- Paperback: 257 pages
- Publisher: Worthy Publishing (1 October 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617952141
- ISBN-13: 978-1617952142
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Joel 2:31 says:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Mark Biltz (who Hagee gets the theory from) wondered if this verse could simply be referring to a lunar and solar eclipse. Following his curiosity, he went to the NASA eclipse website, which has a compiled list of all lunar and solar eclipses dating from 2000 BC to 3000 AD.
Using the NASA site, Biltz saw that there were a number of solar and lunar eclipses in the future. The ones he focused in on were the lunar tetrads. This means a series of four lunar eclipses within a space of about two years.
Biltz then compared the dates of these tetrads against the Jewish calendar. He discovered that many of these tetrads–as well as other solar eclipses–fall on Jewish feast days.
Biltz wondered if such occurrences had happened in the past. He found six occasions in history that the lunar eclipse tetrads have coincided with Jewish feast days. Cross-referencing these dates with Jewish historical events, Biltz claimed the following connections between these tetrads and significant events in Jewish history:
Nov. 1, 1478 AD – July 15, 1834 AD – The Spanish Crown, in conjunction with the Papacy, imposed the Spanish Inquisition, expelling Jews from Spain if they would not convert to Catholicism.
A tetrad occurred April 2 & September 25, 1493 AD – March 22 & September 15, 1494 AD.
May 15, 1948 AD – March 10, 1949 AD– Israel gained recognition from the U.N. (Dec. 1948) and won the War of Independence.
A tetrad occurred April 13 & October 7, 1949 AD – April 2 & September 25, 1950 AD.
June 5 – 10, 1967 AD – Israel fought and won the Six-Day War, regaining Jerusalem, the capitol of ancient Israel.
A tetrad occurred April 24 & October 18, 1967 AD – April 13 & October 6, 1968 AD.
Biltz and John Hagee suggest that because (according to this model) significant events in Jewish history have transpired around the time of Blood Moon tetrads, the upcoming Blood Moon tetrad of 2014 and 2015 will herald significant events related to biblical prophecy, citing that these eclipses are fulfilling the sun, moon, and star signs in the Bible.
The question is how does this theory bear up against biblical scrutiny and common sense?
The answer is: Not very good and the following are just a few reasons why.
The first thing we need to critique is that what is being described by Biltz and Hagee is the same thing as what the Bible describes. The Bible speaks of the so-called sun, moon, and star signs several times. Here is an example from Revelation 6:12-13:
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; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Also, from Matthew 24:29:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Examining the full texts about this event show that in addition to the sun and the moon going dark, the stars also go dark.
The Bible describes this sign as a global darkness that covers the whole planet. Whatever this is, it will not simply make the sun and moon go dark, but also the stars in the sky. This is obviously something more than an eclipse. If I were to guess, it would have to be something in the atmosphere that blocks out the entire sky altogether, or it could be a supernatural event that causes this universal darkness.
The only way that Biltz and Hagee seem to get around this is by quoting Joel 2:31 most often, because in that verse only the sun and moon are mentioned. However, if you look 21 verses before this you will see that Joel also intended his readers to know that the stars would go dim as a result of this event as well. Joel 2:10 says
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining
It is also made crystal clear by God in Ezekiel 32:7-8 that universal darkness is what is meant here. It says:
And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
So, unless Biltz and Hagee want to try to explain how theses eclipses will make all the stars and every other light in the sky dark at the same time, then they should admit that what they’re talking about is not the same thing as what the Bible is predicting.
We also see from the other mentions of this event that it includes an earthquake. And as we’ve seen, John called it “a great earthquake.” Joel said, “the earth shall quake before them.” This is the same problem. This great earthquake is an integral part of the so-called sun, moon, and star sign. There is nothing about an eclipse, even four of them, that would cause an earthquake.
In addition, it should be obvious to anyone reading the verses that we have quoted that these events occur simultaneously—on the same day and at the same time—and it’s literally impossible for a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse to occur simultaneously. All you have to do is look at why and how these eclipses occur and you’ll see that that is not a possibility.
So, this theory in no way fulfills the biblical sun, moon, and star sign, but perhaps it’s just a means of God to warn Israel of coming events. In other words, perhaps because (according to Biltz and Hagee) the last time these tetrads occurred near Jewish holidays significant things happened to Israel, perhaps significant things will happen again in 2014-15.
So, we are setting aside the idea that this has Biblical significance and looking only to see if we should expect this tetrad to be a warning to Israel of some kind, even though it’s not about prophecy.
The first point:
When reviewing the historical accuracy of Biltz’s claim that Jewish history seems to converge with lunar eclipse tetrads that fall on Jewish feast days, we find that it’s not very accurate at all.
So, the first thing that we need to do is examine Hagee and Biltz’s assertion that these tetrads actually lined up with significant events at all. So often we simply take for granted that this is true, and as we will see, that would be a huge mistake.
Did you know that there were actually two other tetrad events that fell on Jewish holidays that Biltz found in the NASA computers? Well, he did, but he doesn’t like to say much about those because, even according to him, nothing significant happened on those two occasions.
Right there, that should give us pause.
Okay, so, how do we know that this upcoming tetrad in 2014 -15 won’t be another dud like the other two that they don’t like to mention? Based on these numbers, so far almost half–almost 50%–of these tetrads on Jewish Holidays don’t mean a thing, even by their own admission!
Another point is that the dates of the historical events for which these tetrads supposedly correlate do not seem to correlate very well at all to the dates of the tetrads themselves.
For example, the Spanish inquisition actually started some 15 years before the 1493 –94 tetrad, and ended roughly 350 years later. They try to give this some credibility by saying that what the tetrad is really connected with is the so-called Alhambra Decree issued on the 31st of March, 1492, which officially expelled the Jews from Spain; but even then, the first eclipse didn’t occur until over a year later, and the last eclipse over two years later. So, unless you call being off by a year God’s way of predicting something, then this isn’t a match.
The next so called match is supposed to be when Israel declared its independence in 1948, and won the War for Independence the same year. The dates of the 1949 -1950 tetrad, again, did not occur until over a year later, and didn’t fall on any of the dates of Israel’s victories, or on the day that the U.N. recognized them as a state, or any other significant date. Trust me, if there was any significance to the actual dates of these tetrads, you would have heard about it; but the best they can do is, as we will see in the next one, coming within ten months of an event.
So, yeah, the last one they say occurred in conjunction with the Six-Day War, but in reality it didn’t start until ten months after the war ended. And the last eclipse didn’t occur until a full year after that.
Again, these three obvious non-matches look even worse when you consider that they have already thrown two sets of historical tetrads in the trash, because they couldn’t find any historical events to match them with. So, these three represent the best of the best, and that is pretty sad.
So, within two years is close enough for them. And nowadays, apparently, close counts not just with horseshoes and hand grenades, but also Blood Moon theories.
If Biltz and Hagee are really suggesting that God uses these tetrads as a means of communicating to Israel about coming events, where were the warnings about the far greater and far worse events the Jewish people have faced?
Why didn’t God warn them about the Holocaust, or 70 AD, or the expulsion from Rome, or the following persecution? What’s more interesting to me is what you have to leave out in order to believe this theory. Why did God pick the Spanish Inquisition to warn them about and nothing else? And if this was a warning, why did it come a year too late for anyone to do anything about it?
Furthermore, why are some of the tetrads denoting good events, while others bad events? The Spanish Inquisition right next to the victory of the Six-Day War? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.
The next point:
Israel uses a lunar calendar, and they base their feast days upon the phases of the moon. Logic would dictate that because of this fact alone, lunar eclipses will fall on Jewish feast days with some regularity.
In an article published by Answers in Genesis regarding Biltz’s Blood Moon Theory, they commented on the rarity of total lunar eclipses falling on Passover and Sukkot in this way:
“No, it’s really not that unusual. Remember, a lunar eclipse happens only at full moon. We don’t follow a strictly lunar calendar today, but most ancient people, including the Hebrews, did. Their months began with the first appearance of the crescent of the new moon, which is a day or so after our modern definition of a new moon (when the moon and sun are in longitudinal conjunction). Reckoning from this point, fourteen days later, or the fifteenth of the month, always coincides with full moon.”
The article then discusses the frequency in which lunar eclipses fell on Passover and Sukkot, the same feast days as in the Blood Moon theory.
They start off here by mentioning that so far in the 20th century this has happened 37 times:
“…we can say that all 37 of these lunar eclipses coincided with Passover or Sukkot. This is about one-sixth (37/230) of the twentieth-century lunar eclipses, which is what we would expect because Passover and Sukkot happen in two of the 12 months. The relatively high frequency is a result of definition of the fifteenth day of the month on a lunar calendar. Therefore, again, the coincidence of lunar eclipses with these two observances is more common than Biltz realizes.”
So, do you understand what they’re saying?
They’re saying that lunar eclipses are so common on these particular Jewish holidays that it’s occurred 37 times just in the 20th century. They are so common that Biltz and Hagee have had to essentially say, “Okay, yeah, eclipses on these Jewish holidays do happen all the time, but how about two eclipses within two years of one another? Oh, that’s common, too. Well, how about four eclipses within two years of each other? Oh, that’s common, too. Well, how about we throw two of those away, and only look at the other three, and twist those a bit, and then we’ll have something to write a book about?”
On the whole, the Blood Moon theory proposed by Mark Biltz and John Hagee falls short of the biblical standards required for the sun, moon, star, and earthquake sign that’s supposed to herald the beginning of the Day of the Lord. It fails to demonstrate any real and lasting correlation with Israel’s past, and it seems little more than fluff and hype.
In conclusion, I actually agree that significant events are on the horizon for Israel, and even possibly of Biblical proportions, but to suggest that any significant events which might occur in the next couple years are in any way related to the tetrad eclipses of 2014-15 would be akin to me saying that my team lost the Super Bowl because I failed to wear my lucky Jersey.
Thanks for your time.
One thing that I will point out is that about the first half of the first chapter contains some pro-Israel writing. That may catch a reader unfamiliar with John Hagee by surprise. Just read through it.
The Section 2 of the book is called The Spine of Prophecy. It is an effective way of preparing the reader for what comes in the final section. It covers things like does the "end of the age" refer to the rapture of the church? And, how many more signs must be fulfilled before the church can be raptured? I also enjoyed the historical material included from Josephus.
Chapter 6 is entitled Concerning the Rapture. Perhaps that was my favorite chapter. I found a couple of points that were somewhat new to me; and even somewhat encouraging. With all that's going on during the endtime, it can be easy to get confused as to where rapture fits in the timeline.
I was interested to read Hagee's thoughts on Replacement Theology.
Chapter 9 is entitled Famine, Earthquakes and Anarchy. I find Hagee tends to excel in communicating how things really are. I think many, too many, people just are not able to imagine problems on a truly massive scale.
There was a interesting note that the gospel of salvation will be preached until the church is raptured. Then the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached.
Section 3 is on the four blood moons. The last chapter was as good as I hoped it would be. For those who might have seen Hagee's sermon series on this subject; I felt I ended the book with a little more information than I had from the sermon series. However, there was no end date determined.
Overall, this is probably my favorite book on the subject. I actually ended the book feeling a little more upbeat about the coming end.
Hagee shows that God uses the sun and moon as signs, giving us the biblical evidence, and connecting them to the history of Israel. He explores the importance of the Shemittah year, the relevance of 490 year events, the significance of the 9th of Av. He spends quite some time on Israel and the importance of the nation in the plans of God. He covers the importance of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Hagee reviews the previous times the four blood moons occurred on the Jewish holidays of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles. In 1493-94 and the expulsion of Jews from Spain, 1949-50 and the Jews fighting for their land, 1967-68 and the Jews reclaiming the entire city of Jerusalem. The four lunar eclipses (blood moons) of 2014-15 are:
Passover, April 15, 2014,
Feast of Tabernacles, October 8, 2014,
(Total solar eclipse March 20, 2015)
Passover, April 4, 2015,
Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015.
Hagee also notes that the Shemittah year begins September 25, 2014 and ends September 13, 2015.
Hagee notes, "...several Tetrads have occurred in the past five hundred years, only three have corresponded to the Jewish Feasts as well as being linked to historical events significant to Israel." (224) While I would say this means there is no guarantee this Tetrad will have any significance to Israel's history, Hagee writes, "...we can rightly conclude that the next series of Four Blood Moons of 2014 and 2015 will also hold significance for Israel and the Jewish people." (225) And, "The final Four Blood Moons are signaling that something big is coming....something that will change the world forever." (237, ellipse in original)
Hagee doesn't hedge his prediction by saying something "might" or "could" happen. He is definite in his prediction. Time will tell.
Hagee writes, "There was a total solar eclipse on September 24, 1493 - one day before the blood moon of the Feast of Tabernacles, September 25, 1493." (184)
While there was a lunar eclipse as Hagee reports, according to the catalog of solar eclipses from the NASA web site, there was no solar eclipse on that date, let alone a total one. There were solar eclipses in that year on April 16 and October 10. In a solar eclipse, the moon is between the sun and the earth, blocking out the sun's light. The blood moon is a lunar eclipse, meaning the earth is between the sun and the moon, keeping the sunlight from hitting the moon. A solar eclipse and and lunar eclipse are just not going to happen on successive days! Answers in Genesis has a good web page that explains this.
Hagee writes, "NASA has stated that this will be the last appearance of a Tetrad in this century." (221) But he also writes, "Seven more Tetrads will take place in the twenty-first century..." (224-5)
There are many views on the details of Jesus' second coming. There are pre-, mid-, and post-tribulationists. There are some who believe a secret rapture will happen and others who believe Jesus returns once and that's it.
Hagee calls those who teach that there is no (secret) Rapture of the church "false prophets." (78) He also says if you're not looking for Jesus you won't go with Him in the Rapture. (79) Yet, he contradicts that statement by later saying, "All Christians will have been caught up..." (88, italics his)
So the caution is that there have been Christians throughout the centuries who have not believed in a (secret) Rapture, an idea that gained recognition in the 1850s.
Hagee also comes down hard on those who believe that Christians are now considered the true seed of Abraham and are also now heirs of the promises to Abraham, a literal interpretation of Galatians 3:29. Many believe that Christians would not necessarily replace the Jews with respect to the promises, but would, in some sense be included.
A final comment:
I really like prophetic books that include predictions for the near future. Lord willing, many of us will live through the next couple of years to find out if Hagee is right.
I requested and received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Pastor Hagee lets you know in plain everyday language that what is going to come to pass shortly will place Israel into the limelight even more than ever. So many people through the years have tried to wipe them from the earth but this will never happen. Pastor Hagee goes into great detail not only using the Bible but also history books to prove his point.
If you are curious about the way things are going to play out in the Middle-East you need to pick up a copy of this. You may find this to be a tad frightening yet before you finish it you will know there is an answer to the coming Apocalypse and His name is Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Thank you Pastor Hagee for once again for sending out a warning for all to be ready when Jesus comes back.
***I was given a copy of this from Worthy Publishers and Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.***
The description on the back of this book claims, "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." Rev. Hagee's Four Blood Moons does nothing of the kind. On page 24, he quotes Dr. Michio Kaku on solar flares, yet says nothing to explain how this "aligns" to Scripture. At the bottom of page 32, he quotes specific statistics about the sun: "... 109 times larger than planet [E]arth."; "...27 million degrees Fahrenheit at the core...; "...10 million degrees Fahrenheit on the surface."; "...the sun expelled a cloud of 100,000-degree Fahrenheit plasma at more than 900 miles per second." Rev. Hagee then goes on to say, "The awesome God we serve created and totally controls this powerful sun!" While both statements are true (statistics about the sun, and God's creation and control of the sun), he does nothing to "align" them or offer any explanation that connects them. His only reason for mentioning the scientific numbers is to try, in vain, to establish himself as scientifically savvy. He Fails. Anyone can find these scientific facts in many scientific books or on the Internet.
Rev. Hagee's knowledge of science is woefully superficial. For example, on page 29, he says, "...scientists have found carbon-dated rocks millions of years old..." Carbon dating (also known as radiocarbon dating) cannot establish the age of rocks. It can only estimate the age of objects that were once living. The age of the Shroud of Turin, for example, can be estimated because it is made of linen, which in turn is made from once living flax plant fibers. Generally, radiocarbon dating can only measure once living objects back to about 50,000 years, although special techniques can stretch that number some. Radiocarbon dating is the wrong tool to use to determine the age of rocks, just as a butter knife is the wrong tool to use to dig a hole for a home basement.
If you are a Christian trying to wrap your brain around the basics of science and how it relates to your religion, or if you are an atheistic or agnostic scientist considering accepting Christ (like I was at one time), you would do well to avoid Rev. Hagee. In spite of the statement on the back of Four Blood Moons, he does nothing to "align" science with Scripture. He only mentions both without making any kind of logical connection. This book was given to me as an early Christmas gift specifically because Rev. Hagee claims to "align" Scripture and science. Someone thought I was struggling with that. I am not.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I only read 33 pages of Four Blood Moons, and I have only seen one instance of Rev. Hagee on television. Sometimes a small amount of information is sufficient to draw a conclusion. I only have to strike my thumb once with a hammer to determine that it is going to hurt every time. But then, you COULD say "struck thumb equals pain" is "only a theory."
Matthew 7:15 warns us to "Beware of false prophets..." When it comes to explaining the connection between science and religion, you would do well to beware of Rev. Hagee.
I gave this book one star only because zero stars was not an option.