The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Eclipsing False Christian Prophets: Unsealing the Idiocy

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In the first lesson of this miniseries, we explained how false prophets allude to Scriptures in order to con you into thinking their prophecies are credible (see Eclipsing False Christian Prophets: The Biblical Allusion Con). We ended that lesson by debunking an absurd claim that the appearance of a double rainbow over the American White House was a message from God.  It’s now time for us to shred the lunacy surrounding a second celestial event: the much ballyhooed solar eclipse that is due to occur on August 21. 

Now when you’re worshiping gods who don’t even exist, pretending that natural events are messages from those gods to you is the best that you can do.  After all, imaginary gods can’t really talk to you because they don’t exist.  So once you dream up a god for yourself, you then have to keep inventing stories about what that god is doing or saying.  False gods are a real pain because it takes so much time and energy to keep yourself distracted from the fact that you’re praying to the air.  But humans can be very persistent little creatures, and throughout human history, we find scores of folks trying to make divine messages out of events in the natural world.  The more rare, dramatic and public the event is, the easier it is to pretend that it’s a message from supernatural beings.  Since eclipses are so dramatic and eye catching, they’ve always inspired a lot of hype among religious folks.

Now while we can sympathize with the special problems people have when they’re worshiping delusions, what excuse do Christians have for wigging out over eclipses?  The Christian Gods are real Beings.  Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not just figments of our imaginations.  They are very real, magnificent Beings whose abilities are far superior to our own in every area.  The Gods we Christians worship created us and everything around us.  They’re super intelligent Entities who find it extremely simple to get any message through to our finite minds.

The real Gods never struggle to make Their will known to humans.  And while They intentionally withhold a ton of information from us, when They actually do want us to understand something, They communicate that information to us in very clear ways.  The point is that we Christians never have a legitimate excuse for scouring the natural world looking for clues that maybe our Gods are trying to say something.  When we act like this, we’re acting like spiritual imbeciles.  We’re also insulting our Gods by pretending that They don’t care enough about us to communicate Their wills to us.

Think about it: one minute, you’re standing in church praising Jesus for the great love He demonstrated by dying on a cross for your sins.  The next minute you’re treating Jesus like some allusive Being who is sending  you coded messages in the sky.  One minute you’re thanking the Holy Spirit for guiding you, and the next minute you’re refusing to ask Him what He thinks of all of this guff about solar eclipses.

According to scores of Christian leaders, the fact that God is about to cause the moon to pass in front of the sun is some critical message for America.  Okay, there’s a theory.  Humans are full of theories about God, and most of them are total hooey.  Instead of treating humans like a higher authority than God in your life, how about you actually show God some respect by asking Him if He is really trying to tell you something through the coming solar eclipse?  You pray to God, don’t you?  Clearly if you pray, you must believe that you have direct access to God.  So why aren’t you asking Him what He thinks of these eclipse theories?  Doesn’t God know His own mind better than halfwit humans?  Don’t you think God cares enough about you to clearly tell you if the coming eclipse has any relevance for you personally?

Here’s the problem with Christian prophecies about the coming solar eclipse: they’re total bunk. Every theory you read is just another allusion con.  How do you know?  Well, cut out all of the references to Scripture and notice how there’s nothing left that makes any sense.  This is how allusion cons work: they aren’t clear messages which are then supported by relevant passages of Scripture.  They’re just a bunch of nonsense stirred in with irrelevant Scriptures.

A kabob serves as a useful metaphor for allusion cons.  When you make a kabob, you get a wooden stick, and you shove little chunks of food onto it.  Each time you ram your wooden spear through a new bit of food—such as a chunk of lamb or a chunk of onion—you then slide the new item all the way to the bottom of the stick. You keep stacking up little chunks until you have what looks like an edible totem pole.  Kabobs can look like tasty combinations, but when you go to eat them, you don’t get a tasty combination in your mouth.  Instead, what you end up doing is eating a mouthful of lamb, then a mouthful of onion, then a mouthful of pepper, and so on.  You work your way through each item on the stick, pulling each one off individually.

Now when they’re running an allusion con, false prophets start with two kinds of ingredients: idiotic statements and references to Scripture.  Their wooden spear is the single post or YouTube video in which they string together small morsels of each kind of ingredient.  Usually the end product contains far more references to Scripture than idiotic statements, but there’s always a blend of both.  To recognize an allusion con, you simply have to take apart the kabob by sliding off one morsel at a time and examining it for legitimacy.  When you do this, you will quickly realize that what you’re being told is truly moronic and has no basis in truth at all.

It’s really not hard to see through allusion cons once you start dissecting them.  But Christians rarely do this.  Instead, the common response to prophetic kabobs is to just swallow the whole spear in one gulp.  Just as attempting to swallow an entire lamb kabob without disassembling it would result in serious injury to your digestive tract, hastily gulping down entire prophetic kabobs without taking the time to examine their individual components can result in serious spiritual delusions.

What you believe about God has a major impact on how you attempt to relate to Him, how you view your own life, and what kinds of choices you make.  This is why you need to stop acting like the idea of your leaders deceiving you is no big deal.  Until you are sincerely asking God for His feedback and relying on Him alone to guide you in life, you are treating deception like it’s no big deal.  You’re just setting your brain out there like a big dumpster and inviting every pontificating moron in the church to dump their delusions into it.  Stop it.  You were created for a higher purpose, and it’s time to start acting like it by getting a lot more guarded about the well-being of your own soul.  How do you raise your guard?  By getting educated.  How do you get educated?  By asking God to help you gain better discernment skills.  By now you should have already asked God to show you if there’s anything useful for you to learn in this post.  If you haven’t done this, do it now.  We’re not God, and that means you shouldn’t just be trusting what we say.  God is the only Teacher you can trust, so ask Him to give you His feedback on what we’re about to teach you.  And now, it’s time to start pulling apart kabobs.

CELESTIAL SIGNS PART 2: A SOLAR ECLIPSE OVER AMERICA

When we venture beyond this planet and look around at what’s happening in the universe we live in, we discover that God is having a festive time amusing Himself with a ton of spherical masses which He keeps in constant motion.  Like the intricate gears of a massive machine, God has planets and stars rolling around each other in endless loops that we humans refer to as orbits.  The moon orbits the earth while the earth orbits the sun.  Around and around we all go, like marbles that are rolling around invisible tracks.  It’s a truly mind-blowing display of God’s power.  Sure, atheistic scientists say that all of the motion can be explained by some basic laws of physics.  But what no one bothers to remember is that there is no reason those laws should even exist.

When God created this universe, it was a totally different deal than when you fire up a video game that some other human created.  In your situation, you’re limited by the rules some total stranger put on you.  You can’t do whatever you want in the game—instead, you can only choose between sets of limited options which some stranger has come up with.  But when it comes to God creating things, He is the Programmer, not the User.  God created all that exists from nothing.  He invented all of the rules.  He came up with concepts like gravity, density, and acceleration.  There was no rulebook constricting God’s choices.  He is a totally Free Agent who does whatever He wants whenever He wants.

Understanding just how autonomous (independent) God is, has some very sobering implications.  You see, God could decide to change the rules of His game any time that He wants to without giving us any pre-warning.  The fact that the earth is currently rolling around the sun does not in any way guarantee that it will continue to do so.  At any time, God could decide to flick the earth out of its orbit and send it hurtling into outer space.  At any time, God could decide to uncreate the sun or explode the moon or cause some ginormous mass of matter to crash into our fragile little planet.  Nothing is guaranteed when you have a Creator who is supremely powerful and totally unaccountable.  And when you factor in the reality that our magnificent Maker has an insatiable appetite for change and variation, you realize how silly it is to ever assume that things will keep rolling along the same way from now on.

Ours is a God who loves to change established routines just to spice things up and keep things interesting.  When He causes the moon to pass in front of the sun and temporarily darken a light source that we’re so used to taking for granted, it’s a good reminder that anything is possible with God.  It’s a good reminder that He loves to change things up.  Solar eclipses don’t come around every day—they’re an occasional show that God likes to arrange for His own amusement and our benefit.  God could cause every solar eclipse to hit the earth at the exact same angle. But instead, He mixes it up, which is why America hasn’t been treated to a good view of a total eclipse in such a long time.  This time around, we get to have front row seats while God shows off His creative genius by causing the moon and sun to line up so perfectly and with such perfect proportion to each other that all we see is the sun’s fiery corona shining around a dark round center.  Think about that.  If the moon was a different size, it wouldn’t appear to fit so perfectly across the center of the sun.  If the moon was much smaller, for example, total eclipses would never occur.  If it was much larger, we wouldn’t get to see that cool fiery halo around the dramatic dark center.  But because God has arranged a perfect combination of distances and sizes, we get to see this dramatic display of His genius.  And since He likes to spread the awe around, He fixes it so that different folks get front row seats to different eclipses.  It’s all God’s not-so-subtle way of saying, “Yes, I really am that awesome.”

Now because God knows how we think, He knows that it sends little chills up our spines when the sun we’re so fond of suddenly dims.  But what exactly are we creeped out about?  Well, anytime the sun goes dark for any reason, we can’t help but be reminded of how dependent we are on that particular star for our livelihood on earth.  Without the sun, we’d be living on a round ice cube.  Without the sun, we wouldn’t last long at all.  When humans feel dependent on something, they get nervous when that something is taken away from them—even just for a few seconds.  So what’s God’s positive purpose for briefly blacking out the sun?

Well, there are certain soul attitudes that God wants us all to be cultivating.  Four particularly important soul attitudes are reverence, submission, dependency and trust.  Solar eclipses are fabulous tools for boosting our levels of reverence and dependency.  Reverence is a fear-based respect for God which is a natural response to realizing how easily He could use His awesome power to harm us.  When God fiddles with the sun for any reason, we are reminded that He has the power to snuff out that star anytime He feels like it, and that can inspire us to shed any snarky attitudes we’re currently harboring towards God. Realizing your life is in someone’s hands has a way of inspiring respect.

Speaking of our lives being in God’s hands, this brings us to a second essential soul attitude: dependency.  Dependency is about realizing that we are totally dependent on our Creator in every area of our lives.  We’re dependent on our Creator, not some silly star.  You see, humans have a problem with depending on the wrong things.  Far too often we treat created things like they are more essential to us than God Himself.  When God blocks out the sun for a moment and we observe our internal reaction, we can gain some useful insights into how well we’re coming along in the dependency department.  Are we grasping that God is the One who we’re really dependent on—not people, planets and stars?  Are we viewing God as essential and created things as expendable?  Or are we treating God as expendable and created things as essential?

You see, there are many positive spiritual lessons to be learned by events in the natural world—lessons which will help you grow closer to God in your own life and improve the way you treat Him.  When you ask God to help you learn what He wants you to learn from eclipses, you’ll find that what He talks to you about won’t sound at all like what the blowhards are slinging on the internet.  The reason for this is that God has an entirely different agenda for teaching you than false prophets do.  God teaches you things that will help your soul thrive in the long term.  But false prophets? Well, they just want to squeeze some money and worship out of you.  God wants to help you, while false prophets want to harm you.  With such different end goals, it’s no surprise that we find such different messages being given.

UNSEALING THE IDIOCY

So now that we’ve demonstrated how solar eclipses can help you develop God-honoring attitudes and turn your mind to essential truths, let’s set all of that aside and wade into some of the idiocy that’s being pumped out about the coming eclipse.  So many prophets are jumping on board this one, but the ones that will give us the best practice with discernment are the ones who string the longest kabobs.  That brings us to one dingdong named Gary Ray who has taken the time to cook up a very long allusion con which he has posted on the website Unsealed.org.  Unsealed.org is one of many online stages that caters specifically to false prophets.  When you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the arena of false prophecy, you have to start by doing time on public stages like Unsealed.org.  It’s a way to try to get your name out there while you wait for that big breakthrough which will lead to that bestselling book.

Now Gary’s first post on the subject of the coming eclipse gives us an eight part list of prophetic insights which we’re supposed to be wowed by.  For our discernment exercise, we’ll just pull some of the highlights.  Gary begins his article like this:

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire contiguous United States, beginning in Oregon and ending in South Carolina.  Incredibly, the eclipse will actually begin shortly after the sun rises on the West Coast… In other words, people will witness a black sun rising over the United States.  

No, they really won’t.  Gary has his facts wrong here (but since he’s a false prophet, what do you expect?).  A truly “black sun” will only appear for a few moments of time during the whole eclipse event, and only to those who are standing in the right spot of  North America at the right time.  For most of the eclipse, the sun will only appear to be partially covered by the moon, and far from black.  Even if you were perfectly positioned to catch those few fleeting moments of total blackout, those moment won’t happen for anyone until long after sunrise, so no one is going to see a “black sun rising over the United States.”

Okay, so Gary’s not a science guy, but that’s alright, because we’re more interested in his prophetic messages.  But here we come to a disclaimer which is par for the course for false prophets who haven’t yet hit the big time.  Notice how Gary carefully warns us not to expect him to make any definite conclusions in the lengthy post he’s about to write:

Note: Before you continue reading, please realize that this is not an end of the world prediction.  We actually believe the world will never end.  Neither is this a prediction that the rapture or second coming will occur on August 21st or in 2017.  We simply believe that God may be communicating a message through this eclipse about the general nearness of the rapture of the Church and Christ’s return.  In other words, we believe that these prophetic events will occur soon, but we don’t know the day or hour on which they will occur. 

So God “may” be communicating a message about the general “nearness” of the rapture…but Gary’s not sure.  Well, if Gary doesn’t know anything about anything, why should we bother to read his stuff?  Jesus swore He was coming back “soon” 2,000 years ago, and that obviously turned out to be a fat lie (see Know Your Bible Lesson 63: The End is Near (The Olivet Discourse)).  So if Gary’s not going to do anything but parrot a prediction that has already turned out to be hooey, then we really don’t need him.  But since we’re using Gary to teach you how to practice discernment, let’s press on.

The amount of prophetic meaning behind these eclipses is simply overwhelming and I dare not attempt to interpret it all.  I’ll simply share with you a few of the discoveries I and others have made and you can interpret it for yourself.

How lame is it for a prophet to say, “I sense prophecy around, but I’m too overwhelmed to figure it out.”  Would you trust a man to lead you through a minefield if he first said, “I know there’s a bunch of safe paths through this field but I wouldn’t dare to try and find where they are”?

So far Gary has warned us that he’s not about to say anything new, and that he’s personally too overwhelmed and nervous to interpret anything.  Obviously this guy has not actually been called by God to function as His mouthpiece to anyone.  When God calls someone to prophesy, He tells them what to say.  Real prophets know when God is talking to them. They don’t stand there and say, “Whoa!  What was that tingle up my spine?  Was that God talking?  I dare not ask!”

So now that Gary has killed his own credibility with this ridiculous introduction, you really shouldn’t go on to read anything more the man has to say.  But suppose you do.  Here’s where you come to Gary’s first “discovery.”  For the sake of brevity, we’ve cut out the parts where Gary lists external links.

1. The August eclipse occurs exactly 33 days before the Revelation 12 Sign, beginning in the 33rd state (Oregon), and ending in South Carolina at the 33rd parallel. The eclipse occurs on the 233rd day of the year, which is 33 weeks and 2 days into 2017… Can you really chalk up the significance of this to pure coincidence or confirmation bias? It’s been noted that an eclipse like this hasn’t happened in 99 years.  That would be 3 x 33 years.  What might God be communicating?  One of our readers noticed Ezekiel 33…

Okay, before we get into the Ezekiel passage, let’s talk about this obsession with 3s.  Don’t worry about that reference to the Revelation 12 sign—we’ll tackle that one in our next post.  Right now, we need to remember how allusion cons work.  Remember that the goal is to make baloney sound credible by making people think the baloney can be tied to the Christian Bible.  Now nowhere in Scriptures are we told that 3 is some exciting number.  But, as we explained in our previous post, the New Testament Jews were big into numerology, which is when you pretend that numbers symbolize concepts, people, or beings that the numbers have nothing to do with.

Now numerology is a free for all, and that means you can make up any system you want.  If you want to pretend that 4 is the number of ground beef and 8 is the number of lust and 49 is the number of Satan, no one will stop you.  This is one of those “do it yourself” systems in which you make up your own rule book, then you play your own games.  Of course if you’re a lazy sack who doesn’t want to make up your own rule book, or if you don’t want to play by yourself, then you find some other group that’s playing their own version of numerology and you just join in.  When Christian prophets play numerology games, they are usually just joining in with followers of Judaism.  The Jewish love of numerology hasn’t died in 2,000 years, and plenty of modern day followers of Judaism are still up to their necks in it.  Because Christians are taught to view every stupid thing the Jews do as brilliant, we now have plenty of Christians playing Jewish versions of numerology, and that means playing by Jewish rule books in which 3 and 7 are associated with God, 6 is associated with evil, etc., etc..  Of course there are many variations among Jewish numerology players, with some folks attaching different meanings or extra meanings to the same numbers.  But 3 and 7 have managed to keep their Divine associations, which is why those are the numbers you hear most about.

Now when false prophets want to play number games, they first decide what their end goal is.  For Gary, the end goal is to make us all think that the coming solar eclipse is a prophetic sign that God is going to do something soon. Of course Gary doesn’t know exactly what, and he doesn’t dare to try and figure it out because he’s so overwhelmed…(sigh)…  But the point is that first Gary says “I want to tie the eclipse to God by using numbers.”  Once he settles on this goal, he’s pretty much stuck with looking for 3s and 7s because he’s playing off of the Jewish numerology rule book.  He then has to sit down and study maps for hours on end to try and see which number is easier to associate.  With enough perseverance, you can find any numerical association you want to find, but some are easier than others.  In Gary’s case, he—or whoever he’s quoting—has managed to squeeze all kinds of 3s out of eclipse data.  Well, not really.  99 isn’t a 3, but since 9 is divisible by 3, Gary uses it.  This is how it works in numerology: you use anything that can be remotely associated with the number you want.  Then, if you want to really get a “wow” effect, you’ve got to find a way to form a triplet.

So what makes 333 more “wow” than just 3 or 33?  Nothing, unless you’re playing Jewish numerology.  But according to the Jewish rulebook, repeating things is a way to emphasize them, and repeating something three times in a row is a way of giving it the ultimate significance.  Jews did this with words, too, by the way, which is why God shows John visions of angels calling Him “holy, holy, holy.”  God isn’t just a single holy kind of Guy—He’s super duper awesome HOLY!  To communicate that idea to a Jew, you have to say “holy” three times in a row.  Is it silly?  Sure, but every culture does quirky things like this.

Okay, so now that you understand that Gary is playing a Jewish version of numerology, you can understand why he works so hard to come up with the grand conclusion of:

It’s been noted that an eclipse like this hasn’t happened in 99 years.  That would be 3 x 33 years.  What might God be communicating?

You’re supposed to be super impressed when you see “3×33.”  That line up of three 3s is supposed to convince you that obviously God is communicating something, because, hello, there are three 3s.  Well, actually, there’s just Gary being utterly ridiculous with math, but nevermind.  It’s time to go scouring through the Bible for some passage that has nothing to do with eclipses just so we can keep working this allusion con.

One of our readers noticed Ezekiel 33:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ ” (Eze. 33:1-6)

This is a poor excerpt to pull, because it’s an incomplete thought.  In our previous lesson, we explained how watchmen were guys who stood on tall lookout stations watching for trouble on the horizon.  If they saw something alarming, they called down a warning to the people below.  This is super obvious to Ezekiel—he’s grown up around watchmen his whole life and he knows what they do.  So why is Yahweh telling Ezekiel something Ezekiel already knows?  The answer comes in the next part of this passage which Gary has lopped off.  It says this:

“As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked one, you will surely die,’ but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn’t turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.” (Eze. 33:7-9)

Yahweh isn’t talking to you here—He’s only talking to Ezekiel, and He’s sternly warning Ezekiel not to give God any attitude about being a prophet.  God often gives His real prophets messages which no one wants to hear.  Since no one enjoys getting flack, it’s tempting to not say what God has ordered you to say—at least it’s tempting as long as you’re lacking in reverence.

Once you understand what a gracious Guy Yahweh is, it reflects badly on Ezekiel that Yahweh felt this stern threat was needed.  God isn’t in a habit of threatening eager-to-please souls, but He does threaten Ezekiel, which suggests Ezekiel was entertaining thoughts about trying to rebel against Yahweh and not speak certain messages.

Okay, so what does any of this have to do with a solar eclipse streaking across America?  Not a darn thing.  What does it have to do with the number 3?  Nothing.  Remember how we said allusion cons were like kabobs that are loaded with chunks of idiocy and Bible references?  Gary’s first bullet point has been exactly that: he’s served up idiotic numerology paired with a totally irrelevant passage of Scripture.  But remember that the power of allusion cons lies in the fact that you think Scripture is so purely true that it legitimizes anything which is associated with it.  By pairing nonsense about 3s with a passage from the Bible, Gary is trying to get you to walk away thinking he just said something smart.  See how it works?  Let’s check out the next deep insight Gary has for us.

2. The eclipse is also exactly 40 days from Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). “40” represents a period of testing in the Bible as can been seen in the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and the 40 days Jesus was tested in the wilderness. This 40 day period leading up to Yom Kippur is more than random.  In fact, this period of time beginning on August 21st is called the Season of Teshuvah, which in the Jewish faith is a time to get right with God before judgment falls on the Day of Atonement.  In other words, repent before time is up.

And here we are with more Jewish numerology.  This time the hot number is 40.  But notice all of the references to biblical events and religious Jewish holidays.  What does random nonsense paired with a bunch of random Bible references give us?  An allusion con.  Gary is trying to con you, the little rat.  Is he succeeding?

3. While eclipses are not that uncommon, total solar eclipses only occur about every year and a half and often occur over the ocean rather than land. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking this eclipse is nothing out of the ordinary. Day will be turned to night all across the middle United States. 

“Day will be turned to night all across the middle United States.”  What an utter pile of rot.  But it’s also a clever allusion.  First, let’s deal with the science.  The only Americans who will see a total eclipse will have to be located in a very narrow strip across the country.  Those who are in the right zone will only witness a total eclipse for a whopping 2 minutes, and that brief glimpse will happen at different times of the day depending on where you are standing.  If you’re in the right spot in Oregon, for example, you’ll see the total eclipse just after 10:00 in the morning.  If you’re on the right spot on the east coast, you won’t see it until almost 3:00 pm.  Yes, there are time zone differences, but when it’s 10:00 am in Oregon, it’s only 1:00 pm on the East Coast.  The easterners won’t see what the westerners see until over an hour later.  Meanwhile, the majority of the country won’t ever see a total blackout.

So why is Gary lying his face off by saying “Day will be turned to night all across the middle United States”?  Because he’s working in an allusion to Scripture.  What comes to mind when you think of God turning day to night?  What about Yahweh’s famous plague of darkness on ancient Egypt?  Or perhaps that worn out line about the sun turning dark from Joel 2:31? After admitting that eclipses happen every 18 months, Gary warns us not to think this is an ordinary event.  Well, yeah, it kinda is.  But here’s where it starts getting good:

It’s been 99 years since a total solar eclipse crossed the entire United States and having another total solar eclipse cross the entire United States again, forming an ‘X’, just a few years later is perhaps unprecedented.

Gary has already tried to wow us with the number 99 in Point #1.  Now he whips out a clever map in which he shows the paths of two solar eclipses crossing the U.S. at different angles, which form a kind of X.

Forget about the Jews for a minute, because now Gary’s playing off of American cultural beliefs.  For Americans, the letter X can have very negative associations.  If you X something out, it’s a form of rejection—at least to Americans.  And since this prophecy is directed at Americans, it’s very strategic for Gary to imply that God is X-ing us out.  And you know that’s exactly where’s he’s going to take us in his next bullet point.  You can just feel it coming on…

4. It’s been noted that the United States is the wealthiest, most powerful, and most influential Gentile nation. It is also the world’s ethnic melting pot and hosts a proto-world government in the form of the United Nations. Lunar eclipses (blood moons) are omens for Israel whereas solar eclipses are omens for the Gentiles.  The 7 year Tribulation is also known as the Day of the LORD when God enters into judgment with the Gentile nations.  The fact that two total solar eclipses, spaced seven years apart, cross the entirety of the contiguous United States, and form an ‘X’ over the chief Gentile nation on earth should give you pause.

Now slow down and think—don’t just accept the cockamamie conclusions Gary is throwing at you.  He says “Lunar eclipses (blood moons) are omens for Israel whereas solar eclipses are omens for the Gentiles.”  Says who??  Says Gary—the man with the X map and a fixation with Jewish numerology?  Says Moon Man who was giving us guff about rainbows in our previous post?  God certainly never said that the Jews should be focusing on the moon while Gentiles fixate on the sun. And what’s with all of  this fuss about race?  Since when does God divide the world into the Jews versus the Gentiles?  He doesn’t, but the Jews who wrote the Scriptures certainly did.  Take that famous bigot, the apostle Paul—the fellow who taught that Yahweh only agreed to save Gentiles in hopes that He’d make Jews jealous.  In other words, Gentiles are like the other woman Todd flirts with in order to make the woman he really loves get jealous and return to him.  This is what Paul teaches.  The man was an obvious Gentile hater, which is why it’s such a crock to exalt him as the apostle who helped Gentiles feel like God really wanted them (see More Lies from Paul: God Loves Jews More Than Gentiles (Romans 11)).

In this fourth bullet point, Gary assembles a nice kabob of foolishness and allusions.  Let’s break it down into its components so you can appreciate the structure:

First comes the random comment: It’s been noted that the United States is the wealthiest, most powerful, and most influential Gentile nation. 

So what?  The phrase “it’s been noted” simply means “someone somewhere was heard saying at some point…”  Yeah, people say all kinds of things, but so what?  You can hardly get excited about a comment that is nothing more than someone’s random musing.

Now notice the phrase Gentile nation.  Gentile is a Bible buzzword, and once the buzzwords start following random musings, you should be on the alert for an allusion con.

Here’s our next random comment: It is also the world’s ethnic melting pot and hosts a proto-world government in the form of the United Nations.  

Using the term world government is another allusion trick.  Gary wants you to remember how often you’ve heard other prophets warning that a one-world government will emerge, and then it will be all bad for Christians.  He’s alluding to end time themes here, even though he’s already said that he doesn’t believe the world will ever end.  You gotta love Gary.

Next we have more utter nonsense: Lunar eclipses (blood moons) are omens for Israel whereas solar eclipses are omens for the Gentiles. 

Notice the allusions to Scripture that are being accomplished by references to blood moons, omens, and Gentiles. These terms automatically make you think of the Bible, and Gary is really piling on the allusions here to create the impression that he’s saying things which line up with Scripture.

Next we come to a series of Bible allusions which are strung together to say something totally untrue: The 7 year Tribulation is also known as the Day of the LORD when God enters into judgment with the Gentile nations. 

No, no, no, this is total malarkey.  But notice all the buzzwords Gary squeezes in: 7 year Tribulation, Day of the LORD, Gentile nations.  (To learn what “the day of the LORD” really means, see Distinguishing Between the Real End Times & the Day of Yahweh).

Next we come to more utter nonsense:The fact that two total solar eclipses, spaced seven years apart, cross the entirety of the contiguous United States, and form an ‘X’ over the chief Gentile nation on earth should give you pause.

Gary is hoping Jewish numerology has influenced you enough to think that the number 7 means something significant.  Then he’s counting on your American culture to make you view X as a bad thing.  He slaps you with that “Gentile nation” label again, which is intended as a negative put down (because we all know Gentiles are rejects in the eyes of God).  Notice how he says you actually live in “the chief Gentile nation.”  Well, double yuck on you.  And then Gary tells you that you ought to be upset by the fact that God is X-ing out your ick country.  He doesn’t say those exact words, but this is what he’s saying—can you hear it?  The purpose of this cheery little paragraph is to make Americans feel all nervous and X-ed out by a God who has a thing against Gentiles.   Hooray for false prophets, those beacons of hope and help.

5. The Tribulation (also called Daniel’s 70th Week or The Time of Jacob’s Trouble) is understood to be a worldwide version of the Exodus from Egypt.

Stop right here. Understood by who?  Don’t just jump aboard this nonsense.  Gary might have decided to make some irrelevant association between the infamous “tribulation”, a prophecy about 70 weeks in Daniel, and the Jacob (which was a nickname for Israel in the Old Testament), but you certainly don’t have to get onboard with any of this.  Instead, you need to ask God for His take on this lunacy.  Gary is not God, so don’t treat his absurd conclusions as undeniable facts.

The plagues and Exodus were a sort of microcosm of the future Day of the LORD. 

No, they really weren’t. As is typical for false prophets, Gary likes to toss around the term “Day of the LORD” without ever explaining to you how that term is actually used in the Old Testament.  Here’s a heads up for you: Yahweh never used that term to refer to the plagues on Egypt or the Exodus.  So, no, those events weren’t a “microcosm” of anything.

The ruthless Pharaoh was a type of the antichrist, the plagues were a type of the coming worldwide trumpet and vial judgments, the Exodus was a type of both the rapture and the future Israelite remnant that will escape into the wilderness, and so forth. 

Whenever you hear Christian teachers start using the term “type”—close your ears.  Referring to “types” is just a way of saying, “I want these two unrelated things to be related, so I’ve just declared that they are.”  When Christian teachers talk about “types” in Scriptures, they’re not saying something that would be as logical as saying “an orange is a type of fruit.”  The kinds of types Christian teachers come up with—such as declaring Melchizedek to be a type of Christ or saying the Pharaoh was a type of antichrist—is as logical as saying “spaghetti is a type of shoe.”

Think about it: the Pharaoh in Moses’ time had never heard of Christ, so how could he be an “anti-Christ”?  The Exodus resulted in people moving out of bitter slavery into a harsh desert wilderness where they met with a host of new problems—how is this a metaphor for the rapture?  That bit about Israelites escaping into the wilderness is an allusion to Revelation 12—we’ll get to that in our next post.  The point is that Gary is just slinging more absolute baloney here.  The man has done nothing but lie to you the whole time.

Even some of the minute details were types and shadows.  Moses was a type of the future “male child” (Christ and the Church) that was and will be delivered from harm’s way.  He escaped the tribulation that his people endured when he was placed in a basket and ended up as a prince in palaces of splendor.  Yet his people continued to endure tribulation and suffering until he later returned to deliver them from Egypt.  Even some of the specific plagues in Egypt will be replicated on a worldwide scale during the Tribulation.  As a matter of fact, there is a direct parallel in the book of Revelation to seven of the ten plagues in Egypt.  You could say the Tribulation is almost a “do-over” of the Exodus because the Israelites were not faithful to the end in the first instance, but at the end of the Tribulation will be faithful, saved, and delivered.

Did you honestly understand this paragraph or did it leave you feeling confused and peppered with Scripture references?  This is another trick false prophets like to pull: they suddenly bombard you with a dense pile of Scripture references, knowing full well that you won’t understand many of them.  Revelation 12 is not well-known by Christians, yet Gary is citing it here.  The Tribulation passages are not familiar to Christians—just the ominous T-word.  Gary knows that you probably can’t rattle off a list of the ten plagues on ancient Egypt, so when he tells you that there is some direct parallel to “seven of the ten plagues”, he knows you have no idea what he’s talking about.  The purpose of paragraphs like this is to make you feel like a dunce who is sitting at the feet of some wise, spiritual know-it-all.  By simply firing off a bunch of allusions to Scripture, Gary sounds like he knows Scripture well, when the man has clearly demonstrated that he has a very poor understanding of what the Bible actually says.  The takeaway for you is this: don’t listen to teachers who try to pull rank on you and baffle you like this.  It’s just a way of making you feel one down to them.  Teachers who really care about you will take the time to explain things, and they’ll be glad to answer questions when you feel confused without making you feel like a nimrod.

Now that Gary has tried to make you feel intellectually inferior to him, he’s going to return to that ominous X in order to increase your general fear level.

With this in mind, consider that the ‘X’ that will be formed over the United States rests right over a region in southern Illinois called “Little Egypt”.  Even more – the exact point where the two paths cross is in the town of Makanda, which used to be called the “Star of Egypt”.

First of all, no X is going to be formed anywhere.  That cheesy map Gary came up with depicts eclipse paths that happen seven years apart. All that ever gets formed is crooked lines.  If we wait long enough, and examine enough celestial tracks, we can no doubt come up with a map that depicts a triangle, a square, and even a smiley face over the U.S.  Gary is  intentionally not drawing in the paths of other celestial events, because that would distract from his goal of freaking you out.  The man is just trying to ramp up your anxiety without giving you any help or any positive focus.   And as for this absurd obsession with slogans that the Illinoisans use—so what?  California is called “the land of fruits and nuts,” implying that the folks in that state can get a little too wild.  How much should you read into slogans?  Makanda isn’t the only town in Illinois to use a slogan—many towns in that state adopted slogans, and Makanda isn’t the only town located in the ominous X path.  Plus, need we say it again?  There is no X!

As Gary continues on, he’s going to start obsessing over Revelation 12, so we’ll pick him back up in our next post.  Hopefully by now you’re seeing what a con artist this guy is.  All he’s doing is blending baloney with Bible references and hoping you’ll be foolish enough to swallow the whole mess in one gulp.  So don’t play his game.  Talk to God and stop listening to these teachers who are so shamelessly trying to make you feel afraid and inferior.

ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ WEIGHS IN

Now before we conclude this post, there’s one other lying sack we want to expose.  You’ve probably heard of the famous American evangelist Billy Graham.  Well, sadly, his daughter Anne has decided to join the league of false prophets.  Using the initials of her own name to come up with the not-so-humble handle of “AnGeL Ministries”, and flaunting her credentials as a Bible teacher, Anne posted the following warning about the coming eclipse:

In light of Ezekiel 33:1-6 that commands a watchman to be faithful to warn others of the danger coming against the land, I feel compelled to issue the warning once again.

Earth to Anne: you’re not God’s watchman.  You see, in Ezekiel 33:1-6, Yahweh is not authorizing anyone who has a delusional theory about Him to pipe their nonsense all over the web.  And since what Anne is about to say is a complete deception, clearly her information is not coming from God, therefore she should really not be talking.  But once again, she’s using an allusion con on you.  By quoting Ezekiel and using the buzzword watchman, Anne wants you to believe she is authorized by God to say what she’s about to say, and that whatever she says is correct.

The warning is triggered by the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, nicknamed America’s Eclipse. For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be seen from coast to coast in our nation.  People are preparing to mark this significant event with viewing parties at exclusive prime sites. The celebratory nature regarding the eclipse brings to my mind the Babylonian King Belshazzar who threw a drunken feast the night the Medes and Persians crept under the city gate.  While Belshazzar and his friends partied, they were oblivious to the impending danger.  Belshazzar wound up dead the next day, and the Babylonian empire was destroyed.

Wow, really?? So if we want to respond to God flaunting His creative genius and awesome power in some enthusiastic way, He’s going to react with violence and anger? Since when does God take offense at us marveling over His feats?

You have to understand the Belshazzar story to appreciate how obnoxious Anne is being here.  Belshazzar was a Yahweh-hating king who specifically ordered his servants to bring in cups that were stolen from Yahweh’s Temple in Jerusalem.  Belshazzar knew that special dishes that were used in temples were considered sacred and only to be used for certain gods.  This was a common practice in many religions: build temples to gods and make special objects to use in worshiping those gods.  On Belshazzar’s party night, what he did to get in such trouble with Yahweh is order Yahweh’s special cups to be used for the purpose of toasting other gods.  Of course the other gods weren’t real, but Belshazzar believed in them.  More importantly, his whole point was to grind his heel in Yahweh’s face—to say “Ha, ha, stupid God of the Jews—You’ve been totally defeated by other gods who were stronger than You.”  You have to understand how intentionally Belshazzar was spitting on Yahweh to appreciate why Yahweh reacted the way He did.  As Anne summarizes here (although she’s leaving out the best parts of the story), Belshazzar ends up killed shortly after his “let’s all mock Yahweh” moment (for the full story, see Know Your Bible Lesson 38: Writing on the Wall).

Once you understand who Belshazzar was, you can appreciate exactly what Anne is accusing you of when she says if you celebrate the eclipse, you’ll be acting like Belshazzar.  So if you celebrate the awesomeness of Yahweh, He’ll lump you in with a guy who intentionally and publicly spat in His face?  Really?  Yahweh can’t tell the difference between sincere admiration and sincere hatred?  Are you seeing the problem here?  Do you really think God would jump on you with condemnation like this and try to make you feel like a jerk for even thinking of rocking out after He gives you a rare treat in the sky?  Notice how Anne is entirely judging by actions here, and discounting the issue of soul attitude.  She’s suggesting that if you go to a party—any party—you’re a scuzzy Belshazzar.  She doesn’t even consider your motivation for partying.  Instead, she suggests God will assume your motivations are as foul as bratty Belshazzar’s were.  Wow.  Talk about beating people down.

Jewish rabbis have historically viewed solar eclipses as warnings from God to Gentile nations. Therefore, my perspective on the upcoming phenomenon is not celebratory. While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something. Time will tell what that something is.

Think about what Anne just said here.  Jewish rabbis practice Judaism, not Christianity. The religion of Judaism teaches that Christ cannot be a Divine Being.  Judaism says the Holy Spirit can’t be who He is, either, because Yahweh is the only real God.  Judaism was appropriate before the revelation of Christ.  But now that Christ has come, to continue practicing Judaism becomes grossly insulting once you understand who Christ is.  So here we’ve got Anne Graham Lotz, who claims to be a Christian teacher, telling us that she’s relying on teachers of a false religion to guide her in spiritual matters.  And since certain followers of a religion which rejects the Divinity of Christ have some grim view of solar eclipses, Anne has decided she would be wrong to take anything other than a grim attitude herself.  In other words, the woman is trying to live in alignment with the delusional theories of Jewish rabbis.  Seriously?  And notice how she, like Gary, makes it clear that she’s totally unclear about what exactly God is saying.

Here’s a thought: maybe the reason that none of these clowns can figure out what God is saying is because they’re too busy stuffing words in His mouth that He never said.  God is certainly not looking down on Americans for living in a Gentile nation.  He’s certainly not teaching us to embrace the racist attitudes and numerological foolishness of the ancient Jews.  He’s certainly not warning us that He’s going to strike us down if we dare to do a celebratory jig on the day of the eclipse.  Take a good look at the extent to which your leaders are lying to you about this eclipse business.  Then cut ties with these vipers and start relying on God alone to guide you in truth.  Just because Anne can’t hear God doesn’t mean you can’t.  So ask Him if He has anything He wants to say to you.  Then ask Him to help you learn how to get better at discernment, and better at treating Him with the honor He deserves.  God loves to teach souls who sincerely care about pleasing Him.  But false prophets and lying leaders?  They can just keep stumbling around in the dark.

LESSON 3 OF THIS SERIES: Eclipsing False Christian Prophets: The Revelation 12 Sign

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