Wednesday, 10 November 2021
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. Acts 2:20
The words of Peter citing Joel, concerning the pouring out of the Spirit, continue now. This verse exactingly corresponds to the Greek translation of Joel 2:31. The NKJV translates the Hebrew exactly the same as this verse in Acts –
“The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
The words now are also similar in content to various other Old Testament prophecies. A few examples are –
“For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.” Isaiah 13:10
“When I put out your light,
I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
And the moon shall not give her light.” Ezekiel 32:7
“‘And it shall come to pass in that day,’ says the Lord God,
‘That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight.’” Amos 8:9
Such words indicate phenomena that occur frequently, meaning the eclipse of the sun and the moon or other atmospheric events that obscure them, such as dust storms. This doesn’t negate the supernatural, however, because the events are prophesied in advance. Further, what is probably the case is that these events will be specifically over the land of Israel. With these thoughts in mind, Peter’s words of this verse begin with, “The sun shall be turned into darkness.”
Here, Luke introduces a word, metastrephó, that signifies to turn about, or corrupt. It is the changing of one thing into another. In Galatians 1:7, Paul uses this word concerning those who “pervert” the gospel. Peter’s words indicate that what is normal in the sky will be unusually changed into a state of darkness.
As noted, this is the obscuring of the sun, probably during an eclipse. As solar eclipses can be precisely predicted as to when they will occur, it is as an advanced warning to those who are living in the tribulation period that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand. These words, however, could also be fulfilled in the covering of the sky with smoke. Such was the case during the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein set fire to the oil fields of Kuwait. The sun was turned to darkness.
Next, Peter says, “And the moon into blood.” Lunar eclipses will produce a sort of copper-colored effect. In this, it almost appears as blood. The term “blood moon” is thus appropriate. This effect can be realized by other such events, such as the smoke of fires as well. If the world is in a global conflict, which will surely be the case in the tribulation period, much of the planet could have smoky skies. Either way, these events will come, as Peter says, “Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
Here is a word found only this once in Scripture, epiphanés. It signifies that which is manifest, illustrious, or glorious. The corresponding noun, epiphaneia, is used to refer to the second coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 as well as verses in both 1 and 2 Timothy and also Titus.
What Joel prophesied is referred to by Jesus in the synoptic gospels, and it is repeated here by Peter. These great events will precede the day of the Lord. The words of Jesus confirm the prophecy –
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31
There is a time coming when the Lord alone will be manifested in a unique and terrifying way. The world will already be in a state of complete turmoil and confusion, but it will find that nothing they could have imagined would prepare them for what will happen when He returns.
Life application: The Spirit was poured out on believers in Acts 2. The same Spirit is found in believers to this day as a seal and a guarantee for the day of redemption of the Lord’s pu rchased possession (Ephesians 1:13, 14). However, Israel as a nation rejected the Lord Jesus. As such, the nation went into an extended time period of punishment according to that set forth in the Law of Moses.
Seven more years under this law are set forth for Israel (see Daniel 9:24-27). That is the tribulation period, and it is coming at some point. Israel the people are back in the land of Israel. They have been prepared for the coming of this event, and they will eventually call out to God through Christ. What began in Acts, will find its final fulfillment. But before this occurs, the church will be taken home to glory.
Although it is not for us to speculate on the timing of these events, it is proper for us to be aware of the state of the world in which we live, and the state of Israel who are key to all of these prophecies. With the coming of modern technology, plandemics, a falling away of the church from sound doctrine, and the reestablishment of Israel, the days are closing in on the time when such events are likely to occur.
Let us be faithful to continue to share the gospel, and to tell others about the goodness of the Lord before it is too late. We should let others know about the great and awesome Lord who came once to save and who will come again to judge. Let us tell the world about JESUS!
Lord God, how exciting it is to see the world heading towards the fulfillment of prophecies made thousands of years ago. Time has marched on, and as it has, the world has slowly molded itself into matching what was written before. It is exciting to live in such times. Give us wisdom in our conduct through them. Amen.