By Christine Darg, Jerusalem Channel
A number of years ago, I watched a Christmas movie depicting the Virgin Mary as a young Jewish girl giving birth to Jesus in a crude stable with animals watching—the most mundane-looking circumstances possible.
Yet creatively, the camera kept pulling out into Outer Space to give us glimpses of the heavenly bodies and a star of apparent great significance while much of the world just kept spinning. Most of the people on the planet were in the dark about what was transpiring—although the Hebrew prophets had foretold these wonders and even the general timeline in Daniel Chapter 9.
Now this weekend we’re experiencing the so-called “Revelation 12 Sign” made known by a lot of high tech. Many sincere believers are advocating that this sign heralds the time of Jacob’s Trouble—also known as the Tribulation Period.
September 23, 2017 coincides with the autumnal equinox, and a number of Internet news organizations and Bible prophecy aficionados are speculating that a literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Revelation 12:1-2 will occur on this date over Jerusalem.
Others like myself and friends such as Bob O’Dell at Root-Source.com maintain caution while nevertheless marveling at the coincidence, or “God incident.”
The passage of scripture in the New Testament metaphorically describes “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was with child and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.”
Many believe that an astronomical alignment involving the constellations Virgo and Leo, the sun, moon, and planets Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter occurring in September 2017 fulfill this prophecy word-for-word.
Preceding this alignment is the 2017/5778 Feast of Trumpets, which in Jewish tradition is believed to be a day when the dead will be resurrected and judgement will begin, while many Christians believe the period describes the Rapture (translation) of the saints and/or the Tribulation period described in the Book of Revelation.
A number of critics have offered rebuttals arguing that the sign is not unique or amounts to astrology. Critics include “Answers in Genesis” author Dr. Danny Faulkner, Christian author Joel Richardson, Jan Markell from Olive Tree Ministries, Christian Bible prophecy author Craig C. White, Christian blogger and author Tim McHyde. They content that the popularity of YouTube has made it easy to hype these ideas while others say the claims amount to “Rorschach tests in the skies”—people tend to see in the constellations what they want to see.
This we do know for certain: the existence of the Jewish state once again after nearly two millennia is no coincidence and neither is the Jubilee of the reunification of Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty—50 years since the June 1967 Six Days War. Jesus said in his Olivet briefing that when we see the fig tree blossom again, we should look up.
For centuries Bible scholars have debated the identity of the woman in Revelation 12. Some say she represents the nation of Israel, others say the Church and some say the Virgin Mary. I photographed this stained glass window pictured above which is the main window of All Saints Church in Hereford, England—it’s the only place that I personally have ever seen Revelation 12 depicted in a window. It is rather obvious from the depiction that Mary is the one intended by the artist. Her “manchild” is in swaddling clothes as the Baby Jesus. But at her feet is the moon and she is crowned with the sun and the 12 stars, the tribes of Israel.
I personally have always felt the correct interpretation of the woman is Israel. Her story is being played out on earth right now…. even while the heavenly bodies move about.
Maranatha, even so, come, Lord Jesus!