WASHINGTON – For many astronomers, the occurrence of blood moon eclipse on Tuesday, April 15, is a natural phenomenon that is worthy of examination. The concept is very much different for some Christians who see the phenomenon as a sign that Jesus will return to earth and Armageddon.
“When you see these signs, the Bible says, lift up your head and rejoice, your redemption draweth nigh,” Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee said in a sermon, according to the San Antonio Express-News, Religious News Service reported on Monday.
“I believe that the Heavens are God’s billboard, that He has been sending signals to Planet Earth but we just have not been picking them up.”
According to NASA, lunar eclipses are not a strange phenomenon as there are two eclipses per year.
The unusual about tonight’s eclipse is that there will be four blood moons within 18 months; astronomers call that a tetrad, and all of them occur during Jewish holidays.
The four eclipses occur on April 15 and Oct. 8, 2014, and April 4 and Sept. 28 next year.
The ones in April occur during Passover, and the ones in October occur during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.
Like many Christian pastors, Hagee sees the occurrence of blood moon, which happens when the moon slide into Earth’s shadow, casting a reddish hue on the moon, as an old prophecy in the bible that refers to the time Jesus will return to earth.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord,” Joel 2:31 says.
In the New Testament, Acts 2:20 echoes the same doom: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord.”
In his book, “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change”, Hagee writes that every time a tetrad occurs on Jewish feast days, something traumatic and “world-changing” happens to Jews.
In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain and Christopher Columbus discovered America, giving the Jews a place to go.
In 1948, the modern state of Israel was born, and in 1967, Israel won the Six-Day War, occupying Sinai, parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Al-Quds and Palestinian territories.
This time, Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth.
Similar prophecies were made by some Christians in several books including, “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs” by Washington state author Mark Biltz and “Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons” by Oklahoma pastor Mark Hitchcock.
Waste of Time
Though many Christians believe that the tetrad will bring a major change to earth, other pastors rejected the predictions as a waste of time.
“You have an entire population buying into this stuff so no congregation is immune to this,” Greg Boyd, a pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., said.
“It can strike fear into people, which is so unnecessary and wrong.”
NASA scientists do not consider tetrads as especially rare, saying in a statement that there are eight sets of tetrads before the year 2100.
The most unique thing about the upcoming tetrad is that they are visible from all or parts of the United States, NASA stated.
During the 300-year interval from 1600 to 1900, there were no tetrads at all, according to NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak.
Sam Storms, a pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, agrees with Boyd.
He asserted that the Jewish holy days carry less theological significance for many Christians.
“We need to stop giving into some of these sensationalist speculations,” he said.
“Maybe Christians are more gullible. One has to twist the data to make it appear as if these are the fulfillment of some biblical prophecy.”
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called "Isa". He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.
Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.
The true followers of Jesus will prevail over those who deny him, misrepresent him and reject him.
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