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Posts Tagged ‘Sept 23’

Is the end of the world coming Saturday?

Well, I suppose… maybe.

I am sorry that the tone of this will, at times, be a little tongue-in-cheek.  As a rational Christian skeptic, I have a hard time taking faddish, panicky social media input very seriously.

The 2nd coming of Christ and the “Day of the Lord” concepts are very real and very serious and one of the things I long for.  As biblical and theological concepts, I take them super-seriously.  I fodder for memes and radical youtube videos, I can get pretty sarcastic.

Plus, since it is Wednesday, I guess I better publish this pretty quickly, if so.

However, I give little credence to most of the reasons that are being given for 9/23/17 being the date that represents the “Day of The Lord” or “The Rapture” or whichever day you might think is next.

It (whatever “it” might be exactly) might happen Saturday, but I am still planning to be prepared to preach Sunday.

As you examine all of the evidence that is thrown against the wall, please make sure and check basic facts before adding them as weight to one side or another.

Examples: The Temple To Ba’al going up in New York.

The facts seem to be that after Muslim terrorist destroyed an ancient temple in the region of Palmyra, Syria, archeologists in London and New York decided to erect a replica of the archway from that temple.

It seems that the Syrian building itself had been used a Church and as a Mosque over the years, before recently being destroyed.

It also seems that the New York project was scrapped, but the London one was built over a year ago. About a year ago, according to Snopes, the London one was on exhibit for a while in New York.

Clearly a reconstructed temple, even an ancient Ba’al temple (or Bel, according to some) that was finished a year ago probably has little impact on this Saturday as a significant day.

Secondly, evaluate the significance of the events in light of actual scripture.

Remember that there is nothing meaningful about the Gregorian calendar in regards to the Bible. The Bible is a distinctly Jewish book for which the canon was closed before 400 AD.   The Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582. So the numbers 9,23, or 2017 aren’t likely to have special meaning from Jewish or early Christian prophecy, for example.

That being said, the Festival (Feast) of Trumpets has always been a significant time period when talking of the second coming for various reasons.   It is perhaps the only feast that hasn’t had a clear connection in the work of Christ, so it is, in some ways, still waiting to be fulfilled. And, of course, the first event of the second coming is a sounding trumpet.

This year, it looks like the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is likely to be near 9/23. Most websites are placing it 9/21-9/22. The 23rd is going to be the Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is the Sabbath of “returning” – taken from the instruction of Hosea 14:2 – to return to the Lord. Yom Kippur is the “Sabbath of Sabbaths” – the 10th day of the 7th month. On this day, the Jewish faith asks God for the forgiveness of sins.

These dates are certainly interesting… and they happen every year and have for , thousands of years. Will the eventual date be in this time period? I think it likely, personally. This year? Maybe. Does this year have any advantage over other years? Not much that I can see.  It would sure be cool!  I am hoping.

So, ignore any references to the Gregorian calendar. Look to the Jewish calendar instead. Intriguing, but not much more, in my mind.

So, what about Rev 12?

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.” Rev 12:1-2

According to some, this is going to be fulfilled astronomically (or actually, since it is what it is, “astrologically” on Saturday.

Well, maybe… kind of.

According to some, Virgo (remember, is a part of the Hellenist Zodiac, not an ancient Jewish one. The Jews later took on aspects of the Hellenist Zodiac, but the Bible does not reference it in any clear way, if at all. In fact, all through the Hebrew Scriptures, people are warned about the dangers of looking for something to worship in the heavens.)

Ok, anyway, Leo will be above Virgo. Leo has (according to astrologers, not astronomers) 9 stars in it and 3 planets. This adds up to 12. Leo is not going to be right above Virgo. If you are looking for something that looks like a crown of 12 stars, forget it.

Also, the sun will move through Virgo (this happens every year – and it why these are the signs of the Zodiac in the first place).

The moon will be beneath Virgo (this happens for 2-3 days every month). Keep in mind that this picture is the constellation “Virgo”.

 

Where exactly her feet are is a little unclear to me, but (am I going to say this?) I guess we will trust the Astrologists that it is supposed to look like this:

 

 

 

Or this:  

 

Or maybe this:

 

 

The feet aren’t too clear to me, but I am sure they are to God.

So, even if this works out

But also, Jupiter is supposed to be near this time. So, there’s that.

By the way, the last time this happened was 2005. It happens about every 12 years like this.

Sorry. Even in the biblical situation, it is tough for me to take Greek Zodiac stuff seriously.

Is this even what John intended?

Well, since the woman (notice that it is “woman” and not “virgin”) in this passage is pretty likely to be a representation of Israel (remember the dreams of Joseph? 12 stars, moon, sun?) and her giving birth to a son is likely to be John seeing the Messiah fulfillment playing out… in Jesus… Israel giving birth to the promised Christ.

But does the next section sound like a continuation of Astrology?

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rev 12:3-9

If this is a passage about astrological signs, then how does Draco play into the stars on the 23rd? Or maybe this is a creative, revelatory way to tell the narrative of the Messiah come to save the world.

It could possibly be both, that happens in prophecy, but again, I am certainly not convinced. I think this is that narrative and likely not meant to be connected to the Greek Zodiac. By the way, I cannot, by any stretch, see any reason why Jupiter being in the vicinity of Virgo would have anything to do the Revelation 12 vision.

I think making the connection to Jupiter is stereotypical Astrological claptrap. Find something, give it false significance and then be amazed at how uncommon this mixture of events is – these arbitrarily connected events, mind you.

What about things from Newspaper headlines?

Crazy Tyrant likely to disrupt the world?

Hurricanes?

Earthquakes?

Racism?

These are not special to our day nor our era. They only seem to be worse because of the attention they get.

Tyrants. Not news. Proof of the continuing failure of humanism, but not a new problem.

Remember how these stars and planets lined up in 2005? Well, that was also the worst year for hurricanes, not 2017 (at least not yet) with 15 hurricanes!

The 1960’s saw the two worst Earthquakes in history.

If you define racism by the USA terms and make it a black-white thing (there has been much more deadly racism in the world, but just looking at the US examples), the post-Civil War era was filled with terror and murder. Look up 1919 and racism, if you want a tough one. Civil Rights, Jim Crow, much less Antebellum Slavery itself! I think we have seen worse expressions of racism.

Plus, with the exceptions of earthquakes, these aren’t listed as signs anyway.

It is always dangerous to think that the cataclysms of our own time are worse than those of the past. Often, they aren’t at all. We are just ignorant.

Finally, if you are a Christian… please keep this little tidbit in mind… the Day of the Lord, no matter what shape it takes is Good news!

Hello? If you are a Christian, no more doubts… the fulfillment of all we have worked and waited for? Please never again respond to the possibility of prophetic fulfillment with anything other than excitement and joy. Prophecy is there to give us comfort, not panic. Prepare reasonably for the future, but don’t fear the finality of it.  This is about Jesus, after all.

Will Jesus come back or the tribulation start or a rapture happen on Saturday? If it proves the prophecies of John correct, I hope so.

Even so, Lord, come quickly!

Now, I gotta get back to finishing a sermon before Sunday! Starting on Judges, BTW.  You will be able to find them at our church website soon.

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