Three Prophesies to Consider.

The Bible had prophets.  There are prophets today.

Prophets are a dime a dozen.  A year or so ago radio personality, Harold Camping, predicted the world would end on a date certain.  Herbert W. Armstrong made such prophecies.  These prophesies have always turned out to be wrong.

But, what about those who say the Bible’s real prophesy is that Jesus will return, the world will end, but we don’t have any idea when it will happen?  Is this prophesy more correct then those of Armstrong and Camping?

It seems to me there are three separate prophesies.  People need to decide which is the correct one.  The three are:

1.) They world will end on a date certain, the date can be figured out from the Bible.

2.) They world will end when Jesus returns, we have no idea when that will be.

3.) The world will end when some natural or man made phenomena ends it, the sun fails, the atmosphere fails, etc., but it will have nothing to do with religion.

Choosing the prophesy that is correct is quite important because the other two are false.  If people rally around one of the two false ones, they will waste time and effort better spent preparing, or preventing, the correct one.  We can already see time and effort was wasted worrying about those of Camping and Armstrong.

I’d suggest prophesy 3.).  Otherwise you will waste your life believing in one of the other two.  So far as we know, they are both false.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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41 Responses to Three Prophesies to Consider.

  1. Michael Ross says:

    “I’d suggest prophesy 3.). Otherwise you will waste your life believing in one of the other two. So far as we know, they are both false. ”

    All three of your prophetic possibilities are incorrect. Therefore I can confidently declare that you are NOT a prophet of God. We have that in common. Actually I am God’s end-time apostle, but that’s another discussion.

    Seriously, God created the world (cosmos) for eternity just as He did you and I. What is coming to and end is the world’s system (political, economic, and monetary), or as some would say, “the world as we know it”.

    That may sound “doom and gloom” but just the same, have a happy Memorial Day holiday in Remembrance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IRZ2scu40c

    And forgetfulness:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/05-overflow/20140524_mem.png

  2. entech says:

    God created the world (cosmos) for eternity just as He did you and I
    Eternity is a long time ;)
    A. Is there an escape clause?
    B. Will the slow but steady bodily deterioration continue?

    Atheistic logic
    If B then A is required
    If A then it will be invoked by B
    If Not B then A may still be desirable
    If Not A then please not B

    • Henry says:

      A. Jesus. Romans 5:8,9
      B. Outwardly wasting away. II Corintians 4:16

      • entech says:

        very Zen

        • Henry says:

          No, that was later.

          • entech says:

            Yes Buddhism was much before and Zen much later, Judeo/Christian was in between, like the meat in a ham sandwich.

          • Henry says:

            Not really. Christ was in the Protevangelium quite a bit earlier. Prior to that, the Word was here from the beginning.

          • entech says:

            That is just your version of reality, Buddhist and Hindu thought are older and have a different creation story. Yours is one of many and no more likely to be true than any of them (although I would concede that some of the Dreamtime stories from Australian Aboriginal mythology is pretty fanciful).

          • Henry says:

            Yes, you are right. Buddhism traces back to the 6th century before Christ. You win.

          • entech says:

            I didn’t know it was a competition, just a searching. Some systems of thought go back before the young earth version of Adam. They could just be right or wrong just as you could, or just as I could.

  3. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I have to chuckle when I read about those concerned with the end of the world. It seems we are overwhelmed with movies and books that express this theme. Logically, it makes absolutely no sense for people living today to expect that they will be alive to witness the destruction of the world in whatever manifestation that may occur. It is a narcissistic delusion for a world that has endured for millions of years to suddenly end during any one person’s lifetime. The probabilities are so staggeringly one-sided that anyone who seriously entertains the idea that they will witness end times has problems far greater than any one of us can address. It’s even worse odds than winning the power ball 285 million dollar jackpot. What I would like to know is why do people feel so strongly that the end of the world is imminent? The earth has been through some significant cataclysms and we are still here. Basing opinions about the end of the world on locusts, sinful people, famine, fire or floods seems naïve.

  4. Wanna B Sure says:

    One must ask; What is one’s definition of time? What is one’s definition of eternity? How many definitions are there? Can they co-exist for a……. “time”? If time had a beginning, must it not have an end? Is time simply a parenthesis? Just asking.

    • entech says:

      Think of it this way, eternity is forever. Time is eternities method of making sure everything doesn’t happen at once.
      If it all happened together there would be nothing left and eternity would be very short which contradicts the idea of eternity being forever.

      As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
      At least that is what I learned at school. or was that schul?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Sometimes I wonder what earliest man’s concept of time was. Ours is a clock and calendar. In pilot training one learns time is really just a navigational concept–man has drawn lines on a map so the world is divided up into seconds. Could it be that once there was no concept of time as in time is passing, there is a past and a future?

      It seems to me the Bible authors had some ancient concept of time like that. There is a heaven and a hell where time stands still. Or, to put it another way, when time is passing bad things happen, sin. When time stands still, the sin ends. Without the ability to think in terms of suspending time, there really is no Christian religion. I don’t seem to have that ability.

      • entech says:

        Jon, surely heaven and hell are better described as being outside of time rather than as time standing still – the hypothesis is that the creator speaking the words were the beginning of time and space. Time standing still is that rather strange story from Joshua about the sun and moon standing still so that the Israelites could avenge themselves on the enemy; surprising there was any enemy after all the death and destruction by hailstones. This suspension of time is a miracle and as you say without miracles there would not be much left.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          entech 1:56 I agree outside of time is a more accurate way to express it. I’d only suggest using the concept of time standing still is a little more popular and, if that is possible, “understandable”.

          If we took the magical story of Joshua and applied it to eternity, would that mean there are no nights and days in heaven and hell? That is, it we move outside of time is time also suspended? (Maybe we could write our own Bible explaining all this stuff.)

          • entech says:

            Maybe we could write our own that would be too much like hard work, for a start we would have to edit it to makes sure it was written in an archaic dialect to make it seem old and authentic.
            Did you know that the beautiful and poetic King James Version came out in a usage that was out of date at the time of publication for that very reason, if it sounded old it sounded authentic :)

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            I wish our Bible could start the world with something more meaningful than “the word”. That makes no sense, unless the skill of speaking word was new to humans and quite magical–more magical than sign language. Maybe the world could start with “the fluke accident” and not explain what it was. :)

    • Wolfy32 says:

      I read recently that “Time is a man made concept”.

      Very true. The material universe will continue doing whatever it does, with or without us. Our time system is based on how quickly the earth orbits around our sun. Time outside of our little tiny brains is meaningless. Also, why the chances of us experiencing the end of times seems a little ridiculous. The universe takes thousands of earth years to accomplish a minor / small task. We expect things to happen within just a few hundred days.

  5. Steve Sween says:

    I agree that Jon’s three are important to consider (at least within a simplified two-system context, Christianity and Atheism). If any of the three are true, then the true one (whichever it is) is certainly worthy of organizing your life around.

    As a Christian I know #3 to be false. As a member of the church that was originally founded by Armstrong I also know #1 to be false. (Armstrong knew this too, to some degree, before the end of his life. And his church had certainly learned this lesson well by the time I joined, long after Armstrong’s death. This church has been totally and mercifully and astonishingly transformed. http://www.gci.org ) God’s word can and will correct the most egregious error, now or later, in religion and in “secularism” both.

    I believe that the Earth will one day be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea. I believe, in God’s time, that all the ends of the Earth will turn to Him and be saved, that every knee will bow and every tongue will swear, that all will ultimately say, “In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength”. And that all who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.

    I believe and organize my life around prophecy #2, but without the “we have no idea when that would be” clause. You cannot know the day or the hour, but those who know his voice can see the signs of His coming, e.g., the fullness of the gentiles (implications include population stress) and many, many other signs. If you don’t have ears to hear then I won’t exhort you to you fear prophecy #2 (not that you would) – I believe our loving God has a merciful plan. But if #2 is true, you likely don’t need to fear #3 either (not that you won’t).

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Steve 2:42 Thank you for a well written first time post. Please return to post again.

      My impression is that nearly all our Christian readers would, like you, chose alternative 2.) So, you have expressed a view held by others here. Many may have, of course, a different reason, many different reasons, for their selection.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      And yet, for every one of us “The world as we personally experience it” will end the moment we die.

      • Steve Sween says:

        True. And personal experience will resume when all are again made alive.

        Christ is both personal and objective reality, more than just “helpful to some” as Jon wrote here recently. Personal reality to all, now or later. And objective reality to all now, whether they realize it or not.

        • Avatar of realist realist says:

          What you describe is a matter of your faith, not of objective reality. The varied “faiths” in this world have believers who are just as convinced as you that they are right. Why do you think you are right and millions of Hindus and Buddhists, just for starters, are wrong?

          • Steve Sween says:

            Personal experience of course! :)

            Actually, I didn’t say I thought they were “wrong”, although I’m no pluralist. But if it were true that all belief systems are mutually exclusive so that only one can be 100% right and the others 100% wrong (this is impossible, and Christianity itself is embarrassingly sectarian and therefore must objectively be full of error in many places), then of course you would concede that the believer in the “true” belief system is right and believers in the other belief systems are wrong, no matter how convinced they are. If after all is said and done (e.g., the world as we know it ends, God reveals Himself to all) one group emerges as “the right one”, then objective reality is that the believers in that group were right and all the others were wrong.*

            I concede this: You are right to say that if I think I am right about anything, it is a matter of faith and, as I said, of personal experience. But if you are an atheist you can do no better. In fact you can’t even do as well in the above scenario.

            If a faith group makes truth claims, but you are an atheist, you cannot absolutely and in full confidence discount the personal experience of members of that faith group. It’s their experience, not yours. You missed the memo, or maybe even “read someone else’s mail”. If their personal experience involves better information, information which God caused them to know, e.g., via a system of calling and election (but only temporary exclusivism), then objectively you are wrong and they are right. But it won’t be known until all is said and done. And until all is said and done, the two of you are at an impasse, each one unable to convince the other. (You would also be right to say that if all groups’ members are equally convicted, then in the above scenario many of them are wrong, but not necessarily all.)

            *I find it unlikely that one sectarian group has exclusive truth…God has truth, humans have faulty understanding. Been there, done that. But if I am right that Christ is God and God is Love, then all of the error inside and outside of the church will be corrected soon enough. My faith and personal experience tells me that this is true, and there’s nothing you can say to persuade me otherwise.

            Jon said, “So far as we know, they (prophecies 1 & 2) are false.” Agreed. So far as you know.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Steve 1:06 “Agreed. So far as you know.”

            One of the most curious things about this discussion page is how, so far as I can recall, there have been only a poster or two among the nonbelievers who have said they know absolutely there is no higher magical being. Most are like me and atheists guru, Richard Dawkins, they are over 99% sure, but admit they cannot be 100%. There are still unanswered questions about where the universe came from. I, myself, feel these unanswered questions will be answered at some point in human history. One could write a book listing all the questions that were once considered unanswerable but have now been answered. But, for now, some unanswered ones remain.

            The curious thing is that we have yet to have a believer who will admit to even a 0.001% probability there is no god. You seem closer than anyone we have had post here, but I’m wondering it you would like to address how you see this possibility.

            I want to assure you there is no obligation to share anything here you feel uncomfortable sharing.

          • entech says:

            Steve an interesting post.
            What do you mean by Personal experience of course!
            If you mean personal experience in the sense of being a part of the world, of experiencing the world by simply existing in it. Then it would be difficult to argue against that idea.
            If you mean person experience in the sense of personal experience of God by means of visions, perhaps a personal revelation or something similar then I would say that was “personal” something belonging to you, it may be a truth that you found but cannot be thought of as an objective fact.

            When reduced to their basic elements belief systems can and often are mutually exclusive , the unique creation of the universe by the Christian God has no compatibility with the eternal cyclic universe of the Hindu. Even starting with the same creator deity some things are not compatible, are mutually exclusive, the God of Abraham, the Jewish God is not a three in one entity, it is a single indivisible entity, the Christian belief that God is a three part unity is not compatible, the concepts are mutually exclusive.

            As for a faith group making claims based on revealed truth you are correct, I cannot discount the experiences claimed by members of the group or the ‘truths’ that they derive from them, I can only say I do not believe tht what is say is the true situation and certainly not the ‘only truth’ as claimed by many.
            You say among the conflicting ideas many must be wrong but not necessarily all, I would only say that it is possible that all are wrong.

            Agreed it is all a case of “as far as is known”, that is as far as I know and as far as you know.

  6. QuietOne says:

    (#3) Earth is such a beautiful planet full of amazing biodiversity. Mankind however has a history of being careless in protecting it – most often for personal gain. It is comforting to know that a growing number of people are focused on these serious problems & aggressively pursuing solutions. I agree, this is not a waste of time. How does this tie to a belief in God though? Did God know there would be limits to life sustainability on Earth?

    (#2) Just because there are many false prophets, doesn’t mean there won’t be some that are true. We are challenged to know the difference. (In response to a prior post) I wonder if early writers of the Bible were challenged to describe & interpret God’s messages. There may be a margin of error (big or small) in describing that which occurred, & over time man may have altered portions of it. That would be a challenge for anyone preaching the word of the Bible. But…this should not take away from the truth. I would change “no idea when” to “some idea of when” Jesus returns in #2. Also, not a waste of time or effort.

  7. Nate says:

    I have to ask: What makes these three prophetic events mutually exclusive? Could they all be interconnected? Ie.: What happens if Jesus comes at a given time, perhaps discernible from the Bible, as the sun burns out? And also, why the restrictive qualifiers?: “but it will have nothing to do with religion,” or “we have no idea when that will be.”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Nate 1:38 “What makes these three prophetic events mutually exclusive? Could they all the interconnected?”

      And, could it be that the god that lands on earth is a god no human on earth has worshipped for 100,000 years–the last worshippers died long ago. Further, this god is mad that no one has noticed him. He is so mad he boils every last human in oil for eternity. Lots of other alternatives for the end.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        “He is so mad he boils every last human in oil for eternity.”
        Exactly, one tactic for a losing side is to feign victory. Tell everyone you’ve won to boost morale and get a resurgence in military numbers and a renewed morale, may be just enough to win a losing battle.

        The bible’s aim to say “Hey we may be losing now, but the outcome of the war is anyone that believes is a winner!” seems to me a sign of desperation! What if the biblical side is the real losing side? And it’s all backwards?

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Wolfy32 2:25 “What if the biblical side in the real losing side? And, it’s all backwards.”

          That’s the BIG question. And, or, what if the real religion is some other, and, by choosing Christianity they will suffer in eternity. It is not smart for people of faith to smugly taunt non believers that they should play it safe and get on board. How do they know their eternity is safer being a Christian than some other religion or no religion?

          Many atheists might convert if there was just some thread of evidence other than one involving circular reasoning, “I am the one because I said I was the one.”

          • Wolfy32 says:

            It could be some random space fairing smugler discovered us and set himself up to be a God.

            And got arrested for interfering with the development of a lower species and was taken far away from here never allowed to return again.

            Though, much of the bible could be used as evidence of possibly a variety of advanced races living amongst us and at some getting up and leaving and removing themselves from our civilization. Who knows, maybe they took a couple civilizations with them. Missing Aztecs, Incas, etc.

      • Nate says:

        Jon- “[]… Lots of other alternatives for the end.”

        Is your reply a new prophesy #4? Back to my original question, without the seemingly purposeful diversion. What makes these mutually exclusive other than Jon says so? Give us a rhyme or reason. Could the reality be that each is interdependent on the other and is necessary for the end event? Likewise, could the reality be that in matters of faith, particularly the Christian faith, that each doctrine serves as a necessary component or substance to the collective whole? It seems that you and others are presenting all prophesy as a bit of a straw man here… piñatas are easy to hit when you know where they’re hanging.

        • Wolfy32 says:

          They may not be mutually exclusive, the point of the off shoots (speaking for myself) is once we start talking about possibilities, we begin to realize that anything is possible. That Christianity’s interpretation of the end, of prophecy, and the intent of the source of the prophecy (a supernatural being at war with other supernatural beings?) could be mis-information, misleading, or if it’s 100% true information (how do we know this?) then, who says we’ve interpretted it correctly?

          Once you start speculating on exclusivity, it kinda opens to the door to what if scenerios. And many of them the bible can be used to support the what if scenerios based on interpretation.

          One of many examples is that the temple that Jon was supposed to measure in revelations (which means it has a real size and shape) descends upon earth in the end times.

          A physical object over a mile in size, descends on earth and has overal (pearl) shaped gates. Sure, sounds like a description of a space ship does it not?

          That’s just one of many examples of how the bible is highly subjective and can be interpretted pretty much by anyone the way they want it to mean.

          With that bit in Revelations, I really don’t understand how else it could be interpretted, but, based on others here, they give the vibe that Revelations really isn’t an important book of the bible… Go figure.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Nate 8:07 Number 1.) and 2.) certainly must be mutually exclusive. One either believes every word of the Bible or one does not.

          You are asking if the world could end due to natural events or man made pollution and there could still be a god behind it all. That is, could not 2.) and 3.) both be true? I agree, but I don’t agree we know what god that is, if there is one. Could it appear to be many gods when there is only one? Since we know absolutely nothing about any god(s), I can come to no other conclusion but that the god is a product of the human mind. The only limit, then, about what that god could be or do is the limit of our imagination.

  8. Fr. James says:

    You don’t know if number 3 is correct either. Many atheists have prophesied the death of God and religion. They have always been wrong.

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