Pastor John Hagee, whose new documentary, "Four Blood Moons" is headed to 700 theaters nationwide for a one-night only presentation on Monday evening, believes that his critics are wrong to dismiss the controversial theological framework at the center of the film.
The movie, much like a book he published in 2013, will focus in on the "rare lunar phenomenon" that Hagee believes could be God's way of sending prophetic signs about the state of Israel. It will specifically address the rare series of four total lunar eclipses — also known as “blood moons” — that have occurred over two-year periods on the Jewish holidays of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles over the past 500 years.
Hagee, the pastor at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, claims that the dates during which these tetrads have fallen always involve world events that begin with “tears” and end in “triumph” for the Jewish people.
With yet another series of four blood moons landing on Jewish holidays again in 2014 and 2015, Hagee believes that it’s important to focus on these lunar events, named for the reddish color that results when the Earth comes between the sun and moon.
Of course, some critics have dismissed the blood moons theory, claiming that there's not much to it, theologically speaking — a notion that Hagee pushed back against during an interview with TheBlaze on Monday.
"Only God can align the sun, the Earth and the moon in a perfect alignment to create a blood moon," he said. "The rays of the sun shine through the atmosphere of the Earth to cause the moon to have a blood red color … no one on this earth controls the heavenly bodies. This is the work of God."
Hagee also said that it's important to note that "God set the date of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles" and that it is especially curious that the moons are appearing on these holidays.
"God is a God of pattern and if these things continue, we can anticipate a great trial coming with a great triumph that will be one of the great triumphs in the history [of Israel]," he said.
Hagee said he believes that many have improperly assumed that there's really' "nothing to it" when it comes to the meaning behind the tetrad, but he's hoping that the movie leaves audiences educated and inspired.
"I believe that people will learn of the trial and triumphs of the Jewish people, accentuate the tragedies that they are now facing in the Middle East and come away with a sense of hope that God almighty is in absolute charge and total control," he said.
Christian expert Hank Hanegraaff, the “Bible Answer Man” who is no stranger to speaking out against end-times prophecies, among other sentiments, is among the critics of Hagee’s philosophy.
He called the theory of the four blood moons “appalling” and “deplorable,” flatly dismissing it a previous interview with TheBlaze. Read some of the other critiques here.
The "Four Blood Moons” documentary will explore history, science and the Bible, detailing the three historical tetrads — which each began in 1493, 1948 and 1967 — that Hagee believes held significance for the Jewish people, while bringing in religious scholars and historians to explore the pastor’s theory. Radio host Dennis Prager, historian David Barton and author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza will be among them, according to a press release.
“Only three times in the past 500 years have four blood moons (or tetrads) occurred back to back and on major Jewish holy days. The fourth tetrad began April 15, 2014, on Passover,” the statement explains. “In October last year, the second blood moon appeared on the Feast of Tabernacles (also known as Sukkot). Blood moons in 2015 land on the same holy days.”
TheBlaze has previously covered Hagee‘s theories in-depth, exploring the three historical tetrads and the current set of blood moons unfolding in 2014 and 2015.
Starting at the beginning of the series is the first tetradthat began in 1492, around the time that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella “issued an edict of expulsion” kicking the Jews out of Spain, Hagee told TheBlaze. This happened during the Spanish Inquisition, which started in 1478 in an effort to rid the region of Jews and Muslims.
And that’s not the only series of blood moons Hagee links to Israel, as NASA data shows that yet anothertetrad unfolded between 1949 and 1950, a key time for Israel’s modern-day manifestation.
“In 1948, that’s the year Israel became a state,” he explained. “The thing that happened prior to that was the tragedy of the Holocaust, which ended in the rejoicing of statehood.”
Another tetrad happened between 1967 and 1968, a period which saw the Six-Day War — a moment of “triumph” when Jerusalem was reunified and became “the eternal capital of the Jewish people once again,”Hagee said.
NASA data also shows that four blood moons emerged between the years 1909-1910, 1927-1928 and 1985-1986, but these also did not fall on the Jewish holidays.
NASA says the current tetrad of blood moons that started in April 2014 will last through Sept. 28, 2015. The last tetrad to occur happened between 2003 and 2004, though it did not fall on Jewish holidays.
Hagee said that there would “not be anymore four blood moons in the future” that fall on these holidays, so he says the current tetrad could indicate the start of some major, earth-shattering events.
NASA data does appear to show six others will happen this century, but none appear to have all four blood moons fall on both Passover and Sukkot as they do in 2014 and 2015.