Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Blood Moons: what is all the fuss about in some Christian circles?

What does John Hagee and others like him say:
John Hagee recently wrote a book entitled “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change” (Worthy Publishing, 2013) in which he argues that blood moons are significant in the biblical timetable. Combine that with the release of “Left Behind” and we have a full blown eschatological[1] celebration going on in some circles.
Hagee argues that the Bible uses the sun, moon, and stars for signs and seasons. He says think of how a star led the wise men to Jesus or how the sun stood still as Joshua led Israel to victory over its enemies. In an interview with CBN News, Hagee said, God is getting ready to speak this way once again.
“There's a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way… I believe that in these next two years, we're going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world.”
In Four Blood Moons, Hagee describes how a series of blood moons in 2014 and 2015 will have great significance for Israel. 
A lunar eclipse can make the moon look orange or red in color. That is where the term “blood moon” comes from. Although blood moons happen fairly regularly, four appearing so closely together is rare. There have only been a series of blood moons a handful of times over the past 500 years.
Such moons appear several times in scripture.
In the book of Joel, God says there will be “wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire… the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
In Acts, the Apostle Peter repeats that verse from Joel. And the book of Revelation says that during the Great Tribulation, “the moon will become like blood.”
Blood moons appeared in April 2014, on Passover, and then again in October 2014 during the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. The timing is the same for 2015 – a total of four blood moons, all appearing on Jewish feast days. Hagee, and others, take great significance from this tie in between the moon and Jewish feast, but even an elementary understanding of Jewish feasts and the calendar tells us that the Jewish calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. So it is no surprise that blood moons occur on significant Jewish feasts.
“The sun and the moon and the Earth are controlled by God almighty,” Hagee said. “He is the one that is getting them in a direct alignment on a certain day at a certain time – but each time, it's a Passover or Sukkot.
In the past, the rare appearance of four blood moons on these feast days has coincided with major events for Israel and the Jewish people.
In 1492, Spain expelled the Jews. Columbus also discovered America, which eventually became a safe haven for the Jewish people.
“In each of these blood moons, you have something that begins in tragedy and ends in triumph,” Hagee argues.
For instance, in 1948, Israel was reborn as a nation. “After 2,000 years, God supernaturally brought them from 66 nations and a nation was born in a day,” Hagee noted. “That again was a supernatural something that happened following the tragedy of the Holocaust.”
In 1967, Israel won the Six-Day War and recaptured Jerusalem. “For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem and the State of Israel were together again,” Hagee said.
The blood moons of 2014 and 2015 are poised to appear as Iran works toward nuclear weapons and Israel's neighbors, Egypt and Syria, are in chaos. “The only reason that Iran will not acquire a nuclear bomb will be that Israel chooses a military solution to that crisis,” Hagee told CBN News. “I believe that if that happens, it will start a series of events that will change the course of world history,” he said. “If Israel does not, then it will still change the course of world history.”
Hagee has been warning of the Iranian nuclear threat through his work with Christians United for Israel, which he founded in 2006. It is now the largest pro-Israel organization in America, with some 1.3 million members. He holds nights to honor Israel across the country and at San Antonio's Cornerstone Church, where he serves as senior pastor. The first event, in 1981, drew bomb threats and vandalism from anti-Semites.
Yet Hagee continues his mission.
“If there was ever a time for the Christians of America to stiffen their spine and stand up and speak up, it's now,” Hagee admonished. “To see evil and not call it evil is evil. Not to speak is to speak. We cannot be silent and receive God's approval at a time like this.”
He said it's still unclear what the coming blood moons will bring, but he is certain of one thing.
“When all is said and done, the flag of Israel will be flying over the walls of the city of Jerusalem when Messiah comes, and it's going to be forever,” he said. “And every nation that rises up in judgment against Israel God will punish and punish severely.”
But is this real, is it worth spending time on or not?
Much of this comes down to being an incredible waste of time and energy.
Jesus is coming back. Jesus has given us stuff to do between his ascension and his return. He said “Go[2] and make disciples of all the nations[3]” Matthew 28:19
With regard to the timing of his return Jesus said “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” Matthew 24:36. So about end time calculations Jesus said – don’t bother – just do what I’ve asked you to do.
There is a world that is hurting – comfort them; a world that is sick – heal them; a world that is hungry – feed them; a world that is demonized – cast out demons; a world that is carrying a load of baggage – set them free.
Jesus is coming back. Jesus our groom will return for his bride – the church. He will not abandon us. We have no idea when, we have no idea how, we have no idea what that will look like, there are no signs to look for. The one thing we need to know is we don’t know anything – so we need to always be ready, to be always prepared, to be like a bride getting ready.
So stay miles away from all that sign stuff that’s out there. There are books and articles and YouTube videos on this stuff. At best it’s a waste of your time, at worst it’s dabbling in divination, because you are trying to divine something that the Lord has told us we don’t & can’t know.
John Hagee argues that there is a correlation in history. Whenever there us a tetrad – 4 blood moons – something significant happens to Israel. Not all the time, but about ½ the time, so he says these blood moons are warning to Israel as a nation. In Hagee’s dispensationalist theology God is still working through Israel[4] and that is the focus of salvation and God’s plan.
According to Hagee, the three best examples of tetrads – these are the ones he highlights are:
§  1493-94 – Spanish inquisition when Jews were killed & kicked out of Spain
§  1949-50 – the creation of Israel as a nation
§  1967-68 – the six-day war with Egypt
So in 2014-15, we can expect something big, who knows, Israel invade Iran, because they are developing nuclear weapons, which sparks a major crisis in the Middle East, something big is going to happen. Now that may happen that Israel will invade Iran, because of nuclear weapons – that certainly sounds plausible, but it has nothing to do with blood moons.
There are 100’s of tetrads that have happened, and as I said, they are not common, but they do happen. And always in connection with Jewish holidays – because the Jewish calendar is based on the moon.
The majority of eclipses correspond to absolutely nothing, so if three are loosely linked to events, that is something that you might expect by chance. We know when tetrads will happen in the future… they happen according to a schedule based on how the planets move.
Most of these blood moons correspond to nothing; but what about these three that Hagee mentions. They correspond to… nothing!
Look at this
§  1493-94 – the Spanish inquisition started in 1478 – 15 years too late
§  1949-50 – the establishing of the nation of Israel – that happened in 1948 – 2 years too late
§  1967-68 – the six-day war – 10 months after the war ended
God either has bad timing or he failed at math. There is nothing going on here.
But sadly, people believe this stuff: they buy books by the millions, listen to this stuff, watch video on this, fill up conferences with this stuff – I don’t get it. And since when are we supposed to be trying to read the stars – this is close to astrology & divination – I thought this was forbidden.
With those biblical references to blood moons –you also find a bunch of other stuff: sun going dark, famine, and earthquakes.
Now here’s the kicker… even if it is true… so what… Suppose it is all true… who gives a rip[5]?
What are we supposed to do?
Worry? If it is foretold by the stars, there is nothing you can do about it. Now we know there is going to be a crisis. The only thing accomplished by focusing on Blood Moons is making some authors rich. It’s a waste of time, nonsense. Stay away from it. Salvation is not simply about getting to go to heaven when you die and who gives a rip about this world. Maybe I can get some people scared enough to pray a prayer so they get to go… but that is not Christianity.
The end will take care of itself. Our groom knows when to come back. Trust him & leave it at that.
He has given us stuff to do. Now is the time when the bride makes herself ready, not whoring after false teachings (that’s biblical language). Getting ourselves ready; taking sanctification seriously; serving the world seriously; feeding people seriously; spreading the gospel seriously; right here, right now.
Don’t go off looking at the future. Look around right here. The future will take care of itself. Besides, you are going to be dead pretty soon and so am I. Don’t get all tied up in knots about the end of the world. Let’s use our little short lives to mean something: right here, right now.
God bless John Hagee. I just don’t want any of you following that.

[1] Eschatology is the part of theology that is concerned with the last things – usually identified as death, judgment, heaven and hell, but often reduced in some popular evangelical thinking to the timing and events surrounding the return of Christ.
[2] As you are going
[3] literally “ethne” meaning peoples, or people groups, not geo-political nations as we understand the word
[4] There is much that can be said about both of these – let me say simply – I disagree – I think he is wrong. He also dabbles in numerology – He says that God does something to change history every 490 years. The more I read Hagee, the more I laugh and cry, he has a rationale for everything.
[5] Hagee focuses on culture repenting. If Blood Moons are signs, then it is a sign to Israel to repent not to anyone else. I don’t hear any repenting coming from Israel and certainly none coming from Hagee.

1 comment:

Ray Vandenberg said...

Thanks for sharing these insights. They're well researched. I'm on the same page.