Joseph Ferreira

Be Ye Separate – Nehemiah 9:1-2

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Be Ye Separate – Nehemiah 9:1-2

Opening Video – Carter Conlon (Full Sermon)

9/11 was a horrible day in our country, and for several weeks our nation made a slight but noticeable turn back to God. Churches were packed, the fragility of life became pronounced, and people for a moment reevaluated their lives as it related to God.

Fear will do that. Foundations being shaken will do that.

That’s why I’ve found that folks are so much more open to eternal things, salvation, where we go after we die, stuff like that, when a tragedy or a death occurs in a family.

All of a sudden the urgent and busy things of life take a back seat to the truly important, the foundational, and the eternal things of life. “Why am I here and where am I headed? And how does God fit in to all of it?” It brings a soberness and clarity to what’s really important, at least for a time.

My job and privilege as your pastor is to love you and to shepherd you.

I’m to point you in the direction of refreshing green pastures. I’m to protect you from the predators who would desire to devour you.

I’m to speak the truth in love to you. I tell you not what you WANT to hear, but what you NEED to hear. I’m not here to feed your flesh, but to destroy it.

I’m not here to entertain you. Church is not a TV variety show and I’m not a contestant hoping to get a good score and your not my judge giving me points on a scale of 1-10 on how well things went in service.

I preach the Word. And may those that have spiritual ears hear. My job is to encourage you when you’re down, fan into flame the embers of godly holiness in your heart, challenge you in your areas of compromise, and get you ready for the Rapture and an eternity in Heaven, all the while inspiring you to pursue fulfilling your God-given destiny on the earth and impacting souls for His kingdom! I point you in the right direction, but only you can walk it out.

If you’re living in sin and compromise in some area of your life, my job is to call it out based on what Scripture says and trust that the Holy Spirit relentlessly makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, with a conviction leading you to repentance.

My job is to not just provide head knowledge information, but to expect a Holy Spirit transformation of everyone who comes to this church. Romans 10:14 says, “How can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

I preach the anointed, never changing, life giving Word of God. I plant and water. God brings the increase. And that increase looks like this – my expectation is that each one in this place is growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ, and out of that growth impacting our world for the cause of Christ.

Each one of us should be in a constant state of intentionally, aggressively, whole-heartedly separating ourselves from evil, from flesh, from wickedness, from the sins that would so easily entangle us, not looking to the left and not looking to the right, and running, running, RUNNING, to Jesus!!

That’s what our text is all about today.

Nehemiah 9:1-2, “On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.”

These people had for many years allowed the culture to influence them. They became more like the culture around them rather than the culture becoming more like them.

Complacency had set in. Compromise was embraced. And lifestyles became less and less set apart. No more black and white. Gray was the color of choice. I think it’s appropriate that one of the most popular and vile X rated novels of the last couple of years, which now has been made into a raunchy movie, is entitled “50 Shades of Gray”.

That’s where we are as a culture. There’s very little absolute truth, very little black and white. It’s 50 shades of vile, raunchy, X rated gray, and the Church is not far behind, because the Church is not leading, it’s following.

Complacency has given place to compromise, and compromise has given place to ineffectiveness because absolute truth has been replaced with subjective truth and God’s Word has been allowed to gather dust as just a relic from a narrow minded, intolerant past.

In the churches attempt to remain relevant, we’ve become LESS relevant because of our embracing of the supposed new, enlightened, inclusive morality that is being heralded loud and long and crammed down our throats at every turn. We adjusted the standard of God’s Word to fit the morals of the day, making the standard the test. We’ve cut the ropes from the moorings and foundations of our faith and are aimlessly drifting whichever way the winds of moral decay may blow.

But listen to me today, Church, be separate! Run! Run, Church, away from the feel good, watered down, compromised preaching of today! Hold fast to the foundational teachings and eternal truths of God’s Word! Reattach yourself to the absolute, eternal, unchanging truth found in the Holy Bible. Don’t believe the world’s lies. Don’t be influenced by the shifting of the winds. Hold steady!

Church of Jesus Christ, stop following the world’s ways. Stop embracing the compromised culture, stop validating by your lifestyle choices that the direction the world is choosing to go is the right way.

It’s a path that is leading to destruction! So, repent, turn, and run to Jesus!

The generation who came out of 400 years of Egyptian bondage were on the very cusp of entering the Promised Land. Miracle after miracle from God Almighty had brought them to this point. Numbers 14 tells us how the land was theirs for the taking as God was going to make it happen, but out of fear and doubt they shrunk back, rebelled, and were cursed to roaming 40 years in the wilderness until that generation died away.

A trip of a few days took 40 years to complete. Why?

The people chose to believe less of God and His ability. They brought God down to their level. They didn’t account that past miracles from His hand would convey to future continued miracles. As far as they were concerned, God was done doing supernatural stuff. They chose to take matters into their own hands and run the show.

But humans driving the car that was only meant for God to drive never ends well. We drive it into the ditch. We crash. We are too proud to ask for directions and end up in the completely wrong place. And before you know it we’ve driven around in circles for the proverbial 40 years.

Imagine the conversations that took place between the generation who had come out of slavery and their children. I imagine some were bitter against God, but I would think that maybe most of them spoke into their children’s lives hope and encouragement.

“Don’t think like we thought and do what we did. Don’t doubt God. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Don’t be afraid. Trust Him. Believe Him for the supernatural. Believe His promises to show up and do great things in your midst. God did show up for us. I’ve told you of the wonderful miracles He performed for us. But we rebelled, took matters into our own hands, jumped in the drivers seat, and this is the result. It’s too late for me, but it’s not too late for you. Look towards the future with great hope and expectation. Run back to God and never, ever run away!”

Let me ask you a question today. Looking back on the last 40 years of Church history (and let me be clear, we are all individually the Church), have we grown closer to God or further away? Have we been a greater impact on our culture or less of an impact? Are we more relevant or less relevant than 40 years ago?

The answers are obvious as we see the results of what the Church has done to take the steering wheel from God and slowly but surely impose our own will upon what should happen. This generation hasn’t seen the miracles. This generation hasn’t experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This generation has been offered far less than what God’s Kingdom is all about.

And at the same time this generation is being offered such an overwhelming variety and onslaught of distractions and entertainment choices that feed the flesh and starve the Spirit man that it has exponentially sped up the process of joining together with the world in such a way that there is very little distinction between Believers and unbelievers.

But God’s Word says, “Come out and be ye separate!” Run, Church, Run away from the sinking sand of sin and run back to the solid rock of Jesus!

2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial (satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

The people in Nehemiah’s day stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They wore sackcloth and ashes and fasted. They humbled themselves before a mighty God and repented. They recommitted themselves to honor Him, serve Him, obey Him, and trust Him.

They put Him back in the drivers seat.

Isaiah 52:11, “Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.”

This was a plea to God’s chosen people living in Babylon to not be part of the whoring that was taking place in that culture. “Your in it, but don’t be of it”, was the warning. Don’t wink at it. Don’t give it place. Don’t touch it!

We are in a modern day Babylonian culture of filth and decadence, of sin and perversion, of every vile evil thing imaginable.

We, too, have been called to come out from among them and be pure Believers. How? By the renewing of our minds by the washing of the Word. By inviting the Holy Spirit to take the central spot in our lives once more. By moving aside and letting God drive. By not trusting in the ways of man, but wholly leaning on Jesus.

The way we “do church” just isn’t working. The New Testament is replete with testimonies of “signs and wonders following those who believed”.

The signs and wonders attracted people who then heard the Good News, were saved, filled with the Spirit, and went out to tell others, repeating the cycle until the whole world heard of the saving, rescuing power of Jesus Christ.

God wants to do miracles. God wants to reveal Himself to this generation. God wants to pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh as it says in Joel Chapter 2.

But we’re rebellious and doubtful and in the driver’s seat. This will never cut it.

We’ve roamed around in the wilderness for a proverbial 40 years now. Our man driven ways have become the accepted norm. Our way isn’t working. But God is speaking to His Church today. Can we believe Him again for the supernatural? Can we trust Him again to move by His Spirit in our midst and not be afraid? Can we allow Him to drive this thing knowing the destination is going from glory, to glory, to glory?

He has a Promised Land for us. It’s just over the next hill. But I’m tired of just looking over at it, I want to live IN it! I’m tired of hearing stories of past generations where God showed up. I’m tired of reading stories in the Bible of how He moved back then. I want to see it and experience it in the here and now!

Listen, God is always doing a new thing. God is not a static God. He’s always on the move, doing a new thing in the lives and the midst of those who would simply believe and let Him do the driving.

Yes there are giants in the land. Giants of doubt, giants of format and tradition, giants of fear, giants of complacency, giants of fleshly desires. Yes the walls are ominous and seemingly insurmountable, but nothing that can’t be laid to dust with a march and a shout and a breaking of some pots as they did in Jericho!

Caleb and Joshua said to the fearful in Numbers 14:9, “Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

Do you know that there were 600,000 fighting men in the army of Israel at that time? Even a portion of that army would have been enough to destroy any foe. But they didn’t look at the size of their God, but the size of the opposition. They brought God down to their level and said He wasn’t able to come through. God help us to not do the same!

Let’s not be the doubting, rebellious generation who didn’t possess the land, but their children who shouted at the walls of Jericho and they came tumbling down!

Listen, God has a plan for His Church, and it’s not for us to walk in fear. It’s not for us to lean on our own strength and ability. It’s not for us to control. And it’s not for us to turn and run from.

God’s plan is for us to move forward as He drives, because He is with us and He intends for us to swallow up the enemy! Don’t look at the size of the enemy, look at the size of God who is on our side!

Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

We love the new things. This excites us. We’ll take the blessings all day long. But there’s a price to pay first. Isaiah 43 continues with God imploring the people to seek Him, return to Him, and pursue relationship with Him again. It requires a separation, a setting apart, a repentance, a recalibration, a renewal, a confessing of sins, a humbling of ourselves before a Holy, Mighty, loving God.

Nehemiah 9:1-2, “On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.”

Be ye separate, set apart. 1 Peter 2:9 declares us to be a “Chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that we may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

The children of Israel in the days of Moses decided to do it their way, to their demise.
We’re in a generation who follows God corporately and individually on their own terms, safe, predictable, controlled.

Let’s bust out of that box! Let’s be the generation who takes the land He’s promised and trusts in Him to do the unbelievable, extraordinary, and supernatural in our midst.

To bring glory to His name and strength to His people!

Let me challenge you today to consider who’s in the driver’s seat of your life. What of the world have you embraced as acceptable practices in your life that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of?

Be separate from it. Be set apart. Run away from those things that are sinking sand & deadly, and run back to the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Do it today.

Then watch what God will do in our midst.

The Feast of Tabernacles & The Millennium

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One day soon an event is going to take place that will effect everyone who is reading this.

Jesus is coming back very soon for His Bride, the Church, in what we all know as the Rapture.

This event will throw the world into instant chaos and confusion. Rising up from all of this confusion will be a man of “peace”, whom we know as the Antichrist. He will rally the world around him and promise peace and safety, which will actually be experienced for 3 1/2 years. But the next 3 1/2 years his true colors and motives will be revealed and literally all hell will break lose, as God pours out His wrath of righteous judgement on sinful and rebellious mankind in what we know as the 7 year Great Tribulation.

At the end of this most devastating time the world will ever know, Jesus will return to the earth and set up His earthly kingdom, what the Bible describes as the Millennial (1000 year) Reign.

As we learned in church this past Sunday, the Millennial Reign has many parallels with the Feast of Tabernacles, the last of the 7 yearly feasts the Jewish people celebrated as designed by God.

Let me quickly list the 6 parallels that we looked at that point not only to God’s faithfulness in the past, but prophetically to what will soon occur in the world.

First, there will be a Harvest and a Crushing. Before the Feast of Tabernacles could begin, there was a harvest of wheat and a harvest of grapes. Only then could the festival begin.

Revelation 14 describes the same thing happening. An angel will come down and harvest souls of the obedient for rescue (The Rapture), and another angel will harvest souls of the rebellious for crushing in the vat of God’s wrath (The Tribulation).

Second, the place of the Feast was of God’s choosing. This place was Jerusalem, where God chose to build His Temple. In the Millennium Jesus will set up His earthly reign in Jerusalem.

Third, everyone was required to attend. The men were required every year, but every seventh year everyone was required. In the Millennium everyone will also be required. Zechariah 14 says those that don’t come celebrate the Feast will be punished with no rain and experience plagues as punishment for their rebellion (keep in mind there will be those who survivor the Tribulation who will still have the sin nature and will rebel against Jesus reign during the Millenium).

Fourth, there are Bookend Sabbaths. Leviticus 23:39 says the first day of the Feast is a Sabbath rest as well as the eighth day. The Millennium will be the same way. At the beginning satan will be bound for a thousand years. The world will experience a rest from the Tribulation that they had just gone through. For most of the next thousand years we will work in the Lord’s administration. Satan will then be released for a short time at the end of the thousand years before he’s permanently disposed of, which will bring another rest. Bookend Sabbaths.

Fifth, there was a solemn assembly. Nehemiah 8:18 describes it. At the end of the Feast there was a gathering for people to repent and recalibrate their lives back to God, to worship Him and renew their covenant with Him.

At the end of the Millennium there will be the most solemn of assemblies the world has ever known, called the Great White Throne Judgement, where everyone will be judged according to their works.

Revelation 20:15 says, “Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

And sixth, there will be an end and a new beginning. Exodus 34:22 describes the Feast as being celebrated at the “turn” of the year. So it was not only the end of the year, but simultaneously the beginning of the new year.

The same with the Millennium. 2 Peter 3 describes a new Heaven and a new Earth being created at the end of the Millennium, after the Great White Throne Judgement, where righteousness will dwell, satan will be permanently disposed of, sin will be no more, and Jesus will reign supreme!

The question God will ask of each of us on that solemn day is, “What did you do with My Son?”

The answer to that question will determine your eternal destiny.

So, what have you done with Jesus?

The only answer God will accept that will usher you in to Heaven will be, “I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior and have served Him all of my days.”

Are you ready? These things I’ve listed will take place.

Make sure you’ve made your life right today with God. There are a million ways to run away from God, but only one way to run to Him, through Jesus Christ.

Click below to hear the entire message, and share this Faith Notes with a friend.

Joy In The Journey – Nehemiah 8:17

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Do you remember the day you accepted Jesus?

Do you remember the complete relief, the joy, the peace that bathed over you because you knew you were finally home?

Do you remember the commitment you made to serve Him with all of your heart all the rest of your days?

Along the way, has that joy faded? Has the commitment wained?

The people in Nehemiah 8:17 were ecstatic over God rescuing them from their (70 year) exile and made a recommitment to serve God with all of their heart.

Let us do the same. Let’s recalibrate our lives back to God’s Word in every area we’ve strayed.

There’s truly joy in our journey with Christ.

Double Fruitfulness – Nehemiah 8:16-17

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Would you like to be doubly fruitful? In all you do would like to have double fruitfulness in your life?

If so, read on.

We learned that people in the days of Nehemiah revived the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. Part of this revival was to build temporary shelters out of specific materials, namely branches from 4 trees. We learned these branches represented God’s blessings (connected directly to our obedience to His Word), our fragrant witness of Christ to the world, God’s keeping us through His Holy Spirit until Christ returns, and our long term fruitfulness all of the days of our life.

So we know WHAT to build it with (these temporary shelters called our life here on earth), but WHERE do we build them?

Nehemiah 8:16 tells us. These people built them at 5 different places.

First was the roofs of their homes. This represents our families. Parents, are you modeling for your children how to live a godly life? Children, are you honoring your parents? Are we taking these materials listed above and building them into the fabric of our families?

Second was their courtyards. This represents our communities. Where we live desperately needs the sweet fragrance of our witness of Christ, among the materials listed above. Let’s make sure we’re making available these materials in our communities and make a difference where we live.

Third was the courts of the House of God. This represents our coming together in corporate worship in God’s House. Church is a powerful place where we can God’s presence, God’s people, and God’s Word. It’s a place that God designed for us to grow into the likeness of Christ. Let’s not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but build the temporary shelters of our lives centered around God’s. House.

Fourth was by the Water Gate. This represents staying in close proximity to God’s Word where we can be constantly washed from the filth of the world and keep ourselves re-calibrated back to what God has called us to be. His Word is our standard for living. We would be wise to make sure the temporary shelters of our lives were constructed by the Water Gate.

Finally the fifth gate was the Gate of Ephraim. Ephraim was Joseph’s youngest son, and his tribe set up camp north of Jerusalem. This gate faced that direction, thus the name.

You know what Ephraim means? Double fruitfulness.

Let me clarify something here. When we read this we think, “blessing”. But blessing means “coming in”. Fruitfulness means “going out”. God wants us to be fruitful. This means we’re impacting others, not looking for the good stuff just for us. It’s a selfless approach to life. “What can I do be to be fruitful?” Not, “what can I do to be blessed”.

God wants to bless us, of course, but we are blessed to be a blessing.

These first four, families, communities, Church, and God’s Word, are powerful places to build our shelters, but God wants you to be doubly fruitful in all you do as well!

So, let me declare over you today that as you construct the temporary shelters of your life with the materials listed above in your families, communities, churches, and God’s Word, that you can get the bonus of double fruitfulness, in all you do that God would bless you to be a blessing!

Please click on the link below to listen to the podcast entitled “Double Frutifulness”, as well as others you may have missed from previous Sundays.

May God bless you this week to be a double blessing to others!

Are You Ready? Nehemiah 8:13-14

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Are You Ready?

Nehemiah 8:13-14, “On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law. They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month.”

When we read God’s Word it reminds us of things that maybe we’ve forgotten or overlooked.

We get busy with life. Others things crowd in. The urgent consumes the truly important and before long we’ve drifted from the foundational, fundamental importance of our relationship with Jesus. He becomes “one of the things” in our life instead of “our life”.

God’s Word helps us to recalibrate back to His standard.

That’s what happened here.

For over 1000 years this sacred “festival of the seventh month”, this “Feast of Tabernacles”, had been overlooked, ignored, and deemed irrelevant.

Other things had taken priority, and the celebration that had reminded the people of God’s faithfulness and goodness had been thrown in the scrap heap as out of fashion and outdated.

This was to be a yearly celebration, a time of joy, a week long festival of banquets and laughter and honoring God for His bringing of the people out of the wilderness into the Promised Land.

This was the last of the seven yearly sacred celebrations, to be held at the final harvest of their growing season.

Of the seven festivals, three were considered high festivals, to be held in higher esteem and importance. They were the sacred celebrations of Passover, Pentecost & Tabernacles.

The Passover in the O.T. was a solemn celebration of God’s provision of a Lamb’s blood to rescue the people of Israel from the death angel on that terrible night in Egypt during their captivity. It’s also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread and can be found in Lev. 23.

This sacred seven day festival commemorates the people of God’s rescue from captivity and their exodus into the wilderness to follow God until they reached the Promised Land.

In the N.T. it signifies the first coming of Christ, the Lamb of God, who gave His life on the day of Passover and made provision for our sins by His shed blood, and our freedom from the captivity of sin and our privilege to follow Him as He leads us through our lives until we reach our Promised Land of Heaven.

Pentecost in the O.T. is a joyous celebration of the first harvest in the spring mentioned in 2 Chron. 8. It’s also known as the festival of the first fruits, the festival of reaping, or the festival of weeks. It’s also traditionally (but not scripturally) a celebration of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which tradition says were given 50 days after their Exodus from Egypt, on Mt. Sanai, which in many ways was the “birth” of the Jewish nation. In Greek “Pentaconta” means 50 , thus the modern term “Pentecost”.

In the N.T. it has become the birthdate of the Church, the gift of the empowering Holy Spirit, and signifying the ongoing harvest of souls until Christ’s return. The Holy Spirit fell in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost (50 days after the Passover) and filled each Believer with the power of God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness.

The thousands that were added to the Church that day were the first fruits of many souls, including you and I today.

We are known as Pentecostal Believers, because we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly work through us as He did through those in the N.T. to proclaim the Gospel, with signs and wonders following those who believe.

This powerful relationship we have with the Holy Spirit is for the harvest of souls and is ongoing until Christ returns.

The Festival of Tabernacles in the O.T. celebrates the final harvest of the season, and a recognition of God’s faithfulness and goodness during that growing and harvest season.

It is a seven day celebration where the people were instructed to live in temporary shelters, or booths, in remembrance of the children of Israel and their residing in temporary shelters during their 40 years in the wilderness.

It was designed to be time of great joy and celebration as God’s Word was read aloud each day.

In the N.T. it has become for Christians symbolic the second coming of Christ and the final harvest of souls before His return.

I believe this is going to happen very, very soon. Jesus is coming back! What we’ve read about and heard about all of our lives and others have longed to see from centuries past is about to take place!!

In meteorology there are such things as tornado warnings and tornado watches. A warning means it’s here so take cover, a watch means conditions are favorable, so stay alert.

I believe we are in a season of watching. The conditions are favorable. We need to go about our business but be keenly aware that at any moment this could happen, so make your plans accordingly.

Recalibrate your lives to be ready at a moment’s notice, because we won’t have time to respond when the Rapture takes place, for the Bible says it will happen “in the twinkling of an eye”.

Jesus instructed us to stay alert. Luke 21:34-36 says, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

I’m hearing from many, many, many people, Bible scholars, pastors, laymen and lay women, more than ever before say, “Jesus is coming soon. Get ready!!!”

These are watchmen.

Isaiah 62:6 says, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest.”

Today I’m being a watchman on the wall. And if I don’t give warning that conditions are favorable I’ll be held accountable by God.

Listen to how God puts it in Ezekiel 33:2-6, “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’”

Today I plead with you to heed this warning. Jesus is coming back. It’s soon. He’s at the door. The trumpet is about to sound. Things are about to get real!!!

As I said a few months back the Holy Spirit has quickened my spirit to inform the Church, “Get Ready!”

The sword of God’s righteous judgment is getting ready to strike against sinful mankind. God’s wrath is getting ready to be poured out because of man’s rebellion and rejection of God and their choice to live apart from Him and His commands.

It’s no different than in every other time before documented in God’s Word, but this upcoming judgement will be the last time. Jesus is coming back and the Great Tribulation as described in Revelation will begin. Those who are left behind will experience catastrophe and heartache and agony unlike the world has ever experienced before.

And we’re not ready, Church. The world isn’t ready and the Church isn’t ready!

Let’s get ready!!

Let’s get our bags packed! Let’s get our houses in order! Let’s not be caught by surprise!

Fortunately God hasn’t left us in the dark about this. He’s made it clear that there are signs to look for, clues to decipher, and conditions to be aware of that will help us to know what season we are approaching. I believe we are approaching very quickly into the season of the return of our Lord!

We can look to prophecy for strong signs and clues, and there is none more relevant than when Israel became a nation again back in 1948. This started the clock ticking to the return of Christ, because in prophecy all eyes must always be on Israel and Jerusalem.

Matthew 24:32-34 says, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

The fig tree is symbolic of Israel in God’s Word. It’s leaves came out in 1948. After not being a nation for about 2500 it was re-birthed supernaturally by God in May, 1948.

Jesus said, “This generation will certainly not pass until all these things have happened.” So how long is a generation? 40 years? 50?

Psalm 90:10 I believe says it most clearly, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

So if we take a generation of 70-80 years and add it to 1948 that brings us to a window of 2018-2028.

If this holds true, then we could be right at the time just before the return of Christ. But then if we take the 7 year Tribulation and factor that in, deducting that number from 2018-2028 makes it 2011-2021, which actually places us right in the middle of that range where Jesus could return.

Are we living on borrowed time? Is God holding back just a bit longer so that one more soul can be saved? Only He knows the day and the hour, but I’m sure keenly aware and believe that we are in the season and the conditions are favorable for Christ’s return!

And what about “all these things” Jesus mentioned must happen as a sign just the trumpet sounds?

Listen to the conditions just before He returns – Matthew 24:6-7, 9-12, 14, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and pestilence and earthquakes in various places. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Wars and rumors of wars? Check
Nations rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms? Check
Famines & pestilence? Check
Earthquakes in all kinds of places? Check
Persecutions and killings of the Saints of God? Check
Hated by everyone because of our Faith? Check
Many turning from the Faith? Check
Betrayals and hatred of families and friends? Check
False prophets deceiving many? Check
The love of most growing cold? Sadly, Check
The Gospel being preached in the whole world? Check!

Luke 21:25-26, adds to this list the following signs, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

Joel 2:31-32, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Many of us may know that we are in the middle of what is being called the 4 consecutive blood moons, also known as a tetrad.

A blood moon is a lunar eclipse, where the moon gets between the sun and earth. This phenomena makes the moon look red, like blood.

There have been many, many blood moons over the natural course of history, but this tetrad is significant in that they land on the high festival days of Passover and Tabernacles.

First blood moon was April,15, 2014, Passover.
Second blood moon was October 8, Feast of Tabernacles
Third blood moon will occur this April 4, Passover.
Fourth blood moon will take place this September 28, Feast of Tabernacles.

This has only occurred where 4 consecutive blood moons have fallen on high festival days since Jesus crucifixion 7 other times. This is the eighth. All other times it has happened have been significant in the history of the nation of Israel and the Church.

The first tetrad was in 162-63 A.D., the second in 795-96 A.D., the third in 842-43 A.D., the fourth in 860-61 A.D., fifth in 1493-94 A.D., the sixth in 1949-50 A.D., and the seventh in 1967-68.

It’s interesting to note that the sixth occurred the year Israel was officially recognized by the UN as a nation, the seventh occurred during the Six Day War, which saw Israel take back Jerusalem as their capital for the first time in 2500 years.

We are in the midst of the eighth tetrad since the Crucifixion of Christ. In fact, the midpoint to this was just a couple of weeks ago, on January 5.

Now the number eight in the Bible signifies regeneration, resurrection, and new beginnings.

Could it be that this eighth tetrad since the Crucifixion could mean a new beginning?

Could it be that we are coming up on a very interesting time in world history as it relates to prophecy?

This is not a warning, per se, but a watch.

And one more significant aspect of this year is that it’s a Jubilee year. What is a Jubilee year?

Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. Every seventh year is a sabbath or a sabbatical year, where the land is to lie fallow. Every seventh seven (49 years) is a year of sabbath, called a year of Jubilee, where they sound off a trumpet blast and announce throughout the land that slaves are to be freed and debts cancelled. You can read about in Lev. 25.

Did you catch that? I’ll say it again. This year we are in right now is a Jubilee year. It’s a year where slaves are to be freed and debts cancelled! This is the year of God’s universal pardon! Could it be that we’re getting ready to hear a trumpet blast and be set free!?

That’s why we sing, “Behold He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call. So lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, and out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!”

This Jubilee, also knows as the Shemitah, begins at 6pm on Sunday evening, Sept. 13, and concludes at 6pm, Sept. 14, of this year, which happens to also be the lunar seven year anniversary of the global financial meltdown of 2008 which was also the seven year lunar anniversary of the response to the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Could these last two be warnings for America? Could this next one on this Jubilee year be more significant?

By the way, another tetrad coinciding with Jewish festivals won’t take place for another 500 years or so.

The climate is juicy, the atmosphere is ripe, the conditions are favorable, the signs are all around us. And whether the Lord returns this year or next year or a hundred years from now, we are warned to be wise in staying prepared, keeping watch, and not being at all caught by surprise.

I’m not saying Jesus IS coming back this year, I’m saying the signs point to a heightened possibility.

I’m saying that this year may prove to be a year where, if we don’t recalibrate, if we don’t get our houses in order, if we don’t realize that it’s not business as usual anymore and don’t wake up, we might be reeling because of our being ill prepared.

Let’s get ready! Let’s recalibrate back to God’s Word! Let’s repent, turn from our wicked ways, humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face, cry out to Him and place our whole beings in His care! Seek Him first and only! Prioritize Jesus as number One again in your life!! As Joel wrote, “All who call on the Lord will be saved!”

No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return for His Bride, but we can know the seasons and the signs.

The men of Issachar in 1 Chron. 12:32 knew the seasons and the signs of the times and knew how to respond and live their lives accordingly.

This festival of the seventh month, the Festival of Tabernacles that celebrated God’s faithfulness of the harvest is coming up again this September. It’ll take place at the final of the four blood moons.

Right now we’re still in the Church Age of the Festival of Pentecost, or the Festival of Weeks, signifying the ongoing harvest of souls in the power of the Holy Spirit until Christ’s return.

We are in the days between Passover (the provision of the Lamb) and Tabernacles (the final harvest).

But there’s coming a time, and I believe it to be soon and very soon, that we are going to see the King. The most grand Feast of Tabernacles will be held at the marriage supper of the Lamb, as we celebrate God’s faithfulness and the final last harvest of souls in these final days where He is pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh, as He promised to do in Joel 2:28-29, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

So let’s get ready. Let’s not be caught unaware.

Jesus told this parable immediately after He spoke of the signs of the end times. Listen.

Matthew 25:1-13, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

The watch has been posted this January 18, 2015. Lift up your head, for your redemption is drawing closer and closer and closer. Are you ready?