Author and Bible teacher Jonathan Cahn says he has been so swamped with questions and concerns about the looming end of the Shemitah year on Sept. 13 that he can't answer them all.
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"We have been deluged with people calling, emailing, asking questions from all over the country, wanting to know what's happening. So we decided to put out a video," Cahn told WND via email.
In the message, posted to YouTube, Cahn calls for a period of national prayer and repentance leading up to the pivotal month of September.
He also issued a new warning about a "desecration" that often precedes judgment and is already present in American society. He calls for Christians to prepare for persecution and get ready to stand for God in a coming period of strife that will increasingly be devoid of "gray areas" or middle ground.
In the video, he says his main theme continues to be that of judgment visiting America. This will bring a "shaking" in the financial and economic realms. These tremors may spread beyond the economic realm.
Watch U.S.-Israel relations
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The harbingers of coming judgment that Cahn first wrote about in 2012 in his New York Times-best-seller, "The Harbinger," have continued long past the writing of that story, he said. The Tree of Hope, a spruce or cedar that in the Bible symbolizes a nation's strength, was planted at Ground Zero in New York following 9/11 but it withered and died. It was finally uprooted on Passover 2014.
The new office tower built to replace the Twin Towers opened earlier this year only to have the first tenants overrun by an infestation of vermin.
But one of the most critical harbingers for America is its relationship with Israel, Cahn said.
"The relations between America and Israel are at its worst. This is a dangerous sign for America. America is now pressing for a deal that Israel says will put Israel in danger. That is also ominous," Cahn said. "All these things: Israel, the harbingers, the apostasy, the Shemitah, all these things are converging, and we need to take heed now."
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Jonathan Cahn's clarion call to repent and return to God is well known, but what about the man himself? Where did he come from and how did he rise from obscurity to a Christian voice heard by millions? WND has produced a new documentary film, "The Harbinger Man," that answers these questions and more. Pre-order your copy now.
Here comes the pope
Pope Francis, the 266th pope, is also coming to the United States to meet with President Obama on Sept. 23, the 266th day of the year. He will address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 24 and then deliver a keynote speech Sept. 25 at the United Nations in New York. The pope, who has already called for the need for global government to fight climate change and poverty, is expected to give a ringing endorsement to the U.N.'s new global agenda titled "Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." This document was created by a 27-person "high level panel" that consisted of only one American – John Podesta, a member of the elite Trilateral Commission and the former climate-change czar for President Obama.
The Senate is also under a deadline to approve the Iran nuclear deal by the end of September.
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Focus on dates, miss the big picture
Cahn implores those concerned about the Shemitah not to focus on dates but on getting their own houses in order. He offers practical advice on how to prepare for the coming "shaking," both physically and spiritually.
He said he gave dates in his book, "The Mystery of the Shemitah" to show that God often works, especially in economic matters, according to the seven-year cycle given to Moses as Mount Sinai and recorded in Deuteronomy.
While this is something "to be aware of the signs of the times," the bigger issue for America is that judgment is imminent. The U.S. clearly "crossed a line," he said, with the Supreme Court decisions on abortion, removing prayer from schools and most recently in its arrogant redefinition of the God-given covenant of marriage.
"The first caution is, God doesn't have to do anything. He is sovereign. He doesn't have to work according to our understanding, He is beyond our understanding. Nothing has to happen in September or the autumn. It could be very uneventful," Cahn said. "And if nothing happens, well then, what will we do? We will praise God, we will be bold for the Lord, we will spread the gospel, we will stand as witnesses for God and we will glorify His name."
God hasn't given him any secret knowledge as to what, if anything, will happen on or near the date of Sept. 13 or Elul 29, the once-every-seven years biblical day of reckoning when all debts and credits were wiped clean.
"Either way, I believe a great shaking is coming and it is wise that we be aware," he said.
Prepare with 'essentials' for body and soul
How does judgment come upon a nation hell-bent on going its own way without God?
Cahn said it can come with economic collapse, with man-made and natural disasters, wars or a slow descent into irrelevancy.
Watch Jonathan Cahn's 18-minute YouTube message in its entirety below:
On the last two Shemitahs, on the exact same biblical "day of remission," which is Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, came record stock-market collapses.
Cahn, a messianic Jewish rabbi who leads a congregation in New Jersey, said the months of Elul and Tishrei bring the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement. These are high holy days on the biblical calendar meant to focus one's heart on the mighty judgment seat of God.
"America's apostasy should be enough" for people to take note and be aware that judgment is coming, Cahn said.
He advised people to stock up on "essentials," food, water and other items.
"Are we survivalists? No. We are revivalists," Cahn said. "We are not here to survive we are here to be part of God's revival, his restoration. And we are here not to prepare, simply thinking about ourselves, but to bless others. Worst-case scenario, you can eat your investment. You can use what is essential. But it's wise, anyway."
Financially, he said he would not personally feel secure having investments "linked to the well-being of the stock market."
The U.S. stock market fell 358 points, or 2.1 percent, on Thursday, its worst day in 18 months. The market has shed more than 1,300 points already this year heading into the volatile autumn period.
Cahn said it would be wise to have cash on hand in your home.
A final 'desecration' brings judgment
"This summer, America crossed the line," beyond any line ever crossed before, Cahn said, referring to the June 26 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
"When the Supreme Court struck down the biblical definition of marriage, this was a tectonic event, a seismic change, with ramifications not just about marriage but about the future of the culture, of society, of religious freedom, of persecution, and, I believe, judgment," Cahn said.
He noted a principle in the Bible that before judgment comes there is often an act of desecration.
The prophet Ezekiel, for example, was taken to the temple and shown a vision. The most holy place was being desecrated with idolatry.
"And then he sees a vision of the judgment of Jerusalem, the judgment of the Temple Mount, the judgment of Israel."
Another example comes from ancient Babylon.
"There is a festive party, a celebration to the gods, and the king of Babylon orders that the sacred cups of God be brought into the celebration and they use these sacred cups to drink to the gods," Cahn said. "That is a desecration and once that act is done the sign comes in the form of a handwriting on the wall that proclaims there will be judgment, and judgment comes that night to Babylon."
"Marriage is a vessel of God. It was made by God for God," Cahn said. "It's like a cup, a sacred cup. You cannot take a vessel of God, you cannot take it and use it against its purpose and against God, without desecration. That was an act of desecration for America to strike down marriage. So, another convergence here. This happened just as the Shemitah approached its end."
'The middle ground is disappearing'
Cahn also thought it was significant that every one of the four dissenting justices issued a warning about coming persecution of those, predominantly Christians, who continue to believe in traditional biblical marriage.
"We are watching that begin to happen. The Bible says those who call darkness light will call the light darkness. The grays are disappearing. It is fading to black and white," he said. "The middle ground is fading away. And those who try to stay in the middle, who try to dance in the middle, will find it harder and harder. You cannot dwell there. The time for gray is disappearing. If the darkness is removing the gray to become utterly dark, then it's time for the light to remove the gray in our lives. And become totally light. The time for wavering, living both ways, compromising, not sharing, not living consistently in your faith, is over."
Cahn also shared a lesson from the prophet Elijah. This Hebrew prophet implored the people to stop being half-hearted believers.
"How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, serve Him. If Baal is god, serve him. But choose you this day, whom you will serve," he said.
He said the same dynamic that leads the dark to get darker will lead those who stand for God without compromise to go from light to blazing light, from good to great. We are watching the faith go, and the Supreme Court decision was a milestone, from a cultural faith to a counter-cultural faith, from a status-quo faith to a revolutionary faith. There is good in this. We say we wish we could live in the Book of Acts, well we are going to. … This is going to force us to go either totally dark or totally light."
So how does one prepare for what's coming to America?
"Ground yourself in prayer. Get plugged in, emotionally, intellectually, to the presence of God," he said.
"Decide no matter what the majority does you will follow the Lord. You have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back. God will anoint those who do not compromise. If you want biblical times, you've got it. You want the Book of Acts, it's coming. You want the days of Elijah? It's here. It's time to become the Elijahs of the day. If there's anything in your life that has no business in the life of a saint of God, the time is now, not later, to get it out. Whatever is not in your life that God is calling you to, the time is now to get it in."
Cahn said he made the video on Elul 1. The month of Elul is a time of preparation for the high holy days, a time to draw nearer to God in prayer. It's a 40-day period of preparation, often accompanied by fasting.
"So I am calling for prayer, repentance, to commit this time for seeking God, in your life, seeking God individually, seeking God as a church, seeking God as a Bible study, seeking God as a movement, but devoting this time to be in prayer every day, in special prayer, of repentance, to get right, to get out of your life that which needs to be out and get in what has to be in."
Cahn is also joining WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah in promoting the third annual 9/11 Day of Prayer and Repentance.
Farah encourages pastors to open their churches on Friday, Sept. 11, to allow both their community of members and their communities at large to gather and pray. There will also be three national repentance conference calls that day, with details at 911dayofprayer.org. Readers can go to the website and sign up to pray. They are also encouraged to let their pastors, congregations, and friends know about this event.
'We are in critical times'
In the Old Testament, which often provides clues or spiritual foreshadowing of things to come under the New Testament, the priests of God had to first get things right in their own lives before they could minister on behalf of others. They would ritually cleanse themselves with water. Only then could they enter the Holy of Holies and intercede for the nation.
"Get to that higher ground, to bless God. This is our time to be ready, no matter what comes in September, autumn, or not," Cahn told his listeners.
"The fact is America is in danger here," he continued. "America is progressing on a dangerous course away from God. And we are in critical times. We are at a crossroads in every way. For the society, the culture, the civilization, the church, to be praying for this time. And to declare we will make up our minds we will not bow down to Baal, we will not compromise, we will not give in to political correctness. No matter what, we will not turn away from God, no matter what anybody says. We will follow the Lord, and His ways, only."
Cahn closes his message with a special blessing of encouragement for those willing to go all-in for God.