The following news item suggests support for a 2013 beginning of the Great Tribulation:
A minister who promotes the Old Testament roots of Christianity suggests a rare string of lunar and solar eclipses said to fall on God’s annual holy days seven years from now could herald what’s come to be known as the “Second Coming” of Jesus.
“God wants us to look at the biblical calendar,” says Mark Biltz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Wash. “The reason we need to be watching is [because] He will signal His appearance. But we have to know what to be watching as well. So we need to be watching the biblical holidays.”
In a video interview on the Prophecy in the News website, Biltz said he’s been studying prophecies that focus on the sun and moon, even going back to the book of Genesis where it states the lights in the sky would be “be for signs, and for seasons.”
“It means a signal, kind of like ‘one if by land, two if by sea.’ It’s like God wants to signal us,” he said. “The Hebrew word implies … not only is it a signal, but it’s a signal for coming.
Biltz adds the word “seasons” implies appointed times for God’s feasts and festivals.
“When we hear the word feast, we think food. But the Hebrew word has nothing to do with food. It has to do with a divine appointment, as if God has a day timer, and He says, ‘OK, I’m gonna mark the day and the time when I’m going to signal My appearance.'”
In the Old Testament, the prophet Joel states, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:31)
In the New Testament, Jesus is quoted as saying, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light … And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:29-30)
Gary Stearman of Prophecy in the News noted, “When we think of the sun being darkened and the moon not giving her light, we usually think of some astronomical catastrophe – perhaps the sun sputtering and the moon being affected by all this. But maybe it’s time to rethink this a little bit and think of it as a natural cycle, the cycle of the eclipses.”
Thus, Biltz began focusing on the precise times of both solar and lunar eclipses, sometimes called “blood moons” since the moon often takes on a bloody color. He logged onto NASA’s eclipse website which provides precision tracking of the celestial events.
He noted a rare phenomenon of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad.
He says during this century, tetrads occur at least six times, but what’s interesting is that the only string of four consecutive blood moons that coincide with God’s holy days of Passover in the spring and the autumn’s Feast of Tabernacles (also called Succoth) occurs between 2014 and 2015 on today’s Gregorian calendar.
“The fact that it doesn’t happen again in this century I think is very significant,” Biltz explains. “So then I looked at last century, and, believe it or not, the last time that four blood red moons occurred together was in 1967 and 1968 tied to Jerusalem recaptured by Israel.”
He then started to notice a pattern of the tetrads.
“What’s significant to me is that even before 1967, the next time that you had four blood red moons again was right after Israel became a nation in ’48, it happened again in 1949 and 1950 … on Passover and Succoth. You didn’t have any astronomical tetrads in the 1800s, the 1700s, the 1600s. In the 1500s, there were six, but none of those fell on Passover and Succoth.”
When checking the schedule for solar eclipses, Biltz found two – one on the first day of the Hebrew year and the next on the high holy day of Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the seventh Hebrew month. Both of these take place in the 2014-2015 year.
Biltz says, “You have the religious year beginning with the total solar eclipse, two weeks later a total lunar eclipse on Passover, and then the civil year beginning with the solar eclipse followed two weeks later by another total blood red moon on the Feast of Succoth all in 2015.”
“If you think that this is a coincidence, I want you to know that it’s time!” exclaimed Prophecy in the News host J.R. Church. “There are no more of these for the rest of the century.”
The prospect of eclipses pinpointing the time of Jesus’ return is getting mixed reaction in Christian circles…
“When He (Jesus) says you won’t know the day or the hour, He’s telling you it’s the Feast of Trumpets because that was known as the feast where no one knew the day or the hour that it would begin,” said Biltz…
Church stressed despite the information suggesting 2015 could be a pivotal time, “We don’t know that that will be the concluding year of the tribulation period … so we’re not setting a date and saying this is a warning. We’re introducing the possibility of a watch.” (Blood moon eclipses: 2nd Coming in 2015? Minister uses NASA forecasting to study signals of Jesus’ return WorldNetDaily – April 30, 2008. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=63076).
If for some reason, a red moon occurs near the Feast of Trumpets for 2015 (which seems odd as the Feast of Trumpets itself starts with a new moon–but maybe somehow this is possible based upon light reflections), then this could be quite interesting.
The Book of Revelation teaches the following:
12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17).
So while Jesus would not return with a red moon, notice that the red moon appears just before the Day of the Lord begins–possibly as soon as the evening before (and perhaps up to a month or so before, cf. Revelation 8:1). Notice that a blood moon is also tied into the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament as well:
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (Joel 2:31)
So if God is intending to use natural phenomena (as opposed to performing a specific and separate miracle, which He certainly could do), then since it is most likely that the Day of the Lord begins on the Feast of Trumpets (as the seven trumpets begin the Day of the Lord, per Revelation 8:2), then the Great Tribulation would begin about 2 1/2 years prior to that.
Notice what NASA has shown:
When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total eclipses, the group is known as a tetrad. The following tetrads occur during this century:Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2003 – 2004
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2014 – 2015
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2032 – 2033
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2043 – 2044
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2050 – 2051
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2061 – 2062
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2072 – 2073
Tetrad (Four Consecutive Total Eclipses): 2090 – 2091 (http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat/LE2001-2100.html viewed 5/01/08)
Thus, while there are other dates in the 21st century (hence many claims in Prophecy in the News were in error), if the red moon of Revelation 6 is a red moon that somehow appears on Rosh Hoshana in 2015, then the Great Tribulation would be expected to begin around the Spring of 2013. Yet, other events would have to happen prior to that for that to be possible.
Why possibly 2013?
According to the Bible, the tribulation and the Day of the Lord seem to be for “a time, times, and half a time” (c.f. Daniel 9:27;12:7; Revelation 12:14-17). Nearly all biblical scholars believe that this equals three and 1/2 years.
And also according to the Bible, the Day of the Lord lasts for one year. Notice:
For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion (Isaiah 34:8).
Hence, if the combined time of the tribulation and the Day of the Lord were to end near the Fall of 2016, the Day of the Lord would begin in 2015 (consistent with the claimed tetrad moon that Prophecy in the News mentioned), the Great Tribulation would begin two and one half years earlier. Which brings us near the Spring of 2013. Yet, if a peace deal to fulfill Daniel 9:27 does not happen prior to June of 2010, this date is premature.
And while the starting point of that calculation is speculative (as I do not believe God will display blood moon near the Fall of 2015 to fulfill Revelation 6:12 as it seems too soon), it is interesting that 2013 is pointed to as a possible start date–and that there is not tetrad for nearly two more decades. It is important to realize, though, that there are red moons without the tetrad–hence another date is naturally possible–plus I think that Prophecy in the News is wrong about a “natural” red moon appearing on Trumpets in 2015.
But even if this tetrad red moon discussion that Prophecy in the News brought up is wrong and of no direct relevance, it is possible that a red moon or some sign like that may be associated with some part of the Great Tribulation or the Day of the Lord.
UPDATE 10/10/2013 Because many still come to this article years after it was posted and because the Great Tribulation, at this time cannot happen in 2013, I just posted a more complete article about this including whether or not Jesus can return in 2014 or 2105. To see the article, please click on the following link: Blood Moons and Prophecy. A related YouTube new video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
Two articles of possibly related interest may include:
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000?