THE TRUE INTERPRETATION
We believe that the manchild symbolizes the 144,000 Jews who are the "firstfruits" to God from Israel, after the rapture of all Jews of the Church and the Old Testament saints. The reasons are:
1. It has been conclusively proved that the woman represents Israel. Since this is true, it follows that Israel cannot bring forth a company of Gentiles. She is sure to bring forth a company of her own nationality, the Jews. She cannot bring forth an individual person. Only an individual can do that. The manchild then can only represent a company of Jews out of Israel. The woman represents a company. The "remnant" is a company, so the manchild must, of necessity, represent a company of Jews in order to fulfill the plain statements of Rev. 12. This alone would exclude the theory of Christís being the manchild. There is no other company of Jews definitely mentioned in the fulfillment of Rev. 4-19 in Danielís Seventieth Week besides the 144,000 and, as their salvation and sealing for protection through the trumpet judgments only are described, it seems clear that they are the ones to be caught up in the seventh trumpet as the manchild.
2. We have also seen that the woman cannot be the spirit of Christendom, or the Church, and that the manchild cannot be the Church, or overcomers out of the Church, or any Gentile Christians. Thus, by a process of elimination, we have left only one group of people, the Jews, from which to draw the personnel of the manchild, and what other company can be represented but the 144,000 of Rev. 7 and 14? The manchild must be limited to one of the four companies of redeemed heavenly saints who are saved in the scope of redemption from Adam to the first resurrection. These companies are saved, dispensationally. When one company is complete then the gathering of the succeeding one begins.
3. The manchild represents a company of living saints only, for the woman will travail and bring forth the complete manchild in the middle of the Week. She cannot bring forth a partly dead and partly living child at this time. This seems clear from the very language of the chapter. The dragon will stand before the woman to devour her child as soon as it is born but the child will be immediately "caught up to God and to his throne."
How could the dragon kill the manchild if it were composed of dead or even resurrected people? Such a thing is impossibility. This proves that the manchild represents a company of living people only, who will be still in natural bodies with the possibility of being killed. This eliminates the Old Testament saints, the Church saints, and the tribulation saints. The only other company of redeemed left and the only one composed wholly of living saints is the 144,000 Jews who will be sealed to o through the first six trumpet judgments and who will be caught up under the seventh trumpet as the manchild. They are seen in heaven throughout the last three and one-half years so they must be raptured in the middle of the Week, Rev. 14:1-5. God will supernaturally protect the manchild or 144,000 of Israel from the dragon and Antichrist, when the latter breaks his covenant with Israel, in the middle of the Week, by catching them up to His throne.
(2) The destiny of the 144,000 proves them to be the manchild. They will appear "before the throne" in heaven and "before the four beast and the elders" who are before the throne. It is expressly stated that they will be redeemed "from the earth" and "from among men." They, therefore, cannot be earthly people, who go through the last three and one-half years of tribulation, and who will form the nucleus around which the twelve tribes will be gathered in the Millennium. The fact that they will be in heaven between the seventh trumpet and the first vial shows that they will have been raptured. When, if not as the manchild in the middle of the Week? The three messenger angels immediately following this vision of the 144,000 in heaven, will proclaim their particular messages from the middle of the Week onward. So it stands to reason that the vision will be fulfilled in the place it is given, which is immediately after the catching up of the manchild under the seventh trumpet, and before the vials and the ministry of the messenger angels.
(3) The time of the rapture of the 144,000 shows them to be represented by the manchild. If the 144,000 are seen on earth up to the middle of the Week, and in heaven immediately after the seventh trumpet, which blows in the middle of the Week, then they are sure to be raptured as the manchild in the middle of the Week. We have seen that the Old Testament and the Church saints will be caught up to heaven before the Seventieth Week and that they will be with God in heaven, represented by the elders. We have also seen that the tribulation saints ill be martyred principally after the rapture of the manchild, but not caught up until about the end of the Week. The only other place for the insertion of the rapture of the 144,000 is in Rev. 12:5. Therefore, the manchild must be the 144,000 who will be caught up under the seventh trumpet, for, immediately after this trumpet they will be seen in heaven before God, Rev. 14:1-5. If the 144,000 are not to be raptured as the manchild, the history of the manchild is incomplete, and if the catching up of the manchild is not the rapture of the 144,000, then mystery shrouds the rapture of the 144,000 and also the destiny and position of the manchild around the throne. Once we believe that the 144,000 caught up to heaven as the manchild in Rev. 12:5 and that the history of the manchild is completed in Rev. 14:1-5, all mysteries and questions cease to be.
(4) The place in which John saw the 144,000 further proves that they will be in heaven before the second advent of Christ to earth, and necessarily must be raptured before then. When, if not as the manchild? John seemed to see this company at two places; namely, on Mount Zion and in heaven before God. Some argue that this Mount Zion is the earthly one and that the whole scene (14:1-5) must be earthly, but we are convinced that Rev. 14:1 is heavenly, and refers to the heavenly Mount Zion because:
A. The rest of the verses refer to heavenly things. This cannot be disputed by reason of the plain language picturing scenes in heaven. The throne seen here does not come down to earth until after the Millennium, and then it is in the heavenly Mount Zion and the New Jerusalem, Rev. 21:22; 22:3-5. If these verses picture heavenly things then Rev. 14:1 does.
B. The "Lamb" seen on Mount Zion with the 144,000 is never seen on earth in the Revelation, but always in heaven, as can be verified by the reader himself. When Christ comes to the earth He will not be pictured as a lamb but as a mighty conqueror taking vengeance on the ungodly, Rev. 19:11-21.
C. All redeemed peoples who have part in the first resurrection will have their abode in the New Jerusalem, which is always spoken of in connection with heavenly, redeemed people, Heb. 11:10, 13-16; John 14:1-6; Rev. 21, 22. Paul states in Heb. 12:18-24 that there is a heavenly Mount Zion, so if Rev. 14:2-5 speaks of heavenly things Rev. 14:1 does also.
D. The earthly tabernacle, candlestick, table of shewbread, holy place, holy of holies, ark of the covenant, cherubims, mercy seat, etc., were all patterned after "things in heaven," Heb. 8:1-5; 9:1-5, 23, 24. Is it unreasonable to believe that this Mount Zion is the heavenly one? Certainly the heavenly patterns are just as real and literal as the earthly things made from them. Moses was not the only one to see the heavenly patterns, for John in the Revelation describes what he saw of them. They are enumerated as follows, but studied elsewhere: the door to the heavenly tabernacle, throne, lamps, sea of glass, golden altar, golden censer, incense, temple and ark of the covenant. Therefore, we conclude that the heavenly Mount Zion is the place for the temple of God in heaven, as seen in Rev. 4, 5; 11:19; 14:15, 17; 15:5-8; 16:1, 17; 21:2-22:7.
(5) The privileges of the 144,000 in heaven show them to be a distinct company of redeemed from the earth that will have part in the first resurrection. When, if not as the manchild? They will form one of the wonderful choirs of heaven and sing a secret song that no man knows "but the hundred and forty and four thousand," Rev. 14:1-3. The thought is not that others will not understand the words of the song, but that they will not be able to sing its contents, not having had the particular experience it will describe. The song will be accompanied by harps and sung before the throne and all heavenly inhabitants, but, apart from this, we know nothing about it. This is the only mention of a song without reference to the words or the nature of it. It is to be a new son, by a new company and with a new theme, which further indicates that those who sing it are saved and translated as a living company after the rapture of the Church. They will have undergone the same trials, will have been protected from the same judgments, and will have been translated from the wrath of the dragon at the same time that the woman travails, in the middle of the Week. It is further stated of the 144,000 that they will "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." This indicates their fellowship with Christ and the ability to follow Him anywhere in the universe as special "servants" of God, Rev. 7:3; 14:1-5.
(6) The character of the 144,000 further shows them to be a special company of redeemed saints, saved and translated after the rapture of the Church, and before the dragon is cast out of heaven, in the middle of the Week, for this is the only time they are seen on earth. Whenever they are seen after this, they are in heaven before the throne of God. They "were not defiled with women: for they are virgins," Rev. 14:4. This has no reference to celibacy, but to the pollutions connected with the great religious system dominating the nations of Revised Rome during the first three and one-half years until Antichrist rises to absolute power over the ten kings who together destroy Mystery Babylon, in the middle of the Week, Rev. 17:14-18. The 144,000 will not be a company of natural virgins but, having abstained from the fornication of Mystery Babylon, will be recognized as pure virgins and chaste in the same sense as in 2 Cor. 11:2. They are not mentioned in connection with Antichrist or anything that he does in the last three and one-half years, which seems to indicate that they will be translated before the Antichrist makes war on the saints.
"In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God," Rev. 14:5. This passage shows that the 144,000 must abide by the same rule of conduct to which the Church and all other redeemed have been subjected, Eph. 5:26, 27; Phil. 4:8; Col 3:5, 16; etc. This verse (14:5) can be taken literally while the verse above (14:4) cannot possibly be taken so because of its own statements which show that the 144,000 have not been defiled with women (indicating, if literal, that they were all men); for they are virgins (indicating, if literal, that they are women). Both cannot be true. The only other meaning must be the one above.
(7) The 144,000 are "firstfruits unto God and the Lamb" (14:4), which definitely proves their salvation and translation after the rapture of the Church. The "firstfruits" were always mentioned in connection with Israel in the Old Testament, speaking of the first gathering of the harvest, whether corn, wheat or anything. They were offered to the Lord together with the tithes, as a recognition of earthly blessings from the hand of the Lord, Num. 15:20; 18:12; Neh. 10:35-37; Prov. 3:9, 10. In the New Testament the first converts are spoken of as "firstfruits," 1 Cor. 16:15. James, in writing to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, says "that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures," Jas 1:1, 18. Christ is referred to as the "firstfruits" of the resurrection, 1 Cor. 15:20-23. From all these passages in both Testaments we gather that the "firstfruits" mean the first of vegetation gathered, or the first of mankind to experience something new. The 144,000 will be "firstfruits" and "of al the tribes of the children of Israel"; i.e., the first ones saved after the rapture.
Now comes the question as to how the 144,000 will be firstfruits to God from Israel. It has already been proved that they will be saved and sealed after the rapture of the Church and the Old Testament saints who will be caught up in Rev. 4:1. It cannot be denied that they will be living Jews all sealed in their foreheads after the sixth seal and before the first trumpet in the first three and one-half years as plainly stated in Rev. 7:1-8. If this is true, then they cannot be the firstfruits to God, from Israel of the Old Testament or the Church saints, for the first Jews saved in these companies will have died centuries before and will have been raptured at Christís coming in the air, 1 Thess. 4:13-18. These 144,000 will be the first Jews saved between the rapture and the first trumpet, after all saved Jews are caught up in the rapture of the Church. The awful wars, bloody persecutions, devastating famines and noisome pestilences in the first six seals, together with the knowledge of God and of the rapture which has taken place, will serve as powerful incentives in converting thousands of Jews and Gentiles. Hence the 144,000 Jews and the great multitude, which will be two different bodies of people, are seen in Rev. 7 between the sixth and seventh seals, with the 144,000 being sealed for protection through the trumpet judgments and the great multitude suffering martyrdom in the tribulation.
If the manchild, which represents a company of Israelites, as is clear, were to be raptured before the 144,000 which is also a company of Israelites, then the manchild would be the "firstfruits" to God from Israel and not the 144,000. But such is not true, for it is the 144,000 who are firstfruits to God from Israel. This proves that the 144,000 are the ones symbolized by the manchild, for the manchild will be the first company raptured after the Church is raptured in Rev. 4:1. There is only one company of believers raptured after the Church until the rapture of the tribulation saints at about the end of the tribulation, and that company is symbolized by the manchild. Therefore, since the manchild and the 144,000 are both Israelitish, since there is but one rapture for both, and since they are both seen in heaven before the throne immediately after the seventh trumpet, they must be identical.
The 144,000 will be the firstfruits to God from Israel while the real harvest of Israel will be at the end of the tribulation when the nation is born at one time, Isa. 66:7, 8; Rom. 11:26, 27. Since the firstfruits of the harvest in the Old Testament belonged to God and were used at His discretion, so these firstfruits of all Israel are dedicated especially to God and His service. The harvest after the gathering of the firstfruits, was left to sustain natural life so God will likewise leave the harvest of Israel as an earthly people, to serve as a factor in the sustenance of natural life on earth forever, Isa 9:6, 7; Luke 1:32-35; Rev. 21, 22.
Thus all the facts concerning the 144,000 in Rev. 7 and 14 seem to require their oneness with the manchild. If they are to be caught up before the manchild they must be translated after the fifth and sixth trumpets, for they will still be on earth and protected during their fulfillment. If they are not the same, then there are two translations and the first or 144,000 is not seen while the other is. The history of the 144,000 is resumed while the other is not. Thus mystery after mystery appears unless the 144,000 are recognized as the manchild.
5. The 144,000 will be sealed for the purpose of being protected through the trumpet judgments only, for immediately after the seventh trumpet, which includes the last verse of Rev. 13, we see them in heaven as in the first five verses of Rev. 14. It was said to the first four trumpet angels, who are to hurt the earth, trees and seas, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God (144,000) in their foreheads," Rev. 7:1-3. After they are sealed the trumpets will begin. They will be immune from the first four plagues. They are not mentioned in connection with that time, but, in the fifth trumpet or first woe, special direction is given to the demons of that woe not to hurt the 144,000, Rev. 9:4. This also plainly applies to the demons of the sixth trumpet or second woe which immediately follows. The way God will protect them under the seventh trumpet or third woe, which is the casting out of Satan from heaven, will be by translating them to thwart the dragon in his purpose of devouring the manchild "as soon as it is born." The dragon will be full of wrath because God will have protected them from the first six trumpet plagues so he will try to destroy them. But he will be defeated by God, who will translate them to His throne. Then the dragon will turn on the woman who will have brought forth the manchild, but God will defeat him in all his machinations as we have already seen. We find no mention of the 144,000 on earth after the trumpets and the very next view places them in heaven, 14:1-5. Therefore, they are the company symbolized by the manchild who will be protected from the wrath of the dragon. Antichrist and vial plagues of the last three and one-half years of the Week by being translated.
6. It seems clear from the previous studies that the woman, manchild, and the remnant of the woman are all Jewish, and that these three are the only companies in Revelation that are Jewish. If this is true then the 144,000 must be one of the three since they are Jewish. They are not mentioned separately from them, but are mentioned as being "of all the tribes of the children of Israel" thus indicating that if they were not of the three they would also be mentioned in connection with the three which go to make up all Israel before the middle of the Week. Since they are one of the three, which one? They cannot be symbolized by the woman and cannot be the remnant because of the following contrast:
Now therefore, since the woman or the remnant cannot be the 144,000 or the manchild, the 144,000 and the manchild must be identical. The 144,000 are the only company that can possibly fill the requirements of the language of Rev. 12. The manchild represents a small company of Israelites out of all Israel. The 144,000 are a company from all Israel. The manchild is caught up to the throne. So are the 144,000. The manchild is delivered from the dragon. So are the 144,000, else they would not be protected by God from the demons, Rev. 9:4. The manchild is not mentioned on earth after the seventh trumpet. Neither are the 144,000. The manchild is to rule the nations. So are the 144,000 as well as all saints. The manchild is an heavenly company. So are the 144,000. The manchild is a baby in size compared to the woman. So are the 144,000 compared to all Israel. These and other reasons of harmony between the two seem to prove that the manchild and the 144,000 are the same.
7. Daniel also pictured the rapture of the manchild saying, "At that time (beginning of the great tribulation) shall Michael standup (as in Rev. 12:7-12 when the manchild is delivered), the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people (Israel): and there shall be a time of trouble (three and one-half years of Dan. 12:7-13; Rev. 11:1-3; 12:5, 6, 14-16; 13:1-7), such as never was since there was a nation (Matt. 24:15-26; Jer. 30:7) even to that same time; and at that time (that Michael stands up to cast out Satan and deliver the manchild) thy people (Israel) shall be delivered (from Hebrew malat, meaning "to escape, to be rescued," implying a translation to Israel), every one (144,000) that shall be found written in the book," Dan. 12:1. Such passages as Exod. 32:32, 33; Ps. 56:8; 69:28; Isa. 4:3; Ezek. 13:9; Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:11-15 show that the reference to those found written in the book of life among Danielís people at the middle of the Week will escape the great tribulation. Christ plainly reveals to John that there will be 144,000 written in the book of life at that time.
8. In Isa. 66:7, 8 we have another definite passage showing that Israel is to bring forth a manchild before she herself is delivered at the end of the Week. This passage reads, "Before she (Israel) travailed (for her own deliverance at the end of the Week, Zech. 12:10-14), she was delivered of a man-child," verse 7. That the pain and travail of Israel here is the one which results in her own deliverance at the end of the Week is the one referred to is clear from verse 8 which reads, "Who hath heard such a thing?Öshall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." But before this birth of a nation in one day (Rom. 11:25-27) "she brought forth a man child." Who is the manchild that Israel is to bring forth before her own deliverance if it is not the 144,000 or "every one found written in the book" among Israel in the middle of the Week as in the above passages in Dan. 12:1 and Rev. 7:1-8; 12:5; 14:1-5? The manchild in Isaiah must be the same as the one in Revelation, for both passages are fulfilled at the same time and concern the same class of people. Since both passages refer to Israel as a whole and to the manchild as being a smaller group out of Israel and since the woman or the remnant of the woman cannot be the manchild, the only others left to make up the manchild are the 144,000 Jews out of Israel. Therefore, we conclude that the manchild referred to in Isaiah and Revelation is a symbol of the 144,000 Jews who are caught up to God as an heavenly people in the middle of the Week.
As we have seen, the 144,000 are a special company from Israel who are to have a special mission. They are a separate and distinct company of redeemed eternal rulers who help God, with all other redeemed men and faithful angels, to administer the affairs of the vast universe of Godóeven His creations in infinite outer space, far beyond what we now know to be in existence.
Since the manchild truly represents a group of people who will be alive, on earth, after the rapture and will fulfill prophecies of the "THINGS WHICH MUST BE HEREAFTER," that is, after the churches, then it is definitely clear that the manchild refers to the 144,000 Jews who are protected from the judgments of the trumpets in the first half of the Week, Rev. 7:1-8; 9:4, and are caught up to heaven as the manchild in the middle of the Week (Rev. 12:5), where they are seen before God in heaven, having been redeemed from the earth, Rev. 14:1-5.
This being true, we must keep in mind that the word "manchild" is never used in connection with the Church, or with Gentiles in any age from Adam until now. The word is used only with Israel in prophecy, and only with Israel will it be fulfilled.