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What the April 8 Eclipse Really Meant

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What the April 8 Eclipse Really Meant

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For months leading up to April 8, talk of the eclipse captured America’s attention. People from far-flung areas of the country traveled hundreds or even thousands of miles to the path of totality, wanting to witness the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. The eclipse crossed the nation, forming a ribbon from southwest Texas to Maine, with The Restored Church of God’s World Headquarters in Wadsworth, Ohio, in its direct path.

I encouraged staff to gather in our Grand Garden to watch a true marvel of God’s Creation. My wife and I, with most Headquarters employees, put on our glasses and looked up at the sky as the eclipse progressed. We marveled at how much confusion surrounded the significance of the eclipse, with self-professed prophecy gurus, astrologers, doomsday watchers and simple partygoers all weighing in. Some even believed this was the front edge of the “heavenly signs,” citing Revelation 6:12 where the “sun became black as sackcloth.”

What so many fail to consider is that these signs are called the “sixth seal”—meaning five seals would have been opened prior. They are described earlier in the same chapter: (1) the white horse of false religion, (2) the red horse of war, (3) the black horse of famine, (4) the pale horse of death and hell. These first four collectively take the lives of a “fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:8). (5) The fifth seal involves the martyrdom of faithful saints.

Ask: Was any of this visible prior to the events of April 8? And could any serious—or honest—religionist have asserted otherwise?

What then was this eclipse? Did it carry any real significance? Yes!

Approximately 3,000 years ago, King David marveled at the heavens. He was staggered when he “consider[ed] Your [God’s] heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained” (Psa. 8:3). Drawing a comparison to what he saw above, he then asked, “What is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You visit him?” (vs. 4).

It reminds me of President Theodore Roosevelt’s walks with a friend, when he would look up and recite: “That is the spiral galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of one hundred million galaxies. It is 750,000 light-years away. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” He would then add: “Now I think we are small enough! Let’s go to bed.” He, too, understood how small man is in the grand scheme of the universe.

As we watched the moon increasingly obscure the sun, I explained to our staff a fact that cannot be attributed to evolution: The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, but also 400 times farther away, allowing for a precise, total eclipse. The Encyclopedia Britannica calls this a “fun coincidence.” But the odds of such precision cannot be attributed to mere chance. To do so is to mock God (Psa. 14:1). If the moon were even a little bigger, the stunning “corona”—the light from the sun emanating around the rim of the moon during totality—would not have been visible. Similarly, if the moon were a little smaller, the ring of light around the moon would have been too large, blinding the naked eye. Instead, a loving Creator engineered these astral bodies in such a way that once in 350 years on average (in any specific location) human beings could witness what could only be described as breathtaking.

Randy T. Garstka/The Real Truth

You undoubtedly saw images in the media. Our team of videographers and photographers also captured the event, and you can appreciate one of those images here. However, understand that print and video cannot do the phenomenon justice. So stunning was the spectacle that it can easily be deemed proof of an Almighty Creator. This is the significance of what occurred on April 8!

As mankind unknowingly awaits the Kingdom of God that so few understand, realize that God has long planned a new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1). The beauty throughout the world today, so clearly designed by an all-wise God, will pale in comparison to what is ahead.

The next time you “consider the heavens”—and it does not have to be during an eclipse—reflect on the Being whose awesome capabilities make life possible!

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