Over the course of the last week, as I have read many articles related to Coronavirus and the related events around the world, I have begun to have a couple big questions form in my head. The timing and the sequence of events is leading to a scenario that is unanticipated, but suddenly a potential HUGE event prophetically.
By way of background for those who are not my regular readers, my longtime passion has been eschatology, or understanding the end times. Scripture would call that time ‘the latter days.’ In pursuing answers to questions the normal Christian bias couldn’t answer, I came to a place of understanding that the everlasting unchanging Word of the Lord still applied today. Brilliant, I know, but the implications that unfolded became a very clear picture identifying some major areas that Christendom needs to reevaluate. Not the least among those are who we are, or our identity, and the continued significance of some of God’s ‘perpetual, in all your dwelling place, throughout your generations’ commands.
The combination of these two led me to begin understanding Scripture the way it was originally intended. It is God’s Word to His people from the house of Israel and the house of Judah, two distinct parts of the whole house of Israel. I detail how and why God operated this way along with how the Messiah fits and some prophetic expectation in a book titled Ten Part In The King; The Prophesied Reconciliation Of God’s Two Witnesses. I recommend it to better understand and answer the ‘identity question’ that nags most Christians, but the short of it is that God’s ways for His people have never changed. My entire blog at natsab.com has 1500 posts detailing this truth from a hundred different angles, topics, and verses.
I say all of that to explain that I firmly believe that Passover is still absolutely relevant in our lives today and maybe more so this year than at any time in the last 2000 years!! Let me explain why.
To begin in a place much of Christendom will understand, we all recognize that right now we need to be praying. It is evident that sickness, disease, and fear are everywhere and events beyond our control are driving us to our knees. Many rightly go to 2 Chronicles 7:14, but fail to read the verse in context, or, if they do, they do not stop to ponder the significance of the verses around 7:14. Here they are with a little more context. Please read closely,
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”
2 Chronicles 7
Notice several things:
- This is God’s response to Solomon’s prayer.
- God’s name is forever on that house and in that place (Jerusalem!!)
- The deal involved ‘keep(ing) My statutes and My ordinances’
- Forsaking statutes and ordinances would lead to being cast out of the Land.
To understand why God responded that way and the relevance for us in our time, we must read the previous chapter. I recommend all of it, but will only quote a section,
28 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, if there is locust or grasshopper, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, 29 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own pain, and spreading his hands toward this house, 30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men, 31 that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.
36 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near, 37 if they take thought in the land where they are taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have committed iniquity and have acted wickedly’; 38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, 39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.
2 Chronicles 6
Again, there are a couple points we need to notice before I explain why Passover is so very important and the possible connection to Coronavirus,
- When in the case of pestilence, this is God’s prescription for relief
- Pray toward ‘this place’ (Jerusalem)
- Confess the sin of not ‘walking in HIS ways’
- Do this ‘in the land of your captivity’
- This should lead us to v.31, fearing Him and learning to walk in HIS ways. (Not OUR ways)
This last week I have been seriously broken and grieving over the fact that I can’t be in Jerusalem for Passover. This would have been our third consecutive year. We were to help lead a team with aniyosef.com on a service project and be in the Land for Passover.
I am even more broken for a friend of mine who goes up three times a year, according to the commandment (Deuteronomy 16:16), and has been doing so at great personal cost and sacrifice for nine years. This will be the first time, to my knowledge, that he misses a feast in Israel in over nine years. Family members were supposed to travel with him this time, something they are not always able to do, so canceling the trip due to quarantines and canceled flights was doubly hard.
Maybe it is the rawness of our situation that made me more alert to something completely unprecedented happening with potentially HUGE prophetic significance, but I became acutely aware of the fact that if the current trajectory of events holds, God will have positioned the house of Israel and the house of Judah in very unusual circumstances. Currently, due to travel restrictions, 99.99% of the house of Israel are barred from keeping the feast in Jerusalem even if they wanted to!! At the same time, about 99% of all members of the house of Judah who want to dwell in Israel have been repatriated and many, in emergency flights from the ends of the earth, have been brought home this week!! (Jpost.com reported on a number of these special El Al flights in recent days to evacuate Israelis from all over the world.)
Further, both houses may be barred from group observances of Passover and may, by default, be required to observe in their homes as individual families making this Passover event parallel to the first exodus from Egypt!! This. Is. Unprecedented. In 3500 years of history!! And, it is a near global event! I cannot overstate how potentially HUGE this is!!
[Aside: Now, it is deeply saddening that many who do understand and recognize their place in the house of Israel rarely go to Israel and if they do, many skip the feasts ‘because it is too expensive,’ (an excuse completely removed by aniyosef.com) but, it is very possible that being barred from the Land for the feast is punishment, or a final warning before judgment!! Ponder. I’ll not digress.]
But why is Passover so significant? And, what is the connection with Coronavirus?
As we just read in Solomon’s prayer, HIS Ways, meaning the ways of Yah, are what we are to be learning and walking in. And, His Ways have not changed in 3500 years. See Leviticus 23: 14, 21, 31, 41! But, there is a much more specific reason!
The basic Passover ordinance, no frills, is written in Exodus 12 and 13 as well as Leviticus 23, but a really interesting verse appears in Exodus 13,
9 And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 10 Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.
Any who read that should immediately have Revelation 7 come to mind and the sealing of the bond-servants.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
To be clear, Shabbat is also a ‘sign’ that identifies who God’s people are, but we are not specifically told that it is on the ‘forehead.’ See Exodus 31:12-17 for more.
There is one other passage that I know of dealing with a sign on foreheads. Read all of Ezekiel 9 with an eye toward,
4 The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”
So, connected to Revelation and the seals on the foreheads, we have a couple possible clues: Passover and grieving over abominations as clear declarations and keeping Shabbat as a possible third. All are related in some way to the core of ‘walking in His ways,’ vs. doing what we want/keeping our traditions.
Minimally, I think we can agree that precious few among either the house of Israel or the house of Judah are walking in His ways and grieving over the abominations. Honestly, both house have in large degree embraced things God calls abominations, from the big church pulpits and pew to the rabbis and the synagogues. There are but a remnant that truly seek after the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the manner that He prescribes.
As we consider the significance of Passover, we must ponder Coronavirus as just one of the many plagues currently affecting the earth. Google locust and see the craziness in parts of the Middle East and Africa right now. Consider the recent fires Australia as well as the numerous lives and freedoms lost as a result of Coronavirus. That we have increasingly dire plagues and events is without question. That it is occurring just before Passover and setting up the situation f every family sequestered in their homes is unprecedented.
Consider Isaiah 26:20-21 in a larger passage, chapters 26 and 27, about Trusting in God’s protection and the deliverance of Israel,
Come, my people, enter into your rooms
And close your doors behind you;
Hide for a little while
Until indignation passes over.
21 For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
And the earth will reveal her bloodshed
And will no longer cover her slain.
The Hebrew word used for ‘passes over’ or ‘runs its course’ is the same word used in Exodus 12:12 and 23 dealing with the Lord ‘passing through and smiting the land’ of Egypt.
Scripture clearly teaches there will be a second exodus. Jeremiah 16: 14-21 and Ezekiel 20:33ff are two witnesses with the second being directed at the house of Israel! See v.30.
Folks, if it is time for God’s judgment, there are several immediate steps that we need to be taking! In descending order of importance, I would say,
- Passover is of immediate importance! THIS YEAR!! (1 Cor. 5:7-8)
- Grieving over the abominations of the whole house (Get the leaven out!!)
- Keeping Shabbat
- Learning and walking in the ways of the King, not man-made traditions.
- Turn and face Jerusalem and pray!! Repent!! He promises to hear!
A final verse from1 Peter 4,
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
1 Peter 4
I do not know the timing of the King’s return. I only know that we must be vigilant and it seems like there are a lot of warning lights and bells going off. We would be wise to heed them and get right!
There may not be another time in the next century when both houses are sequestered to their own homes for Passover! This is potentially VERY significant!!
If this is your first time hearing these things, drop me an email. I’m happy to answer questions of direct you to further information. If you have never kept Passover, it is not difficult. Do not over complicate it or get overwhelmed by the traditions involved. The key is heart attitude and a few very basic instructions in Exodus 12-13 and Leviticus 23. If that and a little Googling don’t help, drop me an email in the ‘Contact Us’ page.