“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore YOU also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:40
This was my devotion scripture this morning and I thought maybe we could share it. It is part of a parable that Jesus told about the wise and the wicked servant. Jesus spoke many parables. He spoke parables to the masses, but then explained them, later, in private to His disciples.
As one of the masses hearing this parable, I was thinking how wearisome it is to KEEP WATCH sometimes! When I worked as an aide at an elementary school it was my job to keep watch of the kids on the playground. It was never more than five minutes outside before I was surrounded by tattle-tales who diverted my attention away from keeping watch. As an older sister I was asked often to keep watch of my sisters, none of whom wanted to be watched by their older sister and off they dashed in three different directions. Ever “watch” a movie that failed to keep your interest? You woke up during the credits when the music got loud, having missed the whole last half!
When it comes to Jesus’ return, well, honestly, generations have come and gone, centuries have dawned and expired, a millennium or two have passed into history. It’s become boring to watch. People have been preaching Jesus’ return forever it seems, and nothing has happened for two millennia now. How many generations have thought the world couldn’t get any more evil, only to see it keep on going like the Energizer bunny? Are we deluded? Is it all just made up?
Jesus knew it would be hard — that some people would get discouraged, begin to give up, believe it was all just fiction, and find something else to believe in. And Jesus knew that Satan would also tease some people, making them believe that our Lord was here or there, getting our hopes up, and chasing on an endless scavenger hunt that never produces treasures until we are thoroughly discouraged.
I’m intrigued that Jesus seems to ignore Peter’s question (in Luke 12:41), and yet Luke still included it. Peter asked, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?” Luke 12:41
It made me think of a conversation I had with a friend recently about the Bible. She remarked how the Bible is so hard to understand, boring, dusty old words that are hard to get into. I told her how it used to be that way for me too, until the day I received Jesus as my Savior, and how something happened to me on that day. It’s like the Holy Spirit, when He came into my being, opened a door in my brain (and my heart). Something like scales fell from my eyes and for the first time those dusty words had life in them. Like the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14, those words transformed themselves into a living thing and the very pulse that beats in my veins and my chest from that day. The Holy Spirit ignited a desire in me to know what every one of them (the Bible) had to say. I wanted to know it for myself, so that no one could ever deceive me. I’ve seen so many follow after false prophets, become involved in cults, drink poison Koolaid, and allowed despicable people to do despicable things to them. I did not want anyone to ever have that kind of power over me. When Jesus deposited the Holy Spirit into me, He armed me with the ability to understand God’s words for myself (1 John 2:27), determined to have His WORD in my heart and as a sword in my HAND, to help me to rightly divide between truth and fiction in a world swirling with millions of philosophies.
And so, it appears, that the Bible itself is a “parable” of sorts, filled with curious stories and interesting characters, but also great (and often times hidden) wisdom.
Is the Bible only for a few, or for all people?
If I dared to answer Peter’s question myself, I would say that it is definitely for all people, but the Holy Spirit is the key that unlocks our understanding, and there is only one Holy Spirit, and only one way to get the Holy Spirit. Jesus must give Him to us. Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No one comes to the Father, or will ever understand the word, but by Jesus. The Holy Spirit cannot be bought, or faked, or conjured up by “seerers,” though many have tried. Many self-proclaimed scholars have read it, and quoted it, even preached it from pulpits, and manipulated people with it, yet never themselves truly understood it. Is there a way to tell if someone has the true Holy Spirit living inside of them? Yes, but Satan is a master at masquerading as an angel of light. A true believer will have the love of Jesus evident in their mannerisms, and a courageous yet humble fire that is unmistakable, but the Holy Spirit will do the true revealing. That is why we need the Holy Spirit, to keep us safe from deception, and we must be suited up in Spiritual armor and in prayer constantly..
Mark 13:37 says “And what I say to you, I SAY TO ALL‘ Watch!” — so I guess that answers our question. 🙂
Raptured…or left behind?
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3 NKJV
This was Jesus private reply:
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[b] and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
(Wow, is this relevant for today or what?)
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nation’s, and then the end will come.
(I always wondered who would be here to preach during the great Tribulation if all the Christians are raptured … perhaps the answer is in Revelation 11???)
(*All the underlines and bold type were added by me for emphasis)
Tribulation vs. The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’[c] spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight…
(could this be a Rapture?)
may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation,
(after the Rapture?)
such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
(I wonder if the “elect” are maybe God’s chosen people – the Jewish people, who become believers during the great tribulation???…And the ones who will get to escape the remainder of the great tribulation at the half-way point, or 3 1/2 years.)
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:4-31
Speaking of the sun being darkened…
Here comes a total eclipse of the sun over the US in August 2017, which is SUCH a big deal that local authorities are sending people scrambling who live in the path, urging them to prepare, stock up on food, water, toiletries, and gasoline (as if this were a national disaster), because of the number of people who will be flooding to the towns in observance of the spectacle.
…the moon will not give its light…
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Joel 2:31
Remember the spectacle that took place in the skies over the last two spring/summer/falls?A tetrad of Blood Moons (2014/15) with a complete solar eclipse in the middle of them, which culminated in September 2015.
Then, also appearing in the sky in July 2015, the Star of Bethlehem at the front feet of the Lion (constellation) and circling Regulus (Regal, Royal), which we might not have thought all that much about except that God laid it on Rick Larson’s heart to search out the star, if it was a real star, and make a video to teach us all about it (mpowerpictures.com, bethlehemstar.net), so that when it appeared again we all would know what it was. (The Star Tracker App screen shot shown to the right was taken of the conjunction of October 27, 2015 appearing at the Lion’s hind feet).
…the stars will fall from the sky…
There are often shooting stars visible in the sky. The most prolific display comes in July/August – the Perseid Meteor Shower, which was magnificent in 2016.
There will be many false prophets!
The Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us remember the scriptures, and the warnings for these last days. For our enemy is out to deceive everyone, even the “elect,” if that were possible. If a so-called “prophet’s” prophesies come to pass, that person is a true prophet, if not, we don’t need to fear, or respect what they have to say (Deuteronomy 18:22). Even what a tested prophet has to say should never be blindly trusted without measuring it against scripture and asking God for wisdom. If someone says Jesus is coming on a specific day, the scriptures say, “No man knows the day or the hour, the time or the season, not even the Son.” And why is this? Because if the owner of the house had known on what day the thief would break in and steal, he would have kept watch (Matthew 24:43).
But God has instructed His children to watch and be prepared; He is coming as a thief to snatch us away. I believe God gave us , His children, plenty to help us be prepared and watching for Him, starting with studying the Jewish feasts.
The Jewish Fall Feasts and the Jubilee
Click this link to get your copy of the FREE PRINTABLE coloring page above: fall-feasts-free-printable
The fall feasts are a celebration of the last harvest of the year (grapes) and a celebration of promise for the new season of reaping and harvesting to come. It is a time for gratefulness and holiness – being found worthy of God’s blessings next year. It is a time to be faithful, without blame, generous, and merciful. This is the time of the reaping and preservation of the grapes into new wine (or dried into raisins). The grapes are gathered and placed in the winepress. The new wine is placed in new wineskins, and the aged wine is brought out to be enjoyed until the new wine is ready.
The first Jewish feasts of the year are connected to the barley and wheat harvests, which along with another important crop – olives (oil), are used to make bread. A celebration of the Jewish feasts is a celebration of the bread and the wine, our covenant with God, and the basis of our communion. If you’ll notice Jesus presented the bread first, and then the cup in each gospel’s version of the Last Supper, and he likened the bread to His body, the wine to His blood, and the communion to a new covenant in heaven.
I find it curious that there are three celebrations of the grape harvest. Trumpets (which could relate to the gathering or rapture of Christians and Messianic Jews), Atonement (which could relate to the collection of the Jews of the great tribulation, sins being confessed and forgiven), and Tabernacles (which could relate to the families of believers all sharing meals with the Lord and each other in our own little heavenly places) while the grapes of wrath are being harvested – when the only grapes left on the vines of this earth are the unfaithful, rebellious, sour grapes???
Before the feasts are the holy days of the weekly sabbaths, and the sabbaths of agricultural weeks – Shemitahs, and the sabbaths of Shemitahs. The Harbinger, as you know, was a hot seller on the New York Times Best Seller’s list in 2015/16, along with his other book, The Mystery of the Shemitah. In it the author speaks of all the coincidences surrounding the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th and the interesting series of events afterward, which most of us, unless we lived in New York City, would not have known anything about. Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish Pastor living in New York City, kindly introduced America to the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-17), a very interesting topic, and the Jewish Shemitah.
A Shemitah was a year of agricultural rest which was to be observed by the Jewish people at the end of every six years of farming/growing (Exodus 23:10,11; Leviticus 25:1-7; Deut. 15). At the end of a Shemitah year, on Elul 29 (the last day of the sixth month on the Jewish calendar, and the day before Rosh Hashanah), debts were to be cancelled and land returned to it’s original owner.
After seven Shemitah’s there was to then be a year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-22). A year of Jubilee was to be ushered in with the trumpet (Yovel), or blowing of the Shofar. It was to begin on Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement (Lev. 25:8-17), ten days of repentence following the end of a seventh Shemitah. As in the Shemitah, every Jewish man who has been indentured to serve another Jewish person out of poverty or other reason, was released to return to his possession and to his family. If he sold his possession out of poverty or whatever reason, his land was returned to him, or to his family if he was no longer living. The whole land also was to rest, as in the Shemitah, with no sowing or reaping or harvesting for profit. Any fruit that grew of its own accord on the land was free for anyone to eat.
When I Googled it, there were several websites in my research that listed a Jubilee year would begin with Yom Kippur 2015, but with continuing research, I found Jewish people do not observe a Jubilee. They stopped observing the Jubilee when their people were carried away captive to Babylon in the Old Testament. Also, according to a WND story, the nation Israel has not observed a Shemitah since the destruction of the temple in AD 70, but in 2014 it was nationally reinstated. Apparently some Jewish people did keep the Shemitah in the lands where they were scattered, after they were given the freedom to do so, so the dates were not lost, but they did not keep the Jubilee, and the Rabbi’s today refuse to observe an official Jubilee until all the original twelve tribes are represented in Israel again. They contend that there are ten lost tribes.
The Jubilee was to be observed every 50 years, as shown below. I should be easy enough to figure out when it comes around again, simply by going back into the annals of Jewish history and finding the date, any date, when one was observed, before the exhile (which might be where some people came up with 2015/16 being a Jubilee?).
Could this be related to the prophecy of the Seventy-Weeks (Dan. 9:20-27)? All of this “weeks” business stopped at the destruction of the temple. God’s clock STOPPED. Does this starting again signal the beginning of the week of the Great Tribulation? (See the sixth paragraph down in this interesting article).
Although the Jewish people do not officially recognize a Jubilee because of the ten Lost Tribes ,” we know that nothing is hidden or lost from God’s sight. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. He knows who are His and where they are, nor has He ever misplaced the date for the Jubilee. An Acceptable Year of the Lord (Isaiah 61 and 65) and a Year of Liberty (Ezekiel 46:17) is coming!!! A thousand years of rest is coming (Revelation 20).
Jonathan Cahn, speculates in his writings that 1917 was possibly a Jubilee year on God’s calendar, as it was the year in which the land of Israel was granted returned to the Jewish people by the Balfor Declaration.
And then 1967, fifty years later the Jewish people began returning in mass (and fought the 6 Days War, in which God gave them victory over the occupants of the land). He believes that if those are in fact Jubilees on God’s calendar (land being returned to its original owner), that the next Jubilee will begin on Yom Kippur (fall) 2016 through 2017. Is he a voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord?
Continuing on our quest….as the “Feast of Weeks” (or Pentecost) is to the seven feasts of Israel, the Jubilee appears to be to the Shemitahs … the 50th (49+1) celebration of a set number of “weeks.”
Just as there are SEVEN Shemitahs … there are also SEVEN Feasts mandated in the Old Testament to be observed during the Jewish year.
The Bible tells us these feasts, and all the practices of the people ordained by God, are a copy and shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 8:5), earthy practices with heavenly fulfillments. On earth as it is in heaven. A likening the Kingdom of heaven.
The Biblical Feasts
The first four feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost appear to have already been fulfilled. Jesus was the “unleavened” bread that was broken to make propitiation for our sins. His blood, shed on the cross, if we paint it upon the doorposts of our hearts will cause the spirit of spiritual death to pass us over. When Jesus arose from the dead and ascended into heaven He was the Firstfruits of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23), demonstrating how our bodies will also be raised and making that wave offering to the Father in the expectation of an abundance harvest of souls.
And when He spoke of leaving this earth (ascending, just as Moses ascended up the mountain of Sinai to recieve the law of God for the people), Jesus assured us it was to our advantage that he go, because then the Holy Spirit (the new wine, spoken of by the prophet Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:14-21) would come. and right on time, as prophesied, the Holy Spirit did come, at Pentecost, and landed as tongues of fire upon each of the apostles, and the church was born.
Pretty amazing coincidence that all of those things happened exactly on the very days of those Jewish feasts. So the first four feasts, which coincide with the spring and summer harvests, appear to have been fulfilled.
It’s curious to me that Christians essentially celebrate the Jewish spring feasts (death and resurrection of Christ, His ascension, and Pentecost – which is the birth of the church), but not the fall ones? Are the times of the Gentiles almost complete (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25; Revelation 11:2; Isaiah 17:7 & 62:11-12; Romans 11:26)?
Three feasts remain. They are the fall feasts, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. These last three come within the span of a couple of weeks in September/October. Trumpets is Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar, closing out one agricultural year and ushering in the new one. It is followed by ten days of awe, in which the Jewish people are to confess their sins and return (“get right”) with God. In the middle of the days of awe is a Shabbat Shuvah, or Sabbath of Return, and the days of awe end with Yom Kippur, which is the Atonement (when everything confessed and repented of during “the days of repentence” is covered in the atonement blood and forgiven), and this is when a Jubilee, if there is one, begins.
Crazy that a TRUMPET announces both Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) and the Jubilee, because when Jesus comes, as a thief in the night, he will come with a TRUMPET blast.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thes. 4:16-17)
Then the feast of Tabernacles comes just two weeks from Rosh Hashanah, which the Jewish people observe by building little tabernacles (Sukkahs) in their back yards, with roofs made of palm branches, and they gather inside of them to eat all their meals, and share fellowship with each other and their friends and neighbors, for seven days.
Jesus tells us of the fulfillment of this feast, that He goes to prepare a place for us in heaven, that where He is there we may be also. In heaven are many tabernacles, Jesus promises, and one day we will dwell there with Him, and feast with each other and our Lord in His house. We are to take communion (the bread and the wine) to celebrate this day, but our Lord is waiting to sip that cup until the day that we can all do it together in His kingdom, in His tabernacle, in His sukkuh. Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
Is it a coincidence that God caused for there to be four blood moons, on Passover and Tabernacles, and Passover and Tabernacles ushering in a Shemitah year, with a possible Jubilee (Yovel) year right on our doorstep? Isn’t it crazy that five of the planets in our solar system lined up together from mid January to mid February 2016 in such a rare event? Is it amazing that the most spectacular display of the persieds meteor shower was in 2016? Is it just crazy that the sun will be darkened over the entire United States in August 2017 in a dramatic display that has people kind of losing their minds in anxious anticipation.
Does this mean we can predict the Lord’s return? The day? The hour? The Time? the Season? What does the word of God say?
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and 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. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:36-44
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
As in the days of Noah… Noah didn’t know the exact day or hour that God would flood the earth, but he knew it would be when he got the ark built…
Likewise, we know — that the gospel shall be preached in all the world, and then the end will come! Matthew 24:14 & Revelation 14:6,7.
We are warned over and over again to be watching
(23 times according Strong’s Greek Concordance).
We’ll know that the time is near by certain signs, and we are wise to keep our lamps full of oil (Holy Spirit) and not give up hope. (See my blog post on the wise and foolish virgins).
There is only ONE WAY to eternal life in God’s house, Jesus. He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father but by HIM (John 14:6)!
I hope and pray that I am watching, that I am worthy, and that I will get to go when Jesus comes (Luke 21:36), and as a good guest, being invited to my Lord’s sukkah for a feast, I do not want to show up empty handed (Deuteronomy 16:16). I want to bring you with me.
The father has commissioned His faithful to go into the streets and lanes, the highways and the hedges, and compel the people to come (Luke 14:23) and make his house full. Truly the only thing I can take with me to His feast is YOU (1 Timothy 6:7). And I know you’ll want to come, because the things that the Bible says will happen in the last days (The Great Tribulation) are terrible things (2 Timothy 3:1). Things I know no man will wish to endure. So Jesus made a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13) for you and for me, in Him. May we be worthy (only His sacrificial blood painted on our hearts makes us worthy) to stand before Him (Matthew 26:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; Romans 3:25).
I’m putting post this out there and praying that God will make it fruitful, that by the foolishness of preaching, some who are perishing might be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Has the gospel been preached in all the earth? I don’t know. But it has certainly been preached in YOUR hearing today.
Are you ready for His return?
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve; … ” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
“Remember therefore how you have recieved and heard: hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”