Gog and Magog in surprise retreat from the Middle East - Christadelphian prophets fail again

In a surprise move, Russian President Vladimir Putin has today ordered his military to start withdrawing the "main part" of its forces in Syria. They will no longer "threaten" Israel. - Not that they ever did; they worked in close co-ordination with Israel and even let Israel attack their close allies the Hezbollah. Christadelphians who told us that Russia in the Middle East was a sign of the end and the return of Christ have been shown to be wrong yet again.

23 comments:

  1. Good day.
    If you think Russia are walking away from the Middle East then I fear the Russian PR move has caught you naiively off guard! IMHO

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  2. Tom, I am quite sure that in the future many of the things we see today as significant events will be seen as just small, insignificant ripples on the fabric of history. Whether this is one of those events I don't know - but it does have that feel. Others will be the seemingly small nudges in a tense situation that start a major landslide. A review of the last 10 years of Weekly World Watch or the last 100 years of commentary on current day events will show many of these events being noted, with excitement followed by expectation followed by "clearly it wasn't God's will to act then". Many such articles could be recycled with light editing, and it would be found to apply just as well to the current situation as it ever applied to the previous situation. The articles also show that many of the really significant events caught the writers by surprise, though it is rarer for that surprise to be openly acknowledged. For example, some of the Christadelphian WW1 material makes very interesting reading today, and history has shown that it had little or no impact in advancing the time of the end. Yes, it brought the Balfour Declaration, but that was much more of a false dawn for the Jews than was recognised in 1917. It also sowed seeds of WW2, the Holocaust, the return of Israel, and eventually the Cold War, but the expectations that Soviet Russia would sweep down on Israel were never fulfilled, and nothing in Israel now looks dramatically closer to the end times than it did when Jerusalem was captured in 1967.

    This is unsurprising, given that much of the certainty of the traditional view is actually interpretation - more than is generally acknowledged. Also that no-one really knows when the end times are - even though most like to think it must be right now. Even bringing Russia into it - great story, but ask yourself whether it is really true to the end time texts?

    IMHO, trying to predict the actions of Russia in 2016 (or any other year) based not on scriptural prophecies of 2016 but on your interpretation of prophecies believed to refer to the time of the end is a dicey game with no more validity than using a coin toss to determine if Russia are genuinely looking to withdraw. I'll continue to watch the waves of history break and flatten into ripples in the rearview mirror without trying to force them into any pre-determined mould. I don't know what's coming next, but at least I can acknowledge it.

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  3. This is not the first time the russians have been down there..then packed up and left..Time will tell.. it might not be Russia.....its might have already happened years ago ezekial 38.It depends on which historian or critic you listen too.. everyone thinks they are right..Some say Magog has nothing to do with Russia.. thats some Bible Historians .Its hard to know as Modern scienece doesnt support alot of what is written.. it could just be what was written back then at that time...if they do in fact pack up and leave its an epic fail as there has been hours of talks about Gogs steady move south...i mean hours...Time will be the ultimate judge on this . I admit i have no clue and perhaps some others should man up and admit they dont know either.... its dishonest to keep then coming up with other ideas to cover up failed predictions .. admit ive got it wrong again... at this point in history. I apologize for barking on ,but after listening to this for 42 years its starting to wear just a litle thin....it fails everytime ususally..

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  4. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/15/world/russia-syria-withdrawal/index.html

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  5. Interesting, CD's have been running from one lecture to another, "Jesus is coming soon". All were hyped up again, taken their "end time medication" all worked up, preaching Brother was so pleased that Russia "their Gog" was in Syria, Israel just next door, invasion of Jews by Gog, was immenant - because we know, we have the key of knowledge to unlock the secrets of the Bible, " they claim", well what a blunder again, but they will wipe the egg from their face and wait for another world event to invent another story that may make them happy again, more brainwashing meetings will follow. If you are a believer, Jesus said " no one knows the time" of his return, Just another fizzer for CD bunch. Religious fanaticism will continue for this chosen bunch.

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  6. Today's xkcd seems relevant: http://xkcd.com/1656/.

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  7. 1. Read news article about Russia
    2. Find a Bible verse that might fit
    3. ...
    4. Prophet!

    My interpretation of this ancient prophecy must be correct because look how well I can make it fit world events!

    The writer of Ezekiel was obviously predicting events that would occur in the 21st century, despite that having zero relevance to himself or to readers in his day. That's because God told him what to write, and he just wrote it down without necessarily having a clue what it meant. And that means everything else in the Bible is also true.

    Clearly everyone up until now has largely ignored the prophecy because it was clear that it wasn't speaking of their time, and they were unable to match up the prophecy with events in their day.

    Oh wait...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gog_and_Magog#Judeo-Christian_tradition_from_antiquity_to_the_early_modern_period

    The writer of Ezekiel obviously intended for us to find modern nations that occupy roughly similar territory, even though he never said so, and even though many of the borders are radically different. It's so obvious - how can you not see it?

    Ok, so I'm being a little bit sarcastic.

    Actually I'm a little surprised that no one has suggested that all of the previous interpretations of this prophecy are correct and that the future one involving Russia will be the 23rd fulfilment. Well? Prove to me it aint so!

    But maybe the Christadelphians are correct, and the secret messages about future events really have been revealed only to the special elite that have been specifically chosen by God.

    Maybe God has "hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children".

    How lucky is that?

    But I'm a bit confused. If they've figured out how Bible prophecy predicts modern events, does that make them the intelligent ones or the children?

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    1. Steve, it's a prophecy of the time of the end. Surely all generations are allowed to be interested in the time of the end, even if they weren't (un)fortunate enough to be in it? How can you look at the moral decay of the world around you and not realise that this world can't last for much longer? I know previous generations have said this, but how could it be more clear that they were wrong and we are right?

      If you can't see it, you're probably one of those whose love has grown cold. See, that's just more proof it's the time of the end. Or maybe you're one of those "lovers of themselves" (yet more proof). Repent, brother, before it's too late (wait, that would make the end times further away. How can we handle this? Maybe we'd better send you out to make converts in all nations, then some of them can fall away. Two birds with one stone).

      Yes, a lot sarcastic - but you already got my serious view above.

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    2. Clairvoyants make exactly the same sort of excuses when they make mistakes. I used to date one many years ago. No different to a Christadelphian who is inventing fictitious links between modern day events and Bible predictions. The whole thing is apophenia. Nothing more. It is a mental disturbance in the human mind.

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    3. JJ, of course! How silly of me!

      Since the Bible refers to this "time of the end" it therefore logically follows that there really will be a "time of the end" and that time will of course be soon (where the definition of "soon" is elastic enough to span thousands of years when ancient writers said it, but on the scale of years or, at most, decades, when we say it).

      Don't forget the falling away could be the reformation (if you're Catholic, or Catholicism if you're not). Or it could be other religions, or no religion.

      Or, closer to home, the falling away could be the new rising trend of Christadelphians accepting evolution??!?!!?!?!?! That's it!

      The signs are everywhere.

      Just like all good conspiracy theories - all evidence that fits the theory is accepted uncritically, and all evidence against is reinterpreted so that it fits. Those who don't accept the conspiracy theory are merely in denial, or they're secretly in on it. Or, as I've heard so often, they know it's true but they choose not to believe it.

      See, God knew that all of these things would happen. That's why he wrote it in the Bible. And he knew that all of these people wouldn't believe (99.999% of the world's population, but hey nobody's perfect), and he knew exactly what he could have done to easily convince them, but he chose not to, because he didn't want to interfere with their free will to believe. Only those who choose to believe in God of their own free will, will be saved. That's why there's no evidence for God's existence. Of course, those who chose to believe in the wrong god (right kind of choice, wrong deity), well it's bad luck for them. And Christadelphians obviously believe in the right God because there's so much evidence - how can you not see it? The evidence for God is all around us. You just have to open your eyes.

      John Thomas was intelligent enough to finally uncover the true message of the Bible, which is that God has hidden his true message from the intelligent and revealed it only to the children. That's why you have to stop trying to think about it and just believe it, like a child would.

      What I mean is that John Thomas discovered the true message of the Bible because God revealed it to him...which...suggests that others did not discover it because God chose not to reveal it to them...which might sound a bit like God was interfering with people's free will to believe.

      What I really mean is that God revealed the true message to everyone in the Bible but only those who are unintelligent are intelligent enough to understand it, because God uses the "foolish things to confound the wise", which of course doesn't include the "foolish virgins" from the parable, who won't be saved. In that case he really did mean to save the "wise" ones. But the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Or something.

      You wanna hear me explain the atonement?

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    4. Steve, are you sure you haven`t discovered a cache of magic mushrooms? All this recent move into sarcasm is causing my head to ache! I think Cindy might agree!

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    5. Unfortunately no I haven't discovered any such cache.

      On the plus side that means I'd be even better on shrooms, right?

      But seriously my sarcasm is probably just an indication that it's getting time for me to just walk away.

      I honestly think that while such a move by Russia might not be what CDs expected, Tom's comment above demonstrates exactly why they won't be deterred by things like this. Even when the opposite event occurs, they still interpret it as a sign. Maybe they are right. But I find it more likely to be nonsense.

      If any of their predictions did come true, it would be nothing but luck. So far they've predicted almost every possible outcome. Whether there's war or peace in the middle east, they'll claim victory either way. They've got a verse for every event or situation.

      But at the end of the day if they're happy then good for them. Whatever floats their boat.

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    6. It's ok!They have the upcoming EU referendum to distract from Russia. The UK leaving the European Union is all part of God's plan...until we don't actually leave that is. Then hopefully there will be some other misery happening somewhere which will also be part of God's wonderful plan for them to delight in.

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    7. Steve, yes, I'm sure your explanation of the atonement could be most enlightening. So long as I could wipe the smile off my face and remember how serious a subject it is.

      But the thing with Christadelphian predictions is that they don't actually need to predict correctly. As I pointed out, there is no reason to believe the prophecy refers to this incident or even to 2016. _If_ it truly is an end-time prophecy, for all we know it could be due in 2033. Or 2060. Or 2733, when all those predicting now are long dead. Failure of a wishful-thinking Christadelphian interpretation of the prophecy does not prove that the general interpretation is wrong, though it does make it reasonable for us to assume the next 5 applications will be wrong. And the 5 after that. Similar to how _if_ it had happened this time all the predictions during the Soviet era would have been wrong, but the prophecy would have been correct.

      Obviously, I don't think it will come to pass (ever - and particularly not with Russia in the driving seat), but I can't prove it. All I can say is that it doesn't seem likely.

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  8. Jakarta Jack, I am in wonderment of how you look at todays society as being the epitome of "moral decay". Lets turn back the clock to the middle ages. You would certainly not be freely attending the meeting on a Sunday as if it was known that you did not worship a triune God you would be only attending on thing and that would be your death on a stake with a fire underneath it! Was that type of behavior from people morally right? If you were intellectually disabled even 150 years ago, you would have been locked up in a hellish alyssum which would break even an able minded person. But now days people like this are often able to live independent lives in community houses under the supervision of caregivers. They are actually given the tools which enable them to be the best the possibly can be. Tell me is that so immoral? If a woman and her children are in a house with an abusive male, the woman is able to leave because of laws that protect her and her child against this type of behavior. She has means to start over again due to financial support available from our government. Unlike centuries ago when a husband could beat his wife and children till they were black and blue and even kill them with little to no consequence. But of course because that was in the "good old days" it must have been ok. When the black plague struck in the 1300 to 1400's that wiped out an estimated 75 to 200 million people (which this type of thing can be cured by antibiotics now days), many local Jewish communities got annihilated, not by the plague, but by members of Christian communities because they viewed it that God was punishing them because they allowed "non believers" amongst them. Of course that must have been morally right too. Lets not forget the Holocaust only last century. 6 million Jews and thousands upon thousands of other minorities or undesirables were murdered eg Russians, Gypsies, Poles, Slavs, the mentally and physically disabled. These people were seen of little benefit to society so why not get rid of them. But once again they were the good old days full of the morally upright. Also lets not forget black slavery that was introduced by good God fearing men who looked upon it as justified because of Ham (which means black or dark) looking upon his father Noah naked and then was cursed because of it. Tell me JJ would you rather be living any of those epochs of time of now? I know the world is far from perfect and many, many atrocities still take place today but things in many ways have got much better than ever before. The spirit of Christ is alive and well around us if we care to humble ourselves enough and look for it and allow ourselves to be part of it. Count your blessings as I know living in NZ is on a whole a wonderful place to be. I can have my own opinion on religion, politics, can mix with any race of person I choose too and not be harmed because of it.

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  9. Cindy, I think JJ was being sarcastic as he said "Yes, a lot sarcastic", and as he also said, his serious view was elsewhere.
    But you are right. CD`s try to point out that we are living in a time which has never been so bad (therefore we are in the time of the end). That`s a rubbish view. History informs us otherwise.

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  10. Mancott, thank you for pointing that out and oops, sorry JJ that I took you the wrong way :). I feel a little precious on the constant doom and gloom state of some peoples thinking as I find it unhelpful. Mind you the doom and gloom prophets seem to thrive on any bad news and neglect to see all the amazing things we have around us and how much easier life is for us now living in our countries compared to what it used to be for some when daily existence was a struggle.

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  11. No probs, Cindy. You pick on different problems from what I would, but we agree.

    However, my comment was a true opinion. It just doesn't happen to be my opinion. The moral decay of the world is the most common reason I hear to show how obvious it is that we are in the last days.

    Those who have this opinion genuinely believe it. Usually a couple of areas are highlighted where things have "obviously" gone into decline. Maybe increased sexual permissiveness. Or the de-Christianisation of the Western world. Or the lack of authority and discipline in children today. Or political correctness and moral relativism. They even have anecdotes from "then" and "now" that prove it. I can see they genuinely believe it, but I can't believe it. Going back in time isn't an option for me, but if it was I wouldn't want to pick a different time.

    People don't seem to notice how strange it is that the next door neighbour and the work colleague are just as friendly as they ever were, but that everyone in "the world" is getting worse. I got away from it early, because I realised that if the majority of non-Christadelphians I met were decent people it would probably be true of the rest of "the world" as well.

    Certainly with the sexual permissiveness thing, much of the behaviour they complain about as a new and dangerous slide from Victorian morals was common-place in Roman times (you know, when the letters of Paul containing these end-time problems were actually written).

    It's possible some things have got worse in the world, but many things have got better. If you look for bad you can probably find it, but that doesn't mean you've accurately judged the state of the world.

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  12. Fortunately the verdict is in from Andy Walton: "Once more Putin takes the world by surprise". No comment on whether it took him by surprise. Fortunately it can be related to a prophecy of deceptive peace. And Russia is now in a state where they can deploy quickly ("like a whirlwind"). So everything's OK really.

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    1. JJ, Ah yes, Andy Walton. It still amazes me that if Andy just took one day off from reading and writing that stuff, he could read "believing bullshit", by Stephen Law, or some other easy to read basic philosophy book. If he only managed to read the chapter "but it fits!", he could save himself the weekly task of displaying his ignorance for all to see, and for Christadelphians all over the place from reproducing his deceptive brand of bullshit. With his unfalsifiable theory in danger of being falsified, he has, as one would expect, had to come up with an auxiliary hypothesis to deflect away the falsification of the core theory. That he then explains (...it is only a matter of time..) WHY his core theory is unfalsifiable makes absolutely certain that he cannot be taken seriously. It really is such a waste of his life, and shameful that rather than pull him to one side and tell him, his brethren encourage him down this path.

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    2. Joe, I have had email discussions with Andy Walton, and I don't think I'm the only one. Not for some time as they never got anywhere, and I mostly don't even bother reading it and finding problems nowadays. It was clear to me from shortly after I was subscribed to the list that there was a collection of standard proof texts and comments that would be recycled and fit to the articles of the week.

      I think I told him that constant predictions which never came to pass would weaken people's faith rather than strengthen it, but he couldn't see it. Said we know the big picture, and, while we can't be sure of the details, we know they are all pointing to the big picture.

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  13. Oh the Irony -

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/04/02/video-military-convoy-new-evidence-russia-not-pulling-out-syria.html

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    1. Russian Dep. C-of-S due in Israel to discuss Iskander’s arrival in Syria

      DEBKAfile April 2, 2016, 9:10 PM (IDT)

      Russian Deputy Chief of Staff Col-Gen. Nikolai Bogdanovski heads a military delegation due in Israel Monday to discuss with his counterpart IDF Deputy C-of-S Maj. Gen. Yair Golan the adjustments necessary to make in the coordination arrangements between the two armies and air forces, in view of Moscow’s deployment of two advanced missiles systems to Syria. The Iskander-M tactical missile was recently installed at the Hmeimim air base near Latakia alongside the S-400 air defense system, as DEBKAfile reported exclusively Saturday, April 2.

      http://www.debka.com/newsupdatepopup/15721/Russian-Dep-C-of-S-due-in-Israel-to-discuss-Iskander’s-arrival-in-Syria

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