The snake oil salesmen are at it again, though in fact, the error they are perpetrating is very old.
I am referring, of course, to the hype about the “blood moons”, and the pile of books, and current internet articles, that are flogging this error. This stems from a human desire for God to hurry-up, and to get it over with.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. Amos 5:18
We naturally desire to be in the millennial reign, to live in a perfect world, but God will do it in his own time. Don’t rush Him!
10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: 11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Joel 2:10-11
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:31
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD IS NEAR in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. Joel 3:1:14-15
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE that great and notable day of the Lord come:” Acts 2:20
An old Jewish error concerning these passages can be traced to the passage in the Talmud that equates a lunar eclipse to a “blood moon”. When Christians pick up this error there is a problem, Christian doctrine does not come from the Talmud;
“When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world.” http://www.pray4zion.org/TheComingBloodMoons.html
The Talmud is a New Age reinterpretation of the Old Testament, and is as dangerous as any pagan religion. Christians have no business following this abomination. There is a current push to reinterpret the New Testament, in the same New Age way, that is equally as dangerous, but that is not my subject for today.
Suffice it to say that this reinterpretation can be found in all the major denominations, and in many independent churches today.
Modern translations such as The Message, and the New Century version, follow in the New Age tradition of the Talmud. This trend has been going on for some time, however, and even older translations such as the NASB, the NIV, and the NKJV, have been infected, to some extent.
The idea that a lunar eclipse could be in view here is refuted by the immediate context of the passage. In every passage about this phenomenon, a dimming of the sun is connected to the “blood moon”. You can’t get away from this connection, and yet every one of these false teachers focuses on the “blood moon” as if it was an eclipse. It isn’t!
Look at this passage again, and ask yourself “is it possible that this could refer to a lunar eclipse?”;
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:31
Eclipses happen all the time, and while it may be that Israel will not experience an eclipse for another hundred years, they have experienced many over the last three millennia, and the rest of the world experiences them regularly. They are as predictable as the clock!
By its very context this cannot be a sign from the Lord. A sign is not something that occurs regularly as clockwork. By its very definition, a sign is something out of the ordinary.
An event that occurs on the Canadian and American prairies, every fall, is actually closer to what the bible intended, than the natural event of an eclipse… a harvest moon. The dust kicked up into the atmosphere by thousands of combines, processing millions of bushels of grain causes the moon to appear red.
“Wildfires in North America and dust storms in Africa sometimes fill our air with aerosols. A low hanging harvest moon can give an array of colors that is not usually seen.” http://www.moonconnection.com/harvest_moon.phtml
This phenomenon actually gives us a clue to what the bible is referring to; It is not the aerosols from a major harvest, nor even from a major forest fire, but aerosols, dust, spewing into the atmosphere from a major battle, with perhaps even nuclear devices being set-off.
Jesus told us about it in Matthew;
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Matthew 24:7
These wars will produce the blood moon phenomenon, and they will occur during the closing days of the Church age.
Notice also that this phenomenon shall occur numerous times in the End Times, not once.
“Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” Matthew 24:29
Again Jesus said that it will occur AFTER the Tribulation, but Joel already told us that it will occur BEFORE the Tribulation, the Day of the Lord. Is this a contradiction? No.
Go and read through the context of the passages in Joel above. You will see that this phenomenon will occur at least three times. It will occur when the day of the Lord is near, before the day of the Lord, and during the day of the Lord. It is not something that will only be seen from Israel, but all over the world.
So what is going on with the “blood moon” hype? Is it just that guys like John Hagee want to flog books, and make lots of money? No doubt they do, but this is more about deceiving the people of God.
When the Psalm 83 war occurs, this phenomenon will occur, and people will interpret it as being post-Tribulation. Then later, when the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 occurs, it will occur again, and people will interpret it as fulfilment of Matthew 24:29, a sign that the Tribulation is over! They may even look back to the Psalm 83 war and reinterpret that event as having been “before the Tribulation”. Even so, they will still get it wrong!
If you can’t count to three you will get it wrong!
The sun being darkened, and the moon turning to blood, will occur three times at minimum, and each time it will be worse than before. When the Psalm 83 war occurs, it will be viewed all around the world. When the Gog and Magog war occurs you can bet that this phenomenon will be seen in Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Washington, London, and Jerusalem.
The Gog and Magog war will be so bad, that people will be saying “it can’t get any worse than this, therefore it must be the Tribulation”, but it can… and will. So when they form a world government in the aftermath of that war, and they are saying “peace and safety”, that will be the time that the Day of the Lord is about to begin!
So what can be said about people like John Hagee, who are pushing this crap? They are deluded at best! Don’t waste your money, or time, on his book. (Sorry to those who are offended at my use of the term “crap” to describe Hagee’s book. That is what it is worth. Perhaps I should have used the biblical term; “dung”.) I don’t have to read it to know that his whole mindset is in error, as is the mindset of all those who are jumping on the “blood moon” bandwagon.
If you look at the “prophecy community” and the things they have been saying for decades, you should notice that there is a tendency to explain away the events of prophecy. There is a tendency to provide a naturalistic answer to these events.
When the bible talks about the Euphrates river drying up (Revelation 16:12), I have heard Grant Jeffrey say that this could be caused by the dams on that river shutting off the water flow all at once. (The context of the passage is a drought) When the bible speaks of creatures from the abyss, with a sting in their tail (Revelation 9:10), some prophecy teachers equate this to be helicopters. (The context is supernatural creatures, probably fallen angels)
Is there a difference with the blood moon hype? I don’t think so.
Each of these events will have a literal fulfilment. The fulfilment of each event will be something that is out of the control of humanity, and also something that is out of the ordinary. Eclipses are rather ordinary.
So, the fact that there will be four eclipses in Israel during 2014-2015 has nothing to do with biblical prophecy. Except that someone just might take advantage of these events to stage a fulfilment of prophecy.
So many seem to think that Satan is utterly predictable, and of no real danger, but I think he is very intelligent, and is quite able to move in the hearts of world leaders, to approximate the fulfilment of prophecy before its time. Can he do this? Absolutely! Will he do this? Absolutely, and more! This is why we need to be vigilant! “Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Misinterpretation of signs, and seeing signs when there is none, can be as dangerous as missing the signs altogether.