Harold Camping is dead. But behold, a greater than Harold Camping is here.
What do you get when you combine all the end-time drama of Left Behind and the date-setting of Harold Camping?
Answer: John Hagee’s preaching on the coming four blood moons. No, the Camping date-setting part is not an exaggeration. I am about to prove it to you. From what you are about to read, if Hagee’s claims do not come to pass as he repeatedly proclaims in his three part series, he has to be held accountable publically. In a just world populated with serious Christians, this ought to end Hagee’s career in disgrace just as Camping’s antics ended his.
Hagee is not Camping, and the nature of his predictive claims is not exactly the same in detail as Camping’s. Nevertheless, the substance of what he is doing is the same—and in fact, we may say it is worse, and that Hagee is even more emphatic about it.
Even while he adds a few disclaimers (which I will cover below), John Hagee’s blood moon hype openly steers into date setting regarding the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38. If his congregation does not hold him accountable for this, they cannot be too serious about God’s Word regarding false prophets. They will then be openly declaring themselves to be consenting with a false prophet.
Some of you will not be surprised much. You may have thought the John Hagee was off the deep end a long time ago. But you ain’t seen nothing. His latest claims have gone even deeper.
Four Blood Moons
If you have not already caught up on the phenomenon of “four blood moons,” you may want to read Gary DeMar’s brief reviews here and here. I will not review it here save to say that the concurrence of lunar eclipses with both the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacles in each of two consecutive years is indeed a rare event. And yes, such a celestial phenomenon has occurred during times very close to major historical events regarding the ethno-Jewish people: 1492, 1948, and 1967. But the hypesters have not much mentioned that it has also occurred during years in which no major events are recorded: 162/163 AD, 795/796 AD, 842/843 AD and 860/861 AD, as Gary related already.
Hagee continually calls this phenomenon “God’s billboard” by which God is trying to get our attention because “Something big is coming” or “Something is about to change” (the subtitle of his book).
If this were as true and inevitable as he would like us to believe, he needs to show what happened during these other dates as well. Or else, he should change his subtitle: “Something Is About to Change . . . Or Not. [Shrug?]”
That aside, the level of pontification and outright prediction on Hagee’s part is startling. For my part, it is welcome. I am glad he will put himself on the line the way he now has. I just hope his congregation and the larger Christian world that follows him will have the nerve to hold him accountable for it. I am not holding my breath, however.
The hype starts like this: Hagee says, “When the sun is eclipsed in the center of four blood moons—as is this chart—it is the warning to the whole world that something devastating is going to happen. This is an enormous message. Did Jesus say anything about this? Yes!”
He goes to Mark 13: “But in those days [the last days of the dispensation of grace, according to Hagee], after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven” (Mark 13:24–27).
Hagee here makes it clear that the four blood moons which are coming, beginning next year, are what Jesus was talking about in Mark 13. But this is not just a prophecy about the sun and moon. It involves a few other things: stars, the heavens in general, and . . . what??? The return of Christ.
Now, of course, there are plenty of criticisms of Hagee’s views of end times in general. There are yet more criticisms we could add in regard to connecting whatever Hagee thinks is about to come in 2014 and 2015 with the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38–39. Jesus here says these signs will occur after the great tribulation in Mark 13:1–23. The Gog-Magog War is allegedly Armageddon which takes place at the end of the tribulation as well—seven years after the rapture. But for this connection to be true, the rapture would have had to have taken place seven years prior to April 2014! That’s 2007. Did the rapture already happen? Hmmm. I didn’t see anyone casting lots to divine Brother Hagee’s left-behind trousers.
The only way out of this would be for Hagee to argue that the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38–39 is a separate event from Armageddon—separated by several years.
But this is really all to the side of the real problem here: Hagee is tying the four blood moons phenomenon to the fulfillment of alleged end-times prophecies. But the blood moons have precise dates attached to them, and Hagee knows this. This means that Hagee is date-setting as openly as anyone ever has.
The Gog-Magog War in the next two years?
Hagee points out that the four blood moons (April 2014 to September 2015) will be split evenly by a full solar eclipse. He tells us what he thinks these things mean. Lunar eclipses are portents for something to happen to Israel. But, “The solar eclipse is a symbol of God’s judgment against the gentile nations.”
Hagee is not content with general speculations. He wants to get specific about this. Hold on to your pants:
Now, which gentile nations is God warning in this coming eclipse of the sun in the heavens? . . . The prophet Ezekiel in chapter 38 makes it very clear which gentile nations are on God’s hit list (and I’ll clear this up in just a moment). They are Russia, Iran, Libya, Germany, Turkey, and Ethiopia—the nations that we call the nations of the Arab Spring.
That: he is referring to this coming eclipse of the sun—March 20, 2015! In the midst of this combination of lunar and solar eclipses, therefore, God’s message to Israel is that He will deliver the modern nation of Israel “from Iran, from Russian, from Turkey, from Libya, from Germany, from all of the nations who are saying, ‘we’re going to wipe Israel off the map.’”
Against these nations, Hagee continues, pointing to his chart of eclipses: “I am going to wipe Iran and Russia off the map. That’s what God is saying here. And I’m going to prove that Scripturally.”
I want you people to get this, and get it good. Hagee is pointing to his wall-sized chart of four blood moons. He is beckoning to it as he says “these signs” over and over. He is pointing to it as he says this very prediction: that God is saying He is going to wipe Iran and Russia off the map.
“When is all of this going to happen?” he asks. He quotes a Jewish scholar in reference to the signs predicted in Joel 2:30–31—the blood moon and dark sun—“these signs will announce the destruction of the nations that join with Gog and Magog in attacking Jerusalem.” Hagee clarifies: “So, he’s saying this is the Gog-Magog War.”
Get that. These are definitive and inseparable connections: Joel 2 > blood moon, dark sun > Gog-Magog War.
He then quotes the subsequent verse of the Joel prophecy: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Joel 2:32). He notes that the phrase for “shall be saved” in the Hebrew here literally means “physically spared.” This is about being physically spared from an invasion by foreign enemies! He does not say how that affects Paul’s application of this prophetic verse in Romans 10:13, but perhaps he should look that up.
He then turns to Ezekiel 38 which “gives a graphic description of the Gog-Magog War.” Here are more of his predictions:
Let’s begin with today—right now. How do I see the progression from right now until the Gog-Magog War? Step one: Israel, alone or assisted, will cripple Iran’s nuclear ability.
This means, Hagee says, that Israel will destroy, with multiple bunker-busting bombs on each one, every nuclear site that Iran has, while overcoming the latest of Russian missile defense systems guarding those sites. Israel will do this, he says, “with or without the help of the United States of America.” That is “step one” between now and the Gog-Magog War, which Hagee is tying to the coming four blood moons.
Second, the result of this Israeli attack, Hagee preaches, will be to unify all of the rabid anti-Israel Arab forces around the world. These will join with Russia to invade Israel by land—just as allegedly described in Ezekiel 38. “Millions will be marching to war in an effort to capture Jerusalem,” he says.
Ezekiel 38:2, Hagee says, is a “declaration of war” directed against a man and his kingdom, named by a proper name, which is today Russia. “If that were to happen today, here’s how it would go: the man would be Putin; the kingdom would be Russia. That’s how clear that is.”
Yes that is clear, and I am glad Hagee is so clear, too. It makes assessing his accuracy as a prophetic, prediction-making exegete so easy.
“When God Almighty declares war on you, you are going down.” Translation: Russian and Iran are going down sometime between April 2014 and September 2015.
But not just Russia and Iran. Hagee covers the other nations listed as Magog’s partners in Ezekiel 38. He calls this, “God’s hit list”: modern-day Iran, “the Islamic nations of the Arab Spring,” “Libya,” “Germany” (allegedly “Gomer” in Ezekiel 38:6). (And revelation: Germany is Iran’s largest trading partner!) “Think of the irony,” Hagee muses, “Germany, that put together the holocaust, is going to do business with Iran, which says the holocaust never happened.” Well, hey, Hagee blasts:
God is sitting in the heaven with his log-book, saying, “there’s a payday someday, and I have not forgotten the holocaust, and I’m going to bring you to the hills of Israel, and when you get here I’m going to settle the account on behalf of my children Israel”—that’s going to happen.
By calling alleged “Russia” the “guard” of all these nations, Hagee says, Ezekiel 38:7 “suggest that America has lost its superpower status, and Russia and Iran are not afraid to attack Israel as America watches without responding.” That may be true at some point, but remember, Hagee is talking about sometime between April 2014 and September 2015.
With America out, however, Israel will be defenseless, he says. By “unwalled villages” in Ezekiel 38:11, Hagee goes on, God is symbolically representing Israel as without any defense at all. The wall is a symbol of a nation’s military defense system, he says. First of all, so much for taking the Bible literally when you can, eh? But second, this is funny, considering that Israel would have just had the military prowess—without the U.S.—to invade Iran, overcome the latest of Russian missile defense technology, and destroy twelve deeply buried, heavily guarded nuclear sites deeply behind enemy lines. But apparently, this same nation suddenly has no military defense system at all.
Hagee preaches that America’s loss of superpower status is essentially already fulfilled after the murder of the American Ambassador and Marines in Libya. Since we did not respond to that, Hagee says, “That means the green light is open for them to do what they want. The enemies of Israel are smelling the weakness of the West.”
Ezekiel 38:13 names nations that are allegedly Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, and America. These countries will ask the great Russian-led alliance, “Have you come to take a spoil?” This means these nations are standing by allowing Russia et al to invade Israel. As we just read, Hagee argues this scenario is already fulfilled.
Once the Russian alliance invades, however, as Hagee interprets, “God loses His cool. His anger and His wrath explode.” He jumps over to Ezekiel 39:2 to proclaim that God will destroy these armies Himself, leaving only one sixth of them alive. God is saying, “I am going to kill 84 percent of the Russian and Islamic military force that invades the nation of Israel.”
God will accomplish this via 1) a great earthquake that swallows “a significant part of that army,” 2) friendly fire between the armies of these nine nations, and 3) fifty-pound hailstones.
Not since God destroyed pharaoh and his army has God ever wiped an army out likes he’s going to wipe out Russia and Iran. It will take Israel seven months to bury the dead, and seven years to burn the weapons of war.
Again, he is saying this will occur sometime between April 2014 and September 2015. You think I’m stretching the truth? Just recall Hagee’s outstretched hand, pointing to that chart of four blood moons, saying:
When is this going to happen? . . . Jewish scholars say Joel 2:30–31, the text, is where the four blood moons appear with the sun, is the Gog-Magog War. NASA says sometime between April 2014 and September 2015 . . .
Now that is a specific as anyone needs to be. Joel 2:30–31 does not refer to just some obscure eclipse some day in the future, but to “the four blood moons” that “appear with the sun.” This is nonsense of course—Joel 2:30–31 says nothing about four blood moons—but Hagee’s point is that it does indeed, and that the four blood moons are the ones coming beginning year. He has tied the prophecy of Joel 2, and thus the Gog-Magog War, to the four blood moons, specifically, between April 2014 and September 2015.
This means, inescapably, that Israel must attack Iran, and that Russian and Company must invade Israel, and that Russian and Iran must be, per Hagee, “wiped off the map” sometime between 2014 and September 2015.
What do I think of that? I think Harold Camping was a lightweight.
But, Hagee will dissent, “I am not setting dates!”
Disclaimers and Waffles
In a couple places, Hagee stops to put in a very stern disclaimer. He wants to preempt guys like me. But pay close attention to what he says. His disclaimers are very craftily worded so as not really to be disclaimers.
The strongest disavowal he makes is this: “This is God’s prediction and NASA’s prediction. John Hagee is making no predictions. Are we clear?”
This is only to cover his rear, and will only persuade the most dedicated of his followers who uncritically accept his words without examining the substance of what he says. Such people are already raptured—intellectually.
What is he really saying? He is only trying to leave a trapdoor to evade responsibility for the clear predictions he made above. But you can’t have your bombs and explode them, too. And Hagee is actually exploding them. Yes, the dates are NASA’s, and yes, Ezekiel 38 is God’s Word. But Hagee is the one who has tied NASA’a dates together with God’s Word, interpreted the concoction to be an attack by modern day Russia and Iran, etc., and then published it. These are in fact Hagee’s predictions, and he cannot evade responsibility for them.
Elsewhere, he is just as clever: “This does not mean the rapture is going to happen between here [pointing to April 2014] and here [September 2015]. Why?”
Why? Because Hagee doesn’t set dates? Nope. “Because the rapture could happen before we get out of this building. This does say, ‘You’re running out of time.’”
Ahh, cute. But then he’s right back to bold predictions:
Here’s what we know for sure. . . . When it’s only happened three times in over 500 years, this is a massive demonstration from the heavens. All of the dates given by NASA—1492, 1948, 1967—deal with the Jewish people and Israel. We are about to receive a sign from God. . . . I am telling you this. Based on all I know about this book, and I have studied it every day for 54 years, there’s not one thing that has to happen before [the rapture] . . . we’re out of here. When you see these signs [pointing once again to the four blood moons] lift up your heads and rejoice! Your redemption draweth night!”
And so we’re back to the four blood moons being Mark 13 again, as well as Matthew 24 and Luke 21—Jesus’ Olivet prophecies of a return.
Hagee is not done. We are, he says, already seeing the unfolding of what he argues is about to take place between April of 2014 and September 2015:
Consider the scenario for the future. Iran is going to become nuclear sooner or later. When Israel hits Iran’s nuclear centers, this action is going to unite Russia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, etc., to retaliate and to invade the land of Israel according to Ezekiel. You see that happening right now on the television each night. . . . We are seeing the first stages of the Gog-Magog War in the media.
The nations of Gog and Magog are uniting right now. The message of the four blood moons is this: God is going to defend Israel in His time. He is going to destroy the nations that invade Israel, and Jesus Christ the Son of God could come at any second, right now.
This is getting a little squishier. But then come the waffles:
I want to ask you just a simple question, because the Bible says, “No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus Christ could come.”
That’s right. No man knows. We’re not date setting here! But. . . .
When you have very credible science agreeing with a very credible prophet Joel, and Saint Peter in the book of Acts—I don’t think that in my lifetime I’ve seen a more obvious demonstration of the unity of those two ingredients—something big is about to happen. We may not be here to see that. The church may be gone. The church may see this and be taken after. But it’s for sure, the best scientific minds in the world are saying this is going to happen, and the best prophetic voices in the Word have said this is what it looks like when it happens.
If these are not predictions, I don’t know what is. Yet he says he’s making no predictions! Nonsense. Barack Obama could not prevaricate and tell bald-faced lies any better than this. “If you like your country, you can keep your country (if it’s still there after we blow it up).” At least conservative Christians don’t believe what Obama says. They shouldn’t believe Hagee, either.
Blood Moons and The New World Order
In the final installment, Hagee turns another corner. “Today we are talking about a coming new world order.”
After a few questionable theological statements which we must pass over for time’s sake, Hagee explains:
There’s going to be a New World Order soon, and it’s not going to be the socialist utopia that self-serving politicians in Washington are telling us it’s going to be. . . . It’s going to lead first to an economic collapse, that you can see forming right in front of your eyes. . . . From the Garden of Eden to the U.N. in New York, God is about to say, “It’s enough. You’ve rejected me, you’ve rejected my word, you’ve rejected my Son Jesus Christ, I’m going to give you the desires of your heart.”
Indeed, God is about to unleash “The Antichrist,” “Satan’s Messiah” upon the earth, and “he’s going to make Adolf Hitler look like a choir boy.” He is “going to slaughter one-fourth of the earth’s population” (Rev. 6:7–8).
Remember, April 2014 to September 2015.
“I can guarantee that the global economy is going to crash, and I think I can tell you the day it is going to crash. . . .” That day is . . . the rapture! “The rapture of the church is going to produce an economic crash. Why? Because Christians are the majority of people in America who are still paying taxes, and when the golden goose is gone, there’s nobody left to pay the bill. We’re out of here! Shout for joy! The King is coming!”
Well, that’s questionable. Nevertheless, remember Hagee’s primary time frame. And just in case you forgot, or if you think I am making too much of it, Hagee concludes that last talk by repeating his mantra:
“Jesus said when you see these signs,” once again beckoning to his blood moons chart, making it absolutely clear what he means by “these signs,” Hagee says, “lift up your heads and rejoice, your redemption draweth nigh!”
He repeats again: “Jesus says, when you see these signs,” Hagee says, again pointing to the chart.
There is no way this man can deny he is making clear predictions. The whole blood moon hype would be little more than a curiosity were it left a generality. But someone of tremendous profile has gotten specific—very specific. Hagee has connected the four blood moons, April 2014–September 2015, by both clearly spoken claims and multiple, clear hand gestures to a chart bearing these dates, with the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel 2 and Mark 13, the Battle of Gog-Magog (Ezek. 38–39), the return of Christ (Luke 21, Matthew 24, Revelation 19), and onset of the one-world government of “The Antichrist.”
In doing so, let’s be clear, he has interpreted those events within that time frame to include:
- Israel attacking the nuclear sites in Iran
- Russian leading an alliance of Arab springs states and others to invade Israel
- America standing by watching, due to weakness
- God destroying these invaders by divine power
- Russian and Iran being “wiped off the map”
This is to happen, according to NASA, the Bible, and John Hagee’s concatenation of the two, sometime between April 2014 and September 2015.
And he has repeatedly said that when we see the four blood moons, we should look up because our redemption draweth nigh. Again, this must take place between April 2014 and September 2015.
Folks, this is a false teacher. Period. Worse. He is a false teacher whose false teachings could help provoke warfare and the deaths of millions of people unnecessarily—and will persuade millions of Christians to sit by gleefully, consenting to those deaths.
Hagee should retract his statements and repent now. If he turns out wrong, he is under absolute moral obligation at least to confess his sin. He should also apologize publicly and then resign his pulpit. I hope he at least rethinks the seriousness of what he has actually claimed here, and that his claims clearly amount to very serious and dire predictions—even while denying making predictions.
If Hagee does none of this, his congregation should push to hold him accountable. If he persists, they should abandon him as a false and unrepentant teacher. All of his followers should.
And if he indeed is not making predictions, he should be willing to clarify and make many specific retractions from what he has said. But if he did that, what hype would there be left to the four blood moons theory? What would there be?
I’ll issue a challenge to John Hagee: if you really believe all of this will take place, as you say, beginning on that first lunar eclipse, April 15, 2014—that all of the end-times drama will inevitably take place within the following year—then you should have no problem not filing your taxes on that day. After all, you’ll either be raptured out or in the tribulation and the reign of “The Antichrist.” Don’t want to risk receiving that mark, now, do we?
But if you don’t really believe all this will be set in motion, then you should take all the money this book and sermon audios will make and give it to someone who does actually believe what they teach.
I can recommend someone if you don’t know any.