Today is the last of the tetrad of blood moons- that has been the recent subject of interest for end-time prophecy writers like John Hagee. Blood moon is a term used to describe the coppery-red appearance of the moon during a total lunar eclipse. The tetrad of consecutively appearing blood moons to coincide with Jewish holidays is supposedly a sign from God that ‘something major’ will occur in the world related to end-time events and to the Jewish community. Hagee sure did manage to sell a bestseller book on the subject, but there are several problems with making prophecies of this kind, which I think do more harm than good.
First, Hagee and others conveniently use well-timed astrologic events to broadcast their predetermined pet agendas. They point out that the previous tetrads of blood moons have been associated with the Spanish inquisition and the 6-day war of Israel. A critical analysis would suggest that the timing of the past major events have not exactly correlated with the previous blood moons and the question also remains as to why only 2 previous tetrads have been analyzed while omitting the several that have taken place in the past. Perhaps for prophets with a predetermined agenda, it is simply convenient to omit what does not fit in
Prophecies of this kind also tend to tie God down to a specific timeline. If there is one thing that cannot be done, it is to limit God in time. The moment when someone says an event by God will happen at a specific time, you can be almost certain it won’t take place on that day, simply because God will refuse to be limited by man. It is no different when you limit God to physical objects by making idols. God cannot be limited by space or time. That’s why Jesus went on to say, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32)
What exactly did Jesus mean? Jesus is God, but when he was here on earth, he voluntarily limited himself to being a man. Even though he was perfect man, as a man he could not pinpoint the exact day or hour that the end would occur. God and Christ as the risen Savior, being eternal, know when the end will take place and they will bring it to pass at that appointed time. But what Christ was communicating to us in that verse is that it is foolish for any man to even attempt fixing a time to the end days when Christ Himself as a perfect man was prevented from seeing that moment.
Various other problems arise with prophecies of this kind. An earth-shattering event occurs almost every week. It is not hard to match an event to vague prophecies of this kind. Also, when you assign a time to the end events, are we saying that other moments are not important? Assigning a time ironically dissuades people from living a life on constant basis with the expectation of the coming of the Lord and so these dramatic prophets end up misleading people from having the attitude of preparation for eternity, which is central to the Christian attitude.
33 Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ” (Mark 13)
And so you are far more likely to be right when instead of fixing a time for the end, you say, “Jesus could arrive anytime, I need to have the attitude of readiness and expectation at all times”. This attitude helps a disciple to place no greater value for anything or anybody in this world than Christ. And when this attitude becomes the mantra for life, you are a winner in God’s sight, the exact time of the end no longer being important.
What is worst about prophecies of these kind, is that they sway seekers of the truth away from the gospel and from true prophecy because when fulfillment does not occur as per man’s design, all of Christianity becomes a laughing stock and something to avoid.
‘Accurate’ end-time prophecies are no different from psychic teachings like those of Nostradamus; it also is a sure way to write a best-selling book, but should have no place in accurate Christian theology.
- JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA
- DISRUPTIVE PEACE