Probably like most Bible teachers, I am receiving questions about events supposedly to occur in September of this year that are apocalyptic in nature. Nothing specific is predicted, like the return of Jesus for His Church, but some are publishing lists giving what they call proof that something dramatic is going to occur. Unfortunately, this has caused undue anxiety in the hearts of some Christians.
The purpose of this article is not to make light of those who are anxious because of these things, but rather to present a biblical and logical look into some of the items on the lists. Looking at this from a Bible teacher’s perspective, I am glad people are interested enough to look into these things, but I am also concerned that unbiblical conclusions will lead to the ignoring of what is actually going to happen in the near future.
One such list making the rounds is the “Forty-three Factual Reasons Why September 2015 is the End Game – 100% Factual Evidence and Sourced.” I have no idea where this list originated, and to be frank I did not spend much time searching for the source. Though some items listed are facts and some are not facts, the conclusion is contrived. So contrived, in fact, that the connection between the list of events and the month of September is more nonsense than biblical.
The people behind this are saying two things: 1) Events indicate something is going to happen. 2) It will be in September. The truth is, with things happening as they are today it would not be out of the realm of possibilities for anyone to forecast some catastrophic event to happen in the near future. I would, however, be wary of attaching a specific month to it.
It is true that just one event does not mean very much when it stands alone, but when numerous specific events occur they might be pointing to something. It is correct to keep that in mind, but even with that consideration in mind it is difficult to precisely predict an event solely from this list. Similar predictions have been made as some did regarding Japan’s 1941 strike on Pearl Harbor and Germany’s December offensive in 1944, but that was done by only a few and they precisely connected relevant events. This list has no consistent relevance.
The list points out that Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) is in September and this supposedly adds to the intrigue. Observant Jews spend most of this day in synagogue with fasting and prayer. It was a critical day in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, but it is not likely that Israel will allow a similar sneak attack in the future, if that is what the list’s authors have in mind.
Yom Kippur is September 23rd, and because it is in September some people are saying it has special relevance to some impending event. Though the day might have some significance to Arabs who want to exercise vengeance against Israel it has no specific significance in this context.
RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) is on the list. This is the use of wireless microchips to transmit data from an object or a human. Presently it is in the form of a very small device about the size of a long grain of rice that is embedded under the skin.
It is not new, for similar devices have been used to identify dairy cattle on some farms for years. Some people believe all Americans will be required to have an embedded chip by the year 2017; something which will facilitate the tracking of the masses.
This could indeed become the norm, and it might also be the means or part of the means whereby the Antichrist will be able to exercise control over the world as mentioned in Revelation 13. But, to say its presence has anything to do with something happening in September is quite a leap.
I give the next one to you verbatim, caps and all: “You might be surprised to know that Sir Isaac Newton was a devout Christian and was especially intrigued by the book of Daniel from the Bible, which prophesies about the Apocalypse and the end of days. Sir Isaac Newton discovered that the Scripture in Daniel 9:25 points us to the FIRST AND SECOND Coming of Jesus and that the ‘sevens’ mentioned are the key to understanding this mystery.”
Newton did write a commentary on Daniel; I have a copy in my library. But, Daniel 9:25 does not mention both Comings of Jesus, and I don’t see what critical series of “sevens” they are talking about that supposedly has reference to September 2015.
If by that the author of that list means the seventy weeks (sevens) of years, then I have news for him: We have known for a long time what the seventy weeks of years means; no mystery there. The text plainly explains it; within a period of 490 years God is going to accomplish those six things listed in verse 24. Jeremiah 25 is the natural context of Daniel 9:24ff!
The “Shemitah” or the “Year of Jubilee” is on the list. The author assumes that since the year of Jubilee ends in September it means that something big is going to happen. He then lists seven things that have happened in the last 50 years (the last Jubilee cycle). Your list or mine could just as easily contain seven significant events, probably different from his, that happened in the last 50 years. He just seems to pull events from the air with no rhyme or reason.
Most everyone has heard of the “Four blood moons” tetrad. TV preacher John Hagee has made this a big deal prophetically. The aforementioned list says that the final moon of the four blood moons will fall on September 28. Since they “fall on biblical festival dates during 2014 and 2015” it is evident to the list’s author that something will happen around this time.
The fact is that something big could indeed happen during the last blood moon in September. Something like a powerful hurricane, or a powerful earthquake, another Mid-East war, etc. But, the point is that the list is not evidence for something to happen, but is a catalogue of facts and non-facts which is the base that fuels bizarre human speculation.
Then there is the recently popular Malachy Prophecy. It is a series of 112 cryptic phrases published first in 1595. They were made by the Catholic Saint Malachy who was the Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland about 876 years ago. The author of the list says that these prophecies say that Francis is the last pope and is supposed to be the pope (Peter the Roman) who will bring destruction to Rome.
These remind me of the writings of Nostradamus in that they are enigmatic and confusing. What is found in Holy Scripture is 100% accurate 100% of the time. Nostradamus and Malachy are not in the same league as the Holy Spirit, and to give them even a bit of credibility is absurd.
Some people like to point to Pope Francis’ unorthodox words and actions (unorthodox from a traditional catholic perspective) and say that he could be the one that will bring this kind of traumatic revolution to Rome. Maybe he will, or maybe he won’t, but either way this has nothing to do with what, if anything, might happen in September.
The list mentions something else about Pope Francis. He is scheduled to speak on September 27 at the “World Meeting of Families” in Philadelphia, PA. At the same time CERN, a European research group located near Geneva, Switzerland that operates the largest particle-physics laboratory in the world, will “reach world shattering levels and a super blood moon will fill the night sky” according to whoever made this list.
It will reach world shattering levels of what? A super blood moon will fill the night sky? People read this stuff and their hearts are filled with anxiety. Some might suddenly become religious, but that could be caused by a knee-jerk reaction to all the hype and not by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
A good reading of prophetic Scripture can certainly cause a non-believer to become anxious, but if that anxiety is mere reaction to man-inspired sensationalism then the anxiety is apt to dissipate not long after the perceived threat is passed.
Included on the list is the mention of the National Defense Authorization Act, commonly known as the NDAA. That the law is on the books is a fact, but what does it and its provisions have to do with September? Arguably most Americans recoil at the government’s raw power that is part of that law, but its harshest implementation is not associated with the month of September.
The author of the list seems to say that the implementation of the NDAA will occur in September because of some national emergency that will happen at that time. That is foolish conjecture. He just throws that conclusion out there to leave it floating in midair; thirty thousand guillotines in FEMA camps. That one has been around for years. I find no evidence that the U.S. Government has ordered 30,000 guillotines to be placed in FEMA camps.
A state representative in Georgia introduced a bill, HB 1274 to offer the use of the guillotine to those convicts facing capital punishment who wished to donate their organs; that happened in 1996. You see, death by electrocution or lethal injection renders organs useless. It is also a fact that the Georgia senate did not take up the bill, thus it died.
The rumor mill built a bridge between those facts and 30,000 guillotines in FEMA camps. The picture often associated with the rumor is that of a guillotine built by contemporary artist Tom Sachs. It is called “Chanel Breakfast Nook.” He also built a Chanel chain saw as a piece of art.
I am not saying such a thing could not happen, for I believe a similar scenario will develop during the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4). But some of what is presented on the list as fact is not fact, and to make a connection between unrestrained rumor and coming events in September is invalid reasoning. A pilot who thinks his plane is full of fuel simply because it is parked next to one he knows is full of fuel is a similar kind of invalid reasoning.
Other things are mentioned, but these are sufficient. That some of these things are true is a fact. That some of them are not true is also a fact. The conclusion the author is making is that because all the things on his list are facts (which they are not) something big is going to happen in September. The problem with his conclusion is that there is no connection between the existence of some of what is on his list and some kind of event in September.
It is unfounded hyper speculation. But, the list and its conclusion are not presented as unfounded hyper-speculation. They are presented as fact. Therein is the problem. Christians must be able to discern such things and not allow alarmists to bring undue anxiety.
So, if the “Forty-three reasons” list is suspect, what can we conclude? For one thing, if some specific prediction cannot be pointed to in Scripture it must be approached with caution. It is true that consequences of specific prophesies will occur. For example, the Bible predicts an increase in earthquakes in the last days.
From that we can accurately surmise an associated decrease in transportation availability, shortages of food and water, disease outbreaks, etc. But, no one can say that because Yom Kippur occurs in the same month as the concluding blood moon and the year of Jubilee that something apocalyptic must occur also. That leap cannot be made.
Certainly we can take prophecy as a whole and see where things are going. For example, the Bible does not say explicitly that the U.S. Supreme Court would redefine marriage in June of 2015. However, knowing what it does say in 2 Timothy 3, Romans 1, etc. it would not have been out of order to say, back in 2012 for example, that this decision was probably coming. That is reasonable speculation based upon what scripture has to say taken in light of current events.
Second, be wary of anyone who says, “The Lord spoke to me and said…” Some of the most cockamamie things have come from people who want you to believe they alone have been given extra-biblical information that is just between them and God; that they alone are the holder of certain truths.
That, folks, is a far cry from the Holy Spirit speaking to a Christian’s spirit prompting a particular line of thinking. That is called mature spiritual discernment, and it would be nice to see a lot more of that.
Other things could be said, but what is important is that you, as a Christian, should not be overly concerned about what is coming in September or at any other time. The One who spoke this world into existence is the same One who died for you, and nothing you need to know for a full, effective and anxiety-free life has been withheld from you. The One who holds both time and events in His hand is the same One who is coming for you. Don’t forget that.