Tuesday, April 23, 2024

SELLERS: Is ‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse Another Prophesy Foretelling End of Days?

'Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken...'

(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) From the demonic false idol mounted atop a New York courthouse to the cataclysmic earthquake in Turkey, wildfires in Hawaii and other apocalyptic weather events—and, of course, the recent turmoil in the Holy Land fueled by Hamas’s surprise terror attack on innocent Israeli civilians—2023 surely has been a year for Biblical omens.

On Saturday, some may be ready to add another one to the list as tens of millions in the Americas will have front-row seats for a rare “ring of fire” eclipse of the sun.

The annular solar eclipse will briefly dim the skies over parts of the western U.S. and Central and South America, starting in the North Pacific and entering the U.S. over Oregon around 8 a.m. PDT Saturday. It will culminate in the ring of fire a little over an hour later.

As the moon lines up precisely between Earth and the sun, it will blot out all but the sun’s outer rim. A bright, blazing border will appear around the moon for as much as five minutes, wowing skygazers along a narrow path stretching from Oregon to Brazil.

The celestial showstopper will yield a partial eclipse across the rest of the Western Hemisphere. NASA and others will provide a livestream of the eclipse.

It’s a prelude to the total solar eclipse that will sweep across Mexico, the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada, in six months. Unlike Saturday, when the moon is too far from Earth to completely cover the sun from our perspective, the moon will be at the perfect distance on April 8, 2024.

That’s assuming, of course, that the End of Days doesn’t arrive first.

Although, scientifically speaking, the moon’s intersection with the sun may be an annually recurring phenomenon, recent global events will surely have some wondering. Even the last major eclipse, in 2017, provoked such discussions among theologians .

“Perhaps a modern historian would not have mentioned it, judging that an astronomical event like an eclipse is independent of the activities of man, unless it preceded some important occasion such as a battle and so influenced a decision such as whether or not to go to war,” wrote the Associates for Biblical Research.

“In the ancient world, however, an eclipse was regarded as an omen or portent whenever it happened,” added ABR. “For Josephus, the eclipse in the night after Herod put to death the two protesters was a sign of displeasure from God.”

In 2021, a “ring of fire” eclipse similarly passed over parts of Canada, leading Paul Begley, a Christian evangelist and online personality from West Lafayette, Indiana, to share his interpretation of the prophecies, according to the U.K. Express.

“It is the Rapture? Some think it could be the Rapture,” Begeley said on his YouTube channel. “… I don’t think so, but definitely a prophetic sign, definitely.”

He offered several passages of scripture, including one from the book of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 29: “Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.”

According to the late Pastor Adrian Rogers, the same chapter offers several other signs to look out for:

  • The Destruction of the Temple

Although the Jewish temple that Jesus made reference to was destroyed 40 years later, in 70 A.D., there has been much discussion recently among Jews in Israel about rebuilding a third Temple. Clearly, such an action would have major implications when it came to contemporary prophesizing.

One of the barriers standing in the way of the rebuilding project has been President Joe Biden, who allegedly gave some of the artifacts intended for the temple to Palestinians, according to Jim Barfield, head of the Copper Scroll Project.

  • Antichrists

“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

In modern times, we have come to associate the Antichrist with a single individual who will usher in the coming of the apocalypse rather than the “many” that Christ himself made reference to, according to Matthew.

That makes this prophecy more difficult to interpret. Some have assumed it was former President Barack Obama due to his messianic complex.

Others have cross-referenced the passage with other Biblical books, such as Daniel in the Old Testament, and the book of Revelations to interpret the Antichrist as some sort of beast or monster.

Of course, loosely speaking, the hubris of many so-called scientists to assume their knowledge makes them greater than God—particularly as artificial intelligence fast approaches the point of surpassing human knowledge—could qualify them for this category. And we all know what the mark of the beast would likely be.

  • Wars and Rumors of Wars

Enough said about this one. Are we on the brink of World War III as we speak? Surprisingly, Jesus’s words seem to offer some small measure of comfort: “See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

Unfortunately, what he means is that it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

  • Natural Disasters

It hardly seems fair to count natural disasters as the fulfillment of prophesy any more than it does to consider them evidence of climate change. You don’t need Sister Cleo to tell you that there will be some sort of unusual weather anomaly in some part of the globe.

Still, Jesus does specifically mention “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

A pestilence, as you may recall, is some sort of epidemic disease.

Famine is a scarcity of food for any number of reasons, including war, natural disasters, crop failure, widespread poverty, an economic catastrophe or government policies. It seems highly plausible that we already hang precariously close to facing one of those given the food shortages that seem to be occuring with more and more frequency under normal circumstances.

I mentioned earlier the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria earlier this year, which saw an eerie cloud looming overhead. But, of course, who’s to say there are not even bigger ones that lay in store, accompanied by global volcanoes, tsunamis, etc.?

As Jesus said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

  • Persecution of Christians

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”

This is already happening in certain parts of the world, and following Friday’s Islamic “Day of Jihad” it isn’t hard to imagine it spreading throughout other parts of the Western world very quickly.

  • Apostasy

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

The mass abandonment of religion and morals has been a growing trend that speaks quite directly to the current state of America and the world at large as cultural Marxism and ideas like it begin to take root and seek to toss out traditional values.

  • False Prophets

This one may seem a nuanced distinction from the Antichrists mentioned earlier, but unlike those claiming to be the actual second coming, this could refer to any sort of hypocritical leaders who misrepresent themselves, claiming to represent truth and morals when, in fact, they are pursuing their own self interest. Take your pick.

  • Depravity

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Did Jesus really predict George Soros, the “Defund the Police” movement and the two-tiered justice system 2,000 years before they happened? It sure seems like it.

What Comes Next?

“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled,” said Jesus.

For those keeping score at home, pretty much all of the boxes have been checked off. So is the Judgement Day eminent?

The short answer is, it is fruitless to try and pin a date to it, according to the gospel of Peter: “[T]he day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

In the meantime, it would be a good idea to catch up on the rest of the book of Matthew, chapter 14, because from verse 15 on, things get a bit tricky. And Jesus also doesn’t make it easy either, telling followers that they need to go “stand in the holy place” which they will understand only if they’ve read the book of Daniel.

And woe be unto those who decide to just take somebody else’s word for it—don’t forget about the false prophets and Antichrists still floating around everywhere.

“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not,” Jesus warns.For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers. The Associated Press contributed to this report

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