Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 20 : Beware of False Prophets | Day 137

Test All Prognosticators!

Many people have a persistent passion to know what the future holds. They are drawn like magnets to the daily horoscopes, fortune-tellers, and religious leaders who assure their followers that they know precisely what will happen in the future.

To all of these people God responds, “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee ...” (Isaiah 47:13). The word translated prognosticator is the Hebrew word yada. It has a wide range of meanings that relate to intimate knowledge. The English word prognosticate is defined as follows: "to predict, using present indications as a guide." Thus, a prognosticator is one who makes predictions about the future, often claiming to have special knowledge.

God has revealed His truth to us through the closed canon of Scripture, to which nothing is to be added and from which nothing is to be taken away.

The disciples were not above this longing to know the future. They questioned Jesus about when the end of the world would come and when He would set up His kingdom. Jesus replied, “The Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40). “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).

Many have tried unsuccessfully to predict the day of Christ's return. In the nineteenth century, William Miller predicted that Jesus would return between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. It is estimated that 50,000 followers prepared for the event, many selling or giving away their property and gathering on hillsides in white robes. When nothing happened, William Miller said that he had made a miscalculation. Some embraced a new date of October 22, 1844. Once again they were disappointed and the event became known as the "Great Disappointment."

By comparison, many preparations are made for predicted dates, but little attention is given to Christ's command to be ready at all times for His return.

The return of Christ is a focal point of history. Therefore, Satan will do all he can to cause confusion regarding it. “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (II Peter 3:3-4). We are also told, “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24).

Furthermore, the return of Christ is a cardinal teaching in Scripture. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3). Jesus explained that He could return at any moment, and that we should be ready. Are you living in such a way that if He would return today you “may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (I John 2:28)?

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard