Although people throughout history have believed that so-and-so happenings mean that the End Times are upon us, recent events have piqued my curiosity regarding this subject.
This is not really a serious attempt to predict when we’re all doomed / gonna be raptured, but here goes:
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. – Matthew 24:7-8
Earthquakes have been extra plenty in recent months.
The first, big one in Japan this year was tied to…
Roaring and tossing sea
On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea – Luke 21:25
Fear and signs from heaven
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. – Luke 21:11
Someone had suggested global warming as the ‘fearful events and great signs from heaven’, which is unfounded since global warming is unfactual. Even so, it still has the fear, whether rational or not.
Anyway, running on the same concept, the Fukushima reactors problem (thanks to the earthquake shutting down outside power and the tsunami shutting down the backup generators) has led to radiation being found everywhere around.
For a while there was a fear that a radioactive plume would float over mainland USA, which though now disproven, still counts – as only the fear is needed.
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. – Matthew 24:7-8
Famine has always been a looming fear due to ‘overpopulation’ (which has taken its own sweet time to come to pass, sorry Mathusians). However, green idiocy in the form of food-based biofuels which caused food price spikes and riots in 2008 certainly doesn’t help.
And hey, if Japan-sourced food being banned can tie this is to the earthquakes again, why not?
Wars & rumours of wars
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. – Matthew 24:6-7
The Middle East at present. Although wars are always happening throughout human civilization, it’s especially poignant because the Arab and African states are currently either already in civil war (e.g. Libya), or have a good chance to end up in revolution (e.g. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia). Hence the ‘rumours’ part is very strong.
Additionally, Biblical prophecy mostly focuses on Israel and her neighboring nations, i.e. the Arab states.
This unrest may likely lead to…
Nations attack Israel
Too many passages to list, but for an example, see this slightly outdated page and just one from Jesus:
When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. – Luke 21:20
Israel fears that Islamic militants who have joined the rebel ranks in trying to oust President Bashar Assad will turn their guns toward Israel if they topple the Syrian leader.
These states, whose former governments were wisely cowed by Israel’s military superiority, will either wage proxy war (e.g. support terrorist actions like this) or outright war on Israel (as they have already declared and seem to be trying to start).
This will happened either immediately (ref the preceding link above) or when the hopeless lack of administrative skill and leadership cause the regimes to fail epicly, whereupon they will go the usual “It’s the Jews’ fault!!!” route and use them as a bogeyman to deflect public anger outwards.
It might even be due to UN involvement siding against Israel… Especially since Obama is the US President least supportive towards Israel ever, and thus will not be likely to side Israel in the UN or veto measures against them.
When this happens, Israel will stand alone due to the UN’s bias and America’s non-involvement (see next point). This is especially if Obama is still President at that time… He has a well known and overt anti-Israel streak and won’t be assisting Israel anytime soon. See also next point.
UPDATE MAY 2011: Further to Obama’s fervent demands that Israel return to the 1967 borders (while by contrast hoping only vague wishes at the Palestinians), this would split Jerusalem back into East and West halves (despite him promising not to do just that – but hey, it’s classic Obama), with the West half under Israeli control…
A day of the LORD is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. – Zechariah 14:1-3
Meanwhile, East Asian nations like China and India will likely side with the Arabs over Israel for the sake of expediency.
And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.
The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
Pretty weird sounding, like some chimeras out of Greek mythology. But a pretty accurate rendering of the below by a 1st-Century person seeing them in action:
And as I said, this points to a pretty close coming of the End Times… Combat vehicles of the future may not fit the description the way that modern and choppers and tanks do.
Russia (Gog & Magog) is mentioned in prophecy, but America is absent
This is odd, because if America is the world’s foremost power and a close ally of Israel, surely it will take part in the End Times?
I’ve read a post about how as Iran heads towards nukes, and American under Obama is weak-kneed about stopping them – and completely unfeared these days as its deteriorating credibility crumbles further under John Kerry and vanishes all together as Obama prattles on – Russia is once again the patron and strong horse that the Arab states look to for maintaining stability in the region. See an example here.
From Tablet Mag:
All of the administration’s Middle East policies pointed to the same thing: America wants out of the Middle East… If the administration’s press surrogates, Washington insiders, and the Europeans think the American commander-in-chief pulled off a diplomatic masterstroke when he signed on to the Russian initiative to get Bashar al-Assad to relinquish his chemical weapons arsenal, this is simply not how it looks in the Middle East. From that perspective, Obama is a bluffer. And a guy who won’t back up his own words with actions is not likely to back up his allies with actions when the going gets tough
America is not in prophecy simply because they shirk from taking part in it. Well, unless America is the beast as some conjecture!
UPDATE: With the USA now no longer reliant on Arab oil, perhaps they have no interest left in the region? And the oil price crash certainly would be driver causing oil-exporters to externalize discontent!
Btw, if everyone is so up in arms about ending the use of nuclear energy ref: Fukushima, why is there no objection to Iran’s pursuit of allegedly peaceful nuclear power? As this DEBKAfile report tipped by wits0 warns, and as cartoon by Michael Ramirez points out:
Babylon as a player
There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. – Revelation 17:3-6
Babylon is rich and powerful in the End Times. While it can be interpreted symbolically (wealth, power, corruption), from 1990-2010 who would have thought that Iraq would amount to anything?
Oil in Israel
About Asher he said: “Most blessed of sons is Asher; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him bathe his feet in oil. – Deuteronomy 33:24
Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king. – Genesis 49:20
An interesting addition… It’s often been joked that of all the Middle East, God managed to give Israel the only part without oil to be the Promised Land!
But recently, tipped through SMS that my mother-in-law received…
From Oil in Israel:
And look which of the tribes was allotted that coastal region, from Israel-a-history-of.com:
Here’s IsraelPrayer.com another site that thinks there is a link.
And look at this ‘coincidence’ too (tipped by wits0):
The red stars represent oil shale deposits, which as you can see are scattered across sovereign Israel and Jordan. None were detected in the West Bank or Gaza.
That’s as much oil as Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves.
Gospel preached to whole world
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14
Apart from the Bible already being translated into thousands of languages already, there is a school of thought that looks at the centre of strong Christianity over the centuries. From Israel it has continually moved westwards – to Turkey, to Greece, to Rome, to Germany, to England, to America, and now in the process of moving to China. Which leaves maybe a few more steps (perhaps India?) and back to Israel to complete the circle.
Modern events seem to involve Israel every Jubilee year, and when coupled with multiple-times-a-year blood moons… 2014-2015: A Tetrad of Four Blood Moons, all on Jewish Feast Days and in the Shemitah Year a once in a two millennial event!
Persecution of Christians
You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. – Luke 21:16-17
Just head over to Barnabas Fund – hope and aid for the persecuted church and check out the News for the latest atrocities being carried out against Christians, simply because they are Christians and refuse to denounce Christ.
So I highly encourage you to allocate some of your tithe to Barnabas Fund donations to help those believers who don’t even have the right to live, let alone worship freely or choose their own religion. I donate online via credit card.
And lest you think this is a third world problem, here’s the hatred part as demonstrated in the first world:
And that’s just a snippet of the Faith Under Fire category.
Well if the End Times come soon, that clashes with my own pet theory that the Second Coming of Jesus will be sometime around the 2030s.
My reasoning is that according to the timing from Daniel’s vision (Daniel 9:24-27) the coming of the Messiah brings it not to the day Jesus was born in a manger, but to exactly the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I got it from New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, here’s an excellent a roundup of those calculations – under PART FOUR.
Therefore, 1000 or 2000 years from that point is around 1030 A.D. or 2030 A.D., not the nice round turns of the millenniums that keep getting people so hysterical. We also have to factor in that Jesus’ birth made 1 B.C. become 1 A.D. without any ‘year zero’, and the ‘prophetic year’ being based on twelve 30-day months.
But remember… However good our guesses may seem, no one knows the day or hour it will come to pass (Matthew 24:36 & 42)