Why All Church-Age Endtime Prophets are False
Ray Waugh, Sr. – 1915-1995
My father and I did not always agree. In fact, we had our share of “heated” discussions about a wide variety of topics/subjects. Since he died in 1995 he is unable to make any revisions to his writing. It has not been my intention to “revise” his material to make it more palatable for readers who would disagree with him. I have made a a few spelling changes and formatting changes to make his documents more Internet ready.
The theses of Why All Church-Age Endtime Prophets is False is quite simple: Anyone who clamed/claims that the coming of Christ was/is close at hand because of the “signs” they observed and who have “set a date” whether specific or generalized have been proven to be in error by the passing of time.
I do have clear recollection of some of the criticism he received about calling “stalwarts of the faith” false prophets. His answer was simple. He was not challenging their salvation. As far as he was concerned they were saved. They just had a false notion about the end of things, which to my father was a serious doctrinal error. God does not need His servants to use falsehood to prove His veracity.- Ray Waugh, Jr.
Part I Introduction
In my files that cover more than 65 years, there is a yellowed tabloid paper of four pages entitled, "The Last News, Prophesying The Coming of Christ." On page two of the same, the word is, "The Last News is printed by the Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri. Number 8-5846." Then the prices are given, "1,000 for $16; 500 for $9; 100 for $2.75. Available only in multiples of 100." It is noted as being "Vol. 3 — No. 1" and has a three and one quarter inch, two line, boldface letter headline, "CHRIST IS COMING," along with a dramatic picture on page one that is identified as, "The Baker Day explosion of the fifth atomic bomb at Bikini, July 24, 1946 … ."
Inside on page 2, there is an editorial, "This is the most important Newspaper you have ever read." On page 3, there is the headline, "Fearful Signs Soon To Appear in Heavens." Alongside this article are pictures of an "Earthquake Disaster In Iran," "Death Stalks The Sidewalks" with a purse snatcher lying dead in the gutter, "Quake Victim All Alone" with a weeping boy on the rubble in Bouein, Iran, and "Suicide Pact" with two dead New Jersey youths sprawled in the front seat of their car.
Finally, on page 4, there is the headline, "The End Is Near." This is followed by the word:
Communist leaders are getting ready to push the launching buttons that will fill the sky with missiles. China is getting ready to march with its millions. Africa is shaking itself from sleep like a mighty giant. South America is rumbling like a panther. Crime, delinquency, drug addiction, sex hate, and fear are spreading around the world like cancer … the end times, according to Bible predictions will see men, women, and young people madly seeking after pleasure … the Bible predicted these conditions almost 2000 years ago. You see them everywhere around you. And all of them are signs that Christ is coming soon.
That was then! Some 45 years have intervened. America has concluded W.W.II. We have been involved in the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam conflict, and Desert Storm. "The endtime signs" of that distant day read somewhat like ancient history. The Russia that was supposed to have filled the sky with missiles in that distant day is no more today. The China that existed then apparently does not exist as such today. Africa is as much in turmoil today — perhaps even more — as it was some 45 years ago, and some of the nations that were then supreme are today without that place of preeminence. South America is "rumbling" even more today than it was then. The crime, delinquency, drug addiction, sex, hates, and fears that were abroad then were more like a Sunday School Picnic in comparison to the same conditions in our day in 1993.
It is obvious that those who put this tabloid together were of the opinion that some things had to happen before Jesus could return to the earth. This, I believe, is the continuing evidence of the thinking folly of many who have lived during the last 1,900 or so years. If we are going to understand the import of Matthew 24:36 that reads, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only," we must realize that Jesus is saying He could return within a few hours or that He may not return for 10,000 or 10,000,000 years. Therefore, when men attempt to give a temporal emphasis to something that really is timeless and which is related to our eternal God's determination, we can know that they are not thinking with our Lord Jesus Christ.
First, it is understandable, then, that many of the redeemed in that first century could properly and Scripturally look for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, they had something of an intellectual grasp on "the timelessness" of His statement. Secondly, it should be rather evident, then, that those who tell us that certain "events" or "Church-Age events" must happen before Jesus can return are not being either Scriptural, logical, or honest. This detail should be sufficient also to prove that all Church-Age prophets who have come with what they speak of as "endtime signs" in any generation have been out of touch with the Word of God, and they have been out of touch with those redeemed ones in the first century. We may know, too, that they actually have been out of touch with God. What has been transpiring in the past is transpiring in the present as well. We shall demonstrate this in the following pages, if our Lord is willing!
One dear man whom I heard on several occasions many years ago has made an attempt to answer the question, "Why Has Christ Not Yet Returned?" In a book by this same name that does not bear a date, but something of the nature of its age is found in his asking price of 10 cents for this 20-page booklet. In this work he gives five reasons. He lists them as, "I — Because of the Long-suffering of God," "II — God's Measure of Time is Not Man's," "III — The Church Must Be Complete Before Christ Comes," "IV — The Gospel is to be Preached in All the World for a Witness to all Nations Before Christ can come," and "V — Knowing the overwhelming disaster that will befall the unbelieving world when Christ comes, God mercifully delays the hour" (John Linton, "Why Has Christ Not Yet Returned?" — unnumbered pages 10 – 16).
Each one of these reasons may seem to be reasonable. Yet, there is no such implication in the above quoted passage from Matthew 24:36 to justify such thinking. This is but the figment of one man's imagination for which there is not any Scriptural justification. The continual dying of those who have been born upon the earth should be rather clear evidence that God is not delaying the end while men are getting right with Him. Instead, both the saved and the lost are dying in their sins, and they are doing this whether by natural death or by disasters. Jesus certainly is not telling us that "the church must be complete" before the end will come. There is not one word anywhere in Scripture to justify such a conclusion. Nonetheless, this, as we shall note later, was the cry of many evangelists in the 1920's and the 1930's. In a sense, I would suppose, this was just one of their gimmicks to get people "to come forward" and thereby prove in a measure their success as the servants of God. It is quite probable that some did go forward supposing that their activity would bring on the end.
Interestingly, as of September 9, 1993, one Paul Crouch was on what is known as the TBN TV broadcast. On his program on this evening, he was allegedly at his Television Tower somewhere in the land of Russia reading from the Bible. Along with this effort, he went on to advise those from the USA who had accompanied him and the Russians who were in attendance that perhaps as a result of their activity "the last soul would be saved, and that Jesus would return to the earth. He assured all of those in attendance and all of those who were tuned in to the broadcast that "the last soul was alive upon the earth at that moment and could be in Russia.” That which men were doing in America in the 1930's and the 1940's when people were rather naive and quite gullible is now being promoted as a sensationalist ploy or gimmick in a Russia that is just now "recovering in a measure from communism." The schemes of men are ever renewed for the benefit of those who delight in "believing a lie."
- Jesus didn’t question the Father's Decision!
- He said men, angels, & He could not know!
Without any fear of Scriptural contradiction, then, we boldly make the following statement: Those who indulge in endtime prophecies for "The Church Age" are false prophets. Very simply, we shall see that nothing had to happen and that nothing has to happen in order for Christ to return. All, then, who attempt to justify the thinking that something has to happen before Christ returns may be thought of as Bible Scholars, good Pastors, or excellent Evangelists, or even the best of Religious Professors, but the historical and Scriptural detail will still show that they have been or that they are false prophets! These may be thought of as some of the best of the Religious or Christian Leaders, but if they give us "endtime signs" or "endtime prophecies" that supposedly outline the events that will bring "The Church Age" to a conclusion, we can know that they have not yet understood what Jesus was saying in Matthew 24:36 or what "the two men in white" were saying in Acts 1:11. In the course of the next few pages, we shall document most specifically that all such have been and that they are false prophets!
What these false prophets who have lived since that first century have not seemed to realize is that the Apostles and the Disciples who lived in the concluding years of that first century looked for the Return of their Savior. In the writings that they have left for our study and for our benefit, we see on nearly every page their anticipation that Jesus would be returning soon. This being the case, it should be evident that they were not appealing to "endtime signs" such as those that have been referenced by the many false prophets in the subsequent centuries.
- Among men, however, confusion rages!
- A darkness, precludes comprehension!
Do not be surprised that some of the best minds who have ever been Christian have given their lives to promote and perpetuate the fiction regarding "signs of the end" that C. I. Scofield popularized regarding there being a Church-Age prophetic-period emphasis to the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation. We search the Word of God in vain for any Scriptural justification for such a practice.
First, in order to come to the conclusion that Archbishop Ussher and the Dispensationalists who followed him spoke with heavenly wisdom and set up "a Laodicean Return," all of these had to presume that Jesus did not know what He was talking about. In a very real sense, all such had to overtly reject the plain teaching of Jesus, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36).
Second, in order for these to have reached their conclusions, they, of necessity, had to discount completely the words of the "two men in white apparel who stood beside" the Apostles on the day of The Ascension. Jesus left without any signs of His leaving and without any signs of His returning. The message of the "two men in white apparel" was,
Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
We note that some men have referenced the Bible as they have made their "endtime prophecies" for "The Church Age." We discover, however, that their prophecies have never come to pass, that their prophecies are not coming to pass, and we may be reasonably certain that their prophecies or their "endtime signs" will never come to pass. With some confidence, then, we may say, every "endtime sign" and every "endtime prophecy" that men have indulged with respect to the concluding of "The Church Age" must come under the indictment,
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so …
We shall not provide a listing of all of the past and present endtime prophecies of men in "The Church Age." The representative list we shall include will demonstrate that every endtime prophecy made since the days of the early church has been false. We shall reference just a few in order to demonstrate the thesis: "All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False."
Though men may find a measure of delight in supposing that things will be getting better and better, the Apostle Paul advises us that this shall not happen. In fact, we can know by the Word of God that things will get worse and worse. As we have noted above, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." It will become so bad in this world of ours that a most fateful question will be asked; namely, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
Part II - EARLY PROPHETS SPOKE FALSELY
In the second century, there arrived on the Christian scene a man by the name of Montanus. He apparently had some leadership ability. Before long he had a following of those whom we speak of as Montanists. Besides being an heretic in number of directions by any honest person's evaluation, he also was involved in prophesying. The esteemed Christian historian, Philip Schaff, advises us that Montanus "went generally under the name of nova prophetica" (Philip Schaff, "History of The Christian Church," Vol. II, 5th ed. p. 423).
Philip Schaff also tells us, "The Montanists were the warmest millenarians in the ancient church, and held fast to the speedy return of Christ in glory … In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come,' they prayed for the end of the world. They lived under a vivid impression of the great final catastrophe [You, perhaps, have been of the opinion that catastrophes did not arrive until this 20th century. RW], and looked therefore with contempt upon the present order of things, and directed all of their desires to the second advent of Christ. Maximilla, one of his two female companions, and a Montanist, says, 'After me there is no more prophecy, but only the end of the world" (Ibid. 424-425).
Perhaps it needs to be noted, too, that Montanus prophesied, as Jacques Lacarriere says, "the imminent descent" of the New Jerusalem for "seven years in succession … without the slightest waning of public enthusiasm and credulity"! As many today, they seemingly enjoyed or appreciated "the lie"! He even prophesied that the Holy City would land on "the plain of Pepuza, in Phrygia." Needless to say, after some 1,800 years, it should be rather evident that Montanus was one of the early Church-Age false prophets.
Sometime within the next two centuries, there appeared on the human and the Christian scene two men who would leave a lasting impress upon everyone who would subsequently be called Christian. Those two men were those whom we know as Augustine and Jerome. Both of them were very deeply involved in what was then known as "The Church" and sometimes, "The Churches."
My purpose in this instance, however, is not to attempt to provide any great insight into the lives of either one of these men. All who have even a measure of insight into Church History doubtless are aware that from the days of Jerome until "The Second Vatican Council" which took place in the latter half of this century under the direction of Pope John XXIII, Jerome's Vulgate [Latin Bible] had an overt impress in the lives of all of those in the West who have been known as Roman Catholics. Jerome's influence was such that "In the West, Latin had replaced Greek as the language of worship in the mid-fourth century" (Eerdmans, op. cit. p. 149).
We can say that Jerome who would have such a lasting effect in the lives of billions of those who would be called Christian really was not much of a role model. I have no intention of elaborating the nature of his very clear departure from the faith, but anyone can pursue these details in portions of the volume of Philip Schaff's History of The Christian Church to which reference has been made already. I, nonetheless, do want to provide a couple of very crucial references. They will relate rather exactly with the details of the lives and the ministries of some of the other false prophets whom we shall reference later.
First, we take note of what Schaff has to say about Jerome personally. With specific ancient reference and documentation, he gives us these words concerning Jerome,
He indulged in rhetorical exaggerations and unjust inferences, which violated the laws of truth and honesty; and he supported himself in this, with a characteristic reference to the sophist Gorgias, by equivocal distinction between the gymnastic or polemic style and the didactic (Schaff, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 972].
Very simply, Schaff documents the fact that Jerome was not always straight forward with the truth, or that he believed that we may at times "do evil that good may come"! Out of this sort of reasoning, of course, there has come the pervading word that "the end justifies the means." Historically, this has been and still is the basis for much evil work in the councils of mortal men.
Second, as we know, Jerome lived during some of the last days of The Roman Empire. He apparently had sufficient insight to realize that the days of the Empire were numbered. Even more, however, he related the signs of the Empire's coming demise as a sign of the end of time, and thereby joined Montanus and Maximilla in their false prophecy by drawing a similar conclusion from a differing sign. In his "Epistle 60" from his work on Ezekiel, we learn that ". . . Jerome deplored in the destruction of the city [Rome] the downfall of the empire as the omen of the approaching doom of the world" (Ibid. p. 86].
As Montanus and Maximilla before him, Jerome thereby proved himself to be a false prophet. Whereas Augustine, at about the same time, saw in the crumbling of the City of Rome and the end of The Roman Empire "only a passing revolution preparing the way for new conquests of Christianity" (Ibid.).
It was during some of this general period that Augustine wrote that very lengthy treatise which he called, "The City of God" [A.D. 413-426]. One has wisely noted, that Augustine at this time was "Standing at that remarkable turning-point of history" wherein "he considers the origin, progress, and end of the perishable kingdom of this world, and the imperishable kingdom of God, from the fall of man to the final judgment, where at last they fully and forever separate into hell and heaven" (Ibid. p. 86). Here, he begins a thought that has been more fully developed by others.
If we read Augustine's word, "The City of God," with too little depth of understanding, we may come to the conclusion that "He hands the one city over to God, the other to the demons." One has further noted, and he more fully assures us, "In the present order of the world the two cities touch and influence each other at innumerable points; and as not all Jews were citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, so there were on the other hand true children of God scattered among the heathen like Melchisedek and Job, who were united to the city of God not by a visible, but by an invisible celestial tie" (Ibid. pp. 86-87).
Were we to attempt to pursue this thought to its ultimate end, we could very well discover or learn that, at that time, Augustine was not supposing that "salvation was in the Church," as he would later emphasize. He, then, would have been finding Scriptural salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ — not in the Church. If we will but reference his "Confessions," we shall find this important fact to be particularly true.
In one place, we read, "For where I found truth, there found I my God, who is the Truth itself, which from the time I learned it have I not forgotten" (Augustine, Confessions, J. G. Pilkington, translator, 1943. Book X, Chapter xxiv, p. 246.). A little further along, we find his words, "Thine only Son — He 'in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' — hath redeemed me with His blood" (Ibid. p. 272.) Then, as though to undermine all subsequent heresy in the Church of which he would be a part, to the contrary, we have his declaration:
Behold, Father, look and see, and approve; and let it be pleasing in the sight of Thy mercy, that I may find grace before Thee, that the secret things of Thy Word may be opened unto me when I knock. I beseech, by our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, 'the Man of Thy right hand, the Son of man, whom Thou madest strong for Thyself,' as Thy Mediator and ours, through whom Thou hast sought us, although not seeking Thee, but didst seek us that we might seek Thee, — Thy Word through whom Thou hast made all things, and amongst them me also — Thy Only-begotten, through whom Thou hast called to adoption the believing people, and therein me also (Ibid. Book XI, Chapter II, pp. 275-276).
Here we see not the famed one, and not the persecuting potentate, but rather the humble believer! Whereas later, Augustine became the powerful and the persecuting pragmatic potentate or Bishop. Thereby, in the life of one who seemed for a time to be one of the best, and one who had Scriptural insight which yet puts to shame multitudes of those who presume to be following him, even if only from afar, we are able to see that power corrupted even the great Augustine.
Therefore, the man who may actually have been given a vision of "The Heavenly City of God" was apparently overcome by a Satanic desire for power. This is what I call "the Cain Syndrome" or really, "power madness." He then committed himself, his life, and his ministry to establishing "an earthly religious kingdom" within which he or some other mortal would rule absolutely and mercilessly! This is a reality that is always very troubling for me. TheConfessions of Augustine were very meaningful to me in some of my earlier Christian years.
- Jerome, a scholar beyond St. Augustine!
- Nonetheless, his insight did not compare!
Off and on for the next several centuries, one would arise here and another would arise there with what he spoke of as Biblical proof that "the end was very near," but "The Church Age" continued on even as it does today, despite the lying of religious leaders and the evil devices of those in open opposition. Then, in the twelfth century, there appeared on the Christian scene a man by the name of Peter Waldo or one who then was also known as Valdes.
After his conversion "about 1175 or 1176," and after getting what he supposed was a call from God, he put his daughters in a Convent, gave his wife a small portion of his considerable wealth on which to live, and then gave away the rest of his estate. One Ronald Finucane has indicated "similarly dedicated men and women rallied to him, and this ideal of illiterate lay folk living in simple poverty was given the approval of Pope Alexander III at the Third Lateran Council (1179)" (Eerdman's Handbook to THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY, 1977. "The Waldensians," p. 315). Most church groups today doubtless would deem such an effort on the part of a man and such a people to be "total commitment."
- His commitment was Catholic!
- He played by Catholic rules!
Waldo or Valdes then sought first from Pope Alexander III for permission to preach. The Pope sent him back to his bishop to get that permission locally from "The Archbishop of Lyons." The Pope had advised him to get the Archbishop's permission to do the street preaching that was the desire of his heart. Since Waldo or Valdes was just an ex-businessman and a layman, and not an ordained man, we are told, "The archbishop of Lyons prohibited their scriptural preaching around 1181" (Ibid.).
"In 1214 he [Pope Innocent] described the Waldensians as heretics and schismatics, and in 1215, at the great Fourth Lateran Council, Innocent III repeated the general denunciation of heretics, including Waldensians. As for the Waldensians, such outbursts by the pope only tended to convince them that the Catholic church was the 'Whore of Babylon,' and need not be acknowledged" (Ibid.).
It might be well to note right here that the appeal of Waldo or Valdes was made to the Pope of the time at the time of "the sitting of the Third Lateran Council for permission to preach, but this was refused" (Paul Hutchinson and Winfred E. Garrison, Twenty Centuries of Christianity, 1959. p. 179.). It is noted, too, at this juncture that "It was not that he was a heretic but that he and his colleagues were 'ignorant laymen'" (Ibid.) It was not until some five years later that "he was excommunicated for disobedience" (Ibid.). It is quite probable that most religious groups today would be inclined to take similar action against one who was determined to be a rebel to his church's rules and regulations.
There doubtless are some in this 20th century who would like for us to suppose that everything about Waldo or Valdes was good, and that all of those who were opposed to his preaching because he was an "ignorant layman" and because he had not submitted himself to the rigors needful for ordination in that day were evil creatures or servants of Satan. Yet, within the context of the 20th century ministry and ordination requirements, it is quite probable that his treatment at the hands of religious leaders today would not be a great deal different. Perhaps it would be good to note that these details, needless to say, are never shared with the people by the religious leaders who presume to present Waldo and his "Waldensians" as some of the faithful ones who supposedly provided a link in Church Succession from that Jerusalem Church to some of the Churches of today.
In fact, if we really are honest, we will concede that many denominationalists today — perhaps most — would agree with the Pope and with the Archbishop of Lyons that one who is to minister should have some evidences of education and be equal to the rigors of ordination. There are not many religious groups of any sort even in our day that would authorize an "un-ordained" or an "un-authorized" man or woman to serve in a responsible position such as Pastor, Preacher, Evangelist, or Religious Professor, regardless of his or her evident sincerity.
Needless to say, Waldo or Valdes and his followers whom we know as the Waldensians went ahead and preached and gained the wrath of the Church Officials. Being rather unhappy about his situation and his circumstance — having committed his life, the lives of his family, and his wealth — and because he was not permitted to preach officially, Peter Waldo or Valdes became very angry.
During some of his unauthorized preaching, he spoke of his Pope as "The Antichrist." Before long that Pope was dead, and he was followed by Pope Lucius III. Then, before some of the Waldensians were received back into the church (1207) they had left, and before many of the Waldensians had been persecuted to the death or widely scattered yet bearing some influence, both of these Popes were dead. Just as Montanus before him, Waldo or Valdes was proven to be a false prophet, neither of the Popes whom he called "The Antichrist" proved to be "The man of sin," the one who would have a part in bringing all things to a rather dramatic conclusion.
In just a few decades, there appeared on the human religious scene a man by the name of Martin Luther. In some of the early moments of his battle with the Church of Rome, we find him saying, "I am reading the decrees of the pontiffs, and … I do not know whether the pope is antichrist himself, or his apostle, so greatly is Christ misrepresented and crucified in them" (What's Behind The New World Order? 1991 by Inspiration Books East, Inc. p. 21). A little later, after the papal bull had reached Luther, we find him declaring, "I despise and attack it, as impious, false … It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein … I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist [emphasis, RW], and that his throne is that of Satan himself" (Ibid. p. 22).
- Before long, this Pope, also, was dead!
- Luther, too, was shown as a false one!
It might be of some interest to note that natural phenomena were also of some concern for Martin Luther. We may say specifically that the so-called "heavenly signs" had what might be spoken of as a strange influence upon the man, Martin Luther. In a rather old and yellowed book that is presently in my library, we find these words:
Luther declared a comet, which seems to have been that of 1531, to be a portent of evil to Charles and his brother Ferdinand because "its tail was turned to the North and then to the South as if it pointed to both brothers" (Edward Maslin Hulme, The Renaissance, the Protestant Revolution, and the Catholic Reformation. The Century, New York, 1915. p. 407.)
There were some others who were influenced similarly by some of the natural phenomena of that day. In elaborating upon these, our author advises us:
For a month at the end of the summer  the comet was observed throughout all Germany and Switzerland. It caused great excitement. Every evening, as long as it was visible, Zwingli was asked about it on the Cathedral Square at Zurich; and this boldest of all the more important reformers declared that it betokened calamity. The extensive literature that sprang up relating to the comet and the one the following year pictures in lively colors the various disasters that were expected to result from these portents of evil. Famine, war, floods, drought, pestilence among men and beasts, and other dire calamities were to befall the earth and its inhabitants; indeed the universe itself was to be dissolved into primeval chaos (Ibid.).
Seventh Day Adventists
This sort of unscriptural resort to natural phenomena as "signs" or "portents" of impending or future calamities as well as "the end of time" may be found in each and everyone of the Church-Age generations following that of the Apostles. Already, we have made note of some. We are simply touching upon this aspect of the "supposed prophetic detail" in this rather limited work. A little later, we shall provide an additional limited note as we reference some men in the latter part of this 20th century whose unscriptural thinking and false prophecies are very similar to those of both Luther and Zwingli. As those in another day, these more recent ones also will make use of natural phenomena as "portents" or "signs" of the endtime in the Church Age
Before we have reached that emphasis, however, we shall reference one by the name of William Miller. He was most insistent concerning some of the natural phenomena of his time being very positive signs that "the end of time" was upon him and others of his day. The natural phenomena which transpired on November 13, 1833, about two years after he began preaching, was what he deemed to be the fulfillment of Matthew 24:29 where we read, "The stars shall fall from heaven." He thought of this natural phenomena as the fulfillment, also, of Revelation 6:13 where we read, "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." In following the belief and the teaching of William Miller, a sizable religious group of those who would speak of themselves as "Adventists" would commit themselves, their lives, and all of their earthly substance to the conclusion that the years of 1843 and 1844 would bring on the end of time.
Although William Miller apparently became somewhat discouraged when his promised "end of time" did not take place, there was a little lady by the name of Ellen G. White who would follow very closely in his wake, as it were. It was she who would lay much of the foundation for that social, spiritual, and ideological structure that today is known as "The Seventh Day Adventists." It was her thinking and her prophesying that would lend credence to most "Adventist" thinking in the subsequent decades.
The source of her involvement in what we may speak of as the natural phenomena that she deemed to be "endtime signs" seems to have been the Biblical Luke 21:25 where she read, "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars," and in Mark 13:24-26, "The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory" (Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountainview, California, 1888/1911. Text 1950. p. 304).
She follows these most dramatic words with an immediate reference to some natural phenomena that are recorded as having transpired a few years after William Miller's prophetic fiasco. She does this with these next details:
These signs were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century. In fulfillment of this prophecy there occurred in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain, and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles (Ibid.).
We can know that Mrs. Ellen G. White has some additional words that relate to her involvement in natural phenomena as specific signs of the end. On page 306 of the same volume, we find the following:
Twenty-five years later appeared the next sign mentioned in the prophecy — the darkening of the sun and the moon. What rendered this more striking was the fact that the time of its fulfillment had been definitely pointed out. In the Savior's conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church — the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised the tribulation should be shortened — He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: "In those days, after the tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light." Mark 13:24. The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled" (Ibid. p. 306).
Ellen G. White elaborates on these natural phenomena with what we may reference as living witnesses in order to lend further credence to the details that she has shared. She says, "An eyewitness living in Massachusetts describes the event as follows: 'In the morning the sun rose clear, but was soon overcast. The clouds became lowery, and from them, black and ominous, as soon as they appeared, lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and a little rain fell'" (Ibid.). She continues, "'Toward nine o'clock, the clouds became thinner, and assumed a brassy or coppery appearance, and earth, rocks, trees, buildings, water, and persons were changed by this strange, unearthly light. A few minutes later, a heavy black cloud spread over the entire sky except a narrow rim at the horizon, and it was dark as it usually is at nine o'clock on a summer evening . . .'" (Ibid.).
She then goes on to explain the nature of the influence that these natural phenomena were having on the people of her time. She says, "Fear, anxiety, and awe gradually filled the minds of the people. Women stood at the door, looking out upon the dark landscape; men returned from their labor in the fields; the carpenter left his tools, the blacksmith his forge, the tradesman his counter. Schools were dismissed, and tremblingly the children fled homeward. Travelers put up at the nearest farmhouse. 'What is coming?' queried every lip and heart" (Ibid. pp. 306-307). She continues, "Candles were used; and hearth fires shone as brightly as on a moonless evening in autumn … . Fowls retired to their roosts and went to sleep, cattle gathered at the pasture bars and lowed, frogs peeped, birds sang their evening songs, and bats flew about. But the human knew that night had not come . . ." (Ibid. p. 307).
We are even advised that in that distant day one Dr. Nathanael Whittaker, pastor of the Tabernacle Church in Salem, held religious services in the meeting house, and preached a sermon in which he maintained that the darkness was supernatural. She quotes one by the name of Isaiah Thomas as saying:
"After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast … Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light, which when seen from the neighboring houses and other places at a distance appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness which seemed almost impervious to the rays" (Ibid. p. 308).
As of 1988 — the latter years of this 20th century — these who are today called Seventh Day Adventists are still noting the above referenced natural phenomena as the basis for their "Adventism" and in their appeals to all who can be influenced by their teaching. In their very recent volume that is called, Seventh-day Adventists Believe, we find the following rather dramatic heading, "Signs in the Natural World." Under this heading, they call attention to Luke 21:25, Mark 13:24-26, and Revelation 6:12 (See Seventh-day Adventists Believe, Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Washington, D.C., 1988. p. 339).
Following this, there is a subheading, "The witness of the earth." In this division, their first reference is to "the largest known earthquake [that] occurred on November 1, 1755" (Ibid.) that we have noted above. There follows a second subheading, "The witness of the sun and moon." In this division, reference is made to "the darkening of the sun and moon" that transpired on "May 19, 1780" ( Ibid. p. 340). Next there is the subheading, "The witness of the stars." In this, they reference Revelation 6:13 and Matthew 24:29 and say, "The great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833 — the most extensive display of falling stars on record — fulfilled this prophecy. It was estimated that a single observer could see an average of 60,000 meteors per hour" (Ibid.).
All of this is followed by what they speak of as the present "Signs" in the Religious and in the Secular World. As we shall later note with respect to the thinking of many other false prophets of our day, these go through the process of listing many of the things that are transpiring in our world today as the definitive "signs of the end of time." Just as all of those whom we have earlier referenced and just as those whom we shall reference later, these Seventh Day Adventist believers of our day apparently have failed to comprehend the import and the impact of Matthew 24:36 and Acts 1:11. So, we emphasize what we have said earlier and what we shall say later, "There are no Scriptural endtime signs for the Church Age." We can know, therefore, that every man and every woman who has come to us with what they speak of as "prophetic signs" for the Church Age and especially for the ending of the Church Age have failed to understand what Jesus said before He ascended from these earthly shores and what "the two men in white" advised His Disciples after His departure.
During some of the concluding years of Martin Luther, there appeared on the theological scene a man by the name of John Calvin whose influence would be similarly extensive. Both of these, as Waldo or Valdes before them, came out of the church into which they had been born, as it were, but they did so with many of the religious trappings that had become integral parts of their lives. Too, as Waldo or Valdes before them, they came out designating The Pope of the time as "The Antichrist."
One has noted:
The Reformers equated Antichrist with the papacy, as had some medieval theologians — Gregory I, who taught that whoever assumed the title 'universal priest' was Antichrist's forerunner; Joachim of Floris; and Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin the translators of the AV., and the authors of the Westminster Confession concurred in this identification … "Antichrist" (D. A. Hubbard, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter A. Elwell, ed. 1984. p 56).
Before long, the Popes whom the Reformers and others noted had called "The Antichrist" were dead. The Reformers and the others, then, showed themselves to be false prophets.
Most specifically, in a word to Cardinal Sandolet who was born in 1477 and died in 1547 (one of the secretaries of Pope Leo X), John Calvin is alleged to have said:
One thing, in particular, made me averse to those new teachers; viz., reverence for the Church. But when once I opened my ears and allowed myself to be taught, I perceived that this fear of derogating from the majesty of the Church was groundless … They spoke nobly of the Church, and showed the greatest desire to cultivate unity. And lest it should seem they quibbled on the term Church, they showed it was no new thing for Antichrists to preside there in place of pastors … It was when the world was plunged in ignorance and sloth, as in a deep sleep, that the Pope had risen to such eminence; certainly neither appointed Head of the Church by the Word of God, nor ordained by a legitimate act of the Church, but of his own accord, self-elected. Moreover, the tyranny which he let loose against the people of God was not to be endured, if we wished to have the Kingdom of Christ amongst us in safety (John Dillenberger, "John Calvin," Selections from his writings. Anchor Books, 1971. pp. 113-114).
Another writes somewhat similarly concerning the attitude that John Calvin had regarding some one of the popes of his time. We read:
Speaking of the Pope of his time, and 'the abomination of the Mass,' Calvin says, 'Therefore he delivers the rule which he wishes to be always observed in his Church; and so it was anciently observed until Antichrist, having gained the upper hand openly raised his horns against God and his Truth to destroy it totally . . .' (Philip Schaff, History of The Christian Church, Vol. VIII. p. 533).
As we have noted above, and as we could show by means of many quotations, Calvin was particularly convinced that any Pope of the time was specifically "the Antichrist" or a manifestation of the Antichrist. At the death of each one during his lifetime as a theologian, he was shown again to be "A False Prophet"; albeit, a believer in Jesus Christ, having Him as his Redeemer, a saved man who subsequently has influenced unnumbered millions.
In this general time period, there were some who were called Anabaptists in the low countries who were into "endtime thinking." One of the requirements for joining with them was to be convinced that time was short. Melchior Hofmann "believed in the near inbreaking of God's kingdom into the world [he also had failed to make a proper distinction between "The Kingdom" and "The Church," as we have noted above, RW], with divine vengeance upon the wicked. The righteous would participate in this judgment, not as agents of vengeance but as witnesses to the coming peace. Hofmann's baptism served to gather the elect into an end-time congregation to build this new Jerusalem . . ." ("Radical Reformation," Walter A. Elwell, Ed., "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology," 1984. p. 905.)
Another has noted the same with a little different emphasis. Ronald Knox provides us with these interesting details:
One influence … played a great part in the Anabaptism of Holland and of the Rhine countries. This was chiliasm — the conviction that the existing world order was about to come to an end, and that an earthly millennium, during which the 'saints' would reign, was to succeed it. The impulse to this conviction seems to have been given entirely by that remarkable missionary spirit Melchior Hofmann. He announced the second coming for the year 1533, and suspended baptisms for two years in order to prepare for it. The choice of date was an obvious one: it is probable that such views have had their vogue at and around each centenary of the Crucifixion.
Nicholas of Cusa, giving his readers some three centuries' grace, held that the world would not outlast 1734; and in recent years apocalyptic warnings have not been wanting. (Arthur E. Ware, interviewed in the Daily Express of 4 May 1933, foretold that 12 June of that year would be the beginning of a great tribulation, ushering in the millennium.) Hofmann, more fortunate than other prophets in the opportunity of his death, ended his life in prison at Strasbourg before the day to which he looked forward (William Griffin, ed., End-Time: The Doomsday Catalog, Collier Books, 1979. pp. 55-56).
Hofmann, it may be noted, died in prison the year before the time of the end that he had predicted. Then, some of his end-time kingdom members "transformed his idea of divine vengeance so that in Muenster the members of the kingdom carried out vengeance upon anyone who opposed them" ("Radical Reformation," op. cit. p. 905). Soon, all of them were gone, and another group of endtime prophets were proved to be false.
Look for Savior's Return Daily
It is required of all of us, of course, that we look for our Savior's Return daily. And because we look for Him, we should live our lives so as to be ready for His Appearance. When, however, we reference as "signs of His Coming" some current happenings in order to attempt to persuade others that we have some prophetic insight that apparently is not available to them, our boast doubtless is most unscriptural. When, by such means, we attempt to convince others that His Coming is near, and we use the Bible in the process, we have turned to prevaricating and to using the Bible to support our prevaricating.
As we may see in Matthew 24:36, men do not know, angels do not know, and not even the Lord Jesus Himself knows when He will be returning. That endtime detail is wholly in the Father's Hands, and Jesus apparently was perfectly content with this arrangement. Therefore, it is absolutely certain that we cannot know when Jesus will be returning. Anyone who attempts to give us an "endtime agenda" or "endtime signs" to elaborate that agenda for the Church-Age, then, has to be a false prophet.
Part III – LATER PROPHETS SPOKE FALSELY
Nevertheless, and that most sadly, in every Church-Age generation there have been those who cannot be content with God's Word or with God's Agenda, as Jesus understood it. So, some three centuries later, we find one William Miller coming forth with the idea that he was able to determine the time of our Lord's Return. As in all earlier Church-Age generations, there were many who were ready to join him in his unscriptural beliefs and in his false prophecies that he may have deemed to be truth.
For those seduced ones of his day, William Miller provided a date in 1843 when Jesus would return to the earth and set up His Kingdom. Needless to say, Jesus did not return. So William Miller re-worked his calculations and said that Jesus would return the next year (See: C. Brownlow Hastings, "Introducing Southern Baptists," Paulist Press, 1981. p. 82) READ on MinistryServer.com. There were some bizarre happenings that took place in those distant days in connection with the unscriptural and false endtime teaching, but we shall not detail them here. It is now 1993, so we can know that William Miller was a false prophet, and those who followed him did so in open violation of the Word of God. Perhaps we may say that all of his followers were either ignorant of the Word of God, or they were in rebellion against it.
In some of the closing words of this volume, we shall reference an experience of John R. Rice that will document one of the very sad happenings that took place as a result of William Miller's false prophecy and his influence on others. It seems that one dear man who was a follower of William Miller was so caught-up in his false prophecy that he decided not to plant since he did not expect to be on earth for very long. As a result, he sat on his porch and failed to grow any grain or other foodstuff for his cattle or his family. This resulted in his losing all of his cattle except one, and his family had a great deal of difficulty surviving through the following winter.
So, we can know that there will always be those who can be seduced by that which is not true. Seemingly, there is something in the human psyche which makes that which is false to be far more palatable than that which is true. This is not a new phenomenon. Is this not the message that is emphasized for us in the last conversation between Pilate and Jesus? Even after Jesus had said, "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37), the plight of Pilate was hopeless. Though he was in the very presence of the One who had declared He was the truth, Pilate asked, "What is truth" (John 18:38).
We can know for certain, then, that false prophecy is always wrong in the eyes of our Lord Jesus for it is never true. Similarly, false prophecy is always wrong in the eyes of Jeremiah. As we have earlier noted, "The prophets prophesy falsely … and my people love to have it so . . ." (Jeremiah. 5:31).
Following Deceived Men
First, anyone who provides an "endtime sign" which is not of God has been deceived. Second, anyone who provides an "endtime sign" that does not come to pass has deceived all who have believed his prophecy. It is God who has provided us with the words of Jesus and of Pilate and the word of Jeremiah. Therefore, false prophecy always should be wrong in our eyes, also.
Just a few years later, in 1889, one Charles Taze Russell concluded "that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872," and he predicted that the battle of Armageddon ". . . will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership" (Watchman Expositor, Vol. 9, No. 6, 1992. p. 4). Needless to say, Armageddon did not end in 1914, and Jesus did not appear on earth as they predicted. The basis for his conclusion was Ussher's 4,004 B. C. creation which really was the figment of his very fertile imagination — not the Scriptures. He had been deceived by the fictional nonsense of Archbishop Ussher, and he then became the deceiver of others. In the process, another had proved himself to be a false prophet, and all of those who were following him were being deceived by his false prophecy.
Charles Taze Russell died in 1916, and the responsibility for the organization fell upon one Joseph Rutherford whom they would later call "Judge Rutherford." He had joined the Watch Tower organization in 1894. For all of those years, he had labored with a deceiver. Now, he, in turn, as one of the deceived was going forth to do some deceiving of his own. Consequently, in 1920, it was predicted in "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" that "1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … to the condition of human perfection" (Ibid. p. 5). When 1925 came and went, no one had seen the resurrected Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Needless to say, most of the millions who were living in those days are no longer among us here upon the earth. "Judge Rutherford," then, was demonstrated to be a false prophet.
Once again, these Church-Age endtime prophets were proven to be false. Yet, today, millions are still involved with this organization that began with false prophecy, an organization that yet lives by its further revised false prophecy. Jeremiah's indictment falls on all who predict falsely:
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests [pastors or other religious leaders. RW] bear rule by their [lying] means; and my people love to have it so (Jeremiah. 5:31).
- The deception of Scofield, rages on!
- "Laodiceans" are spreading abroad!
In 1934, there followed another by the name of Herbert W. Armstrong. According to what we may suppose is his autobiography, he began a mimeographed paper soon after beginning his "Worldwide Church of God." By the 1940's, his paper had become a very nice publication that he called "The Plain Truth."
Thankfully, I had read enough of them by 1954 to be able to conclude that much of what he taught was false. Still, in those distant days, many Baptists were of the opinion that much of what he said and what he wrote seemed to compare favorably with what they had learned to suppose was Baptist Theology. Men such as John R. Rice and Robert L. Sumner, thankfully, early realized that Herbert W. Armstrong was an enemy of the Cross of Christ. Unfortunately, they were not communicating with all Baptists.
One Sunday morning when I was scheduled to be in the pulpit in our San Antonio Church in Texas, a very dear and loved elderly member of our Church brought me a stack of "The Plain Truth" to distribute to the people. I advised her that I could not do that. I did take one copy into the pulpit with me, held it up, and said, "It says, Plain Truth, but it really is a plain lie." Already, in the 1940's, this man had predicted the end of the world and Armageddon by 1975.
- In the mid 1980's of this century, he died!
- He now, doubtless, is wiser in prophecy!
As in the past, even now, I can hear some remarking, "but some of these men were not responsible members of anyone's Christian Church or any New Testament Church." Let me assure you, nonetheless, that what is true concerning Montanus, Maximilla, Waldo or Valdes, Luther, Calvin, the Anabaptists, Miller, Russell, Rutherford, Scofield, Larkin, and Armstrong is true also of all others who indulge in endtime prophecies, or who come forth with "endtime signs" for "The Church Age." All of them are false prophets who have refused to believe what Jesus said regarding men not knowing the time of the end, angels not knowing the time of the end, and that He, Jesus, had no knowledge concerning the time of the end. If we have any conscious understanding of the Scriptures, we can know that Jesus was explaining to us that this detail is forever the prerogative of God, our "Heavenly Father, only."
Let me, then, share the names of some who have been called prophets and the names of some who are being called prophets. As we shall note, most of these supposed prophets may have the name of being responsible Christians and leaders in some of the more prominent Christian communities. We shall demonstrate, nevertheless, that all of these who give us "endtime signs" or "endtime prophecies" for "The Church Age" are false prophets. Check me out, and you will discover that what I tell you is true! There has not been an exception! There is not an exception! Without any fear of Scriptural contradiction, I believe that we can say that there will not be an exception.
- The message of "men in white” was true!
- If we have understanding, it is absolute!
J. B. Hennigan
Recently, one dear Christian Brother by the name of J. B. Hennigan conducted a series of Bible studies on the book of Revelation in Calvary Baptist Church of Midland, Texas. He did this during the summer of 1992. Interestingly, he has provided us a relatively recent date for the beginning of "The Laodicean Period" of the Church. Three times during the course of his study which was based upon his book, "Our Saviour's Return," (Brentwood Press, 1987), and during the few sessions when I was present, he advised the congregation of some 35 mostly middle-aged and elderly folk that "The Laodicean Church" actually began about 1960.
This, obviously, differs considerably from C. I. Scofield's 19th century date and Larkin's date of 1900. Hennigan, nonetheless, provided several current "endtime signs" — such as the changing situation in Europe and the condition of things here in America, and especially the approaching "European Common Market," and some discoveries in Israel — as proof of his 1960 date. Some well-known news items in recent papers, magazines, and TV shows were the basis of his conclusion. So, some of the ladies and some of the men present in the meetings could be heard providing him with their approval "Amen's"!
He was advised by this unworthy one that his "Laodiceanism" was not Scriptural, and that it was nothing other than the figment of C. I. Scofield's imagination. He, however, had indulged in the deception too long not to continue doing the same in the course of this teaching seminar. As in most other similar situations, most of the people apparently were wholly agreeable to all of his unscriptural statements that fell from his smiling lips. They readily accepted his "Scofield Truths" as Scriptural Truth! Several shared their thinking with me. Needless to say, I did not share with any of these who indicated to me their approval of all that he was saying what I thought about his teaching or the fact that I had shared with him my contrary views.
- Such is addiction, I have discovered!
- Even the best of men cannot break it!
Interestingly, in the "Preface" of his published work mentioned above, J. B. Hennigan says, "This outline and the love and much hard work, and study for thirty years is dedicated to the Glorious Second Coming of Jesus, and that wonderful group of senior citizens at Second Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas, and all of those dear people who 'love His appearing.'" That the man is sincere, and loved by many as a precious man of God, there is no question. I certainly would be one of the last ever to question his sincerity, his love, his dedication, his salvation, his commitment, and even his desire to do the right.
Still, his "dedication" to his Baptist Brothers and Sisters in Odessa is somewhat similar to that dedication which Clarence Larkin has in his work, "The Book of Revelation." Clarence Larkin said that his work was the result of 25 years of study, and he quoted verbatim from Scofield. J. B. Hennigan tells us that his book is the result of 30 years of study, and his thesis is that of C. I. Scofield, from beginning to end — not his elaboration or his interpretation of the Scriptures or the Word of God. He told me personally that for all of his ministry he has been using The Scofield Reference Bible, and that his present brown-covered one is his fourth.
We can know, therefore, that for more than 40 years, he has been spreading Scofield's unscriptural teaching abroad in Churches throughout some parts of West Texas, and elsewhere. Now, in retirement, he is continuing to do the same. Obviously, he deems the Scofield notes to be equal to Scripture. Sadly, most of those who sit before him seemingly have never learned any better, and they apparently are not learning any better.
The truth is, both Clarence Larkin and J. B. Hennigan give us what we may reference as "an unscriptural Laodiceanism"! This is certain proof that they are perhaps the unwitting spiritual slaves of C. I. Scofield's unscriptural notes. Though we may sometimes speak of such men being sincere, we can know, nonetheless, that they are not honestly providing us with their own personal insight into the Holy Word of God. The "revised dates" of the supposed beginning of "The Laodicean Church Period" should be positive proof to all thinking people that these men do not come to us as the "Messengers of God." They come to us, instead, as the spiritual and the literary slaves of a man by the name of C. I. Scofield. As we have noted above, C. I. Scofield apparently was out of touch with God and out of touch with the Word of God. We have demonstrated specifically that he rejected the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:36.
H. A. Ironsides
What we have seen above and what we shall see a little later is the pervasiveness of the Scofield fiction which has become "an apparent Christian way" for a great multitude of people. Within just a few years after Scofield had come forth with his first "Scofield Reference Bible" and his very deceptive and unscriptural notes, a goodly portion of the Christian world had been deceived. These apparently had concluded that C. I. Scofield spoke by inspiration, and that his "Scofield Notes" were to be considered as Scriptural truth.
- As we have seen, his notes are lies!
- All whom he has deceived, also lie!
I have before me a 64 page booklet that is titled, "The Midnight Cry." In the Preface to the fourth edition, we learn that it was written in 1914, just five years after the publication of "The Scofield Reference Bible," and that it was being revised in June of 1928, bringing "it more nearly up-to-date by adding new matter and making a few revisions." Nevertheless, the Scofield influence is yet very much in evidence. Though there is an attempted revision by some who followed him, and a continual up-dating and revising of some of the details, we read:
Ephesus, then, from this view-point, presents the Church in apostolic days — an unworldly, called-out company who labored earnestly and well in making known the riches of grace, and who walk apart from iniquity; … The second period followed apace, as set forth in the letter to Smyrna. It depicts, as by a few master-strokes, the tragedy of the Pagan persecutions … Pergamos followed this, and gives us the period of the Church's relief from persecution and her subsequent union with the world. … And Thyatira followed as the natural result. Things were going down-hill with fearful rapidity. Yet the church of the middle ages was rich in works of mercy and abounded in 'charity.' … For Sardis, though it speaks of Protestantism and its great State churches, is not a true recovery. … Philadelphia speaks of the great revival period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, assuming different forms in different places … Laodicea closes the series. It is the solemn arraignment of latitudinarian Christianity with its pride and folly, marked by impudent self-conceit and utter indifference to Christ (H. A. Ironsides, "The Midnight Cry," 1928 edition. Loizeaux Brothers, Inc. pp. 29-35).
I am reading from the Thirteenth Printing that was accomplished in 1954, but it is a continuation of the 1928 edition. Therein, Ironsides and those who helped with the various revisions tell us, "Reader, let me press my point again — The world-wide gospel proclamation and world-wide apostasy at the same time are clear proofs that the end is close upon us! … Another line of evidence is presented in the seven prophetic letters of Rev. two and three. For that they are prophetic, and not merely moral — dispensational, and not simply local in their application — is a fact now familiar to many earnest students of the Scriptures. The proof of this is found in their exact correspondence with the seven stages of the history of the Church on earth. This is incontrovertible, however self-styled optimists may object to it . . ." (Ibid. 28). And this was written originally in 1914, almost 80 years ago.
Even then, however, it was but a repetition of what C. I. Scofield had given in his note on Revelation 1:20 just five years earlier. It would seem that what can be determined to be unscriptural error is very easily passed from one great mind to that of another. After this sort of error has been perpetrated for a time, it begins to seem as though it were truth to others who delight in studying the Bible only in the light of the supposed wisdom of other men.
- What has H. A. Ironsides given?
- Believe me, it is gobbledygook!
Evidently, soon after Scofield appended his notes to the Scriptures and devised what is called "The Scofield Reference Bible" even the scholars of that day were of the opinion that Scofield's notes were equal to the Scriptures. As we have seen earlier, C. I. Scofield's notes concerning the prophetic nature of the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation are nothing but the figment of his imagination. We may note also that his very fertile imagination evidently was greatly influenced by the imaginations of men such as J. A. Seiss and J. N. Darby.
Needless to say, all who view "the Seven Churches" in the Scriptural book of Revelation, chapters two and three, as being prophetic have concluded that Jesus did not know what He was talking about in Matthew 24:36. In Matthew 24:36, as we have noted several times, Jesus said that only His Father had any knowledge as to when He would return. This, dear friends, is the conclusion of Jesus, the Christ, the Lord of Glory; that God-Man. At the time that He was speaking, He was on His way to the place that would be called Golgotha where He would be crucified, buried and resurrected.
- How sad it is, when men choose Scofield!
- When they may have chosen the Savior!
In chapter two of this work, "The Midnight Cry," H. A. Ironsides specifically states, "The Evidence that the Times of the Gentiles have nearly run their Course" (Ibid. 36)! Remember, if you will, that Ironsides wrote this in 1914, and it is now 1993! In chapter three of the revised edition of "The Midnight Cry," we read, "Evidence from Israel's History and Present State that Points to the Speedy Consummation of this Age" (Ibid. 54)! This obviously is an edited detail that was provided for this later edition after Israel became a State in 1948. In 1914, H. A. Ironsides knew absolutely nothing about Israel becoming a nation some 35 years later.
I shall not attempt to recount the many, many "endtime signs" that he gives as proof that the end was upon America and the World. Needless to say, H. A. Ironsides has been gone from the earthly scene for many decades, and NOT ONE OF HIS "ENDTIME SIGNS" has shown him to be an honest, or a Scriptural prophet. He proved himself to be just another one of the false "Church-Age Endtime Prophets." Through his books and through some of those who have followed his teachings, H. A. Ironsides’ unscriptural ministry is present among us, even in this year of 1993. Though a detailed discussion of his teachings would take us too far afield, we can know that in some of the conservative areas of theology, this man's teachings are still very prominent.
- Scofield deceived this good man!
- Then, he gave his life, deceiving!
In 1938, one by the name of Milton B. Lindberg — a supposedly very responsible evangelist who ministered in a wide variety of Churches — came forth with his book, "Is Ours The Closing Generation of The Age?" Needless to say, he grabbed the attention of a multitude as he said, ". . . there develops a marked acceleration of those conditions relating to the end of the age" (p. 6, emphasis, RW). Already, Adolph Hitler was beginning his nefarious conquest, and Lindberg simply exploited some of the News Headlines to his own advantage. This is a practice that has become rather common among those who find it convenient to indulge in sensationalism’s in order to exploit the people.
[As an aside, let me share with you the words of another. Notice the emphasized words just above, and then read the following ones that appeared in "The Midnight Call," a magazine put out by Arno Froese, dated may, 1992. One by the name of Arno Froese recently has given us what we might speak of as a "re-incarnated word"; namely, "The Accelerated Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy in Our Day" (Magazine, Front Cover). He, then, in 1992, provided a whole new set of "endtime signs."]
Under his subheading, "Signs of The Times," we find Milton B. Lindberg providing the people of his time with the following listing:
In the social world today, by way of general signs, one sees the sign of increased knowledge . . ., the sign of increased wickedness . . ., the sign of disobedience to parents . . ., the sign of increased travel . . ., the sign of heaped-up treasure, with strife between rich and poor . . ., the sign of perilous times . . ., and the sign of self indulgence. . . .
In the religious world, there is the prevalence of Spiritism . . ., the sign of apostasy from the faith . . ., the sign of false teachers within the church . . ., and the sign of Laodicean conditions. . . .
Politically, the signs of lawlessness . . ., distress among nations . . ., peace talk . . ., and elaborate military preparations . . .,specific developments, such as in Russia . . ., revival of the Roman Empire . . ., stirring in the Far East . . ., and reversion to the use of the guillotine … as in Germany recently. Perhaps transcending them all is the sign of the Jews Rebuilding Palestine (Ibid. pp. 6-7).
All of these "endtime signs" were provided for the people who were living more than 50 years ago. He documented each one with Scripture, as though he were speaking truthfully, Scripturally, and honestly. He was leading the people of his time to suppose that he was a voice for God and bearing God's prophetic message for the people of his day. We can know without any question, however, that his reference to "the Laodicean Condition" was not Scriptural truth. This was nothing more nor less than evidence that he was following the intellectual nonsense of one C. I. Scofield who insisted that God did not know what He was doing when He failed to provide some prophetic detail or "endtime agenda" for "The Church Age."
We remind ourselves that in his note on Revelation 1:20 Scofield said, "it is incredible that in a prophecy covering the church period there should no suchforeview." Even more incredibly, Scofield goes on to conclude, "These messages [Rev. 2 and 3] must contain that foreview if it is in the book at all, for the church does not appear on earth after [Revelation] 3:22." Then C. I. Scofield details what he apparently presumes to be or supposes is a pattern of prophetic church history based on the Seven Churches in Revelation, chapters two and three.
As we have seen above, he makes the Ephesian Church to be the first and the Laodicean Church to be the last, a detail that he did not find in the Word of God (See his note on Rev. 1:20). Milton B. Lindberg obviously accepted Scofield's false prophecy as truth. Perhaps we can be justified in saying that the man, Milton Lindberg, became the unwitting or the witting dupe of one who was questioning God's omniscience. Therefore, the man Lindberg proved himself to be a false prophet. He may have referenced the Scripture as he proclaimed his sensationalistic detail, but we can know that he was not finding his references in the Word of God. He was finding them in C. I. Scofield's notes.
Milton Lindberg only proved, however, as all others with such a mindset that he was using the Scriptures in order to lend some Biblical credence to what he may have known to be false prophecy. In any event, he was going about as a supposed messenger of God, when he really was a promoter of C. I. Scofield's false prophecy. Though he may have spoken with deep sincerity, he really was an enemy of God and of the Word of God. We can know today that Milton Lindberg was deceiving every person or soul whom he was reaching with his ministry. He was going forth as just another one of the helpless and obviously-hapless brainwashed followers of C. I. Scofield's unscriptural teaching.
Since then, we have been through W. W. II, the Atomic, Nuclear, and Hydrogen Bombs, the Korean Conflict, Viet Nam, and Desert Storm. Further, we have had men in space, and we have sent rocket probes to the farthest reaches of our Galaxy. In just a few years, it is expected that one of those probes will be leaving our Galaxy. Milton B. Lindberg may have appeared to the people of his day as a man of God who was involved in speaking the truth among a host of others who supposedly were speaking the truth. In reality, he was deceiving all whom he was reaching with his unscriptural teaching. He was doing so then as J. B. Hennigan has done in our day.
- Both of them were following Scofield!
- One who departed from God's Word!
We can know that just as J. B. Hennigan is a false prophet today, so, in that day that is past, Lindberg was a false prophet. In rejecting Matthew 24:36 as truth, these questioned the words of Jesus and profited from their unscriptural sensationalism’s. It is quite probable that most of those to whom Milton Lindberg was ministering have gone on into eternity, even as he.
Those "who loved to have it so" played the false prophet's little game of unscriptural words — caring not at all for the Blessed Word of our Living God. The consciences of these apparently were seared, "as with a hot iron" (I Tim. 4:2). Still, their unscriptural ministry is present among us even in this hour by means of their writings and those whom they influenced or those who have been influenced by those whom they influenced.
In the following decades, there have been a very great host of those who have been called pastors, preachers, professors, and prophets who have persisted in indulging in similar sensationalism’s. Even now, in 1993, the pulpits of our land, along with "the radio waves" and "the television screens" are very much alive with an ever-increasing, and a never-ending crescendo of "endtime" sensationalism’s. Just as in the days when Jeremiah wept regarding the false prophets of his day, and later when J. B. Hennigan and Milton B. Lindberg went forth with their false prophecies, there is the continuing cry of Jeremiah, "My people love to have it so … ."
- Mortals, delight in the lies of men!
- Whereas Jesus’ cry is neglected!
More than 40 years ago, Oswald J. Smith was saying, "Is This The End? It may be. This could be the last generation, there may not be another" ("Is This The End?" Tract. p. 2). Does this not sound somewhat like that cry of the Montanist, Maximilla? Oswald J. Smith who pastored for decades in Canada has been gone from this mortality a long, long time. His generation has come and gone, another generation has intervened, and the end has not yet come. Though highly respected and in great demand as one who supposedly proclaimed the Word of God in all of its Glory, we see that he, too, was just another one of the false prophets who were in the business of deceiving the people.
Peter & Paul Lalonde
As recently as August 29, 1993, in their regular Television show, "This Week In Bible Prophecy," Peter and Paul Lalonde have continued this unscriptural and false generation cry. Apparently, these have not been able to understand the nature of the falseness of the prophecies in which they indulge, or perhaps they are not interested in understanding as long as they can benefit financially from their sensationalism’s. Their word to their nation-wide audience was, "This is the generation that will see the return of Jesus Christ." Then, as they began advertising their TV Video, The Mark of The Beast, they said, "these are not rumors, just facts: 'This generation shall not pass.'"
In a letter which I received on this 31st day of August, 1993, that is dated, "August, 1993," we find some very interesting details. One "Dave Breese" who writes on the Letterhead of "This Week in Bible Prophecy says:
We believe that the Lord is using This Week in Bible Prophecy in a very special, very unique way in these last days. The vision that Peter and Paul [Lalonde, RW] have, to take the message of Bible prophecy to the unbeliever through a fast-paced entertaining format [emphasis, RW], is one of the most revolutionary ideas in Christian television today. It truly is Christian TV for the non-Christian. You and I know that there are not many programs that fit that bill. Their slogan, 'changing the face of Christian Television', says it all. . .
But, the going is very, very tough! … That's why you and I, quietly and behind the scenes, must support this great outreach. … This is not just another appeal. This is a crucial moment in the establishment of a worldwide ministry that has a role in endtime events that only the Lord Himself fully knows (Dave Breese, Letter, "August, 1993." pp. 1-2).
What was being done by men in some of the high religious places more than two generations ago, is now being done in our generation. Seemingly, in every generation, there is another great host of people who are ready and willing to be deceived by those who come in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but whose testimony is contrary to His Word and to His Teaching. In this generation's sensationalism’s, the emphasis is, "the message of Bible prophecy to the unbeliever through a fast-paced entertaining format … ." Surely, this is a mockery of the Scriptural Truth wherein we learn of Him who "bore our sins in His Body, on the tree."
Things, it seems, never really change very much. Herbert Lockyer, the English Divine of the present era has influenced unnumbered millions of those who have been called Christian. Today, there probably is not a religious book store in America that is not in the process of selling one or more of Herbert Lockyer's many volumes.
Yet, more than 40 years ago, Herbert Lockyer was giving us some "endtime signs" or "endtime prophecies" for this Church Age. He lists these "endtime signs" as, "A Partial View of God, Undue Prominence of Women, Increase in Population, Progress of Mechanical Arts, Rejection of a God-Inspired Witness, Alliance of Church With The World, and Satanic Activity" (Are These The Last Days?. 1951. p. 5). Lockyer also has departed these earthly shores, so he may be just a bit wiser today there in the presence of our Savior.
Nevertheless, in every library in America in this year of 1993, there are some of Herbert Lockyer's books. The man who proved himself to be a false prophet time and time again is having an unending influence in the lives of millions of Christians. Millions of devotionals, Sunday School lessons, and preached messages from the pulpits of our land are very greatly influenced by this ministry of Herbert Lockyer who has already shown himself to be a Scofield-influenced enemy of the precious Word of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. People, by the millions, have turned to his teachings instead of to the Holy Word of God.
- God yet shows him to be a false prophet!
- Many, unfortunately prefer his teachings!
William W. Orr is a man who has had a tremendous influence among many learned and unlearned Christians for the last 75 years and more as a scholar, a Bible-College Teacher, and a religious administrator. Nevertheless, we find him deeply involved in false prophecy. When William Orr spoke or wrote, many of the learned and many of the unlearned sat up and took notice. His prophecies, then, were broadcast far and wide by other scholars and by the students who had sat before him.
In one instance, he gave his endtime signs as being, "A growing Anticipation, Increased Travel, Increased Knowledge, Demon Doctrines, Grouping of Nations, Great Social Deterioration, Church Without Christ, Signs In the Skies, Growing Missionary Activity, World Population Explodes, the Jew Returns, Roman Church Increased, Protestant Union Advances, and Widespread Indifference" (Jesus Is Coming … This Year? … Signs of Christ's Soon Return," prior to the 1960's. pp. 8-27).
I have in my library several volumes of various sizes that have made William W. Orr a very strong influence in the lives of many people. Though he has been gone from the earthly scene for many years, his books, his teaching, and his false prophecy are still very prominent among us. As with some of those above, many people turn to William W. Orr as a man who was speaking truthfully for God. Yet, he is just another one of those whose life was caught-up in what we may reference as "Scofield teaching."
Whether he did so wittingly or whether he did it unwittingly, William W. Orr attempted to convince the multitudes that he had some special insight into the Word of God. Unfortunately, much of what he put forth as his insight into the Word of God was just C. I. Scofield's dispensational teaching. Often, he led those who were before him to suppose that he had some special insight into the truth concerning the end of time. When we look truthfully at his teaching, however, we learn that he was so ignorant of the Word of God that he did not even realize that he was taking a stand against the Lord of Glory who personally declared that men and angels, and even He, did not have any information concerning the time of the end for this Church Age.
- He sent prophecies forth, as truth!
- God has shown every one as false!
Then there is another one by the name of John E. Douglas who has had a tremendous influence in the realm of missions and radio. For many long years, millions hung on to his words as though he were speaking truthfully and mightily for God. Yet, as so many, many others, he felt that he had to indulge in sensationalism’s in order to ensure the loyalty of those who were supporting his ministry, especially to children and often to some of the disabled and ill in distant lands. As all of the others, however, his prophecies were no more exact or true than the false prophecies of others.
We find this man, John Douglas, listing some of his assured prophecies as proof that the end of time was really upon us. In 1960, that list included, "Signs of Christ's Imminent Return," "Return of The Jews to Their Homeland," "Apostasy, " "Dangerous or Perilous Times," "Mockers and Scoffers," "Persecution of The Saints," "The Outpouring of The Holy Ghost," "Knowledge and Travel," "Wars and Rumors of Wars" … "World Leaders Talking Peace," "The Forming of Two Strong Confederacies," and "A Glorious Powerful Church" (When Will Jesus Come?, 1960. pp. 9-13).
Both Orr and Douglas are gone today, and — since we may believe that both were redeemed — we can know that they are in Heaven. They doubtless now know that they were false prophets who indulged in "sensational lying" to their own personal and professional advantage. Today, they both know that their "Church-Age Endtime Prophecies" were indicative that they had decided to reject the Word of Jesus which we find in Matthew 24:36. It may be that they have learned that they were "hirelings"!
- There aren’t signs of His Return!
- He could have returned long ago!
In 1963, Wilbur M. Smith, a rather famed one from San Marino, California gave some prophecies that have proved to be false. This man was the author of one of the most powerful and wonderful books ever written by a mortal, "Therefore Stand." Nevertheless, he gave us what he deemed to be some of the Scriptural "endtime signs" for the conclusion of the Church Age. He likewise, apparently was heavily influenced by C. I. Scofield's teachings even though he was a learned man and a scholar in his own right.
He lists those "endtime signs" in the following manner, "The Sign From the Days of Noah," "The Sign from The Days of Lot," "The Sign of The Budding Fig Tree," "The Sign of Distress of nations," "The Sign of Perilous Times," "the Sign of Religious Apostasy," "The Sign of Scoffers," and "The Sign of One-World," and "One-Church Sect" ("Imminent Signs of The Times," 1963. pp. 2-35). We note particularly that these supposed prophecies are closely aligned with the Scripture.
His referencing of the Scriptures in connection with these "endtime prophecies" for the Church Age did not make them any more accurate than the false prophecies of others. That was just the Devil's very subtle and successful way of causing Christians to put their confidence in a man and his word instead of in God and in the Word of God. Wilbur Smith, today, is gone. All of his prophecies are still among us, but each one of those prophecies obviously is false.
Then, one who was called by the name of Paul R. Alderman, Jr. — a Lumber Man, Teacher, and Founder of a flooring company, and often Evangelist, has given us, "God's Spotlight On Tomorrow." I am reading it in its fourth printing which was accomplished in 1964. In 1960, he provided the following complicated and somewhat confusing "endtime signs," as being proof that "The Church Age" would soon be coming to a conclusion:
Because Present Conditions in General Are Startlingly Similar to the Prophetic Description of 'The Last Days' Heralding His Return; Because Israel, God's 'Fig Tree,' is Budding Profusely Today; Because Russia of today Startlingly Answers to The Russia of Ezekiel 38-39; Because The 'Western Democracies' … Increasingly Answer to The Prophetic Picture of The Revived Roman Empire; Because Christendom Today Is Strikingly Similar to Laodicea of Revelation 3; Because Christ Clearly and Positively Answered A Most Penetrating Question of His Disciples in Matthew 24; and Because All of these Things Are Occurring Simultaneously At a Most Significant Time in Man's History (Above noted, pp. 16-22).
It is evident that this man, along with others, was very deeply indebted to C. I. Scofield's notes. He is just another one of those religious and Christian leaders who looked to Scofield rather than to the Holy Word of God. These apparently were not aware that the 24th chapter of Matthew has an emphasis that they had missed entirely. That is, these Christian leaders seemingly had never studied this portion of the Scripture sufficiently to enable them to realize that Jesus generally was not dealing with the end of "The Church Age," especially in the first 35 verses of Matthew 24.
"The Time of Jacob's Trouble"
Rather, Jesus was dealing with "The time of Jacob's Trouble" or that of which we may speak as "The Seventieth Week of Daniel." This is a time in the future wherein some of those who will then be members of "The Twelve Tribes of Jacob" (See Rev. 7:3-8), members God's Earth People, will be God's final messengers to this world over which Satan is "The prince and the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). It is this group of 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Jacob who will revive and continue that message of John, "The Gospel of The Kingdom"!
It seems apropos that this explanation should have taken place as Jesus "sat upon the Mount of Olives" (Mt. 24:3). Then, in verse 14 we read these crucial words, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." [We may note that during this Church Age, the reaching of the world with the Gospel is on an ever smaller and smaller percentage scale. Whereas during the preaching of "The Gospel of The Kingdom" by the 144,000 Jewish or Israeli evangelists all nations will be reached.] We may relate this specifically to Revelation 7:3-8.
If we can recall the words of that last Old Testament Prophet, even "John, the Immerser," we note that one of his cries was, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Mt. 3:2). Even in that distant day, he advised all of those who would listen that he was "the friend of the Bridegroom" (John 3:29), and therefore not a member of the Bride or one of those who would be redeemed during "The Church Age." If we can relate this word with that of Jesus, we can know that the word, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Mt. 24:34), then, will be "the generation" that experiences "The Seventieth Week of Daniel," "The Time of Tribulation," or "The Time of Jacob's Trouble."
- "The Church Age" will not reach the world!
- The world will be reached – by Jewish men!
On the one hand, Matthew 24:14 and 24:34 demonstrate very clearly that Jesus is not referencing the conclusion of "The Church Age" at this Scriptural juncture. Therefore, any movement of peoples that can be expected to take place during "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" cannot pertain to "The Church Age." The presumption of some, then, that, "Israel's becoming a nation in 1948" is "a sign of the end" has to be a false one. In fact, the many false prophets who have made this appeal have had to alter the length of "their generation" a number of times, and some of them are continuing to do so.
We need to realize, also, that there can be no preaching of "The Gospel of the Kingdom" during The Church Age. Rather, as Jesus commanded and as Paul and others proclaimed, "The Gospel" of which we may speak in "The Church Age" relates to "A Called-out People." That is, those who are properly preaching "The Gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes; to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]" (Rom. 1:16) are reaching the lost of this world with a message of redemption. We may say that those who are being redeemed in "The Church Age" will become a part of "The Bride of Christ" or the "heavenly people" who will be caught-up at the conclusion of "The Church Age." Jesus advises us to pray, "thy kingdom come" (Mt. 6:10)! Those of us in "The Church Age," then, are not involved in the establishment of "An Earthly kingdom," though we shall be involved in His Earthly Kingdom as His heavenly people.
On the other hand, Jesus explains in another verse, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place" (Mt. 24:15). A further emphasis concerning this very special time of tribulation is given in, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Mt. 24:21).
In the latter detail, Jesus is making it very plain that the coming which He is discussing in this portion of what we know as Matthew 24 is to be A TIME OF GREAT JUDGMENT. This is made to be evident with His Words, "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Mt. 24:30). This, then, is to be a time of judgment which is to take place here upon the earth — not "a calling-out" or "a catching-up" of the redeemed. As an elaboration on Matthew 24:30, we may read in Revelation 19:15, "And out of His Mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron. . . ." Obviously, these words of JUDGMENT cannot apply to "The Church" or to "The Church Age."
Concerning The Church Age
Concerning "The Church," to all of those who are redeemed in this Church Age [remembering sinning Peter who was redeemed, Church-member Judas Iscariot who was lost (that is, "the son of perdition" who was never redeemed), and the Thief on the Cross who was redeemed, though never a Church Member] Jesus says in John 14:3, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself . . ." This, then, is not a message of judgment. Instead, it is the Savior of these disciples assuring each one who has placed his faith in Him that He one day would receive them unto Himself in the dwellings that He has gone to prepare.
God provides a further explanation in Acts 1:11 with the words of "the two men in white." He does this to a portion of the assembled Church that Jesus had built while He was here upon the earth. These heavenly words are very specific, "This same Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven." That is, they promise that Jesus will return without any signs and without any notification, and certainly apart from any judgment. Clearly, the promise of these "heavenly visitors" is that Jesus would return to His Church "in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."
In I Corinthians 15:51-52, we have the words of the Apostle Paul in which he explains some of the details of this returning with this, "Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." There is no word of judgment in this Scripture. Rather, this is a word related to that promise of assurance, "There is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).
Then, in I Thessalonians 4:16-17, we have these most definitive and crucial words, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel [the Archangel is not an angel of judgment], and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." If words mean anything, as we have noted above, this catching-away of "The Church" is not one in which "the sign of the Son of man appears in the heaven," and it certainly is not a time in which Jesus is returning to "judge the earth" as noted in Matthew 24:30 and in Revelation 19:13-14.
Perhaps it would have been good if those who took it upon themselves to divide the Scriptures into verses and chapters a few decades ago could have realized that the passage, Matthew 24:1 through 35, relates to "The Time of Tribulation" or "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" — not to "The Church Age." Had there been a better division of the Scriptures at this point, some of the confusion which has followed those who have attempted to provide "signs" for the conclusion of "The Church Age" might never have come into play in the thinking of men. It is certainly evident that in Matthew 24:36 through 51 God is dealing with another subject and a totally different time frame. This is something that those who do not really understand the first 35 verses of this chapter generally cannot accept.
Two Different Periods
"The Church Age" and "The Time of Jacob's Trouble," then, speak to two different periods of earthly time. As we have noted in John 14:3 and Acts 1:11, and elsewhere, the Return of Jesus to or for His Church will be in quietness. Whereas God is very specific that when Jesus comes to JUDGE THE EARTH AND THE PEOPLE IN IT, "then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Mt. 24:30). Our Lord is most specific that it is at that time that, "He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Mt. 24:31).
That this relates to what we may speak of as His Earth People is evident from as long ago as Deuteronomy 30:4-5. In that distant day, Moses advised those who had accompanied him out of Egypt, "If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee … And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land that thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it." Jesus documents this detail of Judgment for us, also, in Mark 13:27, following an earlier word, "In those days, after that tribulation" (Mk.13:24), with the word, "Then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." In the following verse 28, Jesus, also, relates "the parable of the fig tree" to this time of judgment — not to "The Church Age."
Those of us of "The Church Age" have no such earthly promises. We can know, however, that those who are "caught-up" or "caught-away" at the time of His Return In The Clouds [See Acts 1:11) at the conclusion of "The Church Age" will return with Him to rule and reign when He sets up His Kingdom here upon the earth. This is demonstrated for us in the Scripture, "And the armies that were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His Mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron . . ." ( Rev. 19:13-14).
Part IV - DRAMATIC FALSE PROPHETS
- Salem Kirban
One of the more busily engaged prophets of the last quarter of a century is known by the name of Salem Kirban. For a goodly part of his ministerial life, he has had what he calls his "King James Prophecy Bible." Too, he has a book which consists mostly of charts and is called, "Kirban's Book of Prophetic Charts." Some of his rather dramatic publications have the titles, "I Predict," "Coming Events In Prophecy," "Prophecy For Today," and "Israel and The Nations In Prophecy."
One of his more intriguing publications for the millions who have followed his teachings and his preaching for a long time is his volume with the simple title, "666." He even boasts that there are 50 revealing photographs in this volume to whet the sensationalist appetites of some. Then, he says, "Here are the thrilling chapters of terror, tragedy and triumph." One of these chapters involves, "Flight To Moscow" which is supposed to explain, "The strange alliance against Israel." Another is, "Triumph and Tragedy" which involves "Horses and Russia's cunning tactics in her invasion of Israel." [He probably read some of Theodore Epp's word that we shall reference a little later. RW]
He wrote this in the 1960's, and a few things other than his prophecies have transpired since then. There is even a chapter covering, "March On Megiddo" wherein he says, "The world lines up for battle … the East, the North, the South, the West. The curdling call to march on Megiddo."
Needless to say, this man who has been exciting the multitudes with his sensationalism’s for a quarter of a century and more has missed on all counts. But that does not preclude his "Guide To Survival" which he published in 1968 and reprinted at least six times. I read the sixth printing. In this volume, we have this statement:
Following through on this belief, they state that the genealogical tables in the history of the Old Testament seem to show that from Adam to Christ, about 4000 years of recorded Biblical history or 4 days (since 'one day with the Lord is as a thousand years . . .') II Peter 3:8.
The 5th day ended with the advent of the dark ages in 1000 A.D. (996 A.D. — since Christ was born at about 4 B.C.).
The 6th day then would end in the year 2000. The Millennium would then be ushered in and the thousand year reign of the saints with Christ would begin.
If this assumption should be correct, and the Rapture must take place at least seven years before the Millennium, this would put the Rapture or the vanishing of the saints to meet Christ at approximately 1989. … (Salem Kirban, "Guide To Survival," 1968 — 6th printing — June 1970, p. 126).
First, we observe his words, "the genealogical tables in the history of the Old Testament seem to show that from Adam to Christ, about 4000 years of recorded Biblical history or 4 days … ." This man is obviously giving us the impression that the 4000 year B. C. creation date is something that he found in the Word of God. This, in itself, is deception. That 4,004 B. C. creation date is the figment of the imagination of a man by the name of Archbishop Ussher, an English Divine of another century. Somehow, in the course of the production of some of the editions of the King James Versions, someone "slipped" these dates into the Biblical pages.
From that hour until this some have been attempting to prove "a recent creation." Then, when C. I. Scofield personally arranged to put these Archbishop Ussher dates into the 1917 edition of his Scofield Bible, this became a confirming detail to which multitudes have resorted in every subsequent year. We may be assured, however, that the 4,004 B. C. year of creation was a figment of the imagination of Archbishop Ussher, and it still was a figment of the imagination when C. I. Scofield placed this creation date in his 1917 edition of The Scofield Reference Bible.
- Creation was fiction for Bishop Ussher!
- C. I. Scofield's word was foolish fantasy!
Second, we take note of the fact that this man is providing us some of his re-worked C. I. Scofield notes that he apparently believes to have been inspired. In this we see something of the continuing tragedy of that which has been called "The Scofield Reference Bible." Even some of the most astute, and sometimes even some of the most learned turn from the supposed difficulties of the Scriptures to "the ease" of Scofield's notes. It is then that they begin giving their lives to serving "the itching ears" (II Tim. 4:3) of those who may have become addicted to Scofield along the way. Understandably, most of those who are so afflicted no longer have any interest whatever in sound Scriptural doctrine. Read the reference, and you will have a better understanding as to what I am saying.
Thirdly, we notice again that Salem Kirban is giving us the intellectual ragings or ramblings of one by the name of Archbishop Ussher. He apparently would have us believe that this English Divine had some final insight to the Scriptures. If we have any insight or understanding at all, we need to realize that Archbishop Ussher's speculative and unscriptural conclusion that Creation took place around 4,000 or in 4,004 B.C. really is nothing but literary nonsense drawn out of his own personal imagination. We have spoken to this a little more extensively above.
Much added confusion has resulted from the fact that these Archbishop Ussher dates once were placed in one of the later editions of "The King James Version" of the Bible. Multitudes apparently came to the conclusion or supposed that these Archbishop Ussher dates were as inspired as the Word of God. Sadly, it seems that Salem Kirban was one of these deceived souls. Thus, he says, ". . . the Old Testament seems to show that from Adam to Christ, about 4000 years of recorded Biblical history or 4 days . . ." (Ibid.).
Then, Salem Kirban proceeds to tell us, "The 5th day ended with the advent of the dark ages in 1000 A.D." (Ibid.). He follows to say, "the 6th day then would end in the year 2000 … If the assumption be correct, and the Rapture must take place at least seven years before the Millennium, this would put the Rapture or the vanishing of the saints to meet Christ at approximately 1989" (Ibid.).
Did he get this nonsense — and it can be only that [in another place, we have spoken to it as gobbledygook] — out of the Word of God? No! A thousand times, no! He apparently deemed Scofield's Notes to be Scripture just as he earlier presumed that Archbishop Ussher's dates were Scriptural. What awful darkness is upon the mind of a man who can think in this manner. Unless I miss my guess, we are somewhere near or perhaps even in 1993, we are still counting, and I have seen no worldwide news notice yet of "Millions Missing"! Just as some of the others, however, gullible people by the millions yet hang on his words as though they were true. Remember the early prophet who prophesied the end for several years, and many of his followers never questioned his preaching!
Even though Salem Kirban obviously is another one of the false prophets in the Church Age, it perhaps would be good to take a look at some of the "signs" upon which he based his false prophecy concerning the endtime. He indicated that these signs were given "previously in this chapter." Interestingly, the title of this chapter is, "Vanishing Christians," and the signs that he gives are as follows:
You will recall the first four chapters outlined events that bring us to the threshold of the Last Days. They include (a) an increasing crime wave, (b) lawlessness, (c) avalanche of pornography and nude films, (d) trend towards a World Church, (e) air pollution, (f) population explosion, (g) increasing famine, (h) earthquakes, (i) onrush of more virulent germ strains, (j) fantastic new weapons of mass destruction, (k) a breakdown of the family unity through increased divorce rate, and (l) the building up of East and West powers into two strong opposing factions with the Mid-East as the tinderbox (Ibid. p. 106).
The year 1989 has come and gone, and there does not seem to have been any "catching-away"! Salem Kirban seemed rather positive that the endtime signs were in place, and that in 1968 and in 1970 the next thing on God's "endtime schedule" or agenda was some "Vanishing Christians." He apparently did some miscalculating as Archbishop Ussher and as C. I. Scofield before him. Unless I have missed something somewhere, except for those Christians who have left this world by the door of death, those who should have been "Vanishing Christians" are still with us. And another "Church-Age Endtime Prophet" has shown himself to be a false prophet.
Part V - Famed False Prophets
Jack Van Impe
In a booklet published in 1976, Jack Van Impe gives us these endtime signs, "The Energy Crisis [you may recall, we had just come through some rather drastic gasoline shortages in 1973-1974, RW], Famine, Immorality, Liquor and Drugs, and Terrorism" (What In The World Is Happening?" 1976. pp. 29-36). In connection with the latter point, he has this to say, "God's Word is beginning to unfold before our eyes. Judgment is about to fall for all of the 'rottenness' that runs rampant in our beloved land. If it does not commence in 1976, I have no doubt that unbelievable calamities will occur before 1980. It could easily be the predicted Tribulation hour" (Ibid. p. 37). Needless to say, in this year of 1993, he is proven to be a false prophet. Nevertheless, he continues on with ever-new and ever-changing "endtime signs."
This one has become famed in recent years as "A Prophet for Our Time." Jack Van Impe's "deep throated announcer" is bold to declare, "Jack Van Impe, renowned prophecy scholar and producer of powerful videos on Russia and America" on what people speak of as Christian radio and Christian television. Needless to say, he has exploited happenings in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia, Germany and a dozen other places on his ever-changing "prophetic agenda."
In 1979, he gave us these endtime signs, "False Christ’s, Wars and Rumours of wars, Famine and Pestilence’s [In this connection, he references Dr. Paul Erlich, Department of Agriculture, saying, "The world will literally run out of food by 1984." RW], Earthquakes, When Planets Align [In this connection, he says, "As the nine planets of our solar system align themselves in 1982, their gravitational pull may cause huge storms on the sun. These could alter wind direction, rainfall and temperature patterns, affect the earth's rotation and cause great earthquakes" He quotes John Gribbin of Britain's Nature Magazine" and Stephen Plagemann, NASA's Goddard Space Center, as his authorities. RW], and Iniquity Shall Abound" (Signs of The Times, 1979. pp. 13 – 18).
Jack Van Impe apparently forgot what he had said in 1976, or he may have figured that the people would not know any better, or that God may have changed His Mind! Needless to say, each time this man has opened his mouth as a prophet in the last twenty years and a little more, he has been something other than a "renowned prophecy scholar." He has been proven to be a false prophet time and time again, but the fact that he lies to the millions who listen to him never seems to embarrass him. Sadly, those who succumb before him apparently find some measure of delight in his unscriptural "Endtime Signs"; that is, if they have any memory of what he has said previously. As Jeremiah indicated, "the prophets lie," and "the people love to have it so."
Though he boasts of being "a walking Bible," he obviously has never been able to comprehend the truth that THERE ARE NO ENDTIME SIGNS FOR THE CHURCH AGE! He apparently has never understood the words of the Apostle Paul, "The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom" (I Cor. 1:22). He perhaps just does not care what God thinks as long as he can get the people to continue to contribute to his false prophecy and thereby provide for his continuing survival as one of the more famed of the so-called evangelists of our day. His dear, faithful, and lovely wife, Rexella, apparently has no conscience either regarding his false "endtime signs" and his false "endtime prophecies"! As all other false prophets of This Church Age, Jack Van Impe must continuously show his distaste for and his unbelief in the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:36, in order to continue as he has for all of these years.
Cannot they remember their words?
Or is it that they really do not care!
Thousands of others have done just as those whom we have referenced above. All who have taken it upon themselves with what they often are wont to call "endtime signs" or "endtime prophecies for "The Church Age" show themselves to be enemies of Christ and to be enemies of the Word of God. Each time they have done so, they have been proven to be false prophets. There is no exception. All of them have failed to grasp the impact or the import of the Words of Jesus, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only" (Mt. 24:36).
It would seem that after almost 1900 years in which men have had an opportunity to read the Word of God that they would be able to realize exactly what Jesus was saying. Namely, first, no man can know the time of His Return. Second, the angels do not know the time of His Return. And third, Jesus Himself explains that even He does not know the time of His Return.
How do men believe man's nonsense?
When, the words of Jesus are so clear?
First, we note that these words of Jesus are most exact in whatever translation or version we might desire to read them, and I have studied them in some 40 versions and translations. We may speak of them as being ABSOLUTE! Secondly, some of these have been available to most of these false prophets. We can know, therefore, that just as C. I. Scofield chose not to believe the word of Jesus; so, apparently, all of the many "Church-Age Endtime Prophets" who have followed, whether in the early centuries or in ours, have likewise refused to believe or purposefully determined not to believe the words of Jesus.
God has provided, no "endtime signs"!
Only foolish men, give His Return time!
There is no end, however, to their greed or to their unconscionable sensationalism’s which they use without any real evidence of a Christian conscience. They obviously indulge their fantasy in order to deceive all of those who are so much of the flesh that the falsehoods of men become their desired excitement diet. This, doubtless, is one of the reasons that sordid novels of every sort stay at the top of the "Best Seller Lists" year after year. The masses of the world, whether in America, in some other industrial nation, or even among some of those in what are known as "The Third World Nations" obviously commit themselves to the world of the fictional. Then, the multitudes pick up on their fictions and find their greatest delight in them.
Though Jack Van Impe claims to be one of the more knowledgeable Christians and Television Evangelists of our time, it is apparent that he does not care at all for Scriptural Truth. Despite what we have noted above as absolute proof that this man is one of the foremost of the false prophets of our time, on August 31, 1992, I received in the mail his most recent letter and brochures purportedly providing some final details concerning the end of time, as we know it. On pages one and two of this letter which is headed, "ONE WORLD … ONE GOVERNMENT … ONE ECONOMY … ONE RELIGION … ONE RULER … THE ANTICHRIST!" we find these words:
Beloved, there's no doubt about it. The revived Roman Empire (or European Community) comes to power January 1, 1993. The panorama of end-time prophecy is unfolding BEFORE OUR VERY EYES! Get ready for a rapid rush of world-changing developments that begin mankind's inescapable march to the end of this age! … Yes, the Antichrist will emerge very soon now. … In January 1993, the European Community (E.C.) comes to power, bringing with it a unified global monetary system that lacks just one thing more to really prosper — a single leader to direct it.
Prophetic texts make it inescapably clear that this person will be the man called the Beast, the eleventh horn, and the Antichrist (see Revelation 13:1, Daniel 7:8, and I John 2:22). PERSONALLY I BELIEVE HE IS ALIVE, WAITING IN THE WINGS, PREPARING TO TAKE CONTROL! [Van Impe's emphasis, RW] … I am absolutely convinced that we are in the final countdown stages inevitably leading up to that horrendous battle the Bible calls Armageddon.
Then, on pages two and three of this same letter, he introduces what he speaks of as his and Rexella's "powerful new video titled THE E.C. ANTICHRIST, THE NEW WORLD ORDER, AND THE COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON." He continues, "In this new release, we incorporated documents from more than 20 authoritative volumes and 200 international publications [Perhaps 'authorities' such as those whom he quoted above! RW] that provide answers to your most perplexing questions about HOW–AND WHEN–ANTICHRIST WILL COME TO POWER [emphasis, Van Impe's, RW]."
Along with this letter, there is his very colorful brochure, "THE E.C. ANTICHRIST." He gives some 30 reasons why everyone should want to have a copy of this video and also a copy for one's Church library, for Bible Study, or as a gift. We make note of a few of Jack Van Impe's dramatic reasons why everyone should desire a copy of this video:
(1) What the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Club of Rome have in common,
(2) The length of a generation (see Matthew 24:34) [Needless to say, he has had to change his thinking just a bit beyond those 40-year generations from the re-ordering of Israel in 1948 that were much in vogue in the 1960's, the 1970's, and even into the early 1980's. RW],
(3) The mystery of September 1999 [If we have any memory at all, we will recall the mystery of 1843 and 1844 of which we have spoken, along with the mystery of 1988 and 1989 to which we shall speak later. RW] …
(10) The final planning stages for: one citizenry, one high court, one central bank, one common currency, one mark, one logo, and one economic central system.
(11) The 2,553-year miracle.
(12) The world's final army forming. …
(16) Where are George Bush, Nelson Rockefeller, and Henry Kissinger taking us?
(17) Pope John Paul II's plans and goals for the New World Order. …
(22) Brussels rules the world. …
(29) The covenant with death and hell.
(30) Armies from the North, South, East, and West are presently forming for largest showdown in history.
Jack Van Impe concludes this Brochure with the following prophecy, "Sure to be a BEST-SELLER! ORDER TODAY! For your ministry gift of $20 or more." Then, on page four, toward the end of the letter mentioned above, we have these words, "Let us know you share our vision and sense of urgency in proclaiming the truth about the endtime and the gospel of salvation to all who will hear. Whether you send a one-time gift of $20 or more or decide to begin your partnership program — we'll send you the video entitled THE E.C. ANTICHRIST, THE NEW WORLD ORDER, AND THE COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON upon request."
Then, on page one of the "Jack Van Impe Ministries International" letter of September/October 1990, we find these words, "At 4:00 p.m. on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence of Israel, and his words were broadcast from Tel Aviv Museum to the world." On page 2 of the same letter, we find:
Jesus said, 'Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled' (Matthew 24:34).
How long is a generation? A mathematical genius just proved to me that it's 47.523 or almost 48 years. (See the July/August Perhaps Today magazine which will explain this exciting truth.) By comparing Old Testament accounts recording the number of generations between certain events with ancient historical records which give dates for those same events, we can calculate the approximate length of a generation to be almost 48 years.
Do you realize what this means? Israel became a nation again in 1948 — 42 years ago! If the generation which witnessed this event will not pass away until the End-Time prophecies are fulfilled — how much time do you think could possibly be left? Jesus' coming is so near … any time now — PERHAPS TODAY!
Is it not a circumstance almost beyond belief that this man, Jack Van Impe, who had judgment falling in 1976 or before 1980 and the Tribulation beginning then, the man who had the planets aligning in 1982 and chaos coming to the Sun and the Earth, and the man who had the world running out of food by 1984 now — in 1993 — has a whole new set of sensational endtime situations and circumstances? With his 1990 letter and his recalculation of "a generation," we find that he now is giving us an endtime date of 1996. But do the false prophets or the gullible and unthinking masses who eagerly await his every new sensationalism ever learn? Apparently not!
Some believed False Prophecy in 1843!
And came back to believe it also in 1844!
Many of those middle-aged and older ones who were deceived by Jack Van Impe's earlier endtime sensationalism’s in the 1970's and the 1980's doubtless have departed this life. Nevertheless, as one who was very much involved in circuses in another day indicated, in every generation there is a whole new world of those who delight in being deceived. It is quite probable, therefore, that as multitudes bought his false prophecies years ago, so there will be multitudes who today will happily buy his "new false prophecies."
Ed Hindson Explains
A couple of years ago, one by the name of Ed Hindson had a most interesting bit of information to share with us. In what is called his "Commentary" that is titled, "The End Is near … Or Is It?," he begins, "'A Revelation in the Middle East,' examined the possibility that the current crisis in the Persian Gulf may be a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Such prominent evangelicals as Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, and Jack Van Impe were cited along with Brooklyn Rabbi Manachem Schneerson, leader of the radical orthodox Lubavitchers . . ." Then, he concludes, "Too much wild-eyed speculation could eventually discredit the essential gospel message we are called to proclaim. Remember, Van Impe himself was certain the Soviet flag would fly over Independence hall in Philadelphia by 1976 . . ." (World, Volume 5, Number 26, November 24, 1990. p. 12).
Truly, Jesus may come today, just as He could have come 1850 years ago and more, but His Coming will not be the issue or the result of Jack Van Impe's unscriptural calculations or Jack Van Impe's unscriptural signs. Remember, if you will, that the Apostle Paul explains that unbelieving Jews in his day "required or sought for signs," I Cor. 1:22. In all honesty, we should be able to realize that Jesus may not come again for 50 years, 500 years, 5,000, or perhaps not even for 500,000 years, as men count time. From Genesis through the Book of Revelation, I have never been able to find that God ever had to be in a hurry!
As we have indicated before, and as we shall indicate again, THERE ARE NO ENDTIME SIGNS FOR THE CHURCH AGE! Jesus could have returned sometime during the closing years of that first century. He could have returned during any subsequent century, And He may come before we ever come to the end of this sentence or conclude this paragraph. Therefore, we can know that all who come to us with "endtime signs" for this Church Age are out of touch with God. Consequently, we can know, too, that they are out of touch with the Lord Jesus Christ who provided us the word in Matthew 24:36. Likewise, they are out of touch with the Spirit of God, as well as the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit of God has provided for us!
Men, however, and that tragically, persist in their sensationalism’s and thereby make merchandise of the Word of God as hirelings. Too, they make fools of the gullible and deceived masses who have no better sense than to suppose these false prophets have some information that is not available to them. Hal Lindsey with more than 30 printings of his book, "The Late Great Planet Earth" that he published in 1970 has made his multiplied millions. But his money or his wealth or his esteem does not preclude him being a false prophet. On page 16 of this volume, he tells us, "'The Future' is big business." He doubtless has found it to be so, as the millions of dollars have "continued to come rolling in"! Therefore, it really is not too surprising that he continues to play upon the gullibility and the ignorance of the masses over whom he has some continuing influence with an ever-changing set of "new false prophecies" concerning the end!.
Too, he doubtless has found considerable delight in continuing to participate in the billions that he advises us are being spent each year by gullible people on "clairvoyants, gypsies, faith healers, seers and prophets" (p. 16). Being one of their number, he doubtless is an enemy of the Cause of the Lord Jesus Christ and especially of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, as one of the redeemed, he doubtless "will split his galluses and go straight up" when he dies, as A. D. Muse used to say!
Jeremiah even specifies that it is the people of God ["My People"] who delight in false prophecy. I guess, then, that very little has changed in the intervening 2,500 years and more since Jeremiah wrote. Without a doubt, it is the people of God today who are promoting and who then are perpetuating the false prophets of our day with their substance and sometimes even with their souls [lives]! And it is highly probable that most of those who have shown themselves to be false prophets, and most of those who are showing themselves to be false prophets in our day really are believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and have experienced NEW BIRTH! Since it is rather obvious that most of them have believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, we can know that they are members of the redeemed host.
How can they, then, thus lie endlessly?
The Devil and his demons are mighty!
In his subheading, "Putting It Together," we find Hal Lindsey giving us some of his "endtime signs." It is evident that He — as the others — has had no regard for Matthew 24:36. It is most graphically evident even now that he has no regard for Matthew 24:36. Rather, he continues to exploit millions of Christians who are his gullible masses. He regularly and tragically deceives them with his supposed prophecies of the endtime. Hear his own words, and hear them carefully:
We have seen how current events are fitting together simultaneously into the precise pattern of predicted events. Israel has returned to Palestine and revived the nation. Jerusalem is under Israeli control. Russia has emerged as a great northern power and is the avowed enemy of revived Israel. The Arabs are joining in a concerted effort to liberate Palestine under Egyptian leadership. The Black Africans are beginning to move from sympathy toward the Arabs to an open alliance in their 'liberation' cause.
It's happening. God is putting it all together. God may have His meaning for the 'now generation' which will have a greater effect on mankind than anything since Genesis 1 . . ." (Ibid. p. 80).
He said all of this and much more in 1970. It may sound as though Hal Lindsey is providing us with some unsullied wisdom, perhaps from the very Altar of God on High. We may be assured, nonetheless, that seeming or apparent wisdom is nothing but HOT AIR. Without too much difficulty, we should be able to realize that this "Hot Air" is spewing forth from a very vivid — sadly deceived — and perhaps even a very, very sick imagination!
Then, in 1980, Hal Lindsey came forth with another volume. On the back cover of the 1981 paper back edition, he says, "We are the generation the prophets were talking about! We have witnessed Biblical prophecies come true." Very simply, he is telling us that Jesus could not have returned in that first century. He is telling us that those Apostles who looked for Him then did not know what they were doing. He says further, "The Bible fortells [sic] the signs that precede Armageddon" and "We are the generation that will see the end times … and the return of Jesus" ("The 1980's: Countdown To Armageddon," 1981. Back Cover of paperback edition.).
Then, there is a bit of a conflict between the back cover and pages 11 through 14 inside the book. On the back cover, we find, "The rebirth of Israel, The decline of American power and morality, The rise of Russian and Chinese might, The threat of war in the Middle East, and The increase of earthquakes, volcanoes, famine and drought." On pages 11-14, we find, "The Rebirth of Israel, The Arab-Moslem Confederacy, The Rise of the Soviet Union, The Rise of Red China, and The Revival of The Roman Empire" (Ibid.). He apparently had forgotten what he had said in 1970.
In connection with the last point, he says, "I believe this man [the Antichrist] is alive today — alive and waiting to come forth" (Ibid. p. 15). Also, in connection with the last point, he explains, "Thus we have all five pieces of the prophets' scenario for the latter days. All the powers — Israel, the Arabs, Russia, China and the revived Roman Empire — are fixed in place" (Ibid.). He also gives us seven "Birth Pains" that supposedly have laid the groundwork for that which is immediately above, "Religious Deception, International Revolution, War, Famines, Earthquakes, Plagues, and Strange Events in The Skies" (Ibid. pp. 20-32).
Put it down, Hal Lindsey is another one of the false prophets of our time. It is no marvel, then, that he has Armageddon in the 1990's, since he supposed that the Antichrist was alive and well on the earth in 1970. Some of the prophetic detail that Hal Lindsey provides us reminds me of "The Russian Horses" of Theodore Epp that we shall reference a little further along.
Let me make a suggestion for everyone who may have occasion to peruse that which I am "penning"! Make yourself a note and post it somewhere so that you will be able to see it each and every day, and at least once in every hour of every day. He may be posing as a messenger of Almighty God with a message from on High! Believe me, dear one, he is not a messenger of God with respect to "endtime prophecy"! Let that note which you pen read: EVERY TIME HAL LINDSEY COMES FORTH WITH ENDTIME SIGNS FOR THE CHURCH AGE, HE DEMONSTRATES THAT HE IS A FALSE PROPHET. Let your note indicate, also, that Hal Lindsey is an enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ, and an enemy, too, of The Holy Word of our Almighty God!
How widespread is such unscriptural prophesying? We turn for a moment to a man who has run for President of these United States, one by the name of Pat Robertson. Even in this year of 1993, he has continued to be rather prominent in the political realm in that he had a very special place in the National Convention of the Republicans that was held in Houston, Texas, in 1992. In what Pat Robertson has designated as, "Special Issue: Prophetic Insights for The 'Decade of Destiny," we find some most interesting words:
Note these facts bringing history in conformity with prophecy: In 1975 Ethiopia fell to communism; in 1979 the Shah of Iran fell and, probably before 1980 ends, Iran will be a Soviet puppet; Somalia is a Marxist country and Libya tilts to the Soviets; Mideast oil is the key to world domination; the Soviets have moved 200,000 troops to Afghanistan. . .
The coming Middle East war is an absolute certainty, as is the destruction of the Soviet Union. All available economic and military intelligence pinpoints 1982 as the optimum time for such a Soviet strike. … [Emphasis, RW].
In June 1967 Israel captured East Jerusalem. The Chief Rabbi went to the Wailing Wall and blew the shofar, the ancient ram's-horn trumpet. Counting ten years from this blowing of trumpets in 1967, we find Egyptian President Sadat journeying to Jerusalem in 1977 and declaring, ' We agree to live at peace with you.'
For the next five years, a time of grace, the Israelis work out and amplify the peace, and there is an incredible final spiritual harvest throughout the Gentile world as millions are added to the kingdom of God. During the fifth year, in 1982, Russia strikes Israel, is defeated, and for seven years Israel makes symbolic offerings by fire of Russian war materiel. [Emphasis, RW]. These seven years are a transition period for Israel and the world. On the eighth year, there begins a new era — a new beginning — for Israel and for the world ("Pat Robertson's Perspective," A special report to members of the 700 Club, February/March 1980. pp. 3 & 5)!
Is it not somewhat amazing that there is no mention of Iraq in any of his "endtime prophesying" at this time? We note his words, "All available economic and military intelligence pinpoints 1982 as the optimum time for such a Soviet strike." If I am reading my calendar correctly, we seem to be in the year of our Lord, 1993. It would seem to me that we are more than ten years beyond the anticipated fulfillment of this supposed Biblical prophecy that a highly respected member of "the clergy" and "the professional world" put forth as truth!
Millions, yet contribute to "Pat's Cause"!
What darkness is on "deceived hearts"!
This, however, is not the conclusion of the matter. In that same "Perspective," we find these further words, "During the fifth year, in 1982, Russia strikes Israel, is defeated, and for seven years Israel makes symbolic offerings by fire of Russian war materiel. These seven years are a transition period for Israel and the world. On the eighth year [1990, perhaps? RW], there begins a new era — a new beginning — for Israel and for the world."
Perhaps, we may surmise that his calculations seem to be just a bit out of line with respect to that which has happened and that which is happening. Yet, many thousands of gullible and well-educated people paid millions of dollars for this information. Not only that! Even though not a word that he had in his Perspective was true, millions of these who heard the early lies are continuing to contribute to this false prophet, supposing he is speaking for God! "What fools, we mortals are"!
Jeremiah spoke with much wisdom!
The prophets lie, and, people love it!
Did I hear someone say that Pat Robertson, then, must be a false prophet? Certainly, none of that which he was saying in his Perspective of February and March of 1980 has come to pass. Still, his "Christian Broadcasting Network" has grown by leaps and bounds. Too, as I have noted, he was rather prominently displayed by the Republicans when they had their Convention in Houston. It may be that he has been living by that "circus maxim," "There is a sucker born every minute."
Does one such as this differ at all from those false prophets of Old Testament times whom God regularly indicted as enemies of His Cause? As Jeremiah once wept, so perhaps you and I should be weeping today because "the priests [pastors, preachers, professors, and prophets, along with the evangelists, RW] have been giving themselves to lying, and my people love to have it so"! Men are following men, and it seems that they give themselves to seeing who can come forth with the most palatable sensationalism’s with which they can deceive another great host of people. Some call them Christian and suppose that they have the healing power of God in their hands and in their prayers — that they sometimes pray for a price! It may be that these are getting some of their impetus or their "inspiration" from some place other than the Word of God and from the Spirit of God. Remember, Jesus once called a saved Peter, "Satan"! Is it possible that He may be doing much the same to these who have been and who are indulging in false prophecy?
A most interesting letter, "FROM THE DESK OF PAT ROBERTSON," accompanied the above noted "Perspective." In this letter to those multiplied thousands who were contributing to his "personal cause," there were these words, "Here is the special issue of my PERSPECTIVE newsletter you requested. I hope it provides you with information you can use as you prepare for the 1980's, the 'Decade of Destiny' for America and the world." Need any more be said? Perhaps not! Another false prophet spoke, and millions stood with him in his desperate travesty against The Holy and The Blessed Word of our Living God which our Lord Jesus had declared so clearly in Matthew 24:36.
Yet, day in and day out, this man presents himself as a man of integrity and as a man of God to the millions who regularly tune in to his radio and television broadcasts. His appeals for the millions of dollars that are needed to keep his religious organization afloat go forth as though he is a man of God who can be trusted. Still, we must inquire, can a man who has come under the indictment of Jeremiah really be trusted?
Now that Pat Robertson is very heavily involved in the legal field, it may be that many of those who today are just simple Christians may one day have to contend with him and his power in the realm of jurisprudence. Apparently, he and some of those who labor with him in this area of human expertise are making some rather big plans to become involved in attempting to do the will of God through the process of suits and counter-suits. It would seem that this false prophet is not manifesting much Scriptural wisdom concerning "taking wrong" and leaving the issues in our Almighty God's Hands.
Surely, Jeremiah spoke with great wisdom!
In the October, 1980, issue of Presbyterian Survey, we find this headline, "Doomsday Tomorrow? Two Leaders Predict It." From the Religious News Service out of New York, this publication gives us, "Pat Robertson, the TV evangelist, maintains that the Common Market of Western Europe is the beast with seven heads and 10 horns referred to in the Book of Revelation, and that 'the anti-Christ' will emerge from it." They continue on, "If his dating is 'even close,' Robertson said, 'then we must conclude that there is a man alive today, approximately 27 years old, who is now being groomed to be the Satanic Messiah.'"
Then, in the same article on page 32 of Presbyterian Survey, we read, "According to Lindsey, the last seven years of history are beginning [remember, this is in 1980. RW] and 'will culminate with the worst war the world has ever seen, and the Messiah Jesus will come back and stop it and bring about world peace.' That would be the 'millennium,' a thousand year reign by Christ spoken of in Revelation" (Ibid.)
1987 has come — and gone!
Yet, Robertson and Lindsey!
Those who have tuned in to "Lindsey's broadcasts" and to "Pat Robertson's broadcasts" in recent years are aware, of course, that they have had to rework their "endtime signs" and their "endtime prophetic agenda" several times. The "endtime prophecies" that have poured from the lips of these men that their masses sat on the edges of their seats to hear have been proven to be false — not once in awhile, but each and every time they have put forth another prophecy!
These masses who have labored to pick up on everyone of their supposedly "earth shaking endtime prophecies" may have supposed that they were getting "Words" of Wisdom." What they were getting, of course, was a little more "Hot Air, but the people apparently "delighted in having it so." Not just once have these men proven themselves to be false prophets. Rather, they have done it time after time, and time after time! Not one of their "endtime signs" or their "endtime prophecies" concerning the end of "The Church Age" has ever come to pass, and none of their "endtime prophecies" is coming to pass.
It's a most tragic, and a dark day!
Many, continue falling at their feet!
Part VI – Some Academic False Prophets
W. S. McBirnie
If we were to take the next 150 pages just to document more of what we have already seen, it would be no problem at all. Presently, I have in my possession sufficient copy to provide another 500 pages and more of such decisive detail.
One of the more esteemed of the false prophets of our day is W. S. McBirnie, a doctoral graduate of one of Southern Baptists most prestigious Seminaries. He is a very learned man who once pastored Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio when it was "the fastest growing church in America" or the nation. He now is listed as a "News Analyst," and as the President of a Seminary in California. Today, as most religious folk with a TV doubtless know, he is the regular scholarly one on the Trinity Broadcasting Net Work of national and international television stations.
In July of 1988, this man had some rather interesting words. He said then, "Whoever is elected President will hold this nation and the free world in his hands when Russia strikes the Middle East. This will probably happen during the new President's first year" (Dr. McBirnie's Newsletter, July 1988. p. 1).
Since then, as of January of 1993, we have been through four years with George Bush. Now, in early 1993, we, of course, have a new President. Usually, I stay pretty current on the news of the world for I still have a rather insatiable curiosity and a desire to know how others here and there are faring in the midst of our world. Unless I have missed some of the news, I do not recall hearing that Russia has struck in the Middle East. On the contrary, even when we and several other of the United Nations were involved in "Desert Storm," the word was that Russia was not and would not be involved.
Then, this man, W. S. McBirnie, in his brochure, "Update, The Dooms Day Curve," a publication that he put out in 1989, says, "No man knows the date of His coming. But we now have sufficient evidence that we may be living in the terminal generation. The whole creation groans under the weight of perplexing problems, which could produce worldwide calamity by 2000 A.D. My study of the Scriptures indicates Jesus will return for His own people before 2000 A.D. We must note that our calendar is four years off the correct date. '1989' is actually 1993! That is where we are right now."
It would seem that this man had obviously forgotten what he said in July of 1988, or perhaps he just figured that his people would have forgotten, or that they, as he, would not really care. So, according to this one who is deemed to be a scholar, a minister of considerable prominence, together perhaps with Hal Lindsey's more recent and often-revised endtime agenda, as well, we can expect "the catching-away" to be upon us around 1996. Or, can we, really?
W. S. McBirnie, too, gives us his listing of "endtime signs" for "The Church Age" which understandably differ from all others in a few details. They are, "Water Shortage, Pollution, Population Explosion, AIDs [I wonder why some of these prophets did not know about AIDs in the 60's and 70's, and before? RW], Ozone Depletion and Global Warning, Natural Disasters, New Energy Crisis, Wars and Rumors of Wars, Mideast, Economic Instability, Terrorism, Escalation of Evil, and The Rise of Cultism" (Update, The Dooms Day Curve," 1989. pp. 1-11).
Another false prophet has spoken!
The people have bought his word!
In June of 1976, Ray Brubaker, in his Radar News had these words, "Secretary of State Kissinger came away from the memorable two-day meeting of the North Atlantic Alliance as the hero of the occasion. In Norway, the newspapers headlined him as 'Super Henry.'"
It may be of some interest to go back just a little further in the Ray Brubaker files. In his Radar News of January 1972, Vol. 17. #1, on the back cover he has these words, "in rallies across the country we have been speaking on the subject – 'Are We Thru in '72?'" In the center of the paper, there is a rather large picture of Hal Lindsey's, "The Late Great Planet Earth." He goes on to say, "This is a book about prophecy — Bible prophecy. If you have no interest in the future, this isn't for you." And down below on the same page, Ray Brubaker says, "The Late Great Planet Earth" is "one of the most prophetic significant books of our time."
Then, in his May, 1973, Vol. 18. No. 5 issue, he has a center insert, "Israel's 25th Anniversary" which is given the subhead, "Tribulation … Just Two Years Away? . . ." Needless to say, he is attempting to get all he can out of his sensationalism. Following, he referenced, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Mt. 24:34). After this are these supposedly "prophetic words" designed to excite his readers, perhaps:
We're supposing that our Lord was saying that the generation of those who see Israel come into being will also see His coming! If so, how close then might be our Lord's return? Well, Webster defines a generation as being 33 years [Recall Van Impe's generation of a few more very convenient years? RW] which is the 'ordinary period of time at which one rank follows another. Realizing that Israel has been a nation for 25 years, leaves 8 years left before the completion of 33 years or a generation. Is that correct? And, if the tribulation is seven years in length, could this mean that it's possible for the Lord to come within the next two years? Something to think about!
If we are understanding Ray Brubaker correctly, he is suggesting to those who were reading him in that day that Jesus would be coming or returning in 1975. This, of course, was one of the dates that Herbert W. Armstrong had pointed to from the 1940's, and others had the end within that same general period. Quite obviously, these prophets have been wrong, since by the calendar that I have recently referenced, we are now into the year of 1993.
If we will search the Word of God with care from Genesis through the book of Revelation, we will discover that not one of any of God's true prophets ever indulged in such cheap and subtle "sensationalism." When God's prophets put forth their prophecies, they did so with specificity and with unquestioned accuracy. Who, then, puts forth this sort of unscriptural sensationalism that has been proven false for the last 20 years and more?
Is it possible that this man who has given most of his Christian Ministry to indulging in such sensationalism’s and "such timely questioning" could also have been heeding the voices of demons? On the third page of this center section we find his reason. Perhaps, we should say, "the nature of his greed"! He says, "Beloved, with our Lord's return so very close at hand, I ask sincerely — what if Christ does come within the next two years and your money in the bank becomes worthless?"
False Prophets, indulge in deception!
They do so, without any conscience!
Then, one Roy Culley, an American Baptist Association leader, wrote for a prominent ABA publication, "A Bible Forecast of Christ's Coming." In this, he references Hosea and II Peter and does a bit of fancy mathematical calculating which is supposed to provide him some detail as to when Christ will return. This man takes violent issue with all of his peers — most of whom — who deem themselves to be premillennialists.
He says, "According to the Lord Himself in Hosea 5:15, He will not leave heaven until the Jews seek Him. According to the Bible the Jews do not seek Him until the end of the final seven traumatic years of this age. Don't count on being raptured until the Lord Himself leaves heaven, I Thess. 4:16" ("The Baptist Monitor," Vol. 43, March 1991, Vol. No. 3, p. 2). In the process, he advises us that Christ will return in 2004 A. D. (Ibid.). Evidently, this ABA Pastor has no regard either for Matthew 24:36.
Some of Scofield's Sources
One of the sources that C. I. Scofield may have used without ever bothering to honor it was a man by the name of Joseph A. Seiss whom we have referenced earlier. In 1865, J. A. Seiss copyrighted his work that he called, "The Apocalypse" in three volumes, and I have a copy of the "eleventh edition" of this publication. In this particular instance, I chose to work from the 556 page one-volume book that also was called, "THE APOCALYPSE" published by Zondervan without a date. This author was born in 1823 and died in 1904. His death came just five years before C. I. Scofield put his "Scofield Reference Bible" together in 1909. J. A. Seiss says this concerning the Seven Churches in Revelation two and three:
They are neither exactly nor only prophetic. They were really messages to these particular Churches, in view of their several condition, to stir them up to hold fast what was right, and to amend what was wrong, as also all other Churches in like condition. But as the seven Churches were representative and inclusive of the entire Church, these Epistles also give Christ's judgment of the entire Church, and are necessarily anticipative of its entire history. In other words, they give us, from the beginning, the exact picture of the whole history of the Church, as that history, when finished, shall present itself to the mind of Christ as he contemplates it from the judgment seat, which is really the point from which everything presented in the Apocalypse is viewed … (Joseph A. Seiss, "The Apocalypse," Zondervan Publishing House, "Fourth Reprint Edition," no date. p. 68).
It would seem that C. I. Scofield was deeply indebted to J. A. Seiss for the notes which he appended to his "Scofield Bible," but his source is not honored with any reference. This thinking of J. A. Seiss may seem to be very good reasoning. Yet, when it is analyzed in the light of the Scriptures, we can know that it is total speculation. And it would seem that even he realizes that this is so when he says, "as that history, when finished, shall present itself to the mind of Christ as he contemplates it from the judgment seat . . ." Surely, this is fiction — built in part upon the imaginative fiction of Archbishop James Ussher who concluded that Creation took place in 4,004 B. C. — derived from his fertile imagination. Even he must recognize it as such. Nevertheless, it is the basis for practically all of the false prophecy which has been designed around these Seven Churches in the book of Revelation in this 20th century. He is not finished with his rationalizing, however.
A little later, we read:
It is impossible to find an adequate reason why only these seven were written to in this manner, except upon this assumption. The number is that significant of dispensational fullness, entire completeness … There is also an evident historical consecutiveness in the several pictures, as well as contemporaneousness; and such a complete successive realization of them can be traced in the subsequent history of the Church, even down to the present, that it seems to me impossible fairly to get rid of the conclusion, that these seven Churches were selected as affording, in their respective names, states, wants, and messages, a prefiguration of the entire Church in its successive phases from the time John wrote to the end of its history . . .if these things be well considered, it will seem that these seven Churches, besides their literal respect, were intended to be as patterns and types of the several ages of the Catholic Church from the beginning thereof unto the end of the world; that so these seven Churches should prophetically sample unto us a sevenfold successive temper and condition of the whole visible Church, according to the several ages thereof, answering the pattern of the seven Churches here (Ibid. p. 76. [In this connection, he references Mede's Works, Book V, Chap. 10, p. 90, also Andreas, Vitringa, and Augustine, Epist. 49:2]).
All of this may sound like a good hypothesis, but he is setting it forth as truth. The issue of all of this speculation is what he calls his part, number "II. In relation to the entire Church represented" (Ibid. p. 77). There follows nine closely written pages in which he expounds his hypothesis as being truth. This unscriptural handling of the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation is climaxed in part with these words, "Can any man scrutinize narrowly the professed Church of our day, and say that we have not reached the Laodicean age … Friends and brethren, I have not made these pictures; I have found them; and the sevenfold admonition of Almighty God with reference to them is: 'He that hath an ear, let him hear'" (Ibid. p. 85).
It is upon such unscriptural and speculative hypothesizing as this that C. I. Scofield — without ever once honoring his sources — has set forth the notes on Revelation 1:20 in his "Scofield Reference Bible." Then, it is upon these C. I. Scofield notes which he has made to be a part of the Scriptures that almost a whole century of false prophecy has been constructed. With thanks almost exclusively to C. I Scofield, a multitude of men have anticipated the end of the Church Age and the Rapture as the conclusion of "The Laodicean Period," after which they suppose will transpire "the Tribulation" and "Armageddon."
It should be rather clear that by taking it upon himself — without benefit of any Scriptural warrant — to emphasize that "The Seven Churches" in Revelation two and three were prophetic in nature, C. I. Scofield really mocked the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:36. And all of this has been built upon the fiction of the speculation such as that in which J. A. Seiss, J. N. Darby, and others earlier indulged. Very subtly, in the process of attaching his notes to the Scriptures, C. I. Scofield further made it to appear that those notes were actually part of the Bible.
By the means of such a scheme — whether he did it wittingly or unwittingly is not mine to say — C. I. Scofield succeeded in convincing a multitude that it was all right to add to the Scripture, and that John's Revelation or Apocalypse really was not the last of God's revelation after all! It needs to be emphasized and re-emphasized that C. I. Scofield did all of his copying or — if you prefer — his plagiarizing without ever once acknowledging his indebtedness to J. N. Darby, J. A. Seiss, Ellen G. White or William Miller, all of whom were Advent Dispensationalists long before the thought could have crossed his mind.
Part VII – Some Confusing False Prophecy
- Ussher's Unscriptural Fiction
- Prophetic Confusion Folly
Ussher's Unscriptural Fiction
Just how is it possible that seemingly sensible men could find themselves indulging in such fiction and deeming it to be truth? And how could those same men convince another host of men that they would be wise to become addicted to this sort of unscriptural intellectual fantasy? It may be that one by the name of Louis Lavalee who holds his degree from "The Reformed Theological Seminary" may have provided us with such information. He explains:
In Philip Schaff's extensive three volumes, "The Creeds of Christendom," the first creed mentioning the six creation days was the Irish Articles. These Articles of the Irish Episcopal Church were adopted in 1615 and later became the model for the Westminster Confession. Article 18 reads: 'In the beginning of time, when no creature had any being, God, by his word alone, in the space of six days, created all things … .' The Articles were drafted by James Ussher, then head of the theological faculty of Trinity College, Dublin. The Inclusion of the six days reflected his interest in the true, Biblical history of the earth in the face of contrary philosophies.
In 1632 the Mennonites, meeting in Holland, wrote their Dordrecht Confession, the first article addressing creation: '. . . In this one God, who worketh all in all, we believe. Him we confess as the Creator of all things, visible and invisible; who in six days created and prepared heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.' This confession was also adopted later in the century by the Amish, and remains authoritative in many of these churches (Louis Lavallee, "Impact," January 1993, "Acts & Facts" Institute for Creation and Research, p. ii.).
If we are going to be honest, however, we probably need to take note of the fact that prior to this 1615 fiction of Archbishop James Ussher, one who is spoken of as "Barnabas" in that which is called "The Apocryphal New Testament" provides us a few very interesting words. In what we know as His "Chapter XIII," we find these details:
And even in the beginning of the creation he makes mention of the Sabbath. And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies, he finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him one day is a thousand years; as himself testifieth, saying, Behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished (The Apocryphal New Testament, Gebbie & Co., Publishers, Philadelphia. copyrighted but no date is given. pp. 160-161).
We note particularly that the author of that which we know as "Barnabas" does not become involved in any specific discussion of "creation days of 24 hours" each. So, the wisdom of Lavalee regarding 24-hour creation days being an invention of Archbishop Ussher in the year of 1615 would seem to be intact. We do notice, however, that there is a reference to the days being 1,000 years in length, and that this provides some supposed insight into the length of time that the creation will continue. Since this "Apocryphal New Testament" was published originally in England, it may be that Archbishop Ussher may have had access to these speculative and unscriptural thoughts of one who is referenced as Barnabas. Needless to say, it is a work of fiction designed to give the impression that it is a Word of God.
It is obvious, then, that even for this one who is referenced as "Barnabas" creation days were periods of time rather than 24-hour creation days. Another, it seems to me, has wisely spoken to the fact that the days of creation of necessity were periods of time rather than 24-hour days. He says:
It is precisely here that the Period theory emphasizes that the seventh day, which follows the work of the six days as God's 'day of rest,' must indubitably not be understood as a day of twenty-four hours, but as a day in God's sense. Moreover God's resting from His work of creation continues until the present. Since the creation of man no new kinds of living beings have been formed … It is further maintained that the statement in the Epistle to the Hebrews concerning the 'Sabbath rest' of God and the 'Sabbath rest' which remains for the people of God proves that this Sabbath rest cannot imply a day of twenty-four hours (Heb. 4:9,10)…….(Erich Sauer, The King of The Earth, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI. 1962. p. 218).
In the work of J. A. Seiss, we have earlier observed the fiction regarding the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation being "prophetic." Now, we have noted that Archbishop Ussher has provided us the fiction that the creation which according to him was accomplished in 4,004 B. C. supposedly took place in six 24-hour days, and this despite the fact that we obviously — even from the perspective of his own thinking — are still in the sixth day. Then, on the basis of this fiction of "six 24-hour days," our speculative designers of prophetic fiction have concluded that all of time will be brought to a conclusion in six 1,000-year periods or in 6,000 years. It is upon this sort of fiction drawn from an apparently-fertile imagination that we are provided with "seven-dispensations" from the commencing, continuing, and concluding of God's Creation. Even this rather obviously-limited interpretation must likewise be categorized or noted as unscriptural speculation.
If we will but relate "a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day" (2 Pet. 3:8) with "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts that your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8-9), we should be able to realize that God is making a very specific distinction. That is, He is explaining to us that He — being eternal — does not even deal with time as we mortals must.
We must think in terms of our beginnings and our endings, with no assurance that we shall have another day of our mortality. This is something of which our God knows nothing except as He observes those angels, those dying creatures, the chaotic universe, and sinful, dying man. Therefore, we must err grievously when we attempt to impose our mortal thinking upon God. It is evident that we are not thinking rightly when we presume that God is thinking as we, or when we attempt to bind Him or limit Him — eternal God — within the context of our mortal limitations.
How very pervasive were the imaginative fictions that arose from the mind of that Anglican Divine who was called Archbishop James Ussher! So pervasive was his folly that today his foolishness is deemed to be Biblical truth by some who are calling themselves scientific creationists. They commit their lives to his nonsense and suppose that they are indulging in truth! Hear one who writes today for the INSTITUTE for CREATION RESEARCH of El Cajon, California, nearby San Diego.
In his scientific expression that he calls, THE EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD IS YOUNG, Ph. D. Russell Humphreys concludes with some shocking details. After he elaborates intellectually, "The Field Is Decaying Rapidly," "Evolutionary Theories Haven't Worked," "The Field Has Reversed Direction Many Times," "A Creationist Theory for Reversals and Fluctuations," "Are There Any Loopholes in the Logic?" he concludes:
At present, the only working theory for the origin, fluctuations, rapid reversals, and decay of the field is a creationist theory — a theory that fits all the data. Thus, according to the best theory and data we have, the earth's magnetic field certain is less than 100,000 years old; very likely less than 10,000 years old, and fits in well with the face-value Biblical age of 6,000 years (Russell Humphreys, "The Earth's Magnetic Field is Young," IMPACT, August, 1993. p. iv. an insertion in ACTS & FACTS, Vol. 22, No. 8, August 1993).
That "4,004 Creation Date" that Archbishop Ussher pulled from his obviously very fertile imagination, that some translators included in some of the 17th century editions of the King James Versions of the Bible, and that Scofield included in his 1917 edition has been deemed to be "scientific truth" for this 20th century. Sadly, tragically, and unfortunately, if I may, Ussher's unscriptural fiction that was the delight of J. A. Seiss and C. I. Scofield has been declared to be Scriptural Truth in some of the latter moments of this 20th century. Surely, "the devil roars about seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8), and multitudes of those who are called Christian today spend their lives and commit their ministries to bidding this arch-enemy of God "god speed" as he pursues his nefarious ends.
It was, then, a very, very dark day for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ when C. I. Scofield appended his fictional prophetic notes to Revelation 1:20 to that which we call the Bible, the Scriptures, or the Word of God. One who later corrected himself very unwisely previously had declared that C. I. Scofield's insight was "a divinely inspired foreview of the overall history of Christianity"! This very esteemed editor of some of the better religious publications of our time has later said, "In an hour when ye think not the Son of Man cometh. … the main thrust of the 'signs of the times' deals with Israel's future, not the church, not the saints." Jesus explained, thankfully, in very clear and in absolute terms that men would not know when He would return, that angels would not know when He would return, and that He Himself would not know when He would return. Jesus specifically noted that His Return is wholly and forever in the Father's hands, and in His Hands alone.
How can a Christian, so conclude?
How can others hold such unbelief?
Prophetic Confusion Folly
As we have earlier noted, one dear Brother who has been convinced of the truth of the Scofield Notes throughout his more than 40 years of ministry gave us a beginning date in the 1960's for "The Laodicean Period." Much more recently, one of the most famed of the worldwide ministers and evangelists of our time interestingly says, "From the beginning of the Laodicean age in 1905, theology began to criticize the Bible historically, scientifically and philosophically by introducing rationalism and higher criticism … God is using the Full-gospel movement to help the Church regain its faith by opening its eyes" (Paul Yonggi Cho, "Revelation," 1991. pp. 47-48). C. I. Scofield, as we have earlier noted had "the Laodicean Period" beginning in the middle of the 19th century. Clarence Larkin has "the Laodicean Period" beginning in 1900. All of these obviously are out of touch with the Truth of God's Word and God's Word as Truth.
There’d be, no Gospel in an Apostasy!
Men would be under the "Anti-Christ's"!
Subsequently, probably thousands and perhaps millions will presume that "Christ Forecasts the History of Christianity" and assume that they have received a message from Almighty God. In reality and in truth, however, men who are truly cognizant of the Scriptures and knowledgeable in the truths of the Word of God will realize that CHRIST DID NOT FORECAST THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY. On the contrary, He simply indicated that He would "build His Church" and then PROMISED IT PERPETUITY without any reference whatever either to "apostolic succession" or to "baptismal succession," as some would like to presume.
Historically, we can know that there never has been any consistent "Apostolic Succession." The personal animosities of mortal men have confused the issue of "Apostolic Succession" time and time again. Similarly, we can know that there never has been any consistent "Baptismal Succession." In fact, the confusion concerning "sprinkling," "pouring," "effusing," and "dipping" along with the arguments regarding "pedo-baptism" and "infant baptism" has resulted in a never-ending sectarian battle, and it rages even now. Those from all of the succession perspectives have demonstrated time and time again that they were neither honest nor Scriptural. Unscripturally and dishonestly, they have claimed for themselves and for their particular religious groups a continuity that our God did not inspire and in which our God has not been involved.
All who have claimed such perpetuity have failed to understand what Jesus was saying in that distant day. Thereby, we can know that all who look for such definitive human perpetuity are out of touch with Jesus who promised perpetuity without providing any specific means as to how He would effect or accomplish that perpetuity. By His Omnipotent and His Omniscient Word, Jesus, the Son of God, simply declared concerning The Church that He would be building, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Across the centuries, in a thousand and one different ways, Jesus has established His Churches in the midst of men. Similarly, in words that are as distinct and as absolute as words can be, Jesus declared for all of time concerning His Return to His Church, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36).
Some make Jesus to be a liar!
Then conspire to deceive men
It is evident that this false teaching of C. I. Scofield, and others, is far more important to these deceived ones than the Holy Word of God has ever been or ever will be. Perhaps, we should better say, "The Scofield Notes" really have become THE TRADITION to which all who are involved in following this way of thinking will be expected to conform. When "The Scofield Tradition" has reached the place that men can speak of it as "a divinely inspired foreview of the overall history ofChristianity from the Apostolic Age until the Advent of Christ," we can know that the teaching of Jesus is really out of the picture. Beyond any question, we can know that a great host of believers — those who truly are born again, having believed that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God — whose delight really is in that which has been shown to be false prophecy have chosen to follow mortal men such as Ussher, Seiss, Darby, Scofield, and Larkin. Resultantly, almost as one voice, these have concluded that Jesus did not know what He was talking about when He provided us with that heavenly wisdom that we find in the Scripture, Matthew 24:36.
Fundamentalists as Authoritarian!
And Biblical freedom is outlawed!
Part VIII – FALSE PROPHETS DISCUSS RUSSIA
Interestingly, in 1988, John Barela remarks that Time voted Mikhail Gorbachev whom he references as "Gog" as "Man of the Year of 1987" ("Front-page," Vol. 2, No. 7, 1988. p. 2). He goes on to note that Dr. Charles Halff of the Christian Jew Hour had this to say about Gorbachev's "flaming birthmark that runs from his forehead to a position near the back of the bald top of his crown. To the ancients, such a mark was considered to be a supernatural 'brand,' placed by the 'gods' to designate one who was appointed to rise to world prominence and fulfill a prophesied destiny" (Ibid.).
He adds, "Dr. Halff also noted the significance of the first name of Mr. Gorbachev, 'Mikhail,' to be the direct equivalent of the Hebrew derived name 'Michael" … The Hebrew meaning of [which] is 'he who is like God.' A most appropriate name for one who is to defy the authority of God by attacking His chosen people, Israel" (Ibid.)./
Since Russia did not attack, what now?
What now? Gorbachev is not in power!
This one who has provided these words concerning the probability that Mikhail Gorbachev could very well be the one "who is like God," and the "one who is to defy the authority of God by attacking His chosen people Israel" has a very long and a very intimate association with C. I. Scofield's Notes. As long ago as 1963, he published a book with the title, "Daniel and Revelation Made Plain," which was written by a Mark G. Cambron. Charles Halff in the "Forward" of this book says, "Brother Cambron wrote this book at my suggestion. I consider it one of the finest expositions on Daniel and Revelation that I have ever read."
In Chapter II of "The Book of Revelation" section of this volume, we find not just four interpretations, but a total of five. He advises us that a proper interpretation of chapters two and three of the Book of Revelation will include for consideration:
1. Seven churches which existed at the time of John.
2. Seven types of local churches.
3. Seven types of Christians.
4. Seven periods of Church History.
5. Seven churches in these cities of Asia which might be existing just before the rapture.
(Mark G. Cambron, "Daniel and Revelation Made Plain," The Christian Jew Hour, 1963. p. 59).
On the surface, we might expect to get some information that had not been previously available to us, and one might anticipate some elaboration on points 1 through 3 and point number 5. In actuality, what we are provided is but a repeat of that supposed prophetic elaboration of the Seven Churches in chapters two and three of the book of Revelation that C. I. Scofield and others have referenced. All of the other points or details supposedly are given their due, as it were, with the words, "Whatever your interpretation, whether to a local church or to an individual, the truths apply to all" (Ibid.).
Here, then, we find that one of America's foremost evangelists of the last 40 years, and that one of America's foremost Christian-Jew evangelists throughout the last 45 years has had C. I. Scofield's Notes as the background for his thinking regarding prophecy. We shall not elaborate on the handling of Daniel which is just a rehashing of what C. I. Scofield has included in his notes that are available to all, but there is not one line in the volume which so much as mentions Scofield. Just as Scofield never mentions J. A. Seiss as his information source, so Mark Cambron never advises us that everything he included in his volume is line for line from Scofield's notes.
We do want to make reference to Mark Cambron's handling of the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation. His words will demonstrate that there is not one thing new beyond what C. I. Scofield had in his 1909 and in his 1917 editions of "The Scofield Reference Bible," nor in the 1967 Revised edition of the same publication. He provides us with the following on Revelation, chapter two:
I. The Church in Ephesus (Read verses 1-7). This is the First Church Age (30-110 A.D.). II. The Church in Smyrna (Read verses 8-11). This Church describes the Second Church Age (110-315 A. D.). III. The Church In Pergamos (Read verses 12-17). This characterized the Third Church Age (315-500 A. D.). IV. The Church In Thyatira (Read verses 18-29). This covers the Fourth Church Age (about 500-1500 A. D.) (Ibid. pp. 59-61).
Then, from Chapter III of his book, he provides us with the following and continuing detail concerning Revelation, chapter three:
We continue toward the conclusion of the Lord Jesus' messages to the seven Churches, which covers the second division of the Book of Revelation — 'the things that are.' I. The Church in Sardis (Read verse 6). The injunction to this Church fully reveals the Church Age (from 1500 to around 1750 A.D.), commonly known as the Reformation (The Fifth Church Age). II. The Church in Philadelphia (Read verses 7-13). This Church portrays the Sixth Church Age (from 1750-1910 A.D.). III. The Church in Laodicea (Read verses 14-22). This is the Seventh Church Age. The meaning of the word Laodicea is 'people's rights,' and this Church fully tells of the Age we are in now, which began about 1910 and will continue to the Rapture of the Church (Ibid. pp. 62-64).
Interestingly, as we have previously seen, this is simply another evidence that another man of God has chosen to follow the traditions of men or the teachings of a mortal man such as C. I. Scofield. Whereas he might have listened to the words of Jesus or accepted the words of Jesus as men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God have provided them for us. It is evident that this man, Charles Halff, though he may be one of our Lord's redeemed men, obviously chose to turn aside from the truth of Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32, and Acts 1:11
Another presumably has picked up "the mantle" of Herbert W. Armstrong who died in 1986. This "new kid on the prophetic block," Gerald R. Flurry, who is now publishing "The Philadelphia Trumpet" apparently has a little different perspective as he looks at the Seven Churches in Revelation two and three, but his addiction is that which we have seen in the lives of many of the other false prophets. That he is the literary and the spiritual slave of C. I. Scofield is positive evidence that he is not getting any of his prophetic information that he shares for a price from the Word of God..
He says, "The Philadelphia era of the Church of God, under Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA), was probably the most important of all the seven Church eras. There was a massive rebellion in that era during the 1970s. … The Laodicean era followed the Philadelphia era (Rev. 3:14-20). The Laodiceans turned away from God. But there were serious problems in the 1970s before the Laodicean era. This was a sign that the Laodicean problem was extant before Mr. Armstrong died" (Gerald R. Flurry, "The Synagogue of Satan," The Philadelphia Trumpet, Edmond, Oklahoma, February 1993. p. 1).
Certainly, there is no lack of confusion!
Deceived men never find quitting easy!
President Ronald Reagan
As we begin to draw some of these details to a close, we want to note that for the last 100 years or so, some men have taken a particular interest in what they have determined to be prophecies about Russia. Above, we have made note of the fact that much of this allusion or reference to Russia must be laid at the feet of C. I. Scofield. Though we can know now that he did not really have any Scriptural basis for applying some Biblical passages to Russia, he did so and then millions supposed that he was speaking for God.
Across the last 80 years or so many apparently reached a conclusion that was very much in line with some of the words of one of our recent Presidents, Ronald Reagan. We recall that he made a lot of points back in the days of "The Moral Majority" and had some very strong "Right Wing" support when he arose to his full height and spoke of Russia as "The Evil Empire." Pastors, Preachers, Professors, Prophets, and especially the more graphic of the evangelists, had been making a very strong point regarding such an allusion for many, many years. When Ronald Reagan did this, they understandably supposed that they had a friend in "The American White House."
Many men who have reached a definitive conclusion about "the evil empire" for some 80 years and a little more have used their conclusion to put an end to the professional careers of some who would not or who could not agree with them in their apocalyptic thinking regarding "Communism." We have seen this denigrating transpire in government circles, political circles, industrial circles, entertainment circles, and sometimes even in religious circles. The ministries of some who had Russians speak in their pulpits in the last 35 or 40 years have been ruined. Whole religious and political groups have been raised for one simple purpose; namely, to put in jeopardy or to put to an end the career of anyone who failed to agree with their prejudiced thinking about Russia.
In the 1930's, there still were a few horses and buggies around, and many farmers and ranchers depended for the most part on their horses. In those days, Mother and I utilized the services of one of our neighbors who had a team of mules each year when we began our one-acre gardening. In those days, too, my Grand Father, Obadiah Harrison, was taking care of his hillside farm just outside of Given, West Virginia, with his one-horse plow.
In those days, one Theodore Epp of "Back To The Bible Fame" went nationwide by means of radio and the printed page. In a climactic moment, he came forth with a most dramatic conclusion, "Russia's Doom Prophesied." Needless to say, he had been influenced by his understanding of C. I. Scofield's teaching, and he presumed that the world was then in "The Laodicean Period." Apparently it never entered the mind of Theodore Epp that all of this "Endtime Period Business" for the Church Age was nothing more nor less than the issue of some fanciful imagination on the part of some men such as J. A. Seiss, the Plymouth Brethren J. N. Darby, Archbishop Ussher, C. I. Scofield, and Clarence Larkin.
Later, in this 64 page book, Theodore Epp says in part, "First of all, I want to outline for you the order of events as they are given in God's Word. There are three great battles, not just one, mentioned in the Scripture which are still future. First, Russia and her satellites will battle with the Antichrist and his forces in Palestine, and there Russia will be defeated" (pp. 6-7).
He continues further, "I am not making bold statements and then looking for proof. Rather I have found this order of events mentioned in the Word again and again" (p. 8). What he really means, of course, is that he is just another voice or pen who is singing the praises of "The Scofield Notes." Most every line in the little volume is simply a repetition of what Scofield already had penned.
As though he were a voice for God in the midst of men — maybe actually believing that he was — Theodore Epp says, "The latest statistics available, from 1934, show Russia owns 70% of the horses in the whole world. Not only are the Russians breeding horses, but from all over the world they are buying them … light, fast horses to be used for military purposes" (p. 29). Unless my calculations are just a bit off, today, in 1993, those horses would be rather old, if it is possible that they yet live!
Unnumbered thousands and perhaps even millions listened intently to all of Theodore Epp's words from his "Back To The Bible" broadcasts and supposed that if there really was a man of God on earth proclaiming the truth, that man was Theodore Epp! His RADIO BROADCAST was called "Back To The Bible," and there were many people who supposed that Theodore Epp and others who participated in his broadcasts were truly sending forth the Word of God in its purest form. In all of the years — probably some 60 — that I have known of the Back To The Bible broadcast, I have never heard anyone speak of Theodore Epp as a false prophet.
Yet, perhaps, in this year of 1993, we may need to inquire, where are those horses today? Did they ever descend upon Israel, as he was promising that they would? What is the state or the status of that "Evil Empire" in this very late year of 1993? Is it possible that Russia today could move against Israel and its very sophisticated war machine that America helps them keep in a state of very positive readiness?
It would appear that Theodore Epp was just another one of the false prophets. He, of course, is no longer with us. Even now, however, "The Back To The Bible" organization still promotes and perpetuates the teaching of Theodore Epp. It is quite probable that most of the millions who were deceived by his unscriptural Scofield teaching also are lying somewhere under a few feet of dirt, but new generations are still being influenced by his writings and his broadcast tapes. Satan, obviously, has been busy, and he still is seemingly very busy raising up new false prophets. Since Satan is "the prince and the power of the air" and "the god of this world," he doubtless will continue to succeed in deceiving multitudes of those who are called Christian as long as there are religious leaders who look to men such as J. A. Seiss and C. I. Scofield as their source of Scriptural information.
E. F. Webber
A little later, a Dr. E. F. Webber who has been widely famed both through his nationwide radio broadcasts and by means of his publications followed with his equally dramatic, "Russia And The Great Northern Conspiracy." On the frontispiece, he reproduces Soviet Russia's Stamp that was issued in 1930, showing horses and riders with "Red Flag flying" as they supposedly were on their way to attack Israel. Without any apparent conscience of wrong doing, E. F. Webber lay upon his listeners and his readers the prejudiced, "Any person who keeps up with current events knows that all Communists are traitors and liars" (p. 6)
I wonder why so many of the Pastors, Preachers, Professors, Priests, Prophets, and Evangelists in this very late day of this year of 1993 are calling upon the masses "to grease their greedy palms" with a little cash so they supposedly can take the Gospel to that "Evil Empire" of "traitors and liars"? He continues the above quote, "Eleven of the leading Communists [in that distant day, RW] in the United States, after an unprecedented trial in which the federal jurist, Judge Medina, exhibited an almost unbelievable degree of patience, have been sent to prison" (Ibid.). This, too, went forth by radio and the printed page.
Needless to say, many schemes rage!
The religious cry for the peoples' gifts!
E. F. Webber continues, "Today [the day of the writing of Russia And The Great Northern Conspiracy, RW] , the world is in a state of excited tension, with Russia having been preparing herself for the events prophesied in the passage of Scripture. The Chapter [Ezekiel 38 & 39, RW] declares all these things will happen in the latter times, the end time. Is it not plain to see that we are living in that end time? Most all real Bible students agree that we are living in the end time of this dispensation … the coming of Christ is at hand. It is at the very door . . ." (p. 23). Needless to say, E. F. Webber is no longer among us. If I have been reading the news properly, I believe that I can say that Russia has not attacked Palestine. Further, we might note that today "The Great Northern Conspiracy" really is in no condition to attack anybody.
Concerning some of these supposed endtime details in which these false prophets delight to indulge, we have some interesting words as to their origin. Two whom we have earlier referenced are rather specific that C. I. Scofield and the notes in what has come to be known as "The Scofield Reference Bible" are their primary source of information regarding Russia's expected endtime attack upon the nation of Israel. One of these advises us:
In 1903 Dr. C. I. Scofield, the venerable old Bible scholar, described this promised blessing: "The book is so written that as the actual time of these events approach, the current events will unlock the meaning of the book." He pointed out that the Book of Revelation didn't have too much meaning to people a few centuries ago, and that for this reason very few people were willing to study its message. Revelation is written in such a way that its meaning becomes clear with the unfolding of current world events (Hal Lindsey, There's A New World Coming, Vision House Publishers, 1973. p. 21).
Soon thereafter in 1979, Jack Van Impe, together with another by the name of Roger F. Campbell, provides some additional information that is very much in accord with the above. In connection with the continuing concern that the false prophets have regarding Russia, we find him telling us:
Understanding this, historians and Bible students have been able to trace the movements of some of the tribes and know where their descendants can be found today. Using this system, the editors of the Scofield Reference Bible have furnished the following information about the names that concern us in the table of nations:
Magog — "From Magog are descended the ancient Scythians or Tarters, whose descendants predominate in modern Russia … ." Mesheck — "Progenitor of a race mentioned in connection with Tubal, Magog, and other northern nations. Broadly speaking, Russia, excluding the conquests of Peter the Great and his successors, is the modern land of Magog, Tubal, and Mesheck."
The Scofield Reference Bible was published in 1909. These notes alone let us know that the identification of Russia as the main aggressor in Ezekiel's end-time battle is not the conclusion of prophetic opportunists … (Jack Van Impe & Roger F. Campbell, Israel's Final Holocaust, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979. pp. 132-133).
We could continue on almost endlessly with Lindberg's, "Russia In Prophecy," William W. Orr's, "What Will God Do With Russia?" and Clifton Brannon's, "Will Russia Rule The World?" Both word for word and line for line each one of these false prophets without exception share with us their allegiance to the unscriptural nonsense or details that have come to us from C. I. Scofield or the pens of those who have joined him in editing that which we know today as The Scofield Reference Bible.
There are many, many other such titles of books, booklets, and papers which have come from the presses of America, Canada, and England in the last 75 years, but we shall not make any attempt to elaborate upon them here. Regardless, however, in each one of them, we would find continuing evidence of that which we have noted already; namely, "All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False." This has been demonstrated. This is being demonstrated. And if the Scriptural logic persists and holds into the future, we may expect that those who follow us will discover that All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Tomorrow likewise will be shown to be false prophets.
Today, there is another most interesting phenomenon among some of these false prophets. Some of them are actually looking for ways to indulge in the false prophecy, but in a manner that will preclude their being called "false prophets." They plan to provide us with their supposed "endtime signs," but they want them to be understood in such a way that if they do not happen to come to pass, they will not be held accountable as "false prophets." They want us to suppose that they are wise men speaking for God. In reality, and in truth, however, they are simply greedy and materialistic sensationalists who are in the business of attempting to rob "a few more widows and orphans" and any of the affluent whom they can deceive with what we may call their unscriptural and false prophecy that is nothing more than gobble-de-gook!
Part IX – A NEW TWIST ON PROPHECY
- Preacher Friend
- John Walvoord
- Clarence Larkin's Charts
Some time ago, I received a letter from a preacher friend who gave me some unexpected insight into some sort of a new "false prophecy scheme." On "8/18/92," this preacher friend wrote to me, "I do not believe in any specific signs of the end of the church age and the rapture. However, I feel that there are indications that point to the time following the rapture — and if this be true; those indications would also indicate the nearness of the rapture." Immediately, I said to myself, "What sort of a new twist is this?" On the one hand, he is saying that there are no endtime prophecies. On the other hand, he is saying, nonetheless, that there are, nevertheless, endtime prophecies.
Needless to say, this is "double-talk"!
All who indulge such aren't very wise!
At first, I had a momentary thought that this preacher-friend of several years had come up with some sort of an original and new or novel way of giving semantics "a new glory"! Then, in a later and better moment, I somehow realized that this preacher friend of mine probably had read or heard somewhere what he had written to me. So, I just put the thought aside for the time and continued on with some of my research.
In pursuing my objective research, one day I "chanced" across John F. Walvoord's, "Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis" (Zondervan, 1990). I noted that this volume purportedly contains, "What the Bible says about the future of the Middle East and the end of Western civilization." On page 217 of this volume, I discovered these words:
But if there are no signs for the Rapture itself, what are the legitimate grounds for believing that The Rapture could be especially near for this generation?
The answer is not found in any prophetic events predicted before the Rapture but in understanding the events that will follow the Rapture. Just as history was prepared for Christ's first coming, in a similar way history is preparing for the events leading up to His Second Coming. Previous chapters in this book have explained the amazing historical developments that seem to be setting the stage for precisely the predicted events that will occur soon after the Rapture. If this is the case, it leads to the inevitable conclusion that the Rapture may be excitingly near (Ibid.).
Eureka! There is was, before me!
My own friend's unnamed source!
What awful darkness must be in the heart and the mind of a man who will say that he is not giving us prophecies for the end of the Church Age, when the whole of his emphasis seems to be or appears to be prophetic. He may be attempting to tell us that he has some insight into some truths that no one else has ever seen.
Then, he goes on and indulges in what appears to be semantic double-talk, perhaps in the hope of separating his false prophecy from all of that other false prophecy that has gone before and that is raging even now in The Dallas Theological Seminary, where he once labored! Even more, what awful darkness must be upon the heart and in the mind of my preacher friend who finds it convenient to follow a man who is involved in or who indulges in such double-talk? Is it possible that these brethren are not aware that our God condemns all such device with, "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (James 3:11).
Old Testament prophets spoke truly!
We assume, with a straight tongue!
These redeemed men apparently are in some "deep bonds of bitterness." Therefore, there obviously is a blindness upon their hearts. They evidently have not yet realized that when they say that certain "events" must take place before Jesus can return that they are taking an unscriptural stance against the words of Jesus, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36).
What awful darkness is upon their hearts that they could have chosen to believe the unscriptural nonsense and fiction of C. I. Scofield, Clarence Larkin, and other such men who appear to have given a supposed-prophetic emphasis to the Seven Churches in Revelation. They seem to be telling us that the whole of the prophetic picture will be brought to a climax in what they are calling "the Laodicean Period" when Jesus was simply dealing with existent Churches in the hour of His Inspiration. They do this even though they do not have one line or one word of Scripture from the Biblical book of Genesis through the Biblical book of Revelation by which they can justify such thinking? How is it that men who claim to believe that God has provided us with His Holy Word — that Holy Word of God to which they have had immediate and continuing access — can then make a move to discountenance or mock the Words of Jesus in Matthew 24:36?
It is, a tragedy, almost beyond repair!
As Christians, these do "double-talk"!
These men apparently have not realized that they are saying the same thing as all of the other false prophets. We can only presume that they are doing it with an attempted subtlety which they may hope will preclude their coming under the condemnation of God as "false prophets." These need to realize that our God is not playing games with men when He declares indubitably and absolutely, "every city or house divided against itself shall not stand" (Mt. 12:25). And when they prophesy and yet say they are not prophesying, we can know that they are "a house divided against itself."
Just recently, in a letter which I received, I read the following, "As believers in the Word of God, we have only one accurate source: the Holy Scriptures." This, of course, is very good and it is very true. He, however, will misapply the Scriptures, as we shall see. This one continues on to say, "All other sources fall into the category of which Ezekiel 14:9 speaks of, 'And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet … '" (Arno Froese, Midnight Call Ministries International, personal letter, February 1993. p. 1). He follows immediately to say, "Why, we may ask, does God do such things? The Scripture says, 'Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie . . .'" (Ibid.).
It would seem that this one has come to the conclusion that men who indulge in false prophecy in this Church Age are not or cannot be saved. It seems to me that he has done what a lot of people seemingly delight in doing. That is, they make it a point to presume that some sins are worse than other sins, when our God does not make such "sin distinctions." Rather, as James advises us, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty of all" (James 2:10). Paul who advises us that "There is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1) also explains that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
Failing to properly apply the Scriptures, this one has referenced two Scriptures, but his relating the one with the other for the Church Age is really somewhat out of line. In the one instance, God was dealing with "false prophets" in connection with the Law of Moses. In the other, God is dealing with unbelievers during the time of Jacob's Trouble or that which will be "The Tribulation Period" which will be in effect once the Church has been caught away to be with her Savior.
Therefore, though we shall demonstrate several times that John F. Walvoord is a false prophet, we would not ever assume that he a lost or an unredeemed man. On the contrary, I have heard him speak marvelously. I have read him with much satisfaction at times. He is as positive as I ever shall be that Jesus is the Christ, verily the Son of God, and no man can do that apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God in his heart and mind. His environment doubtless has had some lasting effect in his ministry. Most of his ministerial life apparently has been spent in the midst of that C. I. Scofield milieu, The Dallas Theological Seminary. Consequently, whatever hypnotic spell Scofield was able to cast on others, he apparently also was able to exert over John F. Walvoord.
We are not really surprised, then, to find John F. Walvoord indulging in some double-talk — somewhat as my preacher friend — on page 219 of the above mentioned volume of Walvoord, he gives us, "A Prophetic Checklist for the Church." On pages 220 and 221, he follows this with thirteen signs which include, "The rise of world communism … Liberalism … The movement toward a super-church … Apostasy … Moral chaos … The sweep of spiritism … Jerusalem becomes a center of religious controversy … ." After this, numbers 8 through 13 are indicated to relate to the rapture and following "events." How very subtly has he attempted to confuse all who make any attempt to read him, presume him to be a Christian Biblical Scholar, and then succumb before his prophetic DOUBLE-TALK, or perhaps we should say, his DOUBLE-WHAMMY; namely, "prophecy is not prophecy," but it, nonetheless, should really be considered prophecy, anyway!
This, however, is not all!
On page 221 of the same volume, he continues with, "A Prophetic Checklist for the Nations." Here, he gives us 22 signs of the end, "The establishment of the United Nations … The rebuilding of Europe … Israel was reestablished as a nation. … Russia rose to world power … The Common Market … Red China rose to world power . . .The Middle East becomes the most significant trouble spot in the world .. . The oil blackmail awakens the world … The Iron Curtain falls [This, needless to say, is a revised sign that did not appear in his 1974 and 1976 editions. RW] … Russia declines as a world power [Believe me! Ditto from the last. RW] … A world clamor for peace … Ten nations create a united Mediterranean Confederacy [Ditto, from the last. RW] … ."
Numbers 13 through 22 deal with the supposed rising of the Antichrist from "The Ten nations," [When from the days of Herbert W. Armstrong, there have been more than "ten," RW.] "Russia attacks Israel and is destroyed, Antichrist becomes dictator, Temple is desecrated, terrible judgments of Tribulation are poured out, world-wide rebellion, Christ returns to earth, armies of the world unite, and Christ establishes His millennial reign.
This man continues and gives us "A Prophetic Checklist for Israel." As in the above "prophetic details," we note a few "after the fact insights" that many of his readers doubtless suppose are insights such as were those of the Old Testament Prophets who "spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:21). Believe me, dear friends, the "prophets of our day" whose prophecies are always — there is never any exception — false have not, and they are not speaking as they are moved by the Holy Spirit. Most, or perhaps, all of their prophetic sensationalism’s with which they go forth to deceive the ignorant or the wise, the learned or the unlearned masses doubtless are "inspired" by their ignorance, their naiveté, or it maybe their greed, as such "sensationalism’s" seemingly pay very well.
We notice that the first 8 of the 17 endtime signs that John F. Walvoord gives us for Israel relate generally to the past and the present. He gives the signs as, "The intense suffering and persecution of Jews … Jews return to Palestine … The infant nation survives against overwhelming odds. Russia emerges as an important enemy of Israel … [It may be that God may have been working on Walvoord's "forgetter," and he may have slept through the German Holocaust. Many "prophets" did, you know. RW]. Israel's heroic survival … Israel's military accomplishments become overshadowed by the Arab's … The Increasing isolation of the United States and Russia from the Middle East makes it more and more difficult for Israel to negotiate an acceptable peace settlement" (Walvoord. op. cit. pp. 223-224). He concludes with the Antichrist in power and eventually Jesus returning to reign with numbers 9 through 17.
Under the subheading, "An Intricately Woven pattern of Events," he goes on to tell us, "The earlier chapters of this book have attempted to present the overall prophetic message about the future as it relates to history and today's headlines" (Ibid. p. 225). Believe me, dear friends, this supposed desire of his is nothing but gobbledygook. The prophecies that he put forth in 1990 were no more "Biblical Prophecies" than those that he put forth in 1976 and earlier in 1974. As it has been with Lindsey, Robertson, McBirnie, and others, this one apparently has experienced no conscience of shame as he has deceived the masses even as Scofield who sat in his chair before him in The Dallas Theological Seminary. What awful darkness has been upon the hearts of these who have indulged in false prophecy without any apparent conscience of having indulged in any degree of wrong. Surely, "their conscience is seared as with a hot iron" (I Tim. 4;2), and when their prophecies do not come to pass, they just go on to make revisions of their false prophecies that are no more Scriptural or true or truthful than the previous ones.
How can they despise Jesus' words?
How desperate is their satanic-drive!
John F. Walvoord, then, has said, in effect, that the Rapture could not have taken place prior to the list of happenings which he calls "events" that speak of "events" that supposedly will take place before and after the Rapture. As C. I. Scofield and all of the rest, he has declared that Jesus did not know what He was doing or what He was talking about when He gave us Matthew 24:36. As all of the rest of the false prophets, this one has been saying that Jesus could not have come in the First Century, the Second Century, or any of the subsequent Centuries until we reached what Scofield — [believe me dear friends, God had no part in Scofield's attempt to make the Lord of Glory to be or to appear as a liar] – without any Scriptural warrant whatever has deemed to be the supposed "Laodicean Period" of Church history.
Perhaps, then, it really is not surprising that Walvoord has spent a goodly portion of his ministerial life in that institution which was the twice-married Scofield's [If my facts are accurate, C. I. Scofield's first, and Catholic wife, never gave him any Scriptural justification for divorce.] place of supposed ministerial glory for so many years. Surely, it is a further circumstance almost beyond belief, that the darkness of unbelief that apparently had settled over the life and the ministry of C. I. Scofield obviously later has settled over the life and the ministry of John F. Walvoord. So, today, John F. Walvoord spends the final years of his closing mortality calling the Jesus who said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36) a prevaricator!
What impossible, and awful darkness!
Is on the heart of my preacher friend!
All of this is but a continuation of that mockery that men have been making of the Holy Word of God where our blessed Savior declared indubitably and absolutely, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36). We see the epitome of the tragedy of the works of C. I. Scofield spelled out rather clearly in the graphic designs or charts of Clarence Larkin that were copyrighted first in 1918.
Clarence Larkin's Charts
First, it needs to be noted that Almighty God declared "One Creation," as I have indicated in "Will We Ever Have Peace On Earth?" Yet, out of C. I. Scofield's confused handling of creation, his graphic "spokesman," Clarence Larkin, provides us with "The Gap Theory" and essentially "two creations." So, on pages 16 and 17, of Clarence Larkin's "Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth" graphic, he shows, "The original earth, Gen. 1:1," "The Chaotic Earth, Gen. 1:2," and "The Restored Earth, Gen. 1:3 -2:3." Clarence Larkin calls this "The Creative Week" (Clarence Larkin, "Dispensational Truth," 1918 & 1920. pp. 16-17).
Since those very, very dark days of unbelief that apparently were "inspired" by C. I. Scofield and which were dramatized by Clarence Larkin's graphics, millions of men have had their spiritual and Scriptural insights ruined. Resultantly, many of them have spent their lives attempting to find some Scriptural basis for "Pre-Adamic peoples" who supposedly populated the earth before it was "without form and void" (Gen. 1:2). Some have actually employed their twisted hypotheses in order to provide some sort of an "explanation for demons" arising from that milieu of supposed of "Pre-Adamic Peoples."
Some of them, as a direct result of C. I. Scofield's "Gap Theory," that was dramatized by Clarence Larkin, have supposedly found humans "cohabiting with angels." Needless to say, they have done this without any regard whatever for the Scriptures. Jesus has some very positive words against such a teaching. If we read the Scriptures with care, we learn that Jesus very plainly indicates and explains that angelic beings are not sexually-active creatures. In Matthew 22:30 we find these words, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Those who are insistent in following that pattern of unscriptural Scofield thinking, however, seemingly have no problem whatever in deeming Jesus to have been a prevaricator in this instance.
Climactically, in this same volume, chapter XXXIV which is identified as, "The Signs of The Times," we find the source of much of the confusion and the false prophecy that has raged almost untouched throughout some three quarters of this 20th century. Here, we find Clarence Larkin advising us that "The 'unsealing' [of Dan. 12:4, 9-10, RW] began about 100 years ago [around 1818, perhaps, RW], when the 'Midnight Cry,' 'Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,' [emphasis, Larkin's, RW], was heard in the Revival of Premillennial Truth."
A little further along, he follows this with, "Let us take a hasty glance at the 'Signs of the Times.' A careful study of the Chart will reveal 'Ten Signs'" (Ibid. p. 173). Then, he begins the list:
Post-Millennial Scoffers … Apostasy … False Teachers … Spiritualism … Perilous Times … Heaped Up Treasure … A Laodicean Church … The Fig-Tree Sign … The Distress of Nations … and Noah Days (Ibid. pp. 173-175).
This man, Clarence Larkin, lived, labored, and died, and apparently never realized that he was one of those "false teachers" whom he presumed to be among the people. As Scofield before him, and as Walvoord, and my preacher friend, as well as some others like them, Clarence Larkin apparently followed C. I. Scofield very closely. As a result, he obviously walked helplessly and hopelessly in a very deep darkness of unbelief. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, we can know that Clarence Larkin did not care for the Word of Jesus, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36). In a very real sense, he had followed C. I. Scofield rather than the Word of God.
In the process, he and these others certainly reverenced the false teachings of C. I. Scofield above the Scriptures. Consequently, it should be rather evident by now that those who spend their lives indulging in false prophecy have spiritual eyes that are blinded. Too, it should be obvious that their spiritual ears are not hearing Likewise, their spiritual hearts and minds are cold and unreceptive to the truth of the Word of God. In fact we may say that they turn from the Holy and Eternal Word of our God and choose instead the figments of the imagination of men such as J. A. Seiss, C. I. Scofield, or Clarence Larkin or some others such as these, thereby despising the Word of Jesus in Matthew 24:36.
Prevaricating preachers, rage today!
They lie! And people delight in the lie!
Part X – SOME ACTIVE FALSE PROPHETS
In finality, let us look for just a moment to some who, in our lifetime, have been going through an unscriptural pattern such as that which we saw in the lives of William Miller, Charles Taze Russell, Judge Joseph Rutherford, and Herbert W. Armstrong. Just four years ago, the prophecy-hungry masses were all atwitter about, "88 Reasons Why The Rapture Could Be in 1988" or "On Borrowed Time."
It was just a few years ago that Edgar C. Whisenant, a former NASA employee, came forth with some dramatic false prophecy. He was involved with "World Bible Society," Nashville, Tennessee, the corporate home of some Baptists and Methodists, and some others. This man evidently struck a most responsive chord in the hearts of millions. Consequently, millions of people from various denominations and from some of the cults paid $4.00 each for his book in order to find out exactly when Jesus would be returning.
When they received their book and read it with care, they were informed by Edgar Whisenant that the Rapture would take place on September 12, 1988, that the 144,000 would be sealed on September 26, 1988, that WW III between Russia and the USA would end June 19, 1989, that the Two Witnesses would be killed at Sunrise on March 9, 1992." He went on to explain that the Antichrist would die and go to Hell on April 19, 1992, that Armageddon would conclude on October 4, 1995, and that Satan would be chained on that Wednesday" [This may be where Hal Lindsey gets some of his prophetic detail. RW]. He climaxed these supposedly final truths with the words that on Tuesday, January 1, 3000 A.D. "Eternity Begins" [pp. 48-51).
As William Miller before him in 1843, Edgar Whisenant apparently made some slight miscalculations. After the Rapture did not take place as scheduled, on September 12, 1988, he went back and did a little more recalculating. He determined that he had made a one-year mistake. Therefore, he brought out another book in which he assured his followers that Jesus would be returning at about the same time in 1989.
During the early part of the following year, as many who had followed William Miller earlier, Edgar Whisenant was able to peddle a few more of his books to many who had bought the first one in 1988. Needless to say, these last sales were just "gravy on the steak," or if you prefer, biscuit! Unless I have miscalculated, that "deadline" for "the end of time" has come and gone, and another "false prophet" has learned to his sorrow that "There are no endtime signs for the Church Age." AS WELL AS I AM ABLE TO DETERMINE, JESUS HAS NOT YET RETURNED. OR, IF HE HAS, HE HAS LEFT ME BEHIND!
Seemingly, there is never an end to such nonsensical "endtime prophesying" on the part of men. In every generation there are those who are determined to inform us that Jesus did not know what He was talking about when He said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father, only" (Mt. 24:36).
Sometime during the month of July, 1992, my preacher son who pastors in South Texas shared with me a book that someone had sent him unsolicited. The title of that book is, "The Day And Hour Jesus Will Return." It is written by one Colin Deal. Some of the dramatic publicity that accompanied the book indicates that the book is by a "National Best-Selling Author," though I have not seen his name in any of the regular reviews of the "National Best-Selling Authors." According to one of the pages in the back of this 153 page book, he also has an "End-Time News Monthly Letter," that is put out in "Rutherford College, North Carolina." By the publicity that accompanies it, we are led to suppose that it is, "Evangelical, Inter-Denominational, and Pre-Millennial."
Included with the book was a colorful brochure headlined, "God's Judgment Day Is Near." Perhaps the most important aspect of this brochure is the message that it conveys as to what the message of the book allegedly contains. If one reads the book with some care, it will be discovered that on "October 28, 1992, Jesus is Coming Again." One to whom I showed the brochure very wisely noted, "If He comes, He probably will not come on October 28, 1992." I would be inclined to agree with my friend. Later, I learned that some of the Christians in Korea who took this man and one of their own whom we have referenced elsewhere seriously sold their homes, businesses, and awaited the end on October the 28th there in the Land of Chosen. I knew that Land before it was industrialized in those very dark days of "United Nation's Police Action." Tragically, some of the deluded ones then went on and took their own lives, and it was necessary for the government to bring in the troops to break-up the cult with some suicide proclivities.
As we said earlier, we continue to say, "All who indulge in endtime prophecies for The Church Age are false prophets"! Since October 28, 1992, has come and gone, we can know that Colin Deal is just another one of the false prophets. There has never been an exception to the fact that "All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False," and we may be assured that "All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Will Be False" in the future. The thesis or hypothesis is intact! That Scriptural prophet of long ago, Jeremiah, obviously spoke with wisdom both for his day and for ours.
Still, there obviously is never any end to such false prophecy. On the 18th of November, 1992, I came across this headline in a column called "Prediction," "Rapture Date Set -- Again"! This item of news which does not indicate an author has, "Once again, the date of Christ's return has been predicted -- this time, it is set for 1994. Harold Camping, host of the call-in radio program 'Open Forum' and president of Family Stations, makes that case in a book titled 1994? published by a subsidy book publisher, Vantage Press . . ." ("Christianity TODAY," November 23, 1992. p. 48).
Subsequently, I have learned that all across America, this new prediction of the end in "1994," is on the lips of many thousands who have been deceived to suppose that he is speaking with heavenly wisdom. Those of many denominational persuasions are ready to conclude that out of all of the prophets who have ever been present upon the earth, Harold Camping is the one man who has rightly so dealt with the historical and Scriptural past that his prediction has to be the right one. Further, most of those with whom I have been in contact by means of our Computer Network are reluctant to speak of Harold Camping as a false prophet even if his prophecy of the end is just as false as any of those "endtime signs" to which men have appealed previously.
It is quite probable that I, personally, will have taken my flight to the realms of Glory and no longer be cast within my mortal frame when the year of 1994 comes and goes. It will be demonstrated once again, in 1994, nonetheless, that "All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False." That persisting thesis that we have demonstrated time and time again still will be intact! Though Mr. Camping may have indulged in some rather elaborate calculations and in a "masterful twisting" of Scriptural Truth beyond that which any other mortal has ever accomplished, we may be assured by THE WORDS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST in Matthew 24:36 that Mr. Camping's prediction of an endtime date of "1994" will be shown to be just as false as that of Montanus who indulged in his unscriptural lying so many, many years ago.
Our thesis would seem to be, still intact!
Endtime Church-Age prophets are false!
[Note: Harold Camping as set a date of May 21, 2011 as Judgment Day with the entire universe being annihilated on October 21, 2011. Austin American Statesman, Tuesday January 25, 2011, page A3. RWJr]
On April 14, 1993, at about 5:45 P.M., Central Standard Time, one by the name of Paul Crouch came on rather dramatically during a portion of what was being called a "Praise-A-Thon" that was simply a week-long, 24-hour appeal for funds to keep what is called "The Trinity Broadcasting Network" [TBN] on the air! He advised all of the supposed millions who were listening to his three-fold EXTRAVAGANZA – California and the West Coast, Texas and the Central USA, and Florida and the Eastern USA — that he had some world-shaking news.
That news was that a very dear friend of his whom he identified as "Pastor Henkle" had recently had some personal and verbal words directly from God. He assured us that he had experienced some of Pastor Henkle's prophecies in the past and had observed them to come true. The earth-shaking and world-altering words that Pastor Henkle supposedly had received directly from God were that "On June the 9th, Thursday, 1994, I am going to rip evil from this world"! [Also see: Dean McHard, The Ruler of Revelation 1:5, Megaharvest Group, Inc., P. O. Box 692002, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74169-2002. July 1993. p.112. Isaiah 25:6-9 supposedly was given “as a Scriptural basis for this startling prophecy].
This promoter of Pastor Henkle, Paul Crouch of TBN fame, was supposedly fully convinced that this Pastor Henkle had received this message just two Sundays ago, and that he had received it verbally and directly from God. Apparently, this man, Paul Crouch, has never realized or understood that "The Bible" was complete toward the close of the first century. He obviously is not aware that the last inspired Word of God was effected in the conclusion of that first century when the Apostle John was given "The Apocalypse" that we sometimes call, "The Book of Revelation." Paul Crouch indicated that he was so fully convinced that the message that this "Pastor Henkle" received on April 14, 1993 was from God that on Wednesday, June 8th, 1994, just before Thursday, June 9th, 1994, he is scheduling a world-wide prayer meeting over his TBN Television Net Work. If we have any spiritual or Scriptural insight perhaps we should cry, "Shades of William Miller" and "Shades of October 22, 1844."
This prayer meeting that Paul Crouch is planning – if he still has some confidence in the thinking of Pastor Henkle when that day comes around — doubtless will be as the "Prayer Meetings" which were held by William Miller and his deluded followers in 1843 and in 1844. Too, it may be that the prayer meeting which Paul Crouch has scheduled for Wednesday, June the 8th, 1994, prior to the supposed ripping of "evil from this world" on June 9th, 1994, will be as that prayer meeting held in Korea on October 28, 1992, a futile and a wasted effort.
Proving again — the foolishness of men!
Men rejecting clear teachings of Jesus!
Some "AWAKE" Insight
Perhaps one of the strangest experiences that has been mine in the pursuit of this thesis, "All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False," is a discovery in that which is called the "AWAKE" paper that might well be called a booklet or a magazine. It would seem that our God has provided some insight even for these who are the products, the successors, or the spiritual successors of Charles Taze Russell. They apparently are capable of taking note of another false prophet's folly, but they obviously cannot grasp the nature of the folly of their predecessor.
In the April 8, 1993, "AWAKE" magazine these who speak of themselves as members of "The Watchtower Society," sometimes referenced as "Jehovah's Witnesses," provide us with the following interesting information:
Rapture Deadline Passes — Again!
The Mission for the Coming Days in Korea confidently predicted that on October 28, 1992, the "rapture" would occur, whisking faithful church members to heaven. The Korea Times reported that thousands of people who embraced this prophecy left jobs and family and sold off their belongings. Reportedly, one pregnant believer had an abortion out of fear that the fetus would weigh her down during her ascent heavenward. The day came and went without incident, except that a few disappointed churchgoers beat up their preachers, demanding to know why the rapture had not come. However, the church founder was already in prison. He had been arrested for embezzling church funds. The Korea Times notes: "Some of his investments included bonds maturing next May, months after his predicted doomsday." (AWAKE, Watchtower, Brooklyn, April 8, 1993. p. 29).
The one who wisely declared a long time ago that "There is a sucker born every minute" may have had some insight of which most of the "false prophets" have been aware. As we have noted before, and as we doubtless shall note again, old Jeremiah had some insight into the hearts and into the minds of people generally in his day and in ours. Some people find their greatest delight in the lies that others delight to tell. What we have seen in the past, we doubtless shall have an occasion to see again and again, and that many, many times.
Satan, quite obviously, is able to "seek those whom he may devour" on just about every corner and in most every American household. Having observed that many of these false prophets whom we have referenced have found a spiritual home, as it were, in most Churches in this land, we can know that there is a great darkness upon our land. "The Holy word of God" as we have it from the lips of our precious Lord Jesus Christ is mocked by a multitude of those who are being called Christian; those who may actually be Christians, having been born again, and being eternally redeemed; having believed that “Jesus is the Christ”!
Needless to say, those involved in such crass defection from the truth had never comprehended the truth of God as provided by Isaiah, "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa.53:6). Likewise, they have not understood the word of James, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one part is guilty of all" (James 2:10) or Paul’s, "O wretched man that I am … ." after 30 years of preaching. Consequently, these false prophets apparently had never, or they have never realized that they were subject to being deceived as they followed their own unholy devices or their own greed, and that apart from the Holy Word of God.
Part XI – SOME WHO SPOKE WISELY OF PROPHECY
- Herbert Vander Lugt
- John R. Rice
Herbert Vander Lugt
Thankfully, here and there across the years, there have been some who have realized that there are "no endtime signs" that predict the time of the return of the Lord Jesus for this Church Age. One by the name of Herbert Vander Lugt has wisely said:
I like the slogan, 'Perhaps Today.' But I do not view wars, pestilences, natural disasters, widespread immorality, proliferation of cults, and spiritual deadness as signs that Jesus is coming soon. We simply don't know when He will return. He may come before you finish reading this page. He may remain at the Father's right had for many more years (Herbert Vander Lugt, "Perhaps Today! The Rapture of The Church," Radio Bible Class, 1984. p. 8).
John R. Rice
Some years earlier, on November 4, 1949, an evangelist of considerable note in another generation by the name of John R. Rice published one of his preached messages and titled it, "False Teaching About 'The Last Days'" in his paper called Sword of The Lord. I learned the date of the issue by means of a phone call. This same article was also published in a later issue of this tabloid paper. This later issue from which we worked was dated, September 16, 1988. He begins on page one, "The term, 'the last days,' is often misused these days even by orthodox Christians. An eminent Bible teacher and theologian is quoted as saying, 'I am convinced that we are seeing the closing days of this dispensation.'"
As some of his early proof that endtime prophets in this Church Age are wrong, John R. Rice says in section 1 on page 8, "No One Knows Even Approximately When Jesus Will Come." He follows this with three points:
"1. The angels do not know when Jesus will come.
"2. While on earth the Lord Jesus Himself did not know when He would return.
"3. Jesus said His Second Coming was so wholly unpredictable that it was illustrated by the servants waiting for their master's return. He might come in the evening, midnight, at the cock crowing, or in the morning" (Rice, John R., "The Sword of The Lord," Vol. LIV, No. 19, September 16, 1988. p. 8.).
John R. Rice provides some most crucial and interesting insight to one of the false prophets of another day. He tells us clearly and unmistakably:
I sat at dinner with Dr. Lowe, a professor of Biblical interpretation at the Practical Bible Training School, Johnson City, New York. He told me that his people lived in the community of Farmer Miller [Wm. Miller whom we have mentioned above.] and many of them had been convinced that Jesus was coming on the day announced by Miller. One uncle planted no crops — why should he when he wouldn't be there to gather them! He showed his faith by sitting on his front porch while others toiled. But since Jesus did not come, that winter thirteen of his cows starved while he and his family barely lived on the milk from one cow and corn meal (Ibid.).
A little later, John R. Rice says, "One greatly-heralded British-Israel teacher in Los Angeles predicted that Jesus would come September 16, 1936, as I recall. Needless to say, his prophecy was wrong and his influence was broken. Date setting for the return of the Savior has always been a heresy which turns out with much embarrassment" (Ibid.).
John left us just a little too soon!
"Prophets," aren't embarrassed!
In all honesty, however, John R. Rice explains or goes on to confess that he had been caught-up in such false teaching at one time. He says, "In my early ministry I sometimes preached on 'Signs of Christ's Second Coming.' I had a chapter on that in my book, The Coming Kingdom of Christ.’ In a second edition I was compelled to modify the chapter, for I saw that the next thing on God's program, as far as Bible prophecy is concerned, is Christ's coming in the air to receive His saints … That event is imminent; that means it may occur at any time" (Ibid. p. 9).
Toward the end of the article, as it is printed, we find these words, "THERE IS NO SIGN OF CHRIST'S COMING PROMISED BEFORE THE RAPTURE" (Ibid. emphasis is that of JRR). Then, John R. Rice climaxes this good message of considerable length with some further words that I deem to be evidence of considerable wisdom. The 1940's and the 1950's were years when false prophets of every possible stripe were abroad in the Land. Yet, in those days, John R. Rice was saying, "Let us say again, there are no signs that will indicate when Jesus is to come, and there is not a single prophetic event which must come before the rapture of the saints" (Ibid.) [Emphasis, RW]. All of the false prophets whom we have referenced above since the 1940's should have heeded John R. Rice's words.
Part XII — FINAL WORDS ABOUT FALSE PROPHETS
We can know that false prophets feed off of other false prophets. They may claim before us to be speaking and writing for us the Word of God or sharing with us some of their understanding of the Word of God. In reality, however, if we will read them carefully and with at least a measure of understanding, we shall discover that they are simply repeating unscriptural falsehoods which have been devised by other mortal men, along with the unscriptural prophetic nonsense that someone has proclaimed before them or to them.
It may appear at times that these are giving us some new insights into prophetic truth. Leastwise, these false prophets assure us that they are giving us some insight into the future. In truth, we discover that these really are just "adorning" the twisted mental aberrations of other false prophets who have been indulging in what we may speak of as unwarranted and unscriptural elaborations of still others.
Seemingly, no one is ever any wiser. Then, in each of the on-coming generations, there are other masses of gullible mortals who will succumb to the new false prophecies. Many of these who are early and readily deceived and who find some satisfaction in deceiving others will presume that the supposed men of God to whom they look as their sources would never speak anything other than Scriptural truth. It will, nevertheless, be obvious to all who have any knowledge of the Word of God that the false prophets really do not know what truth really is.
As we have noted, each one of these comes under the indictment of Jeremiah 5:31, "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so . . ." (Jer. 5:31). In addition to this, Jeremiah has another word of judgment for these false prophets. We see this in his word," … cursed be the man that trustest in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jer. 17:5). Without exception, these false prophets have turned from the Word of God and from the Lord, and they have turned to the unscriptural teachings and imaginative speculations of men such as J. A. Seiss, C. I. Scofield, Clarence Larkin, and others.
If I am reading correctly, THE FALSE PROPHETS OF TODAY indulge in false prophecy WITHOUT ANY APPARENT CONSCIENCE OF WRONG-DOING! Then, when they are "caught in one of their obvious untruths," generally, there is never an apology. They simply re-work their unscriptural words and provide their gullible hosts some new false prophecies or re-frame some of their old ones. Tragically, every one of those whom we have shown to be a false prophet has used the Bible in some measure as his basis for his false prophecies. Yet, we can know that God has not been involved in providing them with any of their false prophecies. Though such obviously are prevaricators, they still tell us that they are speaking for God.
Can such be a manifestation of His Love?
Rather, we just see men taken by greed!
I do not doubt that most of those with whom we have dealt in this work are saved, redeemed, and born-again men. That is, they have believed on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. They have heard and believed, "He who believes on the Son has everlasting life." We can know, nevertheless, that they are confused mortals who are walking in a great spiritual darkness. Some of them may be even rightly classified — from the perspective of this world's academic milieu — as scholars. Yet, when the final word is in, we discover that they are not at all scholarly. This should be rather evident to each one of them, and certainly to all of us who have even a measure of knowledge or understanding of the Precious, the Holy, and the Infallible Word of God, "The Miracle of The Ages," even The Bible in whatever version or translation we care to read it.
It may be that these who are giving their lives in order to deceive others are themselves some of those who are among the greatly deceived. God has promised us that such would come and be present among us. The Scriptures clearly declare, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:13). This is why all of us need to have a good understanding of the Scriptures. By having a knowledge of the Scriptures, we may wisely discern the falsehoods that some are sharing with us as truths.
God calls us to the word in Acts 17:11!
Strive to be as the very noble Bereans!
Thus, what Jeremiah said more that 2,500 years ago is yet truth that is most applicable to every person who comes to us with "endtime signs" or "endtime prophecies" for "This Church Age." Jeremiah said, "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests [pastors, preachers, professors, prophets, proclamators. RW] bear rule by their ["lying." RW] means; and my people love to have it so . . ." (Jer. 5:31). And since every "Church-Age Endtime Prophets" has shown himself to be a false prophet, we can know that everyone of them is under Jeremiah's indictment.
We may have trouble — understanding!
Jeremiah explains, they are God's own!
Very clearly, as I have said above, and as I doubtless shall continue to say so long as my mortal life shall last, our Blessed Savior could have returned in that:
1st. century. He could have returned in the 2nd. century. He could have returned in the 3rd. century. He could have returned in the 4th. century. He could have returned in the 5th. century. He could have returned in the 6th. century. He could have returned in the 7th. century. He could have returned in the 8th. century. He could have returned in the 9th century. He could have come in the 10th century.
He could have returned in the:
11th. century. He could have returned in the 12th. century. He could have returned in the 13th century. He could have returned in the 14th century. He could have returned in the 15th. century. He could have returned in the 16th century. He could have returned in the 17th. century. He could have returned in the 18th. century. He could have returned in the 19th. century. He could have come at anytime during this 20th century.
Jesus may come before this day is ended. Still, He may not come until the 25th century or maybe not even until the 50th century. We need to realize that “The Return of our Lord Jesus Christ” depends on no event and no happening that may transpire upon the Earth or in the Universe, or in our present World, as we are experiencing it.
As our Savior has so dramatically indicated, "His Return" to the Earth for His own — according to the promise, “This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” –along with or at the time of the conclusion of the Church Age. This, as Jesus has so exactly declared, is the prerogative of God, the Father, only.
Therefore, every man and every woman who has given any "endtime sign" for the conclusion of The Church Age within these last 20 centuries has shown himself or herself to be a false prophet!
Though none of the prophets of old ever saw or comprehended that time of “MYSTERY” that we know as “The Church Age,” the message of Jeremiah which was given so very long ago is still the only Old Testament Prophetic Message for this Church Age. That message of Jeremiah that we reference is, and we should never forget it:
An appalling [wonderful] and horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end of it all? (Jer. 5:30-31). What was true more than 2,500 years ago is still true today!
The Word of our Lord Jesus Christ was true when He gave it. The Word of our Lord Jesus Christ is true today. And the Word of our Lord Jesus will be true one hour from now, a thousand hours from now, ten thousand hours from now, one hundred thousand hours, or a billion hours or more from now, or even a billion years into the future. The Word of our Savior that was true some 2000 years ago when He gave it still rings true, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Mt. 24:35) for all who have any understanding of The Word of God. We can change the hours of our mortality to years or even periods of a thousand years or ten billion years, and our God will not be at all troubled.
Though we mortals may be caught-up in the parameters of time as we know it, and as we experience it, our God is not so limited. Rather, He both thinks eternally and acts likewise without any help from us, and without any limitation on His ability or experience as GOD! Therefore, we do err in attempting to bind Him and His Activities within the context of our thinking or within the context of our planning or acting.
We need to be conscious of the fact that so long as The Church Age may last, whether another moment, another hour, another day, another week, another month, another year, another decade, another century, another millennium, or 10,000 or ten billion millenniums, we should ever be ready to be concerned to remember the message of "the two men in white apparel":
Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11-12).
Our concern, then, should be the command of our Savior, Jesus Christ; namely:
"Go ye therefore, and disciple all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen" (Mt. 28:19-20).
Our business is not to be prophecy, and our business is not to be involved in prophecy. We may put it down, as it were, the “two men in white” dramatized for the whole of “The Church Age” that there are to be no prophets in this Church Age. Rather, our concern should be and must be:
"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile" (Rom. 1:16).
God, the Father, makes this eternal and gracious truth so wonderfully simple and available to all who will hear and believe. He does this with the Word of His only begotten Son, "He who believes on the Son has everlasting life; and he who believeth not the Son shall not see life . . ." (John 3:36). He does this, also, with the truly-inspired declaration of the Apostle Paul, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth, that Jesus is Lord [the Lord Jesus], and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9).
We may know, therefore, that any person who comes to us with "endtime signs" for the conclusion of This Church Age is walking in a deep spiritual darkness. Though such a one may have believed on Jesus Christ and be eternally redeemed, he or she is not in touch with the Jesus who gave us Matthew 24:36. Such an one, then, certainly is out of touch with the Word of God. We may be assured, ABSOLUTELY, that all who have come to us, all who are coming to us, and all who will come to us with "endtime signs" for the "Church Age" have been, are, and will be false prophets. C. I. Scofield's thesis which is built in part upon Archbishop Ussher's fictional and fanciful creation date of 4,004 B. C., and the prophetic fiction of J. A. Seiss and others, then, has been and yet is one of the most desperate attacks upon the Word of God that mortal minds have ever devised.
Similarly, C. I. Scofield's misinterpretation of the meaning and the purpose of the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation is a bold attack upon the very simple words of our Savior, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36). Scofield's words likewise are an attack upon those similar words in Mark 13:32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." How very tragic it is that across the last 150 years and more some men have chosen to believe the speculative nonsense of mortal men and thereby have become false prophets! Whereas men could have chosen to believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and thereby they could have shown themselves to be wise in the Word of God.
May God forgive, all who chose Scofield!
They could have chosen God's true Word
All who are wise in the Word of God and who are being led by the Spirit of God to know Scriptural Truth will be alert to the fact that all "endtime prophets" of today or "The Church Age" are false prophets. They may come to us as Christians, but they bear that name very poorly. They may come to us as "men of the cloth" or even as "messengers of God," but we can know that they do not speak the truth. All such who come in such a way even now are under the indictment of Jeremiah who more than 2,500 years ago proclaimed with heavenly insight a very special word that we have noted earlier:
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Our Word of Rejoicing Lord, Is It Today?
by H. C. Smith
Lord, is it today you're coming down
When every eye shall see;
Is it today we'll hear your shout,
Today shall we be with Thee?
We know we'll hear the Archangel's voice
But, when, we cannot say;
We know the trump of God shall sound
But, Lord, will it be today?
The dead in Christ shall rise up first,
Thus does the Bible say,
And we alive shall join them then.
Dear Lord, will it be today?
Let's live each day as though we knew
Our Lord was on the way;
Then, when He comes we'll shout for joy,
"Lord Jesus, You're here today."
("The Gospel Trumpeter:" 2/1/93)
Finalized for Printing as MS Word
January 1, 1994
My eldest son’s 47th birthday