That’s the question uppermost in the minds of most believers right now. We need to be more vigilant than ever before regarding those we allow to speak into our lives. With the rise of social media... anyone with a camera can record false prophecies, fear-mongering videos, false teachings, and terrifying demonic counterfeits. I say this with great love, but right now there is more confusion and flakiness than ever before in the body of Christ, so I would urge you to ignore everything you see and hear that doesn’t agree with the known truths in the Word of God.
In 1988 a book was written that made lots of money predicting the coming of the Lord... Christians all over the world huddled together waiting for Jesus to break the skies wide open on the appointed day. The author was wrong and took their money and ran after that theory was proven false. Unfortunately, some gullible people sold their homes and cars and were left broke and disillusioned.
During Y2K when our calendar turned 2000 all kinds of false prophesies were touted; in fact there were so many conspiracy theories peddled that we could scarcely keep track of them all. Of course the year 2000 came and went and once again all the predictions were false.
Then in 2012 we faced more end-of-the-world prophesies that came and went. The only ones who profited from those outright lies were the people who wrote and sold the books. Precious little lambs were left stricken by FEAR and hopelessness. As we look through Facebook and Youtube today we once again see people almost relishing the notion of disaster and destruction overtaking the world. They remind me of the “Sons of thunder.”
In Luke Chapter 9 we read that Jesus was headed toward Jerusalem, where He didn't take the most direct route, but instead went through Samaria. He sent several friends ahead to arrange for overnight accommodations, but the people who lived there refused to welcome Jesus. James and John were infuriated when they heard the news and shouted, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy them [even as Elijah did]?” (Luke 9:54) I believe that verbal explosion is what earned James and John the nickname “Sons of thunder.” In essence they basically asked permission to nuke that little Samaritan village! Reading on we see that Jesus gently rebuked them, explaining that His mission was to heal and transform rather than to assault or annihilate.
It’s intriguing to read this incident as recorded in Luke 9 and then move on to Acts Chapter 8 where it says that after Jesus’ ascension Christianity began to multiply like wildfire through the villages of Samaria. When that happened, the church in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to minister to the new believers there. Well, can you envision how John reacted...now that he was far more mature in his walk with Christ? You have to wonder how he responded upon arriving in that village full of new believers, at a place where, years earlier, his anger had made him want to wipe them ALL out!
At this point I must admit that on occasion I’m guilty of the same attitude. Not long ago I was flipping television channels and saw something that disturbed me, and I found myself wanting to pronounce judgment on those responsible. I was so angry that if I had been God I would’ve zapped them right then and there! It’s a good thing God isn’t like us, isn’t it? We often have a zero-patience policy with others and are quick to execute them with our tongues, regarding them as worthless. We are also very fast to pull the trigger on the world saying they’re all evil and that God is going to destroy them all!
I am discovering that God is far more merciful and long-suffering than I. I pray that I too will learn to show mercy and compassion, because God has given those things to me, undeserving as I am. Now that doesn't mean we are to wink and excuse sin or that we compromise in any way, but rather that we remain steadfast, believing for the best and praying that God’s love will transform even the hardest of hearts. If we are overflowing with the love of God we will choose to never give up on others, knowing that nothing, but nothing is impossible with God.
There are many prophetic words circulating right now about the end of the world and our destruction. In fact, right now some really bright, well- meaning people are predicting some pretty horrible things. Many people are running in fear and panic. Others are obsessing over end-time predictions that are stealing their joy and peace.
We all know the world will get darker and judgments will come to the earth and we should not hide our heads in the sand. But I don’t believe God will allow any man to figure it all out and lay it all out in simple, easy-to-follow books written to make money. And because I don’t want to spend too much time debunking fear-mongering prophesies, a simple Google search will do that for me. I’m tired of money-hungry profiteers fleecing the flock with hidden claims that bring fame, recognition and profit to them alone. As we study history we see that men are not nearly as wise as they claim to be so we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and His holy Word—the only reliable source of wisdom.
Just as anxiety is mounting in the earth today, a beautiful Bride is being prepared. The “beauty of the Lord” is upon her; her face is bright, glistening with the light of the glory of God. Her train is long, shimmering with brilliant rays of light. Her countenance is difficult to gaze upon, as the atmosphere of heaven surrounds her. Abba Father is busy preparing a Bride for His Son. The Bride is “buying gold tried by fire”--His divine nature.
In the dark days ahead we must allow the “fire” to burn away our sin and be conformed into the image of His Son. His nature changes our nature so that others will say, “Who is this that comes out of the wilderness, leaning on her lover?” (Song of Solomon 8:5) His Bride will be an end-time witness and she will be that sign and wonder to all the earth. She will be as a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden and others will see her good works and glorify the Father. (Matthew 5:14, 16)
I sense an outpouring of the Holy Spirit once again coming to the earth--a holy fire of His divine love reaching the four corners of the earth. I will not hide away in September and October or limit my activities because of fear and dread. In fact I’m planning a beautiful twenty-year anniversary getaway with my precious wife. We’re going to go relax and enjoy each other as we celebrate the faithfulness of God for more than twenty years! We have come so far! I’m also excited to see how God is going to reach the four corners of the world with the truth of the gospel. I see a FIRE and presence of God moving in our churches and land again. Luke 19:13 tells us to “occupy until he comes." I will stay busy doing the Lord’s work yet be discerning of the times I am in. My trust is in Jesus Himself and not man’s wisdom.
Rather than worry that “something” may happen, we should rest on the sure word of prophecy that we find in the true Word of God. We need to pray against the false teachings that have infected so many and for Christians to use discernment when the latest prophecy craze is peddled around the globe.
When September and October comes and goes...all the books and fear- mongering resources will be relegated to the bargain basement and Youtube videos quickly deleted. The false prophets and teachers will rush to backpeddle, trying vainly to explain how they didn’t mean it that way.
Christians should be eager to understand the future and end-times prophecy. But the real truth can all be found only in the pages of the Holy Bible. We need to be about the Father’s business and doing His work. Our focus should be on being His glorious, beautiful Bride, who keeps her focus on Her Beloved’s soon return. So the wise will keep looking up and leave the rest to God.
I am His child. He is my Father and He holds me in the palm of His hand. In Him I will place my trust.
“Where is another God like you, who pardons the sins of the survivors among his people? You cannot stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing mercy.” - Micah 7:18
“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven…” – Jeremiah 10:2.