Media & Adventist Benefits- The Dark Day of May 19, 1780

For over 100 years Seventh-day Adventists (and many other students of Bible prophecy) have recognized that The Dark Day of May 19, 1780 was a fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:29. “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.’”

Now wired.com has recognized that this day had great significance as well. See article at http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/05/dayintech_0519?npu=1&mbid=yhp.

Some people have felt that if the Dark Day was caused by forest fires, and because it was so long ago, it would no longer be the sign Jesus referred to in Matthew 24 (and Mark 13:24). But they overlook these important points-

 

  1. Most of the other signs Jesus referred to in Matthew 24 can have a more shallow physical or sociological explanation as well (wars, love growing cold, famines, diseases, etc.). The cause of a sign doesn’t keep it from being a sign of Jesus’ return. 
  2. The timing of the Dark Day is highly significant. According to Jesus it would come “after the tribulation of those days,” refering to the persecution of the Dark Ages. In 1780 Bibles were more readily available and Bible prophecies were now gaining great recognition.
  3. The location of the Dark Day is highly significant. A new nation, built on democracy and religious liberty, was being born and all the world was watching. When The Dark Day took place druing the United States War for Independence it become international news.
  4. The Dark Day and FAlling of the Stars after a period of widespread religious persecution seem to be markers for the other signs of Matthew 24. After 1780 (and the Falling of the stars in 1833) all the other signs of Jesus’ return began to dramatically increase in frequency and intensity. (wars, famines, earthquakes, loss of love toward others, etc.). This is probably why Jesus refers to the signs being as “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8), which any mother can tell you, increase dramatically in frequency and intensity as the baby is about to be delivered! 
  5. The Dark Day took place 208 years ago this year. If Jesus came back in the next 50 years, and if the earth would then be about 6050 years old, this would be mean that the Dark Day would have taken place in the last 5% of earth’s history. For those who don’t like a short earth history, and prefer, let’s say, 10,000 years or longer, then the sign of the Dark Day would have taken place in the last 2% or less of earth’s history!! It seems like it happened so long ago because we are used to instant everything today. But it is truly recent history.

 

Though it likely has no prophetic significance, it is interesting that the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980, which darkened the northwestern US, covering it in ash, was only one day early from being the 200thanniversary of the Dark Day, when the northeastern  US was darkened, perhaps by ash.

Related Articles–

Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier about The Dark Day titled “Abraham Davenport”

14 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, Media & Adventist Benefits, Second Coming

13 comments
j-ann
j-ann

God works in a way that we humans can't do.. We sometimes can't understand His ways but He assure us that everything will soon fade and change but His words will surely remain and can be trusted, so all we have to do is to trust.. that's what we called faith..

Paul Hadden
Paul Hadden

The dark day was one of three. The earthquake of lisbon november 1 1755 and the the star shower of november 1833. They all followed each other like Christ had predicted. Experts said that the lisbon earthquake was a 8.7: not as large as a 9 but it shook the 4 million square miles.

ROBERT AMPONSAH
ROBERT AMPONSAH

I think wejust have to be ready for the second coming of jesus chrirst as noah prepared during the flooding.

Blue
Blue

Having lived in Malaysia and flown for MAS (Malaysia Airlines) during the great Borneo fires of 1997 and later in 2002. I would have to entirely disagree that the darkness was caused by a massive fire. Could a massive fire be present? Yes, was it caused by a massive fire, absolutely not! Of this I am certain for the following reasons: Borneo Fire: 1. Approximately 50% of the world's 3rd largest island was covered with smoke by the fire in 1997 and at least 50% in 2002. Yet you could clearly tell that it was from a fire and not a supernatural event. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Borneo_fires_and_smoke%2C_2002.jpg http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2002/2000GB001357.shtml 2. The days in Borneo were consistently smokey yellowy dark, not dark where you need a candlelight; yellowish, not blood red. The moon was a deep yellow as well and could be seen; it did not disappear. 3. There was ash everywhere and it tore up many aircraft engines. 4. It took months for the smoke to clear and for the effect of the fires to be smothered by rain. The 'cloud of smoke' did not last 24 hours as it did in the New England states where it seemed to waft in and then waft out, rather the cloud of smoke lingered for months in Borneo, about 3 if memory serves me right. It started in October and lasted until the rains in December. Even with a strong sea breeze blowing the smoke inland, it still lasted longer than 24 hours and the smell of smoke burned deep in my lungs. 5. The acrid burn of smoke in the lungs is what is conclusive. Even months after it cleared up, you would still run into pockets of the smell of acrid smoke, faint, but still distinguishable. There is no way that people could function in a cloud of smoke caused by a forest on fire where it was so thick you had to use candles. George Washington noted the darkness in his diary, yet if this was caused by a fire, the smell and the burning of his lungs would have been about the only thing he'd have commented on. Likewise, with thick smoke, Abraham Davenport could not have made his famous remark of "The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty." There is no way he could have functioned if it was a darkness caused by fires for the smoke would have burned his lungs and he'd be complaining about it instead of commenting on the darkness. Why did not Washington et all consistently include the smoke or it's effect on their ability to breath in all of their observations? Because smoke was not present throughout. Trust me, it burns your lungs, your eyes water, your throat is raw and you have an overpowering desire to get out of it. Even then, with such a strong overpowering smoke, I still had more than 600 meters visibility so I could take-off in my jet. They closed the runway 2 minutes after my takeoff and it was closed for 2 weeks because of a lack of visibility, but it was the burning of my lungs that I remember most! I physically flew throughout the island during the entire period, never seeing land except prior to touchdown and not once did I see any form of darkness that was not accompanied by an intense burning of the lungs. Based on personal experience, there is no way this was caused by a massive fire, rather it was a supernatural event!

Michael Bender
Michael Bender

God's time line is far more extensive then ours. The bible tells us a thousand years to us is but a day to God. It was 1780 years from the time of Jesus' resurrection to the event in question here. God was content to wait that long, why should we expect things to move faster then His will? This is the only recorded event of its kind until Mt. St. Helens so why diminish its possible significance? The moon DID appear red that evening. Sure it was somewhat localized when you consider the size of planet earth but it fit the description. Did the bible tell us it would always appear to be supernatural? Down through the ages God has used physical, earthly means to accomplish his goals. He caused it to rain in Noahs' day. He caused huge clouds of locusts to invade Egypt. Then thousands of frogs. There was no mention of heavenly angels seen putting them into position. There fore there should be no reason for anyone to expect an angel to appear and cause the sky to darken and paint the moon red. He caused a donkey to speak to Saul. No angel just an ordinary donkey. I don't mean to imply this ABSOLUTELY has to be the event of prophecy, I merely contend we should not totally discount it. The bible mentions people who will be watching for His return. I don't think God is obligated to send out huge warning signs. The bible has all the info we need, and the gospel IS getting out to all the world. So those who want to know Gods' will can do so. Those who aren't interested will not notice the warning signs. The frequency of earthquakes is increasing as are the eruptions of volcanoes. Those might be likened to the birth pains a woman experiences. As the time to be delivered nears, the pains are closer together. The "pains" of planet earth are growing closer together every day. Consider that the world's population, today numbering some 5.5 billion people, may approach 8 billion people by 2020, an increase of nearly 100 million a year. Over 93 percent of this growth will take place in the developing countries. Two regions in particular merit attention. South Asia and Africa, where large percentages of the poor live today and where future food production is of concern, face substantial increases in their populations. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh plus the continent of Africa will add another 1.5 billion people to the population roles. The world population is rapidly approaching a level that cannot be properly fed. There will be food shortages, many will starve. There could be another world war over food and it could be very ugly, far worse than the other world wars. If God leaves man to his own devices, he will most likely pollute the earth to the point it is no longer inhabitable. Something must happen soon. Either there must be a massive reduction in the number of people, or the second coming of Jesus. Time is running short.

David J Shedlock
David J Shedlock

The only way to know if this was the fulfillment of prophecy or not would be to have God tell us. It is pure speculation to combine events in the way that you have. I believe that God's word is inspired and infallible. I believe all of God's prophecies come true. But I refuse to use the wisdom of men to interpret the word of God. The citing of the Mt St Helen's eruption is telling. The only reason it seems less prophetic is because we live closer to the source and have better communication. While all judgements of God (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) ought to remind us of the final judgement, there is no indication this phenomenon has any Biblical significance.

romie
romie

the return of the son of man has already gone , u guys r late. selassie i is the fulfillment of the prophecy. he sit on the throne that yashua speaks of , he was born july 23 1892. crown king of kings lord of lords, conquering lions ,elect of himself

Susan Clark
Susan Clark

Matthew speaks of the time of trouble. He says the events will all happen at once in what may be hours before Jesus comes. Read the entire chapter.

John
John

Does it really matter how God got the dark day? It was dark enough from what I understand.

Andrew Blackstock
Andrew Blackstock

I stand firm on the passage of scripture of matthew 24:29 that this is truly the fulfillment of that passage of scripture on may 19,1780. And I'm here to listen if any one can prove other wise.

Paul Hadden
Paul Hadden

The emphasis of the the dark day was that it was the memorial of the darkness at Christ's crucifixion. It was dark that day when he was on the cross. This is God's speaking to man through that darkness. It is his memorial of his dying.

myname405
myname405

In response to Susan Clark: I agree, read the entire chapter, but also keep in mind that we don't use God's time-clock. A moment to God is years to us. It is far better to believe that these signs have already happened and God is at the door and be ready like the 5 wise bridesmaids, than to be waiting for these same signs to all appear at once and then find out otherwise and not be ready. We should always be prepared. Science has always tried to contradict the bible. A college professor also has a scientific explanation for the parting of the Red Sea. Be ye not deceived. God created everything and has the powers to use them for his signs to us.

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  1. [...] by Timothy D. Lee on May 29, 2008 NPUC.adventistpastors.com comments on a wired.com story that speculates a forest fire in Ontario caused the Dark Day over [...]