23 September 2017

In 2014, the date of 23 September 2017 came to my attention, and since then I have questioned the Lord about it as it weighed on my mind.

On one hand it could be the fulfillment of the Revelation 12 "Great Sign" prophecy, which would be of great significance, occurring in our lifetime. And on the other hand it was a date, and many people (followers of Christ or not) are cautious of date setting in regards to end times, and we have seen many dates come and go before.

"A great sign appeared in heaven: a women 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 sceptre.' And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days." ~ Revelation 12:1-6

This story probably sounds very familiar. Because it is. It sounds very much like Jesus' birth (woman (i.e. Mary) giving birth to a male child) 2000 years ago, followed by Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt (the wilderness) for a time to protect Jesus from King Herod (used by Satan) who, in an attempt to kill Jesus, had all the boys 2 years and under killed (Matthew 2). However, in this case the Jesus ascends to heaven and only the woman flees to the wilderness. 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT DATE SETTING?

The following verses from the Bible are the basis for people being cautious of date setting.

1) Matthew 24:36           "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

2) Mark 13:32                  "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

3) Matthew 25:13          "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." 

4) 1 Thessalonians 5:2 "...for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."

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Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are almost identical and are speaking of the coming of the Son of Man (Matt 24:27, 24:30) and that no one knows the "exact" [Amplified Bible] day or hour.

Matthew 25 speaks of the return of the bridegroom (Jesus, the Son of Man) that "you" (plural) do not know the day or the hour.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 states that the Lord (Jesus) will come like a thief in the night, implying you cannot prepare for His return as you do not know when it will be.

 

These verses have led many to believe that no one knows the exact day or hour that Jesus (the Son of Man, the Messiah) will return in His glory. And I agree. I think we can all agree that the Bible is pretty clear on this point, we do not know exactly when Jesus will return.

However, many also extend this not knowing the day or hour, in a more general sense, to all of prophecy, Revelation, end times and not even knowing when it is "near". The question would then be, why does the Bible speak of all these precursor signs and events if we were never to notice (or know about) them.

The Bible makes clear why. We find in many verses (even the very same verse that tells us we do not know the date of Jesus' return - i.e. Matt 25:13) that we are instructed to keep watch for the signs, to be alert, to know the times you are in. All of these verses are warning signs, alerts, signals to give clear indication that you are in those times, and that His return is near.

Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, Luke 21:28,36 are just some of the verses that clearly state to "Be alert", "Keep watch", "When you see these things begin to take place...", "Be always on the watch"

If we read on 1 Thessalonians 5 we find out an amazing truth which is often overlooked.

"Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying 'Peace and Safety', destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief...let us be awake" ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4,6b

So we see that believers of Christ should not be surprised like a thief in the night.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SIGNS IN THE SKY?

Way back in the beginning God says in Genesis 1:14 "Let there be lights (sun, moon , stars) in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years...".  And shortly after Jesus' birth God used a sign in the sky (often referred to as the Star of Bethlehem) to lead the Magi to His Son. We also know that at Jesus' crucifixion that darkness was over all the land for 3 hours (Matt 27:45) most likely due to a solar eclipse. The moon turned to blood, the sun darkened, the list goes on. The Lord God does provide signs (or signals) in the sky as He said He would in Genesis and throughout the Bible.

Though, to be clear, we are not to worship any of these entities (sun, moon stars etc) or have any involvement in astrology or horoscopes and such.

GOD's CALENDAR

As we are talking about September 2017 we need to remember that the Western calendar (aka Gregorian calendar) is not God's calendar. God's calendar is different (see here for more detail).

On God's calendar the current year is 5777. And the new year, 5778, begins on 21 September 2017 (1st of Tishrei, 5778).

SEPTEMBER 2017
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
         

1

10th of Elul, 5777

2

11th of Elul, 5777

3

12th of Elul, 5777

4

13th of Elul, 5777

5

14th of Elul, 5777

6

15th of Elul, 5777

7

16th of Elul, 5777

8

17th of Elul, 5777

9

18th of Elul, 5777

10

19th of Elul, 5777

11

20th of Elul, 5777

12

21st of Elul, 5777

13

22nd of Elul, 5777

14

23rd of Elul, 5777

15

24th of Elul, 5777

16

25th of Elul, 5777

17

26th of Elul, 5777

18

27th of Elul, 5777

19

28th of Elul, 5777

20

29th of Elul, 5777

21

1st of Tishrei, 5778

22

2nd of Tishrei, 5778

23

3rd of Tishrei, 5778

24

4th of Tishrei, 5778

25

5th of Tishrei, 5778

26

6th of Tishrei, 5778

27

7th of Tishrei, 5778

28

8th of Tishrei, 5778

29

9th of Tishrei, 5778

30

10th of Tishrei, 5778

Lets take a look at the highlighted dates.

20 SEPTEMBER 2017 - THE COMPLETION OF GRACE PERIOD

The 20 September 2017 is the last day of 5777 in the Hebrew (Jewish) Calendar.

It is also the end of the Jubilee year (every 49/50 years on the 50th year, bearing in mind that the Jewish year starts and ends around September. *NOTE: Some would say 2017-18 is the Jubilee year. Time will tell). Significant biblical prophetic events have occurred for the Jewish people on recent previous Jubilee years...

  • 1917 - liberation of the land of Israel from 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule
  • 1967 - 6 day war, Israel reclaim Jerusalem for first time in approximately 2000 years (biblical prophecies fulfilled)

Also we find in the Bible the number 5 is often associated to Grace, and the number 7 is associated with completion (or perfection). So the year 5777 could be seen as the "completion of the grace period". Whilst we would not place too much emphasis on this, it is interesting as it correlates with other events, and we know that God is the master mathematician.

21 SEPTEMBER 2017 - PEACE & SAFETY

The United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace is on 21 September each year since 1982. Each year since 2011 there has been a slogan associated with that particular year, which you can see in the posters below.

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster.Building blocks for peace poster.

2012 - "Sustainable peace for a sustainable future"

2013 - "Education for peace"

2014 - "The right of peoples to peace"

2015 - "Partnerships for peace. Dignity for all"

2016 - "Building blocks for peace"

2017 - "Together for peace, respect, safety & dignity for all"

Background

Without going into too much detail, here is a brief background...

  • It is possible the UN will play a significant part in end times prophecy in regards to a One World Government (which essentially they already are, but without power). This is not a good thing according to biblical prophecy.
  • Also the UN passed resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016, which is a step towards dividing Israel. This is significant because when the nations are judged (by God) those nations that were involved in dividing up His land (i.e. dividing Israel) will not fare well (Joel 3:1-16). Unfortunately NZ supported resolution 2334.
  • It is relatively obvious that the UN does not support Israel, but is against it - the wrong side of the equation to be on.
  • Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and without Him there will be no true peace.
What relevance does this have?

In regard the 21 September 2017, the International Day of Peace (IDOP) slogan could be considered similar with another biblical end time prophetic warning.

2017 UN IDOP slogan ==> "Together for peace, respect, safety & dignity for all"

1 Thessalonians 5:3       ==> "While people are saying, 'Peace and safety', destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."

The terms "peace", "safety", "security" when used in combination such as "peace and safety" or "peace and security" by individual world leaders could be said to match this verse. And indeed leaders have used these terms over recent years especially when on the topic of Israel. However, it would appear that "pointed" destruction has not come to them "suddenly".

There are 2 important aspects of this verse that can be easily glossed over...

  1. Who are "they/them"? Who is it that says "Peace and safety". According to the verse "people are saying" indicating a collective group. I would suggest this either implies the "people of the world" or a collective of "leaders of the world".
  2. Why are "labour pains on a pregnant woman" mentioned? What significance does this have? Revelation 12 talks about a similar woman. Is there a relationship between these verses?

IMPORTANT NOTE: We cannot say for sure that the '2017 International Day of Peace' exactly relates to 1 Thessalonians 5:3. But it is something to watch out for (which the Bible tells us to do), especially since it coincides with the Feast of Trumpets (aka Rosh Hashana, 21-22 September 2017).

23 SEPTEMBER 2017 - THE GREAT SIGN

Revelation 12:1-2 describes a great sign in the heavens (sky) - shown in the title picture. This great sign culminates on 23 September 2017 in Jerusalem (9 hours behind NZ time), after just over 9 months of pregnancy (where the male child (Jupiter) bounced around inside the woman (Virgo) for just over 9 months).

Side note: Jesus is referred to as the morning star (Rev 22:16). And Venus is called the morning star and the evening star. So why Jupiter? If we reread Revelation 12:5 it tells of the male child "to rule the nations" and "caught up to His throne" both of which tell us of the male child as a king. Jupiter is referred to as the king planet.

Overview
  • Revelation 12:  1 - 2    The Great Sign - woman in labour
  • Revelation 12:  3 - 4    Another Sign - the dragon
  • Revelation 12:  5          Male child (born of the woman)
  • Revelation 12:  6          The woman in the wilderness
  • Revelation 12:  7 - 9    Explanation of the dragon (vs 12:4a)
  • Revelation 12:10 -12 Result for heaven and earth (due to the devil being cast out of heaven)
  • Revelation 12:13 -17 Dragon on earth

In essence, Revelation 12 tells the same story is told almost 3 times, sometimes symbolically, and sometimes with the actual character being identified.

The characters
  • The woman        ==> Israel (12 stars on her head = 12 tribes of Israel)
  • The male child ==> Jesus (rule them with an iron sceptre - Psalm 2:9 etc, snatched up to heaven - where He is now)
  • The dragon        ==> Satan, the devil (Rev 12:9)
  • The offspring   ==> Christians (Christianity came out of Israel, keep God's commands, hold fast their testimony about Jesus)
The timeframes
  • The woman (Israel) taken care of for 1,260 days (Rev 12:6) is the same as time (1 year), times (2 years) and half a time (0.5 year) (Rev 12:14). As 1,260 days = 42 months = 3.5 years
Video

I recommend watching this short video (by James Muecke) which gives detail that is best shown visually.

NOTE: Whilst I agree with the bulk of this video's explanation - I cannot voucher for the meteor shower's existence or timing.

The Dragon Sign

Is this metaphoric, or is there also an actual physical sign in the sky? This has been pondered by a number of watchmen since the Great Sign was found, with no clear answer.

However, we now find mysterious things appearing in some of the sky viewing programs online with certain settings such as infrared turned on. This shot that I took of the sky on 10 September 2017, shows a portion of the sky blacked out (circled in red). It is not just any place, it is right near the virgins legs where Jupiter (representing the male child) will come out on the 23 September 2017 (I do not believe this is just some random coincidence).

A closer look...

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 Then if you use the coordinates (of this blacked out area) within skyview (by NASA) with infrared on you can view what is under the blacked out area...

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Could match the description of the dragon sign in Revelation 12.

NOTE: We do not know whether this mysterious object, which seems to represent a dragon, will still be in this location on the 23 September 2017. However, if it is near the location where the male child exits the woman, it would appear to match Revelation 12:4b.

TIMELINE - BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

 If Revelation 12 and the Great Sign really do begin this month (September 2017) then this positions us at the end of the Birth Pains and heading into a testing time of Tribulation.

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Here is an updated indicative timeline. Green items represent KNOWN events, orange items represent PROBABLE events, red items represent POSSIBLE events.

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

There are range of theories about what will happen on these various dates 21-23 September 2017 and through till September 2018. And the way the Lord has written His Word regarding end time events does make it difficult to determine what it will "exactly" mean until it actually happens. God did this in His wisdom so that He is always steps ahead of the enemy. But the written Word will provide confirmation as events unfold.

If we look at the implications told in Revelation 12 we have...

  • Two signs appear in the heavens
  • Jesus will eventually rule the nations
  • Israel taken to the wilderness (1260 days)
  • Satan and his angels cast down to the earth
  • War waged on the woman's offspring

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whilst we do not know what exactly or when exactly it will happen, we do see the signs and prophecies of the Bible being fulfilled (i.e. 1948 Israel becoming a nation, 1967 reclaiming Jerusalem, 2014-2015 the blood red moons, 2017 Revelation 12 "Great Sign") in our time. Will there be any physical outworking (e.g. resembling stars being cast down to earth) of this in September 2017 or in time to follow? We do not know, but it important to be alert. Seek the Lord on this yourself.

What is clear though, is that "...when you see all these things, you know that He is near, right at the door."  ~ Matthew 24:33

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Regardless of any dates the best place to be is always in God's will.

Believers

If you are a Christian, be sure to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you have unconfessed sins/habits, confess and repent, and turn to Him. Don't just know about Him, actually know Him. Converse daily with the Lord, especially learn to listen and discern His voice. Remain in Him. It will be especially important to be able to hear the Holy Spirit in the coming time.

Non-Believers

If you are not a Christian, or you feel you were once but not now, turn to Jesus. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. He seeks you out like a lost child. He wants you to walk with Him. There is nothing that you have done that He cannot forgive if you sincerely repent of and confess Jesus as your Lord. Find some strong Christians friends or from a nearby Christian church to support you. If you wish to talk with us, please contact us.

All

Regarding the last days, Jesus told us to be alert, be on guard, be awake and keep watch, and above all do not let anyone deceive you (Matthew 24, Mark 13). He also told us that "when we see" all these things "you will know" (Matthew 24:33). He did not tell us to predict or guess when or what would happen, but rather to be awake so that we will see and then we will know that Jesus' return is imminent.

Do not live your life in fear or chase after conspiracies (these will lead to confusion), but rather...

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And... Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."  ~ Mark 12:30-31

and remember

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind"  ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

BLESSING

Here is a blessing I pray for each of you...

May you be blessed with wisdom

May you be blessed with eyes to see

May you be blessed to be awake and alert

May you be blessed with great understanding

May you be blessed with a strong desire to know Him

May you know the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit

SUMMARY

As with everything you should test this against God's Word.

Do not fear, but seek Him, and remain in Him.

 

 

For further info...

Bible references: Revelation 12, Matthew 24, 1 Thessalonians 5

Astronomy applications: Stellarium (for looking at future constellation positions, as shown in video), SkyView or Google Sky (for looking at present photos of the sky, used to view the dragon)

You will also find a number of preachers/teachers and watchmen who have written articles or made YouTube videos on the topic. Just remember to be careful to discern the truth.