The Prophetic Messenger

A Newsletter From Mysteries From The Word Of God Ministries
July/August 2012 - Volume 14/Issue 4

Why Are There So Many False Predictions About The Return Of Jesus Christ? - Part I

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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; II Thessalonians 2:1-3

In this issue of The Prophetic Messenger, we will start a message titled “Why Are There So Many False Predictions About The Return Of Jesus Christ? ”

1. What The First Church Thought About The Return Of Jesus Christ

The apostle Paul comforted the church in Thessalonians about the return of Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 says “13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” The apostle Paul was giving hope to the Christians who died before the return of Jesus Christ and also to the Christians who would be alive at the time of the return of Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul told the church of Corinth which of the trumpets would sound at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In I Corinthians 15:51-52 it says “51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” These trumpets that the apostle Paul is talking about happen during the great tribulation which has not started yet. For more information about the great tribulation see the July/August 1999 issue of The Prophetic Messenger newsletter. the article titled “Why The Book Of Revelation Is Not In Chronological Order.”

The apostle Peter shared a message on the day of Pentecost about the return of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:16-20 it says “16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:” In this passage of scripture the apostle Peter describes the last days. From this passage of scripture we can see that one key sign indicating the last days, or the time right before the return of Jesus Christ, is great changes in the sun and moon. These are not solar and lunar eclipses, but they are major changes in the earth. In Revelation 8:12 it says “12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.”

We see from these examples that none of the signs which the scriptures have said would be fulfilled before the return of Jesus Christ - the trumpets sounding, the great tribulation, and the signs from heaven - have taken place yet.

2. What The Modern Day Church Thought About The Return Of Jesus Christ (1000 A.D. to Present)

In the recent history from 1000 A.D. to 2000 A.D., the church got away from the word of God and instead turned to traditions of men. This leads to error. In II Peter 1:20 it says “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

a) 1000 A.D.
In an article titled “Economic crisis, sheep with two heads and strange omens in the sky. Sounds familiar?”, sub-title “Medieval mystics were convinced the world would end in 999. Michael Staunton on the last bout of millennial madness” it says

“Today Pre-Millennial Terror means the fear of ending up at the wrong party. A thousand years ago, it was about the coming of the Antichrist. By 999 strange omens had started to fill the sky, and children were born in the form of monsters. Empires collapsed as famine, disease, political chaos and religious fervour swept the globe. To many, it seemed as if the world was coming to an end. . . .Over the next four centuries, there were always prophets announcing the end of the world. Nor were potential Antichrists and Messiahs in short supply. Emperors, kings and popes could be seen as either, sometimes as both, and the usual targets - Jews, heretics and outsiders - could be persecuted as part of the prelude to the final battle.”(Note 1)


b) 1843 to 1844 A.D.
In 1830’s a man named William Miller predicted that the return of Jesus Christ would occur between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. In an article titled “Great Disappointment” it says

“Between 1831 and 1844, on the basis of his study of the Bible, and particularly the prophecy of Daniel 8:14— ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’—William Miller, a Baptist preacher, predicted and preached the imminent return of Jesus Christ to the earth. He first assumed that the ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’ represented purification of the earth by fire at Christ's Second Coming. Then, using an interpretive principle known as the day-year principle, Miller, along with others, interpreted a prophetic ‘day’ to read not as a 24-hour period, but rather as a calendar year. Further, Miller became convinced that the 2,300-day period started in 457 B.C. with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I of Persia. Simple calculation then revealed that this period would end—and hence Christ's return occur—in 1843. Despite the urging of his supporters, Miller never personally announced an exact date for the expected Second Advent. However, in response to their urgings, he did narrow the time period to sometime in the Jewish year 5604, stating: ‘My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.’ March 21, 1844 passed without incident, but the majority of Millerites maintained their faith.”(Note 2)


c) 2000 A.D.
In an article titled “COUNTDOWN,TO 2000.” sub-titled “Faithful Debate Christ's Return Y2K Brings Forecasts Of The 'End Times'” it says

“Jesus told his followers 'not even the angels in heaven' would know the time of his return and warned them not to speculate. But that hasn't stopped people through the ages from guessing, calculating, warning, hand-wringing and threatening others with the possibility of his imminent return. Now, as the turn of the millennium approaches, some Christians are even more convinced that the 'end times' are upon us and Jesus will return to reign for 1,000 years. 'Because of the vividness of fundamentalist claims, they elicit a lot of attention,' said William Dean, professor of constructive theology at Denver's Iliff School of Theology. 'I personally believe the supernatural talk of the millennium trivializes the seriousness of the transformation of history,' he said. 'The 21st century can be a time to institute justice. Mainline seminaries give little time to worrying about when Jesus will return.' But for some, there are many signs of something happening soon. They point, for instance, to the Book of Mark, which quotes Jesus as saying the end will be preceded by war, earthquakes and famines. Many conservative Christians believe the creation of the state of Israel, giving the land to the Jewish people, was foretold as a crucial event before Jesus returns. But liberal and moderate Christians say all of that means nothing, that there have always been earthquakes and famines, wars and deceit, and they point out that Israel was born more than 50 years ago. End-times study, called eschatology, is one of the biggest theologies dividing Christians. Conservatives believe the end is always imminent because Mark reports Jesus telling his followers they should be ever watchful. But even the conservatives are divided on what the end will look like. The Rev. Maurice Gordon, pastor of Lovingway United Pentecostal Church, said Acts I talks of a time called the rapture, when true believers literally will be swept into the air. They could be taken from their cars as they drive on the freeway, out of their chairs at the dinner table or anyplace - they will simply float through the air and escape the seven years of tribulation that will come to the Earth.” (Note 3)


In closing, God’s word warned us to not let any man deceive us. In II Thessalonians 2:3 it says “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;”

Notes
1 - http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/1998/dec/31/features11.g27
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment
3 - Virginia Culver Denver Post Religion Writer COUNTDOWN,TO 2000. (1999, Dec 26). Faithful debate christ's return Y2K brings forecasts of the 'end times'. Denver Post, pp. B.01-B, 1:5.


Coming Up In The Next Issue

Why Are There So Many False Predictions About The Return Of Jesus Christ? - Part II. Read this article in the next issue of The Prophetic Messenger.

Memory Verses

As Christians if we want to live in victory and if we want to be able to share the Word Of God with others we must know the Word of God ourselves. Let's see what the Bible says about this. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." John 8:31. We encourage you to put the following scriptures in your heart: James 4:10, Ezekiel 37:4, Colossians 1:27, Matthew 24:9, II Chronicles 7:2, Romans 5:3, Ezekiel 39:12, Revelation 20:15, Joel 2:2, Luke 15:7. Use only the Old King James version of the Holy Bible. (If you have any questions about this please see the book New Age Bible Versions, by G.A. Riplinger ©1993, ISBN 0-9635845-0-2.)

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