The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017: What it Means & How to Prepare
Appointed Time Ministries believes 2017’s Total Solar Eclipse has significant prophetic meaning.
There are several notable points with this eclipse that make it unique.
In this post we want to talk about those points so you can prepare accordingly.
This amazing phenomenon known as the solar eclipse is something that fascinates us. And truly, it is phenomenal. It’s an amazing thing to behold. The manner in which God created the heavens and their heavenly bodies is with such meticulous precision that when perfectly aligned, the earth’s moon completely covers the sun, blocking all its rays. Solar eclipses happen frequently throughout the ages, yet at varying degrees, meaning not all of them are total eclipses. The total solar eclipse we are about to witness on Monday, August 21st, 2017 is unique on several points. Do those points align with prophetic biblical relevance? Absolutely, especially when the surrounding context is carefully considered.
Most of us measure time by the Gregorian calendar. Not many of us consider the true biblical (Hebrew) calendar, which is a lunar calendar, being based upon the cycles of the moon. The Hebrew calendar is the one by which the times and seasons, as recorded in the Bible, are understood and referenced. It’s important to understand, therefore, that when prophetic events happen in the earth, and especially with regard to Israel, this calendar is the one we need to reference as well.
Let’s begin by understanding God’s creative purpose. When God created the heavens and the earth He said:
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: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 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. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Throughout the Bible the sun, moon, and stars are frequently referenced with regard to signs and wonders; times and seasons. They speak to prophetic events, creating a graphic timeline for God’s people and our world history since the creation account. We see the sun, moon and stars in Joseph’s prophetic dreams, in Israel’s historical events, in bible prophecy, in Messiah’s birth, in Messiah’s teaching, and in Revelation. And there are many more examples throughout the Bible and modern history where God has spoken through these heavenly bodies.
His manner of speaking has not changed. In fact, we can know according to biblical prophecy that as the end approaches God will actually speak more frequently through the heavenly bodies, which He says will be shaken.
So is the total solar eclipse of 2017 speaking to us? Yes, I believe it is. But what is it saying? The first sign is the timing of this event, which I believe is one of its most significant of any.
The total solar eclipse happens on Monday, August 21st, 2017 which is the eve of the Hebrew month, Elul.
The Hebrew month of Elul begins officially at sundown on Monday, August 21st, 2017.
So what is the significance of the Hebrew month of Elul? For those of you who do not know about this month, it’s a very special month on God’s calendar for His people. The month of Elul is known as the month of repentance, or “teshuvah” in Hebrew.
Teshuvah, in Hebrew, denotes a time of solemnity which is set apart for repentance or returning to God. Elul is spent in careful introspection while seeking God in fasting and prayer as the Jewish people prepare for the new year on Rosh HaShanah. Ten days later Yom Kippur is celebrated, which is the Day of Atonement, whereby judgment is officially decreed. There are forty days between this solar eclipse — whereby the month of Elul begins — to Yom Kippur. The number forty, in biblical terms, represents a time of testing and trial. In the number forty we see Israel’s wilderness experience, Jesus’ temptation in the desert, the days and nights of Noah’s flood, Moses’ wandering in the desert to escape Pharaoh, as well as his time on Mount Sinai with the Lord, wherein the people were tested and built the golden calf.
Forty is not the kindest number. But within that given time frame the LORD extends an allotted time period for repentance and reckoning for the purpose of restoration.
There is much to be said about the sun going dark on the eve of the month of Elul. We see darkness being displayed in North America while the nation of Israel is celebrating the eve of Elul at sundown. This is not coincidence, which leads us to our next point.
This specific total solar eclipse occurs in an arc over North America — specifically the United States. There are a total of 14 states over which the total eclipse will occur, and hundreds of cities besides. However, the most noteworthy is that this eclipse begins in Salem, Oregon and ends in Salem, South Carolina.
What does Salem represent? Salem is the city where the High Priest and King of Salem, Melchisedec, originated. He is the one who blessed Abraham. He is also the one by whom Jesus Christ has his priestly order. Christ’s priesthood is not after the order of Aaron or Levi according to the Law of Moses. Christ’s priesthood preceded the Law. His priesthood is according to the order of Melchisedec (see Hebrews 5:6; 6:20, and 7:1-21).
Who is Melchisedec? He is the King of Salem (see Genesis 14:18). He is the High Priest of God Most High who came seeking to bless Abraham, making covenant with him.
What does Salem mean? Salem is root to the Hebrew word “Shalom” which means “peace”, which is why Jerusalem ends with “salem”. Jersualem is the “City of Peace”. This is why we are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It is the city of Yeshua our Messiah — who is our King and High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Right now America is in a place of contention for the peace of Jerusalem. There is a lot that could be politically spoken here. It can best be summarized in saying that for the last eight years, prior to our current administration, America, for the first time in history, betrayed Israel politically, financially, socially and economically. We treated her as an enemy — not an ally. This administration has turned that table. But there are promises made to Israel that are yet to be fulfilled. We need to make good on our promises to her as our closest ally in the Middle East. God’s judgment, I believe, is being decreed over America. We are hinging upon a time that is very strategic for Israel. This year Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary as a nation, and Jerusalem celebrates its 50th anniversary as their capitol city. That number 50 represents a Jubilee year for Israel.
This month of Elul Israel will prepare to welcome the year 5778. We are currently in the Hebrew year 5777, which is fast drawing to a close.
The sun is going dark. The sun will be going down in Israel. What will America do? How will we respond? The nation who blesses Israel will be blessed. The nation who curses Israel will be cursed. God has been very patient and long-suffering. But He is making it clear — our time for repentance is drawing to a close. We are on the cusp, hinging upon a time when Israel will be ushered into a new season with momentous celebrations.
The Lord’s eye is upon Jerusalem, Israel.
Where will America stand?
I believe the reason this nation has been spared is due to the many citizens who support Israel despite the grievances shown toward her. That afforded us God’s long-suffering and His grace. There are many citizens of America who demonstrate solidarity toward the nation of Israel. And if you want to support Israel, we can help you do that. The support of Israel from America has been a grass-roots effort for the last eight years despite the last administration’s obvious contempt for God’s chosen people. That is a “bottom up” approach. We now have an administration who is willing to bless Israel, redeeming our covenant with her as an ally. That is a “top down” approach. Therefore, we must fulfill our obligations to her as a nation.
What does a solar eclipse mean? Let’s go first to the scriptures…
The first prophecy we find is the one spoken of in Joel 2, which Peter describes as being fulfilled in Acts 2:14-21 when the Lord was crucified, wherein a solar eclipse occurred in Luke 23:45. Joel’s prophecy is revealed here:
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 blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 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, (Joel 2:30-32, KJV).
The next prophecy in Joel is one that I believe could speak to us today:
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: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 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. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim,” (Joel 3:12-18, KJV).
Christ also speaks Himself of a solar eclipse that coincides with His return:
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: 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. 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.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
God’s timetable hinges upon Israel. They are the axis upon which the world turns. Throughout the ages, the fig tree has always been a prophetic representation of the nation of Israel in the scriptures. Knowing the times and seasons of the LORD’s return will demand that we understand the times and seasons of Israel. They coincide directly and are intimately related. To ignore Israel is to sleep deeply and welcome delusion.
We have just witnessed a succession of six blood moons — all which fell upon the biblical feasts of Passover and Sukkot. Passover is the first of the Lord’s feasts, which commemorates Israel’s Exodus, and which our Messiah fulfilled in His sacrifice. Sukkot is the last of the Lord’s feasts, which is fulfilled in Revelation 21-22, when we finally tabernacle with the LORD forever in the New Jerusalem. Four were well-known and documented. The last two of those six were a surprise, and occurred in the year 2016. All of these were during the Shemitah and Jubilee years 5775-5777 of covenant rest for God’s people and Israel.
We are now preparing for 5778. It’s a new season. And the sun is going being darkened. The moon has turned to blood. When we He come? No one knows but His Father. What we do know is that our redemption draws nigh, and we have an obligation to be prepared.
A solar eclipse occured at Christ’s crucifixion.
A solar eclipse will occur at His return.
This one speaks to America specifically, and our current position with Israel.
In every instance a solar eclipse indicates God’s judgment.
Responding to God’s Sign
God is very gracious in giving us signs. He doesn’t have to speak to us from the heavens, but He does. He’s giving us time to prepare.
What will transpire in 5778? We can only speculate. But we can know with certainty that God is speaking loudly. He’s moving the heavens in a rapid succession that give us hallmark biblical signs that point directly to the end of this age or “generation” as Christ calls it. They speak directly to His return.
How do we prepare?
We need to first awaken. We need to prepare by returning to the LORD with all our hearts, seeking Him in humility and reverence. We need to practice “teshuvah”. We need to do some serious reckoning and deep repentance in fasting and prayer. This season of Elul grants us that opportunity, which is a very gracious gift from God. If you are responding to this eclipse by making it an event of entertainment, you will have missed it.
When the sun goes dark you can know this:
The eve of Elul will be upon us as it’s ushered in at sundown in Israel.
All the while, America will be under an arc of God’s judgment.
He has warned us. We have forty days before Yom Kippur in 5778. This is God’s calendar. He is giving us time. It’s time to repent and be restored unto God, to Israel, and to each other.
Cheers & Shalom,
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