Signs in the Heaven
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)
Solar and lunar eclipses occur quite frequently. Recently there was a total solar eclipse on Nov. 13th was viewed from Australia. There will be a partial lunar eclipse on Nov. 27th viewed from most of Africa and Asia. Meteor showers are named according to the constellation they appear to be coming from. The 2012 meteor showers: Perseids were August 11, Orionids were October 20, Taurids were November 9, Leonids will be November 17, and Geminids will be December 13. Usually the Perseids and Geminids provide the best display.
The “powers” (dunamis) with be “shaken” (saleuo). Dunamis could be translated forces or wonderful work. Saleuo come from a root meaning to vibrate, and could be translated waver, agitated, disturbed, or destroyed. Since the sun, moon, and stars were already mentioned in the passage; these “forces” might be gravity, radiation, or something like dark energy.
Winter Solstice: December 21st
December 21, 2012 is the winter solstice and the end of the age for the Mayan long count calendar. The winter solstice has been important to humans since Noah's flood as evidenced by Stonehenge [picture by Mark Grant] and other similar monuments oriented to it. Most cultures worshipped the sun at some time. The Roman festival of Divalia was held on December 21st, in honor of the goddess Angerona, in which sacrifices were made in the temple to the goddess of joy and pleasure.
Roman Festivals during Jesus' time
Caesar Augustus, who ruled from (33 BC while Antony remained triumvir) 28 BC to 14 AD during time Christ was born, established an obelisk and pulvinar at Circus Maximus in Rome. He brought the obelisk, which honored Egyptian Sun-gods, from Heliopolis and erected it along the dividing barrier. The obelisk reminded everyone of his victory as general Octavian over Egypt's Cleopatra and Mark Antony, which gave him the name Augustus in 30 BC. The pulvinar was a bench from which Roman idols could watch the chariot races. On August 28th races and games were held at the Circus Maximus in honor of Sol and Luna. Since Julius Caesar name a summer month July after himself, around 8 BC Caesar Augustus renamed the next month as August after himself. Hence I suggest Augustus required the census to coincide with August 28, 3 BC to honor his name and reign as caesar for 25 (or 30) years, and the 750th year of Rome. Then Messiah was born a few days later on September 11, 3 BC on Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets; and then his family resided at a home for the rest of the fall holidays until the magi came in December the next year.
Under Augustus, Saturnalia was celebrated (and businesses were closed) from December 17th to 19th, and Larentalia was held on December 23rd. Since Larentia was the nurse of Romulus and Remus, Augustus ordered Larentalia, which included gift giving, to be observed twice a year. I suggest the second observance was on August 28th when he received the “gifts”/taxes of the people.
Brumalia was an ancient Roman celebration of merriment for thirty days from November 24th to December 25th. This is akin to US holidays lasting from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Christmas: December 25th
Some folks are getting dreams and visions of King Jesus returning this Christmas. I think it would be the greatest gift the Father could give us since the first time He sent His Son.
Because of the amazing astrological signs which occurred during one and a half years prior to Christ's birth, the magi followed the "star" to “the house” to offer King Jesus gifts of worship sometime between December 4th and 30th in 2 BC when Jupiter would have been visible. Hanukkah in 2 BC was December 22-30, and I'd like to think the wise men were at the house of Mary and Joseph during that season of dedicating the Temple which originated on Kislev 25 in 165 BC during the Maccabees.
Hanukkah this year begins the evening of Dec. 8th (Kislev 24), and lasts until sunset on Dec. 16th.
“As it was in the days of Noah . . .”
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30)
Tishri was the first month of the year; then Yahweh established the spiritual calendar which began in Nisan at the exodus. Prior to Noah's flood, a year was 360 days, and a month was 30 days.
Yahweh sent the animals to enter the ark on the 10th of the second month of Mareheshvan which is close to our October (as Tishri usually falls in September), and gave the people seven last days to repent.
The deep burst open and the rains fell on the 17th of Mareheshvan and the rains lasted 40 days until the 27th of Kislev (which is Dec. 11th this year). Hanukkah this year begins the evening of Dec. 8th, and lasts until sunset on Dec. 16th.
I think we are living in “. . . in the days of the Son of man” when most people are living life oblivious to the season of the Lord and His merciful judgments trying to get us to turn (repent) towards Him before He returns with total destruction.
“Therefore wait you on me, said the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call on the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” (Zephaniah 3:8-9)
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Why, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (II Peter 3:10-14)
I am “looking” forward to Christ Jesus' return at any time: Hanukkah, the winter solstice, or Christmas; any day would be just fine with me. I feel like one of the maidens who fell asleep awaiting the Bridegroom while He "tarried". Come quickly, Lord Jesus.