I recently watched A video on YouTube from Mark Biltz When Will the Tribulation Begin? Where are we on the BIBLICAL calendar? It is extremely informative and a MUST watch. I will try to sum up what he has taught in the video on the Shemitah year and cycles. I still recommend that you watch it, because I cannot go into as much detail as he did in this blog.
The Shemitah year is a Sabbath year, every 7th year is a Shemitah or Sabbath year where God commanded the Israelite’s to rest the land. Every 7 years is a Shemitah cycle. God told Israel that the land that they were to inherit needed to rest every 7 years because it was holy.
Leviticus25:1-4 The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.
Exodus 23:10-12 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.
The Hebrew word Shemitah literally means release. People were no longer supposed to be indebted to each other. This is where the 7 year bankruptcy came from! Rabbi Jonathan Cahn wrote a book about the Shemitah and how throughout history you can see that every 7 years the stock market is affected with either a crash or some kind of downward slide. For example the Great Depression started on a Shemitah year. Rabbi Cahn also discusses how nations can rise to power or fall from power during a Shemitah year.
Deuteronomy 15:1-2 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.
Since the Shmita year was a year of release, slaves were supposed to be released to freedom too! If the Israelite’s did not follow the commands of the Lord about the Shmita year they would be punished.
Jeremiah 34:13-17 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said, 14 ‘Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you six years, you must let them go free.’ Your ancestors, however, did not listen to me or pay attention to me.15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to your own people. You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name. 16 But now you have turned around and profaned my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again. 17 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the Lord—‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.
Leviticus 26:18-25 I will punish you for your sins seven times over. I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit. 21 “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted. 23 “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, 24 I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over. 25 And I will bring the sword on you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands.
Leviticus 26:27-28 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over.
Leviticus 26:33-35 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the Sabbaths you lived in it.
Leviticus 26:43-45 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”Jeremiah 19:7-9 ‘In this place I will ruin the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals. I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’
Jeremiah 19:7-9 ‘In this place I will ruin the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals. I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’
Daniel 9:1-2 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.
Daniel 9:24-27“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
When Daniel says 70 weeks he is referring to 70 weeks of years. He’s referring to Shemitah cycles. Historically and prophetically all these scriptures have been fulfilled, but there’s still one week left. One week of 7 years left. The 7 year tribulation is the last “week” that needs to be fulfilled, it will be the last Shemitah cycle. The 7 year tribulation cannot start in the middle of a Shemitah cycle, or towards the end of the Shemitah cycle. It has to start at the very beginning, the 1st year, of the Shemitah cycle. (I go into more detail in my blog about Rosh Hashanah if you want to understand more on Daniel’s 70 weeks.)
Believers need to understand the significance of the Biblical Feasts or Moedim (God’s appointed times). The Spring and Summer feasts have already been fulfilled by Jesus/Yeshua, with His first coming, and show God’s plan for salvation. The Fall feasts will be fulfilled with His 2nd Coming.
1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified during the time that the Passover was observed (Mark 14:12). Yeshua is a “lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19) because His life was completely free from sin (Hebrews 4:15). As the first Passover marked the Hebrews’ release from Egyptian slavery, so the death of Jesus marks our release from the slavery of sin (Romans 8:2).
2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah’s sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body was in the grave during the first days of this feast.
3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Yeshua was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”
4) Shavuot/Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, was outpoured on the 200 in the upper room Acts 2 and is continued to be outpoured on those baptized in the Holy Spirit.
5) Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. This day points to the 1st Resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6) of the Bride of believers when the Messiah Jesus/Yeshua will appear coming on the clouds in heaven. A.K.A The Harpazo (Greek) or Rapture (latin) is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52).
5b) The Days of Awe. The 10 days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During these days a Jew would traditionally have a time of introspection and repentance. In the future this will be when the believers who were a part of the 1 resurrection A.K.A the rapture spend their time with Yeshua during the Millennial reign.
6) Day of Atonement/ Yom Kippur (Leviticus 23:27) – Traditionally the Jews would fast this day and make confession and atonement for there sins. This was the only day that The High Priest was able to go into the Holy of Holies. This feast has been partially fulfilled with Jesus/Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection. When Jesus died the Parokhet (curtain) that separated the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn in two, allowing any believer direct access to God. Yeshua is also the Great High Priest. In the future this will be when the 2nd Resurrection or Judgment of the dead described in (Revelation 20:11-15) occurs.
7) Tabernacles or Booths/Sukkot (Leviticus 23:34) – When we will dwell or “tabernacle” with Him and His people In the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21).
Should Believers celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Believer celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Believer, a decision made between them and Adonai. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in the Messiah.” Believers are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).
While it is not required for Believers to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly, it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for the Messiah’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His 2nd coming. As Believers, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Messiah in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.
When I was a child I went to a church that my Grandfather, Father, and Uncle all pastored at. My Father is always praying and asking Adonai to show him Adonai’s Ways. Well Adonai answered his prayer by calling us to separate from our church and start one of his own. This was very difficult on the family and the church. I’m sure you can imagine how relationships were affected by this. My dad was called to start his own church to learn the ways of Adonai. He had a revelation that Jesus was an observant Jew (this was not a common teaching back then), so he started diving into learning Judaism. When I was in High School we also went to a Messianic Jewish Shul that was an hour away. So On Saturday I went to Shul and Sunday we had Church. We learned so many things from them. Even though we don’t attend Shul regularly now, we still visit sometimes for the Feasts and they are still family to us. Our church observes the feasts in our own way. The way God has called our congregation to. Sometimes we put up a SuKkah and wave the Lulav and Etrog on Sukkot, sometimes we have a Passover Seder, and sometimes we just study and learn about the feasts. It varies from year to year, and feast to feast. I truly believe that if a Believer really wants to understand the New Testament, then they need to study Judaism.
So where are we in a Shemitah cycle? Since Rosh Hashanah is considered the civil New Year, Shemitah year’s and Shemitah cycle’s always starts on Rosh Hashanah. This year is a Shemitah year starting at sunset on 9-6-2021 or Tishrei 1, 5782. Next year Rosh Hashanah will start the beginning of a new Shemitah cycle. So if the tribulation does not start next year we will have to wait another Shemitah cycle or 7 years. Below is an image of Shemitah Cycles, the red arrow is a “you are here”.
The Next Shemitah cycle (2022-2029) will be quite interesting. Mark Biltz came out with a book about the Blood Moons for the last Shemitah cycle 2014-2015. This book is excellent and I recommend you read it. There was what was called a Tetrad (4) of blood moons and a couple of eclipses the Shemitah year of 2014-2015. God gave us the sun and moon for SIGNS and WARNINGS. Usually a blood moon is a warning to Israel and Solar eclipses are warnings to the Nations/Gentiles.
Genesis 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
Before this Shemitah cycle God has given us another Tetrad of Blood Moons. AND during the Shemitah cycle we see another Tetrad along with 3 more solar eclipses. Now these Tetrads are extremely rare! God is really trying to warn us about something! A lot of these blood moons and solar eclipses happen on or extremely close to spring or fall feasts. I don’t believe that is a coincidence. Adonai is trying to get our attention. All of these take place before the middle of the Shemitah cycle. Could this coming Shemitah cycle be the 7 year Tribulation? And all of these blood moons and solar eclipses happen before the Mid-Tribulation? It would not surprise me that God would try to warn us before and during the Tribulation. In fact I would be in shock if this Shemitah cycle wasn’t the 7 year Tribulation period we have been watching for. If it isn’t then we have to wait for the next Shemitah cycle to see!
I cannot begin to convey the importance of this subject matter. It is beyond my capabilities PLEASE I IMPLORE YOU watch the video:
References: Mark Biltz: El Shaddai Ministries https://www.esm.us
Images from Mark Biltz: When will the Tribulation begin? Where are we on the Biblical Calendar
Mark Biltz: Blood Moons Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs
Jonathan Cahn: Hope of the World Ministries: http://www.hopeoftheworld.org
Jonathan Cahn: The Mystery of the Shemitah
Mitch and Zhava Glaser: The Fall feasts of Isreal
David H. Stern: Jewish New Testament and Jewish New Testament Commentary