The first of four Blood Moons has appeared in the sky. Millions of Christians have become fascinated with the phenomenon. Books have been written on the subject. Why all the interest and excitement? Because the lunar event is supposedly all about Bible prophecy and the end of the world or the so-called “rapture” of the church that these prophecy prognosticators claim will usher in the Second Coming of Jesus.

Megachurch pastor John Hagee is warning his San Antonio congregation and international following of a “world-shaking event that will happen between April 2014 and October 2015.”

This is the same John Hagee who “gained international attention two years ago for a series of sermons asking, ‘Could 2012 be the end of the world as we know it,’ that was broadcast to millions worldwide via his organization John Hagee Ministries and Global Evangelism Television.”

A real prophetic sign would be if the moon actually turned to blood like God turned the Nile River into blood. Now that would be a sign of things to come!

There have been blood moons before. There have been tetrads before. And it’s these past tetrads that have brought out the prophecy speculators.

Mark [Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Puyallup, Washington] found that we have had blood-red moons on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkot on back-to-back years seven times since 1 A.D. Three of these occurrences were connected to 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence), and 1967 (the Six-Day War)—some of the most significant days in Jewish history. The others were in 162/163 A.D., 795/796 A.D., 842/843 A.D. and 860/861 A.D. We don’t have any historical connections for these years at this time, but we do know of significant Jewish persecution during the eighth and ninth centuries.

Actually, the tetrads appeared in 1493/1494, 1949/1950. In these two cases the blood moons appeared after the events for which they are said to have had prophetic significance. The ones in 1967/1968 appeared during the conflict that lasted just six days. “This isn’t even the first tetrad of this century (that was in 2003-2004) and including this one there will be seven more before the year 2100.”

This means, given the chronology of the appearance of past blood moons, the significant prophetic event of our most recent blood moon and the three that follow should have happened in 2013.

Notice the years of the other tetrads and this comment: “We don’t have any historical connections for these years at this time.” Why not? If blood moons are so prophetically significant, there should have been a major prophetic event in those years related to Israel. In fact, if these upcoming blood moons are indicators of a so-called “rapture,” then why weren’t they signs for it then? The same question needs to be asked of the ones in 1949/1950 since Israel had become a nation again the year before.

And if these four blood moons are so significant for Israel, then why is it that “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.” This makes no sense if the blood moons are for Israel.

If blood moons are so significant for Israel, then why wasn’t there a tetrad of blood moons when Israel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians in 586 BC, when the temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, an event predicted by Jesus in the Bible’s Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24), or around the time of the Holocaust? These events are at least as significant as Israel becoming a nation again in 1948.

What about these blood moons coinciding with Passover (April 15, 2014 and April 4, 2015) and Sukkot or the Feast of the Tabernacles (October 8, 2014 and September 28, 2015)? James Vincent makes an important point:

This is certainly unusual but hardly surprising given that the Jewish calendar is based partly on lunar cycles: Passover is always marked by a full moon and a lunar eclipse cannot–by definition–happen at any other time apart from a full moon.

Consider what Paul writes:

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day — things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ (Col. 2:16-17).

The Jewish feast days and festivals no longer have any relevance since Jesus has come. Christians are dwelling on blood moons when they should be dwelling on the “sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2; cf. 2 Sam 23:4; Isa 30:26; 60:1).

These so-called blood moons have never had any prophetic significance. The blood moon prophecy of Joel doesn’t say that the moon will look blood red; it states that it will turn into blood:

I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes (Joel 2:30-31; Acts 2:19-21).

Why doesn’t anyone mention anything about the sun turning into darkness and stars falling (Rev. 6:12-14) in today’s discussion about blood-red moons? It’s a package deal. If we are to interpret Joel’s prophecy and similar prophetic passages correctly, we must understand how this type of language is used elsewhere in Scripture. See passages like Isaiah 13:13, 34:4, 51:6, Ezek 32:7-8, and many more. It’s important to note that Israel is symbolized as sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 37:9-10; Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-14; 12:1-2).

James Jordan gets to the heart of the meaning of the moon turning into blood passage:

The turning of the moon to “blood” points, I believe, to something particularly Jewish: the sacrificial system. If they will not accept the blood of Jesus Christ, the final Sacrifice, then they themselves will be turned into blood. They will become the sacrifices. . . . That is what the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was all about.

But Joel is issuing a warning. Those who listen can escape. “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of Yahweh will be delivered; for ‘on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape,’ as Yahweh has said, even among the survivors whom Yahweh calls” (Joel 2:32). Just as Isaac escaped death on Mount Zion because of the substitute ram that God provided (Genesis 22:14), so those who trust in the Lamb of God will escape the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Such is Joel’s warning, reiterated by Peter on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:19-21].”

All of this attention on a shadow is taking significance away from the “light of the world” (John 8:12). Too many people are fixed on the end of history rather than on the One who made history nearly 2,000 years ago on the cross of redemption and the empty tomb. When the dust settles, and nothing predicted happens, how many people will drift away from the faith after another prophetic false alarm? How many people will discard the Bible as a fraud because of the hype and hysteria of something that the Bible says nothing about? Is it any wonder that “there are just as many Americans skeptical of the Bible as there are engaged with the Bible”?

Decades of false predictions supposedly based on the Bible have done irreparable harm—many people end up questioning the integrity of the Bible.