The Shemitah year is over. What now? Regardless of any guesses on times and dates, the signs – the Signposts – are still coming, one after the other.
In the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 Jesus gave us a list of things to be aware of. He told us of the beginning of the birth pains (vs. 4-8, which are the Four Signposts). He told us of how persecution would rise and be the first half of the Tribulation (vs. 9-14). He told us of the last half of the Tribulation (vs. 15-28), and finally of His glorious return (vs. 29-31). After all this He warned us to watch these things:
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42 (NIV)
And Jesus said it here,
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13 (NIV)
“What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” Mark 13:37 (NIV)
Many English Bible translations say “watch” or “be alert” but is that all it means? After all, you can relax and watch a favorite show or movie on television and there isn’t much to do at the moment beyond just watching. No, what is meant is a different kind of “watch”.
The Greek word behind “watch” is gregorio (Strong’s 1127, gray-gor-ee-oh’), meaning “to be vigilant.” In the preceding verses Jesus is telling us in the second person, to watch, to be vigilant, hence “γρηγορεῖτε” or transliterated, gregoreite.
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines this word as “to watch i.e. give strict attention to, be cautious, active…” This word is used in 1 Peter 5:8-9a:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (NIV)
You see? We are to be alert and watchful but is that all? No! We are to react as well, to be active. Do we only watch for the devil to come and let him take us? Of course not. Like verse 9 says we resist him. Thayer said γρηγορεῖτε is to give strict attention to. We must be cautious and active.
You parents know, when you have your three-year-old on the playground at the local park do you only watch your child like you are watching TV? Absolutely not! In my past parenting career I had to actively and cautiously be alert for anything that might harm my child and when it comes you act! You comfort him or her when they take a tumble. You put yourself between the child and that big dog that wanders over.
Why did the English translators of the Bible just write “watch” in those verses like Matthew 24:42? I believe, as in so many other passages that the translators had their pre-conceived notions of what to expect. They were expecting the Rapture – not the Signposts. They were expecting to passively watch for a Rapture, and not to be active and vigilant and alert like the word really means. Gregorio! Be alert, vigilant, and active!
So what does this mean for the time we are in now? The end of the Shemitah has come and gone. We may or may not see something happen on a particular date (usually, it’s not). But the Second Signpost – the next sign to watch is still looming. Going back to Matthew 24:42, we are to not only watch for the Second Signpost and the succeeding ones, but we are to be alert, i.e. Webster’s says to be quick to perceive, recognize the events for what they are, think, and act. We are also to be vigilant which is, again with the help of Webster’s, to be carefully noting problems or signs of danger. In summary here is our list of actions:
Item 1) First, be awake and watch the Middle East events;
Item 2) Carefully note the events and quickly recognize them for what they truly are and how they relate to the Signposts;
Item 3) Act when you see each significant event and see opportunity to spread His Kingdom.
THIS is what it means to watch. This is Gregorio! But how do we do these things?
To do Item 1 – Generally and most importantly, to be awake and watch means to be repentant, having a soft heart, allowing God to work in your life, and following and obeying His promptings. Having Him as the number one priority in your life will enable you to be awake. More specifically, by reading Daniel Revisited, or by arriving at the Signposts on your own you will be ready. By actively following Christ and knowing what the signs are, you will be fully awake with your eyes open possibly for the first time in your life (it happened for me personally in 1997 when He grabbed me and showed me He had to be my God, and in 2003 when my eyes were opened to the Signposts).
To do Item 2 – You need to be cognizant of the Scriptural passages related to the Signposts and be able to relate or compare each current event to Scripture. This will take some practice. Only by doing this can you see the Signposts in action, to see them coming, and to see them passing. You need to know what is a false alarm and what is the real deal. When we see a handful of ‘Antichrists’ come and go you have to recognize the right one.
I realize I personally have another Action too. I will be taking extra time and effort in each post related to news, to highlight and accent the related scripture passages. If you go back to my old posts you will see them, but I will in the future highlight them more. By studying each current event you too should become proficient at seeing how events relate to the Signposts. Many readers of this blog are already becoming so. As the end times go on there may not be an internet where you can read this blog to see comment on events. You must be able to do so on your own. So I must not only show people the Signposts but must teach people to watch correctly themselves.
To do Item 3 – This is the part that requires much prayer. How do you act? You must act through prayer and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I think it boils down to two basics:
(a) Making material provision for yourself, family and those who come begging at your door, (per Proverbs 22:3: “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” (NLT)) like food, etc. How much food if any should you store? How much cash and/or silver? Should you start a garden or start a new career as a gunsmith? This is all between you and your God.
(b) Learning and knowing and telling people what is happening so you are a watchman too. You can tell people at the start of the Third Signpost for example that there are still years to go with the second half of the Sunni-Shia War, so we need to dig in and prepare and have the right mindset and attitude, and don’t think you will be rescued in the Rapture tonight. No, you still have to go through that war and the other wars of the Fourth Signpost. You can show the lost and fencesitters that each subsequent event is called out in His word and that the end of the events is the coming of Christ and that you must be ready for His return, as 1 John 2:28 says, “…continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”
Categories: Preparation, The Four Signposts
All Glory to God
I totally agree with your sentiments. The entire world is reaching the final turning point where the prophecies shall be fulfilled. The coming of our Lord is at hand. I will give you a few reasons why I believe this.
Some months ago I had a series of dreams. One seemed to speak of a coming invasion of a Middle-Eastern country by a neighbour where Israel played a part. I mention Israel because I saw Benjamin Netanyahu (which may also suggest a timing) in the dream. At first, I thought this to be Yemen (because the place was desolate and Yemen was dominating the news at the time) but on searching the scriptures I realized this was Syria (Dan 11v15). The invading force is from Turkey
The second dream was about a war with Russia and America as primary belligerents. Now I will not describe the entire dream but it appears nuclear weapons were used. Later it came to me that the dreams are linked. See Jeremiah 49v23 ” Concerning Damascus. Hamath is put to shame and Arpad; for they have heard evil tidings, they are melted away: THERE IS DISTRESS ON THE SEA; IT CANNOT BE QUIET”. Note that both North-Western Syrian cities of Hama (Hamath) and Tall Rif’at (Arpad) are on the precise route of a Turkish invasion (or an invasion from Turkey) aimed at Damascus, in fact the Turks would, of necessity, have to take those cities. An invasion from Iran to the East would not go through that route. I have highlighted the last two sentences in Jeremiah 49v23 because I saw (in the 2nd dream) a rising sea (sort of like a tsunami). Usually the sea represents the Gentile nations and it’s swelling up means trouble. This is World War 3 my brother and I believe the coming invasion of Syria will be a key event leading to this war. This war (the 2nd seal war) is predicted in Dan 11v22 and Rev 6v4. Note the reference in Rev 6v4 to “a great sword”…this war will be bloody.
I tell you this not to frighten anyone but that we should all be prepared, we are entering turbulent times. This is the time to spread the gospel of our Lord even more than ever.
Yes, the shmitta has come and gone, and many have been misled to have placed too much stock in that as being a sign. No doubt that God is drawing attention to the times and the events which are associated with them. These things must come to pass, and there are more wars and desolations to come. Yet, because Jesus has told us, we are to be watchful and prayerful that we will stand through the battles of our faith by doing His will, and having done all, to stand! Building our house on the Rock, we will be unmoveable, if bent and shaken. This is a matter of living faith in His Word and in His name. God help us!
The only certain ‘sign’ that we will be able to run with is the one that the Holy Spirit gave Paul to write in his second letter to the Thessalonian believers. And I believe this was a clarification of what he had already written to them in his first letter, which was being misunderstood.
2 Thes 2:2-4 “that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.…”
And since Daniel is giving us the initial background prophecies by the Spirit of God for the days we are now living in, he has also looked ahead to that event:
Dan 11:36 “”The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.”
Things are again heating up here in Jerusalem and on the southern and northern borders of Israel. To be honest, if it weren’t for knowing the Lord, I can understand how many can be overcome by fear. On this Day of Atonements, though, the Jewish people are in great need of repentance: we still trust in our own abilities and power, and not in the sacrifice for sin which Jesus had accomplished for His chosen people and nation. Therefore, there is no peace and security, despite all that this small country has been able to achieve and accomplish against the odds. Surely if YHVH were not for them, they would be as Sodom and Gomorrah. Praise the Lord for His covenant faithfulness and mercies! O that God would breakthrough and put His holy fear into Jews and non-Jews, and into believers and unbelievers, for His glory!
I agree with you in terms of Syria being the cause of many regional middle eastern countries, (supported by military super powers) getting involved with war in Syria. Of course these countries would prefer no war in their land and will try to contain fatalities only in Syria, if they can.
Syrian oil/gas pipelines is what every country is fighting to control.
Russia, Iran, Lebanon and Assad(Syria) on one side and US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE on the other side.
Israel will not take sides, as long as Sunni and Shiite are fighting each other and leaving Israel to be kept away from conflict.
If you think about, the original US/Russia Cold War is again being fought at through Shia and Sunni war.
All Glory to God
Israel (under Netanyahu) has a serious problem with Iran. Now that Iran will no longer be contained through sanctions, you can expect Israel (especially under Netanyahu) to attempt to contain Iran through other means. I believe Israel will take part in this conflict. I would argue they are already involved in this conflict. Check out the link below
And this one below
I believe Iran is the King of the South in Dan 11v14 (because of it’s influence in Gaza on Israel’s southern border). Dan 11v14 says:
“And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall”.(KJV)
Many have stood up against Iran. The King of the North is Turkey. Daniel 11v17 says
“He (King of the North) shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women (Israel), corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him”. (KJV)
The Bible usually refers to Israel as a woman (God is her husband), you can check out the book of Hosea. Israel will support the invasion (perhaps covertly) because it will remove Iranian influence in Damascus and prevent Iran from having access to Israel from Syria. I think this is an opportunity Netanyahu will not ignore. However, the Bible makes it clear (in my view) that after the invasion Israel will not support.Turkey’s vision for the region…”but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him”.
I want to speak directly to your post, Mark, about what it truly means to watch. First, a hearty “amen!” Your understanding of what it truly means and was intended by the Lord “to watch” is, I believe, totally correct. Many within the church take the Lord’s command to “watch and pray” as a passive activity as one who is a spectator at a sporting event. That is the as far away from the truth and will land most unprepared and very frightened as prophetic events come to pass ah-la your likely signpost theory. But if we understand as Mark describes in his initial posting it should illicit even more confidence in the complete sovereignty of God and commit even more deeply to Him and attempt to help those who are less informed to calm them and stay focused.
This posting of yours was very timely, Mark. Thank you.
And it hit me again as I read your comment – that’s why, even if a Christian is aware of the Signposts, that they say “well, we will see.” No, its not about “seeing.” Its about being that soldier on a hill ready to cut down the enemy.
Mark, do you think the US will align with Iran during the second sign post? Or will the US be with Turkey during the Third signpost? The US (Obama regime) seems to be pulling US closer to Shia Islam more than ever with this crazy treaty et al. Thanks for all you do!
Mark, Thank you for your time and insights and teachings to share with us. We are blessed!
May God bless you.
How does one “cut down the enemy..??…” That would be by using the offensive weapon we have been given via the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17) Simply just reading this post has put the Holy Spirit desire into me to pray and shout Grace to the mountain! (Zech 4:7) All of that a picture of Christ as we intercede by calling upon His mighty name. Encouraging one another with the Word of God and remembering the power of the Word because Christ IS the Word! May God bring grace and quiet to the numerous difficulties we face right now and direness of the times upon us. Hold it back God if that be your will and extend your grace to the world once again as you desire none to perish but to come to the truth of your Son.
I would love to hear you perspective on the military installations that have been established by Russia and also how Iran will take advantage of them.
Daniel doesn’t tell us. But as others have commented on this site, it will be interesting to see how the Second Signpost finally starts.
I believe I did in this recent post.
Thanks, I just didn’t catch the following:
“Syrian president Assad and the Russian military backing him up, if anything, will help assure that Iran can indeed do all it wants towards the west. Assad and the Russians will assure Iran that it will not be attacked from the direction of western Syria.”
1st time I hear Iran being named King of the South! I always thought Egypt is South. I have also heard Saudi Arabia.
Mark: May be this label needs to be researched further, beyond the ones prophecy teachers cusually claim it is.
Egypt is King of the South, and will be again during the Fourth Signpost.
another very interesting development that has appeared in the news the last 24 hours is Russia, Iran and Syria setting up a military coordination cell in Baghdad and Russia ‘sneaking’ in jet fighter planes… they turned off the transponders apparently.
And apparently Erdogan is silently fuming over this … from this article see link below quote:
“Turkey may be seriously at odds with Russia over Syria and silently fuming because of Moscow’s decision to increase its military assistance to the Syrian regime, but Ankara is treading cautiously to avoid tensions that would endanger its vast economic and energy interests with its northern neighbor. ”
Methinks Erdogan speaks out of both sides of the mouth…
Erdoğan is a politician, biding his time, appeasing his energy partner.
Mark, you write in your book, speaking of the little horn that grows up later, stronger:
“We probably will not know until the first overt and significant event happens— whether a new office in Iran takes greater power, or the great invasion itself begins. How I wish it were the former since in that case we might have the luxury of extra time to warn and prepare, but I fear it is the latter.”
It’s looking like the former is taking place with Iran, and Russia setting up a military cell in Baghdad. Soleimani seems to be the man.
All Glory to God
The Kingdoms of the North and South represent Empires that straddle the Northern and Southern borders of Israel. During the Hellenistic era, these Kingdoms were represented by the Alexrandrian Greek empires in the Northern border by Syria (Seleucid) and in the Southern border by Egypt (Ptolemy). Nevertheless these were empires not countries.
In this era, I believe the Kingdom of the South is represented by the Iranian empire in Gaza (Independent Palestinian Authority or Hamas) which straddles the Southern border of Israel. Check out the link below
Turkey will assume the position of King of the North when it invades Syria. Note that because God is not subject to time He views these events as happened already hence Turkey is already pointed as the King of the North before the invasion is spoken of in Daniel 11v15. I believe that the invasion of Syria is a MAJOR end time event. It is prophesied in Jeremiah 49v23, Isaiah 17, Amos 3 and possibly other places as well.It appears to me God wants us take note of this event.
The nations that are to be led by the kings of the North and South in the end times do not exist yet. They will exist and ready to battle each other at the end of the Third Signpost.