The January Full Wolf Moon will turn red due to a rare alignment of the Moon, the Earth and the Sun. Conspiracy theorists, however, speculate the Blood Moon is a harbinger of the Apocalypse, as foretold by the Bible. Mention of the Moon “becoming as blood” is found in the Old Testament and the New Testament alike. A particular passage in the Book of Revelation speaks of the Moon turning red during the end times, when the Sun turns black and earthquakes ravage the Earth.
The prophetic passages about the apocalypse have led doomsday preachers around the globe to warn devout Christians an “event of biblical promotions” is brewing on the horizon.
Evangelical preacher Paul Begley from West Lafayette in Indiana, US, is a prominent supporter of the Blood Moon apocalypse theory.
The firebrand preacher dubbed the Blood Moon eclipse a “harbinger” of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
There are biblical experts who dispute this, however, and instead believe the Blood Moon is not a sign of the end times.
One of these experts is Dr Bob Thiel, of the Continuing Church of God, who told Express.co.uk the January eclipse is “not the fulfilment of biblical prophecy”.
Dr Thiel said: “The Super Wolf Blood Moon expected in January 2019 is not a special message from God.
“Years ago I denounced the view the Blood Moons of 2014 and 2015 could mean Jesus would return or the Day of the Lord was about to start.
“Those who pushed that then, as well as later, have been repeatedly proven wrong.
“While some have said this one for 2019 is significant for reasons such as being near Donald Trump’s two-year inaugural anniversary, the truth is that this naturally occurring eclipse is not a biblical message from God.”
The main reason why Dr Thiel does not believe the January lunar eclipse is a portent of doom is found in the very same biblical passages conspiracists draw their theories from.
Revelation 6:12-14 reads: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
“And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
READ MORE: What makes the blood moon red?
“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
According to Dr Thiel, these passages prove apocalyptic Blood Moons will not appear in the night skies until after the final days of mankind begin.
He pointed towards other passages demonstrating this in Matthew 24:29-31 and Acts 2:20-21.
Dr Thiel said: “Although the Bible absolutely does prophesy events related to Blood Moons, according to the New Testament, these do not occur until well after the start of the Great Tribulation.
“Since that event cannot occur for years as other events must happen first, therefore, this and any other Blood Moons in 2019 are not the fulfilment of biblical prophecies.”
Rather than serve as evidence of the coming Apocalypse, the Blood Moons appear as a result of a particular trick of light which paints the skies blue and sunsets red.
The effect is known as Rayleigh Scattering and is caused by refracted sunlight filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Certain bands of light, such as blue, are filtered out and red wavelengths are left to turn the eclipsed Moon red.