Predictions and claims for the Second Coming of Christ

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Second Coming is a Christian concept regarding the return of Jesus to Earth after his "first coming" and his believed ascension to heaven about two thousand years ago. The belief is based on messianic prophecies found in the canonical gospels and is part of most Christian eschatologies. Views about the nature of Jesus' Second Coming vary among Christian denominations and among individual Christians.

A number of specific dates have been predicted for the Second Coming. The list shows the dates and details of predictions from notable groups or individuals of when Jesus was, or is, expected to return. This list also contains dates specifically predicting Jesus' Millennium, though there are several theories on when the Millennium is believed to occur in relation to the Second Coming.

Past predictions[edit]

Predicted date Claimant Description
500 Hippolytus of Rome, Sextus Julius Africanus, Irenaeus These three Christian theologians predicted Jesus would return in the year 500. One prediction was based on the dimensions of Noah's ark.[1]:35
793 Apr 6 Beatus of Liébana The Spanish monk prophesied the second coming of Christ and the end of the world would take place that day to a crowd of people.
1000 Jan 1 Pope Sylvester II The Millennium Apocalypse at the end of the Christian Millennium. Various Christian clerics predicted the end of the world on this date. Following the failure of the January 1, 1000 prediction, some theorists proposed that the end would occur 1000 years after Jesus' death (1033), instead of his birth.
1260 Joachim of Fiore The Italian mystic determined that the Millennium would begin between 1200 and 1260.[2]:48
1370 Jean de Roquetaillade The Antichrist was predicted to come in 1366 and the Millennium would begin in 1368 or 1370.[3]:55
1504 Sandro Botticelli Believed he was living during the time of the Tribulation, and that the Millennium would begin in three and a half years from 1500.[3]:60
1524 Feb 20 Johannes Stöffler A planetary alignment in Pisces was seen by this astrologer as a sign of the Millennium.[4]:236–237
1524–1526 Thomas Müntzer 1525 would mark the beginning of the Millennium, according to this Anabaptist.[1]
1533 Oct 19 Michael Stifel This mathematician calculated that the Judgement Day would begin at 8:00am on this day.
1673 William Aspinwall This Fifth Monarchist claimed the Millennium would begin by this year.[5]:209
1694 Johann Jacob Zimmermann Believed that Jesus would return and the world would end this year.[6]:19–20
John Mason and Johann Heinrich Alsted Both claimed the Millennium would begin by this year.[2]:66:72
1700 Henry Archer Archer counted 1335 years from the end of the reign of Julian the Apostate (the dates of whose reign he was uncertain), taking the 1335 days in Daniel 12:12 as years.[7]
1757 Emanuel Swedenborg Followed the Last Judgment in 1757, which took place in the spiritual world.[8][9] This was one of many events recounted in his works resulting from visions of Jesus Christ returned. He tells of almost daily interaction with Christ over the course of almost 30 years. His return is not in the flesh, but in His Holy Spirit. "Neither shall they say see here or see there, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20).[10]
1793–1795 Richard Brothers This retired sailor stated the Millennium would begin between 1793 and 1795. He was eventually committed to an insane asylum.[11]
1814 Dec 25 Joanna Southcott This 64-year-old self-described prophet claimed she was pregnant with the Christ child, and that he would be born on Christmas Day, 1814. She died on the day of her prediction, and an autopsy proved she was not pregnant.[12]:109
1829 Sep 15 George Rapp Founder and leader of the Harmony Society, predicted that on September 15, 1829, the three and one half years of the Sun Woman would end and Christ would begin his reign on earth.[13] Dissension grew when Rapp's predictions went unfulfilled. In March 1832, a third of the group left and some began following a man named Bernhard Müller who claimed to be the Lion of Judah. Nevertheless, most of the group stayed and Rapp continued to lead them until he died on August 7, 1847. His last words to his followers were, "If I did not so fully believe, that the Lord has designated me to place our society before His presence in the land of Canaan, I would consider this my last."[14]
1836 John Wesley Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, foresaw the Millennium beginning this year. He wrote that Revelation 12:14 referred to the years 1058–1836, "when Christ should come".[1]:37[11]:269
1840–1864 Jakob Lorber Austrian musician who wrote during 24 years a vast amount of works later called the New Revelation claimed to be received through an inner voice which belonged to Jesus Christ offered many detailed prophecies concerning the unfolding of the second coming, pointing to a time before the passing of 2000 years after the death of Christ on the cross.
1844 Oct 22 William Miller, Millerites The fact that this failed to happen the way people were expecting was later referred to as the Great Disappointment. Some Millerites continued to set dates; others founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Advent Christian Church, which continue to expect a soon Second Coming but no longer set dates for it. Baha'is claim that Miller's prediction of the year 1844 was in fact calculated correctly, and refers to the advent of the Báb.
1847 Aug 7 George Rapp Rapp, the founder of the Harmony Society, preached that Jesus would return in his lifetime, even as he lay dying on August 7, 1847.[6]:23
1861 Joseph Morris Morris told his followers not to plant crops because he firmly believed that "Christ will come tomorrow."[15]
1863 John Wroe The founder of the Christian Israelite Church calculated that the Millennium would begin this year.[12]
1874 Charles Taze Russell The first president of what is now the Watchtower Society of the Jehovah's Witnesses, calculated 1874 to be the year of Christ's Second Coming, and until his death taught that Christ was invisibly present, and ruling from the heavens from that date prophesied.[16][17][18][19] Russell proclaimed Christ's invisible return in 1874,[19]:175 the resurrection of the saints in 1875,[19]:104–108 and predicted the end of the "harvest" and a rapture of the saints to heaven for 1878,[19]:68, 89–93, 124–126, 143 and the final end of "the day of wrath" in 1914.[19]:189 1874 was considered the end of 6,000 years of human history and the beginning of judgment by Christ.[20]
1890 Wovoka The founder of the Ghost Dance movement predicted in 1889 that the Millennium would occur in 1890.[21]:69
1891 Joseph Smith, Mormons In the History of the Church Volume 2, page 182, an eyewitnesses account of Joseph Smith's prophecy in 1835 is recorded as: "President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion--our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh--even fifty-six years should wind up the scene." Though this was not a prediction from Joseph Smith, he stated, "I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time." (D&C 130:14-17)
1901 Catholic Apostolic Church This church, founded in 1831, claimed that Jesus would return by the time the last of its 12 founding members died. The last member died in 1901.[22]:87
1914 Jehovah's Witnesses The "Second Coming" is important in the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses, although they do not use this term. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Christ's visible (to humans) return will be at Armageddon. They believe that 1914 marked the beginning of Christ's invisible presence (Matt. 24:3 gr. "parousia") as the King of God's Kingdom (Psalm 110; Revelation 12:10), and the beginning of the last days of the human ruled system of society. They believe the signs Christ revealed about his return in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 began to occur starting in 1914. In a parallel Biblical account at Revelation 6, they believe the ride of the symbolic four horsemen began in the same year, and that the first rider on the white horse depicts the Christ. He goes forth to complete his conquest of the earth, while the rule by human leaders continues for a short while until they meet their end at Armageddon by the power of the Christ (Revelation 19:11-21).
1915 John Chilembwe This Baptist educator and leader of a rebellion in Nyasaland predicted the Millennium would begin this year.[21]:69
1917–1930 Sun Myung Moon The followers of Reverend Sun Myung Moon consider Reverend Moon to be the Lord of the Second Advent called by Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday at the age of 15 on a Korean Mountainside. (See Divine Principle)
1930–1939 Rudolf Steiner Steiner described the physical incarnation of Christ as a unique event, but predicted that Christ would reappear in the etheric, or lowest spiritual, plane beginning in the 1930s. This would manifest in various ways: as a new spiritual approach to community life and between individuals; in more and more individuals discovering fully conscious access to the etheric plane (clairvoyance); and in Christ's appearance to groups of seekers gathered together.[23]
1935, 1943, 1972 & 1975 Herbert W. Armstrong Armstrong, Pastor-General and self-proclaimed "Apostle" of the Radio Church of God, and then the Worldwide Church of God, felt the return of Jesus Christ might be in 1975. Of particular note was the book 1975 in Prophecy! written by Armstrong and published by the Radio Church of God in 1956. Though, never explicitly stating a date in the booklet, the title led people to believe the date was the second coming. It was actively preached in sermons in the 1960s by all of his ministers that his church would "flee" to Petra, Jordan in 1972 and Christ would return 3 1/2 years later.

After the failure to flee in 1972 (and a defection of his ministry) Armstrong was careful not to set specific dates but claimed that Christ would return before he died. He died January 16, 1986.

Armstrong had previously predicted in a 1934 edition of The Plain Truth magazine that Christ would return in 1936. After that prediction failed, he stated in a 1940 edition of The Plain Truth that "Christ will come after 3 1/2 years of tribulation in October 43. After those failed predictions and loss of members he moved his operation from Oregon to Pasadena, California.

After Armstrong's death in 1986, his Worldwide Church of God and the empire he created slowly disintegrated, abandoning his beliefs and philosophies and eventually the name. His three college campuses and the majority of his Pasadena headquarter properties were closed and sold. His successors changed the name to Grace Communion International in 2009.

1982 Jun 21 Benjamin Creme The followers of the New Age Theosophical guru Benjamin Creme, like Alice A. Bailey, believe the Second Coming will occur when Maitreya (the being Theosophists identify as being Christ) makes his presence on Earth publicly known—Crème believes Maitreya has been on Earth since 1977, living in secret.

Creme put advertisements in many of the world's major newspapers in early 1982 stating that the Second Coming would occur on Monday, 21 June 1982 (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere), at which time Christ (Maitreya) would announce his Second Coming on worldwide television (this is called the Emergence or Day of Declaration; this is when, Creme's followers believe, the Maitreya will telepathically overshadow all of humanity when he appears on worldwide television)[24] When this event did not occur, Crème claimed that the "world is not yet ready to receive Maitreya"; his followers continue to believe it will happen "soon".

1988 Edgar C. Whisenant Published a book, 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988.
1994 Sep 6 Harold Camping Camping, general manager of Family Radio and Bible teacher, published a book, 1994?, a prediction that Christ's return was likely pointing to 1994.
1999–2009 Jerry Falwell Fundamentalist preacher who predicted in 1999 that the Second Coming would probably be within 10 years.[25]
2000 Ed Dobson This pastor predicted the end would occur in his book The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000.[26]
Timothy Dwight IV This President of Yale University foresaw Christ's Millennium starting by 2000.[2]:81
Edgar Cayce This psychic predicted the Second Coming would occur this year.[27]
Isaac Newton Newton predicted that Christ's Millennium would begin in the year 2000 in his book Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John.[28]:96
2000, April 6 James Harmston The leader of the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days predicted the Second Coming of Christ would occur on this day.
2011 May 21
2011 Oct 21
Harold Camping Main article: 2011 end times prediction Camping claimed that the rapture would be on May 21, 2011 followed by the end of the world on October 21 of the same year. Camping wrote "Adam when?" and claimed the Biblical calendar meshes with the secular and is accurate from 11,013 BC–2011 AD.[29]
2011 Sep 29
2012 May 27

2013 May 18

Ronald Weinland Weinland predicted Jesus would return on September 29, 2011.[30][31][32] When his prediction failed to come true, he moved the date of Jesus' return to May 27, 2012.[33] When that prediction failed, he then moved the date to May 18, 2013, claiming that "a day with God is as a year," giving himself another year for his prophecy to take place. Weinland was convicted of tax evasion in 2012 and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison.
2012 Jack Van Impe Televangelist who has, over the years, predicted many specific years and dates for the second coming of Jesus, but has continued to move his prediction later. Many of these dates have already passed, and he recently pointed to 2012 as a possible date for the second coming. Van Impe no longer claims to know the exact date of the Second Coming, but quotes verses which imply that mankind should know when the second coming is near.
2015 Sep 28 Mark Biltz Starting in 2008, Mark Biltz began teaching that Christ's return would correspond with the September 28, 2015 lunar eclipse. His idea, known as the Blood Moon Prophecy, attracted attention from pastor John Hagee (who stopped short of claiming Christ would return on that precise date) and mainstream media such as USA Today.[34]

Future predictions[edit]

Predicted date Claimant Notes
2019 Ronald Weinland Weinland believes that Jesus Christ will return on the eve of Pentecost in the year 2019, making the date Saturday, June 8, 2019.[35]
2020 Jeane Dixon The alleged psychic claimed that Armageddon would take place in 2020 and Jesus would return to defeat the unholy Trinity of the Antichrist, Satan and the False prophet between 2020 and 2037.[36]
2021 F. Kenton Beshore Beshore bases his prediction on the prior suggestion that Jesus could return in 1988, i.e., within one Biblical generation (40 years) of the founding of Israel in 1948. Beshore argues that the prediction was correct, but that the definition of a Biblical generation was incorrect and was actually 70–80 years, placing the Second Coming of Jesus between 2018 and 2028 and the Rapture by 2021 at the latest.[37]
2025 Alice A. Bailey In January 1946, the New Age Theosophical guru prophesied that Christ would return "sometime after AD 2025"[38]:530 (Theosophists identify "Christ" as being identical to a being they call Maitreya) to inaugurate the Age of Aquarius; thus, this event will be, according to Bailey, the New Age equivalent of the Christian concept of the Second Coming.[39]

Alice A. Bailey stated that St. Germain is the manager of the executive council of the Christ (Like C.W. Leadbeater, Alice A. Bailey refers to St. Germain as the Master Rakoczi or the Master R. in her books.).;[38]:508 thus, according to Alice A. Bailey, St. Germain's primary task is to prepare the way for the Second Coming.

By 2057 Frank J. Tipler In 1994, the physicist and intelligent design advocate Frank J. Tipler published a book called The Physics of Immortality in which he claimed to scientifically prove the existence of God as a consequence of what he calls the Omega Point Theory. In 2007, he published a sequel to "The Physics of Immortality" called The Physics of Christianity which applies the principles of the Omega Point Theory to the Christian religion. In this 2007 book, he asserts in the first chapter that the Second Coming of Christ will occur within 50 years, i.e., by 2057, and will be coincident with what futurist Ray Kurzweil calls the Singularity (which Kurzweil himself predicts will occur by 2045).[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Strandberg, Todd; James, Terry (June 2003). Are You Rapture Ready. New York City: Dutton. 
  2. ^ a b c Richard Kyle, The Last Days are Here Again. Baker Books, Grand Rapids MI, 1998.
  3. ^ a b Weber, Eugen (1999). Apocalypses. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-7567-5314-7. 
  4. ^ Randi, James (1993). The Mask of Nostradamus. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0879758301. 
  5. ^ Richard Abanes, End-Time Visions. Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1998.
  6. ^ a b Daniel Cohen, Prophets of Doom. The Millbrook Press, Inc., Brookfield CT, 1999.
  7. ^ Brady, David (1983). The Contribution of British Writers Between 1560 and 1830 to the Interpretation of Revelation 13.16-18. Mohr Siebeck. p. 183. 
  8. ^ The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed. All the Predictions in the Apocalypse are at This Day Fulfilled
  9. ^ Emanuel Swedenborg, The True Christian Religion. Containing the Universal Theology of The New Church Foretold by the Lord in Daniel 7; 13, 14; and in Revelation 21;1,2, Chapter 14
  10. ^ "Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Providence". Smallcanonsearch.com. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  11. ^ a b Tom McIver, The End of the World: An Annotated Bibliography. McFarlane & Co., Jefferson NC, 1999.
  12. ^ a b Stephen Skinner, Millennium Prophecies. Longmeadow Press, Stamford CT, 1994.
  13. ^ Frederic J. Baumgartner, Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization (1999) p.166
  14. ^ William E. Wilson, The Angel and the Serpent: The Story of New Harmony (Indiana University Press, 1984) p.11
  15. ^ Godfrey, Kenneth (1994), "The Morrisites", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, p. 674, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  16. ^ "Charles Taze Russell—FREE Charles Taze Russell Information". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  17. ^ "The writer, among many others now interested, was sound asleep, in profound ignorance of the cry, etc., until 1876, when being awakened he trimmed his lamp (for it is still very early in the morning.) It showed him clearly that the Bridegroom had come and that he is living "in the days of the Son of Man."C.T. Russell (April 1880). "From and To The Wedding". Zion's Watch Tower: 2. 
  18. ^ Russell explained how he accepted the idea of an invisible return of Christ from N.H. Barbour in "Harvest Gatherings and Siftings" in the July 15, 1906 Watch Tower, Reprints page 3822.
  19. ^ a b c d e The Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World by N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell (1877). Text available online at: http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/history/3worlds.pdf
  20. ^ In 1935, the idea that the 6,000 years ran out in 1874 was moved forward 100 years."The Second Hand in the Timepiece of God" (PDF). The Golden Age: 412–413. March 27, 1935. 
  21. ^ a b Stephen Jay Gould, Questioning the Millennium. Harmony Books, New York, 1997.
  22. ^ Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1992.
  23. ^ "Reappearance/Christ: Lecture I: The Event of the Appearance of Christ in the Etheric World". Wn.rsarchive.org. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  24. ^ Creme, Benjamin Maitreya's Mission Amsterdam:1986 Share International Foundation
  25. ^ Falwell: Antichrist May Be Alive. Sonja Baristic, Associated Press. January 16, 1999.
  26. ^ The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000. Ed Dobson. 1997. Zondervan.
  27. ^ Nick Hanna, The Millennium: A Rough Guide to the Year 2000. Rough Guides, London, 1998. Page 219.
  28. ^ Schwartz, Hillel (1995), Century's End: An orientation manual toward the Year 2000, New York: Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-47981-6 
  29. ^ Harold Camping (1992). 1994?. Vantage Press, Inc. ISBN 0-533-10368-1. 
  30. ^ Ronald Weinland. "Moving Forward Rapidly, February 7, 2008". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  31. ^ Ronald Weinland. "New Truth, June 18, 2008". Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  32. ^ Ronald Weinland. "1260 Days, December 13, 2008". Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved Dec 17, 2008. 
  33. ^ Kissick, Peter (May 26, 2012). "Eurovision 2012: a sign of the apocalypse?". thephonograph.co.uk. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  34. ^ Elizabeth Weise (April 3, 2014). "Blood moon eclipse on April 15 is a special event". USA Today. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  35. ^ http://www.cog-pkg.org/ronald-weinland/
  36. ^ Jeane Dixon, The Call to Glory. Bantam Books, New York, 1971. Pages 170, 172
  37. ^ Anderson, Troy (December 6, 2012). "Bible Scholar Predicts New date of Christ's Second Coming". charismanews.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  38. ^ a b Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957 Lucis Publishing Co.
  39. ^ Bailey, Alice A. The Reappearance of the Christ New York:1948 Lucis Publishing Co.
  40. ^ Website of Dr. Frank J. Tipler--Content of the first chapter of The Physics of Christianity is downloadable from Dr. Tipler's website: