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Articles & Posts

Are Prophetic Date Predicters False Prophets?

 

Fundamentalist Christians take a hard line on setting dates for the second advent of Christ. Failed date-setters are labeled as “false prophets.” What are the implications of these accusations? Are the fundamentalist Christians consistent in their position?

Dates Predicted by

Martin Luther, John Wesley, Joseph Wolff

 The fathers of Protestant denominations were keenly interested in Christ’s return and attempted to determine its date. For example, Martin Luther predicted Jesus would return in 300 years from his time. This would have placed the return of Christ between 1830 and 1850. [1] Like many of his contemporaries in the latter 1700s, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination, predicted 1836 for the date of the Second Advent. [2] Certainly, few would consider Luther or Wesley false prophets.

Read more here:

34 comments to Are Prophetic Date Predicters False Prophets?

  • Daz

    Hi Peter, I was wondering how you would explain these scriptures, to me this clearly says we cannot not really know for sure when Christ returns:

    “It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his jurisdiction” (Acts 1:7)

    Matthew 24:44-47 & Luke 12:40-44
    “Prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.

    “Keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.”

    Warm & loving regards,
    Daz

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Daz – I do not want to tell you how to think or what to beleive. I can only tell you how I understand these scriptures.

      For Daniel, the meaning of his book was sealed and he could not understand it Daniel 12:4, 8). However, in the end times, “the wise will understand” (Dan 12:10)

      Per the Apostals and early Church, it was not for them to know the “times and seasons.” (Acts 1:7). At the end of the Gospel age, the opposite is true.

      1 Thess 5: (NKJV)
      1 ¶ But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
      2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
      4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

      Now yes, Jesus did come in an hour that no one thought. It was only after Jesus returned in 1874 that the brethren began to realize he was already present.

      Notice how at the time of Jesus return, his followers are watching for him. Then after his return, notice how he has them recline at table and feed them a great feast of truth.

      Luke 12: (NKJV) “35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 “and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.”

      The same promise is made to the 7th Church at the time of His Second Presence.

      Rev 3:20 (NKJV) “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

      What is this food that we are now being fed? My opinion is that it is the “Studies in the Scriptures” series. ONLY there we have the most important doctrine in the Bible taught, “the Ransom for ALL.” And now the book of Daniel has finally been unsealed and understood. It is explained in Volumne 3 of Studies in the Scriptures, “Thy Kingdom Come.”

      We are just starting a phone call in study on this book Wednesday night. Everyone is invited to join us. Check it out by clicking HERE.

      • Daz

        Hi Peter, thankyou for your reply. So basically you are talking past tense regarding Jesus’ returned, nobody knew at the time he returned until after it had happened & by looking back at events/signs & scriptual evidence you conclude that Jesus has indeed returned. So I see now that you do not dispute that you knew not the day or the hour but you knew he had returned by what occurred afterward.

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Daz – Thanks. For the sake of arguement, let us say that Jesus has NOT yet returned, however that He will return later TODAY. Will you know He has arrived? How long will it take you to figure it out? How will you know He is really here? Will unbelievers realize he is here? Will you look up and visibly see Him in the clouds?

          You don’t have to answer all these questions. I am just encouraging you to think about what it is that will make you feel certain He is here once He has arrived.

  • Daz

    Hi everyone,
    How is that the Watchtower is adamant that Jesus returned in 1914 yet it also instructs us to stay alert/be on the watch for you don’t know on what day or hour your master will return (Matthew 24:42)indicating that they DON’T actually know, isn’t this a bit of a double sided sword?

    Warm & loving regards,
    Daz

    • Hello Daz,

      I found your comment on Matthew 24:42 interesting. It reads, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

      I wanted to say that I find it interesting that the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim 1914 for Jesus’ coming when Charles Taze Russell had never associated Jesus coming with 1914. CTR of course believed this event was 1874, but his main prediction about the Gentile Times was that the end of the Gentile Times would see the end of the Gentile rule over the nation of Israel and its return.

      “We need not here repeat the evidences that the “seventh trump” began its sounding A.D. 1840, and will continue until the end of the time of trouble, and the end of “The times of the Gentiles,” A.D. 1914, and that it is the trouble of this “Great day,” which is here symbolically called the voice of the Archangel when he begins the deliverance of fleshly Israel. “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince. (Archangel) which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” `Dan. 12:1`.”

      Although this passage you quoted in verse 42 states only that we should be watching for Jesus’ return, it says nothing about whether anyone would know about his return. I find many confuse the coming of Jesus with what is said in verses 32-36.

      “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:32-36)[NASB95]

      These verses refer to the blossoming of the Fig tree, which Pastor Russell interpreted as the return of the literal nation of Israel. No man would know the day or hour in which the nation of Israel would return as a nation.

      Interestingly enough Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness in his books, “Approaching End of the Age”, and “Light for the Last Days” (both written in the 19th century about the same time as CTR) had used the same chronology that Barbour found in Elliott’s Horae Apocalypticae from the 1840s, but dated the 2520 years slightly differently.

      “It was in 1917, of course, that British general Sir Edmund Allenby captured Jerusalem after four hundred years of Ottoman rule. Just months before this historic accomplishment, in June, Allenby was at the Grosvenor Hotel in London when he received a phone call from Sir Henry de beauvoir de Lisle, a major-general in the British army, to congratulate him on his pomootion to commander in chief. Durin gthe conversation, de Lisle made the point of saying, ‘nothing can prevent you being in Jerusalem by 31 December.’ Allenby, surprised by the statement, asked, ‘How do you make that out?’ It was then that de Lisle told the new commander of Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness’s predictions in Light for the Last days. Jerusalem fell on December 9 of that year. Two days later, General Allenby entered Jerusalem, the first Christian commander to control the city in centuries. Though he was an excellent horseman, Allenby chose to dismount as he passed through the ancient city gates, in honor of Jesus Christ, whom Allenby believed was the only rule with the right to ride into the city. Chearly, he had the predictions of Reverand Henry Guinness in mind…. Henry Grattean Guiness, writing nearly sixty years before the event, predicted the miraculous event of 1948 when Israel again became a nation. This remains one of the most prescient works of an author in history.” (Mansfield, Stephen, The Search for God and Guinness, pg 195-196, [2009, 2014].

      Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses have dropped all of the prophetic interperation about Israel and reinterpreted them all to identify as themselves, the very literal fulfilment that CTR also predicted was dropped.

      • Daz

        Hi Jeff, thankyou very much for your reply it was much appreciated & very interesting indeed. I didn’t know of the accounts regarding General Allenby so that is something new that I have learned so thanks for that also. Good use of the scriptures too.

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Daz,

      I do not agree with 1914 as the date of Jesus’ return. However I do think He has returned and I do not see “a double sided sword” here. Here’s why.

      Matt 24:36 (NKJV) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

      Many Christians insist that Jesus cannot possibly have returned yet since the verse says no one knows the day or the hour.

      Notice the Mark account:
      Mark 13:32 (NKJV) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

      So Jesus did not know the day and hour of His return. Does mean that when Jesus returns, He will not be aware that He has returned? Of course not. Neither should we think that the watchers would not know that He is present.

      Matt 24:42 (NJKV), “42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”

      We suggest that what this verse is really saying is that we do not know what hour your Lord will have arrived. Therefore, we should watch so that we can see the signs indicating Jesus is PRESENT.

      This word “COMING” (Strong’s 2064. ercomai) is the same used in verse 30 where Jesus is “coming in the clouds.”

      However, the difference is that in verse 42, has a Strong’s 5736 “Indicative Mood” word meaning is attached. It has the meaning that the action described has occurred or will occur. It can go either way.

      Let’s look at a couple of examples where this word in the “Indicative Mood” does have the thought of having already arrived.

      Mt 3:14 “But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You COME <2064> (5736) to me?”

      Here John is speaking to Jesus who has already arrived, as described by John’s words, “do You come <2064> (5736) to me?”

      Matt 26:36 (NKJV) “Then Jesus CAME <2064> (5736) with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”

      In this example, Jesus had arrived as Gethsemane.

      Consequently, we think that in Matt 24:42, Jesus is telling us to watch so that we can see the signs indicating that Jesus has arrived; that He is PRESENT.

      • Daz

        Hi Peter, thankyou so much for your reply, I do understand your reasoning regarding the scriptures pointed out. Is there not still signs yet to occur with regards to the lead up to Christ’s return such as the fall of false religion & the judgement of Jehovah’s house, the recieving of the mark of the beast etc?
        When do you believe that Christ returned?

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Daz – Before I respond, did you have any specific scripture citations to support the view that before Christ returns, we will see the fall of false religion & the judgement of Jehovah’s house, the recieving of the mark of the beast etc? It would help me to know if there are specific verses you have in mind.

          • Daz

            Hi Peter, with regards to the scriptures:

            1 Peter 4:17
            For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

            Revelation 11:18
            Revelation 13:16
            Revelation 14:9
            Revelation 16:19
            Revelation 17 & 18
            Revelation 19:20
            Matthew 24:11

            Warm & loving regards,
            Daz

      • Victor Field

        Peter k

        The day or the hour, nobody knows.

        What about the season?

        Do you think the Gentile Times (7 Times, 2520 yrs ) are important, in guiding us to this season?

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Victor, the day and the hour nobody knows, means that no one will know before he returns. However after he returns, the watchers should be aware that he is president.

          The Gentle Times covers the time of Gentile domination over the nation of Israel, not the time of Jesus return.

          • Victor Field

            Peter k

            I read in one of your comments, you believe Jesus return to have already taken place, how and when did you become aware to this?

            Are you referring to literal/spiritual Israel in Gentile domination?

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Victor,

              You asked how and when did I become aware of the Lord’s Return. As a child, I was aware that the Bible Students I met with believed this. By age 12, I was beginning to study and learn how this was proved by scriptures.

              Victor – Jesus Second Presence is a big topic. However, let me attempt to make this simple. I believe that as a result of Jesus Second Presence we have seen the following gigantic changes on earth:

              1) End of the reign of European Kings and Queens / end of Church State rule (Divine Right of Kings) / Demolishing of European Empires (having lost all their colonies)
              2) Increase in knowledge (radio, television, electronic appliances, air conditioning, microwave ovens, computers, Internet, smart phones, etc)
              3) Increase in travel (trains, automobiles, plains, mass transit, etc.)
              4) Great Trouble on a worldwide scale never before seen (i.e. world wars, worldwide terrorism, mass murders by Stalin, Hitler, etc., etc.)
              5) Jewish people restored to the land of Israel
              6) Book of Daniel unsealed and explained by Volume 3 of Studies in the Scriptures.

              So Victor, I believe that all of these events are a result of our invisible returned Lord Jesus. To what do you attribute these changes on planet earth? Have these changes been caused by
              a) God?
              b) God & Jesus?
              c) Satan?
              d) A natural evolution of society?
              e) Other: Fill in the blank: _________________________ ?

              So Victor, if all these changes are not being caused as a result of Jesus at his second presence, then to what do you attribute these events?

              TIMES OF THE GENTILES

              Luke 21: (NKJV) “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near… 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

              The Times of the Gentiles is (I believe) a period of time starting with the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and ending in 1914. During this period the Gentile powers would dominate and rule natural Israel. This domination began to end in 1914 when the Gentile governments (Church/State rule with Kings and colonies) were demolished. World War I led to the 1917 Balfour Declaration by Great Britain which set aside Palestine (actually Israel) as a homeland for the Jews.

              You can find more on the Gentile Times by CLICKING HERE.

              • Victor Field

                Peter k

                Thankyou for replying to my questions.

                To answer the multiple choice question
                I would attribute the events to C)Satan,+ his Angel followers, Rev 12 being thrown out of heaven (1914) everything we have been taught from this date, to be the disgorged water vrs 15, in setting confusion, especially for the latter day chosen.

                The times of the Gentiles ( I believe) would be taken from a date after the fall of Babylon, and the start of the 2nd build of the Temple being 520 BCE,
                showing…2001… to be the ending of the Gentile period

                • Peter K. (admin)

                  Victor – I have never heard of the Gentile Times ending in 2001. Did you come up with this yourself or from others? Are there events that occurred around the time of 2001 that you feel were a direct result of the Gentile Times ending?

                  • Victor Field

                    Peter k

                    Jesus came alongside me,
                    He gave me this date, along with other information.

                    Beginning from May last year, it is all new to me also, previous to the month of May, my understanding of things was very different to what it is now.

                    • Daz

                      Hi Victor, hope you are well.
                      May I ask, do you mean or are you literally that Jesus spoke to you in person? If so how can this be? (I mean no offence by my response just very interested by what you have said)

                      Warm & loving regards,
                      Daz

                    • Peter K. (admin)

                      Victor – Thanks, if Jesus spoke directly to you then no doubt, whatever he said must be true. Now are you certain it was Jesus speaking to you and not a demon impersonating Jesus?

                      A struggle I have here Victor is that I have communicated with others who have told me they received direct revelation from Jesus. Yet if we could bring you all together in one room to discuss it, the revelations would all contradict each other. So if Jesus truly did reveal this to you, then these other people must have all been deceived by demons. So do you think perhaps they were decieved?

                    • Victor Field

                      Daz
                      In fulfilment with Luke 12:37 not literally (voice)

                      Peter k

                      It sounds like you have had some experience with other peoples claims,I cannot comment on what others have said,previously to you, only on that of my own revelation, therefore
                      You have my email, please feel free to ask me questions and test me out, I would welcome this, as I have observed your thoroughness, in relation to testing out the scriptures

  • thomas

    very well put Jerome, spot on!! brief and to the point,

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thomas – At the time of Jesus return, do you believe that His followers on earth will be aware that He is present? What scriptural evidence can you present to support your answer?

      • thomas

        a most excellent question Peter K. if you don’t mind I will make this a matter of prayer and thought before replying.

      • Daz

        Hi Peter, could these signs not be the lead up to Christ’s return?

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Daz – Personally, I think these are signs of Jesus Presence. However, for the sake of arguement, let’s say that I am NOT correct and that it is as you say, these events are all the lead up to Jesus return. Okay. However, we might still want to answer the question first, WHAT IS CAUSING THESE EVENTS TO OCCUR? After we can answer this question, then we can try to establish what the signs indicate – whether He is coming soon or now Present.

  • Any serious student (disciple) of Christ would know the answer to this question without even flinching.

    True disciples of Christ would know what he said at Matthew 24:36, Matthew 24:42 and Acts 1:7 (just to name a few places) concerning such things.

    True disciples of Christ would be obedient to The Most High’s command at Luke 9:35 to “Listen to His Son.”

    Are persons listening to what Christ said in the Scriptures mentioned above or are they listening to religious organizations and their leadership at the top?

    I think it is an insult to The Most High God and His Son when the persons proclaiming to have received prophetic utterances(past and present) from God and Christ are ALL White persons. I know that God does not show favoritism. Doesn’t anyone see anything wrong with any of this?

    First, we have these persons and the religious organizations they found establishing dates that Jesus said was out of their jurisdiction and not knowable by any human, angel or himself. Yet, these religious organizations ignore what Jesus said and press ever forward teaching and building a foundation of false teachings based on such dates.

    Second, to ignore what Jesus says is an actual “opposing” what he said. It is taking an “anti” posture with what Jesus said. This is the “spirit” of opposition to Christs teachings or “spirit of antichrist.”

    The most interesting and curious thing I have observed is that the masses who cling to these false utterances act as if Jesus never said anything about such things. Instead, they are blindly loyal the teachings of the religious organizations they have invested themselves in and made themselves members. They will even defend the teachings of the organization rather than what Christ said concerning dates and times. What power could cast such a shadow over persons?

    Bottom line: It should be a no-brainer. Either one listens to what Christ says or they don’t.

    Jesus said at Matthew 24:42: “… YOU do not know on what day YOUR Lord is coming.”

    So why are religious organizations teaching THEY KNOW?

    This should not even be a discussion. There are no words or reasoning about the establishment of dates to justify NOT listening to what Christ said.

    Listen to Christ and not to religious organizations who desire persons to listen to them … or else.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Jerome – Before I respond to you, can you verify that you see my comment here and will be looking for my response. Can we have a back and forth discussion on this topic? Hearing from you will let me know if you are really looking to see what others have to say about your comments. Thanks.

      • Daz

        Hi Peter, hope you are well & enjoyed the convention.
        I would be very interested to read your reply to jerome’s points as I feel he has made some very valid ones BUT I am sure that you also will have some valid view points too. After spending alot of time within the Jw organization myself I totally see where Jerome is coming from. Many of it’s members do just follow suit & just automatically trust what they are being told or taught. I guess I was a victim of this at some point too BUT I always asked questions, some that were never really answered to my satisfaction. I always had these little niggling doubts at the back of my mind, it was like I knew something wasn’t quite right with the teachings but just wasn’t quite sure what at that time. I am thankful & I appreciate that the basics were taught to me in a pretty truthful way though.

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Daz – Thanks. No body should “just sit and follow suit & just automatically trust what they are being told or taught.” We should find our answers in the Bible. We should allow liberty for people to have differences of opinion. Regarding Jerome’s comments, if you have something specific you want me to reply to, let me know. In general, I would say that I believe we can make the case from scriptures that Jesus invisibly returns with the world not aware of this during a period called the “Harvest” where the anointed see that he has returned. I believe that the signs of Christ’s PRESENCE are the signs and evidence that indicate he is here. I understand that on the surface, this seems like a ridiculous proposition to the natural mind. So we can either agree to disagree and love each other in spite of this or if you would like, we can start pursuing this topic in more detail. The problem with many questions on this website is that people have not read the Studies in the Scriptures to understand the scriptural reasons why Bible Students believe Jesus has been present for so long. This is sort of like someone mastering basic math, then without taking Beginning Algebra, Basic Algebra and Advanced Algebra arguing that a chapter in the Advances Algebra book is clearing wrong. To really understand it a lot of study and dedication to God’s word is needed. This takes time and patience.

          • Daz

            Hi Peter, thanks for your reply, I would very much like to read the study you refer to & meditate on it with use of the scriptures, please would you mind post a link so I can read it.
            Many thanks,

            Warm & loving regards,
            Daz

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Daz – About Jesus second presence, to get started, check out this video:
              http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2011/05/22/is-jesus-coming-or-has-he-returned-watch-this-video/

              As background material, CLICK HERE to consider that Jesus now has an invisible Heavenly Spirit Divine Body.

              For information about How Jesus second presence is invisible and unseen by the world CLICK HERE.

              Daz – This is sort of the Beginning Algebra Course, so to speak. If you finish this and want more, we can complete the Beginning Algebra Course with more.

              • Daz

                Hi Peter, sorry I have only just noticed your reply to me with the links, thankyou so much, I will definately check them out!

                Warm & loving regards,
                Daz

              • Daz

                Hi Peter. I watched & listened to the video which you kindly posted the link for. I can see your understanding & reasoning for believing that Jesus returned in 1874 especially regarding the massive growth in technology & knowledge. It was very strange watching & listening to this on the video because I had a discussion with a very close friend who at the time didn’t really believe in God, well I brought up in one of our conversations about the incredable rate in which technology & knowledge has surpassed everyone’s expectations within the last 100 years or so. I mentioned most of what the video said. The conversation was basically about being in the last days & how the signs of the times prove this, I still have indepth conversations with him. Only last week I was explaining the best I could the return of Christ Jesus & what it means for us, I always try & keep it as simple as I can as I don’t want to overload him with too much at once. I am happy to say that he now has a real belief in God, which has brought my much joy, he is such a good hearted guy & a very loyal friend.

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