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Wednesday
Sep162015

Faith or Fear After the Final Blood Moon?

Shirley and I went out on our deck two nights ago to see if we could glimpse what the media was calling an historic lunar eclipse and what the Bible calls a blood moon.

We couldn't see it for the trees.

Later on, an enlarged and beautiful moon (due to its close orbit to the earth) shed radiant light on our back yard throughout the night. And I thought: Will this incredible sign in the heavens be the beginning of some big changes on earth?

To be honest, I don't know.

But these things I do know.

I know that there is a Loving God who rules over the universe and providentially guides events on earth that all might change their hearts and lives (repentance) and come into right relationship with Him.

I know that his dealings with the nation of Israel are central to His Providence.

I know there has been much talk recently about four blood moons (tetrads), the Shemitah, the beginning of the year of Jubilee, and this possibly signaling a major financial correction (collapse).

In Mark Biltz's book Blood Moons, Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs he states that it is rare for all four blood moons (tetrads) to occur on Jewish Feast Days. But that happened in 2015. Two tetrads previously happened in the 15th century and two occurred in the 20th century. 

They seemed to signal important changes. One occurred 1493-1494 when the Jews were expelled from Spain and Columbus returned from his discovery of the New World.  

In 1949-1950 a tetrad happened again.  Jews returned to Palestine and formed the nation of Israel after a two thousand year exile. Then in 1967-1968 four blood moons appeared after which Israel captured the city of Jerusalem in the Six Day War and, for the first time, Jews prayed at the Wailing Wall.

Now to the 21st century. We  started a new tetrad of blood moons which again coincided with Jewish Feast Days.

What will happen following these most recent celestial signs?

Blitz points out in his book this is only the ninth time in two thousand years that a tetrad has all four blood moons occurring on Jewish feast days.  The number "nine" in Hebrew is often associated with judgment. The last blood moon of this tetrad took place two days ago, during the Jewish Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles.

So is some type of judgment imminent?

A sister organization to YWAM is Crisis Response International (CRI) led by Sean and Laura Malone. Sean was present at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. Using movie production equipment, he provided lighting for the search and rescue operations. Shortly after, he and his wife Laura trained with YWAM, and then moved to New Orleans just days before Hurricane Katrina struck.

In 2007 they officially launched Crisis Response International. In the following article (which I've edited for brevity), Sean rightly states how we should respond to the final blood moon of 2015.

Responding in Faith, Not Fear

By Sean Malone, director of Crisis Response International 

There has been a lot of talk and speculation about what is coming upon the world this fall, from New York Times bestsellers The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah (Shemitah years are God’s seven year cycles mentioned in Scripture and linked to economic activity) to contemporary prophets and blood moon preachers.

While we can’t draw hard and fast doctrines from any of these things, they are signs that make one wonder. I personally have heard quite a bit about what is supposed to happen in America this September but very little about what we are to do. Is it just me or does it feel like someone just sucked the air out of the room? It’s like a collective gasp around the body of Christ as many of us are frozen, stuck and unsure.

But I believe God is raising up people who understand the times and know what to do. “From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take” (2 Chronicles 12:32 NLT).

Faith Not Fear

No matter what happens this fall, none of it will take God by surprise. The answer to navigating the potentially troubled waters is rooted in faith and not fear. If your plan is to hunker down, hoard and just hold on, friends I am sorry you are missing the point.

It would help us all to dig into the book of Hebrews to see a bigger picture. In Hebrews chapter 11 we see the many things the heroes of faith endured. By faith Noah, by faith Abraham, by faith Moses, they ran their race well and endured hardship “by faith” and became heroes of the faith.

In chapter 12 we are reminded that God disciplines us as his sons and that we are to endure hardship as discipline from the Lord. Discipline is a sign of our sonship. He goes on to tell us that there is a time period that God will shake everything that can be shaken so that we can receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

God’s Shakings Are Redemptive in Nature

One thing we need to understand if we are talking about a God orchestrated shaking is that it is redemptive in nature and designed to perfect love for Him and for others. It’s ultimately the first and second commandment coming into first and second place. Anything not under the Lordship of Christ needs to be and will be shaken anyway if it is hindering love for Him and others.

Think about that for a second.

What distractions are in your life that keep you from loving Him and others wholeheartedly? Right now is your heart tender and free from the cares of this life? Is He truly your magnificent obsession? Are you living fully for Him and through Him? Secondly, right now do you love others as yourself and carry a burden for the lost among the nations? This should serve as a tuning fork for our hearts because it is what is on His heart.

How Will We Respond?

If this is true, our response to the potential shakings of this fall should look different. Our preparedness for an economic, political or even geological shaking should be more than a desperate attempt to hold onto our Western lifestyles.

Preparing for the days ahead is so much deeper than hoarding stuff. I have news for you, if that is your response than God may even shake that too. Do you really think He is looking for more independence?

It makes me wonder how many people are paralyzed in fear right now of what’s coming and have retreated from what God has called them to do. Our Western gospel of comfort that is devoid of the notion that we may suffer has fashioned a golden image of who God is. 

Shakings are the litmus test to show who we really serve. Ask yourself this question: How much of my lifestyle did I fabricate and how much of it is built on God’s unshakable Kingdom?

Restoring the Second Commandment

The other aspect we need to understand is that in the shakings, God is restoring the second commandment as well as the first commandment: love for others. What happens in the midst of a disaster or crisis? People come together and help each other. As we prepare for this fall, we need to be preparing to help others.

Today there is a prophecy about global crisis and the response is: determine to prepare for survival and self-preservation. In the 1st century there was a prophecy about a global crisis (Acts 11:27-30) and the response was: giving and aiding those impacted; each according to their ability determined to send relief to the brethren elsewhere.

We love to point fingers at the corporate depravity of our nation and say it deserves punishment while our hearts are just as bankrupt. Let’s take this time to examine our own lives and actions before we point the finger at anyone around us and make sure we are caring for the poor, needy and hurting, heeding the warnings of Scripture for the actions of Sodom.

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16: 49-50).

Folks, it is an upside down Kingdom. You give it away to keep it and this is a sign your heart is free. If God is dealing corporately with us in America then our preparedness should be more of the heart than a fear-based grasp to hold onto our Western lifestyles.

There is nothing wrong with preparing your home, neighborhood, church and business for crisis and disaster. However, we need to take inventory of our hearts motivation to make sure we are not hunkering and bunkering in fear but rather getting ready to help others and be the glorious church in that hour.

If something is out from under the Lordship of Christ right now in your life than you want that dealt with now and not later. Hebrews 11:7 says: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.”

Are you responding in faith or fear? Let’s choose faith. We are praying and believing for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on the hearts and minds of those in our nation. Let’s humble ourselves before the Lord and believe that together we’ll see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

*     *     *     *     *

As Sean wisely points out, another thing I know is I must prepare my family and community to be a great givers during this possible revolutionary season. That includes having personal finances in order, building my "personal ark" (food and necessities), and preparing my heart to multiply ministry during confusion and chaos.

Here's some encouragement for this month from the folks at Pray Washington:

  • "Pray, and let God worry." --William Law.
  • "God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope." --Catherine Marshall 
  • '"I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right." --Billy Graham 
  • “Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.” --Gilbert M. Beeken 

The biggest thing is to walk by faith, not fear.  

That's how we can triumph in God after the final tetrad of the 21st century.

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