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The following article is by Bob Schlenker, Christian Research Ministries. I thank Bob for writing this article for Biblical Astronomy.
SIGNS TO MARK SEASONS
Hi Biblical Astronomy Fans! I'd like to express my appreciation to my dear friend Bob Wadsworth for the honor of submitting this article.
Seven years ago this very month, a startling discovery had a dramatic impact upon my life. As I had been blessed with the opportunity to become familiar with what we now call biblical astronomy through the work of Rolleston, Bullinger and Seiss, Crouch/Wierwille and Martin, the Lord was able to lead me to what I believe is the most significant celestial sign yet to be given. As readers of this publication, you may be aware of Dr. Ernest L. Martin's promotion of the connection between Revelation 12:1 and the celestial sign marking the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:1-2 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
When you ask why this particular sign might have been hidden from our understanding for almost 2,000 years, you move in the direction of understanding what I'm about to share with you. It is now time for the opening of long hidden secrets of the Bible, because we rapidly approach the close of this age. I pray that the one who opens the ears will grant you hearing in this matter and grant you access into his mysteries according to His divine purpose.
By reason of my familiarity with the signs attending the birth of our Lord, when I became aware that they were about to reappear, the Lord had my attention! As I made use of astronomy software simulations on my pc and observed the actual events in the night sky as they occurred, I was thrilled to see openly what had been deeply hidden. According to the precedent set when the Lord revealed the signs of the first advent, the signs of the second appeared in celestial glory to underscore the event described in precise detail in Holy Scripture. In similar manner as Dr. Martin's discovery, a celestial sign was encrypted in the Bible only to be revealed in the fullness of time the Author of these harmoniously synchronized facets of His Word had appointed to accomplish His purposes.
Quoting from Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed, (Wierwille, American Christian Press, 1982, p. 57) "The final conjunction in Leo with its massing of four planets convinced the Magi that a king had been born in Judea. They began their journey to Jerusalem to find the "king of the Judeans" soon after this event." Those same four planets massing in Leo in late August of 1991 awakened me to the fact that a further announcement regarding that very same king of the Judeans was at hand! Halleluyah! This was the event that got my attention, but it was the configuration that immediately followed that really rocked me. As I animated the planets in the computer simulation to see where the planets would be positioned next, I was struck with the impression that the Lord had just shown me something incredibly significant as I beheld a most remarkable sight!
As the planets Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter had gathered together (massed) in the constellation Leo, their continual motion over the next few days and weeks found both Venus and Mercury dropping out of their regular courses in unison to trace an elliptical path. Mars continued on its way passing from Leo into Virgo, leaving the others behind, including slow moving Jupiter on its steady approach towards Leo's alpha star Regulus. Although Venus and Mercury had begun their retrograde motion at the same time and very closely together, Mercury left Venus behind, racing around its appointed loop to enter into a most dramatic series of conjunctions. When the two bright heavenly lights Jupiter and Mercury met in very close proximity in the region of the sky occupied by Leo's prominent star Regulus, I believe that a sign began to be exhibited to the latter day Magi that a new era was about to begin. Each of these three bright lights in the early morning sky could be eclipsed by the fingernail on your little finger held at arms length! What a spectacular sight! They appeared within the astronomical measurement of half a degree as viewed from Earth, passing conjunction within the brief space of three hours. During the next several days, Jupiter merely continued its leiserly eastward progression across the backdrop of the constellation associated with the Lion of the tribe of Judah, but swift Mercury, as though with winged feet and a message to carry, accelerating in recovery from its retrograde diversion, departed from between the feet of the Lion. Impressed as I was with what I had just seen, I grabbed my treasured books from their shelves and with praise on my lips and a racing heart, sought to discover the meaning of what I was being shown. Following the brief trail that brought me through Bullinger's observation about Leo as the possible subject of Jacob's dying prophecy in the 49th chapter of Genesis, I came upon the verse which may be found to hold the , or at least "a", key celestial prophesy marking the return of our Lord in judgement.
Let me introduce the wonderful passage to you with a preface of Jacob's own commentary about the context of these prophetic words.
And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days." Genesis 49:1 (KJV)
Now, here's the key verse! Genesis 49:10 reads:
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
An investigation into the balance of the prophecy Jacob brought forth about Judah finds much support for a "celestial" level of interpretation by marking reference to (allusion) various other passages in the Bible (both Old and New Testament) that each contain celestial terminology. As Bullinger had so insightfully drawn the connection between the lions which are subject of Jacob's prophecy about Judah and the constellation we know as Leo, the connection between the other symbols in verse 10 can now be drawn. The scepter, an instrument of rulership wielded by a king, represents the ruling planet, the King planet Jupiter. The ruler's staff (or, perhaps better translated as lawgiver in the KJV) represents the planet Mercury. By name, Mercury is associated with the messenger god of the same name. Its association as chief speaker or messenger can be noted from Acts 14:12 - And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. If you search it out, I believe it can be seen that Mercury's association with the giving of the law is evident from Acts 7:38 - This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him on mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us. The phrase that declares the location of the ruler's staff (between his feet) now makes perfect sense as we consider the celestial interpretation! Leo, as a lion, has feet between which the planets pass in their appointed courses through the heavenly sphere. The very meaning of Regulus is that treading, the root Hebrew word regel being translated in the Bible as feet.
Verse 10 of Genesis chapter 49 might be rendered: "Jupiter will not depart from Leo nor Mercury from between the feet until (and I'll paraphrase here) Jesus Christ comes in judgement."
On September 10, 1991, Mercury met Jupiter at Regulus in Leo, entering into the region that may be considered as "between the feet." Mercury's rapid movement caused its departure on about the 23rd of September. While the "scepter" was in "Judah" and the "ruler's staff" was between the feet, a relevant Jewish Holy Day occurred. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This is the day appointed to mark the beginning of the Yobel, the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-10). this Holy Day, a shadow, or foreshadow, of what has yet to be fulfilled in Christ, ultimately points to a further redemption, where the Messiah himself shall proclaim liberty. It is in association with this great Jubilee that I believe the sign surrounding Yom Kippur in our 1991 was given.
Close to seven years have now passed since that remarkable event. How is it that, marked from that day, he came in judgement? Think of it in light of our Lord's first advent. Although his first advent was marked by the celestial sign at his birth, the impact upon the world wasn't readily apparent for some time afterward. In similar manner, the signpost of his second advent was missed by most and the impact on the world seemingly imperceptible. Although that marking point wasn't popularly noted in particular, very many important trends and events have been observed from that time. Though I have little opportunity to offer even the most brief enumeration in this article, given a little thought, you might be able to come up with an extensive list yourself.
In closing, my perspective at the present time is that the marking of Yom Kippur in 1991 relates to the dreams interpreted to Pharaoh in Genesis 41. We have been enjoying the first seven of the 14 years, the feast years. Since 1991, those professionals whose job it is to observe trends have noted that Israel has enjoyed unprecedented prosperity (Gen. 41:47). Since 1991, there have been those of us who have prospered greatly, reaping a harvest of prophetic discoveries and insight, storing the "grain of Egypt" into barns (Gen. 41:47-48). Now, seven years after the celestial fulfillment of Gen. 49:10, we stand on the threshold of Gen. 41:53.
This brings me to address a very relevant issue for many of you who are trained as I was in popular doctrine of the day. Although the voices of many prominent leaders in the church today declare that prior to this final seven year period, every true Christian will be removed from this earthly realm and taken to be with the lord, the discoveries I have made since 1991 speak loudly to the contrary. If you've been pretending that your best efforts to discern the times and minister with your unique spiritual set of gifts with the remaining allotment of time don't really matter, its time to wake up. It does matter!!!
Jesus is coming! You have a rare and special opportunity! I Corinthians 15:58!
Bob Schlenker has a more detailed report on the above subject titled A Sign to the Magi which is available for $10.00 (plus additional postage if overseas delivery is requested) from Christian Research Ministries, P.O. Box 620571, Orangevale, CA 95662. The Christian Research Ministries' Website, which is very informative, is located at: http://users.cwnet.com/index.html
I investigated all conjunctions of Jupiter and Mercury in the proximity of Regulus from 2000 B.C. (at least 250 years before Jacob's prophecy was given) to the present, and no other event comes close to the magnificence displayed by the conjunction of Jupiter, Mercury, and Regulus on September 10, 1991. The first crescent of the new moon was after sunset on September 9, 1991, which means that September 10, 1991 was Tishri 1, or the Day of Trumpets. Chart 60 shows the event as seen at the closest conjunction of the three bodies. Jupiter and Mercury are the little bumps on top of Regulus. This occurred at 12:23 in the afternoon Israel Standard Time, and was not seen from Israel at this particular instance, but would have been visible in locations near the east coast of the United States in the pre-dawn sky. There was a closely knit triangle of the three bodies seen in the pre-dawn skies of Israel on September 10, with Mercury a little west of Jupiter. The next morning, as seen from Israel, Mercury would have been seen a little east of Jupiter. Observers of the event would have noted that Mercury passed between Jupiter and Regulus between the early morning hours of September 10 and September 11. At the conjunction, Jupiter, the top planet, was about 1/3 of a degree from Regulus. The separation between Jupiter and Mercury was about 1/1,200th of a degree and they most likely appeared as one very bright object.
Both Venus and Mercury performed triple conjunctions with Regulus during that time period. Chart 61 shows the paths of Venus and Mercury at that time. The simulation was ran from June 27, 1991 to October 21, 1991. All planets except for Venus and Mercury were turned off in this simulation for clarity.
NEW KID (COMET) IN TOWN
A new comet was discovered in early May as it approached perihelion with the sun. The comet's man given name is 1998 J1 (SOHO). The comet's closest approach to the sun occurred on May 8 at a distance of 14 million miles. It became a naked eye object shortly thereafter. The comet is now moving away from the sun and the earth Though the comet can only be seen from the southern hemisphere, it has some very interesting elements to it. On May 20, the comet's magnitude was about 3.5, or about as bright as the stars in the handle of the Big Dipper. The below photo was taken at high magnification on May 20, 1998 by David Jones from Jondaryn, Queensland, Australia.
C/1998 J1 (SOHO)
By May 31, the comet had dimmed to a magnitude of 5.6. Then on June 1, 1998 the comet had an outburst and became a naked eye object again at a magnitude of 3.5. This outburst occurred very close (about 2 degrees) to the star Sirius (The Nazarene) in the constellation Canis Major. See the January 1998 issue of Biblical Astronomy for further insight on the star Sirius.
Chart 62 shows the paths of Comets Hale-Bopp (May and June 1997) and SOHO 1998 J1 (May 1998) as they pass through Orion. Hale-Bopp entered Orion on May 19, 1997, and SOHO entered Orion on May 18, 1998. I had to plot and draw in the path of SOHO since I do not yet have the comet loaded into Dance of the Planets program. It is also interesting that the two comets passed through Orion at the same angle. See A Voice Crying in the Heavens, pg. 131 for a possible significance of comets passing through Orion.
The path of Comet Hale-Bopp now appears as a winding circle as it moves further away from the earth. It is actually the path of the earth around the sun that makes Hale-Bopp's path to look as such. Hale-Bopp left Argo (the Ark) in the late Fall of 1997, but because of its apparent orbit, it will again enter into the lower section of Argo at the stern of the boat (Puppis) on June 14, 1998. Comet SOHO will also enter Argo at Puppis on June 14, 1998. Both comets will be entering Argo on the same day, SOHO from the northwest and Hale-Bopp from the southwest. Hale-Bopp will exit the Ark from Carina (the keel of the boat) on October 6, 1998, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sacred Calendar), not to return to Argo again for a few thousand plus years. SOHO will exit the Ark on August 26, and then move on to the Crux (the Southern Cross). SOHO enters the Cross on September 16 and will be there on the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and for the first few days of the Feast of Tabernacles, exiting on October 8, two days after Hale-Bopp exits the Ark. Though SOHO will not be visible to the naked eye at this time, it will be visible telescopically to those in the southern hemisphere.
More information with charts to follow on these two comets.