The Blood Moon Prophecy
As proven by space exploration vehicles and manned moon landings, the surface of the moon is always dark grey. It can appear white, or light grey, due to reflected sunlight, but from the moon itself, the moon is always the same color - grey.
So why can the moon appear red, as viewed from earth? There are three reasons.
During a lunar eclipse (which can only occur at full moon, when the earth is between the sun and the moon), the shadow of the earth is cast upon the moon. As happens at other times (as we will explain in the next reason below), light at the red end of the spectrum is scattered through the earth's atmosphere and onto the moon - making the moon appear red.
The second reason is witnessed much more often - a red appearing moon near the horizon (the same as a red-appearing sun at sunrise or sunset). This is caused by the much-longer amount of atmosphere that one must look through when the moon is seen rising or setting, than when it is seen directly overhead (i.e. you are looking through about 100 miles of the densest part of the atmosphere at the horizon, but only about 10 miles of the densest part of the atmosphere directly overhead). The physics of light (the energy that each color of the spectrum has, which is actually what causes each color, just as heated steel can glow red, then white, as more heat energy is applied) causes much of the light at the blue end of the spectrum to be blocked, while the light at the red end of the spectrum is able to pass through - hence a red appearing moon near the horizon. Keep in mind that someone elsewhere on earth, where the moon at that same moment is overhead, would see it as bright white, while someone who is somewhere where the moon is rising would see it as red. People at different places around the earth can see a "red" or a "white" moon at the same time.
The third reason is from large amounts of smoke, pollution, or ash from a volcano. Particulate matter produces a red appearing moon for the same reason that the moon can appear red at sunrise, but at anytime, even if the moon is directly overhead. It is for that reason ("fire and pillars of smoke") that the moon is described as appearing red in prophecy.
"2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
"I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke"
At the first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection (see Pentecost: Christ's First Harvest), the apostle Peter quoted the above verse from Joel in response to the coming of the Holy Spirit, more widely and in greater measure, than it ever had up to that time. It was a partial fulfillment of the prophecy because what he was entirely dealing with was the greater "pouring out of the Holy Spirit" part of the prophecy. The "blood moon" part of the prophecy was, and is, yet to come, as we will read in the Book of Revelation below.
"2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [see The Origin Of Speaking In Tongues], as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4 KJV)
The fulfillment of the "blood" moon prophecy will occur just prior to the return of Jesus Christ, during a time of great wars, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and smoke over vast areas. The moon turned to blood (i.e. appearing red) will reach its peak at the time of the "sixth seal."
The first four of The Seven Seals are the infamous "four horsemen of the apocalypse" They represent end-time religious deception (the white horse), war (the red horse), famine (the black horse) and pestilence (the pale horse; listen also to our Sermon The Four Horsemen from our Sermons Page). The "four horsemen of the apocalypse" will produce much of the reason for the moon appearing red at that time.
"6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse [see Two White Horses]: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer [see also False Christs and False Prophets].
The fifth seal is The Great Tribulation and martyrdom (see Martyrs) of many true Christians by deceived people who think that they are Christian (see Revelation 13), as Christ warned earlier: "the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" (John 16:2 KJV).
"6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls [see Where Is Your Soul?] of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Revelation 6:9-11 KJV)
The sixth seal will be great signs and wonders in "nature," including "the moon became as blood."
"6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake [see Earthquake!]; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Fact Finder: What does "apocalypse" mean? How and where does it originate?