Jan Markell wrote the article below and was published in Rapture Ready. Please read and follow the interview with pastor Mark Biltz and Dr. Mark Hitchcock about their different views on the same event.
The basic question debated in this radio program is are the blood moon tetrad occurring in 2014 and 2015 on Passover and Sukkot a sign from God to Israel, to Christians and to the world? and what is it heralding if anything?
Not to long ago and definitively within my youth the first satellite the Sputnik was launched by Russia. Advances in science and technology have increased in a manner that is unthinkable. So we are at a point in the history of men that a lunar or solar eclipse will barely elicit a yawn and more less losing sleep to see it.
None of my family or friends thought it important to wake up at 2AM to watch the first on April 24, 2014, and that after I had explained the significance of the blood moon tetrad and the relationship to the Jewish festivals.
So my question to you is the following, what does Jesus have to do to awaken His church and warn the world that He is about to judge the world severely. Well Israel should be paying attention because this judgment will revolve around Israel making the nation the vortex of the hurricane of trouble that is coming to the world.
Because of the many other prophetic signs that are happening in the world how could you not see these celestial events as signs closely preceding the Apocalypse and then the coming of Jesus Christ.
If the Apocalypse has started when you read this article then the blood moons would not be necessary as a sign as other signs would be manifested already like the two witnesses and the revealing of the Antichrist.
In my opinion both Marks make excellent points and arguments for the position each is driving forth, but it is my opinion that Biltz position is the correct one regarding the blood moons as appointment times of the Lord.
Please hear the debate and follow the articles I placed in my blog under the tetrad blood moons.
Blood Moons: Harbingers or Hype?
By Jan Markell
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years . . .’ ” — Genesis 1:14
We can argue about the blood moons past, present and future, but no one can argue that they have captured the attention of the world and church. I presented one program on the topic back in 2013 and I wrote about them in my summer, 2014 print newsletter (sign up here — it’s free for one year and comes out five times a year).
I have been interviewed on the topic a number of times because of the Jewish element that applies to the subject.
In other words, I have covered the topic in an underwhelming way. But the response to my 2013 broadcast was overwhelming with folks wanting to better understand this phenomenon.
Three authors have written on the blood moons and I had two of them on air on our current radio program. The program is in a debate format. Pastor Mark Biltz debates Pastor Mark Hitchcock. They have very opposite opinions and you can listen here or here or here.
Jesus chastised the Pharisees for knowing the signs of the weather but not the signs of the times spiritually speaking. There are “signs in the heavens” that are a part of those “signs of the times.”
Mark Biltz suggests that all signs of the times are on overdrive: wars, famines, globalism, etc. He suggests that we’re heading pell-mell into the final days and the blood moons could be a harbinger of the lateness of the hour. He is not a date-setter and he does not suggest that “things are about to change forever” as John Hagee does.
Pastor Biltz does believe the reference in Genesis 1:14 indicates the signs in the heavens are there to “send signals” to us and that they are a herald of His coming. Since the reference suggests “seasons,” he feels this is a reference to the Jewish Feasts of Israel such as Passover and Sukkot or “God’s appointed times.” In other words, the signs in the heavens could be related to the Jewish Feasts.
Mark Biltz does go as far as to suggest that significant events could take place in 2014 and 2015 during the tetrad of blood moons such as a war or wars in the Middle East. He feels the moons could also be a warning: Don’t divide the land of Israel!
If you haven’t tracked the blood moon phenomenon, here is a very brief history. It is not often the tetrad of four moons falls on a Jewish Feast day such as they do in 2014 and 2015. There they fall on the first day of the Jewish Feast of Passover and Sukkot.
There were no blood moon tetrads on Jewish Feast days in the 1800s, 1700s, or 1600s. There will be no more in this century after October 2015.
There was a tetrad in 1493-1494 right after the Jews were thrown out of Spain. Some historians say Christopher Columbus had a boat load of Jews on his ships that sailed for a new land in 1492.
There was a tetrad in 1949-1950 right after Israel was declared a nation.
It happened again in 1967-1968 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem in the “Six Day War.”
Dr. Mark Hitchcock urges caution because this is another opportunity for Christians to have egg on their face with soft date-setting or astounding claims and conclusions. He asks how can these things be a “sign” when they are happening after the fact? In other words, the expulsion from Spain was 1492 but the tetrad of moons was 1493-1494
The blood moons couldn’t have been a sign of Israel’s impending independence when that tetrad was 1949 -1950.
Hitchcock rightfully cautions John Hagee about making astounding claims that “things are about to change forever” for we certainly don’t know that to be true.
Dr. Hitchcock is troubled that the moons are seen in limited parts of the world. How, then, could they be a sign for Israel since Israel hasn’t witnessed most of them? Obviously the entire world can witness them on television, the Internet, etc. in the 20th and 21st Century. But is this a stretch?
Dr. Hitchcock strongly believes that the “authentic blood moons” the Bible refers to are during the Tribulation and would likely be a sign of Christ’s Second Coming. He believes they will be supernatural similar to the star of Bethlehem. There is often a reference to fire and smoke and thus they are not a naturally occurring event such as a blood moon pre-Tribulation.
Dr. Hitchcock concludes these blood moons in the Bible have nothing to do with the church in this church age. Their significance is future. Frankly, he calls what’s happening today “hype and sensationalism.” He feels what is happening today, in 2014 and 2015, is a naturally occurring phenomenon and not an unusual “sign in the heavens.”
What is referenced in Joel 2, Matthew 24, Acts 2, Revelation 6, etc., will be totally supernatural. It will be cataclysmic. There will be little opportunity to casually observe the events during the Tribulation as the world will be under such judgment no one will care to observe them in back yards with binoculars and lawn chairs. The planet will be coming undone.
But are they a wake-up call? Are they a herald of His soon coming? People have written this ministry stating they have used the blood moon of Passover 2014 (April 15) as a witnessing tool. Is there anything wrong with this? They will do so again in October 2014 and in April and October 2015 again to generate a discussion on the Lord’s return. Everyone is so intrigued, including unbelievers, that the question is raised as to how can we not use them evangelistically?
Who will deny that the world is writhing? The birth pangs are deplorable. The Mideast is literally on fire. America seems to be in a death spiral. The church isn’t functioning too well either. Russia may be Magog on the move. Israel is surrounded. Evil is out of control. Need I say more? I’m addressing the remnant here. The final curtain could be tomorrow.
Most people, believers and unbelievers, are not paying attention today — to anything. They are checked out of serious things and checked into enjoying life. It takes something pretty earth-shattering to get their attention. The blood moons have. At least with some.
The unbelieving world is watching us cautiously because some believers have been date-setters and some have been reckless. Both Mark’s caution against that! Nothing of consequence happened in 1988, 2012 or on Y2K. Yet a few Christians implied that things could change forever on those occasions. So let’s be careful.
Again, listen and decide for yourself. You can listen here, here or here. Or you can just order a CD of the debate by calling us M – F: 763-559-4444 CDT.
Order either book at the links under the photo of the books. We encourage you to do your own research and let God speak to your heart.