Blood Moons and Whirlwinds

Year of the Whirlwind

In a recent article in Charisma magazine for February 2015, Lisa Great, a minister, blogger, and former Malaysian pastor, wrote what she believes is a prophetic message about future events and the implications for Christians (http://www.charismamag.com/life/women/22316-a-prophetic-look-at-2015).  

Lisa Great writes in her article the following explanation:  

In the Hebrew calendar we are in the year 5775, which is the Year of the Whirlwind. Five is the number of grace and 7 is the number of completion, which means we have double completion of grace this year. 

Great’s message is based on the idea that the “Year of the Whirlwind” in the Hebrew calendar, as well as the appearance of four lunar eclipses during this same year, both signal significant events coming in the world. 

This year is going to be a whirlwind year, the Hebrew calendar says it is, the signs in the heaven [sic] are declaring it with the four blood moons, which mean change in a way that is unprecedented.

Great then adds further evidence of the significance of these signs in the heavens by referring to a “double tornado” that struck Nebraska in June of 2014, for when there is “double,” she writes, “it means it is going to happen.” Great’s evidence for this statement is Christ’s use of the “verily, verily” phrase in His messages:  

Jesus would say, truly, truly or in some versions, verily, verily I say unto you. I believe God is speaking through the prophets and the signs in the heavens, truly, truly this is the year of the whirlwind.

Astoundingly, Great then relates how she received further insights into this message:

When I was inquiring of the Lord about the year of the whirlwind, He reminded me of the movie The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy was in her house, when the whirlwind came and took her into a world she could not even have imagined or dreamed of. Her whole life changed forever.

Great concludes with what she believe God’s message to be overall:

I believe we are on the tail end of one age and on the precipice of another. This end is going to mean a season of discipline for some who did not repent (change the way they think), and a season of rewards for others who endured the flames of the last season and came out as vessels of honor.

 

Test the Spirits

The Apostle John speaks to all believers in the Church, writing the following:  “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (I John 4:1).

Therefore, I believe we need to exercise discernment, testing the spirits, whenever we encounter such “prophetic” messages, whether personally delivered, read in Christian publications, or seen in television broadcasts or films.  

Personally, I believe that the spiritual gift of prophecy and the prophetic ministry gift are both still valid and viable in the Church today, for before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He gave the disciples the following teaching about the Holy Spirit:

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

Connecting this admonition to what ultimately occurred on the Day of Pentecost, we find that he outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the consequent gifts and ministries provided were to be needed and necessary, not just in Jerusalem and nearby countries, but also in “the remotest part of the earth.”  This statement more than covers both the geography and chronology of the Church today.  

In addition, the Apostle Paul wrote the following instructions, not just for the Church in Corinth, but also for “all the churches of the saints,” in his words: 

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. (I Corinthians 14:29-33)

It is clear that Paul’s primary concern is about doing everything “decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:39-40) when the Church assembles, but the context of these teachings also gives us the parameters for the operation of the prophetic gifts and ministries in the church until Christ comes again.

What might we discern from Lisa Great’s message, therefore, a message which purports to be a prophetic message to the church?  

I have a number of concerns and cautions, including the following points.

While I understand that the Holy Spirit speaks in the languages we all understand when He is speaking to us prophetically, as opposed to the gift of prayer in an unknown language, to use a Hollywood Judy Garland film to emphasize His message’s meaning seems a bit like using a Star Wars character like C3PO or Darth Vader to reveal spiritual exhortations. 

Note the following admonition the Lord give the nation of Israel after coming out of Egypt and before entering the Promised Land:

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (Deuteronomy 18:9-11)

Two notable prohibitions in this passage are “divination” and the interpretation of “omens.” These include the following practices as described in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: 

  • “Divination” is “the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers.” 
  • “Omen” is supposedly a “sign or warning of something that will happen in the future.”

These occultic practices may be discerned subtly in Lisa Great’s “prophecy,” for she uses the framework of the ancient Hebrew calendar and even numerology to proclaim these portents, or “omens.”

 

The Four Blood Moons 

Significantly, Lisa Great’s message mirrors somewhat the teachings of other more visible teachers, including John Hagee, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church.  

John Hagee has been at the forefront of  the “Four Blood Moons” teaching, and he currently has a book and a film on this topic titled Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change.  In fact, Lisa Great even alludes to this teaching in her written prophecy, as follows:  

This year is going to be a whirlwind year, the Hebrew calendar says it is, the signs in the heaven are declaring it with the four blood moons, which mean change in a way that is unprecedented (I encourage you to study the four blood moons and what they are saying to the earth).

As evidence for his claims, Hagee uses the conjunction of the lunar eclipses with a Passover feast or Sukkot feast:  

“The sun and the moon and the Earth are controlled by God almighty,” Hagee said. “He is the one that is getting them in a direct alignment on a certain day at a certain time — but each time, it’s a Passover or Sukkot. . . .In the past, the rare appearance of four blood moons on these feast days has coincided with major events for Israel and the Jewish people. (Multiple Sources)

One problem with this approach is that the Jewish feast days were scheduled around a lunar calendar, particularly the full moon when eclipses occur, but another problem is that the significant events Hagee mentions, such as the 1967 Six-Day War, do not occur during an eclipse, much less four blood moons. (see https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/oh-bloody/)

 

The Comet Ison

Then we have the prediction that the comet Ison is a sign of Christ’s coming, as Steve Fletcher, PPSIMMONS Ministry Contributor, relates in his online site.  

(See http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/09/is-comet-ison-the-sign-of-christs-coming-amazing-details-2753180.html).  

Fletcher relates that this comet will become visible to the naked eye on the first day of Hanukkah. Oh, wait!  Hold the presses or your tablets!  

This comet appeared in 2013.

 

The Shemitah and Isaiah 9:10 Teachings

This teaching is also similar to the “Shemitah” teachings of the Messianic Jewish Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his book titled The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future, a New York Times bestseller.  This book concerns the Shemitah, which he defines as follows:

“Shemitah (shemee-TA), or Sabbath year…the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the land of Israel. Understanding this seven-year pattern is essential for understanding the prophecy and mysteries of the Bible that are still applicable today. (http://www.sign.org/product/mystery-shemitah)

In addition, Cahn’s DVD titled The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment:  Is There an Ancient Mystery that Foretells America’s Future, links so-called prophetic end-times events to the verse in Isaiah.

In his writings, Cahn reveals what he calls “an ancient mystery that holds the secret of America’s future and the collapse of the global economy.”

“Before its destruction as a nation, ancient Israel received nine harbingers, prophetic omens of warning,” he says. “The same nine harbingers are now manifesting in America with immediate ramifications for end-time prophecy.”

The key to decoding the harbingers, he says, is found in understanding the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10, what it meant to Israel, and how the history seems to be repeating itself in America today.  Below, see the passage in context:

The Lord sends a message against Jacob,
And it falls on Israel.
And all the people know it,
That is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
Asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart:
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with smooth stones;
The sycamores have been cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”
11 Therefore the Lord raises against them adversaries from Rezin
And spurs their enemies on,
12 The Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west;
And they devour Israel with gaping jaws.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out.

13 Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them,
Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts. (Isaiah 9:8-13)

In this passage, Isaiah quotes Jewish leaders’ responses in verse 10 to an attack by Assyria, an attack Isaiah declares a judgment by God against apostasy intended to stir Israel to repentance.  Nevertheless, a link between ancient Israel and modern-day America seems unclear to say the least.

 

What Does Jesus Say?

Admittedly, such teachings as these by John Hagee, and Rabbi Cahn sell a lot of books at best and attract people who are being led by the flesh rather than the Holy Spirit at the worst.  These seekers are looking to things seen rather than things unseen, or walking in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. Notice what the Apostle Paul says,

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  (II Corinthians 4:17-18)

In Paul’s teaching on walking in the flesh, Paul includes both idolatry and sorcery in his list of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20), and he exhorts believers, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (v. 25). 

Therefore, if walking in the Spirit is the will of God, it’s difficult to do so by being directed and moved by physical, earthly, physical events, signs, or omens, following the practices forbidden by God even under the Old Covenant.

To put this dilemma in a true context, however, we must also consider Jesus’ prophecy concerning the end times:

There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  (Luke 21:25-27)

This prophecy seems to condone what Lisa Great, John Hagee, and Jonathan Cahn are proposing that we investigate and follow for our lives.  

We must consider, however, that Jesus does not deliver this prophecy to declare how true believers should govern their lives.  Yes, these signs will appear in the heavens and upon the earth, yet we still must not be led into occult practices, follow the practices of divination, or imitate those who interpret omens.

 

Bible Verses Warning About Astrology

  1.  And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)
  2. “If there is found in your midst, in any of your towns, which the Lord your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, by transgressing His covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host,which I have not commanded, and if it is told you and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire thoroughly. Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to death.   (Deuteronomy 17:3)
  3. “You are wearied with your many counsels;
    Let now the astrologers,
    Those who prophesy by the stars,
    Those who predict by the new moons,
    Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.
    “Behold, they have become like stubble,
    Fire burns them;
    They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame;
    There will be no coal to warm by
    Nor a fire to sit before! (Isaiah 47:13-14)
  4. Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord,“Do not learn the way of the nations,  And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, although the nations are terrified by them.  (Jeremiah 10:1-2)

 

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