Thinking Out Loud

September 20, 2016

The Mysterious Book of Mysteries

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This is not a book review. I didn’t read The Harbinger or The Mystery of the Shemitah. Or the book today’s discussion is focused on.

These books just aren’t my thing. I’m sorry. Different things attract different people. I tend to be more IVP than Charisma House. More N.T. Wright than Joyce Meyer.

the-book-of-mysteries-by-jonathan-cahnI have held a copy of The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn in my hands. It’s a packed volume written in a format where you can simply read it all at once — which I suspect most people will do — or read it in the alternative devotional format provided, doing a page per day. Each page’s header names the specific mystery uncovered or revealed. (The complete Table of Contents is pictured below.)

So why mention it here at all? Simply because if past trends hold, this will be one of the bestselling Christian books from now until Christmas. So for that reason, I think it’s important for some Christians to know what other Christians are reading. Here’s one take on it:

“At the end of each mystery, The Teacher gives the disciple a mission about how to apply it to your life and it can actually transform your life,” said Cahn, describing the story. “I don’t say things lightly like this. I believe this truly can transform lives if you go on this journey. And there other thing is there are mysteries in here that have never been revealed as far as we know, never before. It’s almost like hundreds of Harbingers, if you can imagine that.”

[Radio host George] Noory asked Cahn how he was able to discover these secrets. However, as Cahn pointed out, he didn’t come up with anything. The mysteries, the rabbi maintained, were created by God. And Cahn said once readers start on this journey, it never really ends.

(A sample of the writing from The Teacher appears at the bottom of this article.)

Amid the fanfare of the book’s release, it’s hard to find a good analysis from a website I or you would know. At CBD there were a number of five star reviews, as well as this one which goes on for many, many paragraphs:

Apparently, the time has come for the false Jewish prophets of Mystery Schools that are prevalent in some Messianic Jewish circles to come out of the closet and take a bow. Now that Christians have been trained to search for hidden messages in their Bibles, Jonathan Cahn has come out with his third book; “The Book of Mysteries.” Does the Bible contain “mysteries,” hidden codes and dates for Christians to distract themselves searching out? Absolutely not! God never intended for His word to be a book of mysteries to be unlocked! That is a thoroughly Kabbalistic / Gnostic teaching…

For the most part however, the gatekeeper and watchdog bloggers hold back until something becomes truly popular and then launch their attack where and when it can do the most damage. I’m not sure I fully trust the one above simply because of its sheer length and use of capital letters. Seriously, can’t we debate someone’s theological perspective without the use of caps lock? (I am amazed they published the scathing review on the retail site, which you’ll notice I didn’t link to.)

So what did the publisher say?

The Book of Mysteries opens up with a traveler and his encounter with a man known only as “the teacher.” The teacher takes him an on odyssey through desert mountains, valleys, gardens and plains, encounters with nomadic tent dwellers, caverns and ancient ruins, chambers of scrolls and vessels, and more. The reader is taken along to partake in the journey and in all the teachings and revelations. The traveler keeps a journal in which he writes down each of the mysteries given to him by the teacher in his one-year odyssey—365 different mysteries—one for each day of the year. Thus, on top of everything else, The Book of Mysteries is also a daily devotional unlike any other. And each mystery contains a special mission for each day of the year, a mission that takes the revelation and applies it to reality for a life-changing journey.

I wouldn’t devote myself to this book, but I might read a few more pages just to see what others find so captivating about this author. This will be a huge bestseller. It does seem to be part of an another world, a world quite removed from the centrist Evangelicalism with which I more fully identify.

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book-of-mysteries-sample-page


The opening graphic was in my files from a thing I ran last year and was actually the impetus for mentioning Cahn’s latest here on the blog. In fairness, Hagee, Hitchcock and Biltz (not a law firm) were not actually mentioned today. By the way, for those of you who are still reading, don’t you think there’s a similarity between what’s in the above book excerpt and the type of writing you find in Jesus Calling or is it just me?

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September 11, 2015

Blood Moons, The Shemitah Cycle, and Your Stock Market Portfolio

Blood Moons Shemitah Etc

I’ve used Mary Agrusa’s writing several times at this site’s devotional sister-blog, Christianity 201, so I’m hoping she’ll forgive me for reprinting this in full here at Thinking Out Loud. The bottom line is, this really resonated with me, and if I just post a link, statistically, many of you don’t click. You can send Mary some stats love to her blog The Thought Just Occured To Me by clicking the title below and reading this at source. Mary Agrusa describes herself as an author, speaker, painter, teacher and day trader. The final blood moon is September 28th.

My Two Cents

“In the Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property” Lev. 25:13

I’m taking a break from my normal routine. My blogs are written several months in advance and any correlation between subject matter and current events is a Divine set-up. This week I decided to weigh in on this matter before and not after the fact.

The hot topics in some of the Church are The Shemitah Cycle and the Blood Moons which are creating a good deal of fear and for a few, positive cash flow. For the  most part, I’ve kept my opinions to myself and chose not to join in the fear mongering. As we approach the final blood moon and the end of the Shemitah cycle for 2015 I’m going to add my two cents into the mix.

First, the Shemitah cycle and the Year of Jubilee were given to Israel and the purpose was two-fold. It allowed for the land to have regular periods of rest from production in order to keep nutrients and minerals from being depleted. Doing this helped ensure healthy crops and abundant harvests. Even today it is great gardening and farming advice.

Second, these laws provided a system whereby people who had lost their ancestral lands could be restored to them. In theory, it was a great idea. Unfortunately Israel never consistently followed these practices and paid the price.

So, what does the Shemitah cycle have to do with the U.S. stock and financial markets movement? Scripturally speaking – nothing. These laws applied to Israel alone and there is no biblical evidence that any other nations ever received those mandates or were punished for a failure to comply with them. Although I actively day traded the markets for about five years, I don’t classify myself as an expert. I have, however, learned a great deal about market cyclicality and what makes them move in either direction.

If we want to give kudos to someone who understands these things the award goes to Tom McClelland. Tom is a market timer and the offspring of the originators of the McClelland Oscillator, a tool used to forecast market movement. McClelland correctly called August, 24th ahead of time as the day the market would turn down and it did. As far as I know his call wasn’t based on either of the two popular Christian premises making the rounds but on solid technical and fundamental information and analysis. And he got it right.

Anyone can predict that our stock market will take a downturn in the fall of the year and have a good chance of being correct. There are several things that go on “under the hood” that contribute to this. Here are just a few.

Managers of large portfolios re-allocate resources. If they’ve hit their benchmarks for the year they sell out early in order to bank the profits and keep customers happy. If they’re on the losing side, for tax purposes, they need to slowly liquidate their holdings of millions of shares in an orderly manner to avoid panic selling. What this means is that the market can continue to rise higher but on reduced volume. That is what happened in our markets over the past few months.

Corporations begin reporting earnings in October but it isn’t unusual for some to give guidance ahead of time. If they do the markets can move sharply based on this news. When earnings are announced often companies will give forward guidance; where they see things going in the future. This type of information can also have a serious impact on the market, up or down. Since the financial crisis of 07-08 companies have become leaner and more efficient. This helps the bottom line but only for so long. Unless sales are generated revenues shrink and profitability falters. Many corporations based projections for growth on China’s seemingly robust economy to balance out losses in the U.S. and Europe. Now that China has slowed there’s no one else to pick up the slack.

For years our government poured obscene amounts of money into the equity markets and raised stock prices to artificial highs. People felt better when they saw their 401k’s and investment portfolios regain the losses and go in the black. With interest rates at record lows, bank accounts were no longer a place to park money. People were forced into the stock market to receive any type of return on an investment. These aren’t long term investors. This week the Fed will announce if it will raise rates and there is some speculation that they will. This type of policy change or one whiff of bad news could have short-term investors headed for the exits.

The market’s bull run has been built on shaky financial underpinnings. Sooner or later it will reverse, it always does, and the results could be ugly. When that happens it will likely be the result of poor economic and financial policies, short-term investors cashing out, national and international events that can’t be predicted and not on God, Shemitah cycles and blood moons.

About blood moons, Peter was very bold to declare that the events of Acts 2 were the direct fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy concerning these signs in the heavens. Rather than a time of doom, this event was an unprecedented outpouring of the Spirit of God on Jews and Gentiles alike. Prophecy, dreams and visions also expanded. One of my favorite ministers gave this advice concerning blood moons. Based on what Peter said he recommends that one put oneself in a position to receive dreams and visions from God. I like that idea.

Jesus repeatedly spoke out against fear in every way, shape, form and manner. Unfortunately in the Church, fear sells even in direct opposition of the Lord’s teachings. Why would unbelievers want what we claim to have when some of us are acting more frightened and pessimistic than they are?

How about you? Are you fulfilling Jesus’ command to occupy until He comes or are you hunkered down and hoping for The Great Escape? Has the plethora of gloom and doom promulgated by ministers and ministries caused you to be overcome with fear and dread for the future? If so, is that the type of abundant life Jesus died to give us? The bible tells us over and over that there will be difficult and hard times, challenges to overcome but through Christ we are victorious over them all. Be an overcomer.

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