Have you ever felt like God was speaking, but you weren't quite getting the message? I have. Sometimes it's because we are not fully aware that He speaks in many different ways. But whichever way God speaks—through a sermon, a prophecy or a life experience—we know when He has touched our hearts.
Sometimes God speaks to me in that still, small voice, but when He wants to awaken me to what's ahead, He sometimes shouts. It's like Joel 2:1 (NKJV) says, "Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the Lord is coming, For it is at hand."
That is God's shout. When God sounds the alarm, there's no time to rub your eyes or snooze. It's time to launch! He is preparing us for the ultimate event, when He will sound the alarm that changes everything (see 1 Cor. 15:51-52).
The word "mystery" in the verse in 1 Corinthians is connected with sleep and the sounding of the trumpet. You can feel the drama of the scene. But we have to pay attention. God is not only speaking but shouting to us, often through profound signs and wonders. Our job is to learn the language of His signs and wonders.
Many Old Testament Scriptures speak of God's power being demonstrated through signs and wonders. Deuteronomy 4:34, 26:8 and 34:11; Nehemiah 9:10; and Psalm 105:27 are just a few. The New Testament also mentions signs and wonders involving the Holy Spirit and the apostles (2 Cor. 12:12, Heb. 2:4).
Signs, wonders and miracles are God's manifested power at work. Miracles of healing, deliverance, provision and victory are all signs and wonders. Because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8), miracles are for every era.
Understanding Blood Moons
God's signs and wonders are plain, if our spiritual eyes and ears are open to them. One of the most amazing signs ever happened not once but four times in 2014 and 2015. I'm talking about the blood moons that occurred on April 15 and Oct. 8 in 2014 and on April 4 and Sept. 27 in 2015. While in Jerusalem, I had eyes to see what God was saying, both in the physical and spiritual sense, with these amazing sights.
Before we explore further, remember what God said as He created the heavenly bodies: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years" (Gen. 1:14).
God created the heavens to speak to us. Remember that the 2014 and 2015 blood moons coincided with Jewish feast days. Signs like that should get our attention. They are God's shout in a language only He can speak.
The wise men knew prophetically that the world was about to change when they saw a sign in the skies. They were right: The first coming of Jesus changed everything. Today's signs are announcing Jesus' Second Coming; therefore, they are even greater and cannot be ignored. Tremendous change has happened since the four blood moons of 2014 and 2015—arguably more than had previously happened worldwide since 1948. We need to open our eyes toward the signs in the heavens and read them!
First, let's cover some of the practical aspects of the four blood moons we recently experienced. Their sequence is pretty amazing. NASA experts explained that lunar eclipses tend to come in no particular order, but "occasionally ... the sequence is more orderly. When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total [as opposed to penumbral or partial], the series is called a tetrad."
Blood moons are total lunar eclipses and are fairly common. But the tetrad of 2014 and 2015 was uncommon, according to scientists. The fact that all four eclipses coincided with the feasts of the Lord tells me that they were a sign to be reckoned with. From the time of Jesus through 2013, only seven tetrads coincided with Jewish feasts. It's very important to recognize that science is proving the prophetic fulfillment of God's Word. NASA is helping to blow the shofar and sound the alarm.
There is a certain numerical significance about the seven tetrads that happened prior to 2014. Seven is the biblical number of perfection and completion. In 2014 and 2015, we saw the eighth tetrad of blood moons that occurred on biblical feast days. Biblically, the number eight signifies a new beginning.
Seven Recent Tetrads
There were many more tetrads in history, but we are focusing on those that happened around the Jewish feasts. Let's do a quick overview of the first seven that have occurred since Jesus' day:
—A.D. 162-163: a time of famine and persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
—A.D. 795-796: halt of the Arab invasion of Western Europe, facilitated by Charlemagne's buffer zone.
—A.D. 842-843: division of the Holy Roman Empire by the Treaty of Verdun.
—A.D. 860-861: heating up of the Arab-Byzantine wars, with the Byzantines being successfully raided multiple times, but then the Abbasids began to decline, leading to a decisive Byzantine victory in 863 at the Battle of Lalakaon.
—A.D. 1492-1493: expulsion of Jewish people from Spain and Spanish territories in 1492; Christopher Columbus' return from first expedition to the New World and departure on second expedition in 1493.
—A.D. 1949-1950: signing of armistice agreement to end the Arab-Israeli war; Israel admitted to the United Nations.
—A.D. 1967-1968: the Six-Day War and the return of Jerusalem to Jewish hands; Jesus' prophecy about the "day of the Gentiles" ending is fulfilled.
These world-changing events marked history because they coincided with significant spiritual, political and economic shifts. Kingdoms and nations were turned upside down and in some cases, transferred into other hands.
Consider the blood moons of 1949-1950. The miracle of Israel's rebirth alone would give us more than enough to talk about. But there was another amazing prophecy, and it connects this tetrad to the one that occurred in 1967 and 1968.
The story begins in 1217, when Rabbi Judah ben Samuel prophesied the future history of a nation that no longer existed: Israel. Although some question the validity of the prophecy, I believe it is true. Here's the gist of what he said: The Ottoman Empire would rule Jerusalem over the course of eight Jubilees, which is 400 years. Jerusalem would then change hands but would be called a "no man's land" for one Jubilee, or another 50 years. After that, the Jewish people would again rule Jerusalem, and the city would never be in Gentile hands again. Ben Samuel prophesied another Jubilee after that, which would prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah. At its end we would enter the Messianic era, a time of signs, wonders and miracles.
Rabbi ben Samuel was not predicting the date of the Messiah's coming; he spoke of the Messianic era that would lead to His coming. Also, when he prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule for eight Jubilees, there were no Ottomans. A man named Osman was born not long after Rabbi ben Samuel died, and his people increased in size and strength over the next several hundred years. By 1517, they were powerful enough to invade Israel and take control of Jerusalem.
Here is the connection between the Ottomans and Osman: Apparently, Europeans pronounced "Osman" in a way that became Ottoman, the people Rabbi ben Samuel had named hundreds of years beforehand. For the record, ben Samuel died two years after he gave these prophecies. Yet what he prophesied affects the world even today. And he got it exactly right! The Ottomans ruled Jerusalem for exactly 400 years.
The Ottoman Empire was formidable and replaced the Byzantine Empire as the major force in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1917, 400 years after the Ottomans took control of Jerusalem, the Allied forces sent Gen. Edmund Allenby to oppose the Ottoman Turks and restore Israel. Allenby read the Scriptures every day, and after the surrender of Jerusalem, he approached the Holy City with reverence, even in the midst of war. Allenby understood "that the moral significance of Jerusalem's capture 'was even greater than its military importance.'"
Jerusalem surrendered on the first day of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights that celebrates the miraculous rededication of the temple after the successful Maccabean revolt. Without a single bullet being fired in the Holy City, the Ottomans surrendered it.
Remember that according to Rabbi ben Samuel's prophecy, Jerusalem would be designated a no man's land for one more 50-year period, after the Turks lost the land. The League of Nations designated a strip of land in Jerusalem that belonged to no nation and was under international control—a no man's land.
Rabbi ben Samuel's "final" Jubilee period began in 1917 and ended in 1967 with the Six-Day War. As amazing as this was, ben Samuel said that one more Jubilee was still ahead. It was the 50-year period of preparation for the Messianic era.
He's Coming Soon
We cannot know the exact time of Jesus' return, but we are to be mindful of the signs God gives us. Just as a mother's birth pangs come closer and closer together and become more intense as the birth nears, so the signs of Jesus' return are coming more quickly and with more intensity. It is a rapid acceleration of signs, wonders and miracles.
I believe one of the greatest prophetic signs was when U.S. President Donald Trump made good on the 1995 Embassy Act by officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The presidential proclamation of recognition happened on Dec. 6, 2017. On Feb. 23, 2018, President Trump announced the plan to move the embassy. The actual relocation was completed on May 14, 2018, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
I was privileged to attend the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May of 2018. My friend Josh Reinstein had us over for Shabbat dinner. During the meal with Josh and his beautiful family, he said something that touches my heart and soul to this day: "We in Israel have seen more miracles with the moving of the U.S. Embassy and so many other things in the last year than we thought we would ever see until the coming of the Messiah."
These are critical times. As David Ben-Gurion once said, "Five years are nothing next to eternity, but not all years in history are alike, and in the next five years the fate of our generation may be decided, if not the fate of generations." I believe these words apply today.
The Scriptures tell us to pay attention to God's signs and wonders. But remember what Jesus said about why He taught in parables: "because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand" (Matt. 13:13b).
The people's physical eyes and ears were not the issue. Their need was spiritual. One of the things I pray every day is for God to make me sensitive to what He is doing, saying and showing me. I ask Him for spiritual eyes and ears and the clarity to perceive His signs and wonders. I want to hear His alarm. I want to be awake so I can be a part of whatever He is doing.
Friend, our God is not a hard taskmaster who wants to "get" us. His eyes "run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chr. 16:9a). It is His "good pleasure to give [us] the kingdom" (Luke 12:32b).
I believe that Jerusalem is in Jewish hands so we can hear the trumpet in Zion shouting, "Wake up!"
When the people living around Jerusalem heard the shofar from the Temple Mount in Jesus' day, they grabbed their own shofars, turned away from Jerusalem and passed along the good news from town to town. Likewise, our victory in God is not complete until we share what He shows us. Some people are too far away to hear the initial trumpet blast. They need us to send the sound forward. We can only do that if we are paying attention. God wants us to be a big part of everything He is about to do.
Our best is yet to come!
Larry Huch is the founder and senior pastor of New Beginnings in Bedford, Texas, and host with his wife, Tiz, of the weekly television broadcast New Beginnings With Larry & Tiz Huch. Huch has written several books and planted seven churches in the U.S. and Australia.
This article was excerpted from the August issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.
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