The subject of “blood moons” has certainly been in the news lately. Many well-known ministers have gone on record with predictions related to the four “blood moons”. Books have been recently published on the subject. In fact a movie has even been made.
Most proponents of the “blood moon” lunar eclipses claim that the four blood moons that have appeared and will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event.” Some tie these lunar “tetrad” events to biblical prophecies found in Ezekiel chapter 38. Some declare that Russia and Iran will be totally destroyed during this coming Ezekiel 38 battle.
What’s a Blood Moon?
The blood moons are part of a tetrad, a set of complete and consecutive lunar eclipses that will begin on April 15 and continue at roughly six-month intervals until October 2015. According to NASA, seeing four complete lunar eclipses in a row is very rare. The skies were tetrad-free from 1600 to 1900. But in the 21st century, there will be many. However, total lunar eclipse tetrads occurred on Passover and Tabernacle festival dates in AD 162–63, 795–96, 841–43, and 860–61, during which no outstanding events in Jewish history happened.
Please consider that while total lunar eclipse tetrads are rare, lunar eclipses are common. According to astronomers two to five lunar eclipses, including partial eclipses, occur every year. The number of total lunar eclipses ranges from zero to three per year. This brings up the question “Why four blood moons”? The Bible doesn’t mention a number of lunar eclipses. It appears that varying the number in a sequence raises the probability of finding a match with significant historical events dramatically.
Yes – the world is a mess!
Well, the world certainly is in turmoil. It doesn’t take a prophet (or a Bible scholar) to see that there is a good chance that “something big” might take place in the near future. From the tumultuous middle east to the upheaval in the Ukraine the world seems to be in a constant state of agitation. It’s more likely that something significant will happen in the next year or two than not.
The point is, if something “big” does take place, will it have anything to do with Bible prophecy-related to “blood moons”? Clearly the answer is no. The Bible passages that proponents of the “blood moon” prophecies quote have nothing to do with events occurring in our world today. But don’t take my word for it – let’s go to the scriptures that speak of “blood moons”.
What Peter Has To Say About “Blood Moons”
So how do we know that these predictions are not based on prophecies from the Bible? Well, it’s easy if you look at the context. The foundational passages that “blood moon” proponents cite is from Acts 2:19-20 and Joel 2:30-3, according to sources such as the Washington Post and the New York Daily News.
Acts 2:19-20 reads: “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:”
Joel 2:30-31(KJV) states: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.”
The interesting point here is that Peter in Acts chapter 2 quotes from Joel chapter 2. To clearly understand what’s going on in Acts chapter 2 verses 19 thru 20 we need to read a bit more from the passage and understand the context of what we are reading. Acts 2:19-20 is from Peter’s discourse on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) was first poured out on the disciples. The Bible says that there appeared tongues, like as of fire, above the heads of the disciples. The disciples of Jesus in the upper room also spoke with tongues. At the time, Jews from all over the Roman empire were in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. Some of these accused these tongue talking disciples of being drunk. But Peter replied that it was only 9 o’clock in the morning and that they were not drunk as they might suppose. Peter then replied to them:
Acts 2:14-20 (KJV) – “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:”
In this passage in the second chapter of Acts, we have Peter quoting from the Old Testament book of Joel (Joel 2:28-31). Peter is telling the assembled Jewish crowd that what they are witnessing is the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy. God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh just like He promised to do. Peter quotes the prophet Joel including his use of celestial body symbolism. Joel’s “blood moon” prophecy was being fulfilled right before their eyes. But did these first century Jews actually see the moon turn to blood? No! What did they witness then? They were eye witnesses to a dramatic, earth and heavens shaking event of the long promised outpouring of the Holy Ghost.
What is very clear in this passage is that the “darkened sun”, the “blood moon” and the “day of the Lord” that Joel spoke of happened in the 1st century A.D. Peter was not quoting from the book of Joel and pointing to a future time in which this prophecy would be fulfilled. Their entire world was being shaken. The Old Covenant sacrificial system was coming to an end. This outpouring of God’s Spirit would set in motion other heaven and earth-shaking events including the destruction of the old covenant temple and the entire city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
Peter was not speaking of a time thousands of years in the future. He was speaking directly to his audience in the first century. When Peter told them “this is that” he is pointing out to them that what they witnessed is what was predicted by the prophet Joel. What Peter is not saying is “Don’t worry, what you see really is not important, this won’t happen for another two thousand years”.
“Last Days” Outpouring
Also notice that Peter says that this outpouring of the Holy Ghost will occur in the “last days“. Which “last days” is Peter referring to? Well to Peter the “last days” would be when Joel’s prophecy regarding the outpouring of the God’s Spirit would occur. He was NOT referring to a time two thousand years into the future or the “end of the world”.
And as far as we’re concerned this initial outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost first occurred nearly two thousand years ago. Peter is declaring to his first century audience that Joel’s prophecy is now being fulfilled. Joel used the apocalyptic language of a darkened sun and a blood moon to describe this major prophetic event. However, it has nothing to do with us in the year 2015.
You can’t separate the outpouring of the Holy Ghost from Joel’s use of the poetic language of the darkened sun and blood red moon. The manner in which Peter interpreted the prophet Joel makes the interpretation of the “blood moon” proponents impossible. There may be significant world-shaking events in the near future, some of which may involve Israel. But they will have nothing to do with the fulfillment of Acts chapter 2.
Jesus Christ Warning to Sign Seekers
And as far as signs listen to what Jesus Christ had to say to the spiritual leaders (Pharisees) of that day:
Matthew 12:38-40 (KJV) “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Matthew 16:3-4 (KJV) “And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them and departed.”
Books on the “blood moons” are being written by well-known Christian authors. I’m sure they are just flying off the shelves and making the authors a ton of money. My suggestion to you is to keep your money. Study your Bible and rightly divide the word of truth for yourself. Remember that the prophets and apostles often referred to celestial bodies to bring to light “earth-shaking” events – such as the first outpouring of the God’s Spirit on the Day of Pentecost!
For more on the use of symbolic, poetic, apocalyptic language used by the prophets see my articles entitled: “Heavens and Earth Shall Pass Away”, The Last Days – Of What?, Melting Elements