Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rapture Date Setting And Paranoia


Seeing the unsaved being influenced by their own fearful thoughts and gripped with fear about the possibility that mayhem and destruction is right around the corner is one thing, but when those who call themselves Christians let fear and uncertainty grip their heart and control their thoughts and actions, that's quite another. Yes, there are principalities and powers at work in this world, but Christians have One greater who lives within them... the Holy Spirit. We mustn't allow ourselves to get caught up in all of the hype of this season of change. For years, believers have predicted the date of the Rapture, and unbelievers have predicted the destruction of the world, oftentimes to the determent of those who believed those stories, but neither the Rapture nor the earth's destruction have occurred as feared.

We can excuse the unbeliever for predicting the ultimate demise of the planet and everything on it, but can we excuse the born again believer of sharing the false assumption that the date of Jesus return can be predicted? Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36  He didn't say, "...knoweth no man, except those who were clever enough to figure it out." No, he said, "...knowth no man... but my Father only." Everything thrown out there by those born again believers who have studied God's word, Jewish tradition, and world history, doesn't really give us a clue as to when the Rapture will take place. These individuals have absolutely no idea when the Rapture will take place. It's all guesswork. There's not going to be that one believer in Heaven who will be able to say, "Yep, no one else figured it out except me." There's no crown, no special badge of honor, and no special seat at God's throne for such a thing, because God has already said that no one will be able to know the date and time of the Rapture. To say that it's possible to do so, would be to call God a liar.

There have been some famous, or infamous, date setters and those followers who believed in their prophecies and mathematical calculations. 

Do you remember Harold Camping? He continually invented new Rapture predictions, and no matter how many times they failed, he'd give an excuse and invent a new Rapture theory and date. Even though he was a false prophet, he had a worldwide following and earned millions of dollars in donations from them. His Rapture dates? Well, he predicted the Rapture would occur on or about September 6, 1994, and when that failed, he came up with two successive dates for that year (September 29th and October 2nd), both of which did not produce a Rapture. He had three more predictions for 2011, which by then included the destruction of the universe (which is not biblically sound when speaking about the Rapture). 

I could reach back into history and come up with many more examples of false prophets who predicted the Rapture, but why look to the past when we have individuals here on YouTube who explain their theories and calculations and machinations in order to convince a gullible audience of their authority and surety of a Rapture that can be predicted.

September 13, 2015 was thrown out there by some Christians who believed that this was the date of the Rapture. That date has since come and gone. These same Christians then claimed that the Rapture would occur on September 28, 2015 at the next blood moon. Again, no Rapture. 

Let me state this as clearly as I know how. If you are absolutely positive, and believe in your heart, and you know that you know that you know that the Lord will return on a specific date, then you can be positive that you are... completely wrong, because Jesus said that no man would know the day nor the hour of His return. If you don't agree with what Jesus said, then you're basically calling Jesus a liar.

Be honest... how many of us, in the past, have bought in to the idea that the year had finally come for the Lord's return? (I'm raising my hand) That year passed without the Rapture, then the next and the next until we now find ourselves here in 2020. Some are positive that this is the year. In fact, there's one brother on YouTube who states that he has serious doubts that we'll even be around for the election in November 2020. Really? I have a question for all the date setters. What happens if and when 2021 rolls around? Will you then be positive that the Rapture will take place in 2021? What if we reach 2022? How positive will you be then that 2022 will be the year of the Rapture?

Even though we don't know the day or the hour, we've been told that we will know the season. Many of us believe that we are in that season even now, but we have no idea how long this season will last. We know that Jesus' arrival is imminent and it could occur at any time, but that's not to say that this season won't last another five or ten years. I'm hoping that's not the case, though. I hope that the Lord does return this year, but I'm not going to listen to those false prophets who lead people on, and choose their words to carefully craft a prediction, while still weakly claiming that "it's just an educated guess." You know the kind of YouTubers I'm talking about. Some of them are pretty famous in the YouTube Rapture Prediction community.

While we're here, we have a war to fight. We're here to take back ground from the enemy and to advance the kingdom of God here on earth. We're here to rescue those who are unwittingly running headlong toward the edge of the abyss, and while we're doing this, the enemy continues to make his preparations for the coming of his Antichrist. God has Satan hemmed in so that he can only accomplish so much, but when the point is reached where the world is ripe for the great deception that will fall upon them, and the world system has been created for the Antichrist to take control of, then we'll be ripped from this world in a blink of an eye at the same moment that the full force of evil in this world is released and the Antichrist is revealed!

There are people out there in the Christian community and here on YouTube who will talk about the blood moons, the Jewish Feasts and the "last trump" and who will try to convince us that the blood moons signal catastrophe and that through their study they've concluded that the Jewish feasts and the scripture relating to the "last trump" show that the Rapture will occur on the last day of Rosh Hashanah. These individuals have received monetary gain from the books, videos, charts, posters, and anything else, that they've hawked online. Whether they receive monetary gain or not, they make these claims, all the while telling us that they're not date setting. If it's not Rosh Hashanah 2020, then all through next year the date setters will be talking about Rosh Hashanah 2021... but they're not date setting. Mhm...

What they don't tell you is that the Jewish calendar has gone through some changes since Jesus prophetically fulfilled the first four major feast days. Without getting into great detail, the Jewish calendar that was around when Jesus walked this earth isn't the same calendar that they use now. The Jewish calendar used to be based on the lunar cycle, and eye witness accounts of when the new moon appeared, but as I understand it, that was changed in the fourth century when it was changed to a fixed calendar. As you can imagine, those in Jesus' time would be celebrating a holy day on a particular day while those in the fourth century and beyond would be celebrating it on another, since they would be operating under two different systems of marking days and months. The modern calendar allows for the adding and taking away of days so that certain holy days don't fall back to back or on the "wrong day."

The point I'm trying to make concerning these two methods of marking time, is that it makes no sense to try to connect the "last trump" Jesus spoke of with the last trumpet blast of the modern celebration of Rosh Hashanah because it's more than likely that this holy day won't line up with the old lunar calendar. That's why if God was referring to Rosh Hashanah when He made mention of the "last trump," it would most likely be blown on the date that Rosh Hashanah would have ended in regard to the old Jewish calendar and not the last day of Rosh Hashanah that is marked on the modern Jewish calendar that they use today.

Many of us feel that we're in the season where we are to look up and expect the arrival of the Bridegroom, but it's not a time to panic and believe that every news story is going to lead to the immediate destruction of this nation. Not every urgent new article or broadcast is an imminent warning that the Rapture is days or weeks away. Neither is the existence of any virus a sign that the Rapture is at hand. Christians just need to calm down and remember that there was no urgency in the Apostle's actions as they shared the gospel, even though they initially thought Jesus was returning in their lifetime. We need to use them as an example of how we're to conduct ourselves. Panic and urgency aren't gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Yes, the United States is most likely going to fall, because the greatest and most powerful nation that there has ever been on this planet is found nowhere in biblical prophecy. Will it be civil war that takes us down? Could a civil war be seen as a moment of great upheaval and confusion in our nation which would prompt our enemies to launch a limited nuclear or EMP attack on this nation that would exclude us from taking a major role in the Tribulation? A major EMP attack would wound our country immensely. Imagine, a country without electricity. No computers, no cell phones, no modern transportation, no satellite communication, no GPS, no television, no radio, no electric home appliances, no lights in your home or on the streets... you get what I'm saying. We'd be back to horses and wagons and getting our food in the wild and our water at the river or well. No longer would we hold the place of the most powerful nation on earth. We'd be out of the game and out of biblical prophecy. 

Instead of fearing what is to come, we need to prayerfully prepare for what we may need to go through before the Bridegroom arrives. We don't know how bad things are going to get in this world or how bad it's going to be for born again believers before the Tribulation begins. We are already seeing the leading edge of Christian persecution in this country and it's only going to get worse as we get closer to Yeshua's return. 

What's a Christian to do? We need to live each day in it's own time. We need to continue to believe, pray, share, witness, evangelize, teach, etc... We need to continue to depend on God to increase our faith, give us strength, and lead us by His Holy Spirit. Jesus said that His return would be as the great flood occurred in Noah's time. Everyone would be eating and drinking, getting married, and going on with their daily lives. His return will happen suddenly, as a thief in the night. In the blink of an eye we'll be ushered into His presence and our thoughts will no longer be focused on what is happening in the world, but will instead be focused on the One who saved us through His blood on the cross.

In conclusion, I want to warn you again not to fall into the date setting trap. Live your days one at a time while looking up in anticipation of the arrival of the Bridegroom. One day, when you least expect it, you'll hear that shout and that trumpet blast, and in that moment we'll be with Jesus!

Remember: Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36

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