4 Blood Moons of Jesus Return? Mark Biltz Theory Debunked
Will Jesus return in 2015...or will the Great Tribulation start this fall? Can NASA’s eclipse tables help us find out? Pastor Mark Biltz, John Hagee and 119 Ministries have speculated that solar and blood moon eclipses in 2015 could fulfill end time milestones of Bible prophecy. Discover the prophecy breakthrough that invalidates his theory from someone who had the same idea five years earlier. Plus find out how Revelation says our year will drop to only 360 days after the prophesied eclipses happen.By Tim McHyde
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Mark Biltz had a promising idea. He was viewing a popular photo of the blood red moon over the Dome of the Rock from February 20, 2008 when he recalled that the Bible predicted blood red lunar eclipse before the end times:
Joel 2:31 (HCSB) — The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and awe–inspiring Day of the Lord comes. Revelation 6:12 (HCSB) — Then I saw Him open the sixth seal. A violent earthquake occurred; the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair; the entire moon became like blood;
What Joel and Revelation both describe are a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. During solar eclipses the sun is obscured by the moon except for wisps of light around the corona as if a hairy sackcloth was put in front of the sun. Lunar eclipses often cause the moon to not disappear completely but turn shades of orange and red.
Since man has long been able to calculate and publish upcoming eclipses in advance, what if we could use this data to find the year when this prophecy could be fulfilled? (And even if you take literally Jesus' words "no man knows the day or hour", this obviously does not rule out knowing the month and year or he would have been so specific to mention day instead of the more broader month, year, or time).
Eclipse Pattern Found In NASA 2015 Data
That's exactly what Biltz did. He looked at NASA's tables for solar and lunar eclipses and found a string of lunar and solar eclipses starting in 2014 through 2015 and nothing significant for the rest of the century. In 2015 there will be a a pair of solar and lunar eclipses two weeks apart (on the new moon and full moon) one in the spring and one in the fall. This could produce four blood moon eclipses in a row, rarity. From that he postulated that perhaps Jesus will return that year, around the time of the final eclipses in the Fall.
His intriguing discovery caught the attention of prophecy buffs everywhere. In April, he did a video interview with ProphecyInTheNews.com. Later that month WorldNetDaily.com did an article summarizing the interview. As an aside, it included a funny reaction from resident columnist and author Hal Lindsey of Late Great Planet Earth fame admitting that he had never heard of the theory yet calling it "pure speculation." If that response sounds a little biased to you, you're not alone. I'd call the pretrib rapture Lindsey advocates and 99% of the prophecy ideas that make their way into our inboxes pure speculation, but looking for the eclipses that Revelation predicts is a very reasonable approach.
The reaction from others has been mixed. Most seem fascinated by it. Many have some reservations about parts of it (such as its apparent date-setting slant) but can't really refute it so they have adopted the typical wait-and-see posture. Per usual, a few outright refute the idea because it contradicts their view on side issues such as the rapture timing. Interestingly, among the many responses I read nobody seemed able to debunk the very basis of the theory - whether we can use current eclipse projections to predict when the 6th seal will be. That's what I'm about to do.
Here's the original Mark Biltz video explaining his theory in case you want to watch it first:
Same Theory Discovered and Debunked Five Years Ago
I am qualified to do so because I had the same idea back in 2003. I, too, saw the possibility that the 6th seal could refer to a solar and lunar eclipse pair and went to the same NASA site to look for years that might fulfill the prophecy. However, I never came up with 2015 because I determined from related verses that the 6th seal will happen around the Day of Pentecost (May/June) which rules out the spring and fall eclipses that Biltz reports. I was trying to find the right eclipse that could fit all the clues surrounding the event rather than a year with lots of interesting eclipses.
But in the following year I ended up debunking the theory when I was chatting with a friend who I often bounced my prophecy ideas off of. I was telling him about how I was having no luck finding solar and lunar eclipses pairs that might fit the 6th seal in the NASA data. And then it suddenly occurred to me that this approach would never work because of Wormwood. Since 2002 I had been aware that the star Wormwood Revelation says will be visible at the 3rd trumpet was a literal star that will pass our solar system. Because the NASA data for predicting eclipses did not factor in the gravitational perturbations caused by this star, they are useless for predicting the 6th seal!
The Overlooked Wormwood Factor
What Biltz missed is that in the following chapters, Revelation reveals the cause of not only the eclipses, but the related global great earthquake, meteorite storms and asteroid ocean impact. It describes a literal "death star" called Wormwood visible in the sky after all the above pass. This catastrophic progression is similar to the rumors of a doomsday star originally announced by NASA and misnamed Planet X which serious astronomers now discount and most everyone else considers a hoax (thanks in part to misinformation predicting its arrival on May 15, 2003).
Although Revelation is very detailed in its account of Wormwood's catastrophic global effects, few seem able to accept it at face value. In fact, in the Biltz video interview, one of the hosts suggests that it's time to rethink the eclipses as describing an astronomical catastrophes and consider them to be normal scheduled eclipses! Both possibilities should definitely be considered. Yet when you read past the 6th seal and see that all the way up to 4th trumpet a sequential series of related cosmic catastrophes is described (Rev 6:12-8:13) it becomes obvious which explanation of the eclipses fits best. As a matter of fact, the most natural reading of Revelation's description of the solar and lunar eclipses implies they are simultaneous eclipses, which is impossible with normal predictable lunar and solar eclipses caused by the moon. Simultaneous solar and lunar eclipses would be possible because of the presence of near earth objects (NEO) brought close by Wormwood some of which are described as impacting the earth in the first and second trumpets.
By the way, these predicted cosmic catastrophes are no more inconceivable than God allowing the Antichrist to take over the world and force everyone to take a mark or be beheaded as Revelation 13 teaches. In the same way, God will allow Wormwood to threaten the earth and billions to die although not any of God's servants who follow his survival plan already outlined in the Bible (not a pretrib rapture) will have to die. The whole reason I began writing my book Planet X in Bible Prophecy was because of how overlooked these aspects of prophecy are. (When was the last time someone pointed out to you that Revelation predicted four years of catastrophe and tribulation before the rapture happened?)
Because few take those passages literally, they miss out on one of the key points of Revelation needed to understand the complete roadmap it lays out for us. But more importantly to topic at hand, they miss out on an amazing hidden prediction that Revelation makes about a change to our orbit and calendar (hidden in plain sight).
The Coming Return to a 360-Day Year and 30 day month
Think about how big an effect a second sun passing nearby could have on our solar system. It's easy to imagine that when another star comes close enough to be visible that it will throw off our existing orbital clock. Current eclipse predictions would be invalidated, along with everything else predicated upon the nearest star besides the sun being Proxima Centari over four light years away.
But this is not just speculation. Soon after my Wormwood insight, I was prompted to reconsider the rest of Revelation literally (except for the rare cases of clear allegorical language such as Rev 14:4). Consequently, I realized that Revelation and Daniel confirm in mathematical terms that earth's orbit will change dramatically after Wormwood's passage.
In several places both Revelation and Daniel talk about the length of the Tribulation as either 3½ years, 42 months or 1260 days which works out to a 360 day year and 30 day month. Few take these numbers literally, just as they doubt the 144,000 are a literal number (because they assume it to be a count of all those saved when it's not), but now I was doing so. Because it's hard to imagine our calendar ever changing like that, most people explain these numbers allegorically calling them part of a mythical "prophetic calendar". But when you do accept them at face value, you come to the conclusion that the Bible is making a veiled prediction that earth's orbit would change enough from Wormwood to go from 365¼ to 360 days and along with it the month from 29½ to 30 days ( the lengthening of the lunar cycle is a predictable natural result of the earth orbiting the sun slightly faster).
In January 2004, I posted an article on my website literally explaining this stunning mathematical riddle. For more details on this amazing insight including how Genesis and other ancient histories record 30 day months and 360 day years prior to the time of Hezekiah (the Hebrew calendar changed in his days), read the full 360 day year article.
All these new literal interpretations fit together like a puzzle:
- Wormwood is a literal star that will pass our solar system.
- It will be responsible for the unscheduled eclipses, global earthquake and the rest of the literal cosmic catastrophes described from the 6th seal through 4th trumpet.
- The Tribulation immediately follows the Wormwood catastrophes at the 5th trumpet because the Antichrist claiming to be God (2Th 2:4) will be the only one able solve the ensuing world war and global famine by bringing order and an efficient cashless society (he does not come to power by convincing everyone he is Jesus as some speculate).
- The given 3½ year/42 month/1260 day length of the Great Tribulation is literal and confirms Wormwood or its satellites will so affect our earth that it changes our year to 360 days and month to 30
While Mark Biltz's blood moon eclipse insight is intriguing and brings needed attention to the 6th seal, his 2015 theory fails to take into account these important related details in the rest of the Book of Revelation that invalidate it. Despite his oversight, when I saw Biltz's interview I was pleased to see someone else taking Revelation literally (like the rest of the Bible) as it should be. Christians traditionally read Revelation like it was an allegory of symbols. Mainly for this reason Christianity remains unable to unravel the puzzle of end times Bible prophecy, even though the end times wisdom is now available to make sense of it (Dan 12:10).
Besides this main oversight, there are several other errors in his interview statements that mar his presentation. Most of these derive from his dependence on the traditional Jewish calendar which is not the same as the original Biblical calendar (affecting the assumption that the eclipses fall on actual feast days or in a true sabbath year). Another is a common mistake of equating Matthew 24's description of the sun and moon going dark when Jesus returns with the sun black and moon blood at the 6th seal. If you want to correctly understand the complete roadmap of Revelation, it's important to get these things right. For a cogent and verifiable alternative to these errors and additional information on the topics covered in this article, see my book Know the Future, perhaps the last Bible prophecy book you ever need to read.
Update #1: Reader's Feedback Answered
In response to the article above, someone emailed me:
Mark Biltz didn't do anything but say it was a possible scenario if the seven years started that next year...when it didn't, he never has pushed that suggestion
My response is: I know that Mark Biltz never said "thus saith the Lord" or that it would happen for sure. I'm not accusing him of that nor of any sin or even being a "false teacher." I have only respect for the man for teaching people the Bible.
What is usually missed by prophecy teachers is that it is a major error to even suggest the "possibility" that the Bible has a clue (coupled with NASA eclipse data or whatever) that points to a single time for Jesus coming (as Biltz did). This thinking sweeps away and contradicts two key points that Jesus made in the Olivet Discourse:
1. What to watch for: Certain unique milestone events until which "the end is not yet" (Mk 13:7))
2. What not to watch for: A predicted time or day--since no man knows the time ("day or hour") (Mt 24:36)).
If Christians could understand these two key points (as well as they do that Jesus is their savior), it would end the constant date setting and doomsday theory speculation. Believers would know based on events that had still not happened that "the end is not yet" as Jesus said and go about doing what he said to do with less fear and concern over what "might" happen every year.
For more on these two themes from the Olivet Discourse, click through to the articles linked in points 1. and 2. above.
The speculation around the 2014-2015 blood moon tetrads is largely based on the concept that each of the seven past tetrads have "brought a significant event to the Jewish people within a year of the first or last eclipse of the tetrad." For example, the contention of Mark Biltz, "119 Ministries," et al. is that the last two blood moon tetrads of 1949-50 and 1967-68 are "tied" to significant events: the establishment of Israel in May, 1948 and the capturing of the Temple Mount in June, 1967, respectively. Apparently to them, a tetrad being "tied" to an event would be defined as the first eclipse of the tetrad starting anytime months before or over a year after the event in question! (Eclipse of April, 1967 vs Six Day War of June 1967; Eclipse of April 1949 vs. Rebirth of Israel in May 1948.)
How do I explain this?
Short answer: This is largely "confirmation bias" at work.
Long answer: Confirmation bias is when we prefer information that confirms our beliefs or theories over information that contradicts it. This bias can be seen in the forgiving nature of the rules used to connect the seven tetrads to "events."
Past tetrads only hold prophetic significance if you loosen the bounds of the criteria to encompass any "significant" event "near" the time they happen (before or after!). It's a form of self-deception to "move the goalposts" so wide that you can find something subjectively considered "significant" and declare, "Aha! This happened because of the tetrad!"
It's just like when the last pope resigned. The next pope according to the Malachy prophecy was to be Peter the Roman. But is that his name? His nationality? Nickname? It doesn't say. It's just that vague and open for interpretation, much like horoscopes are. Because of this, I told people that no matter who his replacement would be, people would rise up to assure you that he did indeed fulfill the sense of "Peter the Roman." And that's exactly what happened when Pope Francis was chosen thanks to confirmation bias.
Think about it: what heavenly signs can't you attach significance to if you are given up to a year before or after the sign to find a "significant" event that you can connect it with? None if you simply continue to use subjective, arbitrary pattern matching. Likewise, to conclude that "special" events were "tied" to past tetrads is contrived and not based on sound reasoning.
Thus, to expect a tetrad in the future to be a prophetic marker is speculation. The Bible does not tell us to watch for tetrads nor does it ever attach any significance to them prophetically. While it talks about a blood moon eclipse at the 6th seal, it actually is associated with what seems to be a solar eclipse (and earthquakes, and shooting stars, etc.), not one or more other lunar eclipses (Rev 6:12).
What type of tetrads or signs, then, are worth paying attention to? If a true authorized, verifiable, miracle-working prophet were to come and predict that X, Y and Z are going to happen on the days of certain eclipses of a tetrad as a sign of P, D, and Q, then I would accept that the tetrad is going to be special—in exactly the way that the prophet plainly explained to us. See the difference? No speculation or extrapolation is required, you just follow what the Word of God plainly says. Or if there was something plain in the Bible spelling out the significance of a specific tetrad just as it spells out the significance of a specific "abomination that makes desolate" as meaning it's time to flee (Mt 24:15-16), then I would accept that, too. (By the way, this is how the prophets in the Bible worked, with clear specifics not vague generalizations.)
In conclusion, I do not see any reason based on the past tetrads or on the Bible to expect anything special with the next tetrad. In fact, I expect us to go quite a bit longer than 2015 before we see Jesus or the Great Tribulation arrive, consistent with past failed doomsday expectations and more importantly based on the lack of prerequisite events that must happen before the 70th week can start.
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