Question: Like me, you folks at TBC probably do not agree with all of Mark Biltz’s theology; however, my wife and I enjoy very much Mark’s teaching on the Hebrew picture language, his teaching on the Lord’s Feasts, and many insightful concepts of his teaching as well as some of his guest speakers. We encourage you folks to watch and promote their [good] agenda, which seems to us to be very accurate.
Response: There is a good reason why the Scriptures tell us that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians:5:9). Although Mark Biltz may at times give some helpful information, his agenda is never far beneath the surface, and it cannot be called good.
For example, his teaching on the Feasts of the Lord involves more than biblical exegesis or “rightly dividing” the Word of truth (2 Timothy:2:15). In an interview on Prophecy in the News, Biltz states, “When we hear the word ‘feast,’ we think food. But the Hebrew word has nothing to do with food. It has to do with a divine appointment, as if God has a Day-timer, and He says, ‘OK, I’m gonna mark the day and the time when I’m going to signal My appearance’” (cited in World Net Daily [WND], www.wnd.com/2008/04/63076/).
Although careful to use words such as “possible” or “could be,” Biltz has linked the Feast Days to his theories concerning the “blood moons” of 2014 and 2015. WND, which strongly promotes Biltz’s materials, said, “The pastor is now sounding the alarm about what the celestial events could mean for our immediate future here on Earth.” Biltz told WND, “Four total lunar eclipses happening the next two years herald possible war in the Middle East as well as global economic collapse” (www.wnd.com/2014/02/blood-moons-mania-to-shake-planet-earth/).
Defenders of Biltz have pointed out that he often says, “I do not set dates, but I will teach you God’s appointed times or Festivals.” So, what does that mean, according to Biltz? Regardless of his disclaimer, the urgency of his teaching is clear: “This has happened only eight times over the last 2,000 years! And the last two times [that] these occurred on the Jewish holidays, there was a war in the Middle East regarding the nation of Israel….The Jewish Talmud records that total lunar eclipses are indicators or omens for the nation of Israel,” said Biltz (Ibid.).
We see that Biltz’s agenda involves more than just teaching the Hebrew roots of our biblical faith. In fact, his citation of the Talmud raises additional concerns. Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) teachers like Biltz often tell you, with some truth, that Christianity (generically speaking) has been influenced by paganism and the traditions of men. Invariably, however, they teach that their way is the true way to worship YHVH, and Christians are uninformed, not knowing Torah from a Hebrew perspective. For Biltz, this includes the Talmud, which is the writing containing Jewish civil and ceremonial law, commentary on the Torah, and Jewish legends.
Their perspective, however, too often leads to a modern Judaism that is not derived from the Five Books of Moses. Rather, as Reformed Judaism writers tell us, “The Talmud (Hebrew for ‘study’) is one of the central works of the Jewish people. It is the record of rabbinic teachings that spans a period of about six hundred years, beginning in the first century C.E. and continuing through the sixth and seventh centuries C.E. The rabbinic teachings of the Talmud explain in great detail how the commandments of the Torah are to be carried out” (Ronald H. Isaacs, A Taste of Text [URJ Press, 2003] and Mark Washofsky, Jewish Living [URJ Press, 2010]). As Jesus, in the “first century C.E.,” told the religious leaders, “[You make] the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye” (Mark:7:13).
It is also certainly true, as our ministry has sought to demonstrate, that too many in the evangelical church in the West today have succumbed to the deceptions of the Emergent Church, mysticism, Purpose Driven Life, etc., and have set aside sound doctrine. As 2 Timothy:4:3-4 tells us, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
This is but one of Scripture’s warnings about turning from sound doctrine to fables, i.e., fictions or myths. Others include Paul’s warning in 1 Timothy:1:4: “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions [cause disputes], rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (See also Titus:1:14).
Until recently, Mark Biltz stated on his website “We do not want to convert Jews to Christianity or Christians to Judaism. The Scriptures say: The LORD will magnify the Torah and make it honorable, and those that love Torah will have great peace (Is 42:21/Ps:119:165). Yeshua loved Torah and loving what He loved will bring true Peace!” When Biltz teaches the Torah, that teaching comes with implicit demands. Biltz states, “Shabbat is a critically important Torah picture telling us the Good News is [that] we don’t work to earn our salvation; it’s a free gift. The Sabbath is the gospel message. When we don’t keep the Sabbath, we are denying the good news!” (Yeshua our Cornerstone Series, “Feast of Shabbat,” Notes, p. 1). On the contrary, if we are obligated to “keep the Sabbath” we’ve rejected the good news.
Whatever sound insights teachers such as Biltz may have, their promotion of unbiblical teaching remains a problem. The potential danger is that one not grounded in the Word might be drawn away from the faith. Jude exhorts, “Beloved…it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (v.3).
In conclusion, any insights gained come with unbiblical baggage. Biltz states in his book, Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs, that a person will not be able to understand the Bible without studying the Hebrew language. He goes beyond that premise and claims insights that are kept from the average Christian because every Hebrew letter represents a word, a number, and a picture. Consequently, he is essentially teaching a Bible code that the average believer must be able to read in order to understand the Scriptures. Without interpreting the picture meaning of every Hebrew letter, we cannot comprehend what the Bible is teaching. He labels this as the decoder ring for being able to see what God is hiding. The subtitle of the Blood Moons book is Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs. This subtitle gives us a clue as to where Biltz gained his insights. Mark Biltz is into Jewish mysticism, or, more precisely, the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah movement argues that the full message of the Bible is never on the surface, but must be discovered through divining its secrets (Biltz, Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs [WND Books, 2014], 16).
May the Lord give us wisdom concerning these teachers.