If you’ve been around Australian churches for any time, you will have heard about the 17th-century prophecy concerning the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit. We sang about it with gusto in the Nineties until we realised the lyrics offended some of our indigenous friends. So, what is this prophecy and has it been interpreted correctly by today’s church?


It all began a little over 400 years ago (1605) when a Portuguese explorer, Pedro Ferdinand de Quirós, secured sponsorship from Pope Clement VIII and King Philip III of Spain to seek out the southern continent – Terra Australis Incognito (Unknown South Land).

According to historian Gunter Schneider, “It was felt that an undiscovered southern continent had to exist because the known land masses of the southern hemisphere were not sufficient to balance those of the northern half of the globe.” We are amused by this assessment today, but it was considered factual then.

De Quirós, a Catholic Jew, set sail from Peru to discover and create a holy settlement called The New Jerusalem so that the indigenous people “may have knowledge of the Gospel and be brought into Spiritual obedience.” Where and what he found has caused much debate.


In May 1606, de Quirós proclaimed: “Be witness the heavens and the earth, and the sea and all its inhabitants, and those who are present, that I, the Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quirós, in these parts which up to the present time have been unknown … [W]ith authority from the Supreme Roman Pontiff, Clement VIII, and by order of the King, Don Philip III, King of Spain … I take possession of all the … lands that I have newly discovered … and all this region of the south as far as the Pole, which from this time shall be called Austrialia del Espiritu Santo.” And no, I didn’t misspell Australia.

De Quirós named the land in honour of Philip III of Spain of the House of Hapsburgs, who ruled Spain then and was known as the House of Austria. The name did not come from Terra Australis Incognita. He likely named it such to ingratiate himself with the king in the hope of receiving money for future expeditions. Austrialia del Espiritu Santo translates as the Austrian Land of the Holy Spirit.

But de Quirós hadn’t discovered the southern continent, only the largest island in what is today known as Vanuatu.


Australian historian Manning Clark described de Quirós as “one of the flowers of the Catholic reformation, part of that movement of religious idealism and of missionary fervour which strengthened the church after the disasters of Luther and Calvin.” The Catholic Reformation was a counter-movement seeking to gain ground the Roman Church had lost to the Protestants.

De Quirós, with the backing of Pope Clement VIII, sought to bring the salvation offered by the Catholic Church to the pagans and convert them to Catholicism. He named a stream running into the island’s bay the river Jordan and declared the New Jerusalem would be built amid the coral reefs! His religious fervour caused great unrest amongst his crew.

The colony was soon abandoned due to the understandable hostility of the Ni-Vanuatu people, and on 8 June 1606, de Quirós set sail to return to Peru. He had travelled more than 38,000 kilometres, never to raise another expedition, and died in 1614 thinking he had stood on the land mass of the southern continent.


Much of what we’ve heard about Australia as the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit is a myth. While I don’t doubt de Quirós’ missionary zeal, he wasn’t a seer and didn’t make any prophetic declarations about our nation. The apostle Paul encourages us to “have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” We would do well to heed his advice.

We would also do well to remember that God’s Kingdom isn’t a geographical location. Jesus taught the very opposite. When the Pharisees asked him when the kingdom would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; no one will say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is [within] you.” Consider those words in light of those that preach the Great Southland “prophecy.” They say revival will come to Australia because of a declaration of the Catholic missionary. Jesus told us not to say, ‘Look here or there.’ God’s kingdom is not a geographical location; it lies within the hearts and lives of all people who consent to God’s rule.

God’s kingdom attracts people “from every nation, all tribes and peoples and languages.” No ethnic group has a geographical advantage! God does not favour one nation over another. “For God so loved the world stands at the very heart of the gospel.


The world is outraged today when one country invades, annexes, or occupies another, and rightly so. And yet, this is what Christians and churches celebrate when they buy into the so-called Great Southland prophecy.

De Quirós declaration spoke of hitherto unknown parts that he possessed in the name of Jesus, St Francis and John of God, and all the professed members of their Orders. He also added “in the name of King Philip III” because he was paying the bills.

It must be remembered that people already owned and occupied these lands. It appears that little consideration was given to a statement made by Paul in Acts speaking of the human race, “[God] marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” Colonisation ignored this truth and stole land from indigenous peoples. It was (and is) the ultimate affirmation of white supremacy.

While I acknowledge that our forebears did this, it does not absolve us of all responsibility. We must recognise past injustices, apologise, and work in unity with Indigenous people to find a shared future where everyone is respected.


Pedro Fernandez de Quirós was not a Prophet Over Australia. His declaration was a politically and institutionally driven grab for land already occupied. None of what he “prophesied” came to pass, much like many of today’s so-called prophecies. In recent times, modern “prophets” have proclaimed that Trump would regain the presidency (in 2020) and that COVID-19 would be over by Passover 2020. They were wrong on all counts and are a blight on a genuine and precious spiritual gift that is intended to strengthen, encourage and comfort God’s people.

The Scriptures encourage us to test prophecy, but so many of God’s people gullibly soak all this stuff up and confuse emotional hype for the presence of God.

It seems we contemporary Christians are addicted to the spectacular. Something exciting has always got to be “about to happen.” The ‘revival carrot’ is dangled in front of people to keep them engaged. This year’s vision (or conference) has got to be bigger and better than last year’s. “What’s next?” we ask instead of simply getting on with what God has already placed in our hands.

Compare this to the Scriptures’ teaching on simply committing ourselves to following and living like Jesus. Eugene Peterson calls the Christian life a long obedience in the same direction. Let’s get on with living authentically with Jesus and each other and stop buying into godless myths and old wives’ tales.

It may surprise you to learn that Christian fundamentalism is a relatively modern branch of the Christian faith. It started in the USA at the turn of the last century.

A Little History

In the early 1900s, a whole lot was going on, all at once. The world had experienced its first world war in which over 40 million soldiers were killed or wounded. In the final year of the war, the Spanish Flu pandemic broke out. The pandemic infected almost a third of the world’s 1.8 billion people. Fifty million died.

Add to this the growing prominence of Darwinian evolution, declining moral values, and well, people were having just too much fun. As the war and pandemic faded, the world bound into the roaring 20s. New forms of music, like jazz, were driving people to dance. Cars were rolling off the assembly lines. Women were ready to claim the vote, and African-Americans were eager to enjoy full citizenship, at long last. People were exploring new ideas and beliefs. Life was magnificently modern. And some Christians saw red!

Fundamentalism Begins

And so, a powerful counterrevolution began in some of America’s largest churches and Bible institutions.

On 25 May 1919, 6,000 ministers, theologians and evangelists came together in Philadelphia for a weeklong series of meetings. The men and women assembled there believed that God had chosen them to call Christians back to the “fundamentals” of the faith and prepare the world for one final revival before Jesus returned to earth. They called their group the World Christian Fundamentals Association.

Their leader? A Baptist pastor, William Bell Riley, said, “The hour has struck for the rise of a new Protestantism.” He described the inauguration of his organisation and the rise of fundamentalism as more significant than Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, 400 years earlier. No pride there, brother Bill! He was wrong, though.

White Privilege

The men and women at the conference were all white. African-American and Latino Christians were excluded entirely from fundamentalists churches and organisations. They taught that the Holy Spirit would soon turn the world over to the antichrist. This diabolical world leader would preside over an awful holocaust in which those true believers who had not already been raptured to heaven would suffer interminable tribulations.

They were kinda right and kinda wrong. A decade later, the Great Depression began. Ten years after that saw the start of World War 2. A diabolical world leader did arise who directed the wholesale slaughter of 11 million people (Jews, Gypsies, and gay men, amongst others).

Fundamentalism’s Appeal

Their appeal bore out of the fact that they matched up biblical prophecy with world events. Fundamentalists believed that the return of Jews to the Holy Land must precede the second coming of Christ. The British had captured Jerusalem in 1917 and declared Palestine a homeland for Jews. A fact that became a reality in 1948.

This attracted me to Christianity in the late 70s (along with God’s supernatural power). I felt like all of history had waited for Rob Buckingham to “get saved”. The planets would align in 1982, causing cataclysmic events on earth, the rapture, and the Great Tribulation. Antichrist would arise from the Common Market (EU) and take control of the world. Jesus would come back in 1988, a generation (40 years) after Israel became a nation. What happened? Nothing! I’ve reconstructed a much healthier (and more Biblical) approach to eschatology since.

Back to 1919

Fundamentalists associated evolution with last-day atheism, and they made it their mission to purge it from the schoolroom. They criticized how the fight for women’s right to vote was driving women out of the home. Shock horror! They worried that birth control was undermining the family. They were concerned about modern theological ideas.

The fundamentalist message resonated with hundreds of thousands of white Americans. The 1919 meeting in Philadelphia was just the beginning. Soon, fundamentalist magazines, Independent Bible institutes, annual conferences, and church-run radio stations sprung up to spread the Christian faith’s new design (the proper interpretation, of course).

Good qualities of fundamentalism

There are three things I appreciate about Christian fundamentalism:

  1. It presents a relevant and up-to-date faith – the very thing I found attractive in my early 20s. I’m very grateful to God for this and today strive to apply the Bible in a way readily received by people.
  2. It communicates a sense of urgency (the imminence of Christ’s return). The message stirs people out of spiritual lethargy with constant calls for action.
  3. It provides something solid that offers comfort and safety in tumultuous times. To fundamentalists, the Bible is simple, black and white, and straightforward.

The dangers of Christian fundamentalism

Although I was attracted to Jesus initially by the fundamentalist’s message, it also caused much damage in my life. Since my early days as a Christian, I’ve needed to deconstruct the negatives I’ll list below. It’s been a process that continues some four decades later. So, what are its main dangers:

  1. It is too simplistic. Everything doesn’t happen instantly by ‘decreeing and declaring.’ The Bible is not always simplistic (2 Peter 3:16) and easy to understand.
  2. It’s Gnostic (Gk. gnosis, “to know”). You’ll get the message from fundamentalists that “we know something you don’t know.” We see this at present with all the COVID Conspiracies. “Trust the Plan.” “We’re in; you’re out.” I’ve had close Christian friends tell me, in all seriousness, they believe the world is run by a cabal of reptilians. These satanic paedophiles drink blood and scheme to set up a one-world government with the antichrist. One friend talked at me for hours about this, totally unaware that he was boring me to tears. This is all gnostic rubbish!
  3. It’s Exclusionist. A century ago, people of colour were barred from their churches. Today, fundamentalists are opposed to anything to do with LGBTIQ people. It’s the same package with a different label.
  4. It’s always “against”. Christian fundamentalists actively worked against women’s right to vote. They were against alcohol (think the temperance movement of the 1920s). They’ve opposed evolution and some science (like climate change). Christian fundamentalists are against abortion, marriage equality, voluntary assisted dying, “boat people”, you name it. This blog is not a commentary on any of these issues. My point here is there’s a danger in being known only for what you’re against. What about the things Christians are to stand and speak for? Justice, mercy and faith (Matt. 23:23). Christian fundamentalism can obscure pure religion (James 1:27).
  5. It’s too political. Christian fundamentalists fight and lobby to preserve “our rights and freedoms”. While Christians have as much right (in some countries) to speak out like anyone else, we need to be careful that our main message – the gospel – doesn’t get drowned out in the process. In any case, fighting for “our rights and freedoms” is missing the point of the gospel. The Christian’s motivation should be the same as God’s, that of love: “for God so loved …” Love should be our impetus – love for God, one another, neighbour, and enemy. People will know we’re Jesus’ followers by our love, not our lobbying. Christian fundamentalists invariably miss this in their fight to preserve “our rights, our culture, our traditions.” They can appear prideful and self-interested rather than caring “for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).
  6. It’s isolationist and nationalistic. Recently, we’ve witnessed this in the USA with Donald Trump and “Make America Great Again (MAGA)”. There’s no doubt that Christian fundamentalists had a massive influence over Trump. 81% of White Evangelicals voted for him in 2016 (75% in 2020). At the expense of other nations and needs, the focus on America created a vacuum that could have led to war as nationalism usually does. But that’s not a problem; Christian fundamentalists don’t mind “a good war”. They also like their guns and gas chambers. But they are pro-life. Don’t forget that!
  7. It’s fixated on the “end times.” They’re preoccupied with current events and live with a newspaper in one hand and Bible in the other. Some of them like to pick dates for the rapture or Christ’s return. They haven’t been right once! In the past 100 years, they’ve predicted the antichrist would arise out of the League of Nations, United Nations, and Common Market (EU). All wrong. Fundamentalists believed that in the end times oppressive governments will clamp down on Christians’ rights and freedoms.
  8. It’s captivated by conspiracies. Consider this quote: “The demand of the State will leave no room for freedom of thought, or independence of action in any direction whatsoever. The circumstances of the war have already furnished the machinery for this. Practically everything and everybody” would soon be under government control. Those words could have been about any bizarre conspiracy doing the rounds due to the COVID Pandemic. It was written by Evangelist W.W. Fereday a century ago. Christian fundamentalists are mesmerised by conspiracies about The Great reset, one-world government, antichrist, QAnon, Illuminati, microchips in the COVID vaccines, 5G, the long, boring list goes on and on.

In 1947, William Bell Riley lay on his deathbed. An aspiring young evangelist sat at his side. The veteran fundamentalist told the rookie preacher that God had destined him to lead the fundamentalist movement forward, to take the mantle from Riley. The young evangelist was Billy Graham. After World War II, Graham and his fundamentalist allies began calling themselves “evangelicals”. Today, some Evangelicals are also fundamentalist, but certainly not all.

I have massive respect for Billy Graham and his clear call to millions who responded to the gospel. But when it comes to fundamentalism, I have grave concerns. Many people have walked away from the church (and Jesus) because of its legalism and condemnation. Others have simply not joined a church or been attracted to its message. Ultimately, fundamentalism is a “different gospel—which is really no gospel at all” (Gal. 1:6-7)

Amongst the various resources I’ve used for this blog, I’d like to particularly acknowledge Matthew Avery Sutton, a professor of history at Washington State University. He has written extensively on this subject.

Several weeks ago, I posted a blog entitled Holding the Prophets to Account.  The blog outlined the misuse and abuse of the prophetic gift, especially by the US prophets who declared the COVID19 pandemic would end quickly and Donald Trump would win the election.

Four of these prophets, Loren Sandford, Jeremiah Johnson, Shawn Bolz, and Kris Vallotton, have had the courage and humility to admit they got it wrong (see reference).

Kris Vallotton, from Bethel Church, had posted an apology back in November. Bethel’s leadership told him that it was “too soon”. Kris removed the video apology, only to post a new one on January 9th. Still, many of his followers told him it was “too soon”, “not over”, “the story is not finished”, and the like. Seriously, this kind of gullibility is the sort of thing that leads people to be seduced by cults. And, sadly, many sincere Christians have embraced all sorts of bizarre doctrines and conspiracies in recent times.

Jeremiah Johnson is another prophet to apologise: “I want to go on record: I was wrong, I am deeply sorry, and I ask for your forgiveness.”

After apologising, Johnson became the recipient of terrible abuse from some Christians. He wrote, “Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. I have been labelled a coward, sell-out, a traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times. We have lost ministry partners every hour and counting … I have been flabbergasted at the barrage of continued conspiracy theories being sent every minute our way and the pure hatred being unleashed. To my great heartache, I’m convinced parts of the prophetic/charismatic movement are far SICKER than I could have ever dreamed of. I truthfully never realized how absolutely triggered and ballistic thousands and thousands of saints get about Donald Trump. It’s terrifying! It’s full of idolatry! (See reference).  I couldn’t agree more!

Rev. Loren Sandford was also astounded at the abuse he received. “Since January 7, I personally have been called a betrayer, a false prophet, a traitor, faithless and some have said they found me disgusting,” he said. “I am way past broken-hearted at what Christians are saying and doing. No wonder the world doesn’t believe us.”

But that’s all the apologies, folks. Out of at least 40 charismatic Christian leaders that predicted Trump’s re-election, only four have had the courage and the humility to admit they missed it.

Others were still holding out for some last-minute miracle from God that would magically reverse the election and install Trump as president on January 20. Hank Kunneman said God had personally assured him there would be a miraculous outcome. Kat Kerr, a Jacksonville prophetess, agreed, saying, “He (God) assured me in 2015 that Trump would sit in the White House for eight years. And God assured me today when He walked into my room at noon — well, almost noon, 11:55 am. — He yelled as loud as He possibly could, ‘Justice will prevail.'” I don’t know what voices Kat Kerr hears, but it wasn’t God!

And these prophets haven’t just missed it with regards to picking the wrong president. In the lead up to 2020, not one prophet suggested anything like a global pandemic was coming. And when it did come, many of them prophesied it would be gone quickly.

Hank Kunneman declared that people would be quarantined from the virus by God’s mercy. God will “give life to this nation, and I give mercy. Do not fear this virus says the Spirit of God.”

Tracey Cooke, along with several other prophets, predicted that COVID-19 would be over by Passover (April 8-16, 2020), “the blood of Jesus” would cause the “plague to pass over”.

On 16 March 2020, Jeremiah Johnson said he received a prophetic dream about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus, “I believe around the time of Passover, we’re going to see [the virus] really slow down.”

Here we are almost a year later, and it’s obvious all these so-called “prophecies” are wrong. The USA has had over 420,000 COVID-19 related deaths. At the time of writing, America is recording over 150,000 new cases each day. While this third wave of COVID-19 has hopefully peaked in the US, there are still many months of sickness, death, and grief.

Let me give you a couple of prophecies that are from God:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:16).

“The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14)

I pray these prophets will humbly repent for misleading God’s people and for bringing discredit to the gospel. They have collectively given the charismatic and Pentecostal church a severe credibility problem and have revealed many contemporary Christians’ wafer-thin theology and un-Christlike character.

I’m stating up front that I believe in the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit, and they are active and necessary in the church today. Christie, my wife, flows in this gift and has trained many people at Bayside Church to do the same.

I am concerned however, with the misuse and abuse of the prophetic gift. I’ve seen a great deal online this year with prophets declaring the COVID19 pandemic will end quickly and Donald Trump will win a second term as America’s president.

I’m Sorry, I got it Wrong!

I have enormous respect for Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church, who was quick to apologise on Facebook on Sunday. Kris had prophesied a second term for Donald Trump. When Joe Biden was declared to have won the election, Kris apologised. I respect his honesty and humility and posted a comment on his Facebook page saying so. Sadly, it appears Kris got a lot of flak from people for “apologising too soon” and has since deleted his apology. He has said he will reinstate the apology video “when the [vote] count is official.”

Will the other prophets who got it wrong apologise too? Maybe they will, but what we see already is the same old blustering we’ve become accustomed to when a modern-day “prophet” misses the mark (see article).  The execuses include “I was right about Donald Trump, but …

  • it’s not over yet. He will still become president.” As Kat Kerr said, “The rocks are about to move, and Trump will be President no matter what you hear.” We’ll see. And if that’s the case, I’ll apologise!
  • Christians didn’t pray enough for the election.” (Yep, it’s your fault)
  • we are witnessing a diabolical and evil plan unfold to steal the election.” You mean it’s that pesky devil that stopped God getting his way? The one Jesus disarmed on the cross?
  • God has thrown this election into the courts so that corruption will be exposed.”
  • you must understand … China, Big Tech including Fox News, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all in on this demonic agenda to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump.”

You’ll find a lot of so-called prophets leaving enough wriggle room in their “prophecies,” so they weren’t really wrong after all. And we see so many Christians gullibly go along with it instead of holding the prophets to account.

2020 Prophetic Outlook

On January 4 this year, the annual Prophetic Outlook was Streamed live on Syd Roth’s television show, It’s Supernatural. This year, Syd featured three American prophets, Hank Kunneman, Tracy Cooke and Jeremiah Johnson.

I watched the entire broadcast and found it fascinating that not one of these men foretold anything about the ONE thing that would define 2020 – a global pandemic. All of them gave some rather vague predictions. But, when asked who would win the 2020 election, they all declared Donald Trump would win a second term.

False Prophecies

Not only did these men fail to predict the pandemic, but they also got some other things dead wrong. For example, in February this year at The Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska, Hank Kunneman declared that people would be quarantined from the virus by God’s mercy. God will “give life to this nation and I give mercy. Do not fear this virus says the Spirit of God.” (See Twitter).

Tracey Cooke, along with several other prophets, predicted that COVID19 would be over by Passover (April 8-16, 2020), “the blood of Jesus” would cause the “plague to pass over.” They were all wrong!

On March 16 this year, Jeremiah Johnson said he received a prophetic dream about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus, “I believe around the time of Passover, we’re going to see [the virus] really slow down.” Wrong again!

Here we are nine months later, and it’s obvious all these so-called “prophecies” are inaccurate. The USA has had over 240,000 COVID19 related deaths. At the time of writing, America is recording over 120,000 new cases each day. The third wave of COVID19 isn’t expected to peak in the US until January. We need to hold these prophets to account.

Measure Prophets by Scripture

So, how do these prophets measure up to Scripture? Take a look at Deuteronomy 18:20-22 to find out: “How may we know the word that the Lord has NOT spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does NOT come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has NOT spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). The Hebrew scriptures pronounce the death penalty for false prophets. While the present-day church doesn’t condone stoning, we should certainly call to account prophets whose prophecies turn out to be wrong. But better still, the prophets should come clean quickly, and apologise. Probably the most accurate words spoken in the 2020 Prophetic Outlook were by Hank Kunneman, “Be careful who you believe and what you believe.”

The New Testament Gift of Prophecy

In Acts 11:28, a prophet “named Agabus stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius).” As a result of this prophetic word, “The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul” (v29-30). In other words, the prophetic word put the church on the front foot of gathering aid for believers who would be affected by this crisis. This kind of warning was utterly absent from the 2020 Prophetic Outlook.

Agabus (Acts 11; Cf. Acts 21:9-11) appears to be a rarity in the New Testament. Apart from the general references to prophets and teachers in the church (Acts 13:1; 15:32; Eph. 4:11), little is said in the New Testament about a prophet who foretells the future.

For the most part, the New Testament gift of prophecy is about imparting spiritual gifts and encouraging God’s people. Consider 1 Tim 1:18, “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them, you may fight the good fight.” Timothy was a pastor leading the church at Ephesus at this time and he needed some encouragement.

Those with the gift of prophecy are to work with the other five-fold ministries in the church (apostle, evangelist, pastor and teacher) to help the church grow in maturity and stability. Paul says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).

Judging Prophecies

New Testament prophecy is different from that in Old Testament times. Old Testament prophets were the mouthpiece of God to the nation of Israel. They would prophesy by the Law of the Lord and would foretell divine judgment in cases of disobedience. This type of prophetic ministry is foreign to the New Testament!

New Testament prophecy produces strength, encouragement, and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3):

  • Strength = spiritual advancement (edification)
  • Encouragement = to motivate and inspire
  • Comfort = to calm and console

Christians must test prophecies, and the above verse is a good benchmark. Does this word strengthen, encourage, or comfort the hearers?

Those who possess the gift of prophecy should evaluate what is said by others who exercise this gift (1 Cor. 14:29; 1 John 4:1). And so, a prophecy must be considered (judged, discerned) to determine if it is correct or not. Paul also gives sound advice about prophetic words, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test [examine, scrutinise, analyse] them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (1 Thess. 5:20-22).

A Safe Process

Jesus warned his followers that many false prophets will arise and lead many astray” (Matthew 24:11). Because of this, Christians must behave in a responsible, safe and mature manner.

If you hear or receive a prophetic word, humbly submit it to those who watch out for your souls (Hebrews 13:17). God has placed you in a local church for many reasons. One reason is to be protected by godly, discerning leadership. My purpose in writing this blog is for God’s people’s spiritual welfare and to call the prophets to account. Let’s hope some others will humbly apologise for getting it wrong.

For all of my life as a Christian, I have hugely valued the prophetic gift as well as the prophecies that have been spoken into my life. I have been guided and strengthened by these words and regularly used them in spiritual warfare, just as the apostle encouraged his son in the faith, “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well” (1 Timothy 1:8).  When the battle is raging, and discouragement tries to dampen my enthusiasm for the call of God on my life, I remind myself of the prophetic vision and “fight the battle well.”

It was through prophecy in 1984 that God led me to be a pastor and to train for that calling.[1]  It was through prophecy that I moved to Melbourne in 1988 – the same year the Holy Spirit spoke to me about pioneering a church in Cheltenham.  It was through five prophecies in 1991/92 that I knew it was the right time to pioneer Bayside Church, and insights from The Lord have kept us on track and on fire for the past 27 years of leading the church we started.

In the early weeks of this year (2019) the prophetic word once again started to burn within me as God showed me that the best days for Bayside were still ahead, that THE BEST WAS YET TO COME.  Last weekend I taught on one of the two verses of Scripture that have formed the basis of this prophecy – Haggai 2:9.  I encourage you to watch or listen to the podcast of this message. Over the coming weekend, I’ll be sharing on the other verse at all services at Bayside’s Frankston and Cheltenham Campuses.

I prophesy that:

  • God is bringing us into a new time of His Presence, that Bayside Church will be all the more magnificent & marvellous because of the presence of God filling and empowering all we do.
  • People who have been rejected, or exhausted, by other churches will find a home here.
  • New people will come and join us, and some of those who have moved on, for whatever reason, will realise that this is the house God has planted them in and they will return to continue the journey with us.

I predict that:

  • We will see many people choose to become followers of Jesus, to have their sins forgiven and their lives transformed by the Gospel. This transformation will inspire their family and friends who will also come and see what has caused such change. Some of them will also receive Jesus as their Saviour.
  • “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3)

I declare that:

  • God is raising up new leaders, new connect groups, fires around the Bay where God’s people can enjoy genuine community, pray & care for one another, and reach out to their neighbours.
  • And I see an increase in boldness for God’s people. Not that we become brash and bombastic, but rather, out of humility and compassion towards the hurting we would offer to pray and genuinely care for the poor, the sick, the lonely, the imprisoned, and the marginalised. That God “will make your righteousness go forth as the light, and your justice as the noonday sun” (Ps 37:6), and “the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place, I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty” (Haggai 3:9).

And so, Bayside Church, may I inspire you to put into action the words of the apostle Paul, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:19) because …



[1] For more on this, I encourage you to watch my testimony of conversion and calling ~  https://baysidechurch.com.au/church/senior-ministers/rob-buckingham/



Social media is abuzz with yet another prediction of the end of the world.  There seems to be no end to prognostications of the end!  This time it’s because of a mysterious planet called Nibiru (or Planet X) that apparently will crash into the earth this Saturday. Nancy Lieder, the founder of the website ZetaTalk, first mentioned Nibiru in 1995 after she received messages from extra-terrestrials through an implant in her brain [1].  Nibiru was supposed to destroy the earth in May 2003 and then December 21st, 2012, and here we go again!  According to Nasa, Nibiru does not exist.[2]

The forerunner event is said to have been the Great American Eclipse on August 21st, with September 23rd being 33 days after the eclipse. 33 is significant because it was Jesus’ age when he was crucified, the eclipse featured a black moon which occurs every 33 months, and the eclipse was the first of its kind in 33 years – 33 times three – three being the number of completion in the Bible.[3]  The only problem here is that the three things this prophecy is based on are not true. Jesus could have been much older than 33 when he died[4], black moons occur every 32nd month, and total eclipses happen every 18 months somewhere in the world.[5]

Those who are making this forecast of doom are quoting Revelation chapter 12 along with Luke 21:25-26, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”  The video has had over 2 million hits and is intentionally disturbing.[6]

Why is it that some people are preoccupied with the end of the world?  Of course, it’s not a new phenomenon.  For centuries people have been prophesying the end of the world.  Many of them have given exact dates; all of them have been wrong!  More recently, people have been deceived by American radio evangelist Harold Camping who said that judgment day would be on May 21st, 2011 when God would raise up all the dead that have ever died from their graves. Earthquakes would ravage the whole world, as the earth would no longer conceal its dead.  Once again the prophecy was based on numerological “proofs” that proved incorrect.[7]

And then there was John Hagee’s now-defunct Blood Moon prophecy of the end of the world. Hagee, another American preacher with a huge following despite his numerous false prophecies and false teaching, taught of massive upheaval in the world between April 2014 and October 2015 when the sun and moon eclipsed creating a red (blood) moon (an unscientific term by the way).  The fourth blood moon was on September 28th, 2015 a time when Hagee suggested America and the world would face another economic crisis, perhaps as a result of a war in the Middle East or an economic crash. Hagee even wrote a book on the subject, Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change and made a movie of the same name.  Nothing happened except the author made a bucket load of money from gullible church people – and he still is.

Last year was going to be the beginning of the end, with World War III starting in June 2016, according to Pastor Ricardo Salazar, a Peruvian lawyer who now resides in Japan.[8]  He has put together his very own timeline of events from 2015 until the second coming of Christ by 2023.  He prophesied that China would attack Japan in February last year; an asteroid would strike Earth on May 16, and shortly after the Yellowstone volcano in U.S. would erupt, obliterating a large part of California.  As a result, the profoundly weakened America would suffer an attack from Russia and China who would win the war on October 25th, 2016 resulting in the Chinese Yen becoming the new global currency by March of 2017. In late 2018, Russia will attack Israel. The Anti-Christ will arrive on Earth by 2020 and the Second Coming of Christ will rescue people in 2023. I think Pastor Ricardo had too much cheese on his pizza before going to bed!

All of these predictions should sadden us greatly because they cause people to harden their hearts to the truth of God’s Word just like the people who heard the boy cry “Wolf!” Jesus IS coming back but making endless predictions based on dates, numbers, times and seasons is pointless and counterproductive to the Gospel.[9]

It’s interesting to note that the vast majority of Bible prophecies concerning the end of the world deal with how we are to live in the here and now.  The Bible teaches that the world will end one day, so it’s important that we live pure and productive lives in the present.[10]

In the meantime, share the GOOD NEWS about Jesus with people who are open to hearing it; live a genuine and consistent life that makes this world a better place and love your neighbour as yourself. Resist getting sucked into these baseless and pointless predictions and look for the real Christ, not the anti one!


[1] http://www.paranormality.com/maya_prophecy.shtml

[2] https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html

[3] http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/no-world-not-september-23-article-1.3504874

[4] The Church Father Irenaeus claimed that Christ was about fifty when he died (Against Heresies II 22:5). His primary argument was that this information has been passed down to him by way of John and the other apostles (Courtesy of internetmonk.com)

[5] https://www.space.com/25644-total-solar-eclipses-frequency-explained.html

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoNp8dkyYWU

[7] https://baysidechurch.com.au/the-end-of-the-world-not/


[9] Acts 1:7-8

[10] Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 19:13; 2 Peter 3:11 & 14; 1 John 2:28; 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Philippians 1:9-11; Titus 2:11-14


Last year I wrote a blog entitled, “What kind of Christian are you?” In this blog, I outlined a number of things that tend to derail or highjack Christian people from our core purpose and focus; things like consumerism, crises and condemnation. These things pop up on a regular basis but one that seems to get the most attention is “conspiracy.”

Over the past twelve months the Christian world has become preoccupied with things like Blood Moons that would signal the end of the world – again! Nothing happened, except the authors of these books made a bucket load of money from gullible church people. Apparently this year REALLY IS going to be the beginning of the end, with a World War starting in June 2016 culminating in Armageddon in 2019. The Antichrist will also be revealed although this particular conspiracy Christian has already named him – Barrack Obama of course! We all knew that right? By the way, the latest right wing conspiracy is that Obama is planning to subvert the Constitution and run for a third term – at least that would spare us from The Donald!

Earlier this year I was inspired by Hilary Clinton’s response to a question regarding her Christian faith. I wrote a blog about it – Inspired by Hilary Clinton – only to be told that I’d got it wrong and that out of all the candidates in the US Primaries, when it came to being a Christian, Hilary Clinton is “not on the list.” Others were quick to inform me that Hilary is part of the illuminati and a whole bunch of other stuff. How naïve could I be? And how old is Mrs. Clinton? The Illuminati hasn’t been in existence for more than two centuries!

Last year a Facebook “friend” tagged me in a post about the US government having a stockpile of Guillotines and recently purchasing more – all authorised by Congress. The article said the Government purchased 30,000 guillotines, 15,000 of which are in Georgia and the other 15,000 in Montana. This claim first originated on a blog that specialises in anti-Muslim articles and familiar conspiracy rumors such as the alleged existence of “FEMA concentration camps“. It’s been in circulation since 2008 and has no proof or back up whatsoever.

These crazy conspiracies came very close to home for me last year when listening to a dear friend of mine speak about these things in public Christian meetings. Gone were the days of focusing on Jesus and the wonderful salvation He brings. In Jesus’ place was endless ranting about American politicians drinking blood, the Mark of the Beast, the revelation of the antichrist – you name it. At the end of the meeting you could feel the fear within the congregation.

In private conversation, my friend chatted for hours (completely oblivious to the fact that I was bored to tears) about the imminent collapse of the U.S. dollar and food supply to be followed by martial law. Apparently the Muslim Brotherhood already controls dozens of American ports and ISIS is infiltrating the U.S. He also told me the U.S. government is building concentration camps and gas chambers throughout the country (even though none show up on Google Earth – I know, they’re in on the conspiracy too). This is as a result of a United Nations Agenda 21 plot to pave the way for a one-world government and the rise of the Antichrist. By the way, Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It was adopted unanimously by 178 countries – including the U.S. represented by George H.W. Bush – at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. It has nothing to do with Bible prophecy!

In fact, a lot of things that are taught as valid interpretations of Bible prophecy these days show little historical understanding of the Book of Revelation and other prophetic Scriptures. As a result of this, much of the church is watching – and sometimes taking a rather gleeful longing – for an increase in war, natural disasters, Blood Moons and other conspiracies.

This fairly new approach to the interpretation of Bible prophecy is called dispensationalism. It was developed in 1827 by John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren and spread widely with the 1909 publication of the Scofield Reference Bible. Darby went on to be the founder of the Exclusive Brethren cult after George Mueller (and other Brethren) challenged him about some of his unbiblical doctrines. Charles Spurgeon also claimed these teachings were false.

These days much of the church has gained its understanding of Bible prophecy from novels and movies such as the Left Behind series. While these books make their authors a lot of money they do nothing to educate God’s people in a correct understanding of events before Jesus’ return. In the mean time it would be healthier and much more productive for Christians to stop fixating on the Illuminati and start focusing on Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Don’t let your faith be hijacked by conspiracies!

Over the centuries there have been frequent predictions about the end of the world.  And here comes another one dubbed by the media as the  “blood moon apocalypse”.

On September 28 this year the fourth lunar eclipse in just two years will occur, a series known as a “tetrad”, each coinciding with a Jewish holy day.  September 28 marks the first day of this year’s Feast of Tabernacles.  And the fourth and final of the lunar eclipses will also be a ‘Super Moon’ (when a full moon coincides with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit).  It’s worth mentioning that the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar – Jewish holidays are based around full moons – and so this is no coincidence, no surprise, and probably no sign from God.

The Blood Moon Prophesy has been propagated by two very influential Christian ministers in the United States: Mark Biltz and John Hagee.  Both men have written books on the subject.  Mark Biltz’s book, Blood Moon, has also been turned into a documentary.  John Hagee’s book, Four Blood Moons, is now a movie.  There’s also some controversy between the two men.  Mark “discovered” this concept first (in 2008) and shared it with John Hagee in 2012.  Hagee now says he did his own research with NASA (even though he quotes his dates incorrectly from the NASA website).  WND Publishing has issued a demand letter to John Hagee for a public retraction of his claim.

Mark Biltz leads El Shaddai Ministries in Washington and is regarded as a modern prophet by his thousands of followers.  John Hagee is founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and spokesperson for the 1.8 million strong Christian’s United For Israel.

It was Mark Biltz who first coined the term “blood moon” which is not a scientific term at all.  It refers to any total lunar eclipse when the moon almost always appears to be a brownish-red colour.  Biltz and Hagee see the 2014-2015 tetrad, when the dates of the lunar eclipses coincide with two major Jewish holidays, as an ominous sign of the end of days as described in Joel 2:31, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”  However, the apostle Peter referred to the Day of Pentecost of his day as being the fulfilment of this prophecy (Acts 2:16).  In the first century AD there were 251 lunar eclipses including one on 3 April, 33 AD when Jesus is thought to have been crucified.   And so when Peter referred to the moon being turned to blood his audience would have known just what he was talking about.

In his book, John Hagee says, “[God’s] been sending signals to Earth, and we haven’t been picking them up.  Two blood moons, in 2014 and 2015, point to dramatic events in the Middle East and, as a result, changes in the whole world.”  Mark Biltz is equally sensational.  While denying reports that an asteroid would hit Earth on September 28, “wiping out most of the Americas,” Blitz said, “the end will instead be heralded by the mother of all earthquakes.”  Neither of those options is very exciting!

Biltz refers to another (apparent) blood moon reference in Revelation 6:12, “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red …”  He believes this will be a sign of divine judgement.  He says it will be a warning such as “a major war involving Israel and the possibility of an economic collapse.”

Both Biltz and Hagee warn that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will reveal their individual missions on 28 September 2015.  John Hagee says, “There will be a world shaking event … the heavens are God’s billboard, and when something big is about to happen He gives planet earth a signal that something significant is about to happen.  Pay attention!  NASA said these four blood moons are coming.  God has said through Joel and St. Peter, Listen!”

John Hagee is an interesting character with some odd beliefs.  For example he describes trying to convert Jews as a “waste of time.”  He says, “Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha’i, needs to believe in Jesus.  But not Jews.  Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced with Christianity.  The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses.  I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.  The Law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation.  And God has not.”  So, in short, Jews don’t need Jesus.  In fact he denies that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah.  This heresy, known as Christian Zionism or dualism, was first made popular in the 1800s by John Nelson Darby, a heretical preacher who formed the Exclusive Brethren cult.

In a 2006 interview John Hagee described Hurricane Katrina as “God’s retribution for a planned gay pride parade.”  He said, “All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens.  I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.”

While the Bible has little or nothing to say about blood moons in association with end time events, it has plenty to say about the rise of false prophets.  How do you identify a false prophet?  Easy, watch and see if their prophecies and predictions come to pass.  John Hagee has a string of false predictions to his name:

In his 1996 book “Beginning of the End,” Hagee said the tribulation started with the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1995).   The book sold 700,000 copies and was called “the publishing phenomenon of 1996” by the executive vice president at Thomas Nelson.  Hagee saw the murder of Yitzhak Rabin as the event that more than any other confirms that “the Messiah is coming very soon.”  Nothing happened!

So in 1999, Hagee wrote a book called “From Daniel to Doomsday” (which sold 12 million copies) saying that the Y2K Bug’s effect on computers would unleash economic chaos and deaths that marked the start of the Tribulation, the end of the world and God’s judgment.  But I thought it came in 1996?  Y2K came and went.  Nothing happened!

So in 2006 he wrote “Jerusalem Countdown” in which he said the Bible teaches that the USA (which never features in Bible prophecy by the way) would invade Iran and trigger the start of the Tribulation (so much for 1996 and 2000).  Nothing happened!

In 2008 he wrote “Financial Armageddon” about the Global Financial Crisis – after it happened!  In 2011 he released two more books – “Earth’s Final Moments” and “Can America Survive?” – detailing the imminence of the Tribulation (which had now been going for 15 years if you believe his 1996 prediction) asking “could 2012 be the end of the world as we know it?”  Umm, no!

And here he goes again in 2015 with his “Four Blood Moons” prediction for the end of the world next week.

The thing that amazes me more than anything else is that people keep buying this rubbish.  Hagee, who is now 73, has sold 25 million books making him tens of millions of dollars.  No doubt he’s laughing all the way to his 7,969 acre Texan ranch!  It seems you’ll never go broke predicting doom even if that doom never happens.

The sad reality is that while guys like this have made millions profiteering on people’s fear, their false predictions take people away from biblical truth on the end times – they desensitise people to the truth and increase cynicism like the boy who cried “wolf.”

So what can we learn from all this?  There are three options with John Hagee and Mark Biltz’s predictions about September 28:

  1. They’re right.  And if they’re right, September 28 is going to mark the beginning of the end and so it’s time for all of us to make sure we’re in right relationship with God.
  2. They’re wrong but they think they’re right.  In other words, they genuinely believe what they’re predicting is true.  They’re not trying to deceive anyone.  If that’s the case it’s still time for all of us to make sure we’re in right relationship with God.
  3. They’re wrong and they know they’re wrong.  In other words, they know what they’re predicting is false and they are deceiving gullible people in order to get money.  If that’s the case, God will sort it out in His time and His way.  This is still the time for all of us to make sure we’re in right relationship with God.

My prediction?  I’ll be writing another blog next Wednesday 30 September 2015!

Jeremiah’s prophecy in the Hebrew Scriptures is pretty dark. It’s full of warnings to the Nation of Israel because of their ungodly behaviour. Like any good parent, God warns His kids when they’re going off track and let’s them know the consequences if they don’t change: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place…” (Jeremiah 7:3). But they didn’t listen or change their ways, so God disciplined them by taking them into exile into Babylon.

Jehoiachin, king of Judah, was captured by King Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon, along with some 10,000 of Jerusalem’s principal citizens in 597 BC (see 2 Kings 24:12-16). There they stayed for 70 years. They settled down, built homes, grew in numbers and sought the prosperity of the city where they were in exile.

In Jeremiah 29, God gives some good news and hope to His people: This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

The Prophet Isaiah picks up the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (almost 300 years before it happened) in Isaiah 43, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? 
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
 so my chosen people can be refreshed.”

This is a wonderful promise of God’s provision as He led His people back to their homeland. They would need to travel through the wilderness, the dry wasteland, the desert but this land would be transformed by God’s provision of refreshing water for His people.

What was prophesied over 2,700 years ago is still being fulfilled in Israel today. What God did supernaturally for Israel then, they now put into practice so that Israel has gained a worldwide reputation for its ability to turn barren desert into useful and arable land. They redirect floodwaters to desert areas, they use solar power, they have fish farms that thrive on brackish desert waters, and they plant trees and alternative crops that reverse desertification. It was Israel that developed modern drip irrigation now used by many nations, and 50% of water used in desert areas is recycled wastewater – higher than any other nation. Such ingenuity has reclaimed land that was once considered useless.

Click here to see some of the amazing things this nation has achieved:

The ingenuity that the people of Israel have demonstrated to turn sand into land can be employed by each of us in our everyday lives. What can you do this year to redeem areas in your life that you now consider unproductive, wasteful or dry? Use your God-given wisdom and refresh yourself and others in 2014!

The astronomer was fascinating. We got a clear look at Mars and Venus and then checked out some of the phenomenal clusters of stars that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Then he directed us to a distant star that appeared red. He told us that when stars appear red it means they are starting to burn out. The star is Chi Cygna and is about 550 light-years from earth.

What he said next surprised me. He told us that our sun is also starting to burn out and appears red from outer space. Chi Cygni has swollen in size to become a red giant star so large that it would swallow every planet out to Mars in our solar system. Moreover, it has begun to pulse dramatically in and out, beating like a giant heart. As a sun-like star ages it begins to run out of hydrogen fuel at its core and like a car running out of petrol its "engine" begins to splutter.

Now before you start to panic, our sun still has plenty of time left and it’s more likely that humankind will end up destroying itself by its own sins and shortcomings. But one-way or another life, as we know it now, will one day cease to exist. This is sobering especially in a world full of people who seem to live life with no thought for tomorrow, of anything changing, and no expectation of a future judgment or Second Coming. The Bible speaks directly into this in 2 Peter 3:3-14. Find a Bible and read this amazing prophecy.

These verses speak of a future when “the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare …That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

Years before the sun burns out, the earth will be subjected to massive radiation as the sun starts its destabilisation process and life on earth will change dramatically. 

The astronomy lesson in Africa was a timely reminder of the finite nature of life on earth. As the Bible says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). 

Let’s make every moment count for eternity!

Why are some people preoccupied with the end of the world?  Of course, it’s not a new phenomenon.  For centuries people have been prophesying the end of the world.  Many of them have given exact dates.  All of them have been wrong!

The latest false prophecy about the end of the world was made by American radio evangelist Harold Camping who said that judgment day “… will be on May 21st[2011] that God will raise up all the dead that have ever died from their graves. Earthquakes will ravage the whole world as the earth will no longer conceal its dead.”

The prophecy was based on two numerological proofs. The first proof was based on Genesis 7:4, when God said to Noah: “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”  According to Camping, when God referred to seven days, he meant both seven days and seven thousand years, because “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The flood occurred in 4990 BC. Seven thousand years later is 2011.

The second proof looks at the significance of the number of days between the crucifixion and 21 May, 2011. There are 722,500 days between these dates. 722,500 is a significant number because it is composed of the significant numbers 5x10x17x5x10x17. Five signifies redemption; ten signifies completion; and 17 signifies heaven. The numbers represent the day of redemption (5) and the end of the Christian era (10) and the ascent to heaven (17) – and these factors are doubled for added significance!

For all of his profound mathematical insight Camping was profoundly wrong – 21st May came and went. Instead of admitting his mistake, Camping released a special statement on his radio program Open Forum stating that his predicted 21 May 2011 Rapture was “an invisible judgment day” and that he has come to understand it as a “spiritual”, rather than a physical event. “We had all of our dates correct,” Camping insisted, clarifying that he now understands that Christ’s May 21 arrival was “a spiritual coming” ushering in the last five months before the final judgment and destruction. But of course, and the Emperor has no clothes on either!

In an hour and a half broadcast, Camping walked listeners through his numerological timeline, insisting that his teaching has not changed and that the world will now end on 21 October 2011. Camping also speculated that perhaps a merciful God decided to spare humanity five months of “hell on earth.” Some followers said the delay was a further test from God to persevere in their faith.

The tragedy is that many people quit their jobs, sold their homes and spent their entire life savings to warn people about the impending judgment. Robert Fitzpatrick, a 60-year-old, retired transit worker from Staten Island, invested his entire life savings of $140,000 into a New York advertising campaign.  I wonder if Harold Camping will refund their money? After all, the evangelist is a multi-millionaire.

In Old Testament times a false prophet was to be stoned to death.  Although I don’t advocate for the return of stoning one can imagine that it certainly would be a deterrent to the wild imaginings of some people.

It’s interesting to note that the vast majority of Bible prophecies concerning the end of the world are actually aimed at how we should live now.  The world will end one day, therefore it’s important how we conduct our life.

The Bible does speak about the future, but it is much more interested in how we live in the present. Jesus even told His followers “… do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

When Jesus’ followers asked him about the timing of future events he replied, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses …” (Acts 1:7). That’s a very polite way of saying “mind your business and get on with the job!”  That would be very good advice for all us – including the Harold Camping’s of this world!

Canadian Scientists at the University of Alberta (Dr. Anthony Chaston and research colleague, Dr. Alan Kingstone) have proven once and for all that time really does fly when you're having fun. Or at least, it flies when your attention is engaged.

The scientists devised a test that required subjects to find specific items in various images (similar to a Where’s Wally picture).  Before the subjects started the test they were told that once they had completed it they would be asked to estimate how much time had passed during their test.

There were seven levels of difficulty. In the more difficult tests, the items were placed among many similar looking items, or they didn't even exist in the image at all.

“The harder and harder the search tasks were, the smaller and smaller the estimates became," said Chaston.  That is, the more your attention is engaged the faster time seems to pass.  And that’s the key to why time flies more these days than in days gone by.

Think about it – 100 years ago no one had travelled at more than 50 kilometres an hour.  Today space travel allows people to go around the earth in 80 minutes. 

And what about the increase in knowledge? The total storage of knowledge is doubling every eight years. Eighty percent of all the scientists who ever lived are alive today.  Every single minute 2,000 pages are added to man’s scientific knowledge.  The scientific material produced in one day would take one person five years to read. About half a million books are published each year. The fastest computer in the world can peak at two quadrillion operations per second! One edition of any major newspaper has more information than the average person living in the 17th century would have come across in a lifetime.

The prophet Daniel predicted this age more than 2,600 years ago speaking of the end times when “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”  Our attention is engaged more than ever and so time flies faster than ever.

With time flying faster it’s important that there are no regrets.  American Professor Mason Cooley said, “Regret for wasted time is more wasted time.”  You cannot change what you’ve done with the past but, as one year closes and another begins, you can make a decision not to waste the future.  2011 is going to fly just as fast as this year, therefore it’s important that you don’t end a year with regrets but rather plan ahead.  Do some planning now by scheduling the most important things: time with God and His people; time with family and friends; time for fun and recreation; time for work and rest and time to help others less fortunate.

Your time is going to fly – make sure you’re flying in the right direction.