The Revelation 12 Controversy :: By David Cogburn

How many of us rapture watchers got super excited at the beginning of 2017 when Scott Clarke and many others started posting YouTube videos on the possible soon coming rapture surrounding the great sign in the sun, moon and stars talked about in Rev 12:1-7, which would occur on Sept 23, 2017? I know I sure did. The great sign concerns the birth of a child in the sun, moon and stars followed by a snatching up of that child to God’s throne room before the dragon Satan can devour it. There were probably over 100 YouTube videos made on this subject from Jan 2017 to Sept 23, 2017.

Let me begin by quoting those verses:

Rev 12:1-7 says, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appears in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God where she might be taken care of for 1260 days.”

This, without a doubt, is the number ONE sign in the whole Bible of how CLOSE we are to the rapture. Let me explain. The first thing we have to do is identify who these 3 people are and how the sun, moon and stars show us this birth.

The major controversy over these verses only concerns “one” of these people – the child. Many people say the child is obviously Jesus, and many people say the child is the church. Let’s examine both of them and see which one seems to “fit” the best because we will MISS what God is showing us if we don’t understand who the child is. Since the controversy involves two sides, it’s only fair to look at both sides.

For those who believe the child is Jesus, it is obvious to them from what these verses say. The woman gives birth to a male child who will rule the nations with a rod scepter. There is ZERO doubt this IS referring to Jesus who is male and who the scriptures tell us will rule the nations with an iron scepter. This is what they hang their hat on, and to think the child might actually be the church does not make sense to them. Let’s look at what they are “not” considering, and it is huge what they are not paying attention to.

In Revelation, John is “commanded” by Jesus Himself to write down what was, what is, and what is to come after “these things.” In the first three chapters, John is talking about what “is,” which concerns symbolic language that Revelation itself explains. To keep this short, John sees seven lampstands, which are defined as the seven churches. And as most of us know, seven is God’s perfect number of perfection and completeness, and these seven churches represent ALL churches. He sees the seven lampstands on earth, and Jesus has John write seven letters to the seven churches. This all occurs in chapters 1 through 3. All of this is “what is.” Then, chapter 4 begins with what comes AFTER the churches on earth, and everything following this is John telling us the FUTURE following the church on earth.

Chapter 4 begins AFTER THIS – the church age on earth – and chapter 4 begins with the RAPTURE when the church is called up to heaven. He says, “…there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place AFTER THIS'” [the church in heaven]. John now sees the seven lampstands/churches in heaven, which had previously been on earth, and this is all BEFORE Jesus opens any scrolls that begin the seven-year tribulation.

Jesus has “commanded” John to write the FUTURE events to occur leading all the way up to not only Jesus returning back to earth but to the “very end,” where we finally end up living forever with the Lord in the new Jerusalem on a new earth and new heavens, where there is no more sin due to no more mortal humans following Jesus’ 1,000-year millennial reign.

Have you noticed any type of “problem” yet with the child being Jesus who was born 2,000 years ago? This would be looking BACK to the past vs FORWARD to the future – the exact opposite of what John was commanded to do by Jesus.

There is another major problem with the child being Jesus alone. The verses say that the dragon Satan is waiting for the child to be born so he can devour it, but the child is SNATCHED UP to God’s throne room before the dragon can devour the child. The word for snatched up is harpazo, which means a sudden instant type of snatching like a blink of an eye type of snatching, which is the same word used for the rapture in 1 Thes 4.

Jesus was NEVER “raptured” and snatched up to heaven to escape being devoured by the dragon Satan. We know that Satan did try to have Jesus killed following His birth when Jesus’ family escaped to Egypt, but Egypt is not God’s throne room. Jesus “ascended” back to heaven, not to escape Satan, but to allow the Holy Spirit to come and indwell all believers.

So, wait – what’s going on? Rev 12 sounds like the child can be Jesus and also sounds like the child cannot be Jesus. So, what is the answer? The answer is simple. The child is BOTH Jesus and the church, as you will see.

Many people are forgetting that Jesus is the Head of the church, and the church is the “body of Christ.” The Head of the church, Jesus, has ascended back to heaven where He awaits His body of the church to be BORN in order that He can come back and finally join His body of Christ with Himself as the Head.

We already know that the mother in Revelation 12 is not Mary but is Israel. Mary does not flee to a place of safety for 1,260 days. Israel does that during the tribulation period. The mother is a “corporate” mother. The dragon is a “corporate” Satan when Satan indwells the antichrist during the seven-year tribulation. How would the dragon devour a body-of-Christ birth? He would do this during the tribulation period by persecuting and killing as many believers as possible, which the Bible tells us is exactly what he does to people who become believers during the tribulation following the rapture. We also now have a “corporate” child with the body of Christ being born and comprising of millions and millions of born-again believers.

Most people are also overlooking this important fact. In Jesus’ first coming, we have a single person, Mary, giving birth to a single child, Jesus, and we have a single dragon, Satan, who uses Herod to destroy Jesus. Mary “conceived” by the Holy Spirit, and every conception leads to a “birth,” and she gives birth to a Son Jesus.

What happened at Pentecost? The church, the body of Christ, was “conceived” by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Again, when you have a conception, you always have a birth. So when was the church/body of Christ born? It’s so simple. The body of Christ is born in Revelation 12. God not only tells us when the body of Christ will be born, but He actually SHOWS US when the child is born – in a very special alignment in the sun, moon and stars. Then He shows us the “rapture” following that birth. It’s also interesting to know that the birth in the sun, moon and stars occurs at a time in the future when our technology allows us to view “exactly” when all of these astrological alignments take place.

We know the Bible says there are many signs in the sun, moon and stars, and they are referred to as signs. Signs always point to something ahead. The sign in Revelation 12 is no “ordinary” sign. It is a GREAT sign, God calls it. Why is it GREAT? Because God is showing us as close as possible when the rapture is ABOUT TO OCCUR.

We all know what happened on Sept 23, 2017, when the sun, moon and stars gave birth to the ‘body of Christ’s child. Nothing happened, it appears. Why? Because we were not focused on the SIGN of the birth but the word MOMENT where it says the dragon wants to devour the child the “moment” it is born.

To us humans, a moment is super-fast, but this is talking about God’s moment, which is obviously different from our moment. We do know from Revelation that God refers to the seven-year tribulation as an HOUR of trial to come upon the whole earth. Hopefully, a moment is sooner than an hour, even in God’s timing.

But here is what we do know for certain. The rapture DOES occur in God’s MOMENT following the birth of the child/body of Christ, and that means that right now, ALL of us are living IN GOD’S MOMENT following the birth of the child on Sept 23, 2017. We are so close to the rapture, as this moment is now 4 years old. The birth of the child on Sept 23, 2017, is HUGE, HUGE, HUGE, as God has “shown us” in the sun, moon and stars our birth and rapture so that the Head of the church, Jesus, can finally be united with His body, the church. It is without a doubt the CLOSEST God is showing us to the “no one knows the day or hour” Jesus comes for His body/bride verse in Matthew.

I hope all of this is making sense. For those who still may have problems understanding how a child can be a corporate child and be Jesus and the church at the same time, let me share some scripture that backs this up.

Revelation 12 says Jesus will rule with an iron scepter when He returns. He returns “married” to His bride with the Head of the church now united with the body of the church. In Revelation 2:26, Jesus gives authority to the church at Thyatira to rule the nations with an iron scepter. It says, “to the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations to rule them with an iron scepter.” Since we are now “connected” to Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we rule with an iron scepter along with Him.

Another “corporate” sign that the child is a corporate child is Isaiah 66:7-8 that refers to the nation Israel or Zion giving birth. Verse 8 says, “yet no sooner is Zion in “labor” than she gives birth to her CHILDREN, plural. Verse 7 says she gives birth “before” the pains that come upon her. With the body of Christ being the birth child, and the child is raptured up to God’s throne room, this occurs “before” her labor pains begin. The labor “pains” that “follow” the birth would be the seven-year tribulation period.

I hope all of this shows more clearly that the child in Revelation 12 is BOTH Jesus, the Head of the body of Christ, and the child also, who is the body of Christ finally being born. Everything in all 8 verses in Revelation 12 line up “perfectly” when viewing it from this perspective.

When God calls the Revelation 12 sign a great sign, He is not using the word “great” lightly here. This is very IMPORTANT to Him. He “wants” us to understand what is going on around our timeframe. This sign is the greatest prophetic event to occur since the fig tree Israel came back to life in 1948, and it is being completely IGNORED! It shows a “birth” in the sun, moon and stars that we KNOW what it is and when it is in the sun, moon and stars with modern technology. And this birth is followed by a RAPTURE up to God’s throne room. ONLY the body of Christ is harpazoed – instantly snatched up to God in the blink of an eye in the end-time “future.”

God loves it when we study His word and are looking up and getting excited about Jesus coming soon for His bride, the church, and I believe hardly anyone watches more and is excited more about His soon coming than all of us who follow

Maranatha, Lord Jesus

David Cogburn