Heavenly Fireworks! Part 1

  by Vincent Aquilino

 

To His Glory Ministries - 07.04.2001"Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed." (Rev 8:8-9)

"There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilence in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. " (Luke 21:11)

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25-27)

"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls." (Joel 2:28-32)

In the Bible, there are three heavens referred to. There is the air above the earth (the first heaven), the abode of the sun, moon and stars (the second heaven) and the third heaven (the abode of God, His angels and His saints).

There are many passages in scripture that tell us we shall see great signs in the heavens just before the return of Jesus Christ and the Day of the Lord. In Joel 2:30 God tells us He will show us wonders in the heavens (and in the earth) as a sign of the return of the Lord. The word for heavens in Joel 2:30 is the Hebrew word (transliterated) "shamayim" which means the sky (as aloft; the dual perh. alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve). So in this case heavens can refer to both the first and the second heaven.

In previous articles (linked below) some of the recent signs were discussed that point to the soon return of Jesus Christ. This article will bring you more up to date on some of the more recent signs that herald the Lord's return. Israel and in particular is God's timepiece for the many events that lead up to Armageddon and the Day of the Lord. The first event we will discuss comes from Kathleen Mitchell, a prophetic intercessor in the Lord's army. Kathleen writes on the events of May 2, 2001:

"I can't delay in sharing the move of God's hand, which was visible this week over Jerusalem. Tuesday evening just before sundown, a fierce wind roared into Jerusalem. As I waited for a bus at the stop, I noticed a clear squall line.... front line... in the sky. There was something very remarkable about it. The wind was blowing between 45 and 60 miles per hour. Therefore, the front should have moved quickly by, with clouds fleeting with it. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that the wind was not moving with the front, but against it. Rather that the front moving, the clear squall line was stationary in the sky. Not only that, but the low flying clouds usually hovering under the storm, were neither flying nor hovering. They too were stationary....frozen as it were. I watched for 20 minutes, marking the edge of the storm against a building. If I had taken a photograph of the sky when I arrived at the bus stop, it would have looked the same as when I caught the bus 20 minutes later. People were talking about it everywhere. It was something that couldn't miss being noticed. The common comment was that is was God speaking to His people in some way. The wind continued groaning over the city until around 11 PM that night. By 5:00 AM, a thunderstorm of HUGE proportions hung over the city. It circled and moved for over two hours, until it completed seven passes over the city. The lightening and thunder were unbelievable, but that was not the most significant thing about this storm. The month of May is outside of the rainy season, and well outside of the winter months. However the storm was very cool and dumped an unprecedented about of rain in two hours. Some have said that in parts of the city 12 inches fell. There was flooding all over the city. It is recorded as a record breaking WINTER storm. Roads were blocked off. Enormous sewer covers shot up in the air and gave up water in the form of gushers coming from underground. The aquifers around Jerusalem look in great volumes of water, as a hedge against the drought. God really did something extraordinary on May 2nd. We may not ever fully know what He did. The important thing is that the Jewish people know it was the hand of their God. For those who have not considered Him before, there is a new recognition that He exists and that He is active in this city.

Just as a side note, as I am typing this, another dense dust storm, powered by strong winds, has moved into Jerusalem. Could the stage be in the process of being reset for a repeat performance of a sign and a wonder? THANK YOU GOD FOR GIVING YOUR PEOPLE WATER IN THIS DRY AND THIRSTY LAND!! Another interesting note: there is traditional belief among some of the Muslims, that when the great rains come out of season, it will signal the coming of the Jewish Messiah. May it be so!"

This unusual storm in the first heaven speaks of God's hand. In the natural, a thunderstorm that makes seven passes over the city, is unheard of. The fact that there were seven passes, where seven is God's number (the number of perfection), speaks of a sign.

Kathleen noted that the month of May is both outside of the rainy season and well outside of the winter months. However the storm was very cool and dumped an unprecedented about of rain in two hours.

The timing of this storm could be a sign pointing to the soon return of Messiah. Consider the Word of the Lord through the prophet Hosea:

"Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth." (Hosea 6:3)

Hosea tells us that the Lord will come twice and there is a connection or clue to His return in the reference to rain -- which is a reference to the festivals of the Lord.

The seven Biblical festivals speak not only of historical events like the exodus from Egypt, but also looks forward to the Day of the Lord and Messiah's return. The seven festivals are celebrated in two seasons; the four spring festivals range from the beginning of spring until the ingathering of the barley harvest and the three fall festivals begin at the time of the ingathering of the fall crops. The harvests are connected to the two rainy seasons -- known as the former rain (spring) and the latter rain (fall).

The spring festivals (former rain) commemorate events in Israel's past such as the Passover, the Exodus, the crossing of the Red Sea and the receiving of the Law (Torah). The work of Messiah during His first coming can be seen clearly in the first coming as Jesus fulfilled these festivals; killed as the Passover (Pesach) lamb on the 14th day of the 1st month (Aviv); buried on the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Hag Ha Matzah); First Fruits for His resurrection; and the giving of His Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Shavuot). For more information on how Jesus fulfilled the festivals of God, please reference the series on "Rosh Ha'Shanah - Is it the Rapture or the Tribulation" (http://aplus-software.com/thglory/7000year.htm) - especially part 2 of the series.

The three fall festivals (latter rain) take place during the seventh month (Tishri) which is the time of the latter rain. As the spring festivals taught of the first coming of Messiah, His second coming can be seen in the fall festivals. The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah - also called Rosh HaShanna) teaches about the coronation and wedding of Messiah; Yom Kippur, speaks of the Day of Atonement, where the High Priest would sprinkle the people for their cleansing (so will Messiah at His second coming); and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) which teached us that God will tabernacle with us.

The time of the Latter Rain is fast approaching and this supernatural storm over Jerusalem which dropped an unprecedented amount of rain well in advance of the fall festivals may be a sign that we are approaching the return of Messiah: "Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth." (Hosea 6:3)

Let's consider some of the other signs in the heavens:

Bill Koenig, on May 23rd, 2001, gives this personal account of yet another sign in the first heaven:

"When arriving this morning at the White House's northwest security gate (the entrance to the West Wing and the Press Room), I noticed that security checks were being handled by phone instead of the computer. I asked one of the guards about what had caused the problem. She said, "you won't believe it but our guardhouse was hit by lightning last night, and it knocked out our computer."

There was also a "tornado watch" last night from Washington eastward, covering all of eastern Maryland. I saw the dark clouds moving east but fortunately there were no tornadoes. (A small tornado did touch down 50 miles south of Washington.)

I believe that the Lord showed last night and today that He was not happy with the visit of the Dalai Lama to the White House. Although this was not his first visit to the White House, it was his first visit to the Bush White House. The Dalai Lama is a distinguished spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, and he has a nice and fun personality. However, he is a false god, who speaks a false message. Most importantly, he doesn’t acknowledge Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Furthermore, isn't it interesting that on the day the Dalai Lama is welcomed to the White House, the other big news to break is Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords’ probable decision to leave the Republican Party to become an Independent, a move that will give the Democrats a majority in the Senate?

This decision will throw the Senate into disarray, affecting all the Republican committee chairmanship positions and making Democratic Senator Tom Daschle the Senate Majority leader.

Moreover, on the first day the Jeffords’ story emerged, the Dalai Lama arrived in Washington, and President Bush and Secretary of State Powell both came out in favor of the Mitchell Report on the Middle East, a report that calling for Israel to stop settlement construction in the West Bank and Gaza.

Additionally, Senator Jeffords is from Vermont, the first and only state to approve same-sex unions and a state that is strongly pro-choice. And tomorrow, his expected party defection will throw the U.S. Senate into instability, creating doubts and roadblocks for the president’s upcoming judicial appointments and a variety of legislative programs.

Is the Lord speaking to the Bush Administration and our nation? Absolutely! And there will be no compromises.

Considering Bill's observation, one must admit that the balance of power has shifted in the Senate. Coincidence? In Revelation 8:5 we see the following:

"Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth.
And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake." (Rev 8:5)

These Scriptural events of Revelation occurred immediately preceding the seven trumpet judgements upon the earth. Lightening, earthquakes and thundering can be prophetic warnings of impending judgement. It is possible that this was one. Researchers like John McTernan have shown us very clearly that God is not mocked and that we will reap what we sow. He has shown us the connection between "sin" events and God's righteous judgements as God continues to plead for repentance.

Signs in the Second Heaven

Heavenly events ("signs in moon, stars & sun") are of great significance. Ps19:1The heavens declare the glory of G-d; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

In the celestial heavens, the second heaven if you will, there have been additional awesome signs that are heralding the Lord's Return.

Solar Maximum

For example, the current Solar maximum is so incredibly violent that it has unleashed the biggest solar flare on record. On Monday, April 15th, at 9:50 am EDT, sunspot 9415 unleashed one of the most powerful explosions ever recorded in our solar system (it was off the charts) -- fortunately the blast was directed mostly away from Earth. Had it been directed toward the earth it might have collapsed the power grid, destroyed the electronics of orbiting satellites, and exposed astronauts to the equivalent of 100's of chest x-rays (we are protected by the atmosphere).

In addition, solar scientists recently spotted a gigantic storm known as active region 9393. The sunspot covered an area equivalent to the surface area of 13 planet Earths making it the largest sunspot of the current solar cycle. What was unusual that sunspots are normally short- lived -- rarely do they persist longer than a single 27-day rotation of the Sun. However, sunspot 9393 is a major exception -- it has already crossed the face of our star twice, and now it appears to be back for yet a 3rd transit making it even more rare. Earlier this year, 9393 unleashed the most powerful solar flare ever recorded -- again directed away from our planet -- coincidence or a sign?

Jupiter - Sign of the Anti-christ?

A bright flash, which grew to the size of the earth in about a minute, was detected near the North Pole of Jupiter. Theories range from an auroral display to some strange interaction with electrons. The amount of energy released is comparable to an atomic bomb blast. No one knows and an impact of some sort is not out of the question.

The ancient Rabbins gave the Hebrew root for the constellation of Sagittarius as "Heth" (or "Cheth") and means "Terrorem" or "Terror." A later Hebrew noun for the constellation Sagittarius interpreted "Cheth" as "a living animal (beast)" (see Genesis1:30.)

Briefly, the planets, Jupiter and Saturn, have anciently been assigned to the anti-christ's "reign of terror." "Satur," "Satr," or "star" are the ominous names associated with Saturn, and Saturn is another name for Satan.

Jupiter is commonly recognized as a symbol of idolatry and paganism. One of the most devastating events in the history of Israel occurred when the image of Jupiter was placed in the Temple of God. The feast of Hanukkah is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees in removing this pagan god from the temple and re-instituting temple worship. Jupiter is symbolic of the anti-christ and we can see the foreshadowing of the anti-christ in the Temple of God exalting himself above God and all that is Holy:

"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. "Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days! "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:15-21)

This "sign" on Jupiter could have been a sign of the anti-christ's reign of terror. On Sunday, June 10, coronagraphs on board the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory observed Jupiter approaching the Sun just as a many-billion ton coronal mass ejection (CME) billowed away from our star. The giant planet will pass less than a degree from the Sun this week -- an event astronomers call conjunction. Is Jupiter's approach to the Sun from our perspective on earth, symbolic of the approach of the final battle between good and evil during the great tribulation?

On June 20, 2001 there was another "sign" involving Jupiter. In South Africa, the New Moon
passed in front of the Sun and produced a dazzling solar eclipse. What was unusual was the fact
that the Sun was no longer be the brightest object in the sky. The planet Jupiter, only 4
degrees from the Sun, surpassed it. Given that Scripture speaks of the SUN of Righteousness
rising with healing in His wings, is it possible that the SUN being temporarily blocked out and
Jupiter (symbolic of the anti-christ) rising to prominence as the brightest object in the sky,
also speak of the coming reign of terror. This event also occurred at the height of Solar-Max
on the sun -- a time of great tribulation on the sun one might remark.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day
they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or
language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words
to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a
bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It
rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its
heat." (Psalm 19:1-6)

Jupiter provided a sign in 1994 when the Shoemaker-Levy Comet fragmented into 21 pieces and hit Jupiter over a 7 day period from July 16, 1994 to July 22, 1994 -- one might note that we are approaching the 7-year mark from that event in just a few weeks. This was a sign as asteroids will be part of earth's future judgment. Also the impacts occurred over 7 days -- symbolic of the 7 year tribulation period? Could the 21 pieces could be representative of the 21 impending judgements of Rev. (7 Seals, 7 Bowls, and 7 Trumpets)? July 16 , 1994 was also, coincidentally of course, Tisha B'AV on the Jewish calendar. The 9th of Av is a date of particular prophetic significance. It was on this day that the first and second Temples were destroyed, that the 12 spies brought back their ``evil report" to Saul, that the Roman Army plowed Jerusalem with salt, that Simeon Bar Cochba's army was destroyed in 135 A.D., that Rome began to erect the pagan city on site of the Temple dedication, that in 1096 the first crusades began, that England expelled all the Jews in 1290 A.D., that Spain expelled all the Jews in 1492 A.D., and that World War One was declared in 1914 (with Russia launching persecutions against the Jews in Eastern Russia), and in 1942 the plans for the annihilation of Jews were drafted initiating World War II. It is no wonder that the 9th day of Av is still kept as a day of fasting and mourning.

It is also significant that the twenty-one pieces also representing the twenty-one days extending from the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of AV. Historically, the twenty-one days extending from the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of AV represented a time of bitterness and destruction for the Jews. According to the Rabbis, the demon that prevails during this time is also called "ketev" meaning destruction/bitterness. It was during this exact time of year that the Lord’s prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem was fulfilled. On the 17th of Tammuz 70 C.E. the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem. For three weeks Roman troops ransacked and destroyed the city until on the 9th of Av, they Temple was burned and not one stone was left upon another.

Jupiter is a symbol of idolatry for the pagan world and the ultimate false idol -- the anti- christ. The Hebrew name for Jupiter is "Tzedeq" and that comes from the word meaning "righteous" or "righteous one". It is from this term that the name Melchizedek is derived denoting "King of Righteousness". So we can see that even in the language that Satan, the usurper, has perverted Jupiter into a symbol of idolatry.

Jupiter also participated in a rare planetary alignment that had the Earth, Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in a straight-line alignment by May 5, 2000 -- the six (the number of man) planets lined up for the first time in 6,000 years." What was particularly interesting about that planetary lineup was that their positions, from earth's perspective, placed them in the constellations of Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpius, which some have said correspond to the four beasts of Revelation and Ezekiel.

Is there a message here? Is it a sign?

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-6)

Continued in Part 2

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