Predictions, prophecies and possibilities
Throughout the ages many have set dates for the Second Coming of Christ. Within the last two centuries, the Millerites and Harold Camping both presented logical (but wrong) arguments to support their predictions. The Millerite prediction for the Second Coming was 1843, which they then represented was misunderstood and should be have been interpreted as a “cleansing in heaven” and not on earth. More recently, Harold Camping predicted the Lord’s return in 1994, which he then revised to 2011.1 While such beliefs were sincere and well-founded, they ignored the Scripture that tells us that no one knows the day or the hour only God in heaven. However, Jesus emphatically warned us to watch for the signs of the times so that we would not be overtaken as victims of a thief who comes in the night.
As we begin a new year, we should review and consider the fulfillment of the signs Christ spoke about. It needs to be stated clearly that this is not meant to suggest any time line, but only to increase awareness of the likelihood of Christ’s impending return. For although many prophecies have been fulfilled, that does not mean that we can set any date, for the Lord is not slack in returning but wishing that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, it is the will of God that the time frame we label as the “end times” very well can last an incalculable period of time until He is satisfied that all that will come to repentance have come to repentance.
Two fulfilled predictions in modern times
While there are many fulfilled prophecies regarding this time period, I will only discuss two.
Daniel 12:4 (NASB) says: “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” Any soccer mom, or anyone stuck in rush hour traffic, or anyone who has spent time at an airport would be hard-pressed to deny that people are running back and forth all over the place. It is also undeniable that the last two decades have experienced a historically unparalleled increase in knowledge.
Luke 18:8b says: “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Since 1859, the teachings of Evolution have assaulted the faith of many by challenging the veracity of Scripture, and consequently, the existence of God. As a result, the faith of many has not materialized.
Two key intervals
In addition to fulfilled prophecy, there are two significant time pins that are noteworthy.
1. Daniel 12:11 (NASB): “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.” Ellis H. Skofield in his book The False Prophet, argues that this abomination is the Dome of the Rock by calculating a year based on 360 days until AD. Thereafter, counting one day for a year, as Daniel’s prophecies established with the birth and death of Christ. Using this formula, 1290 days from 552 BC (the time of Belshazzar) brings you to 688 AD, or the year the Dome of the Rock was built. At that point Muslims took over Israel’s most holy location, which made it impossible to worship on the Temple Mount and yes, spiritually and in the eyes of the one true God, it is an abomination! (Also see Ezekiel 8:1-8; 16.)
When Israel came back
2. Daniel 7:25 (NASB): He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” The “he” referred to in this verse is a world leader whom many have labeled the Antichrist, but Scripture also tells us that the spirit of the Antichrist is already at work. Entire books can be written about this demonic spirit(s) and the form(s) it will take. Here we are discussing time pins, which requires a judgment call or dare I say “an educated guess?” Assuming that Daniel’s original point of reference goes back to the first year of Belshazzar (552 BC), and a time, times, and half a time equates to 2500 years, we arrive at the year 1948, the year Israel once again became a nation.
Part 2 will deal with America’s possible roles in prophecy (including the administration of Donald Trump) and the political signs given in Scripture. Contrary to what many believe, throughout history and as recorded in biblical prophecies, faith systems of all kinds and politics do intertwine. The two time pins mentioned above are both spiritual and political in nature. To be sure, according to the books of Daniel and Revelation, we can expect this duality to continue. Until then, lift up your heads and watch, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:28 NASB.
1Harold Camping’s 2011 prediction failed twice in one year. He suffered a stroke and died in that year. His Family Radio empire died with him. Your editor noted that Radio Station WFME, the Family Radio affiliate in West Orange, New Jersey, quietly went off the air.