September 23 and the Rapture

Barry Setterfield, August, 2017

We have received numerous questions about the prophecies rampant today regarding astronomical signs and September 23 and would the Rapture happen then? It is almost 100% guaranteed that that particular day could NOT be the Rapture since "no man knows the day or the hour." With that being said, here's a little more:

There is much talk concerning the astronomical events over the last couple of years that will come to a climax in late September this year. This astronomical sequence of events is very reminiscent of the sequence that occurred around 3 and 2 BC announcing the Birth of Messiah. That is very obvious. However, note in that context, that none of the highlights of that display actually corresponded with the Birth itself, except that the Sun and Moon were in Virgo. The planetary climax did not indicate the specific day that the Birth actually occurred. I have no problem with the proposition that the astronomical series of events is giving a warning that the time is very close. I am just concerned that we may not have a precedent for pinpointing a set day.

Let me put this another way. I know the importance of the Feasts of Israel and the way they have been fulfilled. That was planned before Israel was even a nation, and probably before the world began. Given that understanding, Yeshua/Jesus would have been well aware of these facts. Therefore, for Him to say of the Rapture Event that even He did not know the day or hour is amazing. Even more so since, from astronomical timing, the Feast of Trumpets is now exact for any given year. To my mind, this at least suggests that we be cautious in ascribing that day as being concurrent with the Rapture.

I would like to be cautious for another reason. There are those who will pin all their hope of the Event happening on that day in September. If it does not happen at that specific time, we then become false prophets and the faith of many could be harmed or challenged. I have seen something similar to this happen before. Already the world is laughing over the Blood Moon exercise because of the specific way it was presented by some proponents rather than as a general indication of the time. This brings the Bible, Christianity, and those who speak for the Lord into disrepute. I agree that the signs are all there as a warning that the time is very close. But it may be wise not to push it too much beyond that. 

I believe the approach that might be adopted in this case could be similar to that on our website where another prediction was made concerning the Wall of Jerusalem. Even though a general time was in view rather than a specific date, we nonetheless added a cautionary note of warning that this was only one interpretation of the prophecy and it could be wrong. This leaves the options open in case fulfillment does not occur at a specific time. Nevertheless, even this Wall prophecy seems to be another indication we are in a crucial time-slot in God's program.

Finally, on the matter of trumpets generally. The Rapture is heralded by the Trumpet of God, not angelic trumpets (as in Revelation) or the trumpets of men or Israel. Apart from the Exodus events, there is only one time in the Old Testament that we are told that God blows the Trumpet. That in is Zechariah 9 and Zephaniah 2 (LXX) and both are in the context of the wipe-out of Damascus. The events in Syria today are heading that way, there can be no doubt. So here is another indication that our time is close.

For Christians, we must keep our eyes on Christ, not look for signs. We already know the time is close. The signs are for unbelievers, that they may start to realize the Bible knows what it is talking about and that they then might turn to Christ and be saved.

But stay excited! These are awesome and fearful times we are living in. Our Redeemer is coming soon and suddenly.