A sister in Christ sent me the link to an interesting teaching the other day. The video discusses God’s decree that at the end of each 7-year Shemitah period, the Israelites were to forgive their fellow Jews all their debts and let their land lie fallow. You know from reading the Old Testament that Israel failed badly to obey the Lord in this regard. This had consequences.
One of the points the teacher made in his message – that you can see at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtvLKayBiXQ&t=10s – is that the Jewish year of 5782, which is known on our western calendar as 2021-2022, is the seventh year of the Shemitah cycle, i.e., we’re currently in a Shemitah year. (According to Mark Blitz in the video, Shemitah years on the Jewish calendar are evenly divisible by seven.). The date correlates with what Jonathan Cahn wrote in his 2014 book The Mystery of the Shemitah.
When Cahn’s book was published, the Jewish year of 5775 equated to the 2014-2015 period on our calendar.
Carrying the cycle forward, the next Shemitah will be in 5789, or as we know it, in 2028-2029. Also, the last year in the 7-year cycle from our western perspective always includes the following year. Thus currently, 2022 teams with 2023 as the first year in the next sequence of years, and the new Shemitah cycle after that will begin in 2029-2030. To make this a little clearer, this abbreviated Shemitah chart may help:
1st Year 7th Year
— 2014-2015 (5775)
2015-2016 (5776) 2021-2022 (5782)
2022-2033 (5783) 2028-2029 (5789)
2029-2030 (5790) 2035-2036 (5796)
2036-2037 (5797) —
Another key aspect of these 7-year cycles is that every fifty years, i.e., after seven of these 7-year periods, is the year of Jubilee. This fiftieth year was a Sabbath of the Sabbaths where everything and everyone in the land were redeemed. Leviticus 25:19 declares how God will bless Israel for keeping the Jubilee:
“The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely.”
Israel didn’t obey the Lord with His command about the Jubilee, and He ultimately imposed His own 50-year Sabbaths on the land by casting the people of Israel out of it for a time. Because Israel failed to keep the Jubilee calendar, its current date is uncertain.
Was it after the previous Jewish year following 5775? Is it after this year of 5782? Or is it still to come subsequent to 5789 or even 5796?
This is all well and good, but the key point to these date periods is that Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:27) is a 7-year timeframe that has not yet happened. Now, I’m not a learned scholar of Jewish laws by any means, but my understanding is that, based on historical timing, Daniel’s seven years will likely correspond to a Shemitah cycle as God brings fullness to His promises, declarations, and judgments to Israel. The possibility also exists that Daniel’s Seventieth Week could also correspond to the final Shemitah prior to the Jubilee. If this is the case, it may be that we can determine with a high degree of accuracy when the Tribulation – Jacob’s Trouble – will begin. In fact, the subsequent Jubilee could correlate with the beginning of the Millennial Reign of Christ.
Three possibilities present themselves in this relationship of Shemitah cycles and the 7-year Tribulation.
- Beginning in the 2022-2023 period
- Beginning in the 2029-2030 period
- Beginning some fifty years into the future as the next Jubilee
Based on what many of us who study and teach Bible prophecy have concluded, all the signs of the coming Tribulation have converged. As Pastor JD Farag says, these prophetic signs have a shelf life. With all the factors that make a prophecy relevant today, it is unlikely they will remain static and be applicable – say – in ten years.
We can also liken Bible prophecy to the stretching of a rubber band. It can only stretch so far before it breaks. Something has to happen. Given this reality, a 50-year hiatus until the next potential for the Tribulation and subsequent Jubilee with similar converging events seems improbable. As a result, I think we can rule out Option #3.
What about Option #1?
I know that many people believe we are on the absolute cusp of the beginning of the Tribulation. Some even – incorrectly – believe we’re already in it.
The idea of thinking the Tribulation may begin momentarily runs into a roadblock when we consider Ezekiel’s War, i.e., the War of Gog of Magog described in Ezekiel 38-39. In the almost-Tribulation scenario, you have to believe that Ezekiel’s War occurs within the defined 7-year period. I dispute that based on several issues, but the one of greatest importance is the 7-year clean-up that Israel conducts following the war (Daniel 39:9).
If you place this war within the 7-year Trib period, you have to believe that even after the Antichrist desecrates the newly-built Third Temple at the mid-point and begins persecuting the Jews, they will continue to go about their land clean-up duties as if life remains normal for them. That’s simply a fantasy. It is primarily for this reason that I believe Ezekiel’s War must begin at least 3 1/2 years prior to the official beginning of the Tribulation as defined by the Daniel 9:27 covenant agreement that Israel embraces.
Since none of the Ezekiel events have happened, it is impossible for the Tribulation to begin in this current timeframe of 2022-2023.
Lastly, let’s consider Option #2. This makes a lot of sense from my perspective because it also connects the dots of what we’re seeing in the world. What is the major emphasis coming at us today? It’s that we must Build Back Better through climate initiatives, financial restructuring, and transhumanist ideals pushed by the World Economic Forum.
What is the target date? It aligns with the United Nations and their Agenda 2030, i.e., the end of this decade – roughly 7 1/2 years from now in 2030.
And, guess what? The year 2030 correlates to the next beginning Shemitah 7-year cycle! From this dating, we can see that if the Tribulation and the next Shemitah cycle are one and the same, then the push by the globalists will intensify greatly in the coming few years. From this, we can also do some other calculations.
If Ezekiel’s War must occur at least 3 1/2 years prior to the Tribulation, then at the latest, it should happen in 2026 or sooner. I happen to believe there will be a Psalm 83 War prior to Ezekiel. That being the case, in order for this war’s consequences to play out, it has to erupt probably at least a couple of years earlier, around 2024.
Summarizing these major events, we have these potential dates:
- ~2024 – Psalm 83 War
- ~2026 – Ezekiel’s War
- ~2030 – Tribulation begins (per the Daniel 9:27 covenant agreement signing)
- ~2037 – Millennial Kingdom starts (corresponding to Jubilee)
I happen to like the Alternative View that Bill Salus postulates for the opening of the first five Seals. In this scenario, the Rapture occurs, and there is a Post Rapture / pre-Tribulation gap period of indeterminate length. There is nothing textual that specifically links the opening of the Seals with the signing of the covenant agreement that officially begins the 7-year Tribulation. Because of that, the possibility exists that these several Seals could be initiated earlier in the gap period after the Rapture. From our dating above, it’s conceivable that the Psalm 83 War and Ezekiel’s War could occur in this gap as part of the opening of the 2nd Seal with the rider on the red horse of war.
As a fervent proponent of the pre-Tribulation Rapture, I look at all these dots and wonder how they can connect. The most important dot of all, from my perspective, is the Rapture itself. I’m not a date-setter in any respect. What I have done in the past, and am doing now, is speculate that based on the way the world is devolving and all the signs of the times are converging, it seems difficult to conceive of the Rapture occurring any later than 2025. It’s just based on Berean and Issacharian Biblical understanding. Is there a red sky? Is it morning or evening? In Matthew 16:2-3, Jesus said:
…“When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
Do we heed the Lord’s Words and try to assess these things, or do we ignore them?
With the information I’ve presented in this article, it may even push up the Blessed Hope prior to 2024.
The Rapture is something we hold to be imminent, i.e., it could happen at any time because there are no preconditions.
Again, as Pastor JD Farag says, the Rapture is sooner than any of us can believe. The Bible tells us this, and the world is confirming it.
The dots have connected. Soon and very soon, we’ll be with Jesus.
Gary Ritter website: books & blog
Kindle Vella story: Tribulation Rising