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Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in _NakedBible, _Paleobabble, Eschatology (End Times), Jesus, Wacky Bible Interpretation | 12 comments

If Only Jesus Had Used Starry Night Pro

Well, the blood moon tetrad season is upon us. Woe unto us.

In Matthew 24:3 the disciples of Jesus asked him, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” Jesus told them there would be signs, but “concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matt. 24:36).

If only Jesus would have had astronomy software. Then he could have answered the disciples more precisely.1

And so here we are again. I get to open Twitter and my blog reader and have it spew dozens of stories about how Mark Blitz and John Hagee know something Jesus didn’t. And multitudes of “the faithful” buy it. I’d say it’s hard to believe Christians can be this gullible, but I’m past that. I’ll believe almost anything now.

And for the person reading this that says, “You’re not being fair, Mike — Matthew 24 has Jesus mentioning all sorts of signs, even the moon darkening.”

No kidding. Really? I’d never read that before. Riddle me this, Batman. Can you explain why (other than your pre-conceived theological system) the signs of Joel and Matt 24 couldn’t have been referring only to events prior to 70 A.D.? (And no, I’m not a preterist). Can you point out the verse that tells me that “the sign of the son of man” (Matt 24:30) mirrors the signs of Jesus’ birth? After all, that’s why this particular set of blood moon tetrads have people fired up (though that isn’t as well-publicized). The reality is that the “sign of the son of man” is never identified specifically. We have no biblical warrant to argue that it is the set of astronomical conditions associated with the Magi and Revelation 12. Zero. Would Jesus have missed that? Why would God have kept that information from him — and us — until Blitz and Hagee installed their astronomy software? What happened to computers being the sign of the beast? (That faded in the prophecy wave of the 70s).

There are quantifiable reasons to just chalk this up to another Bible scam. (One wonders how the Bible code books of years passed missed this).  A lot of what Blitz and Hagee claim about the importance of blood moons for Israelite and Jewish history just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. The same can be said for the astronomy. Here are two sources for those who actually want to probe the issue.

The Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast: Episode 85: Blood Moons, Jewish Holidays, and the End of All Things

But Mike, Stuart Robbins, the host of that podcast, isn’t a Christian! (Cue dramatic music).

Okay, here are some debunkings from Christians who are into Bible prophecy. They ain’t buyin’ it, for good reasons:

John Hagee Debunked

Mark Blitz Theory Debunked (this fellow at first believed it years ago, then came to see it was bogus).

Here’s a YouTube debunking that shows the basic idea is a fine illustration of non-sequitur thinking (and outright deception):

And, finally, another YouTube debunking by my friend Chris White, the same guy who made the 3-hour debunkumentary (in which I appeared) on the Ancient Aliens nonsense.

  1. I’m aware that Blitz is the one who’s given a precise date for Jesus’ return, not Hagee. Hagee’s just getting a piece of the pie. His sufficiently vague prediction about some world-changing events qualifies him only for writing horoscopes.


  1. Jesus stood before Jerusalem and cursed a fig tree [Mark 11:13-14]. Though a tree withered, was it really the plant he cursed?

    With prophecy people mistake the signpost for the thing signified, since the sign seems more concrete, more tangible. Mistaking the thing signified or missing the signpost are halmarks of false prophets. Yet isn’t it true that a signpost could signify just about anything, making prophetic meaning essentially unknowable?

    If God is without variation or shadow due to change [James 1:17], his use of signposts to direct our gaze, shares His character. The thing signified is no less concrete and objective as the signpost itself. So the goal should be to correctly understand the signpost to understand what it signifies. Let the word interpret the word [Matt 19:26][Mark 10:27].

    So, did Yehshua (Jesus) really curse an out-of-season shrub? If Jeremiah spoke truly [Jer 24:5], YHWH would regard exiles of Judah as figs. Therefore, it might appear Messiah was cursing Jerusalem, rather than the harmless plant.

    The question becomes – From crucifixion onwards has Jerusalem yielded fruit anyone could be nourish by?

    Do these comments have anything to do with Joel’s prophecy or this post?

    If the signpost and the thing signified are both understood correctly, absolutely nothing. (In [Gen 37:9] did astronomy bow to Joseph?) However, if either is misunderstood – absolutely completely.

    I might add, if Joel’s prophecy has anything to do with ‘Israel’, do we have sufficient warrant for believing people can correctly identity ‘Israel’ in the world today (given that they couldn’t 2000 years ago) [Rev 2:9][Rev 3:9]?

    • I would argue that while one can read the Olivet Discourse as referring to both 70 CE and a future Second Coming (which I think was wholly deliberate–the Bible is full of near-far prophecies), there’s no way one can read 70 CE or 135 CE into Joel, since his prophecy ends with the nations being brought up against Jerusalem and the nations–not Jerusalem–being destroyed. You have to hijack Joel 2:31 out of its context to get a preterist interpretation of it.

      I agree with the interpretation of the cursing of the fig tree, though I don’t think it refers to Jerusalem being cursed for all time. (There are too many prophecies mitigate against that view.) Rather, it was a sign of the coming judgment of God against the Jerusalem of that time–and just as it had after the first destruction at the hands of Babylon, Jerusalem has been rebuilt and repopulated, albeit after a much longer exile.

      As far as Jerusalem ever producing fruit, I can tell you from personal experience that those who go up to Jerusalem seeking God are blessed by the pilgrimage. I believe that will be even more so when the Third Temple is built, and infinitely better when the King of Israel resides within it.


      • Don’t forget that Luke “changed” the meaning (and wording) of Amos 9 in Acts 15. Amos 9 is quoted in Acts 15 and words are changed – Edom becomes “mankind” (Hebrew ‘edom becomes ‘adam in James’ quotation) and applied to the church, not to David’s literal dynasty, or ANY structure (like a temple or Jerusalem). Amos 9 is clearly not interpreted, under inspiration, in those literal ways. It is rather abstracted to make a theological point about the church (which is “circumcision neutral” — contains ALL believers, Jew or Gentile).

        My point is that the NT authors at times think in fulfillment terms that the OT passages didn’t envision, and so you can’t use the OT wording as an argument to say “that can’t be the fulfillment.” Things just don’t work that neatly.

        • “Don’t forget that Luke “changed” the meaning (and wording) of Amos 9 in Acts 15.”

          Did he? There’s only a single vav’s difference between the two words, and as you yourself have pointed out, there was an editing process in Babylon that included the addition of consonants as vowels. It’s very likely that at one point, “Edom” and “Adam” were both spelled A-D-M. Though we can’t prove it from the DSS that I know of (I think only one of the copies of Amos even has chapter 9 intact, and it matches the MSS), it’s just as likely that Jacob (James) was working from a MSS with the variant “Adam.”

          Even if we didn’t have that relatively simple way of integrating Amos and Acts specifically, I don’t think you can use the NT’s often “midrashic” use of the OT as carte blanche permission to just ignore passages that state plainly that the Holy One would in the end save Jerusalem and destroy those who came against her. There’s just no ambiguity about how Joel’s prophecy ends.

          • Yes, he did – he changes (via the Spetuagint he’s using) ‘edom (Edom) in 9:12 to ‘adam (humankind) in Acts 15:17. There are others, but that’s the easiest one to see.

  2. About [Matt 24:36] I might also add there is a fallacy of modal logic (to do with temporality) hiding in that verse.

    If what Jesus (Yehshua) said was true at the point (that no one knows ..), does that make it true through out all of time?

    If I say it is hailing, and my claim is true, does that mean it can do nothing but hail (since that true claim must always be true – throughout all time)?

    Jesus said something true to his disciples in [Matt 24:36], but look what happens to Him afterwards chronologically:

    [Matt 24:36] Jesus Himself did not know …
    [Matt 27:50] the Pascal lamb was slain …
    [Matt 27:60] … buried …
    [Rev 5:3-4] Even still no one was found worthy to receive the knowledge that the father has sealed.
    [Matt 28:6] The sacrifice was accepted [Heb 9:22]
    [Acts 1:9] … and taken up to the mercy seat …
    [Rev 5:6] to receive the scroll no one else could unseal [Rev 5:7] and was worshipped [Rev 5:8-9]

    The same Jesus who did not know in [Matt 24:36] now knew in [Rev 6:1] since he had been found worthy [Rev 5:9] and so began to unseal what had been previously been sealed; and he reveal these mysteries through the Holy Spirit to his followers [Rom 16:25][Eph 1:9].

    So, it is a fallacy to conclude that God continues to hide from all, what was once hidden from some [Pro 25:2].

  3. Wait. A popular pastor with great rhetorical skills publishes a book on prophecy, and you have the gall to suggest the book may be in error?? But isn’t everything that is printed by pastors with great rhetorical skills correct?

    That would suggest maybe my childhood pastor, whom I remember teaching from”88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988″, was in error… from time to time. (Maybe like when he started the series on “89 Reasons why…”)… I mean, if we Christians aren’t living in constant fear and dread, how can we fulfill Christ’s command to go and make gullible scaredy-cats of all the nations…?

    • I stand rebuked! :-)

  4. I am glad to see some one else is not buying this BS besides me

  5. These guys may believe this, I suspect they do. Sincerity don’t cut no ice though. They unwittingly bring dishonor on Christ to the unbelieving world by these senseless predictions.

    I’ll pray for them.

  6. Thank you Michael! They played the blood moon video at my church last Sunday and I kept thinking, “The Jewish calendar has full moons fall on feast days. So, an eclipse those days would just be normal…so what?” Then as I listened I was realizing that the blood moons came after the significant Jewish events. Ugh – I’m tired of Christian sensationalism. Posting Chris’s video to Facebook.

  7. Seems to me that the trend for the past two thousands years; a the huge majority of persons who proclaim that the earth’s population will live through the end time, are now dead.

    But if a person needs a scary warning to motivate them, they should read Hebrews 3:7-19


  1. RT @msheiser: If Only Jesus Had Used Starry Night… | The Richard W. Hendricks Experience - […] RT @msheiser: If Only Jesus Had Used Starry Night Pro astronomy software –… […]

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