Posted Sep 23, 2015 by Michael L. Brown
On a regular basis, I’m asked for my views on the blood moon phenomena as well as the “mystery of the Shemitah.” Is God speaking to us about portentous events, or is this the latest, greatest, soon to pass prophecy fad? When I came to faith in 1971 as a heroin-shooting, LSD-using, 16-year-old, Jewish, hippie rock drummer, I was told that Jesus was coming any minute and that all the signs pointed to his imminent return. The best-selling book was Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth,” based on which it seemed clear that the end of the world was upon us and that everything had fallen into place, especially with Jerusalem back in Jewish hands in 1967. Why think about college or the future or make any long-term plans? The end is very near! That was a long time ago – my oldest granddaughter is 14 now – and Jesus has still not returned and established his kingdom on the earth. Are the blood moons and the Shemitah just the latest example of the church’s end-times mania? Will we soon look back at this the same way we look back at books like “88 Reasons Jesus Is Coming Back in 1988,” or, worse still, the failed prophetic writings of Harold Camping? When it comes to the blood moons, I devoted two separate radio broadcasts to the subject, first interviewing a Christian astronomer and a Christian philosopher-theologian, both of whom dismissed the idea that there was any reason to believe that God was speaking through the blood moons (referring to the four lunar eclipses occurring over a two-year period in conjunction with the biblical holy days). The astronomer found the data inconsistent and random; the philosopher-theologian found no biblical basis for the claim that there was any prophetic significance attached to the blood moons. Then I interviewed Mark Biltz, who wrote the book “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.” He presented strong arguments for the prophetic significance of these events. Who is right? From my perspective, it is perfectly appropriate for God to get our attention and to speak to us through the heavenly bodies, and I do believe that some support can be found for this in Genesis 1:14, which says that they sun and moon are appointed “as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years” (NIV). Without question, the Creator can speak through the astronomical phenomena – as my first two guests would affirm as well – and the unusual timing of these blood moons could have prophetic significance, with the last one coming in less than a week in the midst of the Festival of Tabernacles. The question is: Has anything of significant prophetic impact happened during this time? If God is trying to get our attention, what is his message? For me, the jury is still out, and we will watch and see what happens in the coming weeks. As for the mystery of the Shemitah, a concept popularized by my good friend Messianic Jewish leader Jonathan Cahn (who has discussed these issues on the air with me), the question is whether there is any connection between the Torah’s seven-year, sabbatical cycle and major economic events in America. Jonathan’s first book, “The Harbinger,” which became an overnight New York Times best-seller, paved the way for his next book, “The Mystery of the Shemittah,” and it seems that almost everyone in the church is now talking about these seemingly esoteric subjects. (How many ever heard the Hebrew word Shemitah before?) When asked for my views of “The Harbinger,” my simple answer is that while the specific details of the book are a matter of discussion, I believe God has used the book to bring a wake-up call to our nation – not only to believers, but to non-believers as well – raising the question of divine judgment to a whole new level. People are really asking if the Lord is shaking our country, and many are hearing the call to repent. For that, I am grateful and recognize his hand at work, regardless of any dispute about every detail of the book. When it comes to the question of the Shemitah, I do not believe there is any direct connection between the seventh-year Sabbatical laws and the economy of America. However, I do believe that God’s clock is still clicking, and the fact that some of the dramatic stock market collapses have occurred in conjunction with these very seven-year cycles could well be another way God is saying to America, “Wake up!” As for the economic principles of the Shemitah and the possibility that God is calling us to righteous economic decisions based on these principles, by all means, let us look at the Word and determine how best to live. All that being said, if nothing changes in the coming weeks and months and we look back at these times and say, “So, why all the big fuss?” my response will be twofold. First, it’s good to be alert and see if the Lord is speaking to our nation, especially when it comes to our relationship to Israel. (Many will say that the Iran treaty happening during this time is more than enough to get our attention.) Second, regardless of the specific times and seasons, we are not date setters, we are not flaky sensationalists, and we continue to live godly, rock-solid lives regardless of what takes place around us. This way we avoid both gullibility and cynicism, bearing fruit that will last through the ages.

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