''And the Moon Into Blood''
Prophecy - Signs
Monday, January 10, 2011
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:31)
Throughout history, solar and lunar eclipses have been taken as a sign from Deity. In 585 BC, a solar eclipse darkened the battlefield during a pitched battle between the warring Medes and Lydians.
At the sun’s disappearance, both sides laid down their arms and declared a truce.
The ancient Chinese believed it was the sign of a dragon which had swallowed the sun. They believed that the dragon had to be slain to prevent the end of the world.
So every eclipse, they would sweat it out, praying that whoever was facing the dragon would prevail.
China’s ancient astronomers were tasked with predicting when the dragon would arrive to swallow the sun – a time dominated by rituals of drums and chanting.
The emperor depended on the advance notice in order to send his archers to scare off sun-swallowing dragons. Dragons played a similar role in explaining eclipses in ancient India and Indonesia.
Ancient astrologers were very good at predicting eclipses. Besides the Chinese, the Magi of Mesopotamia kept very detailed records and both the Greeks and Romans had similar astrological systems incorporated into their religions.
There was a total lunar eclipse just before Christmas. It was the first total lunar eclipse in almost three years. It was the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the winter solstice (December 21) since 1638 and only the second since the time of Christ.
In addition, the December 21 eclipse was unusually red, due to the eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia in late October.
Less than two weeks later and only four days into 2011, a partial solar eclipse darkened the skies over Europe, North Africa and western Asia.
In most years, a solar eclipse is visible from somewhere on earth twice a year, with a corresponding lunar eclipse a couple of weeks later.
This year there will be four solar and two lunar eclipses – the one on January 4th, another solar eclipse June 1, a lunar eclipse June 15, a solar eclipse July 1, another solar on November 25 and a lunar eclipse on December 10.
Mark Blitz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonner Lake, Washington, noted the unusual pattern of lunar and solar eclipse activity included a rare ‘tetrad’ to occur in 2014. A ‘tetrad’ is the name NASA assigns to the occurrence of four consecutive lunar eclipses, an event so rare this will be but the 8th time since the time of Christ.
The years 2014-2015 overlap into a Jewish Sabbatical year. Finally, Blitz noted that they will occur on the Jewish Feasts of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and again in 2015.
J.R. Church noted that the two solar eclipse events will ALSO occur on Jewish Feast days; the first on Nisan 1, the Jewish New Year and the second on Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashana):
“On each of these six Jewish Holy Days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light, Will this happen again in the 21st century? No. Did it happen in the 20th century? Yes, in 1949/1950, the year following Israel’s statehood, and 1967/1968, the year Jerusalem was liberated in the Six-Day War! Before that, you have to go back to 1493 for four successive lunar eclipses on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.”
According to J.R. Church, Pastor Mark Blitz, and a number of others, this means that the coming 2014-2015 Sabbatical year is probably the beginning of the “final week of the end of this age” or the Tribulation.
Could they be right?
You will probably be surprised at the answer to that question. Yes, they could be right. Jesus said that among the signs of His soon return would be signs in the sun, moon and stars.
He wasn’t specific – He didn’t spell out what the signs would say. But He DID say where to look for them. He said they would be in the sun, moon and stars – but there is more to it than that. He said the signs would be accompanied by the distress of nations with perplexity, or confusion.
The ISV translates Luke 21:25 this way: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and there will be distress on earth among the nations that are confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves.”
The signs in the sun are undeniable. For the last two solar cycles, and since the turn of the 21stcentury especially, the sun has been misbehaving in ways never seen in living memory.
“We're witnessing something unlike anything we've seen in 100 years," said David Hathaway of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama in a June 14, 2010 article at space.com.
Typically, a cycle lasts about 11 years, taking roughly 5.5 years to move from a solar minimum, a period of time when there are few sunspots, to peak at the solar maximum, during which sunspot activity is amplified.
The previous cycle 23's extraordinary minimum recorded the highest number of days without sunspots that researchers had seen since 1913, said Hathaway.
According to the report, the sun is “out of synch” and has been since about the turn of the 21stcentury. And recent observations by astronomers using the space-based Hubble telescope almost always include the word “unusual.”
The unusually weak solar minimum has baffled those True Believers convinced that global warming is both a threat to the planet and caused by human activity. The planet appears to be cooling and human activity seems to have nothing to do with it.
But they continue to warn that without immediate and expensive remedial changes, melting ice in the oceans will cause the sea levels to rise and wash away coastlines.
So we have the sea and the waves roaring, causing worldwide fear and confusion. Particularly since melting ice doesn’t add water volume, but that is another story.
This story is about the possibility that Pastor Mark Blitz and J.R. Church could be right in their observation that the 2014-15 Sabbatical Year could be the first year of the Tribulation Period.
The admonition against date-setting is pretty precise.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36)
“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up” (Matthew 24:43)
“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Revelation 3:3)
Notice just how specific the admonition against date-setting really is. “The day and hour” – “which watch” and “what hour” – what Blitz and Church are looking at is what year.
Could they be right? Could we be but three years from the Rapture, at the most? Is it possible that they have, by watching the signs, have correctly predicted the year the Tribulation will begin?
Sure, its possible! That is why Jesus GAVE us the signs of the times. So we would know what to look for. So we would know when it was near, even at the doors.
I’ll go a step further and say I even think they are probably right. The Lord is coming. And He is coming soon. Very soon. Maybe even before 2014.
It’s as sure as the sun in the morning and the moon at night.
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