man who lived in liberty from sin.
- Upon this woman’s head is a crown of twelve stars. ( Rev. 12:1; top ) Though many use this as an indication that this might be Israel because of the twelve tribes, this is not the significance. The twelve stars do not point to Israel, they point to the number itself. The Hebrew year is divided into twelve months, the Jewish day divided into twelve hours, Israel had twelve sons whose descendants became twelve tribes and Jesus chose twelve disciples and apostles to stand as His witnesses of His resurrection. Twelve is the number that speaks of God’s election or choice. This woman is chosen and her freedom to choose is preserved in spite of the devil’s assaults.
Now we come to a dilemma. Let us compare two parts of the description of this woman:
“And she bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” ( Rev. 12:5-6 )
“Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev. 12:13-17; top )
How you will interpret this prophecy depends on
- when you believe the devil was or will be “cast to the earth” and when you believe the three and a half years spoken of was or will be;
- what you believe “the earth” and “the sea” to represent;
- where you believe “the wilderness” to be.
Here is precisely the trap too many prophecy prognosticators fall into. They don’t know so they guess. But here we have three powerfully basic questions – when, what and where – and I personally cannot say I have received inspiration or revelation about these three questions. I can only say that I believe the Lord opened up the identity of the woman as an aspect of God that we might call Lady Liberty. “She” is the inspiring spirit behind mankind’s ongoing urge for liberty and freedom.
We are left with another question – is the eagle wings a portion of America? In the time in view, have we endured a separation of the dragon away from the lamb (a civil war?) and the eagle wings is the portion that allows the woman to flee to “the wilderness” for three and a half years? Is the current worldwide push toward anti-corruption transparency and populist self-determination in more nationalistic governments going to produce a condition wherein liberty is preserved and protected for a short time, the same time frame in which the Jews are allowed to practice their sacrifices to Yahweh? Or is there some other interpretation not yet glimpsed?
Whatever interpretation ultimately proves to be accurate, we must recognize that the rescue is only temporary (three and a half years) and even while this woman is preserved in the wilderness ( Rev. 12:14 ), the devil still wages his war on the followers of Christ ( Rev. 12:17 ) and the two beasts still rise from the sea and the earth. ( Rev. 13:1 , 11 ) We cannot suppose that God is interested in preserving some deceptive cultural notion of “Christianity” at the expense of the true way of following Christ and God which is Christ Himself. ( Jn. 14:6 , Rev. 14:4; top )
So where does it leave us by not being able to fully parse out this prophecy? Right where we need to be. On the horns of a dilemma of personal choice. If liberty and personal responsibility is the call upon every follower of Christ, will we choose to use our liberty to pursue truth and righteousness? Or will we use this liberty to pursue the lusts of our flesh? Will we join the dragon and use weapons of deception to wield power over others, to toy with their minds and lives because our standards are so superior to theirs?
Choose you this day whom you will serve. Christ or Satan. There is no other choice.
Let he who has ears hear.
- Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau: Three of Satan’s Stooges - Neil Girrard The U.S. is little more than the acting out of the philosophies of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau but most Americans don’t know what these philosophers said or why that might be important to them as followers of Christ.
- One Spirit - Neil Girrard There is only one Spirit of God - or is there? The answer to this question brings forth a surprising answer from the Scriptures and from God.
- An Acceptable Truth - Neil Girrard Many people won’t accept what the Bible says because they often have “difficulty” believing that the translators “got it right” or that what is written in today’s Bible is truly what the original authors actually penned.
- There’s Nothing Wrong With Me - Neil Girrard - ( in Adobe/pdf format ) The failure to face up to our own realities is often the source of our deepest deceptions.
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