Sun, Moon, and Stars

Sun, Moon, and Stars

On the third day in Genesis 1:14-18 (NIV) God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.N47

Let’s first understand what was decreed:

  • Lights to separate day from night.
  • Lights to serve as signs to mark sacred times.
  • Lights to serve as signs to mark sacred days.
  • Lights to serve as signs to mark sacred years.
  • Lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.

What’s interesting in the decree that God issued about the lights is that the last thing God wanted them to do was to give light on the earth.

The first decree was to separate day from night. In Genesis 1:3 (NIV) God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.”N48

If God already had light that separated light from darkness what was the need for God to create light again?

The answer to that is in the last words of Genesis 1:3 where God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”

What you will notice is that in this decree God permitted lights to exists to further separate light which God called “day,” from the darkness He called “night.” What is also being said is that God is talking about objects that can produce light not light itself.

God wanted these lights to serve as signs to mark sacred times, days and years. We see an example of one of those signs in Luke 21:25 when Jesus says, “There will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;”M272

After God had decreed all this, God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. The greater light is called the sun and the lesser light is called the moon.

The greater light and the lesser light will also be used as signs. Just look at what Jesus says in Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’”M273

What’s interesting is that God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. You might be asking why did God need to give light on the earth when light already existed?

The answer to this is in what God said in Genesis 1:14 (NIV), let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night.N49

LET THERE BE LIGHTS IN THE SKY TO SEPARATE THE DAY FROM THE NIGHT

Did you notice what God said?

He said, “let there be lights to separate the day from the night.” This is important because in Genesis 1:3-5 (NIV), God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.”

In Genesis 1:3-5, God first said let there be light and He called the light “Day.” Later in Genesis 1:14-18, He separated the “Day” from the darkness which He called “night” by creating lights in the vault of the sky.

Now, you must be asking yourself why did God need to go a step further and separate the “Day” or “light” from “night” or “darkness” with other lights like the sun, moon and stars?

The answer is in what God did next after the decree was issued. God did something that was fascinating after He separated the light of the day, from the darkness of night with two great lights.

God made two great lights—the greater to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.

Did you notice what God did?

God made two great lights to govern the day and night.

GOD MADE TWO GREAT LIGHTS TO GOVERN THE DAY AND NIGHT

The word that jumps out at me is “govern” because the meaning of the word govern according to Merriam-Webster is, to exercise continuous sovereign authority over something.MW33

So when God made the greater light, the sun, it was to exercise continuous sovereign authority over the day and the moon to exercise continuous sovereign authority over the night.

If you’re like me, you are probably saying that can’t be right! That’s impossible! I need to read that again!

And after reading that again, after going through the stage of disbelief and after asking why would God do that?

We have to go back to the Bible to find an answer.

To summarize, He made the greater light to exercise continuous sovereign authority over the “day” which is the “light” that God spoke about to separate darkness.

Did you notice that in all fairness; He created a lesser light to exercise continuous sovereign authority over the “night” which is “darkness”?

Two referees or judges were appointed by God with authority over the “day” and “night”. There’s so much that needs to be said, but for now let us look back again at the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’”M274

What that translates to is, that immediately after the distress of those days, the sun’s authority will be diminished and the moon will not be able to exercise its authority over the night. It seemed that God set up some sort of heavenly government and gave each jurisdiction over the day and the other the night.

What’s interesting is that Jesus says something to that effect, where He says, after the tribulation the power of the heavens will be shaken. Jesus alludes to sort of a heavenly government shake-up.

The word government is formed from the word “govern” and if we look up the word government from Merriam-Webster, the word means the officials comprising the governing body of a political unit and constituting the organization as an active agency, and in simpler terms the people making up a governing body.MW34

The government agencies of heaven will be shaken, the officials of the heavenly bodies that make up the government are the sun, moon and stars.

Why would they be a shaking up in the heavenly government?

Probably because of what’s taking place on earth. They have been given authority to govern what should and shouldn’t be taking place on earth during the light of the day and the darkness of the night.

None the less the establishment of the sun, moon, and stars as governing authorities created by God caused some people to worship them which was contrary to God’s laws. We can see that in Deuteronomy 17:2-5.

If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you, man or woman, who has acted wickedly in the sight of the Lord your God, by transgressing His covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, and if it is told to you, and you have heard of it, and investigated diligently, and it is true, and the matter is certain that such a detestable thing has happened in Israel, then you must bring forth that man or that woman who has committed that wicked thing to your gates, that very man or woman, and stone them with stones until they die.M275

That sentiment is repeated in Deuteronomy 4:19, and beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, you are led astray and worship them, and serve them, that which the Lord your God has allotted to all nations under the whole heaven.M276

What I like about this statement in Deuteronomy is that it gives a clue as to where the sun, moon and stars are in relation to the vault that God made.

We are warned not to worship things that the Lord our God has allotted to all nations under the whole heaven.

The sun, moon, and stars are under heaven. If I had to illustrate it, based on what we know so far, it would look something like this.

It’s hard to believe that the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, but there are words in Isaiah 60:19 that talk about such a day.

The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you, but the Lord shall be an everlasting light to you and your God for your glory.M277

We have to understand that the sun, moon, and stars that God created are a governing body. God has full authority over them. There is a verse in Joshua 10:12-14 where we see an example of the sun and the moon obeying the Lord.

On the day the Lord gave over the Amorites to the children of Israel, Joshua spoke to the Lord and said in full view of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”

So the sun stood still, and the moon stood in place until the people brought vengeance on their enemies.

Is this not written in the book of Jashar?

The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and did not set for about a full day. There has not been a day like this either before or after it, when the Lord obeyed a man, for the Lord waged war for Israel.M278

What’s interesting about the story is that the sun and the moon stood still, the two governing bodies created by God stood still because the Lord waged war for Israel.

You might be wondering what will need to take place in Israel for the Lord to wage war again and what will happen to the sun and the moon that will be greater than them standing still at the time of Joshua?

The answer to all these questions can be found in Matthew 24. Let’s answer each question one at a time.

What will need to take place in Israel for the Lord to wage war again?

The answer to that is in Matthew 24:15-28.

“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. Let him who is in the field not return to take his clothes. Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse in those days! Pray that your escape will not be in the winter or on the Sabbath. For then will be great tribulation, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.

“Unless those days were shortened, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Listen, I have told you beforehand.

“So, if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert,’ do not go there; or, ‘Look, He is in the private chambers,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.M279

Now that we know what needs to take place for the Lord to wage war, let us look at the question of what will happen to the sun and the moon that will be greater than them standing still?

The answer to that we have already talked about earlier in Matthew 24:29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’M280

What follows after the shaking of the heavenly governing bodies is talked about in Matthew 24:30-31.

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.M281

Fantastic times are ahead of us. If you’re wondering why Jesus listened to Joshua to stop the sun and the moon, it wasn’t only because of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8 which is. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.M282 But, also because the Lord was fighting for Israel.

In Job 31:26-28 (NIV) we see a particular behavior can be judged as sin in relation to the heavenly bodies.

If I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor, so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.N50

In the Bible the sun, moon, and stars play an important role in judgment during the tribulation. They also play a critical role during pre-tribulation. Prior to the actual tribulation they will do what God decreed them to do, which is written about in Genesis 1:14 (NIV) when God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.N51

The lights in the sky will serve as signs to mark sacred times, the return of the Son of Man would be a sacred time that they would mark. We already know what they will be doing just before that event takes place.

If you’re probably wondering why did God have the sun, moon and stars to act as signs, it was to give us a warning about the danger that is coming upon the earth.

For example, if you had a water pipe that was leaking water. The leaking water would be a sign to you that if you did not stop the water or prepare for when it will burst and cause damage in the house you would be foolish. If you did not pay attention to the warning sign, the fault is yours.

Proverbs 22:3 (NIV) has some advice on this and words to live by. The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.N52

If you’re asking what is the danger that is coming that we need to take refuge against. There’s another translation of Proverbs 22:3 that provides some insight and it says, a prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.M283

If the prudent see danger and can foresee the evil and take refuge the question we need to be asking ourselves is, are we prudent?

THE PRUDENT SEE DANGER AND CAN FORESEE THE EVIL AND TAKE REFUGE

Did we answer yes because we think we are, or because we fit the description of what prudent means?

Merriam-Webster has a little bit of history regarding the description and meaning of the word prudent. Prudent arrived in Middle English around the 14th century and traces back, by way of Middle French, to the Latin verb providēre, meaning “to see ahead, foresee, provide (for).” They also have the word prudent with the following meaning, having or showing careful good judgment.MW35

If the prudent are able to see ahead, foresee and provide by showing careful good judgment, would we still be prudent?

THE PRUDENT ARE ABLE TO FORESEE AND PROVIDE

Are we able to see what’s ahead of us and foresee what is upon us?

Are we able to provide for those around us when danger approaches?

To answer that we should first understand the meaning of the word danger.

In Merriam-Webster, the word danger means, the possibility that you will be hurt or killed as well as the possibility that something unpleasant or bad will happen.MW36

Now to qualify as prudent in Proverbs 22:3 we have to answer yes to the following question.

Are we able to see ahead, foresee the possibility that something unpleasant or bad will happen, something that has the possibility to cause death and provide for those around us by showing careful good judgment?

The answer to that may be a no, and that’s okay because at least now we know where we stand and can avoid being the “simple” that keep going and pay the penalty as talked about in Proverbs 22:3 (NIV).

If we are not prudent, we can be wise. We can be the wise that Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:24-25, “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock.M284

A wise person puts the words into practice, therefore, become someone who is able to see ahead, to see that something unpleasant and evil will happen and foresee the possibility that something has the possibility to cause death and provide for those around us by showing careful good judgment.

The question you might be asking yourself is, what are the prudent able to foresee that they are able to prepare and take refuge?

Signs!

The prudent are able to foresee the lights in the vault of the sky that separates the day from the night, that serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.

The prudent are not like the Pharisees and Sadducees who would only believe if Jesus showed them a sign. We read about that in Matthew 16:1-4.

The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, testing Him, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and overcast.’ O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” So He left them and departed.M285

Did you notice what Jesus says?

A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign. It will be the generation that is looking for a single sign that will be caught unaware. For they are the simple that keeps going and pay the penalty because they did not see a sign that was big enough. They wanted something that was simple and easy to understand.

The generation that fails to recognize that the reason why Jesus said, “none will be given it except the sign of Jonah,” is because Jesus said, “a wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign.”

God did not send one sign but instead in Genesis 1:14 (NIV) God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs.”N53

Signs that is what God is doing. Not one by many, in a specific pattern. You can see this spoken about in Matthew 16:1-3.

The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, testing Him, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and overcast.’ O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.M286

Did you notice that the Pharisees and Sadducees could not interpret the signs?

It was difficult for them to understand exactly when the times would be because of the multiple signs. They wanted just one sign, and that’s also why Jesus told them in Matthew 16:4, a wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.M287

In all fairness God and Jesus did not leave the wicked and adulterous generation in the dark, so to speak. He said no single sign shall be given to them except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

I think the biggest and most important thing to understand about the sun, moon, and stars is that they will serve as signs that indicate that we are getting closer to reaching the end.

We are not alone in wanting to know what the signs are. Even when His disciples asked for a sign that would signal Jesus’s return, He gave them many. Each acting as a checkpoint, to illustrate how close or far we would be from the end. These signs between checkpoints allow us the time and motivation to prepare and be ready.

The signs that Jesus speaks about take place in Matthew 24:3-31 (NIV), as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives. The disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

“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. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.M288

Although this might seem scary and impossible to some, it will be welcomed and beautiful for others. If we noticed that passage had more than just one sign, I’m going to do my best and try to list all the signs that were talked about in Matthew 24:3-31 (NIV):

  1. “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
  2. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
  3. Nation will rise against nation,
  4. and kingdom against kingdom.
  5. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
  6. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me.
  7. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
  8. and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
  9. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
  10. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
  11. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
  12. Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
  13. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
  14. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.
  15. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
  16. “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened,
  17. and the moon will not give its light;
  18. the stars will fall from the sky,
  19. and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
  20. “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.

After all these 20 signs, all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Just like the militaries around the world, that prepares based on signs they see around them. Jesus has given us signs so that we would not be caught unaware and we would be prepared for His coming.

The United States Armed Forces uses a term called DEFCON which indicates the defense readiness condition (DEFCON) that armed forces need to be in. This allows them to defend quicker in the attempt of an attack and they will not be caught unaware. They will be prepared to mobilize and defend because they are waiting and ready. At attack might not come for some time, but they have to be ready because things can escalate at a moment’s notice.

Likewise, we are in God’s army, we are soldiers of Jesus Christ. But the soldiers of Jesus do not fight but stand and endure hard times and suffering. We should always remember these words from 2 Timothy 2:3-7.

Endure hard times as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No soldier on active duty entangles himself with civilian affairs, that he may please the enlisting officer. Anyone who competes as an athlete is not rewarded without competing legally. The farmer who labors should be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I am saying, and may the Lord grant you understanding in all things.M289

It would be wise to learn what another translation says in 2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV).  Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.N54

FOR THE SOLDIERS OF JESUS DO NOT FIGHT, BUT ENDURE HARD TIMES AND SUFFERING

There are three things every good soldier of Christ needs to know:

  1. Who the enemy is!
  2. How to defend and fight!
  3. What weapons we can use!

First and most important is we should be able to recognize the enemy. If we do not know who we are fighting how can we be successful?

To know who the enemy is we need to look at Ephesians 6:12. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.M290

Our fight is not against one another, it is not against our brothers or sisters in flesh and blood, our battle is against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil.

Second, and critical to winning the fight is knowing how to fight. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to, put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.M291

We are asked to fight by standing against what the devil throws at us. The reason we need to stand is because we are fighting that which cannot be seen. Principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness and spiritual forces of evil.

How do we fight something we can’t see?

We stand and defend with the full armor of God so that every part of our body is covered and we will be able to stand. The reason we are asked to put on the full armor of God is because we can’t see where the enemy is attacking us.

The armor of God will protect us from the attacks of the enemy, an enemy we cannot see which are the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness and spiritual forces of evil.

We are to fight by not attacking the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness and spiritual forces of evil. We are to fight by standing firm and with the full armor of God.

As long as we are able to stand on a strong foundation, we will be like Peter, which Jesus talks about in Matthew 16:18. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.M292

That is what Jesus was telling us in Matthew 7:24-27. We have to be wise and not foolish.

“Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded a rock. And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it fell. And its fall was great.”M293

Do we not know that in 1 Peter 2:5 it says, you also, as living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house?M294

We are being built as living stones into a house that did not fall when the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on it. For we are founded on a rock which is laid upon the foundation spoken about it 1 Corinthians 3:11. For no one can lay another foundation than that which was laid, which is Jesus Christ.M295

Jesus Christ laid the foundation and Peter became the rock which Jesus used to build His church. In 1 Peter 2:5 it also says, you also, as living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.M296

We are also being built into a spiritual house, to offer spiritual sacrifices so that as houses we can stand against the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness and spiritual forces of evil.

Every spiritual house needs appropriate defenses to stand strong against the fiery arrows of the evil one. Armor is the third most critical thing every good soldier needs.

No soldier can stand firm and strong in a battle without armor. The armor we need is spoken about in Ephesians 6:13-18 (NIV).

Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.N55

Now that we know these three things let’s understand the readiness levels we need to be in. Jesus used an analogy of a woman giving birth to explain what will come upon the earth so we can prepare and remain ready. In the phases of labor from the website What to Expect, we learn that there are three levels of labor: early, active and transitional labor.R19

Similar to DEFCON we need to have SOCARL (Soldier of Christ Armor Readiness Level). In the following table, I used Jesus’s analogy to describe each readiness level with a birthing process along with the armor required.

It is important to understand that with each level the frequency of attacks may decrease but the opposite is going to happen in regards to the intensity and duration.

If we take the readiness level along with the clue that Jesus gave us, where He compared what’s coming upon the earth and mankind with that of a woman giving birth, we begin to see exactly what Jesus was talking about.

The signs will now have a logical grouping depending on which level or stage of birth we are in. With that being said, I would like to point out that we can go from one stage to another in seconds, minutes, hours, days or even years.

Another important thing to point out is that we do not have to finish one level to move on to the next. We could be in more than one level as we transition from one to the next. It goes without saying that the closer we get to the highest level of SOCARL the more difficult it will become.

SOCARL is ordered from level 5 to 1, where 5 is the lowest and 1 is the highest.

In the physical world is that it starts out as a battle before things begin to escalate in a war.

Likewise, we start at SOCARL 5 and with each battle we get closer to the war against God’s people that are just standing firm. As we get closer to SOCARL 1 it becomes very similar to a world war, where everyone is being attacked and war has broken out everywhere.

The next page has a table that will help us visually comprehend SOCARL 5 to SOCARL 1 along with description of the birthing process and the minimum armor we need to have on at each level.

In this table, the information is presented in a visual form to help comprehend the attacks we will have to stand up against.

The good news is that we can remain in SOCARL 5 and SOCARL 4 for a very long time. It may seem like a long stretched out battle, and the reason this is done is to wear out the saints as spoken about in Daniel 7:25.

He shall speak words against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and plan to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.M297

When we think of the word saints, we may think that it applies to people past or others as we are not saints. This is due to the popularization of one meaning of the word over the others. Merriam-Webster defines the word saint as follows, a person who is officially recognized by the Christian church as being very holy because of the way he or she lived, a person who is very good, kind, or patient, one officially recognized especially through canonization as preeminent for holiness, one of the spirits of the departed in heaven, one eminent for piety or virtue, one of God’s chosen and usually Christian people, a member of any of various Christian bodies.MW37

Anybody could be a saint, including us. We don’t have to be dead to be a saint. To be recognized as a saint, we just need to be a person who is very good, kind, or patient, or we can be one of God’s chosen and therefore also be recognized as a saint. But most importantly we can be a member of any Christian body (organization) and be a saint.

These are the modern definitions of the meaning of the word saint, but the word saint, has its roots in Middle English, from Anglo-French seint, saint, from Late Latin sanctus, from Latin, sacred, from past participle of sancire to make sacred.MW37

Anyone that is made sacred is a saint. To understand the significance of what is being said let us look at the meaning of the word sacred.

ANYONE THAT IS MADE SACRED IS A SAINT

The meaning of the word sacred will explain not only the meaning of the word saints but also why the evil one shall wear out the saints of the Most High.

Merriam-Webster defines the word sacred as: very holy, highly valued and important, deserving great respect, dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity, devoted exclusively to one service or use.MW38

So what this all means is, a saint of the Most High is set apart for the service of God and devoted exclusively to one service that God has called the saint to do.

Now the question we may be asking ourselves is what has God called us to do?

The answer to that is in 1 Peter 2:9.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession so that you may declare the goodness of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.M298

Isn’t it amazing how powerful that verse is now?

All we need is to understand the meaning behind just one word “saint.” Understanding what is said, with the power behind the word will help us get ready and prepare us as we progress to higher readiness levels.

The battles of SOCARL 5 & SOCARL 4 are designed to wear out the saints.

SOCARL 3 is a different readiness level. At this level, the battles of SOCARL 5 & SOCARL 4 have moved into a war status. This is an official stage and declaration of war, which is spoken about in Revelation 13:7.

It was granted to him to wage war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe and tongue and nation.M299

SOCARL 3 will then transition to SOCARL 2 as we get closer to the second coming of Jesus Christ. There is no turning back at this point. We have passed the point of no return.

At SOCARL 1 we should have our full armor on if not already and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Let’s now take a look at each SOCARL (Soldier of Christ Armor Readiness Level) to prepare ourselves.

SOCARL 5 – Birth Pains

Merriam-Webster defines birth pains like birth pangs and the meaning of the word is one of the regularly recurrent pains that are characteristic of childbirth.MW39

At this level, we should be expecting regular recurrent pain points from various situations. The duration and intensity of each attack will be vary, and although may seem great and unbearable at the time, it is nothing to what will be taking place as we progress to (birth) the second coming of Jesus.

Below is a grouping of events we can expect to see at SOCARL 5.

  1. “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
  2. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
  3. Nation will rise against nation,
  4. and kingdom against kingdom.
  5. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

SOCARL 4 – Early Labor

Again similar to pregnancy, at this level, we should be expecting to experience mild contractions (i.e. attacks) that last longer as compared to SOCARL 5.

It’s okay to have the following feelings, anticipation, uncertainty, anxiety or even fear.R19

SOCARL 4 is the amplification of SOCARL 5, we do not need to finish level 5 to begin this stage. At this level, things will be more pronounced and there will be little doubt that labor has started.

It is important to point out that early labor can be delayed, through pray as written about in Philippians 4:6 (NIV). Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.N56

With prayer and petition, we can delay or slow down early labor so that in the event we are still not ready we can get there. Sort of like finishing the nursery before the baby arrives while the wife is waiting for it to progress to the next stage in the labor process.

SOCARL 5 & SOCARL 4 are the only levels where delay can take place so it would be wise to pray and take advantage of this delay to better prepare ourselves for what is about to come.

Below is a grouping of events we can expect to see at SOCARL 4.

  1. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
  2. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
  3. and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
  4. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
  5. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

SOCARL 3 – Active Labor

SOCARL 3 is the active labor stage. Attacks will grow more concentrated and increasingly more intense (in other words, painful). The attacks will be stronger and longer.

Below is a grouping of events we can expect to see at SOCARL 3.

  1. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
  2. Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
  3. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
  4. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.
  5. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

SOCARL 2 – Transitional Labor

At SOCARL 2 expect the intensity of attacks to pick up suddenly. They may become unyielding and very intense which will last for most of the attack. Some people may experience multiple severe attacks.

It may seem as though you barely get a chance to take a breather before the next attack begins.

This last stage of labor is going to be physically demanding and draining. You may feel exhausted, frustrated, impatient, disoriented, restless or overwhelmed.R19

Below is a grouping of events we can expect to see at SOCARL 2.

  1. “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened,
  2. and the moon will not give its light;
  3. the stars will fall from the sky,
  4. and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

 SOCARL 1 – Second Coming

SOCARL 1 is the event that everyone will be waiting for because the end is in sight.

This is the event we can expect to see at SOCARL 1.

  1. “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.

What I would like to point out, for those that will be around at this time, the first thing that will be noticed in the sky will be the sign of the Son of Man. The end is not yet.

THE END IS NOT YET!

After this sign, all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

At SOCARL 1 we can expect that there will not be many standing. Jesus talks about this time in Luke 13:22-30.

Then He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Someone said to Him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”

He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate. For many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. Once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’

“Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’

“But He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know you, or where you come from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’

“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and from the west and from the north and from the south and will sit down to dine in the kingdom of God. Listen, there are the last who will be first, and the first who will be last.”M300