You’re talking to someone about Bible prophecy and then they quote the verse “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath put into His own power” (Acts 1:7). And this is similar to the other verse I was writing about in another post called “No man knows the day and hour”. Often when people quote these verses, the idea or meaning is supposed to be that we can’t really know anything about the future from Bible prophecy and we virtually shouldn’t even try, it’s not God’s Will, they say.
But a focused reading of Acts 1:7 doesn’t give that meaning. Jesus was talking to his closest disciples after His resurrection and shortly before His ascension. They had just asked Him if He was going to “restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). It’s not clear if they really had the idea that the Lord was going to restore the physical, temporal power to the Israel of that time that they’d had 1000 years earlier under King David. Or if they were thinking that Jesus would right then bring in His Kingdom to come on earth.
But Jesus basically dismissed the question in saying “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father has put in His own power”. He then went on to bring them back again to what was really the main thing for those disciples and what was next in God’s eyes and timetable. Jesus said in the next verse, “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
It was almost like the Lord was kind of saying, “Wrong question, guys. Here’s what’s coming up next. Not a restoration of David’s kingdom or an immediate Kingdom of God on earth. What’s next is what I was telling you about, being witness into all the world and a testimony to all nations.”
So this verse is not one that can or should be used to imply that we are to remain in darkness about the future events that Bible prophecy reveals. But it’s one of the verses you hear repeated over and over by Christians of one type or the other to try to derail you from believing that we can know God’s plan for the endtime through Bible prophecy.
Actually, it’s rather like witnessing your faith. If you’ve tried to share your faith with others, after a while it seems like you hear the same thing over and over, no matter where you go in the world. You hear things like, “Well if there’s a God, why did He allow Hitler?” And “What about the dinosaurs and evolution?” Or “So many Christians are hypocrites and they started all those wars.” It’s like some kind of programming against faith that seems to have been disseminated on hundreds of millions of people’s hearts and minds to dissuade them from belief. So you have to present God’s answers to these things in order to try to inspire their faith.
But likewise, when it comes to sharing the light that Bible prophecy brings on the events of the future that are spoken of, you often hear people with these voices of doubt, even seemingly based on Scripture, which you have to address. And sadly, if you don’t watch out, these misappropriated Scriptures can potentially discourage you from believing that we need a solid foundation of faith and understanding of what Bible prophecy tells us about the endtime.
Yes, the followers of Jesus 2000 years ago were not given to understand the final events of the age before the return on Jesus to the earth, at least not to the degree that it will be revealed. But then we can read in Daniel 12:4 that Daniel was commanded by an angel to “Shut up the words and seal the book, even until the time of the end…”
Here we can see that at the time of the end, the clarity and understanding of prophetic endtime events will be unsealed and will become clear and plain to “they that understand among the people” (Daniel 11:33). I and many others believe we’re now in those times where the final events of this age are being set up to be played out. The script for the play has been written, the stage is set and the action is beginning. So don’t let anyone dissuade you with verses like “It’s not for you to know the times and seasons” to make you think you can’t or shouldn’t understand the fullness of Bible prophecy as these events come closer and unfold in our days and the ones to come. Keep the faith and fight the good fight. You may be destined to be one of the ones of whom it is written, “They that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)