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By Jason Hommel
"What if I was wrong? OK, my reputation is damaged, but that is nothing. "
For all those who are reading this for the first time, I was one of the loudest voices on the newsgroups speaking about a "Rapture on Feast of Trumpets" this year.
I'm sorry. I was wrong. I was a prideful idiot. I deceived myself. I have spoken presumptuously and deserve death under the Law according to Deuteronomy... And I deceived others who believed me. I lusted after the promise of the Kingdom, and through my pride and arrogance, I thought I could divine the time, and/or that I was worthy enough to be given divine revelation. Obviously, I was preaching out of my vain imagination, because I came to the wrong conclusions. Nothing happened! I was wrong! I'm sorry!
Do you want to know what happened? My thoughts on how I went so wrong?
The Bible seems to promise a special blessing to those who are watching and preaching about the time of the end when it happens, (Mat. 24:45-47) and I lusted for that special blessing to fall upon me. I am literally amazed at how far I went to decieve myself, by collecting so MUCH so-called "evidence" pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ's return. I am amazed by the size of the collection of interesting coincidences that literally happened to fall into my lap. I honestly thought I had gotten several confirmations from the Lord about this, because the way some of these "coincidences" came to me seemed otherworldly... But I jumped to the wrong conclusion about what it all meant.
I was honestly trying to be a faithful witness. After all my watching and studies, I considered my options. What was I to do in this situation? I prayed to God for confirmation, got what I felt was an answer, went to the Bible to confirm it further... That's what a Christian is supposed to do, right? But, obviously I was wrong.
What if I was right, and I said nothing? I would be in trouble with God! Ezek 33:6 --but that presumes that either God or the community has appointed me to be a watchman.
What if I was wrong? OK, my reputation is damaged, but that is nothing. Why should I let any possibility of being wrong or fear about my reputation direct my actions? That's pride. So, trying to overcome that kind of pride, I risked my reputation, and spoke out loudly about my "now proven-to-be erroneous" conclusions. In trying to present the information, I started with the false conclusion first, to hopefully draw people in to consider the "coincidences", but, in fact, just the opposite happened. Most rejected everything right off the bat, before even really investigating much of anything.
But, my studies should NOT have been about "being right vs. being wrong" about a possible (or likely, or probable) "Rapture on Feast of Trumpets" for this year.
My major mistake was in how I dressed up the information, and how I responded to the critics. I took much of the general criticism of the coincidences and parallels as personal attacks. And some of it was personal. But again, if I had no pride, none of that should have mattered to me. But it did--showing that my pride was still getting in my way. Very quickly, under pressure and under attack, I went to defend myself--so much so, that I deceived myself into thinking that my studies constituted irrefutable proof of the Rapture on Sept. 11th--when all I should have done to begin with was present the evidence of coincidences, and let people draw their own conclusions. I held myself up as a prophet, instead of as a watchman, and there's a difference.
There's a difference between saying "Hey, I think I see something over there, can you take a look and tell me what do you think it is?" and saying, "Emergency, emergency, Iceberg dead ahead!" I messed up bigtime.
The Bible says to watch and be ready, not to raise false alarms or create false hope--which I am guilty of.
Surely, I have erred not only against the Faith, but against the Lord Jesus Christ by bringing reproach against His name and His Word the Bible in my vain attempt to make it say that which it obviously did not say.
The Bible seems to indicate that there will be special punishments for people who cause people to disbelieve the Word of God, or who cause people to be worse off after hearing the message... In the New Testament, over and over again, the exortation is made that we walk in ways that do not cause other people to stumble, that our actions do not cause those with less faith to lose faith, that we behave and conduct ourselves in ways that are beyond reproach. I have completely failed in following those guidelines.
I was certainly wrong, and it looks like I have some serious repenting and studying to do. Please pray for me that I will not be deceived again, and that I learn humility, humbleness, and the discernment of spirits.
I am glad that I am not living under the old Law, which is death, but rather under the Grace of Forgiveness of Sins by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died in the place of the Sin of all mankind, and that I worship a forgiving God, who is slow to anger, quick to show mercy, and is faithful to forgive us if we confess our sins.
[Rom 5:8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Now, repent means to turn away from. Specifically, I repent of my pride, my arrogance, my alarmism, my ignorance. But I don't repent from watching, from exhorting others to repent and turn to Jesus because his return is near...
I'm terribly sorry to those Christians who have believed in my studies. Truly, nobody should put their trust in any man, but rather, in the Bible and in God. As I have tried to stress, [2Tim 2:15] "Study to shew thyself approved unto God..." and be like the Bereans who [Acts 17:11] "...searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." [Phil 2:12] ... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
I'm terribly sorry to all of those athiests & agnostics who could care less about the Bible to begin with, and who now have further ammunition with which to use to criticize God, the Bible and my fellow Christians, because I have made it harder for all of you to see God's love.
Perhaps worst of all, I have actually caused a few Christians to declare a hatred towards me! Yikes! What have I done?
[1John 4:20] If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
So, please, please forgive me for my errors! Do not hate me for my foolishness, my pride and for what I have done! It would be better if I were never born than to have people stumble and fall because they now hate me because of my errors.
It's a different thing altogether to have people hate me if I am standing for the truth and for righteousness' sake. That naturally follows a true Christian. In fact, Christians are so hated worldwide that they are being killed in many countries even today, and this will probably continue.
I still believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins and was raised from the dead, that He is come in the flesh, that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, that we are living in the last days, and that His return is near, and that we should preach the good news of the gospel, which is that He came, died, and was resurrected, so that all who believe on Him might have eternal life, and that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous, and that all men will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ in the fullness of time; but before then, there will arise an antichrist who will deceive the whole world--all but the elect, against whom he will make war and overcome.
There is still a lot of reasons to believe in a "Rapture on Feast of Trumpets"... maybe it will happen next year, or some other year down the road, or maybe anytime, who knows? Regardless of my foolishness shown this last month, those parallels deserve study and investigation by any serious Bible student.
Anyone who throws out what the Bible has to say because of me, is guilty of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I'm the dirty bathwater, the Bible is the baby. Keep the Baby--the Bible! But that's a bad analogy in the sense that I could try to clean up the Bible... if anything, the Bible brings light about everything else.
I will not cowardly hide the words and errors that I spoke, nor will I hush the evidence that I gathered together. Better to let it stand as a reminder of the kind of mistakes that overzealousness and pride can lead one to make.
In fact, in light of the poor way in which I handled myself, I'm probably super lucky the Rapture did NOT come this year, because I probably wouldn't have been counted worthy! How's that for irony!?
Once again, please accept my sincerest and heartfelt apologies over this whole fiasco, where I let my zeal hope and pride cloud my judgment and corrupt the way that I presented information about this year's Feast of Trumpets.
As you read about false prophets below, know that my apology is sincere, because I never attempted to make merchandise of this gospel, I never directed anyone to false worship of any other Gods, I tried to lead people not towards me but towards the Bible and Scripture and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. I have not preached that there will be no tribulation, but rather that tribulation is upon the world after the rapture. I have not preached a watered down gospel of grace only, nor have I preached a works gospel of righteousness only, but rather, that salvation comes through grace and our confession of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that our works will constitute our rewards.
May everyone who has cursed me and my error be blessed by the Lord Jesus Christ! May the Lord Jesus Christ count it as a righteous blessing for you, even if you don't believe in Him.
One thing that people must remember, is that one day, people will get it right. The Lord will not delay his coming just because some people say, "He is coming!" Do you honestly think that you could stop the Lord from returning by hiring a small group of men to continually shout every day, "Tomorrow is the Rapture"? Someday, the Lord will return--regardless of what any of us say.
What do YOU think ?
Date: 21 May 2009
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