Monday, September 28, 2015

Blood Moons

Hello again friends!

We’ve waited until they passed to comment, but the last of the blood moons of this tetrad is history, last night in fact.  So we decided it was time to join those posting on the phenomena and write something about it, and the hysteria which surrounded them to an extent.

As Christians it is our responsibility to examine teachings which come along with a critical eye, as Paul told the Thessalonian to do, and hold on to what is fine (1 Th. 5:21).  That way we don’t become credulous and find ourselves cast about like a wave in the ocean for our lack of faith (James 1:1-8).  That also helps us to keep our peace in times of trouble like this.

So what was all this business about the blood moons and tetrad all ab out and why did it catch peoples imagination the point some were preparing for a desperate situation, and even the end, according to various news reports?  The subject caught my imagination not long before the tetrad began, so we researched it so I could be ready if the subject came up in any of the classes we are a part of, it did.

Basically a blood moon is a red moon, a rare event caused by the angle of the atmosphere the moon is at.  A lower angle filters out all but the red light in the reflection back to earth, though it isn’t a really deep red, it is a red shade all the same.  This is a relatively rear phenomena, though I don’t have the statistics on it at hand.  A tetrad happens when four of them fall on Jewish holidays, another rare event which can be centuries apart.  One of the things which excited people is that we had two in the last century, 1949-50, 1967 and I’m not sure of the last year of it.  Note the years, the first one was a year after the creation of the state of Israel, what the Arabs call the Naqba, or disaster and the second the year of the 1967 six-day war when Jerusalem ended up completely in Israel’s hand, another disaster for the Arabs.  In fact, every blood moon tetrad has either followed or been a harbinger for some sort of important event for the Jews, there was one a few years after the Jews were expelled from Spain, in 1692.  That’s part of what caught people’s attention.

We credit Pastor Hagee with starting this tetrad’s circus.  Somebody, I don’t know who, brought it to his attention and after his study of it he concluded that it would be very significant.  So he put together a program on it for his church, the program also made it onto YouTube, where we watched it in our own research.  It was certainly impressive.  Now, do we blame somebody for popularizing their conclusions on something?  Not at all for sincerely held views.

We’ve already explained what a blood moon is.  But why so important.  Well, first of all our lord spoke of celestial events occurring in the heavens during the final days of this present evil world (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; Lk. 22:25).  With those words is it any wonder the tetrad caught folks attention and imagination?  In this tetrad a solar eclipse hit Jerusalem, right on the day they celebrated the Passover.  And this blood moon was not only a supermoon, but an eclipse as well.  Since all of this can be predicted with modern science and calculus, there was plenty of time for people to find out about it and speculate.

So, what happened?  Well, given history the Jews may not be totally out of the woods yet.  However, I submit that some very important things did happen for all I don’t really think Jesus’ words were in anticipation of that, but more in a moment on why.  Three interrelated things did occur which do not bode well for the Jews this tetrad.  The so called Palestinians were given observer status at the UN.  This appears to be in anticipation of declaring them a country and giving them full membership status.  Second, President moved the US away from its traditional relationship with Israel and rumor is may not interfere with statehood for the Arabs in the conquered lands.  Third, the US/Iranian agreement will no doubt accelerate rather than delay Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.  Iran is government by Shia Islamic fanatics who promote terrorism around the world, at times with very deadly consequences.  Given their hatred for Israel and the Jews, that is not a reassuring development.

We would like to point something else out, though.  Jesus’ prophecy has many levels to it, some signs given were common to both the last days of the Jewish polity, and the greater last days.  Wars and rumors of wars would be an instance.  The Jewish rebels of the 60s a.d. thought to take advantage of Rome’s problems with the Germans to the North to free Israel from Rome, it didn’t work.  Look at all the wars we’ve had since the beginning of WWI in 1914.  There hasn’t really been a year since then where somebody wasn’t at war with somebody else, or getting ready for it.

There were signs in the heavens in the first century, witness the sun going dark on Passover 33 a.d. when Jesus died, a similar event to this year’s total eclipse on the Passover.  However, we understand Jesus’ words as coded references as well, signifying conditions which would be present.  One reason for this is that Jesus did introduce a symbolic element when he told his listeners to “watch the fig tree,” a reference to Israel’s future creation in our century.  Given the prophecies of signs in the heaven, and the turbulence of the sea follow right on that one, doesn’t it make sense that it may well be the same sort of prophecy?  Well, Luke was the one who recorded him speaking of the storminess of the sea (22:25).

The bible tells us how to interpret such symbolic language if we are open to it.  In a number of passages we find mankind personified as the sea.  Isaiah presents the sea as telling Zidon that it has not brought forth children, young men or virgins (23:4).  Jeremiah 51:42 likens the armies of the Medes and Persians to a sea as it prophesies Babylon’s conquest by them.  And, finally, Isaiah 57:20 likens the wicked to a stormy sea, something Jesus seems to evoke with his words.  Thus we feel confident in believing that the sea in symbolism is the great mass of mankind.  Think about that for a moment because that view makes for a better understanding of some of the passages in Daniel and Revelation, where we see beasts arising from the sea.  So we see the sea mentioned by Jesus as the stormy masses of mankind.

Even though things of significance, both good and bad, seem to happen to the Jews within a few years, there really is no biblical basis for looking to the blood moons in our estimation.  Given the record, one again, the two of the 20th century happened in proximity to good events, and the one near 1492 a bad one, nobody really has a basis for concluding either way what is likely to happen if God uses the tetrads as signs.  So while they may be items of interest, the next one is in 2033, they are not predictive of the future, as in good or bad, so Christians have no reason to anticipate, or fear them.  We look to trends to determine where we stand, not dates.  That is the best way for use to let our hearts not be troubled in this day of uncertainty.

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