As the result of her "travail" the "Sun Clothed Woman" brought forth a "MAN-CHILD" who was to rule the nations with a "ROD OF IRON." There can be no question as to who is meant by the "Man-Child." He is CHRIST. The Second Psalm settles that--"Ask of me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a 'ROD OF IRON': Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." The "Man-Child" cannot be the Church, as some claim, because the "Man-Child" is caught up to the FATHER'S THRONE, where He is now seated, while the Church, which is not as yet caught up, is to be caught up to CHRIST IN THE AIR. 1. Thess. 4:17.
Those who claim that Christ and the Church together constitute the "Man-Child," because in the Message to the Church at Thyatira, the promise to the "Overcomers" is, that they shall rule the Nations with a "ROD OF IRON," forget that this promise is not to the Church as a whole, but only to the "Overcomers" of the "Thyatiran Church Period," A. D. 606-1520. In other words the "Overcomers" of the "Thyatiran Church Period" shall hold some prominent "Ruling Power" with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom.
Here is where many interpreters of this chapter have been led astray. They have supposed that the "Woman" flees into the Wilderness immediately after the birth of her child, and because the time of her flight is in the "Middle of the Week" (for the 1260 days of her preservation in the Wilderness corresponds with the "last half" of the "Week"), they cannot see how her "Child" can be Christ, for Christ was born and "caught up" to His Father's Throne centuries ago, while this event is still future. But they overlook the fact that between the 5th and 6th verses of this chapter the present CHURCH PERIOD comes in. Between these verses the "GAP" between the "Sixty-ninth" and the "Seventieth" Week of Daniel's "Seventy Weeks" is found. The 5th verse describes the "BIRTH" of Christ, and His "ASCENSION," and then John jumps over the "GAP," and describes in the 6th verse the "Flight" of the Woman ISRAEL into the Wilderness to escape from the Antichrist. The reason for this is that John is not dealing here with the Church, and having introduced the "Woman" and her "Child" to account for the "Dragon's" wrath against her because he did not succeed in destroying her "Child" (Christ) when He was born, John jumps over the "GAP," that he may again take up God's dealing with ISRAEL. The "Flight" of the "Woman" is mentioned here by anticipation, for she does not flee until after the "War in Heaven."
Here is evidence that the "Sun Clothed Woman" is not the "Virgin Mary," for she does not flee into Egypt, as Joseph and the Virgin did (Matt. 2:12-15), but into the WILDERNESS. Neither does she flee "with her child," for it was taken away from her and caught up to the "Throne of God." Neither does she flee for her child's protection, but for her own safety.
From this passage we learn that Christ's Millennial rule will be AUTOCRATIC, for He shall rule over the Nations with a "ROD OF IRON." This does not signify that His rule will be tyrannical. It simply means that His WILL shall be supreme. We cannot imagine Christ's rule to be other than a rule of love. Politics will have no place in the government, the masses will not be oppressed by those in power, equal rights will be accorded to everyone, and every man shall sit under his own vine and figtree.