Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's Wrong With Being a 'Date-Setter'?

Thomas Ice has a problem with it. So does Pastor Joseph R. Chambers of Paw Creek Ministries, who asserts that "we are forbidden to set dates."

Oh, really?

I find it interesting that there was a specific date set for Jesus' first coming, and He held the Jews responsible for knowing it. Jesus rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 exactly 483 years TO THE DAY after the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild the city, just as Daniel said.

Brother Ice "supports" his position with scripture:

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Mark 13:32 is an exact parallel.

Matthew 24:42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

Matthew 24:44 "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Matthew 25:13 "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Mark 13:33-37 is a parallel passage.

Acts 1:7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

Sorry, but I see no support here. I see neither a COMMAND nor any prohibition; simply statements of fact that were true when uttered, and applied to those to whom spoken. The fact that they don't know doesn't mean that WE can't know, that we won't find out, or that we are forbidden to search for the answer. Nor do I see a refutation of Amos 3:7

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

David Jeremiah recently pointed out that we probably know more about the book of Daniel than Daniel did. The prophecies concerning the end times were a 'closed book' for much of church history, but these things are for us to know in our time. Mapping current events to Bible prophecy is what the command to "Watch" is all about, and extrapolating to particular windows of time is hardly inappropriate.

I concede that Edgar Whisenant and many others have given themselves black eyes by making predictions that were inaccurate. But it does not logically follow that, because one or a hundred students of the Word make errors in their study, that the rest of us should stop watching and stop warning.

Is a watchman who won't warn any better (or any worse) than a watchman who won't watch?

The king has departed on a long journey. He has given instructions to watch for his return. Does the watchman fulfill his duty by simply reminding the people that the king will return? If he does not know exactly when the king will return, does this excuse him from being at his post?

And if he sees -- off in the distance -- something that indicates the king may be returning, should he announce it? Or should he "wait and see"? If he sees all the signs of the kings approach but does not see the king, should he proclaim it? If he thinks he knows when the king will arrive, should he say so?

Jesus told us to "watch and pray." Just what did He mean by that? Did He really mean "wish and pray" or "hope and pray"? What does "watch" REQUIRE us to be doing?

Perhaps it means watch for the signs that He said would immediately precede His return. If that's true, they why are so many Christians so ignorant of the signs, and so ignorant of what is going on in the world? Are we being .... disobedient?

If we love Him, we are to keep His commandments. Did He command us to "watch"?

I'm a date-setter. I have nothing to gain if I am right, and plenty to lose if I am wrong. But I believe that both current events and prophecy are pointing at Pentecost 2009 as the day of the rapture of the church, and I believe Jesus' command to me to be a watchman REQUIRES that I proclaim my conclusions and how I reached them.

His command also requires some due diligence on the part of those who hear what I have to say.

See you on Saturday.


Watchman7 said...

I agree with you brother. There are definite signs that the Lord is giving to us, BUT only to the ones who are seeking and WATCHING will take heed to the signs and be prepared! So many Christians, like I used to, just put it off to "sometime in the future" and don't ever think about it. But if someone was waiting for a limo to pick them up for a special occasion, they would be probably looking out the window for the car or standing outside with anticipation! That's it! The anticipation of the Bride! Who is so excited for Him to come get her! That is her one desire! She is not busy with anything else, the cares of this world. It is time for the Wedding!!!
Bless you my brother! I am also a Watchman. The Lord revealed to me that is actually what my name Garrett means. I have been telling people to get ready!
Praise the Lord! Come Lord Jesus!

Endtime said...

The problem with datesetters is that they can be wrong and will lose credibility when they're wrong.

In my opinion, it's more important to be found busy ushering people into the kingdom, with a reasonable expectation that Christ could come back in our generation.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you as well Steve!


Let's remember what Grant Jeffrey once wrote:

"Many sincere students of prophecy have previously calculated dates for the fulfilling of these events, only to see the dates come and go, disproving their calculations. The result, of course, is that the world and most Christians tend to ridicule or ignore all prophecy completely. However, this attitude in unjustified. What other area of study, biblical or otherwise, is abandoned because earlier efforts failed to arrive at a complete understanding of the subject? If scholars had abandoned the study of such sciences as geology or physics simply because earlier theories proved to be inaccurate, there would be few scientists and little scientific knowledge today. We learn from the failures as well as the successes of early biblical scholars. We must avoid being dogmatic in setting dates so that we can have an open mind to interpret the data carefully and purposefully. Time alone will reveal whether or not we have correctly understood a specific prophecy. Jesus rebuked the spiritual leaders of Israel for not recognizing the signs of the Messiah's coming, which had been extensively prophesied in the Old Testament. In light of the tremendous number of prophecies regarding 'this generation' and Christ's command to 'Watch,' we should prudently inquire into what Scripture reveals about the timing of these important future events."