We’ve had an exciting series of posts about the heavenly signs that some say herald the End of Times. The last was Prepare To Meet Thy Doom, Part 3, where we said:
According to WorldNetDaily (WND), some preacher whose book and DVD they’re promoting, has “discovered” the astounding fact that certain Jewish holidays somehow always seem to coincide with dates when there are lunar eclipses. (Duh — they’re based on a Lunar calendar.) Not only that, but because a rare (but predictable) sequence of four lunar eclipses is coming up this year and next, he’s announcing The End of the World!
[T]he first of those eclipses is coming on 15 April, less than two weeks from now. You can get all the information you need from NASA: Total Lunar Eclipse of April 15.
Although today is 14 April, we don’t want you to be complacent. The time to panic is now, because the first eclipse is coming tonight. It will be visible in the US after midnight, which will be on the 15th. So it’s vital that we bring you this news now — before it’s too late!
No, they didn’t interview Guillermo Gonzalez, or “Gonzo” as we call him. He’s on the Ball State faculty, and he’s a Discoveroid “senior fellow,” co-author of the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. Instead, they interviewed Ball State University astronomy professor Ron Kaitchuck. Their article is BLOOD MOON: An astronomical phenomenon, or more? They say, with our bold font:
A total lunar eclipse that will occur shortly after midnight tonight could color our moon red, or as some folks call it, create a “blood moon.” What’s more, this will be the first of four such eclipses over the next two years.
Egad — it’s happening! Here’s more:
Will tonight’s moon, indeed, be red?
“It may or may not,” the professor continued, though by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not likely to resemble a giant maraschino cherry orbiting our planet. “It can look quite red, or just dark, or just about black. It’s hard to predict.”
The determining factor?
“Oddly enough, it depends on the earth’s atmosphere,” he said, adding that the clearer our atmosphere, the redder the moon will appear.”
Is professor Kaitchuck deliberately downplaying the celestial omen in order to avoid panic? Let’s read on:
The Star Press received this email from Mark Biltz [the doomsday preacher WND is promoting], a pastor and author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”
[Quoting the email from the preacher:] “A rare cycle of solar and lunar eclipses that will begin this year at the time of God’s holy days cited in the Bible is about to wake up millions to the possibility that end-time prophecies could be fulfilled imminently. All these signs, coming together at one time, are potentially the culminating signals that God is closing this chapter of human history.”
Rev Blitz is, shall we say, blitzing the media with his prophecies. What does professor Kaitchuck say about that? Here it comes:
“There’s always somebody like that,” he said. “My wife and I have survived four or five ‘ends of the world.’”
So, he was asked, just to be clear, you don’t think this is the end of the world? “It’s just the end of your story,” he quipped.
This is very confusing. WND claims that The End is virtually upon us, but professor Kaitchuck seems unconcerned. So now we turn to another news story. This one is from Israel Today, which has the largest daily circulation in Israel. Their headline is Israel to Miss Out on ‘Blood Moon’ Phenomenon. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The scheduled appearance of four total lunar eclipses on major Jewish holidays between this Monday night (the start of Passover 2014) and September 27, 2015 (the start of Sukkot) has the attention of much of the Christian world. But the eclipses are going to go almost totally unseen in Israel. Data published by NASA reveals that all but the last of the four eclipses will not be visible from the Middle East, and even the fourth will only be partially visible.
How very odd. Why would a heavenly sign not be seen in the Holy Land? Let’s read on:
Total lunar eclipses – what are often referred to as “blood moons” – are not uncommon, 13 of them having occurred since 2000. And, since both Passover and Sukkot are scheduled on the full moon, both have occasionally coincided with blood moons, the last time being the start of Sukkot in 1996.
As we’ve been saying, the “discovery” by rev Blitz that these eclipses will happen on Jewish holidays is a perfectly normal phenomenon for holidays that always fall on dates when the Moon is full. We continue:
Somewhat less common are tetrads – four consecutive total lunar eclipses with no intervening partial eclipses – which has occurred 62 times since the year 0 AD.
The year zero? Never mind. Here’s the last of the story:
Seven times in the past 2000 years, a tetrad has coincided perfectly with Passover and Sukkot. One of those tetrads began just prior to the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967. Two others (in 1493 and 1949) began more than a year after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the State of Israel’s declaration of independence, respectively.
Just as rev Blitz has said — although he never mentioned that the 1493 and 1949 eclipses occurred more than a year after those historic events. It’s peculiar for a divine portent to arrive late, as a heavenly afterthought. Here’s the rest:
The other four occurred during times of no particular significance to the Jewish people.
We don’t know what to believe. In Israel, where one would assume they’re very aware of heavenly omens, the coming tetrad of eclipses is of only passing interest. Does rev Blitz know more than they do in Israel? Maybe he does. WND thinks so. We’re not taking any chances. Just in case The End is really upon us, we’ll close with this:
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