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Are You Ready? I grew up reading, listening, and watching warnings that Jesus was on the way to pick up his followers. The book The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, was a non-fiction description of why we were on the brink of the rapture. The Left Behind series was likely inspired by this book. The movie Thief in the Night was a frightening depiction of a post-rapture world, in which Christians were rounded up and threatened with the guillotine if they did not take the mark of the Beast. Finally, Larry Norman’s song, “I wish we’d all been ready,” soulfully mourned those who knew Jesus was coming, but were not prepared. 2 Peter 3:10 tells us that Jesus’ coming will be ‘like a thief.’ Likewise Matthew 24:44 says he will come at an hour we do not expect. So, why do we not hear much in churches today about Jesus’ return, when it was such a hot topic in from the 1970s-90s? The short answer is that we ministers overplayed our hand. I remember the images of televangelists waving the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, proclaiming, “Fulfillment! Fulfillment!” Ultimately, there was too much newspaper and not enough Bible. After the threat of the Y2K Bug fizzled, many Christian ministers became reticent to address the promised return of Jesus. Still—the Bible says Jesus will come back. So, why wouldn’t a Christian be ready? Problem #1—they figure it’s been 2,000 years; it just might be 2,000 more. Problem #2—they believe certain events must happen before Jesus returns: the rebuilding of the Temple, the preaching of Jesus to all peoples, or perhaps that the Antichrist becomes identified. The final problem is that they just get too busy with daily life, and the promise/threat of Christ returning fades. How to address these challenges? In answer to all of them, Jesus says to be ready. That so many are no longer expecting him to return soon means we are in exactly the kind of time when he might—an hour when he is not expected! Further, In Luke 12:40 the Master labels Christians who are unprepared as slovenly and careless. Jesus-followers should continue to share their faith, engage in charity, seek out strong Bible teaching, do what is right, eschew what is wrong, and obey God’s directions. What of those who are not God-seekers?. Become one. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him—though He is not far. A final humble suggestion—God associates with his own followers; so church is a good place to find Him!
For the first time in almost 2,000 years the Sanhedrin did as commanded by the bible and started the New Year on March 10th of 2016. (The priests also sacrificed a grain offering on a small temple altar at that time.) Some of us were following the "blood moons" on His "divine appointments" last year (much of that is explained in books, movies and videos) and when nothing happened on Elul 29-Feast of Trumpets some folks were upset and others ridiculed. But folks forgot or didn't know that this is a Shemitah/Jubilee two year period and we are not to the end of that yet. To me this is particularly apparent as a "God thing" when you note that when the year was started as instructed by the bible (as happened this year) that the solar eclipses and lunar eclipses on His New Year's days and main divine appointment days have continued through 2016. I am posting this for other "watchers" who would like to know these things as I believe they testify of His coming. I do not believe He will come soon "in glory" as the second coming is a progressive event (I believe starting with God and the Father appearing to Joseph Smith, then Jesus appearing to prophets in various temples, and we know he will appear at Adam-ondi-Ahman, at His temple in the New Jerusalem, to rescue the Jews in Jerusalem, etc. before He comes in glory to cleanse the Earth and judge humankind.) So...If these things interest you I will post some sources below that you can research further. Elder Bednar (and the scriptures of course) has repeatedly said in recent years to "Watch with all perserverance" and that is what I am trying to do. Perhaps some others will want to take the opportunity to learn about what is going on in the Heavens as well. The 7 High Holy Days this Year, 2016 (with some other perhaps significant dates thrown in) Spring 9-10 March [Nisan 1] . God's Biblical Calendar begins - New Year Total Solar Eclipse, New Moon, a supermoon 23-24 March . . . . . Passover Penumbral Lunar Eclipse also 2 comets (among the five closest to the Earth ever recorded) (2 day Seder observance in diaspora) 24-31 March . . . . . Feast of Unleavened Bread (7 day observance) 27-28 March . . . . . Feast of First Fruits (Resurrection) (1 day observance) ** 15-16 May . . . . . . Pentecost (1 day observance) ** Fall 3/4 August to 11 September is . . Teshuvah (40 Days of Repentance) So 9/11 significant?...perhaps very! The Jubilee year did not start until the Day of Atonement 2015 so a full year could end on the day of atonement or 9/11 this year. 1 September . . . . . Elul 29 * Annular Solar Eclipse -- this eclipse officially ends at 12:00 (exactly) UTC tim 2-4 September . . . . Feast of Trumpets and Civic New Year (2 day observance) 11-12 September . . . Day of Atonement (1 day observance) 16-23 September . . . Feast of Tabernacles Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (seven day observance) * In hindsight, it is not surprising that nothing happened last year on Elul 29 as prevously the Shemita years of 2001 and 2008 were not followed by a Jubilee year. Anciently they were to not sow for two years, the second year led to greater deliverance as well, particularly from debt and servitude. These were sacred years where they were able to be with family on the tribal lands and worship in ways that were not possible when sowing/harvesting. Perhaps in a way we are doing that as well...perhaps that is why there has been such a push to keep the Sabbath Day Holy this year? So with my watching Elul 29 or the Day of Atonement this year as the end of this third Shemitah (this year shemitah/jubilee) "week" in a row (prior two had significant stock market crashes), does anyone else see as very significant the fact that the Elul 29/Feast of Trumpets eclipse ends at 12:00 (an exact symbolic number?). When I saw the 12:00 exact time it just stuck out to me, you can find it here... http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2016-september-1 Also, some count the calendar a day different than others...http://www.ccg.org/weblibs/study-papers/a_p2016.html