PROPHECY TEACHING: Prophetic Boundaries
March 30, 2001

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Consider 1 Corinthians 9:24:

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain."

We are also told in Hebrews 12:1 to "run the race with patience".

In every athletic competition, there are rules and boundaries. In the race for example, there is the requirement that the runners must stay in their lanes. They must not interfere with another runner. There are rules concerning "false starts". A certain number of starts made too quickly will disqualify the runner from the prize. The point: there are rules to the race, and our life with Christ is compared to a race.

How does this apply to teaching others about prophecy? There are rules! It seems that every young prophet wants to break those rules. There are boundaries. We are to stay in bounds. If we get out of bounds, we will be "red flagged" by the master of the race.

Recently, our group of prophets and watchmen endured a little tiff from a woman who claimed that the Lord "was going to be giving dates" in the future for events concerning the times of the end. The Lord had me "red flag" her, and she left in a huff. She was out of bounds. What are those boundaries for the prophetic?

Many years ago, the Lord revealed the content of anything prophetic in a simple little format: Who, What, When, Where and Why. With respect to forward predictive prophecies concerning the time of the end, four of these are in bounds. The "When" is out of bounds. God is not going to be giving dates concerning the time of the end because the word of God declares this area to be out of bounds!

How about the April 1 rapture? Out of bounds! Red flagged! How about Michael Rood's attempts to pinpoint the day of the Lord on a Hebrew Calendar to the year by trying to determine when the barley harvest is "abib" and looking for the 6000th year? Out of bounds! Red flagged!

Consider these boundary setting scriptures:

Acts 1:7

"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."

Mark 13:32

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is."

The parallel scripture in Matthew 24 is grouped in context with the idea that it will be as it was in the days of Noah. Noah had, by some accounts, 120 years to prepare, but Genesis 7:4 indicates that he was given seven days advance warning to board the ark. Notice please, dear reader, that this is all that we may expect given the biblical precedent that Jesus himself has laid down. We will know, seven days in advance of the beginning of the pouring out of the wrath of God, that it is time to board the ark. My own belief on this is that when I know it, I'll be with Jesus, in the air, at his second coming. Then, seven days later, the wrath of God will fall, so there will be no advance warning of this meeting in the air and second coming of messiah. At least, no datesetting advance warning. What types of warnings will there be?

Note that the "Who" is not out of bounds. We are told to look for a "beast", a "son of perdition", a "false prophet". So, we have people to look for. The "Who" is clearly in bounds.

The "What" is clearly in bounds also. Jesus gave us 24 signs of the end of the age to look for in Matthew 24, Luke 17, Luke 21 and Mark 13.

The "Where" is even in bounds, and most helpful. Note in Luke 17:37 that the disciples asked a "Where" question. You can take it to the bank that Jesus gave them a geographic clue! He told them: "Wheresover the body (Soma) is, thither will the eagles be gathered together."

If we look at this reply from a purely geographical perspective, we are told to look at where the eagles (United States and Russia) are gathered to the body (Soma). Soma is also translated "Slave". The Slavic nations are so named because they have always been enslaved. Therefore, Jesus was giving a "Where" sign, and it is in bounds.

How about a "Why" question? I'm not aware of anything concerning the "Why" aspect of any revelation that could help me recognize the end of the age, but if something is revealed, it is in bounds and I can prophesy about it.

Look at Mark 13:29

"When ye shall see these things come to pass." Note that our determinations are going to be made primarily based upon what we shall SEE! We are not going to be given a date for the second coming of Christ, or the day of the Lord, or the start of great tribulation. We are going to have to WATCH!

Note that John was "shown things which must take place" in Revelation 4:1. Again, the "When" is not mentioned: it is out of bounds.

Note the boundary laid down in John 16:13 for the operation and working of "The Spirit of truth": "He will show you THINGS to come." This is why we must do more than pray and hear from God. We must WATCH too! We can't lock ourselves up in a closet and ignore our world. We need to WATCH and PRAY!

We are clearly taught that if we walk in the light, we will not be caught like a thief catches an unsuspecting household in the night. We will be aware and be prepared if we walk in the light and abide in the Lord. This does not mean we will be given an advance date, but it does mean that we will be prepared as the five virgins were, who procured extra oil in preparation for a wait for their beloved bridegroom. They were ready when He came for them. It is my prayer that I, along with all of you, will be ready!

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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