Up to this week, I had never heard of Jason Meade. But over the last couple weeks he has certainly gotten his 15 minutes of fame when under the banner of a Christian numerologist he claimed that the countdown for the world’s end will start tomorrow — September 23, 2017.
Several secular media outlets have picked up the story including Foxnews and the Washington Post.
Unfortunately, when Meade’s prediction doesn’t come true tomorrow, it will be another stab in the back for Christians.
I know Meade is wrong, because the Bible says he is wrong.
Jesus speaking to his disciples about the end-times said:
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36 NASV)
The Lord says very clearly that we will not know the day when Jesus will return.
What does this mean?
Well I could guess the day. I could pick a date out of a hat and predict Christ will return on say February 18, 2034 and could conceivably guess it right.
But the Bible says that I can not know. This means there is no evidence or secret clues in the Bible that allow me to predict the exact day of Christ’s return. So if anyone claims they have used the Bible to predict the day, they are wrong.
The Bible does speak of signs that point to Christ’s coming – solar eclipses, blood moons, volcanoes, famines, wars and even asteroid hits (Revelation 6:12-17).
But Jesus described these and other signs as labour pangs indicating that the time is near.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. (Matthew 24:7-8 NASV)
In the same way the start of a woman’s birth pangs is no indicator of the exact hour of birth, we can’t predict the exact day or hour of Christ’s return or even year for that matter.
There are simply no patterns or clues in the Bible that tells us the exact time.
So how did Meade come to his conclusion?
According to the Washington Post, the number 33 apparently plays a big role in his calculation.
He says for instance that Jesus died at the age of 33.
I have no idea how old Christ was when He died. The Bible does not tell us. Many believe Christ died during the Jewish Passover in 33AD, but that is far from certain. However, Christians living in the second century were pretty sure that was the year, and they may be right.
We do know that Christ had to be born sometime before Herod the Great died (Matthew 2:19-20). Herod died in 4BC, so that would make Christ at least 37 when the Romans crucified Him and probably much older.
Then Meade says Elohim, a name for God, is mentioned 33 times and with this as his evidence, he says that September 23, 2017 is 33 days since the solar eclipse took place on August 21, 2017.
Now to be fair Meade is not saying that the world will actually end on September 23. Meade told the Washington Post it will mark the appearance of a secret and mysterious planet Niburu that will quickly mark the countdown to the end.
The Express says that Meade believes this will culminate with the rapture taking place sometime in October.
According to Meade and others who believe in Nibiru, this mysterious planet is hidden behind other constellations so no one can actually see it. He also cites one of the birth pang passages as evidence:
25 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26 NASV)
But as astronomers have pointed out even if this mysterious planet was invisible, they would still see the effects of its gravitational pull on other planets.
Of course, Meade is not the first Christian to predict the end of the world, and unfortunately he will probably not be the last one to be wrong.
In 2011, Harold Camping (now deceased), a respected host of a Christian program, Family Radio, predicted that the world would end on May 21st of that year. The organization even set up billboards across the US proclaiming the date.
Of course, it didn’t happen on May 21, so Camping citing a mathematical error adjusted his prediction to October 21, 2011. He was wrong again. But these false date predictions resulted in a significant drop in Family Radio’s supporters and revenues.
Now to his credit, Christian Post reported that in March 2012, Camping acknowledged he was wrong. Citing Matthew 24:36, Camping even suggested it was a sin to predict the day of Jesus’ return.
NASA engineer, Edgar C. Whisenant was caught up in the prediction game stating that the rapture would take place in 1988, and even wrote a book giving 88 reasons to support his conclusion. Of course it didn’t.
Even famous scientist Sir Isaac Newton from the 1700s predicted that Christ could return in 2060. But he was much more careful stating that would only happen around that time. He was not saying that was the exact year.
I believe in Christ’s second coming and am increasingly convinced that the birth pangs Christ predicted may have started. But we can’t even be sure of that.
But we can be sure of one thing: if anyone says they know an exact date, they are wrong.
- The world as we know it is about to end — again — if you believe this Biblical doomsday claim: Washington Post
- September 23 ‘prophecy’ is an embarrassment to Christians: Charisma News
- Theologians respond to string of end of the world date predictions: Christian Post
- Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim: Foxnews
- END OF THE WORLD September 23: Bible prophecy that ‘proves’ solar eclipse was a sign: The Express