Tag Archives: prophecy

Bad Blood Moon Rising?

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?

Additional Resources:

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:


A Harbinger of Typology Gone Awry?

The Harbinger.  Popular New York Times Bestseller by pastor Jonathan Cahn.  Fact or fiction?

The Harbinger. Popular New York Times Bestseller by pastor Jonathan Cahn. Fact or fiction?

Have you read The Harbinger?” The wife of the elderly couple in the restaurant asked me with great curiosity and concern. “I am not sure what to think of all of it, but it sounds like a prophetic warning for America!

Sometimes going out to lunch can get you into trouble. As we were finishing up a meal with some friends and getting ready to leave, this couple at another table wanted to have a “conversation” with me. Well, it was more like a monologue than a dialogue. I was thinking that this would be brief, as my wife and friends had already left the restaurant, but this couple just kept going on and on about this “Harbinger” book, among other topics. I needed a rescue but there was none to be had. My wife was understandably upset, by this time waiting on her crutches outside the restaurant. After I finally left the couple as they were still in mid-sentence, I was sorely rebuked by my wife for leaving her stranded in the parking lot, after she had recently undergone foot surgery. Ouch. I had messed up. Boy, was I in trouble!

But I was not the only one in trouble. As I did a little more research later into The Harbinger, I realized that there are probably a lot more folks in trouble!

You see, I do not have cable TV, so I’m am pretty clueless about what passes for pop culture and the round-the-clock news cycle these days. But apparently, a Messianic Jewish pastor, Jonathan Cahn, has written a blockbuster novel, The Harbinger: the Ancient Mystery that holds the secret of America’s Future. As of late June, 2013, after 75 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list under the paperback trade fiction category, The Harbinger, sat at #19. That is quite remarkable for a book written by an evangelical Christian author.

Now, the book may indeed be a great story if you like that particular genre, mixing non-fiction into primarily a fictional story. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to figure out the line where the non-fiction ends and where the fiction begins.
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Son of Man: In Search of That Missing Prophecy

Is this Jonah being swallowed by the big fish, or is this how I felt at a Bible study the other night when I was stumped by a really good question?

Jonah and the big fish… or small group Bible study leader stumped by a really good question?

So, we had a “mini-crisis” in our small group Bible study recently. We were looking at the question of how Jesus fulfills prophecy in the New Testament. Someone read from Luke 24:45-46:

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead”(ESV)

Then, the question came: “Does anyone have a reference for this prophecy given in the Old Testament?”

Pages started to rattle. Folks were hunting for a cross-reference. Someone looks around the room for a concordance. Others were pulling out their iPhones to ask the “Almighty All-Knowning Google” for the answer. Whew, boy. I was in trouble.

You see, I’m like, uh, the small group leader. Not only that. I got a seminary degree. Yet, I was completely stumped. All that theological mumbo-jumbo and graduate school $$$  and I was busted.  I tried to mutter something spiritual and intelligent sounding. It was not really working. Folks were looking at me like, “Nice try, no dice, buddy”. I was thinking that Professor Hagner back in seminary was watching, peering over the top of his glasses down at me.  Sweat was pouring down my brow. The room was uncomfortably warm. I was glad I had my day job. Perhaps I could have tried to sneak out the backdoor…. Whoops. That would not have been good…. We were meeting at our house.

😉

OK. I am exaggerating quite a bit. We have a wonderful small group, after all. But it is a great question: Where in the Old Testament do you find the prophecy where Jesus says He will rise again from the dead on the third day? Well, unfortunately, you might be searching a long, long, long time for a specific verse…..
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