Debunking End-Time Conspiracy & Mystery Mongers
"Man rises superior to every terror of nature as soon as he is able to give it a form, and can make it a definite object...He tears away the masks from the spectres which terrified his childhood, and they suprise him with his own image, for they are merely his own imaginations." --Schiller
We stand together as men for human freedom and human dignity or we will fall together, as animals, back into the jungle.
Superstition is forever at war with history, even as the purveyors of the formulae of an old Age remain for some time locked in combat with those who recognize, even if they do not fully attain, the formula of the New.
From the very earliest dawn of time, as soon as our overrated opposable thumbs could grasp them, we have been killing and maiming each other with wild abandon with every convenient stick and rock that came to hand.
We have killed with the stick, the bronze sword, the iron-tipped arrow, the lead ball, for so long that we can say nothing remarkable about these developments beyond the stick and stone, other than war and self-inflicted death are part and parcel of human history.
In trying to understand the nature and the law of the vast, complicated and subtle universe, theories of many kinds have been postulated. The theories become conflicting philosophical systems and schools of thought, breeding fanaticism and bigotry. Each one believes that his system is superior. Each is under the illusion that he knows the truth better than others.
All the consiracy mongers, chicken littles & slippery purveyors of snake-oil have made a comfortable living since the heyday of the Roman Empire selling notions of “signs of the end times” and there is a brand of that sort much abroad right now. One cannot visit a bookstore without being informed that we have been “left behind” something-or-other, or even the check out at the grocer with tabloid prophecies of the “end times”. So let us begin by saying that “wars and the rumors of wars”, "earthquakes in California" or "ticks in Tennessee" are not signs of a "New Age" or Aeon, but evidence of the simple "continuity" of Life that we live in.
The chicken little "end-timers" are always selling despair to the people; they are always striving to make the world look as bad as possible in order to make themselves look good by comparison. There strategy is a weakling's desperate attempt to appear strong by dragging down everybody else rather than by lifting himself up.
These half-a-wack-jobs are despair-mongers; they are preachers of Despair. The are always telling us that the wolf is at the door. They tell us this so that we will despair and believe is the only thing that can save us. There only viable option is juxtaposed with some seemingly overwhelming negative force; this is why the are always conjuring up overwhelming negative forces to frighten the people.
For them, the wolf is always at the door — the wolf is inside of their heads — the wolf has merged with them and become a component of their psyche — they are the wolf!
But first, let us examine the kind of changes we are considering. Let me hasten to acknowledge that all of history involves change. No era goes by without change, indeed no generation, no year, never.
Knowledge & Existence is a process, ever moving. Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, unrhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go. Life is wide and limitless. There is no border, no frontier, Infinite. There is ever something new...
They've spouted off one failed doomsday prophecies one after another after another- The Y2K, or the end of the 2012 nonsense. I suspect that their next boogey man is just out beyond the horizon. I mean what's next boogey man under the bed!
Failed & Ambiguous End-Of-The-World
Predictions From 90 to 1990 A.D.
About 90 CE: Saint Clement 1 predicted that the world end would occur at any moment.
2nd Century CE: Prophets and Prophetesses of the Montanist movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Asia Minor.
365 CE: A man by the name of Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year. It didn't
375 to 400 CE: Saint Martin of Tours, a student of Hilary, was convinced that the end would happen sometime before 400 CE.
500 CE: This was the first year-with-a-nice-round-number-panic. The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about this year.
968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.
992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3 moons were fighting. There does not appear to be independent verification of this remarkable event.
1000-JAN-1: Many Christians in Europe had predicted the end of the world on this date. As the date approached, Christian armies waged war against some of the Pagan countries in Northern Europe. The motivation was to convert them all to Christianity, by force if necessary, before Christ returned in the year 1000. Meanwhile, some Christians had given their possessions to the Church in anticipation of the end. Fortunately, the level of education was so low that many citizens were unaware of the year. They did not know enough to be afraid. Otherwise, the panic might have been far worse than it was. Unfortunately, when Jesus did not appear, the church did not return the gifts. Serious criticism of the Church followed. The Church reacted by exterminating some heretics. Agitation settled down quickly.
1000-MAY: The body of Charlemagne was disinterred on Pentecost. A legend had arisen that an emperor would rise from his sleep to fight the Antichrist.
1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a sign of the nearness of the end.
1033: Some believed this to be the 1000th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His second coming was anticipated. Jesus' actual date of execution is unknown, but is believed to be in the range of 27 to 33 CE.
1147: Gerard of Poehlde decided that the millennium had actually started in 306 CE during Constantine's reign. Thus, the world end was expected in 1306 CE.
1179: John of Toledo predicted the end of the world during 1186. This estimate was based on the alignment of many planets.
1205: Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that the Antichrist was already in the world, and that King Richard of England would defeat him. The Millennium would then begin, sometime before 1205.
1284: Pope Innocent III computed this date by adding 666 years onto the date the Islam was founded.
1346 and later: The black plague spread across Europe, killing one third of the population. This was seen as the prelude to an immediate end of the world. Unfortunately, the Christians had previously killed a many of the cats, fearing that they might be familiars of Witches. The fewer the cats, the more the rats. It was the rat fleas that spread the black plague.
1496: This was approximately 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. Some mystics in the 15th century predicted that the millennium would begin during this year.
1524: Many astrologers predicted the imminent end of the world due to a world wide flood. They obviously had not read the Genesis story of the rainbow.
1533: Melchior Hoffman predicted that Jesus' return would happen a millennium and a half after the nominal date of his execution, in 1533. The New Jerusalem was expected to be established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested and died in a Strasbourg jail.
1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death between 1669 and 1690 to protect themselves from the Antichrist.
1689: Benjamin Keach, a 17th century Baptist, predicted the end of the world for this year.
1736: British theologian and mathematician William Whitson predicted a great flood similar to Noah's for OCT-13 of this year.
1792: This was the date of the end of the world calculated by some believers in the Shaker movement.
1794: Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, thought Doomsday would be in this year.
1830: Margaret McDonald, a Christian prophetess, predicted that Robert Owen would be the Antichrist. Owen helped found New Harmony, IN.
1832?: Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the Church of Christ, which became the Restorationist movement after many schisms. It now includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- a.k.a. the Mormons, and about a hundred other denominations and sects.
1843-MAR-21: William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this date. A very large number of Christians accepted his prophecy.
1844-OCT-22: When Jesus did not return, Miller predicted this new date. In an event which is now called "The Great Disappointment," many Christians sold their property and possessions, quit their jobs and prepared themselves for the second coming. Nothing happened; the day came and went without incident.
1850: Ellen White, found1850: Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesized that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' ...now time is almost finished...and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months."
1856 or later: At Ellen White's last prediction, she said that she was shown in a vision the fate of believers who attended the 1856 SDA conference. She wrote "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." 11 That is, some of the attendees would die of normal diseases; some would die from plagues at the last days, others would still be alive when Jesus came. "By the early 1900s all those who attended the conference had passed away, leaving the Church with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to explain away such a prominent prophetic failure."
1891: Mother Shipton, a 16th century mystic predicted the end of the world: "...The world to an end shall come; in eighteen hundred and eighty-one."
1891 or before: On 1835-FEB-14, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He said that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years -- i.e. before 1891-FEB-15. (History of the Church 2:182)
1914 was one of the more important estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). They based their prophecy of 1914 from prophecy in the book of Daniel, Chapter 4. The writings referred to "seven times". The WTS interpreted each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2520 days. This was further interpreted as representing 2520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE. This gave 1914 as the target date. When 1914 passed, they changed their prediction; 1914 became the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule.
1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994, etc. were other dates that the Watchtower Society (WTS) or its members predicted.
1919: Meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that the conjunction of 6 planets would generate a magnetic current that would cause the sun to explode and engulf the earth on DEC-17.
1936: Herbert W Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, predicted that the Day of the Lord would happen sometime in 1936. Nothing much happened that year, except for the birth of the compiler of this list -- who has been referred to as an Anti-Christ. When the prediction failed, he made a new estimate: 1975.
1940 or 1941: A Bible teacher from Australia, Leonard Sale-Harrison, held a series of prophesy conferences across North America in the 1930's. He predicted that the end of the world would happen in 1940 or 1941.
1948: During this year, the state of Israel was founded. Some Christians believed that this event was the final prerequisite for the second coming of Jesus. Various end of the world predictions were made in the range 1888 to 2048.
1953-AUG: David Davidson wrote a book titled "The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message". In it, he predicted that the world would end in 1953-AUG
1957-APR: The Watchtower magazine quoted a pastor from California, Mihran Ask, as saying in 1957-JAN that "Sometime between April 16 and 23, 1957, Armageddon will sweep the world! Millions of persons will perish in its flames and the land will be scorched.
1959: Florence Houteff's, who was the leader of the Branch Davidians faith group, prophesied that the 1260 days mentioned in Revelation 11:3 would end and the Kingdom of David would be established on 1959-APR-22. Followers expected to die, be resurrected, and transferred to Heaven. Many sold their possessions and moved to Mt. Carmel in anticipation of the "end time". It didn't happen. The group almost did not survive; only a few dozen members remained.
Most Branch Davidians did die on 1993-APR-29 as a result of arson apparently ordered by their leader, David Koresh. They were not bodily resurrected -- on earth at least.
1960: Piazzi Smyth, a past astronomer royal of Scotland, wrote a book circa 1860 titled "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid." It was responsible for spreading the belief in pyramidology throughout the world. This is the belief that secrets are hidden in the dimensions of the great pyramids. He concluded from his research that the millennium would start before the end of 1960 CE.
1967: During the six day war, the Israeli army captured all of Jerusalem. Many conservative Christians believed that the rapture would occur quickly. However, the final Biblical prerequisite for the second coming is that the Jews resume ritual animal sacrifices in the temple at Jerusalem. That never happened.
1970's: The late Moses David (formerly David Berg) was the founder of the Christian religious group, The Children of God. He predicted that a comet would hit the earth, probably in the mid 1970's and destroy all life in the United States. One source indicated that he believed it would happen in 1973.
1972: According to an article in the Atlantic magazine, "Herbert W. Armstrong's empire suffered a serious blow when the end failed to begin in January of 1972, as Armstrong had predicted, thus bringing hardship to many people who had given most of their assets to the church in the expectation of going to Petra, where such worldly possessions would be useless."
1974: Charles Meade, a pastor in Daleville, IN, predicted that the end of the world will happen during his lifetime. He was born circa 1927, so the end will probably come early in the 21st century.
1975: Many Jehovah's Witness predicted this date. However, it was not officially recognized by the leadership.
1978: Chuck Smith, Pastor of Calvary Chapel in Cost Mesa, CA, predicted the rapture in 1981.
1980: Leland Jensen leader of a Baha'i Faith group, predicted that a nuclear disaster would happen in 1980. This would be followed by two decades of conflict, ending in the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth.
1981: Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel taught an anti-Trinitarian belief about God, and Christian Identity. Back in the 1970's, he predicted that the Antichrist would appear before 1981.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church predicted that the Kingdom of Heaven would be established this year.
1982: Pat Robertson predicted a few years in advance that the world would end in the fall of 1982. The failure of this prophecy did not seem to adversely affect his reputation.
1982: Astronomers John Gribben & Setphen Plagemann predicted the "Jupiter Effect" in 1974. They wrote that when various planets were aligned on the same side of the sun, tidal forces would create solar flares, radio interruptions, rainfall and temperature disturbances and massive earthquakes. The planets did align as seen from earth, as they do regularly. Nothing unusual happened.
1984 to 1999: In 1983, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later called Osho, teacher of what has been called the Rajneesh movement, is said to have predicted massive destruction on earth, including natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. Floods larger than any since Noah, extreme earthquakes, very destructive volcano eruptions, nuclear wars etc. were to happen. Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Bombay will all disappear. Actually, the predictions were read out by his secretary; their legitimacy is doubtful.
1985: Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel predicted that the war of Armageddon will start on 1985-JUN 8-9 in "a valley of the Alaskan peninsula."
1986: Moses David of The Children of God faith group predicted that the Battle of Armageddon would take place in 1986. Russia would defeat Israel and the United States. A worldwide Communist dictatorship would be established. In 1993, Christ would return to earth.
1987 to 2000: Lester Sumrall, in his 1987 book "I Predict 2000 AD" predicted that Jerusalem would be the richest city on Earth, that the Common Market would rule Europe, and that there would be a nuclear war involving Russia and perhaps the U.S. Also, he prophesized that the greatest Christian revival in the history of the church would happen: all during the last 13 years of the 20th century. All of the predictions failed.
1988: Hal Lindsey had predicted in his book "The Late, Great Planet Earth" that the Rapture was coming in 1988 - one generation or 40 years after the creation of the state of Israel. This failed prophecy did not appear to damage his reputation. He continues to write books of prophecy which sell very well indeed.
Alfred Schmielewsky, a psychic whose stage name was "super-psychic A.S. Narayana," predicted in 1986 that the world's greatest natural disaster would hit Montreal in 1988. Sadly, his psychic abilities failed him on 1999-APR-11 when he answered the door of his home only to be shot dead by a gunman.
1988-MAY: A 1981 movie titled "The man who saw tomorrow" described some of Nostradamus predictions. Massive earthquakes were predicted for San Francisco and Los Angeles.
1988-OCT-11: Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist, had published the book "88 Reasons why the Rapture will Occur in 1988." It sold over 4 million copies.
About 1990: Peter Ruckman concluded from his analysis of the Bible that the rapture would come within a few years of 1990.
It is worth noting that all of the following predictions have failed. And I expect that all of the predictions about our future will also fail.
And this mess is further compounded by America's appalling education system. America ranks near the bottom of the industrialized world in hard science, geography, and even its own history. World history, forget it. Today most people can't separate science from pseudo-science, or history from myth.
These sick cults tend to shun education and scholarship and are proud to do so. In fact, many end up as prophets themselves claiming a direct line to God and special revelation for the entire world to hear. Their leaders would include Joseph Smith and his Mormonism, William Miller and the Adventists, and John Nelson Darby. His fantasy of dispensationalism and "pre-Tribulation Rapture" would heavily infect Pentecostals like Pat Robertson and Baptists like Jerry Falwell.
The energy some people squander on validating their views could be used in so many better ways. No one has a monopoly on the "Truth." What we have to remember is, that before this truth was advocated by any order, or embodied in any political constitution or religious organization, it was embedded in the constitution of the human soul.
There are two aspects of the nature of man which lift him above the brute animal. They are reason and conscience.
Down through the centuries--often in times when the highest crime was not murder, but "THINKING," where a difference of opinion could've meant a torturous and agonizing death by the rack and stake. So there are two aspects of the nature of man which lift him above the brute animal- they are REASON and CONSCIENCE.
7 Things Not To Fear: Psalms 56:4
1. Flesh (v 4) Fear not what flesh can do unto me.
2. People (Num. 14:9) Fear ye not the people of the land...Lord is with us: fear then not.
3. Idols (Judg. 6:10; 2 Ki 17:35-39) Fear not other gods
4. Evil (Ps 23:4) Fear no evil.
5. War (Ps. 27:3) Fear though war should arise against me.
6. Man (Mt. 10:28; Lk. 12:5) Fear not them which kill the body.
7. Sufferings (Rev. 2:10) Fear none of those thing which thou shalt suffer.
5 Things To Fear:
1. God (Det. 16: 13-24; Mt. 10:28). Over 40 times in Scripture men are commanded to fear God. Many are the benefits promised to those who fear God.
2. Parents (Lev. 19:3) Fear and honor your mother and father.
3. Kings (Pr. 24:21) Give to God divine honor and worship, and to the king civil respect and political obedience. Have nothing to do with anarchy.
4. Civil rulers (Rom. 13:1-8) Obey the laws of civil rulers, government, law enforcement officers, & honorable men over you in public life; pay taxes & customs.
5. Masters (1 Pet. 2:18) Be subject to your masters with fear, be they good/bad; suffer wrongs patiently; follow Christ's example suffering for righteousness.
Love of Neighbor is the Fulfilling of the Law: Romans 13:9-10
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
One is remined in this connexion the other well-known passage in Matthew of the New Testament. The deep significance of this passage, here in the New Testament, is told about a certain lawyer who was questioning Jesus in an attempt to catch him tripping, if possible in his interpretations of the scriptures of the Jewish Scriptures.
This lawyer asked Jesus:
Teacher, what is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God in all thy heart, and in all thy soul, and in all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself. In these two commandments hang all the Law and all the prophets. (Matt. 22: 36-40)
The Simple Key
We are bound together by unbreakable ties; and no man can live unto himself alone, nor think unto himself alone, nor feel for himself alone. He may cheat himself imagining that he does this; but he inevitably suffers from it. Nature, which is infinitely merciful in its widest operations, because it is inwardly controlled by God, nevertheless and for that very reason, is inflexibly and ineluctably just.
This view we can understand so clearly and have our understanding greatly enlightened by it, if we use one simple key. What is this simple key? The realization of our oneness with God.
In loving God, he loses all self-love, and self-love, as is obvious, is a limited and restricting emotion and consequently is the root of all selfishness and evil in the human world. Self-love narows the vision, and cripples the wings of the Soul, which in this case is the 'True Self'; but he who loves God loses the small in the infinitely great; he loves all and sees even the glimmering good behind the seeming or actual evil that exists in the world.
This is the meaning that Jesus had in mind when he uttered this noble doctrine. The man who loves God, obviously loves all beings (Love your enemies, Mt. 5:44) and everything; Therefore Jesus pursued the path of his thought in saying that the second injuction was exactly like the first:
'Love thy neighbor as thyself'- for this precisely what a lover of God would necessarily do, because his neighbor in his inmost essence is the same as he in his inmost essence. The man who loves his neighbor, necessarily loves himself- but his best, highest, and finest and loftiest Self.
Sermon text with italics and bold and John 3:16 and v. 20.
Text with an outline.
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