At approximately 10:30 pm EST January 20 (Sunday night)–1:00 am EST January 21, 2019 (Monday morning) most of us who live in either North or South America will be able to view a total lunar eclipse, as long as the sky is clear of cloud coverage. Millions and millions of people may “ooh and aww” over the sight, but how many will truly “see” it and understand its spiritual message? The heavens declare the Word of God and are to be read in our day and time just as they were in ancient ages long ago. From what we know, there were only a few Magi who were aware of Jesus’ birth, and there seem to be even fewer today. So, I consider myself blessed to be able to share with you the true Christological meaning of this eclipse.
This is what I believe is the prophetic message of this total lunar eclipse: Hold onto your hope!
Lunar eclipses are predictable celestial events that recur in a cycle that astronomers call a “saros,” which basically means a repeating cycle. They occur when the moon is overshadowed by the earth. Because the moon is directly behind the earth and hidden by its shadow, a lunar eclipse always happens when the moon is full and in direct alignment with the Sun and Earth. It can be thought of as a conjunction of three celestial spheres, which is significant in celestial interpretation. The cause of the cycle is that the Moon’s rotation around the earth is not exactly linear to Earth’s axis, which means that the orbital plane kind of floats back and forth. As a result, there is a short cycle of 19+ years and a longer one of 1260 years.
The occurrence of either a solar or lunar eclipse has been historically regarded as an omen of bad news; and there are enough records of tragic events that have coincided with eclipses that this has generally become their universal interpretation. However, even though this particular eclipse’s message can be quite damning if denied, it is one of encouragement to those who have embraced Yeshua as Messiah.
There are several steps to properly interpreting an eclipse: (1) identify the constellation where it is occurring; (2) identify what is visible during the time when it is darkest; and (3) identify the location(s) on Earth where the shadow passes over.
The lunar eclipse that will happen this Sunday night through early Monday morning (January 20–21, 2019) requires a rather unique understanding and application, due mainly to its heavenly location. Most people who view it will not even notice which constellation it is occurring within, because it is one of the most non-descript of the 12 major constellations. This particular eclipse will be visible in the rear portion of Cancer.
Cancer is the smallest of the 12 major constellations and this alone is significant. However, when that is coupled with the fact that it is also the most difficult one to see and identify, it prophetically points out that we should keep a very close scrutiny on any small and overlooked aspect of our life that could easily get out of our sight and mind. I believe the main message of this eclipse is that we should focus on the hope we have in Christ and not let it get out of our minds.
Eclipse location January 20 – 21, 2019
In the circular line of the Sun’s path (the ecliptic) during Earth’s one-year revolution around it, the Sun intersects 12 constellations. Cancer is the least defined of these 12, because of its diminutive size and its small number of visible stars. However, it was divinely arranged to carry the message of our hope: to remind us to look hard for it and to not lose hold of it. Cancer is all about the hope of our inheritance.
Cancer’s prophetic message comes from its position on the ecliptic path and the names of its stars within its constellational boundaries.
The overall message of the Sun’s path is divided into three parts:
· Virgo–Sagittarius shows the first coming of Messiah;
· Capricorn–Aries reveals the blessings that Messiah brought to believers; and
· Taurus–Leo boldly proclaims Messiah’s second coming.
Cancer is within the last group which shows the Lord’s second coming. Taurus (the bull) shows the Lord coming as Judge; Gemini (the twins) shows the Lord coming for His bride; Cancer (the sheepfold) reveals the hope of the inheritance on Earth with Jesus; and Leo (the lion) prophesies of the King of kings during the millennial reign.
Cancer is about your hope, because those within His sheepfold are the ones who will eternally be in His Kingdom.
During the lunar eclipse this Sunday night and early Monday morning, the moon will be located in the rear portion of Cancer. Those who are aware of this are few and far between, and those who understand its prophetic message are even fewer.
This eclipse is all about reminding us of our hope in Jesus: His promises, His faithfulness, His love and commitment to us, and the hope that is laid up in Him. Of course, the scriptures that verify this are many, but the deeper significance is the timing of this reminder.
This is a vital time for us to recognize the truth of 1 Peter 1:4.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ~1 Peter 1:3–5
The lunar eclipse is located in the constellation of Cancer, which is our hope. This is a word to all who will listen and pay attention. The accurate meaning of the constellation Cancer comes from a star in its rear portion that the Greeks named Tegmine which means “holding.” However, its Hebrew and Arabic name is Acubene, which means “the hiding place.” Most of Cancer’s other star names are either animal-related or refer to mass holding places. In ancient Hebrew lore it was the place where the spirits in Paradise would be kept until the millennial reign, and it reminded them to be faithful to obtain the promise of the inheritance.
In the time before the coming of Jesus of Nazareth (their Promised One), they believed that the Messiah would rule over a kingdom, and eventually the whole world, and that those who embraced Him and lived accordingly would live and rule with Him in His coming kingdom. That promise is still alive to all who follow Him after His first coming. He is coming again and the heavens are proclaiming it.
Cancer’s accurate depiction of a cattle fold or a sheep pen (shown below) shows us that we are set apart for His coming kingdom and that He is the Shepherd protecting the door. John 10:7 was Jesus’ proclamation of the prophetic fulfillment of Cancer’s message.
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” ~John 10:7
When He opened His statement with “Most assuredly,” He was getting their attention and letting them know that what He was about to say was important. He is the true shepherd and protector, in this case, of our inheritance. Since the upcoming lunar eclipse is in Cancer, it will prophetically declare that our hope is held fast in the Messiah, so now we must hold fast to the promise.
This is the Christological message of Sunday night/Monday morning’s lunar eclipse: Hold onto your hope.
After observing and studying eclipses, retrogrades, and celestial phenomena from a Christological perspective over the past 25 years, I personally believe that the Lord is saying the following through this eclipse:
The end times are upon you. Hard times may come to you. Be strong in your hope. Be strong in Me and notice that I hold you, but you are to hold onto Me. You may have tribulation, but be of good cheer—I have overcome the world. Lift up your head for your redemption draws nigh. Paradise is real and so is the millennial reign.
When it comes to other keys of interpretation and what else can be seen in the heavens during this eclipse, I believe the answer is basically nothing during the actual event. However, there is an additional celestial “dazzle” to this heavenly picture that will already have slipped beneath the horizon and out of view during the eclipse. That is the constellation Ophiuchus, the warrior. Venus (Hebrew Nogah) will be in proximity of Jupiter (Tsedeq) within Ophiuchus, a constellation that foretells violence upon Earth. Venus, the passionate one, is depicted as fighting for the kingdom, confirming the truth of Matthew 11:12—that the violent will take it by force. Even though it will not be visible during the eclipse, it is still significant because it will be in the heavens shortly before the event. I believe that the Lord is saying through this that we are to prepare for a coming conflict and get ready for a fight. The devil knows that his time is short and he will spare no effort in persecuting the saints. So get ready for a fight.
It is also significant that almost half the globe will be able to observe this eclipse, weather permitting. It is not a secret. It is important to note that the other “half” of the globe, including eastern Europe, eastern Africa, and most of Asia, saw a very similar lunar eclipse almost a year ago on January 31, 2018. I was in India at the time and had a clear view of it. Just like the one coming up this Sunday, that one was also in Cancer, directly in the sheepfold door. The same message was given to them last year and it is about to be given to the rest of the world in a couple of days, almost a year later.
There are several more important points that makes this eclipse stand out from others.
· It will occur on the 15th of Shevat, according to the Jewish calendar, which corresponds to the one that occurred last year on the other side of the world. In other words, according to the Jewish calendar, both lunar eclipses are occurring on the same date, exactly one year apart and in the same constellation. This portends to be two witnesses of the same truth broadcast to the entire world. Therefore, whatever the message is, God wants the whole world to see it.
· Also, this eclipse takes place on the eve of Donald Trump’s third year of his presidency. President Trump has been touted as being a type of Cyrus—a friend and supporter of Israel and an enemy of Babylon. Some have suggested that this is a good sign for him, yet others are saying that it is a bad omen for him. However, since this eclipse covers all of North and South America, and last year’s carried the same message to the other portion of the world, its Christological interpretation seems to be for the whole world rather than just for the USA.
· This eclipse will in all likelihood be a blood moon eclipse, which is when the moon appears red due to the penumbral shadow of Earth. Some Rabbis through the years have indicated that this may foretell of wars in Israel, since the Jewish calendar is primarily based upon the Moon rather than the Sun. Blood moon eclipses have prophesied war for Israel in the past, but they can also show victory for Israel as they follow the prophecies of the coming kingdom of Christ on the earth. But again, these two lunar eclipses seem to be broadcasting a much broader message than just to Israel or to the USA.
· One more item of interest, this eclipse will occur when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth of the year. This will cause it to appear about 14% larger and almost 30% brighter than normal, providing an exceptional viewing for those who are able to see it.
The clear message to the world’s population is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One who holds and protects our inheritance. He is strongly exhorting us to believe this truth and to stand firm in the end times.
This is great news for those who love and follow Yeshua, but it is a foreboding one for those who do not. There is an inheritance in Christ that is literally out of this world and beyond to the next one to come. It is an eternal inheritance and kingdom, so hold fast to it. It is our hope and anchor in times of trouble. If you do not have an inheritance in Christ, sell everything you have (figuratively) and buy the only true gain in this life—hope in Him and eternal life.
So, when we see the lunar eclipse between 10:30 pm EST on January 20 and 1:00 am EST on January 21, remember that millions may be observing it but not truly “see” what we do—a powerful reminder of our hope in Christ. The heavens do indeed declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). It is as if the Lord Himself is sending us a note that night and early morning, reminding us to have hope in Him and only Him. The rest of the world may be enamored by the light show, but we know the Creator of it and our hope is in Him alone.
Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. ~Luke 21:28b NKJV