In 2008, Mark Blitz, the preacher of a church in Tacoma, Washington, started teaching that the Messiah would return in the Fall of 2015. His theory was based on a rare moon pattern, and it immediately became a viral internet sensation. Soon after, John Hagee, a Texas minister, picked up Blitz’s teachings and published a book, Four Blood Moons. Basing their theology on a pattern of lunar eclipses and a few Bible verses, they have become very famous for their teachings. However, there are several problems with their stance.
First, one must consider the source of the teaching. Blitz is heavily tied to the Hebrew Roots Movement. This group considers Christians to be second class members of the Lord’s kingdom. Their beliefs are very similar to the Judaizing teachers that Paul dealt with often in his writings. Perhaps that is why the group tries to delegitimize Paul’s writings. They claim that the Old Testament is the law we should follow, and that we should study Jesus’s teachings in the New Testament. Blitz claims that Christians should be following the law of Moses, and that all Christians worshipping on Sunday are the foolish virgins of Jesus’s parable. Hagee goes so far as to say that Christians should not be trying to convert Jews. The Jerusalem conference concluded that New Testament believers are not obligated to keep the law of Moses. James called it “a yoke ... which neither our fathers or we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10). James summed up the apostles’ position in Acts 15:19-20, a passage that does not reflect the same ideas as Blitz does. Paul expanded this position in his epistles in words that cannot be misunderstood unless one is committed to heresy: (Gal. 3:24-25). Even if Hagee sees no purpose to Jews being “in Christ,” the inspired apostle Paul did! (See Also: Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Jam. 1:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18; Romans 7:1-4).
Second, one must understand the “signs” that the two men are pointing to. A “blood moon” is simply a lunar eclipse in which the light of the sun refracts around the atmosphere of the earth, causing a reddish tint to the moon. Total lunar eclipses are somewhat rare. There were only 81 during the 20th Century. In this century, scientists say we will have 85. Even rarer are the tetrads. A tetrad is when there is a series of four complete lunar eclipses in a row over a a two year period. There have been only 87 tetrads since the time of Christ.
Blitz points out that of those 87 tetrads, only 8 have had their four eclipses coincide with Jewish feast days (162-163, 795-796, 842-843, 860-861, 1428-1429, 1493-1494, 1949-1950 and 1967-1968). He and Hagee claim that when this happens, it is always an omen of a significant event happening with the Jewish people. There are several problems to this theory. First, the men will point to only 3 of the tetrads of the past. 1493-4 followed the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. 1949-50 followed the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948. 1967-8’s beginning of the tetrad occurred right before the beginning of the Six Day war in 1967. What significant event happened with the Jews the other 5 tetrads? Really, nothing. Also, notice that 2 of the 3 events they point out happened before the tetrad, and the other one happened at the beginning of the tetrad. If the tetrad is truly an omen, a warning from God, why would He warn us about something that had already happened?
Third, there is a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches. Examine the texts, in context. Some of the texts they point to simply mentions the moon being “darkened” (Isa. 13:10; Joel 2:10, 3:15; Mt. 24:29). Only 2 mention it being “turned to blood” (Joel 2:31 and Rev. 6:12). Joel 2:31’s prophecy is not referring to anything we are seeing now. How do we know? Because Peter quotes the verse in Acts 2 and tells them that the things they were seeing was a fulfillment of that prophecy of Joel! In Revelation 6, using apocalyptic language, John uses the idea in symbolic language as he discusses the coming doom and destruction that would come upon the Roman Empire for persecuting the early church.
Furthermore, the signs that all of these passages mention (moon darkened and moon turning to blood) are not referring to a normal occurrence in the sky that could be mistaken. They are describing breathtaking sign in the heavens that could not be missed, and could not be attributed to a natural event in space. That is the way God works. Hagee and Blitz are left with nothing but speculation. And speculation has no authority.
Interestingly, even with the supposed omen, John Hagee does not set a date for the Lord's return in his book. That is probably because he has previously predicted the Lord would return in the late 1990s (which he obviously did not). Instead, he simply takes Blitz's discovery and argues that it is an omen of a major development that will take place — a development that will most likely have a significant impact on the Jewish people. However, the only significant impact made so far has been confusion based upon the misuse of scriptures and the sales of lots of merchandise. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).
We do not know when the Lord will return. We just know He will. II Peter 3 says it will be as a thief in the night. Just as no one knows when a thief will break in, neither does anyone know when the Lord will return. Peter says the main thing is that we be prepared when He does return. Whatever is going to happen at the end of time is going to happen. What we need to concentrate on is preparing ourselves to be ready when He returns by believing in Jesus and submitting our lives to His will!