Revelation 12 sign prophecy
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The Revelation 12 sign prophecy is an apocalyptic belief that an astronomical alignment on September 23, 2017 fulfilled the first two verses of Revelation 12. This date coincided with the Autumnal equinox and the end of the Catholic September Ember Days. This theory, promoted by a number of Christians and Christian news organizations, proposed that a literal fulfillment of the prophecy made in the Book of Revelation 12:1-2 occurred on this date over Jerusalem. Others maintained caution while nevertheless marveling at the coincidence.
The passage of the New Testament in the Book of Revelation 12:1-3 describes "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." (NIV). Some people believe that an astronomical alignment involving the constellations Virgo and Leo, the sun, moon, and planets Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter that occurred in September 2017 fulfilled this prophecy word-for-word. It is also known as the Woman of the Apocalypse. Some of the most common Christian interpretations of this passage interpret the woman as Mary or ancient Israel, the man child as the incarnate Jesus and the (teknon) child being the Body of Christ, and the woman's other offspring as the Church that forms during the tribulation.
On April 7, 2011, William Tapley's channel ThirdEagleBooks published the first video about the alignment entitled "Stellarium" giving the 2017 date of the great sign and explaining how the planetary alignment that year matched the text of Revelation 12 better than a 2011 alignments, which he said three earlier videos from other people had mentioned. A few months later, on July 30, 2011, Scott Clarke from ERF Ministries posted a video on YouTube describing the alignment, which some people worldwide have now come to believe is the Revelation 12 sign. During 2011, Scott Clarke continued to popularize the alignment on YouTube. On December 10, 2012, Unsealed World News suggested that the purported sign might be connected to the rapture of the Church, though they have repeatedly stated that the exact date of the rapture is unknown and might happen sometime before, on, or after September 23. Years later, Greg Lauer posted about the astronomical alignment and references Scott Clarke's reports on his website dated May 2017 that Lu Vega claimed that he discovered the sign about 2008 but told no one until after several others posted about it in 2011. Also in 2017, Luis ("Lu") B. Vega connected the sign to a "Conception Comet".
The Apocalypse of John describes "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head." The proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign say that the woman represents the constellation Virgo and the crown of twelve stars represents the nine stars of the constellation Leo in conjunction with Mercury, Mars, and Venus. The moon appears to be under the "feet" of the constellation Virgo in September 2017 and the sun will be passing through the constellation, which they say is what is meant by the woman being "clothed with the sun". The second verse of the twelfth chapter of John's Apocalypse goes on to say that the woman "was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." Some people suggest this will be fulfilled because the planet Jupiter will be traversing the constellation after having undergone apparent retrograde motion. After entering what they perceive to be Virgo's "womb" around November 20, 2016. Jupiter exits the lower part of the "womb" 42 weeks later, which is the approximate length of a human gestation (normal gestation periods lasting from 37 to 42 weeks).
It was also discovered that the apparent retrograde of Jupiter in the womb of Virgo was preceded by C/2017 E1 (Comet Borisov) which is being called the Conception Comet. This comet traveled from the loins of the constellation Leo to the womb of the constellation Virgo on November 17, 2016, just before the entrance of Jupiter into the womb. Some proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign are suggesting that this comet represented the divine insemination of the woman, which subsequently produced the male child (Jupiter). This will be the comet's only trip through our solar system as it is not a solar orbital. The complete astronomical alignment occurred on September 23, 2017, over Jerusalem.
The Revelation 12 Sign may have coincided with the High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar, which is also called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the Fall Feasts and its timing is traditionally based on the visibility of the new moon, which in 2017 is expected to either begin on the evening of September 21 and end on the evening of the 22nd (if the 2% illuminated moon is sighted) or begin on the evening of the 22nd and end on the evening of the 23rd when the sign is fulfilled. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year celebration, in this case marking the end of the year 5777 (sometimes abbreviated to the significant number 777) and the beginning of 5778. The Feast of Trumpets in Jewish tradition is believed to be a day when the dead will be resurrected and judgement will begin while Christians believe the period describes the tribulation period found in the Book of Revelation.
Interpretations of Revelation 12 vary, but the general consensus of those who promoted this theory was that the September 2017 alignment was the Great Sign which is described in this passage of Scripture: that the woman represents the nation of Israel, which they believe is about to enter into a multi-year period of Tribulation, and the male child represents the global Church, which might be raptured to Heaven before the Tribulation period begins according to Revelation 12:5. Many proponents say that in order for people to escape before this impending judgment on the world and be "raptured", they must accept that the Christian Messiah Jesus Christ died for their sins, rose again, and is the only means of being reconciled to God. These views are shared by all of the major proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign Prophesy. It has also been pointed out by Revelation 12 Sign proponents that a number of eminent biblical scholars support their particular interpretation of Revelation 12, including John Nelson Darby, Harry Ironside, and more recently Dr. Michael Svigel.
The apocalyptic symbol of "a woman in labor" is found throughout Jewish and Christian Scriptures, which proponents suggest is evidence of the September 2017 alignment's importance in prophecy. These particular Scriptures include Isaiah 13:6-13, Isaiah 26:17-21, Isaiah 66:7-11,Jeremiah 30:4-11, Jeremiah 49:23-27, Micah 5:3, Matthew 24:8, Mark 13:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:3. According to Isaiah 66 above, the birth of the man-child occurs before the woman travails in labor and pain. Proponents argue that the rapture is the marvel spoken of by Isaiah in the above passage—the man-child representing the Church that will be born before Israel enters the Tribulation. Since the woman apparently has other children according to Revelation 12 (such as Gentile Tribulation Saints and the 144,000), the dragon, since he cannot devour the raptured Church, persecutes the woman's other children spoken of later in Revelation 12.[non-primary source needed]
Still others, while hailing the sign as an indicator for Rapture, yet emphasize a broader interest in many possible events for its actual manifestation such as the Jewish holidays of September and the solar eclipse of August 21st, 2017. These and other claims have sparked viral interpretation commentaries from across the spectrum of leading Christian websites, such as Charisma News and AnswersInGenesis, to messages from self-identified prophets and their critics of various persuasions.
Media attention and criticism
A number of critics have offered rebuttals of the purported sign arguing that the sign is not unique or is only astrology. Critics include Answers in Genesis author Dr. Danny Faulkner, Christian author Joel Richardson, Jan Markell from Olive Tree Ministries, Christian bible prophecy author Craig C. White, Christian blogger and author Tim McHyde.
Examples of rebuttals include Faulkner statement that "Jupiter appears in the part of Virgo corresponding to her womb, along with the sun in Virgo and the moon at her feet for a day or two every 12 years or so", and Craig C. White statement that "the Apostle John says that 'there appeared a great wonder in heaven'. He doesn't say 'there will be a great wonder in heaven'. He doesn't tell us to 'look for a great wonder in heaven'", According to Tim McHydes, "Clarke's theory, like all invented prophecy theories, depends on taking a verse out of its context and re-purposing it to serve some new theory. When you ignore the context of a verse, you are set up to misinterpret it. That's how you turn a solid reliable Bible prophecy into an unreliable quasi-biblical man-made prophecy interpretation." Unsealed World News responded to criticisms by simply reiterating their belief.
- Blood moon prophecy
- Unfulfilled Christian religious predictions
- David Meade, an conspiracy theorist who also predicted an apocalyptic event on September 23.
- Nibiru cataclysm
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