Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's the End of the World...Again

No matter how many times people have predicted the End of the World, only to have those prophecies go unfulfilled, there will always be someone else coming along to do it again and there will always be people gullible enough to believe them.

If you had hoped that End of the World predictions would have stopped after nothing came of the 2012 doomsayers, you hoped in vain. There have been numerous people who predicted the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and all of then have been proven wrong. There are still yet other individuals who claim to know when Jesus will return, but don't hold your breath.

Sadly, when predictions like these come down the pike, there will be people who believe them wholeheartedly. People have given away all their possessions in anticipation of Jesus' return and other people who have actually killed themselves out of fear of the coming Apocalypse.

So, people have suffered financial ruin, psychological trauma and even death because of self-appointed prophets.

Enter Gabriel Ansley, who (like so many others) claims to know with absolute certainty, when Jesus will return. He has authored a book and produced a video, which you can see below.

How to Tell Time

The open claim of this film is that Jesus will return during the 2000th year after his crucifixion, which 2028End gives as the year 28AD, so Jesus is supposedly returning in the year 2028AD,

The video gives  examples of various events in Biblical history and claims that each of these events was prophesied during the Genesis Creation account and further links these events to Jesus' life and death. While they are rather creative interpretations, most of them aren't anything new. If you've heard enough Evangelical preachers' sermons, you've heard these examples before.

The biggest problem with this film is that it uses the wrong calendar.

The premise of the film is that Jesus' Second Coming will take place on the 2000th anniversary of his death, which will coincide with the 6000th year since the Creation of the Universe as told in the Genesis account. But, they're using the wrong dating system and they are off by over 200 years!

The only calendar mentioned in the Jewish Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament) is the Hebrew calendar and it alone is the guide for the Jews to tell them when their holy days occur. Passover doesn't happen in the month of May or April, it happens on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nisan. The Hebrew calendar is the same calendar that Jesus himself used, not the Julian calendar which the Romans used and certainly not the Gregorian calendar we use today. The people behind 2028 End are claiming that from Day One of Creation, Jesus's Second Coming will occur 6000 Gregorian calendar years later and this is just plain laughable.

Today's date (the day I am posting this blog entry) is January 24, 2015.

But, according to the Hebrew calendar, today's date is the 4th of Sh'vat, 5775. The Hebrew calendar years are counted from Day One of Creation. So, this year is the 5775th year since God created the Universe. So, we have another 225 years until the 6000th year of the Hebrew calendar.

So, if we want to find out what the Gregorian year will be on the First Day of Passover (15th day of Nisan) in the Hebrew calendar year 6000, we simply put it through this handy-dandy converter and we get April 7, 2240.

I posted a comment on Gabriel's video, explaining all this and here is his response:
The Hebrew calendar's year count is wrong ... google "missing years in jewish calendar"
Furthermore, I have given ample Biblical evidence proving God prophesied in His Word the Messiah, Christ Jesus, would be dying on the cross during Earth's 4,000 solar year of existence. No calendar is needed to understand this truth.  It's a simple fact that when Earth was making its 4,000 trip around the sun, counted from Creation, Jesus Christ was dying on the cross.
Once this truth is understood, THEN, one can go to a calendar and decide when 2,000 solar years will be after Jesus' death.  On that note, our Gregorian calendar is fine ... Christ died around AD 28, and thus year 6,000 will be around year AD 2028.  
While the Hebrew calendar certainly has its problems, no calendar system is perfect. Even the Gregorian calendar has issues. After all, the Earth doesn't circle the Sun in exactly 365 24-hour days. It's a little off and we've known this for a long time. But, Gabe seems to prefer to stick with the Gregorian calendar because the Hebrew calendar doesn't tell him what he wants to hear, while he can make the Gregorian one fit into his preconceived ideas. He says bases his claim that the date of 28AD when Jesus was supposed to have died upon an article written for the website Biblical Theology. However, even that article has problems, regardless of what Gabriel thinks. The author claims that Herod the Great died in the year 1BC and not 4BC as most scholars claim. However, Herod's own sons dated the start of their respective reigns from 4BC, so their father was already dead by then. While Gabriel may wish to believe what Pallant Ramsundar says, he's not basing his beliefs on the writings of a Biblical scholar. here's what Virginia State University says about him:
Dr. Pallant Ramsundar – A research professor who earned his Ph.D. in Rapid Manufacturing from the University of Cambridge in England.  Dr. Ramsundar’s research interests include product design and development, flexible manufacturing solutions, manufacturing automation and real time production control and management.
Whatever Gabriel thinks about Dr Ramsundar's paper, the claim of 28AD being the actual year of Jesus' death has not found acceptance in scholarly circles.

An additional claim made in the movie is that God established the 7-day week and that humanity "unknowingly celebrates it every 7-day week". 

While the 7-day week is in worldwide usage, that has more to do with the spread of Judaism, Christianity and Islam over the centuries, rather than any sort of default programming hidden in the human brain. The Ancient Romans used an eight-day week until the fourth century CE, when it was supplanted with the seven day week. China, Japan, Korea and Ancient Egypt used a ten-day week. You can find more examples at this link.

The Ancient Babylonians used a seven-day week and the ancient Hebrews originated from that part of the world. While not perfect, a better system couldn't be easily developed or adopted.

A Little Bit of Crazy, Mixed With Ignorance

Gabriel Ansley doesn't just rely on his dating system or his interpretations of the Bible. He's got direct evidence from God for this bit of insanity.

Several times on his website, he mentions "signs" that he and others have received from Yahweh to confirm that he's on the right track.

Add to that his attacks on the Theory of Evolution, which is the foundation of modern biology and confirmed across numerous scientific disciplines, Gabriel is a literal Young Earth Creationist for whom science is a dirty word. For Mr Ansley and people like him, science is bad...unless it's doing stuff like curing diseases, taking pictures of distant galaxies, building computers, helping us grow enough food to feed ourselves and keeping our water clean.

Not being one to judge others, he uses videos made by convicted criminal Kent Hovind. I guess Hovind's numerous convictions for federal crimes wasn't enough to convince Mr Ansley that Kent is an unreliable source.

As with Dr Ramsundar, Mr Ansley is basing his beliefs upon the words of people without sufficient educational background in the field they are writing about. Kent Hovind is often referred to as "Dr Kent Hovind", but he has no doctorate in science or anything else from an accredited university. But, because he tells people what they want to hear, their statements are taken as true.

Seriously, I weep for my country when science-unfriendly people like Gabriel Ansley are given more credibility than people who have spent decades of their lives in the search for scientific Truth.

"Thou Shalt Not Steal"

I noticed right away that the video contains a portion of the 1966 film "The Bible: In the Beginning..." in which Jon Huston plays the character of Noah. The relevant portion can be found starting at about 9 minutes 30 seconds. The movie is the intellectual property of 20th Century Fox and I don't know if the video uploader received their permission to do this. If not, this video could be taken down from YouTube if 20th Century Fox were to file a DMCA complaint.

Further into the movie, what appears to be a scene from the 2014 film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" plays starting at 25 minutes, 50 seconds. Again, this is a film owned by 20th Century Fox.

There are clips from other movies used throughout the video, though all are altered so that the images aren't as clear as in the original films. But, these are scenes from motion pictures which are all the intellectual property of others and, as far as I am aware, the person who posted this video did not receive the films' owners' permission to use them. The usage of these clips probably would not even be covered under Fair Use.

Even if we assume that the person who uploaded the video is sincere and only has good intentions in his heart, that does not make it permissible to use someone else's intellectual property without their permission or even giving them credit.

Deja Vu All Over Again

After Harold Camping predicted (inaccurately, of course) the Rapture to occur in May 2011, his radio network and many of his followers spent large amounts of their own money to advertise the coming apocalypse. Advertising campaigns were carried out in countries all over the world and advertisements appeared on billboards, park benches and various other media.

Imagine my absolute disgust when I discovered that Gabriel Ansley wants people to do the same thing for him. He not only wants people to buy ad space in the media, but also to place ads on park benches, bus stops, aerial banners, etc and he's even looking for someone to turn his message into a movie!

Gabriel Ansley, Profit of Doom?

It's entirely possible that Gabe is totally sincere. He may actually believe this load of shit that he's shoveling. But, I have to admit that I'm also wondering if Mr Ansley might be looking at the Bottom Line.

After all, he's selling his book and other items on his website. He could have made his entire book available for free download and printing, but he didn't. While I admit that running his several websites costs money, he does have a pretty good chance of selling a lot of books of he manages to get enough free advertisements from committed believers. At $12.95 a pop, that could add-up pretty fast and he's got over two million views on his video already.

A good way to make an apocalyptic prediction is to place the event far enough in the future so that you have enough time to get your message out. In the interval between today and The End of the World, there's plenty of time to sell books, collect donations and maybe get paid speaking fees by people who want to know if they should get ready for the End of Days.

There's also plenty of time for people to visit his YouTube channel to discover his music videos. Gabriel is also an aspiring Country Music singer and I doubt if he'd turn down a recording contract if someone offered it to him before Jesus gets back. As it is, he still has 13 years to get rich and famous before the Second Coming. No sense devoting yourself entirely to doom-saying if/when Nashville beckons.

I Hate Gabriel Ansley and Everyone Like Him

The one thing that turns my stomach to the verge of projectile vomiting when I see people like Gabriel is that after they've sold all the books, collected donations from their followers and gotten people scared perhaps to the point of suicide, is that when The Big Day finally arrives and their predictions have again been proven false, they never give back the money they've made. Ever. They never even talk about it.

A simple "I guess I was wrong" has to suffice for all the people who bought books and donated their hard-earned money to these charlatans, only to realize that it was all for nothing. Afterward, the  now-former doomsayers can just count their money and laugh all the way to the bank. I wish a slow death in abject poverty on all the people who sold their books predicting the 2012 Apocalypse and got rich, while frightened people cowered in fear around the world. Not a single one of these 2012 profiteers expressed any sort of sorrow when Isabel Taylor committed suicide out of fear of the predicted doomsday.

And Now A Word From Jesus
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 
(Gospel of Matthew chapter 7, verses 15 to 20)

My Prediction for 2028

When Jesus hasn't arrived by the date Gabriel is giving us, I'm going to go get some food to celebrate his non-arrival. Maybe some chicken curry. Yeah, that sounds good. Spicy hot chicken curry, a side order of deep-friend spring rolls with plum sauce for dipping and either a Pepsi or Thai iced coffee to wash it down.

That's going to be my Doomsday Dinner.

Duane Browning

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