A friend sent me a quote from this week’s K-House Weekly eNews newsletter dated December 8, 2014, titled, “Rethinking the Blood Moon Coincidences.” It is written by William P. Welty under the auspices of Chuck Missler.
FIRST, Welty refutes the Mark Biltz’s eclipse moon theory by a single grammatical point:
As a Hebrew and Greek scholar with more than 40 years of experience studying the Bible text in its original languages, I take very seriously the Hebrew context and grammar of Joel 2:31 and the Greek grammar and context of Jesus’ comments about the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.
Writing as a biblical translator and editor of the Holy Bible: International Standard Version, in my professional opinion, writers of the coming blood moon phenomena aren’t taking the actual grammar with the seriousness that it deserves.
In failing to consider the grammar, these people are missing the point of the passage. Let’s take a close look at the actual prophecy of Joel:
“The sun will be given over to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and terrifying Day of the LORD.”— Joel 2:31, ISV
As you can tell by reading this rendering of Joel’s prophecy cited by the ISV, there are two events described by one verb. The sun is given over to darkness, and the moon into a blood red appearance, both at the same time.
There are not two actions going on at the same time, one affecting the sun and a separate one affecting the moon. There is only one event going on, and it’s affecting both heavenly bodies at the same time.
SECOND, and more to the point, he writes:
Immediately after the troubles of those days, ‘The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken loose.’— Matthew 24:29, ISV
Now let’s look at what happens after the sun and moon are affected:
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all ‘the tribes of the land will mourn’ when they see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.” — Matthew 24:30–31, ISV
Do notice, won’t you please, what Jesus has to say regarding the sun and moon flies in the face of current views about the events surrounding his return.
[T]he sun and moon being struck appears at the end of the time of trouble, not before it begins. If the blood moon writers are right—and I don’t think they are—the world has been well within the 70th week of Daniel described as the end time tribulation period for at least two or three years now.
So are we to conclude that the rapture really did occur back in 2012, like some wacko pastor claimed it would happen back in May of that year? Or should all the adherents of a pre–70th week Rapture now conclude that the Rapture is (perish the thought!) MID-tribulational after all? Or even POST-tribulational? [or Pre-Wrath?]
[A]fter all of these events occur Christ descends from heaven. “The sign that is the Son of Man” appears in the heavens.
If this event is not the Rapture, I don’t know what is. After all, the people gathered by the Angels are called Christ’s Elect, and this is the only place in the New Testament where Jesus calls any large group of people by that term. If the Rapture occurs after the sun (and the moon’s light) are disrupted, then Christian teachers need to rethink their pre–70th week Rapture theories. [emphasis mine].
THIRD, Welty concludes with an admonition to prophecy teachers to have the courage to evaluate their Tradition (i.e. pretribulationism):
Here’s our takeaway lesson from observing what Jesus had to say about the darkening of the sun and moon during the end of days: We are all being called upon to take our biblical studies a bit more seriously.
My colleague Dr. Chuck Missler is fond of saying that when it comes to studying Biblical prophecy, most of the time when he gets into trouble in an attempt to understand what the text is saying, the most likely explanation of the difficulty is that he’s not taking the message of the text seriously enough.
I do not know if Welty or Missler is familiar with the prewrath position, but it sounds like they are primed for it. At least it sounds like they would be open to it. Perhaps someone can send them a copy of Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Return of Christ.