Header Image: Super Moon

September 28th 2015 will be a supermoon and a red moon at that.

I last wrote about these four "blood moons" way back in April last year when certain self-styled prophets John Hagee and Mark Blitz's "End Times" teaching gained some popularity (and subsequent book promotions). One thing that I predicted in my previous article was that if nothing else comes from all of this "end is nigh" nonsense, is that these "prophets" would indeed profit from their books – as has been shown to be true in which the "Four Blood Moons" book has been in the top 20 on the New York Times Best-seller List, and has also recently been turned into a docu-drama!

Other than these pastors reaping in loads of cash from books sales and movie rights via gullible people, there is a potentially worse consequence to all of this: to get on the NYT Best-sellers List it means that hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians have bought the book and have possibly accepted their doctrine of the blood moons. I've seen countless online discussions and Facebook posts concerning all of this, with many believers defending the doctrine vehemently, many of whom often have a very strong Zionist emphasis. Without the nation of Israel being something special, these predictions fail.

Advertisement

That is also another issue with these predictions: they are based on the assumption that the natural, national Jewish people are still God's chosen people who are separate from Gentile (non-Jewish) believers. That there are two "chosen people," two covenants with two different ways in which God deals and interacts with the people concerned. This leads to the Zionist theology that can be seen mainly in America, although it does come across sometimes here in the UK too, where Churches and Christian organisations are striving so hard to "Support Israel" with time, money and resources because they have also bought into this line of thinking. But it isn't so, and I'm not sure how it can be when the New Testament repeatedly speaks of Israel in spiritual terms linked with those who now believe in and follow Jesus.

I don't think it gets much clearer than this in the book of Galatians:

Galatians 3:6-9
Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.

I've already wrote extensively on this topic before, here and here, which you can read and comment on, if you want.

Advertisement

I believe wholeheartedly, that if you want to make a good and positive difference in this world, then our theology and doctrine has to be right. Because when it's wrong, it can lead to all sorts of wrong actions and atrocities in the name of God. Believing national Israel and geographical Israel is still something separate and special from the rest of us being one of those things.

Bloodmoon by Nasa
Red Moon by Sudhamshu Hebbar (Flickr)

 

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. It's been well over a year since Hagee et al, began these predictions, and so far nothing Earth-shattering has happened. Sure, there's been some natural disasters like the Chile earthquake/tsunami, and the Syrian civil war has escalated, plus ISIS in general always in the News – and while all these things are tragic and terrible, they are, sadly, nothing new. Though with blood moons and doomsday prophecies looming over us lately, they suddenly become almost "unique" events and fodder for the apocalypse fuel; a final "a-ha!" to point to and say "I told you so" in order to prove a point. Or worse still, to point to, and yet not do anything about it because you believe it's all part of God's plan to destroy the world, so why bother trying to change it?

As with most of these end-of-the-world predictions, they are often based on news headlines, random astronomical events, and some flimsy theology to hold it all together. Like Hagee proclaiming that his "mind reeled" when realising these Tetrads (the technical term for the four blood moons), all land on Jewish feast days on the Jewish calendar. Not to mention the other apparent and "significant" events that have happened to Israel before when Tetrads have fallen on Jewish calendar events.

Advertisement

At first glance this may sound somewhat convincing of it being something special, or at the very least, curiously coincidental. That is until you realise that the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. Yes, that's right – every feast and important event is timed specifically around the moon so of course feasts etc. will fall on full moons, whether they are blood red or not!

Or as Patheos writer, Benjamin L. Corey puts it: "looking to the sky to tell the future of Israel (basically, fortune telling for a nation state)."

So why all the fuss about "blood moons"?

The so-called blood moons has taken a grip on certain theology due to a handful of references in the Bible which talk about the full moon becoming "like blood" which I'll list below for reference:

Joel 2:31

The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.

Revelation 6:12

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood...

Acts 2:20

The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

Matthew 24:29 is sometimes included in this type of thing, despite there not being a mention of a red moon, but that "the moon will not give its light" instead. Arguably, Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 are speaking about the same event here, as Jesus also says that "the sun will be darkened" too.

The list becomes a little shorter when you consider that the reference in Acts is actually a quote from the prophecy in Joel. So in actuality, this blood red moon is only really spoken of twice.

What's more interesting, and also a little bit of a death knell for this blood moon theology, is that in Acts 2 when Peter is quoting the prophecy in Joel, he doesn't say that this is some far-off future event that is irrelevant to those whom he is speaking, but that it was being fulfilled right there and then.

Advertisement

This is the problem when you chop bible verses out of context and then build doctrines on it; you have to "conveniently" ignore other parts of scripture, sometimes even parts of the same paragraph!

Let's break down Acts 2 a little and show you what I mean:

Acts 2 begins with Pentecost, where the disciples are all hiding in a room when suddenly the Holy Spirit comes down on them in a dramatic way like a "rush of a violent wind" which filled the house they were in, and then tongues of fire appears on their heads, then they begin speaking different languages — it all must have been quite strange and bewildering!

But not only for them, the people in the street below heard and saw and thought that the disciples were drunk! Then Peter gets up in front of the crowd and says "Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh..."

Advertisement

Did you catch that? That event then, 2000 years ago, was what the prophet Joel was speaking about. Not only that, but attributing Joel's prophecy to the time of the disciples also means that 2000 years ago were "the last days" — not this month, nor ever again. That was, as Jesus spoke of it in Matt 24, "the end of the age"; the close of the old covenant and the start of the new!

Most modern "end times" theology accept this in part, but then say that the Last Days began back then, but still continue today. But the New Testament writers don't really allow for such an interpretation without some scriptural gymnastics!

The "Last Days" began at Pentecost 2000 years ago and continued until near the end of the first century. Quite a few of the New Testament books reference the last days or that the time is short, or "at hand", but it's when we get to 1 John 2:18 that we see something different: it was the "the last hour"!

Saying the last days could be an innumerable amount of days which span from Pentecost 2000 years ago and keep on going is one thing, but how do you make a single hour stretch for more than two millennia?

Advertisement

I'll leave that one with you to ponder on.

 

If you still believe all that Hagee and his ilk are churning out, then the only "world-changing" event that I predict will happen at the end of September is, is that of your world changing when you realise that you have been duped, yet again, by another end-time (false) prophet. One who may possibly "pull a Harold Camping" and go into hiding, or come out with some "miscalculation" on the timing of these world-shattering events before writing a new book to explain it all again.

Subscribe to Updates
Subscribe to:

Have something to say? Leave a comment below.

Leave a comment   Like   Back to Top   Seen 411 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Order my new book today from Amazon or fortydays.co.uk

Subscribe to Blog updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to Blog

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

The Temptations of Jesus: Pride

| 3 days ago | Lent

Welcome to the first part of a short series I'm writing during Lent. We’re on the first Sunday of Lent, and so I’m going to be looking at the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, and the temptations he endured. A new post will be up every Sunday, and you can view the series overview here: Lent 2018. Mark 1:12-13And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. That’s all Mark has to say on that time Jesus spent there, and John doesn’t mention the forty days at all. That leaves only Luke and Matthew which mention the temptations or any details about what happened in the desert. So let's look at the first temptation that Satan tried on Jesus. Luke 4: 1-4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” (cf. Matt 4:1-4) The first thing that jumps out at me here, is that the devil didn’t come to tempt Jesus until after the forty days were up. He waited until Jesus was “famished” and then struck while he was weak. What can we learn from this? That the devil is tricksy and won’t hit you when you feel like you have it all together, but will rather wait until you are in a more susceptible and weakened state of mind. Like James (1:14-15) says, we get tempted by our “own desire, being lured and enticed by it” to try and get us to fall into sin by acting upon those desires. So we need to guard our minds and keep our focus on God in those times to try and ensure that we are aware of the escape that God has given us, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 10:13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. What about Jesus in the desert then? You might think that he was beyond these things and temptation couldn’t touch him. In some ways that’s true; he was fully in tune and in the will of his Father that he sets the example for us, and what we can achieve. But at the same time, he has “in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). This is why we can learn much from these few short temptations that Jesus faced in the desert. While on the face of it, we may think it’s unrelatable to be asked to miraculously turn stones into bread — there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s not necessarily about the bread, or the miracle, but the insinuation that “If you are the Son of God...”, trying to do to the Second Adam what that old snake did to the first: trip him up through pride. “Thus, if the first Adam fell from God by pride, the second Adam has effectually taught us how to overcome the devil by humility.” George Leo Haydock (1774–1849) As the quote above points out, Jesus demonstrates to us how to overcome the temptation to think of ourselves too highly, or to flaunt our status (Romans 12:3), by doing the opposite and humbling himself and pointing back to Scripture. Whereas Jesus did have every right to say “I am the Son of God – there’s no ‘if’ about it!” and use his abilities to create a miracle for his own sake, that would also have been selfish and another path to the sin of pride and arrogance. Instead he sticks to the main thing that can thwart the enemy when trying to deceive us: Scripture. Although “he was in the form of God” and had equality, it wasn’t “something to be exploited” as Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-8. Let us learn from this, and kee...

Lent 2018: The Temptations of Jesus

| 8 days ago | Lent

Lent is just around the corner, and so this year I've decided to write a short series over the next 40 days looking at the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, and the temptations he faced. I'll post a new blog each Sunday of Lent looking at each temptation, and then finish the series on Easter Sunday looking at “what did Jesus sacrifice?”. Series outline: Temptation one: Pride (1st Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2018) Temptation two: Worship and Glory (2nd Sunday of Lent, February 25, 2018) Temptation three: Testing God (3rd Sunday of Lent, March 4, 2018) Temptation four: Complatancy (4th Sunday of Lent, March 11, 2018) What did Jesus sacrifice?: Easter Sunday (5th Sunday of Lent, March 18, 2018) Stay tuned for the first installment in a few days time, and if you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe so you will be notified by email when each new post goes out!...

Former Muslim Explains the Trinity

| 09th February 2018 | Trinity

I saw this video doing the rounds on Facebook, and thought it was too good not to share here as well. Very few people tend to articulate the Trinitarian doctrine well enough to: a) still make sense, and b) not slip into heresy. Just reading the comments section on this video proves point b) quick enough, with many people giving their take on it (and usually espousing some form of Modalism). I won't make a big post on the Trinity now, but I may do one soon off the back of this one, as it's clearly still something believers (and non-believers) struggle to understand, or explain without heresy! For now though, sit back and take about 5 minutes to listen to this former Muslim explain one of the core beliefs of Christianity very well:   Some additional information: The man in the video is Nabeel Qureshi who has wrote a few books on his journey to Jesus from the Muslim faith; one of them being: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. He also has sadly died in 2017. I haven't read his books, and only just found out about him after looking up more info on this video, though his book is definitely on my wish list now....

Is there salvation for fallen angels?

| 05th February 2018 | Angels

I've seen and heard this question asked numerous times before, and I've even wondered it myself in my earlier years as a new Christian. Is there salvation for angels and can demons go back to their previous, uncorrupted state? 2 Corinthians 11:14And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. As far as scripture is concerned, Satan can pretend to be angelic for the sake of deceit, but that's about it. There's no mention of redemption for angels or demons — that's the long and short of it. So let's explore four areas of Scripture to see what we do know. #1 They have been imprisoned for judgement by God. 2 Peter 2:4For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into Tartarus and committed them to chains (or pits) of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment; This judgement is eternal for them and there appears to be no second chance; their judgement is sealed: Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; #2 They have been imprisoned for judgement by the saints. Not only has God set a judgement, but we who are in Christ will have the role of actually judging the angels as well. How's that for a hefty responsibly! 1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? #3 Judgement is final We can also see from Revelation some more details about what this judgement entails for the devil and those who followed him: Revelation 19:20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who […] were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Revelation 20:10And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. #4 Salvation is for humans Salvation appears to be only something that God designed for humans, and is apparently something that makes the angels curious. 1 Peter 1:12[Salvation is the] good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look! Christ came as the "second Adam" (1 Cor 15:45) to rectify the problems caused by the first Adam. We humans are all "in Adam" (1 Cor 15:22), whereas angels are not. They are sometimes called "sons of God" — we are the son of Adam, therefore Jesus' sacrifice is only effective for "Adam". The writer of Hebrews sums this up for us nicely by saying, “it is clear that [Jesus] did not come to help angels”, but those in whom he shared a nature with — us! (Heb 2:14-16) Whatever sins the angels have made (other than rebelling; cf. Rev 12:4,7-9) it is not covered by the blood of Jesus as far as we know. We can infer this from what Paul teaches us about the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (Emphasis mine) The plan of salvation and the power of the Gospel to reconcile God and man appears to only apply to this world and our sins (or trespasses). The Greek word here for “world” is kosmos, which can sometimes have a broader meaning of “universe” or “creation” rather than just this planet, but in this context I'm not sure it allows for that scope of reconciliation, given the other passages of scripture we've seen about the rebellious angels (or demons) level of punishment. Either way, Scripture doesn't give us any more information on this topic than that, so anything else would be speculation, but I think we can be reasonably certain that salvation through Christ is only for humans. ...