F.M. Riley (18 Mar 2018)
"The Sun, the Moon, & the Stars"


The Sun, the Moon,
& the Stars
                            By Pastor F. M. Riley
                                                                                                  February 12, 2018
     "And I will shew 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 great and terrible day of the Lord come," Joel 2:30-31.  
Introduction
     Many centuries ago the Prophet Joel, speaking of the Lord's return, and His judgment to come upon a Christ rejecting world, was inspired of God to write this passage used as a text for this study.  
     The truth set forth in this passage is repeated four more times in the Scriptures.  Let's see.....
     
     "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
     The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining," Joel 3:14-15.

     "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," Matthew 24:29-30.  

     "And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:
     The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come," Acts 2:19-20.

     "And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
     And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind," Revelation 6:12-13.  
The Prophetic Significance
     Each of these five passages of Scripture clearly state that the Sun is going to become black or dark.  And that the Moon will also be effected, both by becoming "as blood," and by being made dark.  
     A careful study of the passage will reveal that the passages are not all referring to the same time periods.  Rather, in the five passages, there are at least two different time periods involved, and perhaps even three.  One of these time periods is.....
This Present Dispensation
     The prophecy set forth in Joel 2:31 explicitly states that the Sun will be turned into darkness "before" the "day of the Lord."  All through the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament, the expression, "the day of the Lord," is referring to the now swiftly approaching seven year Tribulation period.  
     Then the passage in Joel 3:14, states that "the day of the Lord" is near.  In other words, it hasn't yet arrived.  So these two passages in Joel are in agreement, that the Sun will be darkened, and the Moon will become as blood, "before" the "day of the Lord" begins.  That then places a darkening of the Sun, and a turning of the Moon into blood, occurring at some point in this present Dispensation of Grace, before the seven year Tribulation comes upon mankind left behind on the earth at the rapture.  
     Then a third passage that sets forth this same time period, is the passage in Acts 2:20.  This passage explicitly states that the darkening of the Sun, and the turning of the Moon into blood, will occur "before that great and notable day of the Lord come."  So there are three inspired passages which clearly state that such predicted events will happen to the Sun and Moon during this present Dispensation of Grace.  Hello!  Keep this in mind, as you continue to read.......
During the Tribulation Period
     However, the passage in Revelation 6:12-13 is also quite clear that the Sun will become black, and the Moon will "become as blood" during the Tribulation period, specifically at the time of the opening of the "sixth seal."  This will be just before the middle of the Tribulation period, for it is just before "the wrath of the Lamb," and "the great day of His wrath," 6:16-17.  
     So there obviously will be a second darkening of the Sun, and a second turning of the Moon as blood, during the Tribulation period, either at or just before mid-Trib.  
After the Tribulation
     But then the passage in Matthew 24:29-30 reveals that "after the tribulation" the Sun will be darkened yet again, and the Moon will not give her light, at the very time when the Lord Himself will visibly and bodily come back to the Earth to destroy His enemies, and establish His glorious Millennial Kingdom.  See also Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19:11-21.  So this is a third darkening of the Sun, and of the Moon not giving her light.  
Back to this Present Time
     I have gone to some length to place each of these fulfillments in the right time period, for 2 Timothy 2:15 clearly commands God's people to "rightly divide the Word of truth."  As much as I know how, I want to be obedient to God's precious Word.  
     Each of these passages set forth are prophetic, and obviously point to the coming of the Lord.  Therefore "the time" when they occur, is, or should be, important to any true believer, who is faithfully "watching" for our Lord's coming again.  
     There are some believers today, who want to put the Lord's coming again, far off in the future, while other believers, including myself, are convinced that the Lord is coming again REAL SOON.  So why have I devoted such effort to placing these five passages of Scripture in the proper "time element" for their fulfillment?  
Because the First Fulfillment of this "sign" Has Occurred!
      The passage in Joel 2:30-31 explicitly prophesied that the Sun was to be darkened "before.....the day of the Lord [the Tribulation].  Every reader willing to deal honestly with God's Word knows that this passage proclaims this truth.  So why is this so important?   Because.....
The Sun Has Been Darkened
     Did our readers notice?  The Sun was darkened in the sky during the day on August 31, 2017.  If any reader was not carefully watching, and  did not see this occur for themselves, it was reported on by the world news media, and was seen by millions of people all over the earth.  No!  It was not a figure of men's imagination.  It really happened!  
     That "solar eclipse" was one of the end-time "signs" we believers were supposed to be "watching" for.  Did you see it?  Were you watching?  Be truthful to the Word of God in answering the question!
     But that isn't the fulness of the prophecy.....
The Moon Has Also Been Turned as Blood
     Following the Solar Eclipse on August 31, 2017, five months later, on January 31, 2018, there was what astronomers call a "Lunar Eclipse," in which the Moon turned "blood red."  Hallelujah!  Glory to God!  
     Have these documented "eclipses" of the Sun and the Moon gotten the reader's attention yet?  
     Try to explain these "eclipses" away, anyway you choose!  After all of the explanations of some have been made, the fact still remains that on August 31, 2017 the Sun did become black for nearly two minutes, and on January 31, 2018, the Moon did become blood red.  Glory to God!
      According to the inspired prophecies in Joel 2:30-31, 3:14-15, and Acts 2:19-20, these prophesied events were to happen just  "before" the beginning of the Tribulation period; "the day of the Lord."  And the predicted events happened exactly as prophesied.  Now where does that place us believers living today on God's prophetic time clock?  So.....
What is Next on the Lord's Prophetic Agenda?
     Dear readers, it is now time for our Lord to come to resurrect and rapture His Church and believing people to glory, just before the beginning of the Tribulation period, and in fulfillment of His promise given in John 14:2-3.  Are you listening?  Do you really care?  About 15 seconds after the Trumpet sounds [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17], every reader will care deeply.  But sadly, for some it will be too late!  Every unbeliever at that time, will miss the rapture, and be left behind to face the trouble and terrors of the seven year Tribulation period, which will immediately follow the rapture.  
     A preacher brother once told me about preaching the funeral of an unbelieving lost man; who had been married to a dedicated Christian woman.  Sadly, she had not been able to lead him to the Lord during their marriage, even though she deeply loved him and had done   everything she could to witness to him and urge him to receive Christ.  But suddenly he had a heart attack, and passed into eternity.  
      After the man's funeral service, the undertaker began to lower the man's body into the open grave.  At that point, his Christian wife was overcome with crying and tears, and  began to hysterically scream, "Too late!  No hope!  Too late!  No hope!"  The pastor who told me about this, began weeping himself, and then told me that he hoped our gracious Lord would never require him to preach such a funeral service again.  
     How many "religious" people reading this study, right after the rapture has occurred, and their Christian spouses and loved ones have been "caught up," will begin hysterically screaming, "Too late!  No hope!  I've been left behind!  Too late!  No hope!  I'm left behind!"  
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     Yes!  After a two month's absence, I'm finally back online!  Praise the Lord!  If the reader wants to receive my Bible Studies on a regular basis [until our Lord comes], please copy down my new email address.  
     Yes!  Every true believer, or Bible believing Christian ministry has my permission to reproduce this study to share with others.  Please do!  
      This winter has been terribly hard on this old preacher man.  I truly and deeply  thank every reader who has prayed for me and for this ministry, and for those who have felt led of the Lord to send support.  May the Lord bless each of you dear folks a hundred fold for your kindnesses and generosity.  From my heart to yours.  
     Please address all questions, comments, and correspondence to me at:  Pastor F. M. Riley, 14275 County Road 8120, Rolla, Missouri 65401, or to my new email address at:  francismriley34@gmail.com.   
     Those who want to speak with me personally should call me anytime except on Sunday at:  573-202-6493.  My daughter will likely answer the phone, but she will call me to the phone.  
     God bless every dear reader is my prayer.  I want to see and meet you all in glory REAL SOON.  Please don't disappoint me!  In the love of Christ Jesus,    Pastor Riley
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