2012 - DOOMSDAY - Predictions & False Prophecies _ Now is NOT the Time for the "End of the World"
It is NOT the Time of "Judgment Day", Yet - (A True Christian Perspective)
Worldwide Social Hype & Growing Mass Hysteria
If you have not noticed yet - a huge mindset has been evolving on the world scene pertaining to "End Times" phenomena and the potential for the "End of the World". Granted, our world may have become much more chaotic than in the past and is full of it's own problems but don't loose hope...
The "end" is not imminently approaching at this point in our history (yet)!
However, everything from misinterpreted Biblical prophecy, compounded by predictions from various soothsayers such as Nostradamus, the oral traditions of indigenous native cultures, and even archaeological evidence from varied ancient civilizations, all seem to apparently have a hand in supporting these theories and trying to convince many of us about the "possible" facts. At least that is what many people ranging from the "average joe" to the scientific elect would have the rest of the populace believe.
It is no wonder when we also see what we have been bombarded with in the recent pop-culture media over the last several years, with dramatic blockbuster films and visually intense video productions such as: 2012 (released in 2009), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Core (2003), Armageddon (1998), and Deep Impact(1998), just to mention a few. These all depict a variety of "possible" scientifically-based scenarios where the world could succumb to various cataclysmic events, creating havoc and world panic but where mankind finally rallies together to find a solution (for the "survivors"). It is no wonder why the imagination of the masses can so easily buy into any of these proposed scenarios today as more "end time" revelations are put forth into the mainstream.
Part of the problem right now in the current "information age", where there is a plethora of immediately accessible, down-loadable and available on-demand information and media, is what some psychologists have termed "information overload". It is almost the equivalent of taking a "primitive" culture that has previously never seen our modern technology and placing them smack in the middle of Times Square in New York City on a busy day. The result for many, is to become so completely overwhelmed that they are filled with anxiety and many times start to withdraw completely from their surroundings. This is obviously NOT a good thing!
Another potential effect of all this, is that people will then tend to become non-complient with the order in their lives and start adopting counterproductive behavior that is almost borderline on psychotic paranoia. Once again, this is not a good thing because collectively it can develop into mass hysteria.
Likewise, there are too many people in the secular circles that have also identified with this trend and are quick to monopolize on it. Just like the fervor that was generated at the end of the 1990's prior to the "Y2K phenomena", the commercial world has also been quick to generate huge profits on those persons with a "survivalist" mentality. As reported by several economists, the increase in sales of supplies and equipment geared to this scenario have literally doubled in the last year alone. That is a true indicator of what many people are thinking and believing.
"And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." (2 Peter 2:2-3 NKJ)
Biblical Significance vs. "End Times" Predictions
From a "Biblically correct" perspective of course (and not necessarily "politically" correct), one thing that needs to be made completely clear and presented to the world at large is what the Holy Scripture actually does say in reference to these things. It is true that the Bible does contain prophetic writings about certain future events that have not yet transpired. It is true that the Bible portrays things which will come to pass that will greatly alter the world's civilization that we have become so accustomed to. It is true that the Bible even predicts a point in time that includes the destruction of the Earth and world as we know it. It is also true however, that many of these things have been quoted out of context, become twisted around, manipulated to suit certain other beliefs and have had outright fabrications added to them to distort the truth, that at this point many people do not have a clue what the scripture actually does reveal. This is because many people also do not take the time to read the Holy Bible for themselves and do the proper research or perform enough due diligence to make an truly informed consensus in these matters.
Jesus had a discussion with His Apostles in reference to these things, as they too were curious and asked for His divine clarification:
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed..." (Matthew 24:3-6 NIV)
What He is primarily telling them in these verses is NOT to be deceived by wrong teachings, false prophets or what we hear in the "rumor mill". Jesus is also telling His people to not beimminentlyconcerned or afraid when they "see" certain tragic events transpiring in the world.
One thing is perfectly clear in scripture about the "End Times" is that many other events must occur first, as Christ also tells us:
"...SUCH THINGS MUST HAPPEN, BUT THE END IS STILL TO COME. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the BEGINNING OF THE BIRTH PAINS.” (Matthew 24:6-8 NIV)
Jesus is emphasizing that growing world turmoil is just the beginning of a series of events that will EVENTUALLY lead up to the "End of the Age", as the Apostles originally put it in their question to Him. "Birth pains" represent that the troubles will start slowly but as time passes, they will become more frequent in their interval of occurrence and level of intensity (just like real child birth). As with child birth however, the final result is relief from the "birth pains" and a that "new life" is then produced. Also, the "End of the Age" here in their statement DOES NOT represent or imply that this is the "End of the World" either. The "End of the Age" more correctly means that one age is drawing to a close and another will then begin thereafter.
Jesus also further reassures the Apostles that:
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened..." (Matthew 24:22 NIV)
Here He is explaining that if the people of the world in the future are allowed to continue on their inherent course of self-annihilation (not "self-destruction" in reference to the planet), that in fact no one would survive the growing intensity and magnitude of these events. But, this does NOT state that the world will be destroyed at this time. These prophetic words actually reveal that there are many more events to follow thereafter still. One of these events of course, is the return of the Messiah Jesus Christ (His "Second Coming") who then stops the downward spiral of world affairs, thus "shortening those days".
Jesus then continues to explain again, as He is trying to warn all of His believers (including us) well in advance:
"For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time." (Matthew 24:24-25 NIV)
Here Jesus emphasizes further that many of the "elect" (the believers in Christ, the saints of the church and the well educated scholars of the world) may even be deceived by these "birth pains" and the incorrect teachings that will arise which are relevant to prophecy.
This is Exactly Our Problem Today
Is it any wonder then, why so many people might be utterly confused about these matters? There are just too many "experts" spouting what they claim to be definitive proof on the interpretation of certain prophecies. This is also what true believers of the inspired "Word of God" (the Holy Bible) must be careful of, because:
"...there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies..." (2 Peter 2:1 NKJ)
Most recently there has been the case with Family Radio host, Harold Camping, who even after having a failed "End Times" prediction in 1994 (citing a mathematical error) and again this year on May 21st, 2011 - still holds to his belief that "judgment day" is right around the corner.
Doomsday Date Was Miscalculated, Says Harold Camping
As crestfallen followers of a California preacher who foresaw the world's end strained to find meaning in their lives, Harold Camping revised his apocalyptic prophecy, saying he was off by five months and the Earth actually will be obliterated on Oct. 21. Some of his followers are reported as having sold all of their possessions and have devoted large sums of money to helping the Family Radio's ministry market it's message. This is likewise a common occurrence when such similar predictions have come forth in the past from other would be "prophets".
> View Original Article - Christian Science Monitor - May 26, 2011
A New Date for Doomsday Projected
Beware of False Prophets & Prophecies
Another thing to be extremely cautious of is that some of these "End Times" religious groups, which seem to start off harmlessly enough, might then migrate into the realm of fanaticism. Some could possibly get involved with unusual ritual practices and even wind up becoming more cult-like. The almost forgotten headlines from 1997, describing the suicide aftermath that ensued within the briefly lived "Heavens Gate" religious group, should be a dreadful reminder of this problematic potential for the brainwashing of their members.
"...evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13 NKJ)
We should always be mindful of any and all prophecies and those that claim insight into these matters, even if they do not fall into the sphere of these extremists. It is easy to misinterpret these hidden truths, even to the trained eye or the most learned of biblical scholars. Only dedicated prayer combined with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can provide proper scriptural revelation and there will always be divine confirmation of these truths.
"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:19-21 NKJ)
Even so, some mysteries of God are yet to unfold and will not be revealed to us until the time is decided as appropriate by the Lord God our heavenly Father himself.
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (Mark 13:32 KJV)
Hidden Prophetic Truths
“Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” (Mark 13:4 NIV)
The fact is, that many prophetic writings are written in a way as not to be immediately discernible. The notable 16th century soothsayer Nostradamus for example, lived in a difficult time where many people were persecuted or executed for such practices. He wrote many of his "quatrains" in verse that used a high degree of symbolic prose and such writings were quite difficult to decipher. This was done intentionally to conceal the prophetic meanings from his contemporaries.
Also in biblical scripture, this is likewise done intentionally many times by the authors as they were directed by the Holy Spirit to similarly conceal certain prophetic truths:
"So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:14-18 NIV)
In many cases, the proper interpretation of prophetic writings in scripture are left to be discovered only by true believers or persons of the faith that have a specific spiritual gift for the interpretation of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:7-10; Hebrews 2:4).
"But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age [ the Devil ] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJ)
Most prophecies and predictions are also written vaguely enough that it is often difficult to correlate specific details with possible upcoming events until after they have actually occurred. Only then does an exact match become obvious or completely evident. Therefore, it becomes very clear how easy it is to misinterpret the actual meaning of prophetic writings.
Did anyone bother to ask the ones who made the "Long Count" Calendar?
The whole 2012 stigma and all of the controversy surrounding its projected "end date" at the winter solstice on December 21st, also brings us to another interesting fact. Everything being portrayed about the Mayan "Long Count" Calendar and the possible events that have been predicted to transpire as a result, are entirely based on modern secular interpretations and suppositions.
Granted, there may be any number of possible geophysical or stellar events that may occur as a result of this upcoming and unique alignment of our solar system with the cosmic forces of the galaxy. We are projected to have increased activity in this cycle of solar flares and cosmic storms with its peak in the coming year (2012). There may also be other physical effects that occur with the environment of the world just as our own moon has a significant pull on the tides of the sea. We have already seen an increased amount of earthquakes and severe storms worldwide over the last few years. But, whether or not the remote possible scenarios that are being projected by "doomsday" advocates have some actual scientific base in probability, is not necessarily as relevant.
This is because - no one really bothered to ask the creators of the Mayan "Long Count" calendar what they meant or what their real interpretation of these things could be? Are any Central American indigenous people even still alive today to answer this? Well guess what...
Mayans Even State That Their Calendar Does NOT Reflect the "End of the World"
The reason the year 2012 has become widely recognized as the end is because the Mayan calendar ends in that year and interpretations around the world have said that it means the end to our existence.
This April, the Mayas released a statement responding to 2012 rumors and a planned film. The Shift of the Ages film is the true story of the Maya, the Mayan Calendar, 2012 and the turbulent times in which we are living. The story is told through living Grand Elder, Wandering Wolf, also known as Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj.
"Contrary to popular belief the living elders of the Maya do not agree that December 21, 2012 is the end of their calendar. A new "Sun" represents the beginning of a new Long Count cycle in the calendar system of approximately 5,200 years, which they say may not happen for many years," the letter reads. And goes on to say," Most of this information comes from non-Mayans and it is not accurate…the Maya’s message is simple: Our actions have created a world out of balance that must be rebalanced immediately in order for us to avoid more suffering…to humans and to all life."
> View Original Article - Long Island Press - May 19, 2011
It appears the descendants from the creators of the actual calendar that has caused all of this controversy, are even agreeing to some extent (although reflecting a more modern "New Age" spiritual philosophy) with what we have been saying that the Holy Scripture tells us. THIS IS NOT THE "END OF THE WORLD" - IT IS THE "DAWN OF A NEW AGE". And of course from a Christian perspective, that would be the coming Kingdom of the Lord God, exactly like it is prophesied (just NOT a "mother nature" spirit-based pagan belief system however).
Simply Put - You Cannot Argue with the "Word of God"
Any number of times in the past, most predictions have come and gone proving to be completely false allegations and nothing more than misguided theories. The infamous Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) for example, held the belief that the "Last Days" would begin in 1799, that Jesus' Parousia started in 1874 (and Jesus started ruling in heaven by 1878) and that the "Gentile Times" would end in 1914, concluding with: the "Battle of Armageddon", the resurrection of the saints and then usher in the new age of the Lord God Jehovah. To overcome the obviously erroneous predictions in 1915, they of course reissued their publications with various amendments which eventually bumped the date up to 1925 (also with no results). By the year 1943, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society then published the book "The Truth Shall Make You Free." This moved forward the end date for six thousand years of man's existence into the decade of the 1970's, which has likewise come and gone and we are all obviously still here!
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:13-16 NKJ)
Also, one of the main reasons for ALL of the above discrepancies in the prophetic writings is of course answered by the Holy Bible itself, according to the words of Jesus:
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Matthew 24:36 NKJ)
And Jesus answering them began to say, "Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (Mark 13:5-6 KJV)
The Wrath of God
Now granted, all these things having been said and better explained, the warning signs in our world affairs may still reflect that we are rapidly approaching the "End of the Age" and the coming return of the Messiah.
This period of time does include the final seven years of this age (Daniel 9:27) and ultimately leads up to the last 3.5 years of the "Great Tribulation" period (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 11:2-3; 13:5), which at its final conclusion, Christ will then be coming to judge the world with the full wrath of God (1 Corinthians 6:1-11;2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 14:14-20).
Although the scriptural references here may depict worldwide catastrophic events such as famines and pestilence, increased volcanic activity and earthquakes, along with asteroids and other cosmic spectacles (Revelation chaps. 15-18), this is still NOT the "end of the world". It is however, actually a new beginning for the Earth and its surviving inhabitants who are loyal and faithful to the one true Lord God.
The END is Always a NEW BEGINNING
According to the Holy Scriptures, the Lord will then establish a glorious new Kingdom here on Earth (Daniel 7:27; Matthew 6:10; Matthew 13:43; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 12:27-29; James 2:5; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 1:4-6).
For all the resurrected "saints" (the true believers in the church - the "Body of Christ") and the future generations born during this time, we will live and reign here with the Lord as "kings" of this world (Matthew 6:32; 25:34; Luke 22:29-30; Revelation 11:15) for a period of a thousand more years (Revelation 20:4-6).
Even after the next millennium has transpired, prophecy does tell us that THEN the Earth will finally be utterly destroyed (Revelation 21:1), but this once again is not a "Doomsday" scenario for the faithful believers and followers of Christ. It is in fact another transitional period in God's infinite plan for our eternal salvation.
Then a "New Heaven and New Earth" will then be created (Rev. chaps. 21-22) for all of us to dwell in. It is there that we will finally enjoy everlasting life and the infinite possibilities associated with it (Matthew 13:11), while we live with the Lord our God in complete bliss for all eternity (Daniel 6:26; Luke 1:33; 2 Timothy 4:18).
So What Should We Then Do OR Watch For?
"Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (Matthew 24:44 NKJ)
Just keep your eyes open and act responsibly! The Holy Scripture is the perfect guide for our lives and gives us enough clues and evidence to proceed forth into the unknown future with some certainty in our faith of what to expect. It is our duty to inform and educate others of this glorious new future, while remaining ever vigilant of the signs leading up to the Lord's return.
"But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." (Micah 7:7 NIV)
"Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:1-6 NIV)
The dawn of a new age awaits us with our Messiah Jesus Christ. Emmanuel ("God with Us") will be present and living here on the planet Earth with all of His resurrected saints. We will all then proceed into the next millennium with Him, as together we administer the Kingdom of the Lord in this world.
"Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you." (Revelation 3:3 KJV)
The actual "End of the World"... (as WE Know It)
Even after the next millennium of the "New Age" has transpired, prophecy does tell us that ONLY THEN will the Earth itself finally "pass away" (Revelation 21:1). Once again however, this is not a "doomsday" scenario for the faithful believers and followers of Christ the Messiah.
It is in fact another transitional period in God's infinite plan for our salvation, whereas a "New Heaven and New Earth" will then be created (Rev. chaps. 21-22) for all of us to dwell in. It is there that we will finally enjoy everlasting life and the infinite possibilities associated with it (Matthew 13:11), while we live with the Lord our God in complete bliss for all eternity (Daniel 6:26; Luke 1:33; 2 Timothy 4:18).
There is a Message of HOPE for the WORLD!
Even though everything we have discussed and shown thus far seems to depict a tragic and fateful end for our world, that is actually NOT THE CASE! The state of humanity's existence does not end in chaos or complete destruction at this time. Nor will these events leave the whole world in a panicked state of confusion, always to be frustrated in futile attempts trying to achieve a Utopian existence. The "Great Tribulation" period is only for a few short years and is merely a transitional period at end of an age. A NEW AGE IS COMING immediately thereafter!
"...SEE THAT YOU ARE NOT TROUBLED; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." (Matthew 24:6 NKJ)
That is exactly what will transpire in this world. We are in the final chapter of an old and worn out age of civilization. A grand and glorious new age lies directly ahead for those of us that endure and have accepted the Lord God.
"These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
(Revelation 7:14-17 NIV)
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF ALL THESE PROPHECIES
Therefore, these sometimes frightening words of prophecy are really a harbinger of hope to those who are searching for God today. It is through the belief that Christ died for our sins (John 3:16) and faith in His second coming (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18), that we are all "saved" and will enter into the coming Kingdom of Heaven along with Him.
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers SALVATION TO ALL PEOPLE. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:11–13 NIV)
"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:20-21)
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