By Bob Thiel
Might Jesus return in 2014? Some people seem to think so. Protestant Pastor John Hagee, along with Mark Blitz, are pointing to the appearance of blood moons in 2014 as possible proof.
What are blood moons? What can cause them? What does the Bible teach about them? What about Jewish teachings? Does NASA predict any blood moons?
Will there be a major blood moon that is a sign from God? Will Jesus return in 2014 or 2015? What about the ‘rapture’?
This article will answer those questions and more.
What are Blood Moons?
What is a blood moon?
The science of the “blood moon” phenomenon is fairly simple. It is created by a partial lunar eclipse. When the Earth’s shadow covers the moon completely, we get a total eclipse. A partial lunar eclipse happens when the Earth’s shadow covers the moon only partially. The earth atmosphere bends light around its edge, and scatters out shorter-wavelength light (green through violet), leaving longer-wavelength light (red, orange, and yellow) in the Earth’s shadow. This is also why sunsets and sunrises generally appear red. As is the case with most miraculous events that can be explained scientifically, the miracle is not in the natural phenomenon, but rather in its timing. (Yanover Y. Messianic ‘Blood Moon” Rising on Passover Seder Night. Jewish Press. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/messianic-blood-moon-rising-on-passover-seder/2013/10/06 viewed 10/07/13)
A blood moon is also called a Hunter’s Moon. It is the first full moon after Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox. (What is a blood moon? http://answers.ask.com/Society/Ethnicity/what_is_a_blood_moon viewed 10/08/13)
A Blood Moon is when a total lunar eclipse makes the moon appear red. (What is a blood moon? http://www.chacha.com/question/what-is-a-blood-moon#sthash.CACJZ0Wd.dpuf viewed 10/08/13
Basically the general definition of a ‘blood moon’ is when the moon appears reddish because of how light can appear.
Lunar eclipses are not the only cause. Notice the following:
There are few situations that can cause a red moon. The most common way to see the Moon turn red is when the Moon is low in the sky, just after moonrise or before it’s about to set below the horizon. Just like the Sun, light from the Moon has to pass through a larger amount of atmosphere when it’s down near the horizon, compared to when it’s overhead. The Earth’s atmosphere can scatter sunlight, and since moonlight is just scattered sunlight, it can scatter that too. Red light can pass through the atmosphere and not get scattered much, while light at the blue end of the spectrum is more easily scattered. When you see a red moon, you’re seeing the red light that wasn’t scattered, but the blue and green light have been scattered away. That’s why the Moon looks red.
The second reason for a red moon is if there’s some kind of particle in the air…
A third – and dramatic – way to get a red moon is during a lunar eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, the Moon passes behind the Earth’s shadow, which darkens it. If you could take a look at the Earth from inside its shadow, you would see that the atmosphere around the edge of the entire planet glows red. (Cain F. Red Moon. Universe Today, October 23, 21008. http://www.universetoday.com/19969/red-moon/ viewed 10/09/13)
And I would add here that God can cause the moon to appear as blood in other ways.
NASA and Blood Moons
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reported about ‘blood moons’ in the past.
Here is something I found at NASA’s website years ago:
When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total eclipses, the group is known as a tetrad. The following tetrads occur during this century:
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2003 – 2004
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2014 – 2015
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2032 – 2033
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2043 – 2044
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2050 – 2051
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2061 – 2062
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2072 – 2073
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2090 – 2091 (http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat/LE2001-2100.html viewed 5/01/08)
Since I do not believe that the Bible allows for Jesus to return or the Day of the Lord to begin in 2014 or 2015 then it is not obvious that Jesus’ return is directly related to the above table in those years.
At this moment, it would appear that the prophecy in Revelation and Joel about the blood moon will NOT be related to any NASA blood moon prediction (unless NASA comes up with a different table or something else) or if Jesus’ return is not until after 2032. The blood moon of biblical prophecy could be related to some natural phenomena that is unclear to scientists at this time or it could be a miracle from God–or it could be that God will affect some natural phenomena to make it happen.
Notice the following claims from one who visited NASA’s website site:
NASA’s website predicts a total lunar eclipse will occur on the 15th of April 2014. The Red Blood Moon eclipse falls on the Jewish Passover…(http://redmoonrapture.com/2014-2015/2014-passover-ecilpse.html viewed 10/09/13)
NASA’s website predicts a total lunar eclipse known will occur on the 8th of October 2014. The Red Moon eclipse falls on the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles…(http://redmoonrapture.com/2014-2015/2014-tabernacles-eclipse.html viewed 10/09/13)
NASA’s website predicts a total lunar eclipse will occur on the 4th of April 2015. The Red Moon eclipse coincides with the Jewish Passover holiday…(http://redmoonrapture.com/2014-2015/2015-passover-eclipse.html viewed 10/09/13)
NASA’s website predicts a total lunar eclipse will occur on the 28th of September 2015. The Blood Moon lunar eclipse falls on the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles…(http://redmoonrapture.com/2014-2015/2015-tabernacles-eclipse.html viewed 10/09/13)
The dates related to Passover are late by a couple of days and not truly the biblical ones (see Holy Day Calendar). The Feast of Tabernacles dates are closer; 2014 aligns with the start date, while 2015 seems to be after the start date, though because of time of day possibly could be on the start date.
The Bible and Blood Moons
The first time the Bible mentions blood and the moon together is in the Book of Joel as follows:
30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (Joel 2:30-31, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise specified)
Some seem to think that the above is referring to normal “blood moons,” others believe this is a more unique event.
The next time the Bible mentions blood and the moon together is in the Book of Acts, where the Apostle Peter states the following:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:17-21)
In the Book of Revelation we read:
12 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. 13 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. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (Revelation 6:12-15)
The events involving the moon turning into blood are also tied into with the sun becoming black. While some seem to believe this is a reference to some type of normal eclipse, it would seem to be more than that. Notice that those occur after the sixth seal is opened, which is after the opening of the fifth seal (Revelation 6:9), which is the start of the Great Tribulation, which has not started yet and cannot start until at least 2018 (cf. Daniel 9:27,11:31; Matthew 24).
The events mentioned above in Joel 2, Acts 2, and Revelation 6 are also similar to those Jesus discussed in Matthew 24. Notice:
29 “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. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)
Some who believe in a “pre-tribulation rapture” have suggested that the moon turning into blood is a sign that Jesus is to return. And while Jesus will return, notice that the time period is AFTER the tribulation according to what Jesus taught. Notice also:
25 “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; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:25-28)
Notice that there is also supposed to be roaring seas–this type of roaring sea will not happen in 2014 or 2015–that is too early (cf. Revelation 16:12-16,18).
Also, at least one has claimed that the crucifixion was tied to blood moons:
A series of 4 Red Blood Moon lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacles in 32 & 33 AD. Jesus personally witnessed the first 2 blood moon lunar eclipses in 32 AD. Christ descended into Hell just prior to the Jewish Passover partial lunar eclipse in 33 AD having just been crucified only a few hours before, and had all ready ascended to the father in Heaven by time of the 33 AD Feast of Tabernacles blood moon partial lunar eclipse. (http://redmoonrapture.com/crucifixion.html viewed 10/09/13)
But as the crucifixion was not in 32 or 33 AD. (31 or possibly 30 AD. is what works based upon the biblical calendar, accounts on information in the Gospels, etc., while 32 or 33 AD. does not; the above contains many claims that are in error.
Jewish Tradition and Lunar Eclipses and Blood Moons
Some are focused on the coming blood moons as they believe that they show something will come to pass, because of Jewish tradition and some historical events.
Here is something from the Talmud of Jewish traditions:
Succah 29a Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for the whole world. This may be illustrated by a parable. To what can this be compared? To a human being who made a banquet for his servants and put up for them a lamp. When he became wroth with them he said to his servant, ‘Take away the lamp from them, and let them sit in the dark’. It was taught: R. Meir said, Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel since they are inured to blows. This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished. Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon and idolaters by the sun. If it is in eclipse in the east, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the east; if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world. If its face is red as blood, [it is a sign that] the sword is coming to the world; if it is like sack-cloth, the arrows of famine are coming to the world; if it resembles both, the sword and the arrows of famine are coming to the world. If the eclipse is at sunset calamity will tarry in its coming; if at dawn, it hastens on its way: but some say the order is to be reversed. And there is no nation which is smitten that its gods are not smitten together with it, as it is said, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments.
Although this is a Jewish tradition, it needs to be understood that it is simply a tradition. While there are certain signs that Jesus pointed to, the Bible condemns certain types of omen interpretation (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). Furthermore, remember that Jesus sometimes chastised Jews who believed their traditions above what the Bible teaches:
9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (Mark 7:9)
Thus, Christians should be careful not to believe Jewish traditions or other teachings if they are in conflict with the Bible. There were not world wars or massive famines every time there were certain eclipses, blood moon or not.
Some have claimed that because there was a blood moon in 1967 (and some other years) this shows that various events affecting the nation of Israel happen when there is a blood moon.
Now I am not disputing that events affecting the nation of Israel happened in 1967, as, for example, the 6 Day War is was an historical event. Yet, this does not mean that Jesus will return in 2014 or 2015 or that the Day of the Lord will begin in those years.
On the other hand, I do believe it is possible, if not likely, that we will see significant events that will affect the nation of Israel in 2014 or 2015.
The Coming Four Blood Moons By John Hagee
At the beginning of the article I mentioned John C. Hagee. He is the founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.
In a December 2012 YouTube video titled Coming Four Blood Moons By John Hagee part 1, he showed expected ‘blood moons’ for Passover and Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) to occur on them both each in 2014 and 2015.
After quoting Joel 2:30-31 and Acts 2:, John Hagee stated “God… He is sending signals to planet earth, but we have not picked them up.”
John Hagee said NASA has said it is coming, Joel and Peter said its coming, and that God is warning us with signs like the upcoming blood moons for 2014 and 2015.
Here is what his publisher has up at Amazon related to his book, Four Blood Moons Something is About to Change:
“…There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars…Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25a, 28
It is rare that Scripture, science, and history align with each other, yet the last three series of Four Blood Moons have done exactly that. Are these the “signs” that God refers to in His Word? If they are, what do they mean? What is their prophetic significance?
In this riveting book, New York Times best-selling author, Pastor John Hagee, explores the supernatural connection of certain celestial events to biblical prophecy—and to the future of God’s chosen people and to the nations of the world.
Just as in biblical times, God is controlling the…
Here are some comments from a reviewer of John Hagee’s book:
“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…
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…
The world-renowned 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.” (Exum R. Roy Exum: Rev. Hagee’s ‘Blood Moons’http://www.chattanoogan.com/2013/10/8/260792/Roy-Exum-Rev.-Hagees-Blood-Moons.aspx viewed 10/09/13)
Basically he is saying that Jesus is coming soon and these blood moons are trying to tell us something.
The Bible does not support that the occurrence of these blood moons are teaching that Jesus will return or the Day of the Lord start in 2014 or 2015.
How can I be so certain?
Because Jesus listed a variety of events that precede His return and the events of the sun and moon in Matthew 24, and they cannot happen prior to the end of 2015. Furthermore, the seven-year deal of Daniel 9:27 has not taken place as of the date I am writing this. Notice:
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
Since this deal has not happened, there are at least seven years until Jesus return. Since the deal is to be broken in the middle of it, there is least 3 1/2 years before the start of the Great Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:15-21; Daniel 11:31.
So, when Jesus does not come, the Great Tribulation does not start, and the Day of the Lord does not begin in 2014 or 2015, some people may sadly point to people like John Hagee to attempt to prove that various prophecies will not come to pass.
But, there is “a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV)–it is just that neither John Hagee or Mark Biltz truly have it.
Mark Biltz and Blood Moons
In 2008, World News Daily reported the following:
A minister who promotes the Old Testament roots of Christianity suggests a rare string of lunar and solar eclipses said to fall on God’s annual holy days seven years from now could herald what’s come to be known as the “Second Coming” of Jesus.
“God wants us to look at the biblical calendar,” says Mark Biltz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Wash. “The reason we need to be watching is [because] He will signal His appearance. But we have to know what to be watching as well. So we need to be watching the biblical holidays.”…
Biltz began focusing on the precise times of both solar and lunar eclipses, sometimes called “blood moons” since the moon often takes on a bloody color. He logged onto NASA’s eclipse website which provides precision tracking of the celestial events.
He noted a rare phenomenon of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad.
(Blood moon eclipses: 2nd Coming in 2015? Minister uses NASA forecasting to study signals of Jesus’ return WorldNetDaily – April 30, 2008. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=63076).
So, there was a claim that Jesus could return in 2015 based upon the red moon calculations that Mark Biltz researched. While God does want us to use His calendar, Mark Biltz does not fully understand it, nor can Jesus come in 2015.
Red Moon Rapture
Some believe that Jesus will come to ‘rapture’ the church either before or shortly after a red moon.
And while it is true that Jesus will return after the blood moon that the Bible refers to in Joel 2 and Revelation 6, the return of Jesus Christ is not until after the Great Tribulation. Notice the account from the Matthew’s Gospel:
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you…
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be…
29 “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. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:3,4,15-21,29-31)
Many have been deceived in the past and others are deceived now. Jesus will return with the sound of a great trumpet and Christians will be gathered with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). And although this should be comforting to Christians, Jesus will not be returning in 2014 or 2015. Any rapturists who believe Jesus will return in 2014 or 2015 are bound to be disappointed as that will not happen.
Concluding Comments on Blood Moons
There is a phenomena known as a blood moon. They have occurred over the centuries and more are expected. As would be expected, some historical events have occurred in red moon years, but that does not prove that all red moons are prophetic.
NASA knows of the upcoming red moons in 2014 and 2015. One or more of them may tie to a date of a biblical observance.
The Bible does tell of a time when the moon becomes blood just prior to the Day of the Lord, which is also prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
These particular blood moons in the projections for 2014 and 2015, however, are just those in the normal expected cycle and are not telling us anything about the return of Jesus Christ, some type of rapture, or the Day of the Lord occurring in 2014 or 2015.
- The covenant deal that is to be confirmed for seven year in Daniel 9:27 had not happened by October 2013, hence there is at least 3 1/2 years before that deal is broken.
- The abomination of desolation that Jesus said that Daniel taught would be standing in the Holy Place, has not happened. And that does not happen until the Daniel 9:27 treaty is broken.
- The Great Tribulation that Jesus taught in Matthew 24:21 has not began yet.
- The fifth seal of Revelation 6:9 has not been opened.
- Jesus will return, but 2014 and 2015 are simply too early as too many preceding signs have not happened.
Although there will be events of prophetic interest that will occur in those years, Jesus will not return in 2014 or 2015. The Great Tribulation will not start in 2014 or 2015. The final “Day of the Lord” will not begin in 2014 or 2015.
Those who believe otherwise are misled. Jesus will, however, return some day. Those of us who believe the “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV) realize this. But some who are looking at some Protestant teachings and traditions are overlooking various facts and what the Bible really teaches.