Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #704 MP3 Audio File Video File

The Four Blood Moons,
John Hagee, and the Second Coming of Christ - Part 2

Revelation 1:1-8

Delivered 05/04/14

This past April 15 we had the first of four lunar eclipses. I watched it, but it didn't appear red from my perspective. We are in the midst of a sequence of four total lunar eclipses which is called a tetrad. So we have three more to go. Is this tetrad a big deal? Does it mean anything to Christians? Well Hagee implies that it will usher in the second coming of Christ. But I think he is wrong. I'll show you from Scripture why he is wrong in a minute.

In his videos on, "The coming four blood moons" Hagee said, "The heavens are God's billboard, and when something big is about to happen He gives planet earth a signal that something significant is about to happen." Does Yahweh talk to His people through astronomy? Look at what Yahweh said to Israel through Jeremiah:

Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD, "Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; Jeremiah 10:1-2 NASB

"Do not learn the way of the nations" - these words are addressed to the "house of Israel", which points back to "all the house of Israel" in Jeremiah 9:25; referring to the whole covenant people.

"And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens" - the Chaldeans and Egyptians were notoriously addicted to astrology; and the Israelites here are cautioned against it. The signs of the heavens may mean either the sun, moon, planets, and particular stars or constellations.

Notice what Barns says about, "Signs of the heavens" - "Extraordinary appearances, such as eclipses, comets, and the like, which seemed to the pagan to portend national calamities. To attribute importance to them is to walk in pagan ways."

JFB writes, "Signs of the heavens" - "All heavenly phenomena, eclipses, comets, etc., are included."

Kiel and Delitzsch write, "The signs of heaven are unwonted phenomena in the heavens, eclipses of the sun and moon, comets, and unusual conjunctions of the stars, which were regarded as the precursors of extraordinary and disastrous events."

So Yahweh tells his people Israel not to be terrified or dismayed by the signs of the heavens but Hagee is telling people to be terrified because something big is about to happen.

Let me just add this, what Hagee is preaching now about the blood moons contradicts the end times theology he has been preaching for the past 30 some years. But this doesn't seem to have been noticed by his followers. Why is that? No more rapture before the tribulation? This is a major change and Hagee's followers don't even blink.

Hagee tries to back up the importance of this tetrad by saying that these four blood moons have happened three other times to mark significant events in Israel's history. They happened in 1492, which was the Spanish Inquisition final year, when the Alhambra Decree ordered all remaining Jews who would not convert to Christianity to leave Spain.

The four blood moons actually started the following year on April 2, 1493, was Yahweh late in giving a sign? What purpose was the sign a year after the event? Remember that Hagee said, "The heavens are God's billboard, and when something big is about to happen He gives planet earth a signal that something significant is about to happen." What good was a sign after the event already happened? If this tetrad in 1493-1494 is and example then "something big" should have already happened.

Hagee says the next four blood moons happened in 1948, which was Israel's War of Independence and when they received statehood. The four blood moons actually started the following year on April 13, 1949. So in two of Hagee's examples the lunar eclipses happened before the "big event". So shouldn't the big event have already happened?

Hagee says the next four blood moons happened in 1967, which was Israel's Six-Day War. This time the four blood moons started on April 24, 1967. The six day war took place in June 1967. So there was one blood moon in April and then the six day war, then three more eclipses took place. So Mr. Hagee exactly when is the big event to happen? During the lunar eclipses or after they are over? It can't fit the pattern of the first two because the "big event" happened before those took place.

Hagee implies that the "something big" that is about to happen is the second coming. Now in the comments on the first "Blood Moons" video that I did Hagee's supporters said that Hagee is not making any predictions. Well they are wrong and not thinking to clearly, If you watch ALL of Hagee's videos on the "Blood Moons" you will hear him tie these coming "Moons" on his bill board behind him to Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, Luke 21:25, Joel 2:30-31, and Acts 2:20-21. These are all second coming passages.

"But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 NASB

Hagee quotes this verse as he points to the billboard behind him with the dates of the eclipses. Now, notice the next verse in Matthew 24:

"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 NASB

So Hagee is definatly tying the blood moons to the second coming. So will the Lord return in the next 17 months? No, He will not. Let's take a look at the book of Revelation and see if we can conclude from the text of Scripture instead of from astrology when the second coming was to take place.

Before you can study the text of Revelation, three questions need to be answered:

1. When was it written?

2. What is the proper approach?

3. What is its theme?

The most important issue that confronts the interpreter of Revelation is the date that it was written. Two views compete for validity: the late date view (AD 95-96) which is the current evangelical opinion and the early date view (AD 65-66). The early date view says that Revelation speaks of the birth pangs of the Kingdom, the beginning of Church history. The late date view allows for a wide variety of interpretations; it views the book as the end of the kingdom and of Church history. Does Revelation speak of a looming great tribulation which will bring worldwide chaos upon the scene of contemporary history? Or did it inform the first century Christians of grave and trying times that they would face which would demonstrate that Christianity could weather the storms? This is a very practical matter.

The late date view comes exclusively from external evidence based on a statement made by Irenaeus (A.D. 120-202). Irenaeus is the only source for this late dating of Revelation; all other sources are based on him. There are other early writers whose statements indicate that John wrote Revelation much earlier. Our safest course, therefore, is to study the Revelation itself to see what internal evidence it presents regarding the date of its writing.

The text of Revelation provides a self-witness for the date it was written.

Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. "Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. Revelation 11:1-2 NASB

These verses refer to a temple standing in a city called the "holy city". Based upon Hebrew Scriptures, we can surmise that a Christian Jew such as John would have had the historical Jerusalem in mind when he spoke of the holy city.

Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you. Isaiah 52:1 NASB
Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem, but the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, while nine-tenths remained in the other cities. Nehemiah 11:1 NASB

For further identification of this city, Revelation 11:8 tells us:

And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Revelation 11:8 NASB

This city is the site of our Lord's crucifixion; this can only be the historical Jerusalem. What temple stood in Jerusalem? Obviously the Jewish temple which was known as Herod's Temple.

This reference to the temple must be the historical structure for three reasons. First of all, it was located in Jerusalem. Secondly, according to Revelation 11:2 it was to be under attack for 42 months. Nero commissioned Flavian Vespasian, a Roman general, to engage Israel in war in February A.D. 67. He actually entered the Promised Land and engaged in battle that spring so that the Jewish war with Rome lasted from spring A.D. 67 until the temple fell in August A.D. 70, forty-two months later. Luke 21:20 contains Yeshua's prophecy regarding the destruction of the temple:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Luke 21:20 NASB

The time from Revelation 11 fits with what history tells us of the Jewish war. Finally, the structure of Revelation 11:1-2 parallels Yeshua's statement in His Olivet discourse found in Luke 21:20-24. In Luke 21:5-7 the disciples point to the temple and ask about its future. Yeshua tells them it will soon be destroyed, stone by stone. In Luke 21:24 He speaks in terms which are echoed in Revelation 11:2. These two passages speak of the same event, the destruction of Jerusalem.

When was Revelation written? Is the late date view or the early date view correct? We know from historical and archaeological evidence that the temple was destroyed in August of 70 A.D. If this temple was still standing when John wrote, he must have written before 70 A.D.

Revelation 17 is the second major piece of internal evidence for the early date view of Revelation. In Revelation 17 a vision of the seven-headed beast is recorded. This vision offers clear evidence that Revelation was recorded before the death of Nero Caesar. We know that Nero committed suicide on June 9, 68A.D.

Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, Revelation 17:9 NASB

Verses 1, 3, and 6 of Revelation 17, describe a vision and verse nine gives us clues to the meaning of the vision. Almost all scholars recognize that the seven mountains of Revelation 17:9 represent the seven hills of Rome. John points out that the wise one will understand; the recipients of this letter lived under the rule of Rome which was universally distinguished by its seven hills. How could the recipients of this letter who lived in the seven historical churches of Asia minor under Roman imperial rule understand anything else by this geological reference?

and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. Revelation 17:10 NASB

Here we see that the seven heads also represent a political situation: "They are seven kings." We also see here how the seven heads also correspond to the line of the Caesars. "Five have fallen" (past tense): The first five Caesars were Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. "One is", (present tense): Nero, the sixth Caesar, was on the throne as John was writing the Revelation. Nero reigned from October 54 A.D. until June 68 A.D., when he committed suicide because his empire was in civil war. "the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while." (Future tense): Galba, the seventh Caesar, reigned for less than 7 months (June, 68 A.D. to January, 69 A.D.).

In Revelation 17:7 the angel says, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery" in verses nine and ten the vision is explained. The seven heads refer to a historical place, Rome, and the political scene, Nero's reign. Revelation must have been written before Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. The internal evidence points clearly to the early date view.

The second question that is key to understanding Revelation is "What is the proper approach to the book of Revelation?" There are four basic approaches: the historicist view, the idealist view, the futurist view, and the preterist view. Each view provides a different interpretation of the book as a whole.

The historicists view Revelation as a panorama of church history from the apostolic era until the final future return of Yeshua the Christ. The different judgment scenes are applied to different historical events. This school is always in revision as history unfolds.

The idealists hold that Revelation is not to be taken in reference to any specific events at all; it is an expression of those basic principles on which God acts throughout history. The Revelation is thus a theological poem setting forth the ageless struggle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. This view denies any specific historical fulfillment of events in Revelation in the past or future.

The futurist view sees the prophecies of Revelation, particularly after Revelation 4:1, as set in the distant future from John's time. This is Hagee's view. This view understands that Revelation deals with the ultimate historical outcome of world and\or church history. This is undeniably the most popular view today due to the influence of Dispensationalism.

The entire scheme of Dispensationalist eschatology, though popular in recent years, has no roots in historic Christian interpretation of the Scriptures. This view is held by most end time cults, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Armstrong's World Wide Church of God.

Then we have the preterist view which is divided into the partial preterist and full preterist camps. The partial preterist understands that most, but not all of the prophecies in Revelation have already been fulfilled. They believe that all of the book has been fulfilled up to chapter 20. They see us as now being in the millennium of chapter 20.

The full preterist understands that all of the prophecies in Revelation have already been fulfilled. The full preterist sees us as now in the New heaven and earth of chapter 21 and 22. We obviously don't see the New heaven and earth as a physical utopia but as a spiritual reality. Revelation prophesies issues and events beginning with John's own day; from our perspective these events are in the distant past, hence the designation preterist from the Latin word for past.

There are evangelical adherents who interpret Revelation based on each of these schools but most of the Church holds to either the futurist or the partial preterist view. We will look at Revelation from the full preterist view which I believe is the only consistent view. Most people are futurist and have never even have heard of the preterist view.

Most commentators of Revelation violate the basic hermeneutical principle of audience relevance which seeks to discover what the original readers understood a passage to mean. The concern of the evangelical interpreter is to understand the grammar of a passage in light of the historical circumstances and context of the original audience. Who was Revelation written to? It was written to seven historical churches.

At least three audience factors in Revelation emphasize the original audience and their circumstances; these three factors move us toward the preterist position. First of all, Revelation 1:4 clearly states that John wrote to particular historical individual churches that existed in his day:

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, Revelation 1:4 NASB

In Revelation 1:11 he names those churches:

saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea." Revelation 1:11 NASB

John was not writing a panoramic perspective-he was writing to historical churches. Chapters two and three contain letters to each of these churches and deal with their specific circumstances.

Secondly, John wrote to these churches in order to be understood. John fully intended that his work be a revelation (Greek: apakolopsis), which means to uncover or disclose. He didn't write to obscure the truth but to reveal it. Revelation 1:3 tells us that he expected his audience to hear with understanding so that they might apply the principles. He says to all seven of the churches, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Finally, in Revelation 1:9, John said:

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Yeshua, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Yeshua. Revelation 1:9 NASB

John was a companion with his audience in the tribulation. John and the seven churches are all in the tribulation together as he writes.

Revelation's contemporary expectation together with the factors of audience relevance argue strongly for a preterist view of Revelation. In Revelation 1:1 John specifically states that the prophecies of Revelation would begin to take place in a very short time.

The Revelation of Yeshua Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, Revelation 1:1 NASB

He emphasized this truth in a variety of ways through language. He carefully varies the manner of his expressions as if to avoid any potential confusion on the matter. The Greek word translated "soon" in Revelation 1:1 is from the Greek word tachos. According to Arndt and Gingich Lexicon, tachos is used in the LXX and certain non-canonical writings to mean, speed, quickness, swiftness, haste. John uses the same word in Revelation 2:16; 3:11; 22:6, 7,12 and 20. John also uses the Greek word engus:

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3 NASB

Which is translated here as "near" it is also used in Revelation 22:10. This term speaks of temporal nearness and John uses it to bracket the book. The third Greek word is mello; it is translated "about to"' in Revelation 1:19 & 3:10.

"Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. Revelation 1:19 NASB

The phrase, "the things which will take place after these things" is literally "the things which are about to occur" and in 3:10, "which shall come upon all the world" is literally "is about to come upon the whole world." If we apply the principle of audience relevance, what would the original readers have thought when they read this? John strategically places these words at the introduction and conclusion of the book. John was telling the seven churches to expect these things at any moment.

Some try to redefine these terms to fit their theology. One Dispensational writer explains the use of tachos in Revelation 1:1 this way: "The idea is not that the event may occur soon, but that when it does, it will be sudden". What consolation would this have offered to those persecuted saints? Interpreting this passage to mean that Yeshua will come rapidly some two or three thousand years in the future mocks their historical circumstances. Revelation hails the advent of Yeshua as a relief; the original audience would not have been consoled to hear that once He started to come, in a couple thousand years, He would come quickly. How does this author use his definition of tachos in:

But I hope in the Lord Yeshua to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. Philippians 2:19 NASB

Does this mean that whenever Timothy does come to them he will come running?

As I said earlier Hagee implies that the tetrad signals the second coming. In several of these passages reference is made to Christ's coming (Revelation 2:16, 3:11):

"And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." Revelation 22:7 NASB

"Behold I am coming quickly" resounds in these verses. Did Yeshua come in the first century? I believe that He did. Just as he said he would. Most today believe He did not.

The partial preterists say that these verses in Revelation only refer to His coming in judgment upon Israel, and not to his second advent. The Revelation truly does speaks of his coming in judgment on Israel. The theme verse says,

BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. Revelation 1:7 NASB

This is reminiscent of cloud comings in the Tanakh, when Yahweh came in judgment.

He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; Psalms 104:3 NASB
The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. Isaiah 19:1 NASB

We know from chapter 20 that Yahweh used the Assyrians as instruments of His wrath on Egypt, yet it says, "The LORD is riding on a swift cloud..., Egypt will tremble at His presence." Yahweh came to Egypt. Did He physically come to Egypt? No, Yahweh is a Spirit. How did He "come" to Egypt? He came in judgment. His presence was made known in judgment. But it was the Assyrians who were literally present. Psalm 18:7-14 and Joel 2:1-2 also speak of cloud comings. Christ's coming spoken of in Revelation 1:7 is a judgment coming which focuses upon first century Israel.

This brings us to the third key to Revelation, the theme. Almost every commentary agrees that Revelation 1:7 is the theme of Revelation:

BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. Revelation 1:7 NASB

This passage speaks of Christ's Second Coming in judgment on Israel. He is coming upon "those who pierced Him." That refers to Israel. As a consequence of His coming in judgment, "all the tribes of the earth (or land) will mourn over Him". Earth is translated from the Greek word ghay and it means: "soil, country, earth, ground, land, world." "The tribes of the land" is a familiar designation for Israel. The Jews crucified Yeshua and they were punished for it:

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Yeshua whom you crucified." Acts 2:36 NASB

Yeshua told the Jewish leaders that they would personally witness the judgment coming.

But Yeshua kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Yeshua said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." Matthew 26:63-64 NASB

The destruction of Jerusalem evidenced Yeshua's coming in the clouds for that historical group of people. But are we to see it only as a coming in judgment on Israel? The full preterist or consistent preterist sees this judgment coming on Israel as the second advent of Christ. Yeshua said that he would come in the lifetime of his disciples not just to judge Israel but: he said he would come in the glory of His father, with His angels, to reward every man.

"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." Matthew 16:27-28 NASB
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Revelation 22:12 NASB

At Christ's coming he was to judge the wicked and reward the righteous, and it was to happen quickly.

The coming of the Lord in the destruction of Jerusalem was the second coming, and it happened in the first century. His coming to judge the wicked and gather the saints was to be a comfort to the first century believers, Yahweh would give them rest at his coming.

The only coming that Yeshua spoke about was to come to that generation, it was to come quickly, soon, shortly, it was at hand. Listen how John under the inspiration of Holy Spirit ends the book of Revelation:

And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." Revelation 22:6-7 NASB
And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Revelation 22:10 NASB
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Revelation 22:12 NASB
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Yeshua. The grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all. Amen. Revelation 22:20-21 NASB

How could he have stressed more clearly that He was coming soon? The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was a major apologetic point in the first century because Yeshua clearly said that people of that generation would see his coming in the judgment of Old Covenant Israel at the end of the age. And John expected all these events to take place soon after he had written. It is my opinion that the full preterist approach is the best choice for interpreting Revelation in light of original relevance. Revelation was written to the seven Churches of Asia Minor to tell them of things that would happen soon, soon to them, not soon to us two thousand years later. To them the book was a prophecy of near future events. To us it is history, it tells us of events that happened two thousands years ago.

So John Hagee tying these lunar eclipses to the second coming is not biblical at all. The Lord returned in the first century just as He said he would. As Christians we are not to be looking to the sky for signs from Yahweh, we are to be reading our Bibles.

Continue the Series

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