The first of four total lunar eclipses over the next year and a half took place on 15 April, and some people believe these events foretell the end of the world.
The next three eclipses will take place on 8 October 2014 and on 4 April and 28 September 2015. Both of the eclipses during April occur during the first day of passover, which is marked by a ceremonial Seder dinner by many Jewish people. Eclipses in October this year and in September 2015 coincide with the Festival of Sukkot, one of the most joyous holidays in Judaism.
Mark Blintz, a pastor with El Shaddai Ministries in Washington State, believes this series of eclipses could foretell Israel going to war, or a coming economic collapse.
John Hagee, another pastor, also believes God is using the moon to communicate with the human race. Both men have recently written books, promoting their ideas. Hagee's book is currently on the New York Times' Best Seller list.
"There's a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way," Hagee stated to CBN News.
The founder of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio also claims every time lunar eclipse tetrads coincide with Jewish holidays, the people experience historical change. In 1492, Jews were driven out of Spain, just as America was discovered by Europeans. Hagee claims that modern-day Israel was created in 1948 during one tetrad, and gained control of Jerusalem in 1967, during another such celestial event. According to NASA, the tetrad to which Hagee refers happened between 1949 and 1950, a year after the founding of Israel.
Although tetrads are not usually terribly rare, there were none during the years 1600 to 1900, according to the national space agency.
"During the 21st century, there are nine sets of tetrads, so I would describe tetrads as a frequent occurrence in the current pattern of lunar eclipses," Fred Espenak, eclipse expert for NASA, said in a statement.
Hagee founded Christians for Israel, which has 1.3 million members. The pastor stated his belief that a military attack by the Jewish nation on Iran will be needed to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
"The only reason that Iran will not acquire a nuclear bomb will be that Israel chooses a military solution to that crisis. I believe that if that happens, it will start a series of events that will change the course of world history," he said.
All four of the eclipses in the tetrad will be visible for viewers in the United States, the last of the tetrad events until 2032.