|This ministry has a distinct kingdom, Messianic vision, identifying with God’s call and plan for the Jewish people and the church. My position is pre-trib! Personally: I was saved in 1976 while working as a war correspondent, journalist, photographer, artist and environmentalist. My calling is to share these great end-time dramas, to stand as a watchman and above all, to glorify my God.|
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Shabbat (Sabbath) begins on Fridays at 6pm and ends on Saturdays at 6pm. The purpose is to help the church and Israel become reconciled in Messiah and to identify the rift, and the needed restoration. There is much in the church that needs to change before it can be fully reconciled with the Jew. Likewise, changes in Jewish thinking are also needed.
Edition 377: August 8th 2017.
Times of the signs:
Signs, signs, everywhere! Or are they signs at all? In this edition I’ll be taking a look at this very important issue. I’ll be looking at the signs of our Lord’s coming, ones that we can trust and must know well, and at other signs of secondary importance. And at signs to be avoided, thrown out and rejected completely.
We will look at some biblical rules for interpreting signs!
We are heading very shortly for some dramatic times, with many signs. The signs, as you can imagine, are like a minefield, but there is a clear path through them that won’t get you blown up!
What are prophetic signs?
The Bible gives numerous signs showing where we are in time and what is coming.
There are signs in the skies. These would include astronomical signs in the constellations as well as supernatural signs.
There are hundreds of earth-signs. These are signs of things happening on the earth in the geo, socio, political realms and with people - believers, unbelievers and Jews.
There are also numerous, incredible signs in the original language of the Bible itself. These include numbers in scripture, signs in colours, names-meanings, and the like.
Then we have signs hidden below the surface in parable form.
There are certain signs that we are forbidden from knowing at this stage. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
There are signs specifically for Israel and others for the church. The sun-signs are often used for the gentile nations, while the moon-signs are for the Jews. (Not exclusively)
The time that we are in is full of signs all over the place, but as with all things scriptural, there are certain rules and disciplines we must stick to, to be successful.
For whom are the signs?
Matthew 16:1-4 “Then the Pharisees and Sadducees, came and tested Him, asking that He would show them a sign from heaven...He said, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’” (The cross)
Luke 16:31 “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”
The above two verses indicate that many unbelievers will not believe because of signs. There are some instances where unbelievers will be moved by signs – but they are few.
John 4:48-50 “Yeshua said, ‘unless you people (Jews) see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe. The nobleman said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies!’ Yeshua said to him, ‘Go your way, your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Yeshua spoke to him.”
Note in the verses above that one rising from the dead would not cause belief, while the other did.
Matthew 7:6 “...Do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, turn and tear you to pieces.”
Many times unbelievers will “trample the signs” underfoot. In these cases don’t even waste your time with them. They are sent to waste your time!
Some say we should seek the Lord and not the signs. Well that’s a totally ignorant argument and a contradiction of dozens of verses.
There is nothing wrong with seeking signs. Seeking signs obviously involves seeking our Messiah.
Again, I say don’t waste your time on people who will never repent. Have a look at the example from Noah in the story below:
Matthew 24:37-39 “As in the days of Noah, so also will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. As in the days before the flood, they were eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
In this instance, God gave the unsaved world a seven day warning of coming judgement. Noah and his family were protected because they believed God and heard Him. (Genesis 7:10)
The warning was given seven days before the flood began, but today as in the days of Noah people reject God and His warning signs.
Here’s an interesting thought to ponder:
Did Noah and his family know the time of the flood? Yes they did. So, who was it then that did not know the day, because they were carrying on in their sin as normal? – it was the unbelieving world! The same principle applies in the story of Lot.
We are now in the “Days of Noah and Lot” again. Do we know the time of the coming judgement and therefore the rapture? I believe certain believers with their ears open to God will hear and know, especially as the time draws nearer.
By the way, the beautiful rainbow is a double edged sword! One message is that judgement will never come to the earth again through a flood. The other message is that judgement upon sin is real. And the next time it comes is by fire.
Some dangerous pitfalls:
Today we are in a fast-moving world of digital everything. Information spreads like lightning. This has made Bible study so much easier and streamlined, although I can say that my own most valuable growth-time was in the 80’s and pre-internet days.
But that said, the heart of man has not changed. By and large he is still a lazy slob when it comes to Bible study.
Mankind is an animal dominated by: Group-speak, crowd-psychology and confirmation-bias. These are terms for the collective thought and action of a crowd. A crowd often takes on a life-force of its own, which soon becomes a domain controlled by Satan – and yes, even in the church!
There is a dangerous, erroneous confirmation-bias found in the media. People give authority to YouTube, or TV, or the radio, or the newspaper. They think that it automatically contains the truth. After all, it must be right, it’s been published!
Psalm 64:2-5 “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked, from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity, who sharpen their tongue like a sword and bend their bows to shoot their arrows – bitter words, that they may shoot in secret at the blameless ...They encourage themselves in an evil matter.”
Do you see the power of “group speak” in this verse above?
Biblical truth and its inner guide, the Holy Spirit, must be your “confirmation bias.” On top of this, don’t make assumptions that ministers of the gospel are always right. It is the Holy Spirit of God in your heart by the new-birth – not your church doctrine!
Don’t read into a Bible-text what you want it to say. Wipe the slate clean of your preconceptions, and let the truth speak.
Erroneous doctrine knocks on to other doctrines and you end up with a big hermeneutical mess. There is a very good reason why important, major doctrines are well-established.
Beware of prophetic hype. You can’t hype it up – as if to make it happen the way you want! Building-up, plugging, promoting, and beating the hard-sell drum are the ways of the world and are in fact signs of nothing but manipulation.
You can often tell if a person is really in the truth. Truth stands the test of time. It stands scrutiny and criticism. It has an air of grace to it, of rest and comfort. Those not in the truth must always fight, castigate, berate, censure, criticize, flog, and come down on others who are really in the truth!
They cut down the real truth so they can gain control.
To equate truth-seeking with your own exclusive view, necessitates the ignoring of the Holy Spirit as your guide, and elevates you, making you the one to be avoided.
You see, many people simply can’t believe that they may be wrong. I heard one well-known individual recently speak for an hour on a radio show predicting that Nibiru would hit the earth the very next day after this radio show. That was two weeks ago! He actually believed everything he was saying! He was unaware that he was part of the giant Nibiru curse.
By the way, please don’t miss next week’s edition!
Beware of pride. Beware of elevating people. Even our Lord Himself ran away from people trying to elevate Him before His time! (John 6:15)
Acts 8:9-10 “There was a certain man called Simon, who previously practised sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to who they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying ‘this man is the great power of God.’”
The August 21st 2017 eclipse, “Sign”
We have a well-known eclipse coming up over the USA on August 21st.
Generally, eclipses are not signs, because they are so common. But this one may have some significance, simply because it falls on the Hebrew day, Elul 1st. Let’s have a brief look at some facts.
The word Elul means “Harvest”
Elul in Jewish history:
●Elul 1st marks the beginning of the blowing of the shofar, every morning until the Feast of Trumpets, which is one month away on Tishrei 1st (September 21st.)
●Elul 1st marks the time when Jews visit the graves of loved ones and mourn for them.
●Elul 1st Was the time the prophet Haggai commanded the rebuilding of the Temple. (520 BCE)
●Elul 23rd was the date the dove brought the olive leaf to Noah. (2105 BCE)
●Elul is the time for the Jews to open their hearts to God. “We look backwards that we might move forward”, say the sages. (Psalm 27)
●Elul is the month of new beginnings, mercy and forgiveness according to Jewish tradition.
I was reading the notes of a well-know Rabbi the other day and this jumped off the page at me: “Elul is the time of redemption. Everything looks bleak, but it can be reversed in a second, just like God splitting the Red Sea. We prepare in the month of Elul, but the redemption happens in a flash!”
The eclipse may also signal war! The Gog, Magog war, Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 are on the horizon already, so it may be that the US, who is primarily in the sights of the eclipse, may be ready for some exciting times!
This eclipse may come and go with no consequences. On the other hand there are too many signs for it to be ignored. Don’t go overboard with these things, just open your heart to the voice of the Lord and let Him speak.
You see that strange picture at the top? That’s a flying nuclear megillah! What! You say, and rightly so! A megillah is a silver canister used to contain a rolled up Torah scroll. But if you read Zechariah 5 you will see it is speaking of what looks very much like a nuclear missile flying through the air!
►For more on this see Edition 147 and the heading “The most shocking verse...” Click HERE.
The conditions for sign seeking:
No watchman or prophecy teacher must ever be influenced by the approval of man, or the rejection of man. The approval or rejection of man is a snare – always.
Looking for and finding signs of the times, is exciting business indeed, to say nothing of all the drama in and around the subject. But there are certain rules of exegesis, interpretation and application that we dare not ignore.
●First and foremost, and which disqualifies most people, is that we must be fully open to the Spirit of God, to be fed and led by Him in our study. We do not blindly accept and follow YouTube! The Bible does not say (thankfully) “They searched YouTube daily to see if these things be so.”
●The biggest issue is that there must be an inner witness, a still small voice of the Lord’s leading in your heart. If so He will bear witness in you that this is right or wrong. God speaks to those who have spiritual ears.
●Secondly, all the signs must agree harmoniously. In other words, they must not contradict each other, or other doctrines, or require a new interpretation of established doctrine. There is no room for “private interpretations.”
2 Peter 1:20 “Know this, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation.”
Sign-seeking is exciting, but unfortunately, sometimes we need to wade through the distracting voices of many who have not done their homework. They blindly follow the crowd as if this is some big game.
●The signs must all be in place. Sky-signs are useless, and not signs at all if the required earth-signs are not there too, at the same time. Please read that again!
●Note the followers! Certain signs seem to attract certain types of people. It is actually so consistent it’s amazing. Many signs are pure deception sent by Satan to sidetrack and catch out the vulnerable and gullible. Nibiru is a classic example.
Sign-seeking attracts boneheads, muttonheads, blockheads, birdbrains, lamebrains, numskulls, morons, kooks, crackpots, oddballs, screwballs and fruitcakes. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t write-off YouTube. Be discerning and our Lord will guide you through the minefield into wonderful truth!
Beware the blind guides:
Unfortunately there are some who have taken it upon themselves to decide for everyone, what being a Berean (searching the scriptures daily) means. They say that you must agree with us. They say, search and find our way and only our way and warn all others!
Acts 17:11 “These (Bereans) were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
These people who believe that, being a Berean means seeing things their way only, are the ones who secretly bring in division. Of course there must be unity in doctrine. But many times error is introduced in the name of true-doctrine.
1 John 4:1 “Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Romans 16:17 “Note those that cause divisions contrary to the doctrine which you have leaned, and avoid them.”
2 Timothy 4:3-5 “...They will heap up teachers for themselves and they will turn their ears away from the truth...But you, be watchful in all things...”
Acts 20:30-3 “Men will arise from among you, speaking misleading things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”
The problem with many so-called signs from the Lord, is that they are not signs from our Lord at all! And when this becomes manifest in sign-failure, it causes the faith of many to be rocked. You can’t tell them that they shouldn’t have put all their hope and trust in one egg-basket, although that may be true.
There is a whole world of believers out there at varying stages of spiritual growth, maturity and strength. What about all the prodigal’s that were just ready to return? What about the field-day that failed signs presents to the media and other critics of the church?
We all make mistakes and go wrong here and there on our way to glory, but it’s the real big ones that are the problem.
Many believers are also turned off prophecy altogether when there is a big sign-failure. You see, there is no such thing as a failed prophecy. There are only failed interpretations or applications. When one or more of these fail, it does not change the truth one little bit, but rocks the faith of the weak or new.
Signs, signs everywhere, but few see the great big sign with its heavy warning attached for those who will not see it! That’s coming in the next edition!
Prophecy teachers and watchmen:
Most have a real passionate heart after the Lord. Some are still on the road of discovery. Some go off into a ditch on this side of the road and some on that side, but they soon come back to the middle of the road.
Do not write off what one says that you don’t agree with on one issue or another. We are in a very advantageous place these days. Thankfully, our Lord has given us many great teachers and revealed many amazing things – be thankful for that.
The Bible does warn us though, that some are to be avoided. (Note some of the verses above in this edition.) These are the ones with little knowledge of the scriptures and those who discourage others from believing anything that isn’t their own belief.
Don’t miss next week’s edition!
My aim is your glory. My aim is to know my Lord more deeply and make Him known. My aim involves all that these things entail – it’s for your benefit. We are going into critical times and we must get rid of obstacles to our journey. These are days of life and death issues. These are days of decisions in the valley. These are days of great conflict, but also days of deep peace and rest.
You are of great value! Your potential in our Lord is great. You are light in the darkness!
What a wonderful time to be alive in our Lord’s kingdom!
I took this picture of the world’s greatest baobab tree, called the Sagole giant, with a circumference of over 40m in the Limpopo region. I manipulated it a little with texture effects and added one of my cheetah pictures for fun.
Shalom and grow in His Grace!