Rapture in 1988-1989?
Beginning in the early Spring of 1988, a 56-page booklet
entitled, 88 REASONS Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988 began to be
mass-distributed across America. The basic premise of the book
was that between the dates of September 11 and 13, 1988, the
Rapture of the Christian Church would occur (p. 34).
Aside from this auspicious prediction, Edgar C. Whisenant, author
of the book, went on to make such august prognostications as the
beginning of World War III "at sunset 3 October" 1988 (p. 36).
Despite his 88 REASONS, neither the Rapture nor World War III
began in 1988. However, it is a new year and with the new year
comes a new book filled with new predictions. This 86-page booklet, The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989 has
its own unique predictions as well as some very non-Christian
points of theology.
Starting in the most logical place, Whisenant attempts an
explanation of "What Went Wrong in 1988 - And Why" (Chapter 1).
His explanation involves two sources.
"My mistake was that my mathematical calculations were off by one
year. The miscalculation was so simple, perhaps the reason I did
not see my error was God's will..." (p. 1). He blames the calendar and God for his false predictions!
The new date for the Rapture is only kept secret for a few pages.
He explains "...September 1, 1989 as the most likely time for the
Rapture, plus or minus one day" (p. 6). Though he blatantly states the Rapture will "most likely" be in
1989, he leaves room for further error. In a chart depicting
everything from the exact day of the Battle of Armageddon to the
Great White Throne Judgement, Whisenant provides the exact day
these events will happen should the Rapture be in 1989 (pp.
What if the Rapture is not in 1989? This contingency is also
covered in The Final Shout. In the same chart the dates for the
many Biblical events are also predicted for the years 1990
through 1993 -- just in case!
In the conclusion of his book, the following statement is made,
"If September 1, 1989 comes and goes, and there is no Rapture,
then the next date we should look for would be September 30,
"If that date passes, and the Rapture still does not occur, I believe we have to move the whole sequence of events forward
another year to Rosh-Hashanah, 1990" (p. 81).
Is Whisenant's The Final Shout based on Biblical proof, or is he
simply taking a Final Shot at the Rapture?
Reading through The Final Shout, one very non-Christian doctrine
was noted. This was a new twist which had not been noted in
Whisenant's first Rapture prediction book. Whisenant explains that "backslidden Christians" or "wicked
Christians" were to be sent to Hell thus having a two-class
system for Christianity.
"There are some who don't like the idea that the wicked Christian
is Raptured, immediately judged, and the first ones to go to
"If you are not right with Jesus, you have less than a year
before YOU WILL BE IN HELL if the Lord comes at this time.
"...The wicked Christian did not enter into the joy of his Lord
but rather went to Hell" (pp. 40-41).
Another interesting aspect of Whisenant's The Final Shout is his
prediction of life after the Rapture. Near the conclusion of his
book, he states, "Due to God making new Heavens and a new Earth,
other planets at this time will be able to support life," (p.
68). The need for other planets becomes more understandable when it is
recognized that man will, "...continue to re-populate the earth
and fulfil the original command Adam was given (Gen. 1:28)"
("Ibid.). Based on this assumption, he proceeds from the Biblical to the
Science Fiction. "As the populations grow, mankind will be
transported to other planets by a heavenly transportation system
so superior to our present-day methods, our mind cannot fathom
it" (pp. 68-69).
Finally, Whisenant both opens and concludes his book in a similar
fashion. "Jesus is coming, and I would give it at least a 50%
chance in 1989..." (p. "iii.; cf p. 82). On this point Whisenant is correct. Jesus either will return in
1989 -- or He will not!