The Final Fortnight
"Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth." - Revelationi12:2
Tishri 4 straddled September 23-24 on the Gregorian calendar last fall. At that time, the constellation Virgo appeared as it was described in Revelation 12. Many of us thought an imminent harpazo was being signified, and I confess to being among those who were disappointed when the rapture did not occur.
If the sign was significant (as many still believe), then a "birth" should still be expected. What if the sign was an announcement which appeared before the time of conception? It's certainly been done before: e.g. Isaac, Samson, Samuel, the son of the Shunnamite, John the Baptist, and, of course, Jesus Himself.
Robert Jackson suggests the Revelation 12 sign was a one-year advance notice. The idea actually has some Biblical support. In those cases of "unusual" or "supernatural" births that were announced in advance, the announcement came before the day of conception, and in the two examples where a time span was given (Gen 18:10-14, 2 Kings 4:16) the span was one year.
Mike Pine thinks conception at the time of the new moon is most likely. A 280-day gestation ends on November 21st. For what it's worth, the February new moon partially eclipsed the sun, and was also closely aligned with Mercury. I'll let Daniel Matson explain the significance, if significance there be.
A thought on the Seven Seals: I heard a conjecture, possibly from Paul Dawson that the seven seals are opened basically all at once, just as one would open a letter or scroll. The seven are described sequentially, but the opening is an event. This makes sense; there would be no logical reason for someone opening a scroll to pause significantly when unsealing a scroll to read it. This conveniently can put the rapture at Revelation 4:1 (or so) and still have the effects of the rapture at the 6th Seal, and it also puts the Magog Invasion at the beginning of the final week, rather than having to insist that "The Antichrist" does some time-consuming activities first. If President Trump was speaking prophetically at the U.N. last month with regard to a war with Iran following the November 5th sanctions, a rapture event in the very near future seems extremely likely. Won't the Preterists be surprised?
There are two questions concerning the Revelation 12 sign. First, if it truly was a sign, then why wasn't it visible? I personally expected a partial fulfillment of Isaiah 13:10 in that the sun would be darkened as soon as it rose on the morning of the 24th, and every news source would have its Jerusalem team broadcasting the event. I expected the sign to be visible on every TV set and smart phone on the planet. Most people probably would not have understood what they were seeing … but everyone would have seen the sign. Obviously, God's plan is better than my expectation, and the "sign" remained relatively unseen. In addition, even many who were aware of both the alignment and the Revelation 12 description did not see the connection. I don't know why. I'm not critical, but honestly can't imagine what a fulfillment of Revelation 12 would look like if this did not qualify.
The second question is: what is the "shelf life" of the sign? How much time needs to pass before we are forced to conclude that it wasn't a sign at all? If while motoring down the highway, one sees a sign that says, "Restaurant next exit," and there is no restaurant at the next exit, one would properly conclude that the sign was a hoax or perhaps the restaurant burned down. But "Restaurant ahead" would force no such conclusion until, perhaps, several exits had been passed with no restaurant. One might properly expect a second sign, something like "Restaurant this exit."
Revelation also gives us a second sign - something we should expect to see before the harpazo - and that would be a third of the stars being thrown to the earth. Chronologically, this must take place before the birth, as the dragon positions himself to devour the child as soon as he is born. The recent Draconid meteor shower may have met the scriptural criterion. This could be an interesting month.
The noise in the eschatosphere is just about the same. All our favorite theorists are presenting their favorite theories. One is that the Song of Solomon has a hidden reference to the rapture, and that the rapture must occur in the spring. Some are even more strongly wedded to the idea of a Pentecost rapture, and have already started looking forward to (maybe) next year. A third offers the idea that a "Tetrad interval of 531 days" from January 2017 will prove to be significant. Much speculation has abandoned the Bible as a starting point, or even a reference. Instead, it's all about politics, economics, tectonics or astronomy.
I claim no special knowledge. This is a conjecture that accounts for the facts as I understand them. 2018 could come and go … just another year. The alignment last September might not have been a "sign" at all, and God might have something else in mind to fulfill Revelation 12. It's entirely possible that someone will present something that accounts for the facts much better than I have.
But one certainty remains stark and unchanging: One of these days, we will see Jesus Christ face to face. What Jesus said to His disciples, He also says to us: "Watch!" (Mark 13:37)
An Interesting Alignment Of Dates — Adding an exact number of weeks in the healthy gestational range from each of the 2017 signs lands precisely on a major biblical festival or significant biblical date in 2018.
Anoint the Most Holy — This final event must take place before Daniel's 70th 'week' is complete, and it cannot be accomplished during "great tribulation."
The Epic Event — There is no command in the book of Hebrews to attend weekly church meetings. The admonition regarding the 'assembling of ourselves together' is a lot more exciting, and a lot more relevant.
The Grand Insult — For those who want just enough Christianity to stay out of hell, a painful surprise may be in store.
How To Prepare For the End of the World — Five steps anybody can take to prepare for the end of the world and the establishment of a righteous one-world government under Jesus Christ.
Looking In the Wrong Places — There is only one way to determine your identity that cannot be shaken, one foundation that cannot be taken away from you.