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The GREAT Sign


In 2007 a man by the name of Frederick Larson released a documentary called The Star of Bethlehem that would quickly become an international phenomenon.  With the help of The Passion of the Christ and Braveheart co-producer Stephen McEveety the message spread far and wide and soon Larson was doing speaking tours on the subject in Europe and elsewhere.  Building on prior scholarship from Craig Chester and Ernest Martin, Larson discovered that anyone with access to astronomy software like Starry Night, Stellarium, or Celestia could actually find and witness the biblical Star of Bethlehem and even the possible dates for Christ's conception, birth, greeting by the magi, and crucifixion.  We describe some of his findings here, which you can also find on the official website under The Study.

Following its release, amateur Christian astronomers worldwide began probing the skies with Stellarium and similar software looking for more possible signs in the heavens.  Discoveries that once would have taken men like Johannes Kepler or Edwin Hubble a lifetime of research, could now be made in weeks or even days.  Soon a pattern of blood moons (lunar eclipses) falling on biblical feast days and coinciding with significant events in Jewish and Israeli history was discovered, which led to a storm of media coverage.  Pastors across the nation and worldwide were now pointing their congregations' attention to the skies and to numerous Scriptures that describe future "signs in the heavens".

And then, around 2011, an astonishing and even greater discovery was made: on September 23rd, 2017, an unprecedented astronomical alignment will appear in the sky over Israel that seemingly fulfills a literal word-for-word reading of Revelation 12:1-2 and Revelation 12:5.  The passage describes a heavenly sign where a pregnant woman appears covered in the sun, with the moon at her feet, and crowned with 12 stars.  The woman gives birth to a male child who is "caught up" to God.  For nearly two millennia biblical scholars have speculated on what this pivotal chapter in Revelation describes, but it may be that our generation is privy to seeing for ourselves.  A literal reading of the text tells us seven things that must all be true for a proper and complete fulfillment of the prophecy:

1. It is a heavenly sign, not an earthly occurrence.

2. The sign includes a woman.

3. The woman is pregnant and giving birth to a male child.

4. The male child is royalty.

5. The woman is clothed with the sun.

6. The moon is under the woman's feet.

7. The woman is crowned with 12 stars.

Understanding that the biblical writers did not distinguish between stars and planets as we do today, except that planets were called "wandering stars", the reason there appears to be a perfect fulfillment of Revelation 12 on September 23rd, 2017 is as follows:

Visible over Israel the constellation Virgo (which represents a virgin woman), lying prone, becomes "clothed" with the sun as the sun hovers over the constellation.  The new moon rests just below her feet.  Her head, which is always crowned by the nine fixed stars of the constellation Leo, becomes crowned with the three "wandering stars" of Venus, Mercury, and Mars to make a crown of 12 stars.  Exiting her womb is the planet Jupiter, which in ancient pantheons represented the chief male deity.  It is also widely known as the "King Planet".  To complete the picture, Jupiter has exited the womb of Virgo after undergoing an extremely rare nine month, or 42-week retrograde motion within the constellation's womb - the exact length of a long pregnancy.


How rare is this sign?  Well if biblical chronologies are accurate and the earth is roughly six thousand years old then the sign has actually never happened before.  And in fact it won't happen again supposing a future 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth.  There was a near fulfillment in 3915 BC, but even that year failed to portray a nine month pregnancy.  Only September 2017's alignment appears to fulfill all seven requirements given in the biblical text and amazingly, Jupiter, the very star that represents the male child, is the same star that Larson had previously identified as Christ's star in The Star of Bethlehem.  Fittingly, Jupiter, like Christ, is known for its prominent stripes that cover the whole planet (Isaiah 53:5, John 19:1) and its Great Red Spot like Christ's own spear wound (John 19:34, John 20:27).


The sign of Revelation 12 stands out from other biblical signs because the text actually calls it "a great sign" - contrasting it with perhaps "lesser" signs.  It is intriguing that when describing the time shortly before His return Jesus also predicted "great" signs in the heavens:

There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. - Luke 21:11

Could Jesus have perhaps been referencing this very sign - the sign that John saw in Revelation 12?

In the last few months even more pieces of the puzzle have been falling into place as it was discovered that the image of the woman in labor is routinely employed throughout Scripture as the chief symbol of the coming Day of the LORD - the Tribulation (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 13:6-9, Isaiah 26:16-21, Matthew 24:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:3; see also Romans 8:22 and Genesis 3:15-16).  And now, as of just a few weeks ago, the woman is finally pregnant and only months away from giving birth to the child.

How incredible is it that this possible sign occurs in the very year that will be 120 years from the First Zionist Congress (Genesis 6:3), 100 years from the Balfour Declaration (Genesis 21:5), 70 years from the U.N. decree to reestablish Israel (Psalm 90:10, Jeremiah 29:10), and 50 years from the Israeli conquest of Jerusalem (Leviticus 25:10-11)?

Genesis 6:3 - God warns that 120 years remain until the Flood begins.


Genesis 21:5 - Abraham was 100 years old when the son of promise (Isaac) was finally born.


Psalm 90:10, Jeremiah 29:10 - A generation is 70 years long and the Israelites were in captivity for 70 years.


Leviticus 25:10-11 - The Year of Jubilee in the fiftieth year, which is the year the captives go free.


We've discussed at length the sign itself, but what might the sign mean?  While not addressing the sign's possible occurrence in 2017, Dallas Theological Seminary scholar Michael Svigel argues at length that the sign in Revelation 12 was always the original and preeminent symbol of the pre-tribulational rapture of the Church.

The entire Revelation 12 passage describes a woman, a child, and a dragon.  A superficial reading of the text instantly brings to mind Mary, Christ, and satan, which is certainly a significant, prophetic parallel, but there is more to it than that.  The sign represents both individuals in a historical context, but also larger, corporate entities.  Biblical scholars have always understood the woman to represent Mary as an individual, but corporately the nation of Israel.  Likewise, the dragon clearly represents satan as an individual, but also the entire world system opposed to God.  However, while the same scholars have observed that the male child is a symbol of Christ, they've missed the pattern.  Just as the woman and dragon have corporate meanings, the male child does, too - it is the collective body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).  An important clue to this parallel meaning is that the child in Revelation 12 is described as being raptured (harpazo in the Greek; same as 1 Thessalonians 4:17), whereas Jesus ascended - two very different meanings.  Harpazo has at its core the meaning of a sudden and violent seizure by force to remove someone from harm's way.  Svigel gives more light to this:

The Male Child is “Snatched Up.” The word in Revelation 12:5 is the word for “rapture,” harpazo, and always means a sudden removal, a snatching. In contrast, for the ascension of Christ, the New Testament uses terms such as “to be lifted up,” epairo (Acts 1:9), “to ascend,” anabaino (John 20:17; Ephesians 4:8-10) and “to take up,” analambano (Mark 16:19; Luke 1:11). These are neutral terms meaning a removal from one place to another. Revelation 12:5 has the male child being suddenly snatched away from the dragon, who wants to devour the child. The ascension of Christ was gradual (Acts 1:10), not sudden. Also, Revelation 12:5 is a context of “rescue” from the threat of the dragon. The word “rapture,” harpazo, is appropriately used in the New Testament for a rescue in Acts 23:10 and Jude 23. In His ascension to heaven, Christ was not rescued, but ascended victoriously and was in no danger from the devil or anybody else. The term “rapture,” harpazo, is never used of Christ’s ascension to heaven. Thus, the use of harpazo in a rescue context like Revelation 12:5 is completely inappropriate to describe the ascension of Christ, but is completely appropriate to describe the rapture of the church as a rescue from Satan’s emerging efforts to destroy the church as we approach the end times.

It seems then that Revelation 12:5 describes the rapture of the Church and therefore the possible sign in September 2017 could indicate that the rapture of God's children is imminent.  Could the rapture actually happen on September 23rd?  Perhaps, or perhaps shortly before or after.  This is speculative, but it is also very hard to ignore just how accurately this alignment appears to fulfill the words in John's vision.

September 23rd also happens to be Rosh Hashanah, The Feast of Trumpets, which begins around sunset the day before.  There are seven biblical feasts (Leviticus 23:4-44) and Jesus fulfilled the first four in order:

The Feast of Passover - fulfilled by His death

The Feast of Unleavened Bread - fulfilled by His sinless life and burial

The Feast of First Fruits - fulfilled by His resurrection

The Feast of Pentecost - fulfilled by Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to indwell the Church

The very next feast in chronological order is The Feast of Trumpets, which happens to fall on September 22nd and 23rd in 2017 - when the possible sign occurs.  On top of all this, other reasons have been given why the Tribulation might possibly run from 2017 to 2024 including the fact that this time period is demarcated by two total solar eclipses.  This is certainly the season of Christ's return and the signs appear to be plentiful.

There is also speculation that God is signaling His people: first because of a strange chain of events that began occurring shortly after the pregnancy began (when Jupiter entered Virgo's womb) and secondly because of the strange circumstances surrounding the election of Donald Trump.

Time will tell.  Be prayerful.  Be ready.

MARANATHA!

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9 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I heard about that VERY important clue, but forgotten. You're right that this neuter usage probably carries a great significance.

      Delete
    2. Yes, Michael Svigal really did a great job bringing out that point. He says that on the surface, it appears John made a careless grammatical error in the Greek when he wrote "male child" in v. 5 because he wrote "huion arsen," modifying the basic noun "huios" (son) with the adjective "arsen" (male). There's just one problem: he used the wrong form of the adjective. For some strange reason, John used the neuter form of the adjective rather than the male form, which would have been "arsena."

      But it's NOT a careless error, and what alerts us to this is the fact that in v. 13, John again refers to the male child, only this time he writes it properly, expressing the phrase simply as "arsena."

      According to Svigal, John is pointing us back to a prophecy concerning the rebirth of the nation of Israel in the last days:

      "Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she delivered a son." (Isaiah 66:7)

      This prophecy was fulfilled on May 14, 1948 and set the stage for the final act of prophetic fulfillment that is currently nearing its grand finale. This is all well known to alert students of the Bible, but here is something that is *not* so well known.

      When the translators of the Septuagint translated "son" in Isaiah 66:7 above, take a wild guess how they translated it into Greek.

      Bingo. "Arsen," not "arsena." And in the context of Isaiah 66, the "son" is clearly a corporate body rather than an individual. Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this was John's way of telling us that the male child in Revelation 12:5 is a corporate body: the corporate body of Christ. The Church.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful and incredible article. The topic is not new to some of us but you presented it very well and the details are comprehensive.

    Praying that this is indeed the season of His return and that we are roughly a year away from the Bessed Hope.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A correction needs to be made to this page. The Feast of the Trumpets ends at sunset on September 22nd. However, the Shabbat Shuvah, or Sabbath of Return starts at sunset September 22nd and ends at sunset on September 23, 2017. The sign appears in the sky over Jerusalam as the Sabbath of Shuvah ends at sunset. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Travis: If the new moon crescent is not spotted in Jerusalem on the 20th then Tishri 1 begins the next day, our September 21st. This would mean that the end of the Feast would indeed be sunset September 23rd, just as the moon comes directly under Virgo's feet. In 2015 the new moon crescent was not spotted and they postponed Tishri 1 until the following day so it's not unusual at all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Adding a little detail here as mention has been made of Sabbath Return (Shabbat Shuba). Shabbat Shuba (or Sabbath of Return) is the second of two linked Sabbaths that frame Passover and Feast of Trumpets. I will leave it to those who wish to delve into this more for themselves to look this material up; but I find it interesting that the first of the two Sabbaths, Shabbat HaGadol occurred on April 7th of this year. (4/7/17)

    Out of curiosity I checked Strong's Greek #4717 and what did I find?

    stauroó: to fence with stakes, to crucify
    Original Word: σταυρόω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: stauroó
    Phonetic Spelling: (stow-ro'-o)
    Short Definition: I crucify
    Definition: I fix to the cross, crucify; fig: I destroy, mortify.

    There are 169 days between Shabbat HaGadol and Shabbat Shuba. Strong's #169 is:

    akathartos: unclean, impure
    Original Word: ἀκάθαρτος, ον
    Part of Speech: Adjective
    Transliteration: akathartos
    Phonetic Spelling: (ak-ath'-ar-tos)
    Short Definition: unclean, impure
    Definition: unclean, impure.

    This is a season of repentance (Teshuva) for which "Shub" is a root word. שובה "Shuba" (the "b" and "v" sound look alike when rendered w/o the dagesh) is a feminine noun meaning retirement, return or withdrawal. One may translate this as "She is returning".

    On Shabbat HaGadol one prepares for redemption. This redemption involves attaching ourselves to G-d to return to the promised land. It means that we become His people.

    On Shabbat Shuba we prepare to stand before The Judge by returning to the sinless state we had in Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden).

    I find it interesting we bind ourselves to the Messiah in the year 5777 on 4/7/17 for which the Strong's Greek #4717 is the verb "crucify" the number of days before "She is returning" that Strong's Greek #169 gives as "unclean, impure".

    Sun and moon data for Rosh Hashana and the Day Shabbat Shuba are:

    September Equinox for Jerusalem (2017)

    Rosh Hashana - September 20, New Moon 8:29am

    Shabbat Shuba - September 22, 11:01pm (IDT) 4:01pm (EDT)
    Moon Rise 8:20am 96-E / Set 8:11pm 262-W / Meridian 2:18pm
    Sunrise 6:27am 89-E / Set 6:35pm 271-W / Meridian 12:41pm 180-S


    One more tie-in that I am studying is found in John 2:1 transcribed from Greek here:

    2.1 AND ON THE DAY - THIRD A WEDDING THERE WAS IN CANA OF GALILEE, AND WAS THE MOTHER - OF JESUS THERE.

    As you know, this is the day in which our Lord performed His first recorded miracle according to John. The first fruits of His miracles as it were! The Apostle further records:

    2.6 NOW THERE WERE THERE STONE WATERJARS SIX - ACCORDING TO THE PURIFICATION OF THE JEWS - LYING, HAVING ROOM EACH MEASURES TWO OR THREE.

    I invite you to dig into the following triggers:

    1. The third day (Wedding Day)
    2. Six water jars laying empty used for purification
    3. All six jars are filled to two or three measures
    4. Water is turned to wine

    Water is rebirth. Rebirth happens by water and by the Spirit. Wine is the redemptive blood of Christ shed for us. Should we consider the wedding at Cana a shadow of the coming rapture of the Church? A foreshadowing of the Wedding Feast of The Lamb; where first fruits of His miracles is turning water into the finest wine?

    An interesting commentary on this aspect may be found at: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/related-topics/the-jewish-wedding-analogy.html **I am not related to this site**

    What do we see when we look at the *dates* surrounding the Sign of Revelation 12 from a marriage (rapture) standpoint?

    More points to ponder as we seek the Lord in Peace, Understanding and Wisdom.

    Love like there's no tomorrow!


    Pastor Rich

    ReplyDelete
  6. One more piece of the puzzle for your consideration in regards to the Cana wedding as a foreshadowing of the rapture:

    "Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him." (Hosea 6:1-2 ESV)


    ...translated from the Hebrew JPS Tanakh:

    "Come, and let us return to the Lord; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." (Hosea 6:1-2 JPS-TNK)


    Thirty days from the solar eclipse of 2017 is Rosh Hashana. On the third day of the new year is Shabbat Shuba (Sabbath of Return) and, "...in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight."


    Share the love of the LORD with all you meet. Encourage and love others the way you want to be loved. Live in your Bibles daily for the days are growing short! Plant seeds wherever you go praying the Lord to bring a harvest. We are not promised tomorrow so make good on your calling today. Be a living embodiment of the Golden Rule by living out the Greatest Commandment while fulfilling the Great Commission. It is what we owe to those who don't yet know the liberating truth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! It is our privilege and our passion through faith and our love obligation to the Lord our God.

    Glory to God in the highest forever and ever!

    Love like there's no tomorrow,

    PR

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey guys,

    I came across this video, and it left me with a whole lot of questions. Can you please watch this and explain it to me. I feel very confused now:

    https://youtu.be/9xo1gP5Q0CU

    Thank you so much!
    Christine

    ReplyDelete


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