Prophetic speculation never seems to end. Here’s the latest: “Three unusual happenings have sparked claims that Biblical prophecies about the end of the world and the coming of the Messiah may be coming true.” The three prophecies are a snake and a pigeon at the Wailing Wall the birth of a red heifer, and fish in the Dead Sea.
How many times have you heard of claims like the above? We were told in Hal Lindsey’s 1970 mega-bestseller The Late Great Planet Earth that something called the “rapture” would take place before 1988. Israel became a nation in 1948. Within a generation of that event (40 years), all the Christians in the world would be taken to heaven. That was 30 years ago.
In 1986, Halley’s Comet was said to be an end-time sign even though it passes by Earth every 74 to 79 years and has done so for thousands of years. “Halley’s returns to the inner Solar System have been observed and recorded by astronomers since at least 240 BC.” Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was born on November 30, 1835, two weeks after the comet’s appearance. In his biography, he wrote, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’” Clemens died on April 21, 1910, the day following the comet’s appearance.
Harold Camping calculated that it was all going to end in 1994. And when 1994 came and went, he recalculated and said that Jesus Christ would return to Earth on May 21, 2011, whereupon the saved would be taken up to heaven in the “rapture,” and that there would follow five months of fire, brimstone, and plagues on Earth, with millions of people dying each day, culminating on October 21, 2011, with the final destruction of the world. Camping said, “The Bible Guarantees It.”
Something similar happened with Edgar Whisenant who dared to state that if he was wrong in his calculations that the “rapture” would take place in September of 1988 that it would mean the Bible was wrong.
Then there was the claim that the end would come in the year 2000 (or 2001). This was based on the six creation days, each day representing a thousand years. The Earth was said to have been created around 4000 BC and from the birth of Christ to the year 2000 added up to six thousand years (six days of toil). The seventh thousand was to be a millennium of rest.
The Mayan Calendar supposedly ended world history in 2012. There was even a movie about it.
Let’s not forget the numerous claims about Blood Moons and solar eclipses.
These are just some of the most recent predictions. There are nearly 2000 years of such false predictions that most people have never heard of.
The Snake and the Pigeon
Now we have three new supposed “signs” that some prophetic event is on the horizon. The first one comes from Israel, naturally.
(A) snake was filmed slithering out of Israel’s Western Wall, unexpectedly interrupting prayers. Footage showed the reptile scaring away a pigeon — with some Internet users deeming it a sign that a prophecy about the Messiah’s coming will soon be fulfilled. While countless ‘end of the world’ conspiracy theories have fallen flat over the decades, some claim that the beginning of the ‘end’ will actually begin in 2021.
There’s nothing in the Bible about a snake scaring away a pigeon let alone such a thing having anything to do with the end of anything. Who knows how many times a snake has scared away a pigeon at the Wailing Wall.
What’s the source of this so-called “prophecy”?
The Zohar (the basis of Jewish mysticism) explained that the evil inclination, personified by the snake in Eden, will make a resurgence in the days before Messiah, tempted to come and drink sustenance from the enormous levels of holiness that will appear in the world in the end-of-days.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus that teachers who were “rebellious men, empty talkers, and deceivers” were “upsetting whole families” because they were “teaching things they should not for the sake of sordid gain.” They were not to pay “attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth” (Titus 1:10-14).
Paul writes something similar to Timothy:
As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith (1 Tim. 1:4).
This means the snake and the pigeon incident has no prophetic significance; it’s all speculation. With enough imagination, any event can be turned into a prophecy.
It seems that people will look for anything that will tickle their ears about what the future will bring, even if it’s something that has zero support from the Bible and based on wide-eyed speculation to divert people’s attention from kingdom work in the world.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Tim. 4:4-5).
Tomorrow’s article will explore the significance of the Red Heifer (Num. 19).