The writers of The Thunder of Justice also claim that Mary refers to herself as the one "who crushes the serpent [Satan]," in the end-time, because she is the "woman" of Genesis 3:15. Let us look at this Scripture in detail and see if this is indeed true. In Genesis 3:15 the Bible says: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." This verse is a prophecy and promise that someday a certain Son, a particular male Child, would be born into the world [a descendant of Eve], to contest the devil, and though terribly bruised in the contest (His death on the cross), He would conquer the devil with a fatal blow to the head at the end of time. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." (Hebrews 2:14).
In Galatians 3:16 the Bible further clarifies that "to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christl." Thus it is plain to see that it is not Mary at all, but "her seed," Jesus Christ, that destroys Satan at last. Let us now, with emphases supplied, reread Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity [hostility] between thee [Satan] and the woman [Eve}, and between thy seed [Satan's followers] and her seed [her descendants in Christ the Deliverer]; it [Christ--the promised Seed, the Deliverer Himself] shall bruise thy head [the death blow--Christ's complete victory over Satan and Satan's permanent, eternal destruction after the thousand years (see Ezekiel 28:18, 19 and Revelation 20:6-9)], and thou (Satan] shall bmise His heel [Christ's death on the cross--a serious wound, but not permanent, for He rose from the dead, having the keys of the grave and of death (Rev. 1:18), having utterly spoiled Satan's kingdom and power].
The book, The Thunder of Justice, further claims that "the prophecy of Genesis 3 has been fulfilled with Revelation 12, where Mary is the great sign in Heaven: 'And a great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.' Pope Paul VI, in his 1967 encyclical, Signum Magnum, identified the Lady of Fatima as the biblical representation of the Woman clothed with the sun." (The Thunder of Justice, p. 88). The book further states that "Mary, the Woman clothed with the sun, appears as a sign and explains the secrets of the Book of Revelation."
Also, they claim that "on April 12, 1947, at Tre Fontane (Three Fountains), in Rome, Italy, Our Blessed Mother announced, I am the Virgin of Revelation." (Ibid. p. 89). And if you listen to the words of Father Gobbi, one of the Marian Movement's priests whom Mary seems to have communicated through more than any other individual, he claims the Virgin Mary told him on April 24, 1980, the following: "I am the Virgin of Revelation. In me, the masterpiece of the Father is realized in such a perfect manner, that He can shed on me the light of His predilection, The Word assumes His human nature in my virginal womb, and thus can come to you by means of my true function as Mother. The Holy Spirit draws me, like a magnet, into the depths of the life of love between the Father and the Son, and I become interiorly transformed and so assimilated to Him as to be His spouse...I will bring you [plural] to the full understanding of Sacred Scriptures." (Ibid., 90).
Friends, the Bible never told us that Mary would interpret Scripture, but that the Holy Spirit will. "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God...the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God....Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1.Cor 2:10, 11b, 13). Again, in John 16:13 and 14, Jesus said to His disciples: "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth...and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine [of the wonderful achievements of Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life], and shall shew it unto you." Thus, it is the Holy Spirit, a member of the Godhead - and not a created being - to whom the interpretation of the Scriptures has been intrusted to guide those who are the honest seekers after the truth of God's Word. Yet, The Thunder of Justice continues: "Above all, I [Mary] will read to you the pages of its last book [Revelation], which you are living. In it, everything is already predicted, even that which must still come to pass, The battle to which I am calling you is clearly described, and my great victory is foretold." (Ibid.).
Let us now take a close look at Revelation 12 and see if the "woman clothed with the sun" is truly the Virgin Mary. But before we do this, let us establish some facts about the book of Revelation. First of all, the book is not a "mystery:' but "the Revelation of Jesus Christ....unto His servant John." (Rev. 1:1). The Apocalypse, as the book is sometimes referred to, is derived from the Greek word apocalypsis which means a "disclosure," an "uncovering," or a "revelation." Therefore, the book of Revelation is not to be a mystery, but, on the other hand, it is to be understood by every truly sincere Bible student. Second, Revelation is a book of prophecy and it predicts things "which must shortly come to pass." (Rev. 1:1). Third, the book is filled with signs and symbols, and this is the method by which God showed the future to John who faithfully "bare record" of the visions "that he saw." (Rev. 1:2). He, for instance, saw a beast with seven heads (Rev. 13:1); a "great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns" (Rev. 12:3); and the "great whore that sitteth upon many waters" (Rev. 17:1).
Every Bible student should know that the Bible interprets itself. Take, for example, Revelation 17:1 - "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters." If you look at verse 15 of the same chapter, the Scripture says, "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." It is obvious that the "whore" is not a literal prostitute sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, but a representation of some kind of powerful organization that has many peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues under her jurisdiction. And whatever the program or influence of this entity, it definitely does not operate with the blessing or approval of the Author of Revelation. Interestingly enough, throughout the Scriptures the sacred relationship of God to his obedient followers is compared to that of marriage. Notice how God feels when this relationship has degenerated into infidelity: "They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou [Israel] hast played the harlot with many lovers [following the idolatries and corrupt practices of the heathen nations about them], yet return again to Me, saith the Lord. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places [areas of idol worship and consecrated immoralityl, and see where thou hast not been lain with [the implication is that there is no such place that had not been defiled]. In the ways [the main ways of travel] hast thou sat for them [as a harlot looking for customers], as the Arabian in the wilderness [the hidden thief in the desert eagerly watching for travelers, or caravans, to prey upon]; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead [an attitude of impudence, brazenness, shamelessness]; thou refusedst to be ashamed...Retum, thou backsliding Israel [literally, in the Hebrew, Turn back, O backturning Israel], saith the Lord....for I am married unto you." (Jer. 3:1-3, 12, 14). Therefore, a whore or harlot is used in the Bible as a symbol of a disloyal church that has left the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and is having illicit relations with other men or leaders or gods of this world. (See Ezekiel 16 and 23 for further confirmation). With this in mind, let us now proceed to study the "woman" of Revelation 12, who is just as much a symbol of a religious organization of influence as is the "whore " of Revelation 17, and see if the "woman" is the Virgin Mary.
Revelation 12:1 begins with John seeing a symbolic mother in the sky, "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." She is pregnant and eager for her baby to arrive (verse 2), and Satan, shaped like a dragon, is present, ready "to devour her child as soon as it is born (verse 4)." Miraculously, the child escapes and is "caught up unto God, and to His throne (verse 5)."
Immediately, there are questions that arise if one tries to interpret these Scriptures literally, and conclude that this woman is the Virgin Mary. Those who believe that such is the case will say, "After all, was not the Virgin Mary the one who gave birth to the Child Jesus, and was not her Son the supreme object of the devil's malice? Then the "woman" has to be Mary!" In answer to this let us note the following: First, John saw "a great wonder" in the sky, which he recognized at once to be of great import to the world. And although he knew Mary very well, he did not exclaim, "Behold! I see the glorified likeness of my Lord's mother in the heaven!" Second, have you ever heard of a woman standing on the "moon" or seen one "clothed with the sun"? Third, has anyone ever seen a dragon, let alone, one with "seven heads"? Therefore, these words must have a symbolic application to literal events! And is not this what you would expect to find when "the revelation of Jesus Christ" is one which "He [Christ] sent and signified [made known by signs, or symbols] by His angel unto His servant John"? (Rev. 1:1). And would not this be an excellent way to reveal sensitive information to His faithful followers living under a totalitarian government while at the same time seemingly presenting a jargon of words and images to the idly curious? How wise and considerate of His people is the God of the Holy Scriptures!
Three paragraphs ago, I stated that a woman, when symbolized by a whore or harlot, is an apostate people or church. But, in addition to this, the word has yet another meaning when used symbolically. Just as a whore can symbolize an impure church, a virgin can be used to symbolize a pure church. Take, for instance, the following two Scriptures: "I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman" and "For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (Jeremiah 6:2; 2.Cor.11:2). So could the "woman" of Revelation 12 possibly be "the true church" and not the Virgin Mary? Furthermore, her garment is the "sun," and she stands on the "moon," and wears a crown of "twelve stars." What is the significance of "the woman" being "clothed with the sun"? During His ministry, when Jesus was in the temple at Jerusalem and the rising sun came into full view over the Mount of Olives, He pointed to it and announced His mission as the Messiah, saying, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12). Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, had described the Coming One as "the Sun of righteousness." (Mal. 4:2). Now in vision on the Isle of Patmos during the last decade of the First Century A.D., John sees "a woman clothed with the sun" - that is, the glorious light of the "Sun of righteousness!" It is clear that this momentous event signifies the birth of the God-man, the Messiah! The momentous news of the ages is that the long-promised Deliverer has arrived! The pure woman - so long recognized by the now aging John to have represented God's true followers in the Church in both the Old and New Testament times - is at last now bathed in the bright splendor of His immediate Presence!
Moreover, she stands with "the moon under her feet." The Mosaic (Old Testament) dispensation had just ended and had been succeeded by the gospel dispensation. As the moon's lesser light is borrowed from the sun, so the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, feasts, etc. had shone with a more subdued glory borrowed as types and shadows from what now had become Antitype and Substance in the full spiritual glory of the gospel era. The "woman" is wearing "a crown of twelve stars," representing the twelve apostles. "By the figure of prolepsis [anticipation of the whole completed picture], the church is represented as fully organized with its twelve apostles before the man-child, Christ, appeared upon the scene. This is easily accounted for by the fact that it was to be thus constituted immediately after Christ should commence His ministry; and He is more especially connected with this church than with that of the former dispensation." (Daniel and the Revelation, p. 545). To John, looking back from the end of the First Century upon a completed Apostolic Era to one described in the vision of Revelation 12 as just entering its first stages at the beginning of the Christian Era, this prolepsis would seem both logical and appropriate. Even so, with us today. After all, the events of Christ's birth and short life here on earth as portrayed by John's vision have proved so significant in our world's developing history that today the entire world designates its counting of years by the initials B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, 1 A.D.--"in the year of the Lord," the supposed year of his birth, though actually over four years after His entrance into the world). From all the foregoing information, it then follows that "her child," Jesus Christ, was born to the true church. He was given to God's faithful as a whole, including Mary, who was herself a small, but important part, of the "woman" described in John's vision.
And who was it that inflicted suffering and temptation on the wonderful child Jesus? "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon...stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered." (Rev. 12:3, 4). In verse 9, we learn that the dragon is "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" and once sought to destroy the Christ-child. "We're dealing with symbols! In the vision, the dragon is seen in heaven--yet Jesus, as we all know, was born on earth. So whom on earth does the dragon symbol stand for? Everyone who has heard the Christmas story knows it was King Herod who sent soldiers to Bethlehem to destroy all the baby boys there, hoping to kill Jesus among them. Herod's soldiers missed the infant Jesus, because in a dream God had warned His parents to escape. King Herod was a puppet of the Romans. Everyone knows too about Pontius Pilate - another Roman administrator - who nailed Jesus to the cross. It was Rome that tried to destroy Jesus. The great red dragon is primarily Satan--and, secondarily, his agent Rome, acting on Satan's behalf.
Triumphantly, after Satan and Rome killed our Saviour, Jesus rose from the dead and 'was caught up unto God, and to His throne' (verse 5), where He 'always lives' as our High Priest 'to make intercession' for us (Hebrews 7:25, 26).
"Frustrated in his attempt to kill the Son, the great red dragon now turned his hatred against the son's mother. But the mother escaped into the 'Wilderness' to a 'place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.' (Rev. 12:6)." (God Cares, Vol. 2, pp. 320, 321). As you are about to see, the experience of "the woman" [from the time of Christ's ascension to His Father's throne until the "remnant of her seed" appear and finish God's work on the earth in the closing moments of human probation at the end of the world] is much more suited to the history of the church than it is to the Virgin Mary.
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