True Believers Meet at Armageddon (December 30, 2000)
I find it oddly satisfying to read old reports of intelligent, scholarly, well-read men who confidently picked the time of the end. And were obviously wrong. It is sad-funny to watch a person waste so much of their life on a futile pursuit. I wonder what they do when they finally acknowledge that their calculations went wrong somehow. Do they go back to their books and figure and re-figure their results? I wonder if they have a home to go back to. I wonder if they have any friends or family left. When an entire group of people is thus deceived, however, I get angry. Whoever led them astray has a lot to answer for.
A link to failed predictions, not to be missed: A Timeline of Confusion
Which leads me to the WT article January 1, 2003, "Keep on the Watch" page 19, paragraph 5
...So our reviewing from time to time the Scriptural proof that we are living close to the end of this system will help us not to lose sight of the important truths regarding that coming end*. It is also good to take note of unfolding world events that fulfill Bible prophecy. One brother in Germany wrote: "Every time I watch the news - the wars, the earthquakes, the violence, and the contamination of our planet - it drives home to me the nearness of the end."
*Six Convincing Lines of EvidenceWT January 15, 2000 p. 12, 13 para 13-18
First, to be convincing, there can be no other plausible interpretation that fits these "lines of evidence". If I do, the "evidence" by definition, is not convincing.
Second, referencing their own works as proofs does not hold water. Have other scholars come to the same conclusion they have?
Third, a prophet who is able to self-fulfill his prophecy can not use this as proof that his prophecy is accurate. For instance, if I prophecy that I will drink a glass of water next morning, and I do it, did I prove that I am a prophet?
Fourth, notably absent is the reference to wars, earthquakes and violence, except when they are quoting an enthusiastic German brother. Perhaps even the FDS realizes that such events have been a regular occurrence over the last two thousand years, and thus cannot be used of evidence that the "last days" are upon us now. If so, we have been living in the "last days" since Adam was kicked out of Eden. Or, perhaps, the full scripture reference in Matthew 24 is a little embarrassing, considering the number of times the disciples are warned to watch out for false prophets.
completion of the age? And Jesus answering said to them, See that no one mislead you. For many shall come in my name, saying, *I* am the Christ, and they shall mislead many. But ye will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not disturbed; for all these things must take place, but it is not yet the end. For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. But all these are the beginning of throes.
And as he was sitting upon the mount of Olives the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be, and what is the sign of thy coming andthe
Then shall they deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill you; and ye will be hated of all the nations for my name's sake.
And then will many be offended, and will deliver one another up, and hate one another; and many false prophets shall arise and shall mislead many; and because lawlessness shall prevail, the love of the most shall grow cold; but he that has endured to the end, *he* shall be saved.(Mat 24:3-13 Darby)
|Convincing Line of Evidence||Scripture||My Comment|
|1. Paul says we will have difficult times, and goes on to describe wicked men.||2 Timothy 3:1-5||..but we have always had difficult times. Selfish and wicked men have been around since time immemorial. I have found that we can look for wickedness or we can look for goodness all around us. Either way we will be successful. Besides, we are part of the Random Acts of Kindness generation. How could Jehovah destroy the earth as long as we have lovely people like Oprah sharing the planet with us?|
|2. Satan and his demons are cast from heaven. This has resulted in great woe for the earth. Truly, there has been much woe for mankind, particularly since 1914. But the prophecy in Revelation adds that when the Devil is cast down to the earth, he knows that "he has a short period of time." (Revelation 12:12) During this period, Satan wages war with the anointed followers of Christ. (Revelation 12:17)||Rev 12:9-17|
Since I have not seen Satan except in cartoons, I assume they are talking about a figurative Satan thrown down from heaven. The supposed evidence is that there has been more woe for mankind since 1914, and the anointed slave class have undergone unprecedented persecution from Satan. ...so the convincing line of evidence is that there has been particularly more woe for mankind since 1914? What about the Black Death? In five years, 25 million people were dead, fully one third of Europe’s people. That happened in 1347. No other single event devastated mankind so completely. Where is the Black Death prophesied or even explained by the WTS? By comparison, the an estimated 8,300,000 combatants were killed during the first World War of 1914-1918 .
Since the 1900’s, infant mortality has plummeted, and life expectancy has steadily increased. This is more woe?
Well, if the WTS were the only group under attack in their day, I would give them a point. But they have lots of company. (Pope Pays Tribute to Modern Martyrs) Also, self-fulfilled prophecy is not a prophecy.
From the freeminds site:
|3. We are living in the time of the eighth and final "king" mentioned in the prophecy recorded at Revelation 17:9-11. This eighth king - the last one that John envisions-now represents the United Nations.||Rev 17:9-11 Darby||To refute this, all I have to do is come up with a plausible alternative to the one given. I propose that this King of the North is none other than Ollie North. Now prove me wrong.|
|4. We are living in the period symbolized by the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image.||Dan 2:36-43||Only problem is, every empire has followed this same pattern. From Golden Age to gradual decline and weakness until it is overthrown. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Aztecs, and British Empire have all had their golden age followed by decline. Has North America reached its peak yet? I am not certain of that. Did North America reach its peak in 1914? I don’t think so. Few visionaries in 1914 imagined space travel or the internet. I think India, South America, the Pacific Rim, and Asia are ready in turn for their own golden age. People of the earth have always been living under this prophecy. What is different this time?|
|5. We see a global preaching work being accomplished, which Jesus said would take place just before the end of the system.||Mat 24:14-15||This is a self-fulfilled prophecy, so is not a proper prophesy at all. At least not one that a date can be set by. Also, The Nazarene Church, the Christian Missionary Alliance and many other of Christendom’s churches are energetically pursuing this goal. Why again does their preaching work not count?|
|6. The number of genuine anointed disciples is dwindling, though some will evidently still be on earth when the great tribulation begins. Most of the remnant are quite elderly, and over the years the number of those who are truly anointed has been getting smaller...||Mat 24:21-22||What a relief that the FDS is making the distinction between genuine and false anointed disciples, since the number of anointed disciples is increasing. I am curious. How does the FDS distinguish between genuine anointed disciples and false anointed disciples?|