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Annual Introduction - AM 5981 (6 September 2021 - 25 September 2022)

Shalom Aleichem and welcome to the Issachar B7D Fellowship!

Jews celebrate the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah - “Day of Trumpets”) at sunset today (Monday, 6 September 2021) by blowing the Shofar (Ram’s horn) to mark the beginning of a Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah - “head of the year”). We pray for the day when Israel will celebrate this Feast recognizing Jesus as their promised Messiah who will return at the Last Trumpet.

We are another year closer to the end of the Sixth Millennium (according to the rough estimate used in my study, we are entering the year AM 5981) before Jesus returns to usher in His Millennial Sabbath Rule as symbolized by the Seventh Day of the original Creation account. We say this not to speculate on the exact date of His return, but to awaken us all to the fact that Jesus will certainly return very soon if we understand what the Bible is telling us about the times today. More importantly, the Bible also tells us what to do in times like these.

Last year, we spoke about how, as life slowly returned back to a new normal post COVID-19, mankind would soon forget this ominous sign of the end that awaited them rather than repent before the One True God. But for Christians, may the Lord open our eyes to see this pandemic as a fire drill sent by Him to bring about an awakening in us so that we start preparing ourselves and supporting one another through the coming trials and tribulations that will pave the way for Jesus’ soon return.

Although COVID-19 did not go off earlier than we thought, a new normal will emerge where we will largely go on with our day-to-day lives albeit with a few new measures such as regular vaccinations, wearing masks, social distancing, the periodic lockdowns and disruptions to travel etc. But for us believers, are we to do the same? Are our lives going to settle back to be like those around us, becoming more normal than new in this new normal? Has anything fundamentally new or different impacted us, to change the direction of our remaining days in this world? What’s the point of a fire drill if we do not believe that there will be a real fire in our lifetime?

When Wei Ling and I heeded God’s call to start this blog three years ago, we knew we would be stepping out of the mainstream, even away from among our close believing friends, to embark on a long and often lonely journey to serve as His watchmen. By His divine orchestration, in the midst of COVID-19, we were brought literally to the ends of the earth to perch on the hills of Wellington, looking eastward to await the rising Son. We do not know what lies ahead once our temporary stay here in New Zealand ends. We do not know who will hear, let alone heed, the urgent message that God has put in our hearts. But this we know from the prophet Habakkuk:

I will stand at my watch

and station myself on the ramparts;

I will look to see what he will say to me,

and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

Then the Lord replied:

“Write down the revelation

and make it plain on tablets

so that a herald may run with it.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;

it speaks of the end

and will not prove false.

Though it linger, wait for it;

it will certainly come

and will not delay.

- Habakkuk 2:1-3

Believing this, we will continue to stand, for God, for ourselves, and for you.

God bless you,

Stephen & Wei Ling Lim

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