Signs Of The Times
“Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:3
In His sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter quotes the prophet Joel:
“And it shall be in the last days that I will pour forth my Spirit… I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth below... The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and the glorious day of the LORD shall come.” (Acts 2:17-21; see also Joel 2:28-32)
Next year at Passover there will be a full lunar eclipse, a phenomenon also known as a “blood moon.” As the earth’s shadow passes across the moon’s surface, the moon will turn a deep copper-red. A full lunar eclipse is a relatively rare occurrence; even more so, a lunar eclipse on a Biblical feast day. The full lunar eclipse on Passover 2014 will be the beginning of a “tetrad”— a sequence of four consecutive full lunar eclipses. Surprisingly, these four consecutive full lunar eclipses will occur on four Biblical feasts and will be bracketed by a pattern of solar eclipses in close proximity. The lunar tetrad will fall on:
- 15 April 2014, the first day of Passover (followed by a partial solar eclipse on 29 April 2014)
- 8 October 2014, the eve of Tabernacles (followed by a partial solar eclipse on 23 October 2014)
- 4 April 2015, the first day of Passover (preceded by a total solar eclipse on20 March 2015, eve of the first day of the Biblical year—1st Nisan 5775 on the Hebrew calendar)
- 28 September 2015, the first day of Tabernacles (preceded by a partial solar eclipse on 13 September 2015, the day before the Feast of Trumpets, which is Jewish Civil New Year’s Day)
“Then GOD said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens... for signs and for seasons...” (Genesis 1:14)
Lance Lambert says in his October 2012 Middle East Update:
“Now, according to the rabbis, and I think that in this they are absolutely right, signs in the sun are for the Gentiles, or for the nations, and signs in the moon are for Israel, which means that God is saying something about Israel, seeking to gain attention about something that He is about to do or is doing, and secondly, something to do with the nations.”
Over the last 500 years, there have been three lunar tetrads falling precisely on Biblical feast days. A fourth will soon occur. Let’s look at the three past occurrences and overlay some contemporary events.
A lunar tetrad occurred on Passover and Tabernacles in 1493-1494. In the previous year, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had signed an edict for the forceful expulsion of the Jews from Spain. In that year they had sent Christopher Columbus on the voyage that led to the discovery of America—hugely significant for the Jews of Europe and Russia, as America was to become a major safe haven for them.
For the next four centuries there was no lunar tetrad coinciding with Biblical feast days. Then from the mid -20th century, in the space of under 70 years, there were three lunar tetrads, and each fell precisely on Passover and Tabernacles.
The first occurred at a time of profound prophetic fulfilment: Passover and Tabernacles 1949-1950. In that period Israel was blossoming as a newborn nation, following her formation on
15 May 1948 and her miraculous victory against overwhelming odds in the 1948-49 War of Independence. These were momentous events surrounding the restoration of the Jewish people and their nation, accompanied by the release of a growing stream of Jewish people making aliyah to their ancient homeland from all over the world.
Another lunar tetrad fell precisely on the same Biblical feast days in 1967 and 1968. Each witnessed a “blood moon” at Passover and Tabernacles. In 1967 Jerusalem was being reunified, again in the midst of military conflict and triumph against overwhelming odds. Much land was added to Israel. Jerusalem, “trampled underfoot by the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) for 19 centuries, was being restored to the Jews. Was this sign in the heavens marking the fulfilment of the “times of the Gentiles?”
With the 2014-15 lunar tetrad approaching, what lies before Israel and those praying for her in these coming months? What momentous prophetic fulfilment might be approaching in this coming season? The signs in the heavens are surely alerting us, declaring that the re-gathering of Israel is a vital part of the Lord’s agenda, that Israel remains central to His redemptive purposes.
“Behold, He who keeps (guards; watches over) Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Just as He is the watchman over His land and His people, so the Lord is inviting us to join with Him also as watchmen for Israel. Let’s see the signs and prepare ourselves! Let’s humbly ask for wisdom and understanding, diligently seeking the Lord for His direction in how to pray at this time.
Vice-Chairman, Ebenezer Operation Exodus