The Great Tribulation Starts by October 31st, 2017? Use These Nine Ways to Tell if a “Prophecy” is from God.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
These people just never go away. A self described “Christian numerologist”, David Meade, predicts major changes in the world by the end of October, 2017. That’s by many news sources lately. Is this prophecy right? Or wrong? Hang on … I’ll give you nine clear, specific ways to tell.
Two simple points we can see right off: practically no Christian agrees with him. And he doesn’t say this was revealed to him in prayer. Also, by a Sept. 16th Fox News report, note that he first said the world was going to end on Sept. 23rd. Now he’s changed the story. How convenient. Meade had said there was to be a collision with a mysterious Planet X and Earth on Sept. 23rd. Whoops! Didn’t happen. And NASA had said such a planet doesn’t exist. Meade’s predictions remind us of other false alarms. Remember Christian radio network owner Harold Camping saying the world was going to end in 2011?
Now, in a Sept. 25th Time magazine interview, Meade says the “real action” will begin October 15th and the Great Tribulation could start by the end of that or present month. OK, David Meade, you’re on.
Bible prophecy is a huge subject. People in Bible times predicted things to happen and they did. Or will. Some said things were to happen for a certain duration and I’ll give you examples later. But they never gave specific starting and ending calendar dates. Jesus also made predictions. So we can’t dismiss prophecy.
Here’s nine ways to see if such predictions really come from God or not:
1. True predictions come from God alone and often through continued prayer and even fasting. In Daniel chapters 9 and 10 we see how that prophet wrestled with understanding God’s word and will by anguished prayer and fasting. In David Meade’s interviews, such as the English newspaper Sun reported September 22, 2017, somehow the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt affirms the end of the world. Meade didn’t explain that one. God doesn’t consult pagans or false religions. He alone is the authority. Also, conspicously absent was Meade saying continued prayer led him to these prophecies.
2. God never uses astronomy or astrology as an authority for prophecy. Meade cites the positions of certain stars and constellations for his September 23rd, 2017 prediction. True, wise men followed a star to find Jesus’ birth place in Matthew 2, but that star was a guide for them only at that time and not an authority for anyone today. Star worship is rigorously forbidden in Deut. 4:19, 12:2, 3. Astrologers are dismissed as prophets in Isa. 47:13, 14: “You are wearied with your many counsels; let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you. Behold, they are like stubble, fire burns them; …”
3. Be very, very careful of setting or including dates for prophecies. I clearly remember one pro life leader in the 90’s publicly saying a certain abortion clinic would close in 30 days. It did. I was maybe 25 feet from him when he said that. That was the only time I have ever seen a legitimate prophecy include a specific date. Overwhelmingly, to my experience, when specific calendar dates are included in the prophecy, they fail.
Biblical prophecy does, however, predict durations of certain things. But they never gave a Hebrew calendar date for exactly when these things were to begin and stop. Time was usually measured then by when certain kings died or began their reign, which could be counted more than one way. We see this in Ezekiel 29:11, when the word of the Lord was spoken through that prophet to say because of a judgment Egypt was not to be inhabited for 40 years. Other examples: Isa. 16:14… Isaiah says the kingdom of Moab would cease to exist within three years; 23:15, that the kingdom city of Tyre would cease for 70 years; and Jeremiah 25:11, that Judah would go into exile for 70 years.
4. Avoid numerology as part of legitimate prophecies. It is the study of the occult significance of numbers. Often modern predictions have stretched, twisted, and simply flat out misrepresented certain numbers to support what they say. Just some examples are the numbers 40, 3, 70, and 12. No Biblical prophet or Jesus ever resorted to numerology.
5. As we see in Leviticus 26, if events worsen it may be God ramping them up to get our attention. This is explained a little later in this article. Compare today’s events to similar ones before. Are they clearly worse? Do we see a pattern? Increasing judgments are found in Lev. 26 and are prophetic in that they are telling us something.
6. Does the prophecy match what we know of God’s character as revealed in the Bible?
7. Does the prediction contradict God’s word? Contradictions prove the prophecy false.
8. And obviously, did the prediction come true?
9. Don’t believe a prediction depending on supposed secret Bible codes. The only thing near a Bible code is in Daniel chapter 5, where Daniel immediately translates a mysterious writing on a wall that was a warning to King Belshazzar. That was a message given only once to one person. It did not apply to anyone else. Again, neither any Biblical prophet nor Jesus used or referred to anything in a code.
But I think it’s time to look at certain unusual events not as prophecy but as warnings. More specifically, as warning judgments. These are much less debatable, more easily understandable, and more pertinent to us than some prophecies.
Here’s why. What does God really, really want from us, more than anything? Obedience. In I Sam. 15:22 through the prophet Samuel, God tells the appointed king of Israel, Saul: “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” We see the same idea in Deut. 30:1-10 and verses 19-20 and many other places in Scripture.
You see, God is more concerned about how we live and relate to others now, in this present life on earth, than dwelling on future rewards. It’s like God is telling us, “Pay attention! I put you here on earth for a reason. Now fulfill it!” In other words, God’s concerned more about us now than us later.
Numerologist David Meade, like most Americans, sees notable disasters and unusual events as Rapture phenomena. The Rapture is the simultaneous, instantaneous, world wide disappearance of Christians as clearly foretold in I Thess. 4:17. Meade and many others quote Luke 21:25, 26 to link the recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and such disasters as harbingers of the Rapture.
So when such things happen, Rapture focused people seem to say, “Well, get ready to be snatched up into heaven. Just go about your business and hold on if it’s tough, and never mind how we are displeasing God since, you know, we’re going to heaven any minute now!”
We’re focused on the Rapture. But God sees a rupture between us and Him. He’s focused on how we’re living. And He doesn’t like it. We’ve abandoned Him by our constant rebellion. We exalt, for example, homosexuality and abortion, both clearly condemned by God. And we don’t want to change. Are you seeing Christians clamoring for us to come back to God? No.
It’s pretty quiet out there in the pews, isn’t it? It’s business as usual … just like in the days of Noah. Now if we were really concerned about this rupture instead of a Rapture, we’d get really serious about changing our ways. If we seriously dealt with the rupture between us and God, it would please Him. But our Rapture focus pleases us. Because then we don’t have to deal with our sin.
Look at the 12 days or so from about August 26th – Sept. 6th. Possibly never in the history of North America have so many disasters happened so fast. Seven events pounded us: about 82 wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest, the largest solar flare in 10 years (which could have really hurt telecommunications) reached Earth, three major hurricanes and a tropical storm that became a hurricane, and finally, a deadly earthquake in Mexico.
These all came from God and none from the phony bogey man, climate change. Just how, for example, can a hurricane trigger an earthquake miles below the surface? None were man made disasters such as jetliner crashes, ferry sinkings and the like. But note there was a unique quiet, a lull, before the August events exploded on us. As reported in the Nov. 12th, 2016 climatedepot.com, NOAA tornado data said 2016 was “one of the quietest years since records began in 1954 … (and that the) U.S. has had no Category 3 or larger hurricane make landfall since 2005 – the longest spell since the Civil War.” God kept big storms from happening for longer than usual and then released several at once. He made them stand out. This reminds us who’s in charge.
Deut. 28 is the longest and most detailed chapter in the Bible about warning judgments. Because He’s just, God always warns first. In that chapter we see many ways God will warn us. But three ways stand out and they are often in the news. They are unusual weather, violence, (such as we see today in terrorism and frequent mass shootings) and foreign domination. We see that domination by the loss of millions of jobs and even factories to overseas and our utter dependence on Japan and China subsidizing our federal budget spending by buying Treasury notes. If they didn’t buy these investments in us we’d collapse in a heartbeat. But our deficit is so big we can’t pay them back. So we have become slaves to those and other countries.
Leviticus 26 teaches us something else important about God’s warning judgments we conveniently forget. They are sent in measured, and if needed, increasing doses. If one level of judgment doesn’t work, He turns up the heat. He sends more, and they are worse. See verse 18 – “If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” The next level, in vs.24: “… then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.” Had enough? If not, then verse 28: “… then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins.” Pretty clear, isn’t it? Don’t we want to avoid those worse judgments?
Back to the Rapture for a moment. What kind of church, or body of believers, does God want to take up to Him? An obedient church. People who fear Him. Who love Him enough to obey Him. They get His protection and rewards. But people fixated on the Rapture, who are letting our society sink into a cesspool because we aren’t bringing – and living – the light and power of the gospel, forget the implications of a Scripture passage they often quote. It’s I Timothy 4:1 – “But the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the doctrines of demons, …”
Isn’t it clear the American church has fallen away from the faith? If you don’t believe that, why isn’t your church making a difference? You likely don’t know of a single church, not even just one, standing for righteousness within 100 miles. They don’t think they should! And never mind the Biblical commands to do so! Now I don’t mean an annual sermon on a certain topic and slapping a bumper sticker on our car. I’m talking about going out into the real world, taking an unpopular stand, getting slandered in the news, being sued, and maybe going to jail. Now that’s when God and His power show up! When we change!
Who did God take out of Egypt and into the promised land, a large crowd of surly, rebellious Hebrews or a humbled, smaller group refined by 40 years of purging in the wilderness? Who did God bring back from captivity in Babylon? The whole nation of Judah who couldn’t for the life of them understand why their exile happened, or a smaller, repentant group refined by the fire of 70 years of captivity?
So God uses judgments to refine. Before the Rapture happens, get ready for the refining. Refining gives God an obedient church, a purified church. That’s who gets raptured. So yes, for this and other reasons American Christians, we are going through what is called the Great Tribulation.
It’s undeniable unbelievably horrible stuff is coming. Especially the Great Tribulation. Only a refined church will be holy like Him. Don’t claim events as excuses to escape the world. It’s time to engage it. That’s what God expects! Let’s focus now on how we got here rather than tomorrow. Warning judgments call us to deal with how we got here. And to be worthy of His favor and reward. God would always, always prefer to forgive, or to bless, than judge. He is still, and will always be, a loving God.