Once again as Yom Teruah (also known as Rosh Hashana) approaches, the Christian community is being whipped into a frenzy over the latest prophecy craze to false predict the Rapture or end times based on a plainly non-Biblical source. This year it is a series of “signs in the Heavens!” starting with the eclipse of August 21st and including a celestial alignment which allegedly takes place on September 23, 2017 all supposedly indicating “something big is going to happen!” As Beginning And End detailed in our article on the failed Blood Moon prophecies of 2015, not only are these numerous false teachers misleading the Christian community (and the secular community observing these predictions) they are leading their many followers into grave spiritual error.
The September 23rd – Revelation 12 “Sign in Heaven”- False Prophets Return
There are many, many YouTube videos and blogs devoted to predicting that either the Rapture, the Second Coming, the start of the Day of The Lord (also known as The Great Tribulation) or “something very big!” will happen on September 23rd due to an allegedly “extremely rare” celestial alignment that supposedly fulfills the “prophecy” of Revelation 12. Here is an explanation from of many “Revelation 12 Sign of the Son of Man” websites:
“On November 20, 2016, an astronomical event began that will last nine and a half months, culminating in startling concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12.
All my research on this subject of prophecy indicates that this astronomical event, in all its particulars, is unique in the history of man.
How rare is this Revelation 12 Sign in the Heavens? Once in 5,932 years. The last time was in 3915 BC. Roughly the time Adam and Eve walked the Earth.
On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) entered into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin). The conception took place. The Church has entered into a purification period or phase.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:3. Just what is this hope? Verse 2 tells us.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
So by having this hope of His appearing, it is said that this hope purifies ourselves, even as we have (already) been made pure.
Look at the definition of the word hope and we see that it does not signify wishful thinking. But rather it means “a guaranteed expectation” of that which is to come.
Jupiter, due to its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.
We (believers) are soon to be born! After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo ( September 9, 2017) and is CAUGHT UP TO THE THRONE OF GOD. I’m not setting a date for the Rapture. I’m just pointing out the day Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo and is said to be caught up to the throne of God. I’m saying what the astronomical sign says will occur.
Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Just as Revelation 12:1-2 says. This will mark the beginning of the Tribulation..” (source).
Almost all of the predictions surrounding September 23, 2017 find their basis in the “extremely rare!” celestial alignment of the constellations Virgo, Leo, the, sun, moon and Jupiter and 3 planets (the 3 planets which although are not part of the constellation Leo – suddenly join and inexplicably make the lion symbol a “crown”). Although there is compelling evidence that these alignments are not that rare and in fact do NOT even occur as stated on September 23, 2017 (as proven in the video at the end of the article*), even if we assume that all of these alignments are true and occur on September 23rd, it would in no way be Biblical to predict future events based on this.
Astrology – A Pagan Sin In The Bible
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” – Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
“And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.” – 2 Kings 17:16-18.
The Bible is very clear that divination – the act of looking into objects or heavenly bodies (i.e., the sun, moon and stars) to determine the future, is a sin. It is strictly forbidden and called an “abomination.” Watching the many false teachings on September 23rd, and the “prophets” in them spend hours discussing how constellations are moving, planets are shifting and conclude future events are going to take place based on this. Here is a clip from one of the most popular September 23rd Sign in Heaven videos:
- Most of the “teaching” was based on the Hebrew year and the alignment of constellations and planets.
- The preacher states that this sign appeared when Adam, Eve and the serpent were punished by God in Genesis 3. There is no Biblical support for this notion whatsoever.
- He ignored the fact that John saw the “wonder in Heaven” 2,000 years ago. John never prophesied that this wonder would return to the sky.
- He very deftly says that the “woman” in Revelation 12 must be the constellation Virgo even though the text never says this. The Apostle John readily identifies 12 stars above the woman’s head – if the “woman” was actually just a bunch of stars in the shape of a female, why would he not have written that?
- The pastor cites the Blood Moon false prophecies which were supposed to be the start of the Great Tribulation in 2015. He delivers the “shocking fact” that from the first blood moon in the cycle until Yom Teruah of this year is “1260 days” or the exact time of the reign of the Antichrist and half of the 70th week that comprises the end times (which is not surprising since, as we explained in our Blood Moon article, the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle, so many events with the moon will correlate with Jewish feast days). Is he implying that we are currently in the Great Tribulation? He throws that figure out there giving the impression that it holds serious prophetic significance.
This type of teaching is precisely what the Bible forbids. Believers are not to look to the sun, moon, stars and planets to discern God’s will or the future. In fact, Israel was in such grave sin The Lord specifically identified consulting “astrologers” when rebuking the Northern Kingdom:
“Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.” – Isaiah 47:13-15.
Here is what theologian and Bible commentator Jonathan Gill said in defining “astrologers” in the above passage:
“..or, “viewers of the heavens”; not that look upon them, and consider them as the work of God’s hands, in order to glorify him; but that examine the face of the skies, and the position of the heavenly bodies, their conjunctions with, and aspects on each other, in order to foretell what shall be below: or, “the dividers of the heavens”… and who next are called “the stargazers”; that look at them, and, according to their position, conjunction, aspect, and influence, judge what will come to pass among men. So Cicero observes, that the Chaldeans, by long observation of the stars, were thought to have formed a science, whereby they could foretell what should happen to everyone, and what fate he was born to…” (source).
There is no question that this is precisely what the September 23, 2017 – Revelation 12 Sign In The Heavens false prophecies are doing: teaching well-meaning Christians to examined the position of heavenly bodies to determine the exact date a future event will occur.
Many of the September 23rd – Revelation 12 Sign “prophets” have tried to explain that their actions are not astrology, but instead, “astronomy”:
Notice in the video above, the “prophet” starts with a strong proclamation of the inerrant prophetic power of Scripture. But then he quickly switches to the “prophecy” found in the Stellarium software program based on astral alignment. He then says that this is not astrology based on Scriptures that he provides no interpretation of.
In this 2-minute clip from this video (which has over 5 million views) the prophet does some serious hedging – both hyping up September 23rd as a sure sign from God of something major happening (notice he wrote the word “Rapture” above September 23rd) but then trying to shy away from any actual, solid prediction:
Astronomy is the observation and study of celestial bodies. Astrology, by its Biblical definition is the observation of heavenly bodies to “divine” or determine the future. This is the key difference. Yes, of course God made the stars and named them and directs their paths. Yes, of course the heavens declare God’s glory and infinite power. But that does not mean we are to use the stars or planets to predict the future. This is clearly and unequivocally a sin in Scripture. Look at the anger of God when rebuking Israel for turning to “stargazers.” Isaiah 47 condemns them to burn “as stubble.” How can the September 23, 2017 prophets possibly reconcile their repeated endorsement of Stellarium software with God’s harsh rebuke?
The Lord’s Superiority Over Astrologers
Time and time again in Scripture, God exposes the lack of power in stargazing when compared to His true Divine revelation. In Daniel 2, the prophet is able to not only interpret the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, but also tell the king what his dream was (Nebuchadnezzar forgot the details of the dream but was so shaken with fear he demanded to know it meaning). Before this happened, the Babylonian king summoned his stargazers to tell him the dream and its interpretation and they failed:
“And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill…
They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it. The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” – Daniel 2:1-5; 7-11.
After realizing the king was not going to tell them his dream (whereby they could fabricate an interpretation) the astrologers had no answers and declared such a task impossible. Notice they did not even attempt to look for “signs in the Heavens!!” They merely gave up. But when Daniel learned of the King’s request he did not look to the stars – he prayed to God in Heaven:
“Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” – Daniel 2:16-19.
A similar situation occurred in Daniel 5. This time, King Belshazzar, heir to King Nebuchadnezzar, called upon Daniel to interpret a mysterious writing supernaturally etched on the wall in his palace:
“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.”- Daniel 5:5-8.
Once again, Scripture is very clear in pronouncing the failure of the astrologers. And once again, Daniel was able to answer through revelation from the True and Living God of the Bible. The documented failure of astrology and the rebuke of Israel for its astrology and stargazing are clear evidence that Scripture does not support this kind of activity.
But Aren’t Stars And Planets Given To Us As Signs???
Most of the false prophets of September 23rd begin their teachings and sermons by quoting Genesis 1 where The Lord describes the purpose of creating stars in outer space:
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:14-15.
It is true that celestial bodies can serve as symbols or metaphors for God or other aspects of creation. Here are some examples:
“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying” – Genesis 37:9-11.
In this dream, the sun, moon and stars clearly represented Jacob, Rachel and the 12 sons who were the patriarchs of the tribes of Israel.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11.
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” – Malachi 4:2.
“The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches:” – Revelation 1:20.
In each instance, the celestial bodies are very clearly identified with The Lord or a specific person. There is no divining or complex interpretation required to understand the connection being made in the text. The Hebrew term ‘owth, or sign, does not relate to prophecy in the Old Testament. Rather it refers to a signature, symbol or token. Just using the description from Joseph’s dream to interpret Revelation 12, it is clear that the woman is Israel and the “man child” is The Lord Jesus Christ:
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” – Isaiah 66:5-9.
Jesus was “caught up to Heaven” after His resurrection from the dead. And certainly in the end times, the church (the body of Christ who are “in Christ”) will be caught up at the start of the Day of The Lord and Satan will turn his attention to persecute Israel and anyone who comes to a saving faith in Christ during the final 3 1/2 years before the Second Coming. All this can be discerned using Scripture alone. However, at no point are we instructed to confirm these facts and discover the precise date of these events by gazing at the stars.
The Danger of Private Interpretation
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” – 1 Peter 1:20.
This verse is often misunderstood. In its simplest terms, a “private interpretation” is a reading of Scripture that relies on information outside of the Bible interpret the Bible. Living in the church age, we have the benefit of the full text of the Bible. Something that was not the case of the Apostles and many Old Testament prophets. Thus there was a greater need for The Lord to speak directly or provide signs and wonders to communicate with believers and the world. Such was the case with the wise men who visited the infant Jesus.
What About The Wise Men? Weren’t They Astrologers?
In many of the false prophecy videos of September 23rd/Revelation 12 Sign, the false prophets point to the wise men who followed a star to find Jesus after His incarnation on Earth. The reasoning of the false teachers is: “looking to the stars to determine the Rapture, Second Coming, Great Tribulation is permissible, because after all, the wise men used astrology to find Jesus!” Let’s examine the passage in context:
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
“Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” – Matthew 2:1-11.
Many of the September 23rd/Revelation 12 Sign Prophets and Prophetesses point to the wise men following a star to find the infant Jesus Christ as support for their looking to the Stellarium software to make prophetic proclamations. However were the wise men using astrology to find the Messiah? For good reason, the Bible does not say how the star they followed to Jerusalem (where it originally led them) was the sign of the birth of the “king of the Jews.” Scripture only states they knew it was “his star.”
The wise men only saw the star in “the east” – back in their native land. By their best estimation it was over Judea and from the text, it appears that they traveled 2 years time to go to the land where they determined the future king would be. They traveled to Jerusalem by faith, not actually looking at the star as they went along.
After being dispatched by Herod (who out of wickedness wanted to know the location of the baby as he was a threat to his rule), the star reappeared to the wise men and not only led them to Bethlehem – it stopped directly over the home of The Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike the Revelation 12 sign of Virgo aligning with Leo, the sun, moon, etc., which is a normal occurrence in the solar system, the star of Bethlehem was moving in supernatural fashion. It was gone for 2 years and reappeared in the sky and “went before them” being so low to the ground they knew the exact house of the Messiah without having to ask any questions. This was clearly not a normal star.
The language of the King James Bible also hearkens back to the Exodus, when The Lord led Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land:
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” – Exodus 13:21-22.
God used a supernatural cloud pillar and “went before them” – the same language used to describe the action of the Star of Bethlehem. At its reappearance, the wise men rejoiced exceedingly. If this was just a normal annual procession of a star – they would not have needed direction nor would they have been so ecstatic. This was a divine event – not a normal celestial progression tracked on software. Some of the September 23, 2017 prophets have incorrectly claimed that the planet Jupiter, the star Regulus, or some other normal celestial body (which supposedly represents Jesus) was what the wise men were looking at in Matthew 2 (and will appear once again on September 23rd). Clearly, this is not the case upon a basic examination of the text. And this glaring error highlights the problems and dangers from looking to the stars while ignoring the Word of God.
The Supernatural Events Around The Birth of Christ
The final Biblical indication that the wise men did not use astrology to find the star was that God spoke to them directly:
“And [the wise men] being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” – Matthew 2:12-18.
The Lord spoke to the wise men to warn them to return to their country and avoid Herod. They heeded God’s Word. The fact that they traveled two years to find the King of the Jews, worshipped Jesus and heard directly from God are all indications that these men were believers in the Word and not occult practitioners who were just using pagan methods to find a star. Additionally, their avoiding Herod set in motion events that would prove Herod’s wickedness and fulfill prophecy. Just as Revelation 12 depicts, Satan wanted to destroy the infant Jesus Christ and used Herod as his tool. However an angel appeared to Joseph to warn him to bring the baby to Egypt for a time.
These were not the only divine manifestations around the birth of Christ. Consider the following:
- An angel appeared to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, to prophecy his wife, despite advanced age, would conceive a son who would be the forerunner to the Messiah.
- The angel Gabriel also appeared to Mary to proclaim that she, despite her virginity, would give birth to the Son of God.
- A multitude of angels appeared in the skies of Bethlehem to announce to a group of shepherds that the Savior was born and then vanished into Heaven – prompting the shepherds to seek Jesus and proclaim the birth of the Savior to everyone they saw.
- A man named Simeon was told directly by the Holy Ghost that he would not die until he saw the “the Lord’s Christ.” As soon as Mary brought the baby Jesus into the temple Simeon picked up the child and announced:“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” – Luke 2:29-32.
- Anna, a prophetess, who served God in the temple, also proclaimed the Messiah’s arrival upon seeing the baby Jesus Christ.
Notice in all the instances surrounding the First Coming of Christ to Earth, it was direct revelation from God, angel or inspiration of the Spirit. At no time was astrology, divination or any other forbidden practice used. It was the supernatural power and Word of God that announced the arrival of the Savior. So why would the Second Coming of Christ be any different to the point that believers need a software program and to start gazing at the stars to know when it was taking place?
This is again the serious problem when we look to methods outside of the Bible to try and determine Biblical prophecy – the real Word of God is ignored and the floodgates of spiritual error, sin and occult practices are opened. Do not be deceived.
Do Not Believe The False September 23rd – Revelation 12 Sign of the Son of Man Prophecies
“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and BE NOT DISMAYED AT THE SIGNS OF HEAVEN; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” – Jeremiah 10:2. [Emphasis added].
When Israel was at its worst rebellion against God, astrology and stargazing were some of their chief sins. Our lives, destiny and future are not determined by celestial alignments. They are guided by the all-powerful Hand of The Lord God in Heaven. Pray for the false prophets who are promoting this September 23rd – Revelation 12 Sign false prophecy to repent. They are teaching sin and misleading well-meaning Christians away from the study and meditation on the Word of god. And if you are a believer in these prophecies ask yourself – do you trust a YouTube video or blog more than the clear Word of God which condemns looking at “signs of heaven”?
*for those who would like to see specific evidence that the “Revelation 12 Sign in Heaven” alignment does NOT take place on September 23rd (using the Stellarium software), please see the video clip below: