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Famous Predictions of Jesus’ Return

Famous Predictions of Jesus’ Return – Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, Benny Hinn etc

1981 CE – In his 1978 book, “Future Survival”, Pastor Chuck Smith of the Calvary Chapel chainchurches, serving fast-faith throughout Southern CA, made a prediction for a 1981 Welcome Home, Jesus party. He would later come to regret that. Still, like many others who seem to have so little else to look forward to, Chuck continues to blab tediously on about the Second Coming at every possible opportunity. He just steers clear of pin-pointing any precise due dates, nowadays.

December 31, 1981 CE – Speaking of tedious, best-selling paranoia peddler Hal Lindsey declared in his book, “The Late, Great Planet Earth” that the Rapture would be forthcoming no later than 1981. Like many other neurotic doom junkies of the day, Hal was stuck on the year 1948 as the moment the apocalypse clock got ticking. Since the End would have to come within a generation of that date and pop-wisdom said a generation was forty years, it would have to be scheduled for 1988. Now, since there would first need to be seven years of Trib time, and before any nasty Tribulation stuff could go down, all the good little Christians would have to go up, that clearly put the Great Up-Sucking at 1981.

There was nothing new to Hal’s message, at all. What he had to say amounted to little more than a regurgitation of the cataclysmic claptrap that hundreds of other doomsmiths had been shopping around for years. But, he did have a knack for spiffy packaging. Lindsey used a technique now common in the biz. He methodically re-attributed all sorts of Bible passages to 20th century references; pegging Armageddon as a world-wide nuclear holocaust and re-casting a menagerie of Bible beasties as modern military machinery. Adopting a style that was popularly slangy on the one hand and dependent on twisted uses of political, scientific and military jargon on the other, Lindsey was able to convey to his readers a sense of immediacy and relevance to their lives that others in his field had yet to achieve. His use of buzz-words and selectively misleading technical data gave his bizarre conclusions the patina of “scientific” validity. He also had the great fortune to have his scare-tract made into a B-movie narrated by Orson Welles (whose career, by then, had dwindled down to that and hawking cheap wine on TV) and it managed to reach an even wider audience of the chronically gullible.

If there was anything at all unique to his 1981 harpings, it was his reliance on the claims made in another book, “The Jupiter Effect”. Lindsey’s style was to describe in loving, lingering, near-orgasmic detail all the appalling, gory, blood-drenched disasters that would occur due to this singular astral alignment. Then he’d justify it all by pointing to this one “scientific” text. A practice he continued in his later book, “The 1980’s: Countdown to Armageddon”, even though the authors of “The Jupiter Effect” had publicly refuted their earlier findings. The failure of Lindsey’s predictions to come anywhere near the neighborhood of true has never slowed him down in the least. He just dropped all reference to the Jupiter Effect, now refers to a generation as being anywhere between 40 and 100 years and keeps on making the same tired claims over and over, repositioning the target date as needed.


1982 CE – In case you were beginning to ask yourself, “Hey, where’s that reliable ol’ zipperhead, Pat Robertson in all this?” fear not! No discussion of fanatical apocalypse pushers could possibly be complete without a mention of Patty’s rantings. Usually good for an amusing screed or two regarding more localized catastrophes, like his claims that he could move killer hurricanes with his mind, Pat “Talk Louder, I Can’t Hear You Over The Voices In My Head” Robertson once pegged 1982 as the big date. The Soviet Union, he declared, would invade Israel and touch off the nuclear Armageddon that would spell the end of everything. No less than two billion people were to die in screaming, radioactive agony according to Patty’s glorious imaginings. When this charming scenario failed to materialize, Pat just turned his attention toward other disasters, like AIDs, earthquakes, fires, floods and his 1988 presidential campaign.

1982 CE – Hal Lindsey wasn’t the only one to get his panties in a bunch over the Jupiter Effect. When the book came out in 1974, it became an instant hit with twirling credophiles everywhere. The fact that the tome was authored by two otherwise respectable astrophysicists, John Gribben and Stephen Plagemann, lent the inane postulations within an entirely misplaced air of legitimacy. It carried a kind of scientific caché that Luddites always openly disdain, yet secretly yearn for and try to back their nutty claims up with whenever even remotely possible.

The whole idea behind the Jupiter Effect, was that in 1982, nine whole planets in our solar system (including Jupiter, natch’) were to align their bad selves in a trés impressive heliocentric conjunction. Their combined gravitational pull would cause a huge increase in sunspots which would send deadly solar-type particles whomping into our atmosphere in an entirely uncouth fashion. This would muss up our planet’s rotation no end and make the tectonic plates very unhappy, causing killer earthquakes of like, two billion zillion kadillion point six on the Richter scale to jiggle world-wide.

What nobody, especially not the likes of Hal Lindsey, bothered to point out, was that the book was never intended to be more than just an exercise in astrophysical mental masturbation. A theoretical “what if” festival, without much of any real substance behind it. As it became obvious that the text was being misinterpreted and wildly abused by the paranoid set, Gribbin publicly refuted the book’s conclusions and re-emphasized its entirely speculative nature. Didn’t matter. Refuting the news of an oncoming disaster is never as popular as concocting the news of one. Even when ’82 rolled over into ’83 with nary an atmospheric or tectonic bobble of any note, Jupiter-jumping True Believers did mental contortions for ages afterward, trying to give their beloved astral apocalypse something to show for itself.


1985 CE – Pentecostal preacher Lester Sumrall wrote of his unshakable certainty in the end of the world in a little tome entitled, “I Predict 1985”. By 1986, he’d published a new book entitled, “I Predict 2000”.


September 9, 1991 CE – Well, talk about your karmic ironies; Louis Farrakhan was not the only one to find apocalyptic inspiration in the Gulf War, the ultra-conservative Jewish sect, the Hasidim were, as well! Through a circuitous form of logic that only life-long marinating in mystic dogma can give rise to, Hasidic scholars concluded that a Russian-born rabbi named Menachem Mendel Schneerson was a prime candidate for Messiahood. Schneerson, himself was certainly with them that the apropos signs were on hand, right down to the Midrashic prophecy for a war in the Arabian gulf. Well, hopes ran high for a while, especially as Rosh Hashana closed in. But, as was the case with Louis, Menny and his boys were doomed to disappointment. Menny in particular, was doomed to more than that, as he died only three years later, effectively putting the Hasids on Messiah Watch, all over again.


1993 CE – Benny Hinn, bizarro televangelist so far out of orbit you couldn’t pull him back in with a tractor beam, prophesied that ’93 would be the year the faithful would be Raptured up like dust bunnies in a handy-vac. He also prophesied, in his inimitable, loving Christian way that two years after that, God would destroy all those sinful, evil awful, vile, icky homosexuals…Mm hmn, me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

October 1997 CE – The Reverend Kenneth Hagin, whose ministries even include a Bible correspondence school, determined that, not only was the End a’comin’, it was coming first to St. Louis, MO. From there, it was apparently supposed to spread out like a big carpet stain across the USA.

October 23, 1997 CE – Hi, kiddies! It’s time for another exciting episode in our continuing “ADVENTURES IN BIBLE MATH”! When we last left our intrepid Creation Pseudo-Scientists they had only just learned that a single day in the life of God lasts one thousand years in the lives of humans!!! Which explains why whenever there’s a real sudden and unexpected disaster and thousands of people pray to God for rescue, they’ll all just die, anyway. But six months later, their favorite team will win the Superbowl! It’s a time-delay thing. Anyway, God, we discovered, is big on the concept of fair division of labor and since he had to slog through a six thousand year work week, he figures we should too. Now, when one combines that thought with the long-dead Bishop Ussher’s notion that the world was created on Oct. 23, 4004 BCE (or just BC for the Bish) the result, obviously, is that Oct. 23, 1997 would mark the start of our day off. Sounds nice, huh?! Well,…except for the small detail that the world was supposed to end at exactly the same moment. But, what the hey, as long as we can sleep in, right?


1999 CE – Jack Van Impe, who likes to append his name with the dubious descriptor of “The Walking Bible”, has been carrot-on-a-sticking his legions of chiliasm chasers for decades. With promises ranging from Jesus’ Happy Returns party in 1975 to the hoisting of the Soviet flag over Independence Hall by 1976, (I guess I just must have missed that moment between the Bicentennial parades and the 500 Elvis impersonators at the Presidential gala that year) Jack-o has made himself one very rich little Parousia-peddler.

Back in 1990, the Impe-Man began hawking a video with the catchy title of “A.D. 2000…The End?” in which he plotted out a ’92 Rapture capture with a ’99 Doomsday. (as a point of interest, the vid was a big seller amongst those Hyoo-go folks I spoke of earlier) In the tape, he went to great lengths to suggest such joyful predictions as WW III and kept harping on the notion that the faithful must spiritually prepare themselves for this inevitable disaster …with the strong intimation that they might not get that prepping quite right without his heartfelt help…Available for a mere $24.95, plus shipping.

2000 CE – In Hal Lindsey’s literary doom-wallow, “Planet Earth – 2000”, he pegged the big 2-triple-0 as the target date for the battle of Armageddon… Though, since that pooped out per all his earlier pip-squealings, he has contingency dates going all the way up to 2048. At which point, barring cryogenic freezing or personal resurrection, he should be safely dead and impervious to the gales of skeptical laughter that will follow.


2000 CE – Just because a person is an expert in one field, doesn’t mean they’re a perfect font of wisdom about everything else. Case in point, Sir Isaac Newton, who really should have stuck to math and physics and left prophetic punditry alone. But, being an inquisitive kind’a guy, (and possessing an ego large enough to generate its own gravitational field) he wasn’t about to tolerate limiting his intellect solely to useful pursuits. In a book entitled, “Observations Upon The Prophecies Of Daniel And The Apocalypse Of St. John” he squandered a truly depressing amount of time and energy working out the details for the End Times. Page after page of nonsense abounds on “the seventy weeks of Daniel” representing 490 years and where, what and when all that began and ended and yadda, yadda, yadda… All of which amounts to nothing, but which modern Doomwacks (particularly those of the Biblical literalist variety) adored to harp on as “scientific” proof of their nuttiest notions. It’s enough to make one wonder if it wasn’t an apple, but an anvil that fell on Izzy’s head that day.

2000 CE – A bit further up the timescale, eighteenth century Protestant minister Jonahan Edwards tabbed the year 2000 for his big millennial event. Of course, he also had 1866 marked down for the fall of the papacy. A tidy reminder that prophets tend to see what they wish for.

from http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/9941/succeed_fail1.html


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