Raymond Arthur Waugh, Sr.
A Journey in Writing

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Why All Church-Age Endtime 
Prophets are False
Ray Waugh, Sr. 1915-1995

Part II 

Ray Waugh, Sr. Start Page

Part I Introduction
Part V Famed False Prophets
Part VI Some Academic False Prophets
Part VII Some Confusing False Prophecy


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. The Confessions of Augustine were very meaningful to me in some of my earlier Christian years.

Peter Waldo

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."

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.

Martin Luther

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).

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 [1531] 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.

John Calvin

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 I Introduction  < Outline > Part III LATER PROPHETS SPOKE FALSELY

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