The month of April showered us with prophetic news from its beginning to its end. And the month of May appears to promise more to come. Metaphorically speaking, will those April showerings bring May flowerings?
Let’s begin with the events in April, including the feasts of Israel. Those are not scary; rather they are “a shadow of things to come; but the body (the substance) is of Christ” (Colossians 2:17).
April began with the worldly celebration of Easter, or what Christians prefer to call the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection day. This year it just so happened to coincide with the first day of the Jewish Passover feast (April 1).
On Passover (Pesach), the Jews celebrate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt by sacrificing an unblemished lamb. The blood of the lamb on that first Passover, which was sprinkled on the doorposts of the faithful Jews in Egypt, spared them from the tenth plague that God sent upon Egypt – the death of every firstborn son.
On Passover, Christians remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world (John 1:29, 36). Those who believe in Him as their Savior (John 3:16) will be spared from the “wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9) and will spend eternity with Him.
April 7th saw the citizens of Douma (a suburb of Damascus in Syria) showered with nerve gas inside of barrel bombs that were dropped from helicopters, according to eyewitnesses. The rebels in Syria do not have air power, lest anyone should think it was them that committed the atrocity.
On April 9, Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the United States would regret withdrawing from the nuclear deal, and that Iran would respond in “less than a week” if that happened.
That same day, the Israelis conducted a strike on Iranian headquarters inside a Syrian airbase. The Israeli strike was said to be in retaliation for the Iranian drone that managed to invade Israeli territory in February. Tests had recently revealed that the drone was armed with explosives; therefore, obviously on its way to carry out an attack in Israel.
A senior IDF official said, “This is the first time we saw Iran do something against Israel – not by proxy.” He added that the strike on the Iranians at T-4 in Syria “was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets – both facilities and people.” Several of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard died in the attack.
And who could forget the coordinated airstrikes by the US, Britain and France on buildings believed to contain chemical weapons or research regarding chemical weapons in Syria. The strikes occurred on the night of Friday, April 13th in the US (on the 14th in Syria).
On April 18, Iran celebrated its Army Day by unveiling a new missile system. Iran’s President Hassan Rohani vowed that Iran would make or buy any weapons it needed.
On April 19, Israel celebrated its Independence Day (which occurred on that day this year according to Israel’s 360-day calendar, even though the original date of Israel’s rebirth was on May 14, 1948).
While this celebration in Israel was taking place, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Iran’s only operating nuclear power station. This stirred up a massive sandstorm that engulfed the center of Iran. Iranian headlines called it “apocalyptic.” Many called it a judgment from God for Iranian threats against Israel.
On April 21st, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that Iran is ready to “vigorously” resume nuclear enrichment if the United States ditches the 2015 nuclear deal, and further “drastic measures” are being considered in response to a US exit.
On April 29, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, expressed US support for Israel in defending itself against the increasing danger from Iran’s presence in Syria.
Also on April 29, a satellite image showed recent activity at the Fordo nuclear facility in Iran. Another image showed that a gate leading to “uranium enrichment tunnels” was open. Also noted was the construction of new buildings at the site.
Hours later, airstrikes showered several weapons bases in Syria with bunker-buster bombs. Reports say the intent was to destroy recent weapons shipments to Syria from Iran that were stored underground. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility.
According to an April 30th Haaretz report, “defense and political sources told Russia and the US, following Iran’s threats to react against attacks on their assets in Syria overnight, that if Iran attacks Israel from Syria, either itself or through its proxy Hezbollah, Jerusalem will not hold back and will respond forcefully, targeting Iranian soil.”
On April 30, the Israeli Knesset gave the prime minister the authority to declare war or order a major military operation by consulting only with the defense minister rather than waiting on a full cabinet vote as the law previously required.
Later that evening, Netanyahu announced to the world the proof that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is still ongoing, despite the Iran deal in 2015. He spoke of the intelligence operation where Mossad agents smuggled tens of thousands of documents out of Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
Now we come to May. You will never look at Maypole dances in the same way when you research the origins of May Day.
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht takes place from the night of April 30th to May 1st. It takes its name from St. Walburga, a Catholic saint, whose feast day is celebrated on May 1st. She was known as the protector against sorcery and witchcraft. Traditionally, it is the night when witches would gather together on the Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz mountain range in central Germany, and celebrate the triumph of spring over winter. The Brocken is surrounded in mystery due to the mist and clouds that shroud the peak, and according to legend, is the home of witches and the devil. – source
The Celtic neopagans and the Wiccans are among those who still celebrate Beltane. Beltane comes from the meaning “fire of Bel,” in which Bel is the “bright or shining one.” Bel is mentioned in the Bible as the false god of the Babylonians (Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2; 51:44). All false religions have their roots in ancient Babylon.
Some neopagans celebrate Beltane by reenacting traditional Celtic practices while others, including Wiccans, celebrate by honoring “the divine feminine” and “the union of the god and goddess.”
The May Queen (the personification of the Earth goddess and goddess of fertility) makes her entrance during this festival that begins on the evening before May 1st. A bonfire is lit to welcome the Beltane morning, along with a ritual dance. Half-naked or even fully-naked people participate in the revelry… and what results from it.
In the Catholic religion, the entire month of May is dedicated to Mary. Some Roman Catholic organizations celebrate Mary on May 1st with a May crowning of flowers on statues of Mary. Angelo Mary Geiger, a Franciscan Friar, composed a poem to Mary titled “Queen of the May.” See at this link.
In 1955, Pope Pius XII established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker” to be celebrated on May 1. This May Day, “International Workers‘ Day,” is believed to reflect Mary’s husband Joseph’s status as the patron of workers. This feast was originally celebrated by Catholics on March 19 with prayers to St. Joseph “who can help one find work.” See this link.
Sixty-six countries around the world celebrate the May 1st rite of spring as “International Workers’ Day,” with strikes for workers’ rights. To see examples of the May Day anarchy protests (including violent riots) that took place around the world this year, see here. Riots in France appeared to be the most violent.
Friday, May 4th marked the sixth consecutive week of Gaza protestors burning tires, hurling stones, etc., and trying to damage Israel’s border fence. According to a report from Arutz Sheva, some 7,000 Arabs rioted throughout the day, flying kites with burning items, intending to ignite fires in Israel. An explosive device was hurled at Israeli troops who responded with riot dispersal means and fire in accordance with the rules of engagement.
On Friday evening, dozens of rioters set fire to the “Palestinian” Arab side of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza. The IDF said the rioters damaged the gas and fuel pipelines that run from Israel to Gaza. “This is a cynical act which damages the well-being of the people of Gaza and the Humanitarian efforts carried out by Israel and other countries,” the IDF spokesperson stated.
May 12 is the deadline regarding a decision on the Iranian nuclear deal. President Trump has previously said the deal is dead unless the European signatories can fix it by then. He said, “It should have never, ever been made. We paid $150 billion dollars – we gave $1.8 billion in cash – that’s actual cash, barrels of cash. It’s insane, it’s ridiculous; it should have never been made.”
A top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned Europe and the U.S. against seeking any changes to the deal.
May 14 is the ceremony to open the US embassy in Jerusalem. President Trump says he may attend. This occurs on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s rebirth as a nation.
May 15 is the 70th anniversary of the futile invasion of Israel by five Arab nations. Surely it was the hand of God that saved the new, unprepared little nation of Israel from these invaders. On this May 15th, the Gazans hope to have more protestors than ever on the final day of their so-called “march of return.” Come hell or high water, they’re determined to destroy and/or break through the Israeli border fence.
Those who defy Israel’s warnings and attempt to break through that border fence believe that if they’re martyred for the cause of Islam, they’ll receive a guarantee of salvation promised by the god they worship (Allah). The Qur’an, hadith and Islamic scholars all mention that virgins will be awarded to Muslim men in Paradise for their pleasure. That wouldn’t be the God of the Bible, in case anyone who is reading this has been duped by the father of lies to believe it is.
Pentecost falls on May 20 this year, when Christians celebrate the day the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ disciples seven weeks after His Ascension. This is considered to be the day when the church began.
Also, the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavout) falls on May 20 this year, which is celebrated seven weeks after Passover. Biblically, the Feast of Weeks is “the day of firstfruits” (Numbers 28:26) and the “feast of harvest” (Exodus 23:16) in which the Jews were commanded to “present an offering of new grain to the Lord.” The firstfruits of the wheat harvest were made into two loaves of bread with yeast.
“You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:17).
From GotQuestions.org: “Like other Jewish feasts, the Feast of Weeks is important in that it foreshadows the coming Messiah and His ministry. Each and every one of the seven Jewish Feasts signifies an important aspect of God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ… Some see the two loaves of leavened bread that were to be a wave offering as foreshadowing the time when the Messiah would make both Jew and Gentile to be one in Him (Ephesians 2:14-15).”
Since the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, this offering to the Lord cannot be celebrated. The Jews do commemorate this day as the giving of the Law (the Torah; Ten Commandments), considered to be the day on which Judaism was born.
The Unveiling of the “Peace” Plan
The Trump administration is planning to unveil its “peace” plan shortly after the May 14 opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt said, “I ultimately believe there may be a clear path toward peace,” adding that it will be “up to the parties themselves” to negotiate and conclude an accord.
Leaders of certain Arab nations told M. Abbas (who says he’ll accept no plan coming from the US) that he must accept the peace plan or step down. Israel is being encouraged to accept it as well. A part of the plan has just been leaked. Apparently Israelis will be asked to move out of four Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that would become the “Palestinian” capital.
President Trump doesn’t expect Abbas to go along with this, but it appears that many others will. No, I’m not saying this is the Daniel 9:27 confirming of the covenant with many that the Antichrist will put into effect. Rather, I see it as a forerunner to it. Regardless, God is not happy with any nation that works toward dividing His covenanted land with Israel.
Extreme weather events have been known to coincide with attempts by leaders of nations to divide Israel, not to mention what befell Ariel Sharon after the implementation of his Gaza disengagement plan, also known as “Gaza expulsion,” which consisted of the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Israel is still paying a heavy price for that blunder, proving that giving up “land for peace” does not work.
God tells us in the book of Joel, chapter 3, that in the days when He brings back the captives to Israel, He will judge all the nations for the treatment of His heritage Israel and for dividing His land (Joel 3:1-2). This will be at the Battle of Armageddon.
The captives have returned to their land as prophesied, and it is in this 70 to 80 year generation (Psalm 90:10) that the nation of Israel was reborn.
In all that is happening today, it would seem likely that the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39 is near. It surely is an amazing time to be alive, seeing last days Bible prophecy fulfilling before our very eyes. But while we are watching all this go down, we should be looking up. Jesus is coming soon in the air to “catch up” (rapture) his true believers before the wrath to come during the Tribulation, followed by His Second Coming.
Will we just hear threats between nations going back and forth during this month of May that appears to be more scary than merry? Will there be a Mayday call of distress, so to speak?
No matter what happens in the days ahead as we wait on the Lord’s timing, we know that He is in control. Many of us are growing wearier every day of this sin-filled world, but let us continue to be watchmen on the wall, sharing the gospel as we warn others of what is coming in the near future. Those of us in Christ need not fear.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).