The problem with developing a “ministry” (brand, channel, message, etc) around End Times Hype is the endless game of “urgency vs reality”. Inevitably the cycle has to be reset.
When a Speculator declares, every week, that it is the probable Last Week of Human History As We Know It, using the previous week’s news as the proof, people eventually start wondering why things haven’t turned out the way they predicted. This seems to go in waves based on world events. Or the occasional star and moon patterns.
When another round of big events comes and goes without a rapture, when another colored moon cycle ends, people drift away from thinking about the subject. Which inevitably leads the prognosticators to rush to their microphones to reset everybody’s expectations.
This “reset” conundrum makes me feel almost sorry for people like JD Farag and Jan Markell. I say “almost”, because they do it to themselves. After all, nobody forced these people to build a following based on the idea that The End is Near. Certainly nobody is forcing them to use a 24-hour news cycle as evidence.
JD Farag recently made a series of videos declaring that he KNOWS, because of Isaiah 17:1 and Ezekiel 38, that there “is not going to be an Iran-free Syria.” He has stated several times that Iran is never going to leave Syria, because the Bible “tells him so”.
Never mind that even if his entire eschatology doctrine is correct, he still doesn’t know if This Is It. Nobody can know.
So…if (when) Iran does leave Syria, what will JD Farag say? He has built an enormous following of people who trust that he knows the future, based on the Bible. It seems that eventually JD Farag’s reputation will take a beating.
It’s already beginning to happen. We are well past the May 14, 2018 Endtimes Marker. We don’t have any Important Moon or Star patterns in the near future. As we slide into a more quiet period of time, people like JD and Jan have begun to trot out their defense.
The latest Youtube video by JD Farag is very telling. Without saying so, he insinuates that either people have been challenging him in the fact that he has been telling his 98,000 followers “The End Is Near” for almost 10 years – or, his own conscience is prodding him to defuse the inevitable bomb.
We are also prone to focus on Bible Prophecy teachers like myself, and in so doing, we can lose sight of Jesus. I don’t want to come off as being confrontational, I am only seeking to get back to the main thing, and the main thing is Jesus…one of the things that really bothers me, is when people say “Man, I want to hear what JD has to say about this.” Please don’t do that. Please don’t do that. Please never put me on a pedestal. Please don’t put that on me.
So let’s analyze this. JD Farag voluntarily stepped forward a decade ago with weekly prophecy updates centered on the Middle East. Being of Middle Eastern descent, he once said, provides a bit of extra authority in these matters. He faithfully executed his updates week after week, eventually building to nearly 100,000 YouTube followers and a weekly viewership of nearly that much. JD Farag has become quite popular because of this subject.
But he now wants to back away from people making him the expert? How does that work, exactly? Could it be that JD wants all of the positive aspects of being followed, without the nasty accountability part?
Again…whether these Speculators like it or not, the End IS Near….the end of their interpretive time-frames. Sooner or later, they have to account for why their predictions have still not come to pass. Even if they don’t like it.
Why do they do this to themselves? Why do they make such a large commitment to things they clearly do not know?
Unfortunately, even after being proven wrong again, JD is still unwilling to change:
I want for us to get re-calibrated, as it were….what I am not saying is that I am going to change my approach to these weekly prophecy updates.
And that isn’t even the worst part.
The worst part is that he, like others, continues to wrap the Gospel into this speculation.
Now, JD Farag’s preaching of the Gospel at the END of each of his videos is the most valuable part of what he teaches. That’s a good thing! But that message comes at the end, AFTER he has told people that they can trust the Bible, and ostensibly trust him, because of what’s going on in the world. And on top of that, many times JD Farag tells people they need to get saved now, to avoid the 7 years of hell that is assuredly coming upon this generation of people.
That warning is very, very dangerous.
First of all, it isn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel message is that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and they are destined for eternal death in hell. The good news is that Jesus has done all of the work for us. If we simply believe in faith, confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, admit our sin and cast it upon Him – we are washed clean of our sins, can come unto the Father, and we inherit eternal life.
So the Gospel is about ETERNAL life or death. It has nothing to do with avoiding or participating in 7 years of suffering on earth.
Secondly, JD Farag might be sincere that he believes this 7 years of hell is coming in our lifetime, but that doesn’t mean he is right. And every week that passes by without this rapture and 7 years of hell only serves to show that time and again, he cannot really be trusted. If lost people can’t trust the messenger, why would they listen to him about the Gospel? Does God want us tricking people into the Kingdom?
But the Speculators are stuck. They have to continue delivering the message of urgency, because nobody would listen otherwise.
Nobody will watch a pastor who says, week after week, that Jesus might come soon. They want to hear that Jesus is coming soon, with evidence, and a message of comfort that helps them understand the scary world around them. They want answers that help them feel better about what is happening in the world. The world can be frightening, and since everyone believes they uniquely occupy the Final Generation, they just want to be assured they will be leaving town before the fire starts.
Some Christians want to hear that Jesus will be whisking them to paradise and out of the daily grind of life.
Non-Christians might be looking for answers to scary things, and I admire the Speculators who are working hard to help them find those answers.
But they aren’t giving them the right ones. The answer isn’t “Get on the boat because the flood is coming in our lifetime.” The answer is “Jesus is king of the world, He is in control, your life is a vapor and you are destined for hell.”
The Gospel is foolishness to the world (1 Cor 1:23) not a comfort. We don’t assure people of a better life here. Nor should we assure people that a better life awaits them shortly. Whatever happened to preaching against the “prosperity Gospel”? We need to preach the Gospel to people, then disciple them to they are equipped to live in this world they way God has designed.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.