by Dr. Perry Stone, Jr.
High speed Internet service linked with world wide blogs enable individuals to gain immediate access to information that once took days to rise to the forefront. When a tsunami strikes, the world knows within several minutes. When a child is kidnapped, within an hour the secular media can flash photographs and urgent information on the screen. Such an inrush of information speeding through T-1 lines can give you a brain overload! This overload created the opportunity for numerous forms of speculation.
When dealing with the prophetic word I made every effort to remind people that that there is a difference between prophetic revelation and human speculation. The prophets from the Bible are 100% accurate. Their visions and dreams of coming events will come to pass. The missing element in the mix is the exact timing of each event. We have a “sure word of prophecy” through the revelation of Scripture, but the timing of the events is unknown and subject to human speculation.
We have witnessed this throughout the centuries when sincere believers and some alleged scholars have attempted to pinpoint the exact day and year of Christ’s Return. The most publicized attempt was in 1988, when a man wrote a book, “88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988.” When 1988 passed he wrote a follow up book, released in 1989, revealing that his calculation was wrong by one year. Both books sold millions of copies and when 1990 arrived these books were trashed and to my knowledge he has not been heard from since. He was sincere but sincerely wrong in his speculation.
At times when preaching on future events, I will paint a series of scenarios to show how a certain event could come to pass. For example, what will be the trigger to initiate the war of Gog and Magog reported to occur in the future (Ezekiel 38 and 39)? We can see how the rise of Iran (Persia) and the conflict in the Middle East combined with the Palestinian issue will forge a new opportunity for the Islamic enemies of Israel to initiate a sweeping invasion into the Holy Land.
When building a scenario picture I always try to remind the listeners that this is only a possibility of how it could occur. Only time is the interpreter to how these events will unfold.
There is activity in Russia, China, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Israel that is creating prophetic implications. At the same time we must not be overly concerned with the speculations often made by secular journalists and political analysts. I recall two years prior to the year 2000, how “specialist” in the computer industry were warning about the possible damage caused by computers once their internal clocks rolled over to 2000. It seemed experts came out of the closet, all riding the Y2K assessment bandwagon, warning of global catastrophic impact if at midnight on 2000, the computers shut down.
I remember being in Pulaski Virginia, speaking to a man about the issue. He was a former government computer expert worker and he simply laughed and said, “Trust me, nothing big will come of this. The computer industry is feeding this so they can make billions of dollars on folks buying the latest fix and the tech people are making a ton of money by rewriting programs. I remember the speculation was huge that a disaster worse than the depression was coming. After January 1, 2000 everyone began eating their beans and spam!
The same is true with the possible scenarios of a coming terrorist attack and a war with Iran. This year I read a book stating a target date for the war. After selling 1.2 million copies, the author went in and revised the chapter on Israel attacking Iraq and added an interview with a former terrorist. When the book first came out I told a friend, “It is dangerous to set a date on an event, even if it is coming from a specialist.” I remember several years ago I was planning an overseas trip. I had a friend contact a high level person in Washington to see if I should make the trip. The person said, “Hold off on it because President Bush may go to war at that time” I canceled the trip and the war never came in November. It came 5 months later! Was I ever disappointed that I canceled the trip!
We know major events will occur. There is coming another terror attack. I have seen several details of what will happen but have no indication of the time frame. Will Iran be the next war? Unless they change their tune, eventually a war will come. But again there is no time frame revealed or given. Some are putting a war off into 2008 and as far as 2009. In the mean time I will stay close to the Lord, stay in pray, keep planning and preaching just the way Christ told me to do (occupy till I come).
Continue to plan, be alert and stay close to Jesus.
Always remember, God is always in control!
In His Mighty Grip!