(Unsplash/Anders Jildén)

On Wednesday morning, Jan. 31, 2018, there will be a super blood moon visible just before dawn across the western U.S.

A blood moon, or lunar eclipse, occurs when the moon moves into the shadow of the Earth. The sunlight is refracted through the Earth's atmosphere, giving the moon the reddish color that causes it to be called a blood moon.

In the Bible, the moon is the faithful witness in the sky, symbolic of the believers (Ps. 89:37) while the sun symbolizes Christ the bridegroom and champion (Ps. 19:4-5). The apostle Peter, quoting from the prophet Joel, included blood moons in the signs of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the time of salvation before Christ returns (Acts 2:17-21). The red color of the moon reminds us that we are covered by the blood of the Lamb and have overcome Satan by our witness and the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11).

The blood moon occurs in the constellation Cancer, which is the 11th chapter of the Star Bible, during the 11th month of the Hebrew sacred year, Shebat. In ancient times, the constellation Cancer was known in Arabic as Khan ("Inn") and Cer ("Encompassing") and in Hebrew as "To Hold," both names that signify God's holding place for His people in heaven. The eclipse will take place five degrees away from the Praesepe star cluster, which means "multitude." The name of the Hebrew 11th month, Shebat, is not of Hebrew origin and is similar to the Chaldee word for "tribe." Thus, the blood moon in Cancer during Shebat is reminding us that the blood-bought church is the tribe of God, and the multitude of believers will be with Him in heaven.

The blood moon is also a "super moon". This phenomenon occurs when a full moon is at its closest point to the Earth when the Earth is near its closest point to the sun, Jan. 2. The combined gravitational pull of the Earth and sun bring the moon closer to Earth, so that the moon is 7 percent larger and 16 percent brighter. This super blood moon reminds us of the famous super moon of Jan. 26, 1948, which was also located in the sign of the home of God's people, Cancer (The Holding Place) during the month of Shebat. It was later that year that the nation of Israel, home of God's people on Earth, declared its independence. This super blood moon is a 70th anniversary celebration of the nation of Israel and of the many from the tribes of Israel who have accepted Christ since then and are a part of the multitudes who will be with God in heaven.

The super blood moon will be visible before dawn west of a line from Detroit to New Orleans, reaching totality at 6:51 a.m. CDT and 4:51 a.m. PDT. It will also be visible around the Pacific Rim.

So get up early on Jan. 31 to view the super blood moon, and tell someone how to join God's tribe in heaven.

Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.

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