Rob Buckingham's Blog

The World Ends Next Week – Apparently!

Over the centuries there have been frequent predictions about the end of the world.  And here comes another one dubbed by the media as the  “blood moon apocalypse”.

On September 28 this year the fourth lunar eclipse in just two years will occur, a series known as a “tetrad”, each coinciding with a Jewish holy day.  September 28 marks the first day of this year’s Feast of Tabernacles.  And the fourth and final of the lunar eclipses will also be a ‘Super Moon’ (when a full moon coincides with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit).  It’s worth mentioning that the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar – Jewish holidays are based around full moons – and so this is no coincidence, no surprise, and probably no sign from God.

The Blood Moon Prophesy has been propagated by two very influential Christian ministers in the United States: Mark Biltz and John Hagee.  Both men have written books on the subject.  Mark Biltz’s book, Blood Moon, has also been turned into a documentary.  John Hagee’s book, Four Blood Moons, is now a movie.  There’s also some controversy between the two men.  Mark “discovered” this concept first (in 2008) and shared it with John Hagee in 2012.  Hagee now says he did his own research with NASA (even though he quotes his dates incorrectly from the NASA website).  WND Publishing has issued a demand letter to John Hagee for a public retraction of his claim.

Mark Biltz leads El Shaddai Ministries in Washington and is regarded as a modern prophet by his thousands of followers.  John Hagee is founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and spokesperson for the 1.8 million strong Christian’s United For Israel.

It was Mark Biltz who first coined the term “blood moon” which is not a scientific term at all.  It refers to any total lunar eclipse when the moon almost always appears to be a brownish-red colour.  Biltz and Hagee see the 2014-2015 tetrad, when the dates of the lunar eclipses coincide with two major Jewish holidays, as an ominous sign of the end of days as described in Joel 2:31, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”  However, the apostle Peter referred to the Day of Pentecost of his day as being the fulfilment of this prophecy (Acts 2:16).  In the first century AD there were 251 lunar eclipses including one on 3 April, 33 AD when Jesus is thought to have been crucified.   And so when Peter referred to the moon being turned to blood his audience would have known just what he was talking about.

In his book, John Hagee says, “[God’s] been sending signals to Earth, and we haven’t been picking them up.  Two blood moons, in 2014 and 2015, point to dramatic events in the Middle East and, as a result, changes in the whole world.”  Mark Biltz is equally sensational.  While denying reports that an asteroid would hit Earth on September 28, “wiping out most of the Americas,” Blitz said, “the end will instead be heralded by the mother of all earthquakes.”  Neither of those options is very exciting!

Biltz refers to another (apparent) blood moon reference in Revelation 6:12, “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red …”  He believes this will be a sign of divine judgement.  He says it will be a warning such as “a major war involving Israel and the possibility of an economic collapse.”

Both Biltz and Hagee warn that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will reveal their individual missions on 28 September 2015.  John Hagee says, “There will be a world shaking event … the heavens are God’s billboard, and when something big is about to happen He gives planet earth a signal that something significant is about to happen.  Pay attention!  NASA said these four blood moons are coming.  God has said through Joel and St. Peter, Listen!”

John Hagee is an interesting character with some odd beliefs.  For example he describes trying to convert Jews as a “waste of time.”  He says, “Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha’i, needs to believe in Jesus.  But not Jews.  Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced with Christianity.  The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses.  I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.  The Law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation.  And God has not.”  So, in short, Jews don’t need Jesus.  In fact he denies that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah.  This heresy, known as Christian Zionism or dualism, was first made popular in the 1800s by John Nelson Darby, a heretical preacher who formed the Exclusive Brethren cult.

In a 2006 interview John Hagee described Hurricane Katrina as “God’s retribution for a planned gay pride parade.”  He said, “All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens.  I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.”

While the Bible has little or nothing to say about blood moons in association with end time events, it has plenty to say about the rise of false prophets.  How do you identify a false prophet?  Easy, watch and see if their prophecies and predictions come to pass.  John Hagee has a string of false predictions to his name:

In his 1996 book “Beginning of the End,” Hagee said the tribulation started with the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1995).   The book sold 700,000 copies and was called “the publishing phenomenon of 1996” by the executive vice president at Thomas Nelson.  Hagee saw the murder of Yitzhak Rabin as the event that more than any other confirms that “the Messiah is coming very soon.”  Nothing happened!

So in 1999, Hagee wrote a book called “From Daniel to Doomsday” (which sold 12 million copies) saying that the Y2K Bug’s effect on computers would unleash economic chaos and deaths that marked the start of the Tribulation, the end of the world and God’s judgment.  But I thought it came in 1996?  Y2K came and went.  Nothing happened!

So in 2006 he wrote “Jerusalem Countdown” in which he said the Bible teaches that the USA (which never features in Bible prophecy by the way) would invade Iran and trigger the start of the Tribulation (so much for 1996 and 2000).  Nothing happened!

In 2008 he wrote “Financial Armageddon” about the Global Financial Crisis – after it happened!  In 2011 he released two more books – “Earth’s Final Moments” and “Can America Survive?” – detailing the imminence of the Tribulation (which had now been going for 15 years if you believe his 1996 prediction) asking “could 2012 be the end of the world as we know it?”  Umm, no!

And here he goes again in 2015 with his “Four Blood Moons” prediction for the end of the world next week.

The thing that amazes me more than anything else is that people keep buying this rubbish.  Hagee, who is now 73, has sold 25 million books making him tens of millions of dollars.  No doubt he’s laughing all the way to his 7,969 acre Texan ranch!  It seems you’ll never go broke predicting doom even if that doom never happens.

The sad reality is that while guys like this have made millions profiteering on people’s fear, their false predictions take people away from biblical truth on the end times – they desensitise people to the truth and increase cynicism like the boy who cried “wolf.”

So what can we learn from all this?  There are three options with John Hagee and Mark Biltz’s predictions about September 28:

  1. They’re right.  And if they’re right, September 28 is going to mark the beginning of the end and so it’s time for all of us to make sure we’re in right relationship with God.
  2. They’re wrong but they think they’re right.  In other words, they genuinely believe what they’re predicting is true.  They’re not trying to deceive anyone.  If that’s the case it’s still time for all of us to make sure we’re in right relationship with God.
  3. They’re wrong and they know they’re wrong.  In other words, they know what they’re predicting is false and they are deceiving gullible people in order to get money.  If that’s the case, God will sort it out in His time and His way.  This is still the time for all of us to make sure we’re in right relationship with God.

My prediction?  I’ll be writing another blog next Wednesday 30 September 2015!

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