Biblical Astronomy

September 1996

Editor - Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 5772, Oregon City, OR 97045-8272

Phone (503) 655-7430 <> e-mail - <> website -



If the "Great Tribulation" begins this Fall, and if the long awaited (well worth while) Rapture of the Church is to occur before the tribulation, a good candidate for the date of the Rapture is September 13/14, 1996. This is Tishri 1 on the Hebrew calendar, which is Rosh Hashana or the Day of Trumpets. Many believe that when the Lord returns for His church that it will be on the Day of Trumpets of any year in the future (including this year).
Venus (which represents Jesus Christ), just happens to be in the sign Cancer on Tishri 1 (September 13) of this year. Mars (which represents the archangel Michael) is also in the sign Cancer at this time. E. W. Bullinger in "The Witness in the Stars" refers to the sign of Cancer as
"Messiah's redeemed possessions held fast".
One of the three Decan's which belong's to the sign Cancer is Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). The following are quotes from "The Gospel in the Stars", by Joseph A. Seiss, 1882, concerning Ursa Minor:
"These noted seven stars are themselves sufficient to suggest some connection with "the seven churches" which John saw as "seven stars" in Christ's right hand. The whole number of stars in this constellation is twenty- four, which suggests connection again between it and the 'four-and-twenty elders' whom John beheld 'round about the throne, clothed in white raiment, and having on their heads crowns of gold' (Rev. 4), which denote the seniors of the elect Church in heaven. The ancient names in this constellation are Kochab, the Star, allied perhaps with the promise in Rev. 2:28, otherwise rendered by Rolleston waiting the coming; Al Pherkadain, the Calves, the Young, Hebraically, the Redeemed; Al Gedi, the Kid, the Chosen of the flock; and Al Kaid, the Assembled, the gathered together. These are all applicable to the Church of the first-born and particularly describe it as it finally comes to its inheritance.
Aratus says that Jupiter transferred both these bears to the sky from Crete during his concealment in the Idaean cave; but bears were never known in Crete, though it was plentiful enough in flocks or herds. But the story agrees with the scriptural account in this, that Christ mysteriously transfers the Church of the first-born to heaven whilst yet unmanifested to the rest of the world."
If Tishri 1, 3 B.C. was the date of the birth of Jesus Christ, then Tishri 1, 1996 is Jesus Christ's 1,999th birthday. This is by Judaen reckoning which considers a person 1 year old when they are born. There is no year 0, and this cannot be considered when calculating years between B.C. and A.D. The Lord's 2,000th birthday occurs on Tishri 1, 1997 (Judaen reckoning).
Again, this is a possibility, I am not saying that the Rapture will absolutely occur on this date. I hope that the Rapture will be pre-trib rather that post trib, but I cannot say with absolute certainty that it will be so. We shall see, what we shall see. Stay Spriritually alert (Holy Spirit) and walk in wisdom in discerning these times.


As I was browsing through the Internet a few months ago, I ran across an article by Jim Bramlett titled "Sir Isaac Newton's 300-Year-Old Interpretation of Daniel for this Decade". The following is a quote from that article.
"If Sir Isaac Newton was correct in his interpretation of Daniel, the prophet to whom God gave specific timing, then 1996 or 1997 will be the year of the return of Jesus Christ! We will soon know. It is surely not unscriptural for God to have revealed the year.
Newton, who lived 300 years ago (1642-1727), was one of the greatest geniuses in all history -- perhaps the greatest. He is called the father of modern science and the industrial revolution. He discovered many scientific laws. God chose Isaac Newton to impart many of His deepest secrets.
Newton was also a devout believer in Christ and a Bible scholar, fluent in ancient languages, and who translated directly from the Hebrew. He was unusually drawn to the prophet Daniel, which he began studying at age 12 and continued until he died at age 85. In fact, The Columbia History of the World, a secular book, remarks, 'At the end of his days he spent more time studying and writing about the prophecies in the Book of Daniel than he did in charting the heavens.' Did God Himself put in Newton's heart this burning desire to study Daniel, then give him the key to the timing of Christ's return? Could this be the final profound secret the Lord revealed to this godly genius near the end of his life -- a secret "accidentally" discovered in the Library of Congress and republished just in this very decade -- a secret so simple that most have missed it? Newton's understanding of one key passage in Daniel chapter 9 is fundamentally different from that of most common interpretations. In about 550 B.C., God gave the prophet Daniel a view of history to the end. From Daniel 9:25, scholars usually add the 'seven weeks (of years, or 49 years) and 62 weeks (434 years)' to get 483 years and calculate the time of Messiah's Firs Coming. However, Newton says there is no linguistic basis for adding those two numbers (49 and 434), and to do so is 'doing violence to the language of Daniel.' Newton says the two numbers separately speak of both the First and Second Coming, both being counted from the 'going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.' Some commentators agree.
Newton says the 434-year part was fulfilled at the First Coming (as can be explained), and the 49-year part will apply to the Second Coming. And three centuries ago he saw and wrote about the rebirth of Israel at a time such a thought was preposterous. By faith, he foresaw a 'friendly kingdom' someday again issuing the 'commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.' Now, centuries later, that 'friendly kingdom' may have been the United Nations, which decreed Israel's rebirth in November, 1947, causing Israel to be reborn in May, 1948.
Therefore, if alive today, here is what Newton would tell us: Count 49 years from that 1947 "commandment," which takes us to 1996 as the time when "the Messiah the Prince" shall come. Or Newton might agree with the argument that Israel's Proclamation of Independence on May 14, 1948 was the decree to rebuild Jerusalem as prophesied by Daniel. If so, the 49-year count would start in 1948 and end in 1997. (I have discovered that a few prophecy students have arrived at this same interpretation of Daniel 9:25 before they discovered it was also Newton's idea.)
It should be noted that there is a slight overlap in modern and Hebrew years. The Jewish new year for the modern-year 1997 (the Hebrew year 5757) begins September 14, 1996. Interestingly, the year 1996 happens to be Jerusalem's 3,000th birthday and according to some, Christ's 2,000th birthday. Big celebrations or plans are already underway for both. Also, according to some, 1996 will mark the end of 6,000 years of biblical history and 1996 or 1997 as the beginning of the seventh (Sabbath?) millennium. (The world is looking to A.D. 2000 as the end of the millennium, but due to calendar discrepancies, God's timing may be different, and a surprise to most.) If valid, is all this convergence on 1996/1997 merely a coincidence, or the work of the Master Designer?'
The above quote is from:

Jim Bramlett
10637 Crystal Springs Court
Orlando, Florida 32825

I have very recently received a booklet titled "Daniel Unsealed", by James T. Harman. This booklet includes "Newton's Interpretation of Daniel's Seventy weeks. The book also puts forth evidence that the length of the tribulation is three-and-one-half years, not 7 years split into two parts. I recommend this booklet to prophecy students, or to anyone who is interested in this subject. You can purchase this booklet for $5.00 from :

Jim Harman Ministries
P.O. Box 941612
Maitland, FL 32794

Other booklets I recommend are:



The above two books are written by Colin Deal and can be purchased from the following address:

Colin Deal
P.O. Box 455
Rutherford College, NC 28671


The long awaited eclipse of September, 1996 (well, I've been waiting for it since 1993), will
soon be upon us. The moon will be seen in total eclipse on the evening of September 26, as viewed from the United States. This is also the Harvest Moon. The moon will rise in the East Coast a little before 7 p.m. and may appear as an orange fireball in its rising, like many other Harvest Moon's have in the past. As the moon rises higher into the sky it will turn white. At 9:12 p.m. EDT, the umbral shadow of the earth will begin to cover the moon. The moon will be totally immersed in the earth's shadow from 10:19 p.m. EDT to 11:29 p.m. EDT, and will most likely appear reddish in color, especially on the West Coast. The moon will rise partially eclipsed on the West Coast and may appear very erie in color and shape in its rising. The moon will be in total eclipse from 7:19 p.m. to 8:29 p.m. on the West Coast. The bright star seen next to the moon on this evening will be Saturn. Saturn is at opposition on this evening and at its closest distance to the earth for the year. The moon and Saturn will be in conjunction at 10:40 p.m. on the East Coast and about 7:40 p.m. on the West Coast. See "A Voice Crying in the Heavens" pp. 54-60 for the significance of this as well as other celestial events occurring on this date. Also see Charts 63, 64, and 66 of the same book, which show this event as seen from Israel. Tishri 15, or the Feast of the Tabernacles (Succoth) begins about 12 hours after the eclipsed moon sets in Israel.


Chart 9 of this newsletter shows the position of Draco above the northern horizon at 11:00 p.m., on September 26, 1996 as seen from Israel. The North Star is at the end of the handle or tail of the Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). At 2:25 a.m., on September 27, 1996, the head of Draco (the Dragon), is seen striking the horizon or the earth (Chart 10). Cepheus (the enthroned King) is seen above Draco. This is a graphic portrayal of the Dragon being cast down to the earth (Rev. 12:7-9). At 5:15 a.m., the Dragon's head is well below the horizon and not seen.
Chart 11 shows the constellations Pisces (represents Israel) and Cetus (represents the beast from the sea), and the totally eclipsed moon next to Saturn (Satan) at 5:16 a.m. on September 27, 1996, Jerusalem local time. The moon is due west, and Cetus is a little south of west or west-southwest which is between west and southwest. Looking from Jerusalem, Cetus (the beast from the sea) appears to be standing on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Cetus also represents the Devil or the Dragon. This is a graphic portrayal of Revelation 13:1 (NIV) "And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.
Chart 12 shows the constellation Hydra (that ancient serpent who leads the whole world astray) south of east. The horizon is located at the bottom of the page (not seen). Hydra (has to do with water) is also a beast from the sea. As seen from Jerusalem at this time (5:16 a.m., on Sept. 27, 1996), it is rising up out of the Dead Sea. This is a graphic portrayal of Rev. 13:1 (NIV) ... And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. (KJV) ... and saw a beast rise up out of the sea.
E. W. Bullinger in his Commentary on Revelation or The Apocalypse, which was written near the turn of this past century comments on the incorrect translation of the King James Authorized Version of Revelation 13:1. The following is a quote from Commentary on Revelation:

"In the Textus Receptus the first sentence of the first verse of chap xiii. is the concluding sentence of the twelfth chapter, but the AV. wrongly transposes it, and puts it as the first sentence in chap. xiii. The translators were doubtless misled by the wrong reading of the Textus Receptus, which has (estathen) I stood, instead of (estathe) he stood (i.e., the dragon). The RV. (agreeing with L.T.Tr.A. and WH.) has restored the sentence to its proper place, at the close of the chap. xii.17; and given the correct reading, "he stood," in accordance with all the critical Greek texts and oldest and best manuscripts.
The structure (on page 414) shows that this must be right; as that sentence is necessary in order to balance the first sentence of xii.13.
It is the dragon who has been cast into the earth (A. xii. 13-); and it is the same dragon who stands on the sand of the sea (A. xiii. I-)."

The charts used to display the above events were printed using screen dump and are not of the greatest quality. I hope they get the point across. These constellations portray this event each year during Tishri. This year there are rare celestial events occurring in these and other constellations pertaining to the Woman, the Woman's Seed, the Dragon and the beast from the sea written of in Revelation 12 and 13.


The End Time Seminar with Colin Deal and Bob Wadsworth is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 1996, at Portland, Oregon. There will be sessions in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Everyone is also welcomed to attend the Sunday morning fellowship/worship service hosted by the Church of the Body of Christ on October 6. For further information, contact:

Larry Reed
4211 S.E. Liebe
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 774-2793

Hope to see you there, or in the air.

"There is a blessed home
Beyond this land of woe,
Where trials never come,
Nor tears of sorrow flow;
Where faith is lost in sight,
And patient love is crowned,
And everlasting light
Its glory throws around.

O joy, all joys beyond,
To see the Lamb who died,
And count each sacred wound
In hands, and feet, and side;
To give to Him the praise
Of every triumph won,
And sing through endless days
The great things He hath done.

Look up, ye saints of God,
Nor fear to tread below
The path your Saviour trod
Of daily toil and woe;
Wait but a little while
In uncomplaining love,
His own most gracious smile
Shall welcome you above."

E. W. Bullinger