One would think that after the Herald Camping debacle the prophecy pundits would give us a rest for a while. Nope. Pastor John Hagee is at it again and he’s got people spooked about the beginning of the end. I honestly wish I could understand why people are so fascinated with this end-times, prophetic, and apocalyptic drivel. They are so fascinated by it that they get completely stupid about it. I mean, how many times does someone have to wrongly prophesy that “the end is near” before we start realizing that it’s all a bunch of hogwash?
John Hagee – Just Another Brand of Harold Camping
John Hagee is just another brand of Harold Camping. In the “prophecy” world I try distinguish between three types:
Date Setters – Harold Camping was a date setter. He set a date. Most Christians will rope these folks off as dangerous or loony. Most of the prophecy guys know better than to squash their never-ending (ironic?) market share by putting a solid date on the end (that would mean the end of the prophet’s…profits). Those leaders who do set dates, have always ended up in disgrace…like Harold Camping.
Confident Sooners – Probably the most effective, and profitable, of the prophecy proponents are what I’ve decided to call “Confident Sooners.” They are completely certain that the end is “soon.” They will say with confidence that in the next few years something, or other, is going to happen that will inaugurate “the end.” Ask them what “the end” means and they won’t give you a straight answer. It has to stay general otherwise you might actually find out it’s a bunch of malarkey and you won’t be there to buy their next book.
Maybe Sooners – The “maybe sooners” are probably the safest, and smartest, of the bunch. They don’t get too fanatical, but they will say things like “I expect to see Christ return in my lifetime.” I think the best example of this toned down version is Dr. David Jeremiah. They take great care to stay away from date setting and they even say, with qualified hesitancy, that they believe the end is going to come soon.
I haven’t read Hagee’s book and I will not read it. I would rather people go watch the Noah film 16 times than waste any time reading Hagee’s book (or any other prophecy book about “the end”).
From what I’ve seen in his interviews, Hagee has really hit on some interesting historical/astrological phenomena. I mean, it’s pretty cool that in the next few months Mars, Earth, and the Sun are going to align, on four occasions, in such a way as to present a red moon. It is also very interesting that this is happening as we approach passover and Easter week. It is also interesting that this has only happened 3 other times in the last 500 years. I will even add that it is interesting that the last three times it occurred seems to mark some generally significant historical events.
Yes, it’s all very interesting. So was Camping’s mathematical malaise that lead to his May 21, 2011 date. Camping figured out that 722,500 days from Christ’s crucifixion was equivalent to (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17). Each of these numbers representing numerical themes in Scripture (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven). Like I said, it’s all very interesting.
Terrible Theology and Bad Bible Study
All this interesting astrology has very little, if anything, to do with the Bible. Let me emphasize the words “very little.” First, there are only three verses in all of Scripture that reference the moon turning red like blood, and two of them are identical…
Joel 2:31 – “The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.” Acts 2:20 – “The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.” Revelation 6:12 – “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”
You’ll note that the Joel passage, and the Acts passage, are identical. That’s because, in the Acts passage, the Apostle Peter is quoting the Joel passage. Why was Peter quoting the Joel passage? This may come as a bit of a shock, but he was telling his hearers that they were witnessing the fulfillment of the Joel passage on the day of Pentecost. The people thought the Apostles were stone drunk, and Peter replies,
Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:… Acts 2:17-21.
He then proceeds to quote Joel 2:28-32 which discusses the pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh,and which states that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
So for Peter Joel 2:31 was happening when the Spirit descended at Pentecost. I don’t know about you, but I’m going with Peter’s interpretation over John Hagee’s all day long. That leaves us with only one unfulfilled Biblical prophecy that has anything to do with the moon turning to blood: Revelation 6:12.
This is where my pre-tribulational rapture friends start to perplex me a bit. They perplex me enough as it is, but this is where it REALLY gets me confused. They constantly say the coming of the Lord is immanent, and that the church will be raptured before the tribulation…and yet some of them buy into this baloney (bologna?) from Hagee. This reference in Revelation occurs after the first five seals of the tribulation have been opened. Whether you are pre-trib or mid-trib, this makes absolutely no sense.
If you believe in a pre-tribulational rapture, you should have departed about three years before this blood moon gets here. There is no small amount of irony in the fact that this would have been right around the May 2011 prediction of Harold Camping. If you believe in a mid-tribulational rapture, then you have to argue that we somehow missed the first five seals of the tribulation and now we’re just catching the red moon of the sixth seal?
Nobody…NOBODY…from the dispensational or premillennial camps is crazy enough to suggest that God has, in the last few years, unrolled the first five seals and that we’re about to experience seal number six because the moon happens to be turning red. Like I said, it’s interesting astrology, but it’s terrible theology…even for these clowns (most gracious word I could think of).
The End is Not in Sight – Overcome
Let me do what I’ve promised to do from now until I die…I’m going to predict that this is not the end, and you need to stop wasting your time on fanciful prophetic pooey (running out of “p” words) and start sharing and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You don’t need to scare people with a tribulation to get them to believe the Gospel, hell is sufficiently scary enough. You don’t have to freak them out by telling them Christ could return tomorrow, it’s sufficiently worrisome enough that they might get hit by a bus tomorrow (which is far more likely than the end of the world at this point).
I genuinely wish people would just use their heads, and their Bibles, and stop reading this fictional filth. Stop funding these guys who have an appearance of knowledge but have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. It does not glorify Christ and it only makes a mockery of the truth of the Word of God. What was so tragic about what Camping did was that many people actually thought the Bible said May 21, 2011 was the end. When it turned out to be false, they turned from the Bible rather than recognizing Camping for the fraud that he was.
Hagee’s blood moons will produce the same affect. I’m guessing some weird stuff will happen in the next few months. But you know what won’t happen? The end. How can I be sure? I read the Bible. If you do the same, you’ll see that there is a lot more than a red colored moon that has to occur before Christ returns. Use some discernment, and heed the advice of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5…
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
I have preached through the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians as well as the book of Revelation. Feel free to check them out for further study.
Jeremy Lundmark is a former pastor and former host of the podcast "After The Sermon." Jeremy has earned his Masters of Ministry from Summit University in Clark's Summit, PA. He is the author of the book, The Fury of God. Jeremy is a husband of thirteen years to Alison G. Lundmark and is the proud father of three children: Alexander, Brionna, and Scarlett. To connect, leave a comment on one of his posts at TheologyMix.com.