Whilst the majority of Christians have their heads in the sand when it comes to God’s prophetic timetable, miraculous signs and wonders, media-hype and sensational claims about Armageddon always draw a crowd.
From Nostradamus, to the “Mayan Prophecies”, to Harold Camping’s numerous Rapture predictions, the world is being inundated with “pseudo-spiritual” people who claim to have a personal line to secret divine wisdom that tells them when the world is going to end.
The most recent such sensationalism comes from Pastor John Hagee and Mark Biltz who have been predicting upcoming global destruction set for this coming Monday – September 28th 2015.
The Blood Moon Tetrad
The secular media is having a field-day over the latest “crazy Christian” date-setters who claim to have worked out God’s schedule for Armageddon, a schedule which is starting on Monday!
The secular media has never needed an excuse to ridicule Bible-believing Christians but now we are just handing it to them on a plate! The whole Blood Moons signs-of-Armageddon-in-the-heavens saga is set to be the latest in a long line of failed Apocalypse date-setting that further convinces the world that Christians are indeed crazy!
The theory goes that the “astronomically” improbable event of four Blood Moons occurring on important biblical feasts starting with The Feast of Passover 2014 and culminating with a SUPER Blood Moon on The Feast of Tabernacles 2015 is God starting Armageddon. Since most “good” Christians realise that the Bible has something to do with Christianity, Genesis 1:14 and Joel 2:31 are used to give credence and authority to the theory.
Blood Moons Aren’t That Bloody
One big problem with God using these “Blood Moons” to signal the Apocalypse is that as signs they are really not that clear to the normal man on the street, in Israel or in any other country. The astronomical events described as “Blood Moons” in the theory are technically total lunar eclipses.
A lunar eclipse is when the earth comes between the sun and the moon. The result is that the earth blocks the sun’s light from reflecting off the moon. The earth’s atmosphere scatters out shorter-wavelength light leaving the longer-wavelength light – orange, yellow (and most importantly for the Blood Moon connection) red to reflect off the moon.
The trouble with equating a lunar eclipse to the Joel 2:31 “moon turning to blood” is that it is very often yellowy or orangey rather than “blood” colour. It could just as validly be labelled a “Mango Moon” which would remove much of the sinister, apocalyptic imagery.
Another problem with calling these lunar eclipses signs from God is that they are not really that clear to the naked eye. In fact the vast majority of the world would have had no idea that these Blood Moons were even occurring. This is hardly “fair warning” if they are indeed signs of the impending apocalypse.
Armageddon and Israel
For serious Christians who actually take Bible prophecy seriously, Armageddon is all to do with Israel. In fact one of the main purposes of the Tribulation period which culminates in the battle of Armageddon is for our LORD to gather Israel to Himself “as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (Matthew 23:37-39).
The key to Armageddon and the Second Coming is the national repentance of Israel for their rejection of Jesus as Messiah (Zechariah 12:10, Romans 11:26). What really kills the Blood Moons theory is that 3 out of 4 of the Blood moons were not even visible in Israel so they can’t really be considered as signs to Israel.
Historical Events of Past Blood Moon Tetrads Do Not Correlate Meaningfully
Another facet of the Blood Moons theory is that supposedly whenever the Blood Moons Tetrad has fallen on Jewish feasts in the past, catastrophe or at least massive upheavals have happened to Israel.
If God is indeed communicating to Israel using the Blood Moon Tetrad then why do the apparent historical events that fell on the Tetrad years seem to have no rhythm nor reason. Some events were good such as the founding of Israel in 1948 and some were bad such as the Spanish Inquisition. If God did infact intend them for signs, what is being “signalled”?
Another issue that really seems to remove any coherence from the Blood Moon Tetrads as signs is why they did not fall on “greater” historical events such as the Holocaust. These two points make it very hard to believe that God is behind such apparently ambiguous messages.
Total Lunar Eclipses On Jewish Feasts Aren’t That Improbable
The first point to note here is that it is very easy to use the power of hindsight to create seeming correlations between unrelated events, especially if you allow yourself some minor fudging of exact dates.
Furthermore, why are 4 blood moons in a row so special, why not 2 or 3. Allowing yourself to use hindsight and different series lengths is “curve-fitting” which creates apparent correlations that are often just random coincidences.
The Jewish people have been around a very long time and there have been a lot of Blood Moons during their existence. It is not that implausible to expect them to randomly “correlate” with some historically important events in Jewish history.
A big deal is made about the improbability of these Blood Moons occurring on the Jewish feast days. Because of this improbability it is implied that God had to have caused them as some sort of sign. It turns out that lunar eclipses on Jewish festivals are not that uncommon at all because the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle. For example, of the 230 lunar eclipses of the 20th Century 39 of them occurred on Passover and Tabernacles, that’s about 1 in 61.
Biblical Support Isn’t That Supportive
The Blood Moon Tetrads are certainly interesting and unusual phenomena but the issues raised above mean we would need some extremely clear biblical basis to believe that God is signalling Armageddon from these recent Blood Moons. This is where the Blood Moon theory really loses all credibility, as biblical support is non-existent.
Using Genesis 1:14 and Joel 2:31 as proof texts is extremely weak. The primary meaning of Genesis 1:14 is that the seasons, harvest and the yearly calendar are set by the sun and moon. It is obvious that God can use the sun and moon as signs of supernatural events as well but the primary meaning is the natural yearly cycle.
So really, the only biblical support for this whole saga comes from the events in Joel 2:31 where the sun is darkened and the moon turns to blood. These events are described in context and greater detail in Revelation 6:12.
The Blood Moon Tetrads we have been experiencing have nothing to do with the darkening of the sun mentioned in Joel which implies that Joel is not talking about simple lunar eclipses but something far more serious and supernatural. The whole point about signs from God is that they are supernatural, not natural events.
The final nail in the coffin for the Blood Moons theory is that many other events have been detailed in Revelation as happening before the “moon became as blood”. The “Blood Moon” described in the Bible is a sign from God, but it is supernatural and it does not occur before the “Tribulation” detailed in Revelation, but rather near the very end of it.
No serious Christian who takes the Bible at its word believes we are currently in the Tribulation described in Revelation. As such the Bible teaches us that the Blood Moon theory of Hagee and Biltz cannot be the “Blood Moon” event described in the Bible. This means it has no biblical support whatsoever.
God’s True Time-piece
Rather than waste our time chasing media-hype and fanciful theories, we should return our focus to the Word of God.
The Bible makes it very clear that the nation of Israel is God’s true timepiece and that the apocalypse will all focus around God’s chosen nation.
A far clearer and far more biblical sign of the closeness of the Apocalypse is the speed with which the world – led by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) is turning against Israel, the apple of the true God’s eye (Zachariah 2:8).