Blood Moon?

Blood Moon?

Blue moon?

Super moon?

All of those terms were thrown around and joined together to describe the phenomenon in the skies last night.  A lunar eclipse affecting the second full moon in a single calendar month when the moon’s elliptical orbit had brought it to  its closest proximity to earth.

A spectacular lunar event – or not – depending on your location.

At my place it came too late in the night to be seen at its most impressive. The peak of the lunar eclipse occurred at half past midnight, when the moon was almost directly over head. Such things are always more spectacular when they occur at moonrise, as the full moon lifts above the eastern horizon, and the angle of viewing creates the illusion of a much larger moon than when it’s overhead.

We also had some hazy cloud cover – not enough to obscure the sight completely, but enough to blur it. To us the moon looked like a dirty rust coloured smudge, and we got a much better view by watching NASA’s live feed of the event – although the NASA image showed a northern hemisphere view that was “upside down” from our Southern Hemisphere perspective.

Along with the live video feed, I noticed “live chat” was also offered to viewers. However, that “chat” had become a blur of activity where  countless brief statements scrolled up the screen too fast to read. Although among the speeding comments I did catch a glimpse of an expected bible reference:

The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

“Blood Moons” became a popular fad in Christian circles a year or two ago, when great significance was made of the fact that four lunar eclipses would occur during that year, with some coinciding with the dates that God  had given to the children of Israel as feast days. The Christian publishing industry seemed to go into overdrive with a variety of authors writing to detail the alleged prophetic significance.

Many years ago I considered the repetition of biblical references to the darkening of the sun, the moon turning to blood, and stars falling from the sky (there are several spread throughout both old and new Testaments). I made the connection between the darkening sun and a solar eclipse. I made the connection between the moon turning to blood with a lunar eclipse. I made the connection with falling stars and a spectacular meteor shower. I wondered whether there was a time ahead when all three would coincide  (but recognised that the closest a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse could come together would be two weeks. A lunar eclipse happens at the time of a full moon, a solar eclipse at a new moon).

I also made the logical assumption that should those astronomical events be the way biblical prophecy would be fulfilled, then it is most likely they would be events viewed from Jerusalem and not general references to viewing events spread randomly around the world.

Will there be a time when Jerusalem will experience both eclipses and a significant meteor shower all within the two weeks required between solar and lunar eclipses? Or will the fulfilment of bible prophecy be entirely a supernatural event, where the sun goes dark, the moon turns red and stars do fall – for no natural reason at all? That God will shake the heavens and bring these things about when they are totally unexpected, and in the process confound the speculations of those who seek to exploit Him and His word for an agenda different to His.



23 thoughts on “Blood Moon?

  1. So, I don’t know…

    I think I would tend to go with the latter.

    Can you believe I was hoping you would post something space-related? I ran across this article a short bit ago ago:

    NASA has confirmed that the satellite found by an amateur astronomer is indeed the long-lost, presumed-dead IMAGE spacecraft. Scott Tilley picked up the signal ……

  2. I’ve seen a few lunar eclipses. This one was perhaps the most disappointing because of the hazy conditions.
    I’ve missed some before because of cloud – but at least then I didn’t waste time looking.
    Compared to solar eclipses, “blood moons” are quite common and they are visible over much larger areas. I understand the live NASA feed I was watching came from observatories in California. (Griffith Observatory and the Armstrong Flight Research Centre)

    Solar eclipses have a very small footprint, and I’ve never had the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse, and only a few partial eclipses.

  3. We had that solar eclipse not too long ago… half a year or so. That was fun to prepare for (including making sure to have the right protective shades) — and then experience.

    I think I’ve taken the time to see two or so lunar eclipses. And they were both[/all] up high. So, if I ever hear of one that will be closer to moonrise, I’d be likely to look again.

    Actually, the total solar eclipse is so unusual that I can see the natural scenario as seen from Jerusalem being plausible as you described. Yet there are bologna books and shows.

  4. I think that’s the problem. And it’s also the reason that so many books exploiting alleged signs of the times can be published – and quickly found to be wrong, before someone comes up with a new sign to promote.

  5. That’s kinda the way I see prophesy in general. We will be able to see that promises came true… but in the meantime, the point of the prophets is generally to tell people to get their lives sorted out. It’s not supposed to be tricky, and the real aim is to reach the heart or conscience.

  6. Interesting question there: for the future “signs” scripture gives, will there be a natural predictability (computer projections that show an exact date on which signs X, Y, and Z will occur simultaneously, for example)…or should we expect they’ll be entirely, supernaturally, unexpected ?

    My first impulse is for the latter, of course. But God’s certainly done things unexpected by the assumptions of the “religious.”

    I’m gonna have to think about that.

  7. My own opinion is that the scripture you quoted, will be fulfilled in one event, therefore supernatural, therefore a one off event from God.

    For the reason that in scriptural context, we are speaking of the time when the ‘Day of The Lord’ is at hand, and those signs go together with a substantial earthquake:-

    “…And behold, a great earthquake occurred. And the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair; and the moon became as blood;… and the stars of the heaven fell to the earth… And the heaven departed like a scroll being rolled up. And every mountain and island were moved out of their places…” 

    So perhaps the final, Final, FINAL warning signs given to the inhabitants of Earth, which appears to be confirmed by the verses following the one above in Revelation.

    “..And the kings of the earth, and the great ones, and the rich ones, and the commanders, and the powerful ones, and every slave, and every freeman hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.   And “they said to the mountains” and to the rocks, “Fall on us,” and hide us from the face of the One sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of His wrath has come; and who is able to stand?..”

    With recent solar eclipses and the sequence of blood moons,  whilst we have seen ” The Christian publishing industry seemed to go into overdrive with a variety of authors writing to detail the alleged prophetic significance”, we haven’t seen the mass fear (and repentance?) in recognition that the wrath of the Lamb has come.

  8. Yes Roger, there is definitely something very different happening – not just a combination of natural events.
    Many years ago I did a significant study of the events described in Revelation, trying to get some idea of its chronology. It was around the time that I started to realise that so much of what I’d read and believed (from popular “christian” publications) about end times, was way off track.

    One thing that I noticed in that study was the number of times that the prophecy about the sun, moon and stars appeared throughout scripture. It seemed to be a kind of central event that helped to establish when certain other things happened (either before or after that event).

    It was a long time ago so I don’t recall everything, and maybe now some of my ideas have probably changed as I’ve learned other things that I wasn’t aware of at the time, but that study was a starting point in making me realise how so much accepted teaching differed significantly from what was said in scripture.

    I have notes somewhere, so it will be interesting to dig them out and have a look at them again some day.

  9. (doesn’t seem to have posted)

    By definition, anything God does will be “supernatural:” I guess my question to myself (which of course I {emphasized} can’t answer) is whether He will choose to do so by natural means or (in Roger’s great characterization) a “one off event from God;” a parting-the-sea level miracle.

    I have to ask myself that question because there have been some very clever “explanations” of various miracles: that the sea parted for Moses because of the effects of a tsunami cause by the eruption of the Santorini volcano, for example. Which could be true; and if true, could undoubtedly be verified by sophisticated computer-modeling. But even if true, and verified by our best methods, would not be an “explanation” that obviated God’s agency (or Agency): in His timing, most of all.

    For my own sometimes lazy thinking, my concern would be not dismissing a critical sign-event for its being naturally “explainable,” or foreseeable (a computer-model “predicting” a date on which a massive earthquake, darkened sun, reddish moon, and meteor-shower are likely to coincide, for example).

    The “prophetic” best-sellers recognize that God says He will give “natural” signs, and that “natural” events can nonetheless be “supernatural.” But my perception is that they go astray that the supernatural can therefore be “seen” naturally, and interpreted in natural terms: or so I understand their elaborate scenarios that (for example) the beast with ten horns denotes the rise of the European Union, etc. (If that is still the current theory: I haven’t read any in recent years.)

    Probably analogous to the time of Jesus’ birth; when many had a general sense that Messiah was coming, but many had their naturalist theories of what His Kingship meant, and how God would effect it ?

  10. my perception is that they go astray that the supernatural can therefore be “seen” naturally, and interpreted in natural terms

    “Seen and interpreted” and consequently PREDICTABLE – in the case of the blood moon, and solar eclipse, we know in advance when the events are going to happen, so find the right combination of events and it is assumed the prophesied event can be dated. I’m not convinced that biblical prophecy is so specific in identifying the timing of the Lord’s return.

    I think there are still some who cling to the ten horned beast being the EU, despite the fact that the EU long ago grew far above the 10 nations it had when that interpretation arose and was most popular.

  11. Wakarusa Steve said: ….If that is still the current theory: I haven’t read any in recent years….

    I identify with that.

  12. I understand what you say Steve – with ..some very clever “explanations” to various miracles..

    Its hard sometimes to get across a full explanation in few words. 🙂 so I’ll add a few more for any other (non-regulars) reading here to explain why I believe as I do.

    When I posted as I did, it was with various scriptures in mind that relate to a darkened sun and blood moon event, and all (in context) refer to the end time just before the ‘Day of the Lord’.

    Those references in Joel and Matthew, seem to me to be fulfilled in the Revelation passage I quoted, and in the textual context of surrounding passages, speak of the future time in the 70th week of Daniel, which we generally know of as the great tribulation or as David Pawson says ‘the big trouble’.

    During that ‘week’ of years, we are told there will be a number of significant singular events – including the ‘rapture’ of those who are spiritually rebirthed (‘born again’), when “..the dead in Christ will rise again first. Then we who remain alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to a meeting with the Lord in the air…” and Lord Jesus Himself will return to Earth.

    Years ago I was taught that this ‘rapture’ occurred before the 7 year tribulation – many still believe that way. I have difficulty with that position in the context of all scripture, and am now of the belief the ‘rapture’ occurs ‘intra seal’ or ‘pre wrath’ – which is between the 6th and 7th seal of Revelation, and after the identity of the final ‘son of perdition’ (whom we also refer to as the final Antichrist) is revealed.

    There have been many solar and lunar eclipses over the millennia, however naturally, they cannot occur at the same time – as Onesimus explained in his opening post. For me, the context of that passage in Revelation is more significant than anything man has experienced before and been able to explain away – hence the result where we are told in that passage: And the kings of the earth, and the great ones, and the rich ones, and the commanders, and the powerful ones, and every slave, and every freeman hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. And “they said to the mountains” and to the rocks, “Fall on us,” and hide us from the face of the One sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  because the great day of His wrath has come; and who is able to stand? 

  13. now of the belief the ‘rapture’ occurs ‘intra seal’ or ‘pre wrath’

    That’s more or less the kind of view my study of Revelation led me to adopt.
    The traditional pre or post trib views tend to be associated with an extremely linear understanding of the seals, trumpets and bowl judgements.

    I tried to explain my own understanding on a forum a couple of years ago and received some hostile and belittling comments from someone I had considered to be a good friend.

    I may try to address those things more fully in a blog post, but even in a blog post it won’t be possible to cover such a broad topic.

  14. Hi Roger, the problem with trying to discuss specific parts of Revelation is that it seems necessary to say something about other parts that aren’t directly relevant to the point being made. That leads to the discussion becoming more complicated than the actual biblical text itself. I’m hoping I can write something straight to the intended point without getting side tracked.

  15. I’d also be interested, Tim, in your understanding of the matter, should you ever blog about it.

    Largely, I have to think that what you call “the traditional pre or post trib views” exemplify the trap of binary thinking: in which trap we (and most human beings) feel very comfortable (i.e., “right”). Except for the complete ego-centric (who needs no external approbation to confirm him in his self-image), nothing is more self-affirming / -glorifying than the worldview that it’s “us” vs. “them:” and that “we” are (of course) “the righteous.”

    Probably every ideology is predicated on such thinking. It’s infinitely scalable for man’s every religious, political, moral, or social issue (or anything perceived as an “issue”), from geopolitics to whether or not we give a dollar to a panhandler. It “explains” all things, and orients us to the “right” response of thought and deed in all things (also thereby identifying for us the enemy, those “un-right,” in every situation).

    Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan wrote that Hitler and Stalin “Each…embraced his guiding ideas early on and never altered his conviction that they EXPLAINED ALL AND JUSTIFIED ALL.” (my emphasis: “History’s People,” p. 125). Probably few ideologies are as evil as those Hitler and Stalin embraced: but all such “guiding ideas” work the same way, and to the same evil purpose: supplanting Truth as the benchmark by which men and their works are measured.

    Ultimately, the persuasive deceit of every “guiding idea”/worldview/ideology (and the binary thinking behind it) is that it incorporates some element of truth to overthrow Truth: as Satan quoted scripture in an attempt to turn Jesus from fulfilling the Father’s purpose. Ideologues of both the “pre-” and “post-” trib “guiding idea” seem, to me, to fall for the deception.

  16. I’ve started writing my next post, dealing with the (very) general chronology of parts of Revelation. However it will take at least two posts, so I won’t publish the first until I’ve been able to cover everything I’m trying to convey. When everything necessary is ready, I’ll post it in a couple of daily instalments.

  17. Musing on the discussion here, I’ve had to re-think my hatred of absolutist binary thinking: or give it some necessary nuance. It is, after all, God’s “worldview” (if that term isn’t demeaningly-insufficient applied to what He says is His reality, of His creation).

    Still musing: but it seems what’s hateful (and a very great sin) is our appropriating His “worldview” with the intent of turning it to our purposes…which any formulation but God’s (His righteous absolute rule, and satan’s rebellion against it) is.

    Also wondering if our feeling comfortable or “right” in an absolutist “either/or” habit-of-mind is one of those “built-ins” by which God nudges us toward Himself…if we apply them rightly ?

  18. Hi Steve, there are many instances where we have to take an either/or stance, and often the deciding factor is clear. Other times there are areas that lack clarity and it would be unwise to be dogmatically fixed in our view.
    Regarding that event known as “the rapture” I now find myself sure enough to believe absolutely that the popular idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is absolutely wrong. However I could not respond to that view by dogmatically upholding any other label such as “post-tribulation”. The main reason for that is the assumption of a specific time period called “the Tribulation” – as if the term is a noun.
    I am convinced that scripture quite clearly indicates certain end time events that will happen before remaining believers are caught up to meet Him at His return, that includes the solar, lunar and stellar signs mentioned in my last two blog posts.
    That is why I confidently reject the traditional pre-trib doctrines.

  19. “I now find myself sure enough to believe absolutely that the popular idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is absolutely wrong. However I could not respond to that view by dogmatically upholding any other label such as ‘post-tribulation’.”

    Totally agree there, in both regards: not about the end-times “sides” only.

    I find it infuriating, when one disagrees with some popular faction/doctrine, that its followers’ response is, “Oh, so you believe in evolution,” or “Then you’re a Hilary-supporter,” or “So you’re anti-gay.”

    If anything could move me to physical violence, it’s when someone who doesn’t know me, tells me what I think and believe; and tells me my thoughts and beliefs are wholly “explained” by the worldview THEY deem absolute and unquestionable; and that I’m therefore as mindless an ideologue of “the other (read “the wrong”) side,” as they are of their “(RIGHT) side.” LOL.

    My actual experience toward binary human factions/doctrines/ideologies is virtually always as you say: that often one must be rejected…but without necessarily accepting the other. I used to consider that meant there could be a “middle way” that incorporated the truths of both, without any of their errors. Now I’m convinced “middle-way” thinking has the same inherent flaw as any ideology, being a human construct.

    Clearly, as in the “post-” and “pre-trib” divide (haireseis,”dividings,” is Galatians 5:20’s word for the work-of-the-flesh “factions”), human ideologies even afflict “religious” teachings. I’ll come down as you do: the teaching of neither “side” seems to sufficiently reflect what scripture says. And to hear what scripture says, I’ll have to listen for the Spirit’s leading, in the time and way God is pleased to give it.

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