F.M. Riley (18 June 2017)

Thoughts! #2
                                          By Pastor F. M. Riley
                                                                                    June 15, 2017
     "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.
     For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.......
     Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all,"
                                                                                  1 Timothy 4:9-15
     The Day of Pentecost, June 4th on our calendar, has come and gone, and the Lord did not come on that date as many expected.  So we can now forget about Pentecost as being a "possible" date for the Lord to come.  Or can we?
      As I have meditated "upon these things," another Biblical truth was impressed upon my mind.  I want to share it with our readers.....
The "Great Wonder" [sign] of Revelation 12:1-5
     The Internet is filled with articles and studies about the "sign" in Revelation 12.  According to professional astronomers, stars and planets in the solar system, are right now moving into place to form this constellation in the night sky, and that it will be completed by September 23, 2017, which "just happens" to be the Holy Day of Rosh HaShanah on the Jewish calendar.  Because of this, some of God's people are insisting that the resurrection and rapture of the Lord's New Covenant Church and people will occur on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish "Festival of Trumpets, on September 23, 2017.
      I beg to differ!  For several reasons.......
An Examination of this "Great Wonder"
     Dear readers, the context and chronology of any Scripture in God's Word cannot be ignored, if one truly wants to "right divide the Word of truth," 2 Timothy 2:15.  
     John was shown this "great wonder in heaven" after
     [1]   the opening of the Seals in Revelation 6,
     [2]   the sealing of the 144,000 in chapter 7,
     [3]   the Trumpet judgments in chapters 8 - 9,
     [4]   the seven thunders in chapter 10,
     [5]   the ministry, murder, resurrection, and rapture of God's "two witnesses" in chapter 11.  
     Therefore, even though the stars and planets which will form this "sign" in the night sky, may be moving into place right now, the fulfillment of this "sign" will not occur until near the middle of the seven year Tribulation period.  This should be obvious to any honest reader.  
     Also notice that John first describes the "sign" in 12:1-2, and then later speaks of the birth of her child in 12:5.  So there is definitely an interval of time which occurs between when John first sees the "sign," and when the child is born.  What happens in the interval is described by John in 12:3-4.  
     That the woman in this "sign" represents [typifies] the nation and people of Israel is beyond question.  Israel has been anticipating for centuries the raising up of their Prophet and Messiah from among their people [Deuteronomy 18:15-19], and as the centuries passed and no Messiah had come, they went into "travail," laboring to bring forth the promised Messiah.  Read it for yourself in Isaiah 54:1, 66:7-8, Jeremiah 4:31, 6:24, 13:21, Micah 4:9-10, John 16:21, and 1 Thessalonians 5:3.  So there is no question that the woman in this "sign" is synonomous with the nation and people of Israel.
      John reinforced this truth as he described the woman.  The woman is clothed with the glory of the Sun, and the Moon is under her feet.  She has on her head a crown of twelve stars, clearly typifying the twelve sons of Jacob, from which came the twelve tribes of Israel.  Study and compare Genesis 49.  
The Interval of Time
     But between John's description of the woman in 12:1-2 and John's announcement of the birth in 12:5 there is an interval of time.  Why?  And how much time is involved?
     One thing almost never mentioned by those commenting on this passage, is the gestation period for a child to be born.  Any woman who has ever given birth to a child can tell you that the gestation period from conception to birth is 280 days or nine months.  So how does this apply to this "sign" seen by John in Revelation 12?   I'm so glad you asked!  
The Fulfillment of This Sign
     I have already pointed out that this "sign" will likely come to fulfillment near the middle of the Tribulation.  So therefore the "sign" does not apply to the present time in which we believers are living today, even if the stars and planets are already moving into place to form this constellation in the night sky.
     Readers, take note:  This next paragraph is Absolute Supposition
     However, if we were to apply this "sign" to the present time, as some today are doing, this would mean that the woman would bear her child nine months after she first appears.   If this "sign" in the night sky is completed by September 23, 2017, [Rosh HaShanah] as the astronomers insist that it will be, then she would bring her child to birth 280 days or nine months later.   And what time would that be on our calendar?  Count it up for yourself, and give glory to God!  That would make the child come forth on, or very close to Pentecost, 2018.  
      Please dear readers, don't fail to understand that I am not personally making this application to the fulfillment of this "sign" to apply to this present time,  but only using it as an example for the fulfillment of this "sign" at some point during the coming Tribulation period.  
The Importance of This Truth
     Every serious Bible student knows that the Lord God chose the nation and people of Israel to be His own people, by making an "everlasting covenant" with them at Mt. Sinai some 3,500 years ago.  Israel, as a nation and people were then given the authority to represent the Lord God among the nations of mankind on the earth, Exodus 19:5-6.   The religious Jews, right to this present day, claim that the Lord God made this "everlasting covenant" with Israel some 3,500 years ago,  on The Day of Pentecost.  
      However, because of Israel's rebellion and apostasy, culminating in the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ as their long awaited Messiah and Savior, Israel was temporarily set aside as the Lord's representive.   The inspired Scriptures clearly state that the Lord will not leave Himself without "a witness" on the earth, Acts 14:17.  Therefore this position of authority to represent the Lord God on the earth,  once held by Israel, was transferred to the Lord's Church as recorded in Acts 2.  
     And just as this authority was originally given to Israel at Mt. Sinai on the Day of Pentecost, so it was transferred from Israel to the Lord's Church on the Day of Pentecost. Read it for yourself in Acts 2.   Was this just "coincidence?"  Not hardly!  There are no "coincidences" with the Lord God!  
     Now let't return to the "sign" John saw in Revelation 12.  
The Possible Fulfillment
     If this "sign" has already been determined by the Lord God to appear vivedly over the land of Israel in the night sky, on some future Rosh HaShanah during the coming Tribulation period, [Acts 15:18] then the spiritual birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the hearts and minds and lives of the Jewish "remnant"  will likely take place nine months later on the Jewish Holy Day of Pentecost.
      I make no apology for stating that this will be a spiritual birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the hearts and minds of the repentant, believing Jewish "remnant."  There is no way it can be a literal birth of the Lord, for every true believer knows that Christ Jesus has already been literally  born, some 2,000 years ago in the city of Bethlehem.  So in the fulfillment of this "sign,"  Christ Jesus is finally being spiritually born into the hearts, minds, and lives of the Jewish people who have so stubbornly refused to believe in Him or on Him.   Glory to God!  
     This will then transfer the authority to represent the Lord God on the earth, back to the believing Jewish "remnant," and will also fulfill Joel 2:28 right to the letter.  The believing Jewish "remnant," just like the Lord's Church in Acts 2, will experience being immersed in the Holy Spirit of God as Christ Jesus is born into their hearts and lives.  Oh glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!  How great and kind and merciful is our God!  
     In 63 years in the Lord's ministry, I have never heard another prophecy preacher or teacher present what I have just presented to my readers.  And I wasn't looking for this truth [?] when I found it.  I was just "meditating" on the Word, like our text Scripture instructs God's people to do.  But after writing out this study, praying earnestly all the time for the Lord's guidance and leadership, I have  come to believe this fulfillment of Revelation 12 to be the truth of the Word.   
     Now each reader will have to decide for themselves.  May our gracious Lord God give each one of us the grace we need to discern the truth of His Word.  
     And yes, I do pray that every reader is truly saved, or will hurriedly seek Christ for salvation.  For time is running out!  No, the Lord Jesus did not visibly and bodily return on this past Pentecost.  But this writer is still looking for and praying for His coming to rapture His Church and people to glory day by day, and even hour by hour.  Luke 21:36 is still in the Bible, and still serves as a warning to men and women, boys and girls, who are lost in unbelief and sin.  Now hurry as you seek Jesus as your own personal Savior.  Read and ask God for the grace to believe John 3:16; 5:24, 14:6; Acts 4:12, 16:30-31,  Romans 10:8-13, and Ephesians 2:8-10.   My heart's desire is to meet every reader in Heaven when our Lord comes for us, Galatians 1:3-4.  Please don't disappoint me!  
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     Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this article to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.  Please do!
     Thank you dear brothers and sisters in Christ for your prayers and your gifts for this ministry, and for this old preacher man.  Please keep me in your prayers also.  My health is steadily deteriorating.  
     Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to me at:   Pastor F. M. Riley,  14275 County Road 8120,  Rolla, Missouri 65401.  God bless you all until we meet together in glory.   
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