A Beginners Guide to the Understanding the Shemitah

A Quick Note

First of all, I apologize for the length of this post.  I know I write a lot but this one was even long for me.  I had intended on splitting this into multiple parts and formatting it a bit better with pictures and charts, which I may update with later, but current events have forced my hand and I had to rush to publish it.  As we approach the shemitah of 2015 be watchful, keep an eye on the markets and please share this with friends and family.  Above all, draw closer to Jesus and do not be afraid.

Introduction

There has been a lot of talk in recent months and years of something called the shemitah, but what in the world is that? The short answer: the shemitah is a day of prophetic significance rooted in the Old Testament, but as many have been noticing, there seems to be a correlation with modern events. I first heard about the shemitah in 2013 and have spent countless hours researching, fact checking, and verifying claims that I have heard and praying for both wisdom and discernment on the matter. All that to say, I am not approaching this as someone who is regurgitating what someone wrote in a book or on a blog. I have taken the time to make sure this information is true and trustworthy by testing it by the Scriptures. That said, before we can hope to get a grip on the mystery of the shemitah, we need to make sure we understand some basics about the nature of God himself.

YHWH is Orderly

First of all, we know that in this world everything is fallen. Because of that the things that are made are constantly becoming unmade. Our bodies, our homes, our planet are all deteriorating as a result of the sin in this world. However, you also know that this isn’t how things were meant to be. God created perfection out of nothingness. Disorder became order in the beginning and now, as Christians, we are in a process of renewal beginning with our soul.

Second, Yahweh is a God of order, not chaos. He made us for perfection and glory, not sin and depravity. Likewise, all of creation was made to be perfectly subjected to the order of God’s word. This is something that I’ve considered for a long time now and find it important to understanding God’s will.

Third, we see Jesus in the entire Bible; foreshadowing his coming in the Old Testament, explaining his victory in the gospels, and proclaiming his coming again in the epistles and Revelation. We also see that the Feasts Days show the orderly nature of God.

  • Passover, celebrating the Passover in Egypt which foreshadowed the slaughter of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
  • Unleavened Bread, celebrating the placing of the unleavened bread in the oven just as Jesus, the unleavened bread of the Eucharist, was placed into the tomb.
  • Firstfruits, celebrating the spring harvest and the giving of the first fruits to God which foreshadowed Jesus as the firstfruit of the Resurrection.
  • Pentecost (Shavuot), celebrating the receiving of the Law on tablets of stone at Mt. Sinai which foreshadowed the receiving of the Holy Spirit who writes the Law on our hearts.

Also,

  • Tish b’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. Some calendars mention this day but most do not. It is a day of contemplation and mourning for the Jews. The 9th of Av marked the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the diaspora in 70 AD, the beginning of persecutions during the first Crusades in 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the expulsion from Gaul (France) in 1306, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, and the beginning of the Holocaust in 1941 among many others.

Note that I have omitted the last three Feasts because they haven’t been fulfilled yet, and that’s another talk for another time. All this to drive the point home that God does things in an orderly way. With this understanding that God is orderly and appoints days, times, signs, and seasons we can begin looking into this mystery further.

The Significance of Seven

We know that 7 is a holy number. When God created everything, He established the week as 7 days. During the battle of Jericho, the people marched around the city 7 times on the 7th day before the walls were destroyed. Revelation speaks of Jesus on the Throne in heaven holding 7 stars (angels/spirits) and 7 lampstands (churches), and so on. There are three sequences of 7 that God appoints as holy times in the bible, which are very important to understand the shemitah.

  • The Sabbath, the 7th day of the week that is to be kept holy according to commandment #4.
  • The Sabbath Year, the 7th year in the cycle which is to act as a time of restoration not only for people, but for the land. The economic system is turned upside down as debt and credit are cleared away.   The people can glean from the fields but commercial harvests are not allowed.
  • The Jubilee, the end of the 49th year (sequence of 7 Sabbath years). The Jubilee was like the Sabbath year but went farther. It restored property and freedom to families caught up in generational hardship.

The Shemitah

The Origins

The Hebrew word shemitah means “the release, remission, or letting go”. The concepts of the shemitah come from Leviticus 25, Exodus 23, and Deuteronomy 15.

“When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath unto the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather it’s fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord.” -Leviticus 25:2-4

“Six years you shall sow your land and gather its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat.” -Exodus 23:10-11

“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s shemitah.” -Deuteronomy 15:1-2

The Timing

The shemitah falls at the end of the seventh year, but we don’t see it coming because we use the Gregorian calendar. Our calendar starts in January and ends in December. The Hebrew calendar starts in Tishri and ends in Elul which has 29 days. Tishri begins on Rosh Hashana (the Feast of Trumpets) which falls in either September or October. So when we see a sabbath year on the Hebrew calendar we’re seeing it start in one year and into the next on ours. We are currently in a Sabbath year.

The shemitah was established as a blessing from God to His people (consider the blessing it would be if all of your debt were cleared all at once and you got a fresh start), however when it is ignored for the sake of commerce it becomes a curse and a judgement on the people of God. The warning was put into place in Leviticus and was confirmed in Chronicles.

“Your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ lands… As long as it lies desolate it shall rest – for the time it did not rest on your Sabbaths when you dwelt in it.” – Leviticus 26:33-35

“And those who escaped from the sword were carried away to Babylon… to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” – 2 Chronicles 36:20-21

The Date

When my best friend asked if and when I thought the American economy might crash I gave him an exact date. I wasn’t being silly, nor have I become one of those doomsday counters that we all so enjoy mocking. Instead it’s based on the principle of the shemitah as well as the events of previous shemitahs that have shaped our nation since the turn of the century.

The date I gave for the collapse was September 13, 2015. As I just said, we are currently in a Sabbath year which means the last day of this year will be the next shemitah and the last day of this year (Elul 29) is September 13, 2015. But why should we expect a collapse to come? America isn’t Israel and was never commanded to observe a Sabbath year, right? Absolutely, but like Israel, America was founded with Him at its center. God offers nations signs of warning before He judges them giving an opportunity for repentance (Amos 3:7). This will be the third shemitah of this century and the last two have not bode well for the US.

The Shakings

Looking at the Hebrew calendar, if you start at the upcoming shemitah (9/13/15) and go back seven Biblical years it lands on a very important date: September 29, 2008: the day that sparked the Great Recession. The context was that a report about the investment behemoth Bear Sterns was in deep financial trouble and Congress failed to pass a bailout plan to save the company. Over the next two weeks the Dow Jones fell nearly 25% and the economy was shot. But on that day, 9/29/08, the crash began in an interesting way. The opening bell didn’t ring, which was later called “an omen”. As the day closed out and the closing bell rang the market had lost a very interesting amount: 777 points, which was 7% of the market.

From that day, go back to the previous shemitah and we find another important date: September 17, 2001. This was the first day the market reopened after the 9/11 attacks. This day saw another huge loss, the largest single day loss in history to that day, as a result of the attacks. It would lead to a huge cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve (the Central Bank of the US), which would in turn lead to a series of economic bubbles (the housing bubble, etc) and toxic assets (teaser loans given by banks to people who couldn’t actually afford to pay them back when the rates went up), which eventually led to the financial meltdown of 2008. After the meltdown, the Fed cut the interest rate again, flooded the market with cash, and began buying up toxic assets in a program known as quantitative easing which has essentially caused a financial bubble just in time for the next shemitah.

The Isaiah 9:10 Effect

Jonathan Cahn, author of The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah refers to this series of events as The Isaiah 9:10 effect which is “the attempt of a nation to defy the course of its judgment, apart from repentance, will, instead, set into motion a chain of events to bring about the very calamity it sought to avert.” The premise of The Harbinger is that the 9/11 attacks (aka “The Breach”) were not simply the result of a Terrorist plot, but was also a warning sign to America that we’d reached a tipping point where national repentance was required to avert judgment for our national sins. The book is built around Israel’s response to an Assyrian attack on Samaria prior to their destruction years later, which is recorded in Isaiah 9, and the similarities to the American response after 9/11.

“The Lord has sent a word against Jacob and it will fall on Israel; and all the people will know, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, who say in pride and arrogance of heart: ‘the bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.’” -Isaiah 9:8-10

The sin of Israel had become great and God lifted the hedge of protection that had been around them, allowing an enemy to strike their land and kill their people. It was a warning that judgment was coming unless they would repent, but they responded with pride and arrogance, essentially saying “We will rebuild bigger and stronger than before.”

Think back to the days, weeks, and months following 9/11; every politician, pundit, and person responding to what America should do said with American pride and resolve, “We’re going to rebuild and come back stronger than before.” There was no repentance for our national sins. Then after seven years the Lord sends a second shaking, this one bigger than the last. It had global implications and is still being felt today. In fact, during the construction of the One World Trade Center tower in Manhattan President Obama signed the beam that would make the new tower the tallest structure in America, “We remember, we rebuild, we come back stronger. -Barack Obama” (see 0:31). As a whole, our nation has not simply not repented, it’s accelerated the pace at which we’re rebelling against God.

Judgement came upon Israel and Judah after thousands of their children “passed through the fire” on the alter of Molech as sacrifices to those pagan gods. As of this writing an estimated 55 million children had been murdered in abortions since Roe v. Wade most often for the sake of convenience and lifestyle.

On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court, in an unconstitutional dictate, legalized same-sex marriage across the country which sets legal precedent for the further redefining of love and marriage which could lead to a legalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest, etc. This may sound outrageous, but for the record it started just weeks after the ruling:

Man was made in the image and likeness of God, but we are no longer teaching our children the fundamental value of human life. Evolution is proclaimed as the only truth and I’ve seen reports of public school sex education classes teaching about contraceptives and gender identity. Many school offices offer free condoms to pre-teen and teenage students.

The list goes on and on of other sins against God that we as a nation have and are committing and much of these have been accelerated in the last two years or so. The point here is that we haven’t repented and are still on course for judgment.

The Hope

The only hope to be found in this is that of revival within America. After 9/11 my family took my sister and I to church and it was packed. It was all over the news as well and Congress brought Billy Graham in to give a word to the nation. Americans spoke of God, but the cries of “God Bless America” weren’t founded on a petition to the Father, but in arrogance that America deserved God’s blessing. The point of 9/11 and of the economic shakings that have occurred, however isn’t to consign the US to the same judgment as Israel, but to call us to repent. Because without repentance there can be no revival.

In the rubble of Ground Zero where the World Trade Center once stood a cross section of I-beam remained, forming a perfect cross. (Google: Ground Zero Cross)

Every building around Ground Zero was damaged except for St. Paul’s Chapel across the street which was protected when a sycamore tree was struck down by a beam that fell from one of the towers (Google: Miracle of Ground Zero). Years later, they replaced it with a cedar tree and called it the “Tree of Hope. The tree never took root and according to the New York Parks website is officially dead.

On April 30, 1789 the American government was established. George Washington was sworn in as the first President and gave a fantastic inaugural address stating that, “…the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right that Heaven itself hath ordained.” Following the address, Washington led the Congress down to a small chapel to dedicate America’s future to God in prayer. (www.archives.gov/legislative/features/gw-inauguration)

Many do not realize (myself until I looked it up for myself), that our first capitol was not Washington DC or Philadelphia, but was actually New York City. Washington was inaugurated at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan and the leaders prayed for America in St. Paul’s Chapel at the corner of what is now the World Trade Center (verified from the National Archives).

The Eclipse and the Super Blood Moon

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years.” – Genesis 1:14

I don’t want this to come off as doomsday-ish, but I do believe that the pattern is going to continue. With each shemitah the shaking has gotten worse, and this particular shemitah falls in the midst of a lunar tetrad. For a full explanation check out the Beginners Guide to the Blood Moons. For now thought, here are the main points:

  • A tetrad is a sequence of four total lunar eclipses which give the moon a red-ish appearance in the sky, hence blood moon.
  • What makes this tetrad unique is that these eclipses fall on the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles in 2014 and 2015.
  • In the middle of these lunar eclipses are two solar eclipses, one full, and one partial. According to the Rabbis a lunar eclipse is a sign to the Jews and a solar eclipse is a sign to the gentiles.
  • This is the seventh tetrad in the last 2000 years to fall on Feast Days. The previous were in conjunction with other major events in Jewish history (i.e. the Crusades, Muslim invasions, expulsions, re-establishment of Israel in 1948, and the retaking of Jerusalem in 1967).
  • The partial solar eclipse of this tetrad occurs on 9/13/15, the shemitah.
  • The tetrad will end on the Feast of Tabernacles in October of 2015. During this eclipse the moon will be at perigee meaning the moon will be at it’s closest point to the earth making it appear bigger than normal which gives it the name “Super Moon”. The odds of a super moon being fully eclipsed on a Feast Day is beyond astronomical probability.

In my humble opinion, there’s just been too much for me to ignore or write off that something big is happening. Signs of judgment, calls for repentance, an increase in knowledge by many believers of these things, and signs in the heavens (see also Joel 2 and Matthew 24) are all pointing to the shemitah and the Super Moon of 2015. I don’t know what is coming, but I have a few theories:

“Now concerning the times and seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief in the night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4

This has been the phrase of the year, appearing over and over in political speeches here and abroad. Just a week ago I listened to an interview on NPR about the “most unprecidented time of peace and security the world has known”.

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God… For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 7-10

The Greek word translated rebellion here is apostasia which indicates a spiritual rebellion, a falling away, or apostasy. Bookstore shelves and websites are full of false teachers and books written by fallen believers on the Church. The use of this word indicates that a falling away from Christ will proceed the appearing of the Antichrist

These passages, world news, and a series of dreams and visions have led to this conclusion. I’m including the documents that I sent to my mom and my sister which includes the dreams and visions. Let me know what questions you have and I will answer them as best I can. I do believe the Antichrist will appear relatively soon, but I think many of us won’t see him coming because we’ll be looking in the wrong places.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s