The sky is falling! Darkened suns and falling stars

Pamdemics. Economic collapse. Locust plagues. Murder hornets.

Whenever the world goes through a crisis, it’s natural to wonder if we have reached the end of days. “This is it! We’re all going to die!” We turn to social media and YouTube for answers and encounter wacky end time predictions. Some involve spectacular astronomical events, such as blood moons, mysterious constellations, and, most dramatic of all, a darkening sun.

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matt. 24:29)

Was Jesus talking about the end of the world? Most pastors would say he was.

A 2020 survey by LifeWay Research revealed that 9 out of 10 pastors say current events match those that Jesus said would occur shortly before he returns to Earth. The Son of God said no one knows the day or hour of his return, but some seem to know more than Jesus.

For more than a thousand years conmen have been fleecing the church with dubious end times predictions. So far, every prediction has proven wrong, yet the end times carnival carries on because people never learn.

When Jesus spoke about the sun and moon going dim, was he was NOT talking about a coming day of judgment. He was talking about the destruction of the Jewish temple and the great tribulation that accompanied that terrible event. He was not making an astronomical prediction, but a political one.

How can we be certain?

For three reasons: (1) In Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus when the temple would come down, (2) Jesus said within a generation, and (3) within a generation the temple came down. We should be amazed at the accurate fulfillment of Christ’s words. Instead we’ve hijacked his prophecy to tell stories that frighten children. We’ve got people thinking the solar system is about to collapse. Which is balmy and a bad advertisement for Jesus.

Why did Jesus talk about dimming suns and moons? He was using Old Testament metaphors to paint a picture of what was about to happen to Jerusalem.

Sun and moon

When Isaiah foretold of Babylon’s destruction, he said:

For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will not shed its light. (Isaiah 13:10)

Ezekiel used similar language when he prophesied the downfall of Pharaoh:

When I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. (Ezekiel 32:7)

The sun and stars did not literally go dark when Babylon and Egypt fell over. The prophets used figurative language and so did Jesus when foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem. He was not saying the solar system was going to collapse. He was saying, “The lights are about to go out on Jerusalem and the old religious system.”

There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25–26)

In Luke’s account of the prophecy, Jesus mentions the sun, moon, and stars, but also adds the roaring of the sea and the waves and men fainting with fear. Again, this is figurative language. Jesus was probably referring to the legions of Rome that swept tsunami-like across Galilee and the endless waves of soldiers that crashed upon Judea. You can be sure Jewish people fainted with fear when they saw the four legions of Vespasian wiping out everything in their path.

“Dismay among the nations,” describes the bewildered reaction of Rome’s client states to the slaughter of the Jews. “They killed a million people? What might they Romans do to us?” Or it could be a reference to the misery of the relocated captives. At the end of the siege, the Romans exported 97,000 Jewish prisons. Most of them ended up enslaved or in the circus.

God’s unshakeable kingdom

“The powers of the heavens will be shaken” is a reference to the temple. The Jews believed the temple was God’s heavenly seat on earth. It was the physical foundation of their faith. “It’s going to be shaken,” said Jesus. “These stones are coming down,” and they did.

The shakeable temple can be contrasted with the unshakeable kingdom of heaven (Heb. 12:26–27). One is manmade and frail; the other is God-made and everlasting.

Do you fear a coming apocalypse where the sun turns off and the stars fall from the sky? Fear not. Jesus is describing no such thing in Matthew 24. He’s saying the lights are going out in Jerusalem. When will it happen? Not in the future when he returns, but “immediately after” the tribulation of the Roman siege. In our past.

After the Romans were done killing and burning in the summer of AD70, the sun and moon of Jewish society were darkened, the religious stars had fallen, and the Jewish religion had been thoroughly shaken.

It was the end of their world, not ours.

Some material here comes from AD70 and the End of the World.

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34 Comments on The sky is falling! Darkened suns and falling stars

  1. Good stuff. Thanks!

  2. Matt McMillen // May 14, 2020 at 6:20 am //

    Awesome Paul!

  3. Job Vega // May 14, 2020 at 7:06 am //

    If the sun represents Jesus, the moon represents the Church, and the stars represents the born again believers, how can this be added to your interpretation of this scriptures?
    And I must say, i totally agree with you.

  4. Yes, organized religion is very talented when it comes to terrorizing people with fear! They not only misinterpreted scriptures related to end times, but they have also mistranslated, misinterpreted, and lied their way into the eternal torture business – terrorizing pitiable, sentient beings with the monstrous false doctrine of eternal conscious torment. Jesus was not LESS then Adam! Adam brought condemnation to ALL, Jesus brought justification and life to ALL.

  5. I believe Matthew 24 covers a lot of ground, when they said; “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” These are three different questions, with three different answers, answered simultaneously with both present and future content. As the “end of the world” certainly is not on par with the end of the Temple (which asked first), nor was asking “what shall be the sign of thy coming”, as they remembered how he said unto them, “I go away, (to the Father) and come again unto you.” John 14:28, For hardly did they know, then, what he meant by saying (verse 30); “”they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven..” until they saw him, much later, leaving the very same way; Acts 1:11. And that is not quite yet, though possibly, soon!

  6. I expect that if LifeWay polled pastors 50 years ago, or for that matter, 50 years into the future, the results would be similar. In the dispensationalist community, we’re trained to ‘watch the signs of the times’. I’ve heard everything from the use of UPC codes (the ‘mark of the beast’), to the European Union (as Revelation’s supposed 10-nation confederacy), to an increase in vulture egg counts in the Levant (as proof of a coming Armageddon) touted as ‘signs of the end’. When all is said and done, I think people simply prefer scintillation to the sober and mundane.

  7. Noel Cadelina // May 14, 2020 at 10:33 am //

    The righteous will inherit the earth. The knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth. Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus won’t be loser in history. The last enemy was death and Jesus conquered death 2000 years ago. O death where is your victory! O death where is your sting! The dominion of Christ is progressive. The earth will stand forever beautiful because it is the extension of God’s kingdom!

    • Alta Hickling // May 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm //

      If only people will believe what the bible say! And the great tribulation has been and never will be again!!!

  8. Himanshi // May 14, 2020 at 6:05 pm //

    Jesus said it will be like the days of Noah, when HE returns. People will be eating and drinking and will be getting married as usual. That’s the only sign HE gave regarding His coming back. This means that life will go on as usual and we will be taken by surprise when HE comes back.

  9. Well put n what a great reminder. Jesus spoke of that generation, amen.

  10. Himanshi // May 14, 2020 at 8:34 pm //

    But there is more to this I guess. As _______ teaches about the rapture, the Israeli people coming back to their land after an exile of 19 centuries, preparations for building the 3rd temple, all these Old Testament prophecies regarding Israel are unfolding during these days. I am not really sure what to make of it.

    • Jesus predicted that the temple in Jerusalem would be knocked down and it was. People believe another temple will be built and knocked down because they don’t believe the words of Jesus. Jesus gave numerous signs in connection with a great tribulation and every one was fulfilled in the timeframe he specified. But don’t take my word for it. Examine the evidence and decide for yourself.

  11. Himanshi // May 14, 2020 at 10:23 pm //

    Luke21:24’…Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.’
    The state of Israel was re established in 1948. And The Temple Institute there is preparing, all the required woship things again, for the last 30 years.

    Luke21:27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
    Which redemption draws near?

    Luke21:34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.
    What happened in AD70, came upon the city of Jerusalem, not the whole earth.

    I’ve read all the work you’ve done, in explaining about the Coming of the Lord ,on this site. And I’ve also been listening to Pastor Joseph Prince for a very long time, since it was His ministry that introduced me to Lord Jesus Christ. He very firmly believes in the rapture of the Church and the end time prophecies and teaches on them with great passion. I’m studying the word and trying to figure out what’s the Truth.

    • You are combining several prophecies. The rapture has not happened. Nor has Jesus returned (the Day of the Lord). But the temple was demolished in the manner and timeframe that Jesus predicted.

      I’ve been hearing about 1948 my entire life. First, Jesus was going to return in 1988, because that was within one Biblical generation. When that didn’t happen, he was going to return within the 50 year Jubilee period, i.e., 1998. Then 70 years for some reason, i.e., 2018. It’s an endless source of wonder to me that the people making these erroneous claims never apologize when they are proven wrong again and again.

    • Right, as Matthew in chapter 24 records the same; It is “This generation shall not pass” verse 34, which, “shall see all these things” verse 33, that will also “see the Son of man coming in the clouds”, verse 30. Jesus is speaking of a future time of tribulation, for a future generation, marking them with seeing his coming!

  12. Himanshi // May 15, 2020 at 12:46 am //

    Yes Sir, I agree wholeheartedly with you here. But the way Matthew 24 and Luke 21 is written, it’s hard to come to the conclusion that the prophecies are only about the destruction of Jerusalem. There is more to it. When Jesus says in Luke21:28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near”, He’s talking about a future redemption.

  13. Himanshi // May 15, 2020 at 1:10 am //

    In this post you’ve taken the verse Matthew 24:30 to explain the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven. But it doesn’t fit into the picture when we see the preceding verse 29 of Matthew 24… Jesus says, after the distress of those days people will see Him in the Heaven. There weren’t days of distress when Jesus was lifted up in the clouds.

    • It is difficult to unpack multiple prophecies in a single article, much less a 250 word comment. I encourage you to read my book AD70 and the End of the World. It will help. Short version: Jesus is not saying Jesusn will ascend to heaven in the distress of those days (ie: the fall of Jerusalem). He’s saying after the distress of those days they will see him in heaven and mourn. They will realize they missed the Messiah because his prophecies were all coming true.

    • Isnt the “sign in heaven” that brings all the 12 tribes to morn (Matthew 24:30), not just seeing him in heaven, rather, that “they shall see the Son of man ‘coming’ in the clouds of heaven” , immediately after the tribulation? This “coming” is the same as his “going”, Acts 1:11, according to the angel.

  14. Himanshi // May 15, 2020 at 6:31 am //

    I read the book AD70 today. I see where I missed it in those scriptures. Thank You St.Paul for shedding light on this subject. The only reason I’m up at nights regarding the end times is because of my family. They are not believers yet and I’m praying for them. And your words give me hope that I’m not taken up suddenly, leaving them wondering for the rest of their lives. THANK YOU! I’m eternally grateful.

    • Glad to hear it.

      • Thanks Sir for this blog that has tremendously enriched me in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
        Sir, how can I get these books of yours in Cameroon? Can I pay for AD70 and the end of the world, via Western Union money transfer? I ask this because I think it is the only possible way for me to pay for it as of now. Can it be possible that way?
        Is there any way you can help?
        Thanks again for the knowledge you’re imparting me with in this blog.

      • I think you can still get all my books free here. But be quick.

  15. I guess my comments do not be in context, That is okay, I think they are, and love you. As I have noticed, many a time you have not allowed many posts.

  16. I’m surprised to hear 9 out of 10 pastors agree on anything. Haha We can have a peace concerning the end times, COVID-19, and everything else by resting in God’s love and grace. We can know by His completed work that His desire is not to judge us, but to save us. We can know by His unwavering love for us, He always wants to give us His eternal, victorious life. We can know by His graceful nature, He will work all things together for our good. We can know by the power of His Spirit within us, He’s got this.

  17. TERRY MAUPIN // May 15, 2020 at 2:57 pm //

    Many have bought into doom and gloom predictions about the end of the world because that’s all they’ve ever been taught. And all they can find. Searching the internet for a reasonable explanation of any other interpretation doesn’t find much teaching. It does find snide comments and insults for people who are trying to find out. I wouldn’t have expected that from you; it was a bit disappointing.

  18. Himanshi // May 16, 2020 at 12:26 am //

    Sir,although I understand your point of view firmly now, I do suggest that you watch _____ sermon about the rapture and end time tribulations. I cannot explain the whole thing here but he does have a very unique and convincing outlook on this matter. The main difference in his teaching is this- Matthew 24 only refers to the future and Luke 21 refers to AD70. He says different epistles records different answers to the three questions asked by the disciples.

    • At the start of Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus when the temple was coming down and he told them. Forty years later, his words came true when the temple came down. In Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus other questions as well, about things that have not occurred. Jesus answered those questions too. Because some of the things Jesus spoke about have not happened, some people incorrectly assume everything Jesus said in Matthew 24 has not happened. Their confusion leads to all sorts of speculation. Since the temple was destroyed, they say it will be rebuilt and destroyed again.

      Yes, Luke 21 pertains to AD70. Since it contains some of the same prophecies Jesus uttered in Matthew 24, we can confidently conclude that the latter pertains to AD70 as well. Don’t take my word for it – open your Bible and see for yourself. Compare Luke 21:20-27 with Matthew 24:4-30. Here’s a taste:

      Mat 24:19 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
      Luk 21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

      Mat 24:16 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
      Luk 21:21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

      Same prophecy, same event.

  19. Friends, I am receiving a lot of comments that have nothing to do with this article, so I will be closing this thread. If you would like to comment on the great tribulation, the rapture, or the return of Christ, you will find articles on those topics in the Archives. If you would like to ask about a specific scripture, check out the Scripture Index. If doing these things doesn’t satisfy your quest to learn more about the end times, get off the Internet and take your questions to the Holy Spirit. Thanks.

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