"I'm going to walk you through 500 years and show you how God is literally screaming at the world, 'I'm coming soon,'" says Pastor John Hagee in a video promoting his New York Times bestselling nonfiction book, Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change. Hagee's book, a top "prophecy" and "theology" seller online, appears to be leading the pack of several other books with similar titles also tying a series of upcoming eclipses to the end times.
The Bible and 'Blood Moons'
In Joel 2:28-32, passages pertaining to "the Day of the LORD" (an eschatological term), verse 31 reads: "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
The Joel passage is pivotal to Pastor Hagee's Four Blood Moons as highlighted in a sermon series he presented to the Cornerstone Church congregation before the book's release. The San Antonio, Texas, pastor also references Jesus' comments in Matthew 24 on the sun being darkened and the moon not giving its light, as seen in the video trailer for his Four Blood Moons books.
"Blood Moon" Bandwagon
In addition to Hagee's Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change, released October 2013, other recent and upcoming titles on the same subject include:
- Three Blood Moons-Signs of the Heavens by Oscar John Terrazas (November 2013)
- Behold a White Horse: The Blood Moon at Passover, 2014 a Sign of Judgment by Richard Ruhling (February 2014)
- Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs by Mark Blitz (March 2014)
- Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons by Mark Hitchcock (April 2014)
The blood moon books by Hagee, a Christian Zionist, and Blitz, a Tacoma, Wash., pastor who runs El Shaddai Ministries and is credited with the " blood moon" theory (watch his video here), appear to be frontrunners among Amazon's Christian prophecy titles.
What Is a "Blood Moon?"
According to EarthSky.org, a science news website: "One of the most famous moon names is the Hunter's Moon. It is the full moon immediately following the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon occurring most closely to the autumnal equinox." The Hunter's Moon is called the "blood moon" because of its reddish appearance when it is seen low in the sky.
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EarthSky.org insists that assigning the term "blood moon" to the entire series of upcoming eclipses is faulty, as the name only pertains to full lunar eclipses that occur in the fall (September and October).
When Will the Blood Moons Appear?
NASA notes that there will be two pairs of lunar and solar eclipses this year:
- April 15, 2014 (Total Lunar Eclipse)
- April 29, 2014 (Annular Solar Eclipse)
- Oct. 8, 2014 (Total Lunar Eclipse)
- Oct. 23, 2014 (Partial Solar Eclipse)
Hagee notes only the eclipses scheduled to fall on Jewish high holy days in the years 2014 and 2015:
- April 15, 2014 (Total Lunar Eclipse, Passover)
- Oct. 8, 2014 (Total Lunar Eclipse Sukkot)
- March 20, 2015 (Total Solar Eclipse, 1st Calendar Day of the Jewish New Year )
- April 4, 2015 (Total Lunar Eclipse, Passover)
- Sept. 28, 2015 (Total Lunar Eclipse, Sukkot)
There is a Partial Solar Eclipse expected to occur on Sept. 13, 2015, which does not appear to fall into Hagee's dispensationalist prophetic scheme.
Blood Moons as Prophetic Signs?
Hagee, who believes Christians are obligated to support modern-day Israel and that God gave Israel to the Jewish people, notes that tetrads (four consecutive lunar eclipses) have previously fallen on Passover and Sukkot only three times in the last 500 years, and were harbingers of significant historical events.
A skeptical commentary published by The Jewish Press notes, however, that the tetrads occurred after certain significant historical events.
As Hagee puts it:
In 1493, the four blood moons occurred on the Hebrew holidays of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. This signified the beginning of the fall of Spain following the expulsion of the Jews a year earlier and was God's announcement to the world that "the mantle of prosperity had thusly been placed on the shoulders of the infant nation that would become the United States" since it became a refuge for the Jewish people.
The second appearance of four blood moons appearing on Hebrew holy days was 1949-1950. They occurred on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles and coincided with Israel being declared a nation.
The third occurrence was in 1967-1968, when the Six-Day War took place, uniting the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years – a monumental prophetic event.
The upcoming tetrad signifies that God is up to something significant concerning Israel, according to Hagee.
Pastor Hagee doesn't know what God may be up to exactly, but he appears certain that "the anticipation of these events does tell us that God is getting ready to change the course of human history."
What Does It All Mean?
While Hagee's book remains a bestseller and has received favorable reviews, there are some Christians who find the Texas pastor's weaving together of celestial events, Jewish history and prophetic theories troubling.
Chris White, a filmmaker and prophecy enthusiast who hosts several online Christian radio programs, presented a critique of the "blood moon" theory in December, specifically in regard to passages in the Books of Joel, Matthew and Revelation, Jewish history, and other "inconvenient" lunar eclipses.
Watch White's critique of the "blood moon" theory online, or in the video below: