The Shmitah is Over – Now What?

The convergence of a supermoon “Blood Moon” and a proposed date for the end of the Shmitah (both in September) led many prophecy teachers to wrongly assume the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel or other prophetic events would commence during the Fall Feasts of 2015. This interest intensified into a fever pitch in the weeks before Elul 29. “Shmitah” became one of the most googled terms world-wide that week. Elul 29 and the Fall Feasts passed without major prophetic events (although some claimed the Iran Nuclear Deal was an “event” even if it didn’t align with any biblical date).  Now the Shmitah is over, what should we learn from this hysteria?

Those who have read my new book, Are We Ready For Jesus, already know I oppose date setting as dangerous.  There are three possible results: 1) you set a date too early and everyone calls you a false prophet, 2) you set a date too late and everyone misses preparing for Christ who surprises them like a thief, or 3) you get it just right. What are the chances of number 3? Slim and none. We should avoid date setting.

Watch! Therefore

When Jesus was asked about return, he was very specific about giving signs of his coming. He also was very specific about watching for those signs:

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.   And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13: 35-37 NKJV)

(There are actually six watches in the above passage. Do you see them?) There are the two words “watch” and the four “watches” of the night! Just a little prophetic humor. (sorry, couldn’t resist).

In my new book we go over what these signs of Christ’s return are in detail.


To learn how to prepare for the return of Jesus, you can order the book HERE at 25% off of Amazon prices.

Shmitah Years

I have read Jonathan Cahn’s new book about the pattern of events he claims may align with Shmitah years.  2015 was one of those years. It is an interesting pattern and he may be correct. He may also be very wrong about God’s calendar.  How we apply this knowledge as followers of Christ is key. Let us not use it for date setting. It is an interesting pattern, it is not a “thus saith the Lord” command of scripture. Rabbi Cahn was pretty clear about this in his book, but many others have taken it to extremes he never meant.

Many, many, many Pre-Trib. teachers on Facebook were predicting the Rapture during the Jewish Feasts last month. Just this morning , one of these teachers was calling for a new “Rapture Watch” after having led us astray about September. Look at the enormous damage this does to the Church. How many times can we as a Church cry “wolf” before people stop watching for the true signs that Jesus commanded?

This month a well-known “guru” also claimed that since the Rapture didn’t happen this September, the Church is “safe” for another seven years. This is wrong on so many levels.

  • We don’t know God’s calendar. This may not necessarily been a Shmitah year. That theory is based on a pattern of events not the Bible.
  • We don’t know the 70th Week will begin on a Shmitah year (even if we did know when it was.) I actually expect it NOT to start on a Shmitah year.
  • The Rapture is not the next prophetic event; The Rapture occurs at the Seventh Seal, years after the beginning of the 70th Week.
  • Many of the events prior to the Rapture will require endurance of the saints. We are only “safe” in Jesus.

What Should We Then Do?

First, we should not join in the hysteria. We must avoid the temptation to set a return date for Jesus’s return when only one of the verifiable signs he gave us (the recreation of the Nation of Israel) has taken place.  We should mentally take note of those teachers who have date set in the past and avoid their teaching. And above all, we must not speculate ourselves and add to the frenzy.

Second, we should occupy our thoughts with “what not when.” Our Lord has a call on each of our lives. We need to be about our Master’s business, not worrying if we are “safe” physically. We are  safe only in Christ. We need to be Revivalists not Survivalists. Our comfort and even our lives are not our top priority. The world is struggling with a Muslim and LGBT “problem.” What about committing yourself to outreach to one of these groups? If you are wondering what else you might do, consider joining the effort of many of the others on this site to awaken the Church  ( Speculation on prophecy is interesting, but Kingdom building is our responsibility.

Third, and most importantly, draw near to God. Strengthen your relationship to Jesus. Spend time with him. He loves us like no other. Get to know him, love him, and learn to trust him. It is my firm belief that prior to the true Rapture, the Lord will send dreams and visions (Joel 2:30) to those with whom he has a relationship. If you wish to know Rapture timing, draw near to the one who knows it.

Apocalyptic Evangelism

Someday soon, the next real Biblical prophetic event will occur (Shmitah’s and blood moons weren’t Biblically foretold events. They may have been from God – who knows – but there is nothing in scripture showing these events on these specific dates). Most likely this next biblical event will be Iran’s invasion of the Middle East (Daniel 8). When that happens we will have the unique ability to use it for evangelism. We will be able to point to the event, show the world the scripture that foretold it, and then show them what comes next on the prophetic time line. I anticipate this will be a powerful move of God’s Spirit and many will come to the Lord this way.

We need to be about “what not when.” Understanding the full chronology of signs and using them to advance God’s Kingdom on earth is all of our “call.” We need to be about our Master’s business first, and Rapture timing second.



36 thoughts on “The Shmitah is Over – Now What?”

  1. Let me ask you a question Nelson?I have been reading books and reading blogs on various. Sites Joel’s,Alan’s,walid Shoebat ,although He has gone of topic and constantly trash Protestant’s? Just read,Daniel revisited.And have just ordered your book,and the book last Shofar. But I feel the last few months that it is so easy to get side tracked and worry about economics, or sheimitah, or moons,ect,ect.My question is you must step away from study of prophecy, do you not?what do you do to have a balance in your life.Individuals around me think I am way to interested and worried about prophecy or end times.(I,m not worried )my question is do you have a balance?

    1. Excellent question Mike. I think the best balance is seen in Joel Richardson. Given that he and I share almost all the same views, I’d like to think that I aspire to balance as well. I lead a house church group. Right now we’re studying Philippians. Last nights lesson was on Philippians 2:1-4 on humility and how its expressed in forgiveness and gratitude as well as a lack of pride. (I love Philippians). I also lead a small group of 17 7th grade boys. Today we spent a couple hours cleaning up the yard of a friend of mine who just lost her husband. (She was the Sunday School teacher of the same boys 4 or 5 years ago. God’s love is a circle in the body.) Oh, yeah, and I have a full time job and a great family with 3 daughters and a beautiful wife.

      As far as prophecy itself, if you’ve been around this site for a while, I hope you have seen that my passion is the application of prophecy, not just knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Somewhere on this site, there’s a very early post from me “Prophecy = Saved Souls.” that talks about that application. It’s all about equipping the saints with knowledge of what is coming to help save the lost and awaken the sleeping church. One of my catch phrases is “we are to be REVIVALISTS NOT SURVIVALISTS” It’s not about gaining knowledge in order to survive, its gaining knowledge in order to expand the kingdom. Knowledge alone for knowledge’s sake “puffs us up” and is the exact opposite of what the scriptures command in terms of humility. See we’re right back to Phil 2:1-4. Keep reading Phil 2 and come to the “mind of Christ” to which we all must aspire. Hopefully when you read my book you’re see this woven within the pages.

      1. Yes thank-you for your response, and you consistent work in this area.Oddly enough the only reason I,m looking at prophecy is my church is going through Revelation.So I happen to listen to John MacArthur sermon,on Islamic paradigm. This made me curious because he is pre mil rapture Roman Antichrist position. When I goggle Islamic Antichrist Joel came up and of course he recommend other books in his comments. I sure see a difference in Revelation as our pastor goes through Revelation now.Its amazing how all of Revelation changes when you decide on a pre wrath position and a Islamic Antichrist. 5 months ago I would of blindly be saying Amen to all his sermons at church but now I come out with many questions. Like last weeks portion, on Revelation 14 about the 144 thousand.the different position in being pre wrath brings a huge shifts. Regardless for me anyway it’s easy to focus on trying to get to understand end times,yet I realize I have to slow down.again thanks for your efforts, and look forward to reading your book when it comes.If you have any other books you could recommend, please feel free to share.blessings.

        1. Yes, you are correct. A proper theology of the Rapture especially and also the Islamic paradigm changes everything about Revelation. My unpublished second book is REVELATION DECIPHERED. What I do is take all the 100 or so OT and NT references in Revelation and work backwards. It is absolutely amazing what happens. The references explain so much. It should be out in June 2016.

          After you finish all those books which is a load, email me and we can discuss where to go from there.

  2. One more comment I’d like to add regarding the blood moon on a Jewish feast that might be plausible. It is generally regarded that the LORD is gracious to man in that He gives warning before He judges. He warns for the purposes of repentance and to return to Him for forgiveness of sin so that fellowship could be restored. It may be that the blood moon tetrad was a four-fold warning prior to what many prophecy students consider as then next prophetic fulfillment on God’s calendar…Daniel 8 with Iran suddenly invading the Middle East with great success and stunning the West.

    I have my own pet theories on timing which has nothing to do with God’s true calendar, but only my guesses. He has revealed nothing to me on that score, but it is fairly clear now from international events that Iran will be the prophetic focus as we wait on God’s timing of the matter. Those that watch and wait will not be surprised about the what but we may be about the when.

    Just random thoughts on the blood moons/Jewish feasts.


  3. Nelson’s response to you is a good one, Janae. In “The Last Shofar” those authors go into great detail to lay out their Hebraic case that this teaching by Jesus to his Jewish disciples “a day and hour no man knows” has been lost to the modern church’s understanding resulting from Emperor Constantine when he converted to Christianity. This book is a must read to completely understand what dreadful impact this has had on the church regarding prophetic scripture. It was a very important book for me as a serious prophecy student opening up much of the meaning of those teachings by Jesus during his last session with His Jewish disciples.

    My Bible-teacher-elder has chided me saying, “Well, you think you’ve got it all figured out don’t you.” I told him, “No, I am learning things that are new everyday that the LORD shows me who wait and watch for His Son.” Then I just smile. 🙂


    1. Excellent comments Good4u. Isn’t it humorous that it is the traditionalist who thinks he has it all figured out and misses the revelation of God’s word that is changing eschatology on a monthly basis.

    1. Janae. We know Jesus returns on Yom Teruah (see The Last Shofar). This day can be either of two days and any hour of the night (it’s the day and hour no man knows). We just don’t know the year. After the Abomination we will know the year.

  4. Hi Nelson.

    Beer Sheva got a close-up look last night at the recent spate of terror attacks in Israel. As much as our flesh recoils, at least, as you say, we have the Word of God to understand WHY these things are going on, and the opportunity to share that with those who are adamantly opposed to YHVH and His Anointed One.

    I am about to finish your book, which I appreciate very much what the Lord has given you to share, teach, and help others.

    I do have a couple of comments/questions, both of which are related to what is in he book, and also to a couple of replies in this particular blog article:
    1. Why do you think that the wrath of God begins with the 7th Seal and not with the 7th (and last) Trumpet? In Revelation, the 7th Trumpet releases the Seven Bowls, which are the wrath of God.

    2. I know you have referred to some book showing all the relevance of the “Feasts of YHVH” to Israel, and from that deducing that the First Resurrection and Rapture will occur on the Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets. Yet, in Jewish thinking, and I think, in this case, correct Biblical application, the Memorial of Trumpets is a call to gather together and prepare for the Day of YHVH, the day of judgment, which falls on the Day of Atonements. On that holy day, God requires Israel to accept the sacrifice which HE has provided; otherwise, whoever does not is cut off. (Lev 16; 23) The Jubilee trumpets are also blown in the Year of Jubilee on the basis of THAT once-for-all finished sacrifice, which allows the Holy One of Israel to dwell in the midst of His people — forgiven and cleansed.

    God bless you for giving so much time and attention to so many people’s remarks. Grace, grace, grace!

    1. This probably requires an entire post to respond to. It may take me a few weeks. In the mean time, please know I believe the Day of the Lord (which includes God’s Wrath) is 1 year and 10 days long (from Yom Teruah year 6 to Yom Kippur year 7, see Isa. 34:8), and begins on the same day as the Rapture. Luke 17:29 shows this to be the case “as in the days of Lot.” IMO the Wrath of God begins with the Trumpets which are revealed after the opening of the seventh seal.

  5. All Glory to God


    Good article. I agree that date setting is dangerous. The Lord did not give us a date only signs of His coming. I believe one of the major end-time events is the Turkish invasion of Syria. This is prophesied in Jeremiah 49, Isaiah 17, Amos 3 and Daniel 11.

    I agree with Mark Davidson’s signpost theory only that I believe the 2nd signpost has already passed. Iran has already invaded the middle east albeit by proxy. Iran’s proxies control Iraq, Gaza, southern Lebanon, Yemen and Syria. The third signpost, I believe, is the rise of the King of the North (Turkey). this will begin with the Turkish incursion into Syria.

    I agree that the 7th Seal is broken AFTER the antiChrist begins his 42 month career as King of the World (Revelations 13v5). Consider also Daniel 11 v 36 below

    “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the INDIGNATION BE ACCOMPLISHED: for that that is DETERMINED shall be done”.(KJV)

    This is the first time AC is called KING (not just King of the North) and note what happens after that. Indignation (wrath) and what is determined (judgment) shall be done. This is a direct reference to the wrath of God which is the breaking of the 7th Seal.

    God Bless

  6. Another good post with wise words and advice, plus interesting discussion thread. Pleased you’ve kicked pre-trib rapture off the field. Thanks Nelson et al.

    I recall hearing rabbi Cahn stress he’s not attempting to put the Lord in a box. If we look at his work empirically, the historical facts he presents stand up. However, they can also tie into well-known 7-year economic cycles, and it’s widely recognised in financial world that October is a sensitive month.

    A friend in USA emailed about a lady claiming to have heard about judgement coming to States during Obama’s term of office! Others too are claiming forthcoming if not imminent catastrophes, which may generate a climate of fear. So it’s wise to avoid setting dates, but we need to recognise what’s happening and where that’s pointing.

    After watching the world and scripture for a couple of decades I’m coming to the conclusion that particular dates and astronomical events may be of significance – but rare are those who spiritually understand what’s indicated. Last week I posted a couple of insights gained during Sukkoth by a concert violinist and messianic Jew. Upon weighing, I think they’re a sound word and perspective from the Lord.

    1. Thanks Richard. Personally, I hold all “prophetic words” since the closing of scripture in suspicion. I think we are given personal insights but as far as insights for the Church universal, I am not sure how we “test the Spirits” and discern what is from God and what is not. I think Rabbi Cahn’s insight into the Harbinger and the Shmitah are examples. Astronomical events fall into this category as well. I am not saying they aren’t from God, it is just I have no basis for judging them. For me, I trust the Word of God. All else I view cautiously.

  7. Though I disagree with the mindset that we cannot ever calculate the timing when end times prophecies will be fulfilled, I do agree that it is less important than accepting Christ’s basic truths about grace and salvation. Thank you once again Nelson, for yet another good post.

    1. David, I believe a day is coming when we will know the day of Jesus’s return in advance within a 2 day window of time. 1 Thess. 5:4 tells us so. That day is not yet however, as we haven’t begun to see the signs appear. Once they do, Christians will not be taken by surprise by the Day of the Lord as a theif in the night.

  8. Thanks Nelson and good4u! You could well be right, and as of now, I will only say that I am at a lower plain of understanding than you all!


    1. Both Good4u and I learned this from Mark Davidson. All of us have insights God grants to share with others. That’s why we’re a body with different parts, each with its function. None more noble than the other parts.

  9. I am in agreement with Nelson, Sam. We have some ways to go and perhaps many years before the 70th week is a given. It certainly is likely that Daniel 8 is next up on the prophetic calendar and Author Mark Davidson deserves a tip of the hat for leading this understanding in the prophetic community way back when as early as I think 2010 when his first book was published and he researched it some years before that even. All so real now, back then it was hard to believe, but no longer.


  10. I just keep wondering why anyone would have thought the Lord was returning. Don’t get me wrong, He going to come for us but there are a few things that need to take place before he comes to rapture the church. Like the 7 years of tribulation, 144,000, plus the 2 witnesses, satan must be bound during the millennium so he must come to earth, the the 1000 years when Jesus come to earth and he will rule and reign with the saints who did not receive the mark of the beast and were beheaded for their belief. At best all the signs, the Shemitah and the blood moons were warnings that the Tribulation is about to begin. Could the Pope at the UN be the agreement with many? We will have wait and see, If I read The book of Revelations correctly we are approaching or in the 5th seal, which is the martyr of the saints, where Jerusalem is protected for 1260 days. then we will see the armies attach the Jews. I could go on and one but I guess what I am trying to say if you know the Bible you would know there is still a lot of prophecy still to be fulfilled before the church is raptured, at least 1007 years, plus or minus a season!. I fail to see how the church can be raptured before these events. Think about it. If the church is raptured before the great tribulation and the 1000 yrs. then there would no purpose for Jesus to come to earth, all who get saved, during that time, and there will be millions, would have missed the rapture. To believe in pre-tribulation timeline would be to believe in multiple raptures. So what we are looking for is Satans 7 years on earth, then Jesus’s coming to earth to rule and reign for 1000 years. I believe we are at the door of the great tribulation. We need to see the signs and be prepared, mental, physically and especially spiritually for the tough times ahead. The church will be tested are we prepared?

    1. Thanks for your comments Lois. You are so correct that a straight forward reading of the Bible makes it obvious there is no Pre-Trib rapture.

      I believe all seven of the seals break during the 70th Week of Daniel, not before it. This is a key insight, actually. Daniel 7 proves this. If you notice in Daniel 7:9-10, the heavenly court is seated AFTER the Antichrist (the little horn) has begun his reign and uproots the 3 other kings. It is only then the court is seated (Daniel’s vision in Dan. 7 is identical to Rev. 4-5 that shows the opening of the 7 Sealed Scroll.) So we know with certainty the scroll is opened after the Antichrist arises. So despite claims that seals have already broken or that we are at the 6th Trumpet (I actually saw that on Facebook yesterday), all of it remains yet future. My new unpublished second book, Revelation Deciphered, details a lot of this timetable. It should be out in June or so of 2016.

  11. Perfect commentary…..Let the event define it, ie what not when. I am not focused on the rapture as much as the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. Once it begins, we have some distinct events that we can mark time by, but not before then. While pre-trib teaches imminence about the rapture, the belief I have come to is that there is nothing left that needs to happen before the 70th week which begins with a forced agreement, or a reinforcement of an existing agreement….either way, I am convinced that those that are watching and vigilant will know when it comes to pass….thanks, Nelson

  12. Also, what do you think of the claims some people make, saying that the rise of ISIS, the Iranian nuclear deal, and the current unrest in Israel are all related to the blood moons?

    1. Might be true, might not. The last two years have seen incredible changes in our world. Same Sex Marriage, the rise of a potential police state, and the immigration crisis in Europe could all be added to your list Janae.

  13. The Shemitah came and went with nothing significant happening. In the past, I’ve heard Jonathan Cahn say that God gave him all of the ideas for his book about the Shemitah, and he has said that the book basically “wrote itself” (with God doing the writing). Do you think this is possible, and if so, why would God give that kind of a warning if nothing was to come of it? Also, do you think the patterns of things happening every seven years on the same dates in the past is a mere coincidence, or do you think God was behind it in some way?

    1. Janae, this is a good question. The coincidence of a lot of those events is staggering, yet the Bible doesn’t prescribe anything of this sort in prophecy in a direct way. Shabua is Biblical idea. A Shmitah year is a Biblical idea, but applying that concept to world economies and governments isn’t. I am very wary of prophetic ideas not detailed in the Bible. That being said, the odds are against many of the events being coincidence. I believe Rabbi Cahn when he says he believes was guided by the Holy Spirit. However, the one thing I want to stress in my ministry are the direct signs given us by Jesus. Those are rock, especially the key sign of the Abomination. Many of the date-setting ideas are smoke IMO.

  14. “We don’t know God’s calendar. This may not necessarily been a Shmitah year. That theory is based on a pattern of events not the Bible….. If you wish to know Rapture timing, draw near to the one who knows it.”

    Amen, Nelson. We draw close to our Bridegroom and read what He is telling us in His Word.

    1. I agree who really knows. What if they are out 7 years and this is the 42 year and not the 49th year. In other words we still have one more Shemitah until the jubilee. What a jubilee it would be if Jesus returned during the Jubilee year to rule for 1000 years. I think we are out somewhere!!!

  15. Thank you Nelson for this post. This text came to mind while reading it: “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…” Our church group will be finishing up Chapter 5 in your book this week. God bless!

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