November 29, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
When we began this section of our teaching on 2012, we mentioned three primary sources that people are looking at to formulate their belief concerning this date on the calendar. We of course have looked at two of those. Two weeks ago we looked at the Mayan calendar. Of course the Mayan long count calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Theories ranging from destruction of the earth to a new utopian existence for a race of super humans have been postulated because of this.
Then we looked at the so-called prophecies of Nostradamus. He too predicted dire occurrences in connection with this date. Who do we believe? I submit to you that neither of these two sources should be viewed as reliable or authoritative. On the one hand history seems to indicate that the Mayan culture disappeared largely as a result of idolatry. On the other hand Nostradamus with his occult techniques was not 100% accurate in his predictions, which is the requirement of a prophet of God. [See Deut. 13:1 – 4; 18:21, 22]
So where can a person go to find accurate information regarding the future? Many are turning to the Bible. God’s Word alone is the only accurate resource for determining what the future holds. How are some determining the future using the Bible? I wish I could say in every case from reading and studying, but this is not the case. Many are discovering a relatively new wonder of technology known as,
III. BIBLE CODES:
The Bible has a great deal to say regarding the end times. Both the Old and New Testaments have more to say concerning the Second Advent, and events associated with it, than they did His First Advent. Keep in mind that every prophecy concerning His First Coming was fulfilled to the letter. We can be certain that the roughly 500 prophecies concerning His Second Coming will be as well. For example Jesus said that the closing years of this age would be filled with turmoil and great upheaval for the world. [See Matt. 24:6 -8; Luke 21:10, 11]
Given the large number of prophecies regarding the Last Days, does the Bible have anything specifically to say regarding 2012? Some say it does. Is there chapter and verse? No, but some say much information lies hidden in scripture in the form of what are known as Bible Codes. One 2012ologist stated, “The Bible Code offers yet another example of an ancient message that identifies 2012 as the gateway of opportunity.” Lawrence Joseph, in his book Apocalypse 2012, confidently states, “The Bible tells us that God will annihilate the earth in 2012.”
First, what exactly are Bible codes? According to Michael Drosnin, the Bible Code was discovered by Dr. Eliyahu Rips, a leading mathematician and expert in group theory. The basic tenet underlying the whole Bible Code phenomenon is that there are hidden, cryptic codes in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament – “a Bible beneath the Bible” – that can be discovered by using computers to search for the letters of specific words that occur at a specific interval or spacing. The process is referred to as “equidistant letter sequencing” (ELS), or the “skip” process.
In other words, the sequencer finds a Hebrew letter, skips ten letters, finds the next Hebrew letter, then skips ten more letters, and continues this process until the “hidden” word is revealed. The skip can be of any length as long as the skips are equal, and the word can be spelled forward, backward, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Proponents of the 2012 doomsday view rely on The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin to support their thesis. Mr. Drosnin claims to have decoded all kinds of events that have already occurred and some that still lie in the future. In the forward to his book alone he claims to have decoded WWII, the Moon landing, Watergate, both Kennedy assassinations, the election of Bill Clinton, and the Oklahoma City bombing. Sticking with his premise, he also believes that the Code may warn of unprecedented danger yet to come – perhaps the real apocalypse.
So what are we to make of all of this? I must admit that I have mixed emotions when it comes to Bible Codes. On the one hand I wonder if somehow it may be possible that God has hidden some things in His Word, knowing in these Last Days that the technology would be available to decode the messages, and thus reach those who otherwise may never encounter God and perhaps yield their lives to Him. On the other hand I know there are several reasons one could give to dismiss this whole process outright.
Frankly, there are too many men whom I respect that do accept the concept of Bible Codes for me to take the latter stand. I am going to let each person be persuaded in his or her own mind. I will say that God is speaking in these, what I believe to be, last of the Last Days. He is speaking through dreams, visions, prophetic utterances, and certainly through anointed men and women standing in the pulpit around the world. However, all of these must be submitted to the authority of the written Word of God. What God has clearly revealed in His Word must be our first court of appeal and final court of arbitration.
One thing I will say however is that I do not support the idea that the world will be annihilated in 2012 or at any other point in the future. This is a, world without end. [See Eph. 3:21]
Next time I want to share with you concerning the absolute reliability of the Word of God. Please join me then.
The Weekly Word is found in Isaiah 8:20. Here the Bible says,
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. [Isa. 8:20 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson