A Call for Repentance

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About a week ago I happened upon a book I’d purchased five or six years ago.  That particular day I had a sad feeling in my heart.   I was thinking about our nation, and how so many have turned their eyes away from God.  I was in my room straightening up, going through drawers and storage bins.  Then, I saw the book.  It wasn’t very big, and it was what most would consider a short read.  The name of the book was  In God We Trust.  I thought that was quite fitting since this particular day, I was feeling a sense of gloom for the country.

I decided today would be the day to read that book.  And read it I did.  But, there were two particular pages that grabbed my attention right away.  One page had a picture of Abraham Lincoln on it.  The title on the page was National Blessing.  As I read it, I was reminded of something I’d researched years before while writing my book called What Are the Chances.

In March of 1863, Abraham Lincoln found himself at the helm of a country falling apart.  The throes of war were in full swing and the country hung by a thread.  The Civil War raged, and men perished throughout the land.  Being a man of God, Lincoln knew the word.  He knew the country was in great need of revival and repentance.  He decided he would take action, and reach out to the country in an amazing, but humble way.

He decided to proclaim a National Fast Day.  On this day Lincoln urged the country to fast and pray to God.  He wrote a detailed letter, describing what needed to be done, and why it was important to repent and call out to God during this time of crisis.  Below is a copy of what Lincoln said in his letter to the nation.

By the President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been recipients of the choicest bounties in Heaven.  We have been preserved, thee many years in peace and prosperity.  We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! 

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.  And I do hereby request all of the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less that the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

President Abraham Lincoln

Now I don’t know about you, but reading this proclamation gives me a chill in my bones.  This was written during the Civil War, but I can see its fingerprints on our nation right now.  Division has taken a strong root.  Hate has spewed forth.  Our nation is at a crossroads.  The Presidential election was a reminder of how big the rift has become in our country.  Will it get larger?  That remains to be seen.  But, there’s one thing we have to consider.  How many people in our nation have really turned back to God?  How many people have truly EMBRACED Jesus Christ?  When I say embrace, I’m not talking about just accepting him- I’m talking about pulling him close to our hearts in a big bear hug.

I was at a Beth Moore conference last weekend and she taught us the difference between accepting and embracing.  She said there is “a world of difference.”  And she’s right.  Just because we accept Christ doesn’t mean we follow him.  We can accept him, but ignore his word.  We can accept him, but live in sin.  Embracing him means we live his word as best we can.  We are continually in relationship with him, seeking his will, and being obedient to his instructions.  As Beth says, “There’s a world of difference.”

What the American people need to understand is that just going to church and saying you love Jesus isn’t going to cut it.  This nation is ripping apart at the seams, and the sins of the nation are great.  Our laws and culture do not honor God.  Idolatry is rampant, and I’m not talking about worshipping golden statues.  I’m talking about the worshipping of everything except God, from money to self image.   Sexual promiscuity, gambling, drunkenness…you name it- it’s out there.  If you think I’m saying this isn’t going on in the church, you’re wrong- it’s everywhere.  The word of God is being ignored by much of the nation.

Then, there’s the question of Israel.  This is very important to God.  For most of our years the United States has been a close ally and friend of Israel.  But, the relationship has been damaged in recent years.  Back in 2005 our government brokered a peace deal that ended up with Israel giving away land.  The latest stab in the back was at the United Nations in 2016, at Hanukkah.  Obama did not veto an anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations.  Those are just a few things.  Luckily, President Trump has stated he is an avid supporter of Israel, and will even try to have the embassy moved to Jerusalem.  Nonetheless, pressure is on to stab Israel in the back.  The Arab nations shoot missiles and write “death to Israel” in their newspapers, and even on their weapons.  Israel is condemned for defending itself, while other nations get a slap on the wrist for killing Christians.

You may not be aware that there’s a total solar eclipse coming to the United States on AUGUST 21, 2017.  It’s being called The Great American Eclipse.  If you aren’t familiar with solar eclipses, it’s when the light of the Sun is blocked by the Moon.  The Sun, moon and earth are lined up during the new moon.  Since the moon is smaller than the Sun, it has to be at just the right angle to block the Sun’s light.  Most scientists will say the occurrence of a solar eclipse is truly a miracle because the way everything lines up must be in perfect order.  Yet, they happen!  Why?  Because God created the sun, moon and the stars!  Anyway, this eclipse is only touching down on American soil!  This will be the first solar eclipse to touch ONLY OUR LAND since the founding of our nation in 1776.

As I look at a map of the solar eclipse I can see it bisects our nation as it travels from west to east.  The path of totality hits our land at 10:15 a.m.,  beginning along the coast of Oregon, near Lincoln County.  It then moves through the states of  Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  That equals 14 states the eclipse shadow will pass through.  So, if you think about it, A SHADOW IS PASSING OVER 14 STATES!

I’m not preaching doom and gloom, but I’m going to be frank.  We are in some serious trouble as a nation and it doesn’t take an eclipse to convince me.  But, seeing that there is an eclipse coming, it makes me even more convinced.

The eclipse exits from an area that really turns the wheels in my mind- CHARLESTON, South Carolina.  This means it will pass through Ft. Sumter, which is where the first battle of the Civil War was fought.  Not only that, it enters near Lincoln County.  Can someone say, “Civil War? Division?”  And, the map of the eclipse’s shadow  shows the United States being divided by the eclipse!  If you don’t believe me go to http://www.greatamericaneclipse.com and take a look at the maps.  You will see the same thing.  Not only that, the eclipse touches our land at 10:15 am.  Did you know Lincoln was shot at 10:15 p.m.?

Here’s something else that’s interesting.  The eclipse occurs on the first day of Elul.  You are probably saying What is Elul?  I don’t blame you for not knowing.  Unless you are Jewish, you probably don’t recognize that Elul is the name of a month.   Elul is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year, and the sixth month of the Ecclesiastical year.  Currently, the rest of the world is on the Gregorian calendar (which was instituted by Pope Gregory of the Roman Catholic church).  If you read the Bible you’re not going to see the months of January, February……. July, August and so on listed.  That’s because they are not part of the biblical calendar.  The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar, which is dictated by the Sun.  God’s calendar, the Hebrew calendar, is based on the Moon and the Sun.

Each month of the Jewish/Hebrew calendar has significance, and the Lord’s Holy Feasts are based on this calendar.  The month of Elul has particular importance because it precedes one of the Lord’s Feasts known as Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets.  The month of Elul usually occurs in August or September (on the Gregorian calendar).  The month officially begins at the new moon.  The beginning of the month signals a time of REPENTANCE.  Every morning, during the month of Elul, the shofar (trumpet/ ram’s horn) is blown.  The blast of the shofar (trumpet) are meant to wake up the soul of every believer in God.  Throughout the month, the believer is to search their lives for sin and repent.  The use of a shofar goes back to the story of Abraham and Isaac.  Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar when suddenly God stepped in and provided a ram.  The ram was used as the sacrifice instead.  Christians can see this symbolism pointing to Jesus, who would be the lamb sacrificed for our sins.  But, note the use of the ram’s horn, or shofar/trumpet.  When this ram’s horn is blown everyday during Elul, it’s a reminder to Christians to repent and ask Jesus to forgive them.  For Jews who don’t know Jesus, it’s a reminder to ask God for forgiveness.

All the days of repentance during the month of Elul are the way to be ready for Rosh Hashanah.  This is the day when the Jewish/Hebrew new year begins.  It is also called the Day of Shouting, or the Feast of Trumpets.  It is also known as the Day of Judgment.  If a person has truly repented, their names will be inscribed in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah.  Of course as Christians we know our names are written into the Book of Life once we embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  However, the Feast of Trumpets does foreshadow something amazing in the future.  Keep in mind, when Jesus returns for his Bride, he will do so at the sound of the shofar/trumpet.  There will be a great shout and a trumpet call when he comes for the Bride.  We already know Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, as well as the feast of Pentecost.  He has yet to fulfill the Fall Feasts- the first being Rosh Hashanah.  We do not know the year, day or hour of course.  But, it is likely he will fulfill the holy feasts.  I’m not saying the solar eclipse occurring on the first day of Elul means Jesus is coming back right now.   What I think you should see is that Elul is the month of REPENTANCE.  It’s a time to turn back to God and search our hearts for sin.  As a nation, we are steeped in sin and particularly greed.   The solar eclipse happening on the first day of Elul may be coincidence, or it may be A WAKE UP CALL to repent and get our hearts right with Jesus.

We need to understand that GOD is in control of the universe.  Back in 2014/2015 there were four consecutive total LUNAR eclipses which all occurred on the Lord’s feasts.  On April 15, 2014 a total lunar eclipse occurred on PASSOVER, coinciding with the death of Abraham Lincoln, and the sinking of Titanic.  The second one occurred on October 8, 2014 on the Feast of Tabernacles.  Interestingly enough, John Hancock, known for being the first one to sign the Declaration of Independence, died on October 8, 1793. He signed his name big and bold.  He was a loyal and brave statesman, as well as a staunch revolutionary.  He is quoted as saying:

Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth….nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God.”

Another notable October 8th event occurred on October 8, 2013.  The new 100 dollar bill was issued to the public on this date.  The bill features Benjamin Franklin, along with Liberty Bells.  The number 100 points to Abraham and Isaac, as Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born.  Also, the parable of the Lost Sheep involves the number 100.  Jesus says if even one sheep is lost out of 100, he will set out and find that sheep, in order to save it.

The third total lunar eclipse occurred on Passover again on April 4, 2015.  This date lines up with when the United States liberated its first concentration camp during World War 2.  Ohrdruf concentration camp was liberated on April 4, 1945.  In addition, on this date, all of Hungary was liberated from the Nazis.  On April 4, 1949, NATO was formed.  On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated.   On April 4, 1970, the remains of Adolf Hitler were exhumed and thrown into the Elbe River.  On April 4, 1973, the original World Trade Center Towers were publically dedicated.  (they have since been destroyed in 2001)

The last total lunar eclipse occurred on September 28, 2015, on the Feast of Tabernacles.  This lunar eclipse was also a super moon.  This date lined up with the Battle of Yorktown, which occurred on September 28, 1781.  This was the most important battle of the American Revolution because it was a decisive American victory, and led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris, thus ending the war.  This battle secured our status as a new nation.  Interestingly enough, this battle was financed by a Jewish broker by the name of Haym Soloman.  Without his financing, this battle could not have been fought, and we may not have been victorious.

On September 28, 1863, a letter was written to Abraham Lincoln, asking him to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.  This would be an official day to give thanks to God for the blessings of our nation.  Lincoln honored the request by writing an official proclamation to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.  The practice would not be fully realized until after the Civil War.

In addition, on September 28, 1870, famous General Robert E. Lee suffered a stroke, leading to his death on October 12.  Lee is remembered as being one of the most brilliant military commanders in the Civil War, and U.S. history.  Even though the Confederacy lost, Lee is remembered as a great leader.  Perhaps the most famous military cemetery in the U.S., Arlington National Cemetery, sits on the property that was once owned by Lee and his wife.  They lost it during the war, but the land became a cemetery when there wasn’t enough land to bury dead bodies during the war.  The land had been seized and the government began burying dead soldiers on the grounds.

So, as you can see, in the last four years God has been writing his signature in the sky.  Astronomers will say, “That’s just the universe doing its thing.”  I beg to differ.  “That’s God doing HIS thing.

In Genesis 1:14, God said “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”

Most people think seasons means spring, summer, fall and winter.  That’s because you are looking at the word through the English language translation.  The Hebrew word for season is moed and moed does NOT mean spring, summer, fall and winter.  It means APPOINTMENT.  It also means APPOINTED FEAST, FESTIVAL, MEETING PLACE, APPOINTED SIGN and SET TIME.   Do you see what I’m saying?  God created the sun, moon and stars to serve as signs for his appointed feasts which are PASSOVER, UNLEAVED BREAD, FIRST FRUITS, PENTECOST, ROSH HASHANAH, YOM KIPPUR (Also known as the Day of Atonement), SUKKOTH (also known as the FEAST OF TABERNACLES).   These are all MEETING TIMES with God.  All these feasts FORESHADOW what God has done and WILL DO.  The sun,moon and stars can also serve as signs from God.

Why does most of the church not know about these feasts?  It goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.  Keep in mind the Romans were pagans, though many turned to Christ after his resurrection.  The Roman Catholic church began through leaders such as Constantine the Great.  While Constantine did much to further the spread of Christianity, he also did something not so great.  He changed the Sabbath day, as well as the date when the resurrection would be celebrated.  We know this day as Easter, but the Bible specifically designates Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits.  The ways these feasts are celebrated are not in alignment with how the church is currently observing them.  I’m not condemning anyone because we are saved by grace, and not the law.  What I will note though is that by not observing or understanding the Lord’s feasts, we are missing out on key details about what Jesus will do in the future.  We are also missing out on what I call “the one new man” described in Ephesians.  That’s where the Jew and Gentile are merged together on the olive tree: both groups understanding and learning from one another.  Not all the Jewish people know Jesus as Messiah, but most Christians don’t know that Hebrew feasts (biblical feasts) and traditions point directly to Jesus.  When the two groups become one (Jew and Gentile) God calls it “the full dwelling place.”   (Read Romans 11 and Ephesians chapter 2)

If you look at prophecy we know that the Anti- Christ will change the set times and laws.  He will speak out against Jesus/God and oppress the holy people.  In particular, he will set about trying to annihilate the Jewish people (much like Antiochus Epiphanes did- depicted in the story of Hanukkah).

Daniel 7:25-  “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws.  The holy people will be delivered into his hands for time, times and a half a time.”

This key piece of scripture is pointing to a time when the Antichrist will no longer allow the worship of God.  He will not allow feasts to be celebrated, and he will make it unlawful to worship anyone but him  (Just like Antiochus).   Anyone who does not receive his mark will be killed.

No one knows the timing of such events.  We can’t sit around being worried all day.  But, we can’t be indifferent either.  We need to know the word of God, and we need to do what it says.  In addition, we need to be in alignment with what God’s word says about Israel, and his ancient people, the Jews.

Even though we are a nation divided, we have to be united in Christ.  We can’t continue moving forward thinking the government will fix itself.  We need to pray for our leaders to stand with God, and with Israel.  We also need to pray for the protection of our leaders as well.

2017 marks an important prophetic year and here’s why:

It will be 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was signed in November 2, 1917.  This document supported the creation of a national Jewish homeland in “Palestine”, or what we know today as Israel.  This somewhat simple document laid the foundation for what would become the nation of Israel, which came to fruition on May 14, 1948 at midnight.

It will be 50 years since the Six Day War of 1967.  This is significant because this is the war where East Jerusalem was claimed by Israel.  The holy capital was now unified.  This happened on June 7, 1967, so on June 7, 2017, it will be 50 years.  In the Bible the number 50 was very significant and was tied to the word jubilee.  The Jubilee year had special significance with reference to the land.  During this year slaves and prisoners would be freed, and any debts owed would be forgiven.  Any land lost during this would be returned to the original, rightful owner (even if it was lost due to debt).  In addition, God’s mercy would reign in the land.  Israeli paratroopers from the 55th Paratroop Brigade went through the Lion’s Gate during the Six Day War and unfurled the flag of Israel above the Temple Mount.  Jerusalem was claimed once again by God’s ancient people, fulfilling prophecy.  Right now Jerusalem continues to be “a cup of trembling” as our President seeks to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital.  The rest of the world refuses to do so, going against God’s word which mentions Jerusalem more than 800 times!!!  In contrast, the Koran doesn’t even mention Jerusalem, yet they claim it as a holy site.

In 2018, it will be 70 years since Israel became a nation in 1948.  Seventy is a very important number in the Bible.  It contains God’s perfect number (7) and 10, which alludes to God’s law (the 10 commandments).  Israel was in captivity in Babylon for 70 years before they were released to go rebuild the city of Jerusalem (which had been destroyed).   Also Daniel 9:24 says, “Seventy sevens (490 years) were determined upon Jerusalem to complete its transgressions, and forever righteousness to enter in (Jesus Christ- everlasting righteousness).   Interestingly enough, our President was seventy years old when he assumed the office of President.  So far, he has said he will support Israel.  We must continue to pray he will make good on this promise.  By all means, NO LAND CAN BE GIVEN AWAY, ESPECIALLY JERUSALEM.  The nations surrounding Israel are demanding she give up her God given land, but this is not part of God’s plan.  The Bible clearly states the land he gave to the Israelites is an EVERLASTING COVENANT.  Man cannot break this covenant and if he does……………..well, let’s just say it will not be pretty.  Just read Ezekiel 38 and 39, the book of Joel, or Zechariah, or Zephaniah, or Genesis and Deuteronomy.  That’s just a few places where God says the land belongs to him, and to his ancient people.  I personally wouldn’t mess with God’s land. God is the only real estate broker here and messing with his property is like poking your finger in His eye.  In Zechariah 2:8, God says “whoever touches Israel touches the apple of his eye!”

Well, I’ve gone on long enough, though I have even more I could say.  I wrote an 824 page book and I still didn’t say all I needed to say , lol !!!  I’ll leave you with the words of the most famous song of the Civil War, written by Julia Howe.  The Civil War had begun.  Mrs. Howe went to visit one of the Union Army camps and heard the troops singing a tune called “John Brown’s Body.”  She was asked to rewrite the lyrics.  That night she went to sleep but was awakened before the light of day.  Even though she couldn’t see, she got up and wrote the words while they were still on her mind, and in her heart.   Read them and note she doesn’t talk about the Civil War itself, but instead the one who would bring peace.  She doesn’t talk about division.  She talks about Jesus and his return.  As a nation in the dark, it would make sense that we focus on the real King of our land – Jesus.  He is the ONLY ONE WHO WILL HEAL IT.

BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, by Julia Ward Howe:  Written 1861

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling our the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;

His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory hallelujah,   (chorus)

    Glory, glory hallelujah, 

    Glory, glory hallelujah

His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;

He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on.  (Repeat chorus above)

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;

As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;

While God is marching on, (Repeat Chorus)

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,

His wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;

So the world shall be his footstool, and His faithful He shall save;

Our God is marching on.

The picture of the eagle was drawn by my son Jonah in art class.  In the Bible, the people of God are referred to as eagles.  Let us all be eagles and soar for Jesus!

Don’t forget to check out :

https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

Sources:  Great American Solar Eclipse website,

In God We Still Trust By Dr. Robert G. Lee, copyright 2009, published by  Thomas Nelson Inc.

Beth Moore seminar in Orlando:  Seek Him  (embrace Jesus!)

Hebrew for Christians website:

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/

For information on Israel’s land, watch this video titled “the Middle East Problem at http://pray4zion.org/.   There is a video on this homepage.  There are lots of articles on the website as well.

The Holy Bible: King James Version,    as well as the New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica Inc.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved

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