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A brief history of the end of the world

A brief history of the end of the world

As this is posted, it is now Sunday morning in New Zealand. Harold Camping has been predicting that world should have started ending at 6 PM Saturday. This is the latest in a series of failed predictions of the end of the world. Andrew Brown, writing in the Guardian has a quick history of what happened when, and how the whole idea began to take its modern form.

“By close study of the Book of Daniel, the Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera further invented the doctrine of the Rapture. This breaks the last judgment into two parts – first the real Christians are swept up into heaven, then the bad stuff happens to the rest of us.

Since this was a Jesuit doctrine, it was completely unacceptable to Protestants until the 19th century, when it was republished by another Jesuit, writing pseudonymously as a rabbi. From Jewish sources, it made perfect sense to Edward Irving, a fashionable Scottish preacher in London in the 1820s. By the 1830s his congregation was speaking tongues and prophesying and claiming miraculous healings, like an early version of Holy Trinity Brompton.

From there the doctrine crossed the Atlantic. William Miller, a Baptist minister in upstate New York, decided that when the Book of Daniel said ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’, it obviously meant 2,300 years; and by ‘the sanctuary being cleansed’ it obviously meant the return of Jesus: all he had to do was to establish the date from which Daniel was counting, and all would be ready.

What followed was a series of letdowns through the years 1843 and 1844, culminating 22 October 1844, when Jesus once more failed to reappear. This date is known as the Great Disappointment.”

From here.


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Catholicism Invented the Rapture? C’mon!

Many web sites claim that a 16th century Jesuit Catholic priest named Francisco Ribera taught an early form of the famous evangelical “rapture” that reportedly precedes and is disconnected from the final Second Coming.

To see the actual thrust of this claim, Google “Francisco Ribera taught a rapture 45 days before the end of Antichrist’s future reign.”

But no one ever quotes even one sentence from Ribera’s monumental commentary on the Book of Revelation which is said to be the source of the 45-day rapture claim.

Claimants are challenged to produce Ribera’s own words on this matter. If they cannot, their names should be blazoned on the web as hysterical historians! (BTW, no other Catholic leader, including Jesuit priest Manuel Lacunza, has ever taught a prior rapture.)

Curious about the real beginnings of the same mystical “fly-away” belief (a.k.a. the “pre-tribulation rapture”) that has captivated many evangelical leaders including Darby, Scofield, Lindsey, Falwell, LaHaye, and Hagee? Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”

Rev. Kurt

I have never heard the rapture connected to a Jesuit of the 16th century.

Wikipedia makes no such link and the whole creation of the Rapture seems like it had many hands in the early 18th century…

Rev. Kurt Huber

Monroe, CT

Hermano David | Brother Dav•veed

You folks have jumped the track. Judgment Day, the Second Coming and the Rapture of the Righteous is still not scheduled to occur for several hours now. It begins at around 6 PM today, Saturday, 21 MAY in the Pacific Time Zone and is foretold by Mr Camping to circumnavigate the globe in one hour increments heading west. So the majority of us here in the Americas have more than a full day to get ready.

You of little faith still have time to get your life in order, buy new underwear and prepare to meet an angry Godde!

David Allen

Bill Moorhead

As far as I can tell, the notion of the “Rapture” is (sort of) based on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. But as I read Paul’s imagery there, the event he is picturing is that first the dead are raised, and then the rest of us who haven’t died yet join with them in the air to greet the Lord. But it seems to me that Jesus is _incoming_ — we are all drawn up to greet him at his _arrival_ (cf. Matthew 25:6,10, where the bridesmaids go out to greet the bridegroom as he comes to the wedding; note also verse 13!). That is, Christ is not coming to “rapture” us away from the world, but to gather us into the (re)New(ed) Heaven and (re)New(ed) Earth of the resurrection.

But what do I know? I just read the text. At last report things are still quiet in New Zealand.

F.Harry Stowe

Heck, “chutzpah” was hard enough. Surely the whole Rapture thingie goes back to Paul and meeting Jesus in the air, though the details (some anti-Biblical) came later.

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