September 23, 201715-03-2017 - Posted by Andre Piet
According to many people, next September 23 (2017) will be a special date. Just search the internet for this date. For years ago, many bible teachers pointed it out, and it goes without saying that the more this date comes closer, the attention for it increases. Why this date, two days after the Jewish New Year?
the sign in heaven
In Revelation 12 from verse 1 a sign in heaven is described. John sees a woman, clothed with the sun, and the moon underneath her feet, and on her head a wreath of twelve stars. The following describes her being pregnant, she is crying, prevailing and tormented to be bringing forth. Then another sign is seen in heaven: a great fiery-red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns. This dragon may be devouring the child, whenever the woman may be bringing forth. But when she brought forth, the son is ‘snatched away to God and to the throne’, the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place made ready by God, where she has a refuge for 1260 days.
What is the connection with this scenario and September 23? Well, the first sign that John sees, is a woman in the heaven, and one indicates that this corresponds to the constellation Virgo, or ‘Virgin’. September 23 is a unique situation that the sun is located in the constellation Virgo (1), at the same time the moon is underneath her feet (2) and twelve stars are on her head (3). Normally, only the nine stars of Leo (Lion) are there, but at this date also three planets participate: Venus, Mars and Mercury. This unique constellation has never occurred before in human history.
One took the conclusion that September 23 would be the due date for the birth and the snatching away of the son. Consistent with the snatching away Paul writes about in 1 Thessalonians 4: 17. That deals about the group which together is ‘the Christ (1 Corinthians 12: 12 and 13), which is Christ Jesus the head and the ecclesia his body (Ephesians 1: 22). Brought forth by the woman, a type of Israel.
I must confess that I have a soft spot for this reasoning. In the first place I believe that indeed the woman in Revelation 12 is a type of Israel, as the son is a type of Christ, including the body, the ecclesia. So I also believe that the snatching away in Revelation 12 refers to the same event Paul speaks about in 1 Thessalonians 4. I also share the conviction that the constellations in the heaven tell a Devine story. Starting with the Virgin and ending at the Lion. And finally I also believe that the time Revelation 12 speaks about is not far in the future. A few years from now (2030) two millennia passed since Jesus rose and ascended to heaven. A fact which is prophetically very salient.
But I cannot give more support than this. The sign of Revelation 12: 1 indeed corresponds with the position of the stars on next September 23. But… who explains the first sign as a constellation, should do the same with the second sign that John sees in heaven (12: 3). About that I do not hear anybody. Certainly, there is a constellation named ‘Dragon’. Nothing is special about that on September 23. And what to do with the seven heads and ten horns of the ‘Dragon’? Are they traceable in the stars? Just because of this inconsistency in my opinion the suggested interpretation of Revelation 12 fails. If the first sign in the heaven is a constellation, then also the second.
As for me also for another reason September 23, 2017 is not qualified as date for the ‘snatching away’. In my opinion this snatching away will coincide (approximately) with the ending of the daily sacrifices (Daniel 12: 11; Matthew 24: 15) and therewith also with the beginning of Israel’s great affliction (Matthew 24: 21). But that means that at least there must be an altar on the temple square of Jerusalem where daily sacrifices are made. As long as that is not the case, it is obvious that no sacrifices can be ended. As there is not such Jewish sacrifice and accompanied ‘peace’ (1 Thessalonians 5: 3), the snatching away can hardly take place at such short notice.
Unfortunately it is expectable that September 23 for some will end in a disappointment. It is good to be attentive. Comparatively research of the actuality and the prophetical word is even better. But hasty conclusions and sensationalism are a real danger. Because it appears that the announced date passes without events, frustration can be big. Then strained date-setting can easily turn into contempt of the prophetic word and into disinterest. Also for this we should be vigilant.