ANYONE SAYS TO YOU...
Second Sequel to “Don’t Believe a Word of It”
Mt. 24:23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him— 25 "Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 "So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.
This article deals with the immediate latest rash of “prophesying” about the supposed “return of the Lord” and “end of the world” on September 23 this week. For decades now and more, there have been repetitive cycles of soul-stoked predictions about the timing of the rapture, the beginning of the tribulation and otherwise the “end of the world.” The advances in communications technology combined with the increased proliferation of prophetic anointing and counter-anointing have caused these predictions to become increasingly refined, plausible and persuasive to even the most spiritually minded among us.
As a result, ministries like this one repeatedly receive the question “What do you think of [the latest prediction of…..]?” This article will serve as a boiler plate response from me for future queries at each new cycle of heightened anticipation of the Lord’s coming.
This writing aligns with our other articles that answer the question “How do we know what we know?” about spiritual things. And that’s what we are going to do here relative to end times predictions.
To deal with the perpetual phenomena of cyclical predictions, we have to get up and out of pre-occupation with the immediate shiny information. For it is in our modern addiction to spiritual information that the church is being forever deceived and blown off course by such predictions.
If Anyone Says to You…..
Jesus actually makes the solution to this problem very simple. But it is so simple that like so many other things, it is hidden in plain sight.
Please read again the passage that heads this article. Give special heed to the underlined phrases. For it is these phrases that hold the key to the issue.
Jesus is dealing with people making end time predictions about His return. In context, He is speaking about predictions people will make after the tribulation has already kicked in. But His principle here applies to all predictions about His return at whatever time.
Here is how simple it is: “If anyone says to you……do not believe him.”
Stop. What do you see?
This is the key. It is the phrase, “If anyone says to you….”
The answer to this issue is not in the subject matter. It is not in the specific prediction, whether it is even right or wrong. You can fill in the blank on the eschatological prediction.
The answer to this problem is in the identity of the speaker! That speaker is named “Anyone.”
Who is “Anyone”? Anyone means anyone other than the Lord Himself.
In other words, when the Lord is truly ready to appear and to come for you, He is the one who will tell you, not just “anyone.” He is not going to announce His arrival to you through just “anyone.” He is not going to prophesy it through some prophet or prognosticator, whether Jonathan Cahn or Sid Roth or Hal Lindsey or John Hagee or Harold Camping or you fill in the blank. It has nothing to do with the validity of their information, how persuasive it can possibly sound based on the stringing together of signs and appearances and calculations.
My Sheep Hear My Voice
Here is what we must understand about the coming of the Lord. The Lord’s appearance is initially a secret event, participation in which is conditioned on personal readiness. Jesus said this over and over and over. He said when He comes, some will be ready, most will not. Some will know, most will not. He comes as a thief, in stealth. Personal readiness for his arrival is repeatedly tagged to this event.
What does this tell us? It tells us that the Lord’s return is a very precisional event after a precisionally choice people. It means that the return of the Lord is announced in the form of a personal call heard by the personal ear!
In other words, you will know that Jesus is ready to come, not because you heard an announcement from “anyone” on the public prophetic broadcast system, but because you in your readiness received a personal trumpet word from the Lord Himself on your closed communication line to Him!
The announcement of the Lord’s coming is via His Voice alone. It will not be through “anyone’s” voice. And this is the emphasis you see throughout Jesus’ ministry. He kept saying over and over you have to hear from Him and/or the Father directly about everything. You have to hear from Him for your directions and orders to obedience. And it is no different with his arrival to take you to Himself!
Jesus is not coming back for “Anyone”! He is coming back for You if You are Ready. Therefore He is not going to use “Anyone” to tell you He is coming. And therefore He says, “If Anyone says to you…..don’t believe him!”
Read again and see here in Matthew 24 for yourself. This is what He personally tells His followers in the moment: “Behold, I have told you in advance.” Here He is contrasting His personal word and Voice to the disciples right then and there with the voice of “Anyone” to come.
And that is how it is to be in the generation of His return. It can only be announced by His Own Voice.
So Church, stop listening to “Anyone!”
Signs and wonders in the heavens above and earth beneath have their place. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be given to us. Signs serve as markers to stir alertness to watching and readiness, but they cannot substitute for that actual readiness or for the Voice that actually makes that announcement to the heart saying, “I have come for you!” No sign can do that! No alignment of planets can do that! Virgo can’t do that! No red moon or blue moon or purple moon can do that! Nobody else’s report of somebody else hearing a trumpet in the sky can do that!
Listen. I easily confess that the signs of the Lord’s imminent arrival are multiplying. I don’t even need the moon or an earthquake to tell me that. All I have to do is read the headlines in the corrupt news (before I’m forced to put it all down because it’s just too vulgar to read).
I even grant that this time of September 2017 is an exceedingly significant time on God’s clock and that there is a major shift of some kind under way in the heavenlies. I have been sensing this for months. Great upheaval is at hand. And it is all connected to the Lord’s movement toward arriving for a prepared people.
But none of this is an announcement of His coming! Even if the Lord was coming on September 23, He wouldn’t be using YouTube to tell you! He wouldn’t be using Charisma Magazine to tell you! IF the Lord is going to come on September 23, the only ones who will know are those “He has told you in advance.”
But understand, as valuable as signs are for stirring alertness in the hearts of God’s people and of the world, no sign can or will ever be used to announce the time of the Lord’s coming. So it is unnecessary for anyone to write in and ask, “What do you think of such and such sign predicting the Lord’s coming?” I have just told you.
The Rapture of Elijah
2 Ki. 2:1 And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!" So they went down to Bethel. 3 Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?" And he said, "Yes, I know; keep silent!" 4 Then Elijah said to him, "Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho." But he said, "As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!" So they came to Jericho. 5 Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?" So he answered, "Yes, I know; keep silent!"
The story of Elijah’s rapture typifies the truth we have been hitting on. Elisha knows that to get Elijah’s mantle, he has to stay close to him so that he sees Elijah when he is taken. Meanwhile, at the various places they go, the “second hand” prophets come out and tell Elisha “Are you aware Elijah is going to be raptured today?”
Here is what we have to see. How did Elisha know Elijah was going to be taken “today”? And how did the prophets in Bethel and Jericho know? The answer is, the news came to all of them via their own spirits. The Lord told each one of these men to themselves that Elijah was going. Nobody else told them. “Anyone” could not tell them this.
Elisha emphatically tells the other second hand prophets, “I know this for myself, I don’t need you to tell me, so be quiet!” Elisha doesn’t want to hear from “anyone” else about this, no matter how prophetically trustworthy—as these men would have been. He knows it means nothing as far as his own readiness is concerned. Sure, it makes fine confirmation for him. But someone else’s confirmation can’t substitute for his own knowing and readiness. Whatever any of these other prophets have to say on the matter cannot ultimately matter, even if they are right.
Elisha must know for himself, and he does know for himself, and that is why he is dogging Elijah, and that is all he cares about. The word by everyone else doesn’t matter and can’t prove anything to him one way or another about this critical event, and is actually more of a distraction than a help.
And that is how it has to be for us. Our attitude toward all the prognosticating should be, “Keep quiet! You are a distraction to my own hearing and readiness!” And that is the truth about all the blaring online about September 23 or any other day to come. We need to be listening and hearing for ourselves, and unless His Voice is speaking to us, then forget whatever “anyone” is saying out there on the Sid Roth show. If you have to hear of the Lord’s return second hand to know about it, you won’t be ready anyway.
Margaret MacDonald, Once Again
Again I am drawn to the 1830 prophecy of Margaret MacDonald of Scotland who first prophesied the nature of the Lord’s coming as a pre-tribulational event dependent on readiness. This prophecy is detailed in Chapter 10 of The Transformation and Anointing. I give only the first paragraph here:
Here I was made to stop and cry out, "O it is not known what the sign of the Son of man is; the people of God think they are waiting, but they know not what it is." I felt this needed to be revealed, and that there was great darkness and error about it; but suddenly what it was burst upon me with a glorious light. I saw it was just the Lord himself descending from Heaven with a shout, just the glorified man, even Jesus; but that all must, as Stephen was, be filled with the Holy Ghost, that they might look up and see the brightness of the Father's glory. I saw the error to be, that men think that it will be something seen by the natural eye; but 'tis spiritual discernment that is needed, the eye of God in His people.
Here, the premier announcement in modern times from which all public teaching on the rapture is since descended tells us that the only seeing and announcing of and readiness for the Lord’s appearing is to be on a closed private spiritual channel. Margaret tells us people are looking for signs, but the Lord’s coming will not be known or apprehended by the natural apprehending of natural signs. They have to be ready inwardly through an inward knowing and seeing through a fullness of the Spirit akin to that of the first martyr! (How many of us will qualify for that?)
And that is how each and every one of us will know when the Lord is coming. It will not be by what “Anyone” has to say. “Anyone” is not to be believed.
A man can bear witness only to his own testimony. So my testimony is this, I have not heard the Lord say He is coming back for me this Saturday! And until I do hear it from him, I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it. I will not believe it. And I am commanded to not believe it.
And my second hand testimony to you would be the same. You listen. You see if you hear the Voice of the Shepherd telling you He is coming for you this Saturday. If you hear it, fine! But don’t believe what “Anyone” has to tell you about it, including me. And let that be your practice for all future reports, so that you never need to be put into a state of distraction or upset as happened to the Thessalonians:
II Thess. 2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
That’s what happened to the Thessalonians. They got shook up because they believed what “Anyone” had to say about the Lord’s personal return for them—an “anyone” they were deceived to believe was Paul himself. Jesus said, “Don’t do that.” Don’t listen to “Anyone.” But they may have not known that. So Paul set them straight.
May this article help in the same way for anyone in earshot of this ministry distracted over this week’s sign predictions of the Lord’s imminent return.
With all love in the faith,
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created August 31, 2018