Bible Prophecy, Blood Moon Eclipses, and the Tribulation in General

Overheard conversation: "PROPHECY! There so many versions of Biblical prophecies that I just can't keep up, some say, why even bother what will be will be." Pardon me while I step into some dangerous territory folks. Do you know that there were 353 prophecies concerning Jesus's coming and in that one man/God 300 prophecies were fulfilled! (that is a separate teaching for those interested)

I have heard and read so many things by so many pastors, theologians, and TV preachers. First, I would like to say that like it or not the Bible is ONE-THIRD eschatology! That means the teaching of "LAST THINGS." 

I even heard the so-called America's pastor, Rick Warren, say "Jesus was far more interested in evangelism and missions than prophecy!” wrote Warren. “We should be too! Instead of teaching about “last things” Jesus changed the subject. Jesus essentially said ‘IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS to figure out the future. INSTEAD I want you to go and be witnesses to the entire world.'”

HERE’S RICK’S VERSION OF MATTHEW 24

And Jesus went out and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take no care for the morrow, no man needs to know the hour or the day, instead take this gospel to all nations….

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Sounds great doesn't it! I mean here is a man like Noah who is getting the job done!

How foolish!  We ignore prophecy at our own peril!


NOW LETS READ SOME OF MATTHEW 24 AGAIN AS WRITTEN IN THE GOSPEL WRITINGS ITSELF.


 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.


5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.


6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.


7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.


8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.


9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.


10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.


11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.


12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.


13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.


CONCLUSION: 

The point is, evangelism and the need to preach the gospel should be in the light of prophecy, the coming destruction, and our Lord’s SOON return! They are two cords bound together making the one rope – warning every man and teaching every man God’s wrath will be the reward of the ungodly, and prophecy is part of this instruction!

Otherwise there is no urgency, we see no need for anyone to ‘flee from the wrath to come’ Instead our evangelism just becomes a glib appeal from lukewarm churches to come to Jesus….


Rick Warren’s sideswipe at prophecy buffs, is his veiled way of saying the world has always been, the latest phenomena are nothing new, the moons are not end times. It suits Rick Warren’s own version of end times, to say the moons are meaningless, because his Jesus won’t come back until the gospel has been preached and churches like Saddleback usher in Christ’s Kingdom on earth!


OK! Is the Tetrad by Pastor Mark Biltz who is a minister of El Shaddai Ministries accurate? Yes and No! It is, however, relevant!

Let's examine the reason for this ridiculous answer I just gave:


Why reinvent the wheel? I am going to use some of the text I already agree with by Jeff Camino of Learn Bible Prophecy Ministries.



The Significance of a Tetrad
Biltz notes that if we go back in history to examine when tetrads happened previously, we find one was in 1967, when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. Prior to that it happened in 1948, which we know to be one of the most notable prophetic events in centuries: when Israel became a nation! He goes on to explain that prior to 1948 there were not any tetrads at all until the 15th century, but none of those fell on Passover or The Feast of Sukkot. Then in 1493 and 1494, shortly after the Jews were exiled from Spain, there was a tetrad that also synced up with the dates of Passover and The Feast of Sukkot. "So each time it happened it was tied to the Jewish people," Biltz notes. He also points out that other than 2015 a tetrad will not happen again in this century.
Upon much closer examination of Pastor Biltz's theory and his calm and studious presentation thereof, I have to concede the possibility that something of prophetic significance may be in store for those dates. It's just too hard to ignore the pattern the Lord has seemingly provided to us. Please read on, as I'll explain that concept in greater detail throughout this article.
I'm not even sure Biltz is aware of this, as I haven't seen him mention it in any of his presentations; but one must also understand that God used celestial events in the past when the Christ child was visited by the Magi, and again at His death (which was also a blood red moon). If you have not seen The Star of Bethlehem, I highly recommend you order a copy for yourself to fully understand what I am saying about that. You have to see the video to really understand why I take pause and concede there may be something of prophetic significance related to the Tetrad occurring in sync with the Jewish Feasts in 2015.

Analysis of the Initial Theory
Further below (under the section entitled "Reasons to Pay Attention to 2015") I explain why these celestial events may be prophetically significant. To be thorough, however, I must note that there are some problems with the initial theory Biltz presented, as it suggested that the solar and lunar eclipse that will happen in 2015 could be related to the Second Coming. (I must also give Biltz credit that he was careful to not blatantly set dates, yet it's clear the theory was implying 2015 was the Second Coming.) Indeed, in Matthew 24:29 we read about the sun being darkened and the moon not giving its light immediately after the Tribulation (which we know will shortly be following by the Second Coming) because Matthew 24:30 clearly describes that:
"Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."
However, if the celestial events of 2015 were to occur immediately after the Tribulation, we must back up seven years from the dates to locate the beginning of the Tribulation. Since the Bible tells us Daniel's 70th Week will begin when the Antichrist comes upon the scene (Revelation 6:2) and confirms a covenant with the Jewish people (Daniel 9:27), then we would have had to seen that event in 2008. Obviously we did not. In fact, there was also no Rapture, which would have been an even more obvious event.
Of course, some might contend that I am assuming a couple of theological issues, and I am. Among other things, an understanding of Daniel's 70th Week is essential to understanding that we can not be in the Tribulation now given there has been no confirmation of a covenant nor has there been a Rapture. I can concede that the Tribulation and Daniel's 70th Week do not necessarily have to be entirely in sync, but that does not help with the problem at hand. I have included links to both of those topics, "Reasons for a Pre-Trib Rapture" and "Daniel's 70th Week," at the end of this article [on my website] if you want to study either of those topics further.
If the celestial events are not related to the end of the Tribulation and Second Coming, then that leaves a few possibilities. Perhaps they will represent the beginning of the Tribulation. Maybe they will happen at the abomination of desolation, or a major prophetic war involving Israel. If we look to when they happened in the past, then whatever it may be, it suggests we are to be looking for a major event related to the Jewish people.
There are other places in scripture where we read about the sun and moon being darkened. For example, the prophet Joel foretold that the sun and moon would be darkened, and he added it would happen before the day of the LORD:
"The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD." (Joel 2:31)
So what is Joel's prophecy all about? We learn about that in Acts 2:17-21, where we read that Peter explained to a group of listeners that those speaking in tongues were fulfilling Joel's prophecy: which foretold that a future generation would prophesy and see visions, that God would pour out His Spirit, and that there would be wonders in heaven — to include that "the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood". Once again, I refer you to The Star of Bethlehem for further insight to how that did, in fact, happen at the time of Pentecost, just as Joel predicted!
Thus, Joel's version is not about us now or any future event. Rather, it happened at the time of Pentecost (before the day of the LORD in that context). It should be noted that it was also an event related to the people of Israel because right after quoting Joel, Peter resumes his sermon with "Men of Israel, listen to this..." (Acts 2:22).
Another place we can look is Joel 3:15, as we also see reference to the sun and moon being darkened. However, that appears to be the same event described in Matthew 24, for the next verse (Joel 3:16) also describes additional celestial events that appear to be of a more ominous and supernatural nature. Isaiah 13:10 and Isaiah 24:23 also seem to be describing the same event as Matthew 24:30 and Joel 3:15. In fact, it appears that the prophetic events related to the Second Coming are of a supernatural nature because other celestial events (stars falling from the sky and the heavenly bodies being shaken) are also foretold to happen. That does not seem to be the same natural events scheduled to happen in 2015 (though it could be said that, unlike the eclipses, those events are not something we can predict with science.)
That brings me to one final place in scripture that must be examined, because Revelation 6:12-14 also describes the sun being darkened ("like sackcloth made of goat hair") and the moon turning to blood. Interestingly, that is related to the opening of the Sixth Seal, which may not be about the Second Coming since many more Tribulation events described in Revelation come afterward. If any of the verses in scripture match, I believe it could be this one.
However, while it is predicted that both a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are to happen in 2015, they will not happen on the same day (in fact, at best, they happen a couple weeks apart). Yet, it may be that John saw the eclipses in succession and not simultaneous and, because he was seeing them in a vision, it would have been hard for him to distinguish they happened one after another with a small time period between each. Therein I'll admit that the eclipses scheduled to happen in 2015 may be related to Revelation 6:12-14. Yet I do so very cautiously and must qualify that statement: I just don't know for certain. (Also, some experts interpret the Sixth Seal of Revelation as a "flash forward" that aligns with the other verses describing the Second Coming, which would require that we also rule it out.)

Reasons to Pay Attention to 2015
Even if we ruled out that there is no relation between any prophetic scripture referencing the sun and moon being darkened with the eclipses forecast to happen in 2015, I believe we still may have reason to pay attention to the interesting discovery. First, the pattern is quite remarkable, as we have seen noteworthy celestial events when the "Star of Bethlehem" led the Magi to the Christ child, at Christ's death, during Pentecost, when the Jewish people were exiled from Spain in the late 14th Century, when Israel became a nation again in 1948, and when Israel recaptured Jerusalem in 1967. If that pattern continues, then we can expect that 2015 will also have major prophetic implications for the Jewish people.
Also, while we know that we do not know the exact time of Christ's return, the Bible also explains in many places that we are to be watchful:
  • "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night." (Luke 12:35-38, emphasis added)
  • "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36, emphasis added)
  • "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."(Revelation 3:3, emphasis added)
We can also refer to the verses I quoted at the onset of this article reminding us we do not know when Jesus will return. With the exception of Matthew 24:36, Jesus also specifically told us to be ready and watch for His return:
  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42, emphasis added)
  • "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44, emphasis added)
  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:13, emphasis added)
Before I conclude this article, I want to discuss watching signs in the heavens. The key is to be students of astronomy, the scientific study of the stars; which is not to be confused with astrology, a practice related to the occult that falsely believes we can "interpret" the stars (and planets) and their influence on humanity. The Bible says that stars, along with the sun and moon, were given for "signs" and "seasons" (Genesis 1:14). That verse alone is pretty compelling, but we also have other verses we can turn to about the subject of watching the heavens for signs. In Psalm 19:1-4 we read the following:
"1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."
So, like the verses explaining we are to be watchful, we learn from David that God has given us notice that His creation in the heavens declare His glory and His work (v. 1), they continually, both day and night, pour forth speech and display knowledge (v. 2), they can be translated to every language (v. 3), and everyone all around the world can hear that voice (v. 4). Moreover, in Romans 10:16-21 Paul explains that Israel did not accept the Messiah; but he explains they could have, and then he quotes David's Psalm! Romans 10:18 says:
"But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
'Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world'"

Summary
We began this article by providing a brief overview of Mark Biltz's finding, then cited verses that remind us that nobody knows the specific time of Christ's return. We then examined how Pastor Mark Biltz has uncovered an amazing pattern wherein a major event related to the Jewish people happened each time there was a Tetrad that year and you were provided with further evidence that God has, time and time again, used celestial events to point to earthly events. We examined why 2015 can not be related to the Second Coming, yet explained that we should still be paying attention to the Tetrad in 2015. You were then provided some scripture that clearly warns us to be ready and watchful — to include paying attention to the heavens.

Note: In no way does the possibility that some major event impacting the Jewish people in 2015 influence the imminence of the Rapture. Since the Rapture can occur at any time, with it not being necessary that any event precede it, the fact we are seeing end-times signs (a looming tetrad; wars and rumors of wars; earthquakes and other natural disasters; worldwide economic stress; technological advances; etc.) just brings us all the closer to the end times and, therefore, we can, more than ever, expect the Rapture at any moment!

This cannot be more clearly emphasized: we are to pay attention to prophetic signs, we should be ready and on the watch, and we must acknowledge that the heavens have signs for us as well! But we must also be students of the Bible to understand clearly the order of things to occur. So, Biltz's proposal of the Blood Moon significance meaning the 2nd coming will happen immediately-NO! But it is significant in that something has changed. Many Christians, including pastors, think, like Rick Warren, think prophecy is a waste time...Jesus thought differently and spoke of prophecy often. We were meant to know the times and seasons to prepare ourselves for what is to come. Our emphasis should be on preparing our own hearts, evangelism at large, and standing for what we know is true in world gone Anti-Christ. However, we cannot afford to overlook the prophetic, it would be to our detriment.

See you next blog,
Ted

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