“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”
King James Version (KJV)
12:5 And she brought forth a man child - Even Christ, considered not in his person, but in his kingdom. In the ninth age, many nations with their princes were added to the Christian church. Who was to rule all nations - When his time is come. And her child - Which was already in heaven, as were the woman and the dragon. Was caught up to God - Taken utterly out of his reach.
Re 12:5 And she brought forth a man child. If the reader will turn to Re 12:17, he will learn that the remnant of the woman's seed is those "who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ". The offspring of the woman, the "woman's seed", then refers to the saints. The man child is a symbol of the faithful members of the Church. But how shall they rule all nations with a rod of iron? The Greek says "rule as shepherds with a rod of iron". This implies a firm and permanent, but tender and loving rule, not a stern rule. In Re 2:27, it is promised that whosoever overcometh shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. In Re 19:15 the same thing is stated of the Word of God. This is accomplished through the saints. They shall yet possess the earth. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess. The kingdoms of the earth shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ. The man child, the woman's seed, the saints, shall have a complete, an undisputed, a resistless dominion. And her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne. This figure always means a glorious exaltation. It signifies that God will protect the saints and give them victory. This was probably fulfilled when Christianity triumphed over Paganism in the fourth century.