Well, if you’ve been living under a rock you might have missed the news that the Rapture is going to happen Saturday. Or at least so Harold Camping claims. But of course there are those who disagree, because they know that the Rapture, or at least the start of the 70th Week, is going to occur this fall (the same time that Camping claims the Judgment is going to fall on the post-Rapture world, incidentally). Those who disagree with that do so, of course, because we all know that the world is scheduled to end–or at least transform–on December 21, 2012, give or take a few days.
Personally, I’m rooting for 2012, since that’s the only way I’ll have had a chance to complete my Revelation teaching series (which will begin on June 4 and will be posted on Cyber-Synagogue, plug plug).
I was tickled to find out that Chuck Missler was invited onto Coast-to-Coast AM to talk about the latest Rapture mania (or Harpazo Hysteria, for those of you with an appreciation for Greek and alliteration). He made the point that this kind of date-setting nonsense does nothing but give the enemies of God the occasion to slander Him and prophecy in general. This is probably the only time in his life that Chuck has been in agreement with a Satanist. Yes, you read that right. Back on February 8, George Noory interviewed Winter Laake, self-professed Satanist who “clarified that he is not interested in harming others, unless they have crossed his path.” Well, that’s good to know, I guess.
He discussed Christian broadcaster Harold Camping’s campaign citing May 21, 2011 as Judgment Day or Rapture, and revealed that he is part of an effort to avert this outcome via ritual or Black Magic techniques. Laake also talked about his vision for the year 2050, when mankind achieves a “Satanic singularity” with machines– they will have merged with us and death will be redefined, he said.
So yeah, Camping’s predictions have given the servants of the Adversary a chance to claim, “See, we stopped it!”
I’ve also run into quite a number of people, including some close friends, who believe that the 70th Week will begin this fall. They base this on Psalm 90:10: “The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years . . .” By counting forward seventy years from the founding of Israel, they get 2018, which if you subtract 7 (for the 70th Week or “Tribulation Period”) gives us 2011. Case closed, right?
Hardly. A lot of people forget that not too many decades ago, people were predicting the Rapture in 1988 by counting one “Biblical generation” of 40 years forward from 1948. And doing the same in 2000 and 2007 based on a “Biblical generation” from 1967, when Israel retook Jerusalem.
Heck, while we’re playing this game, let’s count forward 70 years from 1967 and claim the Rapture will happen in either 2030 or 2037 (depending on whether you’re pre- or post-trib). That actually makes more Biblical sense than most other dates for reasons that I won’t go into because it’s stupid to try to predict the Rapture!
I’m sorry, that was a bit intemperate of me, wasn’t it? Let me rephrase that: It’s idiotic to try to predict the Rapture!
Oh, wait, that didn’t come out any better, did it? That’s how frustrated I am with date-setting, folks.
If you’re a pretribulationist, it’s dumb to try to predict the Rapture because Yeshua Himself told you, “But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mat. 24:36). Read it, love it, live it.
If you’re of any of the other Rapture views, it’s dumb to try to predict the exact timing of the 70th Week because we cannot predict exactly how fast events will move. Frankly, given how fast history can turn on a dime since WWII, the 70th Week could begin this fall–or it could begin years or decades from now, after the Temple and Babylon are both rebuilt and/or the United States has been reduced as a power.
Instead of trying to predict the time based on mathematical games with the Scriptures, we should instead be focused on knowing what the Scriptures say so that we’ll be able to recognize the events when they actually occur. And the fact is, as I’ve occasionally chronicled on this blog (others admittedly do a far better job than I), the signs are all around us. Not just the signs of false messiahs, wars, famines, and earthquakes–though those are on the rise–but the positive signs: Israel is back in the Land, the Great Commission is close to completion, and Benjamin is once again being seen among his brothers. We don’t need to be adding up years, sabbaths, and jubilees to know that time is short–and we have a lot to do in that short time.
(Speaking of false messiahs, did you know that there’s an all-female Russian cult that believes that Vladimir Putin is the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul? No joke. Putin is reportedly “bemused” by the group’s existence.)
So how about if we knock off the games and get to work? And if you see some of Harold Camping’s devotees after the 21st in need of a hand (some of them have reportedly sold off their belongings), give it in grace. They’re going to be in enough of a crisis of faith already; the last thing Yeshua would want is for us to use harsh words to push them over the edge.
- The crazies over at RaptureReady are convinced that the Rapture… (contrararian.tumblr.com)
- ‘Rapture’ apocalypse prediction sparks atheist reaction – BBC News (news.google.com)