“…Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleths righteousness..”

We have just seen previously what is meant by the shaken of the heavens, so what do we mean by “THE DARKENING OF THE HEAVEN”?

It is simply the failure, of all sources of life and power that man relied upon instead of God. As a matter of fact, in the Bible language, it is often used to represent the removal of prosperous favourable conditions and their replacement by adverse, gloomy prospects and conditions.

So it is truly God’s time of judgment that cannot be pinned down to one particular year or period, but rather as God deems fit when sin and rebellion must have reached its height in a particular age. So reading the Bok of Isaiah for example, we have e the language used against the enemies of Judah


“… 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 earth (all realms of life) shall shake. But the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel” Joel 3:12-16. Compare Joel 2:1,2,10, 30-31, Jer 4:23-28, against Judah, Ezk 32:7-8, 12 against Egypt. Isa 13:1,10-11,13 against Babylon.


Therefore, we can see that, the “Darkening of the heaven” is a symbolic language of the removal of favourable seasons and the source of life as a result of God’s judgment. So, when Peter on the day of Pentecost quoted the prophecy of Joel to the people “… saying save yourselves from this untoward generation” Acts 2:40. See Verses 1,16-21. Those who did not hearken to the voice in that generation saw a time of the “darkening of the heavens” in the hands of the Romans, as they completely ravaged Jerusalem less than 40 years later. Fulfilling the words of Jesus in Math 24: 29-31, in reference to the Old Covenant, with all its rituals-elementary principles, source of life that they held unto so dear. With that order out of the way, His disciples – “clouds of heavens” – not for judgment this time , will go forth into all the earth (world) with a new message (of the kingdom) “… send His angels with a great sound of the trumpet” Compare Rev. 6:12-17.


The shaken is similar to the darkening of the heavens and star in language, here it is. “SUN &MOON DARKENED or TURNED TO BLOOD”


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:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Again we read in Math. 24:29 we are told “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:”

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.”


So how do we interpret this, we quickly see it from the Old Testament pattern as to the use of this phrase, knowing that both Mathew and Peter borrowed this language to describe the situations therein from the prophets.


For instance in Isa. 13: 9 we tread, “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” kjv.


This passage, speaks of the destruction of the land of Babylon. Chapter 13 of the Book of Isaiah is all about the “burdens” of various kingdoms that Isaiah was prophesying against. The “day of the Lord”, were actual war event, and in this case, was when Babylon was conquered by the Medes. In verse 17, the Lord says “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.”]


Note that when the Lord said I will punish the “world” for its evil – that was speaking of the Babylonian “world.” not the entire universe.


The imagery of the STARS WILL NOT SHOW THEIR LIGHT, the SUN DARKENED, and MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, simply reflects the great tribulations, distress and desolation of the Babylonians when this terrible thing happened to them. It was as if the “sun went down on their nation,” as we might say it today. The stars and physical universe did not go dark because the Medo-Persian empire uprooted the Babylonian one.


This language is figurative just like in Isa. 5:30 “And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea. And if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.” This was the Assyrian attack and destruction of Israel in 721 B.C.


This DARKNESS was obviously not literal. As the verse indicates, it was the pall of sorrow and despair of Israel as they suffered God’s wrath (v. 25) and were taken into captivity.


A similar thing is found in Ezek. 30:18; 32:7-8 “At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.” And when I shall put thee [Pharaoh] out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.”

Here, we see a prophecy concerning Egypt. That nation would be destroyed by God, using the Babylonians (Ezek. 30:10) and this took place in 572 B.C.

This destruction would cause the DARKNESS of distress and desolation to the conquered peoples of Egypt.


Similarly we find this same language by prophet AMOS “ Am 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day” (KJV)


Amos prophesied against Israel, and this concerned the destruction and captivity of Israel in 721 B.C. by the Assyrians (see 6:14, and 5:27).


The physical sun did not literally go down at noon and darken the earth. These were symbolic terms signifying the desolation and sorrow of the Israelites due to their calamity.


You can see the same picture in Zeph. 1:14-15 14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,”


The symbolic nature of these phrases is very clear in this passage which speaks of the impending defeat of the nation of Judah. The DARKNESS and GLOOM, CLOUDS and BLACKNESS, were distress, anguish, trouble, and ruin!

Therefore when we read of..


Math. 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:”

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.”


It was the destruction and distress that was coming to the Jews through the Roman soldiers. Whereas Mathew was written in AD 61, Acts was written in AD 62-63 that is some eight years before the fall of Jerusalem. So this was a description of the sorrows and pains that the Jews were going to face and to pass through, before and after the destruction of the city and Temple, the very life wire of the Jews and their worship.


So God’s desire is to remove man’s strongholds of confidence, so that, He can totally be our God; that is the shaken of the heavens and the earth and the darkening of the stars and moon etc. There is nothing physical in these languages as men have intended us to believe with their doctrine of the last days.

To be continued…

(c) 2015 – Dr. David O. Ogaga