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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 12

Section 4

The Sun-Invested Woman



This ch. 12:1 is the second place in the general prophecy where a figurative woman is introduced. The first place in which the Spirit speaks specifically of one is ch. 2:20. In his epistle to the Star-Angel presbytery of the ecclesia in Thyatira he charges it with suffering, or tolerating, teachers and seducers within its jurisdiction, whose traditions were destructive of those "servants" who received them. Those teachers and seducers constituted a class of men of which Balaam, is a representative. They "ran greedily in the error of Balaam's reward" (Jude 11). They were seducing spirits and demons who spoke lies in hypocrisy (1 Tim. 4:1-2): false teachers privily bringing in destructive opinions, and denying the Despot who bought them. Through covetousness, with feigned words, they made merchandise of professors unstable in the faith, sporting themselves with their own deceivings. They had once known the way of righteousness, and by the obedience of faith it inculcates had become children of God. But they afterwards forsook the right way, and went astray. Their heart was exercised like Balaam's with covetous practices; and without regard to the honor and interests of the truth, they zealously and volubly entertained their hearers with crotchety conceits and speculations. Their teaching and practices favored the wantonness and lusts of the flesh. The inconstant and unstable among the saints favored their traditions, which proclaimed a liberty in things which the word condemns. This licentiousness strengthened the flesh to which it is congenial; and as this was developed, the power of the word became impotent; their hold upon it was relaxed; they became entangled again in the pollutions of the world, and were overcome of their inordinate desires. Thus these teachers and seducers, with the disciples they had drawn away after them by the perverse things they taught, though they zealously contended for one God against the idolatry of the Roman State, adopted opinions and practices applauded by the profane. They "committed fornication, and ate things sacrificed to idols." For this contemptible "mess of pottage" they sold their birthright; and not only ruined themselves, but caused the truth to be evil spoken of by those whom it was designed to benefit (2 Pet. 2).

Now teachers and seducers, of the Balaam type either gained the ascendancy in the ecclesias, or not being able to maintain themselves therein, separated from them, and organized "churches" to suit themselves in which they could lord it over their flocks. But whether tolerated within the ecclesias, as in Thyatira, or separated in distinct and independent congregations, they were all prefigured by a woman. The character of this figurative woman is known to the faithful by the name she bears. She is in certain relations apocalyptically styled JEZEBEL, because of the analogy subsisting between-the character of the infamous daughter of Ethbaal and wife of Ahab, and that of the teachers and seducers by whom the Laodicean Catholic Apostasy was organized and perfected within the Anti-pagan Community. The original Jezebel essayed the utter abolition of Yahweh's worship in Israel; and substituted the adoration of other deities, with the lascivious abominations which had formerly brought extermination upon the Canaanites. Her fate also made her a fit emblem of the apocalyptic Jezebel, whose children will be eaten by dogs in the day of Jezreel (Psa. 68:23). The false teachers and seducers of the first three centuries, although they did not avow it as their purpose, effected completely what Jezebel aimed to accomplish in Israel. They utterly abolished "the doctrine of Christ" by their traditions; and if it had not been for "a little strength" found among a very small remnant that kept the Spirit's word, and had not denied His name, "the Israel of the Deity" would have been entirely transformed into "the Synagogue of Satan." The Star-Angel Presbytery of Thyatira was too tolerant of "the depths of Satan as they taught," for the Spirit's approval; for, after commending the angel's love, service, faith, patience, and works, he adds, "Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols." In this toleration the StarAngel or Eldership, was culpable. They ought to have silenced their false teaching, and to have permitted nothing to reach the ears of the flock not in harmony with the written word. This would have preserved "the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God;" and have prevented the development, out of the One Body espoused to Christ, of a self-complacent Catholic, Jezebel, who in the epoch of the "great sign" was at once wretched, and miserable and poor, and blind, and naked" (Ch. 3:17).

Such was the figurative antipagan woman we behold exhibited in the heaven invested with the sun's majesty, and his ancient lunar idolharlot made subject "under her feet." The "great sign" represents her situation as it appeared-to the outer world, for under another aspect of things, the "few names not defiled" of the same figurative woman are represented by "the remnants of her seed who keep the Commandments of the Deity, and hold the testimony of Jesus Christ." Hence the figurative woman of ch. 12, invested with the Roman Sun, and fleeing from the Dragon, represents the whole ANTIPAGAN COMMUNITY; the vast majority of which answered to Jezebel and her children; while the remainder, with whom alone the doctrine of Christ was to be found, refused to have anything to do with a church in alliance with the "dreadful and terrible beast having seven heads and ten horns." These two divisions of the antipagans, though opposed on the question of church and state alliance, were agreed in their hostility to the ascendancy of 'the existing Imperial Idolatry, which grievously afflicted them all. The first ecclesiastical separation of these two divisions did not occur till after the birth of the woman's son, who was to rule all the Greek and Latin nations with an iron sceptre. When this event transpired, the anti-state church party repudiated the desecrating alliance with emperors and their courts. They refused to recognize the emperor's claim of being at once the representative of the Sixth Head of the Dragon, and Bishop of the, Bishops of Christ. The truth was with this party. They seceded; and by their secession incurred the enmity and bitter hostility of the. New Church imperially established. The secessionists became the subject of virulent persecution by this new power, which caused them to take refuge in the wilderness. In this flight they are prefigured by the woman, who therefore leaves behind her the sun and moon, and wreath of twelve stars.

But this transient appearance of the woman in the heaven characterizes the sun, moon and stars she had repudiated. They had become the catholic luminaries of a new heaven; which, under the sounding of the fourth wind-trumpet, are found ruling the day and the night of the Catholic Roman Orb. The transient standing of the woman upon the moon indelibly stamped the character of Jezebel upon it; and proclaimed it to be the lunar representative of the Laodicean Synagogue of Satan; which ever since has been allied, in some form or other, to the blasphemous and ferocious despotisms of the world.

But, though "the Lamb's Woman" refused to be, allied to the Roman State, and retired into the wilderness, the State-Church Woman, Jezebel, was not so scrupulous. As "the church by law established" she retained her place in the heaven; and became "the Great Harlot" of the world. Little notice is taken of her apocalyptically until she is exhibited in ch. 17: 1, in all the enormity of her profligate career. In this scene, she appears in the wilderness, into which the Anti-State Church Woman fled. She is seen "drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus;" and sitting upon a scarletcolored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. She represents a "great city" of polity, "reigning over the kings of the earth." Her name in the beginning was Jezebel; but in the crisis of her fate it is also "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the earth." She reigns until the Ancient of Days is revealed, who "casts her into a bed, and them who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, and kills her children with death" (Ch. 2:22). This is the end of Jezebel in the day of Jezreel (Hos. 1: 11).

A different destiny, however, is apocalyptically indicated for the woman espoused as a chaste virgin to Christ. She entered the imperial presence, but soon found that it was impossible to enjoy imperial favor and protection, and maintain her honor and allegiance to her Divine Husband in purity and truth. She therefore fled from the sunshine of royalty, and left behind her the Jezebel of her communion, to whom the meretricious blandishments of courts were altogether congenial.

While her Jezebel counter-self remained invested with the Roman sun, and acquired and exercised dominion over the kings of the earth, she was sojourning in the wilderness, in which, however, Jezebel afterwards succeeded in establishing her blasphemous, licentious and sanguinary rule. The Anti-Jezebel Woman dwelt in the wilderness as many months of years as Israel did years in the exodus from Egypt; and two months of years more. She remained there 1,260 years, or forty-two generations of years after her flight; and will continue trodden underfoot by the lovers and protectors of Jezebel until the end of another period of 1,260 years, when the Ancient of Days will come*, and avenge the wrongs she has suffered, in the judgment which shall sit. At this crisis, she is tarried to the Lamb to whom she has been so long espoused. Her husband who is her head is Christ'. In "the time of the dead," having 64 made herself ready", she is "arrayed in fine linen clean and white" (ch. 19:7-8). Her marriage with the Lamb establishes such a oneness between those she represents and Christ, as exists between him and the Father in heaven. She is then "the Holy and Great City, the New and Holy Jerusalem, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Ch. 21:2,10). When thus "glorified together with Christ" (Rom. 8:17), the Jezebel-Synagogue of Satan will "be made to come and worship before her feet, and to know that Christ has loved her" (Ch. 3:9). Jezebel's children will have been slain with death, and her communion and sovereignty abolished; and the only woman seen in the heaven will be the glorified fugitive of the wilderness; clothed with the sun of Righteousness, the moon of the Laodicean Apostasy under her feet, and upon her head a wreath of twelve Apostolic Stars.

What a remarkable contrast between these two apocalyptic women. The one, Jezebel, the Great Harlot and the Mother of Harlots; the other, the Lamb's wife and the Mother of all the Saints. The former, sovereign in all times of the Gentiles; the latter, trampled underfoot of the Gentiles in all their times; and persecuted with the utmost rancour and bitterness of hate: the former, "arrayed in purple and scarlet-color, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, and reigning over the kings of the earth;" the latter, clothed in sackcloth, and the habiliments of subjection: the former, the embodiment of ignorance, superstition, cruelty, blasphemy, hypocrisy, and vice; the latter, holy, harmless, undefiled, and without fault before the throne. Nor is the difference of their destiny less striking. Jezebel is first hated by her subject kings, who make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire (Ch. 17:16); and afterwards, having somewhat of intermission from his rough usage, she is utterly and forever destroyed out of the way by YAHWEH ELOHIM, who avenges on her the righteous blood she has caused to be poured out upon the earth. The world being thus freed from the accursed presence of the Jezebel-superstitions of "Christendom" so-called; the nations henceforth enlightened, regenerated, and saved, walk in the glorified fugitive's light; who, for a thousand years, sheds the glory of the divine majesty with which she is invested upon all peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues; all of them blessed with faithful Abraham, in Abraham and his seed (Gal. 3:7-9). This blessedness under the government of Christ and his Bride is the theme which concludes the Apocalypse given by the Deity to Jesus Christ.





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