First of all, if you aren’t familiar with this, a blood moon is a total lunar eclipse, which often causes the moon to appear red. The somewhat rare occurrence of four in succession is called a tetrad. Extremely more rare, is the occurrence of four blood moons in a row falling on Hebrew Feast/Holy days, something very significant in Jewish tradition, where eclipses are regarded as ‘signals’ to Israel.
In Genesis 1:14 we read, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.” The word for signs in Hebrew can mean “signals,” and the word for seasons in Hebrew means “appointed times” or the “Feasts Of The Lord” (Leviticus 23). In other words, the sun and moon can be signals when they align with the Divine Appointed Feasts of the Lord.
This year in 2014 the first Feast, which is Passover, begins with a total lunar eclipse, and the last Feast, which is Tabernacles, also begins with a total lunar eclipse. The following year, 2015, the pattern is repeated again, with a total lunar eclipse on both Passover and Tabernacles, the beginning and ending of the biblical calendar.
Jesus said in Luke 21:25, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations…”
Peter quoted the prophet Joel on the day of Pentecost saying, “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” (Acts 2:20-21).
Tonight, April 14, and in the early hours of April 15, a new tetrad begins, coinciding with Passover. With all the discussion buzzing around, I want to clarify a few things.
• The term “blood moon” is a Hebrew idiom for a total lunar eclipse. Some argue that the color is pink or shades of orange, which it may be according to atmospheric conditions. The exact color is not the main thing. The fact that four total lunar eclipses are happening in succession, on the Divine Appointments or Feast Days, is the greater significance.
• Some argue that tetrads are not all that rare, so what’s the big deal? There were eight in the last century, according to NASA’s website. Again, the point biblical scholars make is not blood moons on any random date, but when they align with the biblical calendar and Holy Feast Days. This is extremely rare.
What is interesting is that this first blood moon will be visible throughout most of North America. Tonight is a rare opportunity for us to all see it together, watching and waiting to see what the Lord will do.
Again, when we look at the tetrads that fall on successive Jewish Holy Days according to the biblical calendar, that is extremely rare and has only happened three times in the last 500 years, and only seven times in the last two thousand years! You can see the chart below listing all the tetrads and Feast days occurrences.
• Another observation argues that of course there will be lunar eclipses on holy holidays because God had arranged the calendar around the cycles of the moon. Well, that makes my point. God predesigned the dates so that they would inevitably line up with the occurrence of lunar eclipses, as well as solar eclipses. God created the calendar and the heavens and coordinated them beautifully. It has always been part of His plan for communicating to us.
• What are the blood moons meant to predict? some ask. I don’t know that we need to try and predict what will happen. What we can do, is look back and see what the patterns have been in the past. The last time there were four blood moons two years in a row was in 1967-1968. After the first blood moon in the spring of 1967, the Six Day War in Israel broke out in June. The Israelis regained East Jerusalem, the location of the holy sites, including the Temple Mount, the Garden Tomb, and the Mount of Olives. This was a huge beginning of the fulfillment of Jesus promise, “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
The time before that was in 1949-1950 which immediately followed World War II, the Holocaust and the rebirth of the nation Israel in 1948. This was a fulfillment of a 2,500 year old prophecy in the book of Ezekiel (chapters 36-37).
The time before this was all the way back in 1493-1494 which again follows the expulsion of all the Jews by edict of King Ferdinand of Spain. Also, Christopher Columbus left Spain to discover America, where eventually many Jews would immigrate. Today it is estimated there are some 5 Million Jews living in America, second only to Israel.
So looking back, the pattern has been that something tremendously significant related to the Jewish people has happened, with profound prophetic significance. There is a passage in the Talmud which says, “When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon and idolaters by the sun.” It is interesting that in the middle of the four blood moons there will also be a total eclipse of the sun on Nisan 1.
If you are interested in reading more, I recommend my book, The Holy Land Key, which gives more information about the Blood Moons, the signs written in the constellations, and the prophetic patterns which are all coming together “for such a time as this!” This is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, e-book and audio formats.
If you stay up to watch the eclipse, enjoy the beautiful display of color and creation God is orchestrating for us! I believe He is sending us signals, and the question is, are we watching for Him, looking for Him, anticipating His glorious return? “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
(Psalm 19: 1-2)
1 Corinthians 16:21, Colossians 4:18,2 Thessalonians 3:17
Paul wrote letters. Personal, hand written letters to people he loved. As William Barclay said, “Of all forms of literature a letter is the most personal,” and because Paul wrote so many of them, we feel like we know him after we’ve read the New Testament.
Think about the piece of writing we call the Book of Romans. It was actually a letter to the Roman church—a very personal, heartfelt letter that became one of the most powerful and influential pieces of writing in history.
This particular letter to the Roman believers is behind some of the most powerful conversions in church history: St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley (who felt his heart “strangely warmed” while reading Luther’s preface to Romans), and John Bunyan, who was so inspired by what he read in Romans while imprisoned in a Bedford jail, that he wrote the classic Pilgrim’s Progress.
Taking the time to sit down and prayerfully and thoughtfully communicate to a friend or co-worker or relative through the written word can open doors to communication, teaching, understanding, and sharing God’s love. Whether you pick up a pen and paper, type a letter on your computer, use social media, or send an e-mail, take the time to write to someone and share your life. Maybe you just need to say thanks (Paul did that a lot) or encourage someone, or mend a relationship, or impart ideas, or bless someone with your expression of love or friendship. Paul and the other apostles did all those things through the letters they wrote —many of which became Holy Scripture, God’s love letter to us.
I am convinced that taking the time to write to others for whatever reason is an opportunity God gives us to minister to and love other people. He set a wonderful example to us by making the written Word His chosen form of communication to us.
“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.” ~John Donne
“I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong–that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
How often have you found yourself praying, and suddenly a nagging doubt worms its way into your thoughts. Is anyone really listening? Do these prayers matter? Will they change a thing?
I always wondered, does prayer change things or people? Perhaps prayer changes us more than ”things” so we can become the kind of person God uses.
Think of Paul writing those words. I don’t think he was always the most gracious person in the world—at least not in the beginning of his ministry. In fact, at one time he was a cruel persecutor of the church. Even after becoming a Christian he argued with Barnabas and struggled over many issues. But he matured, and grew into a man who understood love and grace—and the power of prayer.
“The affect of prayer is union with God, ”wrote Gregory Nyssa in the fourth century AD. “If someone is with God, he is separated from the enemy. Through prayer we guard our chastity, control our temper and rid ourselves of vanity. It makes us forget injuries, overcomes envy, defeats injustice and makes amends for sin. Through prayer we obtain physical well being, a happy home, and a strong, well-ordered society.”
Paul prayed for a safe trip to Rome, and God answered. Paul arrived “safely” after having been arrested, slapped in the face, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake! Perhaps Paul’s many hardships softened him and made him more responsive to the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. We know that he believed in the power of prayer, and prayed faithfully for himself and those he loved.
Does prayer change things or people? BOTH. I know He has used my prayers to change me, and for that I am grateful. When I pray for someone faithfully and fervently, I find myself loving that person in a way that is non-judgmental, genuine, and less selfish—for how can we be otherwise when we are in the presence of God?
“God always answers us in the deeps. Never in the shallows of our soul.” —Amy Carmichael
Deuteronomy 32: 10-11: “In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.”
A mother eagle builds her nest on top of a mountain, usually on an unreachable crag jutting out of a cliff that oversees a chasm, thousands of feet below.
After the eagle builds a sturdy, safe nest, she feathers it. She cushions it for her babies to make it comfortable and cozy. When her eagles are hatched, she spends the first weeks feeding them, sheltering them, keeping them nestled and safe.
In this happy setting, they grow fat and strong. Soon they’re wrestling around in the nest, elbowing each other for room, fighting to be first at the food. Wise mom knows it is time to disturb the nest.
Little by little, she starts pulling out the soft and cushy things. The eaglets must wonder, “What’s with Mom?” as their nest begins to prickle and poke them. It’s not so comfortable anymore. So, they start working their way up from the bottom of the nest, trying to get away from mom’s antics, until they find themselves near the edge.
Wow! What a big world out there! They peek out at the horizon. It looks interesting, so they venture a little higher until they are perched right on the edge. Suddenly Mom comes up from behind, thrusts out her strong beak and pushes one little eaglet over the edge.
Well, at this point our little hero is convinced that mom is crazy. He’s falling and falling, apparently plunging to his death. Fighting the currents in the wind, vainly flapping his baby wings, tumbling around out there in the middle of the air, scared to death.
Then, right before he hits bottom, Mom swoops down with her big powerful wings and catches him, carrying him up, up, up back to the safety of the nest—until next time.
Over and over the eaglet tries to escape the new thorniness and prickliness of his nest. As he climbs toward the perch, mom sneaks up once again and pushes him out, and again he falls. Each time, she catches him, but she knows that one day she won’t need to. Each time he falls, his flapping at the wind gets stronger and more sure. Finally the day comes when he is capable of flying on is own, soaring on the wind and learning to navigate by himself.