False Teachers/Prophets & the Blood Moons

We have been posting about the Spring Feasts. Lately, we have been seeking God on how to begin the Fall Feasts. This blog post marks our transition to the Fall Feasts.

Admin note: While Jesus tarries, we will continue posting about the Fall Feasts. So please keep checking back here. We don’t know how soon until the next post. We need to pray and wait upon God’s divine inspiration.

Warning about False teachers and Prophets

Matthew 24:4–14 (MSG)
4Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. 5Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. 6When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. 7Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. 8This is nothing compared to what is coming.

9“They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. 10 And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.

11“In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. 11For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

13“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. 14All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.

In the above verses, Jesus describes the last days. Numerous false teachers and prophets will seem to come from everywhere. There will be many more hidden in secret. They will tell the multitudes what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. Therefore, we need good, strong teachers that will proclaim the true Word of God.

But, consider carefully before becoming a teacher. James puts an extra word of caution on preachers and teachers of the Word. With fear and trembling, we are well aware of this.

However, if God calls you to be a teacher, you must do so!

James 3:1 (NKJV)
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

We like how John Hagee words the following on page 28 of his book _Four Blood Moons

All fresh revelation from God must be biblically sound. If the basic premise in any new concept has the smallest amount of leaven, the final conclusion will be ‘puffed up’ and filled with hot air. We who preach or teach the Bible have a mandate from Paul to “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2).

False vs incomplete teachings vs distractions

Surely, Mary, Jesus’ mother, is most blessed of all women (Luke 1:48). However, the honor does not make her a deity to be worshipped or to be prayed to.

Examples of incomplete teaching:

  • Messages that only make people feel good about themselves.
  • Messages taught only from the New Testament.
  • Messages that exclude the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Examples of false teachings:

  • Jesus is not the Son of God.
  • There are no such places as Heaven and Hell.
  • There are no angels and demons.

There are also teachings that take our focus away from God by distracting us with topics associated with God.

Teachings that solely focus on:

  • Angels
  • Legalism (The Law)
  • The Virgin Mary
  • God’s creation
  • Good health
  • Prosperity and wealth
  • Even the Gifts of the Spirit such as healing

These things are good but we can not let them distract us from keeping God the center of our lives.

The following is from the Life Application Bible near 1 Kings 19:

Prophets (False and True)

False Prophets

  • Worked for political purposes to benefit themselves
  • Held positions of great wealth
  • Gave false messages
  • Spoke only what the people wanted to hear

True Prophets

  • Worked for spiritual purposes to serve God and the people
  • Owned little or nothing
  • Spoke only true messages
  • Spoke only what God told them to say—no matter how unpopular

The false prophets were an obstacle to bringing God’s word to the people. They would bring messages that contradicted the words of the true prophets. They gave “messages” that appealed to the people’s sinful nature and comforted their fears. False prophets told people what they wanted to hear. True prophets told God’s truth.

Jewish Sects in the New Testament

Now let’s go back in time to review the various sects in Jesus’ time.

The main sects:

  • Pharisees
  • Sadducees
  • Zealots
  • Essenes

The list of beliefs and activities for the sects below came pages 88-91 from Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions published by Broadman & Holman Publishing.

The Pharisees

Beliefs:
  • Monotheistic
  • Viewed the whole Old Testament (Torah, Prophets, and Writings) as authoritative.
  • Believed that the study of the law was true worship.
  • Accepted both the written and oral law.
  • More liberal in interpreting the law than were the Sadducees.
  • Quite concerned with the proper keeping of the Sabbath, tithing, and purification rituals.
  • Believed in life after death and the resurrection ot the body (with divine retribution and reward).
  • Believed in the reality of demons and angels.
  • Revered humanity and human equality.
  • Missionary-minded regarding the conversion of Gentiles.
  • Believed that individuals were responsible for how they lived.
Activities:
  • Developers of oral tradition
  • Taught that the way to God was through odedience to the law.
  • Changed Judaism from a religion of sacrifice to a religion of law.
  • Progressive thinkers regarding the adaptation of the law to situations.
  • Opposed Jesus because He would not accept the teachings of the oral law as binding.
  • Established and controlled synagogues.
  • Exercised great control over the general population.
  • Served as religious authorities for most Jews.
  • Took several ceremonies from the temple to the home.
  • Emphasized ethical as opposed to theological action.
  • Legalistic and socially exclusive (shunned non-Pharisees as unclean).
  • Tended to have a self-sufficient and haughty attitude.

The Sadducees

Beliefs:
  • Accepted only the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy—the written law of Moses) as authoritative.
  • Practiced literal interpretation of the law.
  • Rigidly conservative toward the law.
  • Stressed strict observance of the law.
  • Observed past beliefs and tradition.
  • Opposed oral law as obligatory or binding.
  • Believed in the absolute freedom of human will—that people could do as they wished without attention from God.
  • Denied divine providence.
  • Denied the concept of life after death and the resurrection of the body.
  • Denied the concept of revered and punishment after death
  • Denied the existence of angels and demons.
  • Materialistic.
Activities:
  • In charge of the temple and its services.
  • Politically active.
  • Exercised great political control through the Sanhedrin, of which many were members
  • Supported the ruling power and the status quo.
  • Leaned toward Hellenism (the spreading ot Greek influence)—and were thus despised by the Jewish populace.
  • Opposed both the Pharisees and Jesus because these lived by a larger canon (The Pharisees and Jesus both considered more than only Genesis through Deuteronomy as authoritative.)
  • Opposed Jesus specifically for fear their wealth/position would he threatened if they supported Him.

The Zealots

Beliefs:
  • Similar to the Pharisees with this exception: believed strongly that only God had the right to rule over the Jews—patriotism and religion became inseparable.
  • Believed that total obedience (supported by drastic physical measures) must be apparent before God would bring in the Messianic Age.
  • Were fanatical in their Jewish faith and in their devotion to the law—to the point of martyrdom.
Activities:
  • Extremely opposed to Roman rule over Palestine
  • Extremely opposed to peace with Rome
  • Refused to pay taxes
  • Demonstrated against the use of the Greek language in Palestine
  • Engaged in terrorism against Rome and others with whom they disagreed politically

The Sicarii (assassins) were an extremist Zealot group who carried out acts of terrorism against Rome.)

The Essenes

Beliefs:
  • Very strict ascetics.
  • Monastic: most took a vow of celibacy (adopting male children in order to perpetuate the group), but some did marry (for the purpose of procreation).
  • Rigidly adherent to the law (including a strict rendering of the ethical teachings).
  • Considered other literature as authoritative (in addition to the Hebrew Scripture).
  • Believed and lived as pacifists.
  • Rejected temple worship and temple offerings as corrupted.
  • Believed in the immortality of the soul with no bodily resurrection.
  • Apocalyptically oriented.
Activities:
  • Devoted to the copying and studying of the manuscripts of the law.
  • Lived in a community sense with communal property.
  • Required a long probationary period and ritual baptisms of those wishing to join.
  • Were highly virtuous and righteous.
  • Were extremely self-disciplined.
  • Were diligent manual laborers.
  • Gave great importance to daily worship.
  • Upheld rigid Sabbath laws.
  • Maintained a non-Levitical priesthood.
  • Rejected worldly pleasures as evil.
  • Rejected matrimony—but did not forbid others to marry.

The Pharisees controlled the people’s education through the synagogues. While the Sadducees controlled the people’s religious practices through the Temple. The two groups outwardly opposed each other. But, secretly, they colluded together to maintain their power structure. When Jesus came on the scene, He threatened this established power structure.

A Brood of Vipers

The sects mentioned above refused to accept the teachings of Jesus. In fact, the Pharisees and Sadducees hated Jesus and continually plotted to kill Him. See Laws: God-Made & Man-Made for some of the reasons they hated Jesus. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus called the Pharisees “a brood of vipers.”

False Teachers in the Last Days

It is no accident that the book just before Revelation, Jude, is about false teachers and prophets. This is also the subject of 2 Peter 2 and 2 John. That is three confirmations by three different authors.

Jude wrote this letter to warn believers about the serious threat of false teachers. Their subversive influence within the churches. Also to forcefully challenge all true believers to rise up and “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”

Signs in the Heavens & Earth

Joel 2:30–31 (NIV)
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Nothing brings out false prophets like unusual natural phenomenons and major disasters. One must be very careful when interpreting such events. One such event is an eclipse of the Sun or Moon.

However, in Genesis 1:14, God states let the lights in the heavens be signs and mark the seasons. Just think of the heavens as a very complex calendar. The meanings of these signs MUST be backed up by the Holy Word and the Holy Spirit.

God’s high-definition billboard: (John Hagee):

  1. Joel 2:30–31
  2. Acts 2:19–20
  3. Luke 21:25,28
  4. Matthew 24:29–30
  5. Psalm 19:1–4
  6. Exodus 12:14

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

A solar eclipse is when the Moon is directly between the Earth and Sun such that the Moon’s shadow falls upon the sunward side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse is when the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun such that the Earth’s shadow falls upon the Moon’s surface.

Blood Moons

Why are lunar eclipses red? The Earth’s atmosphere scatters the blue part of light making the sky look blue. The same effect makes ocean water look blue. And the effect can be seen in the iris of people who have blue eyes.

So, the atmosphere blocks out most of the light spectrum by the time light passed to the back side of the Earth. Only red passes through. The atmosphere also bends the red light into its shadow region. So, when the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow, only red light falls on the Moon. I do not believe it is a coincidence that the color resembles the color of our blood.

Blood Moon Tetrads

A tetrad is a group of four objects. In this case, it means a group of four blood moons over a specific period of time, usually two years. This is a very rare event. A tetrad with total solar eclipses mixed in is even rarer.

Blood Moon tetrads on Jewish holidays:

  1. 162–163 AD
  2. 795–796 AD
  3. 842–843 AD
  4. 860–861 AD
  5. 1493–1494 AD
  6. 1949–1950 AD
  7. 1967–1968 AD
  8. 2014–2015 AD

Lets play with some numbers:

  1. Seven completed triads since the time of Calvary.
  2. Two groups of three tetrads fell/fall in one generation (70 years).
  3. All eight of these tetrads fall on Passover and the Feasts of Tabernacles.
  4. The number eight means new beginnings or a major change is about to occur.

How do blood moons fall on these Jewish holidays? By divine design! Note that Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles fall on the 14th of their respective Jewish months. See The Jewish Calendar blog post. The Jewish calendar is a lunar based calendar with a frequent 13th month thrown in to keep pace with the solar year.

The Alhambra Decree (Edict of Expulsion)

1493–94 blood moon tetrad (Julian calendar dates):

April 2, 1493 (Passover)
September 25, 1493 (Feasts of Tabernacles)
March 22, 1494 (Passover)
September 15, 1494 (Feasts of Tabernacles)

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain occurred the year before this tetrad. John Hagee describes this even on page 185 in his book Four Blood Moons:

On March 30. 1492, …, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a decree ordering the Jews to leave Castile and Aragon by August 1. This was known as the Edict of Expulsion, which banished all Jewish people from Spain who refused to convert to Catholicism. On that same day the King and Queen gave an order to Christopher Columbus an expedition of discovery to the Indies.

The Jews were given the date of August 1 as the deadline for their departure from Spain, but some left on August 2, 9th of Av (Tishah b’Av). The following day, Christopher Columbus set sail out of the harbor near Seville.

God caused Christopher Columbus to discover a “new world,” America. America, a refuge to the Jewish people, and all who were oppressed by tyrants and religious dictators around the world.

God had promised Abraham centuries before in Genesis 12:3, …

God has blessed America because we opened our arms to the seed of Abraham who have blessed the world beyond measure.

America wake up. Pray for our great nation, AMERICA.

The Tetrads announced a time of tears and tribulation (executions) that would end in national triumph for the Jewish people. A brief summaries on the first Blood Moon.

This was only the beginning of the persecution, torture, and death of the Jewish people by the Roman Church Inquisitors. In less than twelve years the Inquisition condemned 13,000 Jews, men and women, who had continued to practice their religion.

More recent blood moon tetrads

The Arab-Israeli War

1949–50 blood moon tetrad:

April 13, 1949 (Passover)
October 7, 1949 (Feasts of Tabernacles)
April 2, 1950 (Passover)
September 12, 1950 (Total Solar Eclipse)
September 26, 1950 (Feasts of Tabernacles)

According to Wikipedia: In 1948, the Israeli fought Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. In 1949, a set of armistice agreements were signed.

The Six-Day War

1967–68 blood moon Tetrad:

April 24, 1967 (Passover)
October 18, 1967 (Feasts of Tabernacles)
November 2, 1967 (Total Solar Eclipse)
April 13, 1968 (Passover)
October 6, 1968 (Feasts of Tabernacles)

Between June 5–10, 1967, the Israel fought the Six-Day War with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

Nugget: On December 16, 1968, Spain’s Edict of Expulsion was formally revoked. Spanish Jews’ decendents are now permitted to request dual citizenship without leaving the current country of residence.

The current blood moon tetrad

2014–15 blood moon tetrad:

April 15, 2014 (Passover)
October 8, 2014 (Feasts of Tabernacles)
March 20,2015 (Total Solar Eclipse)
April 4, 2015 (Passover)
September 28, 2015 (Feasts of Tabernacles)

These are ominous times. Something is about to happen. Stay alert. Stay vigilant (Matthew 25:1–13).

Joel 2:30-31 (NKJV)
30“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:

Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

31The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,

Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

The message of Passover is redemption through repentance. The prophetic message of Tabernacles is the future kingdom of the Messiah. During these 18 inbetween months, we must begin preaching Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 10:7.

look at Joel 2:28–31:

  1. Sun darkened — solar eclipse
  2. Moon into blood — lunar eclipse
  3. Pillars of smoke — volcanic eruptions

These combined events will coincide with the first part of Joel 2:28–29. Then the combined signs and global outpouring will occur before Joel 2:31 or prior to the Great Tribulation.

Day of Tragedy (The 9th of Av)

The 9th day of Av, has bad connotations for the Jewish people. John Hagee describes some of the events in his book, Four Blood Moons.

Av is the fifth month of the Jewish year. The 9th of Av is a day of infamy for the Jewish people. Many tragedies have befallen them on this doomful day.

9th of Av events:

  1. The children of Israel refused to enter the Promised Land. That generation died in the wilderness (Numbers 14).
  2. The Temple was destroyed for the first time (423 BC).
  3. The Temple was destroyed a second time (AD 69).
  4. Pope Urban II declared the first Crusade (1095 CE).
  5. The Jewish people were expelled from England (AD 1290).
  6. The Jewish people were expelled from Spain (1492).
  7. The gas chambers of Treblinka began to operate in Poland (1942).

The Son of God

1 John 4:1–3 (MSG)
My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!

Matthew 7:15–20 (NKJV)
15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20“Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

God desires for all people to accept His Only Son, Jesus, as their Savior and Lord. But, He knew the evil one would sent wolves to devour and deceive the people. Throughout His Holy Word there are warnings for us to heed the danger of the evil one. In love, our Lord shows us the heavenly path to follow. Also how to recognize the evil one and his followers.

Matthew 7:15 is a warning; In verses 16–20, Jesus uses a tree as a guide to test false fruits.

Traits of false teachers:

  1. They worship the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25).
  2. They will be more concerned with their own desires than God’s glory and honor. Their doctrine will be self-centered rather than God-centered (Matthew 7:21–23)
  3. They will accept human teaching and traditions even when those teachings contradict the Word of God (Matthew 7:24–27; 1 John 4:6).
  4. They will seek and respond to religious experiences and supernatural manifestations as their final authority truth (Matthew 7:22–23), rather than grounding themselves in the whole counsel of God’s Word.
  5. They will not put up with sound doctrine but will seek teachers who offers salvation with the “broad road” of unrighteousness (Matthew 7:13–14,23; 2 Timothy 4:3). I’m OK, you OK. Happy—do it.

Tests for teachers:

  1. Discern character. Do they have diligent prayer life? Do they show a sincere and pure devotion to God? Manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23)? Hate wickedness?
  2. Discern motives. True leaders will
    1. honor Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 1:20)
    2. Lead the church into sanctification (Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Corinthians 6:6–18)
    3. Save the lost (1 Corinthians 9:19–22).
    4. Proclaim and defend the gospel of Jesus and the apostles (Philippians 1:16; Jude 3).
  3. Test fruit and message. The fruit of false preachers will often consist in converts not totally committed to all of God’s Word (Matthew 7:16).
  4. Discern level of reliance on Scripture. This is a key issue. Do they believe and teach that the OT and NT are fully inspired by God.
  5. Finally, test integrity with respect to The Lord’s money? Do they refuse to take large amounts for themselves? Do they use the money wisely promote God’s work? The gospel of the true God (the I AM THAT I AM) needs to be proclaim throughout the world.

Be Steadfast!

We can not put the blame totally on false teachers and prophets. It is the old human sinful nature that desires to find excuses for sinful behavior. Many people go as far as trying to find ways to justify their sinful ways. These people will seek out teachers that are willing AND eager to tell them what they want to hear.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (CJB)
3For the time ^is coming when people will not have patience for sound teaching, but will cater to their passions and gather around themselves teachers who say whatever their ears itch to hear. 4Yes, they will stop listening to the truth, but will turn aside to follow myths.

We must hold steadfast to the course God has laid out for us. We must cling to the truth in the God’s Holy Word.

2 Timothy 4:5 (CJB)
But you, remain steady in every situation, endure suffering, do the work that a proclaimer of the Good News should, and do everything your service to God requires.

Until then,

שָׁלוֹם (Shalom!)