Here in Part 3 we start with Section 5 of this paper.
5. SOME TECHNICAL DETAILS REGARDING THE FOUR TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSES IN 2014 AND 2015 AND THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN 2015. I am taking much of this information from the informative Answers in Genesis article titled "Will Lunar Eclipses Cause Four Blood Moons in 2014 and 2015?" by Danny R. Faulkner, dated July 12, 2013. Faulkner, who is an astronomer, joined the staff of Answers in Genesis in January, 2013. I also read quite a few (more that ten) related articles on the internet. I'm not going to get into all of the technical details that Faulkner deals with in his 11 page article.
A total lunar eclipse takes place when the earth is between the sun and the moon and the earth's umbra (shadow) covers the moon. The earth's atmosphere bends light which typically allows quite a bit of light from the sun to hit the moon during a lunar eclipse. "The earth's atmosphere scatters out shorter-wavelength light (green through violet) leaving mostly longer-wavelength light (red, orange, and yellow) in the earth's umbra. ... While the color of some total lunar eclipses could be compared to blood, others are more orange, similar to a pumpkin. Still others look yellow, and some are very dark - virtually black. [Faulkner points out that these differences are "based on atmospheric conditions at the time including dust and humidity levels."] ... In short, most lunar eclipses don't appear blood-like, so it is a bit presumptuous to assume that any particular future eclipse - or in this case, four eclipses - must of necessity be 'blood moons' " (pages 1-2). On page 1 Faulkner mentions that "most lunar eclipses are red [how about reddish (somewhat red)?]."
There will be a total of 85 total lunar eclipses in this century. A lunar eclipse (whether it is total or not) always takes place with a full moon. The reason we don't have a lunar eclipse every month at full moon is because the plane of the moon around the earth is tilted a little more than 5 degrees with respect to the plane of the earth around the sun. Two times a month the moon crosses that plane (lunar nodes). If the full moon isn't near a lunar node the shadow of the earth won't fall on the moon. When a full moon occurs near a lunar node a lunar eclipse will occur. (When a new moon occurs near a lunar node a solar eclipse will occur.) "There are two times per year when the [lunar] nodes are roughly aligned with a full moon. These seasons are [a] little more than a month long..." (page 3).
"The [Jewish] civil year [Rosh Hashanah (new year)] began near the autumnal equinox [[Twice a year (in the spring [vernal] and in the fall [autumn]) the tilt of the earth's axis is not inclined toward or away from the sun; the sun crosses the equator of the earth, and the day and night are of equal length (equinox - equal night). (The Wikipedia article "Equinox" points out that the day is actually a little longer than the night at an equinox.) Rosh Hashanah always takes place with a new moon near the time of the autumnal equinox.]] on the first day of the first month [using their lunar calendar], and the Jews today still celebrate Rosh Hashanah (New Year) then. However, at Sinai God established that the ceremonial year would begin in the spring, six months earlier. [[The ceremonial year starts with a new moon near the time of the spring equinox.]] The festivals that the Hebrews were to observe on this ceremonial calendar are recorded in Leviticus 23. Passover is the fifteenth day of the first month and Sukkot [Tabernacles] begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, six months after Passover. Thus Passover and Sukkot are always at full moon [since the full moon comes half a lunar month after the new moon, which is a little less than a full 15 days]..." (page 4). Faulkner went on to say that this shows that it isn't surprising when a lunar eclipse takes place on (the first day of) the Feasts of Passover or Tabernacles. I'll explain further as we continue.
A lunar eclipse cannot take place unless there is a full moon, because the sun, earth, and moon cannot be aligned without the moon's being full. (And there are two times a year when the lunar nodes are roughly aligned with a full moon, periods that are a little more than a month long.) The (Jewish) lunar months start with a new moon. If we are going to be accurate it takes the moon 29.53059 days to complete its orbit around the earth (it would only take 27.3 days for the moon to complete its orbit around the earth if the earth didn't continue its orbit around the sun), so since the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles both start on the fifteenth day of the lunar month, they will always start when the moon is full (with room for the dates to be off by a day, or sometimes two; see at the end of the next paragraph).
It takes half of a lunar month (which is a little less than 15 full days) to go from a new moon to a full moon (and then another half of a lunar month to get back to a new moon). The earth in its yearly rotation around the sun must be near the autumnal equinox for there to be a lunar eclipse on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and it must be near the spring equinox for there to be a lunar eclipse on the first day of the Feast of Passover. A solar eclipse can only take place with a new moon, when the moon is between the sun and the earth, even as a lunar eclipse can only take place when the earth is between the sun and the full moon. On pages 4 and 5, Faulkner lists 5 reasons that explain how these dates can be off by a day, or sometimes two.
Faulkner makes the point that the total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 won't be visible to hardly any people on the earth, which greatly reduces the sign value of that total eclipse.
Since a solar year is 365.25 days (more accurately, 365.2421987 days) and a lunar year is only 354 days, the Jews would add an extra month every two or three years to keep their lunar calendar synchronized with the sun. This works out to 7 added months in a 19 year period.
I'll quote a paragraph from "Yearly Eclipse Cycles" at www.idialstars.com. "There are a minimum of 2 solar eclipses and 2 lunar eclipses every calendar year, though any eclipse is only visible from a portion of the Earth's surface. It's possible - though very rare - to have as many as 7 eclipses in one calendar year. This, in fact, only happens twice in the 21st century: 2018 and 2094."
A Few More Details About Eclipses. I'm taking this information from the article on "Lunar Eclipse" in Wikipedia. "Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place due to the smaller size of the moon's shadow" (page 1).
When the Moon travels completely into the Earth's umbra [shadow] one observes a total lunar eclipse. The Moon's speed through the shadow is about one kilometer per second (2,300 mph), and totality [the period where the entire full moon is covered by the shadow of the earth] may last up to nearly 107 minutes. Nevertheless, the total time between the Moon's first and last contact with the shadow is much longer, and could last up to 4 hours" (pages 1, 2).
Many people living on the night side of the earth would only be able to see the beginning of the eclipse (assuming that conditions permitted being able to see the moon), because as the earth continues to rotate (24 hours per day; about 1040 mph at the equator) they would pass out of the night side of the earth. Also, for many other people the moon would not become visible until after the eclipse started, but they could watch the rest of the eclipse after they rotated into the night side of the earth.
"The following scale (the Danjon scale) was devised by Andre Danjon for rating the overall darkness of lunar eclipses:
L=0: Very dark eclipse. Moon almost invisible, especially at mid-totality.
L=1: Dark eclipse, gray of brownish in coloration. Details distinguishable only with difficulty.
L=2: Deep red or rust-colored eclipse. Very dark central shadow, while outer edge of umbra is relatively bright.
L=3: Brick-red eclipse. Umbral shadow usually has a bright or yellow rim.
L=4: Very bright copper-red or orange eclipse. Umbral shadow is bluish and has a very bright rim" (page 3).
6. A FEW PROBLEM AREAS. (I am not listing all such problem areas that I noticed, but I am not listing the many places where I agree with what Hagee says in this book either; like I said, I respect his ministry. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Hagee and his publisher were in a hurry to publish this book: 2014 and 2015 are coming soon.):
On page 62 Hagee mentions that "The Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem that survived this vicious siege [speaking, in context, of the Roman siege of AD 70] fled and dispersed to the nations of the world, which began what history calls the Diaspora." My Webster's Dictionary says that "Diaspora," which comes from the Greek "diaspora," a scattering, refers to "(a) the dispersion of the Jews after the Babylonian exile; (b) the Jews thus dispersed; (c) and the places where they settled." The apostle Paul, for example, ministered to Jews who were dispersed throughout the Roman world, before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. The Romans added to the dispersion of the Jews after they destroyed Jerusalem, etc.
On page 63 Hagee mentions that the Temple was destroyed for the first time in 423 BC. I trust Hagee knows that it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587/586 BC.
On page 66 Hagee defines what it means to be a premillennialist with the words "I believe Jesus Christ will come for His church in an event called the RAPTURE before the seven years of the Great Tribulation, led by the Antichrist." I trust Hagee knows that premillennialism means you believe that the Lord Jesus will come back PRE (before) the millennial kingdom begins. I trust Hagee knows that the pre-week rapture viewpoint (he would undoubtedly call it the pre-tribulation rapture viewpoint) means that the Lord Jesus will come back before the seven-year period that is sometimes called the 70th week of Daniel (based on Dan. 9:24-27) begins.
On pages 72, 73 Hagee mentions that Jesus "was beaten with thirty-nine stripes." You hear this a lot in some Pentecostal/charismatic circles, but it is wrong. It is true that Deut. 25:1-5 limits the number of stripes that can be given to 40, but we must understand that the Romans (who were the ones who scourged Jesus) were not interested in keeping the Mosaic Law. The person (Person) wrapped in the Shroud of Turin had received between 60 and 120 lashes according to "The Authentication of the Shroud" on the "Shroud of Turin" website. The number is typically given as more than a hundred lashes, and the Roman scourging could kill a person.
On page 83 Hagee mentions that the rider on the white horse in Rev. 6:2 is Antichrist. Many teach that viewpoint in our day, but I am confident that it is wrong. In agreement with many, I believe the rider is the Lord Jesus Christ, or the Word of the Gospel, or the kingdom of Christ going forth throughout this age. That's quite a difference in interpretation, isn't it? See under Rev. 6:1, 2 in my paper on Revelation chapters 1-10 on my internet site. Revelation chapter 6 is discussed as a separate article in two parts on this Christian article site. I quoted from Henry Alford there ("New Testament for English Readers," Vol. 4 [Baker, 1983 reprint] page 1831); he said "that all expositors from the earliest times down to the year 1500" agreed, "with divergences of separate detail," with the interpretation I have given; none of them understood the rider on the white horse to be Antichrist. Even if Alford missed an expositor/interpreter or two (and I don't know that he did), that's important information.
On page 116 Hagee interprets Matthew chapter 25 of God's judging the nations because they "abused the Jewish people." I'm not suggesting that God won't judge the nations for abusing the Jewish people, but I believe that His "brothers" (Matt. 25:40) that Jesus was speaking of in Matt. 25:31-45 are Christians (whether Jewish or Gentiles). In fact, the glorified Christians will be with Christ when He judges the nations. ((See my verse-by-verse discussion of Matthew chapters 24 and 25 on my internet site on these verses. These verses are discussed in Parts 5 and 6 of my paper on Matthew chapters 24 and 25 on this Christian article site.))
I reject replacement theology, but it seems clear to me that Israel was temporarily set aside in some ways when they rejected the Messiah (cf., e.g., Matt. 21:33-46 [especially verse 43]; 23:37-39; and Rom. 11:17-24). Romans chapter 11 also makes it clear that God still has significant plans for Israel (cf., e.g., Rom. 11:11-16, 25-36). Romans 11:25-27 show that all Israel (the end-time remnant of Israel) will be saved with new-covenant salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Every person who is in heaven will be there because of the all-important atoning death (and resurrection) of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf., e.g., Acts 4:12; Rev. 21:27). There in no basis whatsoever for any persecution of Jews, and God is certainly involved with Israel. Furthermore, He has eternal plans for Jerusalem.
Should the gospel be presented to Jews? Of course! See Acts 1:8; 2:22-47; Rom. 1:16, 17, for example.
On page 157 Hagee says "When Jesus comes the second time [which for Hagee and many others means at the end of the seven-year period], as described in Revelation 19:11-16, the whole world will see Him." (Also see his pages 66, 67.) I'll quote what I said on Rev. 19:11 in Article #22 of my paper "Twenty-Four Articles on the Mid-Week Rapture" on my internet site (the article is available individually on this Christian article site):
Let's go on to Rev. 19:11, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war." Everything that the triune God does He does "in righteousness." It is clear that the Rider on the white horse is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is judging and waging war in His end-time judgment of the world. He has been judging and waging war since He returned to the earth and began to reign at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet in the middle of Daniel's 70th week (see Rev. 11:15-18). He has already judged and removed Babylon the great harlot, and the first six bowls of wrath have already been poured out, by the time we get to Rev. 19:11, very near the end of the seven-year period. Revelation 14:14-16 picture the Lord Jesus Christ (and the glorified, raptured saints will be with Him) sitting on a white cloud and swinging His sickle over the earth to reap the earth. I believe that reaping refers to His judgment and removal of Babylon the great harlot. (On Rev. 14:14-16, see my paper on Revelation 14:6-19:21. On this Christian article site, see Part 2 of that paper.)
The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is pictured with His robe dipped in the blood of His enemies in Rev. 19:13 serves to strongly confirm the very important fact that He has already been actively engaged in judging when we see Him in Rev. 19:11, before He judges and destroys Antichrist and his followers at the end of Revelation chapter 19. [Hagee agrees, along with very many others, that "He will be clothed with a robe dipped in the blood of His enemies..." (page 165).] The glorified, raptured saints (who are pictured following the Lord Jesus, riding on white horses in verse 14) have been reigning with the Lord Jesus Christ since the time of their glorification and rapture in the middle of Daniel's 70th week (cf. Rev. 17:14). I should mention that although the Lord Jesus Christ will be visibly present at the time of His mid-week return with the clouds of heaven, apparently He (and the glorified, raptured saints with Him) will not be visibly present throughout at least most of the second half of Daniel's 70th week, when He will be judging the world.
For one thing, if the Lord were visibly present on the earth throughout much of the second half of Daniel's 70th week, it would detract from God's plans to test mankind regarding who they will worship (cf., e.g., Rev. 3:10; 13:11-18; 14:6, 7, 9-12). The Lord Jesus Christ (and the glorified, raptured saints with Him) will be living, at least for the most part, in the heavenly (spiritual) dimension after the time of His return and the rapture, but He will be very directly involved with His end-time work of saving and judging in the spiritual and physical dimensions throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week.
At the beginning of Rev. 19:11, John "saw heaven opened." Heaven was opened so John could see - see in a series of visions - the next things that God wanted to reveal to him, and through him to us. One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls of God's wrath came to John in Rev. 17:1 and told him that he would show him the judgment of Babylon the great harlot. Revelation chapters 17, 18, and the first verses of chapter 19 dealt with that judgment. But then the angel went on (in Rev. 19:7-9) to speak of the marriage of the OTHER WOMAN of the book of Revelation, the woman of God's true Israel, the bride of Christ. See Revelation chapter 12 on this other woman.
That angel passed from the scene with Rev. 19:9, 10, and John began to receive a series of visions that continue through Rev. 21:8. Then at Revelation 21:9 one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls of wrath came to show John the bride, the wife of the Lamb. THE FACT THAT HEAVEN WAS OPENED IN REVELATION 19:11 SO THAT JOHN COULD RECEIVE VISIONS FROM GOD IS LIKE EZEKIEL 1:1, WHERE HEAVEN WAS OPENED SO EZEKIEL COULD RECEIVE VISIONS FROM GOD. I'll read Ezek. 1:1, "Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day, of the fourth month, while I [Ezekiel] was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God."
A large number of Christians (including those who hold the pre-week rapture and the end-of-the-week rapture viewpoints) believe that heaven was opened here in Rev. 19:11 so that the Lord Jesus Christ (and those with Him) could leave heaven and come to the earth at the end of Daniel's 70th week. As we have discussed, however, Rev. 11:15-18 demonstrate that the Lord Jesus Christ will come and begin to reign (reigning includes saving and judging) at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. And we see the resurrection, glorification, and rapture of the saints taking place in the middle of Daniel's 70th week in Rev. 12:5. We also see the resurrection, glorification, and rapture of the two witnesses/prophets taking place in the middle of the seven-year period in Rev. 11:11, 12. A "cloud" is even mentioned in Rev. 11:12. (They are part of the believers raptured in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, but they could be raptured a few hours before the rest of the believers.) And we see the glorified saints with (including reigning with) the Lord Jesus after the rapture in Rev. 17:14 (Significantly, this verse speaks of Antichrist and the ten horns waging war against the Lord Jesus AND the glorified, raptured saints throughout the three and one-half year super-evil reign of Antichrist.); Rev. 19:14, 19; cf. Rev. 7:9; 13:6; and 14:14-16.
And as we have discussed, Christ's mid-week coming, at the sounding of the seventh and LAST trumpet that is pictured in Rev. 11:15-18, is the same coming that is pictured in Matt. 24:30, 31 (which mention His coming, the trumpet, the rapture, and the clouds); 1 Cor. 15:51, 52 (which mention the LAST trumpet and the resurrection and glorification of the saints); and 1 Thess. 4:16, 17 (which mention His coming, the trumpet, the clouds, and the resurrection, glorification, and rapture of the saints).
It is quite significant that there is no mention in Rev. 19:11 and the following verses of Christ's coming to begin to reign, or of the resurrection, glorification, or rapture of the saints, or of the trumpet, or of the clouds. ((Those holding the pre-week rapture viewpoint believe that Christ will come in the sky and the saints will be resurrected, glorified, and raptured before Daniel's 70th week begins, but they don't call that His second coming. They typically speak of that pre-week coming being a secret coming. They typically speak of His second coming taking place at Rev. 19:11 (and Matt. 24:30, 31), very near the end of the seven-years.)) Also, as we have discussed, it is significant that the Lord Jesus Christ (and the glorified, raptured saints with Him) has already judged and removed Babylon the great harlot, and the first six bowls of wrath have already been poured out, before we get to Rev. 19:11. His robe has already been dipped in the blood of His enemies.
7. FROM NOW ON WE WILL BE DEALING WITH SECTION 3 OF HAGEE'S BOOK; THIS SECTION IS TITLED "THE FOUR BLOOD MOONS" (pages 171-246). There are five chapters in this section: chapter 12, "The Four Blood Moons and Two Feasts"; chapter 13, "The Four Blood Moons of 1493-94"; chapter 14, "The Four Blood Moons of 1949-50"; chapter 15, "The Four Blood Moons of 1967-68"; and chapter 16, "The Four Blood Moons of 2014-15."
We will continue this study in Part 4, starting with Section 8, HAGEE'S CHAPTER 12. "THE FOUR BLOOD MOONS AND TWO FEASTS" (pages 171-181).