End-times prophecy fascinates many Christians. This is understandable. The Bible talks quite a lot about the fulfillment of prophecy.
Popular American preacher and Christian Zionist, John Hagee, has been recently promoting the idea that we are on the verge of seeing some “world shaking event”, a type of prophecy fulfilled corresponding to a rather unusual astronomical occurrence. Starting in April 2014 through 2015, observers on planet earth will be able to witness four “blood moons” in a relatively short period of time, according to researchers at NASA and other astronomers. A “blood moon” is simply an informal expression for a lunar eclipse, when the moon will appear the color of a blood red. In the following clip promoting a recent book, John Hagee summarizes his ideas:
Hagee derived his ideas from fellow dispensationalist pastor, Mark Biltz. Biltz is a leading figure in the Hebrew Roots Movement, a rather provocative teaching that urges Gentile Christians to stay more faithful to the Bible by adopting more traditionally Old Testament Jewish practices in terms of a calendar of worship. Highlighted before here on Veracity, Biltz’s Hebrew Roots teaching has proven very controversial.
In this latest turn in the analysis of biblical prophecy, Biltz suggests that the rare events of having four blood moons, a tetrad, happening so close together in time has been historically associated with major events in Jewish history. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain, followed within a couple of years by one of these four blood moon events. In 1948, the modern nation-state of Israel was founded, followed again within a few years by a series of four blood moon events. In 1967, Israel fought the Six Day War, gaining full control of the old city of Jerusalem. Oh yes, soon after that, there were four blood moon events.
What does the upcoming blood moon events in 2014 and 2015 signify? Well, Biltz and Hagee continually reiterate that they are not “setting dates.” However, Biltz says that something major will happen regarding Israel. Hagee goes a little stronger and states that something big will happen somehow related to Christ’s second coming… Mmmm….. While both preachers seek to distance themselves from the rather boldly absurd claims made by Harold Camping a few years ago, their pronouncements are unsettling and should cause believers to pause to reconsider the historical and biblical grounding for such teachings. Now, I am sure that many Christians have benefited positively from the teaching ministries of Biltz and Hagee. However, both preachers, notably Hagee, have made curious statements suggesting that Jewish people do not need conversion to Christ, which if the reports are true, is a deeply disturbing situation in terms of sound Christian doctrine (per the Christian Research Institute).
A number of biblically informed Christians are not enthusiastic about the blood moon teachings associated with Biltz and Hagee. I do not always agree with Gary Demar, but I would urge those who are drawn to the teachings of Biltz and Hagee to at least soberly ponder over what the founder of American Vision has to say.
Demar argues that the speculation over the future fulfillment of prophecy actually has a negative impact on the witness of the Christian church. From Hal Lindsey to Harold Camping, and to somewhat a lesser extent in the late Chuck Smith, those who are tempted to focus too much on future biblical prophecy have historically been wrong, wrong, wrong pretty much most of the time. When people have tried to nail down the exact date of Jesus’ return, their attempts have proven 100% incorrect. If it turns out that no spectacular “something” happens within the next couple of years regarding Israel, will the integrity of Christian witness in the eyes of a skeptical world be damaged?
If we as Christians repeatedly pay too much attention to even vague attempts at the “date-setting” of nebulous prophecies, will our non-believing neighbors trust us when we try to tell them about the prophecies that have been fulfilled already in Jesus Christ 2000 years ago?
What do you think? Is there a bad “blood” moon rising?
For you science-geeks out there, the first total lunar eclipse in the tetrad sequence will be visible early, early the morning of April 15, 2014 on the U.S. East Coast.
Some experienced students of the Bible might object that Gary Demar is a partial preterist, and therefore not trusted with respect to Biblical prophecy. Okay, how about this: for another dispensational, futurist perspective that objects to Hagee’s and Biltz’s understanding of the Bible, you might want to view the following 13-minute critique of the Four Blood Moon theory. The bottom-line: do not simply swallow everything some television preacher says. Check it out against reliable history and the truth of God’s Word:
April 12th, 2014 at 12:14 pm
The CCR link was a nice touch!
April 13th, 2014 at 4:11 pm
I had a friend of mine who always misunderstood the main lyric at the end of the chorus for the song: “Don’t go ’round tonight. It’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon tonight.”
He always thought John Fogerty was saying, “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
I laugh every time I think about it.
April 12th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Clarke, thanks another great post. I too am concerned with this type of emphasis on prophesy such as this case when people try teach that something is coming in the near future. The Bible is clear that we will not know the date. And thanks for the Creedence. Have a blessed day, David