Who is the Woman of Rev. 12?

Rev. 12 describes a woman clothed in the sun, the moon at her feet and with a crown of 12 stars. Who is this enigmatic figure; the woman of Rev. 12? What does this strange description mean?


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Another prophecy teacher requested I tackle this subject because of the great disagreement on the internet about this “woman.” Many believe she is Mary. Some believe she is Israel. Other’s believe she is the Bride of Christ.  All of Rev. 12 discusses this woman and her interaction with the Dragon. Scripture will not leave us without an answer, however. The search begins in the very first verses of Rev. 12.

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth . . . And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne(Rev. 12: 1-2, 5)

The woman appears as a “great sign” in heaven.  This tells us she is symbolic of other things, not a literal woman. Second it tells us the sign was in heaven. Now is this “heaven” the abode of God or is it the “heavens,” i.e.. the sky? The inclusion of the sun, moon, and stars should answer that. It is the literal night sky where this sign is found.  So we are to look for a sign in the night sky that is symbolic of other things. At the end of this article we will tackle what that literal sky sign was.

The First Clue

The passage in Rev. 12 provides us great insight into the identity of the woman. We see immediately that she gives birth to the Messiah who rules the nations with a rod of iron. This is obviously Jesus. The Church did not give birth to Jesus; rather Jesus started the church! This eliminates the Church from contention. Israel symbolically gave birth to the Messiah and Mary literally did, so they are both still possible.

The Second Clue

The second clue is the woman’s odd wardrobe of a sun, moon, and stars. These symbols are emblematic and found in Joseph’s dream about his family:

Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me (Joseph is the twelfth star). So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”  (Gen. 37:9-10)

Jacob interprets the dream for Joseph. The sun, moon, and stars are Jacob’s family. This clearly identifies the woman as Israel. She is not just the Jews because they are the tribe of Judah, only one tribe. She is all of Israel, all twelve tribes.

Some have tried to stretch the symbolism of the sun, moon, and stars to mean Mary, but none of these are biblically based. John uses direct Old Testament and New Testament references in Revelation to telegraph his meaning; it is a “Revelation key.” Mary is not the woman of Rev. 12. She fulfilled some of these roles in a prophetic way (giving birth to Jesus, fleeing to Egypt), but she is not the focus of this portion of scripture.

The Third Clue

Let’s continue to examine the passage for more clues:

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His 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.   She 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. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Rev. 12: 3-6)

This passage also clearly shows that the woman is not Mary. Notice her child is caught up (Gk: HARPAZO, meaning “caught up or raptured”) into heaven and then the woman flees into the wilderness. This cannot be Mary. Mary fled into Egypt long before Jesus was caught up into heaven.

The Woman Persecuted: the Fourth Clue

At the midpoint of the 70th Week of Daniel, we know that Michael stands up (Dan. 12:1) and fights a war with Satan and casts him out of heaven (Rev. 12: 7-12). It is then that Satan begins the most intense persecution in all of history  which we call the Great Tribulation (Dan. 12:1-2, Matt. 24:15 )

Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.  But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.  So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.  But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Rev. 12:13-16)

In this passage we see that Satan (through his earthly agents the Antichrist and the False Prophet) persecute the woman (Israel), but she is able to flee from the Dragon. Jesus instructs those in Judea to flee at this exact time:

Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matt. 24: 15-16)

This then begins the “Times of the Gentiles,” the “time, times, and half a time” (3 1/2 years) spoken of in the above passage in Revelation.  This is the fourth clue that the woman is not Mary. Mary doesn’t flee during the Great Tribulation period which “time, times, and half a time” is universally understood to represent.

Israel is able to flee with the help of two wings of a great eagle. Now there has been much speculation about these wings of the great eagle, whether they are an airplane, a symbol of the USA, etc. As with the symbolism of the sun, moon, and twelve stars, the Bible will explain the symbolism.

You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. (Exo. 19:4)

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isa. 40: 31)

The first reference in the bible to eagles’ wings (Law of Primacy) is found in the story of the Exodus. The flight of Israel in the last days is being compared to the flight of Israel in the Exodus. The very next few verses in the Revelation passage confirm this:

So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.  But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Rev. 12:13-16)

This is something like a reverse parting of the Red Sea! In the Exodus account, the water parted and then swallowed up the pursuing Egyptian army. In this Revelation account, the ground swallows up the pursuing flood (probably also an army). Did the Holy Spirit inspire John to call this army a flood? I believe so. By using this symbolism we see the Exodus similarity AND capture the reference to a flood in Isaiah’s prophecy of the Covenant with Death.

We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we are in agreement. The overflowing scourge (Heb. : combination of two words “rod” and “flood”) shall not come to us when it passes through, for we have made lies our refuge and under falsehood we have hid ourselves . . . then the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (Isa. 28:15,17)

This is so appropriate because it is at this moment in time, at the Abomination of Desolation, at the midpoint of the 70th Week that the Covenant with Death is broken.

Where is the Church?

If the woman is Israel, where is the Church in this passage?

Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and he went to wage war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:17)

Satan will be furious that Israel escapes his grasp. It is at that moment that he turns and vents his anger against the Church who he continues to persecute throughout the Great Tribulation.

Will some of the Church be divinely protected and hidden and nourished in the “woman’s place” (Rev. 12:5) just as Israel will be? I don’t know. I believe Rev. 12 is picturing a specific event at the outset of the Great Tribulation when Israel flees from the Antichrist armies into the wilderness. Will he also protect a remnant of the Church? We know that a remnant of Christians are eventually raptured, so I say “yes,” he divinely protects some of them as well.

There is a huge difference between the Israelites he protects and Christians, however. These Israelites do not yet believe in Christ. God must protect their physical lives until they are saved spiritually at the physical return of the Lord. Christians on the other hand may indeed be martyred, but they are already spiritually safe in Christ; they will be resurrected. God has another task for the Church during the Great Tribulation and it is hinted at in this final verse of Rev. 12: they have the testimony of Jesus! Carrying that testimony to the World during the persecutions is their task.

A Great Sign in Heaven: Yet another clue

At the beginning of the article, we discussed that a great sign in heaven appeared: a woman clothed in the sun, moon at her feet with a crown of twelve stars. We mentioned that it was a literal sign. What might this sign have been? In order to understand, we must first be aware of something known as the Mazzaroth. The Mazzaroth are the constellations of the zodiac. — I’m sure you’re saying to your self, “Nelson has gone off the deep end here” — but wait. You see the Mazzaroth are named in scripture (Job 38:32) and half of Psalm 19 talks about them; they are completely biblical.  Tim Warner has written a wonderful book about that Mazzaroth that I highly recommend. In that book, Pastor Warner explains that God has prophetically written his entire redemptive plan in pictures in the night sky. These pictures are what we call the signs of the zodiac. Modern astrologers have co-opted God’s cosmic message to us about his redemptive plan and made it something about evil astrology. But it was always about God and his plan. Let’s look at what Psalm 19 has to say:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun (Psalm 19: 1-4)

Now this is fascinating. I bet you have read this Psalm your whole life and never knew it was about the zodiac (Mazzaroth.) Let’s look at what it says.  David, the psalmist, says the sky  1.) declares the glory of God, 2.) shows his handiwork, 3.) utters speech, and 4.) reveals knowledge.  The first two items are fairly easy to understand; the sky shows off God’s creative handiwork in terms of stars, planets, and the sun.  But what about speech and knowledge? What kind of speech is it uttering? It says the sky does this every day and every night! Not just when God decides to send a miraculous sign, but daily. We will discuss this in a moment.

The psalmist then shows us where this takes place. He says “their line has gone out through all the earth.” It also says that “in them God has set a tabernacle for the sun.” The signs of the zodiac each in their turn “house” or “tabernacle” the sun during one month of the year. These signs form a continuous “line” throughout the night sky. David is telling us “knowledge” and “speech” is coming from the constellations of the zodiac.  What is this knowledge? Knowledge of the gospel, God’s redemptive plan. Paul tells us in Romans:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” (Rom. 10:17-18)

Paul directly quotes Psalm 19 about the zodiac as proof that all have heard the gospel!! Obviously Paul believed God’s redemptive plan was written into the stars, and in particular into the zodiac. He gives it as a reason that the unbelievers have no excuse, that they have “heard” the words written in the stars. And if Paul believed it, so likely did John who was a contemporary of Paul.

Here is a summary of Tim Warner’s interpretation of the Mazzaroth:

Zodiac (Mazzaroth) Constellation Aspect of God’s Redemptive Plan
Virgo Sarah gives birth to Isaac, the birth of the nation of Israel
Libra The Law is given to Moses
Scorpio The Hebrews wander in the desert among scorpions
Saggitarius Joshua conquers Canaan with his mighty bow
Capricorn Davidic Coveanant
Aquarius Babylonian Captivity
Pisces Return from captivity and Temple built
Aries Jesus, the lamb of God, is sacrificed for all
Taurus The disciples, like the bulls around the Holy Sea, carry the gospel to the world
Gemini Jew and Gentile united within the Body of Christ
Cancer The Antichrist arises and strikes the Body of Christ on its heal during The Great Tribulation
Leo Christ returns in great glory and establishes his Kingdom

The Hebrew civil year begins in September/October with Yom Teruah and the Mazzaroth begins with Virgo that coincides with these months. When Rev. 12:1 says a literal sign appeared in the sky of a woman, it refers to Virgo. This is the final clue, because Virgo is symbolic of the birth of the nation of Israel.

Virgo is found in the night sky during many evenings. In order for it to be a sign however, she must be clothed in the sun (it must be September/October), the moon must be at the feet of the constellation, and there must be twelve stars “crowning” Virgo’s head.

Virgo is normally “crowned” by the constellation of Leo which has nine stars. If three planets are also in Leo, this forms a “crown” of twelve total stars. This exact “sign” appeared in the sky on Yom Teruah, September 11, 3 BC.  The three planets were Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter; and the sign only existed for two hours after sunset until the moon set at 7:45pm Jerusalem time that night.

virgo

Some believe this sign marked the conception of Christ, some believe it was the birth of Christ. There is evidence for both points of view. If it was the conception of Christ, nine months later in June, 2 BC, the once-in-2000-year “sign” of a conjunction between Venus and Jupiter where the planets touched took place.

A Sign Yet Future?

I doubt we should be looking for this great sign to be repeated. Just as we saw the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus nearly repeated in June 15, 2015, God may send similar signs as warnings to us (a similar sign of Virgo being crowned with twelve stars is coming on September 23, 2017), but I don’t believe these signs will have significance in terms of timing of events. The sign in heaven in Rev. 12 is clearly about the birth of a “male child” who is obviously Christ. It is not about the Bride of Christ or other future events in my opinion. We must be careful to not superimpose our own theories onto what the Bible clearly says.

Summary

Understanding the woman of Rev. 12 is important. If we say she is Mary or the Church, we wrongly add or diminish the meaning of this Chapter of scripture trying to impose additional meaning onto the text. This is not meant to diminish Mary’s place as a great servant of God, she simply is not the sign in Rev. 12.

 

 

65 thoughts on “Who is the Woman of Rev. 12?”

    1. Thanks for the comment Daisy. Once we know the characters in the chapter (the woman, the son, and the dragon); the timing of the first 5 verses are pretty self-evident – Jesus’s birth and ministry in the first century. For the rest of the chapter, timing is quite an issue and worth thorough investigation.

  1. Rev 12 (and all other chapters) is about the revelation of Jesus Christ and not about His birth. Some can’t just accept the fact that the male child could be someone else. Otherwise the whole pre-wrath theory will fall like a house built on a sand. 😉

    1. Paul, thank you for commenting. There is another article on this site that answers your question quite definitively Check it out HERE. It clearly shows “a son, a male” (not “male child”) can be none other than the Lord Jesus.

      Although most of Revelation is prophecy future to John’s day, not all of it is. All of Rev. 1 is contemporaneous with John, Rev. 2 and 3 may have prophetic meanings but they also are contemporaneous with John’s day. Chapter 13 show the beast arising from the sea. Many take this to mean the rise of the Islamic Caliphate and that would be historic to our day.

      So why would Rev. 12 show the birth of Jesus who had already risen at that point. Two reasons: one, to identify who the woman is and two, to show why the dragon hates the woman. Rev. 12 is all about the woman after all, it is not primarily about the appearance of Jesus. Rather it is a vision to give clarity about Spiritual Israel.

  2. Excellent post. Have you looked at overlaying the seven “Feasts of the Lord” and their timing for this year (2017)? The 23rd of September this year also “happens” to be God’s biblical “Feast of Trumpets”. This Revelation 12 passage appears to take place this year. It is a sign that happens only every 2000 years! Exciting stuff. I believe that God is clearly “trumpeting” things to those who are listening/watching.
    God bless.

  3. No, I get the point entirely. You depart from the normal meaning of what is said. Do a backflip in time to make the harpazo described here the ascension of the physical Jesus.

    You said “Jesus’s spiritual mother was physical Israel as she is the spiritual mother of all of us.”

    Don’t you see the contradiction in your statement? Jesus’ spiritual mother can’t be PHYSICAL Israel. And PHYSICAL Israel can’t be a spiritual mother of us all. Jesus was not born into spiritual slavery. Go back and read Gal 4:21-31 again. You obviously misunderstood it.

    1. Phil, harpazo IS the Old Testament word used to prophesy the ascension (Hosea 5:14-15 LXX). Period; you are making Svigel’s error by not recognizing this LXX passage. Second, the birth in Rev. 12:5 is a near direct quote of Isa. 26:17-18 LXX. (John exclusively quotes from the LXX in Revelation.) These points are brought up in the article. It is clear that Spiritual Israel brings froth the Messiah in Isa. 26. If you read on in Isa. 27:1, the dragon (Leviathan) is mentioned. It is abundantly clear this is the passage John is referring to and it is clear that Israel gives birth to the Messiah.

      No one is talking about physical Israel.

  4. Nelson. I have quoted two passages from your article above that are in direct contradiction to each other.

    # 1. “The Third Clue

    Let’s continue to examine the passage for more clues:

    And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His 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. She 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. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Rev. 12: 3-6)

    This passage also clearly shows that the woman is not Mary. Notice her child is caught up (Gk: HARPAZO, meaning “caught up or raptured”) into heaven and then the woman flees into the wilderness. This cannot be Mary. Mary fled into Egypt long before Jesus was caught up into heaven.”

    # 2. “Where is the Church?

    If the woman is Israel, where is the Church in this passage?

    Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and he went to wage war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:17)

    Satan will be furious that Israel escapes his grasp. It is at that moment that he turns and vents his anger against the Church who he continues to persecute throughout the Great Tribulation.” (end quotes)

    So #1. You say the child is raptured. And that the woman isn’t Mary. So you can’t be saying the child is the physical Jesus either. You don’t say so, but logic dictates that you must be thinking the child depicts the Church.

    But #2 You say Satan then vents his anger against the Church.

    How can Satan do that if the Church has been raptured. And how does the fact that this rapture takes place at least 1260 days, or a time, times and half a time before time’s up; fit in with your pre-wrath timing?

    1. Phil, you totally miss the point. Jesus’s spiritual mother was physical Israel as she is the spiritual mother of all of us. Read Gal. 4:21-31. The fact that “the woman” of Rev. 12 isn’t Mary in no way negatives that the child isn’t Jesus. The references to “the son, a male” in Psalm 2, Luke 2, and Isa. 27 all point to the Jesus. The church is not raptured until after the Great Tribulation as per Matt. 24:29-31. The harpazo in Rev. 12:5 is the ascension of Jesus which is given as a harpazo in Hosea 5:14-15 LXX.

  5. What about the book of Enoch? I’m sorry I’m knew at scripture and read Jude quoted him and researched and found the book. Not sure honestly what to make of it. Thoughts please?

    1. Shannon, Enoch is not a book that was accepted in the canon of scripture. The portion that was quoted by Jude is canon because its quoted, but the rest is not. Just like the book of Jubilees its popular but I put no stock in it.

      1. If I’m not mistaken their were fragile pieces of the Book of Enoch that was apart of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

        In Jude 6, “the angels which left their own habitation” compares with 1 Enoch 12:4, “the Watchers . . . who have left the high heaven.” Jude 14 directly quotes Enoch, 1:9. The “tree of life” is found in Rev 2:7 and Enoch 25:4-6.

        1 John 1:7, “walk in the light” with Enoch 92:4, “walk in eternal light.”

        1 John 2:8, “the darkness is past,” with Enoch 58:5, “the darkness is past.”

        Rev 3:5, “clothed in white raiment” with Enoch 40:31, “clothed in white.”

        Rev 4:6, “round about the throne were four living creatures,” with Enoch “and on the four sides of the Lord of Spirits I saw four presences.”

        Rom 8:38, “angels . . .principalities . . . and powers,” with Enoch 61:10, “angels of power . . . angels of principalities.”

        Rom 10:13, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved,” with Enoch 48:7, “in his name they are saved.”

        Eph 1:9, “according to his good pleasure (KJV),” with Enoch 49:4, “according to his good pleasure.”

        Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. with Enoch 5:7 {6:9} “The elect shall possess light, joy and peace, and they shall inherit the earth.”

        John 5:22 the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son. with Enoch 69:27 “the principal part of the judgment was assigned to him, the Son of man.”

        Luke 6:24 “Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. with Enoch 94:8 Woe to you who are rich, for in your riches have you trusted; but from your riches you shall be removed.

        and etc…

  6. Yes,I agree that like with Joseph or Noah,the prudent foresee the evil and prepare themselves. I have been preparing in every way before Y2K for a number of reasons. One, not to be a burden to other saints,to be responsible to my own family and it is simply wisdom if one believe such times are coming upon the earth.I am surrounded by believers who are “just trusting the Lord”
    . My comment was for those who trust in their preparation. I choose to so prepare but wouldn’t be surprised if I had to leave all my goods behind at a moments notice or He had other plans for me like being locked up or death. Just saying, prepare but don’t trust in our preparation.
    I appreciate how you answer the people’s questions. I need balance and have little true fellowship in these matters. I see the 7 churches as historical (meaning these 7 churches existed in Asia but are no more) and as the church throughout time since Pentecost until He judges the Church (Ephesus being the early Church and perhaps the last three being in our day). But also as the condition of a local assembly in our day in any given place ( Smyrna is likely the experiences in Muslim nations and we in the US like Laodicia.)
    To be honest I lean that there is a reason the Church is not mentioned after chapter 3. There are plenty of saints around but the Testimony has been lost. The Testimony has lost it’s distinctive Divine character. The essence of the Testimony has been lost. There are those who have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision but they will be very lonely but vindicated in the end if they continue in what they see. It may be I’m just in the US and part of the Laodicia matrix and see everything from my experience.But I see it as the apostasy ( not from not reading our Bibles or going to”church” but an apostasy from Christ and all that means).

    But I would like to know what you are talking about when you mention Philidelphia. Are there links to read about your view?

    Very good point about Israel being the woman when it comes to the 1260 days. But my point can still be correct if the woman is the source of all those who come to know the Lord whether Jew or Gentile. Consider many old testament saints are believers (Hebrews 11) and there will be Jews who yet come to see after the believers are raptured before He pours out His wrath.
    It is easy to be misunderstood so I should mentioned that besides the overcomers reigning with Him in the 1000 years, I see there are Jews as separate on the earth at that time also.
    I did mention the remnant will suffer and many killed but I did not mean there would be some of the Lord’s people who are exempt from the worse coming upon them. Still, as always the Lord is Faithful to provide,protect and work all things together for His good purpose. Understand that the saints who perished in the wilderness were for our examples and only a few,very,very few came through. Still all things worked together for good for HIS good purpose.

    I would the Lord’s people be prepared to suffer and even be die for His name sake.I see the saints in the Us set up for great disillusionment especially those who think they will be raptured before the” tribulation”.

    1. My new unpublished book “Revelation Deciphered” discusses the Letters to the 7 Churches in great detail. Chapter Twelve of that book is nearly 100 pages long. After one reads the book, I don’t think it leaves room to view the Chruches any other way. The book is being “vetted” by numerous prophecy teachers right now. After the vetting and any needed revising it will go to the publisher. I am imagining a summer 2016 release date.

  7. Revelation 12:6 has a time lapse just as we see also in Isaiah 61:2 and Acts 2:19.
    At Revelation 12:6 begins tha abomination of desolation and final 3 1/2 years. The devil and his angels are all cast to earth. Now it is his hour and he goes forth in a great rage. There will be trouble as never known upon the earth.
    The woman speaks of the mother that brings forth the seed of Christ. This includes saints from the beginning to end of time. She flees into the wilderness which she wouldn’t naturally do but it is persecution that has driven her there. This is the time the Jews and likely many Christians are told to flee. At that time the Lord reveals where to go and has His provision, a table in the wilderness prepared ( so much for our attempts to prepare).
    Really the only true way of escape is to dwell in the heavenlies (verse 12,”and you who dwell in them).Consider Psalm 91. We look away and unto Jesus seeing Him who is invisible and so endure. It is the vision of Habbakuk who sees the things coming upon the earth but is at rest (Habbakuk 3:16) because God has given him a vision of His coming and things to come.
    Two wings of a great eagle speaks of Duet. 32:11-12. He presrrves His people in the wilderness ( yes, many die in the battle but He has won the war and His purpose continues).
    River us the sudden snare that comes upon the whole earth but there is an escape ( Luke 21:35-36,Rev. 3:10). Here the call of the Bridegroom is heard and the 10 go out to meet Him. (What a comfort is His return in darkest of time). The wilderness is God’s way to prepare His people.
    Remnant of her seed : This is the seed of Christ, but in the intended sense. It is those who follow the Lamb where so ever He goes. Notice they are not with the woman who just saw great deliverance. The remnant is on display as martyers,witness of the Testimony ( Rev. 12:11,19:10). They are given words and wisdom the enemy can not resist.
    They are appointed unto death ( 1st Corinthians 4:9) as sheep to the slaughter of whom the world is not worthy but they have been made worthy because of the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and lived not their lives unto the death.

    1. Thanks for your comment Alan. There is a great deal I agree with in your comment and some I don’t. Of greatest concern to me is your statement “so much for our attempts to prepare.” I agree that during the flight of the righteous there will be NO preparation as it will be God who nourishes. Jesus warns in Matt. 24:15-18 specifically against grabbing provisions at this time. However. that is not the only time provision will be needed! Prior to the midpoint of the 70th Week (prior to the flight of the righteous), Jesus specifically states there will be famines. It is my strong opinion that during these famines (most likely in the third year of the 70th Week), the Mark of the Beast will begin to be established. Prepared Christians will be able to help their weaker brothers and sisters overcome the temptation to take the Mark with a little food. If you haven’t read THIS POST please consider doing so, it will fill you in. Also preparation involves emotional and spiritual preparation as well as physical. To say churches don’t need to prepare for the most challenging trial in the history of mankind is a bit dangerous, don’t you think?

      In terms of things I agree with, Rev. 12:6 is the midpoint of the 70th Week, Psalm 91 is definitely a reference to this flight of the righteous. I discuss this at great length in my book. Deut. 32: 11-12 is a second reference to the wings of the eagle (Exod. 19:4 being primary). Both speak of Israel’s flight from Egypt into the wilderness as symbolic of the Woman’s flight here.

      I think you miss the bull’s eye of who the Woman is by ignoring all the points made in the article. I also think you miss the point of Rev. 3:10. The Letter to the Church of Philadelphia is a reference to the sixth year of the 70th Week and to the Church that is soon to be raptured. Notice the allusions to the Key of David (that grants access to the KING), to the opening the door none can shut, and to being a pillar in the Temple of God all speak to the coming Rapture of the Church. Nearly all Christians have missed the prophetic message in the 7 Letters.

      I guess the sum of these areas where we disagree is to what extent will the Church be protected in the “secret place” during the 70th Week. IMO a certain, small remnant group will be protected in this way. They are the Church of Philadelphia. However, I see the Woman primarily representing Israel. The very fact that she is nourished 1260 days should tell us that. The Church is raptured after 2 1/2 years and doesn’t need 1260 days of nourishment.

      I also think its dangerous to assume that we or our families will be among this group that is protected and shielded. As I stated in the article, God must physically protect Israel until they repent and are saved. Rather, the vast majority of Christians require no physical protection as they are already “saved” and “in Christ” and they will testify to the Word of God and their faith and face captivity or sword. (Rev. 13:10) Preparation to be the Church of Thyatira or the Church of Sardis and face these times is necessary. Only God knows who he will protect in the “secret place” and for what purpose.

  8. In the prophecies of Balaam, he spoke of a star from out of Jacob, which is probably what the “Star of Bethlehem” fulfilled in pointing to the newborn Messiah and Lord. (Num 24:17)

  9. Nelson thank you very interesting twist,the wise men used the stars to determine the Saviours birth.But I have my doubts many today would connect the cosmos with zodiac,and by this see their need for Saviour?

    1. The magi could have had knowledge of the Abrahamic covenant. Also, the “star” of Bethlehem could very well have been an angel. Below are excerpts from the study “The Nativity: The Gospel Record of Jesus Christ’s Birth” (1989), by Montague “Monty” S. Mills. He lives in Dallas, TX (he is originally from South Africa, an accountant by profession). It is a fascinating study which I pull out and read every December. Nelson, I certainly welcome your comments on what Mills says as well. I apologize in advance for the length!

      “The New Testament uses two Greek words for star, ‘astron’ and ‘asteer.’ Wherever ‘astron’ is used (Luke 21:25, Acts 7:43, 27:20; Heb. 11:12) it plainly means a celestial body, but this is not the case for ‘asteer’ which clearly denotes an angel in Rev. 1:20. Notably, this understanding of a spiritual being usually makes the better sense whenever ‘aster is used (Matt. 24:29; Mk 13:25; 1 Cor. 15:41; Jude 13; Rev. 1:16, 20, 2:1, 28, 3:1, 6:13, 8:10, 11, 12; 9:1; 12:1,4; 22:16). Now, this list is exhaustive except for Matt. 2:2,7,9,10; so, on that reasoning, the ‘star’ which the wise men saw was a spiritual being, an angel, if you like. That explains how a ‘star’ could stand so precisely over Jesus’ home that it directed the wise men to this particular house. The popular theories suggesting this ‘star’ was a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter or Mercury, etc., all falter on this point, for they cannot explain how this celestial phenomenon identified a particular house in Bethlehem, for, dependent on the viewer’s position, it would have appeared to be over every house in the city, just as the rising moon can be positioned over every house in your block, or city, if you will only move to the correct viewpoint!”

      On the magi’s background and and where they came from, Mills writes:

      “The Bible neither tells us how many wise men there were nor exactly where they came from. Firstly, it is useful to know that the Greek word translated ‘wise men’ is ‘magi’, and that this term originated in the lower Mesopotamian basin. Originally a Median tribe, the Magi were a hereditary priesthood, often possessing great political power and functioning as king-makers in the Median, Babylonian, Persian and Parthian empires. they first appeared in the seventh century BC and had a strong tradition favoring the exercise of sacerdotal and occult powers; furthermore, prophetic powers were ascribed to this hereditary priesthood. They were monotheistic, believing in one beneficent Creator who was opposed by a malevolent evil spirit. The principle element of their worship seems to have been fire.[1] Pliny writes of Magi in Chaldea, Egypt, Armenia, Ethiopia, and Gaul: of these only Chaldea lies to the east of Palestine, so this is the only attested area which fits the biblical narrative.[2]

      “Daniel uses the same word, ‘magi’ for the kings’ advisors (1:20, 2:2,10,27, 4:4, 5:7,11,15), and this seems to confirm the conclusion suggested above. So, the magi were not Eastern kings, but did come from the lower Mesopotamian basin. How did they know what the star meant? Again, we cannot say for there is no Old Testament prophecy about such a star, yet something led Abram to Palestine from the same region. Could it be that traditions about him endured for twenty-one centuries, and that these magi knew about the Abrahamic covenant? If so, when they saw an angelic presence, did they put two and two together and follow the same twelve hundred mile route Abram had used twenty-one centuries previously? Maybe, but we cannot be sure.”

      [1] Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, “magi,” IV:31-34
      [2] Wycliffe Historical Geography of Bible Lands, p.277

      1. Mr. Mills is correct that several of the ASTEIOS words are angels. It is the word from which we get asteroid. Is it possible the Star of Bethlehem was angelic? Of course. The “great sign in heaven” reference in Rev. 12 however, makes me think not.

        As far as how the Magi knew to travel 800 miles to see a king based on a star, my thinking is Daniel had additional non-biblical writings predicting a specific event. Daniel was made chief of the Magi, so it is possible that he prophesied the specific “star” they were to look for.

        All of what I write on the Star and what Mr. Mills writes are suppositions. Just guesses. Only God and the angels know.

  10. I didn’t know about Tim Warner and his book on the stars. Have you heard of Bullinger who wrote the witness of the stars back in 1893 I think. Same thought that God has a witness in the stars that details His plan of redemption.
    Some saints like C.H. Lang and Pember mentioned an aspect of astrology that was pure,and with a purpose before the art of knowing its meaning became lost.
    I just read your article. Sort of skimmed through it at first and yes, the woman is most likely Israel. We were grafted into her anyway.
    Still God choose a woman to bring forth His seed as He also choose Israel to bring forth the Messiah. The woman was created for the man!
    I love this subject and need someone to fellowship with me about it to smooth the many rough edges. Glad you and others are talking about it. May the Lord open it up all the more.

  11. Whoops, yes I do not see the woman as the Bride of Christ neither. Not sure what to make of her except the Lord did use a woman to bring forth the Messianic line from Eve and again Mary. But I do not think either is the woman in Rev. 12. Only that God used woman.

  12. Yes,I did not explain things well. I believe the Manchild is the Lord Jesus without doubt. I do believe His being on the Throne has secured the promise of His Bride.
    I also should be clear to say not all the saints make up the Bride but those who follow Him until the end in the way He chooses to lead.Such a path will lead to to such a working of the cross to prepare her to be made ready.
    This passage in Rev. 12 has so much encouragement for the time it speaks of. I can’t say I see it all at this time but I do see a wonderful truth that the Lord has declared the end from the Beginning and this matter of the Lord’s seed has been a primary source of attack from the enemy even from the ancient prophecy in Genesis 3:15.
    Some believe Lucifer was cast to the earth before and made the earth void and without form. Well he is being cast to the earth again and he has a short time to destroy. This is when they flee to the mountains and is the time of Jacob’s trouble.
    I like to add Rev. 11:18 to this,it says the nations have been full of wrath and thy wrath is come… But the Lord will ” destroy those that destroy the earth”
    A side note that is related but have you ever seen such a leader out to destroy the U.S. ,Israel and overturn the world like the the one we elected twice in office. Not that he is the anti-Christ ( he isn’t too bright) but this is the spirit of the age we live in.
    I watched Lord of the Rings and thought how those hobbits should of died a thousand times. But that is how it is for those who do the will of God. They are invinceable. They may be given to endure to the end or be counted worthy to die at the hand of Islam but to see this truth,to spiritually see it causes one to fear not.
    Finally, I see the section between the Manchild being taken up and the next scene as we see such a time division in Isaiah 61:2 or Acts 2:17-21.

  13. Astrologers were powerless in interpreting in the Babylonian royal court in interpreting God’s dream and vision to King Nebuchadnezzar. It is linked to magic and divination in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Even the prophet Isaiah condemned the practice. What failed in the past can not succeed and be used to interpret or solve the mystery of the woman in Rev.12 What failed in the past in 580-575 BC can not be used to solve the mystery of the identity of the woman in the first century AD and today. You can’t combine God’s word and astrology to solve mystery of woman in Rev.12.

    Don’t ignore the interpretations of the Holy Spirit and trust astrology. Only the wisdom and power of God is sufficient in solving the mystery of Rev.12. The undoing of article is use of astrology; the entire thesis that woman is Israel fails the test; and the rest must be included in the mystery; namely Mary and the church

    1. Stevens, thanks for your comments. I suggest you read the article again. You missed a few things. There are four proofs which do not involve the stars that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Woman of Rev. 12 is not Mary. The proofs it is not Mary have nothing to do with stars. Check it out.

      Number Two: astrology is evil, there is no way I would endorse it. Be aware however, that God uses signs in the stars. He told us this in Gen. 1 and Luke 21. The sign I refer to is the Star of Bethlehem and what it might have been. I do not attest to know that for certain, but give me a break, just mentioning stars (especially the Zodiac constellations) does not mean one ascribes to astrology. Astrology says the stars determine our fate. I do not believe that for an instant. God is in control of all things. God created the stars. He created the Zodiac (Mazzaroth) constellations. Psalm 19 says they declare the Glory of God. That certainly isn’t astrology my friend. God created them, named them and used them for his glory. Be careful if you accuse a brother of something he is not guilty of.

      1. John, in the vision revealed by Jesus Christ, never gave the identity of the woman; biblical scholars try to do so.

        None of them can speak with certainty. At best it is conjecture. Each side tries to quote and pull strings to suit its school of thought.

        The early Christians thought differently since Revelation uses a lot of numbers and symbolism which only those of first century were capable of understanding.

        Protestants will always argue that the woman was not Mary, but Catholics will look at it that Mary is included in John’s vision, the church and Israel. The Catholic position is all inclusive, the Protestant position only narrows their view to Israel. The Protestant position is understandable in the sense that having left the Church they once belonged to and in bad taste following the excommunications or curses of the 16th century, they would never accept any Catholic position or view regarding Mary.

        I posited in a recent post on another website regarding this issue of the woman in Rev.12 and forever uphold the same position and hence will not repeat the same points to avoid monotony.

        Time and God will reveal the truth; no one, except God, has the monopoly of truth in matters of prophecy. One thing must be clear to both the Catholics and Protestants of this era. None of them really know the identity of the woman; they never saw the vision John did.

        They can only speculate and interpret from John’s vision. Otherwise, none of them really knows who the woman was and the identity of the woman John saw will be revealed when they die and meet God and the saints in heaven. The assumption is if any gets to heaven.

        There they may be shocked to see the woman as a person and one of the saints; not people or a nation in terms of physical boundaries; they will also see the real child that crushed the dragon, not the symbolism that is given meaning by the interpretations. The Jews as a people or Israel as a nation had people who were believers in God and even atheists, and idol worshipers among them. That must also be considered when narrowing the view to Israel.

        An article as lengthy as the one written about the woman in Rev.12 can never be considered accurate due to opening the floodgates of delusions by its principle of elimination it uses on Mary, the mother of Jesus. It also eliminates the Church because it knows accepting that woman is the Church, it gives Mary the chance of being included in it as she was the first Christian for believing in the angel Gabriel during the Annunciation in Luke 1: a thing those opposed to her role in salvation of mankind don’t want to hear. Mary as the mother of all Christians in Church, the writers of the article see the danger of accepting the woman as the Church, since that would still include Mary whom they don’t wish to be included in their analysis and conclusion.

        Astrology, necromancy, numerology, witchcraft, etc were among the forbidden arts that the Israelites were instructed by Moses in the Torah, especially in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy where they are shown as idolatrous practices. The Israelites were warned in these books never to consult mediums and fortune tellers as these were forms of idolatry and practices of the people of the surrounding areas where they were to settle.

        Yet the writer of the article uses astrology to strengthen the view that Israel as a nation was the point of departure of Rev.12 and not Mary. This makes the writer’s motives suspect. Astrology as an art of consulting the heavenly bodies to predict the future was condemned in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy as a form of idolatry. I became suspicious when the signs of the zodiac were being applied in connection with final apocalypse of end times; yet the Bible warns clearly no one knows the day or hour, neither the angels nor the Son, only the Father knows.

        So Israel is your safest bet. But even so, that does not rule out Mary as they would wish because Mary was a Jew and an Israelite who is still part of the Jewish nation. Things could have worked out well if Mary was never a Jew and their principle of elimination and bias would have materialized.

        But whichever way those opposed to Mary as the woman in Rev.12 would want it to appear, Mary’s name will continue ringing in the minds of all those who wish to be a truly associated with Jesus because she is the woman who gave birth to the child (Jesus) that defeated the devil who is symbolized in Rev.12 as the dragon.

        1. Stevens, Thank you for clarifying to some extent your comments. I think I now understand where you are coming from; a great deal of defensiveness about Mary is inherent in your words based on your demoninational background. Again, I highly recommend you re-read the article looking at it with less defensive eyes. Here is my summary statement you may have missed:

          “Understanding the woman of Rev. 12 is important. If we say she is Mary or the Church, we wrongly add or diminish to the meaning of this Chapter of scripture trying to impose additional meaning onto the text. This is not meant to diminish Mary’s place as a great servant of God, she simply is not the sign in Rev. 12.”

          First, Mary was a great servant of God. She was faithful in a way that led to lifetime of shame, embarassment, and difficulty for her personally. She chose the hard way in order to be faithful. She is a great hero of the faith. It is obvious that she was the human servant of God who gave birth to Messiah. No one can take that away from her. She also raised and protected our Lord in his youth. That is the extent of her involvement in salvation however. Be very careful to attribute more to her than she is due. Salvation is by Christ alone through faith alone so that no man may boast. No human participated in the salavation of men.

          Returning to Rev. 12, Mary obviously physically delivered the Messiah. In this way she is included in Rev. 12 in a small way. The Church did not give birth to Messiah so it isn’t included at all until verse 17. If your denomination says it is, they may be adding to scripture. (I don’t know their teaching). I highly recommend you listen to the clear teaching of the Word of God not the traditions of men (the teaching of the leaders of your denomination). Mark 7:8 says, “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” Please be careful of this. Read and interpret what the Word truly says for yourself, do not trust only what men say. The Word is very clear on this, as the article proves, the woman is Israel, Mary is the human who gave birth to Jesus, but it will be Israel that Satan will pursue in the 70th Week of Daniel. To diminish this or ignore it, is to miss the point of this entire section of prophecy.

          A far less important point is the astronomy (not astrology, please) aspect of this post. The “great sign in heaven” that accompanied Messiah’s birth was the star of Bethlehem. I personally find it interesting that scripture details this sign in such a specific way. My opinion about this sign is supposition as I mention in the article. But it is interesting to consider these matters. This sign was God’s doing it is not astrology. Do not call the handiwork of God astrology.

          1. In matters of biblical interpretation, it is wise to look at things from a wider perspective, rather than maintain a narrow outlook on things.

            I forever maintain that John in the apocalypse by Jesus never gave the identity of the woman who gave birth to the child and was pursued by the dragon or Satan in Revelation 12. Since he never gave the identity, we must be very careful and adopt a broader outlook than maintain a narrow outlook as if we definitely knew the answer.

            In Rev.12:1-8, in order to illustrate what takes place on earth John, the author, creates a symbolic account to exemplify the struggle between good and evil caused by the presence of the devil on earth. He points out to the possibility of the victory of the good which depends on the “blood of the Lamb.”

            In verse 1, the woman looks like a glorious “Queen of Heaven,” in verse 2 like an ordinary woman in anguish at birth-giving. The latter is a reminder of Eve (Gen.3:15) and of Israel giving birth to the Messiah ‘like a woman in travail’ (Mi.4:10; Is.66:7-8, Jer.22:23; 30:6; Hos.13:13). Here the woman represents the Church. The people of the New Testament perform the role of the new brothers and sisters in Christ. The Christian community is called to give birth to Christ–thus making its contribution to the growth of Christianity (Eph.4:13)

            The huge red dragon in Rev.12:3 is a sea serpent, also called the Leviathan (Job 3:8; 41:1; Ps.74:14; 104:26; Is.27:1), fiery and water spitting, a mythic symbol of chaos. Septuagint uses ‘dragon’ twelve times for Heb. “Tannin” (sea serpent) and five times for “Leviathan”. It was believed to be a monster with seven heads (Ps.74:13-14). For John it is the devil and the ancient serpent of Gen.3 trying to wipe out the Messiah and his followers.

            “Ten horns” is a symbol taken from the description a ferocious beast in Dan.7:7. The beast from the sea will also have seven heads and ten horns (Rev.13:1; 17:3.7.12.16). “Horn” is a symbol of strength (1 Sm.2:1; Ps.18:3; 75:5;89:18;112:9; Lk 1:69). This beast with its frightening force is at work against Christians. The dragon has demonic power, it is hostile to Christ and materializes in political, social and economic structures of history.

            Rev. 12:5 mentions the male child ruling with an iron rod: possession of this symbol identifies the child as the Messiah (Ps.2:9). The woman who is his mother represents the People of God who bring him forth. The imagery also suggests Mary, the mother of the Messiah, the woman who, in the Johannine tradition, also represents the People of God (John 2:3-4;19:26).

            The woman fled into the desert in Rev.12:6; a flight which is narrated twice. In the historical experience of Israel, the desert is a place of refuge and protection for the persecuted (1 Kgs.17:1-6;19:4-16;Ps.55:7-8) and also where the Hebrews went when they fled Egypt; they lived under the protection of God (Hos.2:16-17). This woman in the desert represents an aspect of the church’s life in the world: though still in the world and exposed to the hostilities she has not to worry: God looks after her as he did with the Hebrews in the desert, feeding them with manna and water from the rock. She is destined to become the Lamb’s bride. The opposite of this woman is the harlot of Babylon (Rev.17). The twelve hundred and sixty days mentioned equal to 42 months (Rev.11:2;13:5).

            The serpent in Rev.12:9 is Satan, the adversary of people and accuser in a court of law (Jb.1:6-12; 2:1-7; 1 Chr.21; Zec.3:2) . The devil who deceived is doing the same activity of deceiving people attributed to the second beast (Rev.13:14;19:20) and to Babylon (Rev.18:23). People are tempted to build a system of life which differs from the one meant by God and where there is no place for God.

            Rev.12:11 talks of a testimony as contrasted to Jn.12:25. Witness by Christians often brings about physical death, caused by evil systems contrary to Christ. Death is a way of witnessing, and all Christians are potentially martyrs.

            Rev.12:14 talks of two wings of the great eagle which is a reminder of this protected stay (Ex.19:4;Dt.32:12; Is.40:31). The woman will be cared for, and her sojourn in the desert will be brief; three and a half years (Rev.11:2-3)

            Rev.12:17 indicates the devil waging war against all those who bore testimony given by Jesus (Rev.6:9; Jn.18:37) and testimony concerning Jesus (Rev.20:4)

            In short, the woman in Rev.12 is all about the People of God who give birth to the Messiah, Mary the mother of the Messiah and the Church under persecution from the devil by different social, political and economic powers and systems throughout history. In the period of early Christianity when the early Christians were being persecuted by Jewish religious leaders and pagan Roman rulers, at the time John wrote the apocalypse on the island at Patmos, the Roman emperors beginning with Caligula to Nero were viewed as the Antichrist.

          2. STEVENS SAYS: Thank you, Nelson for your response. I felt relieved when I saw you gave little or some room for Mary, the mother of Jesus. That had been my worry throughout since, that obvious fact was being denied and eliminated. Actually, people have never understood us; they often accuse us of things from the outside without really understanding our beliefs. Here are the facts: 1. We don’t hold Mary to be equal with God or God; she is the mother of the Messiah Jesus who is God Himself and hence to us the mother of God. 2. Mary is not the saviour of mankind, Jesus is. 3. Mary is not the Mediator; Jesus is. Mary is only our great intercessor before her Son Jesus. She is closer to Jesus than us since she is already in heaven with her son while we are still on earth. She is an intercessor just as she was when she was on earth still living. Just as we pray for each other while on earth, , we ask Mary through her Son to pray for us to her son because to us she is alive in heaven 4. We don’t have man made teachings, all our teachings are biblically derived. People have often misunderstood us. There are no man-made additions as you have been made to believe because we interpret Bible in the light of the traditions of the apostles who were guided by the Holy Spirit.

            NELSON SAYS: I agree with everything except praying to someone other than God. The Holy Spirit is our intercessor.

          3. Now in terms of Bible interpretation, I disagree that we should interpret broadly, rather we should interpret correctly.

            I agree we should interpret like the apostles. The idea that the Holy Spirit has spread “breadcrumbs” (quoted words and phrases) throughout scripture to help us find our way (discover the meaning of passages) is actually a very old and trusted method of Bible interpretation. It was first established as a principal of Jewish scripture interpretation by Hillel the Elder (110 – 10 BC). He called this methodology gezerah shavah or literally “cut equally.” This methodology teaches that a symbol or quoted passage in scripture means the same thing everywhere it is found. It is extremely likely that John was highly aware of this methodology. A modern Bible study discipline known as “Sense and Reference” is almost identical. This discipline teaches that every Bible passage has a “sense” which is its obvious meaning upon reading; what the text actually says. The passage may also have a “reference,” however, which is another Bible passage(s) that it quotes or refers to that helps expand the meaning.

            Thus when we find a passage that references the OT like “sun, moon and 12 stars”, the meaning is clear. It does not mean the woman looks like the Queen of Heaven. To John and his first century brothers in Christ, they would recognize this as a quote from Genesis identifying the family of Israel. Thus the woman is Israel. In terms of giving birth to Jesus, we cannot justify over-spiritualizing by saying the Church gives birth to Jesus in the hearts of men. Proper Bible interpretation requires that if a clear meaning is obvious, that is the meaning. The same mistake is often made when passages reference the Antichrist standing in the Temple of God. This will be a literal temple, the AC will not stand in the hearts of men. Prophetic scripture loses all its specificity and power when we over-spiritual passages like that. That is the danger, we lose the true meaning of the passage and what we are to watch for.

            In this case the true meaning of the passage is that Satan will pursue Israel during the “Time, Times, and Half a Time” and they will be hidden in the wilderness. The AC will then turn and persecute the Church. This is very specific and usable information which is what the Church will need during this time. That is the power of prophecy.

          4. Nelson why did you block the reply buttons after my last post regarding “broad biblical interpretation” and compel me to use the reply buttons in old responses? Is it an indication you consider the subject closed and did not wish further reply or response from me? I also notice one of my previous posts was deleted and no answer or response was given to it. Why do you do that Nelson?

            You raised something regarding Mary not being an intercessor; the Holy Spirit being the the intercessor.

            The Holy Spirit is God; we pray to the Holy Spirit/God. He does not intercede. An intercessor has to be someone other than God.

            Prayer is talking or communication with between men and God. Prayer involves requests/petitions to God. Asking Mary to pray for us before God is not praying to her; it is not Mary who will answer the prayer. It is God. You are wrong in saying we are praying to someone other than God. Why do you Christians ask others to pray for them to God? Why they ask their pastors or priests to pray for them before God; intercede for them before God? So these can intercede for others in prayer but Mary can not?

            If Jesus while on earth talked to the saints and angels in heaven, and he is our example, why do people frown on us when we do the same? Jesus talked to Moses and Elias in the transfiguration; prophets who were long departed and were in heaven. If it was good for the Son of God it is still good for us.

            Jesus being our High Priest who intercedes for us before God, also listens to any requests of his mother. Strange that Christians ask their pastors and other Christians to pray for them before God, but do not want Mary to pray for them.

            They wrong in thinking Mary is dead and inactive in heaven. Mary and the apostles who died in Christ and the saints are not dead but alive in heaven and part of the Christian Church on earth. As we pray for each other here on earth, they do the same for us before God in heaven. No one is able to shift me from that belief regardless of who he is, position he holds or using the bible verses selectively to suit his opinion or interest as people do when interpreting the woman in Rev.12. The beliefs I hold about the Apocalypse of John are broadly correct, all inclusive and leave no room for error. However, I believe God Himself will unveil this great mystery since he will reveal the true identity of the woman in Rev.12 and I won’t fail that because I have included Mary, the Church, and Israel. I am not leaving any room for errors.

            The view that Antichrist will be in the temple of the Christian hearts is your own view and interpretation; we don’t subscribe to it. We take it just as it is in the Rev.namely that it is a system of social, political and economic system that has persecuted the Church and Christians throughout history. After Christ’s Ascension into heaven, this became manifest in the persecution of Christians by Jewish Religious leaders and pagan Roman emperors. In our times, it is the Muslims who are persecuting the Christians in Syria and many areas around the world. The identity of the AC is yet to be revealed but no one knows him by name because he is yet to appear and be worshiped by even many people.

          5. Stevens thanks again for continuing to interact on this subject. First in regard to me not posting every comment; I choose which comments to post and which to not post. There are at least 3 or 4 posts on this article alone I did not post. You may notice my reply to fellow reader Francois, that I chose not to publish two of his lengthy comments that were off topic. (bandwidth is always an issue on a blog). With yours, your other comment was essentially the same as the one I answered. You have always been polite, but I receive posts that are not polite and I also choose not to publish them. Your comments are long. If you want a reply, a short pithy comment is always best. Respect the bandwidtch.

            As for reply buttons, I don’t control these, it must be something WORDPRESS (the shell that my site is built on) has done this. I’m not tech savvy enough to correct this. Sorry.

            Now as to the very important issue of who intercedes for saints in heaven. Read Romans 8:26-34. In this passage it tells us three times that Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede. The text clearly shows they are our intercessors. Now as for human intercessors after death, please give me one passage of scripture that shows this happening. I am not aware of one. Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration is not intercession. The Bible is quite limited in its views of what happens in heaven with saints who have passed on. Luke 16:19-31 is one of the few examples. Abraham, great father of the faithful, is seen interacting with the rich man. No one in this scene is interceding for the rich man’s family although they really need it. I think that is instructive. Notice Abraham stresses the importance of the scriptures. If a doctrine cannot be proven by the scriptures it should not be taught. IMO this is adding to the Bible, a very, very dangerous practice which Jesus condemns in Rev. 22 with very severe consequenses. Please consider this: even if leaders of your or my denomination teach their own doctrines, you and I as teachers of God’s Word must not go along, or we are implicit in their sin. You or I may unknowingly make errors, but to knowingly add to God’s Word is harmful to others and blasphemous, that we would say we know the heart of God that He, Himself has not revealed in His Word. It is one thing to guess or suppose, but quite another to teach it to others as fact. That is why God holds teachers to a higher level of accountability. So let us prove with the scriptures that the dead intercede for the living. If you can do that, then by all means teach it. If you can’t prove it with scripture, don’t teach it.

          6. Nelson, I wish to state that in my rush to respond to you, I made the error of writing a scriptural reference off head without picking from the exact words from the bible that part of Christ response to Sadducees. Because I know how Jesus was harsh sometimes to people who were a nuisance or unbelievers, I used the words ‘How foolish you are..”which I have been fond of as it contrasts with those he told the two disciples on the walk to Emmaus, ” How foolish you are slow to believe in what the prophets said…” The correct words I had in mind are found in Mark 12:24-27 where the words “How wrong you are..” are used and you are “completely wrong.”

            I am sorry for not having given exact quote and you were right in failing to recognize it. My inclusion of the ‘saints’ would naturally alarming for one familiar with the verses. In my mind was the idea that saints in heaven were those whom God had purified and declared as worthy of a fraction of his holiness for the lives they led on earth. My point there was these are alive in heaven, and no longer dead. Really sorry for that quote because it gave the opportunity to reject whatever I said and reject the truths they contained. I have also asked the Lord Jesus for giveness in being too great a hurry to respond and note quote exact verse.

            One great difference between me and you, and hence between Catholics and Protestants is that I consider the saints as alive in heaven while you consider them dead. You use the term ‘dead saints’ many times and believe these can not hear prayers because they are dead, while I believe they are alive in heaven and can hear prayers. For that reason, we can never agree, and despite scriptural references which point to the saints being alive in heaven, you will never agree just as I can never agree that they are dead saints. This is because you still view them as humans, while I view them as no longer having human bodies which are rotten and buried, but they have their spiritual bodies in heaven. Hence, this is my last response to you because we will never agree.

            You make assumptions in your statements like “the elders are not identified as humans, they may be angels.”

            What a delusional statement from one who claims mastery of the bible! If the were elders were angels, bible would not hide that fact; it would clearly state the fact as it does so in many other places like in Rev.2:1;8;12;18 and numerous other places where angels are identified. Nelson, you accuse me of being defensive as if you are not. Do you really expect ones who have died to still maintain their human bodies? That is where delusional interpretation of Bible comes in because those who died in faith in God as they appeared in visions were in their spiritual bodies for their human bodies were left to decompose in their graves. If you expect those who died to continue having human bodies, you fail to recognize fact that saints in heaven have no human bodies; but spiritual bodies.

            You also state “nowhere do we see heavenly beings or humans praying in heaven. We don’t know how communication occurs there.”

            Nelson, how can you ignorant of the very scriptures you profess to believe in? You do so quite deliberately in rejecting the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-14, “…may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

            It is that simple for a true believer: prayers take place on earth as they do in heaven unless you Nelson don’t believe in the power of prayer or the Lord’s prayer. Moreover, Rev.5:9 clearly shows the four living creatures and twenty four elders in heaven “sang a new song.” You allude that no prayers go on in heaven and this is clearly wrong for songs in heaven are a form of prayers. The Psalms of David were prayers in form of songs. When angels are shown to be worshiping Jesus in Hebrews 1:6, is this not prayers? You definitely have a different version of prayer as taught in your denomination, but prayer is a form of worship.

            Again your statement “presenting prayers is not the same as receiving prayers is just playing about with words just to reject that verse in Rev.5:8-9 you were given. If the elders presented these prayers to God, what is the source of those prayers; who gave it to them? Rev.5:8 clearly says they are prayers of God’s people. How can you be blind to that fact?

            Your other statement:” Nowhere does passage condone it as okay to pray to humans in heaven or that they hear these prayers and know their content,” and another one “Do humans have supernatural powers” is also in my opinion. Why, they are no longer humans but spiritual beings in heaven. That is why I gave that verse in Jesus’ response that “men will live like angels in heaven,” without human bodies with the desires of the flesh, but spiritual bodies like those of angels. But in your desire to punch holes, you saw no point there.

            You also say “prayer is an aspect of worship.” Agreed on that score, but it is so why do say no praying goes on in heaven when angels even worship God or Jesus. It is my belief even saints pray to God and worship Him in heaven. One who claims no prayer, songs and worship goes on in heaven is surely a strange Christian.

            Nelson, clearly we never understood each other on many points, particularly the transfiguration, the rich man and Lazarus, etc. For that matter, I will not bother to explain the issue of the witch of End or, Samuel and Saul.

            I must confess, I did not quite read your last response when I saw you answered in reverse which is rather unusual because questions require tackling in the order they appeared because each had a purpose. I did so because I was keen also giving my last response. The book of John ends in these words in John 21:25, “Now, there are many other things that Jesus did. If they were all written one by one, I suppose that the whole world could not hold the books that would be written.”

            John’s words should be instructive to all those who always say “give me an instance where it is written about praying to the saints or angels is allowed in the Bible.” John is quick to conclude that there are many other things Jesus said and did which are not recorded in bible. The tendency of sola scriptura or the Bible alone was the greatest mistake of the reformists when they chose to leave the Catholic Church due to the spirit of pride and disobedience. Scriptures should be interpreted in the light of the traditions of the church and the apostles and not be left to private interpretations that can be delusional.

            Nelson, may I wish you God’s blessings in your spiritual journey as I continue with mine in living God’s word in the Bible and traditions of the apostles of Jesus. I will forever interpret scriptures in the tradition of the apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each one has the right to our beliefs and no one can take them away from us. God bless you!

          7. I wish you well also Stevens.

            You mistake many of my views. I view the souls of saints as alive in heaven prior to the Rapture but much less active than you. If you look at Rev. 5 you will see no multitude of saints before the throne during the opening of the seals. If they are active, where are they for such an important event? In Rev. 6 we see the saints beneath the altar. Again they are not active, but their souls are alive. They receive resurrection bodies at the resurrection, then they become active.

            When the Lord’s prayer states, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we are discussing the will of God, not specific activities such as prayer. Ultimately we are praying for the New Jerusalem to descend and God to reside with man. Plus we are praying for the coming of God’s justice, mercy, salvation, etc.

            You totally misunderstand my discussion of prayer as worship. I mention this to show why we should not pray to saints. In no way do I think there isn’t worship in heaven. Of course there is. Worship there is constant.

        2. Thanks Nelson once again for your response. You missed the point about the transfiguration or vision the apostles had of Moses and Elias talking to Jesus. I never said Christ was praying or interceding for the apostles. No intercession happened, that is agreed. My point of illustrating using the transfiguration was to show simply that there is a mistaken notion among some Christians especially the Protestants that there is no communication or talking between the living and those who passed on. The transfiguration clearly illustrates Moses and Elias had lived and passed on earlier (Elias who went to heaven alive was to reappear again as John the Baptist and die) were alive in heaven and talking to Jesus on earth. That bit about Lazarus and rich man is also misapplied but more on that later.

          Catholic Christians have always been mistaken for their prayers especially when they mentions names of saints like Peter, Paul, John in their prayers. Often the challenge Protestants pose is the question: The Bible teaches that there is only one Mediator, Jesus Christ, why then is there a need for Catholics to pray through Mary and the saints? 1 John 2:1

          The verse Protestants quote does not refer to the ‘one mediator between God and man’ that is being alluded to. A look at the verse 1 Timothy 2:5, which says “For there is one God and mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ,” yields an interesting clue!

          If Catholics violate this verse, then so do Protestants who ask others to pray for them! St. Paul says in verse 1 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.”

          Why does St.Paul ask us to pray for others (he even asks us to intercede for others!), if Christ is the only one that should mediate between us and God?

          This because Christ is the one mediator, but he shares his mediation with us and allows us to participate in it with Him. I pray to saints to pray for me, just as I ask my friends to pray for me. They participate in the one mediation of Christ.

          The question may arise whether the Body of Christ that is in Heaven (we on earth are also part of the body of Christ, by the way) can hear our prayers. Well, Hebrews tells that “we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses” in Heb.12:1. If we are surrounded by these witnesses, then theoretically they could our prayers and pray for us. One look at Revelation 5:8 which tells us that the angels bring our prayers to God: “the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”

          1. Nelson, I think you miss the whole point about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The main theme or motif of the story was not to illustrate that there is no communication between the departed and the living or that there was no communication/talks between God’s saints and God. Lazarus at the side of Abraham shows the two were taking in heaven; Abraham too was talking with God. Theme of the parable is:

            1. Luke is simply warning and instructing about love of money and disregard for the law, comes vividly to the mind.
            2. The scriptures are for faith and when they are rejected, as the rich man does, not even an event as extraordinary as a resurrection will generate belief. That proved true in the case of Jesus’ resurrection because the Jews to date don’t believe, as do atheists and Muslims. That was the main theme; not that there is no communication between living and the dead or saints. The rich man was dead spiritually and could not rise back to life, but the living ones in heaven communicate. If we say that the saints and angels do not communicate with the living, then what is the basis or rationale of our belief that the angel Gabriel brought messages to both Mary and Elizabeth? Think about it. Consider also Jesus statements to Sadducees: “How foolish you are! In the age to come, people will live like saints and angels in heaven. He is the God of the living, not dead.”

          2. Stevens, I have enjoyed this conversation. Obviously you are one seeking the truth as I am. I pray (to the Father) we both find it.

            You said above that “if we say that the saints and angles do not communicate with the living…” You cannot lump dead saints and angels into one group they are not one group. The only examples of dead saints speaking to humans in scripture are of Samuel speaking to Saul via the witch of Endor and Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration speaking to Jesus. In the first example, Samuel was summoned by witchcraft and it was condemned as a great evil. In the second example, they were speaking to Jesus not to the disciples with him. This was a very specific incident in the presence of Jesus who is God himself not a routine event at all. I would think any communication between dead saints and living humans in today’s world is an example of demonic activity not divine. We should flee from such things. It is deception.

            Now as to Jesus’s statement in Luke 20 about the “living not the dead”, I do not recognize your quote. Here is the exact passage:

            The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.” (Luke 20: 34-38 NASB)

            In this passage Jesus is instructing how once the saints are in “resurrection bodies” and rule and reign with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom (and eventually in the eternal state) they will no longer marry. He states the reason is that they will no longer die, just as the angels don’t die. He calls them “sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” This is consistent with teaching elsewhere that we are “changed” upon the resurrection. No where in this passage does it say “live like saints and angels in heaven.” Where does this passage you quoted come from? Also notice Luke 20 speaks of the age to come, not our current state.

            Finally, in regard to the Story of Lazarus and the rich man, you are correct that this story discuss and teaches on many topics. This story is one of the very few pictures of saints in heaven prior to the Resurrection and Rapture so it is very instructive. IMO you are wrong about what it shows about prayer however. If there was ever a request that a dead saint might take before God, certainly the request to save the family of the rich man is one. Yet Abraham does not take this request to God the Father. Why not??? This is a question everyone who prays to saints must answer.

          3. Picking scriptures selectively as most people tend to do without looking the context they are used can be quite dangerous and misleading.

            I will readdress this matter because you earlier on in your response stated you had a problem responding to lengthy articles; of you forget your article on woman of Rev.12 was too long.

            I have never come across any scriptural prohibition against praying to the saints and present one. You see, Catholic Christians believe that death is truly conquered in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not believe people in Heaven are really dead. We believe they are living, and they are just as connected to the Holy Spirit as we are, if not more so. They are more finely attune to what is happening in the Body of Christ than we are. Therefore, we can communicate with them. We can send messages to them, through the Holy Spirit in prayer, and we most certainly can ask them to pray for us, which is what we do.

            Hence the Protestants always ask the following question: Wny does the Catholic Church allow or even encourage prayers to Mary and designated saints when the Bible forbids it (Rev.22:9, Matt.6:7).

            Answer to such a question is that Revelation 22:9 does not even deal with prayers to the saints !!!. Instead the angel in this verse was telling John “not to worship at his feet.(Rev.22:8; all what one has to do is read the preceding verse!). Praying to saints, just like asking someone on earth to pray for us, is not the same thing as “worshiping at the feet of the saints.” Matt.6:7 relates to praying and not meaning what one prays, not praying to saints. Perhaps critics miss the words, “because of their many words,” and instead focus on, “for they think they will be heard.” Either way, this relates to pagans when they pray, instead of Christians praying to those in heaven. To sum up on intercessory prayers to the saints, the following readings or verses may shed light: Rom 15:15:30- join me by your prayers to God on my behalf
            Col 4:3-; 1 Thess 5:25- pray for us
            2 Th 1:11- we always pray for you
            2 Thb3:1- finally brothers pray for us
            Eph 6:18-19- making supplication for all the saints and for me
            Tob 12:12- angel presents Tobit and Sarah’s prayers to God
            Rev 5:8- angel offers prayers of the holy ones to God
            Incidentally, the book of Tobit cited above was among the books Martin Luther removed from the Bible and hence unacceptable to protestants.

          4. We do not search scripture for prohibitions of praying to saints, there are millions of things not prohibited directly like praying to rocks. We look for models of how to pray. Jesus was clear “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name” Luke 11:2. Prayer is to be to the Father. I have asked you for an example in the Bible of praying to a dead saint. You haven’t found one. James, John’s brother was martyred early on. By the time he wrote Revelation, Peter and Paul had been martyred as well. Yet, we see zero evidence of this activity by John despite the fact that John’s brother and friends were already in heaven. Why? Because the veil of the Temple was torn giving us access to the Father. By praying to a saint, we give them glory they don’t deserve and detract glory from God himself.

            Of all the passages you mention above only one has any potential of showing the possiblity that saints who have passed on can hear prayers and relay them to the Lord. That passage is Rev. 5:8 which speaks of the 24 elders holding golden bowls which are the prayers of the saints. There are several problems with this interpreation.

            1. The elders are not identified as human, they may be angels also.
            2. No where do we see heavenly beings or humans praying in heaven. We don’t know how communication occurs there, only on earth. We don’t know they heard these prayers, they may have just collected them.
            3. Even if the elders are human, it shows them presenting the prayers to God not that they received the prayers. No where does the passage condone that it is okay to pray to humans in heaven or that they hear these prayers or know their content. Do these humans have supernatural power to hear “silent” prayers?
            4. If saints in heaven could hear prayers, how many could they hear at one time? Doesn’t saying “multiple” give them an omniscience reserved for God alone?

            The passage you quote regarding Rev. 19:10 and 22:9 show that we are not to fall at the feet of created beings and worship. Prayer is an aspect of worship.

            Again, in all these matters, praying to a dead saint is reading into the text and assuming, rather than interpreting the text from what is said. This is the dangerous ground I spoke of; it is adding to God’s Word.

          5. Stevens, let me answer these questions for you as well. My advice is to seek the truth revealed in scripture and not take a position of defending your previous understanding but opening your heart to what the passages actually say.

            I am going to answer them in reverse order. We have already talked about Rev. 5:8 in a previous discussion. This verse and Rev. 8:3-5 are both from an extended vision of heaven that was given to John about the opening of the 7 Sealed Scroll. This extended vision continues all the way through the end of Chapter 11. This is an identical vision to the one God have Daniel in Dan. 7. We can tell because the the exact quoted phrase “thousands of thousands and myriads of myriads” and about a dozen other similiarities. This vision in Revelation is the central vision of Revelation and is a heavenly picture of the entire 70th Week of Daniel. We see the prayers in those bowls being released to God in the incense in Rev. 8:3-4 at the opening of the Seventh Seal. We discuss this vision in Chapters of my yet unpublished book Revelation Deciphered which should be available next summer. It explains all this in great detail which I can’t here. Suffice it to say, that this vision is about a very specific time (the 70th Week) and very specific events (the opening of the Seventh Seal). It is likely then that these are very specific prayers that are held in the Golden Bowls. This is not assurred as our views of heaven are very limited, but is is highly likely. What is the Seventh Seal? It is first the Resurrection and Rapture and second, on the same day after the Rapture, it is the beginning of the pouring out of God’s Wrath. So what are these prayers? They are prayers for deliverance that the elders and angels are holding back until the fullness of time has come and God is ready to fulfill them. I assume they are not prayers for Aunt Janie’s cancer or prayers for wisdom, etc. I assume they are very specific prayers given that we see them released to God at this very specific time in all of history. Let us not assume that all prayers of all time are in these golden bowls or that this is the normal way God hears prayers.

            Second, let’s look at Heb. 12:1 next. This verse has been misunderstood by many. Let’s look at it in context remembering that the chapter and verse divisions did not exist in ancient texts. This passage acutally begings in Heb. 11:

            They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. 39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses (Gk: MARTYRES, meaning those who bear witness) surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

            This passage is one thought or concept. It discusses what is expected of us in the endurance of our faith. It first mentions Old Testament saints who lived in faith of a coming Messiah who they never saw. Heb. 12:1 is then the conclusion of the entire of chapter 11. The Witnesses it speaks of are all the saints who came before us and demonstrated faith (bore witness to their faith) as recorded in the Old Testament. Heb 12:1 speaks of witnesses. The English word is confusing, it could mean they are witnessing us. This is NOT the meaning of the Greek word MARTYRES that means those who BEAR WITNESS. This great cloud of witnesses have already witnessed for their faith, they have given us an example. It has nothing to do with them seeing us or cheering us on. It also may mean those who are running this race with us. For instance you and I are MARTYRES together; we are both witness bearers; running the same race side by side. The idea that the OT saints and our fellow runners are examples for us is then highlighted by the writer of Hebrews mentioning Jesus. Verse 3 sums this thought up by saying “consider Him who endured.” In other words use Jesus as our ultimate example. All of Heb. 11 and this portion of Heb 12 is about examples of faith. It is NOT there to tell us dead saints can look on and see our activities.

            Continuing to work from the bottom of your comment up to the top, you said, “If Catholics violate this verse (1 Tim 2:5), then so do Protestants who ask others to pray for them.” This is not true. There is a difference in asking someone to pray for you and actually praying TO someone. I do not pray to my friends for wisdom, I ask them to pray for me to the Father. Praying to someone is a form of worship as we discussed before. I worship only God.

            Hopefully, these explanations are helpful to you as you seek clarity and truth.

  14. Bonjour Nelson,

    Thank you for this new post and for your (always interesting!) insights.

    At one point, you write : “God has another task for the Church during the Great Tribulation and it is hinted at in this final verse of Rev. 12: they have the testimony of Jesus! Carrying that testimony to the World during the persecutions is their task”.

    Well, if this is the other task Abba has for the Church then, the Church needs to get its business straight and start keeping the commandments of God because according to John, this requirement goes together with the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    If this is clearly the case, then the Church has a lot of more work to do in the years ahead!

    First she needs to review its theology and understand who she really is (that is the Israel of God), then she needs to stop teaching the Law has been done away with.
    Second she needs to do a lot of cleaning by abandoning all that is profane in its walk, like replacing the biblical Shabbat by Sunday or celebrating pagan feasts like christmas and easter, instead of the biblical ones.

    This is going to be a HUGE change for mainstream Christianity! Will the Church be ready for the challenge?

    Not sure! According to John, only a remnant will. Could it be the wise virgins? I believe so…

    1. Francois, I hope you forgive me, but I cut your comment into two shorter pieces and I’ll tackle both separately. I’m going answer this second part first and I attach it below. In the next answer I’ll repsond to the above

      FROM FRANCOIS: If you allow me to jump in the conversation and reply to Janae’s questions:

      “You said that Israel is “not just the Jews because they are the tribe of Judah, only one tribe.” Does this mean that the other eleven tribes of Israel are not Jews?”
      => According to the Bible yes!

      Biblically speaking, the Jewish people do not represent all of Israel. They represent only a 12th (one tribe) or if you englobe the Southern Kingdom of Juda, 2 tribes (and a half) out of 12 tribes.

      Are the Jews who live in Israel today only of the tribe of Judah?
      => Most of them are descendants of the Southern Kingdom of Juda which comprised the tribes of Juda + the tribe of Benjamin (and some of the tribe of Levite as well).

      In a nutshell, the difference between the Jews and the rest of Israel is that throughout the History and despite the different diasporas, the Jews have always kept their identity.
      This is not true for the Northern Kingdom of Israel (comprised of 10 tribes) : they were dispersed among the nations (became “not my people”) and completely lost their Israelite identity.

      By biblical definition, clearly there is a very high possibility that many people within Christianity are actual descendants of the (lost) tribes of Israel.

      Nelson, you write: “Now I know with certainty that all Jews in Israel today represent all of Israel not just Judah”.
      => This is not accurate.

      How can the myriades of myriades of descendants promised to Abraham be in the Land today when the big majority of them are NOT Jewish?
      Today it is impossible for a non Jewish Israelite to return to the Land of Israel. Only if you can “proove” your are Jewish can you settle in the Land.

      What we now have in Israel are mostly Jews, ie descendants of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levy. True there is bond to be remanent of the other tribes as well, but in very few numbers.

      Only Yeshua can and will restore the fallen tent of David, ie: gather the 12 tribes of Israel at His return. Not before. This explains why Judah/the Jews play such a big part in the end of time scenario. They are the ones who have started to return to the Land first.

      The other part of Israel (ie 10 tribes) need to understand their true identity and whom they are first and then return to walking like the God of Israel wants them to walk: that is to walk like Hi Son Yeshua walked.

      This is happening as we speak as more and more believers in Jesus/Yeshua understand their true identity as Israelites and return to worshiping God in truth and spirit by keeping the commandments of God and having the testimony of Jesus Christ.

      Love and blessings from France, François-Xavier

      REPLY FROM NELSON. As I stated, I am unsure of this position. I am sure that current Jews living in Israel represent all the tribes. The quote I gave from Jeremiah 30 proves this. Notice it references Israel and Judah being restored to the land. I did not mean that all the Jews are in the land now, obviously many still live in the nations. What I meant was the Jews in Israel represent all 12 tribes. If you disagree, check out Jeremiah 30.

      Again in regard to Christians being Jews, some might be, but I really shouldn’t comment on this as it is not something I am sure about. Pray for wisdom for us all on this issue.

    2. Francois, Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your thoughts. You are correct that the Church has a long way to go to get ready for Jesus. That is why I wrote my first book. My heart breaks for the foolish virgins. A great deal of my ministry is focused on preparing them. Certainly a lack of righteousness is a problem for many in the Church.

      As far as the Church being the new Israel, I don’t agree. The Church is the Church. My book settles that quite clearly. If you haven’t read the book, the Chapter “Sibling Rivalry” discusses the relationship between the Church and Israel. Joel Richardson’s excellent “When a Jew Rules the World” is another reference for you.

      As far as manditory celebration of the Jewish Feasts (BTW, I celebrate them but not out of complusion) I recommend THIS ARTICLE by Dr. Brown. If Paul considered the righteousness of the flesh through complusion to observe and celebrate as “dung” (Phil. 3:1-8), let’s be careful about creating “yokes” and burdens that people don’t need to carry.

      However, that being said, the Church has a long way to go in terms of righteousness and in terms of knowledge and preparation. You and I agree completely on that point.

      1. Re-bonjour Nelson,

        Thank you once again for taking the time to come back on the points I raised.
        I’m happy to see that we are in agreement on the main issue about believers in Jesus having to strengthen up their walk in righteousness in order to be ready for Jesus.

        May our eyes be opened so that we can please our Heavenly Abba always

        Love and blessings,

        FX

        1. Franscois, you sent me three, very extensive emails about the identity of the house of Israel and the place of Torah. These are not related to this post and not an area where I have expertise. I can see this is an area of interest of yours and I suggest you discuss this with someone who better able to discuss your concerns. Nelson

          1. Dear Nelson,

            Thank you for your feedback. I understand the issues debated were not related to this post. I shared these essentials truths to grasp with you because I felt Abba wanted me to bring them to your attention.

            The first and formost wake-up call the “church” needs to hear are these very things. They are the missing pieces to understand what our Heavenly Father expects from us.Our eternal position in the Kingdom depend on our walk in righteousness. The Biblical righteousness, not the Christian one…

            With love and blessings,

            FX

  15. Queen of the South Luke 11? Rises in judgement that’s an end of time indicator she represents 12 tribes, crusade of Revelation.

  16. I believe the Lord had opened this passage up but I have not had anyone to bounce it off. I’ll be glad to go into detail but to put it briefly this is a great sign and encouragement to the saints in the darkest day. It speaks of that seed from the woman which the enemy has sought to destroy from the beginning. It is the age long battle.
    God’s eternal purpose is to have a bride for His Son. This bride is composed of that remnant which includes saints from the beginning of time to the end. These are they that have overcome because He has overcome.
    The true seed has always been persecuted by the enemy but God has preserved and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
    The history of the seed since Eve,the mother of all living,is important. Consider the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. Remember Abel,Moses in the reeds,Joash in 2 Chron. 22: 10-11,the Lord Himself and Herod.Paul’s epistles to present a chaste virgin to Christ.
    After the apostasy from THE CHRIST,of which there are overcomers (Rev. 2-3) you only see the remnant in revelation as the corporate work the Lampstand is no longer on earth as in heaven. So the final days are especially enduring for the remnant.
    But the foundation of God is sure having this seal: the Lord knows those that are His. Actually the seed is invincible as they abide in Him,the Overcomer.

    1. Alan, I am tracking with a lot of what you are saying here, but not understanding all of it. I certainly agree that Satan tries to destroy God’s plan of redemption. Now that Christ has risen, he must attack the Bride of Christ. I also and very pleased to see your comments about the 7 Churches. You see them just as I do. My unpublished book Revelation Deciphered goes into enormous detail on this ignored section of prophecy.

      What I don’t agree with is that the woman in Rev. 12 has anything to do with the Bride of Christ or the “seed” as you call it. The passage is very clear that the woman gives birth to a “man child.” Why detail this? To prevent the mistake that the child is the church. It is Jesus and Jesus only, the text leaves no room for another interpretation.

  17. You said that Israel is “not just the Jews because they are the tribe of Judah, only one tribe.” Does this mean that the other eleven tribes of Israel are not Jews? Are the Jews who live in Israel today only of the tribe of Judah?

    1. This is an awesome question. The answer is “I’m not sure.” Now I know with certainty that all Jews in Israel today represent all of Israel not just Judah. Jer. 30: 3-4 shows that both will be in the land prior to the great tribulation. Are some of the tribes Christians as well? Maybe, I’m not completely sure.

  18. Some initial thoughts on this:

    The zodiac signs are fascinating. In addition to the Romans 10 passage you cited, Romans 1:20 also seems to echo Psalm 19:1-4: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse….” Specifically, Psalm 19:3 says “There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.” In other words, there is NO place on earth where man observe the testimony of creation. If someone responds to the light of creation God will give that person more light.

    The “great eagle” is the Lord, correct? This makes sense. He is the one who did miracles for the Israelites to escape the Egyptians; He miraculously protected them from the ten plagues. The “reverse parting of the Red Sea” is interesting. I have wondered exactly how the flight to the wilderness will be facilitated and what it will look like. Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24 for those in Judea to flee to the mountains is one of immediacy, since He specifically says they should not even return to their homes to get personal belongings. Just get out, now! This is a sudden catastrophe.

    I love the reference to Joseph in Genesis 37. Joseph is a picture of Christ in so many ways, it is amazing. Another thought just occurred to me. I see a parallel of sorts between the seven-year famine in Egypt and the final seven years of Daniel’s 70th week. Joseph’s seven-year preparation of storing up food saved the Jewish people and the Egyptians. Part of our preparation for the coming days is storing up the “food” of God’s Word in our hearts and sharing it with others: with Christians so that they would wake up, and with unbelievers, so that they might be saved.

  19. Interesting, but…you have only 11 Zodiac signs! Also, the Capricorn sign is mislabelled. Capricorn has no “bow” within the Zodiac, but “my” sign Sagittarius does! Therefore, you need to relabel your chart add Capricorn as the twelve sign and remove the current Capricorn and relabel it as Sagittarius who has the bow and give Capricorn a meaning according to Warner’s book!

    Hope your not offended by the information, Nelson! 🙂

    Blessings!

  20. I suppose not all Israeli’s will be saved by fleeing south to the mountains when the abomination of desolation is setup as the start of the great persecution. After all, other bible texts indicate that many Jews will be killed and many enslaved and taken to the surrounding countries. At least that is what I figured from websites like this one.

    Jesus’ warning about fleeing to the mountains is for those in Jerusalem and Judea – maybe those in Samaria and Galilee are to far away to reach safety in time. If you cannot even go into your house to get a coat or so then the time is short indeed, and those in Galilee have no chance.

    Do you think it possible that especially messianic Jews and other Christians living in Jerusalem and are the only ones heeding Jesus’ warning and flee south to safety? For why should non-messianic Jews heed the words of someone they do not believe in?

    Do you think there could be a link with the 144,000 Jews who elsewhere in Revelations get special protection? In other words, could they be the same ones fleeing south and then be protected there?

    If it is the earth itself swallowing a persecuting army – that must be accompanied with one hell of an earthquake! Do you see a link here with one of the great earthquakes that here and there are described in Revelations?

    Finally, I hope one day to read a post on your thoughts about that “other great woman” in revelation, the great whore. I have the impression that you and other bloggers on the Islamic end time paradigm I pay attention to are reluctant to do so. Is it because that is not yet clear enough yet to be identified, and will it only become clear when other prophecies have come to pass?

    Thanx for all your efforts!

    1. All good thoughts Adam. I’ll answer your last question first. I have an article on the Harlot completed. It is just that I have about 3 or 4 other articles in front of that one. Look for it in November.

      Second, will all of Israel escape? obviously not for the reasons you cite. Will the 144,000 be involved in this? I think so. Ezekiel 9 shows the sealing actually takes place prior to the capture of Jerusalem so my thinking is a portion of them who escape to the secret place.

      Third, in regard to the earthquake, there are a lot of earthquakes in Revelation, some time dated and probably some not time dated. I don’t know of one exactly at the midpoint.

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