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A Defense Of The Revelation 12 Sign: Part 4
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Posted on 05/22/2017 2:22:17 PM PDT by amessenger4god
This is the fourth article dealing specifically with arguments presented against the significance of the Revelation 12 Sign. You can read the first three here, here, and here. We also have the internet's largest compendium of information on the September 2017 alignment here.
My confidence in the significance of this sign has actually grown since writing these articles. I've made it sort of my mission to prove this thing wrong, but I haven't been able to. Debunkers like Richardson, McHyde, Crone, and Faulkner are not dealing with the specific claims and evidence surrounding this sign and instead are continuing to present strawman arguments. For example, they argue that this sign is not unique and occurs every eleven or twelve years. Clearly that's not true
I appreciate a good debate. It keeps us all honest and helps us discover the truth of the matter. However, I think this debate has now taken a wrong turn. Some of the aforementioned men (among others) are labeling those studying this sign as rapture date setters. That's not true and in my mind falls into the category of false accusation. There are definitely a few gung-ho YouTubers saying the rapture will happen on September 23rd or will happen on September 21st, etc. However, this sign's main proponents have been careful to say that the day and hour of the rapture are unknown. The only date being set is the date of the sign itself. And how can you argue with that? If the alignment we're watching is indeed the Revelation 12 Sign then I can guarantee you that the sign itself will occur on September 23rd. It's a mathematical and physical certainty.
Scottie, I, and others do argue that the sign appears to be connected to the rapture, however we have carefully and frequently said that we do not know if the rapture will occur on September 23rd. It could, I don't want to argue it can't, but we also acknowledge that the sign can still be the sign and the rapture might still happen at an earlier or later date. There is biblical precedent for signs and events happening at the exact same time and there is also precedent for them not happening at the exact same time. We can't see into the future with our own eyes. All we can do is diligently read and study God's Word and where we've erred, make corrections.
Some of the debunkers also continue to argue that studying this sign is astrology. That is a really unfair and tragic accusation and is only going to bolster frustration and animosity in the Christian community. That accusation is patently false
. I have yet to find a single Christian discussing this topic who is actually worshiping the sun, moon, or stars or who is using the constellations like a horoscope, so I would encourage Christians making that accusation to cool it. Better to argue for or against the alignment on September 23rd on the merits and evidence, not on accusations and personal attacks.
Personally, I think some of the things being thrown around have actually served to reveal the character of certain individuals previously seen as good, sensible Christian leaders. It has also served to reveal a certain lack of humility before God's Word where interpretation bias is placed above the Bible and anything that contradicts that person's eschatological dogma is explained away.
I greatly appreciate the humility expressed by Scott Clarke, Adam at the Parable of the Vineyard, and others, who acknowledge what lies in store for us if we're wrong. We'll be a laughingstock. We'll be mocked. In fact, we are already mocked.
However, I don't yet see the same level of humility from the other side. I haven't heard one of the debunkers yet acknowledge what the consequences will be if they're wrong and they spent their last few months on earth disparaging God's "great sign" and telling Believers and the world not to care or pay attention. Big ministries jumped on board when it came to Y2K, 2012, the Blood Moons, and other extremely ambiguous and even unbiblical occurrences. Yet here we are only four months away from the possible fulfillment of a sign that the Bible calls GREAT, which has an entire chapter in the middle of Revelation dedicated to it and most of the big ministries are saying "that's just astrology" or "that's just date setting". Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. They were all over the 2015 Shemitah economic collapse theory, which had more to do with American history then it did with the Bible, yet here is something straight from the Bible... and silence.
I've been sharing this thought with readers: I find it fascinating that the blood moon tetrad made national and international headlines in 2014 and 2015 (as did Y2K and the Mayan nonsense in 2012). Books were written and some of the biggest names in Bible prophecy talked it up to no end. Multiple times headlines appeared on the first page of Drudge and so forth. Yet here is a sign that is described in explicit detail in the Bible, called "great", and possibly even connected directly to the rapture per Revelation 12:5, and there is silence. The world and the Church are asleep.
Perhaps the intransigent proponents of no-signs-of-any-kind Imminency will be caught off guard when Jesus comes like a thief in the night. Not for a loss of salvation, but for a loss of the Crown of Righteousness described in 2 Timothy 2:8. They may also experience the great sorrow of knowing more could have boarded the Ark in time if they had taken the signs seriously and paid attention.
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
- Revelation 3:3
This verse clearly implies that some will know at what time the Lord will come. Both the context and verse of 1 Thessalonians 5:4 imply the exact same thing:
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
And regarding "no one knows the day or hour". About what event was Jesus speaking? The rapture? The second coming? The end of the world one thousand years later? Does Jesus' saying mean that no one would ever know or know one knew until it was later revealed?
Some Christians argue that Jesus Himself still doesn't know. I think that line of thinking is patently unbiblical. Jesus had humbled Himself into the body of a man, with all its earthly limitations. Yet He was later raised from the dead, glorified, seated at the right hand of God, and restored to omnipresence (Ephesians 4:10). He revealed new prophetic knowledge later in the New Testament that was not yet known at the time He spoke the oft-repeated "no one knows" saying in the Olivet Discourse. For example, He revealed the "mystery" of the rapture to the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). He also revealed the entire vision of Revelation to the Apostle John (Revelation 1:1). New knowledge. Daniel 12:4 supports this proposition:
But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
For an unspecified time, certain prophetic knowledge was "shut up" or "sealed". Yet that sealed knowledge will be unsealed at the time of the end. I believe the biblically-given time of unsealing was when the Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to the Apostle John per Revelation 22:10:
And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near."
Ok, the rant ends here. Thank you for bearing with me. I originally meant to write this post to address a few specific concerns brought up by a humble brother on YouTube. This isn't designed to be a "you're wrong" rebuttal, but simply a presentation of evidence that upholds the significance of the sign.
Here's the brother's video.
The first and main argument he presents is that we are imposing on the text to argue that Revelation 12:1-2 describes an astronomical alignment. He presents two pieces of evidence to support this argument:
1. John was caught up to Heaven in Revelation 4:1 and all of his visions henceforth take place there, including the sign in Revelation 12. The sign is a sign that takes place in Heaven, not in the sky.
2. To attempt to use the mention of sun, moon, and stars as signifying an astronomical alignment doesn't work because there are other Scriptures (such as Revelation 1:16) that mention the sun, moon, and stars that are clearly not describing the real sun, moon, and stars.
My response: For starters, the Greek word for "heaven" in Revelation 12:1, ouranos, can mean either Heaven (as in God's extra-dimensional realm) or the sky proper. In fact, Strong's lists the sky proper as the word's primary meaning and Heaven (capital 'H') as its secondary meaning (see here).
Words have meaning and the fact that John receives his vision in Heaven doesn't change what the text plainly says in Revelation 12. The verses that he presents as evidence against reading Revelation 12 as an astronomical sign such as Revelation 1:16, are not good evidence because Revelation 1:16 uses a simile. It doesn't say that Jesus' face is the sun, it says His face shone like the sun. Major difference there. Revelation 12:1-2 contains no similes. It doesn't say that the woman is clothed with something like the sun or has something like the moon under her feet. It plainly says she is clothed with the sun and has the moon under her feet. This is a real astronomical event. On top of that, the stars that are mentioned in Revelation 1:16 are interpreted within the text itself to be angels (Revelation 1:20). They are not actual stars, whereas there is no such qualifier for the twelve-star crown in Revelation 12. In fact, since Revelation 12:1-2 is describing the actual sun and moon and Virgo is the only woman visible in the sky, it seems like a given that the twelve stars are real celestial luminaries, as well. When you read Revelation 12:1-2 literally, there is no way to read it besides as an actual astronomical event. Any other interpretation begins reading into the text and the text loses its prima facie meaning.
On top of that, the sign is further qualified by being called a "great sign". Genesis 1:14 tells us that the sun, moon, and stars were created for signs. Luke 21:25 tells us that there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars preceding the Lord's return. Luke 21:11 tells us there will be "great signs" in the sky. Revelation 12:1-2 is the only specific sign given in the entire New Testament consisting of the sun, moon, and stars and it is one of only two signs called "great" (the other being Revelation 15:1).
He also brings up Revelation 15:1, another "great sign". First, that may have been identified in the sky in 2024. Second, the verse makes no mention of the sun or moon and the stars are explicitly called angels, so there may be no need to find an astronomical alignment in Revelation 15. If the sign has no sun, moon, or stars, then there would be nothing to see in the sky. The same principle would apply to the second sign in Revelation 12 in verses 3-4. The sign of the dragon makes no mention of the sun or moon. The stars may be the same as the stars in verse 9, which are angels. So again, a "sign" so-to-speak, but no astronomical alignment.
Revelation 12:1-2 gives us no room to maneuver like we can with Revelation 12:3-4 and Revelation 15:1. The sign of the woman is a real, astronomical event. No similes are used. No comparisons are made. Real sun, moon, and stars are invoked. This is a Genesis 1:14 sign if there ever was one. And the alignment on September 23, 2017 appears to be the only perfect fit with Revelation 12 from 6,000 BC to 4300 AD. That's pretty chilling when you think about it.
Regarding John witnessing these things in Heaven and not on earth, I don't think much needs to be said about that. His visions largely have to do with the earth. Heavenly things occur (such as the opening of the seals, blowing of trumpets, and so forth), but all of the heavenly events correlate directly with earthly events. The focus is on the earth and what happens on the earth during the Tribulation.
Second, he argues that this astronomical alignment will not cause fear, but the signs in Luke 21:25-26 appear to cause great fright. There isn't anything scary about Jupiter slowly exiting Virgo's womb.
Luke 21:25 refers to "signs" plural
. Multiple signs are in view. Perhaps these signs include all of the astronomical events mentioned in Revelation (sun turning dark, moon turning to blood, stars falling from heaven, hail from heaven, Wormwood, Revelation 12, Revelation 15, etc). The text doesn't specify which of the signs cause fear. Also, there is no direct connection in the text itself between the signs in the heavens in verse 25 and the fear people have in verse 26. In fact, the signs are separated from the description of fear by the "roaring and tossing of the sea" and a prima facie
reading of the passage tells us people are afraid of things that are "coming on the world". Something is in heaven and is coming down to earth and people are apprehensive and terrified. This isn't an astronomical alignment they are afraid of. I personally think this can only refer to some or all of the judgments described in Revelation involving heavenly objects (like Wormwood or giant hail) or possibly the descent of satan and his angels
described in Revelation 12:9, 12. Perhaps even both.
, he repeats an argument we've addressed before, which is that the woman is not clothed with the sun because the disc of the sun is not over her torso. You can read our full response here
. He argues that suggesting the woman is clothed in sunlight is stretching the text.
In English, "sun" and "sunlight" are two different words. In biblical Greek they are the same word, helios
. There is no separate word for "sunlight" in Koine and therefore no stretching of the text is involved here. Helios (the word used in Revelation 12:1) can be sunlight
even when a definite article is included as shown in 2 Samuel 12:11.
Additionally, the sun is significantly smaller than Virgo and could never fully clothe any part of her body if only the disc is in view. This becomes the ultimate subjective argument if a standard is applied that the text itself doesn't require. He is arguing that the disc of the sun clothing her shoulder isn't sufficient, but why not?
It can only ever cover a very small part of her body regardless of where it is positioned:
In fact, the only inner part of her body ever clothed by the disc is a small portion of her lower left side and left hip as shown above (the red line being the sun's unchanging path every year). It's obvious that the woman could never be clothed with the disc of the sun. However, she can
be clothed in sunlight.
One of our readers also pointed out that in the ancient world of John's day the shoulder contained the most important piece of clothing: the brooch
. People didn't have nice fitted pants and shirts. Instead they wore clothing that was gathered together at the shoulder and held together by a brooch. This is exactly where the sun is positioned in relation to Virgo on September 23rd and in proportion to the entire constellation, the disc of the sun is barely bigger than a brooch would be on a real person:
The Emperor Domitian pictured above was the ruler at the time John received his vision on Patmos. Notice the circular brooch on his left shoulder just like the sun on Virgo's shoulder. Here are some other images of brooches from the ancient world:
There's even a brooch on our own Statue of Liberty:
, he argues that this 42 week pregnancy should be a 40 week pregnancy if it was perfect.
To me, this argument is adding a standard that the text itself doesn't require. It's true that a 40 week gestation is the most common. However any pregnancy between 37 and 42 weeks is considered completely normal. 42 week pregnancies are extremely common. Even 44 week pregnancies are not unheard of. Besides, who is to say there isn't some significance to 42 weeks? According to Micah 5:3, the woman giving birth signifies the soon onset of the 70th Week. The 70th week consists of two 42
month periods. In addition there were 42
generations from when the promise of Messiah was given to Abraham to when the Messiah actually arrived. Is it any wonder God would want to emphasize 42 in relation to the second arrival of Messiah? You might say it was 42 generations until the birth of Messiah, and it will be 42 weeks until the birth of the Church.
Fifth and lastly
, he argues that the planet Jupiter leaving the four main stars of Virgo's womb for 57 days is proof against it.
I'll admit this is my only lingering doubt. I now know that Revelation 12:1-2 describes an actual astronomical alignment. I see no way around it. I also think the evidence for a Revelation 12:5 rapture connection is completely overwhelming
and is the only way to interpret Scripture using Scripture. This is one of the main reasons Ironside, Darby, and other famous pre-trib scholars believed in a pre-trib rapture. Even modern scholars, including Chuck Missler
and Michael Svigel
argue for this interpretation.
But about this objection (regarding Jupiter), I think the first observation I have is that the path of Jupiter's retrograde is always a bit longer than Virgo's womb. In other words, in no year does the retrograde occur completely within the four-star quadrangle - it's an impossible standard. If you go through my chart in The Celestial C-Section
and use Stellarium to look at Jupiter's path in each of the years in which a near match occurred, you'll notice something immediately: in no other year does Jupiter come as close to staying within the quadrangle as it does in 2017. Even when Jupiter does leave the quadrangle this year, it's path outside the womb is barely perceptible before it stops and returns.
He argues that saying this is just a "baby bump" or the baby kicking isn't good enough, but why?
Says who? Babies do kick after all. A mother's womb does grow in size does it not? I think when all is said and done, this is again us fallible humans trying to fit God's sign in our box using our rules. Perhaps those 57 days just barely outside the womb have some significance or meaning. After all, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, there is no way for Jupiter to stay exclusively within the quadrangle in any year, let alone 2017. This is the best, most precise alignment in history and nothing else comes close (looking over a 10,300 year period from 6,000 BC to 4,300 AD).
is the number of grace and 7
is the number of completion. This is Hebrew year 5777
and will transition to year 5778
when the sign occurs. The 57th
presidential term just ended and the 58th
just began. The surface temperature of the sun happens to be exactly 5778
kelvin, the same number as the Jewish year will be as soon as the sign occurs. Like Tim Tebow would say
, most people will say "coincidence", but I say "big God":
I don't mean this at all in a mean way, but some of these doubts sound reminiscent of Thomas in John 20:25, "unless I see the nail marks... I will not believe". Anything can be proven or disproven with a little shifting of evidence and the right biases, but just stop for a moment and consider the specificity and incredible uniqueness of this sign. There have been three separate inventories
of every year over a 7,000+ year span and this is the only year this sign occurs. Consider everything else going on at the same time as this sign: 70 prophetic years since Israel's rebirth, 50 years/Jubilee since Jerusalem recaptured, 120 years since the First Zionist Congress, 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, Jews allowed to return to Israel in 1923
, Sanhedrin reconstituted, Temple Institute ready to build the Temple, Hebrew year 5777
, the stage is set
, the setting is right
, and on and on and on.
In my opinion this is the clearest and most demonstrable prophetic sign since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, yet the usual eschatological talking heads are ignoring it or rejecting it out of hand. Woe. Woe. Woe.
TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: bible; prophecy; rapture; revelation
posted on 05/22/2017 2:34:47 PM PDT
(Don't be a pessimist, be an optometrist.)
This star(planet) alignment cannot be “disproved.” It is going to happen.
posted on 05/22/2017 2:38:02 PM PDT
(Western Civilization- whisper the words, and it will disappear. So let us talk now about rebirth.)
I examine this subject in detail at “The Rescue of the Bride” http://october-5-2017.com The Great Sign of the Woman appears on September 23, 2017. However, the important date is October 5, 2017. The Sixth Seal will be opened and The Red Dragon will appear on October 5, 2017. The rescued Bride will appear in the throne room of Yahuah (God) on October 5, 2017.
posted on 05/22/2017 3:10:04 PM PDT
(MAGA - DRAIN THE SWAMP ! - I love my online family of FReepers.)
Apparently nobody discusses anything on this forum.
posted on 05/22/2017 3:52:30 PM PDT
(Don't be a pessimist, be an optometrist.)
It would be like the enemy to hype the false things and downplay the real one.
Yes, the sign is happening.
What it means, we will find out later.
Thanks for posting this and keeping us abreast of this.
FWIW, I don’t doubt all those who are pooh-poohing it take the account of the wise men following the star, as recorded in Matthew, seriously.
posted on 05/22/2017 4:16:11 PM PDT
( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith...)
Have you ever considered Venus as the woman and the Pleiades star cluster as her crown?
Morning sky images of Venus below the Pleiades with the moon passing below were seen in certain years such as 1995, 2004 and 2011 (there are two series eight years apart but not every good year for Venus allows the moon to pass below, sometimes in its 18.6 year cycle, it passes considerably above Venus at this time).
I have looked at these cases but I never see all other elements (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) in a good symbolic location so I don’t feel that any recent apparition was a very compelling birth of Messiah event.
Future cases are also somewhat weak, but perhaps I am not finding the right one. Venus of course passes the Pleiades as seen from the earth quite frequently but to be far enough away from the Sun in the morning sky, it has to be a year in either series (1950, 58 ... 2004 ...) or (1955, 63 ... 2011 ...) and my choice of start dates is the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
Many of the years are excluded, and both series are drifting out of ideal alignment because they have repeating lunar dates but Venus is moving ahead by 2.2 days every 8 years so this makes the Venus-Pleiades separation at the right lunar date larger each time. Eventually (for example 2038) a new series begins at a closer date.
Your September suggestion follows a total eclipse of the Sun on August 21st which will be visible all across the United States (the path of full total eclipse runs from Oregon around 10 a.m. Pacific time to South Carolina in the afternoon eastern time. That is also a precursor sign for the second coming (although nothing much about this particular one is a lot different, the star Regulus is right beside the eclipsed Sun at totality). As always with total eclipses of the Sun, Venus is in the scene also.
posted on 05/22/2017 5:17:47 PM PDT
by Peter ODonnell
(If I had a dollar for every time Stephen Colbert has made me laugh, I'd be broke)
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