By: Monty Torres and Kyra Jenkins
In Part I, we told you about a series of solar and lunar eclipses coming in 2014 and 2015 that some believe may herald the second coming of the Messiah and Armageddon.
But are those eclipses unique? And why the year 2015?
In Part II of "Signs in the Heavens, What's Coming," we'll show you why we won't have to wait 7 years to find out. We could know within two months.
For Dr. Steven White, Director of Fresno State's Downing Planetarium, eclipses are something special.
"Actually, it's very, very special because the only place in the entire solar system where you get a total solar eclipse is on the earth," said White.
But is it prophetic?
"I didn't know that people were trying to tie biblical prophecy with lunar eclipses and solar eclipses. I'm not surprised that these lunar eclipses are falling on or near Jewish holidays because they use a lunar calendar," said White.
With 2 to 5 lunar eclipses each year and 230 this century, including 85 blood moons, even Tetrads of four total lunar eclipses in a row, White says they aren't rare.
"It's going to happen again in 2014, 2015, so I'm sure we'll have some interest here at the planetarium," said White.
But Tetrads that fall on the Jewish high holy days are rare.
Messianic Pastor Mark Biltz contends this is also significant for the Jewish people.
"I noticed the last time this happened was in 1967, after Jerusalem was recaptured by Israel and it happened again in 1949 and 1950, which is right after Israel became a nation in 1948," said Biltz with El Shaddai Ministeries.
More importantly, Pastor Biltz and his colleagues agree that it's not the eclipses but the ancient Jewish feast days, given by God in the Bible that mark the signs of the times. Four of which they say have already come to pass.
"When the Messiah came, he fuflfilled the four spring feasts...he fufilled Passover, he fufilled the feast of unleavened bread, he fufilled first fruits, he rose on first fruits it's called "Yom Hav Bikareem" and he also, through the Holy Spirit, fufilled "Shavout" or Pentecost," said Rabbi Harlon Picker with Beth Yachad Messianic Congregation.
And Rabbi Picker says the next one could be the biggest event of all.
"And it's believed by a lot of people that the feast of trumpets would be when the Messiah comes back to take his bride to be with him for the marriage supper of the lamb," said Picker.
"When it says we won't know the day or the hour, what it's actually referring to was the feast of trumpets. The feast of trumpets was the feast day where no one knew the day or the hour that it would begin because it was based on the sighting of the new moon," said Biltz.
The feast of trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, is the day of the blowing of the ancient Jewish trumpet, the "Shofar."
According to I Corinthians 15:52, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
But is Rosh Hashanah on September of 2015 the date of that last trumpet signaling the return of Jesus Christ, as the Messianic Pastors suggest?
At Cornerstone Church in Downtown Fresno, the sounds and focus are more contemporary.
"Our mission here is bring our city back to God. We want to see our city changed positively," said Pastor Jim Franklin of Fresno Cornerstone Church.
The expectation of something coming very soon is the same. But Pastor Franklin says we don't have to rely only on eclipses.
"I think without a doubt we are living in the last days. We can look at signs in the heavens. Scripture is very clear that it talks about those but there's also several other clear signs, 30 that point to the fact that these are the end days we're living in," said Franklin.
Matthew 24:7-8 says, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."
More importantly, Franklin says, we don't have to wait till 2015 to find out if that's the year.
It could all come clear within the next 2 months.
"The event that the Bible says will take place is basically a peace treaty that will be made with Israel and it's enemies around it," said Franklin.
A seven-year peace treaty that Franklin says will start the countdown is a treaty that headlines show Israel badly wants right now. If that 7 years is to end by Rosh Hashanah, mid September of 2015, it would have to start by the end of September or early October of this year, 2008.
"The scene is set. The Bible has never missed it prophetically," said Franklin.
But whatever happens 2 months from now, all the pastors we spoke to agree.
"From a Jewish eschatological point of view and a Christian, we're both looking for a Messiah and its like the times are upon us," said Biltz.
"I would say get ready, I would say ask God what he would like you to do," said Picker.
"I get excited. I think we need to be on our toes... or should I say on our knees. We need to be looking to the Lord," said Dowell.
"I'm not ready to run to the mountains, store up a bunch of food and that, Jesus was very clear, occupy till I come and he wasn't talking about occupying there... just live you're life everyday. Take advantage of the situations and blessings that are in your life to be a blessing to those that are around you," said Franklin.