The Tribulation: The Great Sign of Revelation 12
By Nathan Jones
What are the meanings of the symbols of the Woman, the Child, and the Red Dragon as described in Revelation 12?
(Note: This and other questions sent in to Lamb & Lion Ministries about the Tribulation were answered by Dr. David Reagan, Nathan Jones, and Tim Moore on our television program Christ in Prophecy.)
Dr. Reagan: Let’s start off by discerning who the Woman is as described in Revelation 12. The Catholic Church says that the Woman must be Mary. Others who hold to the Great Sign of Revelation 12 prophecy recently claimed everything to do with the Great Sign has to do with constellations and stars in the sky and the way Jupiter aligns with them.
Nathan Jones: Let’s see exactly what the Bible has to say: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, on her head a garland of 12 stars, and then being with child she cried out in labor in pain to give birth…” We merely have to go back to Genesis and read the story of Joseph, where Joseph was given a dream about how his father and mother and brothers in the form of the sun, moon, and stars were bowing down and worshiping him to find the meaning to this imagery. We can know then that the Woman is Israel. The Bible always explains its symbols. You have to hunt around at times, but the meanings are there. So, we know that the Woman represents the people of Israel, meaning the Jewish people.
Who did the Woman give birth to? Some will say the Child is the Church. But, is it? We read on that she cried out in labor and gave birth, and another sign appeared, a great fiery red dragon. Revelation 12:4 goes on, “And his tail drew a third of the stars, and he was going to devour the child who soon was born. The male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” The Child cannot be the Church because the Church is never destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron, rather such a description has been prophesied showing that the Child must be Jesus Christ. The Jewish people gave birth to the Messiah. The Messiah is in Heaven and so protected. Satan as the Red Dragon has been seeking to kill and usurp Jesus Christ.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible is indeed the best interpreter of itself.
Will the Antichrist be a Muslim or a Jew?
Tim Moore: A lot of people have speculated on the Antichrist’s exact ethnic and religious background. I would reject the idea that he will be a Muslim because I don’t think the Jewish people would trust a Muslim to come to them and make a treaty that would allow the Jews to rebuild the Temple.
Dr. Reagan: What Muslim would ever declare himself to be God as the Antichrist has been prophesied to? If a Muslim ever said he was God, why the Muslims would kill him for blasphemy.
Tim Moore: His fellow Muslims would kill him, that’s exactly right. And, as far as the Antichrist being a Jew, I don’t see that either because Revelation 13 specifically says that the Antichrist will come “out of the sea,” which is a traditionally biblical reference to the Gentile nations. And, as this Beast comes and stands on the shore there will be yet another beast who will rise up “out of the land,” and that second beast will be called the False Prophet. It is he who quiet probably will be of Jewish background, though obviously not an observant or faithfully religious Jewish person. No, the Antichrist himself will be neither Muslim or Jewish.
Nathan Jones: I don’t see Islam playing a role in the Tribulation because of the result of the Gog-Magog War as described in Ezekiel 38-39. The end result of that war will be the destruction of the Islamic nations within the Middle East and Africa. Islam will be eviscerated at the onset of the Tribulation. And then, going into the Tribulation, the Antichrist cannot have a competing monotheistic religion such as Islam, so Islam will most likely be destroyed at the onset of the Tribulation.
How can I be sure I will take part in the Rapture of the Church?
Nathan Jones: Tim, you gave us great hope when you said that if you are a Christian that you will be raptured before the wrath of God falls on the earth during the Tribulation. How can someone come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and so join the Church in the Rapture?
Tim Moore: That’s the most important question we have yet to answer! Let me just start by explaining that the Church is simply the worldwide body of people who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The Church will indeed be taken out of this world before God’s wrath is poured out upon it. We have merely touched the surface concerning the horrors that await all who reject Christ’s offer of salvation and so will have to live through the Tribulation and eventually eternally in Hell.
The good news of the Gospel is that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice for your sins. John 3:16 tells us about that glorious good news. This passage of Scripture promises that if we believe in Jesus, we will not perish, but will have eternal life. But, at the end of the same chapter in John 3:36, John warns that those who do not obey God by believing in His Son will not receive eternal life, instead, the wrath of God continues to abide on them.
God’s own Holy Spirit will illuminate your heart and germinate seeds of faith, if you will let Him. So, right now, repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son sent to die on the cross on your behalf. Accept that by God’s own power Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Trust Him to save you from your sins and the wrath to come. And, finally, know that Christ is able to keep you now and forevermore in eternal life and fellowship with Him.