I first learned about what I call “the blood moons phenomenon” back in 2008, when WND published the first news story about Washington state pastor Mark Biltz’s amazing astronomical-biblical discovery of a pattern of lunar eclipses occurring on biblical feast days, like Passover and Tabernacles, around significant dates in the history of the nation of Israel.
Almost immediately, I began a friendship with Biltz, whom I found to be a gifted teacher of the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith.
I had long been interested in the misnamed “feast days,” often referred to as “Jewish holidays.” As Biltz pointed out, a more literal translation of the original Hebrew term would be “appointed times.”
Why would dramatically significant events in the history of the nation of Israel coincide with highly unusual patterns of lunar eclipses, or “blood moons” take place on biblical holy days? And why would this pattern repeat itself in 2014 and 2015? Were these, as Biltz suggested, signs from the Creator of the universe?
WND later produced a video collection of his “Feasts of the Lord” teaching series.
Then in 2013, I learned that San Antonio mega-pastor John Hagee was coming out with a book called “Four Blood Moons.” I discussed it with Biltz and learned that the previous year he had entertained Hagee as a speaker at his church, El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Washington. Hagee had founded an organization called Christians United for Israel, or CUFI, and Biltz was the Washington state chairman. At that event, Biltz briefed Hagee on the “blood moons phenomenon” and gave him a DVD teaching about it.
When the book came out in 2014, I was eager to read it – as was Biltz. Hagee had consulted with Biltz on the subject after the 2012 event at his church. We were both disappointed that Biltz was nowhere credited with the discovery of the phenomenon, though Hagee did recount his meeting with Biltz and explained, in a roundabout way, that the pastor had inspired the book by asking a question: “Have you ever considered the sun, moon and stars in the study of prophecy?” Hagee never mentioned that Biltz had thoroughly researched the blood moons phenomenon, presented on it over a period of four years on Christian television, spoken at conferences and produced DVD teachings. It had become Biltz’s most well-known accomplishment – his identity, if you will, around the world.
I suggested to Biltz that he write a book on the subject himself. After all, he was the expert. He was the discoverer. We also decided to make a documentary movie about the phenomenon. Both the book and the movie are called “Blood Moons.” Both came out in early 2014.
That would have been the end of the story had Hagee not decided to produce a movie of his own that debuted nationwide in theaters Monday in which he made the following statement: “The thing that compelled me to write the ‘Four Blood Moons’ was when I discovered the scientific fact NASA was pointing out that it happened in 1492 and it happened in 1948 and it happened in 1967 and it was going to happen in 2015.”
See the video:
Biltz was interviewed for the movie and told the story of his own discovery of the blood moons phenomenon, but it was not included in the film. Instead, to any casual viewer of the movie, it seemed to me and Biltz, Hagee was representing himself as the discoverer.
One of my reporters was already assigned to do a story on the “Four Blood Moons” movie and had set up an interview with Hagee to discuss it. I asked him to change the direction of the questioning to focus on how Hagee got to write about and produce a major movie about the phenomenon. I also specifically asked him to explain Biltz’s role in his interest.
Hagee told the story of meeting Mark Biltz at the CFI event in his church in 2012 in a way that was shockingly similar to his explanation in the book – avoiding any mention of Biltz’s voluminous research on the subject and the fact that he had discovered it and thoroughly chronicled it over a four-year period prior to their meeting. In fact, Mark Biltz had become known alternately as “the blood moons pastor” and “Blood Moons Biltz.”
Pressed for more details on whether he or Biltz discovered the phenomenon, Hagee said he got the idea by studying the Bible and researching NASA’s historical charts of blood moon tetrads. There was no further mention of Biltz, and Hagee again used the “discovery” word: “It dawned on me that God is using the heavens as a billboard. And when I got on the Internet and discovered these four blood moons that had happened and would happen, I literally levitated out of my seat.”
Biltz and I decided it was time to clear the air with Hagee. It seemed to both of us that he was moving closer and closer to hijacking Biltz’s discovery with his immense audience and impressive marketing machine.
We asked for two reasonable actions in a legal demand letter:
- a re-editing of the “Four Blood Moons” movie to remove the offending quotation from Hagee in which he suggested he had discovered the phenomenon;
- a clear unequivocal public statement that Biltz had, indeed, discovered the blood moons anomaly;
But, so far, Hagee’s representatives have declined even to discuss those demands. Instead, they have acted like the offended party, claiming WND and Biltz have mischaracterized the facts.
I think we have presented Hagee and his team with a simple, inexpensive and honorable way to do the right thing for Mark Biltz, his book, his movie and his reputation.
We both pray he will, sooner rather than later, accept our plea for relief.
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