The Revelation 12 Sign Compendium

LAST UPDATED: April 10th, 2017.  By now you've probably heard about what a number of Christians are calling the Revelation 12 Sign that will supposedly occur on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017.  There is a lot of rampant speculation on the internet both for and against the legitimacy of this sign and much information to weed through.  What's true?  What's false?  Is this all hype?  The goal of this article is to provide readers with a comprehensive and straightforward analysis of the purported sign, addressing many questions and concerns.  The three sections below cover the sign itself, it's possible significance, and claims and critiques about the sign.  I suspect this article will be updated as new information is uncovered, so please feel free to add items of interest in the Comments below.

A Great Sign

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.  She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.  Then another sign appeared 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.

- Revelation 12:1-5

The astronomical alignment that so many are now pointing to comes from a literal reading of Revelation 12:1-5, which describes a sign in the sky involving a woman who is crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun, having the moon under her feet, and giving birth to a male child.  The text itself does not describe the sign as a parable or illustration, which validates the view that this passage is in fact describing a real astronomical event visible to the inhabitants of the earth - complete with real sun, moon, and stars.  Each of the elements described in the sign have significant prophetic and allegorical meaning as will be shown, but the passage itself describes first and foremost a real sign and so any accurate interpretation must begin with that premise.  Lacking any evidence that the Apostle John was not describing a sign visible in the sky as the text plainly says, the burden of proof is entirely upon those who would argue that this passage is only pure allegory.

There has been much confusion over both the Hebrew and Greek words for heaven.  In the Greek, the word in Revelation 12:1 is ourano with a definite article, which can be translated as "in heaven" or "in the sky."  The distinction is a big deal, because many who deny a literal one thousand-year kingdom of Christ and the earthly fulfillment of Old Testament covenant promises, will opt for "heaven" being the translation every time.  The same goes for Revelation 21:1.  John sees what is often translated "a new heaven" and "a new earth."  However, it may be better to translate this as "a new sky," rather than confusing modern readers by using a word in modern English most often associated with God's dwelling.

It is also important to note that these first five verses in Revelation 12 purposefully distinguish between two different signs.  The first sign, which the text calls "a great sign", involves only a woman in labor, and so includes Revelation 12:1-2 and Revelation 12:5.  The second sign, called "another sign", is described in Revelation 12:3-4.  The signs are connected in the narrative, but their distinction tells us that they are not the same and this is the likely reason that only the first sign has been apparently identified in the Fall of 2017.  A number of different explanations for the second sign have been offered, such as an as of yet unseen stellar or planetary body, but that is not the topic of this study.  Our focus is entirely on the "great sign".

There is some question as to who first made the discovery in its most primordial form, but sometime in 2011 it was observed using astronomy software that a specific alignment of constellations, planets, the sun, and moon would appear to fulfill a literal reading of Revelation 12:1-2 and Revelation 12:5.  Here are each of the elements involved in the alignment:

The Constellation Virgo

Virgo, Latin for "virgin" or "maiden", is the second largest constellation in the sky and one of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac and Jewish Mazzaroth (the constellations that the sun appears to move through during the course of the year).  In most depictions it features twelve principal stars as can be seen in the picture above.  Spica, along with three other stars, forms a womb-of-sorts at the center of the constellation.  Virgo is universally depicted as a woman, even in the ancient Grecian, Roman, and Assyrian-Babylonian cultures and for this reason it is argued that this is the "woman" John saw in the sky.  It is the only constellation in the Zodiac and Mazzaroth that represents a woman, and out of the 88 constellations in the entire celestial sphere, it is one of only three constellations that represent women (the other two being Andromeda and Cassiopeia).

The Sun

Our solar system's star is mentioned by name in Revelation 12:1 as part of the sign.  It is said to "clothe" the woman.  From the perspective of a viewer on earth, the sun is always much smaller than Virgo and therefore it cannot be the disc of the sun itself that clothes her in any arrangement, but on September 23rd it will rest upon her shoulder and the sign will be entirely "clothed" in sunlight during the day on September 22nd and 23rd, hiding Virgo from view.

The Moon

The lunar body is also mentioned by name in Revelation 12:1, described as residing under the woman's feet.  On September 23rd, from the perspective of a viewer in the Middle East, Virgo will appear prone and the moon will appear directly under the feet of the constellation.

A Crown Of Twelve Stars

It is not uncommon for Virgo to be "clothed" in the sun and to have the moon under or near her feet - in fact it happens every year for a number of days in the Fall.  It is the crown of twelve stars that John saw that really begins to set this sign apart.  This is far, far more rare.  The Hebrew and Greek words for "star" do not distinguish between stars as we know them today and planets.  From the perspective of an earth-based observer, stars and planets look the same except that planets appear to move through the field of fixed stars.  For this reason, planets were sometimes described in the ancient languages as "wandering", but they were still called stars.  Situated directly above the head of the constellation Virgo is the constellation Leo ("The Lion"), composed of nine principal stars as shown above.  On September 22nd and 23rd the visible planets Mercury, Mars, and Venus will join Leo's nine stars to form a "crown" of twelve stars on the head of Virgo.

The Planet Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is said to represent the male child that the woman is giving birth to.  There seem to be some very good reasons for making this connection.

First of all, almost all commentaries on Revelation 12 throughout Church history have identified the male child in the passage with Jesus Christ (though not only Jesus Christ as will be discussed later).  It seems obvious enough: on one level the woman represents Mary, the baby is Jesus, and the dragon in the second sign represents satan.  The child is "caught up" to God's throne in the passage and Jesus ascended into Heaven.  Jesus will also rule all the nations when He returns as the passage describes the child as doing.  A number of theories about the Star of Bethlehem have posited that Jupiter was that very star - Christ's star.  Like Christ, Jupiter is covered in stripes (Isaiah 53:5) and has a very prominent hole called the Great Red Spot, similar to Christ's spear wound (John 19:34).  Also like Christ, Jupiter "takes the blow" for us (Isaiah 53:4-6), absorbing most of the lethal comets and asteroids from the outer solar system that would otherwise strike earth.

Second, the planet is named after the king of the gods in the ancient Roman and Greek pantheons (Jupiter and Zeus, respectively).  In ancient Babylonian and Germanic pantheons the planet represented the son of their respective chief deities: Marduk son of Ea, and Thor son of Odin.  In other words, in the ancient world Jupiter was always associated with either the greatest male deity or that deity's son.  Jupiter is therefore frequently called the "king planet".

Third, on November 20th, 2016, the planet Jupiter entered the womb of the constellation Virgo where it will remain for exactly 42 weeks, the precise length of a long human gestation.  The 42 week gestation is interesting in light of the 42 generations from Abraham to Christ (Matthew 1:17) and the 42 months that transpire in each of the first and second halves of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:2, Revelation 13:5, Daniel 7:25, among others).  A crown of twelve stars above Virgo's head is rare, but this is rarer still.  In order for Jupiter to remain in the womb for such a lengthy and precise amount of time, it undergoes an extremely rare retrograde motion in the constellation.  The planet actually appears to make a giant circle within the womb during this time before exiting on September 9th, 2017.  The sign in Revelation 12 completes in verse 5 after the child is born and likewise two weeks after Jupiter exits the womb, it moves down the celestial birthing canal and the complete sign is formed in the sky.  It could be said that the woman is in labor for two weeks as the baby moves out of the womb and through the canal.

The Complete Picture

The picture above shows the complete sign as it will appear from Israel on September 23rd, 2017.  It also shows the different positions of Jupiter within the womb of Virgo as it circles around during the 42 week gestation.  Scottie Clark, the first to put all these pieces together, talks about the precision of the sign here:

The Significance

My personal study of Revelation 12 (much credit given to Jeff E., Scottie Clark, and Daniel Matson, among many others) has led me to believe that the entire chapter, which occurs right in the middle of the book, is an interlude and broad overview of the entire Tribulation, describing all of the key events except for the Second Coming of Christ.  Revelation 12 appears to describe the Tribulation in chronological order, except for verse 6:

Revelation 12:1-5: The rapture of the Church.

Revelation 12:7-12: The future war in Heaven that occurs simultaneously with the rapture or very shortly after.  The accuser and his accusing angels are cast out of Heaven as the Church gains entrance into Heaven.  You might call this the Cosmic Shift: the Church goes up and the devil comes down.  Satan and his angels are then confined to earth.

Revelation 12:13: The persecution of the Jewish remnant on earth during the first half of the Tribulation.

Revelation 12:14-16, 6: The Jewish remnant's protection and provision while the remaining three and one-half years of the Tribulation comes to a conclusion.

Revelation 12:17: Recognizing that the Jewish remnant is then untouchable, satan turns his attention towards the remaining Gentile Tribulation Saints.

In order to fully understand the chapter's narrative you have to understand that the three key players represent both individuals and corporate entities:

The Woman: Mary And Israel

Throughout Church history it seemed self-evident to identify the woman in this passage with Mary, the mother of Jesus: she gave birth to the male child who will rule all the nations.  She was also persecuted by a dragon-of-sorts in the form of Herod and God protected her and her family in Egypt.  This is the individual that the woman represents.

Corporately, however, the woman represents Israel.  This is indicated not only by the very Jewishness of a crown of twelve stars (the twelve tribes of Israel per Genesis 37:9-10), but by the narrative overall.  The woman is the one protected in the wilderness on earth and a key distinction is made between her and her offspring (first the male child and second her other offspring in verse 17).  Some have argued that the woman represents the Church, but this position is untenable because the Church didn't give birth to Christ.  For these three reasons, virtually all dispensationalists and even many covenant theologians associate the woman with Israel.

The Dragon: Satan And The Kingdom Of Antichrist

The dragon is an explicit representation of satan (Revelation 12:9), which leaves no guesswork on our part.

Corporately, it is straightforward to understand that the dragon represents the antichrist and his kingdom, because it is through the kingdom of antichrist that the dragon actually persecutes Israel and the future Tribulation Saints.  This corporate understanding is further proven by the dragon's seven heads and ten horns, which are connected to the antichrist's dominion (Revelation 17:9) and the world rulers who will give him his authority (Revelation 17:12, Daniel 7:20-22).

The Male Child: Christ And His Church

Jesus Christ is clearly in view in the passage.  He was born from Mary, is coming to rule all the nations, and ascended to Heaven.

However, just as the woman and the dragon have corporate meanings, the child follows the same pattern.  In the passage itself there are five key pieces of evidence that tell us the Church is also in view, borrowing from Dallas Theological Seminary professor Michael Svigel:

1. Consistency in Symbolism. The woman represents a corporate entity (Israel, see Genesis 37:9–10); the Dragon represents a corporate entity (the world system controlled by Satan, see the total of seven heads and ten horns in the series of monsters in Daniel 7:1–7) and the male child as the body of Christ would also represent a corporate entity (Christ in union with His body, the Church, see 1 Corinthians 12:12, etc.).

2. Allusion to Isaiah 66:7-8. The use of the neuter adjective arsen (male) modifying the masculine noun huios (son) and the image of Israel giving birth points careful readers back to Isaiah 66:7–8, where we read in the Septuagint (Greek version of the Old Testament): “Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy (arsen). Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her children.” The image is parallel in Revelation, and John explicitly breaks the rules of Greek grammar (modifying the masculine “son” with the neuter “male”) to point us back to this passage in Isaiah 66. The child in both cases is corporate, not individual.

3. Symbolic Background of Daniel 7. I think John uses the term huios (son) in Revelation 12:5 to connect us to the vision of the “Son of Man” in Daniel 7:13–14, which is interpreted corporately as the Messiah and His saints in 7:18; 26–27. John uses the term “son” in Revelation 12:5, literally “she gave birth to a son, a male,” not the term “child,” as most translations render it. Most people miss that the “Son of Man” in Daniel 7 is interpreted by the angel corporately, which fits well with Revelation 12:5’s “male son” interpreted corporately as the body of Christ. Also, the image of the seven heads and ten horns of the dragon symbol earlier in this vision already pointed us back to Daniel 7, which seems to stand behind this vision of Revelation 12.

4. 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.

5. Corporate application of Psalm 2:9 in Revelation 2:26-27; 12:5; and 19:14-15. In Psalm 2:9, God tells the Messiah, “You will break them [the nations] with a rod of iron, You will shatter them like earthenware.” In Revelation 2:26-27, Christ extends this promise to the Church, the body of Christ: “And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received [authority] from My Father.” In Revelation 19:14-15, Christ and the armies come to earth, fulfilling the promise: “And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” This same Psalm is quoted in Revelation 12:5 and applied to the male child. Thus, the male child as Christ in union with His body, the Church, is most consistent with the application of the promise of Psalm 2:9 extended both to Christ and the Church.

In summary, the significance of the Revelation 12 sign may be the rapture of the Church, the beginning of the cosmic war in Heaven, and God's redemptive focus returning to Israel and the Jews (Micah 5:3).  The Revelation 12 sign on September 23rd, 2017, also happens to fall on what will likely be the first or second day of Rosh Hashanah, determined by the sighting of the new moon.  This could be incredibly significant because for many years students of Bible prophecy have speculated that Rosh Hashanah (also called Yom Teruah or "The Feast of Trumpets") is the most likely time of year for the rapture.

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.

*An important side note: Pentecost has often been called "the birth of the Church" because on that day Jesus' first coming ministry was fully completed and Believers became indwelt with what would ultimately be their seal of eternal redemption (Ephesians 4:30).  In light of the birthing portrayed in the sky in September 2017, consider the account of the conception of Jesus in Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:35.  It was the conception of Christ when the Holy Spirit came into Mary, not His birth.  Could it be that Pentecost was actually the conception of the Church and the Revelation 12 Sign portrays the birth of the Church?  Even from a soteriological perspective this makes a lot of sense when you compare the process of salvation to the development and birth of a baby: conception is like justification when a new spirit enters in and a new life is formed, gestation is like sanctification as we grow in our faith, and birth is like glorification when the baby is finally complete and fully formed.  Perhaps Jesus was being more literal than we thought when He said in John 3:7 "You must be born again."  Consider also the Apostle Paul's admonition in Galatians 4:19:

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you...

Claims And Critiques

CLAIM: Looking for "signs" in the sky is astrology.

This is FALSE.  Astrology is an idolatrous and occultic practice that often involves the deification of stars, planets, and moons.  Astrologers often teach that these heavenly bodies control life on earth.  To the contrary, the search for biblical signs in the heavens recognizes that it is the Creator God who made all things and set everything into motion in a preordained pattern.  The heavenly bodies themselves have no power over our lives and we do not worship them.

The Bible explicitly says that there will be signs in the sky preceding the return of Christ (Matthew 24:30, Luke 21:11, Luke 21:25, Revelation 12:1-3).  The Bible also says that the sun, moon, and stars were created for three reasons: 1. To separate day from night, 2. To give light to the earth, and 3. To indicate days, years, seasons, and signs (Genesis 1:14-15).  Prophetic language frequently makes mention of lunar and solar eclipses (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12) and God often focuses our attention on the stars (Genesis 15:5, Isaiah 40:26, Job 38:31, Amos 5:8, Psalm 19:1).

Interestingly, the magi from the east were able to find the baby Jesus by following prophetic descriptions found in Numbers 24:17 and Genesis 49:9-10.  They were able to identify the constellation Leo ("The Lion") with the tribe of Judah and followed the Star of Bethlehem as it moved west and came to rest over Bethlehem.

CLAIM: The Revelation 12 Sign is not unique, it has happened before.

This is also FALSE, with one caveat.  Some argue that this sign occurred in 3915 BC, 3 BC, and 70 AD.  It definitely did not occur in 3 BC or 70 AD, but it did occur on August 5th of 3915 BC, albeit with less precision.  So the caveat is the 3915 BC occurrence where Saturn was in the crown, but Mars was absent.  Jupiter also underwent an approximately nine month retrograde through the womb of Virgo during this time (October 28th, 3916 BC to August 5th, 3915 BC), but a large portion of Jupiter's retrograde took place outside of the womb.

August 27th, 70 AD:

The woman has a crown of twelve stars, but Jupiter and Venus are so close together it makes them hard to distinguish.  The sun and moon are in place, but she has no "male child".  The womb is completely empty.  You could also argue that the moon is below her knees, not her feet.

September 11th, 3 BC:

Many have argued that Rosh Hashanah of 3 BC (September 11th) also featured the sign as evidence Christ was born that day, but this only gets two things right: the sun clothes the woman and the moon is under her feet.  There is no crown of twelve stars, the moon is very far away, and she is not giving birth to a "male child".

August 5th, 3915 BC:

Everything matches on this date.  In fact it is such a close match that it has been speculated that this could have been the date of the Fall of Mankind when God spoke these eerily relevant words to the devil and to Eve in Genesis 3:15-16:

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

Interestingly, in this dialogue the same three entities mentioned in Revelation 12 are also present: the serpent (Revelation 12:9), the woman, and the male child.  The planet Saturn, which some have speculated represents satan, happens to be near the heel of The Lion.

CLAIM: The sign is not visible in Israel.

This is FALSE.  I'm not sure who first made the argument that the constellations in question (Virgo and Leo) will not be in the sky above Israel in Fall 2017, but it simply isn't true. The entire sign will be in the western sky above Israel and Jerusalem on Saturday, September 23rd - and how fitting that the sign that may be heralding the end of the Church Age will be seen right where the sun sets and the day ends. One might argue that observers can't see the alignment because the sun is up, but that's exactly what John saw - the woman is clothed with the sun. And, as a matter of fact, after the sun sets, everything but the woman's crown will be visible in the night sky.

As mentioned, from Israel the sign will be visible in the west.  The possible occurrence in 3915 BC was visible in the east, where the sun rises.  Perhaps this indicates the sun rising and setting on the age of fallen humanity.

CLAIM: The moon is not under the woman's feet. 

This is FALSE.  When I initially studied the alignment I was misled by images showing the woman standing upright with the moon to the right of her feet. The text makes clear that the moon should be under her feet, not beside her feet. For this reason I viewed the heavenly sign with some skepticism. After all, God's Word is perfect and for His Word to be fulfilled it must be fulfilled perfectly. Every condition in the text has to be fulfilled, which is why 70 AD, 3 BC, and 3915 BC don't fit the bill. However, a woman in labor is not standing when she gives birth, she's lying prone, and that's exactly how the alignment is arranged in the sky - the woman is lying prone with her feet up and the moon is directly below her feet, almost as a pillow of sorts.

CLAIM: What John saw was symbolic.

This is TRUE.  I think we can all agree that the sign John saw had definite symbolic and prophetic meaning - that is not in dispute. However, the text itself makes abundantly clear that this is more than just a parable: "A great sign appeared in heaven..." (Revelation 12:1).

I'm not saying the rapture will occur in September 2017, but I am saying that the heavenly sign John saw in Revelation 12 appears to be happening before our very eyes with whatever implications that brings and I believe Jesus will be calling us home very, very soon.

CLAIM: The rapture will occur on September 23rd, 2017.

This is either TRUE or FALSE.  That might sound like a cop-out answer, but the truth of the matter is, it either will or it won't.  It isn't a possibility, it's either for-sure or for-sure-not.  Whatever God has planned will happen and I'm committed to not date setting.  As a fallen human being, I'm the one prone to intellectual deficiencies and lack of understanding, but God's Word is true and will stand the test of time.

The "great sign" described in Revelation 12:1-2 portrays the woman pregnant and in labor, but the male child is not yet born.  It isn't until verse 5 that the male child is said to be born.  If the intervening second sign of Revelation 12:3-4 signals that there is a gap between the "great sign" of the woman in labor and the subsequent birth of the child and the child being "caught up", then there are three other significant dates to watch:

9:00 PM In Israel On October 13th, 2017:

About three weeks after the "great sign" has occurred, Jupiter finally exits all the boundaries of the constellation Virgo - crossing over the boundary between Spica and Algafar I at almost exactly 9:00 PM IST.  This area looks somewhat like the belly of a pregnant woman.  Could this be the birth foretold in Revelation 12:5?

10:00 AM In Israel On November 13th, 2017:

One month after the possible October 13th "birth", Jupiter comes into an extremely close conjunction with the Morning Star, Venus, separated by less than one-third of a degree.  Jesus says that He is the Morning Star in Revelation 22:16 and Rick Larson had previously identified a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as heralding the birth of Christ.  Could this date possibly portray the Church meeting the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and/or the glorification of the Church when we shall be made like Him (1 John 3:2)?

After the October 13th "birth" and the November 13th conjunction, Jupiter continues its trek through the ecliptic and won't return to Virgo for many years.  Jupiter now makes its way to the constellation Libra.  An interesting thing to note about Revelation 12:5 is that the male child is "caught up" to God's throne.  The September 23rd event doesn't portray this catching up in the sky, but only the birth of the child.  Should we expect to see the rapture itself portrayed in the sky?  I don't think we necessarily will, but I should point out that after Jupiter is "birthed" from Virgo it travels to the constellation Libra and precisely at midnight in Israel on December 25th, 2017, the male child Jupiter enters Libra where it stays for 41 weeks and three days, undergoing another nine month retrograde.  Libra (Latin for "scales") is associated with justice and judgment and some depictions of the constellation resemble a throne.  From the throne of God justice and judgment are given.  While everyone is focused on September 23rd, is it possible that the rapture happens on Christmas Day, a little over three months later?

Midnight In Israel On December 25th, 2017:

After undergoing retrograde Jupiter leaves Libra on October 11th, 2018.  I think it is unlikely that the rapture will happen on Christmas Day in 2017 for two reasons: 1. Libra is not categorically associated with a throne - the connection is more tenuous to make, and 2. The December 25th date would not easily fit with any Tribulation timeline where Jesus' second coming could occur on a Fall feast day.  However, I offer it as a possibility and we should all be humble, open, and watchful, so that we are not caught unaware.

CLAIM: The woman is not "clothed" with the Sun on September 23rd, 2017.

This is FALSE.  Several people have pointed out that the disc of the Sun rests on the shoulder of Virgo rather than over her midsection.  This is evidence, they say, that the woman is not clothed with the Sun.  As far as the astronomical alignment is concerned, this is the only point that can withstand any scrutiny, but it doesn't ultimately hold water for several reasons:

First, from the perspective of an earth-based observer, the Sun itself is significantly smaller than the constellation Virgo and so regardless of where the Sun is positioned, the woman could never be fully clothed with the Sun if the disc itself is in view in Revelation 12:1.  Even if the disc rested over Virgo's midsection, it would only cover a small portion of her torso.  On September 23rd, 2017, the Sun clothes the woman's shoulder, which in my opinion is just as significant as any other part of her body.  You can see the vast difference in apparent size between the constellation Virgo and the Sun below, and why its location within the constellation makes no difference:

Second, the Greek word for "Sun" in Revelation 12:1 is ἥλιον, transliterated hēlion, which is Strong's 2246 - hélios.  The word can carry several meanings: the Sunthe rays of the sunsunlight, and daylight.  Ancient Greek didn't have different words for these four meanings as we do in English, so hélios carries other connotations beyond just the literal meaning of "Sun".  The use of the word in the Septuagint with its definite article in 2 Samuel 12:11 is perhaps a good example of this where the idea is "broad daylight" - τοῦ ἡλίου.  The Revelation 12 Sign not only appears in its fullness over Israel during the day on September 23rd, but because the Sun is in the area of the constellation, the woman appears fully "clothed" in the Sun's rays.

Third, and lastly, arguing that the disc of the Sun doesn't "clothe" the woman is an impossible standard.  Virgo is the only constellation in the biblical Mazzaroth that represents a woman and out of 88 constellations in the sky, one of only three that represent women.  Of those three, it is the only one that the Sun moves through - hence Virgo being part of the Mazzaroth - the twelve constellations that lie along the Sun's ecliptic.  For this reason, if John's vision was of a literal sign in the sky (which is what the text in Revelation 12:1 plainly says), Virgo is the only possible constellation in the entire sky that could symbolize the woman.  The Sun's ecliptic is exactly the same every year and the only time the Sun ever enters the torso of Virgo is when it passes just behind the angle formed by Spica as seen below:

The image above shows the deepest possible point in the constellation that the Sun traverses (the red line is the Sun's unchanging path every year).  The Sun will never hover over Virgo's neck or chest, or be centered anywhere in the quadrangle of the constellation's womb, nor will it ever cover her legs, so "clothed with the Sun" must simply mean that the Sun is passing through the constellation as it does every Fall for a little over one and a half months.  You can test this yourself using any astronomy software - whether you choose 3000 BC or 3000 AD makes no difference.  It is interesting to note that if you bisect Virgo into two equal parts, the Sun's position on September 23rd, 2017 is about as close as the Sun ever gets to being perfectly centered over the constellation.  "Clothed in the Sun" probably also draws on the connotations mentioned in the second point above, which is that the woman is clothed in sunlight or the rays of the Sun.

In September 2017 we see a perfect match with John's prophecy.

CLAIM: The male child of Revelation 12:5 is Jesus, not the corporate Church.

This is FALSE.  Many watchers are making the connection between the Revelation 12 Sign and the rapture based on the male child's possible corporate identity as the Body of Christ - the Church.  A number of detractors dismiss this possibility, but in my opinion the evidence is simply too powerful to ignore and even if the astronomical alignment on September 23rd is not the Revelation 12 Sign, I would still argue that the man-child in Revelation 12:5 is meant to represent the Church in union with Christ.  Here are the reasons:

First, it is repeated ad infinitum by detractors that the Church is the bride of Christ and thus the man-child cannot represent the Church.  This is a very exegetically weak argument for several reasons.

For starters, the Church is called a man in Ephesians 2:15.  There are a number of metaphors for the Church in Scripture besides a bride.  The most common is actually Christ's body (e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 12:12-13, 25-27; Romans 12:4-5; Colossians 1:18, 24, 2:19, 3:15; Ephesians 4:4, 11-13).  And what might come as a shock to some, the Church is never explicitly identified as the bride of Christ.  The closest you can come to that analogy is in 2 Corinthians 11:2 and Ephesians 5:22-24.  In the Ephesians passage the Church is likened to a bride in that that the Church is subject to Christ who is the head, but the Church is not said to actually be the bride.  The only explicit reference to Christ's bride is found in Revelation 21:2, 9-10.  The bride is the city of New Jerusalem, which is revealed after the millennial reign of Christ.  New Jerusalem has characteristics from both Israel and the Church, with gates named after the sons of Jacob (men who died long before Christ's first advent), and foundations named after the Twelve Apostles.  Zion, which is a prophetic term for heavenly Jerusalem, is likened to a woman in labor in Isaiah 66:8, so in a certain sense it is really Zion, the mother of all the saints both pre- and post-Christ, that is the wife of the Lamb.  We need to remember that bride is just one analogy of many for the Church, just as body is.  The Church is just as often compared to a temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5).

Second, the Apostle John makes a grammatical error in Revelation 12:5 when he modifies the masculine huios (son) with the neuter word arsen.  If you believe that God's Word is infallible, then you're only left with one option: John made this mistake intentionally.  And sure enough, his use of arsen appears to come directly from the Septuagint version of Isaiah 66:7-8 where we see the same imagery of a woman in labor with a male child.  Isaiah 66:8 gives the male child an unmistakable corporate identity - he is a nation born in a single day.  1 Peter 2:9 says the Church is a holy nation.

Third, Revelation 12:5 says that the male child "will rule all the nations with an iron scepter".  This is an important clue.  There is no question that this phrase relates to Christ as can be seen in Psalm 2:9 and Revelation 19:14-15.  However, Revelation 2:26-27 unmistakably gives the promise to "rule with an iron scepter" to the Church, as well.  There is no way to get around verse 27 - Christ, in union with His Church, will rule the nations with a rod of iron.

Fourth, the corporate identity of the male child preserves the symbolic pattern of Revelation 12: the woman is Mary and Israel, the dragon is satan and his kingdom, and the child is Christ and His Church.

Fifth, the use of harpazó in Revelation 12:5 is a huge clue.  Harpazó is the same word used for "rapture" or "caught up" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and means a sudden removal by force.  Jesus' ascension was never once described using this word and in fact the Apostle John himself (the author of Revelation) calls Jesus' ascension anabainó in John 20:17 - meaning to go upascend, or rise.  When Jesus ascended to Heaven He had already conquered death and sin.  He was in absolutely no danger from anyone.  The Bible says He left not to escape satan, but because it was beneficial for the Church (John 16:7).  There is simply no way to reconcile the context of Revelation 12:5, which is a sudden snatching away by force from the imminent danger of the dragon, with Jesus' ascension.

Sixth, Revelation 12 is significantly placed right in the middle of the book and is an interlude presenting a broad overview of Christ's first coming all the way up to the end of the Tribulation: Christ's birth, the gestation and birth of the Church, the war in Heaven, the rise of antichrist's kingdom (seven heads and ten horns), Israel being pursued by the dragon during the first-half of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:13), Israel being miraculously protected by God for the last-half of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:14), and even satan's pursuit of the Tribulation Saints once he realizes he can't touch the divinely protected Jews (Revelation 12:17).

Seventh, I firmly believe that the early Church was dispensational, premillennial, and pretribulational.  However, with the rise of Augustinianism, the Church went through a 1,400-year hiatus where prophecy tended to be mistrusted and allegorized.  The founders of modern dispensationalism who re-popularized the pre-trib rapture such as Darby and Ironside found Revelation 12:5 to actually be the chief proof-text of the pretribulational rapture of the Church.  By the early 1900s, this proof-text was largely forgotten by pre-trib proponents and arguments in favor relied primarily on secondary evidence, which led to the rise of mid-trib, pre-wrath, and post-trib views in the Evangelical churches.  I find it fascinating that around the same time the Revelation 12 Sign was first spotted using astronomy software (sometime in 2011 or 2012), a number of scholars, such as Michael Svigel, re-discovered the use of Revelation 12:5 as the chief pre-trib proof-text.  The timing is impeccable.

CLAIM: Virgo already has a crown of twelve stars.

This is FALSE.  Some detractors are arguing that Virgo already has a crown of twelve stars and therefore the alignment on September 23rd is not unique.  Alternatively they may argue that Mercury, Mars, and Venus cannot form part of the crown because they are planets and not stars.  Both of these objections fail to hold water.

Answering the last objection first, the Bible does not make a distinction between stars and planets.  We get our English word planet from the Greek word planētēs, which means "a wanderer" and refers to "wandering stars".  However, this word does not stand alone.  It modifies the normative Greek word for "stars", asteres, and occurs only one time in the Bible in Jude 1:13.  This in fact becomes a powerful confirmation of the plausibility of the theory that the nine stars of Leo and the three planets Mercury, Mars, and Venus form the crown, because asteres is the same Greek word used in Revelation 12:1 in regards to the twelve-star crown and Jude 1:13 connects planets directly with stars - the implication being that planets are a type of star (from the biblical perspective).  Additionally, we see the planet Venus or Jupiter plainly called a star in Scripture such as in Revelation 2:28 and Revelation 22:16.

The first objection that Virgo already has a crown of twelve stars is not accurate.  For starters, there are nearly 10,000 visible stars in the night sky, including dozens and dozens in Virgo and Leo.  From a super-literal perspective you could say that Virgo is always wearing a crown of dozens of stars and therefore she could never have a crown of just twelve, but this isn't the meaning or sense of the text.  The Bible frequently describes constellations (such as the Pleiades, the Bear, and others) and so what we are looking for are which constellations are in view in the text.  The only woman that can ever be clothed with the sun is Virgo, so her identification is unmistakable.  Directly above her head is a single constellation, Leo, which according to the most prevalent sky cultures, and many ancient maps, has nine stars.  Leo has also been directly connected with the Tribe of Judah and the events surrounding Jesus' first coming (see here).  On September 23rd, three of the five visible planets are in near-perfect alignment within Leo, forming the crown, or garland, of twelve stars.  Mercury, Mars, and Venus are also much brighter than most stars, so they will certainly "stand out" alongside the existing nine stars of Leo.  Now some detractors argue that Virgo's crown is composed of the twelve stars of the constellation Coma Berenices.  Take a look at the image below (from the article The Sky Don't Lie) of this constellation and judge for yourself:

First of all, Coma Berenices is not on Virgo's head and Revelation 12:1 says the crown of twelve stars is on her head.  Virtually all artwork for the constellation Virgo has her head portrayed near where the sun is in the image above - directly below the "crown" of Leo.

Secondly, and most decisively, as you can plainly see above, Coma Berenices has three main stars, not twelve.  As a matter of fact, I can't find a single source saying Coma Berenices has twelve stars.  It has three main stars and 44 "minor" stars - definitely not twelve.

I encourage you to be extremely watchful this Fall, especially on September 21st to 23rd, October 13th, and November 13th.  The rapture occurring around any of these dates would allow for a Second Coming on a Fall feast day in 2024.

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  1. If you would like to see the other signs including Revelation 12:3's "another sign", Revelation 15:1's "great and marvelous sign" and Matthew 24:30's "sign of the Son of man", go to God's Astronomy@facebook

  2. Thanks for putting this together. It is especially helpful for those who are just now finding out about the Rev. 12 sign and needing a clear, concise, and comprehensive run-down of the "great sign" up ahead.

    A couple of things I wanted to add:

    1) In regard to Rev. 12 only being symbolic [and not literal], there has been much confusion over both the Hebrew and Greek words for heaven. In the Greek, the word in Rev. 12:1 is "Ourano," [with a definite article] which can be translated as "in heaven" or "in the sky." The distinction is a big deal, because many who deny a literal thousand-year kingdom and earthly fulfillment of OT covenant promises, will opt for "heaven" being the translation every time. The same goes for Rev. 21:1. John sees what is often translated "a new heaven" and "a new earth." However, it may be best understood to translate this as "a new sky," rather than confusing modern readers that the apostle is referring to God's dwelling.

    Further still, the same confusion applies to the word for land/earth. Those who presuppose a more "spiritual/symbolic" interpretation of the book will go for translating "ges" in Rev. 1:7 as "earth," rather than the Israel-centric translation, which is a fulfillment of OT prophecy, "...all the tribes of the land will mourn over Him."

    2) If I remember correctly, the last time I was in Stellarium, I traced the path of Jupiter after the Sept. 23 fulfillment and noticed that Mercury comes in direct contact with Saturn, almost as if they are engaged in conflict/battle with one another! If Mercury represents Michael, the archangel, and Saturn represents Satan, then we have ourselves further confirmation of the events that are described following [or concurrent with] Rev. 12:1-5.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus! Woohoo!

    1. You make a good point! I've added in your point #1 to the introduction section on "A Great Sign".

      I recall #2 also - I think one of them does retrograde around the other... I need to download Stellarium again and take a look.

    2. I have researched this so called Great Sign to occur and found out something that this article missed and that is the constellation Virgo has a lesser cluster of stars called Coma Berenices or better known as the Virgo star cluster. This Star cluster is made up of 12 stars and is the 12 stars that actually make up the crown or diadem of Virgo. Also, Jupiter actually migrates through Virgo every 10-11 years, so this is not a rare occurrence. Bottom line this hype about a great sign is just that hype. It's false and should be ignored.

    3. Terry, I would encourage you to research a little more.

      1. Coma Berenices is not part of Virgo. In fact it is a completely different constellation.

      2. Coma Berenices is definitely not on Virgo's head. Leo is directly over Virgo's head according to any star chart or constellation artwork you so choose to use and many sources give it nine main stars, including the most prevalent (the Western sky culture).

      3. Coma Berenices has three main stars, not twelve. If you count minor stars, it has 44.

      4. Jupiter does pass Virgo every decade or so, but it rarely completes its retrograde entirely within the constellation. Rarer still does it complete its entire retrograde within the womb of Virgo.

      Someone else on here offered me three or four other examples over the past two millennia that looked to him like they fulfilled Revelation 12, but in none of those examples was Jupiter in the womb for the length of a pregnancy. Usually only for one and a half months.

      I would encourage you not to judge something before its time. We could be mistaken or somehow be misinterpreting this, but for you to pre-judge it based on inaccurate information doesn't help anyone.

  3. "A long human gestation period is 42 weeks." Interesting that it was 42 generations from Abraham to Christ.

    1. Nice catch! I've added this to the section on Jupiter. Also the 42 months of each half of the Tribulation.

    2. 42 generations - Check out this video http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=99B21NNU

  4. If Rosh Hashana begins after the sighting of the new moon, then 2 days later the moon will be at Virgo's feet, completing the sign at the conclusion of Rosh Hashana. Reminds me of Hosea 6:2, "After 2 days will He revive us: in the 3rd day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight."

    1. I like that dual meaning and it's entirely scriptural (two actual days and two 1,000-year days

    2. Hosea? Interesting, I learned today three names in common, Isaiah, Joshua and Hosea all three names come from the same root words looked them up on abarim publications. Interesting that the H or Hey-a pictograph with a man holding up his hands which means Behold, to be in awe or fear of something greater than oneself, in essence it means to know, see, hear or understand in the sense of to have something revealed to you through a literal use of your senses or spiritual truth. HMM Hosea Hey-Behold, the revelation- Salvation/Deliverance/Redemption is the last part of his name. Remember Salvation is always through the power of God, including Joshua/Jesus who's name means Yah is Salvation, the Y is a pictograph of a Hand, God's presence, Spica the indwelling of the Spirit of God- the promised good seed. Joshua the son of NUN-Pictograph spouting seed representing life was the man that brought the children of Israel into the promised land, see Caleb and his Fathers name who lead with him. This represents the heart of all those that are granted entrance. Amazing.

  5. I've updated the bottom section, including the October 13th and November 13th events.

  6. Good Job! Thanks for helping to get the message out!

  7. 1 Comment
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    Matt Chappell
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    This sign corresponds to a mission by NASA by 2020. The Red Dragon spacecraft is destined for Mars which could eat up the project on the moon. The United States (New Israel) is landing it's Orion Spacecraft on the polar region of the moon, in a planetary place called a "Peak of Eternal Light" which is covered with 24 Hr. sunlight.

    The 45th President is Trumpeting the arrival of the latter days "Elijah", which is also the masonic "messiah", and the Jewish "Messiah Ben Joseph". He is the figure of Revelation chapter 6:2, and is the representative of the Church who will unite the scattered sheep into one single flock. He is the child of Revelation 12:1 who will rule the nation's with a rod of iron, even as Christ. This will Herald the Churchs reign as Kings and Priests.

    Furthermore, what Thomas Jefferson called the "Great Rock Mountains" is Petra, and goes together with the vision of Americas founding fathers based on the Book of Revelation, which is the mystery of the Gospel given to the Church through the Apostles and Prophets on behalf of Christ.

    Manifest Destiny has pointed into the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest to a new Capital and revival of the United States on the 45th Parallel at the Oregon capital of Salem/Keizer. This will be the first capital of the 2017 eclipse which will be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Nostrodamus regarding the Great New City on the 45th parallel where the Sun will be covered and leap up again after the eclipse. Revelation 12 is an interlude referring back to chapter 6, and the seals of the scroll reveal bits and pieces with some overlap, but the 7th seal lays the scroll open from beginning to end, in full view, so that the Trumpets are spread throughout the scroll. The First Trumpet heralds the rider on the red horse (war).

    Daniel 7 reveals that at a time when there will be widespread news of hurricanes striving on the ocean, the Lion which will break relations with the Eagle (United States), will come out from underneath it's protection and make an independent stand on its own (Brexit). Meanwhile Russia the Bear will devour the original components of it's Kingdom by taking Ukrain, Belarus, and and the Caucus as its three ribs.

    Meanwhile, Germany the Leapord, which forms the body of the Beast (Holy Roman Empire), will continue a grand alliance with the former beasts, having the support of China (Dragon). These will make war against the United States, and will lose, but will be allowed to continue to come back together in the end, according to prophecy.

    The child of Revelation will be publicly put to death in the manner of our Lord (Crucifixion) as a witness ( martyr ) unto all people (at once), and then the end will come.

    Those selected by God will fly on wings of eagles, set up around the world "wherever the carcass is" to their place in the wilderness.

    I claim that pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib, are the wrong way of looking at it. There will be a remnant God will spare from the tribulation, while the rest will be put to test for their faith. The rapture will literally come at the "Last Trump"(7th).

    The end (7yrs) will come after the crucifiction, when Elijah is "Taken out of the way" This will happen when the restraining powers of Gabriel and Michael will Herald the end of and earthly king, and the beginning if a new one (anti-christ). There will be a new temple, and after the crucifixion, there will be a "Great Falling Away", and then the evil one will be revealed.

    There is only one Lord God and one day of the Lord, which signals the beginning of the 7 thousand year reign of Christ.

    If you are interested in learning more, you can contact me on facebook, google, or email me at Chaplainmattchappell@gmail.com

    Please visit prophecyusa.blogspot.com

  8. That's "7th thousandth" or 1000 year reign of Christ.

  9. Critique against your timeline: Psalm 117=2017 and the rapture. Psalm 118 is the Ezekiel 38-39 War and War of Armageddon and Messianic Kingdom. Psalm 119=2019 and the Messianic Kingdom. But you have Psalm 121 or 124 as Armageddon and the Messianic Kingdom. Psalm 124 is all in past tense. Can you tell me why you believe Psalm 124 has the same words and meanings as Psalm 118, and can you clarify you 7 year tribulation against Deut 24;5 and John 6:40, 44, 54 which mean one year and show me in them where 7 years is mentioned or implied. Jardalkal@aol.com. Jardalkalatgmail.blogspot.com

  10. Matthew Chappell, I mean this in the kindest possible way, but when I apply the 2 Peter 1:20 and Proverbs 18:1 principles to your theories, they don't pass muster.

  11. Why cannot the church be the virgin/woman? Isn't the church a virgin & has in her the children of God (both from Israel & Gentiles)? Wasn't Paul likened to a woman having the pain of childbirth until Christ be formed in the church? Isn't it that up to now the whole creation is groaning waiting for the revelation of the sons of God? It seems that within the virgin church is a man-child being transformed in Christlikeness & will soon be born & raptured.if the church & the man-child are different entities, then it seems that only part of the church will be raptured and those left behind are the tribulation saints, who will also reign with those who got raptured when they will be resurrected and reign with the Messiah for a thousand years.

    I'm advocating a partial rapture theory, where only the matured & baby Christians/wise virgins will be raptured represented by the man-child while the carnal Christians/foolish virgins be left behind as the tribulation saints.

    1. My issue with that.

      Paul told the CARNAL yet saved church - we shall not all sleep but WE shall ALL be changed.

      I dont think God would leave part of His body here.

    2. In my humble opinion, the partial Rapture theory fails for a laundry list of reasons. It essentially divides what Christ formed as one based on faith into two based on works. If you're at all interested, I wrote an article about the problems with the partial Rapture theory about a year ago, after discovering to my surprise that the pastor of our church here in Taiwan believes it (as do a number of Christians in Taiwan thanks to the influence of Witness Lee, protégé of Watchman Nee):


    3. ...and don't even get me started about the error of associating the Parable of the Ten Virgins with Church Age believers. That's a whole different laundry list.

  12. Very interesting and in depth research. One note for the readers is that with regard to the feast days, Jesus fulfilled every feast on the day of the feast, not after. The Feast of Trumpets is very significant of the marriage supper of the Lamb. If you study Jewish history the feast of trumpets is like a Jewish wedding. The groom would select the bride, then he would go away for up to two years to build a home for them to live in. He would return for her and take her to where his home was. They would spend seven full days in the new home as their honeymoon. It is interesting that in Isaiah 26:19-20 it says that the dead will live, their bodies will rise, which is a verse significant of the rapture. Then in the next verse it says, Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. This is eluding to the bride being in the grooms home until the day of wrath is done. Perry Stone has done a very in depth study of this on you tube.

    1. But what if the feast days were named on the DAY that they happened. I mean, there was no Passover until they "passed over." I would think the Feast of Trumpets would not even "be" considered a feast until the rapture happens...for the people left here for the rest of the 7 yrs. Not sure I'm getting across what I mean, it's very hard for me to explain my thinking here.

  13. I believe it is only symbolic of the nation of Israel and the twelve brothers (twelve tribes) that make it up. The male child being Jesus. You have to read into the scripture for a literal interpretation. Just my thoughts on all the info I have read on this subject. Reminds me of the socalled blood moons prophecy. The Joel scripture points towards the last days of the 7 year tribulation period of Rev. 6:12-17. I believe John is describing an all out nuclear bomb exchange in the world and what it looks like from the after effects. Not a blood moons prophecy. God's blueprint for prophecy does not agree with the blood moons point of view.

  14. Nice presentation and supporting arguments Gary. I found this blog when trying to delve into the deeper things of God. Matthew 13:44 has taken hold and it has been a wild treasure hunt for me.

    Has anyone here ever read "Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, 1909"? Many passages there can be disregarded but some hold some intriguing mysteries which may reveal some end time events. The bible is very cryptic on this subject and for good reason. When trying to research one of the possibilities listed in Legends of the Jews I stumbled across a song written by a son of some Jewish Immigrants. His song brought light to a mysterious passage mentioned in one of the Legends.

    This is all I can say. For everyone has to find their own treasure. Here's a little more: Read Legends of the Jews and study the nature of the Solar system. Is there a pattern?

  15. This is the Hebrew year 5777! Seven is God's number! Also read about this about Rabbi Judah ben Samuel's prediction: http://destination-yisrael.biblesearchers.com/destination-yisrael/2012/12/rabbi-judah-ben-samuels-jubilee-prophecy-gives-the-year-of-the-messiah.html
    It is all so perfect, thank you LORD Jesus for having such a perfect and beautiful plan!!

  16. I published the worlds first and only biblically accurate timeline of the Rapture to the Millenium called the Alpha to Omega Timeline. It is bulletproof, and I challenge anyone to find a flaw in it. We were given the number of days. They just had to be put in their proper place. Not only is it flawless and indisputable. It is beyond remarkable. You know who I am.

    1. Glad to meet you then Steven :-)

    2. Then again Steven, I cannot find you on google anywhere.

    3. To Rothmn FL4 On Youtube, look for the channel of "Heavenly Sign 2017." That is Steve's channel and it is loaded.

  17. Suggest also mentioning that the manchild, per rev 12, rules with an iron scepter. Rev 2:27 makes it very clear that the manchild in rev 12, is in fact the church.

  18. also i thought it was interesting that on conception day, pentecoste, the jewish apostles got a flaming crown from the Holy Spirit... and here in the rev 12 sign, a crown on the woman who represents israel/jews.

    also in a birth, the head comes out first right? and we know, that JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH...

    also some interesting things that happened around the time of jupitar entering virgo -
    11/20/2016, israel suffers from massive fires all over the country from terrorists. they requested massive international help.

    and 9 months prior to 9/23/17, on 12/23/16, the UN security council got in a big vote against israel...


  19. The Revelation 12 sign of the woman cannot represent Mary giving birth to Jesus. Apostle John was given explicit instruction by the Lord on what he should write in the book of Revelations.

    Revelation 1:11,19 KJVS
    [11] Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. [19] Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

    It goes against what is written in the above verses, that Re 12:1-5 describes events in the past surrounding our Lord's birth. Again, John was instructed by the Lord what he was to write in the book of Revelation. He was to write the things he had seen, things which are, and things which shall be hereafter. John was not old enough to have seen the events which transpired at the time of our Lord's birth because he was younger than Jesus. The events from the fourth chapter on, is clearly stated to be in the hearafter
    Revelation 4:1 KJV
    [1] After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

    1. This is metaphorical and all mainline commentaries disagree with your assertion that Rev. 12:1-5 does not refer to the birth of Messiah. Prophecy many times is truncated as we find prophetic utterances applying to events far apart but sandwiched together in a seemingly strange arrangement. Check out a number of reputable commentaries and you will see this is a generally accepted interpretation.

    2. Although most "mainline" commentaries say Rev. 12:1-5 refers solely to the birth of the Messiah, Ironside saw Rev. 12 also as a picture of the Rapture. Yes, he was in the minority, but with scripture, it is not "majority rules." Here are his notes: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/revelation-12.html

  20. Gary, I find it odd that on the one hand you are pretribulational and yet see the significance of the Greek word harpazō used in both Re 12:5 and 1 Th 4:17, and correctly link these verses to the rapture. The verse before 1 Th 4:17 mentions a trump.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 | ESV
    16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord

    The word trump of course is also used in 1 Co 15:52 with additional information given about the trump, it is the last trump

    There are seven angels and seven trumpets that sound in succession in the book of Revelation and the last trump would have to be the seventh trumpet of Re 11:15. There is more information given in Re 10:7.

    Revelation 10:7 | ESV
    7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

    The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27, and the glory, in part, is receiving a glorified body.

    1 Corinthians 15:43-44 KJVS
    [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body

    The rapture, in my eyes certainly fulfills or finishes the mystery of God. I would certainly like to see a Pre tribulation rapture since I live with pain and weakness associated with a spinal cord injury. And please I don't mention this for sympathy but to illustrate how intently I am looking into this. More so than others. But the above scriptures to me, indicate otherwise. It is troubling that there is no two witnesses giving their testimony in Jerusalem. Also troubling that much has to take place between now and 9/23/2017, if in fact what I just pointed out is true.

    1. Hi Luke, I'll chime in here. Our friend, Greg, has a very thorough post that he did on the last trump and 7th trump controversy; see here: http://www.alittlestrength.com/articles/2016/1608-trumpets.htm. In this article he also discusses what is meant by "the mystery of God being fulfilled" (Rev. 10:7).

    2. Thanks for the mention.


      The argument that the "last trump" Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52 in regard to the Rapture is the same as the trumpet sounded by the seventh angel in Revelation 11:15 hits one seriously sour note. This argument blows away like a grass hut in a hurricane under a very modest amount of biblical scrutiny.

      And now you don't have to plow through my article if you don't want to! =8D

    3. I guess rhetoric and a URL that does not work, certainly goes a long way of blowing away what scripture states. I have had a few debates online regarding the matter and feasts are mentioned. Grandiose statements like you made, are usually made, but no scripture. I doubt this encounter will be any different.

    4. To Luke: Paul wrote these passages about the Rapture which you cite well before the Book of Revelation was even written. Therefore, his readers and hearers would have absolutely no knowledge of the 7 trumpets of Revelation. They WOULD, however, have knowledge of the trumpets blown on the Feast of Trumpets. It is reasonable to expect that that is what they would have thought of when Paul mentioned a "last trump."

  21. This is the ultimate in science and prophecy merging:


  22. For those who say this is date setting:

    Certainly date setting by man is wrong, and is like trying to move God's hand instead of being patient and waiting upon the Lord.

    However, this is an example of God setting the date, the appointed time, and as below where I quote Amos 3:7 and Genesis 18:17, God does not hide things from his own, and Prophets are not reserved only to the Old Testament.

    It is not Date Setting if it is God that is setting the date, and telling you to keep it in your Heart!

    This is a "Great Sign", given by God through John, which in effect means "You need to watch for this, you need to see this, you need to understand this!"

    These are the days of looking up! While we finish the race...

    Proverbs 25:2
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."

    Psalm 19:1
    "The heavens are declaring the glory of God, and their expanse shows the work of his hands."

    Amos 3:7
    "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but (until) he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

    Genesis 18:17
    "Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?"

    1. I think you're probably right. I certainly hope so! It sure seems like an obvious sign to me (:

    2. Additionally, when the Lord Jesus Christ spoke Matthew 24:36 ("..no man knows..."" he was speaking to His Jewish followers who had just asked about when He would be establishing the Kingdom. This is what they were very much interested in and knew about from much Old Testament prophecy. In fact, they questioned Him again minutes before His ascension on the exact same topic. They were Jewish believers looking for the Kingdom. Note: They had no knowledge of the Rapture. (Do not confuse the Rapture of the Church, which involves both the living and the dead, with the resurrection the Jews had knowledge of and looked forward to.) The Rapture is a "mystery" (I Corinthians 15:51) revealed by the Apostle Paul. In scripture, a "mystery" is something heretofore unknown. So, the mystery of the Rapture was not revealed until the Lord gave it to Paul which was well after the disciples queried the Lord in Matthew 24. In summary, the Lord was not speaking of the Rapture in Mt. 24:36; He was speaking of His return to bring in the kingdom, which was well-known, through Old Testament prophecy, to the Jews and is spoken of in Revelation 19+. At the time the Lord Jesus Christ spoke those words, no one except the Father knew the date. Concerning the Rapture, there is nothing in scripture that says we cannot discern the date.

  23. Gary, I have also seen that the Greek word for child is Teknon, meaning daughter,son, figuratively used as children of God. Check it out.

  24. Considering that at this very day(March,15th) the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy has not started,... the biblical tribulation has not happened,...the 3rd Temple is not built,... the 2 Witnesses are not here yet,... the 6 former trumpets have not sounded, ... the apostasy goes rampant within the current church system, and we are in the time of judgment over the Church. I truly believe that the 7th trumpet and the sign of Rev.12 with the immense stellar manifestation in the Mazaroth is the unveil of the Mystery mentioned in Rev.11th ,which is the final Glorious Holly Remnant, True Church of Jesus, the male child that the Lord is raising everywhere to impact the darkness of this era before His return. The event of September 23rd is an amazing last warning for all the true disciples of Jesus to repent from all the evil works of Satan with the Mystery of Iniquity and Mystery Babylon against His True Church and tells us that the rapture of His Holly Remnant is at doors. There is a work to do brothers and sisters. Maranatha,Come Jesus!!!!

    1. The "last trump" is different than the 7th trumpet in Revelation - don't get that confused.

    2. Yes. As I previously commented, when Paul wrote about the last trumpet, the Book of Revelation had not been written (It was decades in the future.) so no one knew about the Seven Trumpets of Revelation. Paul's' audience most probably would have related the phrase "last trump" to the Jewish Feast of Trumpets

  25. I have one other point to add. The Feast of Trumpets is a two-day celebration that has the shofar blasting 100 times. The last blast is at sunset in Jerusalem at roughly 18:30 Jerusalem time. If you open Stellarium and go to Jerusalem, September 23, 18:30 hours, the moon is PRECISELY under Virgo's feet. Some will say September 23rd is not Tishri 2 but it is, until sundown as the Jewish day begins at sunset. So if you ascribe to the Revelation 12 sign as being the Rapture of the church, it could VERY WELL be at THE LAST TRUMP of the shofar! I find this incredibly inspiring.

  26. Also, please don't confuse "The Last Trump" with the trumpets of Revelation. Two different things. The Last Trump, IMHO refers to the last blast of the shofar on Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets). When God came to meet Moses on the mountain there was a deafening trumpet blast as God came down and Moses went up.

    1. As I previously commented, when Paul wrote about the last trumpet, the Book of Revelation had not been written (It was decades in the future.) so no one knew about the Seven Trumpets of Revelation. Paul's' audience most probably would have related the phrase "last trump" to the Jewish Feast of Trumpets

  27. Rapture is at "The Last Trump":

    1 Corinthians 5: 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
    18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  28. One more thought: As if the Revelation 12 sign actually happening on 9/23/17 is not enough, it also occurs on The Feast of Trumpets! Jesus fulfilled all of the prior four Feasts - Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost (the conception of the church by The Holy Spirit), He will fulfill the next three; Feast of Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. It is at the Feast of Trumpets that the church will be raptured and the last trump is literally at sunset in Jerusalem as the shofar is blown the last time of the two-day celebration. I mean this day, this hour fit the biblical prophecies PERFECTLY!

  29. If it's been mentioned, I missed it...but one of the big points I have seen come from various naysayers (most notably Joel Richardson) is that the 12 stars of Virgo's crown *have ALWAYS been there*, and then they go off into some stuff about a minor constellation called Coma Berenices and the Virgo Cluster and whatnot.

    Now, there are hundreds of stars in the general area above Virgo, and it's true that there have been people in the past who looked for something they could call "Virgo's crown" and say "Hey, that must be it! Done."

    But consider: John says a great sign "appeared," and uses a form of the Greek word "horao." I'm no Greek scholar, but as far as I can tell the primary ways this word is used are (a) something is *NOT* there, and then it *IS* there, or (b) someone does *NOT* see something, and then they *DO* see it. I mean, it's a lot like the English word "appear" (surprise). If something "appears," it's *not* there, and then it *is* there, or you *don't* see it, and then you *do.* That's not too tough, I don't think.

    Well, as I see it, if what John is referring to is a bunch of stars that have been right up there in the big, black sky for all the world to see since time immemorial, then how on earth could that be a great sign that "appeared"? The moon and sun are in those positions on a fairly regular basis, so the whole thing would kinda fall apart.

    This criticism shoots itself in the foot.

    That's what makes the REV12 sign of 9/23/2017 so compelling: who would have ever dreamed that the crown would be the nine stars of Leo plus three surprisingly cooperative planets? Nobody has to search for anything here. Nobody has to decide which 12 of hundreds of stars might form the crown. This is stunningly clear and attention-grabbing, just like a biblical sign should be and typically is.

    1. I've finally been able to read your article "The Sky Don't Lie". It's really fantastic. I should have done this a long time ago, but I've added your blog to our Links page. Great stuff.

      Thanks for your encouragement and diligent watching, Greg.

  30. Can anyone help me with this one sticking point: Jupiter seems to exit her "womb" at one point in Stellarium - before the "birth". Since God's word is perfect, is this due to some error on the program's side or what? Thanks.

    1. I initially had the same problem with this issue regarding Jupiter, but when you step back and think about things for a second, you’ll remember that the Stellarium artwork in the heavens doesn’t exist nor are there any celestial lines drawn neatly by God for us to view. Sure, as humans we love to draw and play “connect the dots,” but that’s not what’s actually seen with the unaided eye. Only God knows what the true dimensions of Virgo’s womb are, and without the constellation lines (and with only the naked eye), it seems to me that most people looking up at this constellation from Earth may not even notice what could be a slight deviation with Jupiter in the womb area. I guess time will tell if our manmade lines really matter.

  31. Yom Teruah, or Rosh Hashanah is from sundown 9/20/17 to sundown 9/22/17. Would that not preclude any "last trump" prophecy from aligning with a 9/23/17 rapture? I would like to think that the last trump sounded by the shofar would be on 9/23 but it happens one day earlier.

    1. Every calendar I saw online also agrees with what you've stated, but that information would not be historically accurate. Historically, the Feast of Trumpets begins once the first crescent of the new moon has been seen and then verified by the Jewish priests, thus beginning the 7th month of Tishri (From the Temple Institute in Israel). The priests would await two locals to come forward as witnesses to its appearance, and then these witnesses were required to testify before the great Sanhedrin to determine if their character and words were trustworthy (Again from The Temple Institute in Israel). All potential witnesses would be provided a large meal and a place to rest as they waited to be called upon to testify at the Great Sanhedrin (From the Temple Institute). If the testimony of two witnesses was found to be true, the priests would begin blowing the trumpets (shofars) to announce the beginning of the festival. So although our modern day telescopes and astronomy equipment can predict the first light hitting the moon on the 21st, historically, the beginning of this feast was dependent upon clear skies and two “eye” witnesses.

      Mehran Moalem, Physics Professor & Engineer at UC Berkeley, wrote in March of 2016 that the strongest human eye can see lunar illumination once it’s reached 6.5% (From: How bright would a light on the moon need to be to see it clearly from Earth?). Most Lunar illumination calendars online say that the moon will be around 6% illuminated on the 22nd (Stellarium predicts the moon to be 6.4% illuminated at 7:14pm on the 22nd). Therefore, there appears to be a very good chance of the sign falling on the feast of trumpets this year.

      The Temple Institute: http://www.templeinstitute.org/rosh_hashana/sanctifying.htm
      How Bright Would a light on the moon…: https://www.quora.com/How-bright-would-a-light-on-the-moon-need-to-be-to-see-it-clearly-from-Earth

    2. Great point!

  32. As I mentioned before, I believe the traditional Evangelical point of view that the Rev. 12 scripture is symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel (brothers) and the manchild is Jesus Christ. The last trump of God is not this trumpet blast. The Rev. scripture that tells John to come up is a picture of the rapture. The 7 year tribulation begins when the rapture happens. There are no constellations or zodiac signs involved in this scripture.

    1. Sam I respectfully say you're wrong. Have you downloaded Stellarium and seen for yourself how on 9/23/17 at sunset in Jerusalem the 12:1 prophecy is perfectly depicted? Also, this hasn't happened for roughly 6000 years of so. Also, in vs. 5 it states that the child is to rule with a rod of iron. In Rev. 2 we are told this is the church. Also, this is not Jesus being "caught up" in vs. 5 it would have to be the church. Jesus had no need to be harpazo'd (aramaic=harpazo, latin=rapturo, where we get the word rapture from which means to be taken out of harm's way violently and quickly.

  33. Has anyone considered that we call the woman the constellation Virgo in Rev 12:1, but when she flees "to the wilderness" in Rev 12:6 we switch to actual Israel? Maybe scripture is still referring to the constellation Virgo and the wilderness spoken of is a place in the heavens where no other stars are after Rev 12:4

  34. Who is God warning with this sign? The body of Christ the church? Israel? The timing of Revelation 12 with the rapture makes this a warning primarily to Israel. Everything is always in relation to Israel. Even the author and many others here on this fine website have referenced using Israel (and I would add Jerusalem) in the astronomy program to chart this sign. So, my point is simple. We can chart this ahead of time so modern technology with the age of knowledge that increases surely makes it a warning to the church. But the sign itself will be seen over Israel and is a warning to Israel primarily. So, for me it fits perfectly. In other words, when is a sign to be shown? Do you warn someone with a sign after the fact as a way of saying "I told you so"? I think not! You put a stop sign out on the road so people will stop and not crash. So, the sign in Revelation 12 is a warning to the nation of Israel as the woman giving labor is Mary and Israel. The warning is one of coming tribulation. The rest of it fits as the church is snatched up and the dragon is cast down with coming tribulation as the dragon pursues the woman. I think we need to be clear about why signs are given and the rest of the evidence here compels me to believe it is true.

    1. You make a great point, TP. Daniel Matson has an article that he posted recently about this very topic: http://watchfortheday.org/signofisrael.html.

  35. Jupiter is wearing a crown. You should see the astronomy picture of the day for July 11 2016.

  36. If Satan and his angels are cast down, how will we people on Earth see it? Large craft and ships over cities as Marzulli says? I imagine it will be absolute chaos in the world like nothing else ever experienced, after people are 'evacuated' up to God.

    1. I certainly think that is possible. Out of all the theories offered up as to what will be the "great delusion" I think aliens/UFOs makes the most sense. Our culture has been inundated with aliens for the last century and half or more of the population believes in their existence. Indeed "aliens" do exist, but the secret is they are not extraterrestrial, they are intradimensional (i.e. angels/demons/nephilim). The recent War of the Worlds remake portrays the aliens arriving to the sound of a TRUMPET. The 2010 movie Skyline pictured UFOs literally RAPTURING people from the earth en masse.

    2. So...I couldn't help myself. After the mention of War of the Worlds, I thought of Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, "Help me, Tom Cruise!"


  37. Here's something to consider.

    Let's first assume that Christ died in 33AD and that the 2 days (or 2,000 years per 2 Peter 3:8) since that time ends in 2033.

    If you take 2000 years consisting of 365.25 days each and convert them to 360 day years, we're in the biblical 360-day year of 2029 or about 3.5 years away from 2033.

    Does anyone find this interesting, or is it just me?

    1. I do think it is pretty interesting that 2,000 360-day 'Daniel' or 'prophetic' years from 33 AD have already passed.

  38. Must watch - Video with some interesting new info on Revelation 12 sign at https://youtu.be/cDOSYes-hmc

  39. Fun Coincidences? In Major League Baseball: The Houston ASTROS (Astronauts) will play the Los Angeles ANGELS this September 22-24, 2017 The only two team mascots, in real life, that could leave the Earth!

    ALSO: The Mountains (Colorado Rockies) will be coming to play the Priests (San Diego Padres) the same September 22-24 dates !!! Just say'in !!!

    1. Interesting observation. Heavenly Jerusalem is called a 'mountain' in Hebrews and the Church is a kingdom of priests. The priests are going to the mountain. The 'astros' (people flying up) are going to be 'like the angels in heaven'.

  40. I've added a new claim/critique at the end of the article dealing with the claim that Virgo already has a crown of twelve stars. Greg L., I borrowed from your article on this.

  41. I'm surprised that you didn't mention Genesis 1:14 in your discussion about the Mazzaroth since the reason the stars were placed in the sky was to mark the appointed times. That understanding makes Jesus' statement to his disciples in Acts 1:7 seem like he is speaking to a specific date and time.

  42. This GREAT SIGN is MOSTLY for the Jewish People and non-believers. Why? Faithful Christians do not require a sign, for we are always ready and alert for God's working. The GREAT SIGN is also for weak Christians to encourage them to die to self and worldly temptations and draw closer to our Savior and His Will.

    Be forever ready... EXPRESS your faith, and tell all your friends about the Great Sign God has prepared for the World. (Twitter & Facebook are good places to "spread the word".

  43. For generations the pulpit, when even taught, had always said we will not know the day or the hour, in reference to the rapture... So reading about revelation 12 and it fitting with years of me not being at ease since I think "why? I think God wants us to know," caused me to pray and search for how this comes together.

    I had always known to read the bible with context: is the verse for the Jew, the church, or the unbeliever? Who is he taking to and when it's he taking about. So, this is what I found, what does everyone think?

    Copied from my journal this morning:

    Consider this:
    Matthew 24:42-44
    Matthew 24:36

    Both talk of not knowing the day or the hour. Most in the church when it is even taught have been teaching that the rapture is a signless event using these verses. However, these verses are about the second coming! They come just before the kingdom parables that Jesus tells his disciples to explain the seven year tribulation.

    Matthew 24 and 25 are chronological then! Parable of the faithful servant, parable of the ten virgins, parable of the talents, parable of the sheep and goats, ALL about not knowing the day or the hour of Jesus second coming. All end with possible judgment and all except talents and goats end with this verse "you do not know the day or the hour."

    So the parables are for the people of the tribulation and the Jew, not the church. They are also chronological. They also are saying the second coming will come "like a thief in the night" 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

    Interestingly, now read 1 thessalonians 4:16-17 as a prelude to 1 thessalonians 5:2 and that seems chronological! The rapture (harpazo in the Greek) is found in 1 thessalonians verse 4:16-17 where before in verse 13 Paul says he doesn't want us to be "uninformed." harpazo is also found in revelation 12 sign!

    I submit the rapture is an event that God wants us to know, His Word to us, the church, informs. Read revelation 12 in light of Matthew 24-25 with these verses in thessalonians. It becomes clear when God addresses the church and when He addresses Israel.

    We will know the day and the hour of the rapture because the church is the body of Christ. The tribulation saints will not know the day or the hour because they are coming from the tribulation, they are a different people group. The church is saved by grace through faith alone and the Holy Spirit is in us, our names are written in the lambs book of life and we are marked to receive His inheritance, we are his body after all. The tribulation saints work their way to heaven as a different people group who have been witnessed by the 144,000 coming from the twelve tribes of Israel. They will not know the day or the hour.

    The connections go even deeper when you consider the verse surrounding the verses cited here and all the cross referencing but one must cut it short to make it timely and effective.

    Hopefully Spirit filled and an answer to prayer, all of the connections came to me when I was reading this, so credit where credit is due:

  44. Regarding the church as the child, with Christ as the head... I also find it interesting the woman has more offspring/children after this child is snatched away later in the chapter. And these children are also gentile believers. Rev 12:17

    17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.


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