Blood Moon April 15, 2014: Upcoming Lunar eclipse has Christians divided on End Times Bible Prophecy
With the upcoming lunar tetrad falling on Jewish holidays, some Christians have been discussing whether the event is linked to the Bible's End Time prophecy. Though some Christians strongly believe that this year's 'blood moon' eclipses are linked to a passage in Joel 2:31 that says, "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come," other Christians believe that now is not the time for Christ's return.
The Rev. Mark Hitchcock, a preacher and biblical prophecy expert in Edmond, Oklahoma told The Oklahomian that he doesn't believe the eclipses are related to Bible prophecy.
Hitchcock pointed out that while rare astronomical occurrences can often be read about in the Bible, the upcoming lunar eclipses is not one of them.
In his recently released book, "Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel and the Four Blood Moons," Hitchcock, who serves as senior pastor of Faith Bible Church, explains his stance on the universe's upcoming event.
The Oklahomian reports that Hitchcock began writing his book because many people were asking him whether the blood moons were linked to prophecy. His colleagues were also overwhelmed with questions about the 'blood moon' eclipses. Hitchcock shared that the growing interest resembled the fascination people placed in the Mayan calendar's end of world prophecy on December 21, 2012.
"The difference in the Mayan calendar idea in 2012 was that it really was kind of outside the Christian world." However, Hithcock stated, "This is a prediction being made by Christian pastors and Christian teachers." The Oklahoma-based pastor explained that after examining historical and scriptural information, he believes that "the conclusions they draw on this blood moon prophecy of 2014 and 2015 are not valid."
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Hitchcock's book counters another recently written published book by world-renown preacher and televangelist, Rev. John Hagee, whose best-seller also discusses the upcoming lunar quartet.
In "Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change," Hagee, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, discussed the point that something important will soon happen involving Israel, because the blood moons, otherwise known as the lunar eclipses, will take place during the Jewish holidays of Passover and The Feast of Tabernacles in 2014 and 2015.
Rev. Mark Blitz, of El Shaddai Ministries, which is based in Bonney Lake, Washington, has also lent his voice to the growing debate. He too believes that there are ties between the lunar eclipses and Bible prophecy for Israel.
However, Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd, who write for EarthSky.org, believe that it should come as no surprise that these 'blood moons' would coincide with important Jewish holidays, noting that the Jewish calendar is, after all, a lunar calendar.
"In any year, it's inevitable that a full moon should fall on or near the feasts of Passover (15 Nissan) and Tabernacles (15 Tishri). Nissan and Tishri are the first and seventh months of the Jewish calendar, respectively," the site stated. It did acknowledge, however, that "It is somewhat ironic that three of these four lunar eclipses are not visible – even in part – from Israel."