Here is part 3 of 5 looking at the current fascination with the blood moons scenario of 2014-2015. Here, Roy Exum waxes philosophical in his overview/summary in last week's Chatanoogan.
Roy Exum: Rev. Hagee’s ‘Blood Moons’
The Chatanoogan, Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - by Roy Exum
John Hagee is one of the best-known preachers in America. His Cornerstone Church in San Antonio has 22,000 active members. His radio/television ministry adds another 249 countries around the world every Sunday so it comes as little surprise that Hagee, also a best-seller author, has just written a new book that is rapidly climbing the Christian charts.
What will surprise you is “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change” uses scripture from the Bible, NASA data, and recorded history to conclude the end of the world – as we know it – might be right around the corner. Understand, I’m not a Doomsday kind of guy, and my Bible tells me nobody knows the time nor the hour when the Lord will return to earth.
But you need to know that during the next two years a careful study of NASA tables shows we will have what astronomers call a Tetrad phenomenon – a string of four partial lunar eclipses where the moon will appear blood red on certain Jewish Holy Days. This has only happened three times in history and – every time – the blood moons signaled huge events that affected “God’s Chosen People.”
Consider this: In the Bible’s Book of Joel, Chapter 3:3-4 you can read, “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 great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
For the record, a blood moon is not that rare. What happens during a total eclipse is when the earth’s shadow covers the moon completely. But, during a partial eclipse, the atmosphere will sometimes bend light around the edge of the earth’s shadow and the light will appear red or orange or yellow. (Think red sunsets.) But when a blood moon coincides with Passover’s Seder Night, history has shown it is a sign that something big is getting ready to happen.
The first time it happened, in the year 1493, the four blood moons occurred on the Hebrew holidays of Passover and the Feast of Trumpets. Pastor Hagee writes, “This signified the beginning of the fall of Spain following the expulsion of the Jews a year earlier and was God’s announcement to the world that ‘the mantle of prosperity had thusly been placed on the shoulders of the infant nation that would become the United States’ since it became a refuge for the Jewish people.”
The second appearance of four blood moons appearing on Hebrew holy days was 1949-1950. They occurred on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles and the next day Israel was declared a nation. The third time was in 1967-1968, when the Six-Day War took place, uniting the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years, “a monumental prophetic event,” according to Hagee’s new book.
Hagee has worked closely with Pastor Mark Biltz of Tacoma, Wash., who discovered that the only Tetrad Phenomenon in the 21st century, according to NASA charts and projections, will be on the exact days of Jewish holiday is 2014 and 2015. On April 15, 2014 will be Passover and on October 8, 2014 will be the Feast of Tabernacles. On April 4, 2015 will be Passover and on September 28, 2015 will be the Feast of Tabernacles. Expect a blood moon all four dates.
And if you want another sign, try this: After the first two blood moons in the sequence, and before the final two blood moons, will be a solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 – the exact date of the Jewish holy day Rosh Hashanah.
So what does that really mean? Rev. Hagee says in his new book, “Over the last 500 years, these lunar events all falling on holy days were an announcement of a time of tears and tribulation that ended in tremendous national triumph for the Jewish people.”
The minister further states, “There are no solar or lunar accidents; every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God to send signals to humanity of coming events.”
Hagee is convinced God will use the blood moons to signal that He is getting ready to change the course of human history. “No one knows the mind of God but the anticipation of these events tells us something will happen.” There are many Christians, after reading the new book, believe the coming tetrad is hardly happenstance.
That said, whether you want to buy green bananas is entirely up to you.
It has always been safe to buy green bananas. It has never been safe to buy green bananas.
That's because the rapture has always been imminent.
The problem with tying political or cultural events on earth to whether blood moons were happening is that for it to be truth, absolute and perfect in God's plan, you have to tie EVERY blood moon that ever occurred to 'something big happening to the Jews'. How do you decide which events tie in? You can't. That is where the blood moon scenario falls apart.
Were there 'tears and tribulation that ended in tremendous national triumph' for the Jews or the state of Israel on July 1, 1982, when a "20th century doozy" or a red eclipse was reported in the Sarasota FL Journal? No. But Mr Hagee's phrase has a wonderful alliteration to it. Truly tremendous.
How about on September 26, 1996 when another red doozy occurred over the northern tier of America as reported by the Grand Forks Herald? No. The Sukkot Festival was ending on that day? Still nothing? Nope.
'Mr Eclipse waxes lyrical over red moon' on January 21, 2000, as reported in South African news. But January has no feast days, so there wold be no tie-in, you sputter. Well, who said there had to be a tie-in only on Jewish feast days? Where is that written? Yet Pastor Hagee said in his book about the blood moons, "There are no solar or lunar accidents; every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God to send signals to humanity of coming events." Well? What was the signal from the January 21, 2000 red eclipse?
You see the difficulty. While it is agreed that the LORD had a plan put in place with fore-thought, back-dating every celestial event as a tie-in with an earthy event to the Jews is precarious at best.
GotQuestions says of the Blood Moon scenario:
Question: "Is Jesus going to return during the blood-red moon of 2015?"
Answer: Gaining in popularity today is the teaching that a series of blood-red moons in the next two years will be a portent of Jesus’ second coming and a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Astrological charts show four lunar eclipses will occur from 2014 to 2015. Because a full lunar eclipse often makes the moon look red or orange, it is sometimes referred to as a “blood moon” or “blood-red moon.” Some teachers of prophecy say that this tetrad of blood moons will fulfill end-times prophecies in Joel and Revelation.
What has interested prophecy teachers is not just the number of lunar eclipses in the next two years but the timing of the eclipses. In both 2014 and 2015, a full lunar eclipse will occur on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles). In addition to the two lunar eclipses of 2015, two solar eclipses will also occur. Similar lunar eclipses in back-to-back years have happened seven times since the time of Christ. Some of those have occurred in years of significance for the Jewish people, such as 1948 (when Israel was granted statehood) and 1967 (when the Six-Day War was fought).
References to a moon like “blood” are found in two passages of the Bible. Joel 2:30–31 says, “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” In Revelation 6:12, John describes one of the seal judgments of the Tribulation: “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Other passages refer to the moon being “darkened” (Matthew 24:29; Joel 2:10).
A tetrad of lunar eclipses—and the timing of those eclipses in the Jewish calendar—is fairly unusual, but not unprecedented. So the fact of the eclipses, while interesting, is no proof that Jesus will return by 2015. Furthermore, John’s and Joel’s descriptions of the signs of the Day of the Lord could refer to solar and lunar eclipses, but there are other possible explanations for those phenomena, such as changes in the atmosphere (mentioned in Revelation 6:12).
The blood-red moon theory is just that—a theory. Even as a theory, it comes close to doing what the Bible warns against: setting dates for the coming of the Lord. “About that day or hour no one knows” (Mark 13:32).
And with that solid note, I'll bring us to the next part, a detailed biblical analysis.