April 14, 2014

I’m About to Get all “Apocalyptic” on You

Blood Moons

A "blood moon" is when there is a total lunar eclipse.

A tetrad is when there is a series of four blood moons.

Only three tetrads have happened in the past 500 years.

Scripture makes references to blood moons when talking about End Times.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (Revelation 6:12-14, emphasis added)

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,  your young men will see visions,  your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:17-21, which is quoted from Joel 2:28-32, emphasis added)

Biblical (Jewish) Feasts

The past three tetrads occurred during Jewish feasts. Each time there has been a blood moon during a Jewish feast, a significant event occurred related to the nation of Israel:

During the 1493-1494 tetrad, blood moons occurred on Passover and the Feast of Trumpets, and Jews were expelled from Spain.

During the 1949-1950 tetrad, blood moons occurred on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, and the first government took office in Israel after becoming a nation in 1948.

During the 1967-1968 tetrad, blood moons occurred on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, and Israel won the Arab-Israeli war to recapture Jerusalem in only six days.

The Passover feast is the first of biblical feasts. It is the remembrance of leaving a life of slavery. It symbolizes freedom from slavery to Egypt, and now also symbolizes freedom from our slavery to sin. Just as God led the Israelites to the Promised Land, He is leading us to new life. Jesus was crucified during Passover and fulfilled the meaning of transforming from slavery to freedom.

The Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, is about how our time on earth is temporary, but soon we will live forever with Jesus. It touches on the fact that the Holy Spirit now tabernacles among us, as our bodies are His temple, but soon we will be in that perfect place of tabernacle with God forever.

7 Year Cycles

On September 17, 2001 (the 29th day of Elul on the Hebrew calendar, the last day of the civil year), the stock market dropped 7%. 

On September 29, 2008, (the 29th day of Elul, seven years later), the market fell 777 points.

Some believe that these events are the fulfillment of prophesies in Deuteronomy 15 and Leviticus 25 where God talks about a seven year cycles and the wiping away of debts and the giving of rest to the land.

Why is all of this significant?

The next tetrad is predicted to happen in 2014 and 2015, with the first blood moon occurring tomorrow, on April 15. All four blood moons in this tetrad are scheduled to happen during Jewish Feasts: Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.

The next tetrad to occur on Jewish feast days will not be for another 500 years.

And not only will blood moons be happening this year and next, but it will also be the close of another seven year cycle which began in 2008. The next “29th of Elul” will be on September 13, 2015.

What does this NOT mean?

This does not mean you will see me this summer standing next to the highway with a cardboard sign that screams “The End is Near!”

This does not mean you should mark September 13, 2015, on your calendar with “APOCALYPSE!!!” in bright red ink, and then cross out all the days after. (I think we can leave that to Harold Camping.)

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24)

This does not mean you should fear. (Although, I will honestly say thinking about the End Times and all of its prophesied persecutions, economic collapses, and natural disasters sometimes makes me a little frightened.)

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16)

This does not mean you shouldn't look up these scientific occurrences, historical events, and Scripture passages on your own. There is a lot more information about this waiting to be researched and reflected on, and a broad spectrum of acceptance and criticism to it. Some say these are signs of the Apocalypse, others say it is signs of significant events to come that are more End Time "birth pains." Some (critics) say these are not rare occurrences at all because Jewish feast days are scheduled around a solar and lunar calendar, and some of these next blood moons won't even be visible from Israel.

So what does all this ACTUALLY mean?

All this means that history shows a pattern between blood moons, Jewish feast days, and major events occurring at the same time. So does that mean something big is coming during this tetrad? Well, of course we don't know now. But we can pay close attention and see.

In Matthew 24, right after Christ told his disciples that we wouldn't know the day or the hour of His second coming, He said this:

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

All this means that it’s time to prepare for what may come. It’s time to soak up the Word and its truth. It’s time we realize that even though Christ might not come during our lifetime, our lifetime is short.

No doubt we have seen "birth pains" happening in our time. Wars, earthquakes, famine, disease, etc. The book of Daniel also talks about how in the end times “knowledge will be increased.” And look how far civilization has come in just the past 100 years.

God’s Word is Living. It still speaks to our hearts today, and it still prophesies of what is to come. Some of the most scholarly people of Jesus’ day (the Pharisees) knew all of the prophesies about Christ’s first coming, most likely had them memorized, but still couldn't recognize the fulfillment of all of those prophesies when they were looking at Him face-to-face.  And now we have Scripture full of prophesies still waiting to come to fruition, and honestly could be fulfilled in our lifetime. Would we recognize them? 

I often see people write "Lord, come quickly!" as more news stories come out about abortion in America, euthanasia in Europe, etc., etc. And maybe He will! Or maybe He won't. We can only keep watch and be ready.

And when my friend first told me about all of this stuff happening…

I asked her,

What does this motivate you to do? Who does it encourage you to be? What changes have you made in your life, or what have you been doing differently because of this?

And she said:

I agree that when I dwell on the “what could-be's” for our future or the future of my kids, I can get anxious about it. Goodness knows Christians and Jews alike have seen some terrible days in history. But our care free days in America have been taken for granted. We have not seen persecution and that has been wonderful in ways, but a part of me is ready.

I am ready for people to stop having a "form of godliness."
I am ready for the millions of Christians to be slapped out of their apathy.
I am ready for days when people will worship and love God with all of their heart.

You’re right, it’s scary in ways. Especially when children are involved. But it's okay, we really don't need to be afraid. Let all of these signs and scriptures fulfilled be solid confirmation that our God is living and true, and that He has appointed these times before the foundation of the world. It will be AWESOME to see His power made known to every nation. Even if the wicked do not acknowledge it is His power, His Holy Spirit will be igniting a passion and fire into His Believers like there hasn't been in a long time. These days are hot, and His bride will be hot. The lukewarm will not make it.

So how has that changed my life? My heart and mind have been most affected.

Of course there are still bottles to give and trucks to play, and dinners to cook and dishes to do. So yes, that all carries on as normal.

But I think less about my future in ways of where we will live or what school {my kids will go to}. I think more about the future in that we could be coming up on days where those who claim the Bible as the only truth may be very disliked, if not in our day then possibly our kids’.

I need to pour everything I got into raising them to follow the Lord. I need to be diligent to drive rebellion from their hearts, because rebellion towards me as a toddler could grow to become rebellion towards God as a teenager. God has entrusted these kids to me and expects me to raise them with more passion than anything else in my life right now because it is only a small window that children are so moldable.

Of course the decision comes down to their own hearts, but I believe I'll need to prepare them for the not "lukewarm Believer" days. In a day where the culture is so loud and enticing, I need to start them from these toddler years to love God and never turn from His truth, even when others may call them hateful or intolerant for doing so.

Because nothing else matters. Our lives are just a small dot on a line that stretches out into eternity. Life is not about this life we see. That's so hard for people, myself included to remember. This small dot will come and go, even if it is full of trial and persecution or whatever else. It is a passing thing and then we will live forever with Jesus. This world has nothing to offer me.

I've started having {my son} bow with me in prayer every day, and I pray out loud with him. We also all spend some time everyday with worship music and praise.

I'm done assuming America will be left unscathed. It will only be a matter of time before God in His holiness comes to judge this land for the bloodshed, sexual immorality, greed, and selfish living it has been spewing for decades now. In fact I believe we are in that "matter of time." 

People tend to think "the End Times" in terms of months, years, even decades. But God is gracious and allows ample time to repent-- a birth pain here, another pain there- calling His people to recognize His voice and return. Personally, I believe many things have yet to happen before Jesus' return, but a part of those "many things" may mean life as we know it, America as we knew her, "Land of the free. Home of the brave. In God we trust." May undergo some drastic changes. 

We must be alert and put on the full armor of God, and above all else, remain deeply rooted in Jesus our Messiah and continue being built up in Him. (Colossians 2)

All that, and we just continue to wait and watch.

Grace and Peace,
Kendra (And my wise, loving friend)