Some Christians and secular individuals predicted several momentous events that they believed are related:
The second coming of Jesus Christ,
when he returns to earth after almost two millennia.
The war of Armageddon -- a massive
battle in Israel.
The arrival on earth of the
Antichrist, an evil political, military leader.
The Tribulation, a seven year
interval of great suffering and death.
when Christians who have been born again -- both living and dead -- will
rise into the sky towards Jesus.
Some horrendous natural disaster.
It is worth noting that all of the following
predictions have failed. We expect that all of the predictions about our future will
We offer no guarantees that the prophets listed below
actually made these predictions. We have described their alleged predictions as they were
reported on the Web, in newspapers, books, etc. We do not have the resources to track down
original source material.
1936: Herbert W Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God,
predicted that the Day of the Lord would happen sometime in 1936.
Nothing much happened that year, except for the birth of the compiler of
this list -- who has been referred to as an Anti-Christ. When the
prediction failed, he made a new estimate: 1975.
1940 or 1941: A Bible teacher from Australia, Leonard
Sale-Harrison, held a series of prophesy conferences across North America
in the 1930's. He predicted that the end of the world would happen in 1940
or 1941. 1
1948: During this year, the state of Israel was founded. Some
Christians believed that this event was the final prerequisite for the second coming of
Jesus. Various end of the world predictions were made in the range 1888 to 2048.
1953-AUG: David Davidson wrote a book titled "The Great Pyramid, Its
Divine Message". In it, he predicted that the world would end in 1953-AUG.
1957-APR: The Watchtower magazine quoted 2 a
pastor from California, Mihran Ask, as saying in 1957-JAN that "Sometime
April 16 and 23, 1957, Armageddon will sweep the world! Millions of persons will perish in
its flames and the land will be scorched.'
1959: Florence Houteff's, who was the leader of the
Branch Davidians faith group, prophesied that the 1260
days mentioned in Revelation 11:3 would end and the Kingdom of David would be established
on 1959-APR-22. Followers expected to die, be resurrected, and transferred to
Heaven. Many sold their possessions and moved to Mt. Carmel
in anticipation of the "end time". It didn't happen. The group almost
did not survive; only a few dozen members remained.
Most Branch Davidians did die on 1993-APR-29 as a result of arson apparently
ordered by their leader, David Koresh. They were not bodily resurrected --
on earth at least.
1960: Piazzi Smyth, a past astronomer royal of Scotland, wrote a book circa 1860
titled "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid." It was responsible for
spreading the belief in pyramidology throughout the world. This is the belief that secrets
are hidden in the dimensions of the great pyramids. He concluded from his research that
the millennium would start before the end of 1960 CE.
1967: During the six day war, the Israeli army captured all of
Jerusalem. Many conservative Christians believed that the rapture would occur quickly.
However, the final Biblical prerequisite for the second coming is that the Jews resume
ritual animal sacrifices in the temple at Jerusalem. That never happened.
1970's: The late Moses David (formerly David Berg) was the founder of the
Christian religious group, The Children of God. He
predicted that a comet would hit the earth, probably in the mid 1970's and destroy all
life in the United States. One source indicated that he believed it would happen in 1973.
1972: According to an article in the Atlantic magazine,
"Herbert W. Armstrong's empire suffered a serious
blow when the end failed to begin in January of 1972, as Armstrong had
predicted, thus bringing hardship to many people who had given most of
their assets to the church in the expectation of going to Petra, where
such worldly possessions would be useless."3
According to an article in Wikipedia:
"The failure of this prophetic scenario to take place according to this
Co-Worker letter scenario, which was often repeated over the years
in print by Armstrong, may have been one of the initial reasons why
the church organization began to decline as unfulfilled expectations
led to great disappointment. As events unfolded, it became obvious
1972 did not have the biblical significance that the church had
anticipated for nearly two decades." 4
1974: Charles Meade, a pastor in Daleville, IN, predicted that the end
of the world will happen during his lifetime. He was born circa 1927, so the end will
probably come early in the 21st century.
1975: Many Jehovah's Witness
date. However, it was not officially recognized by the leadership.
1977: William Branham, a Baptist minister from Kentucky, was allegedly visited by an angel in 1946 who gave him magical powers to diagnose disease and demonic oppression in people. He also allegedly received the gift of discernment. He believed that the year 1977 would mark the end of the Laodicean church age and a time of major change. He wrote in 1965: "I sincerely believe and maintain as a private student of the Word, along with Divine inspiration that 1977 ought to terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium." He died in 1965 more than a decade before his prediction was proven wrong. 6
1978: Chuck Smith, Pastor of Calvary Chapel in Cost Mesa, CA, predicted
that the rapture would occur in 1981.
1980: Leland Jensen leader of a
Baha'i Faith group,
predicted that a nuclear disaster would happen in 1980. This would be
followed by two decades of conflict, ending in the establishment of
God's Kingdom on earth.
Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel taught an anti-Trinitarian belief
about God, and Christian Identity. Back in the 1970's, he
predicted that the Antichrist would appear before 1981.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church predicted that
the Kingdom of Heaven would be established this year.
1982: Pat Robertson predicted a few years in advance that the world
would end in the fall of 1982. The failure of this prophecy did not seem to
adversely affect his reputation.
1982: Astronomers John Gribben & Setphen Plagemann
predicted the "Jupiter Effect" in 1974. They wrote that when
various planets were aligned on the same side of the sun, tidal forces
would create solar flares, radio interruptions, rainfall and
temperature disturbances and massive earthquakes. The planets did
align as seen from earth, as they do regularly. Nothing unusual happened this
1984 to 1999: In 1983, Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh, later called
Osho, teacher of what has been called the Rajneesh movement, is
said to have predicted massive destruction on earth, including natural disasters and man-made
catastrophes. Floods larger than any since Noah, extreme earthquakes, very destructive
volcano eruptions, nuclear wars etc. were to happen. Tokyo, New York, San Francisco,
Los Angeles, Bombay will all disappear. Actually, the predictions were read
out by his secretary; their legitimacy is doubtful.
1985: Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel predicted
that the war of Armageddon will start on 1985-JUN 8-9 in "a valley
of the Alaskan peninsula." 5
1986: Moses David of The Children of God faith
group predicted that the Battle of Armageddon would take place in 1986. Russia would
defeat Israel and the United States. A worldwide Communist dictatorship would be
established. In 1993, Christ would return to earth
1987 to 2000: Lester Sumrall, in his 1987 book "I Predict
2000 AD" predicted that Jerusalem would be the richest city on Earth,
that the Common Market would rule Europe, and that there would be a
nuclear war involving Russia and perhaps the U.S. Also, he prophesized
that the greatest Christian revival in the history of the church would
happen: all during the last 13 years of the 20th century. All
of the predictions failed.
Hal Lindsey had predicted in his book "The Late, Great Planet
Earth" that the Rapture was coming in 1988 - one generation or
40 years after the creation of the state of Israel. This
failed prophecy did not appear to damage his reputation. He continues to write books of
prophecy which sell very well indeed.
Alfred Schmielewsky, a psychic whose stage name was
"super-psychic A.S. Narayana," predicted in 1986 that the world's greatest
natural disaster would hit Montreal in 1988. It didn't. Sadly, his psychic abilities failed him on
1999-APR-11 when he answered the door of his home only to be shot dead by a gunman.
1988-MAY: A 1981 movie titled "The man who saw
tomorrow" interpreted some of Nostradamus predictions. Massive
earthquakes were predicted for San Francisco and Los Angeles.
1988-OCT-11: Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist, had published the book
"88 Reasons why the Rapture will Occur in 1988." It sold over 4
million copies and probably made him a multi-millionaire.
About 1990: Peter Ruckman concluded from his analysis of the
Bible that the rapture would come within a few years of 1990. I think that we
can safely say that this prophecy failed as well.