Todd Leopold writing in an article for CNN states, “There will be blood in September — literally, according to the Internet postings of end-times believers.” Actually, there won’t be any literal blood, and that’s what’s wrong with the entire blood moon prophetic claim. I’ll come back to this crucial point later in the article.
Millions of Christians have become fascinated with the blood moon phenomenon. Numerous books and articles have been written on the topic. Why all the interest and excitement? Because the lunar event is supposedly all about Bible prophecy and the end of the world or the so-called “rapture” of the church that these prophecy prognosticators claim will usher in the Second Coming of Jesus.
“The night of September 27-28 will bring a ‘blood moon.’ To skywatchers, it simply refers to the copper color the moon takes on during an eclipse, but to some Christian ministers, the fourth and final eclipse in a tetrad — four consecutive total lunar eclipses, each separated by six lunar months — fulfills biblical prophecy of the apocalypse. (The first three in the series took place April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; and April 4, 2015.)”
A real prophetic sign would be if the moon actually turned to blood like God turned the Nile into blood or a or a facsimile thereof (Ex. 7:14-25). Now that would be a sign of things to come!
There have been blood moons before, and there will be blood moons in the future, and there won’t be any blood on the moon. There have been tetrads (four successive “blood moons”) before. It’s these past tetrads that have brought out the prophecy speculators.
“Mark [Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Puyallup, Washington] found that we have had blood-red moons on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkot on back-to-back years seven times since 1 A.D. Three of these occurrences were connected to 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence), and 1967 (the Six-Day War) — some of the most significant days in Jewish history. The others were in 162/163 A.D., 795/796 A.D., 842/843 A.D. and 860/861 A.D. We don’t have any historical connections for these years at this time, but we do know of significant Jewish persecution during the eighth and ninth centuries.
Actually, the tetrads appeared in 1493/1494, 1949/1950. In these two cases the blood moons appeared after the events for which they are said to have prophetic significance. The ones in 1967/1968 appeared during the conflict that lasted just six days. “This isn’t even the first tetrad of this century (that was in 2003-2004) and including this one there will be seven more before the year 2100.”
There’s always something going on in the world that can be used to make some prophetic point.
If these four blood moons are so significant for Israel, then why is it that “Data published by NASA reveals that all but the last of the four eclipses will not be visible from the Middle East, and even the fourth will only be partially visible.” This makes no sense if the blood moons are for and about Israel.
If blood moons are so significant for Israel, then why wasn’t there a tetrad of blood moons when Israel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians in 586 BC, when the temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, an event predicted by Jesus in the Bible’s Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24), or around the time of the holocaust? These events are at least as significant as Israel becoming a nation again in 1948.
These so-called blood moons have never had any prophetic significance. The blood moon prophecy of Joel doesn’t say that the moon will look blood red; it states that it will turn into blood. The people pushing the “blood moon” theology claim to interpret the Bible literally, but they don’t interpret the “blood moon” prophecy literally:
I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes (Joel 2:30-31; Acts 2:19-21).
The moon will be “turned . . . into blood.” The passage does not say that the moon will look like it’s blood. Why isn’t there any mention about the sun turning into darkness and stars falling to the earth (Rev. 6:12-14)? It’s only about the moons, but it’s a package deal.
If we are to interpret Joel’s prophecy and similar prophetic passages correctly, we must understand how this type of language is used elsewhere in Scripture. See passages from Isaiah (13:13, 34:4, 51:6), Ezekiel (32:7-8), and other places in Scripture. It’s important to note that Israel is symbolized as sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 37:9-10; Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-14; 12:1-2).
James Jordan gets to the heart of the meaning of the moon turning into blood passage:
“[T]he turning of the moon to ‘blood’ points, I believe, to something particularly Jewish: the sacrificial system. If they will not accept the blood of Jesus Christ, the final Sacrifice, then they themselves will be turned into blood. They will become the sacrifices. . . . That is what the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was all about.
“But Joel is issuing a warning. Those who listen can escape. ‘And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of Yahweh will be delivered; for ‘on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape,’ as Yahweh has said, even among the survivors whom Yahweh calls” (Joel 2:32). Just as Isaac escaped death on Mount Zion because of the substitute ram that God provided (Genesis 22:14), so those who trust in the Lamb of God will escape the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Such is Joel’s warning, reiterated by Peter on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:19-21].”
All of this attention about light refraction is taking significance away from the “light of the world” (John 8:12). Too many people are fixed on the end of history rather than on the One who made history nearly 2000 year ago on the cross of redemption and the empty tomb. When the dust settles, and nothing prophetic happens, how many people will drift away from the faith because of another prophetic false alarm?
How many people will discard the Bible as a fraud because of the hype and hysteria of something that the Bible says nothing about? Is it any wonder that “there are just as many Americans skeptical of the Bible as there are engaged with the Bible”?