What About Coming National Judgment?

NOAA lightningWe live in shaky times. Wickedness abounds, hostility toward Christians is rapidly increasing, and many problems are afflicting our nation and world for which there do not seem to be solutions.

In the midst of this, some are calling loudly for judgment — and even seem to be enjoying the prospect of it coming. Who and what should we believe? How should we view what is happening around us? What should we do, and how should we pray in the middle of it? Or is it all going down, and there is no point in praying anymore?

I have not been on the Shemitah bandwagon. Most of you probably know what I am referring to. In case you don’t, a New York Times bestseller, The Mystery of the Shemitah, is at the center of it. The last day of the Shemitah year was Sunday, 9-13-15. Predictions were made of a total economic collapse, with a possible huge stock market crash on Friday, 9-11-15, or Monday, 9-14-15, the two closest business dates.

Along with the Shemitah, a lot of attention has been given to the four blood moons falling on Jewish feast days in 2014 and 2015. Three of those have occurred, with the final one coming 9-27/9-28. Although I acknowledge that  blood moons on the feast days might be an end-times sign, I have not been a fan of the blood moons emphasis either.

In addition, there have been many reports of visions and dreams of tsunamis devastating both the east and west coasts of America. When Greece defaulted on loans midsummer, a 1994 economic collapse prophecy by David Wilkerson briefly caused a lot of alarm. Over the last few months these things have been widely (and wildly) talked about among some Christians. Fear is a huge problem throughout the world, and clearly the Body of Christ is struggling with it, too. Unfortunately, some in Christian media are capitalizing on that fear through sensationalism.

How do we know whether these phenomena are worth being concerned about? Here is the process I slowly worked through in trying to discern the Shemitah, blood moons, and various prophecies:

1.)  I looked at whether the claims agreed with Scripture and whether Scripture was being correctly used in supporting them.  I felt that applying the Shemitah to America was not biblically correct. The seventh year of resting the land, canceling debts, and releasing indentured servants was meant exclusively for Israel. America is not a new Israel, bound by Old Testament law, although persuasive arguments were given to prove that it is. The Bible does not connect the Shemitah with economic collapse, either. I felt that Scripture had been taken out of context and misapplied.

The blood moons were said to be a fulfillment of prophecies in Joel 2:31 and Revelation 6:12, 13. It does not look to me as if the current blood moons fit the magnitude of what Joel and Revelation describe.

2.)  I researched whether historical facts supported the claims. If economic crashes (or at the very least, downturns) were part and parcel of Shemitah years, and if God was applying them to America, then going back through our nation’s history should have revealed negative economic events showing up every seven years. They did not. Downturns happened erratically, not consistently every seven years.

The timing of past historical events in relation to previous series of blood moons was initially reported inaccurately. The story started out that the blood moons appeared as omens before certain dramatic events connected with Israel had occurred. However, the blood moons actually came after the events had already happened.

3.)  I looked at whether numerous people from different streams of Christianity were saying the same things. Quite a few prophetic leaders were not on the Shemitah / blood moon / destruction of America bandwagon. For instance, I did not see Mike Bickle, James Goll, or Cindy Jacobs promoting them. Spirit-filled Reformed and Word of Faith friends were not hearing much about them in their circles, either.

Concerning the dreams and visions of tsunamis on the east and west coasts of America, the sheer number of the revelations, along with the credibility of some who had received them, indicated to me that the basic tsunami visions are genuine.

However, the interpretation and application has been generally poor. Too many have assumed that the timing for these calamities is now, which may not be the case. It is possible that people are seeing into things which will not happen until the Great Tribulation has begun. Some have urged believers to flee from the coasts immediately. However, God does not expect us to make drastic moves without a clear, personal word from Him. And, I don’t think it is completely clear whether the tsunamis are literal or symbolic representations. They could be both.

4.)  I listened to what the Lord was speaking (and not speaking) to me. I was hearing that there would be difficult times in 2015, but also that there was nothing to fear and that God would take care of His people. Whenever I asked Him about the predictions and prophecies concerning economic collapse, all I heard was that there was nothing to fear.

5.)  I asked, “What is the fruit of the Shemitah / blood moons / judgment disasters focus?”

  • Fear, which is not of God. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21:26) and “fearful looking for judgment” (Hebrews 10:27) are not the heritage of the righteous, yet God’s people have been sucked into these very things. This is not good fruit.
  • Emphasis on money and the economic system, rather than dependence on God. I saw that most of us are not trusting in the Lord as our Source of all provision. I was troubled by what I discovered in my own heart and asked the Lord to help me do a better job of depending on Him for my needs to be met.
  • The distraction from Jesus, the gospel message, and intercession. Instead, the fascination has been with mystical, obscure signs, speculations, and distress over how to preserve our material goods. This, to me, is the most disturbing fruit of all.

I am not denying that we may have difficult days ahead. Our nation’s sins are a great concern. The shift away from allying ourselves with Israel is, too. Many aspects of current events are indeed troubling.

But I harbor hope and faith that if we persevere in prayer, God will even yet have mercy and set things right. I am still looking for a great harvest of souls in America before the end. My determination is to not give up, to not cave in to fear, and to not be distracted from the Lord and His purposes.

Next time: Ways we can pray in the midst of shaking

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5 responses to “What About Coming National Judgment?

  1. One of my pastors expressed his frustration with the Shemitah buzz last week when we were talking; he was disappointed that another large name pastor whom he admires has been partnering with this idea. My other pastor, interestingly, two weeks ago was fellowshipping with a church in New York City in our network, and the pastor of that church said that he has the same feeling now that he did right before 9/11 – that something of epic consequence is looming on the horizon. He believes it may be related to CERN.

    I’ve shared with you my own tsunami dreams last spring, and the sheer number of trusted Christian friends in my immediate circle whom I know to have had such dreams (four of them are quite sure that they are literal and for the east coast; one had premonitions of the east and west coast, and still another the east coast + Japan) leads me to believe that there is indeed a large natural disaster coming, and that it is probably more imminent than we realize.

    I think if Christians are consumed with fear over these speculations, they’re probably not walking as close to the Father as they should be anyway. But here’s a thought: I am wondering if God won’t use the Shemitah either way. For me, investigating it got me educated a little better in economic trends, currency, and commodities, and I’m very thankful to be a lot less ignorant about my resources than I was four months ago. Even if there’s nothing at all to the spiritual predictions, the reality is that our national debt + quantitative easing measures + wasteful spending means that we’re in an unprecedented fiscal mess, and sooner or later, the reality of our situation is going to manifest and be felt in very practical ways like Greece and Puerto Rico.

    For other Christians who have never lived through a depression or recession, hopefully they are more tuned in to the possibility that saving, stewardship, and preparation are sensible ideas that they can employ (my grandmother lived through the depression and canned every winter; my generation generally doesn’t think more than a couple days ahead, if that).

    As for the whole idea of judgment…John Paul Jackson in his Perfect Storm video described judgment less as God hurling thunderbolts and more as Him simply removing His hand of blessing/protection over a nation. It’s a new way of thinking about it for me. Throughout scripture, the land physically reacted to the bloodshed of the innocent (Numbers 35:33, Psalm 106:38, etc.). I can envision the earth quaking, swallowing up, and vomiting because of sin’s pollution just like it did in ancient times, as a basic spiritual consequence.

    For me, the idea of judgments, economic collapse, or anything related to end times doesn’t negate the idea of bringing in the harvest, nor the faith-prayer to see God’s kingdom come. If anything, I suppose it quickens it. I mean, they’re not mutually exclusive of each other. Just like preparing for possible disaster doesn’t detract from sharing the gospel. (And in scripture, doesn’t the harvest precede the rise of the Antichrist?)

    And I agree with you: I am probably more concerned over our stance on Israel than anything else.

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    • Thanks for your thoughts, Emily. Yes, there are many reasons to be concerned. The thoughtful discussions you and I had have been part of my whole process of working through this. We’ll have to watch how it all unfolds. I think it is time to keep praying our way through the days ahead.

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  2. Agreed, and likewise! Your wisdom has definitely sharpened my own understanding, and has been a blessing to me and my husband.

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  3. This hype reminds me of the panic of Y2K. Could I suggest a ‘mob’ attitude in play? Our Father just does not act that way For as Christ is our kinsman-redeemer, we too, also have a dual role as discerners of truth, and providers/protectors of the less fortunate., So chill and be calm. We are proactive yes? Ephesian armor is made for going forward. This novel, however makes some pilgrims reactive. You lose that way…I don’t intend to ‘serve’ such false doctrine. Just remember, a king that holes up in his castle is lost already. Am I the only one here on this blog proclaiming God (Jesus) is the only One who knows such timing? Can I assume all of us here interpret the Holy Writ literally? One is for God or not, there are no grey postures, right?.

    I like some of your answers LeeAnn. May you be blessed and prosper. We are in exciting times, the latter days. Christ warned many times about them, “Lo here is Christ” but do NOT follow them. Mathew 24 is quite clear on this point.

    Sorry if I sound rough and intolerant, soldiering does change people.

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