Archive for the tag “Jesus return”

Here Comes the Judge

What would America do if we were sent a “judge?”

Judges 10:11-12 –  The Lord answered: In the past when you came crying to me for help, I rescued you. At one time or another I’ve rescued you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites.

In the Old Testament, when Joshua died, the Jewish people were independent and in their own land. It was also a time where there was not a single strong leader in the land at all. This led to a leadership vacuum.

Joshua did some amazing work right before he died. He took over almost all of the land, divided it among the tribes, and then disbanded the army that was assembled to conquer the land. For lack of a better term, it was the United States of Judaism. There were 12 tribes with only a loose connection to each other.

During this time, there was no central government. The only thing holding them together was the Tabernacle. But Jews were deciding not to go to Tabernacle anymore. They were performing their own sacrifices on their own private altars.

Over the next 300 years, there would be 15 Judges that would come along. Since there was no central government, enemies would sneak, and sometimes walk in brazenly, to infiltrate the tribes. Over the 3 centuries, all of the men over those ages would have to step up to protect their families and friends. At the end of the day, a man just feels beaten down when non-stop enemies are coming at you.

While they were able to destroy the armies to the east and the west, the armies to the north had allied with the strongest military leader of the day, Sisera, and created multiple new technologies (chariots and steel weapons) that the Jews simply could not defeat.

Judges 4:4 – Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

Deborah, the 4th Judge, would rally an army from one of the tribes and defeat Sisera and his amazing new technology. While he escaped, he was eventually cornered, seduced, and killed by the woman who seduced him when she drove a nail through his temple. After Deborah defeated the northern army completely, they found a short 40-year peace.

The next 8 Judges ruled over Israel for 120 years. Some were good and some were not-so-good. After 12 Judges, it was time for Samson to step up. By this time, the Philistine army to the west had started to get active.

Samson was interesting. He was not one who would rally the troops as other Judges had done. Samson was a Lone Ranger kind of guy. He was also very unorthodox in his approach to leading. He married Philistine women. One of them, Delilah, eventually led to the capture of Samson. On the day they were to make a public spectacle of him, he garnered enough strength to bring the entire area, filled with 10,000 Philistines, down around him and those who were there killing everyone.

1 Samuel 3:13 – For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.

The second to last Judge, Eli, made the mistake of losing the Ark of the Covenant during a battle. The Philistines, who seem to have caused a lot of problems over the 300 years, stole the Ark and tried to incorporate it into their pagan worship. What they found is that the Ark caused a lot of problems to occur. The pagan idols would collapse. The towns they put it in would break out with plague. Finally, with all of the Philistine cities refusing to take the Ark, they sent it back to Israel.

The final Judge, Samuel, was raised by Eli and turned out to be one of history’s greatest prophets and equal to Moses in many ways.

Not many Christians speak about or preach on the Book of Judges. It is really a book on the military leaders of Israel. But it is more than a military journal. The book explains the 300 years between Joshua and 1 Samuel and it also sets up the book of Ruth. More importantly, it sets the stage for the Jews to be shown as simply human, as we have seen throughout the entirety of Scripture.

They did what was right in their own eyes. This means they disregarded what God had declared to be right according to the Law.

Judges 17:6 –In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Modern day America can easily be seen as a country that is dire need of a Judge, although war has changed since the days of the Old Testament Judges. Our country is not, nor has been for some time, under the control of a strong leader. The country is doing what is right in our own eyes. And the unified states are only loosely related.

But what would happen if a Judge appeared?

Typically, Judges led up to a time when the people would come closer to God. The 300 years the the Jewish people were under the leadership of the Judges led up to Samuel, easily one of the most amazing men since Moses.

But to get to that point, for Israel’s heart to be softened to the point that they accepted the rule of the final Judge, it took a lot of struggle, demoralizing times, and pain.

I think about my own life.

Many times I find myself calling for Jesus’ return. I find myself asking God to please make this the final breath for our current world.

But then I wonder what life would look like for me and if I would truly be grateful for that to happen.

I am imagining all of the bad things that will happen leading up to Christ’s return, things that are already occurring. But then I wonder how it could get any worse. There will be no peace left on the earth. There will be significant inflation. There will be significant death from famine and beasts. There will be large earthquakes and stars will fall from the sky. Grasses will be burned, fish will die, the water will be poisoned, the smoke will get so thick that the sky will vanish from sight, plagues, and plenty more will happen before the church get raptured.

So, wow.

My life looks pretty good right now.

Yea, I don’t make as much money as I used to, but I have a lot more time with family. Yea, life is still crazy, but I am still alive and have people around me who love me.

So, yes, I would love to have Christ return. I would love to see this world get the judgment it deserves and finally live a life of true peace.

But, in all honesty…

I don’t know if I am ready for all of that suffering for me and my family.

So today I am going to simply live a life that Christ has given me. A new life, born out of the destruction I caused in my old life and given to me because God loves me. I will continue to pray that I can stay faithful to God, to those I love, and to my church. And I will work in my secular job and minister to the people God has given to me to minister to.

And eventually I will make it to heaven.

Psalm 34:1-3 – I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Kermit, The Donald, and the Lunar Tetrad

Joel 2:31 – The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.

The simple fact that Kermit and company is dealing with controversial adult themes and is being boycotted by supposedly over a million moms and the other fact that there is a very likely chance that The Donald could not only be a major party choice for President but has a chance of winning it means that this world must be ending very soon.

Now, I am not going to claim that to be a prophecy, but really….re-read that paragraph above! If Donald Trump becomes President, I may need to move to a safer country, like say, Nigeria or Eritrea.

But on a more serious note, there is a lot of stuff going around about this whole lunar tetrad thing and what it means for us as a church. There are entire groups of people who stop about one inch short of saying that Jesus is returning on Monday night, many of those people are well known in Christian circles.

Let me see if I can explain this lunar tetrad thing in a brief synopsis rather than the long drawn out dissertations I have been seeing everywhere. It is not an easy thing to understand, so bear with me on this.

Beginning in 2014, there were a series of “blood moons” that have waxed and waned over humanity. The last of these in the series will be happening beginning the night of 9/27 and going into 9/28. So you only have a few days to stock up on water, toilet paper, eggs, and bread. And if Jesus does return, I will try to make sure you don’t go without this blog and I see if I can set up a blogging site on the Godweb.

Revelation 6:12-14 – When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

But this entire event is planned to last 1 hour and 12 minutes and will be best seen from the east coast of America, all of South America, and the west coast of Africa and Europe. It will start when the Earth’s penumbra covers the moon, causing it to go gray. Then, as the Earth’s umbra begins to cover the moon, it will look black and then turn, well, blood red. Depending on where you are in the world, you might only see the penumbra part of it or you might get the full moon, so to speak.

This final blood moon in the series is happening during the Jewish Feast of Sukkot. The previous one in April happened during the Feasts of Pesach/HaMatzah. The Feast of Sukkot is one of the “pilgrimage” festivals listed in Leviticus 23. It is a festival that asks people to both look back and look forward. It looks back at the 40-year period when the Israelites walked the desert of Sinai. It also asks us to look forward to the 1,000 year Messianic Kingdom where God will be dwelling in, and ruling from, Jerusalem.

The word “feast” is a weird word to choose. The actual Hebraic word is “moed.” A moed is more like an appointment than a feast. Think of it as a time when God takes time away from His busy schedule to meet with us directly. Think of it like Jesus, the future groom, going on a date night with his future bride, the church. When we look at Biblical and non-Biblical history, we find that many major event happened during these “moedim.” (plural of moed).

Leviticus 23:1-2 – The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.

We see later in Leviticus that festival is used for another Hebraic word, “chag.” This speaks of a time when there is a party. So these “festivals” are meant to be a joyful, rejoicing time.

Going back to the Festival of Sukkot, this is a fall festival. Christians every year hold fall festivals at churches all across America. It is a modern day version of the Feast of Sukkot. During this time, the Hebrew people would build small “sukkot,” or huts, to live in. They would spend time with friends and family in celebration and also spend a lot of time in synagogue. During the night of the festival, large poles would be put up in the “Court of Women” with large lights hung from them. They would shine enough light to brighten Jerusalem. And then the Jewish people would party into the morning at the world’s first rave with Dr. Dreidel and Boyz II Mensch bringing the beats all night long. (I think I actually just rolled my eyes at that).

Now that you have had a little bit of the history, let’s take a look at possible implications. During many of these lunar eclipses we have seen significant events happen for the Jewish people. Some of these, for example, happened in 1948 when Israel was granted statehood and in 1967 when the Six-Day War was fought.

While a tetrad of lunar eclipses is unusual, it is not the first time it has happened. Just putting these eclipses with a couple Bible verses does not mean that it is time to go get a piece of cardboard and write on it, “Welcome Back, Jesus!”

While John, in Revelation, and Joel, in his self-titled Biblical book, could be talking about solar and lunar eclipses, these are only theories that are put out there by Christians who are very hopeful of the coming of Christ.

Believe me, I am more hopeful than anyone out there that Christ is returning soon. I look at the state of affairs in the world and just know the season is coming when Christ is coming back. But we need to be careful not to jump on every church leaders hope. We need to be very careful to not try to place a time and date on the return of Christ as He warns us in Mark 13.

Mark 13:32 – “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

So when the blood moon comes, go outside and take the family. Think back to a time when you were completely dependent on God meeting your needs. Share that time as a family. Have everyone tell you when they felt the presence of God most in a dark time in their life. Then think ahead to a time when Christ will return. Imagine the beauty of God on the throne and spending eternity in joyful worship.

And then…

If Christ does happen to return on Sunday night…

Enjoy it. You are being welcomed to the table to feast with the Creator, the King, and the Conqueror.

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