Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Just WHO is the Woman of Revelation 12?

What is this "great wonder" of Revelation 12 that the apostle John saw in heaven in his vision? Of WHAT is it a sign? What do the sun, moon and 12 stars associated with this woman represent? Who was the CHILD born to this mysterious woman? Catholic tradition assigns the identity of the woman to the Virgin Mary after her assumption into heaven -- where she is revealed in all her glory as the "Queen of Heaven." Some identify the woman as the Church, and the man-child she gives birth to are the saints. So what is the TRUTH -- just WHO is this woman of Revelation 12?

by HOIM Staff

Throughout Scripture, YEHOVAH God has revealed to us the things that will take place in the future. In fact, the LORD assures us that He does nothing unless He reveals His plan to His servants the prophets:

"Surely the LORD God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7)."

Interestingly, the Bible has more to say about the last days than any other period in history. And today these events are unfolding before our very eyes. [1] This article will look at one of these developments through the lens of Scripture.

Global Marian Apparitions

One of the most significant trends occurring in our day is the worldwide Marian apparitions. These reported apparitions represent perhaps the greatest display of supernatural activity since the time of the Messiah's first advent. [2] If these manifestations are as prolific and widespread as reported, then we should expect that the Bible would anticipate these major global events.

Interestingly, there is only ONE chapter in the Bible that identifies a benevolent “woman” on the scene during earth’s final days. The chapter is Revelation 12. In the first verse of this chapter we read: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”

According to many Marian visionaries this is exactly how the apparition appears. In addition, the apparition’s messages often state that she is the “woman clothed with the sun” or, more commonly, the “Queen of Heaven.” Here are two examples:

"In the Apocalypse [the Book of Revelation], I have been announced as the Woman Clothed with the Sun who will conduct the battle against the Red Dragon and all his followers. If you want to second my plan, you must do battle, my little ones, children of a Mother who is Leader." [3]

"Beloved sons, live in my peace. Today you are calling to mind my first apparition which took place in the poor Cova da Iria in Fatima. I came down from heaven as your Mother and Queen. I manifested myself to you in the splendor of my immaculate light. I appeared as the Woman Clothed with the Sun, who has the task of forming for herself her cohort, for the decisive moments of battle." [4]

Who, then, is this "woman" of Revelation 12?

The Woman of Revelation 12

Writes Jory Steven Brooks --

"Revelation chapter 12 contains an important and much misunderstood prophecy of a prophetic 'woman' in the wilderness. Noted evangelical expositor, Dr. Harry Ironside, observed, 'I have learned to view this twelfth chapter as the crucial test in regard to the correct prophetic outline. If the interpreters are wrong as to the woman and the man-child, it necessarily follows that they will be wrong as to many things connected with them'" (The Woman in the Wilderness).

Dr. Ironside was absolutely correct in his assessment of the importance of Revelation chapter 12. "Unless we correctly identify this woman and the subject matter connected with her," continues Brooks, "we will be misled on important Biblical issues including Israel, Christ, the Covenants and latter-day prophecy as a whole!"

So is it the Marian apparition to which YEHOVAH God is referring in Revelation 12? Does the Revelation 12 woman anticipate the apparition’s last day’s role? How does this prophetic passage relate to the rest of the Scriptures? Let’s read the first five verses of this chapter:

"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne" (Revelation 12:1-5).

What is this great wonder which appeared in heaven and of WHAT is it a sign? Jory Brooks notes that "this woman has been variously identified as Israel, the Church, or the Virgin Mary. Yet in NO WAY is the mother of Christ Biblically symbolized as a woman in a wilderness (cf. Rev. 12:6), nor can we agree with the very common interpretation that makes the prophetic woman to be the Christian Church" (The Woman in the Wilderness).

Dr. William R. Newell gives a viable analysis of this very issue: "Israel, NOT the Church, gave birth to Christ (Rom. 9:1-33; Mic. 5:1-15; Isa. 9:6; Heb. 7:14). In no possible sense did the Church do so. [Dr. Joseph] Seiss, generally very helpful, most strenuously asserts the Woman to be 'the Church Universal' [and]...proceeds to call the Child 'the whole regenerated purchase of the Savior's blood', though how the Mother and the Child can be thus the same company, even the author's utmost vehemence fails to convince you! (Seiss: Lectures 26, 28)...The subsequent earthly history (Rev. 12:1-17) of the woman corresponds exactly with what other prophets tell us concerning the trouble of Israel..."

With this woman are associated the sun, moon and twelve stars. The fact that heaven is the place where this sign appears associates it with the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God.

When we think of a woman who gives birth to “a male Child who was to rule the nations,” Mary the mother of the Messiah naturally comes to mind. However, the Bible explains that “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

With that admonition in mind, let’s look at the context of this passage and examine the whole counsel of YEHOVAH’s Word to see what the spirit of YEHOVAH God intended.

Joseph’s Dream in Genesis 37

Throughout the Book of Revelation, the holy spirit uses imagery from the Old Testament. In fact, the Book of Revelation has scores of allusions to the Old Testament. [5] Revelation 12 is no exception.

In studying the Old Testament it is apparent that the “woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” is a direct reference to Joseph’s dream recorded in the Book of Genesis. Here is Joseph’s dream:

"[Joseph] dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, 'Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.' So he told it to his father (Israel) and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, 'What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?'” (Genesis 37:9-10).

Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Israel. From his dream we are shown that the sun, the moon, and the twelve stars represent Israel and his family. Israel -- formerly called Jacob -- had twelve sons from which emerge the twelve tribes of Israel.

Writes Howard B. Rand --

"Jacob recognized in the sun, moon and eleven stars making obeisance to the twelfth star the sign of the Israel family with the twelve stars representing his twelve sons. Later, each one of the twelve tribes carried on its standard, one each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac....Now the woman thus clothed can represent none other than the Israel Kingdom, for she only can display the symbols of the family of Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel. This fact is further verified because Israel is often depicted in Scripture as a woman. (See Isa. 54:4-7; Hosea 2)" (Study in Revelation, Destiny Publishers, Merrimac, MA. 1985, pp. 168-169).

Notes Tetlow, Oakland and Myers:

"In studying the OT [Old Testament] it is clear that the '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' (Revelation 12:1-2) is a reference to the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL who were sealed by God for salvation in Revelation 7...according to Joseph's dream recorded in Genesis 37:5-11, the twelve stars represent the twelve tribes of Israel, and the sun and the moon represent Jacob (a.k.a. Israel) and his wife. Therefore, the woman of Revelation [12], from a scriptural perspective, IS ISRAEL" (Queen of Rome, Queen of Islam, Queen of All. Endnote 170).

And it is through Israel’s seed that YEHOVAH God promises to bring forth His Son -- the Messiah. In the Book of Genesis, YEHOVAH repeatedly promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) that “in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” [6] This is a direct reference to the Messiah --

"Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ" (Galatians 3:16).

The apostle John, who authored the Book of Revelation, was a Judahite believer. He and his first century audience would have surely understood that the sign of this woman refers back to Joseph’s dream and therefore represents Israel.

Israel Found in Revelation Chapters 7, 12, 14, and 21

In fact the entire context of the Book of Revelation demands this interpretation. For we see that prior to the Revelation 12 reference to Israel, John lists all twelve tribes of Israel by name in chapter 7. In this chapter the twelve tribes of Israel are listed and sealed by YEHOVAH God for protection and salvation (Revelation 7:1-8):

"And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed" (Revelation 7:4).

They appear again in Revelation 12 -- this time persecuted by, but protected from, the dragon. Then they appear in Revelation 14:1-5 as redeemed from the earth and singing before the throne of YEHOVAH God --

"Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their forehead.…They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth" (Revelation 14:1, 3).

Finally, to assure us that the woman of Revelation 12 is Israel, she appears once more at the end of the Book of Revelation -- this time as the Lamb’s (the Messiah’s) bride coming down out of heaven:

"Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.…'Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.' And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.…And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Revelation 21:2, 9-12, 14).

Why is it important that the true Israel is presented as the Lamb’s bride at the end of the Book of Revelation? How does this relate to the rest of the Scriptures?

Physical Israel is YEHOVAH’s Wife

A review of the Old Testament will greatly enhance our understanding of these passages. In the Old Testament, physical Israel is often referred to as YEHOVAH’s wife:

"For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth" (Isaiah 54:5).

“'Return, O backsliding children,' says the LORD; 'for I am married to you. I will take you…and I will bring you to Zion'” (Jeremiah 3:14).

"I have likened the daughter of Zion to a lovely and delicate woman" (Jeremiah 6:2).

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD" (Jeremiah 31:31-32).

Spiritual Israel is the Messiah's Wife

These and other references confirm that YEHOVAH’s wife is physical Israel, [7] while the imagery that John received depicts the true Israel (the Ecclesia -- repentant Israelites) as the Messiah’s faithful and pure wife in Revelation chapter 21.

In the New Testament the Messiah is depicted as married to his church. [8] And YEHOVAH’s Word teaches that the church consisted first of Judahite believers and then of Gentile (House of Israel in Dispersion) believers --

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Israelites in dispersion]" (Romans 1:16).

Therefore the Revelation 21 bride is the true Israel -- consisting of Judahite and House of Israel believers -- united forever with the Messiah. In contrast, nowhere in the Bible is Mary portrayed as the bride or wife of either YEHOVAH God or the Messiah!

Israel Portrayed as a Woman in Labor

Further, Israel is repeatedly portrayed as a woman in labor. This is the imagery utilized in Revelation 12 to depict Israel’s birth pangs in the last days. These labor pains will usher in the return of YEHOVAH God AND the Messiah. Here are some of the Old Testament passages that highlight this:

"Before [Israel] was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child" (Isaiah 66:7).

"For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor, the anguish as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion bewailing herself…" (Jeremiah 4:31).

"For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor. Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies" (Micah 4:9-10).

"Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel" (Micah 5:3).

Tetlow, Oakland and Myers bring up an interesting point in Endnote 170 of their book, Queen of Rome, Queen of Islam, Queen of All:

"...we are told in Revelation 12:2 that this woman is in pain. This directly contradicts the Catholic doctrine that Mary, as sinless, did not experience the consequences of the curse, namely, that she was exempt from pain and death. Genesis 3:16 explains that pain in childbirth is the DIRECT result of the curse. Therefore, if Mary is sinless, she CANNOT be the woman of Revelation 12 who is experiencing pain. Of course, the Bible states that ALL are sinners, but Catholics who hold this position must acknowledge that they cannot have it both ways!"

These and other Old Testament passages picture Israel laboring with birth pangs in the final days leading to YEHOVAH God's and the Messiah’s return. [9]

YEHOVAH God Isn’t Through with Israel

To further support that it is Israel which YEHOVAH God refers to in Revelation 12, we must remember that during the times of trouble ahead, YEHOVAH again deals with the nation Israel. Ezekiel 36-39; Daniel 9:24-27; Daniel 12; Zechariah 12-14; Revelation 7; 11; 14 and many additional passages underscore this fact. The period described in Revelation chapters 6-19, is even called the time of Jacob’s trouble, notice: [10]

"Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's [a.k.a. Israel’s] trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30:7).

In addition, Paul spends three chapters in the Book of Romans (chapters 9-11) explaining that YEHOVAH God is not through with Israel. These chapters conclude with YEHOVAH’s promise to deliver Israel in the last days: “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer [YEHOVAH God] will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob’” (Romans 11:26). This agrees with the deliverance we see in the Book of Revelation.

Israel’s Repentance and Supplication Will Usher in YEHOVAH God’s Return

Zechariah chapters 12-14 provide further insight. In these chapters, we discover that it is Israel’s repentance in the last days that gives birth, or literally ushers in YEHOVAH’s return. Zechariah explains that during the last days ALL of Israel (both Houses) will cry out to YEHOVAH and finally recognize Him as their long-awaited Deliverer:

"But I will fill the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a spirit of pity and compassion; and they shall lament to Me about those who are slain, wailing over them as over a favorite son and showing bitter grief as over a first-born" (Zechariah 12:10 -- Tanakh).

Israel’s supplication and mourning for those that are slain will usher in YEHOVAH's return. This is why the dragon hates the woman in Revelation 12. If he can destroy the Israelite nations then, by this thinking, YEHOVAH God and the Messiah will not return. Of course we are assured that the enemy will be defeated and YEHOVAH God and His people will triumph!

More Confirmation that Revelation Twelve Refers to Israel [11]

There are additional clues that confirm that the Revelation 12 woman refers to Israel. For instance, Michael the archangel and his angels fight with the dragon and his angels -- casting them down to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9).

It is no coincidence that the Old Testament Book of Daniel identifies Michael as “the great prince who stands watch over the [Israelite] people” (Daniel 12:1). How fitting then it is to have Michael fighting on behalf of the people of Israel in Revelation 12.

Revelation 12:14 adds some further details to this marvelous prophecy --

"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."

This time period corresponds to the "1260 days" of verse 6. "Her place" is the "place prepared of God" (Revelation 12:6). This is a reference to the Davidic promise in 2 Samuel 7:10. Israel would live in a new land that would evidently be an unsettled wilderness -- a land where wicked nations would not afflict them:

"Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime."

The Ostrogoths -- who were a part of Israel who migrated from Asia to Europe in the early "Christian" centuries -- minted coins showing a Woman with wings treading on the serpent-dragon. A coincidence? The Ostrogoths were described as "wanders without a home" by historian Ferdinand Gregorovius (History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages, 1909, I:371).

More affirmation is found in Daniel chapter 9. In verses 26-27 we are told that the final seven years of the "Seventy Weeks" prophecy was the time that YEHOVAH God again dealt with His people Israel. This final week -- or seven year period -- commenced when the Messiah was anointed with the holy spirit in 28 A.D. But, in the middle of the final week (at the 3 1/2 year midpoint) the Messiah was crucified (31 A.D.). Following the Messiah's plea on the tree (Luke 23:34), YEHOVAH God withheld judgment against the Judeans until forty years later in 70 A.D. (Hebrew inclusive counting) when the Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. Just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple the Revelation 12 woman (Israel -- 12:6) fled into the wilderness for one thousand two hundred and sixty days -- or 1260 years (see also: Revelation 12:14).

Finally, Revelation 12:15-16 talks about a "flood" that the serpent (Satan) spews out of his mouth with the intent to cause the woman (physical Israel) to be carried away. Both the Book of Revelation (12:15-16) and the Book of Daniel (9:26; 11:22) use the same imagery of a "flood" to represent the trouble and persecution that came upon the people of Israel during this period. The imagery of a "flood" -- signifying enemy forces against YEHOVAH’s people -- is used regularly in the Word of YEHOVAH God, notice -- [12]

"Who is this coming up like a flood, whose waters move like the rivers? Egypt [Israel’s adversary] rises up like a flood, and its waters move like the rivers; and he says, 'I will go up and cover the earth, I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.' Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth” (Jeremiah 46:7-9).

"Now therefore, behold, the LORD brings up over them the waters of the River, strong and mighty -- the king of Assyria and all his glory; he will go up over all his channels and go over all his banks. He will pass through Judah, he will overflow and pass over, he will reach up to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel" (Isaiah 8:7-8).

However, Satan's attempt to go after physical Israel is foiled in verse 16: "But the earth helped the woman [physical Israel], and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon [Satan] had spewed out of his mouth." Enraged that his main target (physical Israel) was denied him, Satan turns his attention to spiritual Israel -- the Ecclesia (Church), those converted Israelites who keep the commandments of YEHOVAH God:

"And the dragon [Satan] was enraged with the woman [physical Israel], and he went to make war with the rest of her [physical Israel's] offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (verse 17).

The Ecclesia -- spiritual Israel -- is made up of those drawn from physical Israel ONLY! Read our article, The "CHURCH" -- Called Out of What? for more information. Ever since YEHOVAH declared that He would bring forth His Savior through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and the nation of Israel, we find that over and over again “Satan stood up against Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1).

The enemy will try once again to thwart YEHOVAH’s plan, but the Book of Revelation confirms his defeat.

Catholic Theologian Agrees

Roman Catholic theologian Father Hubert J. Richards agrees that the Revelation 12 woman refers to Israel. His book, What The Spirit Says to the Churches: A Key to the Apocalypse of John, carries the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur of the Roman Catholic Church. [13] Concerning the woman of Revelation 12, Father Richards writes:

"The vision proper, then, begins with the figure of a Woman clothed with the sun and the stars. We think naturally enough of our Lady, to whom this description has traditionally been applied. After all, we say, of whom else could John be thinking when he speaks of the mother of the Messiah? However it is clear from the rest of the chapter that this interpretation will stand only if the verse is isolated: what follows has very little relevance to our Lady. Nor is it any honor to Mary to apply any and every text to her without thought.…

"Who then is she? The source to which John has turned for his imagery throughout this book is the Old Testament. There, the Woman, the bride of God who brings forth the Messiah, is Israel, the true Israel, the chosen people of God. It is quite certain that this is what is in John’s mind when he begins his description with a quotation from Gen. 37:9-10, where the sun and moon and twelve stars represent the twelve-fold Israel.

"This Woman will later be contrasted with the Harlot (the collective personality of Rome, opposed to the true Israel), and will be specified at the end of the book, again appearing in light and splendour for her marriage with the Lamb, as the twelve-gated Jerusalem which forms the new Israel. In fact the number twelve occurs so frequently in the Apocalypse in reference to Israel that it cannot have a different meaning here. All the early Fathers of the Church interpreted these verses as about the Israel of God." [14]

While there are some who insist that Mary is the symbol and model of the church and Revelation 12 refers to both Mary and Israel, this conjecture disagrees with the rest of the Scriptures. In reviewing YEHOVAH’s entire Word it becomes crystal clear that the Revelation 12 woman depicts Israel -- NOT Mary or the church!

Exposing the Apparition

If Revelation 12 does not detail Mary’s role in the last days as the apparition declares, then the apparition’s claim to be Mary must be deceptive. And because we know that YEHOVAH God would never send Mary back to deceive us, this apparition appearing as a glorious queen must be an impostor.

Remember that according to YEHOVAH’s Word the woman of Revelation 12 is the only benevolent woman on the scene during the last days. Who then is behind these global apparitions? Do the Scriptures anticipate and expose a female last days’ impostor?

Yes! As YEHOVAH God has promised, His Word has warned us in advance. In surveying the entire Bible, there are several passages in both the Old and New Testaments that indicate that a woman -- who is a deceiver -- would be on the scene during the end times.

The Bible warns of an alluring woman and queen who will deceive YEHOVAH’s people in the Messiah’s name (Revelation 17). YEHOVAH’s Word identifies a lady who will seduce the nations claiming to be our mother (Isaiah 47). And Scripture cautions of a woman who will be associated with a curse who flies throughout the earth during the last days (Zechariah 5).

Though these Scriptures will only be touched on in this article, they are examined thoroughly in the book Queen of All: The Marian apparitions’ plan to unite all religions under the Roman Catholic Church. The book also examines the apparition’s messages and actions in-depth -- providing overwhelming documentation that these manifestations are not Mary but rather a demonic deception. [15]

Counterfeiting Scripture

If YEHOVAH’s Word identifies a last days deceptive woman who comes in the Messiah’s name (Revelation 17), and if the Bible warns that many of YEHOVAH’s people will be ensnared by this queen (Revelation 18:4-7), would it make sense for this entity to counterfeit the Scriptures in order to deceive multitudes?

Consider the following Marian message received by Father Don Stefano Gobbi -- the head of the Marian Movement of Priests --

"I am the Virgin of Revelation…I will bring you to the full understanding of Sacred Scripture. Above all, I will read to you the pages of its last book, which you are living. In it, everything is already predicted, even that which must still come to pass. The battle to which I am calling you is clearly described, and my great victory is foretold." [16]

In this message and many others, the apparition portrays herself as the woman of Revelation 12. Even more revealing, she says that she will bring her followers to the full understanding of Sacred Scripture. Not surprisingly, this claim also contradicts YEHOVAH’s Word:

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2).

The Woman and Her Persecuted Followers

If the apparition is using the Scriptures to deceive her followers, will she attempt to fulfill the Revelation 12 scenario? Does she claim to be the persecuted woman of Revelation 12? Yes, as the following messages will demonstrate:

"I am the great sign which appeared in the sky: I am the Woman Clothed with the Sun, with the moon beneath my feet, and with a crown of twelve stars upon my head…And so, close to the great sign of the Woman Clothed with the Sun, there appears also that of the Red Dragon, of the ancient serpent, of Satan, who is now manifesting himself in all his extraordinary power. It appears that the great Dragon has won his victory…But in the furious struggle of these last times, this struggle between heaven and earth, between the heavenly spirits and the demons, between the Woman and the Dragon, I appear as a great sign of my greatest victory…For this great victory, I have formed for myself the cohort of all my little children who, from every part of the world, have responded to me with a yes. With my Marian Movement of Priests, I have brought my invitation to the farthest confines of the earth, and I have formed for myself my victorious army.” [17]

"The Dragon [Satan] and the Beast [Antichrist] can do nothing against those who have been signed with my seal. The Star of the Abyss [Satan] will persecute all those who are signed with my seal, but nothing will be able to harm the souls upon whom I myself have impressed my image. By the blood which many of them will have shed, divine justice will be appeased, and the time of my victory will be hastened…" [18]

In these messages, the apparition asserts that she is the great sign in the sky -- “the Woman Clothed with the Sun.” She also declares that she and her children will be persecuted by the Revelation 12 dragon, but assures her followers that her victory is guaranteed. The apparition even declares that she will seal her followers, thus imitating the Revelation 7 prophecy.

Of course Revelation 7 states that YEHOVAH God (not the woman of Revelation 12) will seal the 144,000 Israelite believers (not Marian followers). This is therefore one more example of the apparition misapplying Scriptures in order to carry out her deceptive agenda. By coming in the Messiah’s name and twisting the Scriptures those who do not know the Word of the LORD will be led astray.

Let's take a look at the verse in Revelation 12 that refers to the alleged persecution of the apparition woman --

"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days" (Revelation 12:6).

"At the time that the above events were transpiring in Palestine," notes Howard B. Rand, "only the Jews [Judahites -- tribe of Judah], the tribe of Benjamin and some of the Levites, were subject to Roman rule. Josephus, the Jewish historian who wrote in 70 A.D., says, 'The ten tribes did NOT return to Palestine; only two tribes served the Romans after Palestine became a Roman province.' Again he said, 'There are but TWO tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude.' (Jos. Antiq., Ch. 11, pp. 2, 5.) In this place beyond the Euphrates, Josephus says Israel is a great multitude whom no man can number" (A Study in Revelation, p. 176).

We also find that Esdras testified to this fact -- notice!

"The ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea [Hosea] the King, whom Salmanasar the King of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so come they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt. That they might there keep their Statutes, which they had never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river. For the most high [YEHOVAH God] then showed signs for them, and held still the floods, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth. Then dwelt they there until the latter time" (II Esdras 13:40-46).

It is here that Josephus places them during the days of the Messiah.

Now Benjamin -- one of the ten tribes -- was with Judah in Palestine. When the Messiah started his ministry, he commissioned this tribe and sent it forth on a mission, for which purpose it had been left behind in Palestine. Explains Rand, "The Galileans of our Lord's day were Benjamites who became Christians. It is erroneous to say that the Jews [Judeans as a whole] accepted Christianity, for they did not. They [the Jewish religious hierarchy -- mainly Edomites] crucified the Messiah and persecuted the early Christians..." (A Study in Revelation, p. 177).

Notice what Jeremiah the prophet predicted about these early Christians of the tribe of Benjamin:

"O you children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to FLEE from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a signal-fire in Beth Haccerem; for disaster appears out of the north, and great destruction" (Jeremiah 6:1).

When the kingdom was taken from Solomon's son Rehoboam, ONE TRIBE -- Benjamin -- was left in accordance with YEHOVAH's promise that "David My servant may have a light always before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen Me to put My Name there" (I Kings 11:36).

In Matthew 5:14 the Messiah told his disciples -- the Galileans who followed him -- "You are the light of the world." These Benjamites became the light bearers of the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God and of eventual salvation to all men. Therefore, as Isaiah stated, "The people [Benjamites] that walked in darkness have seen a great light" (Isaiah 9:2).

"In line with Jeremiah's warning," states Rand, "Jesus told his disciples, 'And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.' (Luke 21:20-22.)" (ibid., pp. 177-178).

When the legions of Rome started to surround Jerusalem the time had come for Israel beyond the Euphrates, and Benjamin in the midst of Judah in Palestine, to move westward towards the place prepared for them by YEHOVAH God. If they delayed too long, Rome would interfere with this westward trek because Imperial Rome was about to expand her borders -- extending her conquests towards the north, the east and the west.

Continues Howard B. Rand --

"When the armies of Cestius encompassed the city of Jerusalem, Benjamin took warning. This Roman general recalled his soldiers from the attack upon the city, retiring with his rear guard closely pursued by the Jews. With the defeat of Cestius, the victorious Jews returned to the city in a high state of exaltation. But to the Christians it was a sign of coming disaster. History tells of many leaving the city, a strange and significant contrast to the joy and self-sufficiency of those who came back glutted with victory. In the Christians leaving Jerusalem, Benjamin was beginning the long journey towards the Appointed Place" (ibid., p. 178).

The Appointed Place

In II Samuel 7:10 Nathan the prophet brought word to King David regarding his house and the future resting place for Israel -- notice!

"Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously."

It was to this same place that Isaiah directed his message, "Islands, keep silence before me, let the people renew their strength" (Isaiah 41:1). And, "Islands, listen to me, pay attention, remotest peoples" (Isaiah 49:1). The Appointed Place to which Nathan refers is the British Isles of which Isaiah speaks and the wilderness towards which the woman (Israel) flees.

"Now the wilderness is an uninhabited territory," notes Rand, "and in such a place Israel was to be fed during the last half of the great Seven Times, or for 1260 years. The feeding has a much deeper meaning than food alone for it applies also to the acquiring of KNOWLEDGE OF THE BIBLE, which Book was taken and eaten by John as emblematical of Israel's assimilation of its message. (Rev. 10:10.) After this Israel was to BEGIN HER KINGDOM ACTIVITIES" (A Study in Revelation, p. 179).

The Most Cunning Deception

At present, the apparition has formed her enormous army. The Marian Movement of Priests -- representing just one Marian group -- consists of over 100,000 priests and millions of lay followers worldwide. If you add in all the other Marian groups, her followers easily number in the tens of millions.

Sadly, by misapplying the Scriptures, the apparition seeks to ensnare many to follow her rather than the Messiah of the Bible. This is diabolical because the apparition comes in the Messiah’s name and proclaims many biblical truths. However if a person does not repent, turn toward YEHOVAH God, and place their faith in YEHOVAH God and His Word exclusively, then the enemy’s deceptive ploy has succeeded (Acts 20:21).

This has always been Satan’s agenda. In fact the Bible warns that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel [messenger] of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Remember, Satan is the most cunning creature (Genesis 3:1). He also quotes Scriptures when deceiving (Matthew 4:6). And the Bible tells us that he will deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). In fact the Messiah warned that the last days deceptions would be so clever that if it were possible even the elect would be deceived (Matthew 24:24). And the apostle Paul echoes Yeshua’s warning in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11.

Therefore, we should expect that the apparition will attempt to misapply any and all of the prophetic Scriptures in order to lead souls astray. For example, we should expect a time when she tells her followers to flee to the wilderness as described in Revelation 12:14.

YEHOVAH’s Word Warns of This Deception

Thankfully, YEHOVAH God has given us the clear light of His Word. As He promised, He has warned us in advance so that we would not be led astray. Let’s now examine two of the prophetic passages that anticipate this deception.

In Revelation chapter 17, the apostle John is shown a beautiful woman who is in the wilderness riding the beast into power (v. 3-4). Though she appears outwardly as an alluring queen, YEHOVAH reveals her true nature as the Mother of Harlots (v. 5).

Here are the first 6 verses of this chapter:

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement" (Revelation 17:1-6).

The term “harlot” is frequently used in the Bible to describe those who profess to follow YEHOVAH God, but instead are unfaithful and follow after false gods. [19] In the Bible, when YEHOVAH’s people went astray, we are told they played the harlot. They still claimed to be married to one husband (the LORD -- YEHOVAH), but instead pursued other lovers (false gods). So it is very enlightening that this queenly woman is called the Mother of harlots.

In addition, Babylon is where false religion originated (Genesis 11). Babylon is found throughout the Bible. Though outwardly striking, she is always opposed to YEHOVAH God and His people (Isaiah 47). So it is no surprise to see Mystery Babylon on the climactic end-times scene. Her counterfeit worship is prophesied to rise one more time before her final destruction.

Therefore, though the woman of Revelation 17 has the appearance of being the Messiah’s beautiful bride and queen (the true Ecclesia), in reality, she is the counterfeit bride -- heading up the counterfeit church. She comes in the Messiah’s name, claiming to be his bride, but is in fact playing the harlot.

At the beginning of her reign she has many followers from all over the world (Revelation 17:15; 18:4-7). However, the concluding verses of Revelation 17 reveal that the beast from out of the land (Revelation 13:11) and his ten kings will eventually turn on her to burn and destroy her (v. 16-17). At this point, the beast will consolidate his power base -- no longer sharing his control with the woman’s religious system.

Therefore, though the woman begins by reigning over the earth (v. 15, 18), she will eventually flee from the Islamic beast and his ten kings who seek to destroy her. Where does she flee? The answer is found in another last day’s prophecy.

The Zechariah 5 Wicked Woman

There is a peculiar prophecy in Zechariah 5 that describes a wicked woman who flies throughout the earth (v. 5-7). This woman is related to a global curse (v. 2-4) and called “Wickedness!” (v. 8). Her final destination is the land of Shinar (v. 10-11), the location of ancient Babylon. This chapter also indicates that the woman will eventually be forcibly carried to Babylon (v. 7-11).

It is important to realize that Zechariah’s prophecy was made after Babylon had been conquered by the Medes and Persians. This would indicate that Babylon must reemerge in the last days. Therefore, this prophecy is yet future. And today, with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Babylon -- located in the deserts of Iraq -- is positioned to reemerge on the global scene.

Here is Zechariah’s prophecy:

"Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll. And he said to me, 'What do you see?' So I answered, 'I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.' Then he said to me, 'This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: "Every thief shall be expelled," according to this side of the scroll; and, "Every perjurer shall be expelled," according to that side of it.' 'I will send the curse,' says the Lord of hosts; 'It shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house and consume it, with its timber and stones.' Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, 'Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.' So I asked, 'What is it?' And he said, 'It is a basket that is going forth.' He also said, 'This is their resemblance throughout the earth: Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket'; then he said, 'This is Wickedness!' And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven. So I said to the angel who talked with me, 'Where are they carrying the basket?' And he said to me, 'To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base'” (Zechariah 5).

From this passage we learn that in the last days a house will be built in Babylon for the fleeing woman. Interestingly, the Hebrew word translated “house” is bayith which literally means a palace, temple, or prison. Though the woman begins by flying throughout the earth, she will eventually be carried to her temple (prison) in the desert of Iraq.

That the Zechariah 5 worldwide judgment is related to a wicked woman is quite provocative. And these people (her followers?) are judged because they swear falsely by YEHOVAH’s name (v. 4). This indicates that those who will be judged speak in the LORD’s name. They profess to be followers of the LORD, as Marian followers do, yet they speak incorrectly concerning the one true God.

Here is something else to consider related to this chapter. It is no secret that the apparition of Mary -- known as the Queen of Heaven -- is the mother of the Catholic Church which has its headquarters in Rome. Therefore it is quite interesting that some commentators believe that Mystery Babylon refers, first and foremost to Rome, and then secondly to Babylon.

Is it possible that the Queen’s Church will begin her reign in Rome, but end in Babylon? Commentator John Phillips offers this insight:

"In the prophetic application of the vision, the woman Zechariah saw can be identified with the woman in Matthew 13:33 and the scarlet woman in Revelation 17.…Apparently, after the Antichrist destroys the Roman religious system (17:16) the spiritual uncleanness it has harbored will be carried back to rebuilt Babylon (18:2), where it will meet its final doom." [20]

Come Out of Her!

To summarize: Zechariah 5 and Revelation 17 reveal that a wicked, but alluring woman, who has many followers, comes in the Messiah’s name, claims to be a queen, but who is in fact representative of a global curse, will be on the scene in the last days.

Though this woman reigns as queen at the beginning of Jacob's Trouble (likely from Rome), she will eventually flee and be forcibly carried to the desert of Iraq, to her temple in Babylon where she will meet her demise.

Do you now see the apparition’s clever ploy? By impersonating the Revelation 12 prophecy she is attempting to convince her followers that she is the benevolent woman of Revelation 12 who will be persecuted and flee into the wilderness.

However, this ploy will only work if a person chooses the apparition’s word over YEHOVAH’s Word. The good news is that YEHOVAH God desires to save all who will heed His call to come out of her.

"Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).

The Importance of YEHOVAH’s Word

As this deception reveals, it is vital for those who profess to follow the Messiah to know and obey YEHOVAH God’s Word as proclaimed by the Messiah. May we heed what the Messiah said and abide in the HIS Father's Word:

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).

"But why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).

"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).

"From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures [the Old Testament], which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15).

"But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand" (Mark 13:23).


[1] The Bible gives us a vivid picture of the last days. These prophecies prove that the Bible is the inspired Word of YEHOVAH God and that the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God Himself is drawing near. Unlike any other book, the Bible contains hundreds of specific, verifiable prophecies. Therefore prophecy substantiates the Word of YEHOVAH God.

[2] For an in-depth examination of these events refer to the book Queen of All.

[3] Fr. Don Stefano Gobbi, To The Priests: Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, St. Francis, ME, The National Headquarters of the Marian Movement of Priests in the United States of America, 1998, p. 333. Message given to Father Gobbi who is the head of the Marian Movement of Priests. Message received on December 8, 1982.

[4] Ibid., p. 563. Message received on May 13, 1988, while Father Gobbi was in Marienfried, Germany.

[5] Chuck Missler, The Book of Revelation: a Commentary, Coeur d'Alene, ID, Koinonia House, 2005.

[6] Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; etc.

[7] See also: Psalm 45:10-17; Ezekiel 16:8-16; 32; Hosea 2:19-20; etc.

[8] Matthew 22:2; John 3:29; Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2-3; Ephesians 5:25-27, 32

[9] See also: Isaiah 26:17-18; Isaiah 66:7-13; Jeremiah 6:24; Jeremiah 13:21.

[10] YEHOVAH God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 35:10). Therefore this period is specifically the time of Israel’s trouble. Corroborating this fact, we find that the church is not mentioned once in Revelation chapters 6-19.

[11] There are many more reasons that the Revelation 12 woman cannot be Mary or the church. For example, the woman of Revelation 12 cannot be the church because this woman is pregnant with child (v. 2). Scripture tells us that the Messiah is espoused to a chaste virgin (2 Corinthians 11:2) -- who is the church (Ephesians 5:25-27, 29). Revelation 19:7-9 assures us that when the Messiah’s espoused virgin is presented to him for marriage, she will be clean and white. It would make no biblical sense for Yeshua to marry a pregnant woman (Matthew 22:2). Furthermore, we are told in Revelation 12:2 that this woman is in pain. This directly contradicts the Catholic doctrine that Mary, as sinless, did not experience the consequences of the curse, namely, that she was exempt from pain and death. Genesis 3:16 explains that pain in childbirth is a direct result of the curse. Therefore, if Mary is sinless, she cannot be the woman of Revelation 12 who is experiencing pain. Of course, the Bible states that all are sinners, but Catholics who hold this position must acknowledge that they cannot have it both ways.

[12] See also: 2 Samuel 22:5; Psalm 18:4; Psalm 69:1-2; Isaiah 59:19; Jeremiah 47:1-2; etc.

[13] The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book is considered to be free from doctrinal and moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions or statements expressed.

[14] Hubert J. Richards, What the Spirit Says to the Churches: A Key to the Apocalypse of John, New York, P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1967, pp. 93, 94.

[15] Queen of Rome, Queen of Islam, Queen of All, by Tetlow, Oakland and Myers. Eternal Productions, Fairport, NY, 2006.

[16] Fr. Don Stefano Gobbi, To The Priests: Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, St. Francis, ME, The National Headquarters of the Marian Movement of Priests in the United States of America, 1998, pp. 260, 261. Message given to Father Gobbi, April 24, 1980, in Rome, Italy.

[17] Ibid., pp. 923, 924. Message given to Father Gobbi, Oct. 13, 1996, while visiting Tokyo, Japan.

[18] Ibid., p. 308. Message given to Father Gobbi, Nov. 12, 1981, while visiting Puebla, Mexico.

[19] 2 Chronicles 21:11-13; Psalm 73:27; Jeremiah 3; 13:27; Ezekiel 16; 20:30; 23; 43:7-9; Hosea; etc.

[20] John Phillips, Exploring The Minor Prophets, Grand Rapids, MI, Kregel Publications, 2002, p. 280.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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