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Monday, Apr. 24, 2017

The End of the World

Posted Saturday, January 10, 2009, at 9:26 PM

In the year 1514, Pope Leo IX wrote "I will not see the end of the world, nor will you my brethren, for its time is long in the future, 500 years hence."

If my math is correct, the world, according to Leo IX, will end in the year 2014.

Since the beginning of time, people possessed with a sense of pending doom and high certainty have predicted the end of the world. To my knowledge, it hasn't happened yet.

Near the end of the first millennium, many people in Europe predicted the end of the world would occur in the year 1000. As the date approached, Christian armies from southern Europe waged war against the pagan countries to the north in an attempt to convert them to Christianity, by force if necessary, before Christ returned in 1000. When Christ didn't return, those who criticized the church were labeled as heretics and exterminated.

In 1346, one-third of the population of Europe was killed by the black plague. Since this proportion seemed to correspond to Biblical prophecy, people presumed the end of the world was imminent. However, Christians had killed a majority of the cats in Europe at the time thinking the felines were associated with witches. Less cats, more rats. It was later discovered that fleas carried by rats caused the plague. The world didn't end after all.

On February 14, 1835, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, made a pronouncement at a meeting of church leaders that Jesus would return in 56 years. It didn't happen.

The Jehovah Witnesses claimed that the war of Armageddon would start in 1914, based on the prophecy of Daniel, Chapter 4. It didn't happen. They subsequently revised their proclamations, many times, to 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994, etc. It didn't happen, didn't happen, didn't happen, etc.

Seismographer Albert Porta of Italy concluded that the conjunction of six planets on December 17, 1919, would generate a magnetic current causing the sun to explode and engulf the earth. It didn't happen.

The founder of the Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, predicted that the "Day of the Lord" would occur in 1936. It didn't happen. Undeterred, he later predicted it would happen in 1975 instead. Many of his followers gave up all their earthly possessions in anticipation of the Rapture. It didn't happen.

Edgar Cayce, known as the sleeping prophet of Virginia Beach, warned his followers in 1942 that the earth would shift magnetic poles in the year 2000 and cause lethal worldwide catastrophes. It didn't happen.

David Davidson wrote a book titled THE GREAT PYRAMID, ITS DIVINE MESSAGE where he claimed the structure of the pyramid of Gizah foretold future events, including the end of the world in August of 1953. It didn't happen.

In 1974, astronomers John Gribben and Stephen Plagemann announced that multiple planets would line up on the same side of the sun in 1982, creating deadly global events. The planets lined up but nothing happened.

In 1978, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club announced that the world would end in 1982. It didn't happen.

Hal Lindsey, writer of Christian prophecy, wrote a book in 1970 titled THE LATE, GREAT PLANET EARTH where he claimed the Rapture would commence in 1988 (40 years after the creation of the state of Israel). It didn't happen.

Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist wrote 88 REASONS WHY THE RAPTURE WILL OCCUR IN 1988. It didn't happen.

As we approached 2000, the year of the deadly Y2K bug, many people were convinced the end of the world was imminent. They built underground shelters and hunkered down. They hunkered for naught.

In September of 2008, Councilor Keith Martin and scores of scientists claimed that the large Hadron Collider built under France and Switzerland would cause the end of the world. The first trial of the collider took place on September 10, 2008. The end of the world didn't happen.

Other end-of-world predictions: St. Clement -- 90, Hilary of Poitiers -- 365, St Martin of Tours -- 375, Hippolytus -- 500, German Emperor Otto III -- 968, Gerard of Poehide -- 1147, Joachim of Fiore -- 1205, Pope Innocent III -- 1284, Benjamin Keach -- 1689, Charles Wesley -- 1794, Margaret McDonald -- 1830, William Miller -- 1843, Piazzi Smyth -- 1960, Charles Meade -- 1974, Lester Sumrall -- 1987, Peter Ruckman -- 1990, etc., etc.

Prophecy is a tricky business. Having certain knowledge of future events is a lot like purchasing a lottery ticket and making plans on how to spend the winnings. You don't know you're a loser until after the drawing.

My prediction made in June of 1972 -- the world would end the day I received my first real check from my first post-college job where I was making a decent chunk of money. It didn't happen. I was doomed to continue working and working and working, subconsciously yearning for the end of the world so I could escape the Treadmill of the Rat Race.

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We're all crew and we'll all go down with the ship.

On December 21, 2012, I will be hosting an "End of the World" party at my place. Bring snacks.


Quote for the Day -- "You must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. To light a candle is to cast a shadow." Ursula K. Le Guin




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Awesome article! There are so many doomsday acolytes I must share this with! Thanks Bret.

-- Posted by sweattshop on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 3:34 PM

The Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned in 2008 before collissions could begin. You'll have to wait at least until summer 2009 for high energy collissions.

-- Posted by JTankers on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 7:35 AM

Interesting article. It isn't quite accurate on the claim that Joseph Smith predicted that Jesus would return in 56 years, but that is a common false claim.

He wrote the following in the book Doctrine and Covenants, Section 130

"I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:

Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.

I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.

I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time."

He alluded to this comment a couple of other times where he said Christ wouldn't come before that 56 year time period was up.

He also said, "I also prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come in forty years; and if God ever spoke by my mouth, He will not come in that length of time. Brethren, when you go home, write this down, that it may be remembered. Jesus Christ never did reveal to any man the precise time that He would come. Go and read the scriptures, and you cannot find anything that specifies the exact hour He would come; and all that say so are false teachers."

-- Posted by Gordy on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 12:48 PM

I love this article. It takes into account all of the Doomsdayers who have levied a date upon us, as well as their propensity to frighten their followers, who seem in turn to like to be frightened. I would also like to point out the meaning of the word, "apocalypse", which does not mean "Doomsday", but rather, "revealing". Several versions of the apocalypse exist previous to and outside of Christianity, in particular, it is a Hindu concept. I do not think the world will end because of war, disease, and famine, but rather, will end when we have run out of water, food, medical supplies, and resources.

The reason is this: humanity has suffered many wars, diseases and famines. It has had little chance in each case, however, without the prerequisite resources, food, water, and medical care.

-- Posted by Glitta on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 11:50 AM

The big difference between Jehovah's Witnesses and Christians is that the Watchtower Society's central core creed proclaims Jesus second coming in October 1914.They sometimes try to obscure this failed prophecy,and say that he came 'invisibly'.

Yes,all other Christains are awaiting Jesus return,the JW say he ALREADY came back in 1914 and is only working through their Watchtower society.

Jehovah's Witnesses have lost membership in all countries with major internet access because their false doctrines and harmful practices are exposed on the modern information superhighway.

The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.


Danny Haszard www.dannyhaszard.com

-- Posted by DannyHaszard on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 12:54 AM

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Boldly Going Nowhere
Bret Burquest
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.
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