By Rod Ardehali

September 23 this year is set to mark the beginning of the apocalypse, according to several conspiracy theorists and doom-mongers.

The 'Rapture', set out in the Book of Revelation, will see "worthy" Christians lifted into heaven by Jesus, while those remaining will be left to face the end of the world, reports Daily Mail.

Now, an apocalyptic theory known as Revelation 12 Sign predicts the Rapture will soon be fulfilled with the appearance of "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head."

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Conspiracy theorists think an astronomical alignment involving the constellations Leo and Virgo, along with various other planets will fulfill this prophecy word-for-word.

The Rapture is the second coming of Jesus Christ as prophesied in John 14:1-3 where those who have lived 'sin free' lives meet the Lord.

Proponents of the outlandish theory say the women mentioned in the prophecy represents the constellation Virgo, while the crown of stars represents Leo.

The moon mentioned is considered to be under the "feet" of Virgo and on September 23 the sun will be passing through the constellation - fulfilling the "clothed with the sun" strand.

According to websites promoting the dooms day theory, it will take place in two parts, with a seven-year-long period of tribulation in between, during which the Antichrist will bring destruction upon Mankind.

However, the theory is only loosely based on actual Bible scripture and largely dismissed by the wider Christian community.

Those who do believe in the Rapture attribute their beliefs to two specific Bible scriptures.

According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, the heavens will open during the end of days, with God lifting those who are alive "into the clouds".

And 2 Peter 3:10, says: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up."

Nonetheless, a belief in the Rapture prophecy does not mean an acceptance of the Revelation 12 Sign theory for many Christians who refute the astrological interpretation.

The theory was originally purported by William Tapley, an American YouTube Channel owner who published the first video about the alignment entitled "Stellarium" in 2011.

Waves from the Santa Rosa Sound crash over the Navarre Beach causeway, during Hurricane Irma. Photo / AP
Waves from the Santa Rosa Sound crash over the Navarre Beach causeway, during Hurricane Irma. Photo / AP

Italian exorcist claims floods and storms are a sign of the apocalypse

Meanwhile an exorcist has claimed recent storms and flooding are signs of an imminent biblical apocalypse.

The famous demon hunter also claims that the devil is "behind" North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Don Antonio Mattatelli made the alarming claims in response to a string of natural disasters in his home country of Italy.

He said: "All natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, demonstrate that the end of the world is coming.

"It will not be the end of the world in general, but of this world yes.

"Natural phenomena so sudden and powerful shows that, there is no confidence in the future and we have come to an end of modernity."

Don Antonio is one of the most famous exorcists in Italy and regularly makes public statements warning of the devil's work.

He believes that Satan is present on the internet and that demonic possession can take place online.

Don Antonio made his latest pronouncements after Italy became the latest in a series of countries to be hit by extreme weather.

The country has suffered torrential rainfall and heavy flooding which has left eight people dead.

In the past week the country has also been hit by an earthquake, the epicentre of which Borgorose in Rieti province in the Lazio region of Italy.

As well as speaking out about natural disasters, Don Antonio commented on the current geopolitical situation.

He said: "Behind Kim Jong-Un is surely Satan, in North Korea all are forbidden religion and there is only the idolatry of the leader who has replaced God.

"He could be exorcised remotely with prayer, as Pius XII did by the Vatican with Hitler."