Tonight we will continue our study on the sign of Revelation 12. We’ve looked in depth at the actual sign Jesus told us of in Rev. 12:1, studied the stars and planets that make the exact sign in the sky on Sept. 23rd of this year, discussed the significance of that date – Hebrew-year 5777, Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, etc. , and looked into what the verses say and used Scripture to gain a deeper understanding of what to expect and be watching for. I truly believe we are nearing the day when our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer will be returning to call up his bride, thus saving us from the coming judgment upon the earth.
But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. Romans 5:8-9
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:18
For God appointed us not unto wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:9
Keep those verses in mind as we look again at the woman travailing in childbirth, the child, and the dragon. Last night I told you who each figure stood for: the woman is Israel, the child the Church, and the red dragon is Satan. Let’s reread the verses once more as we get started.
And a great sign was seen in heaven; a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child: and she crieth out, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. And his tail draweth the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was about to be delivered, that when she was delivered he might devour her child. And she was delivered of a son, a man child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and unto his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that there they may nourish her a thousand two hundred and threescore days. Revelation 12:1-6
We know the woman is pregnant, ready to deliver her child in fact which will be snatched up, caught up to God before the dragon can harm it. There’s a specific word used for “caught up” in the Greek that let’s us know this is the Rapture of the Church. It’s the word harpazo meaning to seize (in various applications): – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). This is the same word used in another rapture verse.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
Consider the verse we looked at in Corinthians last night where Paul wrote of the last trump in light of the verse from Thessalonians and what we now know about the sign of 12:1-2.
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
It is becoming clear that the Rapture is biblical, is going to happen, and very possibly happen very soon. I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that there are so very many signs, significant Jewish feasts and holidays, and Scripture references all pointing to Sept. 23, 2017 as being the birth of the Church, the body and bride of Christ. Even Jesus himself pointed to this time when he used a Jewish idiom to point out when he would return for his body, his bride.
But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only. Matthew 24:36
Those exact words were commonly used by betrothed young men when asked about their pending wedding, since in those days when a young man got betrothed he would then leave his bride to be and so to his father’s house to prepare their home, their place. This could sometimes take him a while and once he felt that his place was ready for his bride then he had to seek his father’s approval, whim he might mot get the first time. Since his return to claim his bride was dependent upon his father’s approval he would reply to any asking how much longer saying ” But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.” When we consider that the same idiom was used in reference to the Feast of Trumpets, the Last Trump, and Rosh Hoshanah (all of which converge on 9/23 ) and all depend upon two witnesses sighting the first visible sliver of the new moon. Depending upon the weather and such this could occur on one of two nights. It then seems clear that Jesus didn’t literally mean no one would know save God, for even the bridegroom would know when he was prepared for his bride and merely awaiting his father’s go ahead and we have a 1-2 day window for the new moon to appear. In both cases we can know the general season and time even if not the exact. Take that with the sign which occurs over a period of several hours culminating at the time known as “the twinkling of an eye” to the Jews on the Feast of Trumpets at the Last Trump and I think we can definitely say something is going to happen. I think it’s the Rapture, the birth of the Church into heaven. I have pointed out before that Jesus gave the iron rod to the church in the letter to Thyatira.
And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father: Revelation 2:26-27
Now that we are clear on the baby let’s look at the woman, Israel, again. I believe that once the Church, the Restrainer is gone from the earth that paves the way for Daniel’s 7Oth Week to begin, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. See there is this strange verse in Isaiah that talks about a child being born before the birth pangs which happen after.
Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Isaiah 66:7
Since the Church was conceived in Israel on that Pentecost day all those years ago it makes sense that it is the baby, the man child that will immediately be caught up to God to be protected during the birth pangs, the judgment when Israel will labor under the weight of her sins. After all we know that once the church age ends, once the age of grace is completed then God will once again begin dealing with his bride, his chosen people, his nation, Israel.
Unfortunately, this is also the time when Satan, the Red Dragon, the Serpent is cast out of heaven down to earth. No longer will he stand before God accusing man day and night.
And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accuseth them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:9-10
Instead, he will be wreaking havoc on earth because he knows his time is almost up, he will soon be bound for a thousand years. He’s going to really tear loose during these last seven years on earth before Christ returns and sets foot on the earth once more as he defeats the evil in this world, the World system that will give rise to the Antichrist and his right hand man the False Prophet. We will meet this evil twosome another night though so just keep them in the back of your mind, true believers who are caught up in the birth of the Church – the Rapture – won’t have to face these two pawns of Satan. Nope, we will be with our Head, our Groom celebrating our wedding fast in heaven and enjoying our seven year honeymoon with our Lord. Oops, I forgot that part of the Jewish wedding, that after the groom and his pals go and get his bride in the night, just like thieves, he then takes his bride to the place he has prepared for her where they stay and consummate their marriage for a full seven days. A week, Daniel’s 70th?
We’ll talk about that more when we look at verse 12:6 of Revelation tomorrow night Lord willing. For tonight let me close with this my brothers and sisters in Christ:
But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:28