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