A Sign In The Sun, Moon, And Stars! Revelation 12.
Posted: 24 Jan 2019 12:21 PM PST. Unsealed.
In Luke 21, the Lord Jesus told His disciples that there would be “great signs” in the heavens (Lk. 21:11) and further stated: There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.- Luke 21:25
There are only two signs in the entire Bible called “great signs” (σημεῖα μεγάλα in the Greek) and these are found in Revelation 12:1–2 and Revelation 15:1. The former has been a centerpiece of discussion here since 2012 because the astronomical alignment on September 23–24, 2017 perfectly matched the description given in John’s vision. That’s truly phenomenal. Furthermore, Jesus said there would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars and the vision of an astronomical sign in Revelation 12:1–2 is the only sign in the entire Bible that simultaneously contains all three. That’s also phenomenal. More pastors, teachers, and students of Bible prophecy should be engaged and aware of what’s happening, because it’s happening whether or not it fits within your dogma. It is what it is.
I’m reminded of the resurgence of Christian scholarship in the 19th century which began to recognize the literal truth of Bible prophecy—dispensationalism was the natural result of a literal interpretation of Scripture. When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled well over one hundred prophecies literally. Yet, when it comes to events surrounding His return, for which there are a far greater number of prophecies, Christianity has typically applied allegorism to virtually all but the most essential predictions. That’s faulty on its face. There is certainly such a thing as apocalyptic literature and apocalyptic literature certainly contains symbols, but these symbols are often—if not always—defined in the text. When symbols are not used, we are in the wrong for allegorizing what was intended to be a clear, literal message of warning to the world. Have no doubt about it: the remaining prophecies will be fulfilled just as they were written.
When those 19th century scholars began accepting God’s word at face value, they came to the inevitable conclusion that the Church, composed of Jews and Gentiles believing in Jesus in this present age, had not replaced the nation of Israel. There were still numerous promises yet to be fulfilled, which were made to the Israelite nation. Yet that meant that the Jewish people would necessarily return to the Holy Land and the nation would be reconstituted.
When these dispensationalists predicted that the long-lost nation would return, they were mocked and ridiculed for believing in something so apparently absurd. Yet they were right… because they believed God’s word. And here we are nearly two centuries later and Israel is firmly planted in their ancient homeland, Jerusalem is in the hands of the Jews, and even the country’s biblical-legal identity has been restored.
Now another major biblical prophecy has transpired—namely, the “great sign” in the sun, moon, and stars of Revelation 12—and the media and the world have simply laughed it off. And many Christian leaders have trumpeted out tired, old canards to dismiss what so clearly happened just over one year ago. Underlying every dismissal was a plain disregard for the literal truth of what was prophesied to happen and the implication for what’s coming ever-nearer (the harpazó of the Church described in Rev. 12:5).
To the allegorist, this prophecy has nothing to do with the sun, moon, and stars, and everything to do with a look back into the past when Christ was born to Mary and ascended into Heaven. Yet John described a “great sign” in the sky—involving sun, moon, and stars—and John’s visions, recorded years after Jerusalem’s downfall in 70 AD, were prophetic (Rev. 1:1, 19; 4:1; 7:14; 19–22), not unnecessary jaunts through times past.
Christ, Mary, Herod, and the Ascension, definitely formed the template upon which Revelation 12:1–5 is based, but the actual prophecy has nothing to do with any of those.
The woman represents earthly Israel (c.f. Gen. 37:9–10; Hos. 2:19; c.f. Isa. 26:17–21; 66:7–9), as well as Heavenly Zion, the barren woman longing to give birth to her children (Gal. 4:26–31; c.f. Isa. 54).
The dragon represents satan and his dominion (Rev. 12:9; 13:1–2).
And the male child represents the Church, which is snatched (harpazó’d) to Heaven to escape the coming dragon (Rev. 12:5). Jesus was never snatched out of harm’s way. He rose again victoriously and ascended (anabainó) with no threat posed against His power whatsoever, but only after His resurrection.
Furthermore, John explicitly connects the male child of Revelation 12 to the male child of Isaiah 66 by using the abnormal grammatical term huion arsen—the exact same term used in Isaiah 66 (LXX) to describe a corporate entity, a nation, born to Israel. This entity is born before Israel goes into labor and Israel’s labor is the Tribulation (c.f. Isa. 66:7–9; Jer. 30:6–7; Mt. 24:8; 1 Thess. 5:3).
But the most obvious discrepancy in the narrative, if Jesus is in view, is that satan actually did get Jesus when he possessed Judas (Lk. 22:3) who betrayed Jesus over to the Jewish authorities to be crucified. The male child of Revelation 12 escapes altogether.