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Does God Speak through the Heavens?
Study of Chapter 1 in Four Blood Moons
The history of the world is about to change forever, and God is sending us messages on His high-definition billboard by speaking to us in the heavens—using the Four Blood Moons; the question is ... are we listening?
(Four Blood Moons, chapter 1)
Prepare for Week 1
Read chapter 1, "Signs in the Heavens," in Four Blood Moons.
Optional: Watch "The Coming Four Blood Moons: Something Is about to Change, part 1" sermon by Pastor John Hagee on YouTube.
I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
— JOEL 2:30–31
Key Passage From Four Blood Moons
Does God use the sun, moon, and stars to communicate with us? Does He use the heavens as His own personal, high-definition billboard to announce things to come?
The answer is yes.
— Four Blood Moons,chapter 1
Questions For Personal Study
Chapter 1: Signs In The Heavens
King David said, "You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come" (Psalm 102:13 NIV).... The appointed time is now! (4)
The word Zion comes from a Semitic root related to a mountaintop fortress. It first appears in 2 Samuel 5:7, which equates "the stronghold of Zion" with the "City of David." Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, often associated with the dwelling place of God. Throughout Scripture, especially in psalms and prophecies, the term Zion refers to the city of Jerusalem, and by extension, all of Israel. (See Psalm 2:6; 9:11–12; Isaiah 1:8; 3:16; 2 Kings 19:21; Lamentations 2:10; 4:2.)
What does it mean to "have compassion on Zion"? In Psalm 102:13, do you think King David is referring to feelings or actions? Why?
Why Should We Support Israel?
If we are to correctly understand heavenly signs and wonders, it's imperative we grasp the full scope of Scripture and history. (5)
Let's look at the five biblical reasons Christians should support the nation of Israel and the Jewish people, listed on pages 5–12 of Four Blood Moons.
1. God Promises to Bless Those Who Bless Israel
God's promise is a fact: "I will bless those who bless you" (Genesis 12:3). (7)
Read Genesis 12:1–3. This is God's pledge to Abraham and the Jewish people for all generations. In the space below, list God's specific promises to Abraham that you observe in these verses, especially those in verse 3.
In what specific ways has God "blessed" those who "bless Israel"? Look up Luke 7:1–5 and Acts 10:22. List below the two Gentiles and the blessings they received for showing favor to the Jewish people.
What other Gentiles (e.g., biblical characters, historical figures, political leaders, etc.) did practical acts of kindness to bless the Jewish people—and received God's blessing in return? (For ideas, read Genesis 20:17–18 and Genesis 41:46–47.)
2. We Are Commanded to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is not a request—it's a command! (7)
Read Psalm 122:6–7. According to this passage, what specific requests are we commanded to pray for the city of Jerusalem?
Read Isaiah 9:6–7 and Luke 1:32–33. What do you learn about Jesus' relationship to Jerusalem from these verses? How is Jerusalem connected to His kingdom?
3. We Are Commanded to Be Watchmen on the Walls of Israel
We are commanded ... to speak up and defend Israel and the Jewish people when they are slandered, attacked by their enemies, and are subjected to any callous act of antiSemitism. (8)
Read Isaiah 62:1, 6–7. What is the role of watchmen on the walls? What are they watching for?
Watchmen on the Walls
In the ancient world, a "watchman" was a guard or sentinel stationed on top of the city walls, carefully monitoring the actions of the townspeople and anyone who approached the city walls. As the first line of defense against invaders, the watchman was critical to the city's survival. If he spotted a threat, he would sound an alarm and the town would shut its gates and prepare for battle. (See Ezekiel 3:17–19; 33:6–7; Job 27:18; 2 Samuel 18:24–27.)
In verses 6–7, the watchmen are urged to "not rest" and "not keep silent." Why is this continual watching and speaking out necessary? What could happen if the watchmen were sleeping or silent?
How does the role of watchmen in the ancient world relate to Christians' role toward Israel today? In what specific ways can we be "watchmen" for the nation of Israel?
4. We Are Commanded to Minister to Israel in Material Things
If you take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity, there would be no Christianity. (10)
Read Romans 15:27. What "spiritual things" have Christians received from the Jewish people? List as many as you can think of in the space below. (For ideas, see the list on page 9 of Four Blood Moons.)
Read John 4:22. What did Jesus mean when He said, "for salvation is of the Jews"? In what ways does a Christian's salvation come through the Jewish people?
What are some of the differences between historic Christianity (specifically, the harm inflicted by religious institutions during church history, including the Crusades and Inquisition) and the teachings of Jesus Christ?
5. Jesus Entreated the Church to Support Israel
We should support Israel and the Jewish people because it was Jesus' final request to His church. (10)
Read Matthew 25:40. How does Jesus connect the Jewish people with Himself in this verse? How do our actions toward the Jews affect Jesus?
Jesus never called any Gentiles "brethren" until after the cross. Before the cross, Gentiles were outside the covenants of Israel, without God and without hope, of all men most miserable. (See Ephesians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:19.) All biblical references to "brethren" prior to the death of Christ refer specifically to the Jewish people.
Read Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 25:34–36. What do these verses tell us about the consequences of our actions (or lack of actions) toward the Jewish people?
My mind went back to Pastor Mark's question: "Have you considered the sun, moon, and stars in the study of prophecy?" Having studied the Bible for fifty-four years and authored numerous books on the subject of prophecy, my mind is a database of prophetic Scripture. Genesis 1:14 came to my mind, which declares that God created the sun, moon, and stars (signals) in the heavens. (17)
Astronomy versus Astrology
In this book, our discussion of the stars and moon in biblical prophecy is based on the Word of God, history, and the science of astronomy—and never refers to astrology. (18)
Look up the definitions of astronomy and astrology. Write the definitions below:
What are the differences between these two fields of study? Which one is based on science, and which one is based on human interpretation and imagination?
Read Romans 1:20–21 and Exodus 20:4. What is God's attitude toward those who try to find guidance for their lives from created things, rather than from their Creator?
The Bible condemns the practice of astrology as an act of sorcery and divination, which is strongly associated with witchcraft and the occult. Read Isaiah 47:13–14. What does God say will be the consequences for those who practice astrology?
Should Christians read their daily horoscope? In what ways are horoscopes—the use of the movements of planets and stars to "read into" a person's life and predict his or her future—a form of fortune-telling? Where should Christians turn if they want to know about future events?
For more information on astronomy versus astrology, turn to part 2 of this study guide and read
chapter 9: "What Does the Bible Say about Astronomy versus Astrology?"
God's High-Definition Billboard
What do all these prophecies have in common? They all involve specific signs in the heavens preceding coming global events! (20)
Read Joel 2:30–31 and compare it to Acts 2:19–20. In the space provided, list below the five specific astronomical "wonders" God says He will show us in the heavens and earth before the "great and awesome day of the LORD."
Exactly how long before Jesus' Second Coming will we see these signs in heaven and on earth? Read Matthew 24:36. What does this verse say about anyone who claims to know the "day and hour" of the Second Coming?
Read Luke 21:25, 28 and Matthew 24:29–30. What do these two prophecies have in common?
Even though the Bible says we cannot set a day and time of Jesus' physical return to planet earth, will those who understand the Bible be able to determine the approximate time of His Second Coming? Why or why not?
God uses the sun, moon, and stars as signals to mankind. He uses the heavens as His divine billboard announcing coming events. (20)
Read Genesis 1:14 and write out below God's purpose for creating the sun, moon, and stars, as stated in this verse.
The Hebrew word for "sign" in Genesis 1:14 is owth, which also translates as "signals." In other places in Scripture, this same word is translated "banner," "pledge," or "witness." (See Numbers 2:2; Joshua 2:12; Job 21:29.) God clearly intends the sun, moon, and stars to be beacons announcing His supernatural work on the earth!
Signs over Russia and in the Sun
Signs in the heavens are coming to the enemies of Israel! (23)
In February 2013, a fiery meteor exploded over Russia, causing shockwaves that injured hundreds of people and damaged thousands of homes. Read the description of this meteor on page 21 of Four Blood Moons. In what ways could this astronomical event be considered a "sign from heaven"?
Read Joshua 10:11. Do you see any possible connection between the "great hailstones" hurled by God in these verses and unusual astronomical phenomena such as the meteor that crashed over Russia?
Read Ezekiel 38:22–23 and Revelation 8:8–11 to discover how God will use stones from the heavens as weapons of war in the future. What is God's purpose in hurling these stones, as noted in Ezekiel 38:23? Write it out below.
Recently, scientists have expressed concern over giant solar eruptions. Read the description of these solar flares on pages 23–24 of Four Blood Moons. What consequences could a large solar flare have on our current technology?
Signs in the Sun vs. Signs in the Moon
According to Jewish rabbinical scholars:
A lunar eclipse is a signal of God's coming judgment to Israel.
A solar eclipse is a signal of coming judgment to the Gentile nations.
When a solar eclipse occurs in the center of a series of four lunar eclipses, as will happen in the Tetrad of Four Blood Moons in 2014–15, it is a warning to the whole world that something devastating is going to happen!
As you conclude this week's study, read Psalm 19:1–4 aloud:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (NIV)
Based on your study of the sun, moon, and stars so far, what is significant to you about the verses above? Underline the words that stand out to you. God is speaking to you through the heavens—are you listening?
Questions for Group Discussion
How would you personally answer Pastor Mark's question: "Have you ever considered the sun, moon, and stars in the study of prophecy?" Be honest. Discuss as a group: what do you hope to learn as a result ofyour study of Four Blood Moons?
How did you respond to the list of five reasons Christians should support the nation of Israel and the Jewish people? In what ways did your study this week show you the importance of supporting Israel? What new insights did you learn? In what ways were you challenged to become more involved in praying for and taking action in support of Israel?
Discuss the differences between astronomy and astrology that you learned this week. What was your reaction to the Bible's strong warnings against astrology? For further reference, discuss any insights you learned by reading chapter 9 of this study guide: "What Does the Bible Say about Astronomy versus Astrology?"
The Bible is clear that only God knows the exact time of Jesus' Second Coming (Matthew 24:36). How do you reconcile that verse with Luke 21:25, 28, in which Jesus describes future celestial signs and tells us, "When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near"? What is the difference between predicting a specific date for Jesus' return and recognizing the "signs of the time" of Jesus' Second Coming? Is either approach biblical? Why or why not?
Heavenly Father, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love You. Show us how we can be "watchmen on the walls" to stand up and speak out for our Jewish brothers and sisters. As we look to the heavens and see our redemption drawing near, we ask You to give us wisdom as we study, eyes to see and ears to hear what You are announcing to the entire world in sun, moon, and stars. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.
Go to BibleGateway.com and do a keyword study on "Zion." What do you learn from these Bible verses about God's relationship with the Jewish people and this particular location?
Considering what you learned this week about astronomy versus astrology, are there any habits in your life (such as reading your daily horoscope) that you need to change? If so, confess it to God and commit to walking in the light of God's truth in this area, starting today.
Stop talking about how you feel ... and start taking action by showing practical acts of kindness toward God's chosen people (12). Seek out specific, practical ways you can be a "watchman on the wall" to support the Jewish people, such as joining pro-Israel organizations or sending letters and e-mails to your congressmen and representatives to stand strong in your support of Israel.CHAPTER 2
Signs and Stars
Study Of Chapters 2–3 in Four Blood Moons
The sun, moon, and stars are unmistakably connected to Israel and biblical prophecy— and that connection inspired this book. God will use them to light up the heavens with an urgent, top-priority message for all mankind. What is God saying to us? How does the past hold the secret to the future? What is about to happen on planet earth? Everything is about to change ... forever! (Four Blood Moons, chapter 2)
Prepare for Week 2
Read chapter 2, "The Star in the East," in Four Blood Moons.
Read chapter 3, "Warning Comes before Judgment," in Four Blood Moons.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.... Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
—Genesis 1:1, 14–18
Excerpted from Four Blood Moons by JOHN HAGEE. Copyright © 2014 John Hagee. Excerpted by permission of WORTHY PUBLISHING.
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