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Is “the woman”, Virgo?

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Research Paper

January 29, 2017

Concerning the Rev. 12 Great Sign and astronomical events on September 23, 2017.  Scottie Clarke has done a remarkable work on this; moreover, understanding the historical description of Virgo reconciles the question of, “Is the woman, Virgo.”  The question to ask concerning Rev. 12 is, “What Woman?  Who is this Woman, and is she Virgo?”

Proponent: Scottie Clarke https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsa5IqNLzmFDegks07EuLyq1Z-gfB5vMY

Biblical references: Genesis 1:14, Psalms 19:1-5, Job 9:9 & 38:31-32, Amos 5:8, Revelation 12.

Scottie Clarke holds to the view that in Revelation 12:5 the phrase”caught up” is in reference to the Rapture of the Church.  How does one know that the male child is representative of the Church?  Revelation 12:17 inferences this correlation by saying, ”went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.“  Clarke cites the following historical sources for the interpretation that the woman represents’ Israel and the male child represents’ the Christian Church: G. H. Pember (c. 1876) .pdf (online version– see page 467) and this Michael Svigel article.  At least a dozen other well-known theologians and pastors such as John Nelson Darby, Harry Ironside, William Kelly, William Blackstone, David Wilkerson, and Chuck Missler have taken this view.  Furthermore, the word translated as caught up in the Greek is “harpazo” that is exclusively used in regards to the rapture doctrine that is applied to the Church.  This interpretation is not what is being debated here, nor the astronomical event of September 23, 2017.  Rather, what is being considered here is the Zodiacal and planetary correlations to the Great Sign.  I pose the question, can one equate or represent the woman as Virgo?  If the woman is not Virgo, then one cannot interpret the celestial event as being the Great Sign, the logic must flow.

Problem:  Scottie Clarke is purporting that the woman of Revelation 12 is Virgo.  This research paper is bringing to light a potential problem with the above theological interpretation of the Revelation 12 Great Sign as associated with the celestial observations.  While the astronomical events of September 23, 2017, are factual, the Virgo aspect is not a real association, that is, there is no real Virgo depiction in the heavens; thus it poses a theological problem.[0]  The other problem is that Virgo imagery is depicted as holding wheat; whereas, in Revelation, the woman is depicted as a mother.  One must beg the question for Clarke’s interpretation of Rev. 12, “Is astrology (mythology or mystic) being mixed with astronomy (secular science), and possibly being misunderstood as astronomy?”  A distinction of astrology and astronomy should be made.  The Bible explicitly condemns astrological divination (See: Isaiah 47:13; 2Kings 23:5).  Clarke’s premise hinges upon the Virgo woman.  Clarke then goes on to correlate the Virgo woman is the woman in Rev. 12 and her child as being the Church that is caught up or raptured.

The same association must be true with regards to the male child representing the planet Jupiter and the garland/crown of twelve stars representing the constellation Leo, of which problems I address in addendums A and B at the bottom of this article.

Constellation Virgo

Constellation Virgo

The Bible says we are not to look for a sign, yet the Bible also makes reference to terrestrial and celestial signs that we should be aware of in regards to prophecy.  One has to beg the question; Is it possible that God might use an astrological depiction to reveal a prophetic event?  Is this fulfilling Genesis 1:14, and or simply a means in which God is reaching man at man’s level, written at a time of limited astronomical knowledge more commonly then referred to as astrology? Might there be a historical aspect of astrology that is not mythological or mystic that can be used in understanding or correlating the woman of Revelation 12?

It should be noted that there are other eschatological interpretations, for example, that the woman is in reference to Jesus’s mother, Mary, and or it is a supernatural event.  However, this essay is not debating what interpretation is correct but, rather, performing the role of a Berean (Acts 17:11) and historian by only presenting, assessing, and evaluating the problem above.

A look at astrology:

It was the astronomer Johannes Kepler, with the discovery of planetary motion, that are we able today to calculate the position of celestial bodies.  It is with these principles that the program Stellarium uses for its calculations.  Interestingly, Kepler was a devout Christian who attended seminary.

Historically, it is reasonable to state that astrology (telling of the stars), to a degree, was astronomy (a study of heavenly bodies) for the ancients based on their limited knowledge.  Later, astrology became perverted by man, influenced by Satan, over time far back in history.  Yet, is there an aspect of astrology (say a pictorial Zodiac image) that is simply a means of describing an astronomical constellation?  Astrology directly has to do with calculating future events.  Modern astronomy has dismissed, and rightfully so, the mythological or mystical perversions but continues to calculate the heavenly bodies and refer to the constellation names.  Some have asserted that the Gospel is presented in the stars, but this essay is not going to be concerned with addressing that topic.

Astrology became perverted in the following two predominant ways:  Kabbalistic astrology, while not biblical, associates the Mazzaroth with birth-months that point to character traits.  Whereas, pagan astrologers, while condemned in Scripture, use horoscopes to depict planetary placements to influence daily activities.  Then there is the Greek and Roman mythological gods associated with the constellations as well.

This would be similar to the animal entrail divination of pagan Greek Mythologies.  Likewise, it is similar in practice to the Jewish High Priest’s Urim, Thummim, and breastplate, only this was truly of God.  On the other hand, the Bible makes reference to some constellations and Mazzaroth (Zodiac), even referencing that He created them.  See: Genesis 1:14, Psalms 19:1-5, Job 9:9 & 38:31-32, Amos 5:8, Revelation 12.

Tablet of the stars of the heavens.

Tablet of the stars of the heavens.

The zodiac, in its simplest form, is a pictorial circular belt of 12 equal sectional divisions of star constellations within 8° on either side of the ecliptic including apparent positions of the sun, the moon, and most familiar planets.  At a point in Sumerian history, figures were given to depict these constellations: (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) as evidenced in Tablet of the stars of the heavens long before the Apostle John wrote Revelation.[1]

The Torah says this concerning the zodiac:

“The early Sages divided the ninth sphere, which surrounds everything, into twelve parts.  Each part was given a name appropriate to the pattern of stars it contains.  The names of the Zodiac symbols are:  Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Saggitarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.”[2] (Torah 3:6)

Thus, this is something the Apostle John would have been aware of.  Imagery ignites the imagination, and God uses this kind of vivid imagery throughout Revelation.

Historical written descriptions of Virgo:

My research is not concerned with the mystic or mythological aspects of Virgo, neither does it appear that Scottie Clarke is applying such in his interpretation or understanding, rather, he is correlating the constellation of Virgo to the Great Sign.  The question lies in whether or not the woman can be interpreted as Virgo based on features.

I researched the word Virgo in ancient texts, and they revealed written descriptions providing details of the Virgo depiction.  In all ancient texts, it is clear that Virgo is a woman (female).  My research results, in the cited ancient texts, revealed specific references to the “feet of Virgo,” “Virgo’s hair,” and the “garment of Virgo” denoting those features with Zodiac figure or imagery depictions of Virgo, and corresponded with the depiction in Revelation12.[3], [4], & [5]  In Revelation 12 it makes specific mention of “a woman clothed” and “her feet.”[6]  Interestingly, the sun is near the tip of her hair and clothing when viewed in Stellarium on the 9/23/17 date, see this citation.[7]  Consequently, it is plausible that originally she (Virgo) was depicted with very long hair covering much of her body.  Whatever the case, what are the odds of all these specific references and only these specific references being found in regards to how Virgo was depicted?  That is, I did not find references to her nose or hands, but only the very same bodily descriptions described in the Bible.  This is certainly indicative of a correlation of information or knowledge being transmitted over the years, and something God would know of concerning man’s imagination of Virgo.

Virgo is depicted as having three differing roles: maternal (fertility), harvester (grain), judicial (scales).  Barry Setterfield’s study of the star names that make up Virgo, denoted that rather she had a maternal role.[8]

The word Virgo is not in the Bible, and the Virgo depiction is not an astronomical reality, that is you don’t see a woman in outer space; however, based on:

  1.  the Revelation 12 contextual association “in heaven” dressing “the woman” in a metaphor of similar astronomical events (the sun, the moon, twelve stars) occurring on September 23, 2017.
  2.  the above historical descriptive references (feet, garment, hair, woman) of Virgo concur along with the maternal role while having also had a representation of virginity.

This seemingly and potentially may be alluding to the woman as being the constellation Virgo.  Yet, theologically this is not unequivocal since a portion of the premise (Virgo) is extra-biblical.  Pastor JD Farag provides a good approach theologically: https://youtu.be/GyC4q1ob7fA

However, based on ancient texts, I can unequivocally conclude that the historical descriptions of Virgo are that of a woman whose features are consistent with the features of the woman in Revelation 12.  While the human features are common, the interesting find was that the ancient texts and Revelation make the same specific and exclusive references.

Addendum A:

Is the “male child,” the planet Jupiter?

It should be noted that the word Jupiter is not mentioned in Revelation 12 and the planet Jupiter does not look like a man-child.  However,  Etymology and ancient texts confirm the planet Jupiter is named after the mythological god. (Citations too numerous to list here.)  In Roman mythology, Jupiter (Zeus, Grk.) was a supreme or king god, not only male but is specifically and more commonly depicted as an adult “man” (with fatherly references) in regards to his humanness.  There are ancient textual references of Jupiter having been “born” of a “female” as well as being a “child.”  Jupiter’s mother was Ops (Rhea, Grk.), not Virgo; however, there are similarities and possible origin correlations as to the goddesses over the varying ancients’ narratives.  That is, the story lines may cross over the varying ancients, which I suggest has happened, as perversions, seen based on similarities.  For example, there is a relief of Rhea riding a lion; this is similar to that of Leo the lion crowning Virgo’s head.  More detailed and extensive research of the varying ancient cross over relationships could reveal much more information.

Summary: Etymology and ancient texts connect the planet Jupiter to the mythical god.  Jupiter (the god) is historically depicted as a “man,” having been a “child,” that was “born” of a “female.”  It is, therefore, logical to conclude that a “man-child” of the biblical narrative could represent the planet Jupiter as explained by Scottie Clarke.

Conclusion:  Therefore, based on ancient texts, I can unequivocally conclude that the historical descriptions of the planet Jupiter and mythical god are representative of one another.  Furthermore, the god Jupiters’ textual description, includes that of a “man” whose humanness depicts the traits of being “born” as a “child” from a “female.”  This is consistent with the Revelation 12 “man child” who likewise is to be “born” of a “female.”  Whether it is representative of Christ and or the Christian Church is left for interpretation, nonetheless plausible.

Addendum A source: Too many historical documents verify this information than I care to list here.

Addendum B:

Is the “garland/crown of twelve stars,” the constellation Leo?

First, it should be noted that the word Leo is not in the Bible and the constellation Leo looks like a Lion, not a garland or crown. However, among the ancients, Pliny the Elder wrote a book titled The Natural History. In it, he describes the mythological origin of the presentation of crowns. As he describes this, he says that crowns were “never given to an individual… [rather] upon his country” (Perhaps a nation, Israel, 12 tribes?). He reports that “this people has more varieties of crowns than those of all other nations put together.” He associates it with achievements in battle, as well as signifying liberty and triumph. He explains that Ivy leaves were especially given to the “gods of heaven.” He cites as his source, Pherecydes (an ancient Greek cosmogonist none the less), as saying that among those mythical gods that were awarded a garland or crown, was Leo. This possibly provides an indirect association for representing Leo as the “crown” in Revelation 12:1.

At best, Leo is correlated with the garland/crown of 12 stars by associating the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and 12 tribes of Israel; however, this is a matter of biblical interpretation and not historical correlation.  Also, there were 12 apostles.  Historically, the only association could be, as mentioned in the paragraph above, is that Leo is referenced in an ancient text as having been crowned.  If a correlation cannot be made with Leo, then neither can it be associated with the celestial alignment on September 23, 2017.  One has to consider that Revelation 12 is painting a celestial picture and the question is, is it literal and where or what is that picture?  Among all the celestial correlations, Leo is the most difficult to make arguments for representation of the Garland/crown of 12 stars.

Addendum B Source: 1) Jewish Concepts: The Lion, Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-lion-in-judaism, and 2) Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Book 16 Chap. 4 THE ORIGIN OF THE PRESENTATION OF CROWNS. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.02.0137:book=16:chapter=4&highlight=leo

In a nutshell, I have some reservations yet at the same time, I find the “Great Sign,” as associated with September 23, 2017, quite plausible, and many potentially convincing aspects to it.  Also, read my associated article: Jesus is expected to rapture His Church, when?

John DiCesare, Historian

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[0] Soothsayers of the Second Advent. http://scatteredsheepreport.blogspot.com/2017/01/soothsayers-of-second-advent.html

[1] Is There a Gospel in the Stars? http://www.setterfield.org/stargospel.html#virgo

[2] Maimonides: The Laws and Basic Principles of the Torah. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/rambam-yesodei-hatorah.txt

[3] The story of Icarius who entertained Dionysus: Eratosthenes in his Erigonê. Page search Ctrl-F “Virgo”: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:2008.01.0219:section=9&highlight=virgo

[4] Vitruvius Pollio, The Ten Books on Architecture. Page search Ctrl-F “Virgo”: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.02.0073:book=9:chapter=3&highlight=virgo

[5] Jami (1414-1492 CE): Joseph and Zuleika, c. 1470 CE. Page search Ctrl-F “Virgo”:  https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/1470jami1.asp

[6] New King James Bible https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+12&version=NKJV

[7] Is There a Gospel in the Stars? http://www.setterfield.org/stargospel.html#virgo .  Stellarium  http://www.stellarium.org/

[8] Is There a Gospel in the Stars? http://www.setterfield.org/stargospel.html#virgo

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Written by johnsbibleblog

January 29, 2017 at 10:06 AM

Jesus is expected to rapture His Church, when?

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According to the Apostle Paul, “Concerning the times and the seasons” (1 Thes. 5:1) Christians are to comfort one another with the knowledge that Jesus is coming soon.  When caught up, believers will forever be with the Lord.  The Bible says Christians will avert the judgment to fall on unbelievers and evil.  The context is a rescue.  All of Gods promises will be fulfilled, and one will experience love, peace, joy, grace, and mercy in the presence of the Savior Jesus Christ.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [rapture] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air… Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thes. 4:16-18 See also Rev. 12:5

rapture_timeline_chart

Rapture Timeline Chart (Click to enlarge)

The scriptures call Christians to be readywatch, pray, and wait for Jesus. Don’t be among those who “did not know the time of your visitation” (Lk. 19:44).  Jesus admonishes Christians to “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware” (Luke 21:34).

“Therefore you also be ready…” Luke 12:40

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” 1 Cor. 1:7

Are Christians to know when Jesus will return for His Church?  Jesus wept over Jerusalem and for the Jews for not knowing that He was the Messiah to come.  It is clear that believers are not going to know exactly when but does He want believers to know potential times that He will return?  The Scriptures provide some clues to that.

“you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:44

“You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” Luke 12:56, Mat. 16:3

“But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk?  The master will return unannounced [to him] and unexpected” Matthew 24:48-50 NLT

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief… let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thes. 5:4,6

The following is based on three prophetic interpretations:

  1. Parable of the Fig Tree
  2. The Feast of Trumpets
  3. Twinkling of an Eye.

The aim here is to bring these three prophecies together for a more complete picture since they are typically addressed independently.  This article is not addressing the details of each prophecy only bringing them together as they relate to one another.  Here are some sites that address them in more detail:

Old Testament Feasts are clearly linked to prophecy and Christ: Colossians 2:16-17 says, “regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

No One Knows the Day or Hour – but is there also an enigma to this?

Qualifying Factor – predictability.

While no man knows the specific and singular day or hour of Jesus’s return, is there an enigma to this?  This phrase of not knowing is reinforced by, but yet better understood as being a Jewish idiom in Jesus’s day with regards to a betrothal process referred to as kiddushin.  This idiom is the outlook a groom had for his bride during the waiting of his father’s approval (bridalcovenant.com/wedding1.html).

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36, 42, 44.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32

And or, it is also said that this is an idiomatic reference to the Feast of Trumpets since the day is not known.  Furthermore, other scriptures, examined below, appear to give a span of years, probable months / days, and probable hours, that are all in the plural, thus known yet undetermined.

Do enigmas exist in the Scriptures and or Jewish thoughts and ideas?  Yes, they do, more commonly referred to as a parable.  Jesus many times spoke in parables, and so it is that prophecy also reflects this kind of thought.  Additionally, for idioms, one only has to point to Song of Solomon.  Furthermore, there are metaphors, take, for example, the Church (believers in Jesus) are the bride of Christ.

Furthermore, notice that these verses do NOT mention “year” nor “month” but only “day or hour” so scripturally one may potentially be able to predict the year(s) and or month(s).

Another way of potentially understanding no man knows the day or hour is by understanding how day and night are described in scripture.  Genesis 1:5 “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.”  Then one has to understand that night and day do not correspond to the date; there is an overlapping of DAY time referred to as twilight.  Jewish date goes from the middle of twilight to the middle of the latter twilight; whereas, day begins at the start of twilight and ends at the close of twilight or light, so night is about two hours less than day.  Hence the colloquial phrase, ‘no man knows the “day” or “hour”‘ because of this overlapping.  So the phrase can be taken lightly not literally, as it is used informally because of this overlapping of daytime.  One can also accept both imminence and appointed time by reconciling the two as discussed below in the Twinkling of an Eye section.

Note, the approximations below are only a narrowing down of what the scriptures provide for knowing Jesus’s return.  This is NOT a day or hour being set.  NO SINGLE SPECIFIC YEAR, MONTH / DAY, OR HOUR ARE BEING PREDICTED BELOW, THE LIST IS INCLUSIVE!

Parable of the Fig Tree

Year – Fulfilled.

Based on the prophecy of the Parable of the Fig Tree we can determine approximately what years Jesus Christ will rapture the Church (arewelivinginthelastdays.com/article/generation/generation.htm; https://youtu.be/HH4k74AN_uc?t=5m20s).

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:32-34 NLT

The fulfillment of this prophecy is commonly understood as the Jewish state of Israel (the Fig Tree) becoming a nation, as it did on May 14, 1948.  Thus it is our “generation” that will see Jesus return who “see all these things” (the fig tree budding and leaves sprouting) come to pass.  So what is a generation in the bible?  Most references seemed to indicate 40 years; however, that has passed in 1988; therefore, most look to Psalm 90:10 that says,

“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” Psalm 90:10

If 70 years is added, 2018 is reached; whereas, if 80 years is added, 2028 is reached from the proposed starting date of May 14, 1948.  Then subtract 7 years for the tribulation period, and a 10-year span between 2011 and 2021 is arrived at.  This writing is in 2016, thus it can be narrowed down even further between 2016 and 2021, but still a several year span that “No one knows the day or hour”.  Additionally, the following link (series of five videos) plausibly narrows the rapture down to 2017 with regards to the “Great sign” depicted in Revelation 12 (youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsa5IqNLzmFDegks07EuLyq1Z-gfB5vMY).  It is uncertain if this is the appointed time/year or it is a sign pointing forward but more likely it is the appointed time/year.  Remember, year is NOT disqualified by scripture.

On the other hand, there is a serious question if this Rev. 12 Great Sign, as interpreted by Scottie Clarke, is even correct or biblical.  One has to question the Virgo or astrological aspect.  Astronomically, there does not appear to be a biblical conflict but astrologically there is a problem because the bible condemns astrology. One as to question, is astrology (mystical) being mixed with astronomy (secular) in the understanding of this? Truly, there is no literal pictorial Virgo in the heavens- it simply does not exist.  The next question is that, “Would God use astrology to reveal a prophetic sign?”  Visit this link for my article: Is the woman, Virgo? A historical look.  It is wise that when we don’t know something, to stick with what we do know, especially when it comes to prophecy.

Feast of Trumpets

Month, Day – To be fulfilled.

Biblically it is believed that the Holy Day or “appointed time (moed)” Jewish Festival of the “Feast of Trumpets”, also known as “Yom Teruah”, will be when the rapture occurs, due to its correlated significance in the bible (Lev. 23:24; 1 Cor. 15:52; youtu.be/y7EGkXWnbJk).  This falls on the 7th month called Tishrei of the Hebrew calendar.  Thus, based on the “appointed time” for the annual Feast of Trumpets it can be known that Jesus Christ will rapture the Church on the 7th Hebrew month, and within a several day span (Lev. 23:24; youtu.be/lcJG8766jpM).  This holiday usually falls toward the end of September or beginning of October on the Gregorian civil calendar but can be calculated as to its two-day occurrence with sometimes a one-day variance depending on the sighting of the new moon from Jerusalem.  Because the day cannot be specified, again “No one knows the day or hour”; however, this also narrows down our prospective rapture to the 7th Hebrew month and two days on which this holiday is celebrated.  While the Feast of Trumpets occurs annually, the rapture will occur imminently, once in time, on a Feast of Trumpet.  Again remember, the month is NOT disqualified by scripture.

The Feast of Trumpets is based on a sighting of the new moon, not date (renewedmoon.com).  While the new moon can be predicted astronomically, it is not always visibly verifiable on earth from Jerusalem on the exact astronomical day that pronounces the Feast of Trumpets festival, thus the Feast of Trumpets is never known until the very moment it is visible by two witnesses from Jerusalem, then and only then do the trumpets sound.  It is the 100th trumpet blast that constitutes the last trump.

“”Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation…” Lev. 23:24

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52

Reference links for understanding the Luni-Soler Calendar:

Twinkling of an eye

Hour – To be fulfilled.

It is known that the phrase “twinkling of an eye” refers to evening twilight, and more specifically the moment the sun goes below the horizon and becomes dark with a view from the temple mount in Jerusalem (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp). The Hebrew 24 hour period begins at evening twilight when there is no light (See Genesis 1:5).  Dusk (evening) and Dawn (morning) are regarded as dual time frames of hours within a single date referred as Twilight(s).  Evening twilight from Jerusalem can vary, and roughly be about three hours long (timeanddate.com/astronomy/israel/jerusalem).  Since these time frames are two “hour” periods with a span of hours than “no man knows the day or hour“.

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52 NKJV

“In a rega (moment), in the wink of an eye, at the last shofar blast. For the shofar will sound, the Mesim (dead ones) will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52 OJB

Extra-Biblical Rabbinical source from Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth (Folio 2a CHAPTER I Berakoth 2b) gives an understanding of what the “twinkling of an eye” means: “Do you think that I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by you?  I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by R. Jose. For R. Jose says: The twilight is like the twinkling of an eye. This enters and that departs — and one cannot exactly fix it.” (www.come-and-hear.com/berakoth/berakoth_2.html)

Reference links for “twinkling of an eye” to “twilight” idiomatic interpretation:

This passage describes the order of events:

we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise firstThen we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thes. 4:15-17

Because there are two distinct events first resurrection of the dead, and then rapture of those who are alive, this explains the twinkling of eye and trumpet associated with resurrection of the dead, and the beginning of Tishri 1; whereas, it appears that the rapture occurs several hours later on the same day when the Great Sign of Rev. 12 takes place “moon at her feet” (youtu.be/91F_EseiPkU).  Now does this mean we know the date and hour?  One answer to this question is: Probably yes but possibly no.  If the first part (resurrection) does not take place on Tishri 1 of 2017 then most likely the rapture will not either, and then that tells us we must interpret no man knows the day or hour more literally and not as a colloquial phrase referring to the overlapping of daytime.  In which case these signs are pointing forward to an imminent point and time most likely within the subsequent 5 years.  Another answer to this question is: Yes AND no.  We know the “appointment” but He might show up early.  The latter being more consistent with reconciling imminence AND appointment.  I think we will know more if we see increased birth pains, mid-east wars, destruction of Damascus, a temple being built, and or the resurrection (first part) take place.

Now with regards to the date being probably known, the scriptures compel me to accept His imminent AND appointed time.  Many feel they have to be in one camp or the other, or their pride blinds them to the other because they feel they have to be right and are the only ones who understand.  The fact is that the scriptures teach both, and it is very easy to reconcile the two together if one accepts this fact.  The problem is with people’s interpretation NOT the scriptures.  The scriptures are correct on both, otherwise one has to excuse away the scriptures pertaining to the other.  Furthermore, to add to that, the Scriptures tell us the “Master” will not “delay” (Mat. 24:48) and “this generation shall not pass” Mat. 24:32-34).  So personally, I see the scriptures teach that the rapture will occur any time up to Sept. 23, 2017.  When I have an appointment that I want to attend (oh let’s say a wedding with my fiancée), I will NOT miss that date, but if circumstances permitted, I would gladly make that appointment earlier because I choose to out of love.  Furthermore, notice that 1 Thes. 4:15-17 above says “rise first. Then”.  This is a division in time and thus more likely indicates that that the two events (resurrection & rapture) occur several hours apart on Tishrei 1.

Now, is the moment or hour predictable or known in advance based on the “moon under her feet” (Rev. 12:1)?  Answer, yes we know in the program Stellarium (stellarium.org) the time that will occur; however,  No, because we don’t know the day (see section on day above) and we don’t know if we will, in fact, see or observe the first part (resurrection), and the moon under her feet is the moment it (rapture) happens.  Is it known? yes, but will it happen? we don’t know because it is the very moment of occurrence.

The word watch in the scriptures is used in two ways, 1) as periods of hours, and 2) to look for (biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?search=watch&version=NKJV&searchtype=all&bookset=2&resultspp=500).  With this section dealing with hours, I will address the first.  There are four night watches (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp).  Does this biblical reference to watch give us clues as to the hour(s) since second, third, and fourth watches are mentioned?  (See Mat. 14:25, Mark 6:48, and Luke 12:38)  Answer, no, none of the references to watch appear to be giving a clue.  You will find it is merely referencing them as potential periods, and rather, leaves it open so as to incline the reader to be watchful in the second sense of the word.

“And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.” Luke 12:38

Rapture

Deductive reasoning: Here is what can be known and this is the enigma based on the above prophetic clues that the bible gives, leaving several concrete possibilities of appointed time when Jesus will come for His Church.  Yet, because they are all plausibly correct, the uncertainty of exactly when remains:

2016  October 3rd, 4th or 5th at Jerusalem twilight.

2017  September 21st, 22nd or 23rd at Jerusalem twilight*. Great Sign Rev. 12

2018  September 10th or 11th at Jerusalem twilight*.

2019  September 30th or October 1st at Jerusalem twilight*.

2020  September 19th or 20th at Jerusalem twilight*.

2021  September 7th or 8th (excluded) at Jerusalem twilight*.  However, the 8th is ruled out because it can potentially be predictable.

Furthermore, I will refer to these appointed times as up to dates because of Mat. 24:48 mentioned above. (*Possible one-day variance.)

Exclusion of the 8th: There poses a problem with the day being predictable for September 8, 2021.  If the twilight of the 7th passes then one can know it will be the 8th (predictability based on the past, leaving one certainty, the next day).  Since “No man knows the day or hour” the 8th is excluded.  In regards to hour, the moment, or hour, will never be known because there is a “span of time” factor that “twilight” takes place in.  The 7th remains in play as unknown because one does not know if the Feast of Trumpets will begin on the 6th, 7th or 8th.  If by 2021 twilight of the 7th passes and the Church is not raptured, then thereafter there will be no expected rapture on the subsequently prescribed day (8th) thus making something wrong with the interpretation of one or more of the three prophecies mentioned above.  This is possible due to uncertainties in interpretations of eschatology; however, this is less likely the case with all of the other biblical signs converging.

In conclusion, the Bible gives us points in time.  The years are determined to occur between now and 2021.  The month is determined as occurring on the 7th Hebrew month and the first day of that month is uncertain.  Lastly, the hours of the resurrected dead in Christ and rapture of those who are alive is determined as occurring at twilight, a span of hours and moon under her feet.

Watchers 

Subject to available Internet, one can watch and listen to the blowing of the trumpets (shofar) on the above dates and times at thekotel.org.  Be aware of the Jerusalem time and variance of dates; one may have to check several days in a row until the crescent moon is observed (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp) (See also worldslastchance.com/lunisolarcalendar/web/WlcWeb.html).  Furthermore, download and install the program Stellarium and go to September 23, 2017, to determine the “moon under her feet” (stellarium.org).  Keep in mind all of the cheviots described in this article with regards to this date and time.

Also, note that it would be highly significant if any of the following conditions exist at this celebration: 1) If the Jews were allowed to worship on or celebrate the Feast of Trumpets directly on the temple mount. 2) If the temple is being built, or 3) if the temple is already built, destruction of Damascus or wars neighboring or coming against Israel.  See Israel News:

What about Christ’s imminent return?  Imminence applies only to day and hour.  Imminent is exactly what it means “coming soon”, “coming quickly”, not “every day” but forthcoming on the appointed day occurring once in time (https://youtu.be/GyC4q1ob7fA).  So there is a balance to imminence and knowing when Jesus will rapture His Church, the bible teaches both and they are subject to each other.  What about the “last trump” and “twinkling of an eye”? No problem, this has occurred every year for the last 2,000 years.  The Master has left but He is returning on an appointed day (scripturally Tishri 1 of 2017; month & year not disqualified).  Am I setting this day?  No, that’s what the scriptures indicate but the scriptures also leave a possible reservation to potentially up to 2021.  Could it even be after that? Plausibly yes but seemingly unlikely.  There is a caveat, that schedule is subject to change, He might return earlier but He promises not to be delayed (Mat 24).  So that is why I would think unlikely beyond 2021.  Some may say that Matthew 24 is the Second Coming and that is true; however, in verse 48-50 the context is His SERVANTS, Christian or Jew.  So in a nut shell, we seem to know UP TO the apparent date and that it most likely will not be after the date but still not 100% sure as it could be pointing forward.  While inconclusive, we seem to be VERY CLOSE to the rapture of believers since the Great Sign falls on the Feast of Trumpets, makes reference to “caught up” and falls within the “generation will not pass”.  Could the Great Sign be pointing forward? Yes.  God is not willing that any should perish and from experience, He seems to rescue believers in the last moment so it potentially could be extended, by his grace, up to 2021.  Regardless, I do still think that the resurrection will occur hours prior to the rapture though.  Jesus Said:

“for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Luke 12:40 NLT

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:7

“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of” Matthew 24:48-50

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise” 2 Peter 3:9

Lord teach us to number our days.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

If you are reading this after the rapture has happened, do NOT get the mark of the beast!

(youtu.be/I9urKtbiXtA)

(Disclaimer: While the above prophetic interpretations are convincing and have a high probability of being correct, I do not necessarily agree with all of the beliefs of the websites referenced; likewise, that does not necessarily make them wrong in everything either; I believe them to be correct on these prophecies.  As with all teachings, one must test with a balance of scripture.  If these prophecies are interpreted correctly, then as sure as the Word of God is, Jesus will return on or before one of those prescribed biblical times.  Among others, here are some opposing points of view websites that I ran across in studying and researching this topic: cogeternal.org/text/004hebrewcalreliable.htm and torahtimes.org/calendar.html.  Furthermore, it should be noted that contact information is not readily available for torahcalendar.com.  Here is another “Creation Calendar” that may be different: https://www.worldslastchance.com/lunisolarcalendar/web/WlcWeb.html .  Thus, month, date, and time is subject to the correct Creation Calendar.

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