Friday, September 11, 2015

Signs of the times?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about fascinating events going on that correspond with the Bible.  According to the Jewish calendar, every seven years old debts were to be canceled and the land given a “Sabbath” rest, meaning that it would lie fallow for that year.  That year of the Sabbath rest is called the Shmita.  

When God’s people were in obedience to Him, that year of rest and restoration was a wonderful blessing of abundance.  When they were not, it was a time of suffering for their disobedience.  God’s people were taken into captivity to Babylon during a Shmita specifically because they had turned their backs on God over and over again.  Many other major events have happened from the time of the Bible right up until now, strangely enough, during years of Shmita.  

Interestingly, the ancient Jewish calendar places us today, right at the end of another year of Shmita from September 25, 2014 to September 13, 2015 – that’s just two days away.  And more than that, a tetrad of Blood Moons have coincidentally fallen exactly upon Jewish holy days within our recent Shmita, one appearing on last October’s Feast of the Tabernacles, another on this years Passover, and the next will appear at the end of this month of September for the next Feast of the Tabernacles. There is a wealth of information available about major historic events that have happened: two World Wars, the reestablishment of the nation of Israel, various stock market crashes, and even the terrorist attacks of 9/11 all coincide with years of Shmita.  There seem to be far too many occurrences to be just coincidence.  What does that mean?  Is something cataclysmic about to happen?  Should we all run for cover?

Be careful of alarmist religious predictions of times and dates of future events, people claiming to know exactly when the return of Jesus will be, exactly how world events will unfold and creating a sense of panic even among Christians.  As Jesus said, “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36) But Jesus did say that we are to look for signs, and to be prepared.  We are not to be uninformed or so calloused by the skepticism of the world around us that we ignore what God is trying to show us.  

God is calling us all to repentance, to become serious about our commitment to Him because the days are getting shorter.  Exactly how short, only God knows, but are we ready if tribulation does come tomorrow?   Those who have eyes to see realize that the things so dear to us in this life are fleeting and really not that important. It’s a fact that our souls will be living for hundreds of thousands of years in a new body, and our priorities now will determine everything about our future for eternity.  

Now is the time to start valuing God above everything else, to forget about impressing others or accumulating possessions.  No matter what the future holds for us on this earth, we can be sustained by a river of goodness, blessings, and joy flowing out from our own hearts.  That river comes in the form of the Holy Spirit who wants to fill you and overflow you with His presence.  One sure thing about the end days, is that false, lukewarm Christians need to be afraid, just as unbelievers should.  For those under the protection of God’s Spirit, trials and persecutions will bring them even closer to God.  But for those without His protection, this coming destruction being orchestrated by the devil will be hard to escape.  As long as time allows, let’s secure our own salvation and be filled with His rivers of living water.  And from then on out, our greatest task is to bring others into the Kingdom of God.  

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:37-38 MEV)

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