Blood Red Moon
Prophetic Signs in the Sky?
Jesus foretold of profound signs in the heavens. If we see them, we should acknowledge them as end-time warnings.
By Ken Raggio
My wife and I were leaving the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, when I looked up from the parking lot and saw a sight that took my breath away.
THE MOON WAS BLOOD RED! It was September 26, 1996, which also happened to be my birthday, and we were attending a national church conference where I had been the pianist.
I stopped dead in my tracks, and told my wife, "That is a sign from GOD!! As sure as I am living, that is a blood red moon the Bible prophesies!" I looked around the parking lot where others were going to their cars. Several within speaking proximity saw me taking notice, and they too looked up and commented that the moon was certainly remarkable.
I wondered for days what significance it might have, but it was January 2, 1997 when I was referred to an article on the Internet by Greg Killian of Kent, Washington. In a scholarly presentation, he studied the Biblical and Talmudic (Jewish Traditions) implications of astronomy. His article identified several remarkable occurrences of signs in the heavens.
Combining his information with other sources, I offer the following report.
The Sun, Moon and Stars Speak to Us
Many Bible prophecies refer to signs in the heavens. The sun, moon and stars are the actors. Jesus and many of the prophets spoke of the moon turning to blood, the sun being darkened, and stars falling, among various other forecasts.
Joel was speaking to Israel. He said that signs in the sky will foretell the great and terrible day of the Lord.
Since the Creation, God made the sun and the moon "for SIGNS and for seasons" (Gen 1:14).
"And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath..." (Acts 2:19).
Jesus personally taught that in addition to great earthquakes, famines, and pestilence, there would be "fearful sights and GREAT SIGNS shall there be from heaven."
"And there shall be signs in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS," (Luke 21:25).
Three Witnesses in One Year!
In 1996, there were two very significant moons over Jerusalem falling precisely on major feast-days of the Jewish calendar.
One "Sack-cloth" Moon (a dark eclipse, some said it was red) appeared on the Passover Sabbath, April 3, 1996, and one Blood-red Moon occurred on September 26, exactly on the eve of the Feast of Tabernacles.
On March 22, 1997, on the feast-day of Purim (Esther's feast), a 90% lunar eclipse occurred.
In the middle of the "Days of Teshuva" (Repentance), on September 16, 1997, another eclipse took place.
There were no further total lunar eclipses over Jerusalem until January 21, 2000!
What are the chances that FOUR such eclipses would occur over Jerusalem exactly on these significant FESTIVAL dates? Could this possibly be accidental, or are they SIGNS from GOD?
Considering the Jewish month Nisan is the first month of the year, according to Exodus 12, then the first three of these eclipses all occur within the space of just ONE BIBLICAL YEAR - April 1996 to March 1997 - following a scriptural pattern of establishing a fact by "two or three witnesses."
Why is the Moon Red?
When the EARTH passes between the SUN and a full MOON, blocking the sun's light, and causing a shadow on the moon, a lunar eclipse ccurs.
Often during a total lunar eclipse, the moon is not completely dark, but is faintly illuminated with a red light refracted by the earth's atmosphere which filters out the blue rays.
In modern times, a higher density of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to a spectacular RED moon.
Occasionally a lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is covered with a heavy cloud layer which prevents light refraction, making the surface of the moon completely dark (like sack-cloth).
The lunar eclipse of Sukkot in 1996 turned the moon blood-red. Color photographs of that moon are nothing short of shocking!
One Jerusalem resident commented of the Passover eclipse: "Did you see that beautiful 3-D Red Moon? It was awesome; the most beautiful sight I've ever seen in the sky..."
The prophet Joel's words are even more ominous however: "And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come" (Joel 2:30-31).
Amazingly, a solar eclipse occurred only fourteen days later!
Why on Feast Days?
Can there be any doubt that these signs are messages from God pointing to the significance of the respective FEAST-DAYS?
The three most important Jewish Feasts are Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Significantly, Jesus was killed on the Passover nearly 2000 years ago. The details of His death match those of the Passover rituals (the slaying of the sacrificial lamb, etc.).
On the first Passover, the LORD smote EGYPT'S FIRSTBORN.
On Passover at Calvary, GOD'S FIRSTBORN was smitten.
Could it be that in an upcoming Passover, ISRAEL'S FIRSTBORN will die for their transgression in the tribulation (those who fail to flee Judea when Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation, as instructed by Jesus in Matthew 24:15)?
Is this a sign from God in the heavens?
Fifty days later, on the Feast Day of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Weeks), the Holy Ghost was poured out upon His disciples for the first time, beginning the Church age.
The early church was "sealed" with the Holy Ghost. Is it possible that on an UPCOMING Pentecost, 144,000 Jews might be "sealed"?
Is this a sign from God in the heavens?
The third, the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrates the 'first fruits' of harvest.
It was actually during the Feast of Tabernacles that Solomon dedicated the Temple (2 Chronicles 5).
Is this a divine reminder that the THIRD TEMPLE COULD BE DEDICATED soon on an upcoming Feast of Tabernacles?
Is this a sign from God in the heavens?
The Jewish Talmud Interprets the Signs
The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition) has interesting things to say about blood-red moons:
"When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel... If its face is as red as blood, [it is a sign that] the sword is coming to the world..."
Rabbi Meir said, "Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel since they are inured to blows. This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished."
The sages in the Talmud understood that a red lunar eclipse means that God will be bringing judgment to His people, Israel.
On the very day of the "Erev Hag HaSuccoth" moon, September 26, 1996, violence broke out between the Palestinians and the Israelis, due to the opening of a tourist tunnel near the Dome on the Rock, after many months of comparative peace.
Violence erupted after the "Sack-cloth moon" on the Feast of Purim, March 23, with 4 killed, 140 injured.
These Signs are not Evil - "be not dismayed"!
Jeremiah the prophet wrote, "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them," (Jeremiah 12:2).
Make no mistake about it. This is not godless astrology, nor is it pagan superstition. The Bible reveals that God Himself often uses celestial events to speak to, prepare and warn His people of imminent earth-shaking events.
In Moses' day, the camps of the Israelites were to be pitched in relationship to the sun, and their Passover meal was to be eaten at the going down of the sun.
The sun and the moon stood still for Joshua over Gibeon, so they could finish a war.
Young Joseph's dream involved the sun, moon and stars.
Psalm 104:19 says, "He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down."
Isaiah 13:9-11 says, "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the STARS of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the SUN shall be darkened in his going forth, and the MOON shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
"Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously" (Isaiah 24:23).
The Magi followed a wandering STAR to find the infant Jesus.
The ancient prophet Balaam prophesied "a STAR out of Jacob."
Herod himself inquired about the Christ child, because all the world was following the signs in the heavens.
The Hale-Bopp Comet - was it a sign from God?
The blood-red and sack-cloth moons are only the beginning of the "signs in the heavens" that are occurring nowadays.
In July 1995, two amateur American astronomers discovered the Hale-Bopp Comet.
Astronomers were astonished that the comet could actually be seen with small telescopes even though it was still far beyond the orbit of Jupiter.
Dr. Brian Marsden of Harvard University, an expert on comets said, "It is unheard of for a comet to be visible by small telescopes while so far away. It could become the comet of the millennium as it comes in towards the sun over the next year or two."
It is a giant comet, estimated to be between 25 and 100 miles across, making it probably the biggest comet ever discovered.
The last time Hale-Bopp passed through the inner solar system, according to the Smithsonian Institute, it was the same year Noah received his orders to build an Ark!
Amazingly, the day that it made its closest pass to earth was March 23, 1997 - the very same Feast Day (Purim) when there was another blood-red (or sack-cloth) moon over Jerusalem!
The comet was easily visible on the same night the eclipse occurred.
This photograph of Hale-Bopp was taken Sunday, March 9, 1997. It was closest to earth March 23 - Feast of Purim!
TWO SIGNS in ONE NIGHT!
When it was first discovered, the Hale-Bopp comet was located inside the drawn "bow" of the archer in Sagittarius.
Sagittarius is known to signify the Redeemer's triumph. The figure is of a mighty warrior with a bow and arrow.
The barbed arrow in his bow is aimed at the heart of the Scorpion. In Revelation 6:2, John saw "a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."
Could this be a sign that the conquering Messiah is soon to appear?
According to the Jewish Talmud, it is alarming to have a comet pass through the constellation of Orion, which is exactly what Hale-Bopp did.
There is a tradition that a comet never passes through the constellation of Orion, for if it did, the world would be destroyed.
A warning of coming destruction?
Hale-Bopp began its pass through Orion starting the day after the Feast of Purim, March 22, 1997 and completed the transit on Feast of Weeks - June 11, 1997.
Could this be a warning that Armageddon is quickly approaching?
Since it occurs on the Jewish Feast of Purim, it speaks of a significant DELIVERANCE in the history of Israel.
In the book of Esther, this was the day the king's right-hand man, Haman, would have exterminated all the exiled Jews.
But the King's BRIDE, Esther, intervened.
Could it be that the King's bride, the Church, will play a role in intervening in the extermination of Israel somehow?
How about the Church returning to Armageddon with Christ to save Israel?
Was Hale-Bopp a sign from God in the heavens?
The comet passed near the orbital path of the Earth while we were on the opposite side of the Sun in April 1997.
We could see increased meteor activity when the Earth again passes near this same point in space. Meteor showers are made up of dust and particles spewing out of comets as they orbit the Sun.
As Earth passes through a comet's orbital path we can see an increase in meteor activity because we are passing through the dust particle stream.
The Woman Crowned with Twelve Stars
In Revelation 12, "a great wonder appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery... And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to His throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for 1260 days."
Consider the following signs in the heavens that portray the above verses.
In the years 1996 to 1999, precisely on the Feast of Trumpets, the new moon is "born" in the constellation of Bethulah (the Virgin) on this date during each of these four years. It then moved directly to the feet of the Virgin within 24 hours.
The Sun is just below the horizon, so that Bethulah is "clothed" with the Sun.
Positioned over the Virgin's head is the constellation known as "Bernice's Hair." This is the crown of twelve stars!
And higher, above her legs, is Draco, the Dragon, poised to devour her child when it is born.
The entire scenario portrays the nation of Israel as the woman, giving birth to Messiah, and being persecuted by Satan, who attempts to kill the man child. The child ascends to heaven, as Jesus did.
The woman is crowned with the 12 Apostles - or the apostolic ministry.
This particular positioning of the constellation Bethulah (the Virgin) - about to give 'birth' to Lavanah, the moon (Messiah), has never occurred before, and will never occur again, due to the procession of the equinoxes.
Could the appearance of it be a sign that it is about time for the Jews to flee for 1260 days? Is this a sign from God in the heavens?
The Seven Candles of the Menorah
On May 7, 2000, Venus, Mercury, Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the Moon were in a straight line.
This is another unique event that has never occurred before! Josephus, in "Antiquities of the Jews," Book 3, Chapter VII:7, says that these seven represent the menorah (candlestick) in the Temple.
This date corresponds to the date when Solomon started to build the first Temple and Ezra started building the second Temple.
Could it be a sign that the Third Temple will soon begin, or that Jesus Himself might establish the Millennial Temple? Is this a sign from God in the heavens?
The Years Confirm It
Several remarkable events occurred in 1997-98 that appeared to be prophetic. Add to that these facts:
What is the
conclusion? We may not comprehend the full significance of these signs, but any way you look at it, 1997-98 seemed to be an ominous year. Only
God knows what other signs may be occurring in the immediate future.
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