• Lisette Verri

The Great Sign of Revelation 12 on September 23, 2017: A Mid- to Post-Tribulation Rapture Perspectiv


On September 23, 2017, an astronomical event will take place in the sky that was foretold in the Bible nearly 2000 years ago. In the book of Revelation, chapter 12, the event known as The Great Sign will appear in the sky for the first time ever in human history. This astronomical formation has never occurred before, at least as far back as 6000 years to the time of Adam, and will not occur again looking 1000 years into the future.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. ~Revelation 12:1-6

What does it mean?

The mysterious book of Revelation is the final book in the bible written around 95 AD by the last surviving Apostle: John. Although the writer is the Apostle John, the contents of the book are authored by Jesus with John positioned as scribe. The book, a series of letters intended for the seven churches in Asia at the time of the writing, is really a timeless message intended for all believers everywhere.

The purpose of the writing was to bring encouragement and correction to the seven churches and admonish them to "endure till the end." The "end" was described in detail to John in the form of a great vision of coded symbols which explained what must take place before Christ's return. The fulfillment of The Great Sign on September 23, 2017 is yet another prophetic marker on the messianic timeline.

God shows us what's ahead using signs in the heavens. These astronomical events foretold in scripture are always a precursor to a prophetic event that appear along the messianic timeline to prepare us for what's next.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years... ~Genesis 1:14

The first word used here for "signs" is the Hebrew word 'owth which means:

- sign, signal - a distinguishing mark - banner - remembrance - miraculous sign - omen - warning

The second word used here for "seasons" is not referring to Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall as we understand it today (and the pagans from ancient times). The word used here is the Hebrew word mow'ed which means: - appointed place, appointed time, - sacred season, set feast, appointed season - appointed meeting - appointed place - appointed sign or signal - tent of meeting

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. ~Luke 21:25-28

Scripture clearly delineates that astronomical signs will herald, warn, signal, mark, or announce events that will take place on the earth that relate to the messianic timeline.

WARNING: This has nothing to do with Astrology.

Astrology is the occult corruption of God's astronomy which deceptively turns the focus off of God and puts it on "self." Astrology doesn't show you God with its blasphemous definitions, It blinds you from the true meaning and purpose of these signs so you will not see from them what God intended.

What exactly does The Great Sign in Revelation 12 tell us?

Using astronomy programs like Stellarium, viewing the stars and planets can be easily achieved from Earth’s vantage at any time in the past or future. I wanted to see this phenomenon for myself so I downloaded the program Stellarium and put my own eyes on the event. Sure enough, the Great Sign of Revelation 12 will indeed take place on September 23, 2017. Not only will it take place on that date, but I could not see any evidence that it has taken place at any other time in history going as far back as the time of Adam more than 6,000 years ago or any time ahead looking 1000 years into the future.

I found out about the appearance of this prophetic sign on social media with a YouTube video created by James Muerke. His video has been making the rounds much like the planets and constellations in their own heavenly circuits. Muerke, as well as other YouTubers speaking on the event come from a perspective of prophet-like interpretations that veer dangerously close to specific date setting with other wildly extra-biblical claims. There are other points made in the video that many of these people seem to share: Planet-X type interpretation of events that will occur during and immediately following the sign, and mixing truth with non-biblical events all derived from personal interpretations of end-time scriptures.

I do not share these presumptions.

This is territory for which I am not willing to tread. I’m not saying I rule it out completely, at least the portions that line up with scripture. But, there is a reason that we are not supposed to set specific dates and times to events. We simply are not given all the data to do so and there is good reason. We aren’t allowed to know everything. Anyone making ultra-specific claims will more than likely be found in error. Scripture clearly states that any prophet who makes a claim and is shown in error is false. Not just false in that particular claim, but completely false. A false prophet will always be a false prophet, and the marker for discerning that is any error in their claim, period. We are clearly instructed to discard any and all of their claims from that point forward.

Muerke clearly reveals The Great Sign using the Stellarium program, but force-fits his interpretation into several of his own ideas. For example, Muerke claims that during the prophetic sign on September 23, 2017, the sky will go dark for three hours as the sun will be eclipsed by a heavenly body that is not the moon. It cannot be the moon because the moon is stationed at the feet of the virgin (constellation Virgo) which can be clearly seen with the program and depicted with the verse in Revelation 12. If it isn’t the moon, then what is it? According to Muerke, its an unknown planet that will suddenly enter our solar system on that day and block out the sun for three hours over Jerusalem.

Um… I don’t know of any scripture that warns us of this portion of the sign. It’s not mentioned in Revelation 12 or anywhere else in the book, and considering that it would be an important part of the prophecy, I certainly cannot understand why it would be excluded. According to Muerke, this planet is so massive, with debris rings of sulfur and ice much like Saturn’s rings only much larger, that it will completely darken the sun and cause a cataclysmic meteor storm that will wipe out 1/3 of all mankind. Additionally, this is to occur within one hour of The Great Sign’s appearance on that day, which is prior to the rapture, and something we all must prepare for in advance.

Somebody please provide scripture support for this, because I can't find any.

In order for that to happen, this planet will have to suddenly appear without any evidence of its approach and be of a size that will fit between the sun and Earth, including its massive debris rings, darken the sun for three hours over Jerusalem only, and continue on it’s path like nothing ever happened.

Highly unlikely to occur without some visibility in the sky, instrumentation that recognizes its approach, and secular news sources making the public aware. Leaning on the premise that there is some grand conspiracy to cover up this massive planet, which would probably be visible by now with the naked eye is beyond what I am willing to accept as truth.

Of course, God can do anything with the planets, and He is certainly able to make anything appear in the sky to further His purpose. But, to not include something this catastrophic in the warning is just not God’s style. And, there are scriptures that mention Wormwood for which the Planet-X fans seem to apply the same definition. There is nothing in scripture from OT through Revelation that suggests that Wormwood means a literal “star”, wandering or otherwise. Rather, it suggests Satan, and demons, and sometimes kings of the earth that were governed by Satan. Even in Revelation 12, the 1/3 of the stars brought down to earth with the great red dragon’s tail represented 1/3 of the fallen angels that were with Satan during his fall. And, what comes after the fall of a star is a judgment, harsh and quick. The catastrophic events that start wiping out segments of the population do not come prior to The Great Tribulation or even at its start. It begins at the midway point and crescendos at the end of that seven year period.

We can interpret from the scriptures in Revelation that there are parallels between the plagues brought upon Egypt and the Pharaoh prior to the Exodus and the events that take place at the end. However, Muerke seems to mingle together events from the Great Tribulation and the wrath. According to his interpretation, events of the wrath take place “within hours” of The Great Sign, and that “very soon we are going to experience this incredibly intense journey."

Really? Because that would mean cutting giant portions of scripture right out of the book.

I’m just going to put it right out there as intently as I can: I am a mid- to post-tribulation rapture believer. I believe that the saints will not be raptured prior to The Great Tribulation and that we will not only be expected to endure to the end, but that many believers will die during those seven years. Pre-tribbers will never wrap their head and heart around the idea that we might be expected to go to our death in our faith. For them, that level of commitment is just not required so they don’t even have to consider the idea at all. How convenient.

I find that to be a dire error in the walk of a Christian, one that leaves them unable and unprepared to comprehend and endure what may lie ahead in the immediate future. Yes, we will be protected and guarded by God during this time, but that doesn’t mean we will be saved from death. As delicious as a pre-tribulation rapture tastes, and as much as we all want it to be, there is a major possibility that it will not happen that way. Prepare yourselves.

Bottom line is Muerke is leading people to believe that immediately following The Great Sign on September 23, 2017, within one hour, we move right into the wrath at the end of The Great Tribulation. He claims that a massive planet will enter our solar system, move in between Earth and the sun eclipsing it for three hours, and its debris rings will kill one third of mankind all before the sun goes down over the horizon that evening.

There is nothing in scripture that states this, certainly not before so many other prophetic events are to take place like the rise of the Antichrist, taking the mark of the beast, and other pivotal Great Tribulation events. Muerke doesn’t mention these things at all. Muerke claims that these events which take place on that day will be so extreme that they cause deep emotional effects shaking all mankind to the core.

Alarmist much? Am I the only one paying attention here? This reeks of hellfire and brimstone fear-mongering fundamentalism, a doctrine that I abhor. Terrorize people into a relationship with God? I don't think so.

Muerke goes on to use phrases like The Great Sign will be a herald of “great terror”, that the debris rings cause the “Firestorm of the Great Empire,” bringing the “Day of Death of Babylon the Great” which is the “proud city of Sodom” the “unrepentant Empire.” He also claims that Jerusalem will be safe from the Firestorm of the Great Empire because of Earth's rotation, but that unmitigated disaster falls upon the western world.

Uh... I don't think so.

There is no mention of “Firestorm of the Great Empire” in the bible, but I think I heard that in a video game recently. There certainly is no scripture reference to unmitigated disaster specifically upon the western world. One has to realize that the entire book of Revelation is about events that have culminated from the beginning in the time of Adam up until the day of the end before Christ’s return. It’s one massive recap with parallels that tie together the beginning and the end, the time of Adam and Moses to the time of Christ's return. Muerke is fantastically coining alarmist phrases, mixing past events with future ones, and even adding some new Sci-fi features that he invented for this very occasion that are insidiously designed to instill their own brand of terror within the saints.

The problem is, God never states that the saints will be terrorized by end-time events. The terror will be felt by unbelievers, and only unbelievers. In fact, the bible clearly states that God's people will not be lost even though it will be an extremely difficult time, which may include being unable to use money to buy food or shelter and possibly being martyred for the faith.

Even in all of that, the saints will be at peace because they are prepared and readied for what's ahead. These are aspects of the faith that pre-tribbers will not be equipped to handle.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. ~Revelation 12:11

Listen, I’m no end-time expert, but I am indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and there is so much wrong with Muerke’s interpretation that literally 2/3rds of what he states in his presentation is going straight into the wastebasket.

This doesn’t lessen the importance of this incredible prophetic sign which will indeed take place on September 23, 2017. And, it certainly does not represent a time of rest and relaxation. If you haven’t reconciled yourself to the reality of your Savior, Christ Jesus and His imminent return, you need to do so now because time is short.

The astronomical event that will take place on September 23, 2017 is pivotal to end-time prophecy, marks something very significant that we need to recognize and revere, and prepare for what will come on its heels.

Salt Radio Ministries will not set dates or give specifics to what will follow The Great Sign on September 23, 2017. We simply do not know, and neither do you. All we know is that it marks the next important event on the messianic timeline and that we need to watch and prepare. Think of it this way: If people could know the exact moment that Christ will return, how would that shape your Christian walk and your day-to-day decisions for your faith?

Let me paint an example to explain this premise in simple terms. Let's say you are a parent of teenagers and you have to leave for a few days on a business trip. This will be the first time the kids will be left home alone without supervision. You expect them to follow the rules and maintain good behavior while you are gone, trusting them to do so in your absence. There is no guarantee that they will not take advantage of this situation to enter into sinful behavior. Do you tell them how long you will be gone or keep it a mystery?

This is a parenting strategy of genius proportion because the teens will be less likely to orchestrate a full-frontal sin extravaganza if they have no idea how long you will be gone. All they know is that their parents could come home at any moment and will maintain their best behavior until they arrive. As simple as this metaphor is, I think it fits perfectly. We are not allowed to know when Jesus will return. We are only allowed to know in part so we can prepare ourselves for what lies immediately ahead, period.

Clearly, if this is The Great Sign from Revelation 12, it's a perfect echo of the birth of Christ, But, since it does not announce Christ's birth, what does it announce? This sign did not appear when Christ was born.

Dispensation timeline:

Perhaps the Revelation 12 sign marks the end of the current dispensation and the "birth" of the next one. We are currently in the Dispensation of Grace. The next dispensation on the messianic timeline is the The Great Tribulation.

How can we know that the Revelation 12 sign is the prophetic marker for the start of The Great Tribulation? The timing of its appearance.

The Great Sign is a herald to a significant prophetic event. Timing is crucial. If the sign on September 23, 2017 is indeed The Great Sign, then what follows is the next fulfillment of prophecy on the messianic timeline prior to Christ's return.

There are seven actions that take place with The Great Sign that are significant markers of a prophetic sign:

  1. Constellation Virgo, representing the virgin Mary

  2. The virgin is "clothed in the sun" - the sun representing God's glory and protection

  3. The crescent moon is at her feet representing the Feast of Trumpets (which falls one day prior to this great sign)

  4. The virgin wears a crown of 12 stars representing the high throne of the nation of Israel (constellation Leo with three planets placed within its formation)

  5. Jupiter, the king planet representing the Messiah, spends 9 months in the "belly" of the virgin and is "born"

  6. A comet, carrying the Rosetta probe, (which was also seen on the last of four blood moons of the blood moon tetrad) will be visible opposite the crescent moon at the feet of the virgin. This speaks to the relationship between Israel and Islamic caliphate.

  7. The whole event falls on the weekly 7th day sabbath and the fall equinox.

Of course, Muerke's list is different and includes his Planet X interpretation. It is reasonable to assume that the next event on the messianic timeline, especially on the heels of such an incredible prophetic astronomical sign, could be the next dispensation: The Great Tribulation. Of course, it could also mean something significant in relation to the nation of Israel, too.

We don't know. And, we wont know until it comes to pass.

Once the Great Tribulation begins, the clock starts ticking in double time, and without being utterly and completely prepared for what will take place during the next seven years, you will not be able to endure.

The sign in Revelation 12 reminds us that the woman, (the body of Christ) is given "two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (1,260 days or 3.5 yrs) from the face of the serpent."

Revelation, chapter 12 recaps the entire scenario because at The Great Tribulation the process repeats between the dragon (Satan) and 1/3 of the stars (demons who fell with Satan) and the woman (the Church). While there will be a place of protection for the saints (whether physical or spiritual, maybe both) during the first half of the tribulation period, not every Christian will survive. There will be war, persecution and martyrdom. Jesus will gather us all, no matter what happens.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. ~Matthew 24:21-22

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. ~Revelation 3:10

This video placed at the top of this article is a mid- to post-tribulation rapture perspective on the Great Sign of Revelation 12 and its possible meaning and implications for both believers and non-believers. This video may not appeal to the Planet Xers, the Pre-Tribbers, or the extra-biblical gloom and doom catastrophe fear mongerers, but I strongly suggest it anyway.

In these last days, there simply is no room left for lukewarm faith. My goal is to prepare believers for Christ's return, not create discord regarding the Rapture or other non-salvation related issues. We will all rejoice the moment the Lord returns, whenever that happens. And with that, we can all agree and say AMEN!

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