Where the world comes to study the Bible

I believe I've calculated the number of the beast based upon a current presidental candidate birth and possible presidential inauguration year. Can you confirm?

Thanks so much for your e-mail, and for your caution in dealing with these matters. It is indeed wise to seek counsel before pressing ahead.

I would advice extreme caution in matters such as you are dealing with, for the following biblical reasons.

(1) The admonition of Scripture not to dwell upon unrevealed mysteries, but rather to focus on that which is clearly revealed in Scripture.

29 Secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29, NET).

5 So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition from God. 6 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters, so that through us you may learn “not to go beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one against the other (1 Corinthians 4:5-6). [I realize that this text may not directly address the things we are discussing, but I believe it may indirectly speak to these matters.]

(2) The warnings of Scripture regarding that which is speculative:

3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings, 4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. Such things promote useless speculations rather than God's redemptive plan that operates by faith. 5 But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently (1 Timothy 1:3-7, NET).

23 But reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting (2 Timothy 2:23, NET).

(3) The teaching of the Scriptures that the Scriptures we have are sufficient (and thus we don't need more revelation than they provide).

1 After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, 2 in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. 3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs (Hebrews 1:1-4).

1 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels proved to be so firm that every violation or disobedience received its just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 4 while God confirmed their witness with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will (Hebrews 2:1-4).

16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” 18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet's own imagination, 21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:16-21).

16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

(4) The example of the first coming of our Lord. There were many prophecies regarding our Lord's first coming, but no one seemed to understand them ahead of time. A very few recognized certain details (like Simeon and Anna at the birth of Jesus), but no one figured it all out -- not even the disciples – until after our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. I would not expect it to be any different when it comes to our Lord's second coming.

In addition to the teaching of the Scriptures we have countless examples of those who felt they had knowledge of details about who the antichrist was, and about the timing of our Lord's return. All of them have been wrong.

I do not fault Christians in the past for looking for our Lord's return, or for the rise of the antichrist. All of them found individuals in their day who seemed qualified to become the antichrist. But all of them were wrong.

I am not sure that knowing any more details (in addition to what is clearly revealed in Scripture) would be beneficial to walking by faith. Those who know and trust in Jesus should be watchful, vigilant, and busily engaged in what He has given us to do (Luke 12:35-40). It would seem that not knowing the timing of our Lord's return is more beneficial for the life of faith than knowing:

42 “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:42-44, NET).

My sense is that your calculations may be coincidental. If I am wrong then that will be evident in time. I would advise that you watch and wait to see whether or not your calculations prove to be true. Keep studying His word and looking for His return!

May the Lord indeed come soon!

Related Topics: Satanology, Scripture Twisting, Cultural Issues

Report Inappropriate Ad