The internet is alive right now with wild predictions of September 23rd.
A cursory search will reveal that a select portion of Christendom believes or is extremely open to the fact that the Rapture may happen on this date.
We as Christians anxiously await the return of Christ, yes. But the same select group of Christians also always neglect the very black and white verse that states that predicting the Rapture is IMPOSSIBLE.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Matthew 24:36”
That alone should be enough to stop any attempt whatsoever of a follower of Christ trying to pin down a date, but alas, He is the shepherd of SHEEP. So we tend to wander and do things that make no sense, in the name of being good sheep.
So where’s the jump off point for all of this nonsense?
It begins in the book of Revelation in the twelfth chapter,
“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.”
The entire chapter is rather short, but goes on to describe how when the woman gives birth the dragon is there waiting to devour the child, but the child is caught up to Heaven for protection, and woman flees to the desert. The dragon then proceeds to follow the child into Heaven to war against Michael. The dragon is defeated and cast down to earth.
It’s an amazing passage that describes past present and future events, the overarching story of humanity. Satan being thrown out of heaven and knowing his time is short tries to attack those who follow Christ, who will rule planet Earth with a rod of iron.
What does this have to do with September 23rd?
In a word, nothing.
There happens to be a culmination of literal cosmic events on that day though. It will appear, cosmically speaking, that the constellation Virgo, the Virgin, will give birth.
How is a constellation going to give birth? It will appear that the planet Jupiter is passing through the Virgin’s feet – giving birth.
We see Leo’s prominent stars and 3 other planets comprising a crown of 12 stars.
Where does the September 23rd date come from, how does it fit into this?
There’s no scriptural basis for it.
While this chapter is full of prophecy about the nation of Israel, there are no dates to pin this too. And to get to the date requires a bit interpretive gymnastics.
Some people arrive at this date because it will have been 33 days since the solar eclipse.
A recent caller to the radio show “Earth and Sky” asked about this celestial phenomenon of the astronomy experts, and their reply was a fair debunking.
“First, in one year, thanks to the Earth’s annual orbit, the sun travels the entirety of the ecliptic, and thus passes through every one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac. The sun is in Virgo every September.
Second, in one month the moon goes through its cycle of phases, and travels the entirety of the ecliptic, and thus passes through every constellation of the zodiac—all owed to the period of the moon’s orbit being one month. Therefore there is always a day or two every year when the sun is in Virgo and the moon is just to the east of Virgo (just past the “feet”).”
So if Virgo Jupiter passes through every September, then what’s different? The answer is nothing. If you search “September 23, 2016” You’ll find all the same sort of articles but about THAT particular date.
In short. There is always going to be a small group of people, who honestly mean well, but just go to deep into things they’re not really meant to know in the first place.
Should we be mindful of Biblical prophecy? Of course. We should know what scripture says about the return of Christ, but people have been predicting and failing for a very long time.
Almost like it’s NOT possible…
Nowhere in scripture are believers given permission to go be weird, because they’re too busy trying to decipher the deeper things of God. That’s not the instruction Jesus left us.
If you want to know what Jesus did say to do in His absence, it can be found in Matthew 28:19-20
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And earlier in Matthew 10:8, Jesus gave this command,
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
He didn’t say to get weird figuring out how many times a certain number divides into another number, and try and figure out a prophecy with that. There’s nothing wrong with studying prophecy, but that is also not the main work that he left us with.
As believers, we can either focus on understanding when a prophecy might be fulfilled, like the Rapture. OR, focus on winning as many souls as possible so they too can participate in the positive side of that fulfilled prophecy.
Which is more important?
For further clarification on Revelation 12 can be found in a short video from Finis Jennings Dake. He was a great Biblical researcher who spoke on many different subjects. His vast archive is just now being uploaded to the internet for the world to benefit from.
In Dake’s interpretation, the Woman is the nation of Israel, NOT the church, and everything that happens after chapter 6 toward the end of Revelation is post rapture. So the woman in Revelation 12 cannot be the church.
Enjoy your September 23rd and the 24th, and the remainder of the month and the year.