Home > Collateral Studies, End Times, Millennial Kingdom, Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Prophecy > Last Days Signs in the Sun and the Moon and the Stars

Last Days Signs in the Sun and the Moon and the Stars

Last Days Signs in the Sun and the Moon and the Stars

The Day of the Lord Cometh!

Dr. Mike Johnston

What is the purpose of this tract?

To help my students and friends understand that God’s plan for Israel and His plan for the church are NOT the same. The last days signs in the sun moon and stars heralds the Day of the Lord spoken by the prophets of Israel, signifying when Jesus Christ will return to set up His Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem following the tribulation.

I was taught that the church is the new Israel?

You were taught a heresy called replacement theology that the Lord Jesus attributed to the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). The fact is Israel is a nation that exists from prophecy, and focuses on an earthly kingdom and King. [1] The church is a body (Christ’s) that exists from the revelation of the mystery that Jesus gave to Paul and no one else (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:3). It focuses on Heaven and our citizenship there in Christ. Reading Peter’s words in light of the mystery Paul revealed in his 13 inspired letters [my comments bracketed] not only helps unveil the difference between prophecy for Israel and mystery for the church, but in the very distinct ministries of these two apostles: As also in all (Paul’s) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood [mystery], which they that are unlearned [unknowledgeable about prophecy and mystery] and unstable [inconsistent hermeneutics brings about a wide range of conclusions] wrest [fight against], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). 

What is the tribulation and Day of the Lord?

Both are Jewish, OT terms given to Israel by the prophets of God. It has no bearing on the church whatsoever. In short, the tribulation is a future 7 year period when God will punish the world for sin and prepare Israel and her supporters for the Messiah and the Davidic Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; Zech. 14; Matt. 25:31-34). The term was first used by Moses in a prophecy warning that Israel would suffer tribulation in the latter days (Deut. 4:30). While other prophets pictured the horrors of it, Jeremiah called this the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), and Jacob is Israel (Gen. 32:28). Prior to the crucifixion the Lord Jesus answered questions about His future return to set up the Davidic Kingdom by listing signs of the tribulation and the great tribulation (Matt. ; 24:21, 29) preceding it (Olivet Discourse: Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21). Scholars believe this tribulation period revealed by Moses, the prophets, Jeremiah, Christ and others comprises the final 7 year period missing from Daniel’s 70 week prophecy for thy people [Jews] and thy holy city [Jerusalem] (Dan. 9:24-27).

The Day of the Lord (more explained in a moment) is a well known Jewish OT term mentioned specifically 26 times by 9 OT prophets, and alluded to in the NT by Luke, Paul, and Peter. Dispensationalists teach that the Day of the Lord begins with the tribulation and extends on through the 1000 year Davidic Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16). Since the church is NOT Israel and has already had her sins judged once for all at the cross- there is no reason for us to be here suffering during the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble.

Is the Day of Christ the same as the Day of the Lord?

No! The Day of Christ- used in several variations including day of our Lord Jesus Christ, Day of the Lord Jesus, and day of Jesus Christ– is a Christian phrase Paul was given in the revelation of the mystery for the church. As a Hebrew scholar, Paul was well aware of the prophetic significance of the phrase the Day of the Lord and knew it described events surrounding the tribulation aka the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble. He also knew that the Day of the Lord is judgment against the proud (Isa. 2:12); destruction (Isa. 13:6; Joel 1:15); God’s fierce anger (Isa. 13:9;    Zeph. 2:2); God’s vengeance for Zion (Isa. 34:8); God’s vengeance against His adversaries (Jer. 46:10; Obad. 1:15); terror (Lam. 2:22); Israel’s battle (Ezek. 13:5); the time of the heathen (Ezek. 30:3); a time of trembling (Joel 2:1); great and very terrible (Joel 2:11); dark and bloody moon (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20); multitudes in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14); woe (Amos 5:18); darkness (Amos 5:20); bitter crying (Zeph. 1:14); and wrath (Zeph. 1:18). Not surprising, Paul’s variations of the day of Christ never include the prophetic warnings of the Day of the Lord because it was given to a group totally distinct from Israel; the church. Arno Gaebelein agrees:

“There is an important difference between the day of Christ and the Day of the Lord. The day of Christ concerns the Church, the saints of God. The Day of the Lord concerns the earth– Israel and the nations. The day of Christ begins when He takes His saints in glory and they are with Him. The Day of the Lord will bring . . . the visible manifestation of the Lord from heaven. The day of Christ comes first and the Day of the Lord follows [and continues] at least seven years later. The Day of the Lord does not concern the saints at all; it falls on the world. Before the Day of the Lord can come, His saints have to be gathered together unto Him. The promise of 1Th_4:16-18 needs first to be fulfilled. (Paul)  uses this hope of being gathered to Christ, when He comes for His saints, as a motive why they should not listen to those who said the day of [Christ] is present. He reminds them of the fact that their gathering unto Him had not yet taken place. How, then, could the Day of the Lord be present?” (The Annotated Bible- Arno Gaebelein)

What or where are the signs indicating the Day of the Lord is near?

Luke 21:25 tells us: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring. Many of these signs and perplexities can be studied in the Olivet Discourse accounts Christ gave to the elect- Jews (Isa. 45:4; Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21).

What is the significance of the sun, moon, and stars in Scripture?

By design, the sun, moon and stars have played key roles in God publishing His panoramic program. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  (15)  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light [2] upon the earth: and it was so.  (16)  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also (Genesis 1:14-16).

[Incidentally, the sun, moon, and stars serve as types which are divine illustrations of truth. Scofield [3] offers this regarding these three entities: The “greater light” is a type of Christ, the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal_4:2). He will take this character at His second advent. Morally the world is now in the state between; (Gen_1:3-16); (Eph_6:12); (Act_26:18); (1Pe_2:9). The sun is not seen, but there is light. Christ is that light (Joh_1:4); (Joh_1:5-9) but “shineth in darkness,” comprehended only by faith. As “Son of righteousness” He will dispel all darkness].

What are the prophecies detailing the end times signs in the sun moon and stars?

Before looking at them, let’s remember that Israel is a nation that was promised through 4 covenants with Almighty God to be a nation in a land ruled by laws that would become a permanent Kingdom. She rejected the King some 2000 year ago and is still awaiting her Covenanted Kingdom and King. There are at  least 7 key prophetic passages alerting Israel to the timing of the Day of the Lord and the Kingdom.

  1. Isaiah 13:9-11  Behold, the Day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.  (10)  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  (11)  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
  2. Isaiah 24:21-23  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.  (22)  And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.  (23)  Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
  3. Joel 2:30-3:2  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 bloodbefore the great and the terrible Day of the Lord come.  (32)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.  (3:1)  For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,  (2)  I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
  4. Joel 3:12-16  Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.  (13)  Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.  (14)  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.  (15)  The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  (16)  The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
  5. Matthew 24:27-31  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  (28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.  (29)  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:  (30)  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.  (31)  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 24:32-25:30 is parenthetical) Matthew 25:31-34  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  (32)  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  (33)  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  (34)  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

  1. Acts 2:19-21  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:  (20)  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into bloodbefore that great and notable Day of the Lord come:  (21)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
  2. Revelation 6:12-13  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;  (13)  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. [the church is NOT MENTIONED one time from Chapter 4 through 18].

Using the Chart of signs in the sun, moon, and stars- p4

There are 7 verses discussing the end times signs in the sun, moon, and stars. Although they are all pertinent to Israel signifying the coming of the Messiah, PreWrath rapture advocates claim it is actually the rapture these events signal which will- according to their unprovable theory- occurs in a one time event after the tribulation but before God pours out His wrath in conjunction with the darkening of the sun, and the moon turning to blood.

On the chart (p4) I have listed all 7 passages cited. I also have included any mention of the Day of the Lord (which is for Israel, not the church), 2nd Coming to Jerusalem (also for Israel), Armageddon-Valley of Jehoshaphat (for Israel) and/or Judgment (sheep and goat). Please pay particular attention to the congruency of the Day of the Lord, the 2nd Coming of Christ to Jerusalem, and the Judgment because those espousing the PreWrath hypothesis have to separate them in order to make their theory work. 

Chart of signs in the sun, moon, and stars

Reference

Stars/Heaven

Sun

Moon

Day of the Lord

2nd Coming

to Jerusalem

Armageddon/Valley of Jehoshaphat/Judgment

Isaiah
13:9-11

The stars and the constellations shall not

give their light

The sun shall be darkened in his going forth

The moon shall not cause her light to shine

Day of the Lord cometh,

cruel both with wrath and fierce anger

Not mentioned

He shall destroy sinners; I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity

Isaiah

24:21-23

No mentioned

The sun ashamed

The moon shall be confounded

And it shall come to pass

in that day;

after many days

Lord of hosts shall reign in

Mount Zion and in

Jerusalem

The Lord shall punish the host of the high ones and the kings of the earth, and they shall be gathered together in the pit

Joel
2:30-3:2
(see Acts2:19

below)

I will show wonders in the heavens

The sun shall be turned into darkness  [4]

…and the moon into blood

before the great and the terrible Day of

the Lord comein those days, and in that time

Not mentioned

I will also gather all nations, and bring them down into the valley of

Jehoshaphat. In mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance

Joel

3:12-16

The stars shall withdraw their shining

The sun shall be darkened

The moon shall be

darkened

The Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision

The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, the children

of Israel

Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.

Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-34

The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken

The sun shall be darkened

The moon shall not give her light

Not mentioned

Lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; immediately after the tribulation of those days. The sign of the son of man in heaven; coming in the clouds with power and great glory

Eagles are gathered at Armageddon/sign of the Son of man coming with power and great glory, tribes mourn, sends his angels w/great sound of trumpet, elect gathered . . . then shell he sit upon the throne of his glory and separate the sheep from the goats in his kingdom.

Acts 2:19-21

(see Joel 2:30 above)

I will show wonders in heaven above

The sun shall be turned into darkness

…and the moon into blood

Before that great and notable Day of the Lord

Not mentioned

Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord

shall be saved

Rev. 6:12-13

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth

The sun became black as sackcloth of hair

And the moon

became as blood

Not mentioned

Not mentioned

Wrath of the Lamb follows (Rev. 6:16-17)

In case the chart didn’t display fully, it can be viewed at: http://pmiministries.com/last_days_signs_sun.htm

[1] For more study, please order our tract: Things that are Different

[2] Light is a reference not only to dispelling darkness- a type of sin- but knowledge and righteousness.

[3] We have these Old Scofield Reference Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $30 + $4 s/h (prices can change) to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

[4] Someone suggested that Joel and Revelation both describe a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. During solar eclipses the sun is obscured by the moon except for wisps of light around the corona as if a sackcloth- dark goat’s hair cloth used in bag making sacks and clothing – was put in front of the sun. Lunar eclipses often cause the moon to not disappear completely but turn shades of orange and fire red.

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