Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the Bible there are some crucial signs. One of them is Jacob’s dream at Bethel (Gen. 28:10-22). In that dream Jacob saw heaven opened and a ladder set up on earth extending from earth to heaven. This sign needs the whole Bible for its development. Another sign is Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:1-45). In that dream he saw a great image symbolizing the power of the Gentiles. Although that sign appears simple, it covers the Gentile powers from Babylon to the coming kingdoms of the revived Roman Empire. If we would understand that sign fully and adequately, we need to consider the whole of world history. In Revelation 12 there is still another sign—the great sign of the bright woman with the man-child. In this message I am burdened to give a further word on this great sign.
The view that the woman in Revelation 12 is Mary is entirely too narrow. To say that the woman is merely Israel, the race of the Jews, is also inadequate, for the woman in this vision is not local but universal. The woman in this chapter is not limited to any locality on earth; rather, she occupies the universe. As we have seen in the last message, she represents the totality of God’s people from Adam until the end.
Before God’s people can be the man-child, they must firstly be a woman to Him. This indicates that we in the church today must firstly be the woman to God and then the man-child. By the sign in Revelation 12 we see that God’s intention is to bring forth a man-child through this woman. The woman has been and still is the means by which God can bring forth this man-child, the one whom God will use to defeat His enemy and to bring in His kingdom. In other words, God will use this man-child to fulfill His economy and to accomplish His purpose. This is a great matter. In order to accomplish His purpose, God not only needs the individual Christ but also a corporate Christ, the church, God’s people. We do not agree with the concept that this woman is merely the mother of Jesus or the nation of Israel. She is the universal, corporate body of God’s people. God needs the man-child to defeat His enemy and to bring in His kingdom that His eternal purpose might be accomplished. In order for Him to have such a man-child, there is the need of the woman.
Now we need to see a few crucial matters relating to the position of the woman in the Bible. The Bible reveals that in God’s eyes His people are His wife. In Isaiah 54 God even refers to Himself as the husband to His people. According to the Bible, in order for a woman to be a proper wife, she must submit to her husband. In this universe the unique husband, the unique man, is God. God, the universal man, the universal husband, is our husband. Whether we are males or females by birth, being God’s people, we are females in God’s eyes. God is our husband, and we are His counterpart. As His wife, we must submit ourselves to Him. Although we may say that we are a wife to Christ, we still have our own way and intention. Often, we do not take His will and intention as ours. This means that we do not actually take Him as our husband or submit to Him.
A wife must also receive something from her husband in order to become pregnant. The Bible reveals that submission is to receive something of Christ, just as the woman submits to her husband, not to do something for him but to receive something of him. Nothing that a wife does for her husband is more important than receiving something of her husband. Actually a wife’s duty is not to do things for her husband; it is to receive something of her husband that she may bring forth something for her husband. In the great sign in Revelation 12, the woman is not portrayed as doing anything for her husband; she is pictured as being pregnant. She has been impregnated by her husband in order to bring forth something for her husband. The church’s duty is not mainly to do something for Christ. Her duty is to receive something of Christ that she may be made pregnant of Christ and may bring forth something for Christ.
The woman in this chapter firstly indicates submission to God. Secondly, she indicates that we do not need to do anything for God. What we need is to receive something of God. He does not need anything of us, but we need something of Christ to enter into our being that we might be made pregnant and might bring forth something for Him. The church today needs Christ. This vision is altogether lacking in today’s Christianity. When Christians speak about submission, their concept is to do something for Christ, to perform some work for God. But as the proper woman, we must firstly submit ourselves to our husband, not to do something for Him, but to receive something of Him. If we do this we shall be made pregnant, and something will be brought forth through us.
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