Blood moons, plummeting stock markets and a growing Ebola pandemic dominated the headlines this past week.
If that’s not enough cause for concern, there’s an army of Islamic terrorists bearing down on the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
None of this should come as a surprise to those who have read “The Mystery of the Shemitah” by Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi and Bible teacher from New Jersey who also authored the best-selling Christian book “The Harbinger” in 2012.
Without a doubt, the Shemitah year, which kicked off on Sept. 25, has begun with a blast of bad news.
Cahn predicted in “The Harbinger” that America would come under judgment in the wake of the 9/11 attacks because, rather than being humbled and repentant, the nation doubled down on abortions, pornography and the removal of prayer and all things Christian from the public square.
In the “Shemitah,” he reveals that judgment comes to a backslidden nation in accordance with a seven-year cycle that correlates with the Hebrew calendar. In Leviticus 25, God commanded the Israelites to observe a Sabbath year once every seven years in which they would let their land lie fallow, while in Deuteronomy 15 He instructed them to cancel debts in line with this same seven-year timetable.
Cahn explains that the seven-year cycles can manifest as blessings as long as a nation follows the will of God. But for those that started out under God only to later stray, the Shemitah can bring a series of ever harsher judgments, usually striking in the financial realm and spilling over into the political and military arenas.
“In The Mystery of the Shemitah – I show how the Shemitah has caused financial and economic collapse throughout modern times,” Cahn told WND. “And the phenomenon has been intensifying – with the last two Shemitahs manifesting the phenomenon with uncanny precision.”
The two previous Shemitah years occurred in 2000-2001 and 2007-2008.
Before the ultimate judgment comes, God often sends a series of warnings or “shakings” meant to get the attention of believers and nonbelievers alike.
The Shemitah year was also called the year of “release” in biblical times because the land was allowed to rest and the financial accounts were wiped clean once every seven years.
Only two weeks into the new Shemitah year of 2014-2015, the U.S. stock market has already shed hundreds of points.
Theresa Yarosh, founder and president of Macro Wealth Management LLC in Paramus, New Jersey, said she has reviewed the accuracy of the patterns laid out in Cahn’s book, “The Mystery of the Shemitah.”
“It is accurate based on underlying market patterns and economics,” Yarosh said. “I traced the pattern all the way back to 1916. Jonathan had the question as to why some of the (seven-year) cycles are more powerful than others and that’s because you have to apply the debt cycle and some (Shemitahs) have more debt to be worked out than others.”
She said the financial meltdowns of 2001 and 2008, as bad as they were, did not fully correct the debt bubbles that had built up.
“Now we’re in another one. Where his book is strong is in the (Shemitah’s) need for a full release of the debts. The last two recessions did not correct that,” Yarosh said.
Similarities to 1930s Depression
Yarosh sees a debt cycle peak being built up similar to that of 1933. The initial market crash occurred in 1929 and then came the deleveraging of the 1930s with a secondary downturn in the market in 1938.
That’s when the financial reckoning was completed.
“The period we’re in now is almost like the Roaring Twenties with a build up of enormous margin debt,” Yarosh said. “My advice would be to balance out things that have guarantees with things that don’t. It’s like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race with a focus on risk management.”
Because of the conservative economic model Yarosh works with, she is not concerned with where the market is headed.
“I have clients that have a lot of cash, who are very liquid,” she said. “So, I would say, have sufficient liquidity, at least three to six months of living expenses in cash, and about 50 percent of your gross income should be liquid. That’s a high amount of liquidity. Most investors don’t have that.”
Billionaires investors like Warren Buffet, Marc Faber, Donald Trump, Peter Schiff and others have all made statements recently that they see a major market correction coming and that it could be worse than 2008. Faber warns of “massive wealth destruction” coming to America in which he predicts “well-to-do people will lose up to 50 percent of their wealth.”
Yarosh sees another troubling sign that smaller investors might want to pay attention to: The ultra wealthy are hording cash.
According to the new Billionaire Census from Wealth-X and UBS, the world’s billionaires are holding an average of $600 million in cash — greater than the gross domestic product of Dominica. That marks a jump of $60 million from a year ago and translates into billionaires’ holding an average of 19 percent of their net worth in cash. This increased liquidity signals that many billionaires are keeping their money on the sidelines and waiting for the optimal moment to make further investments.
“These are people who know what’s going on, who see things on a very big level, and it’s not good,” Yarosh said.
Yarosh said she has studied economics and economic patterns for more than 20 years but Cahn’s research has shed light on a lot of questions.
“There has always been something to the ‘autumn phenomenon,'” she said, referring to the long-held suspicion among investors that crashes tend to happen in September and October. “And people for years have wondered why that is. I think Jonathan has tied it to the Hebrew calendar and the Bible.”
And that message is getting out to more and more readers.
According to Publisher’s Weekly’s ranking all paperbacks fiction and nonfiction, “The Mystery of the Shemitah” is ranked fifth in the world in sales.
The New York Times recently began a new best seller list for religious titles, which had Oprah Winfrey’s latest book ranked as number one, followed by Cahn’s “Shemitah” book.
Signs of things to come for U.S. economy?
Cahn told WND that the loss of more than 260 points in the Dow Jones Industrials on the very first day of the Shemitah year could be the “first fruits” of more market mayhem over the next 12 months.The market lost another 449 points over a two-day period, Oct. 9-10, coinciding with the opening of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.
But the shakings brought on by the Shemitah are not limited to the financial realm.
On the first day of the Shemitah year, Sept. 25, the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on U.S. soil, when Thomas Eric Duncan checked into a hospital in Dallas, Texas. Duncan died on Oct. 8, the day that a blood moon appeared in the sky, the second of a rare series of four lunar eclipses that will occur on Jewish High Holy Days between autumn of 2014 and autumn of 2015.
Cahn has pointed that, according to his research, the worst of the worst usually happens at the end of the Shemitah year, not at the beginning. In fact, the last day of the year, Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, which will occur on Sept. 13, 2015, is the most dreaded day.
The pattern revealed in “The Mystery of the Shemitah” is that the beginning of the Shemitah’s impact is often subtle, but leads to a dramatic climax.
“The beginning may mark a change in direction, even a foreshadow of what will come to a crescendo at the Shemitah’s end,” he said.
In the Shemitah of 2000-20001, the beginning marked a sudden downturn of production. Its culmination came in the second week of September, 2001, the week that saw the calamity of 9/11 and the greatest stock market collapse in history to that date.
In the Shemitah of 2007-2008, it’s beginning saw a stock market that had been rising for years, suddenly reverse course and begin to descend. The culmination came in September 2008 with the global financial implosion, the collapse of Wall Street on Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, marking the greatest one day crash in stock market history, followed by the Great Recession.
“In the book I’ve marked out the Shemitah’s beginning – and many were watching to see if anything significant would take place,” Cahn told WND. “What happened with this Shemitah was even more dramatic than in the past. Within two days of the Shemitah’s start, the stock market began to descend. On the Shemitah’s very first day, Wall Street plunged over 260 points. It was the event that marked the beginning.
“The Mystery of the Shemitah would say this: What we have witnessed on Wall Street would appear to be either the beginning of a phenomenon that will reach its crescendo in the Shemitah’s latter part or end, or an early phenomenon and foreshadow of what will come at the end.”