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.
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).
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 isthe 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.
I wish other pastors, teachers, and leaders would look up, as Jesus commanded (Lk. 21:28), and see that these things are quickly coming to pass. You have an obligation to tell your flocks. Don’t shrink back!
This now brings us to certain heavenly happenings that have transpired just this month. A few weeks ago I wrote about this past Sunday’s blood moon, which is the last total lunar eclipse until 2021, and its immediate proximity to the Jupiter-Venus conjunction two days ago. I would encourage you to read that here.
Two additional details were just discovered that make these things even more startling, but first, please recall Jesus’ prophecy: “There will be signs [plural] in the sun, moon, and stars…” Revelation 12 was the big one, and the only one explicitly mentioned in Scripture involving all three. The alignment symbolized Heavenly Jerusalem giving birth to the Church before labor pains (the Tribulation) come upon Israel. But verses 1–2 are just the labor process. The baby hasn’t yet been born, which happens sometime later in verse 5.
What happens next in the labor process? The baby flips, moving into the anterior position with its head near the birth canal:
For nearly all of New Year’s Day earlier this month the face of the sun was covered with this unusual arrangement, as captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:
There is something like a womb (the black) and inside is an image uncannily resembling a baby ready to be born, complete with curled legs, an arm bent at the elbow and folded into the chest, a face with eyes, ears, and nose, and even—dare I say—something upon the baby’s head resembling a crown.
Then the baby is born… Birth involves blood and liquid. On January 20th a total eclipse of the moon could be seen by anyone in North and South America, and most of Africa and Europe. Total lunar eclipses turn the moon red. But there’s more! During the very first minute of totality a meteorite struck the moon and the explosion was visible via telescope. This was the first time in history that a meteorite was observed striking the moon during an eclipse. This was reported by numerous media outlets including The New York Times and National Geographic.
This was the seventh and final blood moon in the series of blood moons surrounding the Revelation 12 Sign and there will not be another for two and a half years.
What’s next in this birthing story? The newly born child is snatched up to God’s throne, escaping the dragon’s bite (Rev. 12:5). Jupiter has been below the seven heads of Serpens for quite some time now and two days after the eclipse (on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade!), Venus, representing Christ (Rev. 22:16), conjuncted with Jupiter, which was a beautiful picture of both Christ meeting His Church in the air (1 Thess. 4:16–17), but also the child being snatched out of harm’s way. There was a lot more to this conjunction that you can read about here.
Not only were there possible signs in the sun, moon, and stars this month, but they actually transpired in the order Christ described and in the order of the Revelation 12 narrative.
Is this going overboard? A chasing after the wind? I would argue that God is continually speaking to us through the heavens (Gen. 1:14; Ps. 19), if we would only but listen. All of creation is under His command and all of it—the whole of it—is delivering His intended message. In a universe created and governed by YHWH, nothing is arbitrary. Nothing is coincidence.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Please tell me what is unclear about the God who created the sun, moon, and stars for signs (Gen. 1:14) using them to speak to us day after day and night after night? September 23rd was the climactic sign in the heavens, but it was only a single day. There is a lot more being said and it’s all saying the same thing: Give God the glory, His Son Jesus is the only Way, the Church is going, and judgment is coming. And not only the heavens, but things on earth, as well:
And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’