Is the world going to end or the stock market going to crash? Are we living in the Last Days? What’s all of this about Blood Moons and the Shemitah and the month of September 2015? Once again, it’s much ado about nothing. ♦
Well, here we go again. We’re coming up once more (by September 23 or 28) on the end of times, or the beginning of the end of times, or the Stock Market Crash, or another Jewish Holocaust. Or maybe just the Rapture, or God’s judgment on America.
Or maybe just a bad day.
Or maybe nothing.
Don’t bet against the latter. It’s once again another round of earnest but dubious prognostications by End Times enthusiasts and would-be Bible scholars who twist the Biblical scriptures and project so-called prophetic words on a confused and uninformed public and equally gullible and uninformed Church.
Books, Sermons and Misinterpretations
Be careful what you read, watch or listen to in books, TV, radio, and even in church pews. The religious world is abuzz again over the teaching about the appearance this year of consecutive blood moons on Jewish feast days, as well as another prophetic dating game involving the Jewish 7-year mandated agricultural cycle called the shemitah, played this time by Jonathan Cahn from his book, The Harbinger, and the application of Old Testament Biblical passages to a coming wrath and judgment against America.
It’s all very fascinating, even exciting, particularly for Christians who are susceptible to Bible-referencing authors and predictors of calamity.
But why do we fall for this?
Because it’s so intriguing and provocative! It is indeed easy to be deceived by fanciful rhetoric of those who would connect the dots of mysteries and patterns in Biblical passages and align them to modern events. These merchants quote passages from the Book of Joel and the Book of Isaiah and we all go weak at the knees:
- “The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes” (Joel 2:31)
- “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars” (Isaiah 9:10).
We would do better to study the Bible and know the context of these passages and not become victims of sensationalized newspaper eschatology.
What Exactly are the Blood Moons and Shemitah About?
The combination of these two separate dynamics are causing lots of prophetic hype and confusion. Let’s review these two issues:
- 4 Blood Moons – between April 2014 and September 2015 there will be the 55th tetrad since the year AD 1 (4 lunar eclipses occurring about 6 months apart covering a period of 1.5 years and coinciding with historic Jewish feast days). In such a celestial event the moon passes through the earth’s shadow and may give off a red glow, hence since ancient times people referred to an eclipsed moon as “Blood Red.” Modern Christian pastors like John Hagee, renown for many missed prophetic calculations, and Mark Blitz, have written books that have both the Christian community and bemused non-Christians anticipating another major Jewish event. There have been 3 tetrads that have corresponded to major Jewish historic events:
- Tetrad of 1492-1493 – the Spanish expulsion of Jews in 1492
- Tetrad of 1949-1950 – the establishment of Jewish state in 1948
- Tetrad of 1967-1968 – the 6-Day War recapturing Jerusalem in 1967
- Tetrad of 2014-2015 – ?
- The Shemitah 2015 – in a Sabbath year (the 7th year known in Hebrew tradition as a shemitah) of the 7-year agriculture cycle described in Exodus 23:10-11 and Leviticus 25:1-7, the land was to be left to rest or lie fallow. The shemitah was also a time for the cancellation of all debts. (see Deuteronomy 15:1-2). Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Harbinger, has tied the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the 2008 Wall Street crash to God’s punishment of America for its disobedience to God. The entire book is built upon Isaiah 9:10 where God’s prophet warned a disobedient Israel whose Northern Kingdom was ultimately destroyed by the Assyrians in the 8th century. As applied to Israel, Cahn applies these warnings or harbingers to the US. He predicts that in September 2015 (another shemitah year), another major financial calamity will hit America.
Who Are We to Believe?
Be wary of hype and secret codes. The Bible is the Word of God in which He clearly reveals Himself. Do not believe religious pastors and prognosticators who have been consistently wrong in their end-times predictions or make very strained connections from verses to current events. Try studying the Old Testament by itself apart from modern prophetic books that attempt to predict the end of the world. Understanding the Old Testament and its language and context for what it is: a history of the Hebrew people, God’s chosen race beginning with Abraham, through whose lineage would come the remission of sins and the redemption of all mankind through the sacrificial death and blood of Christ.
Some truths to note:
- The Hebrew Law and customs were for the Jews alone to set them apart as a purified nation
- The Hebrews/Jews were not a perfect people, in fact they were as disobedient as man can be
- The Northern Kingdom (called Israel, capital city of Samaria) was corrupt and destroyed in 722 BC by the Assyrians. They were amply warned by the Hebrew prophets with highly symbolic language like the moon turning “into blood.”
- The Southern Kingdom (call Judah, capital city of Jerusalem) was almost as corrupt and was completely destroyed in 585 BC by the Babylonians. They too were amply warned by the Hebrew prophets with highly symbolic apocalyptic language like stars falling and the moon turning “into blood.”
- Israel was re-established by God (capital city of Jerusalem) after 70 years of exile and captivity in the early 6th century BC.
Israel’s rebuilt Temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 exactly as Christ had predicted in Matthew 24. That calamity was foreshadowed in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation as a harbinger with highly symbolic Old Testament language and imagery for the early Christian Church (made up of mostly ex-Hebrews) to be encouraged and warned that in their lifetime they would see God’s wrath once more come upon thoroughly desolate and disobedient Israel, particularly her capital city, the whore of Babylon, the harlot in bed with the beast, Rome, who conspired on the killing of Jesus, the Messiah.
It’s a fascinating narrative. They should make a movie of it. But the Book, and only True Book, would be better.
Do you know enough about the Bible to not be influenced by counterfeit theories?
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once… – Luke 19:11-17