Blood moons, Papal visits, Jewish holidays, stock market crashes, Supreme Court decisions. Are the current events pointing to something significant happening this month? Perhaps the rapture, the coming of the Lord, or judgment?
This year is not the first time that end of the world hysteria has run rampant. Predictions have been made for millennia. All have failed because they are driven by an ignorance of the Bible rightly divided.
Everyone knows the Bible says no man knows the day and the hour (Matt 24:36), but this does not stop people from thinking they see signs of the last days. Why? They think the church is in some way part of Israel’s prophecies, Israel’s calendar, and that the church should be looking for prophetic signs given to Israel.
The Bible rightly divided separates prophecy from mystery, Israel from the church, heaven and earth. In prophecy God worked through Israel to fulfill his purpose on the earth, but now according to the revelation of the mystery, God is working through the church for a heavenly purpose.
God’s present work according to the mystery was never revealed in the prophetic scripture (Rom 16:25).
End of world predictions will always persuade you that God is working through current events for the fulfillment of prophecy.
The most popular prophetic prediction this time round concerns the blood moon that will occur on a Jewish feast day, at the end of a seventh year Jewish cycle, toward the end of this month.
This is supposed to be a fulfillment of Joel 2:31 that the day of the Lord is at hand.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” – Joel 2:31
Never mind that someone in Quebec has a better chance of seeing the blood moon than anyone in Israel, or that it is fairly common for blood moons to fall on Jewish feast days, or that the rest of the prophecy in Joel requires the sun turning dark, stars falling, and a great earthquake.
What is more important is that Joel 2:31 aligns more with Peter’s preaching at Pentecost than anything Paul taught. Joel 2:31 requires God to work through Israel.
If our pattern is in the Jewish ministry of Peter on a Jewish feast day (Pentecost), then we might think it important to look at the Jewish calendar for the fulfillment of these events.
However, if our pattern from the Lord is found in the apostle Paul ministering an unprophesied mystery of Christ, then what does the Jewish calendar or its prophecies have to do with us?
“Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” – Galatians 4:10-11
Are You Ready?
“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.” – Luke 21:36
Many are worried that if they are not watching for the signs of the times, and have their lamps filled with oil, then they will miss the bridegroom when he comes.
There is no reason for this. These Biblical references about preparing for the end were spoken to Israel to prepare for their kingdom come. These are not instructions for the church living in God’s dispensation of grace. We are no longer preaching the gospel of the kingdom come, but the gospel of the grace of God.
We are not of the night that we should be in darkness, we are not the bride, and we are not found worthy by watching and making ourselves ready.
According to the mystery of Christ, we are justified freely by faith in the finished work of Christ. We are accepted only in the Beloved (Christ, Eph 1:6). We need not worry whether we will “stand before the Son of man” if we are in the very body of Christ!
Even the catching away of the church to meet the Lord in the air has no condition upon those who have made themselves ready(1 Thess 4:16-18). The great catching away will consist of those who are saved by faith in the gospel of Christ.
This blessed hope and appearing of Christ for his church has nothing to do with Israel’s prophecies of the end.
Not the Times
The best way to determine whether or not you are seeing signs of the times of prophetic fulfillment is to understand whether or not we are living in the times when God will fulfill his prophecy or time when God is operating according to His mystery in Christ.
If we are living in the dispensation of God’s grace to the world, then we are not living in the time of God’s judgment.
If we are living in the time of God operating through a church body where there is no Jew nor Gentile, then we are not living in the time of God operating through Israel.
If we are living in the time of God ministering the mystery gospel to a world according to the mystery of Christ, then we are not living in the time of the prophesied gospel of the kingdom according to the prophecies spoken by Christ.
We live under the dispensation of God’s grace, a mystery dispensation concerning a heavenly people. We are not a part of God’s prophetic purpose for the earth.
Will the world end in September? Only if we are living in the time of prophecy instead of the time of mystery. We do not look for the signs of prophetic times because we live in the mystery times that have no prophesied signs.
What Should I Do?
What of the increase of wars, circumstances, stock market crash, and increase of evil men and events?
Many are rumors not worthy of a Bible believer. Jesus said himself, in prophecy, that these are not signs of the end (Matt 24:6-7). Paul says, in mystery, evil men must wax worse and worse (2 Tim 3:13). We live in a present evil world, but God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7).
There is a grace response. We should pray for those in authority (1 Tim 2:1-2). We should provide for our own (1 Tim 5:8). We should participate in what God’s will has been for two thousand years for his church.
“[God] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4-5
God’s message is not one of fear or prophecy, but of mystery salvation.