The internet is abuzz today with the news that recent astronomical events signify an important world event that is about to happen – and may even signify the end of the world. This is, in part, due to a recent book by John Hagee capitalizing on this event, called Four Blood Moons. The book is described by its publisher this way…
It is rare that Scripture, science, and history align with each other, yet the last three series of Four Blood Moons have done exactly that. Are these the “signs” that God refers to in His Word? If they are, what do they mean? What is their prophetic significance?
In this riveting book, New York Times best-selling author, Pastor John Hagee, explores the supernatural connection of certain celestial events to biblical prophecy—and to the future of God’s chosen people and to the nations of the world.
Just as in biblical times, God is controlling the sun, the moon, and the stars to send our generation a signal that something big is about to happen. The question is: Are we watching and listening to His message?
I’ve been asked by a number of Christians who are not ordinarily persuaded by the typical winds of silliness whether or not “there’s anything to this thing.” So, let’s discuss it.
This is the question: Does God intend us to be looking to the heavens to interpret, prophesy, or speculate about future events?
A few verses come to mind:
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer – Deuteronomy 18:10 (ESV)
The sentence structure in Hebrew is a little hazy, but the word here is “anan” (transliterated, of course – Strongs H6049) and means “observes times” (as it is translated in the KJV) and carried connotations of witchcraft, sorcery and necromancy. The word “omens” is its closest and most accurate English equivalent. Omen, in the English language (keep in mind, this isn’t the best way to do etymology but I’m trying to give you a frame of reference) means, “an event regarded as a portent of good or evil.”
If looking to astronomical events as a foreboding indication of future events isn’t “interpreting omens” I don’t know what is.
You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who stare at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you. Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame… (Isaiah 47:13-14 ESV)
Babylon was flush with astrologers predicting the future and giving counsel according to changes in the Heavens. God does not think well of this and said that these star-gazing prophets will be stubble consumed in flame and judgment.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; (1 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
Frankly, there are lots of truth claims out there. Some are accurate and some are inaccurate. A myth is something that one purports be true, but does not know for sure (for the Christian, it’s anything that’s not found explicitly in the pages of the text). Sadly, eschatology – if abused – often opens people up this very error. And this is precisely where Hagee errs.
The basic gist behind the Four Blood Moons theory is that each time in the last 500 years this astronomical phenomenon (which isn’t hardly the right word, considering phenomenons are not calculable, observable and predictable) has occurred, something significant has happened in the nation of Israel. What I’d like to demonstrate is that – as with numerology – this type of prediction can be made by anyone asserting anything.
Yesterday occurred an astronomical event (a more accurate word than ‘phenomenon’), called an ‘opposition of Mars.’ It may be a lesser-known event than the much hyped “four blood moon,” but it’s not exactly a yearly occurrence. In fact, the last time Mars was this close to Earth was toward the end of the year in 2007. A major event occurred in the realm of World Wrestling Entertainment – wrestling Hall of Fame performer The Fabulous Mula died.
The last close opposition of Mars prior to 2007 occurred in September of 2004. This date might sound familiar because that’s when The Big Boss Man died. Prior to that, the date of Mars’ opposition was October of 2000, corresponding with the death of Japanese wrestling legend, Yokozuna.
Now, all that might seem like a coincidence until you realize that on Tuesday – the date of the latest opposition of Mars – brought the death of famed wrestler, The Ultimate Warrior. Keep in mind that the next opposition of Mars will occur in September of 2016. The only question will be, “What WWE superstar will die in September of 2016?” John Hagee is making a safe prediction that something important will happen in Israeli and World history this year. And I am making an equally bold and foreseeable prediction – a WWE superstar will die in 2016. Maybe we’re prophets.
Keep in mind that what Hagee is calling a “blood moon” is a term typically reserved for a whole different astronomical event altogether, thus trying to link it to Luke 21:25 to lend it Biblical credibility is silly. Thinking that the Holy Spirit inspired this Text because of a nickname certain English-speaking star-gazers give an all-together-different astronomical event is as absurd as selling prayer shawls.
Furthermore, consider that other major events in Israeli history have received no prior notice from the heavens (until someone uses Hagee-level logic to eisegete some). The Israeli declaration of Independence in 1948, the super-important Law of Return in 1950, the Sinai Campaign in 1956, the Israeli-Egypt peace accords in 1978, the Oslo Accords in 1993 – all of these are events without a corresponding astronomical event. A quick look at a Israeli national event timeline will reveal a whole set of events without a similar astronomical event foretelling it.
At the end of the day, predicting Israel being in the news headlines is hardly a prophecy, but is instead a fair bet. Think about it…would you bet against it regardless the condition of the heavens?
Christians, don’t chase after myths.
[Contributed by JD Hall]