In the second chapter of Acts, the followers of Jesus receive the Holy Spirit in dramatic fashion on Pentecost (Shavuot), which is the fourth festival of the annual cycle. Amidst the ensuing confusion, the Apostle Peter addresses those present (NIV):
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’"
Peter quotes from the prophet Joel 2:28-32. As mentioned in the last post, Joel's prophecy indicates that before the "day of the Lord" occurs, there will be signs in the heavens. The "day of the Lord" is another phrase referring to the period preceding Christ's Second Coming. These signs will include darkening of the sun, and the moon turning "to blood".
As an aside, Pentecost (Shavuot) was also known as the Festival of Weeks. Returning to Leviticus 23:
The Festival of Weeks
15 “‘From the day after the Sabbath [Firstfruits], the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord."
Pentecost was the only annual observance during which leavened bread was offered to YHWH. It followed Firstfruits by precisely seven weeks (or 49 days). Remember, Jesus rose from the dead on Firstfruits, and he is the First of the Resurrected. Leavened bread is symbolic of the gentile-containing Church, or Body of Christ. Interestingly, this 49 day count is reminiscent of the 49 years preceding the jubilee observance. Is there a connection between the Final Jubilee and the resurrection of the Body of Christ? We will return to this topic later.
The celestial signs in Joel's prophecy indicate solar eclipses and lunar eclipses will precede the return of Christ. During a lunar eclipse, the moon turns red, which is why these events are sometimes called "blood moons". In 2014 and 2015 an unusual cluster of lunar eclipses occurred called a tetrad. This is a series of four eclipses occurring twice annually for two consecutive years. The precise dates (which can be confirmed at https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/27mar_tetrad/) were: April 15, 2014 followed by October 8, 2014, then April 4, 2015, and finally September 28, 2015. Why is this interesting? These dates just happened to coincide with the observed dates for the Festivals of Passover and Tabernacles during 2014 and 2015. This rare event created much excitement, and set many students of Biblical prophecy on a search for additional celestial signs.
Amidst the lunar eclipses of 2015, a partial solar eclipse occurred on September 13, 2015, which was the observed date for the Festival of Trumpets that year. Counting forward from 9/13/2015 precisely 708 days (or 1 year, 11 months, 1 week, and 1 day) we arrive at August 21, 2017. As an aside, it is also interesting to note that the day count between the dates for Pentecost 2020 A.D. (5/29/2020) and the Festival of Trumpets (9/17/2020) is 111 days.
On 8/21/2017 a dramatic total solar eclipse crossed the USA. Called the "Great American Eclipse", this event garnered much media attention. Thirty-three days later, on September 23, 2017, another celestial sign occurred. In the book of Revelation chapter 12 we read (NIV):
"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth."
An incredibly precise and unique celestial fulfillment of the Apostle John's prophecy from Revelation chapter 12 occurred on 9/23/2017. For more details, see here: https://www.unsealed.org/2020/06/a-crash-course-in-biblical-astronomy.html
The 33 day interval between the Great American Eclipse and the Revelation 12 sign seems to point forward, as precisely 3 years and 3 days later we arrive at September 26, 2020. The case has been made in previous posts for 9/26/2020 as a potential starting point for the Final Jubilee. Per Daniel 12:
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days."
To briefly recap, the "time that the daily sacrifice is abolished" may reference the beginning of the Final Jubilee. When we add 1290 days to 9/26/2020 we arrive at April 8, 2024. On that day the United States will experience the second "Great American Eclipse", as another dramatic total solar eclipse tracks across the country (for details see https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024/ ). Per our prospective timeline, this event would then coincide with the Abomination of Desolation predicted in Daniel 12, and referenced by Jesus in Matthew 24.
Why a series of solar eclipses over the USA? What does the USA in 2020 A.D. have to do with ancient Biblical prophecies? We will address this topic further next time.