Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The False Astrologers "Blood Moon" Prophetic Nonsense
Their theology is unbiblical and their prophecies never come true. These fear-peddlers will no doubt move on to the next event on the calendar and write yet more books promoting their false astrology for profit. It is time for Christians to learn to reject these false prophets!
by Jory Steven Brooks
Over the course of this year Dispensationalist ministries were in an absolute state of prophetic excitement over what scientists say is actually a normal, and fairly common, astronomical occurrence: lunar eclipses. Yes, this time it was somewhat less ordinary, being a tetrad -- a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses --that will only occur eight times in this century. Still, it was not all that rare, yet televangelists talked as if we had been waiting for this since the resurrection of the Messiah. In fact, there have been 62 tetrads since the first century A.D., none of which resulted in the Messiah's Second Coming.
In case you missed all the hoopla, these eclipses occurred on April 15, 2014, October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and September 27, 2015. Christian ministries popularly (and perhaps misleadingly) referred to these as "blood moons." According to the astronomy site,space.com, "blood moon" instead is a term that is "an alternate name for the Hunter's Moon, the full moon that follows the Harvest Moon, usually in late October." The same source tells us, "The red color is caused by Rayleigh scattering of sunlight through the Earth's atmosphere, the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red." The blood moon is actually no more mysterious or miraculous than an ordinary sunset.
Even more misleadingly, prominent Dispensationalist authors were proclaiming that this not very rare astronomical tetrad was instead of immense prophetic significance: a harbinger of the end of the age and the return of the Messiah. Mark Biltz, in his book, Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs (Washington, DC: WND Books, 2014) predicted that the return of the Messiah would occur during this tetrad. Dispensationalist author, John Hagee, joined in with a bestselling book, Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change (Brentwood, TN.Worthy Publishing, 2013). According to a book review reported in the Washington Post (April 15, 2014), "Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth." Of course, not one of these predictions took place; is this not the definition of a false prophet? Read what YEHOVAH God has to say about those who utter false prophecies in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, and note that a steady stream of false prophetic dates over the past century is a hallmark of Dispensationalist spokesmen.
Another thing common among Dispensationalist adherents is the centrality of the Jews and the Israeli state. They were ecstatic that this recent tetrad occurred on Jewish holidays, although it perhaps should not be surprising that lunar events could take place on such holidays since the Jewish calendar is lunar-based. Despite the strong fascination of many Christians with the Jews, "The Jewish holy days carry less theological significance than Jesus' resurrection," according to Sam Storms, a pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. "Any connection between the two events [i.e. blood moons and Jewish holidays] should carry less weight," he said.
It is interesting that "three of the four eclipses in the recent tetrad were not even visible in the biblical homeland of Israel, casting further doubt on Hagee and Biltz's interpretation; even then, only the very end of the last eclipse was visible in Israel," according tospace. com
What is the alleged Biblical basis for the claims of these Dispensationalist prophets of doom? They often quote Joel 2:31 which says; "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD." However, in the New Testament, Acts 2:20 quotes this prophecy and ascribes it to the then-occurring day of Pentecost: "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel." (Acts 2:16) Was it honest to write books implying that Joel's prophecy was to be fulfilled in 2015?
Only one other Scripture passage references a blood moon. Revelation 6:12 says, "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." Does this occur in the year 2015 on YEHOVAH God's timetable? When in Bible prophecy does the sixth seal occur, and are the previous five seals already history?
Barnes Notes Bible Commentary says, "It is at this point that interpreters begin to differ...here commences the divergence towards those various, discordant, and many of them wild and fantastic theories, which have been proposed in the exposition of this wonderful Book..." So true! There are two main prophetic systems in Christian teaching today: Historicist and Futurist.
Lange's Bible Commentary favorably comments, "Moses Stuart, the eminent Professor in the Theological Seminary at Andover, held, as is well known, the view that the Apocalypse was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and that the prophecies of the greater portion thereof (to the close of Revelation 19) had special and immediate reference to the period closing with that event." This is the Historicist viewpoint, known as the "Historical View of prophecy." This interpretation holds that the Book of Revelation has been in a continuous state of fulfillment throughout the Christian era.
One more Historicist reference is The Primitive Baptist Commentary, which also places this prophecy in the past at the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. It says, "The sixth seal was opened and 'there was a great earthquake, the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." We must remember this was written in figurative language. Titus had broken through the third wall and was even now in the innermost part of the Temple area. Fire had been set to the gates of the Temple area. The fire burned so fiercely that the Holy of Holies was set on fire. The clamor of the fighting was so great that the whole earth shook under their feet. The smoke was so thick that nothing could be seen. History records that men did not know whether they were fighting the enemy or those in their own ranks. Have you ever looked at the sun or moon through a smoked glass? This seems to be the conditions described here."
In contrast, Dispensationalists instead are "Futurists," and place everything in the Book of Revelation either in the early apostolic era (chapters 1 to 3) or at the very end of the age and beyond (chapters 4 to 22), with absolutely nothing intervening in-between. Yet of the Fifth Seal (Revelation 6:9) which precedes the Sixth Seal, the Dispensationalist commentary, Wells of Living Water (Dr. Ralph Neighbor) says, "The Lord now is giving us another story of the days of Tribulation. This time He tells of the martyrdom of those who love the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ. We are passing now into the deepening shadows of the Tribulation, The antichrist has conquered. He is under Satan's authority, holding sway for a time, times, and a half a time."
Whether we agree or not with all of this interpretation, the Dispensationalist commentary does point out that the Tribulation precedes the Sixth Seal -- and Dispensationalists say that the Tribulation is still future. If so, there is no justification for claiming that the blood moon of the Sixth Seal of Revelation could have been fulfilled yet in 2015.
Greg Boyd, a pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, called the Blood Moon predictions a waste of time, "even bordering on astrology... You have an entire population buying into this stuff so no congregation is immune to this," Boyd said. "It can strike fear into people, which is so unnecessary and wrong." Boyd is correct in labeling this prophetic fear-mongering as astrology; it parallels the ancient pagan Babylonian priesthood who scanned the skies for portents in order to predict the future. Christians are instead warned that no one knows the time of our Lord's arrival (Matthew 24:44; 25:13; Luke 12:40).
Dispensational Futurist authors have sold millions of books and made themselves tons of money by purveying a climate of fear-mongering, taking fairly ordinary natural and astronomical happenings and making them "harbingers" of tragic end-time events. Their theology is unbiblical and their prophecies never come true. These fear-peddlers will no doubt move on to the next event on the calendar and write yet more books promoting their false astrology for profit. It is time for Christians to learn to reject these false prophets!
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
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