Adobe Stock | Inset: Passion For Truth Ministries / YouTube

Pastor Jim Staley of the Passion for Truth ministry has put out a strong message about the solar eclipse on April 8th. Speaking before the actual event in a YouTube video that has garnered nearly 4 million views, Staley warned that the eclipse was Bible prophecy in action. He stated that God was using the eclipse as more than “just another novelty in the sky,” and that, “He’s warning America that our light will go dark if we do not turn from our wicked ways.” Staley further asserted that solar eclipses had happened over the United States only at pivotal moments of the country’s history, during times of “war and pestilence.” “Not only does the Bible connect eclipses to judgment and End Times events but just take a look at what happened in history when these type of solar events happen,” he said.

He connected the eclipses to the start of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Vietnam War and declared that Monday’s eclipse would show the starting point for the end times prophecy of the Gog and Magog War. According to the Bible, the Gog and Magog War will involve an attack against Israel, where Israel will come out victorious. Staley connected the eclipse with the sixth seal of the book of Revelation, which relates cosmic disturbances that will occur as a sign of the end times. “This solar eclipse could be THE SOLAR ECLIPSE that unleashes one of the seals of Revelation. I wasn’t a believer at first, but after hundreds of hours of research, I am literally in awe of all the ‘coincidences,” says the video description.

Staley’s take on the eclipse was criticized, especially in light of his having spent five years in prison for defrauding elderly victims through an investment scam.  In 2015, he plead guilty to four counts of fraud where he cheated elderly victims out of $570,000. He was ordered to pay back $3.3 million in restitution. Staley has told The Roys Report that he is not guilty of the charges and that he was “targeted” for his Christian views. He has often expressed his innocence since pleading guilty, stating he had feared a longer prison sentence if he had not accepted a plea deal.

Pastor Greg Laurie gave his own opinion on the solar eclipse, pointing to his pretribulation beliefs, the idea that believers in Christ will be raptured or taken into Heaven before the Anti-Christ world leader makes his appearance. “The next event on the prophetic calendar is the Rapture of the church. Then comes the emergence of this world leader, the Antichrist, which inaugurates The Great Tribulation period that lasts seven years,” he wrote for Voices. Regarding the eclipse, he stated cosmic disturbances of the end times are supposed to happen during the tribulation. “Back to the eclipse. . . Yes, it’s true that the sun will not give its light, but that’s talking about the events of the Tribulation period that have not yet started.” He then listed a number of signs that show the impending rapture, including the October 7 attack against Israel by Hamas and the subsequent criticisms Israel has received as it retaliates. He then reminds his audience to agree on one thing: “Look, Jesus is coming. The Rapture of the church in which the Lord comes for His people can happen at any moment. Just be ready for that. It can happen today, tomorrow, or even ten years from now—we don’t know, ‘…no one knows the day or hour. . .” (Matthew 24:36 NLT). So let’s not get off in these little rabbit trails, and major on minors, and miss the big picture. That big picture is this: Jesus is coming again.”

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