Rapture SoothsayingBy Mark A. Becker
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11,NKJV).
The definition of “soothsaying” is “the act of foretelling events,” an action strictly prohibited by God to His people – Israeli and Christian – apart from a divine mandate through the prophets; an office that predicts the future and no longer exists since the completion of the Scriptures.
So why do we find so many brothers and sisters in Christ attempting to foretell when the rapture will occur? Is there a reward or a crown for the one who correctly predicts the date of the rapture that I’m not privy to? Because I’ve never seen it.
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
I know of this crown that awaits those “that love His appearing” at the resurrection/rapture of the church, but I can find nowhere in Scripture that even hints to someone being able to predict the date of the rapture and certainly no command for anyone to even attempt to foretell the day of the rapture. Yet here we are with many in the body of Christ doing just that.
Why? What’s the purpose? And doesn’t this go against Christ and the Apostle’s insistence that no man knows the day or hour and that our Lord comes as a thief in the night and at a time we least expect? Hasn’t The Imminency of the Rapture always been the reality of the teachings of our Lord and His Apostles? Yes, and yes!
When God’s people are using their valuable time in an effort to predict the date and/or timing of the rapture, are they following the Lord’s stated will, or are they following their own hearts and fleshly desires? And, if one decides to settle on a perceived date, does that person risk being categorized as a false prophet?
Here’s what God’s Word says concerning those who promote soothsaying in the Name of God:
“And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
What were the penalties for such a false prophet in Israel? We find out just one verse earlier:
“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die” (Deuteronomy 18:20).
To the saint who desires to predict the date of the rapture: Why are you doing such things? Thankfully, we don’t put to death false prophets today — in that you are safe. But don’t you think you’ll be held accountable by a Holy God for partaking in such folly?
A Quick Baseball Analogy
One could say, in regard to predicting the date of the rapture, “One strike and you’re out!”
But from what I know of Scripture, we shouldn’t even grab a bat and head to the plate. I believe God would have us stay in the field of the world to spread the gospel and make disciples. In fact, that is His Great Commission!
What’s the batting average for those who have predicted the date or the day of the rapture for the past 2,000 years?
The batting average for those who have predicted the date or the day of the rapture for the past 2,000 years is .000. I have no doubt and can guarantee to the reader – God’s Word can guarantee to the reader – that that average will be the same by the time the rapture actually does occur.
Why? Because The Imminency of the Rapture has always been a reality that has been taught by the Lord and His Apostles in the Holy Scriptures!
What About a Feast Day or Any Day?
Is the Christian setting a date when they say that the rapture must or should happen on a feast day?
I touched on this topic quite extensively in Imminence, Signs, and Feasts – Oh My! – but I’d like to drive home a point.
If the rapture were to happen on a feast day – as many have suggested the feast of Trumpets or Pentecost, Tishri 1 or the 1st of Nisan, the 9th of Av, or any day – doesn’t this mean that man does know the day of the rapture? Of course, it does. And what does this say about the claims of Christ that no man will know the day (Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32), not to mention that no man would even know the divinely appointed time, most commonly translated as “hour”?
Some may say, “Well, the feast of Trumpets encompasses two days in duration, and this could easily apply to the term ‘day or hour.’” Well, no. God’s feast of Trumpets is for only one day:
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord” (Leviticus 23:24-25).
This day began what’s now known as the 10 Days of Awe and culminates in the Day of Atonement. The Feasts of Trumpets, tradition has it, was given an extra day by the rabbis, for a total of two days, about 500 years before Christ. This, of course, was done on their own initiative – a tradition of men.
Even if one were to say that the rapture must happen on one of the two days – that was extended from one to two in rejection of the command of God by the traditions of men – you are still claiming that you know the day, even if it’s limited to two days. Please, dear saint, don’t play semantics with God on this one. You’re playing with fire.
In Imminence, Signs, and Feasts – Oh My! we look into the definition of the Greek word for “hour” and discover that, in the context of the phrase “day or hour,” the word is not speaking of an hour of a day, for if no man knows the day, they most certainly are not going to know the hour! This word, in context of the phrase “no man knows the day or hour,” is conveying the idea of a “divinely appointed set time.”
For the Christian who is awake, watching and waiting, they could very well know the season of the Lord’s return. But no one knows how many birth pangs the church will have to go through before the Father sends His Son for His bride. Therefore, no one – no man, no angel, not even the Son – knows the day or the “divinely appointed set time” that the rapture will take place.
Why Do Some Insist They Can Know the Timing of the Rapture?
So, I must ask you, my Rapture Soothsaying friend, “How is it that you know the day that even the Son of God doesn’t know? A date that has been fully entrusted only to the Father?”
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).
Do we not understand that this day will be a God-ordained surprise? For if the Lord told us that He would come back at a time we least expect, wouldn’t we do well to believe Him?
“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40).
Along with pride – the ultimate sin of Satan, the fallen angels, and men and women – is the sin of not believing the Word of God. Why do some insist on not believing the Words of our Lord when it comes to His coming for His bride?
The bride in the Jewish-Galilean wedding knows not the day her groom will fetch her, just as a thief isn’t limited to any date when he breaks in on the unsuspecting. Both of these analogies are cited by our Lord concerning His coming for His bride. This is why we are to always be watching, waiting, and praying.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:42-44).
Let me ask you, my Rapture Soothsaying friend who believes the rapture must happen on the feast of Trumpets or Pentecost or any other day: When the rapture does happen on a day you aren’t expecting, will it not come upon you as a thief in the night? Will you not, by your expectation of the rapture on a certain day or feast, be fulfilling prophecy when our blessed hope takes you by surprise?
So, please, I beseech you, brother and sister, who have ears to hear, refrain from predicting a day or date of the rapture and instead do what you are commanded to do: Watch and pray.
“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).
Everyone Loves a Good Mystery
Yes, everyone loves a good mystery, and Paul gave and elucidated many; most importantly, for the believer, is the rapture itself! But the mystery of the date of the rapture belongs only to the Father, and anyone presumptuous enough to take that which is entrusted into the Father’s hands and delegate this honor to themselves is, in my humble opinion, playing with divine fire.
If any brother or sister in Christ finds themselves saying or typing, “I’m not date-setting here…,” please stop! There’s always a “but” that follows this pronouncement, and it’s only going to lead you into the very thing you say you’re not doing.
In all honesty, I have to watch myself as well because we are all prone to this error. We all need to just cease and resist any temptation to imply we may know when the rapture could specifically occur – because the truth is, we don’t!
I’m not talking about generalizations, such as, “It sure feels like the rapture is getting close,” or, “It really seems like the rapture could happen in the next five years or so.” In these, we aren’t setting dates or days; we are just noticing the times and the season in which we live and how they relate to the last days as revealed to us in the Scriptures.
And even then, we should always be willing to humbly admit that we may be wrong.
How many countless times in the past 2,000 years have men been presumptuous in predicting a date for the rapture and have failed miserably? As noted above, they have been batting .000, and I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to the actual number of these ill-conceived predictions.
What were the repercussions of these fruitlessly unwise and unwarranted attempts? What untold damage did these people and their date-setting do to the body of Christ and a watching world?
Those who indulge in this foolish exercise inevitably induce the people of God to be extremely energized initially, but is always followed by agitation, disappointment, discouragement, depression, and often, financial, spiritual, and social misery.
God never commanded us to date-set through His Word, His Son, or His prophets – ever. Please, Saint, don’t be guilty of Rapture Soothsaying. The end result might actually become an unnecessary and unmitigated disaster for all involved.
“And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers” (Micah 5:12).
Please, dearly beloved, don’t be out of the will of God.
God’s Will and Mission for His Children is The Great Commission
When I think of this topic, I truly get saddened by the loss of valuable time spent doing something the Lord has never commanded and neglecting those things our Savior has commissioned us to do in His precious Name.
This article wasn’t meant to offend anyone but to warn and inspire those who partake in Rapture Soothsaying to depart from their ways, repent, and devote their precious time to Answering the Call of The Great Commission. And if you, the reader, believe the same way, please don’t hesitate to pass this article on to those you know who are partaking in Rapture Soothsaying to warn them as well.
In love for the bride of Christ, I don’t want any of my brothers and sisters to be reprimanded at the Bema seat of Christ for wasting valuable time in doing something the Lord never commanded them to do. No Saint should ever jeopardize any chance of hearing those special and coveted words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Remember, those works that we do – apart from honestly serving Messiah Jesus in accordance with His revealed will – will be burned up and accounted to us as worthless.
My fervent desire is that we all receive the rewards and crowns we are promised in God’s Word for serving Him with a fervently pure heart, and that we may rejoice together with our Lord and Savior forever, world without end, in love, peace, and joy, with absolutely no regrets.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!