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Chapter 12, we read, “And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven. A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head, a crown of 12 stars and she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered.” This important symbol in the middle section of Revelation repeats the idea of a word, “travail” which occurs throughout the Bible, beginning in the book of Revelation. And the word, “travail” refers to a useful, productive, creative type of suffering. The woman described here symbolizes our own illumined and consecrated feeling nature. The child she is to deliver refers to our feeling nature blooming forth, or giving birth to a higher and finer development of our own nature.
To successfully become a finer and better person in every way often does involve certain kinds of travail, or creative suffering. This always occurs in our feeling nature, the woman. But it is of short duration and quickly resolves itself into the most rewarding of all events for any human being: the new birth of his better self.
One of the things, which can cause our feeling nature some anxiety, is symbolized in these words in verse four of chapter 12: “And the beast stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” This beast stands for our human tendency toward error and negativeness. And this tendency constantly appears as a threat to our growth and spiritual unfoldment and development of consciousness. Each new birth shortens the day of this beast’s existence, and so it plays the part in us of enemy toward our own self-improvement, new birth.
Then we read, “And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God that they should feed her 1,260 days.” What these words tell us is once our new birth begins, it must succeed, and it will continue. Error and negativeness may try to interfere, but they cannot prevail. Divine love gives our feeling nature protection and strength and feeds it, and enables us to continue this great process of self-evolution into greater and finer being and higher and ever higher awareness in consciousness. The woman, our feeling nature, does give birth to the new man-child, our improved self and is under divine guidance, protection, and spiritual nourishment during the whole glorious process.