Are “blood moons” a harbinger for a catastrophic “seventh shemitah” in America? Informed Christians and serious students of God’s Word would certainly agree that America—and the rest of the world—is prophetically on “borrowed time.” With increasing speed, the signs of the times are drawing nearer and growing clearer.
Unfortunately, while the church should be encouraged by Bible prophecy and exhorted to greater personal holiness and evangelism, there instead exists a cadre of prophets and pitchmen creating confusion in the body of Christ. Prominent pastor-authors pronounce their warnings—while eager publishers promote their wares. In his latest book, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Cahn boldly purports to reveal a previously unknown and undiscovered “3,000-year-old mystery that…revealed the dates and the hours of the greatest [financial] crashes in Wall Street history…determined the timing of 9/11…lies behind the rise of America…and its fall…[and] holds the key to what lies ahead for the world and for your life.”
If true, these astonishing claims are nothing short of divine revelation. If false, then millions of believing Christians are the victims of brazen marketing hype at best, spiritual deception at worst—or both. But how can one test such claims? Is it even possible to know the truth of these matters? Unequivocally, unhesitatingly, YES! In contrast to the swirling clouds of “mysteries” touching down in churches all across America, readers will appreciate the calm, clear reasoning of international Bible teacher Dave James as he demonstrates the process of spiritual discernment for all readers who desire to “test all things [and] hold fast what is good.” —1 Thessalonians 5:21.
The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn, became the #1 Christian book of 2012, reaching publishing milestones and propelling the author to national and even international prominence. Because of the many biblical errors, theological flaws, and historical misrepresentations, what began as a 2-3 page book review quickly turned into a book- length response and led to the publication of my first book, The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? by The Berean Call.
On September 2, Jonathan Cahn’s third book, The Mystery of the Shemitah debuted at number 5 on the New York Times best-seller list, largely on the strength of pre-orders alone, forcing a second printing on the second day because of the high demand. The ongo- ing popularity of the book is evidenced by its ranking as number 1 on Amazon.com (as of 11/3/2014) in one of various prophecy categories and as number 2 in two more categories. This suggests that The Mystery of the Shemitah also needs to be carefully examined to determine if the errors in The Harbinger have been corrected or perpetuated in this new volume.
My purpose for evaluating and critiquing The Mystery of the Shemitah is two-fold:
First, because so many have been influenced by The Harbinger and because this new book is already a bestseller, the Body of Christ needs to see that there is another side to the story that may not be completely obvious at first glance. And even for those who may sense that something isn’t quite right, the time it takes to work through the frequently slow and laborious, yet necessary, task of fact-check- ing is probably more than most readers will want to invest.
Second, just as one of my goals in writing The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? was to model the process of discernment, the same is true of this booklet. First and foremost, discernment involves check- ing everything against the Word of God to make sure that all of the arguments, theories, and claims are biblically sound. Beyond this, discernment also frequently involves evaluating the logic of arguments, the veracity of assertions from a historical perspective, and even the proper use of statistics, which, unfortunately, can be framed in such a way that the true picture is obscured or hidden from the reader, even if unintentionally.