We need your help to share God's truths. Please support the ministry work of Reasons for Hope*Jesus

20140923darksun

To understand the time of fulfillment of this prophesy, we must back up and read the entire passage that Peter quoted and the context regarding to whom and when Peter was speaking.  Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost.  His words were preceded by the Lord’s ascension to glory:

Acts 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Before ascending to the throne in Heaven, Jesus prepared His followers with words of delight and duty.  He told them of the Power they were about to receive and how they should use that Power in service to Him.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Following Jesus’ ascension we read of the people receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:1-4  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Peter’s Sermon

The passage goes on to tell of doubters and mockers who were present and in verse 14 Peter begins to answer them in what is often referred to as Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.  While speaking, Peter quoted the prophet Joel:

Acts 2:14-16  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

Acts 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2:19  And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Acts 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Acts 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Fulfilled or Yet to Be Fulfilled?

The question raised is whether the sun being turned to darkness was fulfilled when Jesus was on the cross and there was darkness:

Matthew 27:45  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth 

The answer to the question is…yes…and no.  There certainly was a darkness that day, but was it the darkness of which God spoke about through the prophet Joel?

Double Reference

In hermeneutics (the study of the Bible) there is principle of interpretation called the Law of Double Reference.  We see it throughout the Old Testament where a prophecy has had a near or partial fulfillment, but not a complete fulfillment.  God is faithful to do what He has said He would do (Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:24) and He is complete and precise to fulfill prophecies exactly as He has spoken them.  We see this in the many already fulfilled prophesies and promises in the Bible, so we can trust that the prophesies that are yet to  be completely fulfilled will be done so with the same precision.

In studying prophecy, we must also remember that in the Jewish mind the understanding of prophecy came through seeing patterns.  This is unlike the Greek mind in which prophesy was understood by knowledge or wisdom.  God revealed to His people signs and wonders and gave them types and patterns to unfold His purpose and plan before their eyes and in their understanding.  The understanding of prophesy through pattern is seen by the many examples that point to the coming of Israel’s promised Messiah.  We read of a clearly prescribed pattern for the Tabernacle/Temple and the implements  of worship, and for the prescribed rituals of Levitical service for both worship and sacrifice.  Through type and pattern, these things “spoke of” (or prophesied of) a coming Messiah who would redeem them.  When Jesus came He fulfilled the prophetic patterns, all of which had been given to help the Jews recognize Him as their Messiah.  

Sun Turned to Darkness

In answer to the question about the sun turned to darkness, it’s reasonable to see the darkness on the day of crucifixion as a partial, or near, fulfillment of the prophesy of Joel, but it was not a complete fulfillment.  It was a whisper of a far fulfillment that is yet to come. At that time all of which the prophet Joel spoke of will be completely fulfilled.

The words in Acts 2:17 point to this still being future.   “In the last days” can mean anytime from the cross until the second coming of Jesus.  Peter proclaimed in his sermon on the day of Pentecost that all of the things the prophet Joel spoke would be fulfilled “before that great and notable day of the Lord come.”  (Acts 2:20) “The great and notable day of the Lord” is a clear reference to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Things Yet To Be

Read again the words and focus on the words in bold…things that are yet to take place:

Acts 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2:19  And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Acts 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Acts 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Most notable are the phrases, “the sun shall be turned into darkness,”  “The moon into blood” and “that great and notable day of the Lord come.”  Cross references indicate that these things are linked to the end time and await a future complete fulfillment.  I provide the cross references for your further study.

“the sun shall be turned into darkness:”  Revelation 6:12

Sunshine represents wellness and light.  The darkening of the sun represents calamity— notably the kind of calamities mentioned in the previous verse: “blood” [like blood shed in war], and “fire” [like rioting and burning of cities in warfare], and “vapour of smoke” [like the smoke of fire rising to the heavens].

“the moon into blood:”  Revelation 6:12

The “moon into blood” could be an indication of a lunar eclipse, the way the color the moon appears when the atmosphere is filled with “vapor of smoke” or it could mean a miracle of the moon being turned into blood.  These words also refer back to verse 20—this will be a “wonder in the heavens above.” 

Both of these events were spoken of by Jesus when He said, 

Matthew 24:29  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:

While there have been eclipses that have darkened the sun and moon, the other things spoken of in these verses have not taken place.  Plus the verses in question are each followed by a very clear prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:20…before that great and notable day of the Lord come

Matthew 24:30  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.

In Conclusion

All of this is fun to dig into, and we should do our best to understand what God is revealing to us about the end times and the Lord’s return.  However, this is never to be our focus or our mission. 

There’s a great deal of talk these days about blood moons and how they can be predictive of the timing of the end.  The conclusions seem a bit contrived, and they have resulted in some date setting, which is not a good thing. The appointed times in the Bible follow a Jewish calendar, which is a lunar calendar, so there will be a new moon on the first of the month and a full moon at mid-month.  With Jewish feast days set accordingly, the concurrence of a lunar eclipse and a feast day has happened before, and it will happen again.

I do not believe that the blood moon of the end times will be a lunar eclipse, anymore than I believe that a solar eclipse took place on the day of crucifixion. The prophet Joel said that the moon would be turned “into blood.”   I believe God can, and will do that.  To say that a lunar eclipse will occur reminds me of a friend who excitedly told me of the discovery of a bush in Israel that burns and yet is not consumed.  That proves the burning bush, he reasoned.  I disagree.  It denies the reality of the “fire” that Moses saw.  He saw the glory of God, a burning fire in the midst of a bush.  It was a miracle!

Caution

Should we study prophesy, both that which has been fulfilled and that which is yet to be fulfilled?  Absolutely…but do so with caution.  Do not let it take you captive.  We will not be able to completely understand unfulfilled prophesies until we see them through the “rear view mirror.”  It’s easy for us to look at the prophesies that pointed to Christ and wonder why the first century Jews did not recognize their Messiah.  We, too, are missing much in understanding future prophesy.  One day all  of God’s prophesies will be fulfilled but until that time, remember that we are not told to be the “watchman on the wall” or the sons of Issachar who watch the heavens and the stars.  As Christians our focus is to be looking up—watching for our Blessed Hope the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His church (Titus 2:13).  Let us keep our eyes on Him and allow His Holy Spirit to direct our actions in loving service for the Lord and in loving service to others.  The Lord doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbors do!

Go serve your King!

<*}}}><

*******

Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

Thank you to all who contributed in 2020. Your generosity is a blessing and encouragement to us.  We did not meet expenses in 2020 and still need your help to continue our global outreach in 2021.  Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, we hope you will support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and. . .

Please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or more. A donation of any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.

CLICK TO DONATE
to Reasons for Hope*Jesus(a 501c3 Ministry)
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

*******

***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

 

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2020

  1.  The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  3. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  4. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings? 
  5. How are the Shepherd’s Rod and Staff Different?
  6. What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
  7. What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
  8. Is Leonard Cohen’s “HALLELUJAH” a Christian Song?
  9. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM? Psalm 22
  10. Is my TATTOO a sin?

This is not a Got Questions? article. But it's so popular it ranked among the top pages viewed:

More Popular Got Questions & Articles

Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Where did OT Saints go at death? ABRAHAM'S BOSOM
If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Re-Baptized?
What Does it Mean to Be A CHILD OF GOD?
Which OT Book Did JESUS QUOTE Most Often?
How Did the Wise Men Know This Was the Messiah and KNOW TO FOLLOW HIS STAR?
What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
How long did JOB SUFFER?
Three Heavens? Where is the THIRD HEAVEN?
What are the “I Will ” STATEMENTS of Satan, God, and Jesus?
SIN, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION? How are they different?
Should we call HIM JESUS? Or Yahweh? Or Yeshua?
Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER?
JESUS WEPT. Why? 
Is There a Remez (HIDDEN MESSAGE ) in Revelation 7? Why is Dan Missing?
Is It a Sin to Drink ALCOHOL?
Is SUICIDE an Unforgivable Sin?

Something ALL Christians must know:  IVDARR

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace
  2. Christian Version of Leonard Cohen's HALLELUJAH
  3. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  4. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  5. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  6. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share
  9. TASTE AND SEE that the Lord is Good ~ Psalm 34
  10. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas

*****************

We need your help to share God's truths. Please support the ministry work of Reasons for Hope*Jesus
Reasons for Hope* Jesus

SubscribeNow!

Yes, send me answers to interesting and challenging questions about Jesus and the Bible.  Help me get equipped and be encouraged so I am empowered to know, live, and share my faith.  <*}}}><

 

Get equipped with knowledge!

Be encouraged in hope!

Live empowered with love! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!