Another end-time prophecy prediction cycle is about to have run its course. The one gig is up September 13th and the other one on September 28th. I’m talking about the theory of the Four Blood Moons and the Shemitah year (also called Shmita year). If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything. In fact, you’re in good company – neither Jesus nor any of the apostles had heard of it either.
Neither Jesus nor any of the apostles had heard of the “Four Blood Moons and the Shemitah Year”.
Some will argue, why not let preachers just be preachers. Aren’t wild end time predictions, that turn out to be all wrong, what preachers do? Yes, I would go along with the “let boys be boys idea”, except I’m disturbed. Another couple of years will have been wasted, with large segments of evangelical Christians caught up in deceptive nonsense, distracting us from the real task at hand.
Remember the Y2K end of the world scare, which was supposed to occur at the stroke of midnight December 31st, 2000. Those who are a little older will remember the booklet, which sold millions of copies, 88 reasons why Jesus is coming back in 1988. Each one of these and hundreds of other cooked up end time scenarios were sold to well-intentioned Christians, who didn’t want to miss the rapture. Good Christians were deceived. Repeatedly they were told that by accepting these theories, they would be like the sons of Issachar – people who “understood the times”. Heady idea, isn’t it?
The only profit is for those who publish books and videos about these subjects. End time prophecy books, no matter how far-fetched, sell in the millions, until the gig is up. I don’t think the one time bestseller, Is Saddam Hussein the Antichrist?, is doing so good today.
Large segments of evangelical Christians are caught up in deceptive nonsense, distracting us from the real task at hand.
Someone may ask; what’s the harm? The damage is in that millions of good Christians are distracted from Gospel advancement. Jesus told us what our priority should be – to give the gospel to all ethnicities and then the end of our age would come, [Matthew 24:14]. In 1999, I was asked: Peter, what do you think of the Y2K prophecies? Now I hear, “What do you think of the Shemitah year?” and “What do you think of the four blood moons?” Strangely, I never hear anyone question; “How many ethnic groups are still waiting to hear the gospel?”
For the record, what exactly are these theories of the four blood moons and the Shemitah year?
The four blood moons, often referred to as a tetrad, are lunar eclipses where the moon appears red because of the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red. The first of these blood moons occurred on April 4, 2014, with the last one to happen on September 28, 2015.
The blood moon theory is coupled with the Shemitah, the word for every seventh year in the Hebrew calendar. The idea is that the Shemitah can release either blessing or judgement from God. Both of these theories involve layers of complicated and sometimes dishonest date setting, too numerous to mention in this short article. September 13, 2015 is a prophetic target date, because a partial “blood moon” and the end of the Hebrew year 5775, which is a Shemitah year, occurs on that date. All kinds of additional rationales, not found in the Holy Scriptures, are brought to bear to make these dates into something of great end-time prophetic significance.
I want to go on the record. These end-time theories are not rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
With this article, I want to go on the record, today August 24, 2015. These end-time theories are not rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ or the apostle Paul or any of the other apostles. Simply put, these are human ideas. Paul pointedly told us to not pay attention to holy dates, moons and special Sabbaths [Shemitah is a Sabbath year].
I predict that as the September 13 and September 28 dates grow closer, we will hear less of these predictions. By now all the books and videos have been sold. Many of the proponents of these deceptions are already toning down the rhetoric, hedging their bets that nothing is “for sure”. When the cataclysmic events predicted for September do not occur it’s good to have an escape.
It is also better from a marketing perspective to get on with the next far-fetched end time prophecy idea that will sell more books and videos. Maybe, a prophetic prediction for 2017, fifty years after the 6-day war in Israel! A creative prophecy teacher should be able to cook up some spiritually sounding theory about that. Yes, I am writing tongue-in-cheek. I think you get my point; what will the end-time prophecy schemers think of next?
If questions arise of what really happened on the supposed prophetic dates in September 2015, there will be all kinds of explanations that God used these predictions to cause people to have a spiritual awakening. The logic will be that that in spite of the fact that what was supposed to happen didn’t, it was really a good thing. So, God uses lies to bring people to himself? My tongue is still stuck in my cheek. Sadly, the world at large, to whatever degree it is aware of this nonsense, will have their view that Christians are gullible victims of manipulation reinforced.
Jesus told us what our priority should be – to give the gospel to all ethnicities.
I welcome you to join me in the real task. Let’s, in the words of Jesus Christ to the apostle Paul, open people’s eyes. Let’s be gospel advancers – showing people how awesome God revealed in Jesus Christ is.
There are 3 billion people alive on planet Earth now with little or no access to the gospel. When Jesus’s disciples asked him about end times, he told them to get on with the task – to preach the gospel to “the uttermost parts of the earth”, [Acts 1:5-8].
Currently, the presidential candidates in the upcoming US election are complaining that Donald Trump is sucking up all the oxygen in the room, taking up all the air time on television. End time prophecy teachers have been sucking up a lot of the church’s oxygen with their strange predictions, deceiving beautiful Christians.
Join me in the real task. Let’s be gospel advancers – showing people how awesome God revealed in Jesus Christ is.
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