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Revelation prophecy; the futility of date-setting

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posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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The practice of trying to calculate when the events described in Revelation would happen;
I expressed my thoughts on the subject when I wrote the Index thread (q.v.) to my Revelation series, in the post headed “This product contains no dates”.
[Revelation- Project Complete}
Now the topic is coming back.
Somebody appeared on one of my threads recently, trying to sell me the idea that the “trumpets and vials” would be completed and Christ would return on some date at the end of May. This would not have left, as I pointed out, enough time for all the events that were supposed to happen in the interval.
Another poster suggested more recently that I was “implicitly endorsing the 2012 hysteria” by refusing to assign any dates to the events of Revelation.

So now I return to the theme; where are the date-setters going wrong?

The first and most obvious mistake is ignoring the well-known warning at the beginning of Acts, that the information won’t be made available. There’s no point in trying to evade this statement; the clear message is that God keeps that kind of knowledge to himself.

The next mistake is putting faith in calculations.
Anyone who tries to fix the “time of the end” by precise calculation is assuming, perhaps unconsciously, that God chose that date by precise calculation in the first place.
We don’t have any real reason for believing that this is the way God works.

In fact, there’s evidence that points in the opposite direction. In the prophecies of Jeremiah, we find the promise that Babylon would fall seventy years after the fall of Jerusalem. The dates found in history are 587 B.C. and 539 B.C., and the interval between them is not seventy years. Either Jeremiah got it wrong, or “seventy years” was not meant to be understood as a precise time interval. This puts in question the assumption, common to all calculations, that God makes a point of fixing very precise time intervals between events.

Another assumption which many calculators find attractive is that the timing chosen by God will coincide with Jewish religious festivals. This gives them an excuse to pin their predictions to a specific day in the calendar. Once again, we don’t have any real warrant for this theory. The purpose of these festival days is to celebrate things that God has done, but we won’t find anything in scripture to support the idea that God will plan things the other way round. Indeed, the historical victory celebrated by Hanukkah has a separate day of celebration precisely because God did NOT carefully arrange it to coincide with one of the main festivals.

If there’s no reason to think that God lays out events to fit a carefully calculated pattern, poring over the timeline of history with a spiritual tape-measure and a year-planner, then there is no point in trying to second-guess his calculations.

I believe there’s a further mistake, more fundamental than these, concerning the purpose of Revelation.
Revelation is not a general, all-purpose, “prediction of the future”. The prophecy in Revelation is not an end in itself, but the means to an end.

The function of Revelation is to encourage and motivate a persecuted church, in the middle of their tribulation. The prophecy answers the implied question “How long, O Lord [before we get help]?”, and the gist of the answer is “Soon after the tribulation begins- or at least soon enough that the church need not despair”.

In the first instance, obviously, it’s addressed to the church of John’s time. Yes, I do believe that he’s also dealing with future events. I've been reading Revelation on that assunption over more than forty threads in this forum. But if John is addressing a future church, it is a persecuted future church. So Revelation does not become relevant or usable until the church is being persecuted.

It's like having an assurance from the police that they will arrive at your house ten minutes after a burglar breaks in.
Fine and dandy; but it means that you can't predict when they're going to arrive, because you don't know when the burglars are coming.

In the same way, we cannot predict the year and the month when God will respond to the tribulation of the church, because we don’t know when tribulation is coming. All we know is that the current world-church is not experiencing anything like what the first-century church would recognise as “tribulation”.

My other concern relates to the implications for faith.
On the one hand, date-setting is a faith-killer, because it raises expectations which are then disappointed.
On the other hand, I’m convinced that date-setting, in itself, is a symptom of insufficient faith.
Faith shows itself in patience, a willingness to wait.
That is what Revelation demands- it is “a call for the faith and endurance of the saints”.
Whereas trying to predict a time of arrival is what people do when they’re feeling impatient.
Understandable, perhaps, when people are suffering, but a little premature when the grand suffering of the church hasn’t even started.

The Christian faith expects Christ to return.
But nothing in the Christian faith obliges us or entitles us to expect his return on any predictable date.




posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:11 PM
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Waiting thousands of years for a man to show up, just because he promised to return with lots of presents in a thousand year old book that has been translated more times than I change my socks in a week?

Sounds pretty boring to me.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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It gets even better. John was writing to a fairly specific audience - and it was Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye. He was writing to the first century church - using symbols they would understand. Not that the Apocalypse is not relevant to us today - perish the thought. But the idea of a super-secret "rapture" (not found in Scripture, btw) and a literal 1000 year kingdom are both fairly new - and foreign to historuc Christianity.
All date-setting does is put the fiocus where it doesn't belong - on a date, or on a man...and the wrong man, at that. The Book of the Revelation - and the ten zillion interpretations of it ( thank you, Marty L. for "sola scriptura") has probab;ly done just as much harm to the faith as has incessant "God hates you cause I do!" theology as exampled by Westboro....

Just my two cents.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by Kyprian
 

I agree with you that the "Rapture" is a novel and faulty theory.
In fact it only occurred to me recently that belief in the Rapture might be a prime motivator for modern date-calculations.
A lot of calculation is about predicting the Rapture, rather than the Return.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:38 PM
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there is a good chance john was writing about what was happening in his life time. you know, nero waging a war against christains...but no that couldnt be it. its gotta be some mumbo jumbo, wouldnt be right if it weren't



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by biggmoneyme
 

Some of it could be about Nero.
Some of it, especially in the last two-thirds of the book, cannot be about Nero.
That's why I come to the conclusion that he's addressing two audiences at the same time.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by biggmoneyme
 

Some of it could be about Nero.
Some of it, especially in the last two-thirds of the book, cannot be about Nero.
That's why I come to the conclusion that he's addressing two audiences at the same time.



revelations is cyclic book. it's describing the same event from different perspectives, in an apocalyptic language. christains until ~300 ad knew this.

but like i said, it wouldnt be in the spirit of christianity if it were interpreted as anything other than a big pile of bull####
edit on 20-2-2012 by biggmoneyme because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by biggmoneyme
 

It is not a cycle, but a narrative with a terminus.
The last four chapters of the book are a fairly decisive terminus, and they don't reflect events in the time of Nero.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by biggmoneyme
 

It is not a cycle, but a narrative with a terminus.
The last four chapters of the book are a fairly decisive terminus, and they don't reflect events in the time of Nero.



i disagree, but it's just a book and not worth the effort.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Actually, two-thirds of it CAN be about nero/events in John's lifetimeif you make one..careful..substittution. Everytime you see the word 'Israel", replace it with the word "church." That's how the church, for close to 1900 years, looked at it...



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by Kyprian
 

I've got no quarrel with understanding the "twelve tribes" as the church, if that's what you mean.
That's the interpretation I gave in my thread on the "144,000".
(I don't think the actual word "Israel" appears)
However, the more dramatic events from ch8 onwards were hardly matched in the first century.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


If you view the Apocalypse as something that must have a "physical" reality - sure. But if there is a spiritual fulfillment - then the possibility opens up. But yeah - there's still quite a bit to come. After all, we are still in a heavily secular world not yet under the reign of God.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
Somebody appeared on one of my threads recently, trying to sell me the idea that the “trumpets and vials” would be completed and Christ would return on some date at the end of May. This would not have left, as I pointed out, enough time for all the events that were supposed to happen in the interval.

Unless the time interval portion of the events are occuring simultaneously (in paralell), with the destructive manifestation of those events occuring in quick linier succession. The trumpets are the manifestion of destructive events, but the time intervals which lead up to there manifesting can overlap and pre-date the actual fulfilment and still 100% fulfill prophecy.


In fact, there’s evidence that points in the opposite direction. In the prophecies of Jeremiah, we find the promise that Babylon would fall seventy years after the fall of Jerusalem. The dates found in history are 587 B.C. and 539 B.C., and the interval between them is not seventy years. Either Jeremiah got it wrong, or “seventy years” was not meant to be understood as a precise time interval. This puts in question the assumption, common to all calculations, that God makes a point of fixing very precise time intervals between events.

Jerimiahs 70 year prophecy was not the time span between when Jerusalem fell and when Babylon fell, it is the time span which fully covers the reign of Babylon as the world ruling governemt. In 609 B.C Nebuchaddnezzar defeated the Judea/Egyptian/Assyrian alliance and began to force tribute to Babylon. Judah lost it's sovereignty (true king) in 609 B.C. and a puppet king was put in place, 3 more times Babylon would defeat Judah before the 587 B.C. final destruction of the temple and total enslavement of the Jews

Babylon ruled all major kingdoms on Earth for exactly 70 years to the hour.


Another assumption which many calculators find attractive is that the timing chosen by God will coincide with Jewish religious festivals. This gives them an excuse to pin their predictions to a specific day in the calendar. Once again, we don’t have any real warrant for this theory. The purpose of these festival days is to celebrate things that God has done, but we won’t find anything in scripture to support the idea that God will plan things the other way round. Indeed, the historical victory celebrated by Hanukkah has a separate day of celebration precisely because God did NOT carefully arrange it to coincide with one of the main festivals.

PASSOVER
Abraham offers up Issac exactly 400 years to the day that the Israelites left Egypt. The Israelites left Egypt during Passover. Jesus Chirst died on the day of Passover in 31 A.D.(the last supper was the Passover meal). That is three MAJOR events all occuring on the same exact day of the year! Passover is a day commanded by Almighty God forever as a day when the sacrifice of the first born lamb without blemish would be sacrified for the removal of sins so that God can dwell in your mind.

1st fulfillment = Abraham offers up his only son to God as a sacrifice for the removal of sins, God stops him and blesses him as a result of his faith.

2nd fulfillment = Moses leads the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery. All Israelites sacrificed a lamb without blemmish in order to have death "passover" them. The penalty for sin is death, so for death to "passover" them, their sins must have been removed by this action.

3rd fulfillment = Jesus Chrsit dies as the "lamb of God" for the remission of our sins. God sacrificed HIS only son for the removal of all sins in time.

PENTECOST
Similarly Pentecost has been fulfilled on 3 separate occations in scripture (2 past one shortly). Pentecost is commanded as a reminder of the laws of God/Governement of God. God's law describes God's way of life.

1st fulfillment = Moses and the 10 commandments. God gave His perfect law to mankind.

2nd fulfillment = 31 A.D. Jesus Christ returns to visit the apostles after his death and gives the power of God's Holy Spirit to the apostles and disciples. Only with the spirit of God dwelling in you is mankind capible of learning to obey God's laws over the cource of their lifetimes. In this fulfillment God gave the gift of the holy Spirit as a means to keep and understand the law.

3rd fulfillment = May 27th 2012, pentecost. Jesus Chrsit returns with the 144,000 other spirit beings (from mankind) as the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on Earth. They come to establish the laws of God upon all the Earth.

God's Holy Days teach His people about God's plan for salvation from begining to end, and he has fulfilled those days on the very day they represent 100% of the time since mankind was created.


All we know is that the current world-church is not experiencing anything like what the first-century church would recognise as “tribulation”.

See the replies to this posting.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by ElohimJD
...Unless the time interval portion of the events are occuring simultaneously (in paralell), with the destructive manifestation of those events occuring in quick linier succession.

In my thread on the trumpets, i was very willing to see them as different aspects of one major disaster.
Even so, that is a lot of action to get through in only three months.
Apart from that, the trumpets and vials appear to be God's response to the tribulation brought by the Beast, and that regime hasn't even been set up yet.


. In 609 B.C Nebuchaddnezzar defeated the Judea/Egyptian/Assyrian alliance and began to force tribute to Babylon....Babylon ruled all major kingdoms on Earth for exactly 70 years to the hour.

My edition of Cambridge Ancient History has 605 B.C. for the relevant battle of Carchemish. You really have to do a lot of juggling to make exactly seventy years of something. Better to accept it as a symbolic number (7x10, the number of God multiplied by the number of completeness, the period of time which God thinks necessary for the purpose)



PASSOVER
Abraham offers up Issac exactly 400 years to the day that the Israelites left Egypt.

Remind me where this anniversary is mentioned.
And none of your Biblical examples relate to the end-times, or suggest that God will make end-time events coincide with festivals.
The quoted examples are simply correlating the salvation events of the New Testament with God's work in the Old Testament.


I can't quote your comment on the tribulation, because the whole post is too long to fit the character restrictions.
But come on, are you seriously suggesting that a couple of sarcastic comments amount to a state of "tribulation".
Let me tell you, "tribulation", as the first century church would have understood it, is a hell of a lot more serious than that. It would have involved imprisonment. It would have involved death. You really musn't trivialise it



edit on 20-2-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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We may not know when the Rapture is going to happen BUT dates of the Six Seals have dates.
You need to know about Cosmology and when Signs happened in the Sky to unlock Revelation.

And when the Father tells the Son to go and get the Bride,the Bride will then be told as Jesus will know then. What Jesus knows, I can ask to be told. He tells His prophets does He not?

And as sudden destruction has just happened, (1 Thess 3v5) I am expecting to be caught up very soon.


As there is a code, that the NWO elites are using, that is in Psalms I suggest you start to look at that too.
It suggests that Jesus will be returning in 2018/2019. They beleive this and are making world events occur to this timeline, with god reacting to their freewill choices.
The code is this; Psalm 111=2011 etc


The problem is this that LaHaye has writtten a load of rubbish. I have read all their books and their take on the timelines of Revelation are rubbish.
Revelation is actually over 10 years, the NWO know this and have done their best to dumb Christians down.
Then the second problem is that, it is not widely known that every event up to the Last Trumpet can be DELAYED!!!!!!!!!

So as the Six Seals started in 2008 we are 3.5 yrs into the 10 years.
As the first rapture is DELAYED, then the Six Trumpets will be DELAYED BUT they will still be over 3.5yrs. (Acccording to Rev 12.)
This means the Bowls will be squeezed into the last years of the 10 years. Lucky them.

This way freewill is not compromised, yet God's elect are not lost.

And I have at least 3 signs/verses to back up, when each of the Seals were broken, ie they were revealed and given power.

Peace. God is control,all you are asked to do is to obey Jesus' Commandments and yearn for His return, you do not NEED to know the dates.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 04:02 PM
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The Book of Revelation is a timeless treatise on Alchemy and Kabbalah. Aside from the clear historical references to ancient Rome, it has a personal application only. There was never any intended prophetic significance for the world at large. However, when something enters human consciousness, people can make it happen because that's the way the Universe works. Humans have the God-like capability to self reflect and are therefore Co-Creators. If enough people want or fear Armageddon, that's what they'll get. If enough people don't want it, it won't happen. The good news? It only takes a very small percentage of enlightened people to cancel out the mindless/spiritless zombie/drone/automatons that make up about 97 percent of this Lemming Planet.
edit on 20-2-2012 by SimontheMagus because: addition



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by AriesJedi
And as sudden destruction has just happened, (1 Thess 3v5) I am expecting to be caught up very soon.

For the benefit of other readers, you mean 1 Thess 5v3. I sometimes make that kind of reversal.
But how can you say the "sudden destruction" mentioned in that verse has just happened?
This relates to the "day of the Lord". I haven't been aware of any such thing.


As there is a code, that the NWO elites are using, that is in Psalms I suggest you start to look at that too.
It suggests that Jesus will be returning in 2018/2019. They beleive this and are making world events occur to this timeline, with god reacting to their freewill choices.
The code is this; Psalm 111=2011 etc

Then Psalm 150 = 2050. How do you know they're not working to that date instead? Who has told you that they are doing this, or that God will co-operate with it?


So as the Six Seals started in 2008 we are 3.5 yrs into the 10 years.

On what basis do we know this? There has been some kind of calculation? How do we know that this is the calculation God is using?
The opening of the Seals brings plague, war, and famine, to the destruction of a quarter of the earth (or perhaps a quarter of its population). Is this happening yet?
edit on 20-2-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
In my thread on the trumpets, i was very willing to see them as different aspects of one major disaster.
Even so, that is a lot of action to get through in only three months.

I agree, it is much to get through and I am thankful for the mercy of God in these times that the days of destruction are shortened for the elect's sake.


Apart from that, the trumpets and vials appear to be God's response to the tribulation brought by the Beast, and that regime hasn't even been set up yet.

Vials = 100% correct, God destroys those who are destroying the Earth.
Trumpets = Mankind doing it to themselves as lead by Satan's influence which is given greater power at this time.

Correct, the regime has not been set up yet, but look for 9 nations + vatican = 10 nations to join together shortly into a loose mix of political and religious unity as a result of the US/UK/Israel destruction and global economic meltdown.


My edition of Cambridge Ancient History has 605 B.C. for the relevant battle of Carchemish. You really have to do a lot of juggling to make exactly seventy years of something. Better to accept it as a symbolic number (7x10, the number of God multiplied by the number of completeness, the period of time which God thinks necessary for the purpose)

This was the exact topic of last weeks Sabbath service, I find that to be absolutely fascinating, becasue 1 week ago this truth was not revealed to God's people, but now it is... Awesome.

And it is better to recieve the truth from God when it is given then to symbolize it into nothing.


And none of your Biblical examples relate to the end-times, or suggest that God will make end-time events coincide with festivals.
The quoted examples are simply correlating the salvation events of the New Testament with God's work in the Old Testament.

Fair to say. Past proof of God fulfilling events on His Holy Days is not proof that future events will. The quoted events are meant to show that God has a history of fulfilling His days on the exact date.


I can't quote your comment on the tribulation, because the whole post is too long to fit the character restrictions.
But come on, are you seriously suggesting that a couple of sarcastic comments amount to a state of "tribulation".
Let me tell you, "tribulation", as the first century church would have understood it, is a hell of a lot more serious than that. It would have involved imprisonment. It would have involved death. You really musn't trivialise it

I would never trivialize the tribulation of God's calling.

The tribulation is found in overcoming your selfish human nature during your lifetime. The tribulation of life is identical now as it was in the first century, just not as deadly. Often times death is far more merciful then life persecuted for the truth you try and share with mankind. Once you understand death, and why it exists, and how God uses it to ackomplish His plan of salvation, you will grasp the absolute blessing of a second life to come after the millenium and how death in this age is in most cases the best thing for your salvation in eternity. But these truths are meant for another thread.

God Bless,



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 04:34 PM
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Here is a hint the Book of Revelations is not literal it is a metaphor for what will happen with you on the road to enlightenment so to speak. Those that have ears will hear...



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by ElohimJD

. Better to accept it as a symbolic number (7x10, the number of God multiplied by the number of completeness, the period of time which God thinks necessary for the purpose)

This was the exact topic of last weeks Sabbath service, I find that to be absolutely fascinating, becasue 1 week ago this truth was not revealed to God's people, but now it is... Awesome.

It was revealed at least twelve months ago, because I typed the same words into the "This product contains no dates" post on my "Revelation; Project complete" thread, which went up exactly twelve months ago today. I had probably also offered the same explanation in some of the previous Revelation threads.

As for the Tribulation, the version described in Revelation ch13 is pretty deadly.
I'm inclined to take that account seriously.

Anyway, we don't have long to wait before we discover if this calculation, too, has fallen by the wayside.





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