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Society is Obsessed with Apocalypse, not Salvation

September 5, 2015

First it was the Millerites, convinced that the world would end Apr 28, 1843 (later revising this to Oct. 22, 1844, claiming they made an arithmetic error in the first calculation). Many gave away all of their worldly possessions and stopped educating their children years before this date, only to regret for the rest of their lives their presumption in assuming a secret understanding of God’s Word.

More recently, it was Harold Camping, who successively predicted Sep 6 1994, Sep 29 1994, Oct 2 1994, Mar 31 1995, May 21 2011, and finally Oct 21, 2011 (claiming each time to have misunderstood a certain component of the calculation or to have miscalculated arithmetic in previous predictions). Camping took in millions in donations in the months leading up to the 2011 dates, including some families’ entire estates, in order to fund an enormous advertising campaign warning people of the coming End.

And of course Dec. 21, 2012 was heralded by many as the unavoidable End of Days because that date was the end of the Mayan “long count” calendar. It provided the plot line for a good number of prophetic/fiction books and Hollywood movies – commercial gains which might be the basis of a new conspiracy theory about the benefits of conspiracy theories…

Actually, before and between these dates there have been myriad predictions for the end of the world. And now in 2015 we see a rising conspiracy theory that the Apocalypse will come on Sep. 23, 2015.

The Case from Daniel 9 for the Predicted Apocalypse Sep 23, 2015

The 70 weeks passage in Daniel 9:24-27 seems to be the Biblical connection people point to for most of the prophecies being made about Sep 23, 2015:

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

There are various ways people arrive at this date based on this passage – each with its own justification, and each with its own problems Biblically:

  • 7 “weeks” (49 360-day years) from the Six-Days War (June 7, 1967) – this is Isaac Newton’s prophecy. It seems strange that these 7 “weeks” would be a partial repeat from the fulfilled prophecy in Daniel. 9/23/15 is correct arithmetic for 49×360 days after 6/7/67, but there is nothing in the Bible to show that the prophecy should be partially re-activated in our times. Also the 7 weeks is the initial period of the Daniel prophecy not the end.
  • 1 “week” (7 years) after Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is problematic because he was given the award on 10/9/09, only 6 years ago. a full “week” (7 years) would actually end on 9/2/16.
  • Jubilee years – some people claim that there is a count of Jubilee years from the original decree that Jerusalem’s wall be rebuilt to 9/23/2015, but this would be far short of 70 weeks and more like 49.2 Jubilees since the decree (2460 years). 49 is a symbolic Biblical number for sure, but the decree is the key milestone in the prophecy, and it is only referenced in this passage, which uses 70, not 49.

The True Meaning, and Prophetic Power, of Daniel 9

All of the citations being used to support the Sep. 23, 3015 Apocalypse date are misuses of what is actually an amazing passage of fulfilled prophecy about the coming and death of Christ. The 7 + 62 “weeks” are 483 years. Artaxerxes’ decree that the Jerusalem wall be rebuilt occurred in 445 BC (Neh. 2), which is exactly 483 years from 30 AD when Christ was crucified – Daniel’s prophecy fulfilled that the Messiah would be “cut off”.

People have different understandings of the 70th “week” of the prophecy, but I believe that the prediction that “the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” was definitely fulfilled when Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD.

For hundreds of years this prophecy was stored in the scrolls of the Hebrew Scriptures without anyone fully understanding it.  For generations it was copied over and over again, and read at the synagogues, without the Hebrews understanding it in full.  Only when Christ came and was crucified did this passage’s full original meaning become clear.  It is a beautiful example of the divinity of Holy Scripture, and it does not need a re-activation or double meaning in the 21st century.

The Circular Reasoning that the “Elites” Know, But Can’t Say Much

There are dots being connected by people in other ways trying to point to 9/23/15, showing that the elites know it’s coming, but without any explanation of how they would have been informed (aliens? special revelation from God just to the powerful of the world?)

One incident in particular seems to have sparked the entire Sep 23 2015 conspiracy theory – the French Prime Minister claiming that the world had exactly 500 days from May 11, 2014 “to avoid climate chaos”. (Standing right beside him in that press conference, Secretary of State John Kerry certainly gives little hint that the Prime Minister has given away the largest secret in the history of the world – but the conspiracy theorists chalk this up to Kerry’s amazing acting abilities…)

In addition to a climate-related cause, other popular causes cited for the upcoming end of the world are an asteroid/”wormwood” event, Iran nuclear Armageddon, a biological attack or outbreak. There are no specific reasons to believe any of these things would destroy the world, or that any incident on these fronts is expected on a given date, particularly one this far out in time.

Salvation is Mentioned By Some Prognosticators, but it is the Armageddon that Gets the Attention

There is one message that many of these Youtube Experts are passing that I agree with, that we need to be saved by Christ in order to avoid ultimate/spiritual death. And while the conspiracy theorist subculture doesn’t need the Gospel any more than any of the rest of us, neither does it need the Gospel less.

Conspiracy Theorists, Please Read the Bible for its Truth, not for the Secret Codes You Imagine!

The Bible is not a code book to be cracked and deciphered, but rather a description of man’s fallen sinful nature, a history of what God did to make a way for us to be saved from that sin, and a set of prophecies – all but one of which have already been fulfilled, like the one in Daniel 9. Those fulfilled prophecies, together with the accurate description of man’s nature, the description of what God does in the hearts of the saved, making us new creations, and how that describes what has happened to us in our own lives, are the absolute proof to believers of the truth of the Bible and everything it says.

The one unfulfilled prophecy in the Word is the return of Christ for final judgment. I do not believe it is coming in September 2015, but only after the gospel has been preached to the entire world and His millennium reign has occurred.

Will September 24th 2015 Bring Dawning Realization? Let’s Pray and Preach the Gospel

If Sep 23rd passes without incident, we can hope that conspiracy buffs might push the ‘Bible code’ theories to the side, and read the Bible for its core truth – that we all have sinned, that we’re selfish liars at heart, and that in God’s justice we all WILL be sent to Hell in final judgment. The Bible makes it clear we cannot ask for forgiveness at His throne, no matter how much “good” we think we’ve done (Matt.7:21-23); we can only be saved if we truly acknowledge and repent of our sin (turn from it), and ask Christ to be our Savior and Lord of our Life – it is only His change in our hearts that will make our repentance real (2 Cor.5:17).

But being realistic, if the long line of embarrassed prophets who’ve been wrong before doesn’t discourage these theories, there is little chance that they will cease on Sep 24, 2015 either. Please join me in praying that at least some eyes are opened with wisdom and discernment though.

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From → Bible, Politics

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