Our Calling This Shemitah Year, Part 2: Blood Moons, the Feasts and Our Role
In Part 1, we looked at the progressive revelation of God’s wrath, including the five primary acts of God’s wrath, the five elements common to each, and the three milestones marking where we are in the timeline. With that in mind, I want to overlay one more aspect that brings us to our current day.
The Shemitah & Blood Moons
The Day of Atonement in 2014 was in the tenth month on the Gregorian calendar, just nine days after the Feast of Trumpets, which Judaism celebrates as Rosh Hashanah or New Years on the Hebrew calendar, the start of the year 5775. 5775 is also a Shemitah year as described in Deuteronomy 15. A Shemitah year is the last year in a seven-year cycle. This one started on September 26, 2014 and culminates at the end of the Hebrew year which is September 13, 2015 on the Gregorian calendar.
A Shemitah is a year of rest, releasing and remission. The Biblical instructions are to rest from our work for a year and to release debts at the end of the year. Land reverts back to its original owner at the end of the year. It’s meant to be a blessing to the nation who keeps the Shemitah.
But, we don’t keep it. We aren’t on a seven-year cycle of rest, release and remission. However, at the end of the last Shemitah year, we saw a lot of people released from their debt. It was the year 2008, the financial market crashed in the U.S. People walked away from mortgages and claimed bankruptcy. Debtors were forced to release their debts, because people couldn’t pay.
At the end of the Sh’mittah in 2001 is when 9/11 occurred. Consequently, companies went out of business and tens of thousands of people were laid off. People were forced to rest from their work.
This is how the Shemitah has been in recent history. Instead of the blessing it was intended to be, it has become a time of awakening, a call back to God, a call into a time of repentance. I’m not saying 9/11 and the financial crash were God’s will. I’m saying that those sorts of calamities and injustices become possible for a nation that is moving away from God’s blessing, provision and protection.
How many calls to repentance will it take? How many calls will there be before we enter God’s judgment? As we saw in Part 1, at some point God shut the door of Noah’s ark. There came a day when the sacrificial lamb of atonement was slain. There was a specific day when it came time for Yeshua’s crucifixion. How long do we have before the door on this period of repentance is shut and God’s wrath has to begin?
Connecting the Dots
We can’t expect unbelievers to connect all these dots. They don’t know about the Shemitah, they haven’t read Leviticus or Deuteronomy. Many Christian’s don’t even know about this. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be writing about this myself, except that there are two best-selling books on the subject, The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah, both by Jonathan Cahn. And who’s to say those books aren’t part of God’s plan also?
So what does God do? He highlights the year on everyone’s calendar. Only instead of a highlighter pen, he uses the moon. Something people don’t have to learn about in a church or from a best-selling book. Something anyone and everyone can see for themselves.
This Shemitah year is bookmarked by two total lunar eclipses, during which the full moon appears dark red as it passes into the earth’s shadow, also called a blood moon. One occurred just 12 days into the Jewish New Year, on October 8, 2014; and another one will occur just 15 days after the Shemitah year ends September 28, 2015. Both occur during the Fall Feasts.
For those who’d rather use the Biblical date of the New Year, Nisan 1 (Exodus 12:2), a blood moon occurred 15 days into the new year on Nisan 15 (the day of Passover), and another one will occur on April 4, 2015, just 14 days after the year ends (again on the day of Passover).
These four total lunar eclipses are also accompanied by two partial and two total solar eclipses in the same time period, April 2014 – September 2015. Everyone, everywhere on the planet can look up and recognize that something unusual is occurring, and ponder the universe and its Creator. Psalm 97:6: “The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory.”
It’s not just believers who look at the sky and ponder their Maker. This is a built-in response in all humans. Remember Romans 1:18-20:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
Four lunar eclipses in a row are relatively rare, but the fact that each of them occur on or during a Feast of the Lord is extremely rare. This, however, is obviously not apparent to unbelievers, but more of a wake-up call or at the very least an underlining of his Feast dates for believers.
Folks, this is a divine set-up:
- You have a group of people that are connecting all the dots and following God’s leading and instructions.
- You have a Shemitah year that marks another seven years of unrepentance in the nation. The last two Shemitahs have been times of shaking for people.
- You have a best-selling book alerting people that there might be something bigger at work here. It’s not a Bible, so unbelievers are reading it.
- Plus, now you’ve got a reason for people to gaze into the sky and see for themselves “the heavens declaring His glory.”
That’s a recipe for calling people to repentance, ready-made with Torah-observant believers who can point people to God and His word to answer their questions, usher them into God’s forgiveness and show them the way of righteousness.
This Divine Set-up is Our Calling!
Will we participate in what God is doing in this Shemitah year?
Here’s what’s at stake: Remember from Part 1, one “it is finished” milestone has passed, two more are to come. The pattern of God’s wrath begins with a time of repentance. God sets things in motion, then allots a time of repentance and gets the word out every way he can before his wrath begins.
But his wrath will begin at some point. The door will be shut. The earth and all its inhabitants will be cleansed of unrighteousness, and they will either call on Yeshua’s blood as their atonement or atone for their sins with their own blood.
That’s what the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement reminds us of every year. And that’s what is at stake during this time of repentance – peoples’ eternal destiny. Whether they live into the tribulation and have to make a decision or die a natural death, all will be resurrected at the Great White Throne for the final judgment, and their names cross-checked with those written in the Book of Life.
Are we at the beginning of a new cycle leading up to the next milestone?
I encourage you to seek God’s heart in this matter, to get in touch with his agonizing sorrow and grief at the thought of seeing his children – whom he formed in the womb – perish in his wrath because they never accepted his gift of atonement, they didn’t sign their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Take on his compassion for them, and get ready to use it as those around you begin questioning, worrying, wondering, and seeking.
This is our Purpose
A practical explanation of our purpose in these days is included in a book my dad, Jerry Cook, wrote a few years ago, “The Monday Morning Church.” In it, he discusses Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost proclaiming the start of the Last Days described in the book of Joel. He identifies God’s three-pronged strategy as:
- A prophetic community of believers now empowered by the Spirit poured out on the Day of Pentecost. This Spirit-filled community sees, hears and speaks from God’s perspective, able to bring God’s perspective to the human reality at all times, in every culture throughout the planet.
- The world experiences natural disasters in the heavens and on earth, shaking peoples’ worlds literally and figuratively.
- “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32). Because of the disasters, people begin to call on the name of the Lord. Because of the pouring out of the Spirit, believers are able to respond to them with God’s perspective.
Cook asserts that being the presence of Yeshua in peoples’ lives is the only purpose of believers, and that everything else we do is secondary.
This is our time. This coming time of repentance is our purpose. This coming year will bring more catastrophes, disasters and tragedies that cause people to fear for their own future, their own security and their lives. We are here to minister and point them to Yeshua as their world is falling apart around them.
Get in touch with God’s heart and compassion for those who are lost, and remain outside of Yeshua’s atonement. Immerse yourself in his Spirit, ask Him to inspire you with his perspective, so that this year – more than ever before – you can see, hear and speak from his perspective into the lives of those around you during this time of repentance.