Skip to comments.Prophecy Pundits are at it Again
Posted on 02/24/2009 10:10:12 AM PST by topcat54
Calvary Chapel of Chino California held The Southern California Prophecy Conference last week (Feb. 2022, 2009). I wonder if those who came to hear speakers like Tim LaHaye, Mark Hitchcock, Paul McGuire, David Hocking, David Reagan, and Ed Hindson were aware that Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel network of churches, made some very definite predictions about when the rapture was going to take place.
While cleaning up my office, I came across a cassette tape of a sermon Chuck Smith preached on December 31, 1979. He told his very accepting audience on that day that the rapture would take place in 1981. The former Soviet Republic going into Afghanistan in August of 1978 was the prelude to what Smith considered to be a full-force invasion of the Middle East. It would not be long before Russia would invade Israel, Smith told his audience. All of this was said to have been predicted by Ezekiel 2600 years ago.
Smith went on to claim in his end-of-the-year message of 30 years ago that because of ozone depletion Revelation 16:8 would be fulfilled during the soon-coming Great Tribulation: And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. According to Smith, Halleys Comet would pass near the earth in 1986 and would wreck atmospheric havoc for those left behind as debris from its million-mile tail pummeled the earth. Halleys Comet did appear in 1986 with no damage done to our planet. (A similar prelude to the end had been predicted based on the so-called Jupiter Effect.) ...
(Excerpt) Read more at americanvision.org ...
You were saying to TaraP — “You mean the sinful men and women in the Amazon that suppress the truth in unrighteousness...to whom all that can be known of God is plain...who knew Him but did not honor Him nor were thankful? Those for whom there is no excuse? (Rom 1)”
It’s true that all have the general revelation of God, which will lead them to pray to this Creator God, asking for further revelation in what they should do (which would be in terms of salvation). Anyone who calls on God, from general revelation (that we all have, no matter where we are) — God will provide the specific revelation for salvation.
Whether this be by missionary, specifically sent by God, or an angel sent for this specific purpose — one way or another God will answer the prayers of them who are honestly seeking him, having seen His general revelation in Creation and knowing that He is our Creator God. God will not disappoint this person, no matter where they are on this earth, and no matter what time period it is in or was in — when they “call upon God” having seen Him in His Creation (as God intended it to be...)
Lastly, you said — “I think Scripture is pretty clear exactly what will happen to them.”
Yes, those who respond to God’s revelation in Creation, knowing that there is a Creator God out there, and wanting to know the plan of salvation — will be given that revelation for purposes of salvation. Those who refuse the revelation of God, seeing in creation, the works of this Creator God, will be as Romans 1 says, and as Revelation 20 says (in the Great White Throne judgement).
Also, remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of His salvation will be given to the whole world, by means of an angel, at a particular time in Revelation.
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—
7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
*This* is the time that the gospel is given to the whole world, and “then” the end comes...
IIRC, that was Harold Camping, not Chuck Smith.
IIRC, Chuck Smith has been loathe to set dates.
He may have speculated like Billy Graham did once that he didn’t see how Christ could return later than 1975.
Speculations are not prophetic pronouncements.
Yet, part of being a Good Christian is obeying Christ’s words to
WATCH AND BE READY.
“MOST theologians past and present . . . “
You were saying — “What about the alleged prophecy regarding the restoration of national Israel. All the pop prophecy gurus back in the 70s and 80s where absolutely certain about the very specific sign of the fig tree found in the Matthew 24, including the Calvary Chapel patriarchy. That why 1988 became the focus of so many sermons and books. Folke give Edgar Whisenant a hard time for writing 88 Reasons, but the fact is he was only following down the path started by Chuck Smith and Co. He was not the problem. Hal, and Chuck, and Salem Kirban — they were the problem.”
There’s no question about it — the “nation of Israel” has been an expected event — even before Israel became a nation again. There were even Bible preachers back in the 19th century (1800s) who advised Hertzl not to take land in Africa for a “nation” for the Jews, but to only do so in the land of Israel, and showed him the Bible prophecies that indicated this was to be so. I mention this to say that even back in the 1800s, Bible preachers and teachers were expecting the establishment of the nation of Israel again.
One reason would be that one could not have a Temple in Jerusalem unless the Jews were there and unless they controlled the land. That’s one of the types of “reasoning” that they used (before the “nation of Israel” was established again, once more).
And *now* we see that the religious people over in Israel (they are non-religious people... there... :-) .... ) are preparing for the building of the Temple. They have prepared the garments, the instruments to use in worship in the Temple, the furnishings and other implements to be used, the solid gold menora and procedures that they’ll have to go through in order to implement the sacrifices once again. That’s all *in the works* right now.
And, we see from what Bible prophecy teachers say in this subject, that there *will be sacrifices* instituted once more, and that this requires that a Temple be put into place there.
What do you think is one of the *main hold-ups* for the “final status peace agreement” with the Muslims (and Jews)? It’s the *rebuilding of the Temple*. The Jews will never have *any* final status agreement with the Muslims over in Israel — until — they’ve got it settled on “rebuilding the Temple” and restarting the “sacrificial system” as they had in the past.
So, you see, these things are “taking place” right now — and in our “real world politics” — the Temple in Jerusalem — is one of the *main holdups” to the final status talks on peace. The other item that is a “hold-up” on the final status talks on peace — is “control of Jerusalem” Those are the *two items* that the Oslo Peace Accords put on the list for the *very last* to be settled — as they were the most contentious of all...
IIRC, Chuck Smith has been loathe to set dates.
He may have speculated like Billy Graham did once that he didnt see how Christ could return later than 1975.
Speculations are not prophetic pronouncements.
From what I read here, I find it hard to distinguish between Smith's words and "setting dates" - he calls it a "deep conviction", not silly speculation.
>>Far less than most think. Most of the info is manufactured. <<
Like I said, there is enough information to stimulate good debate.
BTW, all that stuff about the temple and Islam and such makes absolutely no sense to a person who does not adopt your preconceptions about the future. Weve havent the benefit of seeing things through your peep stones.
Earlier you wrote:
And it will be a signless event in that there are no signs which will precede this event that will let people know that it is about to happen.
If the so-called rapture is a signless event how come God placed Israel in the land for all these prophecy gurus to be speculating about fig tree signs and such? Suggesting dates, etc? There are only two choices; either modern Israel is the fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies and the near will occur within a generation of these things taking place (ala Lindsey and Co.), or modern Israel is not related to any Bible prophecy, and it could disappear tomorrow without any consequence in eschatology terms (other than with the plethora of pop prophecy types who wind up with egg on their face). It would just be another vanishing human nation, just like so many others.
I personally think this is real proof that God as a sense of humor.
Even a deep personal conviction is still not a prophetic pronouncement.
However, the bucket-of-rocks brigade will always find plenty to throw rocks at other believers about.
Thankfully, Chuck Smith can stand before His Heavenly Father with cleaner hands than about any other well known Pastor I know of, besides Billy Graham.
You said — “So, all that verbiage aside, you seem to be agreeing with me while denying your earlier claim that that there are absolutely, positively no specific prophecies prior to the rapture. Unless you are also simultaneously trying to claim that the existence of modern Israel is a specific sign of Christs return.”
Well, to see that there is a Temple and sacrifices are being done and the Antichrist will stand there, as in the abomination of desolation and put a stop to the sacrifices — *does* show that Israel exists (which it did not exist before, “in history”) — but — it does *not* give a “sign” as to the timing of the Rapture. That (i.e, the “Rapture”) is a signless event. The existence of Israel is not even given as a “preceding event” (in the Bible) for something that happens *prior* to the Rapture.
The point at which Israel *has to exist* is for the Antichrist to be there and put a stop to the sacrifices. That doesn’t say anything about the “timing” of the Rapture, because the Rapture occurs *prior* to the revealing of the Antichrist, and all of what he does and prior to the Tribulation. Those prophecies occur inside the Tribulation. Note that those prophecies don’t say (one way or another) that Israel will become a nation again at “this particular time” — it could and then it might be earlier. In what we’ve seen from our “experience” (but not from the Bible prophecies) is that it came earlier than the Tribulation — but — it *had to be there* — during the Tribulation — without a doubt.
SO NOW..., as we are “here” in our present days, we “see” by actual and real-life circumstances that Israel’s existence did precede the Rapture, but the Bible did not tell us this and we had “no Biblical sign” for the existence of Israel as being prior to the Rapture.
So, as you can see, the Bible did not give a prophecy or a “sign” as preceding the Rapture. We only know that it happened for Israel by observing things unfold in real life — not — by getting a prophecy from the Bible and not from getting a “sign” from the Bible.
And the point at which Israel exists, and we have the Antichrist putting a stop to the sacrifices, then we have the 1,260 days to the coming of Christ for setting up the Kingdom. That doesn’t say anything about the timing of Rapture.
For *that event* — the coming of Jesus Christ — to set up the Kingdom, we’ve got a “sign”, we’ve got a “prophecy” and we’ve got the *exact days* until the coming of Christ to set up the Kingdom.
There’s the difference...
That’s why it’s an apt description to say that “When I see Christmas decorations being put in the store, I know Thanksgiving is very very close!”
When I see the events leading up to the coming of Jesus Christ to *set up His Kingdom* being put into place, then I know the Rapture is very very close (even without a “preceding sign” [because there are no preceding signs] and even without a preceding prophecy [because there are no preceding prophecies] for the Rapture).
And then you said — “There are only two choices; either modern Israel is the fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies and the near will occur within a generation of these things taking place (ala Lindsey and Co.), or modern Israel is not related to any Bible prophecy, and it could disappear tomorrow without any consequence in eschatology terms...”
The choice is — the nation of Israel is a fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies — the ones that are going to happen in the Tribulation. The Rapture takes place prior to those prophecies, but we don’t know when. Once the Tribulation occurs and those prophecies related to Israel are in play, then we’ve got an *exact countdown* — to the day — of when Jesus Christ comes back to “set up the Kingdom on earth”...
And once we see things being *put into place* (what is called “stage setting”) that have a bearing on the prophecies that will take place in the Tribulation, then we know the Rapture is near (although not “when”) because the Rapture takes place *prior* to these prophecies in the Tribulation.
The great “ditty” that I like is (as you’ve heard already) — when I see the Christmas decorations being put in the stores, I know that Thanksgiving is very very close...” :-)
Of course — I know when the date of Thanksgiving is — but if I were to say that to someone (from another country and other customs) who didn’t know when the date of Thanksgiving was, I might tell them — “When you see the stores putting in those Christmas decorations, then you know Thanksgiving is very very close!” Then they would start to see the “preparations” for Christmas — and they would say to themselves (even though they don’t know when Thanksgiving is) — now that I see this happening, as I was told (about Christmas) I know Thanksgiving is very very close...
Those “signs” of Christmas were *not* about Thanksgiving — but — from those “signs” of Christmas, I was able to say, “Thanksgiving is very very close!”
And so it is with the Rapture...
WATCH AND BE READY.
Goes without saying.
That being said, every generation brings yet another slew of "End Times" prophets (or is that 'profits'?), who are consumed with only preaching doom and gloom, as they 'profit' from book sales and such.
I prefer to keep my primary focus on the teachings of Jesus, and trusting in Him to see to the end times as He so sees fit.
Preoccupation of the Apocalypse is a distraction I do not have.
Sorry if it offends some here that I don't live up to their expectations.
Sorry, I meant to include you in my post # 93 response, but hit ‘post’ prematurely. Didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you.
You certainly do NOT have to live up to my expectations.
Living daily for Jesus is quite the paragon priority in my book.
Yes, I'm very disappointed in you...
There's plenty in the scriptures about that blessed hope...And we are encouraged to look for that blessed hope...And what is that blessed hope??? It's the return of Jesus to rescue His own from this evil world...
And if the idea of that happening in your lifetime doesn't get you excited, I don't know what would...
I've talked to a number of Christians who are deathly afraid of the Rapture...They're not ready for such an event...Their wives, husbands, children, jobs, next week's golf game, etc...
And others want more time to get 'fully qualified' so as to pass the judgement...They're not quite ready yet to get 'real' serious about Christianity...
But hey, all the prophecies had to be fulfilled for the Rapture to take place...And the last prophecy required to be fulfilled was the return of Israel to her own land...And NOW, that's a done deal...
It's true that people have been looking for this event for centuries...But they apparently didn't believe the scriptures and more than some on this thread do...The prophecies had to be fulfilled first...And that didn't happe til 1948...
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Stand and watch...
So, again, what I hear you saying is that you do not know for certain that we have gotten to “Thanksgiving” so we have no clue as to how close we are to “Christmas”. In fact, you have no way of knowing whether you are looking at Christmas decorations or a 4th of July parade.
BTW, I’m not agreeing that your “Thanksgiving” analogy is valid wrt the Second Coming. I believe it is bogus.
Hmmm, so either you believe the rapture coincides with the Second Coming, or you think Jesus told Christians to look for something that's of no real concern to them.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2)Christ's appearing is judgment day.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ,who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: (2 Tim. 4:1)Judgment day is after the thousand years.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, F109 and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20)
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; (Jude 6)
The Bible's main point is God's plan for salvation, which is inherently "optimistic." Referring to temporal eschatological matters is necessarily less significant than that plan for eternal salvation. To coin the phrase "Biblically Optimistic" conjures up the prospect by inference of its converse, which suggests that the salvation plan described therein must be flawed. That would be a gross fundamental misunderstanding of the Bible.
If what you mean is eschatological rather than soteriological, why not make it plain?