Prophetic Failures

"When the prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh and the word does not come to pass, that is the word Yahweh has not spoken.I have posted a PDF version of a paper I wrote some years ago to provide an overview of the many failures over the centuries by end-time prognosticators and erstwhile prophets.

Please feel free to download, copy, and distribute it as you please. The material is not copyrighted - (A History of Failed Predictions).

History - Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash
[History - Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash]

Although the details have varied from one failed prophetic movement to another, one element remains the same in every case - The failure to heed the repeated warnings of Jesus that no one but God alone knows the timing of his return - It is not for his disciples "
to know times and seasons." 

In every case, great intellectual effort is expended to find loopholes in the words of Jesus, to rationalize why his warning does not apply to us today, or simply to invent new loopholes and time gaps, then to sledgehammer them into his unequivocal saying.

The End-Time Prophecy Industry has thrived over the last several decades despite its many failed attempts to produce verifiable and significant prophetic fulfillments, including several catastrophic failures.

For example, up until 1988, the party line was that Jesus would come within a "biblical generation" of the founding of modern Israel in 1948. Since a "biblical generation" was defined as approximately forty years in length, logically, he was expected to arrive around 1988. Of course, ever since 1988 came and went, the Prophecy Industry has worked tirelessly to redefine exactly what a "biblical generation" is, so that now it ranges anywhere from forty and to one hundred and twenty years.

Likewise, up until 1990, the Prophecy Industry predicted that the (former) Soviet Union would become the army of "Gog and Magog" and invade Israel from the north. Instead, it collapsed under its own weight in one of THE most pivotal events of the last century, something NONE of the prophecy "experts" saw coming.

Today's Prophecy Industry has become too shrewd to resort to predicting exact dates. Instead, it presents approximate timeframes and general "seasons." They claim Jesus declared that we cannot know the exact "day or hour" but said nothing about not knowing the general "season." Putting aside the logical fallacy, an argument from silence, Jesus said that very thing in Mark 13:32-33 and Acts 1:7 - ("The Son of Man is coming in a season you least expect him." "It is not for you to know times and seasons").
After each prophetic failure, the reaction is always the same. Rather than admit error, prophecy teachers go into overdrive to redefine terms and recalculate chronologies. Or the Industry simply goes quiet on the subject, hoping no one will notice.
This history should warn us to heed Christ's warnings about coming deceivers who would propagate false information about his coming, and recognize the Prophecy Industry for what it is - a collection of some of the very deceivers Jesus declared would come to "deceive many."

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