Is the Church Our Spiritual Mother?
Gal 4:26 (NKJV throughout unless noted) “but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Galatians 4:26 appears to define our spiritual mother as “the Jerusalem above.” Almost all the various translations have translated verse 26 the same as the New King James.
What does this mean? How can the “Jerusalem above” – which is a spiritual city in heaven - be a “mother?”
Let’s look further …
Revelation 12:1-2, 4-6, 13-17 “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. ... 4 … And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days...
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Who is this “woman” who is clothed with the sun? Rev. 12:1 reveals that she has a “garland of twelve stars.” This is a symbolic indication that she is associated with Israel.
In Revelation 12:2, 4-5 this woman gives birth to Jesus Christ.
We know that the lineage of Christ was through Jacob (Israel). This is a key point to remember. Obviously, a woman who gives birth is a mother.
After verse 5, Revelation 12 then becomes a prophecy. Verse 6 describes this woman fleeing into the wilderness to a place prepared by God and fed for 1,260 days. Verses 13 and 14 refer to the same woman as in verse 6.
We know that 1,260 days and time, times, and ½ time is a reference to the 5th seal or the time of tribulation – which takes place at the time of the end. Who is the protected woman that flees into the wilderness?
Revelation 3:6-7, 10, 12 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. …
Revelation 3:7-12 is speaking to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, which is a parallel to the woman protected and fed for 1,260 days in the wilderness.
Revelation 3:14-19 is a message to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, which is a parallel to Rev. 12:17, which speaks of Satan going after the rest of the offspring of the woman in the wilderness. The “rest of the offspring” are identified as those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. This is an indication that God will rebuke and chasten some in His church by not keeping them from the hour of trial that we know is the coming tribulation – those Satan will make war against.
Putting it all together, it is a “woman” that gave birth to a male Child that was caught up to God and His throne (Jesus Christ). That woman has a garland of 12 stars.
Any woman that gives birth is a mother. The woman that is taken into the wilderness to be nourished and protected by God for 1,260 days is the same woman that gave birth to Jesus Christ.
Revelation 3:6-12 identifies the church in Philadelphia is the one that will be kept from the trial that shall come upon the whole world – in which the overcomers shall have the name of New Jerusalem written on them - which connects to Galatians 4:26 which says “but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Revelation 21:9-10 “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,…”
Revelation 14:1, 3 “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion (in the 3rd heaven), and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. ... (See Rev. 3:12) v3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth”.
Those in Rev. 14:1 and Rev. 3:12 both have the name of God written on them.
The Church (the body of believers led by God’s spirit who keep God’s word to persevere and who overcome) -- has the name of New Jerusalem written on them and is depicted as the holy Jerusalem (Rev.3:12; 21:9-10; Gal.4:26) descending out of heaven. The woman that gives birth [a mother] in Revelation 12 is nourished and kept from the hour of trial per Revelation 3:10 (Philadelphia era of church).
Putting all the scriptures together gives us our answer!
The spiritual church = spiritual Israel of God (Gal. 6:16) = the Lamb’s wife = New Jerusalem = our spiritual “mother!”