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I was saved in 1976 and became extremely interested in Bible prophecy, being an ex war-correspondent and photographer. My calling and aim is to share the dramatic and all-important issues of prophecy relating to our day. This is a calling to unfold and share the wisdom of God as contained in His word. There is also much teaching in these pages for your heart. It’s not all prophecy! Please study these things further yourself and understand that the format is non-exhaustive. Please search the scriptures to “see if these be true.” This is a "watchman" and Bible prophecy teaching website.
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Edition 378: August 15th 2017.
Revelation 12 – the truth!
In this edition, I want to present you with some straight neat truth, as pure as can be. You will see that I adhere to the traditional, accepted view of the Revelation 12 sign and its peripheral issues. There is a reason why well-established doctrinal beliefs are so.
This is an unemotional, Bible-based look at this issue, which has become a real big deal in recent times. This is not an attack on anyone at all. The supporters of the Revelation 12 sign are quick to say that we must be “Bereans,” and “search the scriptures to see if these things be so”. That is what I will be doing in this edition.
I will use the term “Revelation 12 sign” or “Rev signers” for the supporters of the collective view of Revelation 12:1-5, Isaiah 66:7-8, the astronomical alignment and other related verses and issues.
What is the Revelation 12 sign?
Revelation 12:1-5 “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 12 stars...She bore a male-Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Her Child was caught-up to God and to His throne.”
The Revelation 12 sign, all hinges on one presumption. This is that the Revelation 12:5 “male-Child” is the church, which will be raptured because the rapture-word “harpazo” is used in the original text of that verse.
Note that the word “Child” is capitalised indicating deity, or our Lord Himself and not the church.
The man-Child being the church is further “proven” by including Isaiah 66:7-8, speaking of a nation born (again) in a day. This they claim is the rapture of the church. If so, it necessitates the changing of the well-established term “born-again” to “conception.”
They claim that the true believers of the church are not yet born-again, only conceived and will be born-again at the rapture. This then necessitates the changing of the well-held view that the church was born at Pentecost. They claim it was conceived at Pentecost.
There is much more to the “sign,” which I won’t get into, because everything hinges on who the male-Child is.
With the male-Child being interpreted as the church, a big leap is then made to the software astronomical programme, Stellarium (and others) in which we find a planetary alignment of the constellations, which seems to confirm the birthing of the male-Child (the church) in Revelation 12.
This alignment takes place on September 23rd this year and is being presented as the day of the rapture, because of the movements within this constellation of stars.
The so-called once in 7000 year alignment within the constellation may be so, but it is far from being unique or important. There are numerous other alignments of different clusters of planetary objects that will occur only once ever, and numerous others that we have no idea about because they are constantly being discovered.
Besides, 7000 years in astronomic terms is a drop within a drop in the ocean.
This connection of the constellation alignment and Revelation 12 only works if the male-Child is the church. It all rises or falls on that one thing.
The Harpazo (rapture)
The original word used for “rapture” is “harpazo.” It is correctly used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 speaking of the corporate church, both the dead in Messiah and the living church at the time of being “caught up” or raptured. The same word is used in Revelation 12:5 speaking of an individual, the male-Child, being caught up or raptured.
But the word used here is in the singular. The best interpretation is that this male-Child is our Lord Himself and the “rapture” is not of the church but referring to His ascension.
Here are some other verses where the original word used is “harpazo.”
John 10:12 “...the wolf catches (harpazo) the sheep and carries them off.”
John 6:15 “When Yeshua perceived that they were about to come and take (harpazo) Him by force to make Him King, He departed...”
Matthew 13:19 “...The wicked one snatches (harpazo) away the word...”
Jude 1:23 “Others save with fear, pulling them out (harpazo) of the fire...”
So, we have to say that “harpazo” can apply to the ascension of our Lord. There is not enough evidence in this word alone to make the male-Child the church at the rapture.
The traditional view of the male-Child being our Lord and not the church stands securely.
Conception or new-birth and Pentecost:
If you want to really argue the point, the conception was before the foundation of the earth!
If you interfere with a major doctrine of Yeshua by changing it and calling it something else, not only are you in trouble with God, but you are messing up other doctrines through the domino effect.
You are causing confusion especially with young believers or those searching for salvation in the new-birth.
Terminology is very important.
Personally, I have problems with many traditional views, but most certainly not all, and especially not the major doctrines of Messiah as revealed in Hebrews 6:1-2. We dare not change them or their meanings.
Conception does not save you, the new-birth does. There was no cross at conception.
If you change the new-birth to conception, there is a domino effect with other doctrines. You have to also change the fact that the church was born, birthed, founded and came into being at Pentecost. Now you have to claim that the church was only conceived at Pentecost and will be born-again in the future.
You have now messed up and interfered with the meanings of the Feasts of the Lord and their applications from a dispensational point of view. The Feast of Pentecost marked a major dispensation change with the new-birth as the key component.
The great Isaiah 66 error:
Further “proof” by the Rev 12 signers that the new-birth must occur when the church is raptured, is presented in the grossly misinterpreted Isaiah 66:7-8 passage. Firstly bear in mind that the church is not seen in Old Covenant passages. It is in “mystery” form here.
Isaiah 66:7-10 “Before she travailed she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed she gave birth to her children...Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her, all you who love her.”
Note that the word “child” is not capitalised here meaning its application is Israel.
If you read this passage without preconceptions you will see what it is saying and to whom!
It is addressed to Israel. It is speaking of Israel. In fact the chapter is headed “The Lord vindicates Zion.”
The traditional view, which I fully accept because it is logical, is that this is a prophetic reference to Israel becoming a nation in one day in May 1948. The verse also has within it a wonderful double reference applying to the coming salvation of the Jews in the “one day,” which is the tribulation period.
It is not and cannot be the church being referred to here.
Again the identification of the male-Child of Revelation as the church falls flat when trying to make it fit Isaiah 66.
The “rod of iron:”
More “proof” is presented by the Rev 12 signers that the man Child is the church, because it is seen with a “rod of iron.”
Revelation 12:5 “She bore a male-Child who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her Child was caught-up to God and to His throne.”
So, what about this “rod of iron”, and who is this that is caught up to God’s throne?
Psalm 2:8-9 “The Lord has said to Me, you are My Son, today I have begotten you, I will give you the nations...You shall break them with a rod of iron...”
The context of this Psalm is clearly well within the tribulation period and it is talking of our Lord Himself. By the way, this is one of the wonderful proof texts of the deity of our Lord.
Here is another verse identifying the “rod of iron”:
Revelation 19:15-16 “Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword that with it He should strike the nations. He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God, and He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
What about the verse shedding light on the church of Thyatira in the messages to the seven churches?
Revelation 2:27 “He shall rule them with a rod of iron.”
This verse in fact a quote from Psalm 2:7-8, looking back to this authority being given to our Lord.
There is a further problem in extending this to whole church. This is not addressed to the entire church. It is for the overcoming believers within the church of Thyatira.
Again, the primary identification of the One who shares the throne of God, in Revelation 12:5 is our Lord. A secondary application would be the church.
The faulty connection:
If the male-Child is not the church, you can’t connect Revelation 12 to the constellation alignment as seen in the astronomical programme “Stellarium.”
Now, before we go any further, take note, that all through church history, especially recent history, there are a number of interpretations of this male-Child. Some claim that he is Israel; some claim that he is the collective 144,000; some claim that he is our Lord and some claim that He is the church.
Each view has some validity, so you can’t just write-off a view blindly. No one sucked their view out of their thumb. They all come from odd bits of the Bible itself.
The best way to arrive at the correct view is to take them all as legitimate, find the verses that conflict or don’t add up fully and then simply eliminate the views where all the pieces don’t fit harmoniously.
Of course before you even start doing that you need to really trust on, lean on and rely on the leading of the Spirit.
The only people that have any credibility in doing this are those who know their Bible well, and are prepared to study it without pre-conceived ideas.
What about the constellation alignment:
So, if we can’t connect Revelation 12 to the coming convergence on September 23rd, is there anything in it at all?
I think there may be a message in the stars, but for me it is unrelated to Revelation 12. The message is simply another warning sign that all these end-time events are on the horizon.
I can’t read more into it honestly. For me, it will come and go, but the overall message is – get ready.
Killing the messenger:
A great problem that has arisen within some of the Rev 12 signers is that they automatically condemn anyone who searches the Bible to “see if these things be so,” and who doesn’t see it their way. Of course they say the opposite, but what they mean is that everyone must see what they see – or be condemned.
Some of them castigate, berate, rebuke and flog anyone who doesn’t see things their way.
My friends, the end result of unchecked error is greater error. Believing something that is wrong, no matter how sincere you may be, does not make it right. It is truth that sets us free. We are obliged to search the scriptures for truth and not an individual’s “truth”.
A big problem I’ve noticed of late is that many of the self-appointed critics of truth-seekers are products of the modern shallow church. They are the ones without the Spirit of God leading them.
If you are presenting a new doctrine, which is of “private interpretation,” you are on thin ice with God. (2 Peter 1:20)
It is not objectivity to kill the critic and elevate the error.
I doubt that there will be a rapture in September.
I hate even writing that headline! Regular readers know well that I’m a classic pre-tribber and constantly look for the signs. I wish the rapture was yesterday! But I must be honest to myself and to you, in what I see.
At this late stage, it is near to impossible for the rapture / tribulation to occur in September.
●The major earth-signs are still missing!
In sign-seeking, they must all be there, in line. The sky-signs and the earth-signs must be evident together.
If you have missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, you can’t complete the picture.
The missing signs will all be there in the tribulation period. Many of them will have forerunners. We will see many of them begin to come about before the tribulation actually begins.
Here are some of the missing earth-signs:
●The false prophet system or world church is far from a reality. ●A one-world government is far from coming about. ●A ten-nation confederacy in the area of the old Roman Empire is far from coming about. ●A one-world currency is still away. ●A peace deal between Israel and “the many” is far from coming about. ●The required Third Temple, or beginning stages of it, is not in sight yet.
These things can of course come about very quickly in the correct circumstance, but generally speaking, it looks more and more like 2017 doesn’t fit the rapture bill. I wish it were not so!
Regular readers know well that I believe the tribulation period will begin on a Feast of Trumpets, with the rapture happening right at the start. It now looks like it may be 2018. I very much doubt we can go much beyond that. Trumpets 2018 for me is the outer limit.
What may happen:
There is one remote possibility which could see a Feats of Trumpets 2017 rapture (September 21st) and the earth-signs fall into place very quickly. That could be caused by a huge world war, which is on the horizon anyway. That could cause a peace treaty of some sort to come about.
A huge world war could cause enough calamity to cause other signs to fall into place.
There is a very likely possibility that the current tensions with North Korea develop into military conflict, although North Korea is not in Bible prophecy. (It will become part of the prophecy of the “Kings of the East” – but that only occurs midway through the tribulation.)
People, as usual are going overboard with great speculation on how powerful North Korea is. It is not. It is a push-over for the US. If others like China and Russia are brought in then we could have WW111 on our doorstep.
The North Korea situation on its own is a distraction from the bigger threat which is Iran and other Arab nations – to Israel!
To anyone who is not a believer, you are on thin ice with real fire and fury below! Now is the time to get saved. To those who are saved and especially to new believers, don’t trust in a sign alone. Don’t go overboard and don’t panic.
To all who read this: If nothing happens in September – do not lose hope! Do not lose faith and trust in our Lord and His word.
Do not stop watching and seeking. Rest and relax in the Spirit of God and let Him lead you and guide you. Above all, remain diligent.
You don’t want to end up shipwrecked as a believer because of something that was wrong in the first place!
You can lose nothing at all by being ultra cautious. You can lose nothing at all by rejecting the Revelation 12 sign, or at least putting it on the shelf. If nothing happens, you will be safe. If the rapture does occur you will be part of it, and safe.
Truth will stand and come out in the end. My position on this is not mine alone. It is a long-standing majority consensus.
The good in this all:
There is a great godly good in this entire thing. It draws attention to the fact that we are close! Time is running out fast! It all draws attention to the urgency and the necessity to watch, pray, seek and yell from the housetops.
If anyone is wrong in the timing of these things, it means that we are even closer still.
Scott is the main advocate of what has become known collectively as the Revelation 12 sign.
Scott is a friend of mine and will remain so. We don’t agree on this Revelation 12 sign and its interpretation, but we do agree on almost everything else. In the time I’ve got to know Scotty, I’ve seen his heart. I know he loves our Lord with a passion. I know he would never, ever intend to deceive anyone or speak or teach anything but the truth.
He is a gentle, likeable character and very knowledgeable in the things of God.
Unfortunately some others, who may be well-meaning, have jumped on Scotty’s bandwagon. I don’t know them personally. Some of them are so far off it’s a shame.
If we get to September 24th and we are still sitting here, Scott will be the first to repent – that’s his nature and makes him worth listening to. Hopefully, he will carry on looking, watching and seeking, as I know I will.
If we’re not here, we will be having a big party a long way from here. Invitations will be sent!
●Have a look around Scott’s YouTube channel at ERF Ministries – there’s lots of good material there.
A GREAT sign:
I’m not sure when – still working on it and praying for the right time, I will be publishing an edition on a spectacular GREAT sign that will amaze, startle and shake many! It will shake and shatter many in the Christian world. It will shake and rattle the Jews!
Stay tuned. (It has nothing to do with this Revelation 12 sign.)
The purpose of this edition is, hopefully to get people out of the mould of tunnel-vision in this, and to see that there are other views. Stick to your view if you want, but don’t stand in the way of others with a view that is a better fit!
In all these things we are to glorify our Lord. Time is running out fast. Don’t let that become a dead slogan.
Many of these things are interpretive issues and not major salvation issues. September 24th will reveal all!
We are in exciting times indeed, but don’t panic. Stay calmmmmmm!
I took these two pictures in Botswana. I took the colour out of the baobab tree and gave it some shine. I merged the lion into a veil and put them all together.
Shalom and grow in His Grace!