Blog note. Occasionally, I post an article or letter written by another Christian that I believe is ‘spot on’ regarding his or her assessment of scripture as applied to prophecy or things of the ‘end times.’ The following is one such article that I think is extremely accurate in terms of how scripture is applied to today’s events, circumstances and the general conditions in our country and on earth. You are welcome to disagree or agree with this person’s assessment and comments. These are not my comments, but I agree with them and feel urged or motivated to share them. As is my practice, I blog and post many articles and ‘proof’ regarding the accuracy of the ‘season’ in which we live and of the unfolding developments which lead to the Tribulation. As a watchman, it is my job to report what I see and apply it to God’s word as provided in scripture. I’m not a theologian or a seminarian. However, my goal is to discern what I see as happening and apply the ‘proof’ of what I see against what God says/said would happen. The amount of ‘proof’ occurring today is astronomical. More so, than I believe any time prior. Other ‘watchmen’ see the same things. We all can’t be wrong. Yes, perhaps some of our interpretations are off, after all we are human. However, God asks some of us to be ‘watchmen’ and to sound a warning or alarm. That time has come. Maybe some in the church will ‘wake up’. Thank you for following my blog. I pray that the Spirit will help you discern these things. Be a “Berean” and research these things yourself. Come to your own conclusion about the truthfulness of these things. Don’t take my word for it. God gave all of us intellect and minds capable of understanding His word and applying it as appropriate. Thank you Mr. Lauer (alittlestrength.com) for sharing your insight and comments. I have shared similar comments in my previous blogs. Today, it takes strength and courage to share the gospel and scripture as it is related to the ‘season’ of the end times and to pose the question to readers regarding the status of their eternal souls. End of note.
One Year On
Mr. Greg Lauer, alittlestrength.com,
OK, let’s have a show of hands. How many of you really thought we would be here to say “Happy First Birthday” to the REV12 sign? All right, you can both put your hands down now. I know for a fact that a substantial percentage of those who understood and embraced the stellar-planetary alignment of September 23, 2017 that confirmed the sign John saw in Revelation 12:1–2 never dreamed we would be here one year on, but here we be. Many assumed the second sign of verses 3–4 would follow in short order and WOOSH, we’d be outta here.
But here we are one year later, and in honor of that one-year anniversary I felt led to share some things from my heart about the current state of affairs one year after what was nothing less than one of the most stunning and compelling stellar-planetary signs God has ever revealed.
Just for fun, I decided to put this article together in the form of an interview with myself. In the remainder of what follows, my imaginary interviewer’s questions and comments will be in purple italics.
Hi, we’re here with Greg Lauer over at A Little Strength on the first anniversary of the Revelation 12 sign, to get his thoughts about what has transpired over the past year, and…
Hey, you know, you should be interviewing one of the heavyweights…
Er, well…those guys were mostly booked solid, so you might say we decided to go for more of a “little guy on the sidelines” approach.
Ah…and yet they cared enough to send their very best.
(Smiling) I was just kidding.
(Laughing) Me too.
OK, so anyway, Greg, it’s been one whole year since the big Revelation 12 sign that so many people were all excited about. Be honest…did you really think the Church would still be here in September of 2018?
I thought it was a definite possibility, as did many others. But it’s true that a number of people were sold on the idea that the Rapture just had to occur on or near that date, and many put out things in support of that idea. Honestly, however, I wasn’t among them. In most of what I wrote about the REV12 sign, I tried to be quite clear that I believed the sign simply heralded the season of the Rapture without pinpointing the date, and so we shouldn’t live in expectation that it would take place on September 23, 2017 or any other particular day, which I believe is unscriptural. And I’m certainly not tooting my own horn here—I’ve got plenty of good company in that regard.
On several occasions I made it quite clear that it caused me no scriptural heartburn at all to see the actual event of the Rapture occurring several years following the REV12 sign. Of course, it’s pointless to emphasize that now because it’s all 20–20 hindsight.
Wait…back up. You just said it’s unscriptural to pin the Rapture to a date. Why is that unscriptural? It sure seemed like an awful lot of people were doing exactly that, pinning their hopes to September 23, 2017.
Yeah, some did, unfortunately. The reason I say that’s unbiblical is mainly due to imminence. The doctrine of imminence is taught so clearly in Scripture that anything that contradicts it must be called into question. The sense that the Rapture could occur at any time runs deep through the New Testament, and in anything I wrote about the REV12 sign, I always took pains to be clear about my adherence to the doctrine of imminence. I tried to emphasize how there was no need to attack that doctrine in order to embrace the sign of 9/23/17 since there was no compelling scriptural reason to assume the sign was in some way indicative of the actual date of the Rapture itself—all that was pure speculation.
Let me be quick to add, however, that the possibility of the Rapture occurring on 9/23/17 couldn’t be discounted until after the fact, and then it was a moot point. Since then everyone’s had an eye out for the second sign.
Speaking of which, I know you wrote a little bit about the second sign of verses 3–4, concerning the Red Dragon, as many people refer to it. In “Right for the Wrong Reasons,” you talk about this strange astronomical object that seemed to resemble a dragon and that was lurking right where Jupiter was going to exit the womb of Virgo, with Jupiter basically going right into its mouth to be “devoured” around October 4–5, 2017. What’s your feeling about that now?
Well, that was just one thing many people were looking at…which was wrong. It was intriguing, but wrong. Understand, however, that we’ve been swimming in a veritable sea of things that are intriguing but wrong for some time now, and I see no reason to believe that will change anytime soon. I think we are stillswimming in a sea of things that look like they might amount to something, but will turn out to be nothing. My thinking at the time (around August 2017) was basically this:
IF that object lurking between the legs of Virgo really is the Red Dragon of verses 3–4, that means the Rapture in verse 5 is next and BAM…we could be outta by around October 5.
In other words, if the two mega-signs of verses 1–4 were both going to be represented by the same stellar-planetary dance at the same general time, then that almost had to be it. But as soon as October 5 came and went and Jupiter proceeded on its merry planetary way (and we were still here), I knew that wasn’t it.
At that point I knew for sure that the second sign was completely separate from the first, regardless of what that second sign might ultimately look like (assuming there even is an astronomical confirmation of the second sign). I knew God had only revealed the first sign, and the second is still a question mark one year later.
In retrospect, however, that makes perfect scriptural sense. After all, verses 1–4 are not one sign, they are two signs. Even though they flow together in the text of Scripture, coming back to back the way they do, notice that John says in verse 3 “Then another sign appeared in heaven (another like the first),” clearly suggesting that the second sign is separate and distinct from the first, and that the second sign is not a mere continuation of the same stellar-planetary scenario of the first.
And one year later we all know that’s true. Speaking of the second sign, do you believe there will be an astronomical confirmation of the second sign of verse 3–4, as there was for the first? Are we going to see the Red Dragon?
I lean toward the fact that we will, but I’m not out there pushing it or actively scouring the skies for it in Stellarium. Like most people, I assumed there would be an astronomical confirmation of the second sign for a long time, but now…here we are one year later and all we have are a bunch of various people’s theories. It’s been like the Stellarium Derby to see who’s going to be the steely-eyed stud who spots the Red Dragon first, and so there is no shortage of speculative conjectures to choose from.
But that’s the problem—it’s the proliferation of such theories and the lack of widespread acceptance of any particular one of them that discourages me from taking any of them too seriously. This is absolutely nothing like what it was for the first sign. Ever since Lu Vega first spotted the alignment of Revelation 12:1–2 back in 2008 and it started to get out into the public arena by 2011, that was IT. There were essentially no competing theories—for five or six years, it was all eyes on the alignment of 9/23/17. Even though some “got it” and some didn’t, it was the only game in town.
One of the downsides of that, however, at least in my opinion, was that it got an awful lot of people comfortable with the idea of having a big, fat DATE to look forward to. Looking back now, it strikes me that many people were slowly turning into date junkies, and this phenomenon really began to manifest itself after that big, fat DATE passed in spectacularly uneventful fashion, and legions of people who had so anxiously looked forward to the Rapture occurring on or around 9/23/17 craved another fix to see them through. So, some of the cowboys who had catered to that craving for the previous five or six years suddenly had to scramble to pin down one new speculative date after another to satisfy them, and in so doing desperately try to retain some semblance of their fading cachet as REV12 gurus.
Ooh, snark alert…down, boy.
Sorry. In contrast to the first sign, today it seems like everybody who knows how to download Stellarium has a theory about what the Red Dragon might be or when it might be revealed (and to listen to some people, you’d think that if you haven’t cast your lot with one such theory or another, you’re a sorry excuse for a “watchman”).
Keep in mind that these two signs John saw in Revelation 12:1–2 and 3–4 are the only two signs in the entire Bible called “great signs,” or in the Greek semeion mega—literally “mega-signs.” That should tell us something right there. The first of these was confirmed with stunning, once-in-human-history precision on September 23, 2017. So there’s the $64,000 question:
- Why wouldn’t the second sign also have an astronomical confirmation?
On the one hand, part of me has a really hard time accepting the idea that it doesn’t. But on the other hand, part of me argues:
Why should it? Wasn’t the first sign enough?! How many signs do we need that the season of the Rapture is finally upon us? What does God have to do, put a flashing neon sign in the sky?
Because that’s just about what the first sign was. It was thunderingly clear and compelling…there was just no getting around it. I mean, even the most ambitious efforts to debunk it just bounced off it like Nerf balls off the USS Nimitz. Every critic who attacked it ended up looking like a misinformed clown—and there were hordes of them, content to keep tossing out the same tired old canards, not one of which held a thimbleful of water. It was almost comical. Even some reputable ministers and celebrity authors jumped on the bandwagon and made themselves look like complete fools in the run-up to 9/23/17.
Of course, even though only a comparatively small percentage of the REV12 community was claiming the Rapture would actually occur on 9/23/17, after it didn’t happen the entire REV12 community was marginalized even more than they already were and the clowns all walked away feeling vindicated.
No names, OK?
No names—got it. In response to your question, however, let me say this: There may well be an astronomical confirmation of the second sign—the Red Dragon may be out there somewhere. I admit it seems likely to me in many ways. But if and when God chooses to reveal it, I think it has to be as clear and compelling as the first sign on 9/23/17. John called them both mega-signs, and that means we have every reason to expect the second to be as mega as the first…and the first was really mega.
I want to shift gears a little and talk about what has been happening since last September. How would you characterize what has been going on in the Revelation 12 community over the past year? Uhm…why are you smiling?
Sorry, it’s just that this is a question I was dreading.
Because it raises some fundamental issues I have struggled with over the last year or two.
I mean fundamental stuff, like what the Bible really means when it tells us to “watch.” This has been hard for me, because a lot of the activity I have seen during the past year, in my brutally honest opinion, doesn’t square with what I see as the Bible’s definition of “watching.”
I know in your article “Watch is the Word” you came down hard on the lunatic fringe, but in the end you seemed to be at peace with those who put forth reasonable, biblically based speculation—even if specific dates are mentioned, as they frequently are. I know you have great respect for some in that latter group—do you think some of them might have been put off by your remarks?
I do. In fact, I suspect some didn’t even read that article all the way to the end. They probably felt I was attacking them in the first few pages and blew off the rest…and promptly scratched me off their Christmas card list. In fact, I actually re-wrote the last page or two of that article a couple of days after I posted it because I was afraid my original remarks might be interpreted as a rebuke to anyone who speculates about the Rapture at all, and that was not my intention.
But it’s true that I’ve had my problems with what I refer to as “date-seeking,” or folks blatantly trying to pinpoint the day of the Rapture, and hyping and sensationalizing specific dates. You know what I’m talking about…they get a lot of people all fired up over a specific date for reasons based on some astronomical event or some conjunction of events or some Jewish feast day or some intriguing pattern of whatever, and generate as much buzz as possible that this might be the Rapture! Then they quietly slap the requisite disclaimer on it that they’re not setting dates.
But consider this: Some might argue that Jesus chided the Jews for not knowing the season of the First Advent. He expected them to know that He was in fact their Messiah by recognizing the fulfillment of prophecy and by watching real world events, and so they insist there’s no fundamental difference between that and us trying to figure out the day of the Rapture.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I think there is a valid point to be made at the end of the trail.
Yeah, God did expect the Jews to recognize the arrival of their Messiah, or the “time of their visitation.” For example, Genesis 49:10 says:
10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
(Genesis 49:10 AKJV)
The Jews understood this to mean the Messiah had to come while Israel still held its judicial sovereignty. But when Roman Procurator Caponius took charge in AD 6–7, the Jews lost the right to enforce capital punishment. That’s why they had to get the Romans to crucify Jesus about 25 or so years later—the Jews no longer had the legal authority. The scepter had departed from Judah, and they knew it. I’ve read that when Caponius took the reins of power, old men sat in the streets of Jerusalem and wept because the Messiah was nowhere in sight—they knew God’s Word could not be broken, so they assumed God had cut them off and abandoned them for the nation’s disobedience and idolatry.
Little did they know, however, that at that very moment there was a young boy named Yeshua helping His father in his workshop in a little one-camel town called Nazareth, about 65 miles to the north.
Shiloh had come.
There were other things, too. The point is that the Jews could have and should have known the time of the Messiah’s arrival two thousand years ago. So, some people muse, why shouldn’t we be able to figure out the timing of the Messiah’s catching us away in the harpazo? Why shouldn’t we be knocking ourselves out trying to pinpoint the date of the Rapture?
As many people are trying their best to do these days…
But think about this for a moment. The First Advent is prophesied in many places throughout the Old Testament—they really should have known. The Rapture, along with the very existence of the Church itself, were both mysteries that were not prophesied in the Old Testament, and were only revealed a couple of decades after Christ’s earthly ministry.
So it’s apples and oranges…
In my opinion, yes. It’s pretty clear to me that we cannot look at the Jews being expected to recognize the timing of the First Advent and automatically apply the same principle to the Church and the Rapture. But there’s more.
Consider: Does God ever say anywhere in His Word that the timing of the First Advent was not for Israel to know? Does He ever say that it’s information that He placed under His own authority? No! He expected the Jews to know when their Messiah would come.
But that’s exactly what Jesus told His disciples about the kingdom just before He ascended back to heaven 40 days after the Resurrection. All the disciples knew was Messiah equals kingdom, and so they were grilling Him about the timing of its establishment:
6Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7He said to them, “It isn’t for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority.”
Jesus told them the timing of the Millennial Kingdom was not for them to know, because the Father had set these things under His own authority. And just to be clear: That means we will never figure it out in advance with a high degree of certainty. Now, think:
Jesus told us point blank that we will never figure out in advance the exact timing of the Millennial Kingdom. But if that’s true for the Millennial Kingdom, where does that leave us in regard to the Rapture?
In light of this, how on earth can you suppose the timing of the Rapture is for us to know? Do you actually believe that although the timing of the Millennial Kingdom is under wraps, we can figure out the day of the Rapture? Really? I’m sorry, but that’s absurd. It’s clear that these major end-time events are sequential, with the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom being the last in the key series of events in question. But if we’ll never know the exact timing of the last one, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever know the exact timing of any of them.
But we’ll see these events approaching when the time comes, right?
Oh sure, definitely. As we pay attention to the fulfillment of prophecy and the how the prophetic scenario is coming together as outlined in Scripture, we will certainly see these things coming. Anybody with a lick of biblical sense can see that we’re getting excitingly close to the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom…the whole shootin’ match. I mean, the REV12 sign was just the icing on the cake—all you have to do is open your eyes and take a look around.
God never said He was going to keep us completely in the dark—He told us to watch, and that means there are things to watch for. He just said He had placed the details of the timing of these major events under His own authority. The bottom line is that we’re not gonna figure out the day of the Rapture in advance.I can’t say it any more plainly.
But what about people who claim Jesus was only talking to His disciples? In other words, they claim Jesus really meant that it just wasn’t for those 12 guys standing in front of Him to know…so modern believers will be able to figure out the exact timing of things like the Rapture.
Yeah, I’ve read some of those arguments, and I don’t think they hold any water. One common interpretive error is to make grammatical or lexical decisions in regard to specific words or phrases within a passage that tease a certain meaning out of it, but a meaning that ignores the broader context of the passage. My response to those people is short and sweet:
Context is king.
It seems that to some people this is just an old cliché, but it’s much more than that. This is the guardrail on the winding road of biblical interpretation. Ignore it, and you’re liable to go plunging off a cliff.
There is nothing whatsoever in the context of that passage that suggests Jesus only meant the timing of the kingdom was not for His 12 disciples to know, but somehow would be known by one future generation of believers. You’ve got to read that meaning into the passage wholesale, and that’s exactly what people do.
But think for a second. Jesus knew the Millennial Kingdom was in the distant future, so what difference did it make to the disciples? Why didn’t Jesus just go ahead and level with them? Why didn’t He just say, “Hey, it’s coming some day, so don’t worry about it.” Why the secrecy? Why all the cloak and dagger? If God sovereignly decided to keep it from the disciples, what makes you think He’s planning to divulge it to the last generation of believers? Why would He do that? Because we’re so smart or so special? Because we’ve got cool software programs like Stellarium? Oh, or because we need to know these things? Listen, I’ve got a news flash for everyone:
We don’t need to know the date of the Rapture!
End of story. Deal with it, get over it, and move on. In fact, God didn’t have to reveal the mystery of the Rapture itself to the apostle Paul to begin with, much less its precise timing. God was under no obligation whatsoever to inform us that one fine day we would be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. He could have just kept it to Himself and saved it as a big surprise. But He didreveal it to us, and He did that so it would be a purifying hope that would motivate us to be watchful—both in terms of watching our spiritual lives as well as watching the fulfillment of end-time prophecy and signs of the times. In my opinion, that’s one of the most obvious reasons God wisely chose to never reveal the date of the Rapture to us in the first place:
If He did, the blessed hope would morph into something radically different from what He intended it to be—it would become something that would have a hysterical Church bouncing off the walls.
You think there’s contention and division in the Church over the doctrine of the Rapture now? I can scarcely imagine the chaos that would result if God actually attempted to definitively reveal the date of the Rapture to the Church at some point. I can see it now—”Prophecy Posses” on the loose, trying to burn people at the stake for witchcraft.
I can almost believe that. I know there were high-profile ministers who accused those who embraced the REV12 sign of practicing astrology, of all things, which the Bible condemns as a form of divination—punishable by death under the Law of Moses. I mean, how deeply into the bowels of cluelessness can a minister of the gospel sink?
No names, OK?
No names—got it.
That’s just it—that’s how a lot of otherwise solid, sincere believers react the moment something nudges them a little bit outside their comfort zone. They can’t handle it—jerk goes the knee, and their hair bursts into flames.
But in regard to us figuring out the day of the Rapture, my point is this:
I wish someone could explain to me how the idea of us being able to figure out the day of the Rapture squares with the idea of God telling us that it’s not for us to know, that He has placed it under His own authority, and that its imminence is to be a purifying hope for believers for the duration of the Church Age.
It just doesn’t add up.
I think one thing that is driving people to continue trying to spot out the day of the Rapture is the simple fact that there really is a preponderance of clues and signs out there. The REV12 sign on 9/23/17 was just the most spectacular and most widely studied and disseminated. But no matter how you slice it, there aremany other signs and events that point clearly to the nearness of the Rapture and the ensuing Tribulation. My point is that if you are against what you refer to as “date-seeking,” what do you expect people to do with all of that? Ignore it all? Just turn a blind eye to it? I’m not trying to nail you to the wall or anything, but I know that’s a question that will be running through the minds of some people.
It’s OK, I get it. And I’m glad you asked me that because I have struggled and sought the Lord’s guidance on this issue on and off over the past year or so, and I honestly feel as though the Holy Spirit has led me to a place of peace about it. Of course, this is my place of peace—you’ve gotta find your own.
First off, you’re absolutely right. We are seeing a flood of clues and signs and various things here and there that are coming together and screaming “Rapture—dead ahead!” Only those with their eyes wide shut are not cognizant of this. As for me, I have come to look at it in the following way.
Jesus said in Acts 1:7 that the precise timing of the kingdom (along with other major end-time events) was not for us to know, and that the Father had placed this information under His own authority. To me, that clearly means that we are never going to figure out the day of the Rapture. End of conversation. Now, if someone wants to interpret that verse differently, more power to them. They’ll get no argument from me—but that’s how this old Illinois boy interprets it.
Now, since on the one hand we really are seeing many clues and signs that speak to the nearness of the impending Rapture and Tribulation, and on the other hand Jesus clearly said that we’ll never figure out the dates of these things, that suggests to me the following:
God has buried the exact timing of these events in
an ocean of red herrings and a hayfield of false leads.
That’s how God placed it under His own authority—that’s how He has kept us and will continue to keep us from figuring it out. He hasn’t tried to keep signs and clues from us—just the opposite. He has inundated us with them! Now, don’t misunderstand me—I don’t necessarily mean red herrings and false leads in the negative sense, as if God were actively trying to deceive us in some way. I’m not trying to suggest God is being disingenuous with us. I’m just saying that He has overwhelmed us with such an abundance of signs and clues that we’ll never figure it out in our little finite pea-brains, that’s all.
9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I am convinced that this applies to the timing of the major eschatological events as much as it does anything else. His thoughts are higher than ours—burying the precise timing of the Rapture and other major end-time events in an avalanche of signs is a walk in the park for the God who spoke the universe into existence.
Well, what about people who point to Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” to justify trying to “search out” the date of the Rapture?
Yeah, I’ve had that one thrown at me a few times. That’s a general statement, but it doesn’t apply to the exact timing of the Rapture specifically because of what Christ said in Acts 1:7. God drew a line, and I believe He drew it for our own good. And misapplying Proverbs 25:2 forces you to cross that line.
But this abundance of signs and clues…I believe that’s why when people see one sign or one astronomical event or one pattern and excitedly assume it must be giving us a big, fat clue as to the day of the Rapture and eagerly announce to others the latest high-watch date, they are probably not seeing the other 900 or so signs and clues that shade, complement, intersect with, augment, inform, or otherwise come into play in conjunction with it, and in this way God is easily able to keep the exact date of the Rapture hidden from the steely gaze of the sharpest Stellarium studs out there. Seriously…ask yourself:
How hard do you think that is for God?
I’ll let Scripture answer that one:
27Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
(Jeremiah 32:27 AKJV)
So Jesus was being totally serious when He said it wasn’t for us to know…
You bet He was. And if I had my way, more people out there trying to play Pin the Tail on the Harpazo would come to realize this.
But back to your question: What are we supposed to do with the cornucopia of signs and clues that the Rapture is drawing palpably near?
This is the part I struggled with, and how I put it to rest in my own spirit.
I know a lot of people out there are excited about the Rapture—I know I sure am, and some are searching the skies for more astronomical signs like that of 9/23/17, and are scouring the horizon for other events and patterns and clues as to the possible timing of the Rapture. I get that.
But I don’t need that.
Now, please understand: I’m not trying to sound super-spiritual or any such thing, and anyone who knows me knows that. I’m just saying—I know that the Rapture is imminent, I know that it’s drawing close, and I know that no one will ever figure out the date in advance.
I know these things—and I want others to know them, too.
And that’s enough for me. I don’t need a red-alert high-watch date to maintain my interest or enthusiasm in regard to the Rapture. That blessed hope burns within me on a daily basis, and it makes me want to live in a manner pleasing to the Lord so that when the Rapture does occur—as I know it will, I won’t be ashamed at His coming—as I fear some may.
But at the same time, I am not going to sit here and wag a bony, self-righteous finger at anyone who speculates about the date of the Rapture—whether they are part of the lunatic fringe or true watchmen doing what God called and gifted them to do. It is not my place to do that. God gave us brains and expects us to think, and He gave us curiosity and expects us to inquire. It is not wrong to speculate about the Rapture, even if it involves the mention of specific dates. No, we don’t know the date for certain, and we never will.
Every day should be a
if it’s not, it’s time
to ask yourself why.
But for me personally, drooling over the latest high-watch date is little more than a distraction. Obsessing over every eclipse and scrutinizing the timing of every Feast of Trumpets…I’m sorry, but I just don’t find these things edifying. I don’t find these things helpful in my walk with the Lord. I’m not saying there’s anything wrongwith these things, but I just don’t need this kind of stuff to motivate me to remain in a state of watchful expectation for the Rapture, which brings me to a point that is liable to step on a few toes (as if I haven’t already):
If you really do have a deep, aching need for a high-watch date and the all the speculative baggage that comes with it to keep your interest in the Rapture all stoked up, perhaps instead of a high-watch date you are in need an hour-of-prayer date to assess the current condition of your spiritual life.
If it doesn’t apply to you, duck and let it hit the person behind you.
So, to answer your question in one paragraph, let me say this:
I am perfectly content to let people jump all over every event out there of perceived significance for an inside track on the date of the Rapture, in spite of the fact that they will never figure it out. I have made my private peace with all of that. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying it’s not edifying to me personally. Now, if anyone’s high-watch date turns out to be right, to God be the glory—but somehow I don’t see that person getting a lot of high-fives in heaven. As for me, I am content to remain focused on obeying the Word and watching in the biblical sense, which means to (a) keep my spiritual life in good condition by striving to live in a manner pleasing to the Lord and staying in fellowship with Him, and (b) observe the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the congealing of the prophetic scenario as outlined in the pages of God’s Word to maintain a sense of how close we may be to the Rapture. Plus, God has revealed the confirmation of the sign of Revelation 12:1–2, which strongly suggests that the general season of the Rapture is upon us. And if God does reveal the second sign, that’s just more icing on the cake. That’s it—that’s where it ends for me. Every day should be a high-watch day—and if it’s not, it’s time to ask yourself why.
I see you’re keeping that world-class snarky streak of yours in check…
Thank you for noticing.
Of course, you know that’s not what a lot of people want to hear today—it seems as if all anyone wants to hear is somebody’s latest theory in support of yet another Rapture date to hang their hats on, or someone’s in-depth astronomical analysis concerning the possible identity of the Red Dragon of Revelation 12:3–4, and so on and so forth. You know, it doesn’t sound to me like you’re trying to dish out heapin’ helpings of warm, fuzzy, feel-good here. Those sound like the words of someone who is determined to remain in relative obscurity, if you know what I mean.
Hey, I am—and I have no doubt that I will. That’s where I thrive. My brief fling with “popularity” last year gave me nosebleeds—I just don’t think I’m cut out for that kind of thing. Obscurity is the only place where I can feel at ease to call ’em like I see ’em with little regard for popular opinions, and be comfortable enough to say what I feel needs to be said even if people I genuinely love and respect get their toes stepped on just a wee bit. The day I can’t do that, that’s the day I’m wasting everybody’s time.
So I was right all along with that “little guy on the sidelines” remark…
Yep. Little Guy on the Sidelines…that’s me.
All right then. So tell me, Mr. Little Guy on the Sidelines, do you think we’ll be here for the second anniversary of the Revelation 12 sign?
It wouldn’t surprise me, because we can never really know how things will play out. And that reminds me—one last point, and I promise I’ll make this brief…
You? Brief? This I gotta see.
I frequently hear people confidently affirm that the Rapture just has to happen in the next year or two or whatever because prophecy has a shelf life, didn’t ya know. Like some certain scenario that exists today won’t exist in another year or two—things will change.
Well yeah, but isn’t there some truth to that?
Perhaps to some extent, but not as much as some people seem to think, in my honest opinion. The problem is that whatever shelf life there is to any prophetic scenario often depends on future events that we don’t see coming—but God does. So, yes, there is a shelf life to prophecy—and that shelf life is precisely what a sovereign, omniscient God has determined it to be, and not a day more or a day less. And the simple truth is that we highly non-omniscient human beings don’t have the faintest idea what that shelf life may be.
I see what you mean: We never really know for sure exactly how things are going to work out, but God does.
Right, so this “shelf life” idea is little more than a man-made device used to get people all hepped up and salivating over how soon the Rapture just has to occur—and I positively cringe every time I hear somebody say it.
I think that was pretty brief.
I’m impressed. Speaking of “how soon”…how soon do you see the Rapture occurring? You’re smiling again.
You know better than to ask me that. But I guess it’s a valid question for anyone who studies end-time prophecy and is generally aware of what is happening in the prophetic arena.
To be honest, I tend to go long—maybe it’s just my nature. I have no serious problem seeing the Rapture occurring six or eight years from now, even a decade or more. After all, the REV12 sign of 2017 was a sign we are entering the season of the Rapture, and not one of us knows how long that season may be. All we know at this point is that apparently it’s more than one year. Two years? Seven years? Hey, seven is one of God’s favorite numbers. Could the season be that long? Sure it could. Note that I’m not saying that because I seriously think it will, I’m saying that because we don’t know. But at the same time, my inner realist is looking at what’s going down and is poking me in the ribs saying:
“A decade?! Whaddya, kiddin’ me?! Get outta here with that…open your eyes, dude! We’re talkin’ another year or two, tops!”
But neither do I have any trouble seeing us being a matter of days away from it—it’s reached the point where things can come together and escalate with that kind of lightning rapidity.
I’m sorry…I know that’s pretty much a non-answer, but that’s how I feel about it. I know it could be today, and I know it could possibly even be a decade from now. But I figure, hey, why not just keep things simple, obey God’s Word, and live like it’s that first thing?
So there you have it, sports fans. You heard it here first: The Rapture could occur anytime in the next decade. I guess I had that coming.
I guess you did.
OK, any closing comments for our readers?
Just one. When Jews all over the world celebrate the Passover Seder, the very last line spoken is traditionally “Next year in Jerusalem!” So…
Next year at the Bema!
Greg Lauer — 2018/#9
Credits for Graphics (in order of appearance):
1. Deriv. of “Sunset Over Grass Field” © AOosthuizen at Can Stock Photo
2. “Celebration of the First Year” © OlegDoroshin at Fotolia.com
3. Based on “Dragon” © Lenan at Fotolia.com
4. Based on “Funny Clown” © Elnur at Fotolia.com
5. “Biker Rides on Coastal Road” © aquatarkus at Fotolia.com
6. “Needle in a Haystack” © photka at Fotolia.com
All Scripture is taken from the World English Bible, unless annotated as KJV (King James Version) or AKJV (American King James Version).