Rev. 12 and the Sept. 23 Sign

How should we interpret Rev. 12 and the Sept. 23 sign?

In our last article we discussed the history behind the Sept. 23 sign and the opinion of several noted scholars. If you haven’t read that previous article please start there first. As we learned in that article, opinions vary as to the validity of the sign of Sept. 23.

Let me recall some of the reasons many don’t think the Rev. 12 sign of Sept. 23rd is a sign at all:

  1. First, because it occurs with the rising sun, no one is really going to see it. What is the value of a sign no one sees?
  2. Leo, which is thought to make up the crown of 12 stars with 3 planets, is said by those who favor the sign to only have 9 stars. But most sky charts depict Leo with 10 to 13 stars.
  3. Because Virgo is “clothed with the sun” and has the moon at her feet nearly every September, this aspect of the crown of 12 stars is very important. It’s the only thing that sets this Sept 23rd appearance of the sign apart. So if this alignment of Leo and 3 planets isn’t the crown of 12 stars that Rev. speaks of, it isn’t a sign.
  4. The sun is actually on the shoulder of Virgo not fully clothing her.
  5. Those who believe this is THE sign claim it occurs only once in 7000 years. That is not true. It also occurred in 3BC (we’ll talk about this later) and also in 1827, 1483, 1293, and in 1056. The astronomer from Earth/Sky who examined this sign, only looked at the last 1000 years so there may be even more occurances. It seems to happen 3 or 4 times every thousand years. None of those were the rapture .

These are very significant reasons to consider that it might not be a sign at all.  Personally, I keep an open mind. I am strongly convinced this is not the sign preceding the rapture, and despite the strong evidence that it might be nothing, there is other evidence that says it could be something. With that attitude, let’s continue to analyze it.

Rev. 12 and the Sept. 23 Sign

In order for us to understand the “sign,” we have to properly interpret Rev. 12 first.  If this is truly a “biblical sign,” it can only make sense in light of the what the Bible says about it! This should be obvious to all, but shockingly, I haven’t seen anyone approach this issue that way; by interpreting Rev. 12 first.

So we will begin by trying to make sense of the sign in light of that interpretation. To me that seems the obvious approach. The challenge, however, is that Rev. 12 is difficult to interpret correctly.

The Characters

The Woman is defined by scripture.

Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” (Gen. 137:9-10)

This is one of Joseph’s dreams. The twelve stars are the twelve tribes of Israel. So the woman is crowned by the twelve stars.  Zechariah speaks of Israel as gems (stars) in a crown:

Then the Lord will appear over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning; and the Lord God will blow the trumpet, . . . And the Lord their God will save them in that day as the flock of His people; for they are as the stones of a crown, sparkling in His land. (Zech. 9:14, 16)

Paul extends this metaphor to Christians:

For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

So the Woman wears a crown of Israel and Christians. We learn later that her children include Christians. This verse from Galatians identifies the Woman:

But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. (Gal. 4:26)

The Woman is the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, crowned with the 12 tribes (and Christians).

The Dragon is clearly defined as Satan.

And as we proved in this PREVIOUS ARTICLE, the son, a male is Jesus.

A Macro View of Rev. 12

Second, let’s look at Rev. 12 from a macro level, from far above it looking for clues to interpret this complex passage. To me Rev. 12 is a separate vision from the main story line of Revelation just as Rev, 10, 11, 13 and 14 are. Rev. 12 is the story of the Woman and the Dragon; why the Dragon hates her, and how he tries to persecute and kill her and her children.

The first thing I notice are the similar phrases in various portions of the prophecy:

Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon (v. 3) And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon (v. 7)
And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth (v. 4) He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (v.9)
The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. (v. 4) He persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male. (v. 13)
Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (v. 6) She could fly into the wilderness to her place where she was nourished for a time, times, and half a time. (v.14)


This parallelism is striking and cannot be accidental. So the first part of Rev. 12 is paralleled by the second half. But what does this mean?

Interpretation of Rev. 12

There are differences in the two halves of the prophecy. In the second half, the “son, a male,” which we now know is Jesus, has already been born, in the first half, the woman gives birth.  To me, this is the clue.  Rev. 12:1-5 are the events that occurred in the first century. Rev. 12:6 thru the end of the Chapter are events during the 70th Week of Daniel.

The First Century events were:

  • The sign of the woman appears in the sky of Yom Teruah, 3BC, perhaps this was immediately followed by the sign of the Dragon (Rev. 12:1-3) although I haven’t seen any evidence of this. (vv. 1-3)
  • Perhaps these signs were in the spiritual heaven and not in the visible heavens at all
  • Jesus (the son, a male) is born (v.5)
  • The Dragon pursues the son, a male for his entire life until he leaves the domain of Satan and is harpazoed or snatched up (ascends) to the Throne of his Father. (v. 5)
  • A gap of 2000 years occurs before the Woman resurfaces
  • In the end times the Woman flees into the wilderness during the reign of Antichrist (v. 6)

The Parallel Events in the End Times

  • Michael fights Satan and throws him and his angels down during the end times. (vv. 7-9)
  • Satan pursues the woman only to have God supernaturally protect her in the wilderness for 1260 days (vv. 13-14)
  • Satan then turns his wrath on the Christians (v.. 17)

So a big question at this point is why would this prophecy in Revelation (arguably about the future) contain part of a vision that had already happened previous to John’s writing? (the birth of Jesus)

The answer to me is two-fold. First, the first century events describe why the dragon hates the woman. It shows that this battle has been an ongoing 2000 year old battle. Second, one or more of the heavenly signs in the first century may be repeated in the end times. This may be what we will be seeing in the skies shortly. We need to keep an open mind about this issue.

Timing of End Time Events

The end time events in this vision begin with Michael’s war in heaven with Satan. We know that after this war, the Woman flies into the wilderness for Time, Times, and Half a Time (1260 days), which is the length of time the Antichrist is given authority to wear down the saints (Dan. 7:25). From this fact we know that the latest that Satan and his angels can be thrown down is the midpoint of the 70th Week of Daniel. It may be earlier than that.

A possible second reference to this war is given in Daniel 12:

Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever . .  . How long will it be until the end of these wonders? I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. (Dan. 12:1-3, 6-7)

Notice the same time period is mentioned “Time, Time, and half a Time.” Michael is also mentioned.  What is he arising from in Dan. 12? In Dan. 10, we learn that he was restraining the Prince of Persia, a demonic figure. Might he rise from that task to lead the war against Satan and his angels? That is my thought, and the opinion of many other biblical teachers.

After Michael arises to fight the war we see that the Great Tribulation begins, a time of great distress that will never be equaled. Jesus quoted this verse when describing the great tribulation in Matt. 24.

Then after the great tribulation, will come the resurrection. And believe it or not the transformation into “resurrection” bodies is listed as well (“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven”).

So we know that the time of the shattering of the Holy people is 1260 days. But when does Michael and Satan’s war begin and when are Satan and his angel’s thrown down from heaven?

We know the latest this can happen is the midpoint of the 70th Week of Daniel – and this is the assumption of most biblical scholars. But frankly, we don’t know when the war begins, how long it lasts, or when Satan and his angels are permanently thrown out of heaven. It could be earlier than this point. The war could be raging right now.

Many believe Michael is the restrainer of 2 Thess. 2. (See this article). If that is true, then it is more likely that the war is short, and the timing of it is right around the time of the revealing of Antichrist which is the midpoint. However, we aren’t told explicitly.

Are the Sign of the Woman and the Dragon End Time Signs as Well?

This is the million dollar question. Are the signs of the Woman and the Dragon repeated in the end times and are they astronomical? We don’t know.  Only God knows.

However, we can speculate. In the next article we will do just that.


49 thoughts on “Rev. 12 and the Sept. 23 Sign”

  1. Nelson, you said: “You mention a “translated” phrase as if that makes it less credible. The fact that there are 500 OT references in Revelation and all of them are from the LXX should hit all of us like a 2-by-4. John was only using the Greek Old Testament as a reference when he wrote Revelation. And I’m glad he did. It permits word studies like this that open up the meaning of scripture.”

    You are missing the point. Just because a phrase is used in more than one narrative doesn’t mean the same rule should be applied every time you see it. Daniel was clearly speaking of Nebuchadnezzar’s current situation in the preamble. So your claim that ‘HA DEI GENESTHAI’ includes that part of the narrative is ridiculous. So it can’t be used as a rule to apply to Revelation’s interpretation in the way you claim.

    And where does it say “John was only using the Greek Old Testament as a reference when he wrote Revelation”. I understand it to be the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Certainly inspired by, possibly dictated by God. Definitely not something written by John with the LXX open on his desk.

    You didn’t make any reply to my challenge to your preference regarding the meaning of inferior kingdom. This is a very important issue, because too many bible teachers have, like yourself, misinterpreted Dan 2 citing historically incorrect claims as justification. And those reading more often than not, simply accept that you know what you’re talking about.

    So tell me, why you think the Medo- Persian empire was more divided that the Neo-Babylonian. And tell me why you think the Babylonian was longer lasting, contrary to history that records the Persian empire lasting around three times as many years.

    1. Actually Phil, the Bible interpretation method known as “Sense and Reference” (originally developed by Hillel the Elder BTW), indicates that references should always reflect their original meaning, unless the sense of the new text demands something different.
      In terms of the pre-eminence of the LXX in the NT (Jerome only felt that 5 verses in the entire NT were based on the MT), rather than spoon feed you, because I have done this before on this exact topic, I’ll let you examine the evidence for yourself.

      You asked why the Medo Persian empire was more divided than the Babylonia. Look at the name, it is even a divided name “Medo-Persian” the kings of the Medes and the Persians. The “kings” as is multiple. This is the same point made in Dan. 7 (which is directly parallel), where the Bear is raised up on one side.

  2. Nelson, your analysis of Matthew 24 and the Olivet Discourse is exactly on the money….many pre-tribbers will come around when they are still here by the end of the year, and your book will be a beacon in their night…..on the other hand, the fallout in the pre-trib community will be immense, and my prayer is that they will open their minds, and not take the other road…….I fear the inevitable mud slinging when the rapture does not occur by years end, which is a stretch, but in reality they believe it will be this week…..may the Lord open their eyes and mind!

    Shalom brother!

    1. Sam, If you think the fallout from this mistaken interpretation of Sept 23 will be bad, imagine the fallout when we all face the Antichrist. Church goers will look at their leaders and say, “if you were wrong about something as important as this, can I trust you about the divinity of Jesus?” It is an incredibly important and ignored point.

  3. Amen Georgia, we are to keep are thoughts on Him and heavenly things above and that is what this blog does and why I follow it. I do admire the patience of Nelson in these exchanges.

  4. …of course these questions that lead to questions are GOD’s calling cards, invitations, mysteries that are specific to searching HIM until we meet face-to-face…what a holy GOD we serve.

  5. In Job the conversation takes place in the 2nd heaven where all angels can reside. The meeting is called by God and Satan tags along. This is the area where he is constantly “accusing” as in Rev. No iniquity can enter the third heaven, where the throne of God is. The total purity of God would destroy anything sinful upon contact. This why God appears as a burning bush, He cannot contact the sinful earth. Whereas, he walked in the garden with Adam and Eve before the fall.

    1. I think Tom and Georgia’s point is that the location of the conversation is not given Ken. I have always assumed it was heaven, now that I look at the passage again, it doesn’t say that. Jesus is able to come to earth just as he did with Abraham and all the prophets. Notice Jer. 1:4 where we see “the word of God came saying” We know from John 1:1 that the Word is Jesus. Was this an appearance to Jeremiah? I think so. The Angel of the Lord passages are also Jesus on earth or a Theophany.

      However, with angels it isn’t necessary to meet with them on earth, so I still favor a heavenly meeting, but Georgia and Tom has shown it isn’t stated as such.

  6. Nelson, in regarding Georgia’s comment; in Job, God communicates with Satan and the angles. Would this be taking place in heaven or on earth? I always thought it was in heaven, but due to Georgia’s comment, I am not sure. When God asked Satan where he came from, he replied he was roaming the earth which would imply he was on the earth. Not sure where the conversation took place.

      1. I am in no way absolute in this but years back I heard a pastor suggest that Satan was a “fallen angel” which might lead me to believe that the conversation took place in heaven just before Satan was banished.

        1. Ezekiel tells us that Satan is a cherub (one of the cherubim), in fact, likely the cherubim whose wings cover the mercy seat.

          “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you.” (Ezek. 28:14-17)

          As you can see he was originally cast to the ground. However he still has access to heaven. In 2 Chron. 18:18-21 he is seen before God and called a “lying spirit.”

          1. God has infinite wisdom and patience. I pray to Holy Spirit that I too am blessed with a bit of that. Yet I know when I do get brought up into thr clouds, only then shall I be ‘perfected’.
            Reverend Robert Basile

            Thank you and bless you Nelson.

  7. The bible mentions 3 heavens: the sky and atmosphere surrounding earth, the stellar region which is the domain of the angels (sons of God), and the 3rd heaven where the Throne of God is located. Lucifer (Satan) became jealous when God made man in His own image and likeness. He chose to be the murderer from the beginning and the father of lies. taking eternal life from man through the lie. He and his angels are cast out of the 3rd Heaven but allowed to move about in the 2nd & 3rd. In Rev. God gives the order to Michael to stand up & attack Satan and cast him out of the 2nd heaven. In Job we see Satan accompanies the sons of God who are appearing before the Lord, he is allowed in the Stellar and Earthly. Ezekiel and Isaiah also mention the first cast Paul mentions the 3rd heaven. IMHO.

  8. Nelson, a thing that I spec on, HE sees the end from the beginning, in Gen. Lucifer had been cast down to earth and made appearance to man and began his assault. In Rev. Satan was cast out of Heaven to earth and began his assault…I’m beginning to see this as the same time, the wrap-around, I can’t go into all that that entails in this format, but I do know that
    nothing is of any private interpretation…if you would, please ask the SPIRIT to enlighten you on this and reply your insight to me…please.

  9. Phil, I know you are a brother in Christ, but please take this counsel as one brother to another….you come across as quite arrogant, and as a result, no hears what you say…….maybe you would be heard better if you seasoned your speech with salt….

    1. And you who points the finger should be aware of the three pointing back at you! As for nobody hearing what I say. I have sold quite a lot of books as a result of my debates with your presumed infallible leader here.

      1. Congratulations on your book sales brother, Phil! In the day of the Lord, you will abandon your silver and gold to the bats and moles in the caves of the rocks per Isaiah 2…..blessings brother Phil, you and I may be shaking hands before the 7th seal!

  10. Nelson, you said:

    “But for now suffice it to say that the context of Dan. 2 proves that the phrase ha dei genesthai means more than just future events. The very fact that Rev. 17:9 contains events that were historic to John’s day only confirms that.”

    Firstly Dan 2 does not use the phrase in its original language. You are quoting a translation. So your interpretive rules can’t be applied in the way you claim. And that translation can at most be claimed to point to a present and future meaning. It can’t as you claim, be speaking of something that happened in the past. Nor would it, because prophecy is of the future. Perhaps beginning in the present. But never looking backward.

    Secondly, and just as important is the fact that Dan 2 was a vision that spoke of ruling authority using Nebuchadnezzar’s absolute power above the law as the start point. It is dealing with the relationship between law and the lawgiver, and points to the man of lawlessness (bookends). So for that reason it can’t be used to create an interpretive rule for Revelation which Jesus says is him telling us what is going to happen in the future.

    Your claim regarding Rev 17:9 containing historic events highlights your interpretive weakness. You start with an assumption. Then look to scripture to back it up. Anything that stands in the way of your preconceived idea is put through a process designed to obscure the plain and normal meaning of the text.

    1. Phil, it is true that the LXX is not the original language HOWEVER it is THE language quoted by John in all of Revelation. His 500 OT references were all to the LXX, so the interpretation stands firm. If you had read Revelation Deciphered, of course, you would know this.

      Dan. 2 does not have anything to do with law or lawgivers. The Islamic Caliphate (the fourth Kingdom) blows your theory out of the water, but since you don’t see the proper kingdoms, you miss this.

      Your final point makes no sense whatsoever. Rev. 17:9 contains historic data so it also contradicts your assumption.

      1. Daniel 2 contains both a description of what Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream, and an interpretation. Daniel begins the interpretation with a short preamble that tells us what the message is about. And it is about kingly authority…

        “36.This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37.Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.”

        “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours.”

        Have you ever asked yourself ‘in what way was the Persian empire inferior to the Neo- Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar? It swallowed up his empire. How could it be inferior?

        The answer is because Persian kings had no authority to change laws made by their predecessors. They couldn’t even change laws they had made themselves (as demonstrated by the lions den example). Thus Persian kings were subject to the law. Unlike Nebuchadnezzar who was above it.

        And it is because the subject is completely different, that the words used can’t be applied in the way you would have us believe.

        If you want to understand these things you need to abandon this use of God’s word to propagate Islamic eschatology. Go back to following biblical facts to where they lead, rather than starting with a non-biblical Mahdi, and trying to force scripture to support your claims of him being the Antichrist.

        1. I don’t know what inferior means in this passage. Some believe it is because the Persian kingdom lasted a shorter time, some claim it is because of the degeneracy of the kings, some think it refers to their military blunders. It may also refer to the fact that Persia was a divided kingdom (Medes and Persians) as opposed to a united kingdom. [I think this last point is most likely because of the link to the Bear lifted up on one side from the parallel prophecy in Dan. 7]

          The metals become less valuable but harder as the kingdoms move from gold to silver to bronze to iron. The hardness of the metal may be more in view than value as the prominent factor brought up by Daniel is the crushing ability of the iron kingdom.

          Also only the silver kingdom is said to be inferior to Nebuchadnezzar’s.

          So although your theory is possible, it is not the only option and not the most likely.

          1. What you say is clearly contradicted by the preamble. But more importantly, the entire passage exposes your misuse of the phrase ‘HA DEI GENESTHAI’.

            And before you prefer any particular reason as to what inferior means, you would be best advised to at least take a look at the history of the Medo-Persian empire. With the exception of a brief spat around the time of Bardiya who died before becoming king, and an impostor by the name of Gaumata or Smirdis took his place, there were no more divisions than was common to any of the other kingdoms, including Babylon.

            Daniel was interpreting the king’s dream. He began by establishing what the dream was primarily about. And to do that he referred to Nebuchadnezzar’s authority at that time. The prophetic part of the interpretation only began with the statement “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours.”

            So your claim that Daniel’s use of the same ‘translated’ phrase justifies you interpreting Revelation’s use of it in the same way would cause Hillel the Elder to roll in his grave.

          2. What you say is clearly contradicted by the preamble. But more importantly, the entire passage exposes your misuse of the phrase ‘HA DEI GENESTHAI’.So your claim that Daniel’s use of the same ‘translated’ phrase justifies you interpreting Revelation’s use of it in the same way would cause Hillel the Elder to roll in his grave. – Phil Mayo

            Let’s look at that Phil. The Greek phrase “ha dei genesthai” is found in the first verse and the last verse of Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. These passages for a bookend for that section of scripture. John then uses this word-for-word phrase in the first verse of Revelation and one of the last verses (Rev. 22:6). This forms a bookend for the entire book of Revelation. In the Olivet Discourse in Luke, Jesus uses a related phrase (ha mellei genesthai) as the first and last phrase of that section of scripture. It’s another bookend. Then John uses both of these phrases as a bookend for the chapters about the 7 Churches. What, do you think, that this bookending is coincidence? Really? The odds are a billion to one that its an accident, or maybe a hundred billion to one.

            You mention a “translated” phrase as if that makes it less credible. The fact that there are 500 OT references in Revelation and all of them are from the LXX should hit all of us like a 2-by-4. John was only using the Greek Old Testament as a reference when he wrote Revelation. And I’m glad he did. It permits word studies like this that open up the meaning of scripture.

  11. My question to you is in regarding of this section:
    “Then after the great tribulation, will come the resurrection. And believe it or not the transformation into “resurrection” bodies is listed as well”

    The resurrection listed here could be the resurrection of all the bodies post wrath, pre 1000 year reign could it not?

    The people that were followers of the beast will all perish in the wrath of God as no one alive on the earth will be able to dodge the wrath of God (other than the remnant Yeshua will be protecting of course)

    Is it possible that they are resurrected for judgment?

    1. Joshua, This is truly an excellent set of questions. At the heart of it, is a more central question, “how many resurrections are there?” This is not well understood, even though the Bible is very clear. There are three resurrections, only three. We learn this in the great resurrection Chapter, 1 Cor. 15. Now this topic is explained in far greater detail in the book Rapture: Case Closed? which is now available on Amazon. I recommend you pick up a copy.

      But the short version is explained in this verse: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. ” (1 Cor. 15:22-26)

      Notice there is Jesus’s first fruits resurrection in the First Century, then a second resurrection at Jesus’s parousia (or coming) which is the resurrection/rapture event pictured in 1 Thess. 4:13-17. Then the end and no other resurrections until after Jesus’s millennial reign. Paul is clarifies this even further in 1 Cor. 15:

      “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1 Cor. 15:51-52)

      Paul is clear that we are all changed in one moment at the last trumpet. Some aren’t changed later, ALL are changed at the last trumpet. There is only one resurrection during the time of Christ’s return and then one after the Millennial Kingdom. This is consistent with Rev. 20:4-5 which terms one of them a First Resurrection and then the Second Resurrection. The First Resurrection contains only the righteous. The Second Resurrection contains righteous who die AFTER Jesus’s parousia of 1 Thess. 4:13-17, plus all the unrighteous of all the ages.

      This has incredible implications for the timing of the rapture, which I can see you are struggling with. Again pick up Rapture: Case Closed? as it is one of, if not the most comprehensive book on this topic looking at all the proofs of all the theories.

      1. Awesome information and I thank you for your time and reply, I will continue to study and pray God guides me in the right path.

        Thank you again and God bless you and may his Holy Spirit guide you as well.

  12. Whether or not Rev 12 will be fulfilled later this month we will soon see. The one thing I can say for certain is that it’s a prophecy that is future to John’s experience on the Isle of Patmos. This is proven by the words used in the following passages…

    Rev 1:1. “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must SOON TAKE PLACE.”

    Rev 4:1. “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must TAKE PLACE AFTER THIS”.

    So these statements tell us that Rev 12, whether we will see it as a literal sign in the stars or not, cannot be depicting the birth of Christ because He can’t be born future to the giving of “The Revelation From Jesus Christ”.

    1. I have answered this question for you before Phil. Obviously the answer did not sink in. We know that when Jesus said “I will show you what must take place after this” he did not mean that everything in Revelation after that point would exclusively be future. In Rev. 17:9-10, a clear reference to the past is made “the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come.” Some of Revelation’s events are placed in their historical context. Rev. 12:1-5 is another example.

      1. And that is precisely the kind of answer I would expect from you. One that prefers an interpretation which supports the foundation on which the Mid East beast is based, rather than one that the grammar demands.

        I told you before in the case of Daniel 2 not to gloss over the preamble. In this case It’s the words I quoted from Rev 1 & 4 that set the context in which everything else is to be understood. Not your preferred interpretation of what is said later.

        There is no clear reference to the past made in Rev 17:9-10. There can’t be because God doesn’t contradict himself even once, let alone twice over. So if you can’t come up with an answer that doesn’t contradict what Jesus clearly states, I suggest you look again.

        1. I’m sure every loyal reader of Revelation Deciphered is chuckling at your comment. Because these readers have read Chapter Four of that book that uncovers both the DUAL bookend quotes of Dan. 2:29 and 45 (HA DEI GENESTHAI) and the bookend quotes to the Olivet Discourse Luke 21:7 and 28 (HA MELLEI GENSTHAI). It then shows the application of these amazing bookend phrases in Revelation, not only in Rev. 4:1, but also in the bookends of Revelation Rev. 1:1 and Rev. 22:6 AND Rev. 1:19. Jesus also quotes the phrase in Matt. 24:6,
          and there are similar phrases in Mark 13:7, and Luke 21:9.

          Because Revelation Deciphered in the primary initial discovery and explanation of both Jesus’s and John’s use of these two related Greek phrases, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

          These readers are way ahead of you Phil, in understanding the use of these related phrases. Needless to say, they do not indicate that all of Revelation is yet future. But they do have profound implications on the meaning of the Letters to the Seven Churches and the overall meaning of Revelation. I won’t spoil it for you, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

          1. So once again you resort to your app rather than accept the translation made by men of God who have studied and understand the original language. I know who I would rather trust when the choice is between those men and one who bases his beliefs on a rejection of salvation by grace in favour of working his way through the Tribulation. And looks to Islamic eschatology for guidance.

            HA DEI GENESTHAI is a phrase that means simply ‘what must happen’ or ‘what will come to pass’.

            And that is precisely the way I read the passages I quoted. Not in any way to be construed by the reader as an indication that what follows is an history lesson, as you would have it. And which is in keeping with the very meaning of the word ‘prophecy’.

            I will quote from the statement of faith on my blog: “I believe the sixty-six books that make up the Old and New Testament Bible to be the word of God in its entirety. I believe it to be inerrant and infallible. I believe it should be interpreted in the same way as any other sane literature, in that if the plain and normal meaning of the text makes sense, I look for no other meaning”.

            You would do well to stop looking for ways to avoid the plain and normal meaning!

          2. Phil, I don’t disagree with the translation of the phrase ha dei genesthai at all. I disagree with your application both in context and as a reference.

            In context, it is obvious that it doesn’t mean everything after this phrase is future. We know that for a FACT because in Daniel 2, the very first empire, the head of Gold, is currently in existence at the time of the dream; it is not a future kingdom. So the phrase means something different than the plain sense of the words.

            Which brings us to the references. Beginning in 100 BC with Hillel the Elder and extending to our day today, Bible passages must be examined for what they say, the “sense” of the passage, and for what previous passages they quote or refer to mean, the “reference.” Revelation Deciphered devotes an entire section to a more expanded explanation of this essential biblical interpretation technique.

            So when we look at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we see that the first and last verse contains this phrase. We then notice that the entire Book of Revelation is bookended by the phrase, one should take notice. Then when one finds out the Olivet Discourse is bookended (first and last verse) by a related phrase, red light should be flashing in our brains. Then when we learn that the Letters to the Seven Churches are also bookended by the combination of these two phrases (Rev. 1:19, Rev. 4:1), we must consider that the phrase in Rev. 4:1 carries a meaning that is related to its “bookend” function that may be more, yes much more, than the common sense of the phrase.

            Revelation Deciphered is the seminal work on this application of the phrases ha dei genesthai and ha mellei genesthai in the prophetic literature. Chapter Four (Bookends) is devoted to that subject. If you wish to debate that subject further here, read the book. I’m not going to expound on what it took 576 pages to write in book form.

            But for now suffice it to say that the context of Dan. 2 proves that the phrase ha dei genesthai means more than just future events. The very fact that Rev. 17:9 contains events that were historic to John’s day only confirms that.

  13. Daniel 12:1 indicates that Michael doesn’t engage in battle until the great tribulation mid week. “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”
    Rev 12:6-9 agree with Daniel and verse 10 indicates that Satan is heaven still accusing (for 6,000 yrs) until Michael stands up..”And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God.…”

    1. I tend to agree with you Ken and so do almost all scholars. But the key words in Dan. 12:1 are “At that time.” what exactly does this refer to? Obviously something back in Dan. 11 and not the great tribulation pictured after this phrase. So if we carefully look at Dan. 11, the last reference to “time” prior to Dan. 12:1 is “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him.” (Dan. 11:40). Perhaps this is the reference? Or is all of Dan. 11 the reference? If I had to take a firm stand, I’d agree with your timing, however, it is somewhat unclear.

  14. Hi Nelson, thank you for this article. Interesting. I was wondering if you question some of your arguments you defended in your book “Revelation Deciphered” like for instance, that the Restrainer is Michael, and that the period of 1260 days begins a year before the mid-point?
    One more point that I notice. You mention : ” The Woman is the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, crowned with the 12 tribes (and Christians).” So the Woman includes Christians. And then further “•Satan pursues the woman only to have God supernaturally protect her in the wilderness for 1260 days (vv. 13-14)
    •Satan then turns his wrath on the Christians (v.. 17)” where you say that Woman does not include the Christians. I come back on our discussion about who Israel is (some articles ago), and in this kind of situation, the most logical way is to interpret that Israel do include Christians who are then adopted in the Kingdom of God, which is Israel.
    I am curious to read your 3rd post ! God bless you.

    1. Hi Dani-EL. Wow this is more than I can answer in a single comment. Let me address those that are in this article. As far as Michael being the restrainer, there is a reference to another blog post in the article. Check that out and ask relevant questions there. As far as the Woman including Christians – no I did not say that. Her crown is made up of the 12 tribes, and probably Christians as well as indicated in the article. I do not believe that Christians are included with the Woman in the supernatural protection that takes place for Time, Times, and Half a Time. Christians are specifically mentioned as separate from this group immediately after the mention of the Woman. This distinction between the Woman and Christians is very clear in Rev. 12. Why is it necessary to protect the Woman and not the Christians? Because Christians already have eternal life. If the Dragon kills them physically, they still live on spiritually and will be resurrected. If the unsaved Jewish remnant dies, God’s promises would be unfulfilled. This logic even further clarifies the distinction and the reason for it.

      BTW, pick up a copy of Rapture: Case Closed? as it uncovers a lot of new Hebraic based concepts, especially in Chapters 4 and 10.

      As you know I consider Christians as part of Spiritual Israel but not part of the 12 tribes.

      As far as the 1260 days, I am still meditating on this and do not have a complete understanding yet myself, but it is much more complex than traditional eschatology indicates. When I come to what I think is the right understanding of those days and how they compare with Time, Times and Half a Time and 42 months, I will post an article. But as of right now, I am still struggling to completely understand this topic.

  15. Nelson, when you mention the timing of the war in heaven and if it could be going on right now, could we associate that war with the birth pains that Jesus spoke of? Could a war in heaven such as that spoken of in Rev. 12 cause things to happen here (visible to us) on earth to be viewed as the birth pains. Jesus told us about them but not necessarily what might cause them. Just a speculation on my part.

      1. Greetings in Jesus the Christ Nelson,
        Consider my observations.
        Christians are being slaughtered in the middle east.
        Churches has ministers and leaders embracing perversions and ignoring the Gospels.
        Political and educational leaders embrace many hateful and sinful things in the name of PC while marginalizing Christians and Jews.
        My read on the Bible seems to say that at the RAPTURE, Christ shall call those who are in the earth ‘followed by’ those who are alive. These who are brought into the clouds with Christ are born anew. THEN when Christ returns, those who are the brides of Christ return as his army.
        Yet, no one knows when HE will return.
        A question Nelson. When we look at the heavens for signs, are we using Jerusalem or where Christ ascended to the Father?
        May your ministry be abundantly blessed.
        A brother in Jesus the
        Reverend Robert Basile

        1. Pastor Robert, My opinion of true, Jesus-inspried “signs in the heavens” would be a sign that all the world will see. Certainly not just the USA and not just Jerusalem (although that is the epicenter of the last days). When Jesus spoke of the sun and moon darkening and the stars falling at the sixth seal, this is something the whole world sees. If it is sign, Jesus would want the whole world to see it IMO

  16. Hey Nelson good article here brother because other researchers are depicting Sept 23 event to be the sign and some are saying it quite possibly be the Rapture. But I think I’m with you on this one especially with “Planet x” coming into the picture plus as christians we’re not being persecuted enough…Yet. Although I have been watching on youtube “Discover Ministries” with Pastor Steve Cioccolanti. Very very interesting sermons which could interest you. His research is quite good but I think that his understanding is that we are taken up during pretrib and those who did not choose suffered the great trib. Well I believe in the prewrath rapture because during tribulation we still have to witness to those who have yet to believe. Unless he just made a typo and got the wording wrong. Who knows but he is an intelligent pastor and well worth the watch on youtube. God Bless brother.

    1. Thanks for the comment Preston. I am not a very big fan of Cioccolanti personally, but as I state in the article, I try and keep and open mind about these things. And he is pre-trib. by the way.

      1. I thought he would be. I’ve seen a few more of his sermons. But I tell you what though he still does a good job of it.

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