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The Awakenings

The Essence of Contemporary American Religion

Part Five of Nine

By Shlomo Phillips © 1989 (last updated Febrary 26, 2015)

The Awakenings

Return to Part One

The Third Great Awakening Continued

Calculating Armageddon

Many of the reformers of the Third Great Awakening were fascinated by biblical prophecy. Such studies can easily become a compulsion! Believe me I know. A verse seems oddly familiar to ones experiences or fears; an undesirable leader seems like a "beast" and voila, surely this man is the Antichrist! Chemtrails turn our once beautiful clear skies into cesspools of seemingly occult designs and images from the Book of Revelation arise. For the religiously minded prophetic signs abound. Balance is vital but sometimes... During the Third Great Awakening the signs were everywhere!

For those who have not indulged in the heady wine of the prophetic tree, such fascinations can be difficult to understand. They were however very important to the awakening consciousness of this period (and remain so for certain sects like the 7th Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses today). Lets take a moment to consider what is probably the most widely studied of these texts in order to understand how the process works and how people's imaginations ran wild: Daniel 9:22-27.

The widely studied apocalyptic writings of Reverend Charles Larkin employed this basic method of Biblical interpretation (note 28). In order to understand these Third Great Awakening Adventist movements therefore it will be helpful to demonstrate one of these popular methods of prophetic dating. In order to follow along it will be helpful to read the indicated Scriptural passages. It should be understood that those who accept this system of interpretation, and millions still do, accept the Bible not only as the revealed Word of God, but also as the partially concealed Word of God which is disclosed only to those who "have eyes to see."

Daniel chapter four speaks of a "great tree" that by Divine decree is cut down and banded "until seven times pass over it." This "tree" is said to represent governmental authority according to the text (vs. 25). Many Adventists teach that the tree has a deeper significance however. To them it represents the prophesied Messianic Kingdom of the future. When the "bands" of this prophetic tree are removed the Kingdom of God will again blossom and, after the seven year rule of Anti-Christ according to some, the millennium (thousand year kingdom of Messiah) will begin (comp. Ezekiel 17:22-24). From this they conclude that God's kingdom (destroyed when Judea fell to Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar) will be restored "seven times" after it was cut down. For evidence of this they cite the example of King Nebuchadnezzar returning to his senses after seven times or, in that case, seven literal years (Daniel 4:28-37).

Armed with this interpretation they turn to Daniel 9 and read what they conclude is a prophecy of Jesus' "first Advent" (9:25), his death (9:26), and the seven year reign of the Anti-Christ (9:26, 27) that they believe will precede his Second Advent. The standard Jewish understanding of these verses of course is completely different. They see see these as events that have already taken place. But for many Christians, these passages hold the answer to Jesus' return.

The question all Adventists must answer is how much time these seven times signify. Here is where they differ considerably among themselves. Here's one popular approach and result:

Since the Hebrews used a lunar calendar we would normally have to translate these times (or years) into solar years. The length of a 'prophetic year' however is set at a constant 360 days. Each of these days symbolically compose a full year because the Bible says "a day for a year, a day for a year" (for this they cite Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6 etc.). In the Book of Revelation we read that 1,260 days equals "a time, and times, and a half a time" (Revelation 12:6, 14). This being established, these 1,260 days (or 3 1/2 times) doubled would equal 2520 actual years as the duration of the 'seven times'.

These 2520 'years' are said to have begun when the "tree" was cut down. According to this view, the cutting down of the tree refers to the destruction of God's Kingdom (Judea) on earth. In other words they believe the prophecy is based on the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon (as described by Daniel and others), God's holy city where the throne of his earthly government and Temple stood at the time the tree was banded. So when did this occur?

The Beit HaMikdash or House of the Holy was destroyed by Babylon's king Nebuchadnezzar who removed King Zedekiah from Judea's Throne and sent the Jews into exile. This cutting down of the tree of Israel can be dated to 606 B.C.E (BF 180) although there is some debate on this (note 29) (also see my Time line of Eretz Israel). For our present example, in 606 B.C.E. the countdown of the "seven times" began. Charles Taze Russell concluded from this that 2520-606=1914 as the date for the 'end of the age' (note 30) as discussed above.

Attempting to explain away the numerous failed prophecies of Ellen White the Seventh Day Adventists developed their calculation into a very different (and hard to grasp) prophetic time frame. We'll bypass their views on this but they can explain them if one is interested.

What has been shared here should suffice to demonstrate the appeal (and slippery slopes) of these sorts of calculations. The difficulties arise when the calculations fail as they have for all the sects drawing on this Daniel 9 system. The last serious Daniel 9 application I am aware of was for 1988 (40 years after modern Israeli independence).

This prophetic system is presented at length in Jehovah's Witness' book Babylon the Great Has Fallen! God's Kingdom Rules! (BF 177-181). Like William Miller, Ellen White and the rest, as the years following the predicted dates passed the Watchtower Society tried to pinpoint other dates for the physical manifestation of Jesus (who they say is here already but invisible as discussed above) and His earthly kingdom, but with no better success. Their last (for now at least) attempt at date setting was 1975 (note 31).

Just as William Miller finally gave up on issuing dates, so too the Bethel elders of the Watchtower Society apparently have surrendered their roles as prophetic date setters. Unlike Miller, rather than admit their calculations were wrong or blame it on faulty textual preservation, the Watchtower Society decided to change history and deny that their 1975 prophecies had ever even been made! As a result of this attempted deception, which every JW in the world in the years leading up to 1975 knew was a lie, their credibility as an organization was largely destroyed. Beginning in January of 1976 many of their followers began leaving. To my knowledge the Society has never admitted their lie nor requested forgiveness from the hundreds of thousands of people who were adversely effected by it.

Other Important Influences of the Third Great Awakening

So far we've focussed mainly on the 'Fundamentalist' Protestant/Anglican Christians of this period. While significant, they were only part of the players active during this Awakening. This is one of the things that to me marks a clear separation between the Second and Third Great Awakenings as mentioned above. While reforms and 'times of refreshing' were happening in other groups during the previous Awakenings, these had little impact on American religious experience, which is our primary focus here. During the Third Great Awakening that changed.

Rabbinic and Karaite Judaism

The creation of movements (denominations) within Judaism began during this period. Previously during the modern era there were only two basic types of Jews, only one that most Americans were aware of:

Judaism has always been very diverse and yet the Jews, in part because of historic persecution, always managed to maintain cohesiveness as a people. Some Jews were more observant, some less, most embraced the Talmud, some did not, but "a Jew was a Jew, was a Jew." This began to change during the Russian Pogroms of the Third Great Awakening:
During the late 19th century, Russian authorities began to differentiate Karaites from Rabbanite Jews, freeing them from various anti-Semitic laws that affected Jews. The Tsarist governor of the Crimean area told the Karaite leaders that, even though the Tsarist government liked the idea that the Karaites did not accept the Talmud (which the church taught was the reason the Jews did not accept Jesus), they were still Jews and responsible for the death of Jesus and subject to the new anti-Semitic laws. The [Karaite] leaders, hearing that, devised a ruse by which they could be freed of the oppressive laws and told him that the Karaites had already settled in the Crimea before the death of Jesus. The Tsarist government then said that, if they could prove it, they would be free of the oppressive laws. The community leaders charged Avraham Firkovich (1786-1874) with gathering anything that could help "prove" that Karaites were not in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, and thus not responsible for the crucifixion. Through his work, Firkovich helped establish the idea among the Tsarist authorities that the Karaites, as descendants of the exiled northern kingdom of Israel, had already gone into exile centuries before the death of Jesus and thus had no responsibility for it. Firkovich referenced tombstones in Crimea (altering the dates) and gathered thousands of Karaite, Rabbanite, and Samaritan manuscripts, including one Rabbanite document from the southern Caucasus that claims that the Jews there were descendants of the exiles from the northern Kingdom of Israel -- Source.
Today the Karaites maintain little connection with Rabbinic Jewish society. There are a few critical differences in beliefs and practices (like rejection of the Talmud, Hillel's calendar re-calculations, paternal lineage rather maternal for determining Jewish identity, etc.).

It was Rabbinic Judaism that became "American Judaism." Most Americans have never met a Karaite Jew. During the Third Great Awakening Jewish cohesiveness began to fragment.

The Trefa Banquet

While Jewish religious developments usually remained focussed within their own communities and therefore had limited direct impact on the world outside, a major reform movement arose within Judaism during this period that continues to have a major impact on the Jewish and non-Jewish people.

Inspired by Das Aufklarung and Haskalah, as early as 1869 certain American Jews (gathered in Philadelphia) began working to redefine or modernize American Judaism. They drew inspiration from similar German conferences held between 1841-1846. This Jewish reformation exploded within the heart of American Judaism when, in July of 1883, the Trefa Banquet was held. After this dinner, held at Highland House Restaurant and attended by over 200 distinguished Jewish and non-Jewish guests of Hebrew Union College, there was no turning back. American Judaism had divided into two organized movements, each claiming its right to define Jewish religious practices. The "trefa banquet" did not cause that division, but the anti-Torah principles advocated by its organizer was symbolized by it.

The word tref refers to food that is prohibited for Jews under halacha (Jewish law). In order to officially establish its rejection of and separation from traditional Judaism, Hebrew Union College chose to serve trefa (including shrimp) at its first graduating class of rabbis during the official graduation dinner. This Halachically forbidden act instantly established an impenetrable wall of mistrust and disrespect between the reformers and what is now called the Orthodox Movement, which is to say, traditional Judaism.

The overt rejection of Jewish law symbolized by the dinner also established a deep gulf between the reformers themselves. In time other non-Orthodox movements were established. During the Third Great Awakening however, the Jewish reformation effectively created two Rabbinic Judaisms, one Orthodox and traditional, the other non-Orthodox and "liberal."

In 1885 Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler (a liberal reformer) and Rabbi Alexander Kohut (a conservative reformer) oversaw a split among the reformers. Their debates resulted in the Reform Movement's Pittsburgh Platform, chaired by Isaac M. Wise. In 1889, the more liberal "Reform" rabbis established the Central Conference of American Rabbis with Hebrew Union College as its university and seminary flagship.

Seeking to establishing itself as a middle-ground between what it saw as two extremes the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Theological Seminary Association (established in 1902) were established for the Conservative Movement. Neither group is accepted by the Orthodox, which is itself now divided into several sects.

Because the non-Orthodox movements favored assimilation into American society they were much more open to inter-religious dialogue. This openness enhanced communication and liberal Judaism became more familiar to average Americans. Because of this, Reform Judaism enjoyed a direct relevance within the American religious experience that Jews had never before known. Judaism in American soon meant Reform Judaism to the majority of Jews and non-Jews alike.

I discuss the Jewish movements in more detail elsewhere. For our present purposes, like American Christians, American Jews of the Third Great Awakening were establishing an independent minded version of their religion that was more socially accepted. For these Jews that meant denying the ancient view of the Jews as a uniquely Chosen People. These Jews were Americans first whose religious preference was non-Orthodox Judaism. Jews were now becoming public figures and their many contributions, which had always blessed the New World, were now being recognized in many areas of social life. While anti-Semitism continued to boil just under the surface during this period, in the United States Jews were justifiably optimistic. Perhaps this made the events of the 1930's and 40's all the more difficult to bear!

Secular Humanism, Occultism, and the Third Great Awakening

Devaluation of Human Life

Under the onslaught of Secular Humanism and growing Materialism, and the increasing credence being granted to scientific theory to define reality, people across the nation were becoming desperate to find a secure place for their faith. Resisting scientific relativism was a major cause of the Third Great Awakening.

Secular Humanism ravaged people's faith like a soulless beast and replaced it with nothing but a void of doubt and uncertainty. Secular Humanism offered lots of "facts" and new theories but it left people without a reason for their existence. Science could arguably answer "what we are" physically, but it had no satisfying answer to the more important question of "Why we are." Under this then emerging philosophy humanity at best was reduced to being top dog among other soulless, meaningless, animals. Life was stripped of its purpose and meaning.

For some Secular Humanists humans came to be viewed as parasites the world would be better off without! From this later view arose the genocidal policies of Naziism, Eugenics, extreme environmentalism, and the various forms of population control (forced sterilizations, abortions on demand, Planned Parenthood etc). As was stated following Mikhail Gorbachev's 1996 World Forum, with the agreement of Bill and Hillary Clinton and other Globalists:

"...there was very strong agreement [at the meeting] that religious institutions have to take primary responsibility for the population explosion. We must speak far more clearly about sexuality, about contraception, about abortion, about the values that control the population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90 percent and there aren't enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage." Sam Keen, during the closing plenary session.
Similar ideas concerning de-population plans are to be found in the mysterious Georgia Guidestones. The details of how and why to enact such drastic changes may be recurring themes in so-called conspiracy theories, but that there are people in high places seeking to accomplish such goals is easily provable.
"I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus" -- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Foreword to If I Were an Animal (1987) by Fleur Cowles

Devaluing the sanctity of human life is a clear agenda of certain Third Great Awakening philosophies and ideologies. These attitudes directly led to the mass murders of the 1930's and 40's. Today we are witnessing a return of many of these anti-human views.

Madame Blavatsky

There was also a marked rise in Occultism during this period including that of the Theosophical Society of Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky (August 12, 1831 - May 8, 1891). The world seriously undervalues her profound, largely destructive, impact on the Twentieth Century! She promoted her ideas during the Third Great Awakening.

HPB (Madame Blavatsky), an 'expert' Russian Spiritualist, maintained that only in the East, which she considered to be the 'cradle of Occultism', were the ancient mysteries preserved intact. These Occult truths held the keys to the future and the past. She claimed that she had been initiated into certain Occult lodges there and had come to America to point the way Eastward. Those who embraced her movement and its inner teachings would soon rule the world. In this she was correct, for a time.

While many 'Awakening' Christians were once again hailing the US as New Zion, HPB was akin to Thoreau in her negative views towards the West and the superiority of all things Indian (note 32). . To her, the West was an ugly, materially obsessed land of deceived mindless consumers.

For HPB the Christians were all spiritually bankrupt and didn't even know enough to realize it. The Jews were at best a fallen race devoid of understanding of their own rich Traditions and former greatness. This did not keep her from usurping Kabbalah and other Jewish wisdom traditions however.

She claimed visions of creating a New World Order and stated that the Jewish teachings have powers that the Jews had rejected and hence forgotten. If only she could learn how to manipulate them! That was what she and her students were working at. Her work out lived her however and HPB died on May 8, 1891. Her Occultism lived on however.

As the man much of the world feared was the Anti-Christ arose in the 1930's HPB's teachings were pivotal to his vision of the global Third Reich.

Dietrich Eckart, a close student of MPB, boasted that he had personally initiated Adolf Hitler into Theosophy's Secret Doctrine.

In 1923, on his deathbed, Hitler's mentor Dietrich Eckart, a dedicated Satanist and central figure in the Occult Thule Society and a founder member of the Nazi party, said:
There have been countless volumes written on the Occultism of Hitler and the leaders of the Third Reich. I'll avoid the temptation to delve into these post-Third Great Awakening experiences here but its a fascinating and very relevant study. Those who argue that HPB was not the central influence I claim need to only to examine those other influences. Most of them arose from or influenced by the Secret Doctrine espoused by Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophy.

HPB stated, "You want to write esoteric facts and you give instead English race prejudice."

The Sanatana Dharma (the united religions of India) and others believe that Bhāratavarsha (the entire land of India) was the original home of the Aryan (literally "Cultured") people (note A). Most secular scholars believe they were early immigrants, likely from Persia (now: Iran). For religious Indians however,regardless of their sect, the Vedic lords were all Aryan and Bhāratavarsha (India) was the hub where humanity began and from which it once ruled the earth.

HPB also believed the Aryan Indians ruled the planet until the Mahabharata war of Kurukshetra (setting of the Indian classic Srimad Bhagavad-Gita or "Sacred Song of God" and said to have occurred roughly 5000 years ago). Accepting this, Madame Blavatsky taught that the masters of the Sanatana Dharma (Indian spiritual traditions), "maintain teachings that are much higher spiritually than those of the Europeans, who may not reach their level for some millenniums yet..." (S 95). As a result of the Islamic Mughal and English conquests and occupations of India (and those proceeding them), these teachings, she said, were hidden and only revealed to a select few. We do know that Hitler sought the secret Brahmastra weapon (the mantra-powered canon said to have been used by Arjuna and Ashwatthama according to the Srimad Mahabharata).

As a result of this conviction Madame Blavatsky and her associates (including Colonel Olcott) founded the Theosophical Society on November 17, 1875 (S 87-90; 369,370) about the same time Charles Taze Russell was beginning his religious carrier. While one may well disagree with Madam Blavatsky's presentation and interpretation of the various religious and spiritualist topics she addressed (for instance her bizarre understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of Annihilation: note B,) her influence in the field of religion and society can scarcely be overstated, nor can her impact on history (IU,1.290).

The fundamental changes she made to way people understand various traditional teachings (like the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta or Annihilation) in many cases laid the groundwork for the growing interfaith and universalist post-religion trends we see today. As is almost always the case, Madame Blavatsky did much good but there was also a lot of darkness in her teachings as well. She inspired generations to open their minds in ways their parents had never even considered. Her many positive contributions should be acknowledged, but we must also remember the negative devastation her Occultism inspired.

Other Voices of the Third Great Awakening

With so many diverse groups and ideologies arising during these few years even the most jaded skeptic must surely acknowledge that 'something' unusual was going on! Human consciousnesses was awakening, and yet with no apparent unified direction. Among the new groups were the Baha'i Faith, the Christadelphians, the Christian Scientists, the New Apostolic Church, the 70 plus churches based on the teachings of Phineas P. Quimby (including the Church of Divine Science, the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy, the Religious Science Churches, the Churches of Religious Science, the Church of Truth, and perhaps best known of these, the Unity School of Christianity). There was also 'the Old Catholic movement' and other redefinition groups.

The Azuza Street Revival began in Los Angeles under the preaching of Reverend William J. Seymour. The revival began on April 9, 1906 and continued until the end of the Awakening in 1914. According to participants, as well as various media outlets that covered the events taking place, the revival was characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences including various miracles, dramatic worship services, 'speaking in tongues', and inter-racial mingling (something unheard of at the time). The participants were criticized by the secular media as crazed cultists and by Christian theologians for behavior considered to be outrageous and un-Christian, especially at the time. Today however, the Azuza Street revival is considered by religious historians as the catalyst of Pentecostalism and the more subsequent more sedate Charismatic Movement. Several Pentecostal and Charismatic sects were spawned by the experiences at Azuza Street. Some of these new Pentacostals were fundamentalists, others 'Progressives'. The Azuza Street experiences changed the religious landscape of America.

Other Third Great Awakening born groups include the Polish Old Catholic Church (aka. the Polish National Catholic Church), the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (or Rosicrucian Order), diverse Spiritualist groups, the renewed popularity (and condemnation) of the Free Masons, the Vedanta Society, the Institute for Research and Enlightenment (organized around the sleep work of Edgar Cayce), Paramahamsa Yogananda's Self Realization Fellowship and many many other.

As with the Second Great Awakening, some view the Third as ongoing. While people like Edgar Cayce (1877 - 1945) became much widely known after the Third Great Awakening ended (1014) the trends that he and others established arose from within the Awakening. Such flows are always best viewed as fluid estimations.

Whereas the earlier Awakenings were concerned primarily with Christian reforms, the Third Great Awakening, especially in its later stages, incorporated Eastern and Pagan wisdom into the Western consciousness like never before and gave birth to what is known as New Age Movement.

Attempting to resist the rational secularist scientific paradigm and traditional religions both, this Awakening saw the real advent of popular Occultism as well as independant personal spirituality. Groups like Theosophy and the more anarchistic New Age Movement sought to replace all previous beliefs in order to establish a Spiritist universalism that would be consistent with the emerging Secular Humanism. They succeeded more fully at this than most people imagine. The Christianity and non-Orthodox Judaism of today are vary different than the Christianity and Judaism practiced befor the Third Great Awakening.

Jewish Hasidism and Mysticism

The celebrated Jewish master Rabbi Yisroel (Israel) ben Eliezer (1698 - May 22, 1760), known as the Ba'al Shem Tov or Master of the Good/High Name) lived prior to this period, however as we discussed above, Judaism was largely a closed system. Its influence often comes to non-Jews after the fact. As the non-Orthodox movements that arose during this period began publicizing Jewish wisdom traditions to the world many Gentiles began discovering the great Hasidic master and his spiritual descendants, like Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (April 4, 1772 - October 16, 1810), the Lubivicher Rebbes (the first being Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Tanya), and many others.

From within the sub-schools of the Ba'al Shem Tov Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (September 4, 1745 - December 15, 1812) established Chabad. This school indirectly played quit a role in the Third Great Awakening, although as is so often the case their contributions are seldom recognized outside of Judaism. Likewise the exciting Revelations of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, while from the period of the Second Awakening, made meaningful contributions that are not noted in the Second due to his obscurity outside of Eastern Judaism. Today his popularity is growing everywhere due in part to the Nanach Movement (insprired by Rabbi Yisroel Dov Ber Odesser aka Saba), and Breslov Institute. The West is only now coming to appreciate his Likutey Moharan and other teachings.

Also during this period more Gentiles discovered Kabbalah and other forms of Jewish mysticism, or New Age versions of them. I've actually had Christians tell me that "Christian Kabbalah" came first and that the Jews usurped it from them! Among those who claimed these ancient Jewish (and other) teachings as their own, and in significant ways altered them, was Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. She and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott were leading the pack during this period.

In the next section we will conclude our look at the Third Great Awakening. Don't stop now!

The Awakenings

Return to: Part 1

Continue with: Part 6
Bibliography and Resources


  • Note 28: Larkin's system is based on the return of the Jews to Jerusalem and the reestablishment of the nation of Israel. His advocates say that with his interpretations, based on Daniel 9:24-27 and other passages, he accurately predicted the Balfour Treaty (of 1918) and the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. According to his calculation Christ was to return within one prophetic generation of 1948 (i.e. in 1988 at the latest). This he based on Matthew 24:34, DT. return
  • Note 29: In the fifth month (Ab), on the tenth day of the month, that is, in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar [sic], the king of Babylon, Nebuzar-adan the chief of the bodyguard ... proceeded to burn the house of Jehovah (BF 159). return
  • Note 30: The dates are subtracted because they occurred before the common era. return
  • Note 31: Present day Witnesses sometimes deny that the Society ever issued the 1975 date. They did, repeatedly. Not so much because of the erroneous prophecy as the denial of its presentation, in 1976 ten percent of the Witnesses left.
    Consider the following from the 1967 District Convention in Wisconsin Sheboygan District. Overseer Brother Charles Sunutko presented a talk called "Serving with Everlasting Life in View" making the following statement:
    "Well now, as Jehovah's Witnesses, as runners, even though some of us have become a little weary, it almost seems as though Jehovah has provided meat in due season. Because he's held up before all of us, a new goal. A new year. Something to reach out for and it just seems it has given all of us so much more energy and power in this final burst of speed to the finish line. And that's the year 1975. Well, we don't have to guess what the year 1975 means if we read the Watchtower. And don't wait 'till 1975. The door is going to be shut before then. As one brother put it, "Stay alive to Seventy-Five."
    Another example from early 1975. This one was published in the flagship magazine of the Society:
    "Another speaker, F. W. Franz, the Society’s vice-president, forcefully impressed on the audience the urgency of the Christian preaching work.
    He stressed that, according to dependable Bible chronology, 6,000 years of human history will end this coming September according to the lunar calendar. This coincides with a time when "the human species [is] about to starve itself to death," as well as its being faced with poisoning by pollution and destruction by nuclear weapons. Franz added: "There's no basis for believing that mankind, faced with what it now faces, can exist for the seventh thousand-year period" under the present system of things. Does this mean that we know exactly when God will destroy this old system and establish a new one? Franz showed that we do not, for we do not know how short was the time interval between Adam's creation and the creation of Eve, at which point God's rest day of seven thousand years began. (Heb. 4:3, 4)
    But, he pointed out, "we should not think that this year of 1975 is of no significance to us," for the Bible proves that Jehovah is "the greatest chronologist" and "we have the anchor date, 1914, marking the end of the Gentile Times." So, he continued, "we are filled with anticipation for the near future, for our generation." - Matt. 24:34" -- Watchtower 1975 May 1 p.285
    The Bethel elite were preparing their response for when the prophecy inevitably failed a few months later, however even so they kept the date alive. As I am writing this update to the study 2014 is about to dawn. A baby born in the "anchor year" would now be 100 years old. For more evidence of this and other failed Watchtower prophecies see JW Facts.
    My intention here is not to condemn the Witnesses, most of whom are wonderful sincere people. Its just to point out that the religious fervor of the Third Great Awakening continues in the hearts of many of the faithful. return
  • Note 32: For Thoreau any comparison between Indian and Western philosophy revealed that ...our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial... (S 55). return
  • Note A: There is often confusion about the terms Arian and Aryan:
    Arian: Arian Christians: Those Christians who reject the deity of Y'shua and the Trinity doctrine espoused in the Nicene Creed. The term "Arian" is taken from Bishop Arius. Arianism is specifically listed as a heresy by the heretical Church.
    Arius (250 or 256 - 336 CE): Bishop Arius. One of the last serious defenders of Y'shua's true nature within the Church. Arianism is specifically listed as a heresy by the heretical Church.
    Aryan: Originally taken from the Sanskrit term arya meaning noble. The term referenced the upper castes of Indian society (brahmanas and Kshatriya in India). In time the Varnashrama Dharma system in India became corrupt and the Aryans were equated with light skin colors. Since the days of the Third Reich Socialists general prefer the term Indo-European or Indo-Iranian now.
    The "Aryan Race" idea understood today was developed during the Third Great Awakening by the research and political editing done by Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Through her teachings Hitler discovered the ancient Swastika and much of his Aryan ideology. It is therefore not a leap to include the religious and philosophical elements of the Nazi movement to the Third Great Awakening. While most people in the West have never heard of Madame Blavatsky she impacted every soul on the planet to some degree. return
  • Note B: The Buddha's teaching of Anatta is not "No self" which would make it the same as Shankara Acharya's Mayavadhi doctrine, but rather "Not-self." The doctrine is similar to the Jewish idea of Ain Soph which is "No-Thing" rather than Nothing. The difference here is the focus of the concept. Being non-theistic (not a-theistic) the Buddha Dharma does not allow for a "thee and thou" dichotomy. The Buddha sought to clarify this as he approached nirvana (i.e. just prior to his death):
    When I have taught non-Self (Anatta), fools uphold the teaching that there is no Self. The wise know that such is conventional speech, and they are free from doubts.
    When I have taught that the tathagata-garbha [i.e. the Buddha/Awakened nature/state] is empty, fools meditatively cultivate that it is extinction, subject to destruction and imperfect. The wise know that it is unchanging, stable and eternal.
    Be the Blessing you were created to be
    Don't let the perfect defeat the good