Heavenly Sign Watching: Part I
Part I | Heavenly Sign Watching: Part II
One of the most simple of all the Lord's commands is the one-word directive: Watch. To obey means that we must be alert, watchful, spiritually awake and not asleep. Though simple, staying awake is neither easy nor common.
Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’
For what do we watch? The signs of the master’s coming. Where do we look for these signs? They will be evident both in the heavens and on the earth.
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
The signs in the heavens are the topic of interest in this article, several of which are presented for your consideration. These signs are unquestionably from a source beyond the reach of man who would tamper with it if he could. The moon, sun, stars and planets were each set in motion by the Creator a long time ago and no man has altered their courses in any way. Based upon the astronomical and historical facts, you may be surprised to discover that the range of interpretation of the signs I will address is rather narrow. The interpretations synchronize harmoniously with the messages recorded in the holy scriptures. As each of the celestial witnesses come forward, one after the other, a case is made very dramatically. Y'shua is coming to judge the earth for sin. And He is coming for His Bride! Will you be ready?
If you have been unaware of the heavenly signs of the times, I pray that this first, and the following articles will make an impact upon your life. Listen to the heavenly alarm clock - consider well its sound. The Lord is judging the world for sin. The celestial prophets are proclaiming the soon coming of the Judge of all the earth! Baruch Haba b’Shem Adonai! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
The Brightest Event Ever Recorded
On March 19, 2008 the brightest event ever recorded by man occurred, exceeding the one that had been previously addressed on this page dating from January 23, 1999. That Gamma Ray burst over nine years ago lit up the sky with a release of energy equivilent to nearly ten million billion suns! (NASA - GRB 990123) At its peak brightness, that event reached a magnitude of 8.9, which is about 15 times dimmer than the faintest stars you can see with the naked eye. The latest event, called GRB 080319B could be seen with the naked eye! So, what does it mean? Read on.
A powerful gamma ray burst detected March 19th by NASA's Swift satellite has shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye.
"It was a whopper," says Swift principal investigator Neil Gehrels of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "This blows away every gamma ray burst we've seen so far."
Swift's Burst Alert Telescope picked up the burst at 2:12 a.m. EDT on March 19, 2008, and pinpointed the coordinates in the constellation Bootes. Telescopes in space and on the ground quickly moved to observe the afterglow. The burst was named GRB 080319B and registered between 5 and 6 on the visual magnitude scale used by astronomers. (A magnitude 6 star is the dimmest visible to the human eye; magnitude 5 is almost three times brighter.)
"No other known object or type of explosion could be seen by the naked eye at such an immense distance," says Swift science team member Stephen Holland of Goddard. "If someone just happened to be looking at the right place at the right time, they saw the most distant object ever seen by human eyes without optical aid."
GRB 080319B's afterglow was 2.5 million times more luminous than the most luminous supernova ever recorded, making it the most intrinsically bright object ever observed by humans in the universe. The most distant previous object that could have been seen by the naked eye is the nearby galaxy M33, a relatively short 2.9 million light-years from Earth.
If this is not a sign in the heavens, we've never seen one! Some suggest it was a farewell nod to Arthur C. Clarke, who died that same day. He was practically worshipped by many. He was a brilliant but godless man to the end. The article I quoted above closes out with such a tribute.
GRB 080319B was one of four bursts that Swift detected on March 19th, a Swift record for one day. Swift science team member Judith Racusin of Penn State University comments, "coincidentally, the passing of Arthur C. Clarke seems to have set the universe ablaze with gamma ray bursts." A fitting farewell, indeed.
This sign from heaven was intended for those of us who know our God and that we are His! In direct contrast to being a parting tribute to a godless man of the earth it must be seen as an announcement of the coming man from Heaven!
The brief appearance of a point of light in the heavens presents us with two elements to help us interpret what it means. We know both where and when it appeared. This sign appeared in the region of the sky known as Bootes, a decan of the constellation Virgo. The meaning of Bootes is, "He Cometh," a reference to the coming of the Messiah in judgment. This, you can study out yourself in the online works of Bullinger and Rolleston, and you will see that the star names give a clear picture that this is the message that has been passed down through the ages as preserved by the Creator for our benefit.
Here's an excerpt from Bullinger's Witness of the Stars:
The Greeks called him Bo-o-tes, which is from the Hebrew root Bo (to come), meaning the coming. It is referred to in Psalm 96:13:
"For He cometh,
For He cometh to judge the earth;
He shall judge the world in righteousness,
And the people with His truth."
It is probable that his ancient name was Arcturus * (as referred to in Job 9:9), for this is the name of the brightest star, a (in the left knee). Arcturus means He cometh.
I have just been checking the scriptures referenced in association with the star names in the Bootes table on the Mazzaroth Web page and I keep shuddering and getting goosebumps! Because I know something about the timing! You see, as I just wrote in a writing just posted online called The Jericho Scenario judgment has two sides, like a coin. One side involves harsh consequences, but the other, rewards. What is received in judgment depends on what is due, but, both are delivered at the same time. The Lord has promised that judgment begins with the church (1 Peter 4) and that will most assuredly come in connection with a resurrection event. The Bride Theft at the Barley Harvest is first on the schedule, and that, by many types of signs, is expected to come this very year! This is where the timing of the gamma ray burst gets really exciting! The last day of the Barley Harvest Feast is going to be April 28. The Bootes sign GRB 080319B occurred on March 19. I was inspired to count back from April 28 to March 19 and I got 40 days. Check my count. This number 40 is the biblical number for a trial period. If this all means what I think it means, this Bootes sign is a countdown signal. The Judge is going to show up and pronounce a sentence at the close of the trial. Either you are going to be found innocent and set free, or you are going to be found guilty and your sentence will begin immediately.
Of course, I could be just making this all up. You do your homework and draw your own conclusion. As for me, I'm going to be calling on the mercy of the court and making serious plans to make my robe white in the blood of the lamb!
In closing, if this spoke to you, you may enjoy this one by another brother. Bootes - HE IS COMING!
The next few signs require a little background.
The Meaning of an Eclipse
According to Jewish Rabbinic tradition, an eclipse should be interpreted according to the following: (Talmud - Mas. Sukkah 29a) (The last pair are reversed in the minds of some.)
- Solar: a bad omen for idolaters
- Lunar: a bad omen for Israel
- Red Moon at Lunar eclipse: a sword is coming for the whole world
- Black Moon at Lunar eclipse: the arrows of famine are coming to the world
- Both red and black moon: both sword and famine
- In the East: specifically for those who live in the East
- In the West: specifically for those who live in the West
- In the midst of heaven: for the whole world
- At sunset: the calamity will tarry in its coming
- At dawn: the calamity is forthcoming
I neither agree nor disagree with the above interpretations, but I wanted you to see that these are assigned such meaning in the tradition of the religious leaders of Israel.
The Sign of the Red Moon
A red moon is noted in a number of scriptures relevant to the last days prior to our Lord's coming. The Apostle Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 in his address to those present at the opening event of this present church age. In this discourse, he suggested the events at the close of the age.
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
The book of Revelation contains another significant mention of a sign of the red moon.
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.
There are a number of reasons the Moon would appear red. Viewing the moon through a very dusty or smoky sky would cause it to appear this way. Heavy volcanic activity, an asteroid impact, a nuclear explosion or some combination of these would cause such a phenomenon. In the scriptures noted above, the moon turning red is mentioned in conjunction with the sun turning black, suggesting to me that the event which will cause this unusual discoloration of the celestial bodies will be caused by an atmospheric condition. The moon also turns red during a lunar eclipse. Although a lunar eclipse wouldn't cause the sun and stars to be darkened, it is a rare enough celestial event to be noteworthy, especially as there have been so many of late corresponding to the Holy Day calendar.
Recent Lunar Eclipses that Correspond to the Holy Days
This phenomenon is not as remarkable as some might think because the Jewish calendar is lunar based. However, let's not forget that the Creator planned it that way for his purposes, which makes this kind of sign all the more worthy of note.
These took place a few years ago.
- Pesach - April 15, 1995
- Sukkot - October 8, 1995
- Pesach - April 3, 1996
- Sukkot - September 27, 1997
- Purim - March 23, 1997 - As I watched this one from a favorite local viewing spot, the beautiful darkened and slightly orange-colored Moon in eclipse (all but the top, making it look like it was wearing a yalmarke) was in close proximity to the reddish planet Mars. On the other side of the sky, the comet Hale-Bopp was visible in a glorious display near its closest approach to the Earth.
- Another lunar eclipse occured September 16, 1997, about two weeks before Rosh HaShanah, or, in the middle of the time of preparation for the approaching High Holy day season that focuses upon personal reflection and repentance (teshuvah).
- There have been others even more recently as well.
The Meaning of Comets
As with an eclipse, a comet is generally thought to be a bad omen. Is this concept valid or is it merely a superstitious tradition? You can draw your own conclusion.
Much of what was prophesied by our Lord in Matthew 24 found a fulfillment in the first century. The temple was dismantled to the extent that there was not one stone left upon another. Jerusalem was destroyed. Prior to those events, numerous warnings had been given, among them many miracles involving the temple. In conjunction with the miraculous, the comet we call Haley's made its appearance in 66 AD. Being a regular visitor every 76 years, this would not have been particularly noteworthy but for the spectacular display that year which, as the historian Josephus duly recorded, "stretched out over Jerusalem like a sword." The comet's appearance at that time may have been a similar event to that which is described in I Chronicles 21:
David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.
I Chronicles 21:16
Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
I Chronicles 21:27
The angel had been in the process of slaughtering the Israelites because of David's sin of taking a census of the people. Seventy thousand of them died. Blood is the required payment for sin. The Lord is merciful, but there is justice for those who reject the mercy he offers.
Wrath will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth. These recent bright comets stretched out over the land like drawn swords. As yet, the hand of the angel is stayed, the judgments are withheld for yet a short season. Shall we say that due warning has been given?
The Solar Eclipse Comet Sign
According to the article by Gary Stearman in the April 1997 Issue of Prophecy in the News, there have been solar eclipses during the visitation of a comet visible to the naked eye only four times in recorded history. Because a solar eclipse is the eclipsing of the Sun by the Moon, it usually occurs on the last day of a month on the Hebrew calendar - the very middle of the moon's dark phase. The first day of the month begins at sunset when the crescent of the Moon first appears after concluding its dark phase.
Please observe carefully the years in which these solar eclipse comets occur.
One of the most recent just occurred on March 9, 1997. Visible in Mongolia, western Russia and parts of Alaska, the comet Hale-Bopp was observed during the daytime!
In 1948, the year Israel was reborn as a nation, another occurred. Known as The Eclipse Comet, C/1948 VI (1948 XI), it appeared during the solar eclipse of November 1. As reported in the Sky & Telescope magazine (January 1997), the following report was given about those who had viewed it from the plains of east Africa. "...A handful of astronomers huddled quietly around their cameras and instruments waiting for totality. When the last spark of sunlight was extinguished, an unexpected celestial spectacle was revealed. Mingling with the diaphanous coronal streamers was a comet with a long, curving tail and a head more resplendent than Jupiter. Humankind had its first glimpse of the great Eclipse Comet."
One year earlier, the comet known as The Southern Comet, 1947/XII was visible during the total solar eclipse of May 20, 1947.
The fourth and final solar eclipse comet was called Comet Wells, 1882/I. It occurred on May 17th and was viewed from Egypt. That year, 1882, is significantly the year in which a very important aliyah in the modern era occurred. Jews left Dharkov, Russia to settle Palestine - the land of their forefathers. The great dispersion of the Jewish people amongst the nations of the world found a significant reversal.
If there is a trend which can be noted in regards to the celestial sign we call a solar eclipse comet, it may perhaps be found in the following verse, one which has tremendous relevance due to its role as a scriptural chronology marker.
Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them.
The assembling together into the land is particularly marked in the years 1882, 1947 (UN granted Israeli Jews self-determination) and 1948. Although there were other years which have been significant, these were certainly very important years involving the return of the people to the land. Heaven is bearing testimony to God's providence in these matters, is it not?
As to the solar comet eclipse of March 9, 1997, perhaps it signifies the Lord's marking of the closure of the period of assembling, for His intent and purposes.
The Shoemaker-Levy Comet Sign
A few years ago, the comet called Shoemaker-Levi broke into what is believed to be 21 pieces and crashed into the planet Jupiter. Prior to this event, astronomers speculated wildly about what effect this would have upon Jupiter and indirectly, upon the earth. The bombardment occurred over a five day period, beginning on the 9th of Av on the Hebrew Calendar. (July 16-21, 1994)
This is a day of great infamy in Israel. The Mishna, an ancient Jewish commentary declares that when the spies gave the report after returning from the promised land, the Israelites turned against Moses, Joshua and caleb on that day. (See Numbers 14) It was on this day that both the first and second temples (Solomon's - ~587 BC and Herod's - 70 AD) were destroyed. At least five other disastrous events have been noted as occurring on this very day, which have been very hurtful specifically for the Jews.
At the time of this remarkable event, Jupiter was in the sign Libra, popularly represented as "The Scales," or, perhaps more likely, "The light." The adjacent constellation, Scorpio, "The Scorpion" was also involved. The area of the sky where Jupiter was located during the bombardment is pictured as where "the scorpion" is attempting to seize "the light." The scorpion is possibly symbolic of Lucifer, whose name means "light bearer" or his agent, the anti-messiah.
Jupiter is the King planet, symbolic of the King of Kings - the Jewish Y'shua HaMoshiach and possibly also symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel. The exact number of pieces of the comet which slammed into Jupiter is uncertain. Either 21 or 22, I'm not sure anyone knows the exact number. Twenty-one has been noted (Don Kistler) as being the number which means "the exceeding sinfulness of sin." Twenty-two is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and also signifies Light/Making Manifest. For either number, the meanings are extremely relevant when considered along with the symbolism of the celestial bodies involved in the incident, the area of the sky in which it occurred and the history of the date of occurrence.
The comet's assault upon Jupiter in Libra beginning on the 9th of Av tells an intriguing story! Indeed, as noted in Deuteronomy 31, heaven is bearing testimony against those responsible for misleading their own people and keeping them from acknowledging their true Messiah.
Not too long ago, a gentleman named Daniel R. Walsh contacted me about his research into the biblical impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9. As you may remember, this was the comet that broke into pieces and crashed into Jupiter in 1994. He graciously sent me the book he wrote and published in 1996 (85 pages) entitled Prophecy and the Comet - BIBLICAL IMPACT OF SHOEMAKER-LEVY 9. He has really done his homework on this matter, comparing the effects each of the 21 pieces had upon Jupiter with the 21 judgments recorded in the Book of Revelation. A fascinating read! (He related to me that there is an ELS code mentioned in Michael Drosnin's book: The Bible Code, that appears as follows: Shoemaker-Levy, will pound Jupiter, 8th AV (July 16, 1994) I have not confirmed the validity of the code and can offer no further details about it at this time.)
The Orion Comet Sign
The Talmud records the oral tradition of the Jews (Berachoth 58b) which tells us that when a comet passes through the constellation Orion, the world would be destroyed. The Comet Hale-Bopp would appear to be a fulfillment of this sign. It entered the region of the sky known as Orion on May 20, 1997 and exited on June 16, 1997. Another comet appeared shortly afterward whose path paralleled that of Hale-Bopp. This comet, 1998 J1, or, "SOHO," has passed through Orion as well, and according to Bob Wadsworth's study of these two celestial objects, both entered the ancient constellation Argo on the same day, June 14, 1998. SOHO entered from the northwest, and Hale-Bopp, from the southwest.
The Noahic Flood Comet Sign
According to recent orbital calculations by astronomers, (re. Daniel W.E. Green of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) this same comet we now call Hale-Bopp passed through the inner solar system once before - about 4210 years ago. The Flood began 1656 years from Adam, in the Fall of the year we know as 2238 BC. That was 4234 years ago. If the comet appeared somewhere around 4210 years, it was the time of the great flood. According to what is recorded in the Seder Olam Rabah, an ancient Jewish text, we may observe that a comet appeared at about the time Noah began building the ark. It was probably the comet we know now as Hale-Bopp! Do you think that this comet may have been a sign of the impending destruction of the world by water? I do!
According to our Lord's words in Matthew 24:
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
By the sign of the rainbow, God's promise not to destroy the earth again by water still stands. However, the Earth will be destroyed by fire. What was evidently a portent of the first destruction could well be the same for the next. Consider the following prophetic declaration.
They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
II Peter 3:4-7
The announcements made by such celestial messengers as comets are the judgments of the Highest Court and they will be executed upon the earth and its peoples. Once again, I ask if the prophetic Jewish tradition about a comet's passing through Orion should be cause for concern? Let's just consider it one witness' testimony that it is.
Part I | Heavenly Sign Watching: Part II