Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas, And Signs In The Sky — Part 2

Biblegems #290

As we saw in Part 1, the imagery in Rev. 12:1-2 accurately depicts an astronomical alignment of stars and planets, and also represents an astronomical “sign”:
         Rev. 12:1-2  A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

To understand the “sign” it is essential to understand the meaning of the passage itself.

John’s vision of the woman and the dragon in Revelation 12 is the story of Satan’s failed war designed to destroy the Messiah and the people of God. Here is a brief interpretation of the text:

The pregnant “woman” (v.1) represents Israel, the "mother" of the Messiah. “Clothed with the sun”(1) represents Israel and the child-Messiah she carries as the light of the world. The “moon under her feet “(v.1) demonstrates how the Messiah triumphs over darkness (evil). The “twelve stars on her head (v.1) are Israel’s twelve tribes or twelve patriarchs, as seen in Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9-10. The labor pains (v.2) describe Israel’s agony under foreign rule in waiting for the Messiah.

The “dragon” (vv. 3-4) represents Satan, his demons, and world governments under his control. This blood-red, seven-headed dragon sweeps a third of the stars (angels—and, perhaps an astronomical display as well) from the sky to the earth, revealing Satan’s power and influence over human affairs. The dragon’s “seven heads” represent a future confederacy of world governments under the authority of the Antichrist in the Last Days. Likewise, the “ten horns” represent ten nations during this same time frame, three of which will work in cooperation with this confederacy until the Antichrist overpowers them and absorbs them into it. The “seven crowns,” therefore, are the seven leaders of those governments.

The prophet Daniel called this powerful alliance of world governments a “beast”—the world’s final superpower—under the control of the “little horn,” the Antichrist. John’s vision is another view of Daniel’s vision of these “Last Days” events (Dan. 7:7-8, 23-24: 8:9-10).

In Revelation 12:5 Jesus is born, and Satan’s effort to have him destroyed as a child is unsuccessful. Verse five then skips ahead to Jesus’ Millennial reign, following His ascension (“snatched up”) into heaven.

In response, Satan seeks to destroy God’s Chosen People Israel during the Great Tribulation (1,2060 days / 31/2 years), but God protects her (Rev. 12: 6-17; Dan. 12:11).

The point of John’s vision is that Satan truly believes that he belongs on God’s throne and has committed himself to that hopeless cause, destroying all who oppose him.

That’s why it is imperative that we put our faith in Jesus. This is war, where people get injured, maimed and killed. But Jesus has already won, and He offers us eternal life and a place in His eternal Kingdom where we will enjoy an eternity of peace, security, joy and perfect health after the war is over.

         John 16:33 “I have told you these things (Jesus said), so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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