Of Blood and Moons

Posted on April 15, 2014

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“The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.” (Acts 2:20 NKJV)

This “blood moon prophecy” has recently been used by Mark Blitz (and others) to promote some very unbiblical fear among many people. Their theory is based on an ongoing tetrad. A tetrad is a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses. When all four eclipses fall on Jewish holidays, they believe that it marks a significant prophetic event.They teach that this current tetrad, which begins with the April 2014 lunar eclipse, is a sign of the end times (i.e. the blood moon event described in Acts 2:20Revelation 6:12, and Joel 2:31). This phenomena, which is currently underway, has happened throughout history. In fact, there have been 62 tetrads since the first century AD, and 8 eight of them have coincided with the Jewish holidays. As for the current tetrad, the first eclipse occurs on April 15, 2014 (Passover), the second on October 8, 2014 (1 day prior to the feast of Tabernacles), the third on April 4, 2015 (Passover) and the last will occur September 28, 2015 (Feast of Tabernacles).

In 2008, Mark Blitz predicted the return of Christ in the fall of 2015. This was to be in conjunction with the conclusion of this current blood moon event. Suffice it to say, this theory has gained a lot of traction. Consequently, with the advent of the current blood moon phenomena, many people have taken it to be a sign of the coming “day of the Lord“. In order to properly understand whether we are witnessing Biblical prophecy in action, we need to understand just what this “day of the Lord” is. The Scripture reference above (Acts 2:20) is one of three Biblical references that tie a blood moon with the day of the Lord. Another of the three references is Joel 2:31, which Peter was quoting.

“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 2:31 NKJV)

The third, and final reference is found in Revelation 6:12.

“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.” (Revelation 6:12 NKJV)

While Revelation 6:12 does not specifically mention the day of the Lord, it describes some of the events which will take place at that time. So, What is the day of the Lord? The day of the Lord, as referenced in these verses, is a tribulation event. That means that it will take place during the seven year great tribulation. Specifically, this will occur at the end of the tribulation period, as God pours out His wrath, just prior to the return of Christ.

Many people confuse this second coming of Christ with the rapture, but they are not the same. At the rapture, Christ does not actually return to earth. Instead, we (believers) are “caught up” to meet Christ in the air.

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17 NKJV)

This rapture will precede the great tribulation, and must not be confused with the day of the Lord, or the second coming of Christ. For more on the pre-tribulation rapture, click here. The rapture will not be preceded by any signs, as it can happen at any moment.

As mentioned earlier, the day of the Lord is when God’s wrath will be poured out in conjunction with the second coming of Christ. If you continue reading our passage from Joel into the third chapter, it clears things up quite a bit.

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls. “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.” (Joel 2:31–3:2 NKJV)

Joel directly connects the day of the Lord to the events of the tribulation, as recorded in Revelation. This will be the time when Christ will return to Earth, conquer the nations, redeem Israel, and establish His kingdom. This will all happen at the end of the tribulation, seven years after the rapture.  Therefore, the current blood moon events cannot be the Biblical event which precedes the day of the Lord, because the rapture has not yet happened. When the rapture does happen, it will take another seven years for these events to play out. Consider 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10.

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–10 NKJV)

In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, Paul speaks of the rapture. In chapter 5, he switches from discussing the rapture of believers, to the judgment of non-believers. Paul tells these believers that they have no need for the times and seasons. Why? Because believers have not been appointed to wrath, but to salvation. To ascribe these current blood moons to the coming of the day of the Lord and any associated apocalyptic event, is to totally ignore the rapture. Just keep this in mind: The rapture first, then 7 years of tribulation until the day of the Lord.

Unlike the blood moon prophecies being put forth today by Mark Blitz, Scripture speaks of only one blood moon event, which is the one which will happen during the tribulation. As far as Scripture is concerned this is a one time event, not recurring prophetic events throughout history (as Blitz would have you believe). Scripture says nothing of tetrads (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses). According to Scripture, there is only one blood moon which is significant enough to be mentioned, which flies in the face of Blitz’s teaching. To say that this event signifies the “day of the Lord“, or any prophetic event, is simply in error. To say that it must signify some major event for Irael, is pure speculation. A believer’s main concern should not be signs of the apocalypse, but to watch and wait for the Messiah who will deliver us (1 Thessalonians 5:6).

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Posted in: Eschatology