December 21, 2012 came and went, and we're still all here. Whose fault is it that this and similar prophecies about doomsday did not come to pass? Who are we to believe anymore? Jesus had warned us, "Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray." (Matthew 24:11, WEB) So how can we tell true prophets from false prophets?

To answer these questions, we need to understand and keep in mind of three things regarding prophecy in general:

1) Only Yahweh God Almighty can foresee the future

As the all-knowing Creator of the universe, only Yahweh has the ability to see into the future and accurately foretell it. He can even know all the possibilities that can occur (1 Samuel 23:11-12). By His grace, He enables His spiritual messengers (whom we call "angels") to exercise this power to a limited extent.

2) A true prophet has to be authorized by Yahweh

When Yahweh wants to deliver messages to people, He can do so through human messengers. We call these messengers "prophets." As God's spokesperson, a prophet first receives a message from Yahweh, and then passes on the message word-for-word to others. This is prophesying. Hence, a true message from God is the very words of God, not the words of the messenger. For this reason, all prophecies that came from Yahweh through His chosen prophets are one hundred percent accurate. Ninety-nine percent accuracy is not good enough.

3) Unauthorized messengers will be severely punished by Yahweh

We must not claim to have a divine message from Yahweh God Almighty when we do not. Under the Mosaic covenant with Israel, false prophets were put to death (Deuteronomy 18:20). To deliver a message that did not come from Yahweh is to commit blasphemy, which is among the worst sins anyone can commit against God.

While we are not to put false prophets to death under the Christian covenant, false prophets will be personally judged by Yahweh through Jesus Christ. As with false teachers, false prophets will be punished with eternal death after the future resurrection unless they sincerely repent prior to their death in their lifetime on Earth or before Jesus returns, whichever comes sooner (2 Peter 2).

False prophets lead people astray from Yahweh and from Jesus, causing them to stumble. For this reason alone, "it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6) As Jesus said, "Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling! For it must be that the occasions come, but woe to that person through whom the occasion comes!" (Matthew 18:7) Simply put, the fate that awaits false prophets is not pretty.

In light of all this, we should be disturbed when unauthorized "prophets" "prophesy" the date of the so-called doomsday. Since all such prophecies have not come true, those who make such predictions have self-condemned themselves as false prophets. (However, the date of 12-21-2012 did not begin as a prophecy but had been misconstrued as such.)

Lest we be fooled by another "prophet" in the future regarding doomsday, we need to know and remember three things about "the Day of Yahweh" or "the Day of the Lord," when our current world system will end:

1) Only Yahweh knows when the Day of Yahweh will come

Speaking of the day he will return to Earth to punish the wicked as God's avenger, to put an end to our current world system, and to establish God's Kingdom over Earth, Jesus said, "No one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Watch therefore, for you don't know in what hour your Lord comes. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] will come." (Matthew 24:36, 42-44)

While none of us knows when the Day of Yahweh will commence, we will know the "season" by watching various signs that tell us the day is nearing (Matthew 24:32-33). Among the signs is the return of Israel to the Promised Land where both halves of the nation will be united once more after thousands of years of separation and exile (Ezekiel 37). This process began in 1948 and is fulfilling before our very eyes. So we are in the season of the Day of Yahweh.

2) The appearing of "the man of lawlessness" precedes the Day of Yahweh

Some years after Jesus's resurrection and ascension back to heaven, rumors spread that the Day of the Lord had already come, disturbing the Christians in Thessalonica. To put their troubled hearts to rest, the apostle Paul wrote them a letter, explaining, "Don't be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion [apostasy] against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-12, NLT)

This man of lawlessness is dubbed "the Anti-Christ" by some. Regardless of the title we give him, this universal tyrant will be empowered by Satan with supernatural abilities in order to deceive the world into accepting falsehoods and to lead the world to worship him as God (Revelation 13:1-8). He will be the antitype of Antiochus Epiphanes, accompanied by his own personal false prophet, also empowered by Satan (Daniel 11:21-45; Revelation 13:11-14; Revelation 19:20).

It is useless for us to predict who the man of lawlessness will be. When he does come in God's due timing, then we will certainly recognize him. But we must remain alert and faithful to Yahweh and Jesus, lest we think the man is actually God!

As we can see, December 21, 2012 was too soon for the Day of Yahweh, as not all the signs, including the man of lawlessness, have been fulfilled.

3) The Day of Yahweh is not doomsday

If you do not like our current world system, with its corrupt politicians, dishonest businesses, heinous crimes like the recent shooting in Newtown, global poverty, and all the illnesses and diseases that plague humanity; and if you love Yahweh and His Son Jesus Christ, and are eager for Jesus to return to Earth to establish God's righteous Kingdom over us, then the Day of Yahweh will be the most wonderful occasion for celebration! It'll be "bloomsday" where all of our eternal treasures for which we have stored up and worked for will bloom and flourish for our everlasting enjoyment.

The Day of Yahweh will be doomsday to you only if you love our world as it is now, and if the idea of Jesus ruling over us does not appeal to you.

Yes, where people stand now will determine their attitude toward the Day of Yahweh. There were reports of hysteria as December 21 was drawing near; I wonder, were they panicking at the thought of their beloved world ending?

Where do you stand? Are you looking forward to the Day of Yahweh, or are you shuddering at the thought? Your relationship with Yahweh and Jesus determines your standing.

To the rebellious, Yahweh said, "Woe to you who desire the day of Yahweh! Why do you long for the day of Yahweh? It is darkness, and not light." (Amos 5:18, WEB)

But to the righteous who love his appearing, Jesus said, "There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near." (Luke 21:25-28)

Thus, "be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly. For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth. Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:34-36)

And whoever will call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved on that day (Joel 2:32). But do not wait till that day. Call on Him now, as Yahweh invites: "Turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning [in repentance for all your sins]." (Joel 2:12)

Tear your heart, and not your garments,
and turn to Yahweh, your God;
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness,
and relents from sending calamity.
(Joel 2:13)

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983) is a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Yahweh God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, founder of Ministry, summa cum laude graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, poet; and author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to over twenty-five, and an editor of one. Shirley has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University.

Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Yahweh? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.