Why All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False©
Ray Waugh, Sr.
Some nineteen hundred years ago and a little more, the man called Jesus gave some specific words to those who were known as His disciples. Those disciples had inquired of Him, "Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Mt. 24:3). He, then, provided them what we find in Matthew 24:4-51. Our Lord climaxes the first 35 verses of this chapter with the words, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36).
In the concluding verse of this chapter, Jesus emphasizes the immanence of the time of the conclusion. This emphasis is dramatized by the words, "Watch therefore; for you know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Mt. 24:42).
Apparently, however, His disciples did not really grasp what He was saying. So, after His death, burial, and resurrection, and His further instruction, we find them inquiring again, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). His response was immediate, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7). This, essentially, is what He had told them before, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man; no not the angels of heaven, but my Father, only" (Mt. 24:36).
That these disciples were determined in their own hearts not to understand or believe what Jesus had said would be evidenced again by "two men" who "stood by them in white apparel" (Acts 1:9). After Jesus had left them and had ascended back into heaven, we find these disciples standing about and gazing up into heaven, apparently looking for His imminent return.
They obviously still had not yet understood the truth that though His Return was imminent, they were not to spend their time looking up into heaven. Already, Jesus had given them their laboring and their marching orders, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk. 16:15). Consequently, they had to be advised once more by "two men [who] stood by them 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 as you have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:10-11). That is, He would return unexpectedly, even as He had departed unexpectedly.
Sadly, this is a truth that men across the centuries have refused to believe. So, periodically, in every generation, there have been those who have insisted in spending their lives "gazing into heaven," though God has continued to command, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk. 16:15). And in each generation, there have been those who have chosen sensationalisms built around some happening of the moment as being signs of our Lord's soon return. In each instance, they have rejected the words of Jesus, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not he angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Mt. 24:36). This "seeking for signs" also is a violation of the command of the "two men . . . in white apparel" (Acts 1:10).
This issue of this continual and continuing violation of our Lord's specific teaching is to be found in the thesis, "Why All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False." In ancient times, the man Isaiah once said, "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Moses had earlier declared, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing that the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously . . ." (Deut. 18:22). Then Jeremiah demonstrates what has been transpiring for the last eighteen hundred years and more. He says, "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophecy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so . . ."(Jer. 5:30-31).
During the course of several years of research and study, I have learned that in each and every endtime prophetic pronouncement which men have indulged in this Church Age has been false. There has not been one exception. In this brochure, I am not attempting to give you the hundreds of pages of documentation. Rather, I am simply providing an overview of that which has been done much more extensively in another context. If this overview whets your appetite for the larger look at the thesis, "Why All Church-Age Endtime Prophets Are False," it is available for you now. Most of the detail in the more than 100 MS pages is from the Church-age prophets who demonstrate without any exception that they are false prophets.
I begin with a yellowed tabloid paper that has been in my files for almost 50 years. In it, there are the words of those of the Gospel Publishing House in Springfield, Missouri, who were convinced that "the end was near"! That their words are fanciful and unscriptural is evident from beginning to end though they presume to base their predictions which never came to pass upon the Scriptures that God supposedly put forth some 2000 years ago and more.
Then, we begin the historical panorama with Montanus in the 2nd century of this Church Age. This man actually indulged his false prophecy for some seven years in a row, and the people could not be dissuaded from believing him, and they held to his prophecy as truth though it was false from the beginning to the end. Soon, thereafter, there came Jerome who has been famed for other reasons. His was a definitive prophecy that the end of time was consonant with the impending demise of the Roman Empire.
There then appeared on the historical scene one by the name of Peter Waldo or Valdes. This man may have been one of the first to speak of the Pope of Rome as the Antichrist, though he continued as a Roman Catholic until his excommunication. We demonstrate that just as Montanus was false prophet, so Waldo and Jerome were false prophets.
Soon thereafter, there followed some who were famed for things other than their false prophecy. One of these was Martin Luther. Not only did he join Waldo regarding his conclusion about the Pope of Rome, but he also became involved in relating "heavenly signs" or "signs in the natural realm" to some of the happenings of his time. Zwingli likewise picked up on prophecy that was false from beginning to end. We demonstrate how these "heavenly signs" also were employed by some who followed, and how the Adventists even of today continue to appeal line for line to those that had been referenced centuries ago.
One by the name of John Calvin who is deemed to have been a scholar beyond most also found himself indulging in false prophecy and deeming it to be the truth. We provide a very lengthy detail wherein it is seen indubitably that John Calvin, in his prophetic declarations, was just as false as any of the false prophets who had preceded him. Some of those for whom he had very little regard have been known as "Anabaptists." Calvin and the Anabaptists certainly were at each other's throats on a pretty regular basis, but when it came to false prophecy, they were in unity. The Anabaptist false prophecy, of course, was a desperate blight upon even the name of Christianity.
The name of William Miller has become a very common one for many in this Church Age. His folly as a prophet has been noted far and wide, but I provide some details of that folly that are not widely known. Soon after his folly of 1843 and 1844, there appeared one Charles Russell. Even though Miller had been shown to be the fool, as Jeremiah so wisely noted, "the prophets prophesy falsely . . . and my people love to have it so" (Jer. 5:31), Russell apparently had no trouble finding a gullible public. In fact, Russell had a rather large following very early. And before he died, he had a world-wide audience which has grown continuously since even though everyone of his prophecies had already been proved to be false. All of this is shown clearly and without any equivocation.
Then, from the falsity of his prophesied "end of time" in 1936 to his prophesied "end of time" in 1975, Herbert Armstrong was never without an appreciable following. Though his sensationalisms spanned several decades in his more than 90 years, and though no one of his prophecies ever came to pass, still he died in 1986 as a very old man who was a false prophet until the last with a world-wide following.
There follow the names of a number of men who have attained differing levels of acclaim across the last 75 years and a little more. One of these is a Baptist Preacher who yet lives and who yet puts on prophetic seminars that are as false today as they were when he began them more than 40 years ago. One by the name of H. A. Ironsides is no longer among us, but his writings and his influence were so widespread during his lifetime that his detailed false prophecies may very well be with us as long as time shall last.
Following these are a number of men such as Milton Lindberg, Oswald Smith, Peter and Paul Lalonde, Herbert Lockyer, William Orr, John Douglas, Wilbur Smith, and Paul Alderman. One does not usually think of these men as prophets as they spent much of their ministerial lives dealing with what we might speak of as doctrinal matters. Nevertheless, each one of these men, in deference to their allegiance to the unscriptural teachings of C. I. Scofield indulged in considerable false prophecy. We quote each one of them directly. Whether they yet live or whether they have passed on, each and everyone of their prophecies demonstrates beyond any question that they were and are false prophets. Some of these quote directly from the Scriptures as their basis for their prophecies. The fact, however, that their prophecies have not come true and that their prophecies are not coming true proves that they have been and still are false prophets.
Considerable time and space then is employed to detail what I speak of as the "Dramatic False Prophets." Most of these have been in some one's news in recent decades, but again without exception all of their prophecies are false. They thereby may be shown to be false prophets, as I quote directly from their own writings.
These are Salem Kirban, Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Pat Robertson, W. S. McBirnie, Ray Brubaker, C. I. Scofield, Archbishop James Ussher, John Barela, Charles Halff, Theodore Epp, E. F. Webber, John Walvoord, and Clarence Larkin. Following these, there are some present false prophets who have manifested their foolishness and their folly in a rather world-wide fashion. The names of these are Edgar Whisenant, Colin Deal, Harold Camping, and one Pastor Hinkle, as well as Paul Crouch.
I conclude by showing that one dear Brother in Christ once had indulged in false prophecies as the above and supposed that "endtime signs" that he could observe pointed to the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ from Glory. Thankfully, however, while he was yet very young in the ministry, he became aware of his error. I have his words that he wrote more than 40 years ago, and I share some of these with you in the completed Manuscript.