For months, I have been trying to write a synopsis for you all on the Hebrew Shemitah year (pronounced SHMEE-tah). And I will sit to write and get nowhere. Either nothing comes that is intelligible, or I get distracted, or both. But I think now God is giving me grace to speak.
Last week, on Ash Wednesday, John Paul Jackson went home to be with Jesus. He was 64 years old. I know some of you have never heard of him, and some of you have. I only was introduced to his ministry about 2-3 years ago. I am still reeling in the wake of his death, but I know Who my Solid Ground is, and I know Who carried my grief (and still does). I’ve been thinking about it… about why I am so affected by his life and his death… and I know I’ve mentioned this to some of you… I only met John Paul maybe 2-3 times. But it’s like this: you know the feeling in the core of your gut when you KNOW there is more to God than what they teach on Sunday mornings. You KNOW there is more to Him than what is taught on Wednesdays at Bible study – as well-intentioned as the teaching is. You KNOW in the core of your being there is more, but you are at a loss as to how to go about finding the more. I call this “unquenchable thirst.” So you cry out to God in the middle of the night when He wakes you and you can’t sleep… you cry out to Him because your spirit is aching for more of Him, but nothing you’ve experienced so far is filling you in the manner you were designed to be filled. So He begins to introduce you to people who fly with God. And you are a little freaked out by them because you’ve never known that people fly with Him. But that thirst is beginning to be quenched. And he teaches you how to fly with God and then you, too, begin to sprout wings and fly with Him… and you feel like FAMILY with this person and this group of people. And then this person, your spiritual dad, dies…. that is how I feel.
He died early in the morning. That evening, my daughter went to Student Ministry at our church, and had an amazing experience with God. John Paul is dear to her heart, too, as he personally interpreted a dream God gave her, and another evening, prophesied over her (to my knowledge, she was the last person to receive a public prophetic word through John Paul). She came home hearing Holy Spirit speaking — we prayed together for an hour before she went to bed, and then the next morning she had to make a list because God was giving her so many names of people to pray for.
Also that evening, my son and I were cuddled up in his bed, reading a Punchinello book (series by Max Lucado). As the words were coming out of my mouth, my spirit sensed movement at the door to his room. There he was. John Paul was leaning on the doorframe, grinning from ear to ear. His eyes were bright, face seemed to be tanned – like he had spent all afternoon in the sun (Son). Of course, when I looked up and smiled back at him, he wasn’t there, but I know what my spirit saw. For the longest time, I couldn’t quite think of the color of his shirt. I thought maybe it was orange. But that reminded me too much of orange jumpsuits worn by prisoners. I knew that wasn’t right. Then I thought maybe it was yellow and tried to settle on that. But something in my spirit was rejecting the yellow shirt. Then I realized. It was both. His shirt was a vivid peachy sunset color. Sunset.
When John Paul was still in his mother’s womb, an angel came to visit her. The angel told her that John Paul would be an 11th-hour prophet to the Body of Christ. And that therefore, John Paul would be in the womb a full 11 months. ‘Eleven’ is the biblical number for the prophetic, and also for transition and standing in the gap (the prophet intercedes, warns God’s people of approaching change). For several months, I have been hearing and seeing the numbers 11 and 7, in that order (11 = transition, 7 = completion). There are many in the prophetic community who are saying that with John Paul’s death, the 11th hour is complete. And that we have entered the final hour.
That brings me to a topic I briefly wrote about this past fall. The Blood Moons and the Feasts of The Lord speak of things concerning Israel. I would like to add more to your understanding, and talk about the biblical Shemitah, and how it might relate to John Paul’s death.
The Shemitah is, according to the word God gave Moses on Sinai, the 7th year in a series of 7 years. It is the Sabbath year. “The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord.” (Leviticus 25:1-4 ESV) If God’s people followed God and did according to His commandments, His precepts, then the Shemitah year was a blessing for them. If God’s people did not follow God or keep His commandments, the Shemitah year was used as a judgment by God toward His people. You can find biblical evidence in the book of Daniel. When Daniel was seeking God to find out how long the Hebrew people would be in captivity in Babylon, God’s answer to him was 70 years. One year of captivity for every year they did not observe the Shemitah.
So what? You might ask. I might be God’s people, but I am not Jewish. I’m not even Messianic Jewish. Well, remember. This principle is God’s. He doesn’t change. Let me show you how the Shemitah is manifesting today.
Come back with me to 2001. According to the Jewish calendar, the Shemitah year ended and a new year began on the civic holy day, Rosh Hashana. That year, Rosh Hashana began at sunset, September 17th. The week prior, the stock market had been closed due to the 9/11 attacks. It re-opened the morning of September 17th, the final day of the Shemitah year, and immediately plummeted 685 points, or 7.1 percent, throwing the US economy into a tailspin.
Seven years later, it happened again. At Rosh Hashana. In 2008, the Shemitah year again ended, as it always does, on Rosh Hashana, at the sunset of September 29th. That day, the last day of the Shemitah year, God wrote on the wall of Wall Street, as the Dow Jones lost 777.7 points.
Don’t believe me? A simple google search will verify everything you’ve just read.
So here we are, in the middle of the next Shemitah year. This 7th year in a series of 7 years began at Rosh Hashana 2014 (sunset, September 24, 2014) and ends at Rosh Hashana 2015, (sunset, September 13, 2015). An interesting notation about the Shemitah year is that if the Shemitah is being manifested in judgment, the judgments grow exponentially, with the apex occurring on the final day of the Shemitah year. I do find it interesting that less than a week after the Shemitah year began, Ebola came here to our metroplex. Praise You Jesus, for containing it.
I do not have to be a prophet, though, to see God’s pattern, to see His ways. I also do not have to be a prophet to look at our culture, our Christian culture, and notice that the Bride of Christ (the Church) has been in bed with the son of pharaoh (anti-christ spirit). Jesus is coming back for a victorious bride, not one who is living in adultery with the ways of the world. I can also safely assume, then, that this next Rosh Hashana will prove to be very interesting indeed. A cleansing must occur, a purification of the Body.
As for the Blood Moons and other important dates, take a look at this:
+March 3, Netanyahu’s speech before Congress = the day before Purim
+March 4, Purim begins. Purim celebrates the day Esther was given victory over the Jewish enemies in Persia (Iran – think nuclear talks)
+March 17, St. Patrick’s Day AND Israel elections. The US has been trying to manipulate the outcome of this election, and has been pouring tax-payer $$$$ into Netanyahu’s opposition.
+March 20, full solar eclipse, smack dab in the middle of the Shemitah year, 3 days after Israel elections. Full solar eclipse is a warning to the gentile nations (Children of the Day), and ALSO coincides with the beginning of the month of Nisan, which is the religious new year according to Jewish calendar.
+April 3, sunset begins Passover
+April 4, 7am, the 3rd Blood Moon in the tetrad of Feast Blood Moons will still be visible
Are we in the final hour of the last days? Did the sun set with John Paul Jackson, the voice of the 11th hour? Join me in seeking the Face of the One. His plans are perfect. His ways are always good. If you haven’t put your running shoes on, better lace ’em up. And run the race with endurance. Casting off everything that hinders your gait. Remembering that you were born for such a time as this.