[Additional Note, Aug 6 2014. Of course the Blood Moon teachers are announcing, Aha! I told you that Israel and Gaza would go to war! Well, of course they predicted no such thing, but when someone says that “something will happen”; and then something, anything happens; one can then claim, See, I told you something would happen!” This is technically called Vaticinium ex eventu, that is, pretending to have given a prior prediction but only after the events take place.]
I love the Lord’s coming and have written much on the topic. Perhaps this is why false predictions get under my skin so badly. Click HERE. Maybe it’s because these authors will sell millions more books than I do – you’ll never go broke predicting the apocalypse.
Just flipped through the Four Blood Moons material by John Hagee, who got all his material from a man named Mark Biltz. It turns out that the world isn’t going to (was not going to?) end in the late 1990s, as Hagee once predicted. Now it will happen because of eclipses in 2014 and 2015, which supposedly line up with the Jewish feasts Passover/Pesach and Tabernacles/Sukkoth. He has little Bible evidence to back it up, just a few references to “moon” plus lots of prophetic three card monte.
His astronomy also seems to be badly off (click HERE). For example, although an eclipse on Passover night seems wildly improbable to a Gentile, we should remember that lunar eclipses only happen on full moons; and second, that Passover by definition always takes place on a full moon. Sukkoth also by definition coincides with a full moon.
It’s easy to predict a lunar eclipse (HERE’s NASA’s page on it; and see NatGeo), but Hagee is wrong: it’s impossible to predict a “blood” one. Many lunar eclipses are reddish or coppery. I saw a red moon when I was a kid, and it was caused by atmospheric conditions, but it is a factor which is not predictable.
He also takes time to try to convince the reader to support the Israeli Settler Movement. His Christians United for Israel gives the impression that the principal criterion to show who really loves God’s ancient people is to back unlimited settlement of the West Bank; in fact, I and many believers support Israel without accepting the policies of the Netanyahu government, the Likud party, or the Settlers. There are plenty of Israelis – 2/3 of them, in fact – who reject the Settlement policy. Likewise, and contrary to what we hear in the States, it is not true that most Jews want to rebuild the Temple (HERE).
It is stunning that such authors come out with bestselling and lucrative books every year or two. I thought in 2011 we all said we weren’t going to fall for this again, when Harold Camping twice missed the date of the Second Coming?
And no, it’s not different this time.
The book’s subtitle is a useful indicator: “Something is About to Change.” He states that “No one knows the mind of God but the anticipation of these events tells us something will happen.” Really!? Things will change next year? Whatever happens, then, I guess he can claim victory and go home.
We subject ourselves to (justifiable) ridicule every time there is an asteroid or a planetary alignment or an eclipse, when we run around crying that the sky is falling. In 2013, it was the Comet ISON that was supposedly the harbinger of doom from Rev 8:11 (the blog where it had been posted apparently has since removed the announcement!). How much better to live in the faith, wisdom, love and grace that the Spirit wants to grow in us.
And let no-one say, “Well, I’m not predicting a date, I’m just sayin’.” Yes, he is predicting a date, and yes, he ought to repent while there is still time.
Afterward: John Hagee teaches other serious errors concerning the gospel and the Jews’ relationship to it; there are other blogs that are handling that issue. Mark Biltz too is a teacher in the Hebrew Roots Movement, telling gentiles that they need to eat kosher, worship on Saturday and use only their Bible translation.
“Four Blood Moons” and a false prophet, by Gary Shogren, PhD in New Testament Exegesis, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica