(above) Lightning strikes the Capitol during June 1 thunderstorm over Washington, D.C.
Written by Leo Hohmann
With the climax of the Shemitah year now just three months away on Sept. 13, America continues to saunter down the path of defiance to the will of God, say Christian leaders, inviting judgment on the land.
The latest affront to biblical sensibilities came this week when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans born in Jerusalem must not have “Israel” listed on their passports as their place of birth, saying the city remains part of disputed territory, WND reported. Such a move could provoke Muslims to violence, President Obama’s U.S. State Department argued, so the passport should say “Jerusalem” not “Israel.” Congress took the opposite stand, and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the executive branch.
The Palestinian Authority hailed the decision. Saeb Erekat, chief PA negotiator, said it “sends a clear message to Israel that its policies of colonization are null and void.”
American evangelical Christian leaders were disappointed, saying the decision is just one more nail in a coffin that is getting darker by the day.
“Not allowing to declare that Jerusalem is in Israel is a final straw of judgment for America and I’ll tell you why,” said Mark Biltz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries and author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”
“There are three Jews on the Supreme Court (Elana Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) that voted against saying Jerusalem was a part of Israel because they were afraid of the ‘giants’ in the political arena around the world,” Biltz told WND.
Biltz finds that particularly prescient in light of the fact that this weekend’s Torah reading that will be read in synagogues all over the world just so happens to be “Shelach.”
“This is a very short story about the spies that brought the bad report, making a false judgment call, because they feared the giants in the land,” Biltz said. “God told them Israel was theirs for the taking, and it was a horrible disaster resulting in having to wander for 40 years in the desert.”
The Jewish sages have always said history is lived out in some way in each of the Torah portions, Biltz said.
“I agree with Chief Justice (John) Roberts’ dissenting opinion. He stated that ‘Never before has this Court accepted a President’s direct defiance of an Act of Congress in the field of foreign affairs.’”
Carl Gallups, pastor of Florida-based Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, host of a Christian radio show and author of “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” agrees that time is growing short and America’s days as the leader of the free world could be numbered. It is conspicuously absent in end-time Bible prophecy.
“There can be no doubt that there is an amazing convergence of end-time prophecies occurring right before our eyes. Think of where we are in history – Israel is back in its land – a 2,500-year-old prophecy fulfillment – Jerusalem is in the hands of Israel, the nations of the world are rallying against Israel, including the U.S., and Israel is now literally surrounded by Islamic enemies who are publicly calling for the complete destruction of the Jewish state,” Gallups told WND.
Plus, he said, we are watching the Ezekiel 38 “alignment” of nations.
“Those specific nations were predicted to conspire together against Israel in the very last days – and we see these alignments (Turkey, Iran, Russia, etc.) playing out today,” he said.
With the rise of ISIS, the Middle East has become a veritable Islamic-led powder keg that could potentially explode into a World War III scenario, he said.
And it’s all happening in line with the seven-year cycle of the Shemitah, blood moons and solar eclipses.
The seven-year biblical cycle and its impact on America was unlocked by the research of Jonathan Cahn, who published his findings in the 2014 New York Times-bestseller, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” which followed his earlier blockbuster, “The Harbinger.”
The biblical principle of the Shemitah was given to ancient Israel, when God told Moses in Deuteronomy 15: 1-2 that the Israelites were to observe a sabbath year once every seven years, allowing the land to rest with no sowing or reaping, while fellow Israelites were to be released from their debts. The actual canceling out of the debts took place on Elul 29, the last day of the Hebrew year.
As long as the ancient Jewish nation followed the one true God, the Shemitah resulted in economic, spiritual and material blessings. But when Israel abandoned God’s ways and embraced pagan customs, the Shemitah manifested as judgment. The judgments could start out small but get progressively worse with each passing seven-year cycle until the nation repented.
Cahn posits in his book that this principle extends beyond Israel to other nations that were founded on Judeo-Christian values. England, Germany and Russia were all humbled and saw their empires collapse. The major economic downturns since the end of World War II have coincided with the Shemitah, including the last two stock-market crashes in September 2001 and September 2008, both of which occurred on the fateful day of Elul 29. The next Shemitah cycle reaches its climax on Elul 29 or Sept. 13, 2015.
Cahn also points out that the fall of Vietnam to the communists also occurred in a Shemitah year. All of these economic and military crises are meant to “shake” America’s people and get them to turn back to God, according to Cahn.
The removal of prayer from schools in the 1960s, followed by the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the Shemitah year of 1973, touched off a period of judgment, Cahn believes. Stock markets crashed in 1973, 1980 and 1987, all Shemitah years. The 1990s were largely free of major downturns, but the ominous pattern returned with the terrorist attacks and resulting record stock-market crash of September 2001 (on Elul 29), followed by another record crash exactly seven years later in September 2008, also on Elul 29
The next Elul 29 in a Shemitah year looms like a laser beam on Sept. 13, 2015. But it falls on a Sunday, when the markets will be closed.
Will there be a “trigger event” this time around like the 9/11 attacks in 2001? Or could the markets collapse by themselves on the Friday before Elul 29, which happens to be Sept. 11, 2015?
Even if nothing happens in three months, Cahn told WND in previous interviews that he doesn’t believe America is escaping judgment minus widespread repentance. It will eventually come, he said.
If a once-Christian nation continues to go its own way toward secularism and other ungodly “isms,” the nation’s influence and standing in the world will dissipate and its economy will eventually collapse, Cahn believes.
He has repeatedly said it’s possible absolutely nothing could happen on or near Sept. 13 “because God can’t be put in a box.”
But eventually, whether it’s in 2015, 2016 or beyond, judgment will come, he says. Other warning signs appear in the heavens, with the four lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses over a span of 17 months, in accordance with the biblical feast days of Passover and Tabernacles. The first solar eclipse was on March 20, the exact center point of the Shemitah year, and the second will by on Elul 29 or Sept. 13.
Talk of world war
Many world leaders, political figures, and major media and business personalities, including Pope Francis and billionaire George Soros, have recently been quoted in the mainstream media as declaring that we are now “on the verge of another world war.”
“Many prophecy experts see potential harbingers of biblical prophecy in these dire warnings,” Gallups said.
And, the nation continues to experience what Gallups calls “an outpouring of the Sodom and Gomorrah spirit sweeping the world.”
James Dobson, John Hagee, NRB President Jerry Johnson, Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel, Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and others have joined the chorus of Christian leaders who recently signed a document warning that if America goes forth with redefining marriage, there will be consequences. They have pledged to engage in civil disobedience if the ruling comes down in favor of same-sex marriage. The petition has now been signed by more than 43,000 Americans.
“The unthinkable is now being called ‘mainstream’ and ‘normal,’” Gallups said.
Will U.S. follow Ireland’s lead?
Ireland recently became the first country to decide by popular vote that it will legalize same-sex marriage. The United States Supreme Court is due to rule on the same question later this month and many legal analysts predict it will decide to place the U.S. in the same category as Ireland, without the benefit of a plebiscite.
“With the advent of instantaneous communication and information systems in the hands of practically everyone on the planet – another biblical end-time prophecy fulfillment – the spirit of ‘good being called evil and evil being called good,’ is now an international affair,” Gallups said.
Perhaps most troubling, however, is that most in the Western Church are still unaware of what’s going on around them.
That reminds Gallups of another biblical passage.
“Just as in the days of Noah and the days of Lot, most of the world doesn’t even know, or care, that it is spitting on God’s Word in these matters. Jesus said in Luke 17 that the end times, just before the coming of the Son of Man, would be ‘just like this.’ I believe, along with millions of others around the world, we are now in those days,” he said.
“We are the first generation in history to see all of these things converging upon the world scene – coming down to a fine point – all at once. And the convergence appears to many prophecy watchers to be coming to an amazing pinnacle sometime this fall, with the Shemitah cycle – or perhaps next fall with the occurrence of the super Shemitah.
The year 2016 could be more pivotal than 2015 if it is indeed the “super Shemitah.” This is what the Bible describes as the “year of Jubilee.” This occurs once every seven Shemitah cycles, in the 50th year, when all slaves were freed and land returned to its original owners.
Gallups said there is a danger whenever studying Bible prophecy that some teachers will go too far and set dates for various predictions. But this should not prevent Christians from studying Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel and the other prophetic books of the Bible and heeding their warnings, he said.
“I have been a preacher and teacher of the Bible and biblical prophecy for over 30 years. I have been a senior pastor for 29 of those years. I am not an alarmist, a sensationalist, or a date-setter,” he said. “However, I do know the Word of God and because I am also a television and radio pundit and radio host I am an avid student of geopolitics and current affairs. When one considers the undeniable convergence of prophetic happenings that the world is now experiencing, I can understand why there is an intense focus on the next couple of fall ‘Shemitah’ cycles.”
Ultimately, the matter of the details of how it is all going to unfold is in God’s hands, he said.
“Certainly there is no singular person, or even eschatologically persuaded group of people who have every jot and tittle correct,” he said. “But, I don’t see how a serious student of biblical prophecy can deny the amazing and prophetic times in which we are now living. If there was ever a time to be right with our Creator through Jesus Christ, His Son and our Savior – it’s now.”
As Cahn writes: “Nothing significant has to happen. … The phenomenon may manifest itself in one cycle, not in another, and then again in the next. And the focus of the message is not date-setting but the call of God to repentance and return. At the same time, something of significance could take place, and it is wise to note the times.”
“I believe a great shaking is coming to this nation and to the world. I believe that this shaking will involve economic and financial collapse, though it will not necessarily be confined or limited to those realms.”
SOURCE: WND News