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Annual Introduction - AM 5980 (18 September 2020 - 6 September 2021)

Shalom Aleichem and welcome to the Issachar B7D Fellowship!

Jews celebrate the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah - "Day of Trumpets") at sunset today (Friday, 18 September 2020) with the blowing of the Shofar (Ram's horn) to mark the beginning of a Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah - "head of the year"). We pray for that day when Israel will realise that this Feast is prophetic of Christ the Messiah’s glorious return at the Last Trumpet.

This is my second Annual Introduction since I started this annual countdown a year ago. According to the rough estimate used in my study, we are entering the year AM 5980 [NOTE: the year is AM 5781 according to the official Jewish calendar, or AM 5946 if we take into account the possibility of 165 missing years in this calendar]. But whatever the actual date, we are a year closer to the end of the Sixth Millennium before Christ returns to usher in His Millennial Sabbath Rule as symbolized by the Seventh Day of the original Creation account.

This past year was not just eventful; it was - I would dare use the word - prophetic. We are still recovering from COVID-19 which has ravaged the entire world. We experienced for ourselves the fear and anxiety, and are still feeling its impact on our day-to-day lives, from our workplaces to our churches and homes. It is unimaginable that such a minuscule virus could bring the entire world to its knees and yet, once this pandemic is over and life slowly returns back to a new normal, mankind will soon forget this ominous sign of the end that awaits them rather than kneel in repentance before the One True God.

For Christians, I pray that our Lord in His love, patience and mercy, will use this pandemic as a fire drill to bring about an awakening in us so that we start preparing ourselves for His return. Let us not take this warning call lightly as Christ's coming is nearer than we think. I had mentioned before my personal belief and deep conviction that God's final countdown started from the time of Israel’s 70th year of Independence in 2018, meaning that some of us will live to witness His return.

What the world has experienced this year is but a shadow and a foreshadowing of the immense trials and tribulations that will herald Christ’s coming. In Revelations 6:8, we are told how in the end times a fourth of the world will die by the sword, famine, plague and wild beasts of the earth. This translates to 2 billion of the world’s population today. In contrast, COVID-19 has taken a few hundred thousand lives. It will be THOUSANDS OF TIMES worse as we near the end! If we are already shaken by this pandemic, how much more will we be rocked by future events. It is therefore important that we start preparing ourselves now so that we will look forward in faith and not fear, in anticipation and not anxiety, to the Day of our Lord’s return.

Lord, as we step into a new year, shut our eyes to the deceptive return of calm and normalcy we see around us, and open our ears to Your warning call. Help us use this season to put our lives back in order, digging deep into Your Word to hear Your Rhema for us in this Kairos, what You want to tell us through this pandemic.

Harden our hearts against the lure of this world and soften it towards You so that we repent and turn to follow You in these last days whatever the sacrifice and cost. Give us Your wisdom to see the futility in striving for the things of this world. Change the taste buds of our hearts to desire Your heavenly will and kingdom alone.

Weaken the hold of sin and willfulness within us and strengthen our resolve to reach out to encourage and support our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, so that together we keep the Faith, persevere in Hope and Love the Body of Christ as a witness and light to this dark and dying world. Increase our boldness, keep us steady in Your Shalom, build us on the Rock of Christ to withstand the coming storms, and fill our lamps with the oil of Your Spirit so that we are ready and waiting when You finally return.

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from’ - Luke 13:24-25

God bless you,

Stephen & Wei Ling Lim

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