Category Archives: Events

World Events

September 11th, and why Money does not Exist

9/11/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

September 11th has become a day of remembrance in what was formerly the land of the free.  The horrific spectacle of the events that unfolded in New York and Washington that infamous day will be forever etched in the memory of our generation.  While we did not realize it at the time, it was the day that the United States lost a great deal of freedoms.

The external restrictions that have been imposed on society post 9/11 are well documented.  The passage of the Patriot Act has given the government carte blanche when it comes to surveillance and disregard for due process.  While these practices have always been employed to some degree, the Patriot Act in a sense legitimized them.

Perhaps more devastating, however, has been the mental shift that 9/11 caused in the thought of US Citizens.  Pre 9/11/2001, the US was a place where truly anything was possible, it was the Land of the Free, the sky was the limit.  Humankind had just “survived” the Y2K non-catastrophic event and credit flowed freely.

More importantly, though, our minds were free.

Naturally, we can only speak of our own experience, but we would be willing to bet that many who lived these events would agree.  Pre 9/11, the United States was a completely different country.

Ironically, 9/11/2001 was the day after we had been laid off from our first job.  We had cornered ourselves in Internal Audit, which for the uninitiated, is the first department to get the axe when cost cutting measures are employed.  Really, who wants to pay people to tell them what they are doing wrong all day unless they can justify the expense?

We received the memo and our final check on the 10th.  On the 11th, we woke up to the first day of freedom that we could recall, turned on Good Morning America, and watched the events unfold.  At that point they were speculating that the first tower was some sort of small aircraft accident.  A caller from New Jersey was on and said, with a grave seriousness in his voice, that it was not a small aircraft, but a commercial airliner.   Then, on live television, the second airplane hit the second tower.  We are embedding a YouTube video of this moment for those who did not see it.  Please be advised that it is indeed disturbing and skip it if you do not want to be shocked:

It was at that point that we knew something bigger than ourselves was occurring, and God had set us there to PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS GOING ON!  We were new to Christianity, true Christianity, and had begun to truly commune with God over the past several months.  To those who have not had similar conversations with the creator, this will sound strange, but God does speak quite clearly to those who are paying attention.

Anyway, God said, “It’s time.”

This has set our life on a completely different course, one that you, fellow taxpayer, are now a part of.

Ah yes, we were going to explain why money does not exist, at least not in the sense that most understand it.

The Federal Reserve is set to meet in September.  There is an expectation that they will raise interest rates.  However, there is also a sense that the economy is somehow still in a funk.  What is the Fed to do?

We postulated earlier this year that the Fed would sooner raise interest rates than end its QE money printing programs.  We were wrong, QE ended before rates increased.  However, we hold out the spectre that, eventually, perhaps this month, the Fed will need to increase its target rate.  When it does, it will cause big problems for large banks.   Banks will need a buyer for the masses of Treasuries they have to hold as a result of Dodd-Frank.  The Fed will buy them at cost (not market, as their market value will be dropping), effectively reinstating their QE program.

They will raise rates on the short end and work to maintain lower than natural long rates.  Anything else would spell disaster for the economy.

Why can the Fed employ QE (electronic money printing) in the first place?  Because money does not exist.  What we use as money is really credit.  Credit and Money are opposite elements in the realm of economics.  They should cancel each other out.

Now that Money is credit, the productive activities of humankind are aligning themselves in direct conflict with the needs of the natural world.  And the chasing of non-existent money is causing humankind to strip mine the earth.

Will we learn in time?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 11, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.43
Oil Price per Barrel:  $44.79

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.62
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.19%
Bitcoin price in US:  $240.28
FED Target Rate:  0.14% 
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,106

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):   0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,330
M1 Monetary Base:  $3,132,300,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $12,088,500,000,000

Bitcoin Panel Illuminates the World of Crypto-currencies for the Oregon AFP

Bitcoin2/21/2015 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

For those who were unable to join us on Wednesday, the Bitcoin panel discussion at the Oregon AFP was a great success.  With us were six of the finest minds in Crypto-currencies in the Portland area.  These minds, together with some of the finest financial practitioners in the city, worked to bridge the gap between the Bitcoin universe and mainstream commerce.

We were pleased to find that the two are really not that far apart.

While there were a number of keen insights shared at yesterday’s meeting at the Multnomah Athletic Club, three stood out in our minds:

1) Transactions volume in Bitcoin has soared over the past two years and the USD/Bitcoin price action has settled down as a result.  Further, Venture Capital is pouring into the Bitcoin industry, proving that crypto-currencies, once on the exciting confluence of technology and money, are now entering the relatively boring yet infinitely more profitable economic mainstream.

2) Bitcoin innovators have largely solved the problem that has thus far kept most bankers at bay:  KYC, Know Your Customer.

3) Concerns about Bitcoin’s wild fluctuations in value are addressed by services that instantly exchange Bitcoins accepted in trade into national currencies. This is especially important for those who transact day-to-day business in Bitcoin, as it is technically considered property for tax purposes and could otherwise create an accounting nightmare. It also allows for a clear delineation between Bitcoin speculation and Bitcoin circulation, two completely different activities before were often unwittingly commingled by virtue of one’s use of Bitcoin in trade.

Bitcoin has come a long way since we published our 48 hour crash analysis of the emergent monetary revolution back in 2013, and our panelists did a superb job of presenting a balanced discussion of the present state of crypto-currencies.

A special thanks once again to all of our panelists, Lawrence I Lerner, Ian Pulicano, Anna Guyton, Mike Fors, George Fogg, and Rhys Faler, who was planning on spectating and found himself on the panel in the midst of an incredibly rich, informative, and relevant discussion of the merits and challenges of Bitcoin.

Ian had the difficult task of breaking the ice of ignorance and/or skepticism that is often associated with presenting the concept of Bitcoin to someone for the first time, which is never an easy task.  Beyond explaining the technical side in a concise manner, the slide near the end which highlighted the exponential growth in transactions and VC funding over the past 3 years got everyone’s attention and set the stage nicely for the discussion that followed.  Anna did a great job of stepping up as moderator and added valuable insights throughout, Lawrence did an excellent job of bridging the knowledge gap between industry and Bitcoin through helpful analogies, Mike and Rhys provided the evidence that Bitcoin can and is being used in everyday transactions, and George added insight into the inherent challenges and opportunities of Bitcoin on the regulatory and securitization side of the house.

At the end of the hour, the audience was left with one inescapable conclusion: Crypto-currencies are here, are here to stay, and will be part of one’s economic experience in the not too distant future.

For the benefit of those who were unable to join us on Wednesday, we offer the following bootleg recording of the event:

We also offer the hope that these types of panels will be held in other venues where finance and technology intersect, and that mankind will be all the better off for it.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for February 21, 2015

Copper Price per Lb: $2.58
Oil Price per Barrel:  $50.81

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.85
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.13%
Bitcoin price in US: $246.31
FED Target Rate:  0.09%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,204

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.3%

Dow Jones Industrial Average:  18,140
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,884,400,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,771,600,000,000

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and Alternative Payment Systems: A Panel Discussion

BitcoinFor those who are in the Portland area, the Oregon & SW Washington Association for Financial Professionals is hosting a panel discussion on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and Alternative Payment Systems on Wednesday, February 18th at 11:30am at the Multnomah Athletic Club.

As you can see, the panelists are top notch:

Lawrence I Lerner of LERNER Consulting – Change Agent in digital strategy, payments, security, change management, and retail: http://lawrenceilerner.com/

Ian Pulicano – Digital currency specialist and co-founder of Bit Consultants.  Building the new paradigm

Anna Guyton – Co-Founder of Bit Consultants, Bitcoin educator and integration specialist, encouraging individual and local self-sufficiency https://bitconsultants.org/

Mike Fors – Founder of BitcoinNW, Bitcoin evangelist, and owner of a Bitcoin Kiosk located in Pioneer Square: www.bitcoinnw.com

George K. Fogg – Partner, Perkins Coie, LLP, national co-chair of firm’s Financial Transactions and Restructuring practice and a member of the firm’s Virtual Currency Team

Your’s truly will be moderating and generally trying to stay out of the way of what promises to be an interesting, informative, and timely discussion amongst those in the Pacific Northwest who are at the forefront in this exciting and perplexing space.

You can register for the event here: http://oregonafp.camp7.org/event-1844146

First time guests to the group are free, which is a nice.  Hurry, though, as space is limited.  Hope to see you for this important topic and Stay Fresh!

Thomas Friedman’s Brief Theory of Everything

12/15/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

At the closing session of the 2014 AFP National Conference, New York Times columnist and three time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman gave a great discourse related to the biggest trends in the US and indeed the world today.  For those who are unfamiliar with Friedman’s work, suffice it to say that he is one of the more influential voices on the planet via his post at the New York Times.  As his discourse will reveal, he writes on foreign affairs, globalization, and environmental issues.

Thomas Friedman By Charles Haynes (Charles Haynes' flickr account) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Thomas Friedman By Charles Haynes (Charles Haynes’ flickr account) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Friedman is also a bestselling author, and many of his working hypotheses can be found in his 2005 International Best Seller, The World is Flat:  A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.  In the book, Friedman lays out 10 “flatteners,” or things that he points to that are enabling the trend of leveling the global playing field.

On the afternoon of November 4th in Washington, D.C., Friedman shared a number of interesting insights with our audience of Finance leaders, among them is his own recognition of the effects that the forces he describes have on his own ability to influence American and global thought.  As he puts it {with a slight paraphrase to add context}, “Thirty years ago, James Reston, my predecessor would ask himself every morning, ‘I wonder what my seven competitors are going to write today?’  Today, I sit in my office and ask myself ‘I wonder what my 70 million competitors are going to write today?”

While we may not agree completely with Friedman’s ideologies at base, it cannot be denied that he is compelling to listen to.  His voice is inquisitive and familiar, and his depth of experience in the idea realm gives his opinions, whether one fully agrees with them or not, a strange authority of their own.  You can listen via the link below to one of the finest discourses we have ever had the pleasure of listening to:

Below are some of the most interesting points Friedman brings up, along with their corresponding time stamp on the above recording:

At 2:40:  Is the US’s OODA loop broken?  Friedman expresses concern about the US Government’s ability to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act using a metaphor from the US Air Force.

At 4:25: – As Historians look back at our times, Friedman believes that they would identify as the most important things happening in the early 21st is that the three biggest forces on the planet, The Market, Moore’s Law, and Mother Nature, all went into hyper growth at the same time.

At 5:50: – The story of the Chessboard brought up in the book The Second Machine Age.  The Chessboard parable is cited as popular in Silicon Valley, and the morale is that, when you double something 63 times, you get 18 quintillion of whatever it is.  Friedman cites the Chessboard analogy a number of times in the discourse.  He believes that the world is in the “Second half of the Chessboard” in terms of the velocity of change with respect to The Market, Moore’s Law, and Mother Nature.

At 8:00: – The 2004 Thesis of The World Is Flat is that the convergence of four factors, the PC, the Internet, Workflow Software, and Search capabilities, that were melding together to form a platform that was allowing for large scale collaboration on a level never before experienced. {Editor’s Note: We closely observed this trend as an MBA student in Barcelona and it has continued to transform the way we live and work today, 10 years on. }

At 11:07 – In the past 10 years, with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and the like, the world went from connected to hyper connected, and from interconnected to interdependent.  We are in the second half of the Chessboard with regards to globalization.

At 13:45 – Friedman begins to speak on the Environment, what happens when Mother Nature enters the second half of the Chessboard.  He cites the fact that the amount of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing 100 times faster today than it was at the end of the last ice age.  He also observes that the population of the earth has doubled in his lifetime, from 1959 to 1999, from 3 billion to 6 billion people.

At 21:00 – Friedman brings up the drought in Syria between 2006 and 2010, the most severe in modern history, as the cause of the revolution that rages there today.  One million Syrians, who had previously dedicated themselves to agriculture in the countryside, flocked to the cities, overwhelming the infrastructure.  Here, he also highlights the fact that Sao Paulo, Brazil, may become the first major city to run out of water due to a combination of a prolonged drought and the effects of deforestation of the wetlands and watersheds of its major water sources.

At 22:30 – What does it mean?  This is a great world to be a consumer, a maker (Entrepreneur), and a breaker (here Friedman cites ISIS’s use of social media as its command and control system).  It is a terrible world to be a leader (every leader is in a two way conversation).

At 30:10 – Average is over for countries as Mother Nature, The Market, and Moore’s Law enter the second half of the chessboard.  Developing countries are stressed, and weak countries are failing and entering disorder.

At 32:52 – This is perhaps Friedman’s most important insight Average is over for every worker.  Every worker must identify their unique value add.  “When I graduated from college, I had to find a job.  When you graduate from college, you will need to make your job.”  Every middle class job is being pulled up, out, and down.  The high wage, middle skill job, is over.  There are now only high wage, high skill jobs.

At 36:31 – Friedman speaks of the effects of Globalization on his own job.  Thanks to the internet, he now has 70 million competitors whereas his predecessor, James Reston, had 7.

At 39:30 – The three tiers of work, the first tier was non-routine, second tier was routine; the third tier was non-routine, local work, are being rattled to the core.  The second tier is being crushed, and the wages of the third tier non-routine depends upon the quality of the first tier non-routine.  Further, the first tier, non-routine must also be “creative” non-routine.

At 42:00 – You need more than the three R’s: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, you need the four c’s:  Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking, and the “M”:  Self-motivation.

At 44:07 – Now that the digital divide is gone, the good news ceilings and walls are gone; the bad news is that so are the floors.  For example, as an employer, Google doesn’t care what you know because it knows everything, but what you can do with it.

At 45:30 – Friedman’s five pieces of advice for his children, 1) Think like an immigrant, be a paranoid optimist, we are all new immigrants to the hyper connected world, 2) Think like an artisan, make what you make special, give it an extra effort, carve your initials into it, 3) Always be in beta, in Silicon Valley there is only one four letter word, Finished.  Always be in beta.  Literacy today is the ability to learn and relearn, 4) pq + cq > iq.  Perseverance/passion quotient + curiousity quotient is greater than a high intelligence quotient, 5) Think like an Entrepreneur:  Friedman paraphrases this as “Think like a pancake waitress,” do your best with those things under your control, and where you can, add value.

At 51:12 – Friedman fields a few questions from the audience and shares his thoughts on what needs to occur in the realm of politics.  The comments are timely as they come on the date of the 2014 US midterm elections.

This is one of the better discourses that we have been privileged to attend.  It is clear that Friedman is a deep thinker and has learned the art of expressing himself.  He is not especially clairvoyant, but he is deeply in touch with the times.  Evidence of his hypotheses is literally surging from every corner of the globe.

What will be your value add in the brave, new, flat, hyper connected world that is fast coming upon us?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for December 15, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $2.94
Oil Price per Barrel (WTI):  $55.99

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.08
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.12%
Bitcoin price in US:  $351.50
FED Target Rate:  0.12%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,197

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,218
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,966,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,635,400,000,000

The Bank of Russia Dwarfed in Oil Price War

12/3/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

In case you haven’t been following our key indicators lately, the price of oil has taken a nosedive over the past three months, falling nearly 30% from late September. If you drive an SUV or run an airline, this is great news. If you are Russian or in some way invested in or employed by US based shale oil operations or work extracting oil from the Alberta Tar Sands, this is bad news.

First, let’s take a look at the effects on Russia, which have dominated the headlines. The Russian economy is heavily reliant on oil and has one of the largest petroleum industries in the world. It has the world’s eighth largest oil reserves and is the largest exporter of oil in the world in absolute numbers. Since the chart below, which highlights the rise of Russia’s productive capacity and post cold war era export capacity, was produced in by Plazak back in 2013, Russian production has continued its study rise through 2014, posting a post-Soviet record of 10.61 million barrels per day in September.

Russian Oil Production
Russian Oil Production Chart By Plazak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Further, Russia produces approximately 73 barrels of oil per day per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with approximately 37 barrels of oil per day produced in the US per 1,000 people.

Oh yes, and it has been reported that the 2015-2017 budget forecast of the Russian Government was based on the assumption of oil being priced at $100 per barrel (they are now revising it to around $85, $20 some dollars ago in the real world). Unlike the most of us in the US, that is a revenue assumption for them.

Financial markets are watching this and licking their chops, Russia is a short no matter how you slice it. Their oil industry and economy live in a world that ceased to exist about the time the price of oil spiked and drove the world’s largest consumers, the US, to search for alternatives.

The Russian Central Bank has spent at least $82 Billion in its foreign exchange reserves through October of 2014 in what has proven a feeble effort to prop up the Ruble. It spent $700 million on Monday alone, and it is not working. Were the heads of the Russian Central Bank thinking a bit more clearly, they may have been wise to carefully intervene in the oil markets before their currency got lashed. Alas, the Central Bankers of the World are seldom blessed with the gift of clairvoyance.

Bank of Russia
The Bank of Russia should have bought oil

But what about the US? As the world’s largest oil producer at nearly 12 million barrels a day, won’t the United States economy fall victim to the latest drop in oil prices as well? That is the premise of Michael Snyder, writing over at The Economic Collapse blog:

Guess What Happened The Last Time The Price of Oil Crashed Like This?…

While Snyder does make some compelling points about the 1.7 million jobs that the fracking boom has produced, the US is nowhere near Russia in terms of oil price dependency for its economic health.

We have three concrete reasons that we place forward for your inspection, fellow taxpayer, as to why the impact on the US will be minimal or even positive:

1) While the US produces 12 million barrels per day, it consumes 18.8 million barrels. As such, the higher price of oil still works as a quasi tax on the US as opposed to a concrete revenue source.

2) The US economy is the most dynamic on the planet. As long as credit is available, it will create jobs.

3) The Fed is still in a mode of underpinning the economy and has maintained its unconditional guarantee of the post financial crisis stock and bond markets. They would quickly contain the oil based junk bond issue that Snyder brings up.

The US economy is eternally susceptible to one thing and one thing only, a sustained decrease in consumer credit and government debt, neither of which is likely in the near term. While the Fed has hinted at raising rates, the current crisis in Russia, if anything, gives them sway to keep their various stimuli in place or on the ready as the crisis is feeding dollar strength, so the Fed doesn’t have to.

It will not always be so, as the Fed itself will one day implode on its own merits (or lack thereof). For the moment, it is the Bank of Russia playing the jester in this play.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Key Indicators for December 3, 2014

Copper Price per Lb: $2.92
Oil Price per Barrel (WTI):  $67.10

Corn Price per Bushel:  $3.68
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.29%
Bitcoin price in US: $377.28
FED Target Rate:  0.13%
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,205

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  5.8%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  17,880
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,765,000,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $11,607,000,000,000

Our Unwitting Journey Towards Lumbersexual Fashion

“Though he works for a software company he looks like he just walked out of the forest:  His beard is shaggy, (he wears) the boots and shirt of a lumberjack.  The Lumbersexual man, with his savage style,  is displacing the Metrosexual in the urban landscape.”

-Rough translation of the opening paragraph of following article from Cochabamba’s “Los Tiempos”:

Adiós metrosexuales, el “lumbersexual” salió del bosque

The Spanish-speaking media recently picked up on the what has, at least from our perspective, become a slowly developing trend over the past few years:  The rise of the Lumbersexual.

If you need a primer on what exactly is a Lumbersexual, Tom Puzak, writing over at GearJunkie.com, who’s work is referenced in the Los Tiempos article, sums it up well in the following article:

The Rise of the Lumbersexual

Fashion is not our forté here at The Mint, but this trend is somewhat personal as we have unwittingly begun to embrace it.

The seeds for this fashion trend, at least in the Portland area, were planted by the publicity tactics of the Portland Timbers in 2011, who at the time began to drape billboards and painted buildings in the city with images of men, women, and children wielding chainsaws and axes.  This continues to some extent today.

With this subliminal messaging firmly embedded in our subconscious, we were thrust into the Lumbersexual style via our well publicized tree incident back in 2012, in which an unfortunate household accident caused us to get in touch with our inner lumberjack (Scroll down to the “Black Locust” heading on this link).  While we had the larger tree felled by an arborist, we purchased the requisite chainsaw and the other tools of the lumberjack and went at the beast in our yard until we could no more.  We left it for the winter.

The following summer, our inner lumberjack was summoned once again when the HOA presented us with an ultimatum to “get the wood off of our lawn.”

While we had the tools (we have since moved up to an 8 pound axe and added a 9′ pole saw to our arsenal), it was not until two years ago that we began to wear a beard.  We simply felt it was time.  The only time we had worn a beard before was for two unfortunate weeks in the mid ’90s when we contracted the chicken pox at 19 years of age and we were unable to shave under the threat of permanent scarring.  When we began to hear reports that men in Miami, who could not grow a beard, were paying up to $8,000 for facial implants, we knew we were squarely in the middle of a fashion trend, a rarity for The Mint.

The Lumbersexual Style Circa 2013
The Lumbersexual Style Circa 2013

Where did it all start?  While Lumberjacks have been admired, especially here in the Land of Giants, from time immemorial, we like to attribute the latest trend to comedic origins such as Monty Python:

And Red Green:

Whatever the origins, the Lumbersexual is now out of the Forest and into the Urban landscape.  For the sake of the trees, it come as a relief that most of us wield iMacs instead of axes.

IT’S ROSH HASHANAH 5775, IS YOUR LAMP LIT?

Shana Tova!  Today marks the beginning of the Jewish high holiday Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the new year, a celebration of the creation of the world.  Once again, we pause and reflect on what has been, what is, and most importantly, what is to come.

With each new year comes a deeper understanding of what is occurring in the world.  This understanding is a gift from God, as we have all been given a unique dose of both wisdom and perspective.  As Rosh Hashanah 5775 is upon us, God is calling each and every one of us to use the wisdom and perspective he has given us to carry on in our unique calling.

This year it has been given to us to explore quantam physics, and its how it explains any number of phenomena, such as prayer and eternity, which are often dismissed by natural science.  It is a call to believe and walk in faith and courage.

It has also been given to us to present the healing miracles of Jesus presented in the Gospel of Luke, during the first ten weeks of 2015 on the Gregorian calendar.

It is now time to remind ourselves why Rosh Hashanah is especially important for those of us who believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Messiah’s Return

We are convinced that the Messiah, Jesus, is returning. We are equally convinced that it has not been given to any man to know the exact time of his return.

What we do know is that we will know the season of his return. The interpretations which we have heard of Jesus’s declaration recorded in Matthew 24:36 generally center around the premise that some sort of series of great catastrophes will be unfolding and a series of signs will be in some stage of fulfillment, implying that these things will mark the season of Jesus’s return.

Here at The Mint, we subscribe to a much simpler and more profound understanding of this scripture, drawn from an understanding of the Jewish wedding ceremony. Jesus will arrive during the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, based on the timing of His death and resurrection, the Passover, we believe that His triumphant return will logically take place over Rosh Hashanah. The celebrated Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.
Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.

Not necessarily this fall, mind you. For it is impossible to know for certain. If one were to attempt to pick a specific year, the logical choices would be one of the upcoming Jubilee years, 2018 (starting on Rosh Hashanah 2017 on the Gregorian calendar) or 2068, or the final year of the 6000 year Jewish Calendar, 2240.

Yet it could be tomorrow, or the next day, as Rosh Hashanah has the element of uncertainty as to precisely when the new moon occurs. This detail fits nicely with Jesus’s declaration that we would not know the day or time.

With all of the things that are happening in the world, many have begun to speculate that the end is nigh.

Clearly, the end is always nigh, and calamities such as the ones humanity is currently suffering have always taken place to some degree ever since mankind chose to disobey God and turn their back on their Creator.

Today, with billions of us on the planet, these calamities are multiplied to a staggering degree. The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are experienced in abundance as well, and this will overcome all suffering and calamity as He daily establishes His Kingdom within and amongst us.

Rosh Hashanah may be the most important and least observed/understood holiday for anyone who is not Jewish.  However, what occurs over the next nine days will set the tone for the coming year.  They occurrences are of such magnitude that the Jewish title, the “days of awe,” may be the only appropriate descriptor.

The following is an excerpt from our teaching last year on the sixth sign performed by Jesus that is recorded in the Gospel of John, which took place during this season some 2000 years ago.

Sukkot and the days of awe

Under these circumstances, Jesus announced that He would not attend the upcoming Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), or Sukkot, the Jewish Festival which follows Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which was the holiest day of the year. Jesus’ initial reluctance to attend the Feast, and ultimate decision to attend, has great significance, both for our understanding of the sixth sign and for Jesus’ future second coming.

As you may recall, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, marks a new beginning. The Jews believe that on this day the fate of each person for the upcoming year is written by YHWH in theBook of Life. The days (approximately 9) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known as the the days of awe, are spent in deep reflection, fasting, and prayer. It is a time of confession and repentance, it is a time of recognition that we are but dust, yet infinitely precious in YHWH’s sight.

The Jews believe that the fate which is written on Rosh Hashanah is then sealed by YHWH on Yom Kippur, at which point the Feast of Booths begins. It is our speculation that Jesus made the decision to ultimately attend the Feast of Booths to symbolically seal His fate. He would give His life for humanity on the upcoming Passover.

Yom Kippur is regarded as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, as such, it is only appropriate that the Jewish leaders who were looking for a reason to kill Him, would carefully observe Jesus in hopes of catching Him breaking their observance of the Sabbath.

As Rosh Hashanah begins, we hold fast to our faith, cleanse our minds and spirits, and resolve to love and forgive as God has loved and forgiven us.   May this year be filled with a generous portion of wisdom and perspective, and the faith and courage to use it to fulfill our calling.  The Messiah is coming, the trumpet is about to sound!

Is your lamp lit?