Honestly, this one’s easy: It means that a small group of Christians will succeed in making lots of people think all Christians are dimwits. Again.
Articles like this one have been appearing for the last week or so as evidence: BLACK MOON: Does solar eclipse fulfill Bible prophecy of apocalypse and second coming?
The most nauseating quotation from the article? How’s this one:
Scott Clarke of ERF Ministries believes the eclipse is intimately connected to a September 23 astronomical alignment. He says it involves the constellations Virgo and Leo, along with Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter. On that date, Jupiter will exit the lower part of Virgo (the virgin) in a way that Clarke says fulfills the “man child” of Revelation 12 being birthed by the woman.
Revelation 12 looks back in time, not forward. Here’s a clue for those who need one. Revelation was written after the birth of the child mentioned in Rev 12,and Rev 12:5 has the woman “giving birth”. The Greek word unlocks the mystery there. It means . . . “giving birth” (as opposed to “coming on the clouds”). If you think Mr. Clarke and others using this event to “do prophecy” have it right, then I suggest you learn another Greek word: ψευδοδιδάσκαλος.
This sort of interpretive ineptitude is a tragedy. The only thing I can think of that’s worse (other than the flat earth thing) is that these “teachers” will manage to convince their faithful to keep listening to them. They’ll come up with some sort of hermeneutical gymnastics routine to explain how the Bible (read: THEY) were still right.
Spot on my friend. Spot on. I know that you are not a fan of Bible Codes, but it doesn’t matter to me. I will tell you this anyhow; I am a Bible Code Researcher. (My program is compatible with the Westminster Leningrad Codex.) The codes clearly state that this is but a sign, a warning for the wicked: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. Sorry folks. There will not be a rapture that day. And quite frankly, the book of Matthew clearly states in Chapter 24 and 25, that NO MAN knows the day nor the hour. Not even Yeshua (Jesus)! We can twist the meaning of that until we are blue in the face, and it still does not change the words of Yeshua.
My fear is that with all of this hype for the Eclipse and Rev.12 sign, that when it doesn’t happen, it will cause men’s hearts to further grow cold. The scoffers will also come out and say…. where I the promise of His coming?” Yes, as a Christian, I will be slumped into the category of crazy nut job Christian. ( Gee… thanks guys.)
Please folks, when are not taken at the time that man says Yeshua has to come, don’t keep theorizing and kicking it down the road another year. He will come when He comes, just like the word says.
Correct. I have no interest in Bible codes. They are dead on arrival since they do not incorporate text-critical work, Qumran plene spelling, variations within the Masoretic tradition, etc. Leningrad isn’t how the original MSS would have been written.
What would it take to convince you?
How short sighted you are and concerned with the opinions of others. If the sign was for the past and yet a sign filling all the requirements appears, do you blame God for the timing, or seek Him as a child to know what it means. Except a man, become as a little child, he shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Too many rely on qualifications of meaningless drivel and Science, falsely so called.
I cringed every time I saw one of my Christian friends on Facebook post something about how important the eclipse was, what it meant, etc. Come on.
Why would Revelation look to the past if it didn’t have implications for the future? (It is Revelation, end times prophecy and all that) It seems doubtful that it’s just a history/theology lesson right between the seals and trumpets of the apocalypse.
I get the analysis that the language of Rev 12 evokes the astral circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. However, like you, I see problems with restricting interpretation to only that view. To start with, Rev 12.1 plainly says that everything about to be described is a “great sign in heaven”. It’s an actual astronomic event. Not a vision of the nativity. And details about that astronomical event don’t narrowly parallel the birth account.
The twelve stars around the head of the woman – where is that in Luke 2? Or how about the infant immediately being caught up to heaven after birth? That’s not what happened to Jesus at his birth. Or the woman fleeing to the wilderness, etc. (Some might argue that the escape from Herod to Egypt represents both the catching away of the infant and the flight of the woman to the wilderness, but that would make Egypt both heaven and wilderness. Which is it?)
I think Dr Heiser is right to observe the language points back to the astronomical phenomena present at the birth of Jesus, but that seems to be with the intent of looking forward to time when that exceedingly rare astronomical event will occur again, with different results. And it is indeed occurring again. The last time an astronomic arrangement similar to this happened was – you guessed it – around the time of Christ’s birth. Another similar event won’t happen again for thousands of years, and this exact arrangement won’t happen again ever(!).
God made the astronomic bodies and set the whole thing in motion. They are his to use for signs however he chooses and I, for one, choose to be open to discerning his hand in whatever realm he chooses to move. So what if some believers are taking a shallow view of these events. That doesn’t necessarily make them “false teachers”. Those of us with a deeper appreciation of end times have a more nuanced view, while it might actually get some people thinking about end times who would otherwise be oblivious. That’s not a bad thing.
Sun is rising in the East.
Dr Michael Brown asked a simple question (https://youtu.be/HxZlwxmDSo0 ) that got me thinking: Should believers identify as Christians? The word “Christian” has become so meaningless, so associated with just about anyone and everything, not to mention associated with many reprehensible things, people and ideologies, that perhaps believers in Jesus, the Messiah (the Christ) should rather label themselves or refer to themselves as something else now. Until, of course, the new label gets co-opted as well. I’d rather say nowadays that I am a believer in Jesus the risen King (or some such).
As much as I like many of your points and theological work, I have to disagree with you on this one, because I can’t support calling someone a false teacher because of an issue like this one (when he even could be right). I don’t think the Bible is an exact science where no ambiguity exists on certain texts. And this text is seen by many fruitful man of God as prophetic.
By the way, I am not defending Clarkes views.
The real question is, to whom is the Bible written to? Secondly is what does, “we need not have any man teach us for the Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth? This is not critical, of Dr.MH, whereas His expertise adds to topic development, which I find foundational and expansive. Just a thought. In addition we have ALL had errors in understanding of various topics that we would all do better to repent of. the creatures that we are have not yet achieved perfection.
The Bible is 66 books, so it wasn’t written to one audience. The question needs amending and clarity.