2016: A True Year of Jubilee
Trump, the Presidency, Muslims, the Economy, and Justice
We’re entering another phenomenal year of unprecedented kingdom advancement. Many markers tell us that 2016 is a very special year. It’s a Leap Year, a Presidential Election year for America, and a most unique Year of Jubilee. 2016 also comes at the beginning of what is forecast to be the biggest El Nino weather phenomenon ever. Furthermore, this is all taking place in an era of renaissance in the knowledge of God and in the age of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21).
A Prophetic Review of 2015
Obviously it’s become clear that the doomsday scenarios predicted for the United States during the months of September through December haven’t taken place. The economy didn’t collapse. We weren’t hit by a catastrophic meteorite. There weren’t any destructive earthquakes or tsunamis. The rapture didn’t occur. We aren’t under martial law. Isis didn’t bring our country to its knees and neither Russia nor China invaded.
Instead, an estimated 100 million people became followers of Jesus Christ, including perhaps up to a half-million Muslims, those this comes from sources that can’t be quoted. The number of Holy Spirit-filled believers (700 million) reached almost one in ten on the planet, which is the highest ever. The extreme poverty rate in the world dropped to its lowest ever, abortions dropped to almost one half the rate they were in 1990. Divorce rates continued their recent substantial drop. Teen pregnancies decreased to their lowest rate since 1940, when statistics were first recorded. (see p. 52 of my book, The Seven Mountain Renaissance, for cited sources) Many incorrectly perceived the signs of the historic blood moons, the upcoming jubilee season, and the warmest year ever recorded for the planet. What they thought portended to disaster, instead spoke of an acceleration of the advancing kingdom of God.
While many fretted and announced the advancement of Satan’s kingdom, the reality is that our Father’s kingdom showed up on the world’s stages in unprecedented ways. Allow me to give you some real-life examples. In Hollywood, faith-themed movies made over 300 million dollars. In fact, a whole stream of faith-based movies are on their way. Perhaps even more significant than that, is the fact that billions of box office dollars in 2015 came from hit movies that promoted the kingdom values of courage, redemption, honor, forgiveness, integrity, and love. It’s become common on the various singing/dancing reality shows for Christians to be celebrated for their excellence and anointing. Jordan Smith was the winner of The Voice through his amazing performances of “Mary Did You Know?” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Jennifer Phillips from XFactor UK brought the judges and crowd to its feet when she sang Mary Mary’s worship song “Shackles.” The anointing is truly being showcased on the biggest platforms of the world and you can see it visibly affect the judges and the audience. We’ve watched Justin Bieber awaken to his call as he recently expressed in a Rolling Stone interview that he just wants to be like Jesus. His latest album, “Purpose,” is full of references to God and Justin’s desire to connect a generation to Him. It’s becoming cool in Hollywood to go to Bible Studies and to have a pastor. The whole entertainment industry is in the midst of an extreme makeover and it’s creating unprecedented opportunities for the King’s kids who know their assignment to bring glory to His name. A great example of this is Tyler Perry, a Christian who’s an excellent movie producer and businessman, and has become a key player and heavyweight in the industry in recent years. A brand new complex heavily advanced by Chick Fil A owners, called Pinewood Studios in southern Atlanta, has suddenly become the place to film movies. It’s now known as Atlanta’s 6 billion dollar film industry — and it’s believers who are making the big difference. The shift in the last three years alone has been monumental and it’s all just getting started. We’re headed to a time when it will be more of the exception when an award or a prize doesn't go to an open follower of Jesus Christ. Papa’s show time has just begun!
We can see the same trend in the major sports’ platforms as well. Derek Henry of Alabama, winner of the Heisman Trophy, spoke in his acceptance speech boldly of his love for God and how he prays to Him every day. Dabo Sweeney, coach of the undefeated #1 Clemson team, began his comments after the big Orange Bowl win by thanking God for His goodness and stated his desire to give Him glory. Boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao, is also very overt in his love for God. Recent surprise UFC world championship winner, Holly Holm, was referred to as “the preachers daughter.” PGA Tour, 21 year-old sensation, and player of the year Jordan Spieth is a believer. NBA MVP, Stephen Curry, is an avowed believer, as are many of his NBA Champion Golden State Warriors teammates. 24 of the starting 32 quarterbacks in the NFL, including Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, and Peyton Manning are followers of Jesus. World best soccer team, Barcelona, has the 2015 breakout star Neymar, who is an open follower of Jesus. I could go on and on, but the point is, while many have been obsessing with the giants in the land, it was a breakout year on the world stages for sons and daughters of the Most High. It’s already at an unprecedented level and this will continue to be the prevailing trend.
Furthermore, a huge shift is taking place within Christianity itself that many are worried about, but it’s a good thing. This shift is away from sin-awareness and fear towards grace-consciousness and hope. Those who tend to be more sin-focused may be tempted to panic over this trend, but be assured that this a good and necessary one. What you focus on you make room for. We’ve been highlighting sin for centuries and reaped accordingly. We’re now seeing a shift and movement to let grace rule and we’re going to see the fruit of grace like never before. There are major voices such as Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack, and more recently Creflo Dollar preaching an emphasis on the power grace. They may or may not not have every i dotted and every t crossed perfectly, but on the other hand, that’s the idea of grace. It’s about His work versus our work and it’s about inside-out dynamics, rather than outside-in. To the degree that we remain in an outside-in mentality, we are essentially stuck in an Old Testament paradigm, which undermines the work of Jesus on the cross. External pressures cannot produce inner transformation — and transformation is the goal. Individuals who have been transformed by grace can then transform their world, expanding the same inside-out dynamics. God desires that we engage Him with our hearts and then allow Him to change our external behavior as an overflow of His love and acceptance. When we don’t understand that about Him, then we represent His heart incorrectly and attempt to legislate hearts and behavior through laws and imposition rather than simply represent His heart of love and solutions.
As a last example of God’s advancing kingdom in 2015, we have several prominent and impacting voices of hope. Joel Osteen isn’t just “an inch deep and a mile wide,” as some say, but is clearly carrying a huge anointing on his life and message. In fact, I saw that God has assigned the largest angel of hope on the planet to him. The sin-focused crowd generally blasts him, while millions of unbelievers are watching him in over 100 nations and are receiving a much better perspective of God than our old “turn-or-burn” voices of days past. Joel’s message of hope has him nicknamed as The Smiling Preacher, with 15 New York Times Best Selling books to his credit. He and TD Jakes carry the titles of America’s most influential pastors. TD is also an important voice of hope in a hope-starved world. To these names we could add Bill Johnson, as he champions a good God who’s in a good mood and desires to pour His power and healing to us and through us.
The kingdom of God will forcefully advance in 2016, but we will have a difficult time recognizing that if we don’t realize that it was already forcefully advancing in 2015. As we transition into a new year, it’s imperative to look back and identify some of these breakthroughs we experienced. If you can’t properly perceive Him at work in the past, then you may have a vision defect that needs to be healed before you can correctly see Him moving forward. The good news is that God is actively working in our midst to teach us how to see and perceive Him and His heart correctly.
Trump and The Year of Jubilee
2016 brings to us a most remarkable synergy of time, personages, and events. When we connect to the Hebraic calendar we discover that we’re in the midst of the 70th Jubilee since Joshua and Caleb went into the promised land with the children of Israel. It’s also the 40th Jubilee since Jesus was on the earth. The number 70 is a very significant number in the Bible that speaks of restoration. It’s a multiple of 7/perfection and 10/completeness. Furthermore, the original Year of Jubilee spoken of in Leviticus 25 started on the 7th month and the 10th day. we certainly don’t want to miss the impacting fact that we’re now in a 70th Jubilee time period.
Leviticus 25 gives us the central tenets of a Year of Jubilee. First of all, it was a year for the ground to rest from production. More applicable for us, it was a year all who were indebted were forgiven their debts. The shofar/trumpet was to be blown everywhere as a sound that proclaimed a new season of liberty. At the sound of the trumpet everyone received a fresh start, so it was a time of renewed hopes and dreams. This was God’s idea and gives us an amazing view of His character and heart of mercy. The qualification was never about the people deserving it, but all about His generosity towards those who need it the most. Each one of us needs to really grasp this as a truth and reality that we can personally believe and embrace as God’s heart for us.
I believe this Jubilee will actually continue over a 7 year period because it’s the 70th Jubilee since Israel entered into their promised land. Your promised land is your appointed area for maximum fruitfulness in the kingdom of God. It isn’t about you becoming rich and famous, although aspects of both of those may take place as you discover your unique role in advancing His solutions and correct reputation in the earth.
So what does Donald Trump have to do with the Year of Jubilee? I don’t believe that it’s merely a coincidence that a political figure who’s garnering so much attention all over the world is a man whose name is Trump and is turning 70 years old during the 70th Year of Jubilee. The symbolism of his name and age draws our attention to the trumpet blowing of a most unique Jubilee season. Whatever else Donald Trump will do or stand for is at minimum a reminder of the unique year that we are entering into.
I will clearly state that the Lord hasn’t shown me who will be the next president of the United States. Let me also state that I personally have my doubts that it will be Donald Trump. I think many feel that God is saying something through the appearance of Mr. Trump on the political scene, but most also admit that they aren’t necessarily saying he’ll be elected president. If Trump is a trumpet or shofar sound that God is using, then we must follow the Biblical pattern. The shofar was never the thing God was doing, rather it was only that which activated, facilitated, or proclaimed what God was doing. The trumpet was not the Year of Jubilee itself, but the declaration of it. The appearance of Trump in the political arena has clearly made this election a hybrid like no other. Normal rules are out the door. The candidates that seemed best positioned in terms of resources and organization haven’t seen that translate directly into the typical advantages we’d expect to see.
As it relates to Trump’s primary political stances, I believe that many of them represent what God is judging in the United States, as opposed to what He’s endorsing. If you draw up a kingdom blueprint for who God would place in the position of authority as president, you wouldn’t pick a three-times married, divider, polarizer, and significantly challenged in the fruit of the Holy Spirit, brash individual. A recent survey has said that 50% of Americans would be embarrassed to have Trump as president. I believe he’s presently operating as a bull in the china shop of the 2016 elections. Ultimately, will he run the shop or just initiate its rebuilding? I don’t know, but I do believe the process will reveal that God has been much more sovereign than many of us imagined and that Donald Trump will prove out to have been used strategically for the purposes of God.
In this election year, it’s important to understand that God is being very efficient and proficient with the process by using it to educate us in His ways. He is focused less on trying to get in the right candidate and more on trying to teach us the right lessons. I believe we’re going to see a manifestation of Psalms 76:10 in this electoral process. “Human defiance only enhances Your glory, for You use it as a weapon.”
As it relates to the presidency, what I’m sure of is that, whoever ultimately becomes president, will in fact have been orchestrated by God. The reason we so often miss being in agreement with His choice for president is that we’re often not aware of what God is working on next in society. We’re out of time and rhythm with Him. We don’t understand His patience and long-suffering and therefore wrongfully assume that what we feel should be the priority — must be His priority too. Many others don’t even have Him in the equation at all and are literally justifying why they should be entitled to their fears.
It is of utmost importance to be in the right narrative of the day. With the wrong narrative, wemake decisions based on a storyline that’s out of sync with the overall plot and direction. With the wrong narrative, we’ll fight political battles with the wrong mindset and be convinced we must vote for a candidate that God has no intention of endorsing. What we believe regarding illegal immigrants, Muslims, ISIS, the state of our economy and the day we live in, is what will affect our choice of presidential candidate. If we’re more fearful about the issues, then we’ll vote one way. If we’re more hopeful, then we’ll vote another way. Regardless of how you or I vote, the candidate of God’s choice will be elected. God is very, very involved this election. If there are elections where He says, “Well, I’ll just give them who they want.” — this election is not one of them. The intentionality of God will rule supreme, even in our freedom of democratic expression. When you’re God, you can do that!
Muslims are key protagonists this year, as well as in the future. Because of this reality, many aren’t sure if they’re the next Nazi force to be feared and defended against, or if they’re our next harvest field. The answer is the latter and it’s an answer we must be right about or we’ll miss a great opportunity. Fear keeps us out of kingdom advancement, while love and courage connect us to it. More Muslims have come to Jesus since 9/11 than in the lengthy history of Islam. Most of the amazing things taking place in Muslim nations cannot be cited or shared openly because of the added persecution it would bring to them. Reportedly there are in excess of 25,000 coming to Jesus every day. Many, many Muslims have had dreams where Jesus has revealed Himself to them.
I’ve recently heard about the exceptional quality of many of these new converts to Christ. It’s obvious that their radical, courageous brand of Christianity is going to infuse the whole Body of Christ with a much needed upgrade. We need what the Muslim converts bring to us almost as much as they need Christ. Christianity is not meant to be the second or third most passionate religion on the planet, but rather the most passionate. That passion is meant to be a reflection of the love of God, as opposed to the rules and rituals of religion. Muslim converts will be champion demonstrators of His love, His hospitality, His courage, His faith, and His supernatural capabilities. The blinding principality that has had Muslims in it’s vice grip is being decimated and weakened as never before. In time there will be a virtual crash of that principality that will rock the planet into turbo kingdom acceleration. The whole world being challenged with Sharia Law is not our future narrative. A half a billion Muslims coming into the kingdom is the direction we are headed into and soon enough it’ll be a headline story. As believers, we can either accelerate or decelerate that based on our participation with the right or wrong narrative.
The one constant before us remains the same — change. A generation of superhero believers are about to rise and challenge the status quo everywhere. They will rise on every mountain of society (media, economy, family, government, arts & entertainment, education, and religion). They’ll bring our Papa’s better way of doing everything to every area of society. As a major part of that, God showed me that the great angel of the Mountain of Economy has been released with his armies and activated over us. He will care for the world’s economy, as well as provide the wisdom for the better systems that must replace the systems of Mammon. There is no present economic crisis in any nation where the solution for that crisis doesn’t already exist in the sons and daughters of the King. The United States’ 18+ trillion dollar debt is only an impossible situation with man. It isn’t IF there is a solution — only WHAT the solution is. The year of the 70th Jubilee is perfect timing for that to begin to be dealt with and we must represent the heart of God and His mercy towards us by carrying a voice of hope in that regard. If the world economy’s future were up to humans alone, we would indeed be headed for devastation in the soon coming days. Everyone with understanding in the economy who can do the math on it can see that. However, there won’t be a world economic crash because we’re going to partner with the heavenly help that is being sent to us and find His solutions in the coming years. Satan wants to crash the world economy because he wants to sabotage the current world harvest that’s taking place. He isn’t going to succeed because God continues to have mercy on us. Of course we’ll have hick-ups and bumps, but that will just allow for more sound and transparent systems to be implemented. Remove yourself from the fear associated with the economy, as that only strengthens the principality of Mammon.
Monitor Your Spiritual Blood Pressure
I recently had a vivd dream that I was having my blood pressure taken. To my surprise it registered a very low 111 over 70, which is much lower than anything I ever see in real life. The numbers from my dream stuck with me and I realized the Lord was speaking through the numbers themselves. For those of you who’ve been following some of my prophetic words, you know that 111 is a significant number in this season. As previously stated, the number 70 is also quite important for us.
I believe the Lord desires us all to maintain a 111 over 70 spiritual blood pressure. This is even more important than your natural blood pressure. In looking at the meaning of these numbers, 70 represents a time of restoration and Jubilee. 111 is about crossing into promised land and living by faith. Jubilee and faith are two key words for us to walk in this year. Joshua 1:11 says, “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready…go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’” Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of what we don’t see.” Faith is the opposite of certainty.
In order to maintain your spiritual health this year, you must remember these three words: fun, faith, and fruitfulness. This is the essence of the spiritual blood pressure that God has available for us. Fun may seem to be most inappropriate for certain situations, but it’s perhaps the most appropriate. Paul instructs us to count it all joy even when we fall into diverse trials and to rejoice in the Lord always. He also told us that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. In 2016, be sure to keep your fun on, your faith on, and your fruitfulness on! It’s the Year of Jubilee and you don’t want to miss its benefits.
Your Guarantee for a Jubilant 2016: Psalms 16:5-9
“O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rejoice in hope.” (NKJV)
“The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy! He guards all that is mine. He sees that I am given pleasant brooks and meadows as my share! What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who counsels me; He gives me wisdom in the night. He tells me what to do. I am always thinking of the Lord; and because He is near, I never need to stumble or fall. Heart, body, and soul are filled with joy.” (The Living Bible)
As we are going into 2016, I believe there are one of two distinct paths that you’ll find yourself on. On one of those paths, many of you have been (or will be) suddenly thrown into transition — a reboot mode that’s similar to a GPS that’s recalculating. It will prove out to be divinely orchestrated. The times and seasons of the Lord are going to hit you like a whirlwind and there’ll be no more business-as-usual for you, but you’ll be divinely repositioned for greater fruitfulness. Be assured that He has a “good inheritance” for you and He has "lines that fall to you in a pleasant place” as you make the Lord Himself your portion and your inheritance. He is the one that maintains your lot and guards all that is yours. It is in Him you live, and move, and have your being. 2016 may briefly feel like you’re in a “night season” of being clueless as to how to proceed, but He will instruct your heart with wisdom and lead you into your Jubilee.
On the other path, I see a year of acceleration and abundance. For those, you’ve already seen the “lines that fall in a pleasant place” and you’ll be shown an even greater vein of treasure. You’re already in the right field of inheritance and fun, faith, and fruitfulness is your immediate track.
Whichever path find yourself on, remember to maintain the 111 over 70 spiritual blood pressure: fun, faith, and fruitfulness along with an expectation of restoration in the Year of Jubilee. We must all shift to a mentality of abundance and stay in that, no matter what the test or the contradiction. All things are possible at any time. Nothing is impossible in 2016!
A Time of the Justice of God
Justice will be a big theme in 2016. We’ll see it emphasized and applied in many areas, including our own justice system that’s presently highly and inexcusably unjust. Justice will come as judgment (a rendering of a verdict) to the house of God. Matthew 20:16 and Luke 20:16 are appropriate passages for this year.
Matthew 20:16 says, “The last will be first, and the first last.” This will be a reality in many situations. Luke 20:16 is a little stronger and says, “He’ll come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” The vineyards speak of churches, denominations, and ministries (especially TV) who have wrongfully represented the Lord in the areas that He gave them stewardship over. While the church has been pointing its judgmental finger at society, the Justice of the Lord will focus on His house. Many vinedressers have assumed that the vineyard where they operate is theirs, but they’ll soon discover that it’s His vineyard. In 2016 God will be initiating a lot of promoting and demoting in His house, where the last shall be first and the first shall be last. This is all a part of the Year of Jubilee. For more on 2016, read my Rosh Hashanah word for 2015, The Year You Will Roar.
All in all, 2016 will bear out to be a wonderful year of kingdom advancement. The spiritual atmosphere is clearing up and demonstrations of glory will increase. Voices and eyes of hope will experience the greatest favor and help from heaven. God will be greater than every challenge and He will have a solution for every crisis. Abundance is also a key word for now and we must shift our paradigm to one of abundance. If we’ll gaze into His face we’ll see written there “all is possible”. If you will keep your mouth in agreement with who He is, your greatest year is ahead of you!
A word from Elizabeth, Johnny’s wife: If you’re inspired by this fresh prophetic perspective for the new year, then you’ll love Johnny’s latest book, The Seven Mountain Renaissance. Also, consider joining us at our next RISE event.