29 April 2015 by Adeline Lum CM-
The recent moon eclipses or better known in the Christian circle as “blood moons” and solar eclipses, have been a popular subject these days for being signs from God in the sky.
Gen 1:14 tell us that God has placed “lights” in the sky to serve as “signs to mark sacred times.” And yes, Scripture does tell us that God displays heavenly signs for all to see. (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:17-21) That was how the magi found Jesus in Bethlehem – through the star they saw in the east. (Matt 2:1-2)
But let us examine if the blood moons and solar eclipses in 2014 and 2015, are truly signs God have for us.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Joel 2:31)
For this verse to be taken literally – the sun turning black depicts a solar eclipse and the whole moon turning to blood depicts a lunar eclipse. And let’s not forget they are signs “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
But let us talk about the blood moon first. And no, we are not talking about one, but four blood moons, identified as the “lunar series tetrad.”
What is a lunar series tetrad?
A lunar series tetrad is “a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, with no partial eclipses in between, occurring at approximately six months intervals.”
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned in syzygy – meaning a straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies – with the earth in the middle. Hence, it must happen only when it is a full moon.
Hence, if you are standing on the moon, you will see the whole earth covering the sun, with the sunlight framing the earth. If you are on the moon, you will see the all the sunrises and the sunsets happening on earth, all at once.
Why is the moon not in complete darkness then if it lies in the shadow of the earth? This is because the atmosphere of the earth refracts and bends the sunlight into a shadow cone. If the earth had no atmosphere, then the moon would be completely dark.
What gave the moon its reddish or ‘blood’ appearance? When the sunlight passed through the atmosphere on earth, the shorter wavelengths of the sunlight are scattered by the air molecules and small particles in the atmosphere. As a result, the longer wavelengths dominate as they passed through the earth’s atmosphere and reach the moon. This causes the moon to reflect a reddish color, which marks the longer wavelengths, giving rise to the description ‘blood moon.’
But to be accurate, a lunar eclipse is not necessarily red in color. But it can range from a very dark eclipse (almost invisible) to a very bright orange eclipse, according to the Danjon scale.
How unusual is a lunar series tetrad?
It can be unusual in one century and not that unusual in another century. For example, no tetrads happened in the last 300 years (1600 to 1900). But there will be 8 sets of tetrads happening in the 21st century (2001 to 2100).
Hence, we can say that a lunar series tetrad is not that unusual. In between the first century (AD 1 – 100) through the 21st century (2001 – 2100), Earthsky reported that there are a total of 62 lunar eclipse tetrad series.
So what makes the ongoing lunar tetrad special? What created the hype of the ongoing tetrad is how they all fell on the Jewish Feast of Passover and Tabernacles. (15th April 2014, 8th October 2014, 4th April 2015, and 28th September 2015)
And according to Earthsky, there appear to be a total of eight lunar series tetrads that fall on the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacle in the past 2100 years (AD1- 2100). The eighth lunar series tetrads are happening now in 2014 to 2015.
But are lunar eclipse on the Feast of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles unusual?
According to answersingenesis, lunar eclipses falling on Jewish festivals are not that unusual. This is because; again lunar eclipse must happen only when it is a full moon.
And like many ancient people, the Hebrew follows a lunar calendar. Their months start with the first appearance of the new moon. And from this point, 14 days later or on the 15th day, the new moon’s appearance will turn into becoming an full moon, which is when a lunar eclipse must occur. Coinciding with this full moon, on this very day as well, the 14th day of the first month was appointed as the day to celebrate the Feast of the Passover (Exo 12:17-20), and the 15th day of the seventh month was appointed to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacle. (Lev 23:34)
Hence, lunar eclipses falling on the Feast of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles are not that unusual. Also there are 15 full lunar eclipses happening exactly on the Jewish festivals (although not all are tetrads) from 1900 to 2000 listed in answersingenesis – others may be off by one day and a few are off by two days. If we look at the biblical Scripture (Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:31), you will also realize that the Bible never mentioned four lunar eclipses. It only mentioned one solar eclipse and one lunar eclipse.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. (Acts 2:17-21)
How unusual is the solar eclipse?
According to NASA, solar eclipses are fairly numerous and can happen twice to five times a year.
But what made what cause the hype of this solar eclipse on 20th March 2014 is the “total eclipse of the sun for two minutes over the North Pole, which coincides with the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nissan, the first month in the Biblical calendar year, a solar occurrence that has never happened before in human history.” However, answeringenesis says that this too is “technically incorrect since the eclipse is on the last day of the previous month and year.”
How shall we respond to all these signs and wonders?
In conclusion, the sun turning black (or solar eclipses) and the whole moon turning red (or lunar eclipses) are not that rare as it is made out to be. Earthsky says that one calendar year has a minimum of four eclipses – two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses.
Also, let us examine the Scripture. Acts 2:17-21 and Joel 2:28-32 did say about the sun turning black and whole moon turning red, before the coming of the Christ.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Acts 2:17-21)
Another part we can find the sun turning black and the whole moon turning red is in Revelation 6, also before the coming of Christ.
But apart from the changing appearance of the sun and the moon, there are other accompanying signs in Rev 6 that appear to happen around the same time, namely a great earthquake, every mountain and island removed from its place, and inhabitants of the earth hiding in the caves and in the mountains.
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.
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide usf from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
Remember also this is sixth seal. In the second seal, we are told that people would be made to kill each other on earth. (Rev 6:3-4).
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. (Rev 6:3-4)
In the fourth seal, the sword, famine, plague, and wild beasts would kill a fourth of the people on earth. (Rev 6:7-8)
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:7-8)
All these should happen before the sixth seal, where the sun turns black and the whole moon turns blood red. But we have not seen the previous seals happening.
Mark 13 also suggests that besides the sun darkening and the moon not giving its light, “stars will fall from the sky” and “the heavenly bodies” will be shaken, suggesting something more terrifying to happen.
“But in those days, following that distress,
“‘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.’
“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Also, according to Charisma News, although the tetrads appeared during significant events in Jewish history – namely the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1482, Israel’s independence in 1948, and the Six-Day War in 1967 – the blood moon occurred after Israel has gained independence, and a year after the Jewish people were expelled from Spain. How can it be a sign, if it happened after an event?
Prophecy and Bible scholar Mark Hitchcock in Charisma News wrote, “Consider, for instance, if you are driving down the highway and see a sign for an exit after you pass it. That sign isn’t much help. [Likewise], the blood moon tetrad of 1493-1494 cannot be a sign of what happened … in 1492. This just doesn’t fit the definition of a sign.”
The heavenly wonders of God are always awesome to behold. But more importantly, we are called to ponder if there are any biblical relationships, based on Scripture. The Scripture holds the final authority of everything. Although inferences are drawn, the authenticity of the Scripture verbatim must remain.
Also, I plead that every believer-in-Christ to seek and examine everything that you hear based on Scripture, even the words of this article. Test and research for yourself. Nothing can replace the Bible itself as Truth. But the Word must remain as the primary source of information and inspiration.
Furthermore, no man can vouch on perfect knowledge about when Jesus is coming back, unless God has specifically revealed it to him, for the Word of God has stated that no man knows the hour (Matt 24:36). The purpose of this article is only to present another look at the Blood Moon movement itself.
And for me, the real question should rather be, not about when Jesus is returning, but whether I will be ready to meet Him when He does. Will I be ready? That is the more pertinent question.
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