I’m grateful to Mark Maddock for offering these thoughts as a ‘conversation starter’ (his words) on the current signs of the times:
God has given us signs in the stars (including planets) at key times in human history (‘…let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.’ Gen.1v14)
Perhaps the most significant of these was the patterns of stars and planets seen by the Wise Men (Magi) in Babylon, ahead of Jesus’ birth. There was then a delay while they travelled to see the prophesied king of the Jews. He was not a new born when they met him but, of course, Jesus came to die. So perhaps the key time period is that from the sign in the stars appearing up to the culmination of the life of the man at the centre of the message. I believe the Father said to me “These signs are bookends…”.
If there is a pattern to be repeated at the end of the age we’re living in then it may give an indication of what lies ahead in the coming years.
A ‘bookend’ is used either end of a collection of books. The collection of ‘books’ in this analogy is all the stories of God’s grace and love moving around the world throughout the church era. This began with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and ends with Jesus’ return to reign and rule on planet earth. Both bookends have clear links with the first and last prophetic fulfilment of the vision of the woman in Revelation 12.
The first bookend : Jupiter and Regulus in a coronation dance in Leo, near Virgo*
Jesus’ birth sign length: Sept 3BC to June 2 BC (or Oct.?) **
Jesus’ birth after X months: 9 months
Jesus’ death/resurrection (Y years): 30 years later (26-27AD)
(See: The Star of Bethlehem for more details)
The second bookend : Jupiter in Virgo’s womb (Rev.12 fulfilled fully…)
Jesus’ return sign length: Jan to 23rd Sept 2017
X months : 9months
Add Y years (to Jesus’ return?): 30 years (2047)
And, add Daniel’s 70th Week ?: 7 years (2054, the day/hour unknown)
(See missionary evangelist Robert Breaker’s Sept 23, 20177 video for more details)
Where did the Magi get the wisdom to correctly interpret the sign in the stars? Some say that Daniel stayed in Babylon when the Jews returned to Israel in the sixth century B.C. Perhaps he established a school of prophets who passed God’s wisdom about astronomy from generation to generation. These men probably knew of Daniel’s prophetic writings which can be used to predict Jesus’ birth, the rebirth of the nation in 1948, re-capture of Jerusalem in 1967 and whatever events await us in 2018 (probably centred around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem). Perhaps there is an overlap of the 23/9/2017 star sign (Jupiter being ‘born’ from the virgin, Virgo) and the end of Daniel’s chronological predictions in 2018 (see Richard D Thompson’s ‘Almost Midnight’ for an explanation of this chronology).
There was ‘messiah fever’ around the time of Jesus’ birth based on Daniel’s prophecies. The message in the stars was all about Israel’s king arriving. It fits in that, about 2,000 years later, a sign appears again which is all about a king being released from Heaven. If there is a delay of 30 years (or 37 if Daniel’s 70th Week of years is included) then that speaks of God’s grace… delaying judgement for a season.
Many people missed Messiah’s first arrival, life and misinterpreted his death and resurrection. We need God’s wisdom about the correct interpretation of the signs in the stars in our generation.
1. The first conjunction signified birth by its association to the day with Virgo “birthing” the new moon. Some might argue that the unusual triple conjunction by itself could be taken to indicate a new king.
2. The Planet of King’s coronation of the Star of Kings signified kingship.
3. The triple conjunction began with the Jewish New Year and took place within Leo, showing a connection with the Jewish tribe of Judah (and prophecies of the Jewish Messiah).
4. Jupiter rises in the east.
5. The conjunctions appeared at precise, identifiable times.
6. Herod was unaware of these things; they were astronomical events which had significance only when explained by experts.
7. The events took place over a span of time sufficient for the Magi to see them both from the East and upon their arrival in Jerusalem.
8. Jupiter was ahead of the Magi as they traveled south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
9. On December 25 of 2 BC as it entered retrograde, Jupiter reached full stop in its travel through the fixed stars. Magi viewing from Jerusalem would have seen it stopped in the sky above the little town of Bethlehem.
(From: Star of Bethlehem – Westward Leading)
Jesus’ birth date –
From R Smith’s comment Dec 24, 2012 on The Star of Bethlehem – To Stop A Star :
God’s word does a great job of interpreting itself in many many cases. God ties things together for us to clearly see what He is telling us, and how He works, if we just use proper hermeneutical practices and let His word speak. First, regarding when these “lots” as drawn were to start would go back to Aaron and Moses when the Tabernacle was first built in the wilderness. Due to the Exodus from Egypt, their calendar was to thus begin in Nisan, the month of the Passover. So the descendents of Aaron would start the new year at that time and thus the “lots” would also would also start at that time. The story of Zachariah and Elizabeth immediately brings to mind the story of Abraham and Sarah. They are extremely similar. Zachariah and Elizabeth were well past the age biologically to have a child as were Abraham and Sarah. When Abraham was 99 years old we read in Genesis 17 that God promises him to have an heir through Sarah. Abraham and Sarah doubt God, Sarah even openly laughs. Abraham says, shall a man of 100 become a father? Zachariah in Luke doubts God as well and is struck dumb for his unbelief. In Genesis, after the Sodom and Gomorrah story unfolds in Genesis 19, we get back to Abraham and God saying he would have a child. In Genesis 21 it states that at the age of 100 Abraham and Sarah had a boy and named him Isaac. So obviously Sarah became pregnant very quickly after God told Abraham, at 99 y/o, that she would have a child. This parallel story between the OT and NT clearly leads the reader to the conclusion that Elizabeth would have gotten pregnant just as quickly as Sarah. God was ready in Genesis to pass the promises of Genesis 3:15 from Abraham to Isaac, and with Sarah of an advanced age, God acted quickly once the appointed time came. So also in Luke, God was ready to bring the Messiah into the world, so his fore-runner, John the Baptist had to be born. With John’s parents being also of an advanced age, God again acted quickly. Theses stories are mirror images of one another and for a reason. God is showing that when such appointed times arrive, He acts quickly. In Luke 1:55 when Mary arrives at Elizabeth’s home, Mary even ties together what has happened to her and Elizabeth by comparing it to the promises made to Abraham, thus uniting the OT and NT stories together. This adds more powerful hermeneutical evidence that God is repeating the miracle of Sarah again in Elizabeth. So we have ample Biblical evidence directly pointing us to conclude that God is repeating history. Sarah had her baby within a year, so I have no difficulty seeing God telling us that Elizabeth likewise had her child within a year. In the Companion Bible, an extensive study Bible with lots of notes and research, it calculates the dates for the service of Zachariah as being in June each year, for his one week. The dates I mentioned of June 13-19 was for the year 5 BC in the Companion Bible. But each year it would just move slightly within that period of June. This dating takes into account the weeks when all the Levites would be serving in the Temple, since the lots drawn were for weeks when just one Levite would be serving and performing the priestly duties by himself in the Temple. So I am convinced John was conceived in June 4 BC, Jesus 6 months later in Dec 4 BC. The triple conjunction as explained by Mr Larson in the Star of Bethlehem DVD, I think was announcing the birth of Christ in Sept/Oct 3 BC. Nine months later the brilliant star created by Venus and Jupiter I think was the spectacular sign needed to get the Wise men moving and on their way to Jerusalem, with them arriving sometime between Jesus’ 1st and 2nd birthdays.
- Am editing Mark’s paper whilst listening to Robert Breaker’s video. It’s a tad indistinct as I focus on this, but suddenly clearly hear him mention a ‘two year’ period re Star of Bethlehem: it’s something I’ve been pondering in regard to my draft summary on Rev 12 and other scripture being prepared for publication!
- My initial observations: as Jesus has already been incarnate then it’s illogical to assume any time-frame of 30 years yet again for coming to earthly maturity – and then add Daniels’ 70th! +
- He said He will be returning in full glory – and Paul knew we would be like Him (ie ‘heavenly man’) and accompany Him from heaven post-‘Rapture’. +
- A good friend of a fellow team-member at Acorn in her 80’s is assured Jesus will return in her lifetime. Also, Paul Keith Davis walked past me about 10 years ago and, glancing at me without halting, said “Await His return!”
- Mark responds:
I agree His return may well be earlier. I’ve (earlier) mentioned ‘Almost Midnight’ by Richard Thompson.. he gIves a strong biblical chronology case for 2018 being a next key waymarker; possibly then leading to Daniel’s 70th week? Bob Jones and Ian Clayton both refer to life here in the 2050s… so adding an end-time version of Jesus’ earthly life (= the church living as mature sons (as per Clayton) and/or the bride making herself ready) may link with the 2050s references (although Clayton is a non-Rapture guy).The ‘bookend’ concept can still apply if the extra 33 years are ignored…