In part 17 of this series we saw that Benjamin Netanyahu held the first-ever Israeli cabinet meeting on the other side of the Jordan River in the Golan Heights, and declared that the Golan will forever be part of Israel.
This was exactly the kind of declaration that we would expect to see in a Jubilee year! In a previous article we declared the reunification of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel in 1967 was “amazing,” so compared to that, this is merely important. And so we shall continue to watch in the coming months to see if God might do something not only important, but amazing.
Today we take on a new topic:
Does a Jubilee year signal financial collapse, disaster, or judgment?
We could hardly have chosen a topic that is more highly charged, more subject to hype and ridicule in religious conversation, and yes, even exploitation, especially after what transpired last year regarding the Shemitah.
First Things First
The very fact we chose to speak on this topic is a clue that, yes, we believe a connection exists. However, do not miss the fact that we wrote seventeen other articles on many other Jubilee issues before venturing into this one! Hopefully you will see that delay as a clue to our priorities. But, as you will soon see, our comments, although delayed, will not be watered down.
The fact is that Jubilee in Scripture cannot possibly be divorced from economic implications: slaves are set free, and the price of purchased land is to be proportional to the date of the Jubilee year, when it reverts to its original owner. But, it is equally true that the Jubilee has non-economic elements associated with it: Jubilee embodies freedom throughout the land and the restoration of God’s people to their own families! Such freedom and restoration of families is not just valuable, it is priceless. Furthermore, in our articles we have tied the Jubilee to spiritual revival, a priceless restoration of people to the family of God.
The Shemitah year, also called the Sabbath year, is similar to the Jubilee. While it comes more frequently, being the seventh year rather than the fiftieth year, it also has both economic and spiritual implications. Our book, Israel FIRST! delves deeply into the Shemitah, looking at both its history and scriptural principles, economically and spiritually. We then took the risk of making economic and spiritual predictions of what would happen after the Shemitah year ended.
We generally agreed with the conclusions of Jonathan Cahn and The Mystery of the Shemitah (who has probably introduced more Christians to the Hebrew word “Shemitah” than anyone else in history!) However, our research led us down a path that caused us to eventually propose some new twists and turns about how the Shemitah would unfold. Our main conclusions include:
1. We believe that if you want to understand how God acts in and around the Shemitah, you must not focus your attention just on the one Shemitah year itself, but on the preceding seven years, and the next seven years. This, by analogy, is suggesting not to view the Sabbath as just a day on its own, but as a day that both ends the previous week, and leads us into a new one. This subtle change in perspective makes a huge difference in interpretation, because now we can go to scripture and examine how God works in patterns of “seven years,” not just in the Shemitah year itself. Ultimately we discovered specific predictions starting in Leviticus 26:14 about how God reacts to the sin of a nation that had previously chosen to walk in His covenant blessings, such as America, and proposed that Scripture lined up with current seven-year periods.
2. We also emphasized repeatedly that increasing pressure would be brought by God not to simply judge us for its sins, but to TURN us back to Him, which embodies the very essence of teshuvah – repentance.
3. Based on fitting the pattern of Scripture to recent American history, we proposed that Leviticus 26:16 with its phrase “I will appoint over you a sudden terror” signalled the seven year period beginning with the 9/11 event of September 2001. We then reasoned that Leviticus 26:19 with its phrase “I will break down your pride of power” began the seven year period beginning October 2008 with its banking collapse, and that this phrase prophesied the loss of respect for America around the world during that seven year period. Then, based on Leviticus 26:22 we predicted that the seven year period we just entered in September 2015 would be interpreted with the phrase “I will let loose the beasts of the field among you.” We therefore suggested that a marked increase and a new form of radical Islamic terrorism would begin in Fall 2015, and not a financial collapse. (More on financial collapse below).
4. Finally, we said the Blood Moons, that were also a source of tremendous foreboding last year, were largely misunderstood. We proposed they should be viewed as a gift from God to the nation of Israel and not viewed as an omen of impending war. While Syria is wracked with violence, Israel’s borders are a veritable security paradise compared to its neighbors since the beginning of the Blood Moons.
Being right about those predictions in no way lessens our sorrow and grief over how the Blood Moons and the Shemitah were used to trade fear for money, essentially monetizing your fear into book, DVD and product sales. It may sound like we are standing in judgment over other authors, but we are actually not doing that. Despite our best intentions we humbly throw ourselves in with all the other authors as part of the larger problem.
Even though our message was more hopeful than it was dire, who is to say we could not have done a better job ourselves? Might we have done more or worked faster to get the word out about an alternate view of the Blood Moons and Shemitah? We felt overwhelmed by a tidal wave of media coverage like nothing we had ever seen.
So, first if you were fearful in the months leading up to to September of 2015, or if you were excitedly expecting the Messiah’s arrival in those very same months, and then felt misled, confused, and wondering “where is God?” in the relatively calm aftermath of the Blood Moons and the Shemitah year, we as two authors want to say to you: we apologize.
Second, we apologize for the heavy use of misleading terms such as “market collapse,” “financial collapse,” or “market crash,” when the proper term that should have been using is “market correction.” Market analysts define a market correction as a downturn of more than 20 percent. Not only have we had no crash, but since the peak of the stock market in May 2015, we have not even really had a market correction in America. Instead, the market has been “choppy” with several drops less than 20% in August and September 2015, and January and February 2016. Each of those times the market bounced back.
Third, we apologize for how many authors focused your attention on the number of points the market dropped, rather than the percentage. Focusing on the points alone is like trying to argue that a rancher who owns 100 cattle and lost ten of them is worse off than his fellow rancher who only owns 18 cattle and lost nine. Clearly the rancher who just lost half his cattle is the one stricken with panic and fear, rather than the one who lost one more cow, but only ten percent.
Finally, we apologize for the post-Shemitah articles that redirected your attention to China as a way to save face regarding the Shemitah. Yes, it is true that China lost half its stock market value from its peak last June, but what must also be mentioned is that those losses were less than the total gains in that same year! The China stock market still went up 36% during the Shemitah year, a growth level so strong that the USA has only exceeded it once in its last 50 calendar years!
Now that we have apologized, let us tell you something we find pretty incredible. Even in the midst of all of the chaos before the Shemitah and the relative calm afterwards, you might still have a blessing coming your way without even realizing it. Want to hear more?
You see, in the midst of all the chaos, a lot of people decided to put some of their finances at rest. Jonathan Cahn for instance—rightly, we think—suggested in August of 2015 that Christians ought to at least consider moving some of their retirement savings from the stock market, going into cash or safer investments. We have heard that many Christians took that advice.
Here is the point: if you took money out of the market and put it into some safer accounts that earned less, but were more predictable, you just put some of your money at rest. Why is this at all relevant?
Because like the Shemitah year, the Jubilee year is another Sabbath rest year!
You shall have the fiftieth year as a Jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a Jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. Leviticus 25:11-12
As we explain in our book Israel FIRST!, we believe it is important for everyone to make a conscious effort to take a stand against greed. While Jews and Christians outside of Israel are not affected at all by Israel’s Sabbath rest year, it does not prevent them from putting certain activities to rest periodically. Even if you ignore the Shemitah, we argue that it is absolutely mandatory that Christians learn how to stand apart from this world in terms of how to use money. Money must not be our Master! The most common way for Christians to stand apart from the world’s system is to give liberally to others, but we would also argue that the Bible allows for—and even promotes—the idea of stepping off of the world’s highway periodically in an attitude of rest, to stand against the flow of greed that always desires to maximize every investment, and is fearful of missing the next great opportunity for gains. Not only is this beneficial to one’s spiritual life, in our book we show historical cases of resting investments in Shemitah years that resulted in greater market gains than otherwise!
So, if you let something rest at the end of the last Shemitah year, then, whether you realized it or not, you also letting that thing rest in the Jubilee Sabbath year, the Jewish year that began on September 14th, 2015 and runs through October 2, 2016.
Might God bless you for letting your something rest during this current Jubilee year?
Is a Market Correction Coming?
This, then, brings us to the final question of this article.
A key insight about the current year has been all but missed in most everything we have seen published.
We are currently in a Shemitah cycle that is TWO years long!
Therefore, could some of the financial correction most people were expecting last year simply be delayed by one more year, in honor of the Jubilee?
Why might God choose to delay serious financial correction until after the Jubilee? Our proposed answer is very simple: A Jubilee is something to which God wants us to look forward, not to dread! While God is adhering to our having entered a new seven year cycle, to which He has indicated by allowing new forms of terrorism, could it be that He would hold back financial correction until after this Jewish year ends?
In our book we said that the seven year cycle we had just entered would probably not start with financial judgment, but that earlier statement did notmean that financial judgment would be missing entirely. Indeed, the very scripture that we see as applying to this seven year cycle has included in that verse of Leviticus 26:22 the scary phrase “and destroy your cattle.” We have looked at this from every angle, and do not see any possible way to interpret “cattle” in a way that does not refer somehow to “assets” in some form.
So, if you are trying to honor God by putting your investments at rest right now, we would not advise you to suddenly change course and decide that “the Shemitah is over and all is well.” The Shemitah is not over—we are in a last-of-our-lifetime situation for most of us, where the current Shemitah period in which we reside is two years long rather than just one. We might choose to continue the “rest” that we already started.
The world may not notice or care about Jubilee years or the Shemitah, but we cannot stop believing that the Almighty God is watching all. For the sake of His name, He may decide to position certain events in a way that will allow us to look back over time, and see His handiwork.
Is a greater than 20% market correction coming in this current seven year cycle? According to our interpretation of Leviticus 26:22, yes!
Do not assume the Shemitah story has ended. It has not. In fact, the real impact of the end of the Shemitah year may not even begin until the Fall of 2016.
Connect with Others
Are you putting anything at rest to honor God right now? Your time? Your money? Certain activities?
Another principle of the Jubilee we did not cover above is the aspect of community sharing. This comes from the verse:
You shall eat its crops out of the field. Leviticus 25:11.
Jews say this verse should be interpreted as the offering the Shemitah year’s harvest to be for the benefit of your local community, rather than being for your personal benefit. Has anyone found an interesting way to model this principle in the current year?
Join us next time as we continue to watch current events and examine all clues to the meaning and the Mystery of the Lost Jubilee.