What Time Is It?
Scarcely a day goes by as of late that I don’t get
at least one or two email messages predicting a particular date the
rapture will occur. These are sometimes based upon personal heads-up the
emailer claims the Lord gave to him or her. Sometimes these are
predictions passed on to me by someone whose been sent a
newsletter that gives the date the Lord gave the newsletter’s
sender. The rapture, if not predicted as to the precise hour, day, week, or
month, is put within a time frame based upon convoluted massaging of
special holy days involving
Passover, Hanukkah, Yom
Kippur, feasts of various sorts, etc., are manipulated to make
them the likely rapture date.
Most recently, the date
June 8 has been number crunched and calculated as being the time of
Pentecost, and the focus of the predicted time of the rapture for some.
Another date the rapture would supposedly occur was given as June 12 by
a cult leader in Texas.
If you are reading this
and millions of people haven’t just vanished, you know the predicted
dates of June 8 and June 12, 2008 (calculated by some as the dates
surrounding the anniversary of Pentecost this year) were not the time of
Christ’s calling Church Age believers to be with Him as given in
John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
The most recent proof
of the grievously flawed rapture prediction process is, as
pointed out above, the failure of the June 8, 2008 “Pentecost” date.
How does one explain
without profound embarrassment at the very least, after claiming the
Lord gave him or her such a date, that the millions of Christians never
vanished? Did God change His omniscient mind? Or, could the date be the
product of human error, whether deliberate misinformation or because of
genuine but overzealous desire to see the event take us all home?
No matter how sincerely
believed by the would-be prophets, their predictions were–are—wrong.
They are “false prophecies.” They failed to come true, and
this does disservice to the God of heaven, the One who, in many cases,
was said by the ones doing the predicting to have given them the precise
time of rapture.
Time to recalibrate,
reconfigure, withdraw and think again, for those who feel for some
reason they must try to tell us the precise time of the stupendous event
that we have come to call the rapture of the Church. Better yet, I would
gently, kindly, in Christian love, suggest that you just don’t do that
anymore. Such prognostications are always wrong. If one of these
predictions were correct as to the precise day, hour,
etc., Jesus himself would be made a liar. He said: “But of that day and
hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”
The Lord went on to
reinforce the truth that man is not privileged to know the exact
time: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not
the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44).
Such a declaration that
we can’t know the exact day and hour will, I’m certain, bring protest
that we are instructed to know the times and seasons that His return is
near. No, I must disagree. Here’s what the Scriptures say about that
often-misused claim: "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know
the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power”
(Act 1:7). And again: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye
have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that
the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians
These Scriptures tell
us that we will not know the exact time Jesus comes in the rapture. It
will happen like a sudden, unannounced break-in on unaware
It is true that
Christians shouldn’t be surprised, thus the rapture of the Church
shouldn’t overtake the believer. But the event will nonetheless be as
dramatic and as unanticipated as a thief breaking into a
home. Jesus said that a good husband and father would not allow
his home to be broken into because he would be ready. He would be ready
because he would be watchful for signals that the break-in could happen
at any moment.
Thus, the Lord said the
following to each Christian of the Church Age (Age of Grace): “What I
say unto one, I say unto all, watch” (Mark 13:37).
It is absolutely true
that Church Age believers are expected to be ready--be
expectant for Christ’s any-moment return for them. This is entirely
different than in the case of tribulation saints who can know the time
of His return at the conclusion of Armageddon (Rev. 19:11).
Being “ready, for in an hour ye think not the son of man cometh”
(Matt. 24:44) is a far cry from trying to name the exact day and hour,
or even time-frame based upon Jewish holy days or other past biblically
reported event. These have always been wrong. Still, the date-setters
insist on pinning down the exact time the Lord has determined to say
“Come up hither!”
While we are not to
know the exact time or season of Christ’s coming in the rapture,we are
indeed commanded to be aware of the approach of His second coming back
to earth. Jesus chided the pious Judaizers for wanting a precise sign
rather than being spiritually attuned to conditions around them that
proved the Messiah’s coming among them.
“The Pharisees also
with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew
them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is
evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
And in the morning, It
will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye
hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern
the signs of the times?” (Matt. 16:1-3).
eschatological clock is really more like a supernatural barometer that
gives prophetic weather reports. Like in the case of the earthly
barometers forewarning the approach of a massive hurricane by presenting
predictive atmospheric pressures, God’s prophetic barometer presents the
end-times issues and events that are the signs of the times
for this late Church Age era. We know the birth pang-like times by the
prophesied signs that press upon this generation. We know the rapture is
near because the
Great Tribulation storm approaches, and Christ will call His
Church to be with Him before that storm begins (John 14:1-3; Rev. 4:1).
So, What Time Is It?
The signs of the times
presented at this present hour are unmistakable to the Christian who is
truly faithful to the Lord’s command, “What I say unto one, I say unto
all, watch” (Mark 13:37). “When you see all these things begin to come
to pass, then look up and lift up your head, for your redemption draweth
near" (Lk. 21:28).
We who feel it our
commission to study God’s prophetic Word as our life’s work, as well as
Bible prophecy students in general who study from a premillennial,
pretribulation rapture position, are constantly amazed at the issues and
events that are gushing upon our world today. Such a flood of turbulence
was prophesied by Daniel the prophet: ”And after threescore and two
weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of
the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and
the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war
desolations are determined” (Dan. 9:26).
What a flood we are in
Seas and Waves Roaring
No matter what network
or channels we look to for weather, the meteorologists and news pundits
time and time again use words like “worst ever,”
“record-breaking,” “unprecedented,” “unbelievable,” and other
phraseology to express astonishment at the weather-related matters they
Record numbers of
tornadoes, floods, droughts, and fires have happened in record-breaking
fury. They continue to occur simultaneously in America and around the
Nations in Distress
The economies of
America and the world are in disarray while petroleum in the Middle East
seems to be the catalyst pushing mankind toward the prophesied showdown
at Armageddon. Meanwhile, prices per gallon for gasoline and the
spin-off stresses that incubate conflicts within and between nations at
every level continue to rise, and appear unstoppable.
Most every day,
earthquakes of increasing magnitudes are reported from all over the
globe. The U.S. is suffering temblors from every section of the nation.
Loss of life in the world’s major population centers mounts quickly with
each new quake and aftershocks.
The United Nations has
issued reports that project food shortages on a worldwide scale. That
organization calls for immediate action that, if it does not come, might
mean the death of entire nations for the most destitute peoples on the
threaten to inundate these most afflicted regions because of lack of
nutrition and safe water sources. It’s almost as if the third rider of
the apocalypse is already galloping across earth’s surface upon his
The hour of this Age of
Grace is late. The child of God spiritually attuned to
Christ’s exhortation to be watchful has a sure sign in these troubling
though exciting times.
Israel is that
supernatural timepiece by which we can know just what time it is on
God’s prophetic timeline.
The tiny Jewish state
has already become the “cup of trembling,” and the “burdensome
stone” predicted by Zechariah 12:1-3. Most nations of the U.N. always
look to blame Israel rather than its angry, blood-vowed enemy neighbors,
whose concentric religion is Islam.
has been made that Israel is God’s prophetic clock, and Jerusalem is the
minute hand. It is not much of a stretch to believe that
the second hand of that prophetic clock might be the current Mid-East
foretelling about a peace covenant that will be confirmed by the world’s
last and most wicked tyrant, Antichrist, might well now be in view. The
“Prince that shall come” who will confirm the seven-year peace covenant
will set in motion the last seven years of human history immediately
preceding the second advent of Jesus Christ. (Read Daniel 9:26-27.)
Jesus said the following about that time: “For then shall be great
tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this
time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
The “Roadmap to Peace”
is on the table in the Middle East process of searching for how to avoid
nuclear Armageddon. Few, even among Christianity, understand the
profound importance of this fact. The second hand of
God’s prophetic clock is ticking.
What Time Is It?
It looks to be the
closing seconds of this Church Age. The rapture can strike like a thief
in the night with the next click of that second hand.