Jonathan Cahn’s ‘Shemitah year’ debunked

Eastern Orthodox portrayal of the Apocalypse


Last year, I denounced the view that a ‘Shemitah year would begin the evening of September 13, 2015.  I was correct that the things that Jonathan Cahn, sometimes called the Harbbinger man’ said would happen would not.  And I was correct.

But World News Daily (WND) would not let go of it.  So a few days later it reported the following:

It’s apocalypse now in Israel

Nation pummeled by weather oddities on Jewish New Year

An Israeli National Parks worker says a number of strange and frightening weather events, including one that came just as the nation was celebrating the Jewish New Year, have caused alarm.

Extreme heat, sandstorms and floods all have been reported.

“It felt like the apocalypse, the rain has been torrential, there were about 10 lighting strikes in seconds, and even with your windshield wipers on high, it was impossible to see anything.”

That report in the Times of Israel from Mark Katz described just one of the recent developments: flash flooding and hail that hit earlier this week just as the nation was celebrating the new year. …

The weekend events arrived just as the Shemitah year was drawing to a conclusion.A report over the weekend said the “worst dust storm in Israeli history” had hit.

From bugs to earthquakes to fires to winds to rain to smoke to heat, there are reports of extremes around the globe, too.

Breaking Israel News reported that there now are forecasts of “a second ice age within 15 years,” and the “End of Times blogger known as Tomer Devorah lists close to 20 biblical sources of dramatic changes in the earth that have been prophesied since ancient times.”

The report said Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, a mystical rabbi from southern Israel who publishes a weekly column about world events and teaches the final Apocalypse will happen only outside Israel, “connects all these news stories about extreme weather to the coming redemption.”

“In nearly every weekly message, he warns that God is demonstrating His mastery over nature.”

Artzi wrote: “The forces of nature: every place with evil will go up in flames; there will be earthquakes, floods, winds, storms and volcanic eruptions. God is thinning out the impurities in the world and burning them.”

At the time, I wrote, “It may be that WND reported this because it had an article a week ago indicating that the ‘Tribulation’ could happen on the Feast of Trumpets, which they have often tended to consider was the end of a claimed Shemitah year,” and then quoted something else from WND:

Is 7-year biblical ‘Tribulation’ about to start?

Shemitah cycle could be key

Millions of investors concerned about the Shemitah cycle are watching stock markets and economies in these dark days of September.

Will the Dow crash, they wonder, like it did in the past two Shemitah years, 2001 and 2008, or will the dollar collapse and take the U.S. economy down with it?

Not Mark Biltz.

The founder and pastor of El Shaddai Ministries is watching for something much bigger.

The start of the Tribulation.

Biltz, author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs,” is not predicting that the Tribulation will start with the beginning of a new seven-year cycle at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 13. But if it doesn’t start, then he says it likely won’t for at least another seven years. …

Biltz believes the prophet Daniel’s “70 weeks” prophecy was based on the Shemitah cycle.

The one remaining “week,” which is seven years according to Daniel’s prophecy, is that period Christians refer to as the Tribulation, and Biltz believes it will be a Shemitah week.

“Therefore the Tribulation week has to begin at the beginning of a Shemitah cycle. The seven-year Tribulation cannot begin just anywhere. It will not begin in just a random year on our pagan calendar,” Biltz said.

The Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, which starts at sundown Sunday, Sept. 13, begins a new seven-year cycle.

“If the Tribulation does not start this fall, then it cannot start for (at least) seven more years,” Biltz said. “May the Lord give us at least one more Shemitah week or seven more years for the body of believers worldwide to come into this understanding of participating in the feasts that they may be ready.” …

Author Jonathan Cahn posited in his best-selling book, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” that the seven-year pattern has produced major turning points in history.

Did the ‘Tribulation’ and something fulfilling Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy begin on the Feast of Trumpets that year?

Related to all this, on September 18, 2015, I posted:

Jesus laid out a variety of signs which have not happened (cf. Matthew 24:9-20). Jesus said nothing about the ‘Shemitah’ being an important factor.

Here is, however, some of what Jesus taught what would be the final sign that would lead to the Great Tribulation:

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-21)

We have NOT seen the abomination of desolation spoken of by the Prophet Daniel standing in the Holy Place–and the weather items in Israel did NOT fulfill this. Thus, no, the Great Tribulation DID NOT start. It will not start for years.

Neither the end of a particular Shemitah year nor blood moons were items that Jesus said would happen just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation. Mark Biltz’s position that the tribulation begins immediately after the end of a Shemitah is not biblical defensible–and even if it were, Mark Biltz (along with many others) had the wrong year for the Shemitah.

As mentioned before, the so-called end of the Shemitah year was popularized by the Messianic Jew Jonathan Cahn, who is perhaps best known for his book The Harbinger. (Some specifics on calculations related to the ‘Shemitah year’ are in the article The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance.)

Jonathan Cahn made a pseudo-prediction for last Sunday:

I can tell you now that if Almighty God continues His pattern of judgment on the USA, the financial collapse of the US dollar, will happen on Sunday, the 13th of September 2015.–Luck-7s-..

Sometime back, I saw an interview on CBN by Pat Robertson of Jonathan Cahn that was first broadcast 02/05/2013. The interview screen at one point showed something that resembled two Power Point slides, apparently from Jonathan Cahn or one of his books. The first slide had the following information:




So, the above was a prediction of a possible global collapse at the end of a year that I claim was NOT the Shemitah year. The global markets did not collapse last Sunday.

Be careful that you do not get caught up in biblically-sounding arguments, that are not truly biblical, when it comes to doctrine or prophecy.

As far as the ‘Shemitah year’ was concerned, because of how God worked out various things with the Continuing Church of God (see The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law), as well as research I had done, I did not believe that Jonathan Cahn actually was pointing to a real Shemitah year. Yet, Jonathan Cahn and others misled many.

Despite that, WND still refers to Jonathan Cahn as a prophet of God.  He is not. He never met the biblical criteria. But notice the following WND headline from September 12, 2016: “‘Harbinger Man’ warns: America ‘accelerating’ toward doom.”

The USA is headed towards doom, but people like Jonathan Cahn do not understand enough biblical prophecy to explain what is truly going to happen or what to do about it.

But we do.

We in the Continuing Church of God “have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).”

To learn the BIBLICAL, as opposed to the generally presumed, criteria of a prophet of God, check out the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God.

To learn about when the Great Tribulation will start, check out the article When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?

Some items of related interest may include:

Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy?
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video of related interest could be Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?

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