Archive for category Apocalypse
Not really. But take a look at this article from Christian Newswire. Astronomical evidence clearly shows that comets have been the agents of much of God’s destruction in the Biblical past as well as in the future to come. According to Dr. Jeffrey Goodman:
Recent archeological, geological and astronomical discoveries that shine new light on the Bible and its prophecies” he reports that most of the scientific data learned about comets in the last 25 years has already been recorded in the Bible! Long before the photos of Comet Hartley, the Bible correctly refers to the vents (“mouths”) in an active comet’s crust, and then correctly tells how these vents can powerfully spew out poisonous gas that can kill men (Revelation 9:17-19). Revelation 8:10-11 tells of a comet impact that is to poison rivers. Goodman says the Bible even gives an account of a cometary “blast” that probably contained cyanide (Isaiah 37:7) which killed 185,000 invading Assyrians outside the gates of Jerusalem during the reign of King Hezekiah (Isaiah 37:36-37).
How exciting! I couldn’t wait to jump into my Bible and check out the comet-related passages. Revelations is always fun, something like “Final Fantasy”.
10The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
17 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. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 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.
Undeniable comet activity, as seen almost every day through our nation’s best telescopes! Let’s look at Isaiah 37:7 next, shall we?
Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”
What else could this be but the report a comet makes as it enters our atmosphere? Of course, no one has ever heard this (at least no one alive, heh-heh). Later on in Isaiah, verses 36-37 we find out what happens to evil people when a comet comes in contact with the Earth:
36 Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
In this case the ‘angel of the LORD’ is code for a kick-ass comet. After all, the people at the time didn’t know much about comets, but they sure knew their angels. This verse offers conclusive historical proof that comets are so dangerous that God uses them to do his dirty work. Sort of like cosmic hit men for the ultimate Godfather.
Of course, those who do not take the Bible as the literal Word of God but insist upon seeing it as metaphor or story or poetry, ignoring the clear black words on white paper, will continue to deny this irrefutable evidence.
Satan is a vile deceiver.
Thank God, I will get a view of the Battle of Armageddon from the grand stand seats of the heavens. All who are born again will see the battle of Armageddon, but it will be from the skies (Carl McIntire, 1965)
What then should be the believer’s attitude to the destruction of the world by fire? First of all, he should welcome it and pray for its nearness (Robert Gromacki, 1970)
The world has one great war yet to endure…. The slaughter that will take place is too frightening to imagine. Just be thankful that you’re not going to be around (Chuck Smith, 1977)
The Tribulation will result in such bloodshed and destruction that any war up to that time will seem insignificant (Jerry Falwell, 1983)
Some day we may blow ourselves up with all the bombs…. But I still believe God’s going to be in control…. If He chooses to use nuclear war, then who am I to argue with that? (Charles Jones, 1986)
-from “God and Empire” by John Dominic Crossan
I’m sorry, but the Book of Revelation should never have been included in the Bible. There. I’ve said it. No more pussy-footing around. I’m no longer going to compromise, rationalizing that it needs to be read, as Augustine said, ‘spiritually and not carnally’ (metaphorically and not literally). I think it would have been better never read at all.
Rather than underlining Jesus’ (and Paul’s) radical message of the just and peaceable Kingdom of God to be found right now and right here on this earth, Revelations depicts a kingdom somewhere “out there” that will some day come, but only after Jesus returns and and initiates the violent destruction of civilization.
In the Gospels, Jesus offers us a meal of bread and wine- hospitality, friendship, community. In Revelation he offers the birds of the air a meal made up of the flesh of millions of dead.
In the Gospels Jesus talks of his return AFTER a violent apocalypse but an apocalypse that is the result of man’s ‘worldly’ and violent way of life. His return does not precipitate this apocalypse but follows it, bringing the Kingdom’s non-violent redemptive power. Revelation, on the other hand, has Jesus accepting and adopting as his own modus operandi this ‘worldly’ violence, no matter how ‘other worldly’ it is portrayed.
In the Gospels he enters the Jerusalem meekly, on a donkey, pointedly lampooning the triumphal entry of the Roman governor. In Revelation he is on a white charger, wielding sword and with a blood soaked cape flowing about him.
Is it any wonder that this vision of a doomed and temporary earth violently destroyed by a blood-thirsty Messiah who then selectively redeems it has led to 20 centuries of Church sanctioned violence? Well, not when we realize that it didn’t take long for the Church to stop opposing violent empire and become violent empire. The Book of Revelations proved to be an excellent tool in furthering the worldly ideals and goals of empire.
Americans easily recognize that the fundamentalist theology of Islam, of a disposable world followed by paradise for the fortunate faithful, has eagerly led many to commit acts of horrific violence. But can’t we see that the contemporary dispensationalist theology of Rapture and Armageddon also leads to similar contempt for this world and a a similar eagerness for violent retribution?
It may seem extreme to make comparisons between the actions of radical Islamists and those of fundamentalist Christians, but their rhetoric is similar. Violent actions no not always follow violent rhetoric but they are always preceded by violent rhetoric.
Perhaps there is some good ecclesiastical advice in this book, advice designed to help the early beleaguered Church to hold fast and resist the temptation to capitulate to empire. But by painting Jesus in heretically violent colors John only helped spur on the Church to become empire. Did Rome co-opt the Church or did the Church co-opt Rome?
How might have history been different, if the rhetoric of violent judgment penned by John of Patmos had never been linked to Jesus’ Gospel of peace and justice?
If you ever get one of these letters then..uh-oh…
This message has been sent to you by a friend or a relative who has recently disappeared along with millions and millions of people around the world. The reason they chose to send you this letter is because they cared about you and would like you to know the truth about where they went. This may come as a shock to you, but the one who sent you this has been taken up to heaven.
I f you read a Bible, you will see that after chapter three in the book of Revelation, the church is no longer mentioned as being on earth. (The church are the believers in Jesus Christ, not the buildings in which people meet.)
In the Bible, 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 verses 16 and 17 tell how Jesus came to take away His church. But, you have to believe the Bible is the Word of God in order to believe this.
I am sure that there will be a lot of speculation as to what happened to all these people. The theories of some scientists and world leaders will have so much credibility that most of the world will believe them.It will sound like the truth!
But, there is only one truth. And, that truth is that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came back to earth and took with Him to Heaven all who believed in Him and made Him their Lord.
If you would like to give your life to Jesus Christ and be born again, it is not too late. First you must pray to God saying“Father I admit I am a sinner, and I will turn from my sin and do good. I believe that Jesus was your son and that He came here to die for me so that my sins would be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me and I will repent of my sins. In Jesus name I pray.”
If you just prayed that prayer and meant it with all your heart, then God will know you as one of His own. You should now seek out others who have also given their lives to Christ, read a Bible daily, and do your best to bring others to Christ.
God bless you,
Yep. That’s right. There is a website called Raptureletters.com where people can sign up to have an e-mail sent to their ‘left behind’ friends explaining where they are and what the hell heck just happened:
And if you decide to ignore this heartfelt warning? This is what the Prince of Peace has in store for you:
Men and women soldiers and horses seemed to explode where they stood. It was as if the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin…Their innards and entrails gushed to the desert floor, and as those around them turned to run, they too were slain, their blood pooling and rising in the unforgiving brightness of the glory of Christ. (“Glorious Appearing”, Jenkins and LaHaye)
Great stuff, huh. I can’t wait. But if I’m raptured, won’t I miss out on all the fun? (I know what you’re thinking:“If I were you I wouldn’t worry”.) Will the raptured have good seats for all the action? Since we’ll still have our bodies, will popcorn be available? Will we be naked and if so will we all be issued Grace Goggles? For answers to more questions like these check out: Rapture Ready.Com It’s got the answers to all your Pre-Trib concerns AND it’s full of fun facts like these:
The Bible predicts that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Ever since the 70 AD destruction, one major roadblock barring the reconstruction of the Temple is the fact that the Temple Mount area has been defiled by warfare. In order to cleanse the tribulation Temple Mount for worship, the Jews will need the ashes of a pure red heifer. Numbers chapter 19 describes how King Solomon cleansed the first Temple with the ashes of a specially prepared Red Heifer.
(Israeli scientists have been working for years to genetically engineer a red calf. But why would they want to kick-off the Tribulation?)
Replacement theology is the view that Israel, having failed God, has been replaced by the Church around 70 AD. The Church is now seen as spiritual Israel and spiritual Jerusalem. This teaching claims that all the promises and blessings, in fact Israel’s entire inheritance, now belongs to the Church. However, all is not lost for Israel; it gets to keep all the curses.
During the latter part of the tribulation an Oriental army of some 200 million strong, will move into the Middle East, crossing over the dried up Euphrates River. This army, guided by four demonic angels, will kill one third of mankind.
You certainly don’t want to be hanging around for that. Reminds me of an old joke; 200 million Chinese guys walk into a bar and order a drink…..uh, I forget the rest.
I know a lot of good folks who waste a lot of good time with all this hooey. I wonder what they would think if they knew that these cherished ‘biblical truths’ have only been around for about 100 years or so and are mostly the result of a ne’er-do-well-cum-Evangelical-huckster’s popularization of an imaginative Anglo-Irish minister’s ruminations.
In Isaiah 46 the author talks of two of the ancient Babylonian Gods, Bel and Nebo:
1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low;
their idols are borne by beasts of burden.
The images that are carried about are burdensome,
a burden for the weary.
2 They stoop and bow down together;
unable to rescue the burden,
they themselves go off into captivity.
I was curious about what all this meant and found an informative article written by Dr. Allen Ross on Bible.org. This line was of particular interest:
“Bel” is belu, which is the equivalent of ba’al in Western Semitic. Bel is the Semitic title for the ancient Sumerian god Enlil, Lord of the Air.
The Lord of the Air? Where had I heard that before?
According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
OK, close, but not quite. Anyway, this is one of the two or three scripture verses that those who are anxiously awaiting the End Times serve up as evidence for the impending Rapture. Personally, I’ve always felt that it’s a pretty long stretch of the imagination to take these verses literally. Even so, what if Paul wasn’t talking about Jesus being the Lord in the Air? In Ephesians 2 he specifically refers to Satan as the lord of the air:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient
What if Jesus takes only those who are “dead in Christ” and then leaves the rest of us – those who are still alive – not to the Lord IN the Air but the Lord OF the Air?
Jeesh! That’s not too encouraging.
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Cor 7:29-31
From this writing (among some of his others), it sounds as if St. Paul thought the end of the world was near. If that was the case, then Paul had no idea that his words would be preserved for thousands of years and presented by the church as the Word of God.
So then, why do we assume that when Paul is writing to people in the early church – when he answers those unknown questions that were put to him – why do we assume that he is also talking to us, today, in 21st century America?
For sure, there is good stuff in Paul’s writings. There is much to learn from what he has to say and a lot of his advice is well worth heeding, even 20 centuries later. But some of what he says just doesn’t make sense to our post-modern ears. Until we stop trying to make this first century square Jewish peg fit into each succeeding generation’s ever shifting cultural inputs, trying instead to see Paul for who he was, when he was and where he was – then we are destined to find ourselves bogging down over his words, words that he never intended for our ears. I doubt if Paul would ever have imagined his letters causing so much trouble for us, especialy as he likely didn’t even think there would ever be an ‘us’.
For hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus the Jewish people waited, some patiently, some not so patiently, for the coming of the Messiah. The prophets foretold of the power that he would wield as he restored Israel to its proper place at the head of all nations. Those that had subjugated and persecuted God’s chosen people would be dealt with in a swift and decisive fashion.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.
He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth.
Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
and Judah’s enemies will be cut off;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will lay hands on Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
The LORD will dry up
the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand
over the Euphrates River. [
He will break it up into seven streams
so that men can cross over in sandals.
There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from Egypt.
Isaiah 11: 10-16
John the Baptist prepared those who would listen for the imminent appearance of the Messiah. He also warned them that upon his arrival they should be prepared for judgment followed by harsh punishments and great rewards. He singled out the religious ruling class for particular admonishment, as he saw them as being unfair in their treatment of God’s people.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
This righteous anger and outspokenness on John’s part led many to wonder if perhaps he was the Messiah. John was quick to correct their mis-perceptions, letting them know that the one that followed him was not to be trifled with. His talk of the One Lord coming to reward the faithful and wreak vengeance on the sinful was music to the ears of the poor and wounded Jews, who had suffered for so long under the domination of so many foreign and pagan lords.
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
John 3: 15-17
John publicly identifies Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah who has come to save his people. Yet Jesus looks and acts quite unlike what the Jews had come to expect. John himself doubts Jesus’ authority;
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Matt 11:2-6
Jesus does not respond with a clear yes or no, instead describing the nature of the ‘true’ Messiah as contrasted with that of prophecy. Not long after this, as described in Matthew 16, Jesus asks the apostles who they think he is;
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus is obviously pleased with their response, particularly Peter’s. He indicates that Peter realized his divine nature through revelation, not by what any man had said. The inference here is that it was commendable that Peter had made up his own mind about Jesus instead of relying upon the current wisdom obout what the Messiah would be like.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
And then he does something strange. He tells the apostles to keep his authority secret.
Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
Many have suggested that Jesus did not feel the time was right to announce his true identity. Perhaps instead he knew that his message was in most ways contradictory to what the people expected of the Messiah.
He follows this up with a mysterious prediction that very soon he will return in divine glory to fulfill the prophecies. He even stresses that it will be within the lifetime of some of his listeners.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
There has been plenty of controversy as to what Jesus actually meant here. His literal second coming obviously did not take place in the first or second centuries. Two millennia later it still has not occurred and various self proclaimed prophets have read the signs and announced that the time was at hand. This is in spite of the fact that, although he tells us what signs would presage the event, he also says that no one could predict this time with any accuracy.
From Thomas Darby to Charles Taze Russel, Hal Lindsey to Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye many Christians have become excited about the prospect of the End Times and Armageddon. As plain as the meanings of the apocalyptic scriptures are to these people, many others do not see them in quite the same light. Anticipation of the Messiah’s coming as warrior King at the command of legions of angels as they assist him in battle against the forces of evil is something that the millennial Christian has in common with conservative Judaism.
Jesus’ pacifistic teachings were hard to swallow for a people who had waited so long for justice to be served. They could not accept this ‘weak’ way as The Way to salvation, a Way that enables the follower to experience peace and joy even when oppressed and persecuted. Some objected because they had so much to lose if they risked following this ‘messiah’. Many more, envious and bitter with those who had been ‘blessed’ with more than they had, relished the idea of violent retribution. This Jesus of Nazareth did not meet their expectations of the Messiah and he was soundly dealt with.
The same branches of Christianity that seem to have the most difficulty with Jesus’ simple yet ‘soft’ message of love, sacrifice and grace are also those who are most inclined to take the apocalyptic scriptures literally. To zealously look forward to an exacting final judgment followed by the harsh and brutal punishment of most of the world’s people may be preventing much of the Church from effectively serving the Kingdom. Is Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, or not? Has he come to free us from bondage by showing us his Way? Or will we continue to wait for someone who more closely feeds our ‘righteous’ hunger for vengeance and retribution? It was while nailed to the cross that he said, “It is finished.”