The Course of Reason

101 Last Days Prophecies (1-5)

September 27, 2011

Elizabeth writes for Skeptic Freethought and started a series of articles called “101 Last Days Prophecies.” She explains the story of how she came up with this idea when a classmate gave her a pamphlet of prophecies here. The following is her discussion of the first five prophecies.


Red underline = citation needed
Yellow underline = self fulfilling prophecy
Orange underline = unsupported claim
Purple underline = straw man fallacy
Green underline = shoehorning

Prophecy # 1 - Haters gonna hate

2 Peter 1-2 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

To start with, the Bible (god’s word) has been proven to be fallible (to name a few) historically, scientifically, morally and logically. Plus, there are thousands of different interpretations of this “word,” none of them agreeing with the other. Which interpretation is heretic, and which interpretation is the true teaching? Each different interpretation (or denomination or sect or whatever) claims to be the true teaching with equal amount of zero proof and evidence. Thus, technically, no heresy can possibly occur, except heresy against one out of thousands of different Christian doctrines, which is nothing new in this day and age. It has been happening since Christianity’s first beginnings. In fact, that is a main reason why the Council of Nicaea met—to favor one dogma out of many different dogmas that were conflicting with each other and fighting over the “true teachings” title.

The second part is a straw man fallacy about why people reject the Bible. All the atheists, skeptics, agnostics, etc. that I know do not rely on a teacher to tell them about the Bible. They have read the Bible personally, researched and rejected it based on its flaws and content. Also, a survey last year has indicated that the nonreligious actually know more about the Bible than the religious. So most people who accept the Bible actually DO NOT KNOW what it says.

Prophecy # 2 -It’s raining Tele-Evangelists!

2 Peter 2:3 “By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”

People using religion to exploit other people is nothing new. Even before the book of Peter was written there have been demagogues after money. The thing is…they don’t have to twist scripture to do it. Consider, for example, Jesus’ approval when a poor widow tithes her whole livelihood (the money of that time, equal to a farthing according to some websites) to the treasury (Mark 12:41-44) of the temple. He said, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” It seems pretty callous to me, to allow a poor woman to give up all her money to the church rather than spend it on food, clothing and shelter.

Prophecy # 3 - World Domination!

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.”
Revelations 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth-to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.”

This shouldn’t be a surprise since spreading the gospel over the world was a commandment, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Here is the commandment again, spoken after Jesus supposedly rose from the dead: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age.” Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Also, since apparently 10% has not been covered, this prophecy is a dud.

Prophecy # 4 -Shoehorned Satellites

Revelations 11:9-10 “Then [those] from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”
Revelations 17:8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Taking these verses and claiming them to be a prophecy of television or satellite is probably the most classic case of shoehorning I have yet seen in this pamphlet. I’m not even sure where it comes from, honestly… These verses are vague enough that we can make them say anything.

Prophecy # 5 - Death from the Skies!

Matthew 24:21-22 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

As Phil Plait made clear in his book, “Death from the Skies,” natural hazards are much more capable of destroying all life on earth than our inventions. Still, the original word used for flesh (from part of the verse “no flesh would be saved”) is “sarx,” which translates as many different things: flesh, as in the soft substances covering the bone (aka NOT ALL LIFE); the body (of a man, of a generation, of sinful animal nature); a man or beast; human nature. But what it does not translate into is “all life on earth.” Which sort of makes the interpretation of this prophecy outright false to begin with… Also, Jesus is recorded in saying, “UNLESS those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.” Meaning unless this happens, we are all doomed. However, he says that the days WILL be shortened-which means some flesh WILL be saved.

This was just a big misunderstanding. I am unconvinced of any prophetic meaning.

(to be continued…) 

This post originally appeared on Skeptic Freethought. Check back as Elizabeth continues the prophecies!

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About the Author: Elizabeth Knapp

Elizabeth Knapp's photo
Elizabeth Knapp is an activist for Center for Inquiry of Fort Lauderdale and FL.A.S.H. (Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists). She is new to the "movement," and working on a degree in Nursing while restarting the CFI club at Broward College. She is a writer for Skeptic Freethought.




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