When Jesus says, “Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near”
I’m beginning to believe that I’m developing a deeper understanding of what Jesus meant.
a) First, in Luke 21:28 Jesus says, “Now when these things BEGIN to happen, LOOK UP and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Note that He doesn’t say to look up AFTER the signs have concluded in becoming apparent, but BEFORE they have concluded. This command to look up may not be poetic, figurative speech after all, but may be very literal. If this is a literal command to look up, then what are we to be looking for? The Rapture is the Redemption of those waiting to be rescued, taken away, caught up by Christ Himself.
When Jesus tells us to look up, it’s not because our Redemption is here, but because it draws NEAR. Something near hasn’t already arrived.
Again, what are we to be looking for?
b) Because the Rapture happens in the ‘twinkling of the eye’ I’m suggesting that there is no time to look up before we are Raptured to see Christ beckoning us to “Come Up Here!” The Rapture is described as being instant…one moment we’re here, the next moment we’re gone.
c) 3 verses earlier in Luke 21:25 we are told “there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars;” This is not figurative, but literal. To see signs in the sun, moon and stars where do we have to look? Bingo! We have to “LOOK UP!“.
Now what could those signs involving the sun, moon and stars be? Many have already dismissed the 4 Blood Moons which happened precisely on the Jewish Feast Days. Maybe they were too hasty to dismiss these 4 moons as meaningless coincidences. If nothing more, they may have been meant to get our attention, to ‘Watch’.
There is one ‘sign’ coming up on September 23, 2017 that involves all three elements of the sun, the moon and the stars. It just so happens that September 23 and 24th 2017 mark the Jewish Feast Day called Yom Teruah, or Feast of Trumpets. The sign is the alignment of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the 9 stars of the constellation Leo, right above the head of Virgo, while the sun is behind her upper torso and the moon right below her feet. This alignment has not happened in the last 2,000 years and does not happen again for hundreds of years, if ever. As a matter of fact, Virgo is usually in the western sky in September, but won’t be ‘clothed with the sun’ …
Now lets, read Revelation 12:1-6
And there appeared a great sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought forth a male child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.
A literal reading of this scripture is that a great sign appeared in heaven, it can’t be made more plain than that. The sign involves the sun, the moon and 12 stars.
Here is an explanation of this upcoming astronomical alignment based on Revelation 12.
Virgo the Virgin, clothed with the sun, with the moon at her feet, and crowned with 12 stars, the sum of the 9 fixed stars from Leo the Lion of Judah plus 3 ‘wandering stars’ or ‘aster planetes’ being Mercury, Mars and Venus.
But you may be thinking, “What about the woman ‘being with child’? How can that possibly relate to the constellation Virgo?”
The explanation gets even better.
On November, 20th 2016 the Planet Jupiter began to enter the constellation Virgo. By November 28th, 2016 Jupiter was completely within the lines which connect the stars of the constellation Virgo. Historically, Jupiter is known as ‘The King Planet‘ by many cultures. In Hebrew, Tzedek is the name for planet Jupiter but it is also the Hebrew word for ‘Righteous‘, as in ‘Melchizedek’ the High Priest. From Strong’s 4442, Melchizedek means “my king is right“. So here we have a picture of the Righteous King entering into the body of Virgo the Virgin. On about February 18th, 2017 Jupiter will begin to go into retrograde, which means it will appear to move back and forth within the womb area of Virgo. Jupiter remains in Virgo’s womb for 9 months, 2 weeks before exiting from between Virgo’s legs. The normal, average gestation for a human baby is 9 months 2 weeks. Coincidence? I don’t think it is.
This is a Great Sign… the birth of a child whose name is King of Righteousness and all the elements of the Revelation 12 sign are in place.
For very long time now, the most common interpretation of Revelation 12 is that it portrays the birth of Christ. To a degree this is true. However there are some distinct differences. First, John the Revelator was given the vision by Jesus on the island of Patmos some 80 years after the birth of Jesus, so Revelation 12 is not a prophecy of Jesus’ birth. Everything in the Book of Revelation is prophetic, telling of the future. So what could this sign mean? The key to understanding this sign hinges on 1 word in the original Greek of Revelation 12:5, the word is harpazo which is translated as ‘caught up’ in English; “And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.” So here we have an amazingly distinct difference between the birth of Christ and this Great Sign. The Greek word ‘harpazo’ is where we get the Enlish word ‘Rapture’ from. The controversial word “rapture” comes from the Latin Vulgate where the verb “rápiō” is used. It means to seize and carry off, snatch, tear, pluck, drag, hurry away to safety. Harpazō, rápiō, and rapture all mean the exact same thing. Jesus was not raptured! The Greek verb used to describe His ascension is anapherō. Strong’s G399 defines anaphero as ‘to take up’ or ‘to lead up’, which is distinctly different from ‘harpazo‘ which means to snatch out, to pluck out. Jesus leads the way up, the Church is harpazo-ed or Raptured out.
So you may be thinking that Revelation 12 can’t be about the Rapture because Christ comes for His Bride, the Church, and a Bride is always female, while the child that is ‘caught up’ is male. Where in the Bible is the Church referred to in the male form? Good question. The answer is in 1 Thessalonians 5:5,
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:5
Wouldn’t you know it!? 1 Thessalonians 5 is one of the main Rapture chapters. Those who are not awake and watching are in darkness, and these are the ones who will be surprised by the thief in the night. Sudden destruction is what they will experience, “labor pains upon a pregnant woman”. Did you catch that part about the pregnant woman already? The woman in Revelation 12 is pregnant. After the Rapture happens, there will certainly be unimaginable confusion and catastrophic consequences. Think about it…millions of people, hopefully hundreds of millions, will instantly vanish. What will the world look like? Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins put forth their ideas in the best selling fictional Left Behind series. 1 Thessalonians 5 describes the Church as “sons of light and sons of the day“, that we are NOT in darkness so the Day of the Lord will NOT come upon us by surprise. 1 Thess. 5:9 shows us that the Rapture happens BEFORE the Tribulation because, “God did not appoint us to wrath“, and we are to be “comforted” by this fact.
So yes, the Church is referred to in the male form as “sons of light and sons of the day”. The male child in Revelation 12 that is caught up to God in heaven, or Raptured to God heaven is the Church. Is this a brand new idea? No. I’m not sure if he was the very first, but G.H. Pember was a very well known theologian in his time. In 1875 he published the idea that the male child in Revelation 12 might be the Church in his book ‘Earth’s Earliest Ages’. That was over 140 years ago. Besides, a test of truth is not dependent upon whether or not someone else has already put forth the interpretation or understanding of what a particular prophetic Bible verse means. In Daniel 12:4 the angel told Daniel to
“shut up the words, and seal the book UNTIL the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.“
So the increase of knowledge does not have to be limited to technological advancements, but can certainly apply to the knowledge and understanding of God’s word, some of which has been impossible to understand by God’s design because it wasn’t yet “the time of the end.”
From Jerusalem, on September 23, 2017, Yom Teruah / Feast of Trumpets, the Revelation 12 Sign occurs as the sun is about to set. Because the constellation Virgo is “clothed by the sun” all anybody looking for the sign will see is the very bright sun itself. Then as one day fades into another, Virgo dips below the horizon head first and her remaining stars appear at twilight, along with the moon at her feet. But because knowledge has increased, we have the tools and the technology to know that this sign is appearing on that day. Using free astronomy software like Stellarium anybody can see what the stars in the sky looked like or will look like for thousands of years in the past and future. Also, anybody outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, (astronauts on the Space Station perhaps?) whose vision is not obscured by the Earth’s horizon, will see the Great Sign unobscured.