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Posted September 6, 2015

Is September the End?

The peril of risking your testimony on speculation, wild guesses, and faulty conclusions

As some of you may be aware, there is an uncanny, even unprecedented, convergence of events set to take place in the next few weeks that have been the cause of great consternation by some who track such activities. Like many others, I am indeed interested in events forecast for this month, September 2015. My intent with this piece is both to inform and also to encourage Christians to remain focused and on point with what God would have us do when faced with scenarios such as those we are told are just ahead of us.

A quick survey of search results from Google or YouTube indicates how many voices are foretelling unequivocal doom, chaos, or worse by October. Predictions as far ranging as September ushering in the end of the U.S. Constitution to its ushering in the end of the world have been made as proponents have stated in no uncertain terms that the differing outcomes they are declaring are as sure as yesterday’s news. While I have always stated that ignorance is never bliss concerning spiritual matters, I do sympathize at least to some extent with those who are reaching their limit when it comes to rotten news and predictions of impending apocalypse. There are times I’d just like to pull the covers up over my head, too, in hopes it will all just go away. While that tactic might work for a little while, it cannot be our course when we remember what Christians are called to do while here on planet Earth.

Here is a list of just some of the events coming at us in the next 30 days. Many will become major news stories. Whether one buys into the September doom scenarios or not, the sheer convergence of so many events with geopolitical, religious, and/or biblical implications is noteworthy.

September's Events

- Sept. 9: The date the Jewish Sanhedrin plans to put President Obama on trial for promoting genocide of the Jewish people with the P5+1 agreement with Iran over that nation’s nuclear weapons program.

- Sept. 12-13: The end of the Sabbatical year or “Shemitah” (the last year of the 7-year cycle). It is associated with financial issues, debt forgiveness, economic problems, recession, and declines in the stock market.

- Sept. 12-13: Influential ultra-Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, Chaim Kanievsky, is suggesting the coming of Messiah at the end of the Sabbatical year - 29th day of Elul, or Saturday, September 12, 2015.

- Rosh Hashanah (or the Feast of Trumpets) begins at sundown on Sept. 13 and ends at sundown on Sept. 15.

- Sept. 13: Partial solar eclipse takes place. (It will not visible in Israel, North America, or Europe but only in part of the extreme southern hemisphere.)

- Sept.15: In the United States the military exercise known as “Jade Helm” (Joint Assistance for Development and Execution <“JADE”> Homeland Eradication of Local Militants <“HELM”>) is set to end.

- Sept.15: The 70th UN General Assembly will begin meeting; France is expected to present a resolution to the UN Security Council to divide Israel and force a peace treaty on Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

 - Sept. 17-18: The US Congress has 60 days to examine and then vote to either approve or disapprove of the Iranian nuclear deal. Will the Republicans have the spine to stop the deal?

- Sept. 20: The Jewish Sanhedrin plans to put Pope Francis on trial on Mt. Zion for officially recognizing the existence of a Palestinian State on land that God gave to Israel.

- Sept. 22-23: Yom Kippur (or the Day of Atonement) begins at sundown on the 22nd. This will mark the beginning of the next year of Jubilee (the 50th year), the cancellation of debts, restoration of land to the original owners, etc. Generally speaking, however, if a nation or people have abandoned God, this signals judgment.

- September marks the beginning of the 70th Jubilee cycle (a year of Jubilee happens after 7 cycles of 7 or 49 years). Note: The 70th of 7-year cycles …hmmm?

- Sept 22: The Hajj (Day of Arafat) begins at Mecca and the Muslim celebration of EID begins on the 23rd.

- Sept. 23: Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the White House for discussions with Pres. Obama about wealth redistribution, religious freedom, immigration (elimination of borders), and climate change.

- Sept 24: Pope Francis is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress about world peace, religious values (most likely the need for a world religion), caring for the poor, etc.

- Sept. 25: Pope Francis is scheduled to address the UN in New York City. He has stated he wants to reduce the world’s population, regulate global climate change, establish a global constitution, establish a global court, and establish a one-world government. He will also hold a Mass at Madison Square Garden.

- Sept. 25-27: The UN plans to hold a Sustainable Development Summit to expand the role of global governance (world government). They plan to discuss global economic issues, climate change, global education, and gender equality. It is really a plan to control the life of everyone on earth.

- Sept. 28: The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

- Sept 28: The fourth blood moon in the current tetrad occurs.

- October 20: If all of that weren't enough, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may announce the launch of a new reserve currency in October. If they do, it could severely devalue the US dollar and further undermine our stagnant economy.

Now, here are a few of the ideas being bandied about that are based on pure conjecture.

- Of course, many are speculating that the Rapture could take place on the Feast of Trumpets (Sept 13) or on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Sept. 22-23). Many are saying the Rapture will take place then. Note to self: if anyone claims they know when the Rapture will happen, don’t listen to them!

- Reports that a 2½-mile-wide comet will strike the earth in late September are rampant. September 24 is the date most often named by the current online prophets. There are also reports that claim a meteor or asteroid will strike Puerto Rico maiming or destroying the earth as well. Conspiracy junkies claim that NASA knows about it but that the public will not be told. Evidently only the rich and powerful are going to be tucked away in underground bunkers while the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves amid the chaos - if there is anything left of the planet, that is.

Speaking for those he named as "prophets," one syndicated radio commentator proclaimed recently that an asteroid is to hit a small island in the Caribbean in September. This will allegedly produce a thousand foot tsunami wave devastating numerous coastlines. According to the unnamed "prophets," the impact will open a fault line running up the Mississippi River Valley which will split the United States in half and cause chunks of California to slide into the Pacific Ocean. The radio host concluded by encouraging people to accept Jesus into their hearts - and buy his new DVD on the coming destruction!

(By the way, you should note that if the Earth were destroyed in September 2015, then the Bible simply couldn't be true because the Tribulation period, the Antichrist, Armageddon, the Second Coming, the Millennium and any number of other events that Scripture speaks of haven’t yet transpired!)

- Many have predicted JADE HELM to be more than just urban combat training but at very least a dry run in the event that martial law is ever imposed. I understand how it is easy to arrive at that conclusion considering our current President enforces and ignores laws according to his agenda and has been described as “the narcissist and chief” by more than one commentator. But it hasn’t stopped there.

Some are declaring that JADE HELM is in reality a subversive military action organized for the purpose of imposing martial law and bringing an end to Constitutional rule in America. The fact is that we don't know any such thing for certain and no matter how plausible something might appear, this type of baseless commentary ought to disturb anyone who cares for the truth. When people move from the realm of possibility to actuality and proceed in declaring that some future action or event is absolutely going to take place - yet do so without empirical proof to buttress their claims - they are presenting sheer opinion as if it were hard news. Now ask, should a Christian traffic in such conjecture presented to appear as if it were actually fact?

If those engaging in such activity have a media presence or Internet following they may very well lead others to act upon their unproven speculations as well. (I know of at least two instances of people who have moved out of the country because of fear over JADE HELM. They were convinced that our sovereignty was unequivocally going to end because of the conspiratorial and unsubstantiated rantings of a number of different Internet bloggers and commentators.) It is one thing to discuss the possibilities. It is quite another to declare an outcome as if it had already occurred. Unless the predicted doom actually does materialize in September, the fear-mongers who have fostered these various ideas as absolute fact should be discredited and never, ever be taken seriously again!

- Some of the comet/asteroid crowd believe that a cryptic message given by the French Foreign Minister during a visit to the White House last year subtly warned of environmental catastrophe/planetary destruction set for September 2015. Others have concluded that our destruction will be brought on by the experiments being conducted with the world’s largest Hadron Particle Collider by The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as “CERN”) in Switzerland.

Prophecy teacher, Daymond Duck, who assembled part of the list of actual events I cited above, comments The list of things to watch for in September, 2015 has surpassed my ability to keep up with all of it.”

That sentiment is one that many of us who write and speak about these issues echo over and over. No one can keep up. Between conspiracies, conjecture, speculations, and actual facts, we are watching perhaps the greatest volume of doomsday predictions being fostered that I’ve ever encountered as a researcher. From the research I have done, I can tell you there is a voluminous amount of speculation circulating as “fact” concerning September’s “doom.” More troubling, however, is the disturbing lack of understanding concerning eschatology and biblical end times evident in hundreds, if not thousands, of YouTube videos that appear to represent Christianity.

Wasting Time and Losing Credibility

With all of this whirling around the Internet, I can well imagine heads spinning and hearts failing unless one remembers that God has the final say. That was a main point that Jan Markell and I tried to convey when we took on this issue during the last segment of the August 29 edition of “Understanding The Times” Radio (listen here).

What spurred us to address the various September doom scenarios was not abject skepticism. It was not because we don’t believe that most, if not all, of the predictions being made couldn’t actually transpire, at least at some point. As I said in the program, no one should think we are naysayers. Antichrist will come some day. Martial law and worse will occur. There will be signs in the heavens. God will judge the earth in ways that even Hollywood’s special effects can’t begin to accurately portray.

What compelled us to present this topic on radio was twofold. First, regarding both the known and alleged September events, it is evident from the correspondence we’ve received and the research we’ve done that significant numbers of Christians seem consumed with running after hidden facts, rumors, and conspiracies. It also appears they are displaying precious little biblical discernment in the process.

With September approaching and with conjecture running wild, I began to wonder how many man-hours and how much Internet bandwidth was being used in exploring just the various September doom scenarios. Some of the most questionable, even preposterous, videos on this stuff have hundreds of thousands of plays on YouTube and it appears from a scan of the comments left under many of these videos that professing Christians are a primary source of fuel driving their popularity.

Please don't misunderstand. I believe that everyone should understand the times in which we live and people certainly have a right to spend their own time as they so choose. Frankly, however, with time in each day at a premium for so many folks, could it be that some caught up in chasing speculations about September literally have little or no time left to spend in God's Word, or for prayer, or worship, or to actually be the biblical witness God has called all Christians to be? Being sidetracked, regardless of the reason, could easily be called idolatry, couldn't it?

To those enamored with reports that even Jesse Ventura would consider "far out," I ask: are you following the Lord’s command to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33) or are you seeking speculations that do little more than feed fear, despair, and confusion? Having knowledge about the events of our day is one thing, but concentrating on the often highly speculative future outcomes to those events - based on little more than the guesses of those who are doing the speculating - could not only prove to be detrimental to us personally but it could well mean that our credibility is permanently compromised. This is second of the twofold concern.

I wonder how many Christians are frightened silly by the various runaway, unsubstantiated scenarios being forecast for the near future. Though these extreme hypotheses can and have generated a loss of time or money for some, and an increase of anxiety or disillusioned for others, these results aren’t the worst thing a Christian can experience should he or she buy into the conclusions of doom. What about your testimony and witness for the Lord? For those who've repeated the recent cries of doom to friends and family, what will you say if nothing earthshaking transpires in September? If all of the sensational speculations you repeated about September calamities were wrong have you then actually jeopardized your ability to be heard concerning the most important message anyone can ever hear - the Gospel of Jesus Christ? By repeating sensational claims will you then be viewed by those around you as nothing more than "the little Christian who cried wolf?" Truly, nothing is worth sacrificing your testimony and future godly influence for.

We don’t have to look far to observe what happens when men take these kind of liberties in forecasting events or when “prophets” mislead and are excused instead of being identified as false.

We need to recall the damage brought by former NASA rocket scientist turned false prophet, Edgar C. Whisenant, who wrote the book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.

We need to consider those who followed the late Harold Camping, of the Family Radio Network, who predicted the Rapture of the Church would occur May 21, 2011, followed by the end of the world on October 21 of that year. What has been their spiritual fate and what became of their Christian testimony for repeating Camping's ramblings?

Remember Y2K? Melanie and I encouraged people to update their software and to prepare to weather possible problems. Some, however, declared there would be a worldwide catastrophic meltdown from computer malfunctions and society would collapse. In reality, a few problems took place but nothing major and we who prepped at all happily ate the canned foods we saved and used our emergency supply of T.P.

Understand that in no way am I opposed to preparing for disasters, supply-line interruptions, or civil unrest. Past generations did so as a commonsense practice. It should be noted though that many of the loudest and most convincing Y2K doomsayers seemed more interested in selling copious amounts of survival supplies. The same is also true of the September doom crowd. Perhaps that's their real message?

Resisting Deception and Trusting Him

When Jan asked me what advice I had to offer listeners concerning all of the prospective doom being predicted for September, I pointed to Jesus’ warnings to His disciples from Matthew 24:3-4.

In this passage we read that when they inquired of Him about the signs of the end and of His return, Jesus began by imploring His disciples to beware of being deceived. It’s important to note that He was speaking to men who had forsaken everything to follow Him and who were eyewitnesses of His greatest recorded miracles. The few He addressed in that private meeting were completely sold out to His Messiahship. Yet he didn’t list signs and events in response to their question. Instead, He began by warning them against deception. How much more is Jesus’ admonition to be on guard applicable to us here in the end-of-the-end-days where error and deception seem to be increasing exponentially with each passing day?

As time advances, my advice is that we remember how sovereign and completely in control God really is - no matter what might transpire. For us who believe the Bible, there is no doubt that the climax of human history appears to be just ahead - but no one but God knows exactly when. Instead of focusing on conjecture and uncertainty, let us focus our attention firmly on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and diligently seek to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) that He left us here to complete. Shouldn’t that be how we respond in every situation until He comes?

During the last segment of the August 29, (2015) "Understanding The Times" Radio program, Jan Markell and Eric Barger discussed related issues. Listen Here

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