Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
As many are speculating over last week’s blood moon and its significance, Jim Denison, founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, is asking the question, “Will Jesus return in the next 18 months?”
Last week’s lunar eclipse, more commonly known as a “blood moon,” is the first of four to come in the next year, which is called a tetrad. Though they have happened before, this tetrad is noteworthy because each of the four blood moons will happen on a Jewish holiday—two during Passover and two during the Feast of Tabernacles.
The phenomenon has spurred a slew of books, including John Hagee’s best-selling Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change. While some are predicting the blood moons mean war in the Middle East, others predict Christ’s return.
“I have no idea if these events have anything to do with Jesus’ return,” Denison wrote in a column Monday. “But I do know that a ‘blood moon’ was associated with his death. When Peter preached his Pentecost sermon, he cited Joel’s prophecy: ‘the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, that great and magnificent day’ (Acts 2:20). Interestingly, on April 3, AD 33, a Passover lunar eclipse was visible from Jerusalem. As a result, a ‘blood moon’ rose that night over the Holy City.”
He continues, “Whether that event marks the precise date of Jesus’ death or not, we know that he died on Good Friday and was raised on Easter Sunday. What he did is more important than when he did it. And what he did is intended to transform our lives for eternity and for today as well. But here’s the problem: his resurrection can empower us today only if we experience it today. If the risen Christ is a figure of history and a fact of faith but not a Person we encounter daily, we miss his transforming power in our lives.”
Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren recently clarified that he was not making a prediction of Jesus’ return when he posted a photo of last week’s blood moon and then spoke out against those using the phenomenon of the four lunar blood moons in the coming year to predict Jesus’ return.
“The Bible clearly says that NO ONE can figure out the timing of Jesus’ return,” Warren wrote. “It’s a waste of time. If fact, if anyone claims to know the date, you can be certain it WON’T occur on THAT date - because Jesus said ‘NO ONE knows the day nor hour it will happen!’ In fact, Jesus admitted that even HE did not know the date of his return! (Only the Father knows.) It WILL happen someday, regardless of scoffers, but it is a waste of time trying to figure out the date. To attempt to figure out something that even Jesus admitted he didn’t know - is pure arrogance.”
Hagee believes God is using the blood moons to speak, and he has predicted a crisis in the Middle East—specifically relating to Israel.
“There’s a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way,” Hagee told CBN News.
“I believe that in these next two years, we’re going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world,” he predicted.
NASA predicts that the blood moon will be visible in North America again on Oct. 8, April 4 and Sept. 28, 2015. The organization has said tetrads are not especially rare, and there are eight sets believed to be occurring before 2100.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!
NEW from CHARISMA: Do you want to encounter the Holy Spirit and hear God speak to you? Increase your faith, discover freedom, and draw near to God! Click Here