|Revelation 12:1-3 |
1 Now there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.1 [The woman is the true church of Christ as it first appeared.]
2 And being with child she cried out, travailing in birth, and in pain of childbirth.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
1 Now there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. George Fox has an excellent writing on the meaning of this verse, extracted below:
They are living members, living stones, built up as a spiritual household, the children of the promise, and of the seed and flesh of Christ; as the apostle said, "flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone.” They are the good seed, the children of the everlasting kingdom written in heaven, who have put on the Lord Jesus Christ. They sit together in heavenly places in Christ, are clothed with the sun of righteousness, Christ Jesus, and have the moon under their feet. Rev 12:1. So all changeable things that are in the world, all changeable religions, changeable worships, changeable ways, fellowships, churches, and teachers in the world, are as the moon; for the moon changes, but the sun does not change. The Sun of Righteousness never changes, nor sets, nor goes down; but all the ways, religions, worships, fellowships of the world, and the teachers there, change like the moon. But the true church, which Christ is the head of, which is in God the Father, and is called "the pillar and ground of truth," whose citizenship is in heaven; this church is clothed with the sun, Christ Jesus her head, who does not change, and has all changeable things under her feet. These are the living members, born again of the immortal seed by the word of God, who feed upon the immortal milk, and live and grow by it. Such are the new creatures in Christ Jesus, who makes all things new, and sees the old things pass away. His church, his members, which are clothed with the sun, their worship is in the spirit and in the truth, which does not change, which truth the devil, the foul, unclean spirit, is out of, and cannot get into this worship in spirit and truth. Their religion is pure and undefiled before God that keeps from the spots of the world and their way is the new and living way, Christ Jesus. So the church of Christ, that is clothed with the sun, that has the moon and all changeable religions and ways under her feet, has an unchangeable worship, religion and way, an unchangeable rock and foundation, Christ Jesus, an unchangeable high priest, and so are children of the New Testament, and in the everlasting covenant of light and life.
....They come to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and are living members of the church of Christ that he is the head of, and are clothed with the sun of righteousness, the Son of God, that never changes, and have the changeable moon under their feet, and all changeable worldly things, inventions, and works of men's hands. These see the people how they change from one worship to another, from one religion to another, from one way to another, and one church to another, yet their hearts are not changed.
The changeable religions includes Christendom with its man-made faiths and with its decline in moral standards; the decline necessary to keep their membership full and profitable.