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Date Setting Hypocrisy

 

Mark 13:32 

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."

People seem to like to play God. There are those over the years who have date set for the Rapture and/or the return of Christ and declared various people as the anti-Christ. Over and over these people have been proven wrong.  There are those who claim to be God's prophets today, like Michael Rood, or claim to have the 'gift of prophecy' and yet disobediently set dates which they believe God has shown them for the time of the rapture or return of Christ. 

The dates have come and gone, yet these people continue and will continue to falsely lay out other dates they believe God has also given them. And those whose faith was not shipwrecked by these false claims, will either recognize the false teaching and distance themselves, or continue in the same error. God's Word sets the parameters on whether a prophecy is true and whether the idea came from Him.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

1 John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

If what is spoken as a prophecy or by those claiming the gift of prophecy, is against or contrary to the Word of God, we are reminded why.

Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Jeremiah 23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD...31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

Ezekiel 13:3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

This article is not about the validity of the rapture, but rather, the un-Biblical practice of date setting the return of Christ.

How many souls will be shipwrecked because they believed this un- Scriptural pastime? 

The most recent date setting that we've seen personally came from the Watch Unto Prayer site, February 21, 2002, which set the date of the Rapture for March 31, 2002 and the beginning of the Tribulation for April 1st. Those who believed it, might wish to consider why April 1st is a celebrated event. 

The presentation of the dates was set up with such statements as, "...we've found that few Christians understand the real conspiracy.  The end-time disinformation campaign is deliberate and well-planned.  We think it is safe to say that most Christians haven't a clue; they may *think* they know, but the sad fact is most have fallen prey to disinformation agents.   It has been our hope that this report would undo some of the damage by putting Christians in possession of obscure but crucial information ... Many trusted discernment and prophecy *ministries* are really fronts for the New Age --- a vast mind control operation that has been put in place to deliver large numbers of unsuspecting Christians to the one world religion of the Antichrist... Their immediate objective is to condition the masses of Christendom to accept a *false* Antichrist, a *false* False Prophet, a *false* Mark of the Beast, a *false* Abomination of Desolation, a *false* Millennial Temple, a *false* Armageddon, and many other counterfeits...Because the deception is already well advanced and false information embedded in the minds of many Christians, *Heeding Bible Prophecy* requires a careful and thoughtful reading " [Bolding, underlining added]

Couching the date setting in the word "projected," the dates were indeed set, by saying "We chose.".

"This timetable is based on a *projected* rapture of the Church on Easter of this year - March 31, 2002 - and onset of the Tribulation Period the following day, April 1.  We chose Easter because it is the day of the Lord's resurrection and the Church is His body.  We are not date-setting, but in our research have made some amazing discoveries. For example, should the Tribulation begin on April 1 of this year, the mid-point of the Tribulation period, at which time the two witnesses are killed, falls precisely on September 11, 2005.  Other high points of the Tribulation as foretold in Scripture just happen to coincide with important occult feasts and the New Age calendar of events in 2005. "

Most won't realize, but, these given rapture dates were on top of many previous rapture dates declared privately by Barb Aho and Jan Moser, that have come and gone over the last few years. May 5, 2000, dates in June of that same year and so on resulted in their total disappointment and disbelief that their correct  'calculations' were wrong. 

When presenting the belief of the March 31 and April 1 dates, although a disclaimer was included that they weren't date setting--a clear contradiction --- Matthew 25:1-13 was included as well as,

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Matthew 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

What was clearly neglected was an understanding of the above verse and other correlating verses.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
...44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;...
...50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

Our response to those previous false dates and the current fetish of playing God--has the Rapture taken place? Did God say we would know the day He would return? The Scriptures are very clear on this issue of date setting. There is nothing up for debate. It was stated repeatedly that only the Father Knows and no one will know the day or the hour. It doesn't get much clearer than that. 

If only the Father Knows, and no one will be privy to the the DAY or the HOUR---how arrogant for any to proclaim any date as THE day. The time of Christ's return will be at a moment, day and hour when no one will think it to be, and those who say otherwise are revealing that we're dealing with their false prophecy. You think a date--that negates it according to the very TRUE Word of God. It's not based on whimsical calculations or plotting's or guesses, but inspired by God Himself.

The Scriptures cannot lie, but people can and do. To pretend one doesn't believe one's own  "projected" date is nonsense. One doesn't lay down a Timeline and draw those conclusions without believing them to be true. One doesn't set oneself up as having the truth and all others confused, deceived or deceivers without believing one has the inside track to truth. That incidentally, is where gnostic doctrine springs from. Believing you hold the truth or knowledge no one else is privy to. There are definitely many who are snared and deceived, but it is not left to one websites shoulders to be the only ones to hold answers through the presentation of  "obscure" truth, which came from occult sources. The truth is found in God's Word, which all are privy to, and it is not obscure.

Christians are warned and reprimanded to be always ready and to be looking forward to Christ's return, but we in no wise are privy to something that Jesus himself said only the Father knows. If we're obediently going about the Master's business, we won't be taken unawares, simply because we are looking forward to the fulfilled promise of His return. God said, 'be ye ready, for in such an hour as ye think not."  He was talking to believers, not non-Christians in that verse. No date setting is necessary or advocated. He will come as a thief in the night--and no thief announces the time of his arrival. 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall show
, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Jesus also said there would signs revealing that the last days were indeed upon us, but he didn't date it. Nor should we, and waste our time attempting to do so. Our focus is to be about the Master's business, edifying each other, sharing Christ and learning to be Biblically obedient.

One merely has to look at some of the other Biblically disobedient and false prophecies, by people such as Chuck Smith, to know that this date setting pastime is a common occurrence. 

Chuck Smith has stated words that are in agreement with the Biblical truth of no one knowing the day or the hour of Christ's return. In fact he has condemned those who do date set to be false prophets.  

"So Jesus is saying that no man knows the day, or the hour, only the father. So that anyone who presumes to know the day or the hour is making an unbiblical presumption. But there are many people who try to explain away," this, no man knows the day or the hour," and try to proclaim that they do know the day or the hour. But they fall in that category of false prophets."
[
Matthew 23-24 (5189) >http://www.calvarychapel.org/library/smith-chuck/studies-books/00-ALL-1979/5189-frame.htm]

In the book "Dateline Earth: Countdown to Eternity," (1989) on page 26, Chuck Smith criticized Edgar Wisenant for predicting Jesus would return in September, 1988, although he doesn't name him.  "A well-meaning Christian wrote a well-publicized book in which he explained why the rapture would occur in September 1988 . He had 88 reasons to support his contention, and backed up his claims by the fact that the was a former NASA engineer, accustomed to solving complicated mathematical mysteries. He was certainly well-intentioned --- including about his revised prediction of September 1989, when September 1988 came and went --- but he was also dead wrong."

That sounds a lot like the Watch Unto Prayer email and their "Timeline" and reasoning for the 'projected' March 31/April 1 date, which also was proven dead wrong. As were their prior calculations.

On the same page, Smith also wrote about the Jehovah's Witnesses:

The Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, thought the world was sure to end in 1914. When it didn't happen, they merely moved the date up a few years...In more recent times, the Witnesses picked 1975 as the year...'

On page 27 he states, "Anyone who presumes to give a specific date must be regarded with skepticism...Jesus Himself said that when He returns He will come like a thief in the night--but because of all the erroneous predictions and false prophets, there will be many who will disregard the legitimate signs of His coming."

Yet in typical hypocritical fashion, on page 35 of "End Times" (1978), written ten years prior to his Dateline Earth,  Chuck Smith proclaimed, "I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the Tribulation period lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for His Church any time before the Tribulation starts, which would mean any time before 1981. (1948 + 40 - 7 = 1981)."

Chuck Smith had taught that Jesus would return by May of 1981 in a number of his books and messages. When the May prediction failed the date was moved to December 31, 1981. Obviously the predictions were proven false, although many had believed with him and many remained with his Biblical disobedience.

In his book Future Survival, again from 1978 and published by Word for Today, on  page 17 Chuck Smith wrote, "We're the generation that saw the fig tree bud forth, as Israel became a nation again in 1948. As a rule, a generation in the Bible lasts 40 years. ... Forty years after 1948 would bring us to 1988."

On pages 20-21,  Smith expounded that, "From my understanding of biblical prophecies, I'm convinced that the Lord is coming for His Church before the end of 1981. I could be wrong, but its a deep conviction in my heart, and all my plans are predicated upon that belief...The Lord said that towards the end of the Tribulation period the sun would scorch men who dwell upon the face of the earth. (Rev. 16). The year 1986 would fit just about right. " [Bolding, underline added]

He doesn't end the hypocritical and false theology there. On Page 49, "...one of the reasons I believe that man has come to the end of his time is the rebirth of the nation Israel....So, the rebirth of the nation Israel marks the final generation of man upon the earth in this present order...."

Prior to those predictions, Smith's 1976 book, Snatched Away, defined that a generation related to the "generation that was living in May of 1948 shall not pass until the second coming of Jesus Christ takes place and the kingdom of God be established upon the earth." p. 23.

Like many other false prophets, Smith changed the 1948 generation date to 1967 and then proceeded to expound that the year 2000 had to be the date for the rapture. In his 1978 book End Times, Smith allows for the change of date by saying, "However, it is possible that Jesus is dating the beginning of the generation from 1967, when Jerusalem was again under Israeli control for the first time since 587 B.C. We don't know for sure which year actually marks the beginning of the last generation." [pp35-36]

According to a former adherent to Calvary Chapel, on a December 1996 Radio program, Smith denied ever setting a date. 

"A caller to the To Every Man An Answer radio program on KWVE, on 12-27-96 asked Chuck Smith a question about date setting and Calvary Chapel.

... at some point there was a prediction of Christ's return via Calvary Chapel - is that real; some years ago? is that; did that happen?

Smith responded with:

No. Uh, never, we all, we do believe he's going to return soon, and, uh, but, and but never any date. No. No. No. Never any date. Because no man knows the day or the hour. I believe he's going to come this next year, but [laughter] you know..." [CC >http://members.tripod.com/ccfuaq/cc2ndcom.htm]

Since the date setting was publicly published in printed books, we know that to deny the date setting is wrong. That same article relates the following very sad information. 

"Chuck Smith was out of town Sunday Morning, 22 June 1997. In his place was David Hocking. From the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa pulpit on David Hocking admitted that:

"I was in a conference in New York with Dave Hunt recently and he said something very provocative about the lack of interest in prophecy. He went back a few years especially in the early days when Calvary Chapel was beginning. How excited we were. Oh, some of the prophecy preachers got a little out of hand and those plagues like Revelation 9 were Vietnam helicopters and you know we sort of started dating things and we were even told that a generation is fourty years, and when Israel became a nation in 1948 it would be fourty years and then the Lord would come. So we back it up seven. So the rapture is coming in 1981. I've met people all over this country who believed that, followed that, anticipated that. It did not come and as a result many of them bombed out, dropped out, copped out; they're not around anymore."

"What was the response of the church members to 1981 date?"

"Lot's of people were with Chuck on that final midnight New Year's Eve at the end of 1981 who went home disappointed. Some of our friends were there and they left the faith not long after that." [CC>http://members.tripod.com/ccfuaq/cc2ndcom.htm]

Is God the author of lies? Does He set Himself up to be proven false, so that shame is brought upon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Hardly. 

Grant R. Jeffrey, in his book, Armageddon, Appointment With Destiny, (1988), showing that others had incorrectly defined the 'times of the Gentiles' with resulting incorrect date of 1878, reveals his correct calculations have been just as incorrect. 

"If I am correct in my interpretation, then the 'times of the Gentiles" were initially completed in the fall of A.D. 1878, and God once again delayed His appointed judgment, "As in the days of Noah," and has given mankind an additional 120 biblical years of warning (118.3 calendar years). When we add the "delay" of 118.3 years to the fall of 1878, the termination point for "the times of the Gentiles" would occur in A.D. 1997. God's prophesied judgment of mankind throughout the three and one-half years of the Great Tribulation would then bring us again to the year 2000." [p. 185] "...I have discovered several other indications which suggest that the year A.D. 2000 is a probably termination point for the "last days"....thousands of pastors and believers around the world that are receiving a quiet assurance in their own spirit that the Second Coming of the Lord is quickly approaching...'the times of refreshing" are now at hand is not leading to any fanaticism. Rather....to a renewed commitment and love for Christ. An obedience to His command to care for our brothers and to go into all the world and preach the gospel..." [p. 193] [bolding in original]

Jeffrey then provides this disclaimer to his date setting. "...these are only interpretations and not prophetic revelations. Although I believe these interpretations are valid...even if these interpretations are valid conclusions as to the correct time of the conclusion of these appointed prophetic time cycles, God is sovereign and may accelerate or postpone "the time appointed." ...if these interpretations are correct regarding the time of the Great Tribulation and the beginning of the Millennium, there is no possibility for us to determine the time of the Rapture of the Church. The time of the Rapture is known only by God. It is possible the Rapture is not even set to occur on a certain day. It may well be that, in His sovereignty, God has set a certain number of souls which He will gather into that "peculiar people," the Church, before His return." [pp193-194] [Underline in original, bolding added]

Aside from Jeffrey's view that God hasn't necessarily set a day for Christ's return, although Scripture states He is the only one to know, it should be noted that the last days are revealed as a time when there is a "great falling away." Grant Jeffrey seems to not notice that in his description of the spiritual condition of those claiming to belong to Christ. While it is true that God is strengthening those who do belong to Him, there are many that are turning away to fables, seducing spirits, and their love for Christ is cold. That is what culminates in the falling away. They had to know the truth in order to fall away from it.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

What is disturbing with these people who are calculating and planning the prophetic events out and date setting, adding this and that to come up with their dates or people,  is that it comes across as a form of numerology or other form of divination. That said, when people proclaim a false date for the return of Christ or other Biblical prophetic events, they in essence serve the father of lies. Biblical disobedience always has a consequence.  

Jeremiah 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are ALL of them unto me as SODOM, and the inhabitants thereof as GOMORRAH.  

Christianity becomes a laughing stock, as the secular press has a tendency to print those false dates. It brings dishonor to Christ and confusion to many new Christians and those seeking the truth. It could easily be said that the false date setting contributes to the attitude of those who mock and scorn the return of Christ and the coming judgment. 

2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

In fact, God states in His Word that he is not the author of confusion. And for those claiming to have a prophetic gift, the test of Scriptural truth must be applied, since many such as the Watch Unto Prayer authors, view themselves as prophets or having the 'gift of prophecy.' We know that what is said must align with the Word of God and must show obedience to the Word of God. 

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit...22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Many of these people are engaging in double speak or double talk, meaning ambiguous or misleading speech. They say they aren't date setting then present a date. Since hypocrisy defined includes the words, "insincerity, deceit, deception, double standards, double-talk, double-think, duplicity, falsity, inconsistency, " [AskOxford
>http://www.askoxford.com/] this would apply to those who date set. 

They say they believe and are obedient to God's Word, but totally disobey and disregard issues such as this. And if some date setters were evaluated in other areas we would find other double standards that are set for themselves versus others, as documentation would show. 

Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

God is not the author of false date setting, nor is He the author of hypocrisy and Biblical disobedience. That is a choice each person makes.

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

 

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