Times of Deception

By Hal Lindsey
The September 23rd deception, like those of date-setters past, will soon be debunked by the calendar itself. On September 24th, the world will not have come to an end. PlanetX will not have crashed into Planet Earth. The Millennial reign will not have begun. The earth will not have split in two. The star of Bethlehem will not have returned.
Will there will be any apologies from the people who perpetrated these hoaxes? If history is a guide, probably not. They will have had so much fun stirring up attention for themselves, they’ll just decide to do it again next year, or maybe even later this year.
Robyn Flynn is a Montreal radio producer. On September 19th, she tweeted, “Just tried to book an interview w/ a researcher who says the world ends Saturday. Told me he’s not available for interviews until next week.”
She was talking about the so-called “Christian numerologist,” David Meade. And their discussion neatly sums up the problem.
In a video with 9 million YouTube views, another speaker excitedly tells us about the possibilities of September 23, 2017. But he admits that he made a similar video in another year. “I made that video about September 23, 2015,” he said. “And quite a few people watched that video. Now, some people said, ‘Well, nothing happened.’ Well, some of the things I mentioned, if not all of them in that video, did happen. The pope came to America — something that the world had never seen before.”
The Pope did visit the United States in September 2015. But it wasn’t the first time the world had ever seen a Pope come to America. It happened in 1965, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1993, 1995, 1999, and 2008 — not to mention a couple of layovers in Alaska.
And it was hardly a prophetic prediction. He made the video in August, and the Pope visited the U.S. in September. The visit had been on the world calendar for months. If that’s supposed to give his new video credibility, it sadly fails.
Now this particular teacher is careful to say that the things he’s talking about may come true, or may not. He’s not dogmatic, and rarely makes straight forward statements. He says he will leave it to his viewers to reach their own conclusions — something viewers tend to do whether you want them to or not. But when a teacher tells the viewer to decide for himself based on the facts, the teacher needs to be especially careful to give accurate facts. 
He said, “In September 23rd of 2015, many astronomers, many scientists were saying that there is some weird, weird thing going on in the fact that there is this star that showed up… and they called it the ‘Bethlehem Star,’ the star that appeared during the time when Jesus was born — that same star.”
I believe he was referring, not to a star, but to a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the skies as viewed from our angle on earth. They appeared in close proximity in July and August of 2015. Then, in October, Jupiter and Venus again appeared close in the sky, this time also near Mars. A few astronomers think that one of these conjunctions of planets may account for the star seen by the wise men long ago. This is not unusual. Unbelievers often try to come up with explanations for what they consider “myths.”
The YouTube teacher goes on to say, “So, almost 2000 years later, we have a star appearing that was the same star that appeared according to astronomers. You can look this all up on YouTube. Look at video.”
YouTube is a wonderful tool, but just because someone posted something there does not give instant credibility to their opinions. In fact, from earth, we see a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus fairly often — not every 2000 years as claimed in the video. If he’s referring to the three planets together, that didn’t happen in September of 2015, but in October. And it lasted only days — not the two years he implies.
I realize I haven’t gotten into the astrology lesson that these people give when they speak about Revelation 12. Suffice it to say, they don’t understand Revelation 12. I won’t bother to prove the fallacy of their opinions because, as I said at the beginning, the calendar will debunk them. 
I have several concerns, though. First, the Bible’s credibility is harmed by these kinds of teachings. When the predicted event doesn’t happen, people are left to think that the Bible said something inaccurate. Nothing could be further from the truth. This stuff is about pseudo-science, and the religion of astrology. It’s not about the Bible. But when preachers such as this man say it, people assume such preachers speak for God.
My second concern is that so many people have chosen to take these things seriously. Nine million people viewed the video I just referenced. That means people are passing it on to one another using email and social media. Why pass on such obvious fallacies? Where is Christian discernment?
Finally, I’m concerned that Christians are so quick to accept something that God condemns — the false religion of astrology. Isaiah 47:13-14 says, “Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame.” (NIV)
Christians follow the great God of the universe. He has spoken to us. He has given us the precious gift of His word. Yet, some of us are willing to turn to astrology as the answer to the puzzles of the universe.
Brothers and sisters, stick to the Bible.
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