Folks are making a big deal of the tetrad of lunar eclipses and associated solar eclipses of 2014 and 2015. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” Acts 2:20; Joel 2:31 The great and terrible day of the Lord is the day that Jesus Christ returns to earth in great glory to judge mankind.
On Yom Kippur, ten days after Rosh Hashana (the feast of trumpets), the Jewish people tell each other, “may your name be written in the book of life.” This is a reference to the day of atonement when the books are opened. Some say it is a reference to the day of the Lord’s return (Isaiah 39:27).
The Shemitah Cycle
Before you spend your time on any of this, be forwarded by Randy Broberg,
after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, after apparently a long period of ignoring SHEMITAH and the Jubilee years, the rabbis determined that the Jubilee year was no longer in effect but the 7 year SHEMITAH cycle was restarted in 71 AD. This starting date delivers the rabbi-accepted SHEMITAH years used by Cahn.
To me, the above is a pretty arbitrary decision and puts in question when the authentic cycle of Sabbath years really begins and ends. So 2015 may not be a shemitah year in the first place. My reason for digging into this as I do below is to explore the idea that the Second Coming of Christ could come on the Feast of Trumpets on a year that culminates the Sabbath year cycle – the real one – if there is one in an absolute sense. If that were the case, then the seven-year rule of the antichrist would correspond with the shemitah cycle.
The 1260 Days (Forty-two Months)
The Lord’s return follows the Great Tribulation. The Tribulation begins 1260 or 1290 days, which is about 3 1/2 years, before the Lord’s return, when the antichrist seats himself in the holy place, declaring himself to be God (Rev. 11:2,3,12,13, 12:6, 13:5, 14:1, 20:2, Dan. 12:7,11). This will be preceded by another 3 1/2 years during which the antichrist will rule from Jerusalem under a “Seven Year Peace Covenant” – a treaty signed off on by the major nations of the world. By the end of the tribulation the great war of Armageddon will be under way. Armageddon lasts roughly one year and ends with the return of Jesus Christ.
So this seven years, plus one extra year, could correspond nicely with Sabbath Years cycle if you account the Sabbath year itself as the 50th year: The seven years would be that 7th seven year cycle ending with the 49th year, and then you get one more year as the Sabbath, 50th year. Some say that is the correct way to count the Sabbath Years cycle, and some say it is not.
Armageddon (Rev. 16:12) is the war started by the four angels released from the Euphrates (Rev. 9:15). It may last one year, one month, one day, and one hour. If this war starts on Tisha B’Av (9th of Av) then it will end on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, after the “10 days of awe” which immediately follow the feast of Trumpets.
Interpretation of the Signs in the Heavens 2014/2015
Armageddon climaxes seven years of world rule by the Antichrist. Furthermore, antichrist’s rule is characterized by the prophetic ministry and the murder of the Two Witnesses, and by the Great Tribulation. As of mid 2015, none of this has happened.
A “lunar tetrad” is a series of four total lunar eclipses with no intervening partial lunar eclipses. According to Jesus on my Mind, while there have been around 60 of these tetrads from the time of Christ to the year 2100, making them fairly rare, only eight of the sets occur on Jewish high holy days. Jesus on my Mind calls those, “biblical” lunar tetrads.
A biblical lunar tetrad is occurring during 2014 and 2015. It is said that when these tetrads have occurred on Jewish high holy days they have been prophetically significant. (For another opinion, they may not be rare.)
The lunar eclipses during 2014/2015 are on: 4/15/14 (Pascha), 10/8/14 (Tabernacles), 4/4/15 (Pascha), and 9/28/15 (Tabernacles). Then there are supposedly no more lunar eclipses on Jewish high holy days for another 500 years. So, it seems, this tetrad of eclipses may be significant.
According to Jesus on my Mind, there will also be solar eclipses. “In 2014, (there will also be) a solar eclipse on April 29, (and) another solar eclipse on October 23, 2014, (then in 2015) the Jewish religious year begins with the total solar eclipse March 20, 2015, then … the civil year beginning with the total (sic) solar eclipse on September 13, 2015 … .” The image below, from Before It’s News, shows most of this. (See a complete schedule of the solar and lunar eclipses here along with more stuff. For additional holiday dates, see Links to Jewish Calendars)
Apparently the “Lunar Tetrad occurs exactly in the middle between the two Lunar Triples (and this) seems to place a lot of emphasis on this Tetrad” (Jesus on my Mind).
So, is this it? “The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord come” (Joel 2:32, and cf. Isaiah 13:10, Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 2:30-32, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27, Luke 21:25-27, Acts 2:19-21, Revelation 6:12-13).
The short answer? No. The timing for that would require that the 3 1/2 year tribulation began at the latest around 5/20/2012. It did not. So if not now, when? Here is my speculation.
It makes more sense to me that Christ would return on Rosh Hashanah than Yom Kippur. On Rosh Hashanah the Shofar (trumpet) is sounded, and in the prophecies Christ returns with a shout and with the sound of the trumpet. Also, Rosh Hashanah commences the 10 days of Awe that lead up to Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement. The prophecies say that when Christ descends, He will wage war on the armies of Lucifer for they will have been assembled to resist Him. Such a campaign could well be characterized as “days of awe.” Following this comes the day of atonement, when the army of Jesus Christ has overcome its enemies and they are brought to judgment. On that day the beast and the false prophet are judged and cast into the Lake of fire.
The following date calculations use the current Jewish calendar, but a case can be made for a “biblical” year of 360 days, which ought to be used instead. I will get that after.
Calculating a date for the rise of antichrist seven years prior to Christ’s return is complicated by the fact that the Jewish calendar uses the lunar cycle as a month, and twelve lunar months do not exactly equal a solar year. The contemporary Jewish calendar makes various adjustments for this, such as the month being 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 parts inserting leap years in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 of a 19 year cycle; and etc. At any rate, use of the lunar calendar causes the Jewish feast days occur on different secular dates each year. (Jewish Calendar)
Here is what happens if antichrist arises on Rosh Hashanah 7 years before the return of Christ on Rosh Hashanah. (Jewish feast days begin at sundown; and the dates for Holy Days below are from the Jewish Holidays Calendar) There is a correspondence to the eclipses if Christ returns in 2022:
Sept 13-15 (Partial solar eclipse 9/13/15), 2015 to Sept 25-27, 2022
Now we will look at biblical years. The biblical year is a 12 month calendar with each month being 30 days for a total of 360 days. Every seventh year is a “Sabbath Year”, and every 49th of 50th year (there is disagreement) is the “Year of Jubilee” The Sabbath years and the Jubilee year get 13 months, making the 49th and 50th years 390 days each.
The suggestion of using the biblical year to count the seven year reign of antichrist follows Daniel 12:11, which says,
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety (1290) days.
Using the biblical calendar the 1290 days is 3 1/2 years if one of them is 390 days. This count is correct if Christ returns on Rosh Hoshanah, the feast of trumpets, in the 49th year of the sabbatical cycle. I will use a date calculator and go back 1290 days to the start of the tribulation, then back 1260 days to calculate the rise of antichrist.
If Christ returns Sept 25-27, 2022, then antichrist rises 7 biblical years earlier on Oct 2-4 2015. The Tribulation begins at the half-way point of the seven years, on 3/15-17, 2019.
As you can see in the chart above, there are no corresponding eclipses for this schedule during 2015. But many are saying that 2015 is a sabbath (shemitah) year, and since mankind is not honoring the sabbath year disaster is expected. The rise of antichrist would be disaster indeed and one very in keeping with ignoring God’s sabbath.
But wouldn’t Rosh Hoshanah fall 30 days later in the 1290 day year? That would move the rise of antichrist to Nov 1-3, 2015 and move the half-way point to 4/14-17, 2019.
Here is how the timeline would work, if it could work in 2015, which I don’t think it can:
Rise of the Antichrist – Early Campaign of Gog, King of the North
At some time leading up to the fall of 2015 a war starts in the Middle East that ends with the signing in Jerusalem of a seven-year peace plan. It is 9/1/15 as I write. I have read that Russia has deployed jet fighters t Syria, but time is running out for that to evolve into a military campaign that ends with an invasion of Israel.
Abomination of Desolation
Once Antichrist steps onto the stage, the prophecies say, then the tribulation begins roughly 3 1/2 years later. Specifically that would be 1290 days before Christ’s return. Using the above dates, this would be around March 16th 2019 (I’m using the Time And Date website to calculate). March 16th is a Sabbath day commemorating the battle of Israel with Amalek in the desert following the exodus from Egypt.
The Lord’s Return and the Rapture
Jesus Christ returns with a shout on Sept 25-27, 2022 on Rosh Hashanah. The corporate body of Christ is caught up to meet him in the air, and presumably descend to earth with him and many join with him as his army.
The Day of Judgment
After Jesus Christ leads the army of his elect in subduing the armies of the Beast and his Prophet, the beast and prophet are judged and cast into the Lake of Fire on Oct 4/5, 2022.
This leads directly to the start of the Millennial Reign.