The other day I was involved in a discussion with one of my readers, and I realized that the subject is important enough that I need to pass on the essential truths to all of my readers.
While discussing Joel 2, and whether it is a reference to the Gog and Magog war, or not, I was distracted by the statements regarding the darkening of the sun and moon.
I remember going through these passages while writing The Spirit of Prophecy, and it seems that the three references to “the sun darkened, and the moon turning to blood” are very significant for the timing of the End Times wars in the bible.
Sometimes we tend to focus on major events and neglect little words in the middle of a passage. Most people, at first glance, would probably think that these three references are repeats of the same event. Sometimes God does this type of thing, to add emphasis.
I don’t believe this is the case with these three references. Let’s take a look at them, and then we can discuss where they belong in the prophetic chronology;
10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: 11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Joel 2:10-11
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:31
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. Joel 3:14-15
The first thing I would note is that these three references appear to be out of order. The first one in Joel 2:10-11 is actually prophesying conditions that will exist during the day of the Lord. This is backed up by the prophet Amos;
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. Amos 5:18
Now notice that the next reference specifies that this condition will occur BEFORE the day of the Lord. This is not the same event as that of Joel 2:10-11, and Amos 5:18-20. The event spoken of here is a Church-age event, and Christians will still be here on this planet to witness it!
Notice the next passage in Joel 3. Here we have another event which most scholars would identify as Armageddon. Though I said that I thought it occurs before the Tribulation, I’m afraid I have to concur. As you read the context you will see that this is a war that involves the whole world. It appears that the author starts with the Tribulation period, then goes back to a time shortly before the Tribulation begins, and then in chapter 3 goes forward again to the Tribulation itself.
Notice what he says shortly before verse 31;
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. Joel 2:28-30
Notice the word “afterward”. He is saying that after this attack on Israel, these other signs will occur. During the Church Age the Lord has not dealt with mankind in visions and dreams, and though many false prophets exist, publicizing their visions and dreams, the Lord’s prophets today stick with the Scriptures. The “afterward” here is actually the Tribulation period! This attack, of Gog and Magog, will occur in the waning years of the Church Age, and before the rapture takes place!
I don’t think that any of these three passages in Joel denotes the Psalm 83 war, but we can date that conflict by the Ezekiel 38-39 account of Gog and Magog. It will occur several years prior, and will actually set the stage for the Gog/Magog war.
The peace spoken of in the early parts of Ezekiel 38 will begin in the aftermath of the Psalm 83 war. At that time the terrorists will lay down their weapons, if they aren’t already dead, and will cooperate with Israel, and they all will prosper for several years.
Gog/Magog is not imminent. The Psalm 83 war is not imminent either, though we can see the Arabs working furiously to form that confederacy. Thus, it is my contention that once the Iranian nuclear threat is dealt with, that the next event on the prophetic calendar is the Psalm 83 war.