Biblical end time, prophecy-believing evangelical Christians and apocalypse conspiracy theorists are warning people to look out for imminent dramatic events that will usher in the apocalyptic end of the world as night skies turn eerie blood-red across the world this Easter.
According to the fundamentalist Evangelical preacher Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, biblical end time prophecies indicate "something dramatic will happen which will change the whole world."
On the evening of Saturday, April 4, a total blood moon lunar eclipse will occur. During the eclipse, which will be visible in the skies of North America, Asia and Australia, the moon will turn an eerie blood red color.
The first eclipse of the ongoing Tetrad occurred on April 15, 2014. The second happened on October 8, 2014. The last will happen on September 28, 2015.
Predictions by prominent end time prophetic preachers are generating an air of heightened anticipation among Evangelicals and end time conspiracy theorists who believe that biblical prophecies have foretold the events to unfold over this weekend.
The so-called Blood Moon Prophecy which originated among fundamentalist Evangelical preachers such as Pastor Mark Blitz of El Shaddai Ministry in Tacoma, Washington and Pastor John Hagee, claims that the ongoing Tetrad, which coincides with the Jewish religious festivals, is a sign of the end times mentioned in prophetic biblical passages, such as Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12.
Although some have questioned the influence of the Hagee-Blitz Blood Moon Prophecy among Evangelicals, the immense popularity of YouTube videos featuring these preachers delivering sermons on the subject of the Blood Moon Prophecy, and the fact that Hagee's book, Four Blood Moons, was an instant Amazon.com and New York Times bestseller, indicates the popularity of the prophetic theory in Evangelical circles.
Believers point to predictions of heavenly portents heralding the end of the world in New Testament biblical prophecy.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come." [Acts 2: 20]The New Testament passages echo the language of the Old Testament Book of Joel.
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." [Rev 6: 12]
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes." [Joel 2:31]
However, astronomers say that a blood moon lunar eclipse is harmless and natural. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow of the Earth cast by the sun. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth, the moon and the sun are in alignment, and the moon passes through the umbral or full shadow of the moon.
According to experts, Saturday's total lunar eclipse will last only about five minutes as it skirts the edge of the Earth's umbral shadow, creating a special blood moon effect that has occurred only a few times in the last two thousand years.
Tetrad cycles are very rare, having occurred only three times in the past 500 years and only a few times in the past 2,000 years.
According to Hagee, each time a Tetrad cycle occurred in the last 1,000 years, there was a significant event in Jewish history. For instance, a Tetrad in 1493 coincided with the Spanish Inquisition that targeted Jews. The second in 1949 occurred at the time of re-establishment of the State of Israel.
The most recent coincided with the 1967 Six-Day War.
While Evangelicals and end time conspiracy theorists consider the blood red color ominous in prophetic terms, astronomers say it is only a reflection of light from sunsets and sunrises. The process, according to astronomers, is similar to the process that turns the sky red during sunset.
When light from the sun enters the Earth's atmosphere, the red portion of the visible spectrum undergoes Rayleigh scattering and is reflected off the lunar surface, creating a reddish hue visible to observers on Earth.
Evangelical Christians and end time conspiracy theorists, however, believe that the rare blood moon effect has special supernatural significance due to its coincidence with the Jewish annual feasts.
The first of the Tetrad occurred on April 15, 2014 during the Jewish holiday of Passover. The second, on October 8, 2014, occurred during the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, the last major festival of the sacred Jewish religious calendar. The third of the Tetrad will occur on April 4, just as Passover draws to a close. The fourth and final of the Tetrad will happen on September 28 in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Evangelicals preoccupied with looking out for the fulfillment of eschatological prophecies of the Bible see the coincidence of the latest Tetrad with the Jewish religious festivals as significant. For instance, the blood red transformation of the moon appears to signify the blood sacrifice of the traditional Jewish Passover appropriated in the Christian doctrinal scheme as the blood sacrifice of Jesus.
The Mirror reports that Pastor Hagee warns that the third event of the Tetrad falling on Passover indicates "something dramatic will happen which will change the whole world."
"What is so remarkable about this blood moon is that it specifically fulfills prophecies set out in the Bible. Even Jesus himself, in the Book of Luke, states there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars and to 'lift up your heads for redemption draws nigh,'... and four blood moons is a very significant one - the end of this age is coming....But while end time Evangelicals are looking up to the skies to read prophetic messages about culminating events in the Middle East that signal the end of the world, millions of people will be looking up at the skies to view just another rare astronomical event which, unlike a total solar eclipse, may be viewed with the unprotected eye.
"I believe 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."
[Images: Pix 11 and Wikimedia]