Amid the stock market's worst four-day start to a year on record and growing concerns about the global economy, faith leaders and financial experts say God may allow a "severe economic chastisement" to wake people up.
"But in the middle of all this God wants to supernaturally bless, prosper, raise up, promote and increase the wealth of those of His people who are truly in a supernatural relationship with Him," says Paul McGuire, a prophecy expert, Fox News and History Channel commentator and host of the GOD TV show, Apocalypse and the End Times.
Michael Snyder, publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, says he believes a "great, great, shaking" is coming to America, but those walking in the "middle of God's will can take comfort in the fact that He promised to never leave us or forsake us."
"He wants us to know that He knew everything that was going to happen in advance, that He is in control, that He has a plan, and that He wants us to prepare," Snyder says. "Yet millions upon millions of Christians have not prepared for the hard times that are coming. By doing so, they are ignoring the examples of Noah, Joseph and so many others in the Scriptures that heeded God's warnings and took action."
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times best-selling books The Mystery of the Shemitah and The Harbinger, says turmoil in the global financial markets is a "striking confirmation of the Shemitah and its phenomenon" and fits the pattern of previous market downturns during Shemitah years that involved long-term crashes over a period of months. The biblical Shemitah, or Sabbath year, occurs every seven years and has been marked by numerous economic downturns over the last century.
"One of the last chapters in The Mystery of the Shemitah is called 'The Mystery of the Seventh Shemitah' and focuses on what may be called a 'super cycle' of the 'super Shemitah,'" Cahn says. "That super cycle is what we are now in. This larger cycle began in September 2015 and goes to September 2016. In view of that, it may be noteworthy that the phenomena that took place in the Shemitah of 2015 ("the worst year for the market since 2008") appears to be continuing beyond its parameters and into 2016."
McGuire says "economic judgment is a curse allowed or even sent by the Lord on His people when they are disobedient."
"The Pilgrims and Puritans understood this and that is why when they had crop failures, bad weather or economic problems they called a sacred assembly and would continue to pray, repent and seek God's face until they saw changes," McGuire says.
McGuire says the church should do likewise today.
"The economic, social, geopolitical, moral and societal problems in America are the greatest they have ever been in our nation's history, but with few exceptions the church is asleep," McGuire says. "This is why we need a powerful spiritual Third Great Awakening so that they Spirit of God can wake up His people from their spiritual slumber."
For those who are diligently seeking the Lord, McGuire believes God will give them the "power to get wealth, guidance, wisdom, counsel, ideas, dreams, visions, plans and divine opportunities like never before."
"It is the desire of God to give His people more wealth, more power, more favor and more promotion than ever before," McGuire says. "But what God is looking for is men and women who can be trusted with this vast wealth transfer and other assets. Despite the very real economic problems, God is supernaturally pouring out His Spirit, wisdom, counsel, dreams, visions, ideas, business plans, ministry plans and vision upon His faithful remnant."
When God's people are walking with Him, He will give them supernatural plans, ideas and visions on many levels, such as technological inventions, management solutions, economic plans, entrepreneurial plans, plans to re-charge existing businesses and ministries, organizational concepts and a continual download from heaven of ideas, vision and concepts that are powerful assets, McGuire says.
"The release of God's power in your life produces economic growth, economic ideas, economic prosperity, guidance, wisdom and vision in very practical terms," McGuire says. "In short, true repentance and revival brings the blessing of God."
Jay Peroni, the chief investment officer at Faith-Based Investor and author of Blood Moons on Wall Street, says despite trials and tribulations, God wants to bless His people if they turn to Him.
"Even through difficult economic times, God wants to provide financial blessings to those obedient to His Word," Peroni says. "Beyond well-being, God wants to prosper His people and provide financial blessings as we see in Deuteronomy 8:18: 'But remember the Lord, your God. He gives you the ability to produce wealth.'"
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