“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so.” Genesis 1:14-15.
If we were standing on the earth at this time at nighttime, it would be eerily dark because up to this time the light of the sun, moon and stars could not penetrate the canopy enveloping the earth from far above.
However as we stand there God calls forth, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens…” and in a moment we are surrounded by light from the moon and the stars. Suddenly the night is less unsettling.
According to one expositor, the words used by God have the idea of releasing the lights of space so they could be seen; there is nothing here about them being created.
As seen from earlier posts the first heaven or atmosphere in which the birds fly was made when God separated the waters which were above from the waters which were below on the second day.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament [atmosphere] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.” Genesis 1:6-7.
The atmosphere lies between the earth and the canopy of water which was raised to a great height over the earth.
God tells us that these lights had five functions; to divide the day from the night, they are for signs, seasons, for days and years. The division of day from night is a no brainer; we experience that on a daily basis.
The signs on the other hand are a different question. Do we have signs today? Well, God seems to think so because that is one reason He put the lights up there.
But, before we go any further, Astrology is not one of the methods of reading the signs; God gives us warning against it.
When God prophesied judgment against Babylon He also judged the practitioners of the occult for which Babylon was famous. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Medes and the Persians invaded Babylon on October 13, 539 B.C.
“Stand now [Babylon] with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth – perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you will prevail. You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you [Babylon]. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!” Isaiah 47:12-14.
The idea here is that Babylon is about to be invaded, so go to your astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators and perhaps they will be able to tell you how to escape your fate. But, behold, they shall not be able to save themselves, much less Babylon.
In fact they shall be burned up like stubble. Now stubble is worthless for fire, you can neither cook with it nor warm yourself, so they will be burned up so thoroughly that there will not be so much as a coal left of them or an ember or even a fire to warm oneself by, these occultists will be totally destroyed; so fierce will be God’s judgment of them.
The word translated astrologers in Isaiah 47:12-14 earlier is used only once in the Bible, and it can be translated “Those who divide the heavens”; for augury, or taking a horoscope. In other words astrology is fortune telling, divination.
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [be burned as an offering to an idol], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.” Deuteronomy 18:10-14.
God has a reason for telling us to stay away from the occult; spiritist, fortune tellers, astrologists, and witchcraft, to name a few. The occult is the realm of Satan and is run and empowered by demons who are lying spirits. Their goal and intent is to deceive folks, ruin their lives, and lead them straight to hell.
It is true that some of these things appear to be beneficial; the psychic who leads the police to murder victims seems like a wonderful service for their families; and it is.
But every con has a hook, and when the hook is set, the victim is reeled in.
In this case whoever is impressed by the phenomenon of someone being able to see into another world; and so the victim becomes allured by something capable of destroying their very own soul.
But you will notice that these psychics never seem to be able to see who the killer is, even though they might describe the crime perfectly.
This is because the demons know everything about the crime including the perpetrator, and they feed that information to their mouthpiece, the psychic, but God will not allow them to give 100% correct predictions lest their deception should become overly convincing.
In fact the accuracy rate among all of these occultists is perhaps 5 to 8%, leaving us with a rate of up to 95% inaccuracies.
God, on the other hand told the Israelites that if someone who says they represent Him was not 100% accurate, they were to be put to death. This is how to tell a false prophet from God’s prophets.
Nevertheless, even at 5 to 8% accuracy people are deceived and led astray by these spirits who blind them to the truth of Christ, ruining their lives until eventually they are hardened and die in their sins.
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
It is not as though God just abandoned these people, His Spirit goes around the world convicting everyone of the truth, showing them the error of these occult things, but it is up to them to choose whom they will follow.
There are a great many households in this world that have a Bible in them; the truth is in there, yet few people take the time to read the word of God. God expects us all to use whatever intelligence He gave us to seek Him out.
“And He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” Acts 17:26-29.
You will do well to avoid the occult at all times, no matter how strong you feel spiritually.
“Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird…” Proverbs 1:17.
If not astrology then, what are signs?
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’” Matthew 2:1-2.
“When they had heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” Matthew 2:9-10.
In spite of the name, wise men, these magi were not astrologers because they were not casting a horoscope by dividing up the heavens and consulting the signs of the Zodiac; rather they found a star, a phenomenon which moved, and they followed it to Jerusalem.
These were godly men who were in some manner shown by God that Messiah was to be born; whether by a dream or in study of the Old Testament (which was complete by circa 456 to 400 B.C.) they were warned of an earth changing event and followed the star to the Christ.
Jesus spoke of signs in the heavens.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:25-27.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Mathew 24:29 see also Mark 13:24-26.
“Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible [tyrants]. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Isaiah 13:9-12.
“And I will show 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 coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.” Joel 2:30-31 see also Acts 2:17-21.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision [the final battle of Armageddon]. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.” Joel 3:14-15.
“Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened; and a third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.” Revelation 8:12.
Revelation 8:12 above occurs within the first three and half years of the seven years of tribulation, see “Revelation Part 19”, posted here on 3-6-17 and 3-10-17.
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” Revelation 6:12-14.
These events actually take place at the end of the tribulation.
These are signs and they take place during the tribulation period of seven years.
There are three major events prophesied to happen before the tribulation; they are the rapture of the church, the Russian invasion of Israel, and the signing of a seven year treaty with Antichrist which begins the tribulation.
If you have someone you have wanted to share Christ with so they can be saved from hell and avoid the horrific times to come, pray for them and for an opportunity to give them the gospel.
“…let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so.” Genesis 1:14b-15.
I hope that we have covered signs properly and that it can be seen that they do exist because God’s word says they do. If someone tells you that they do not exist anymore, they will need to prove this to you from plain Scripture.
Seasons are set according to the earth’s location and position as it orbits the sun, the movement of the constellations indicates seasons as well as the moon’s 28 day cycles; designed and placed by God so we can plan sowing and harvest, and gauge the passing of years and days. Ships of old were guided by the stars and the sun’s location in the sky.
God made these things and placed them in the skies so men could plant, harvest, rejoice in His goodness and travel about the marvelous world that He created, both so men could spread the knowledge of the one true God, explore, and trade with other nations.
“God gave us things to use and people to love. Instead we love things and use people.” author unknown.
Someday when Christ returns to rule we will see things as they ought to be and we will be able to explore God’s wondrous world as He intended for us to begin with.
“Then 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. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on 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.” Genesis 1:16-18.
According to the Amplified Old Testament; published by Zondervan, the first words in verse 16 should be, “And God made the two great lights…” not, “Then God…”
The reason for this is that the word “made” in this verse does not mean that He made them at that time. It means that He made them when He created everything else.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.
“So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” Genesis 1:19.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, who makes the clouds His chariot, who walks on the wings of the wind, who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever, You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. They went up over the mountains; they went down into the valleys, to the place which You founded for them. You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth.” Psalm 104:1-9.
“He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down. You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. When the sun arises, they gather together and lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.” Psalm 104:19-23.
Lights in the Heavens, Genesis 1:14-19 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 5-1-14, updated on 8-25-21.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.