Although it seems to be human nature to want to see into the future, most of us don't have the ability to do so. And since there are no reliable scientific methods for predicting the future, people often satisfy their curiosity by listening to those who claim to have such a gift. But even though when one looks at the overall body of prophecies throughout time, it is clear that they are more often wrong than right, people still today continue to pay close attention to prophecies. In fact, not since the beginning of the millennium almost 1000 years ago has there been such a profusion of predictions.
Prophecies should never mislead us
to believe the future is determined.
What do the prophecies about the new millennium say, why have prophecies so often been wrong in the past, and where does the value of prophesy lie?
What do the prophecies say?
There are hundreds of prophecies about the new millennium, and one of the best overviews of the major ones is Tom Kay's book, ''When the Comet Runs: Prophecies for the New Millennium.'' By taking a helicopter view of the subject though, one sees certain similarities among them, and can therefore draw a ''picture'' of what visionaries believe the future will hold:
* The worst war ever is coming. Quite often, there is talk of ''World War III'' in which horrible weapons (nuclear or chemical) will be used. Many prophets warn of a ''surprise attack from the East'' and that everything will take place very quickly.
* There will be unimaginable natural catastrophes throughout the world.
* There will be three days of total darkness. Remarkably, many prophets speak of this time in which the atmosphere may also be poisoned.
* There will be signs in the Heavens. Many believe in a direct role of the Creator in the structure of events leading to the new millennium. And ''heavenly signs'' (e.g., comets) will appear.
* ''Good Times'' will follow. Peace and prosperity will reign, but only after the world is ''cleansed of evil.'' Many prophets write of a ''victory for the true belief'' and say that the ''spread of truth'' will be through a single preacher who will be chosen by God.
When might these prophecies be fulfilled?
Most prophecies only speak figuratively about when these events might happen (e.g., ''Dance music will be played in the churches and the preacher will sing,'' etc.) One rarely finds an exact date given. The new millennium might seem like an obvious landmark, but there is no correlation between it and most prophecies. And if scientists and historians are right about the inaccuracy of our annual calendar, it may be that the current year is already 2006, not 1999!
What really is the future?
We talk about ''the past,'' ''the present,'' and ''the future.'' ''The past'' is everything that happened before the current moment, ''now.'' It is a large body of time that grows ever larger every second. ''The present'' though, is fleeting and minute, instantaneously becoming the past as soon as it arrived. But what is ''the future''? We say the future is ''everything yet to be.''
Think about the sayings, ''Every action has an equal and opposite reaction,'' ''What goes around, comes around,'' and ''As you sow, that shall you reap.'' These sentences each have aspects of the past and the future in them, and they are descriptions of one great Natural Law that all matter, physical and spiritual, is subject to: the Law of Reciprocal Action. This Law tells us that whatever we will experience in the future is the result of choices we made in the past. Very simply then, ''the future'' is the consequence of the past.
So what this means in terms of prophecies therefore, is that whatever an individual is shown or is able to recognize through visions of the future, is really only a decisive ''knot'' in the ''carpet of destiny'' that man kind has woven for itself. These ''knots'' are the links to the repercussions (according to the Natural Law of Reciprocal Action) which we will have to experience for our past actions. Since the future is the consequence of the past, it is made up of threads from earlier decisions.
Why are so many prophecies wrong?
Most who believe in prophecies, and often those who believe they have the ability to prophesize, do not take the influence of man's free will into consideration. But it is exactly because of free will that many prophecies are not fulfilled.
A prophecy shows what could be, if one continues along a certain path. For instance, say that a farmer twenty years ago started to use carcinogenic pesticides on his crops, and then other farmers followed his lead. A visionary at that time might have foreseen thousands of people dying of cancer, and this certainly might be the outcome if farmers continued using those particular chemicals until the present day. But imagine that after only a few years the farmer realized that he was eroding the soil and destroying the nutrients in his crops by spraying them with these pesticides, and so therefore exercised his free will by deciding to switch to organic pest control, instead. And imagine that other farmers came to the same conclusion and did likewise. It is very probable that the original prophecy would not be fulfilled.
The key therefore to whether or not a prophecy is fulfilled is ''the present.'' The present offers limitless opportunities for people to exert their free wills. In fact, the free will can only be implemented in the present: the past is too late, and the future is not yet! But as soon as one puts his free will into action, it becomes part of the past, and therefore carries with it, for good or bad, a future consequence. In his work ''In the Light of Truth,'' written in the 1930s, Abd-ru-shin clearly explained this: ''His [man's] free will lies solely in the decision, of which he may make many every hour. In the independent weaving of the Laws of Creation, however, he is unswervingly subject to the consequences of every one of his personal decisions! Therein lies his responsibility, which is inseparably connected with the gift of free will to make decisions, which is peculiar to and an absolute part of the human spirit.''
From this then, it is clear that we will experience the repercussions of our actions, or rather ''we shall reap what we have sown.'' When, how and in what form these repercussions will take place, and what will occur afterwards, can only be determined through our own present actions, through our free will. It would therefore be totally futile to cut oneself off from the outside world and fall into a state of ''end of the world'' panic.
Since our free will is within the framework of Creation, our future is open and not predetermined. Although we will not be able to prevent ourselves from going past certain markers on the path of our development, the determination and free will of man are strong enough to influence these events decisively. In regard to prophecies this means that through our actions or inactions, things can develop quite differently from the way in which they were originally prophesized.
The true value of prophecies
Considering all of this then, the true value of prophecies lies in how they should make one alert by pointing to possible repercussions. We can then determine to do things in the present that will ensure either that negative prophecies will not come true, or at least might not be as severe as if we had paid no attention to them at all. However, prophecies should never mislead us to believe the future is determined, and all of our efforts to effect our destiny are senseless.
In the Light of Truth
About The Author
Werner Huemer is the Editor-in-Chief of the German magazine GralsWelt. Micah Rubenstein is the General Manager of Grail Foundation Press. The work quoted in this article, In the Light of Truth, is available at your local bookstore, by ordering directly from this page, or by calling 740-392-3333 or 800-427-9217.