Exactly a week before everyone on Earth will see the first of four dark red 'blood moons;' last night Mars, Earth, and the Sun aligned in a rare 'opposition of the planets' that only happens once every 778 days. This occurrence is an unusual event that some Christians believe signifies the End of Days.
The End of Days is a time period described in the dominant world religions. Christians particularly believe the End of Days marks the second coming of Christ.
The King James Bible prophesies, "The Sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes," Joel 2:31.
According to NASA, an extremely uncommon 'Tetrad' consisting of four consecutive total 'blood-red' lunar eclipses will each be followed by six full moons and will all take place a week from today and finish next year Sep 28.
The alignment has only happened a small number of times in the last two thousand years, but each one of the last three instances has in fact corresponded with globally momentous holy events.
Pastor John Hagee, from San Antonio, Texas, has authored a book on the manifestation and said tonight marks the dawn of a 'hugely significant event' for the world.
"This is not something that some religious think tank has put together. NASA has confirmed that the Tetrad has only happened three times in more than 500 years - and that it's going to happen now," he said.
- The first Tetrad since the Middle Ages, in 1493, saw the expulsion of Jews by the Catholic Spanish Inquisition, which rocked western Europe.
- The second coincided with the establishment of the State of Israel - after thousands of years of struggle - in 1949.
- Strangely, the last one occurred in 1967 - far earlier than expected - precisely at the time of the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War.
"This is the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015 - a series known as a Tetrad," a spokesman for NASA said. "The frequency of Tetrads is variable over time.
An Italian astronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli, was the first to point out that Tetrads were abundant during one 300-year interval and then not for another 300 years. He also said, "The 565-year period of the Tetrad 'seasons' is tied to the slowly decreasing eccentricity of Earth's orbit... In the distant future Tetrads will no longer be possible."
Pastor Hagee clarified, "According to the Biblical prophecy, world history is about to change dramatically. To get four blood moons you need something absolutely extraordinary in astrological terms."
"Every time this has happened in the last 500 years, it has coincided with tragedy for the Jewish people followed by triumph. And once again, for Israel, the timing of this Tetrad is remarkable," he added.
"The first of the four blood moons will come on April 15 this year, during Passover. The second will be on October 8, at the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles. On April 4 2015, during Passover, we will have another blood moon. Then finally, on September 28, during next year's Feast of the Tabernacles, the fourth blood and final moon will dawn."
While NASA has confirmed the astrological validity of the blood moon the Bible said no one is informed of the time of the end. "Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only," reads Matthew 24:36.
In the mean time, Luke 21:28 says, "Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."