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April 14th, 2014
12:53 PM ET

Does the Bible predict the 'blood moon'?

Opinion by Kenneth L. Waters Sr., special to CNN

(CNN) - Are the End Times finally at hand? To some Christians, the answer will be as clear as the moon in the sky.

Monday night will host a rare celestial event: a “blood moon,” which occurs when the Earth spins between the sun and the moon.

During this lunar eclipse, the shadow of the Earth catches the refracted sunlight, casting a reddish sheen upon the moon.

Christians who draw a divine connection to the celestial show are citing the Bible's Book of Acts, in which God says:

“And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

That passage echoes the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Joel, one of Judaism's 12 minor prophets.

The sequence of four consecutive blood moons (known as a tetrad) has occurred several times before, in 1909-10, 1927-28, 1949-50, 1967-68, 1985-86, and 2003-04.

'Blood moon' will be a sight to behold during total lunar eclipse

This cycle, the four blood moons will all take place on religiously significant dates for the Jewish people.

The first comes April 15, 2014, the second day of Passover.

The second will come on October 8, 2014, during the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles.

The third will come on April 5, 2015, during next year's Passover celebration, and the fourth will arrive on September 28, 2015, another Feast of the Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot.

That said, there is nothing particular extraordinary about these holy days coinciding with a full moon.

Jewish holy days are based upon a lunar calendar. Passover is always celebrated the first full moon after the vernal equinox and the Feast of Tabernacles is always the first full moon after the autumnal equinox.

But that hasn’t stopped some well-known Christians from drawing supernatural connections.

John Hagee, a televangelist and megachurch pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, preached a sermon series called the “Red Moon Prophecies” in 2013.

Hagee expanded on those sermons in book titled, “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change.” In it, the pastor claims the lunar eclipses foreshadow “a world-shaking event,” originating in the Middle East between April 2014 and October 2015.

"There's a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way," Hagee told CBN News.

"I believe that in these next two years, we're going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world," he said.

Monday night, Hagee is airing a special webcast that he says will reveal "direct connections between four upcoming blood-moon eclipses and what they portend for Israel and all of humankind."

Hagee says that previous blood moon cycles occurred at momentous events in Jewish history: In 1493, as Jews were expelled from Spain; in 1949, as the state of Israel was founded; and in 1967 during the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

"There are no solar or lunar accidents," said Hagee, who leads a church of some 20,000 members.  

But something remarkable always happens somewhere in the world when events like this occur. That’s just the way the world is – blood moons or not.

The Bible often speaks of astronomical signs indicating the End Times, but they are ambiguous and non-specific. And Jesus discouraged Christians from setting timetables and questing after signs.

"No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows," Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew.

The Apostle Paul also talked about signs of the End Times - not to establish a calendar, but rather to comfort members of the church who thought death would deprive them of the opportunity to see Jesus’ Second Coming.

In times of widespread fear, insecurity and uncertainty, religious leaders and secular theorists, some well-meaning and some who are not, will exploit the need for hope and assurance by declaring exclusive discovery of some secret plan hidden in the disorder.

We have seen this before: the fear of Y2K in 2000; Harold Camping’s predictions of the apocalypse in 2011; the “Mayan” Apocalypse on December 21, 2012; and now the blood moons.

But instead of looking to the heavens for signs of the future, Christians should focus on the hope and promise of the gospel message and seek to reflect Christ in word and deed.

And especially as we enter Holy Week and anticipate Easter, may each of us look within our own hearts for those shadows that keep us from enjoying the fullness of relationship with the Creator of the sun, the stars, and yes, the blood moons.

Kenneth L. Waters is associate dean and professor of New Testament at Azusa Pacific University. The views expressed in this column belong to Waters.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Culture & Science • End times • evangelicals • Middle East • Opinion • Passover • Science

soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.” Quran [17:70]

    “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” Quran [7:35]

    “O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.” Quran [7:27]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    ‘Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    April 15, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • igaftr

      more man made blah blah blah. Islam is almost as vile and corrupted as christianity.

      I hope you join us in reality.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:40 am |
  2. dashvader

    This has happened millions, if not billions of times before over the history of Earth, and will happen billions more times again. It's absolutely absurd to suggest that something that is inevitable in a three-body planetary system is in any way connected to a millennia-old book of fairy tales.

    April 15, 2014 at 10:37 am |
    • bostontola

      "There's a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way," Hagee told CBN News.

      This event was predicted many times by many scientists years ago. They are predicted going far into the future. This is a classic example of a natural phenomenon. For this snake oil salesman to claim it as supernatural is disgusting. I'm amazed people still follow these charlatans.

      April 15, 2014 at 10:41 am |
      • The Answer is 42

        There's a sense of a Hagee preying on emotions and the fear of his followers. That's the sense I get.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:17 am |
  3. bostontola

    Creationist Cosmos from Funny Or Die

    The bible predicts everything. Just watch this video.

    April 15, 2014 at 10:32 am |
  4. meg119

    Well written article!

    April 15, 2014 at 9:43 am |
  5. idiotusmaximus

    Does the Bible predict the 'blood moon'?.................

    NO.......but people that believe in the biblical fantasy will always try to add some kind of science angle to it so as to legitimize the badly written piece of crappy fiction..

    April 15, 2014 at 9:08 am |
    • alyssabauguss

      It blows my mind how all the atheist come to the Bible blog, just to trash anyone who thinks differently than them. I mean really, if you don't agree, don't read the article. You cause the drama. They will believe what they want to believe and you will do the same. So go on with your pathetic little life. I mean really. Leave these people alone. Its just crazy how you can be anything BUT a Christian in America. Christians go by the Bible. That's just what we do! Now, get over it! Now I don't agree with the predicting of the end of the world. But everyone doesn't agree all the time! But what has been said is true. Also, you can look up the micro-chips the government wants to start implanting in everyone in 2016. God said that was going to happen as well. Everything that the Bible says is going to happen, will! I guarantee you! Now its up to you whether you choose to believe it or not. But if you choose not to, leave the people that do alone! It makes you look stupid. Honestly.

      April 15, 2014 at 10:07 am |
      • Alias

        It blows my mind how condescending some christians can be.
        What about all the immoral acts in your bible? The logical failures? And you expect us respect your blind faith?
        All ancient religions predict natural events and try to give their god credit when they happen.
        When you can see people worship Odin, Satan, or Ra and take them seriously, then I will take you seriously.

        April 15, 2014 at 10:17 am |
      • igaftr

        "Everything that the Bible says is going to happen, will! I guarantee you! Now its up to you whether you choose to believe it or not. But if you choose not to, leave the people that do alone! It makes you look stupid. Honestly."

        You have no ability to guarantee anything so that is simply you being arrogant, as well as claiming that all things in the bible will happen. You do not know that, that is belief. Belief in things that there is NO evidence for makes you look stupid. Honestly.

        April 15, 2014 at 10:55 am |
      • Doris

        "Also, you can look up the micro-chips the government wants to start implanting in everyone in 2016."

        My goodness either you are a poe troll, or incredibly gullible.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • kudlak

        alyssabauguss
        Where does "microchips" appear in the Bible?

        April 15, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • otoh2

        alyssa,

        Watch for these Biblical fulfillments too:

        Coming soon to a pharmacy near you:
        Special dust-laden water that a husband will make his wife drink as a test of her fidelity. If she has been unfaithful, her belly will swell and her thigh will rot.

        Coming soon to a medical center near you:
        A kit with two doves and a knife to kill one dove and instructions about how to dip the live dove in the dead dove's blood and letting it fly around while you anoint the sufferer of leprosy's toes & shoulders with the blood.

        Coming soon to a goat breeding farm near you:
        A prepackaged set of striped sticks to set up for your mating goats to stare at so that special striped goats can be bred.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:28 am |
      • Akira

        "Also, you can look up the micro-chips the government wants to start implanting in everyone in 2016."

        Alyssa, here's a litlke piece of advice that is not found in the Bible, but I hope you take anyway:

        Before you post,
        Check with Snopes.

        April 15, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • odufemz

      I would suggest that you read the Bible through first before you start putting out mocking comments. The Bible teaches nothing but the love of GOD for humanity which can only be received through JESUS CHRIST. All the hateful and ridicling of Christianity aligns with what JESUS said "As the days of Noah, so shall it be the coming of the Son of man"
      In case you do not have an understanding of that quote, there were people mocking at Noah when he was instructed to build the Ark (Which by the way has been discovered and proven to have existed as written in the Bible). What happened to the mockers? they were shut out of the ark and perished in the great flood.
      My friend, do not align youself against GOD the Creator of the universe. HE loves you and cares for you. Think about these things and repent. Ask jESUS into your heart and I guarantee, you would see the difference.

      April 15, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • Alias

        You need help.
        There is absolutely no proof that noah ever built an arc, or that a flood ever happened.
        Several fields os science contradict that fable.

        April 15, 2014 at 10:20 am |
      • joey3467

        If Jesus thought the story of Noah's Ark was true then he is dumber than I thought.

        April 15, 2014 at 10:28 am |
      • kudlak

        The great flood and Noah is just a story, as far as we can tell. Like a lot of myth from that era, there's no evidence that it ever actually happened. Meanwhile, there have been people throughout history making all kinds of end-of-the-world predictions, and none of them ever came true. What's more, is that many people have been cheated out of their property and dignity by these prophets. So, why is mocking something that has never been demonstrated, and which has actually caused harm, ill-advised?

        April 15, 2014 at 10:30 am |
  6. bisonation

    NDSU rules!

    April 15, 2014 at 8:45 am |
  7. jknbt

    well, we survived the eclipse. hooray!

    did anyone get up at 2:30 last nite to watch the show?

    I slept in...

    April 15, 2014 at 7:56 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I got to see it. I have seen lunar eclipses before. It was very clear where i am and I intermittently got to see the darkening of the moon's disk. I gave up when I could no longer see the moon in the night sky.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:14 am |
  8. mjaymc

    There was a blood moon the night the Red Sox beat the curse of the Babino. Maybe there's something to it.

    April 15, 2014 at 4:03 am |
  9. realbuckyball

    Deuteronomy 18 :10
    "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft"

    -– The Bible actually forbids the interpretation of omens. The role of a prophet in Hebrew culture was NOT to predict anything. During the Apocalyptic Period, it became fashionable to look for "secret meanings", (or "peshers"). Prophecy as fortune telling is one of the biggest lies American Fundalmentalists espouse and perpetrate.

    April 15, 2014 at 1:01 am |
    • mjaymc

      Would you consider Elisha calling down fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel an Omen?

      April 15, 2014 at 3:57 am |
      • idiotusmaximus

        Since that never actually happened in reality mjaymc.....does it deserve an answer?

        April 15, 2014 at 9:10 am |
    • frosty13148

      Only select were allowed practice the meanings of prophetic dreams, to avoid any tom dick or harry from making false prophecies. to avoid what is happening today. so many false prophesies creating chaos and fear.

      April 15, 2014 at 6:13 am |
    • kudlak

      Didn't the Magi "following a star" as an omen?

      April 15, 2014 at 8:06 am |
    • Choir Loft

      Judging by the responses to this post, the fellow doesn't know what he's writing about. I agree with most in that these signs and wonders are given so that we may know the times and seasons appointed by God.
      ***
      In other words, some people are really bad at taking a hint.

      and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

      April 15, 2014 at 8:37 am |
    • grisslemcthornbody

      Luke 21:25 "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…"

      Seems clear to me. There will be signs, feel free to look for them. But there's no point in believing the stars run your life. That's astrology.

      Also see http://www.bethlehemstar.net for a full explanation of astronomical events surrounding Jesus' birth and death.

      April 15, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • kudlak

        grisslemcthornbody
        Blood moons are predictable events that are well understood to have a natural explanation. The ancients didn't realize these natural causes, which is why they took them as astrological omens, or "signs". When the Bible refers to God darkening the moon, or not allowing it's light to shine, it's likely talking about infrequent lunar eclipses, and the same system of finding meaning in the position of planets relative to constellations we know as astrology is what these Bible writers are talking about.

        Sure, if you're saying that this bears little resemblance to the zodiac charts and generalized predictions people call "astrology" today, then I'm inclined to agree with you, but this definitely grew out of that earlier discipline.

        April 15, 2014 at 10:13 am |
    • wickedwandas

      Not a very powerful god when he or she can't even speak clearly.

      April 15, 2014 at 9:18 am |
  10. hotairace

    Why is a natural phenomena that any high school physics / math nerd can do the math for, and accurately predict such events, still considered a religious moment? I'd be way more impressed if some mentally ill, delusional believer charlatan shaman accurately predicted an expected event was not going to happen.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:54 am |
  11. hotairace

    I only trust Marilyn Agee's predictions...

    April 15, 2014 at 12:43 am |
    • hotairace

      From:

      http://prophecycorner.theforeverfamily.com/index.html

      "I THINK THE RAPTURE WILL PROBABLY BE ON ASCENSION DAY, MAY 29, 2014

      By Marilyn Agee, Posted 1-21-14

      There are two Raptures coming up. It seems to me that the First-Trump Rapture may be next Ascension Day. May 29 is also Iyar 29, Ascension Day in both Eastern and Western churches this year. This is the last time they will fall on the same day before the date I think will be the Second Advent on April 9, 2016, Sat. Nisan 1, 5776, the first day of the Sacred, Regnal and Jubilee years.

      The last Rapture will be on the Day of God's Wrath, probably Tishri 1, 5776, Sept. 14, 2015. Those people will get out of here by the skin of their teeth, just before the asteroid impacts, one in the NE Mediterranean Sea, the other at Babylon (Rev. 8:8-11). Damascus and Babylon will cease to be cities. Babylon will probably end up being the Lake of Fire."

      April 15, 2014 at 1:06 am |
      • sam stone

        now, if she had the courage to go meet jesus personally may 29th, that would be impressive

        April 15, 2014 at 5:56 am |
    • jknbt

      okay everybody! start gathering the stones....the bible requires a rather harsh punishment for false prophetesses when their predictions fail....if everything doesn't happen exactly as she says, then let her have her judgment....

      April 15, 2014 at 8:00 am |
  12. Semper Fi Sabrina

    Scripture does speak of signs and wonders and the End times. However, Christ also said re:: the end of the world "no one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven" The point is to repent,pray and watch not try to speculate and wonder how much time we can fudge until the end. That's the point of observing Holy Week is to prepare our hearts for the Lord's return whenever He may deem that to be.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:36 am |
    • meg119

      Preach!

      April 15, 2014 at 9:45 am |
    • Athy

      Preach it, brother! (Man, what a load of bullshit!)

      April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  13. gginsandiego

    This has absolutely nothing to do with religion, gods, world events, man's inhumanity to man or astrology. It is strictly an observable, expected, astronomical event. No magic, no hocus pocus, just science.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:04 am |
    • mjaymc

      Actually it does have to do with religion, in that the Feasts of the Lord in the bible were ordained by Him. That's the other half of the story. The 7 Feasts are very mystical if one were to study them. But to each his own.

      April 15, 2014 at 3:59 am |
  14. observer

    It's certainly not the first time John Hagee has made a fool of himself.

    April 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
    • ssq41

      Perhaps his "significant event" will be his loss of 120 pounds

      April 14, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
  15. snowr14

    well I got a prophecy to make too.. Between now and today midnight, someone will eat something somewhere in the world that will cause them to fa-rt.

    Well, there you go, a prophecy that will prove that I know what is about to happen in the future!! Bow to me NOW!!

    April 14, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
    • gauge2

      Where do I send money for your book?

      April 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
  16. urnotathinkerareu

    I'm stocking up on peanut butter and bananas....just in case.

    April 14, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
  17. sealchan

    Perhaps this prophecying is good...each time a nutty preacher reads the heavens trying to tell the future (that doesn't seem Christian actually, more like fortune-telling), several people who were credulous before really begin to wonder if their preacher is a nutcase.

    April 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
    • kudlak

      Most Christians believe the story of the Magi following an astrological reading, but call following your horoscope is a sin. Funny!

      April 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • laceydon

        I am not sure that I would call the Magi's following a star astrology. They were probably astrologers, alright, but that means they watched the stars closely and were acquainted with the movements of the stars in the seasons. Seeing an unusual star, one that might be easily overlooked by less trained observers, would have been something they were well trained for. But that is not astrology. If they connected that star with the prophecy in Numbers 24, that would have been the result of their acquaintance with the literature of the Hebrews rather than astrology.

        April 14, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • kudlak

          What you're describing is astrology. When they describe seeing his star "rising", that's an astrology term, not the sudden appearance of a supernova, or something. Several English translations of the Bible call the wise men astrologers. I think that the same word translated as "wise man/men" here is translated as "sorcerer" in Acts for "Elymas the sorcerer" and Simon Magus. Magus, Magi, magic ... , but the Magi were good guys, so they couldn't be called sorcerers, right?

          April 15, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • kudlak

          Just for kicks, you might want to compare Zoroastrianism, the religious tradition that the Magi likely served as priests within, with Christianity. The battle between the good deity and the evil one. The coming end of the world, complete with a saviour and the rising of the dead, all in a religion as old as Judaism.

          April 15, 2014 at 8:35 am |
  18. idiotusmaximus

    And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood..............

    They didn't mean the moon would turn red...they were talking about a mass killing of people i.e. Armageddon... red as in the fires of hell if you believe in all this bible fantasy crap.

    April 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
    • frosty13148

      You know this for a fact because?????? you say the bible is crap for saying these are signs, yet you just said you know what it means, taking the verse from the bible and interpreting it.

      April 15, 2014 at 6:06 am |
    • grisslemcthornbody

      Nope. Sorry you're just plain wrong. http://www.bethlehemstar.net will explain the blood moon verse.

      April 15, 2014 at 9:11 am |
  19. collecemall

    It's the end of the world!!!!!!! AGAIN!! Yawn......

    April 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Seems it's good at snapping back to life.

      April 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
  20. bluebyyou666

    I wonder what Carlo Casteneda would say?

    April 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      "got any 'shrooms?"

      April 15, 2014 at 5:58 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.