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.

Contribute on Patreon

Enjoying this? Consider contributing regular gifts for this content on Patreon.
* Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator's community and pay them for making the stuff you love. You can simply pay a few pounds per month or per post that a creator makes, and in return receive some perks!

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

Subscribe to:

Have something to say? Leave a comment below.

Leave a comment   Like   Back to Top   Seen 418 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

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

| 01st April 2018 | Easter

Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! What a wonderful day to remember and praise, but not just because Jesus was raised to new life, but because in that moment it sealed the promise of our own hope in God. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, we can now be partakers in that new, eternal life! 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” "Where, O death, is your sting?" Paul writes, showing the fulfillment of this prophecy in Christ. This should now be our battle cry as we go forward in Christian life; death has no hold over us who are sealed by the Holy Spirit through baptism, raised to new life in Christ. I won't go into this topic too much now, as I've written on it plenty before here and here. I just wanted to focus our minds on the victory we have because of Jesus and what he did for us this day, centuries ago. I'll close with this worship song which celebrates the resurrection, which I really like. Focus on the words of the song and praise God for Jesus! Happy Easter, everyone. ...

How was Jesus a sacrifice?

| 25th March 2018 | Lent

So often we hear this phrase said about Jesus, that he was “the lamb of God” and that he “takes away the sins of the world” — but what do those things mean and how did he take away sin? John 1:29The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (cf. Jn 1:36) The New Testament writers repeatedly refer to Jesus as a lamb; but not only that — as a ransom too. Jesus even introduces himself that way at one point: Mark 10:45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. (cf. Matthew 20:28) To better understand the terminology and analogy we need to go back to the Torah, the Old Testament, and look at this from a Jewish perspective and what the sacrificial lamb initially meant. The main comparison that is drawn between Jesus and the old sacrifices, is that of the Passover lamb. The link between the two is really quite amazing and to be honest, I didn't realise just how much of this Jesus fulfilled in himself until I was writing this. First we need to go back to the very first Passover to see what it meant for Israel. The whole story can be found in Exodus 12, but the relevant parts to the lamb are about how it should look and be prepared, and the reason for the blood covering: Exodus 12:5-7, 13 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. […] The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. The instructions about the Passover meal also go on to say that no bones of the lamb may be broken (v. 46) and that nothing must be left overnight (v. 10). Already I’m sure you can see some of the parallels with Jesus and other prophecies and Scripture concerning him in these ways, primarily in the Psalms, and specifically John 19:33; Numbers 9:12 and Psalm 34:20 concerning his bones not being broken. But it doesn’t end there — even the day that Jesus was crucified aligned with the Passover sacrifice of the 14th of Nisan (by our calendar, April), and later died that evening. The Jews asked Pilate to let them take the bodies down that same day (which was unusual, but done because of the Sabbath), so that meant that Jesus wasn’t left overnight, thus fulfilling the obligations of the Passover ritual! The apostles obviously recognised these parallels, as they refer to them in their epistles — see 1 Peter 1:18-20, 1 Corinthians 5:7 and basically all of Revelation. But how does this help us in our sins? The Passover wasn’t a sin offering, yet somehow the death of Jesus in this way saves us from our sins. To better understand this, and to grasp why in various places Jesus is called our “ransom”, we need to go back to the reason for the original Passover, not the ritual. Passover was what God did when he delivered his people from the slavery of the Egyptians. The blood of the lamb was the symbol that they belonged to God, and so escaped death. Originally the paschal lamb was about Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and slavery, now Jesus is the greater lamb who rescues us from slavery and bondage to sin by his blood. The blood on the doorposts covered the Israelites from the angel of death, and now by Christ's blood that covers us, we are saved from eternal death (Hebrews 9:11- 14)! Paul covers this topic of sin as our master which we are slaves to quite often (Romans 6:16-18), and how through Jesus we have been set free by being baptised into his death, so that we are dead to sin and alive in Christ (Romans 6:4-6). Romans 6:11 So you also mus...

What did Jesus actually sacrifice?

| 18th March 2018 | Lent

Sometimes the question, or accusation/criticism maybe, is posed by atheists and critics of Christianity that Jesus didn’t really sacrifice anything because he is God and also because he got his life back three days later. So where’s the sacrifice if you know that what you give up will be given back, and given back even better than you previously had it? It’s an interesting question, and one that should cause us to stop and think about what we, as Christians, say to non-believers in case the question is ever given to us. Most people will say Jesus  gave up his life for us – but is that such a big deal if he knew he’d have it back in three days; and then to be taken up to heaven and resume his Godly-divine status he had before the incarnation? Well, yes. Obviously all the pain and suffering that Jesus had to endure before his death was a big deal, and it showed, as we can see from the Gospels when Jesus says to his disciples that he is “deeply grieved, even to death” (Matt 26:38). Luke 22:42-44‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. We can see from the quote above that Jesus really wasn’t looking forward to this, despite knowing its purpose. He even needed an angel to come to physically come to him to give him the strength to go on with this plan! Suggesting that this was a walk in the park for Jesus and making light of what he was about to go through is just ignorance of the reality of the situation. There’s also a significant detail in the Luke passage above which gives us a medical insight into what Jesus was going through in these moments: the sweat of blood. This is actually a rare condition known as Hematidrosis, and in certain conditions of extreme physical or emotional stress and/or mental anxiety, the blood vessels that feed the sweat glands break and result in actual blood seeping through. This in itself shows just how much stress Jesus was under in the lead up to his execution to cause such a thing to happen. Modern day research also shows that this condition still manifests in people awaiting execution today. So even if you knew that you would be resurrected in a few days time, I am sure that you wouldn’t really want to go through a Roman flogging and crucifixion –  some of the most brutal ways to be tortured and executed in human history! There’s lots of atheist memes on the internet making digs at this idea of what it means that Jesus sacrificed himself. “Jesus came back to life, so he basically sacrificed his weekend for you”, or similar types of jabs, totally missing the point. Typical atheist meme So what did Jesus sacrifice if he only lost his life temporarily? Everything about his pre-incarnate self. Where once a spirit, now a glorified body. Where once only divine, now fully God and fully man. The incarnation had eternal consequences for the Godhead. Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t just about dying, it was about taking on our humanity eternally. The eternal God now united forever with humanity. Jesus wasn’t only the “visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) whilst on earth, no; he is forever that now. Like John says in his opening chapter about the coming of the Word into our world: he became flesh (John 1:14) and has stayed that way. This is the “mystery of godliness” (as some translations have it) that Paul talks about in 1 Tim 3:16, where he states that Jesus was “revealed” or “manifested in flesh” and later taken up in glory. Look at when Jesus was taken up into heaven in Acts 1:11, the angels say to the disciples watching that they will see Jesus “come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” – ie., bodily. But we know from the accounts in the Gospels that Jesus’ body was no lon...

The Temptations of Jesus: Complacency

| 11th March 2018 | Lent

So now we are at the end of the temptations that Jesus endured in the desert, and I wanted to look at what happens at the end. So often I think this aspect is overlooked when we read of this time in Scripture. Let’s take a look at the text: Matthew 4:11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. Luke 4:13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. The two Gospel accounts both give us a varying perspective with different details. Afterwards, the devil leaves and angels “suddenly” come. This is almost a temptation in itself; one to think we are all good and safe now we've won the battles. But look: the devil left him “until an opportune time”. We are never beyond being tempted, or far from that tempter who ‘prowls around like a roaring lion’ (1 Peter 5:8). Christ withstood his temptations, and as a model for us, so can we. But it's a constant battle. 1 Corinthians 10:12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. As Paul writes in the quote above, we must watch ourselves and not get too confident that we think we're strong enough not to get tripped up. Temptation can strike at any time, and if we're not prepared it could lead us into sin (James 1:14-15). James 1:12A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. This is why we mustn't get complacent in our situations just when it seems, or feels, like we have it all together. We must always “put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) and make as little “opportune” times as possible for the enemy to strike at us. Remember, Jesus lived as a human to know what it was like to be a human; he went through these temptations, and others no doubt, as he lived out his life. That is why the writer of Hebrews says that he is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” and has “in every respect has been tested as we are” — yet Jesus didn't sin (Heb 4:15). When we do get get tempted, or if we do fall into sin, we can always turn to Jesus in our moments of weakness knowing that he understands what it's like. 1 Corinthians 10:13No 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. Everything we experience as humans, Jesus knows also. Although we don’t angels physically coming and waiting on us after we go through hard times, we have the Holy Spirit in us – the comforter! God’s very own Spirit is here with us through it all, helping us and convicting us to lead us back out of our complacency to the narrow path, focusing our minds back on Christ and his example. And while the devil may come and go, and wait on those “opportune times” to get at us, we shouldn’t fret or worry because God has said he will never leave nor abandon us – no matter what, God loves us and is daily conforming us into the image and mind of Christ (Rom 8:29; 12:2; Deut 31:6; Heb 13:5). Keep running the race, working out your salvation with fear and trembling and go with the love of God. Amen....