Summary: Response to the popular theory of "blood moons" as a signal of significant end-times events about to happen.
This message is in response to a very popular teaching making the rounds recently, concerning various prophecies in general and this passage in Joel specifically, connecting them with recent astronomical events. If you are familiar with the teaching, you probably already know I am referring to the theory about “blood moons.”
First of all, exactly what is a “blood moon?” The scripture teaching is very direct, and comes from Joel 2:31, telling us that “the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
Secondly, what is the current popular teaching about “blood moons?” This has to do with an occurrence taking place in the heavens in 2014-15, in which lunar eclipses will occur at the time of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in these two successive years. These occurrences, referred to as “tetrads,” are relatively uncommon. Significance is being attached to these due to their occurrence being synchronized with Jewish festivals. More specifically, a special end-times significance is being accorded to these tetrads due to events of Jewish historic significance which have occurred around the same time as the previous three occurrences of tetrads in the last 500 years. The teaching is certainly interesting, and has captured a lot of attention in recent months. Let’s examine these things more closely.
First, let’s take a look at the tetrads that have already occurred, and the events of significance that have been connected to them. In the past 500 years or so, three tetrads have already occurred. The first was in 1493-94, the second in 1949-50, and the third in 1967-68. Significance has been given to each of these based on Jewish historical events that have occurred at about the same time. The first one has been connected to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492; the second to the independence of the Jewish nation which came in 1948; and the third with Israel’s 6-day war of 1967. The point that has been made with these tetrads is that God “uses the heavens as His divine billboard announcing coming events.” The point is also raised that lunar events are a “sign to Israel” and solar events are a “sign to the world.” So the four “blood moons,” then, are taken as a warning sign to Israel that “something is about to happen.”
So how true is all this? Let me first say, I am well aware that Scripture advises us not to “despise prophesies.” So what I am about to say is not in any way intended as a denial or an affront to the prophesies about the “blood moon.” I simply have some prayerfully and thoughtfully considered reservations about this theory, at least in the manner in which it has been recently portrayed and/or interpreted in the common “four blood moons” presentation. My main interest here is in addressing this teaching in the light of Scripture, in the manner of the people Paul spoke to at Berea, who “searched the Scriptures daily” to see whether the things he said were true; and also in the manner that Paul urges us, to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”