ANOTHER GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT? THAT’S WHAT OLD-SCHOOL ESCHATOLOGY TEACHERS SAY

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WILL TRADITIONAL BIBLE PROPHECY TEACHERS BE LIKE THE RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS OF JESUS’ DAY, AND MISREAD THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES?

As any studied student of the history of eschatology knows, “The Great Disappointment” of William Miller in 1843 cautions us to NOT make bold predictions of the timing of Christ’s return. Miller’s following did the classic behavior of “selling everything and heading to the mountaintop to wait for His return.” The underlying motivation was to demonstrate a complete commitment to Christ’s Kingdom and to fully prepare for His return.

However, the followers of Miller would ultimately overcome the great disappointment. They eventually gave rise to the Seventh Day Adventists and later spawned another major Bible-based institution, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. These groups have, during their history, become known as (indeed were notorious) date-setters. [1]

The Great Sign of Revelation 12 could easily be dismissed (and is being dismissed by conventional eschatology teachers) based upon the challenges posed to those that argued the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015 was potentially the beginning of the Tribulation period. Mark Biltz, John Hagee, and others wrote popular books about this unusual sign. I myself wrote a book entitled Blood Moon: The Biblical Signs of the Coming Apocalypse. However, my take was that we needed to temper the temptation to do “date setting” and seek to understand the meaning of such heavenly signs as confirmation of God’s covenants with us. Why would I say that? Because the word for signs in Hebrew is pronounced “owth” (like oath) and means covenant (a contract or bond). Cain’s “mark,” Noah’s rainbow, and the circumcision of Abraham (and his people), were but three of a number of signs/oaths that promised a covenant between God and His people. They were a visible, physical symbol of a spiritual promise made by God to one or more of His special children. It is a very strategic principle to understand the connection between heavenly signs and God’s promises.

Here is what I said in Blood Moon:

The word sign (transliterated from the Hebrew owth, pronounced ‘oath’) appears 79 times within 77 verses of the King James Version Old Testament. According to Strong’s Concordance, it is used as “a distinguishing mark, banner, military ensign, remembrance, miraculous sign, omen, and warning.” And as we will see, it comprises an indispensable element to confirm a covenant between God and humankind. The first instance of the use of this word in the Bible (as we have already mentioned), appears in Genesis 1:14: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the

The first instance of the use of this word in the Bible (as we have already mentioned), appears in Genesis 1:14: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.’ The second usage stands out too. It deals with the infamous mark

The second usage stands out too. It deals with the infamous mark GOD placed upon Cain, a mark meant to warn everyone not to harm Cain in any way, lest God Himself take vengeance upon the one who did.

The word translated mark is the same as sign—owth. We read: “And the LORD said unto him, ‘Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the LORD set a mark (owth) upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” [2]

IS THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE?

From that vantage point, the sign of Revelation 12 could be interpreted the same way. This is not to say that Rosh Hashanah 2017 might not be the appointed time when a literal fulfillment of “the last trump” finally comes to pass (which occurs at the conclusion of the Feast of Trumpets when the Trumpet is blown 99 times with the “last trump” lasting much longer than any of the 99 trumpet blasts). [3] It may be the fulfillment of the promise. It might be the “fullness of times” when Christ unites and glorifies His body. Let us pray that it is so. However, keep in mind that it might only be a visible confirmation that He is coming for His bride very soon — like within the next year — and this is the final warning. His bride needs to make itself ready.

Two years ago, I wrote an extensive paper (about 6,300 words) on the issues taken up here. I am making it available here as a PDF. It was entitled, “Are Date Patterns in Prophecy Meaningful?”

HERE IS THE LINK:  http://faith-happens.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Are-Date-Patterns-in-Prophecy-Meaningful-09-19-2015.docx.

My final words of that paper provide what I believe is the key to keep in mind when we consider the sign of Revelation 12 and its ultimate meaning to the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy: Christians realize that the Messiah came over 2,000 years ago. Despite his appearing in fulfillment of hundreds of prophecies, as the Messiah, he was rejected as Isaiah predicted:” He was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3). He was dismissed as an authentic prophetic fulfillment. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11)

As far as the nation of Israel was concerned, Bible prophecy had not been fulfilled. They did not discern the meaning of scripture. The words of the prophets were kept hidden from them. Likewise, the disciples did not understand what it meant for Jesus to die for their sins. They did not understand he would rise from the dead. Until Jesus appeared to two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus, they were unable to discern the meaning of the events they had just experienced—but more specifically, they were unable to interpret these events in light of Bible prophecy. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)

Imagine a future time when we are with the Lord and He explains the prophecies of the Bible to us so we come to complete understanding!

Furthermore, when the Antichrist finally does appear, Christ predicts that the Antichrist will come “in His own name” and Israel will believe in him. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43) For at least 1,260 days, the Jews will conclude that the Messiah has come—but he will be the Antichrist! Only when he is revealed will the deception be dispelled and the remnant of Israel will “look upon whom they pierced and mourn for him as one mourns for an only son” after the Lord pours out His Spirit upon the House of David. (Zechariah 12:10, paraphrased)

What remains perfectly clear, interpreting Bible prophecy is no simple matter. And when it is fulfilled, we are not always ready to receive it as such. Therefore, let us pray that the Lord gives us understanding in these last days, discerning the meaning of what occurs in the world around us, that we not be caught off guard. Remember: “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

Having said that, I believe strongly that there are many reasons to be expectant that this may be the time of the rapture. I encourage my readers to study the matter and prepare yourself spiritually. Study the videos of Scottie Clarke who did the original research and “discovered” through his work with the software program Stellarium, the appearance of the 12 stars appearing in Leo as a crown to Virgo.

However, keep several other things in mind:

  • First, our prime directive is to love another in a meaningful way. As Paul taught the Galatians: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
  • Second, we are commanded by Christ to “occupy until He comes.” (Luke 19:13) We need to be doing what God has called us to do – and continue to do this – before AND after September 23rd.
  • Third, should the LORD not return for His bride when this sign is displayed in the heavens, do not be dismayed. The sign in the heavens is a symbol of the Lord’s covenant with us to bring us to heaven and to glorify us. It may mean more than this. But it can mean no less.

NOTES

[1] From Wikipedia: “Miller, together with some 100,000 others were expelled from their churches for their beliefs. These believers in the soon advent of Christ came from all denominations and included at least 200 ministers from prominent Protestant churches. Drawing from the parable of the ten virgins, Miller’s message became known as the “midnight cry,” the return of the bridegroom. There was a return to primitive godliness, as the various groups of believers awaited the return of the Lord.

As we know, Jesus did not return to this earth in 1844. Those that eagerly awaited His return were devastated, and the day became known as the Great Disappointment. Many were disillusioned and left the movement. Those that remained were ridiculed and became objects of scorn.” Retrieved from http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception-Great-Disappointment_Advent_Miller.

[2] S. Douglas Woodward, Blood Moon: Biblical Signs of the Coming Apocalypse, Oklahoma City, Faith Happens Books, (2015), p. 78

[3] From Verse-by-Verse ministry: “Let me begin by giving some background on the Jewish practice of blowing trumpets during their festivals. The type of trumpet used in Rosh Hashanah is a ram’s horn (a shofar) that is blown during the feast, but the horn can also be called a trumpet. In fact, Jews commonly called the event the Feast of the Trumpets for that reason. During the feast, the trumpet is blown a total of 100 times, with the final horn blast lasting much longer than the first 99 blasts. This final blast pictures the trumpet sound which will announce the Rapture of the Church, which Paul mentions in 1Cor 15. By the way, the trumpet blast associated with the Rapture is not to be confused with the trumpet judgments of Tribulation. Rather, it is associated with the final horn of the Feast of Trumpets.”  (Click to Site)

The entire article is worth reading. It may be found at http://www.versebyverseministry.org/bibleanswers/is_the_last_trumpet_blown_for_the_rapture#sthash.zVDXRE1J.dpbs

Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim

 Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: Your brethren who hate you, who cast you out for My name’s sake, have said, Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy! But it is they who shall be put to shame.

[Hark!] An uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, rendering recompense to His enemies!

Before [Zion] travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came upon her, she was delivered of a male child.

 Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land [a]be born in one day? Or shall a nation be brought forth in a moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she brought forth her children.

Shall I bring to the [moment of] birth and not cause to bring forth? says the Lord. Shall I Who causes to bring forth shut the womb? says your God.

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her,

That you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breasts, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance and brightness of her glory.

For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; then you will be nursed, you will be carried on her hip and trotted [lovingly bounced up and down] on her [God’s maternal] knees.

As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like green and tender grass. And the [powerful] hand of the Lord shall be revealed and known to be with His servants, but His indignation [shown] to be against His enemies.

For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and His chariots will be like the stormy wind, to render His anger with fierceness, and His rebuke with flames of fire.

For by fire and by His sword will the Lord execute judgment upon all flesh, and the slain of the Lord will be many.

Those who [attempt to] sanctify themselves and cleanse themselves to enter [and sacrifice to idols] in the gardens, following after [b]one in the midst, eating hog’s flesh and the abomination [creeping things] and the [mouse—their works and their thoughts] shall come to an end together, says the Lord.

For I know their works and their thoughts. And the time is coming when I will gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see My glory.

And I will set up a [miraculous] sign among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations—to Tarshish, Pul (Put), and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles and coastlands afar off that have not heard of My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare and proclaim My glory among the nations.

 And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the Lord—upon horses and in chariots and in litters and upon mules and upon camels—to My holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the children of Israel bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.

And I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

For as the new [c]heavens and the new earth which I make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.

And it shall be that from one New Moon to another New Moon and from one Sabbath to another Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord.

And they shall go forth and gaze upon the dead bodies of the [rebellious] men who have stepped over against Me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind.  (Isaiah 66:5-24)

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 66:8 Never in the history of the world had such a thing happened before—but God keeps His word. As definitely foretold here and in Ezekiel 37:21, 22, Israel became a recognized nation, actually “born in one day.” After being away from their homeland for almost 2,000 years, the Jews were given a national homeland in Palestine by the Balfour Declaration in November, 1917. In 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate over Palestine. On May 14, 1948, Great Britain withdrew her mandate, and immediately Israel was declared a sovereign state, and her growth and importance among nations became astonishing.
  2. Isaiah 66:17 Perhaps referring to the image of the Syrian god Adad. Some commentators also suggest that this may refer to the cultic leader in the center who shows by his example how to conduct the ceremonies.
  3. Isaiah 66:22 See footnote on Isa. 65:17.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

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A Christian numerologist claims that the world will end next Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth.

According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse.

The verses read:

“25: 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. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“’26: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.’

Sept. 23 is a date that was pinpointed using codes from the Bible, as well as a “date marker” in the pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

Meade’s views are not endorsed by Roman Catholic, Protestant or eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity.

Meade has built his theory on the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, which he believes will pass Earth on Sept. 23, causing volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes, according to British newspaper The Sun.

For a certain branch of evangelical Christianity, Revelation 12:1–2, describes the beginning of what is known as the rapture and the second coming of Christ.

The passage reads: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.”

In the passage, the woman is Virgo. On Sept. 23, both the sun and the moon will be in Virgo, as will the planet Jupiter. However, this occurrence happens naturally once every 12 years. There is also a rare alignment, known as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” which the conspiracy theorists are hanging their hats on.

According to the Express, author Jonathan Sarfati wrote that the same planetary coincidence previously happened four times in the last millennium.

“As usual with any astrology (or Christian adaptations of it), one cherry-picks the stars that fit the desired conclusion,” Sarfati wrote, according to the Express. “There is nothing to suggest that 23 September is a momentous date for biblical prophecy, and Christians need to be careful about being drawn into such sensationalist claims.” (Click to Site)

THE MALE CHILD OF REVELATION 12 IS THE CHURCH — TIME TO FILL YOUR LAMP

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The argument that many are engaged in at the current time is whether or not the “male child” of Revelation 12:5, is Christ or the Church?  The answer, the right answer, from powerful scholars throughout the ages is simply this:  He is both.And the implications are astronomical!

THE RAPTURE AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING ARE DISTINCT EVENTS

Because the male child is both, as Gary Huffman and I argue in THE REVEALING: UNLOCKING HIDDEN TRUTHS ON THE GLORIFICATION OF GOD’S CHILDREN, the “great sign” of Revelation 12 proclaims there is a rapture of the Church, and it happens at least 3.5 years (1260 days) before the visible return of Christ.  In a separate post, I provided what I believe is incontrovertible evidence that the Bible teaches the two events (the Rapture of the Church and the visible, “Glorious Appearing” of Jesus Christ at the end of the age), are distinct events.  Here is a link to the extensive chart I built to make this case plain.  CLICK HERE —> Comparison 1 Thess 4 with Matt 24 9-1-2017 for the PDF.

In this post, I want to provide evidence from several excellent sources, that the male child of Revelation 12 is both Christ and the Church – the united head and body in its mystical union.  If so, the passage goes on to make plain that the male child is “plucked up” (harpazo, the same Greek word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17) before the woman flees to the wilderness. (The woman is Israel – an interpretation seldom debated).

Let’s review the passage once more:

Rev 12:1-6 1Now 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 twelve stars. 2Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Quoting from our book The Revealing, interpreting the meaning of “the Great Sign:”

There are three characters in this passage.  There is a woman, there is a male child, and there is a fiery red dragon with seven heads and ten horns.  No one disputes that the dragon represents the devil or Satan.  And almost no scholar doubts that the woman represents Israel.  After giving birth to the male child, the woman flees into the wilderness to a special sanctuary prepared by God for her safe keeping (tradition contends this is Petra or Mount Seir). The passage also indicates that the dragon stands ready to devour the male child as soon as he is born.  While the woman is preserved by fleeing into the wilderness, the male child is protected from the dragon – he escapes his clutches – through a very special “airlift” rescue.  That is, the child is “snatched away” (in the Greek, harpazo– pronounced har-pod-zho), the same word (Strong’s G276) used by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up(snatched up) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Revelation 12:5 states that the child will rule the nations with a rod of iron.  Surely then, the child is Jesus, for Psalm 2 testifies that the Messiah will rule with a rod of iron. “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:9)   However, if we must make note that Revelation 2:27 has Jesus promising the Church at Thyatira they will rule the nations with a rod of iron – with Him.  Therefore, we mustn’t  jump to the conclusion the male child is just Jesus.[1]  When it is snatched up, at the Rapture, the Church and Christ are united – they become one. Thus, a full account of the Scripture demonstrates that the Church will reign and rule with Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:12) – and this includes the “rod of iron” descriptor.

Consequently, we are left with a most definite impression that the male child who is plucked up to heaven is not Jesus Christ (who ascended visibly into the clouds as witnessed by the Apostles), but rather the Church of Jesus Christ who becomes fully one with Him.  If so (and as we will see, many commentators insist this the male child comprises the Church and its “snatching up” comprises the Rapture), it begs the question whether the astronomical event (the arrangements of stars, planets, sun, and moon) which transpires on September 23, 2017, signifies the very moment when the rapture of the Church will occur.

The “$64,000 question” about whether this means the Rapture truly occurs in two weeks less two days, I will leave for the end of this article.  My point here: demonstrate the male child is unquestionably Christ, the Head, and His body the Church.  THAT the rapture occurs separately from the woman fleeing to the wilderness, holds enormous consequences dictating vital events transpiring in the last days.

WHO ELSE TAUGHT “CHRIST AND THE CHURCH COMBINED” COMPRISE THE MALE CHILD OF REVELATION 12?

Gary at Unsealed.org, a terrific prophecy news website providing analysis and commentary, did all of us a wonderful favor.  They assembled an amazing list of scholars that, unlike what good friends of eschatology, Jack Hibbs and Joel Richardson have stated, concur on the identity of the male child as both Christ and the Church united.

Allow me here to provide a very brief summary of ten scholars that Gary at Unsealed.org identified, along with one or two sentences regarding their commentary concerning the identity of the male child:

  • Theodore Beza (b. 1519), student of John Calvin, co-author of The Geneva Bible Commentary, stated: “That is Christ the head of the Church joined with his Church (the beginning root and foundation of which is the same Christ) endued with kingly power and taken up into heaven out of the jaws of Satan (who as a serpent did bite him on the cross) that sitting on the heavenly throne, he might reign over all.”
  • Hanserd Knollys (b. 1599) early Baptist scholar, author of many books, including his Commentary on Revelation said this: “The man child brought forth was Christ, and his saints, the spiritual seed of this mystical woman, the church of the firstborn written in heaven, { Hebrews 12:22-23} the Jerusalem, that is above, which is the mother of us all. {Galatians 4:26} This child was prophesied of. { Psalm 2:6-10} And also her spiritual seed, the saints. { Revelation 12:16-17} Christ and his saints shall have the dominion over the nations, Daniel 7:27-28 and { Revelation 11:15}.”
  • Matthew Poole (b. 1624) expressed firm conviction that the male child was neither Christ alone, or (as some were then arguing) the first Christian emperor of Rome, Constantine the Great (c. 320 AD).  In his Latin commentary on Revelation, Poole stated, “It was prophesied of Christ, Psalm 2:9, that he should break the nations with a rod of iron. It is applied to the servants of Christ, who overcome, and keep Christ’s words to the end, Revelation 2:27. So as it is here applicable to believers, whom the church should bring forth, who shall judge the world, as the apostle tells us; and I had rather thus interpret it, (rather) than concerning Constantine the Great.”
  • Matthew Henry (b. 1662) also stated the identity of the male child clearly and described the Rapture perfectly without using that term.  We read from his massive six-volume commentary, “She was safely delivered of a man-child (v. 5), by which some understand Christ, others Constantine, but others, with greater propriety, a race of true believers, strong and united, resembling Christ, and designed, under him, to rule the nations with a rod of iron; that is, to judge the world by their doctrine and lives now, and as assessors with Christ at the great day. Care was taken of this child: it was caught up to God, and to his throne; that is, taken into his special, powerful, and immediate protection.”
  • John Nelson Darby (b. 1800) the progenitor of Dispensationalism (the successor to Restorationism), certainly saw in Revelation 12:5 a powerful affirmation of the Rapture.  Said Darby, “If the mighty man, the mystic man, the man-child of Revelation xii. is to act [in judging the world with a rod of iron], He must first be complete (of course He is so, essentially so, in Himself, but as Head over all things to the Church which is His body). The head and the body must be united before He can act as having this title before the world; because the mystic man as a whole cannot take it until the Church is taken up to Him. For not until then—until the Church, the body, is united to the Head, Christ, in heaven—is the mystic man in that sense complete; and therefore, the Church must be taken up before Christ can come in judgment…”
  • William Kelly (b. 1820), an Irish theologian of the nineteenth century and member of the Plymouth Brethren, argued the same, “On this principle then I cannot but consider that the rapture of the man-child to God and His throne involves the rapture of the church in itself. The explanation why it is thus introduced here depends on the truth that Christ and the church are one, and have a common destiny. Inasmuch as He went up to heaven, so also the church is to be caught up.”
  • G. H. Pember (b. 1845), whose works have become popularized in our day thanks to Chuck Missler and Tom Horn, states firmly that Revelation 12:5 speaks of the Church and its Rapture.  Moreover, the Rapture must occur before the Nephilim reappear during the time of Great Tribulation!  Says Pember, “We may mention our conclusion that the birth and rapture of the man child refer to the completion of the mystic Christ — of which the personal Christ is the Head and His Church the body — as manifested by the sudden translation of all waiting saints, whether dead or alive, to meet their Lord in the air.  It thus appears that this long-expected event will precede Satan’s banishment from heaven, and, therefore, also its results…and the revelation of the Man of Sin. Like Enoch, the Church of Christ will be called away,  before (the) earth is, for a time, abandoned to the Nephilim, before the fearful woes of the end.”
  • Charles Stanley (from the nineteenth century, not the popular preacher in Atlanta present day!), who was a powerful evangelist in England during the nineteenth century, likewise confirmed the identical viewpoint in his book, The Great Tribulation or Time of the End, “Now the church is associated with Christ in this, as it is written in Revelation 2:26. ‘And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end; to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.’ And when Christ comes to exercise this judgment, the church comes with Him (Rev. 19:14-15). So that the full ascension of the man child is complete, when the church, His body, is caught up to be with Him where He is: and to come with Him when He comes.
  • Harry Ironside (b. 1876), a significant personality in the evangelical movement in the twentieth century, wrote explicitly on the topic and declared one’s understanding of Revelation 12:1-6 crucial to rightly understanding the outline of the end times.  A lengthy quotation from Ironside:

This, clearly enough, is our Lord Jesus Christ, who is soon to reign over all the earth, and undoubtedly He is primarily the Man-child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and the special object of Satan’s malignity. But we have already seen, in Rev. 2:26–28, that when He reigns He will not reign alone. . . . Is there then any incongruity in understanding the man-child to represent both Christ Jesus our Lord and His church? Surely not, for He is the Head of the body, the church, which is the fullness, or completion of Himself, so that the title, ‘The Church’ is applied to both head and body viewed as one in 1 Cor. 12:12. . . . We may then, on the authority of Scripture itself, safely affirm that the man-child represents the one New Man who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron—Christ, the Head, and the church, His body.[5]

  • Chuck Missler (b. 1934) remains alive today as one of the revered sages of Bible prophecy, continuing his ministry to the blessing of the Church.  Chuck said this about the identity of the male child:

For many, many years as I read verse five I recognized of course that the woman is Israel… the man-child is who?  Jesus Christ.  And her child was caught up unto God and to his throne.  And I just took for granted that was an allusion to what?  The ascension, right?  It was G.H. Pember I believe, back probably in 1914, he was the first that I encountered at least, that saw this as possibly alluding to something else.  Not the ascension, but the rapture.  Her child, the Body of Christ, was caught up to God and his throne.  That could be an allusion to the ascension, no problem.  It also might be an allusion to the Body of Christ caught up in the rapture because the word ‘caught up’ there in the Greek is, guess what?  Harpazo.  Snatched.  The same word that occurs in First Thessalonians chapter four.

The article from Unsealed.Org lists a total of 25 scholars that agree on the identity of the male child.  There should be no doubt that Revelation 12:5 is teaching the Rapture of the Church, that it is a separate event occurring before the woman flees into the wilderness, and before Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven.

More Recent Commentaries Confirm the Same Truth

In addition to the scholarship of the ten scholars cited from the great study at Unsealed.org highlighted above, here are three commentaries we identifiedTHE SIGN IN THE HEAVENS – IS THIS A SIGN OF THE RAPTURE – FULL VERSION in The Revealing, that also confirm the perspective championed here:

  • From the Faith Life Study Bible: “In Revelation, the number 12 is associ­ated with the 12 tribes of Israel and also the 12 apostles as the Church’s foundation (Rev 21:14). Thus, the woman could symbolize the faithful people of God. The Messiah is born from God’s people, Israel, and His work continues with God’s people, the Church.”
  • Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, on Revelation 12:5, voices the same opinion:

And she brought forth a man child – Representing, according to the view above taken, the church in its increase and prosperity – as if a child were born that was to rule over all nations. See the notes on Revelation 12:2.  Who was to rule all nations – That is, according to this view, the church thus represented was destined to reign in all the earth, or all the earth was to become subject to its laws. Compare the notes on Daniel 7:13-14[2]

  • Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, regarding Revelation 12:5 agrees. The male child is the “mystical Christ”, i.e., “his members, who are called by his name.” Reading this statement in context:

And she brought forth a man child…. Not Christ, literally and person­ally considered, or Christ in his human nature, as made of a woman, and born of a virgin, which was a fact that had been years ago; but Christ mystically, or Christ in his members, who are called by his name, because he is formed in them, and they are the seed of the woman, the church.[3]

RECENT PAPER OF DR. MICHAEL SVIGEL, DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Finally, allow me to quote from a recent paper of Dr. Michael Svigel of Dallas Theological Seminary, who has provided us with an extensive exegetical study, connecting Revelation 12 with Isaiah 66, among many other key matters.

Attached here is a PDF of the 46-page paper by Dr. Svigel if the reader is eager to study this topic more thoroughly.

One key point I will share at this juncture concerns an intriguing, albeit complex, bit of grammar.   Svigel surfaces the fact that when John the Revelator depicts the male child, he has either made a grammatical error in Greek or he is doing something intentionally that was expressed by his choice of words (an intentional mismatch of a noun and adjective in English terms, regarding agreement of the gender of these words). John uses the neuter case when identifying the modifier “male.”  What is it that the Holy Spirit has inspired in the text as a clue to properly interpreting the scripture?  It is technical, but see if you can follow along with Dr. Svigel’s argument:

John may intentionally have the neuter pronominal adjective ἄρσεν (instead of the masculine) irregularly modify the masculine υἱὸν. As observed above in the textual comparisons of Revelation 12 and Isaiah 66, the unusual grammar reflects the actual wording of the Isaiah text, where both the mention of ‘male’ and the corporate plural of ‘son’ (or ‘child’) occur in synonymous phrases expressing Jerusalem bearing in travail. That John has not made a careless grammatical blunder is clear from 12.13, where the masculine τὸν ἄρσενα is correctly used. On the other hand, some do not see a grammatical incongruity in the use of ἄρσεν, but view it as a noun in apposition to ‘son’, further describing it. . . . But this still leaves unanswered the question why the neuter occurs in 12.5 and the masculine in 12.13; in addition, the substantival use normally would be articular, as in 12.13.  Thus, John’s use of “poor grammar” in Revelation 12:5 is intended to point the reader back to the images of Isaiah 66:7, which reads: “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.” The next verse demonstrates that the woman and child are not intended to represent individuals, but rather assemblies: “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons (two sons?).” The passage switches from the singular “son” to the plural “sons,” and describes the birth of “a land” and “a nation.” Therefore, given the symbolic parallels between the description of the woman of Revelation 12:1 and Israel of Genesis 37:9 as well as the intentional verbal allusion to Isaiah 66:7, where the woman is clearly the nation of Israel, “Zion,” the conclusion that best fits the evidence is that when the scene of Revelation 12 opens up, the woman primarily represents Israel of the Old Testament in travail.

He goes further to clarify what this means in terms of the nature of the male child;

To take the male child, then, as only an individual man, Jesus of Nazareth, would be to break consistency within the symbols of Revelation 12:1-7. It is acknowledged that such an inconsistency is certainly the prerogative of the author, but it fails to come to grips with the fact that John is not composing the passage ex nihilo (i.e., without a context), but (is) describing a vision we believe actually occurred. Thus, the elements of the vision could be mixed; that is, the woman and the dragon could symbolize corporate entities while the male child is an actual human being. However, an interpretation that understands the male child to be a corporate entity does not contradict the context of the passage; it does, in fact, better suits the context.

A further note.  Whereas, Isaiah 66:7-8 is normally associated with the birth of Israel in a single day, it may more likely refer to the birth of a nation, “a peculiar people, a holy nation,” i.e., the Church (1 Peter 2:9) being born in a single day.  The fact that the nation is born before the woman (Israel) experienced birth pangs (perhaps meaning the Great Tribulation, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble?) certainly increases the likelihood that the Holy Spirit was inspiring the authors to “encode” the mystery of the Church and its destination within these passages, and their linkage as Dr. Svigel points out through his exegesis.

Conclusion

Recently, I wrote an article for the September issue of Prophecy in the News Magazine.  Attached is the longer version of the article for your review here.  The article takes up the subject of whether or not September 23, 2017, at the conclusion of Rosh Hashanah (The Feast of Trumpets), will culminate in the actual Rapture of the Church.  I encourage readers to take the time to read that article, for in it I explain why the Rapture could happen in 12 short days, but, certainly has brought forth a teaching from the stars that has been, for the most part, lost to the present day evangelical church.  That is, Revelation 12 teaches us the Rapture is a distinct and imminent event.  We will be caught up into the clouds BEFORE the woman flees into the wilderness at which time there is 1,260 days before the LORD returns visibly to the world.  And as Gary Huffman and I write in The Revealing, before the Church takes on its new duties to administrate God’s cosmos, replacing the “powers and principalities” that occupy the second (and possibly the third) heaven today, the Rapture must happen FIRST.  This truth, given all the debate about when the rapture occurs, is one that we need to hear, acknowledge, and incorporate into our beliefs about the last days.

For, and this is the crucial point, if the male child is the Church, the rapture will occur before the Glorious Appearing, perhaps 3.5 years, perhaps 7 years, perhaps longer.  But it will not happen at the same moment as Post-Trib believers assert (well meaning though they be).

Here’s our article.  Enjoy.  Please share this article with your friends and family.

THE SIGN IN THE HEAVENS – IS THIS A SIGN OF THE RAPTURE – FULL VERSION

It is time to put oil in your lamp… which means it is time to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be expectant.  “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.” (Matthew 25:6)

For there is a crown awaiting all those who eagerly await the coming of the LORD.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2Timothyy 4:8)


 Notes

[1] Note the King James Version capitalizes Child, presuming the child is divine.  The seventeenth-century translators therefore presumed (mistakenly I believe) that Jesus is the “exclusive” male child in Revelation 12.

[2] Retrieved from http://biblehub.com/commentaries/revelation/12-5.htm.

[3] Ibid.

[4] See http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/article/5721   (Click to Site)

Defining the New Moon

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March 10, 2017

This article is to fine tune the coming week of September 23rd. Does the Feast of Trumpets occur on September 21st, two days before the Sign of the Woman or does the Feast of Trumpets coincide with the Sign of the Woman on September 23rd? According to Paul, the Rapture of the Church will occur at the Last Trump on the Feast of Trumpets at the time of the new moon. So when is the new moon?

The observed calendar that Israel follows at this time is the one developed by Hillel II in the 4th century. Under Hillel’s calendar there is no sighting of the moon–it is calculated and corresponds to the “dark moon” as the new moon. However, there is also Jewish tradition that speaks of observing the first sliver of the moon– 

when it first becomes visible to the naked eye. So when we are trying to determine when the new moon is, we are faced with the decision of what calendar is most representative of the explanations in Scripture. What we will soon find out though is there are not many Bible passages that define the new moon! Yet, if we limit our understanding to them, our view should be correct.

The Feast of Trumpets is the only festival day on the new moon. When we find the applicable passages, it only says to observe the feast on the new moon. There is no description readily available of how that is determined in the context. There are no explanations of sighting procedures like that given in Jewish tradition, but let us see only what the Bible has revealed and whether or not it supports that tradition.

Concerning the Feast of Trumpets:

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.   –Leviticus 23:24

And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.  –Numbers 29:1

Surprisingly, the Bible simply states to blow the trumpet on the first day of the month with no further instructions on the new moon. Any tradition of sighting the crescent moon is not to be found in the Scriptures. It comes down to two passages that shed light on the new moon and the principle one is Psalm 81:3. However, there are English translation issues as can be seen below.


Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.   –Psalms 81:3 NKJV

Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.   –Psalms 81:3 KJV


Here the KJV is better, but it is still lacking in the proper definition. The Hebrew word in question is kece which is from the root kacah, which means concealmentKece is used twice in the Bible (Psalm 81:3, Proverbs 7:20) as appointed in the KJV and NKJV with the exception being the full moon in Psalm 81:3 in the NKJV. All other modern translations have kece reading as the full moon. The full moon is not a possible translation as the new month begins with the new moon. The root kacah is found translated in the KJV as: cover (135x), hide (6x), conceal (4x), covering (2x), overwhelmed (2x), clad (1x), closed (1x), clothed (1x). This is why the Feast of Trumpets was known to the Jews as the Day of our Concealment and why the Jewish Bible is correct here in its rendering of Psalm 81:3 (It is verse 4 in the Jewish Bible).


Sound the shofar to mark the new month, the time of concealment of our Festival day.  –Psalm 81:4 Jewish Bible


A concealed moon would then be the hidden moon. According to Scripture the new moon is when it is not seen. This seems to contradict the tradition of looking for the first observable crescent, for if we declare the moon visible it is no longer concealed! With the Feast of Trumpets being known by tradition as “the day no one knows the day of hour,” that description of the day fits the concealed moon model, otherwise, if that day is by sight, that day would be known. A concealed moon makes sense of modern Israel’s observance of the feast for two days to ensure that they have not selected the wrong day to cover their bases.

Another story that sheds light on this is that of David and Jonathan.


And David said to Jonathan, “Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.” –1 Samuel 20:5


Here David knows that the next day is the day of the new moon. If the new moon was to be declared by sight, then it wasn’t declared that way here because David knows beforehand. This is because the day declared by tradition of sighting the sliver would begin at sundown when the day actually begins, but here David knows beforehand. This would suggest the current method of the calendar by Hillel II is more in line with Scripture. Maybe there are no biblical new moon sightings in Scripture because the new moon is not to be visible!

Another problem by shifting the new moon from the current day of concealment to one where the first sliver is observed is that it shifts the whole calendar by one or two days. The first of the month decided by first seeing the crescent moon places the observable full moon before the feasts that occur on the 15th of the month. The blood moons on Passover and Tabernacles would not have occurred on those respective feast days. This would be a problem and there would be more problems by shifting the calendar. To the day coincidences under the Hillel II calendar with the 9th of Av 1095 (the first Crusade), the 9th of Av 1290 (England expels Jews), the 9thof Av 1492 (Spanish Inquisition), the 9th of Av 1914 (WW1), Hanukkah 1917 (Jerusalem), Passover 1933 (Hitler’s Jewish laws passed), the 9th of Av 1942 (Warsaw Ghetto deportations), Yom Kippur 1973 (the War), 9th of Av 1994 (Comet Shoemaker-Levy strikes Jupiter & Hezbollah bombing AIMA in Buenos Aires), and Trumpets 2008 (stock market crash) have all coincided using the observed Jewish calendar that calculates the new concealed moonUnder a visible crescent system, those to-the-day coincidences would be lost.

Therefore, based on the evidence from the Bible and historical events alone, the current observed calendar of Israel looks to be the correct model. This then leads to the following conclusions about the week that ends on the seventh day of the week–September 23, 2017.


September 20–Wednesday: At dawn at Giza there is the alignment of Regulus-Venus at the Christ Angle above the horizon in the
east. This is the Sign of the Great Pyramid.  About two hours after this alignment, the moon will reach conjunction.

September 21–Thursday: The new moon and Feast of Trumpets according to the observed calendar.
This day of the concealed moon looks to be the day of our concealment and hiding. The day of the Harpazo/Rapture
of the Church to the throne of God to be one complete ruling body with the Man-Child. This happens before the labor
of the Tribulation.

September 22–Friday: The Autumn Equinox. The potential first day without the Restrainer. All who were righteous through
believing in the work of Jesus Christ are gone and the unrighteous will now be unhindered for forming what they think will be their utopia.

September 23–Saturday: The Sabbath of Return. The Sign of the Woman in Revelation 12:1-2 fulfilled in heaven.
The woman is pictured in pain to deliver a child. This is a sign for Israel and Israel will now be the torch bearer with the Church body gone. With the disappearance of the righteous on the Feast of Trumpets and this sign, Israel will begin their return to  Jesus the Messiah.  From this day it is 2,576 days to the Day of Atonement 2024 on October 12th. Counting 2,520 inclusive days from November 19, 2017 will land on October 12, 2024–the Day of Atonement. 2,550 days (1290 days from the mid-point) will come to November 11, 2024 and 2,595 days (1335 days from the mid-point) will come
December 26, 2024 and Hanukkah. From September 23rd to what appears to be the beginning of the Tribulation would be 8 weeks. It was also 8 weeks from the end of the “69 weeks” of Daniel on Palm Sunday until the Conception of the Church (thanks to Scott Clarke) on Pentecost Sunday.


This is the layout according to this author of the coming week of anticipation.  It is understood here that many who espouse the Sign of the Woman in Revelation 12 hold to a different view on how to place the events associated with this sign. The reality is that we all have put the events within a few days of each other. Whatever happens, we will all be paying attention to each of the days and remaining alert. While this author at this time does not see how we can make it past this coming week in September, we must be prepared for whatever may come.  Our faith should hold and remain firm in the clear teaching of the Bible and act accordingly.

Maranatha! (Click to Site)