Revelation 12 sign prophecy

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The alignment on September 23, 2017

The Revelation 12 sign prophecy was an apocalyptic belief that suggested 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[1] occurred on this date over Jerusalem. Others maintained caution while nevertheless marveling at the coincidence.[2]

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).[3] Many people worldwide 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.[4][5][6] 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.[3]

Overview[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] Also in 2017, Luis ("Lu") B. Vega connected the sign to a "Conception Comet".[8]

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".[5] 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.[9] 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).

The 42 week gestation of Jupiter

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,[9] 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.[4][5]

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,[10] 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.[11] 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[12] while Christians believe the period describes the tribulation period found in the Book of Revelation.[13]

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.[14] 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.[5][4][15][16][17] 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.[18]

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]

Some, such as Lloyd F. Acree, claim a direct revelation from God brought the event to the world's attention as confirmation of the pre-tribulation Rapture and its timing to be in the year 2017. Shortly after L. Acree claims to have received his message in early Spring of 2017, he then took to preaching the prediction on various social media outlets and with the use of a sandwich board in the streets of Simpsonville, SC. Acree started his prophetic claims by saying the Rapture would occur by the end of Calender year 2017, He strongly directed people to Sept. 23 of that year, and when it did not come to pass, he returned to anytime by the end of the year. Since this, too, had failed, he claimed that he had presumed God meant the planet's calender and not God's Holy Calender, which he then stated the Rapture would happen before the close of the Winter of 2017, or by March 20, 2018. Since this failed, he, once again, proclaimed that it was, "Pushed back" until the passover, March 30, 2018. Having failed four times, Lloyd still has not repented of his presumptuous speaking for God, when it is obvious by failure that he has no actual truthful revelation.

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.[19] 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.[20][21]

Media attention and criticism[edit]

The Revelation 12 Sign has received widespread media attention including from The Washington Post,[4] The Boston Globe,[22] LifeSite News,[23] Shoebat,[24] Prophetic.com,[25] and The Catholic Astronomer,[26] among others.

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,[27] Christian author Joel Richardson,[28] Jan Markell from Olive Tree Ministries,[29] Christian bible prophecy author Craig C. White,[30] Christian blogger and author Tim McHyde,[31] and several others.

Faulkner mentions[32] several specific points of contention including:

  • "...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."
  • "Since the claim that Leo has nine stars is false, the assertion that the addition of the three planets brings the total number of stars in Leo to 12 is false too."
  • "And how do we know that Jupiter must represent the child? There is no evidence for that either."
  • "These sorts of claims amount to Rorschach tests—people tend to see in them what they want to see."
  • "This year, with the huge popularity of YouTube, it is much easier to propagate these ideas."

Craig C. White is a proponent of a short timeline end of days, but gives several criticisms of the Rev 12 sign theory:[30]

  • "...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'."
  • "...some proponents confuse the child in Revelation 12 with the Church. The child is obviously Jesus."
  • "Some theorists say that Revelation 12:5 is describing the Rapture of the Church. Is the Church "a man child" as described in Rev 12:5? It is so very obvious that the man child who was caught up unto God, and to his throne is describing Jesus Christ at his ascension."
  • "No I don't think that Revelation 12:5 describes the Rapture of the Church in any way. The events of Revelation 12:1-5 depict the history of Israel and their Messiah up until Jesus Christ's ascension. The events of Revelation chapter 12:6-17 describe the events that Israel will endure during their great tribulation while the Church watches from heaven."

Tim McHyde mentions several flaws in the Rev 12 theory:[31]

  • "...scholars have found that the sky on September 11, 3 BC to show the exact picture of Revelation 12:1, pointing to the birth of Christ on that day"
  • "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."
  • "The most natural explanation for all this is that the Woman is the faithful church of God among and from whom Jesus, a male person, was born (through blessed Mary). Jesus ascends to heaven and the faithful continue on the earth through the Great Tribulation."
  • "For me the next problem is how Clarke has added elements to the biblical text that are not there, allowed for by problem #1 in ignoring verse 2 and 5. When he says this may be the rapture or second coming you would rightly ask, where does it say this in Revelation 12? Nowhere. It's added."
  • "I think Scottie Clarke was so excited to find something "extremely rare" to combine with a Bible prophecy (namely, those three planets appearing in Virgo) that he missed something huge. There are already always twelve stars crowning Virgo, depending who you ask it is either the constellation called 'Berenice's hair'."
  • "...the position of the sun does not match Rev 12:1 which says the sun clothes the woman. ...the sun is over her left shoulder. For the sun to clothe the woman, it would be on her body. Not at her head like the crown; not at her feet like the moon. In the middle where her body is; where clothing goes. If you want to see what it should look like, compare that to the picture of the sky on September 11, 3 BC when (I and many think) Jesus was born"
  • "What we have is once again is another example of how Christian prophecy students can't seem to resist taking something from Scripture and combining it with something extra-biblical they subjectively and/or arbitrarily view as significant. A Jewish holiday. A (brief) historical pattern of economic downturns. A rare conjunction. Or three more blood moons."

Ed Stetzer who holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, and Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, wrote this about it:[33]

"You basically got a made-up expert in a made-up field talking about a made-up event...it sort of justifies that there's a special secret number codes in the Bible that nobody believes,"

In response to the many critics of the Rev 12 sign theory, Unsealed World News has reiterated their position that the September 2017 alignment perfectly fits the description given in the biblical text and that their interpretation of the events described will be the only such occurrence in human history.[34][35][36][37][38]

An AT&T original documentary, The Sign, explored the intersections of science, religion, and history behind the Revelation 12 debate. It aired on Audience on September 14, 2017.[39]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bible Gateway passage: Revelation 12:1-2 - ,King James Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "Can the Church at least be cautious?". watchfortheday.org. Retrieved June 23, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Saunder, Rev. William. "Woman Clothed with the Sun", Arlington Catholic Herald, 2004. Catholic Education Resource Center. Retrieved July 6, 2011 Archived July 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c d Julie Zauzmer (March 15, 2017). "The first solar eclipse to cross America in 99 years is coming. To some, it's an act of God". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d "The Revelation 12 Sign Compendium". Unsealed World News. January 11, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b William Tapley (April 7, 2011). "Stellarium". YouTube. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  7. ^ "God's Calendar: A Shocking Story". Unsealed World News. December 10, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Lauer, Greg (May 2017). "The Exit Sign". A Little Strength. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Revelation 12 sign - Conception Comet C/2017 E1". www.fivedoves.com. Retrieved 2017-09-20. 
  10. ^ "The Temple Institute: Rosh HaShana in the Holy Temple: The Late Arrival of a Witness". Retrieved 2017-07-29. 
  11. ^ "September, 2017 - Jewish Calendar". Retrieved 2017-07-29. 
  12. ^ "High Holy Days - Wikipedia". Retrieved 2017-07-30. 
  13. ^ "Great Tribulation". lifehopeandtruth.com. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Bible Gateway passage: Revelation 12:5 - King James Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Daniel Matson (February 4, 2017). "Revelation 12 – The Sign for Israel". Signs of the End. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  16. ^ Scott Clarke. "About Salvation - Get Washed Clean!". ERF Ministries. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Revelation 12 Sign". Revelation 12 Daily. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Proof of the Rapture in Revelation 12". Revelation 12 Daily. June 2, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017. 
  19. ^ Zauzmer, Julie. "For some, eclipse day showcases God's majesty. For others, it means the Rapture is coming". washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Revelation 12 Has Nothing to Do With Tomorrow". Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Reflections on September 23, 2017". AnswersInGenesis. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  22. ^ Alex Beam (June 19, 2017). "It's the end of the world as we know it — again". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  23. ^ John-Henry Westen (November 21, 2016). "A great sign said to appear in the heavens as the year of Mercy closes". LifeSite. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  24. ^ Walid Shoebat (October 23, 2016). "New Signs In The Sky Worry Christians Who See That The Tribulation Period Begins On September 23, 2017. Is This True?". Shoebat. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  25. ^ Kevin DuPriest (July 2, 2017). "Return O Israel". Prophetic.com. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  26. ^ Christopher Graney (January 25, 2017). "Biblical Signs in the Sky? September 23, 2017". The Catholic Astronomer. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  27. ^ Dr. Danny R. Faulkner (May 1, 2017). "What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?". Answers in Genesis. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  28. ^ Joel Richardson (February 13, 2017). "THE FALSE SIGN OF SEPTEMBER 23, 2017". Joelstrumpet.com. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  29. ^ Jan Markell (May 13, 2017). "It Could Happen Today". Olive Tree Ministries. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  30. ^ a b Craig C. White. "Biblical Signs in the Sky? September 23, 2017". Revelation 12 sign – September 23 Rapture: The child in Revelation 12 is Jesus not the Church. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  31. ^ a b Tim McHyde. "What The September, 2017 Revelation 12 Sign Tells Us". What The September, 2017 Revelation 12 Sign Tells Us. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  32. ^ Dr. Danny R. Faulkner (May 1, 2017). "What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?". Answers in Genesis. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  33. ^ Stetzer, Ed. "No, the World Won't End Next Week and There's No Such Thing as a Christian Numerologist". christianitytoday.com. 
  34. ^ "Why The Revelation 12 Sign Can't Be Debunked". Unsealed World News. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  35. ^ "A Defense Of The Revelation 12 Sign And Its Connection To The Rapture". Unsealed World News. February 14, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  36. ^ "The Celestial C-Section". Unsealed World News. January 11, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017. 
  37. ^ "A Defense Of The Revelation 12 Sign: Part 4". Unsealed World News. May 22, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Debunkers Prove Revelation 12 Sign". Unsealed World News. June 16, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  39. ^ "AT&T AUDIENCE Network Premieres Documentary Film "The Sign" on Sept. 14 at 8 p.m." AT&T Newsroom (Press release). September 6, 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Broome, Jamison (2017). The Final Harbinger: Countdown to Rosh Hashanah 2017 and the Sign of Revelation 12. Revelation 12 Ministries. ISBN 9780692885321. 
  • Matson, Daniel (2015). Israel: The Handwriting in the Heavens. Joy Publishing. ISBN 0-939513-09-9. 
  • Prinsloo, Jaco (2016). God's Roadmap to the End. Smashwords. ISBN 9781311009227. 
  • Moser, Phil (2017). The Revelation 12 Sign. Archway Publishing. ISBN 9781480847200. 
  • Vega, Luis (2016). The Great Sign of Virgo. Lulu Publishing.