The male son… who is he?02-10-2017 - Posted by Andre Piet
Recently, I have given several studies with the repeating theme: the birth and snatching away of the male son, as described in Revelation 12. In visual language it is described in this chapter that a heavily pregnant woman is being threatened by a dragon. It intends to devour her child that is meant for the throne. When she brought forth her son, he is snatched away to God and to His throne. Then the woman flees to the wilderness, there where she has a place made ready by God. In the studies I argued that the woman who brought forth her son, is a representation of the people of Israel, who generates Christ and who will be saved in the wilderness during the great affliction.
The identity of the male son is revealed by John himself, by mentioning that it is Him, who would shepherd all the nations with an iron club (12: 5). Thus John refers directly to Psalm 2: 9, where is spoken of the Christ (“his Anointed”; : 2), King, on Zion (: 6) and Son of God (: 7). So the answer is: the male son is Christ.
The abovementioned answer is definitely correct. But it raises a pressing question: what is the event, John points to by saying that the male son is snatched away to God and to His throne? When the male son is Jesus Christ, does it point to his ascension in the past? But, was that really a ‘snatching away’? Revelation 12 speaks about an emergency, and rapidity is required. That was not the situation at the ascension, described in Acts 1. On the contrary. That took place in peace. In addition, the snatching away in Revelation 12 is placed in an end-time setting. It is just before the hasty escape of the woman to her hiding address in the wilderness.
the Christ… a people!
So it’s well worth asking: how a snatching away of Christ can take place, just before the great affliction (= 1,260 days)? The answer to this question we can only find involving the secrets Paul revealed in his letters. In the first place Paul makes clear that “the Christ” is not just one person, but an assembly of Head and Body. Jesus Christ is the Head and the ecclesia is his body. In 1 Corinthians 12: 12 that body is called “the Christ”. The proclaimed (ecclesia) from the nations form a “joint body” and are “joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3: 6). All which is granted to Christ, is shared with them! Paul also calls the ecclesia, as a whole, “a mature son” (Ephesians 4: 13)
This entity of Head and Body is a secret that was revealed by Paul. Another secret that he was allowed to reveal, is that this ecclesia in “the parousia of the Lord” will be snatched away to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17). And só we (the Body) will always be together with the Lord (the Head); that is what Paul guarantees us. About this snatching away, Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 1: 10 that the purpose is to rescue us out of the coming indignation. The word ‘snatching-away’, used by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4: 17, is the same word (harpazo) as used by John in relation to the snatching-away of the male son (Revelations 12: 5). And now all the pieces fall into place. Such as the woman in Revelations 12 is the representation of a people, the male son is also a people. Indeed, it is the Christ, but: including his body, the ecclesia! And indeed, he will be snatched away upwards to be rescued out of the indignation of the opponent. And then a believing part of Israel will flee immediately to the wilderness.
the body of Christ in ‘Revelation’?
Some people have objections to the idea that “the Body of Christ” will play a role in the book of Revelation. “The Body” is surely intended for heaven, however the book of Revelation is about Israel and the nations here on the earth. Those who reason in this way overlook that “the Body” (the ecclesia) is connected to her Head and shall be manifested together with Him in glory (Colossians 3: 4). Since Christ has the main role in the book of Revelation, also the Body is necessarily involved. Both form surely an inseparable unity.
Some people think that this “male son” would be a representation of the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14. They have the following arguments for that:
- the 144,000 are sealed out the tribes of the sons of Israel
- they are represented as male (14: 4)
- they are bought as firstfruit (14: 4)
But in my opinion this explanation fails for many reasons. For example:
- According to John’s own explanation the male son is Christ (“who would shepherd all the nations…”). Do the 144,000 form the Christ? Are they Head and Body?
- Where can we find the confirmation that the 144,000 will be snatched away? It is said about the ecclesia (1 Thessalonians 4: 17), but where can we read this about the 144,000?
- When a believing part of Israel will be saved in the wilderness during the great affliction of 1,260 days, will the 144,000 be with God and his throne? On that moment there won’t be yet a throne on the earth, so will the 144,000 be saved in heaven?
But there is also another important reason why the 144,000 cannot be “the male son”. The selection of this group (Revelation 7), takes place áfter the sixth seal. That is áfter the appearance of Christ on the Mount of Olives, when sun and moon will be darkened and the stars of heaven will fall on the earth (Revelation 6: 12, 13 / compare with Matthew 24: 29-31). On that occasion the Israelites will be gathered to their land and they will be sent to preach the Evangel of the Kingdom among the nations. The 144,000 will be sealed, that is protected against the judgments that will come over the gentiles during the seven trumpets. The selection of 144,000 out of twelve tribes of Israel will yet happen when Israel will be gathered out of the nations. That takes place áfter the 1,260 days of affliction. And the snatching-away of the male son will be before the 1,260 days. Also this timing makes the candidacy of the 144,000 impossible.
But why looking for other candidates for the male son, when the Body of Christ is a perfect one. The ecclesia is joint with Christ and both form Head and Body. The ecclesia shares in the heavenly future of Christ and together with Him is meant for the throne. And only the ecclesia will be snatched away before the great affliction. In conclusion: a perfect match!