John Hagee’s Harold Camping moment has arrived, and whether or not his followers will abandon him as most did that previous false prophet, Hagee is certainly just as wrong about Bible prophecy.
I have previously written a lengthier piece on Hagee’s “four blood moons” predictions, detailing the alarming level of date-setting in which he has engaged. In short, he openly ties to this lunar “tetrad” event to biblical prophecies in which he says Russia and Iran will be wiped off the map, the battle of Ezekiel 38 will occur, and “your redemption draweth nigh.” For these reasons I concluded that Hagee has gone far beyond anything Harold Camping ever did, and ought to be treated with the same utter rejection when his predictions fail.
In mainstream news outlets, however, Hagee has kept his predictions much more general. In an older interview with Fox, and now when contacted by New York Daily News, Hagee only predicts “something big is about to happen.” This is, of course, the kind of prediction that cannot fail to be proven true. If anything big happens between now and the feast of tabernacles 2015, Hagee can point to it as proof he was right.
There may indeed be “something big” on the near horizon of foreign affairs—especially with Russian foment in Ukraine and another even bigger financial crisis looming across the West. I would be shocked if nothing “big” happened in the next 18 months, and I would be shocked if whatever happens does not involve one of the volatile nations like Russia or Iran, Syria or Egypt, and perhaps Israel as well.
But whatever happens, it will have nothing to do with biblical prophecy—not as Hagee would have the unsuspecting general public believe. As I outlined last time, the “blood moon” Bible passage on which Hagee focuses makes it impossible that any modern events could be the fulfillment.
The refutation is as simple as Hagee’s predictions are grandiose: he ignores the context. According to multiple sources, including this latest New York Daily News piece, Hagee’s foundational passage is Acts 2:19–20:
He points to Acts 2:19-20, which reads, “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
The refutation lies in the very same passage. This is from Peter’s discourse on the famous day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, tongues of fire appeared above their heads, and they spoke in multiple languages, miraculously. A large group of international visitors heard them speak in their native languages. Some of the local religious elites accused these tongue-speaking disciples of being drunk—a 9am in the morning! Peter replied to them:
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day” (Acts 2:14–20).
Peter is quoting from Joel 2:28–31, but his application of it makes it not only clear but inescapable that the “blood moon” prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled right there in the first century. The earth-and heavens-shaking event which indicated this was the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit and its manifestations right before their eyes.
This means the blood moon and darkened sun, and the “day of the Lord” of which Joel spoke, pertained to the first century. Indeed, it was the total devastation of the old covenant temple and the leveling of the city of Jerusalem in AD 70 which proved this once and for all.
Peter was not speaking of celestial events that would occur two thousand years from his own audience. He applied Joel 2 to his time and his audience in the first century. “This is” means “what you see here and now is what was predicted.” It does not mean “Don’t worry guys, this won’t happen for another two millennia.”
For us this means, “this already happened—two thousand years ago.” It has nothing to do, prophetically or biblically, with 2014 or 2015.
In short, Peter’s interpretation of Joel makes John Hagee’s interpretation impossible. John Hagee is certainly wrong about Acts 2:19–20.
He may not be wrong about great geopolitical events occurring in the near future, and they may even involve Israel. But they will have nothing to do with the alleged prophecy he is quoting.