If you're interested in doomsday scenarios, you've probably stumbled across references to a prediction that the archangel Gabriel purportedly made to the members of a group called the Sword of God Brotherhood. According to this prediction, the world will perish during the year 2017, and only members of the brotherhood will survive.
The Mysterious Brotherhood
What is the Sword of God Brotherhood, and how did they come to be the recipients of this prophesy and divine destiny? The more you look, the murkier things look. This prediction is widely repeated on internet sites, especially those that chronicle past doomsday prophesies that have not come to pass, along with lists of future events that are already being anticipated.
The vast majority of these sites use exactly the same language, suggesting that they all come from a common source, and the authors have not even bothered to spin the content. On one doomsday chat, a participant asked if anyone knew how he could join the Brotherhood. Apparently he was hoping to be among the chosen survivors. Most of his associates dismissed the prophesy as bunk.
A participant in one discussion mentions that the Sword of God Brotherhood appears to be an offshoot of the group, The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, an Aryan organization founded in 1971 that was based in Elijah, Michigan. Its members believed that the end of the world was imminent, and holed up in their compound preparing for the catastrophic event. They stockpiled weapons and practiced paramilitary operations, believing that the United States government was deeply corrupt and would ultimately implode, even without their help.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms laid siege to the compound in 1985, and ultimately raided it on April 19 of that year. Unlike many similar raids, this one ended peacefully as a result of successful negotiations. However, both the fatal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas eight years later, and the Oklahoma City bombing ten years later occurred on anniversaries of the Michigan raid.
Because of the importance of doomsday lore in the orientation and actions of the CSA group, it seems plausible that the Sword of God Brotherhood may have been somehow affiliated with them. If this is the case, then it makes sense that a religious group already expecting the end of the world would receive a prophesy that contained additional specifics.
The lack of accessible information suggests that either the Sword of God Brotherhood never had more than a handful of members in the first place, or that they do have more of a following, but they are not only extremely secretive, but also quite good at hiding information about their whereabouts and their lore. The former seems to be the more likely scenario, in light of the fact that there are so many references to the group, but so little information. If they were, in fact, a thriving, tightly run organization preparing for the end of the world, then it is likely that the rumors would have a bit more substance. Groups like the Mormons are secretive as well, but we still have hard evidence verifying their existence.
If a group known as the Sword of God Brotherhood did actually exist, and if one of its members or its leader did actually receive a prophesy, the Archangel Gabriel would have been an ideal messenger. He is recognized as a prophet by the three major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and he appears in the Book of Daniel, helping Daniel to interpret his visions, which include apocalyptic scenarios.
According to the Book of Luke, Gabriel prophesied the birth of John the Baptist, as well as the arrival of the baby Jesus. He was the messenger who brought the words of the Qur'an to the prophet Muhammad, and a number of apocalyptic biblical texts cast Gabriel as the angel charged with leading the righteous into heaven.
Other 2017 Doomsday References
Despite the lack of evidence about this particular group, the prophesy about the world ending in 2017 corresponds to a number of other predictions that refer to the same year. A group called "Daniel's Timeline," which defines itself as following the true word of God apart from its expression in any particular religious canon, predicts that the world will end during a Jubilee year, as prophesied in the biblical Book of Daniel.
According to Old Testament law, Jubilee years occur every fiftieth year, and they are times when all debts are discharged and all property is returned to its rightful owner. Jubilee years are supposed to be times of celebration, but they can also be times of momentous change. In addition, biblical prophesies indicate that the 120th Jubilee year in particular, which will fall in 2017, will bring about cataclysmic change.
The most recent Jubilee year was 1967, the year of the Six Day War, when Israel reclaimed the site of the ancient temple. The previous occurrence was 1917, the year of the Balfour Declaration, which set the stage for the eventual creation of the state of Israel. Because a return to the holy land is such a vital part of Old and New Testament messianic predictions, it is reasonable to link these dates with end times prophesies. However, other important events, such as the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, did not occur during Jubilee years.
One Christian site notes that the twelfth century Irish bishop Saint Malachy prophesied that there would be 112 popes before Armageddon, and the current pope is the 112th. The author interprets this as evidence that the end of the world is near, and could likely occur during the year 2017. But experts question the authenticity of these prophesies attributed to Saint Malachy, which were actually never mentioned until several centuries after his death. In addition, we have no way of knowing whether the current pope will even be alive in 2017, or whether he will have already been succeeded by the 113th pope.
There are, in fact, several prophesies that predict doomsday events in 2017, although there is considerably less information about these predictions than about speculations regarding other dates, such as 2012. To some extent, the 2017 predictions simply seem like additional tidbits that chroniclers of apocalyptic scenarios add to their lists. However, to folks who follow teachings and lore that point to cataclysmic events occurring in 2017, these forecasts are deathly serious, and cause for both practical and spiritual preparation.