First of all, I’m aware that I’m writing the second part of this article after December 21, 2012, and it may seem to some of you that it’s already a waste due to the fact that nothing happened on that day. Well, I will come to that in the third part of this article, but as you can remember from the first part, I didn’t write anything showing that I believed in a Last Day specifically anyway. I use this title because it somehow summarizes the idea surrounding the notion of Armageddon. So, let’s continue:
- Theological point of view
Today we continue with the second part this article, which we will examine the topic from the theological aspect. Well, I can’t claim to have an expertise on theology, I don’t have a formal degree on the subject after all; however, since I’m so interested in it due to my curiosity of the relationship between daily life and divinity, I will just try to share what I gathered about this topic, and what I think of each of them.
However, I’d like to emphasize that I’m not an expert on theology, or history of religions, but I’m a free person who has a free mind, and I read and learn a lot due to my profession, so I’m just sharing my own ideas on the topic. I have no intention to insult anyone, any religions, or any beliefs at all, but just thinking out loud, alright?
I’m not so much of an erudite about Judaism – as to zero on the subject – so I will have to leave Judaic point of view on the subject in this article, because it would be pedantic to do otherwise. At the other hand, I know a little about the topic from Christian point of view, and I made a detailed research through Internet once again.
From Islamic point of view, I can comfortably lean my back onto the fact that I grew up in this religion, even if I always tried to keep a more personal approach on the subject. Everything aside, I have the access to the factual, secular, and esoteric aspects of this religion.
So I made my research about the theological information on this subject through Christian and Muslim web sites mostly, and I use the two sites as the main sources to base my work on:
- The Christian web site that tells us about the signs that we are in end times (in English); http://contenderministries.org/prophecy/endtimes.php
- and the Islamic web sites that tell us about the small and big signs that the last day approaches (in Turkish, and with my translation here).
Again, as I did in the first part of this article, I will take the information from these sources I mentioned above, and I add my personal comments based on my opinions and other knowledge on the subject (between brackets).
So, let’s start.
The authors at contenderministries.org tell us about the end times of the world, with quotations from the Holy Bible (you will find my comments within brackets after each item)
– False prophets and Christs
“For many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and will mislead many.” (Matthew 24:5)
“And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.” (Matthew 24:11)
In the last several years many have claimed to be the Messiah. Jim Jones and David Koresh are examples of these false christs as well as countless others who are not as newsworthy. These false prophets are a prelude to the ultimate false Christ, the Antichrist. Many New Age groups, some even NGOs working for the United Nations, are anxiously awaiting the antichrist, preparing the way for his acceptance as the head of the hierarchy of gods and the one who will usher in world peace.
(It seems to me that this trend is more about money and power than divinity or a greater plan. We all know such people exist, that they always existed, and that they always will.)
– Wars, Famines, and Earthquakes
“And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” (Matthew 24:6)
Rumors of wars in all areas of the world now occur frequently thanks to instant media coverage and the availability of a multitude of 24-hour news sources.
(What is more striking though is the reaction of most people to the wars and news about wars; we are used to it so much that when we hear about a new war possibility, we mostly say: “So?”)
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” (Matthew 24:7)
More people have been killed in warfare in this century than at any other time in history. As the death toll rises in the Middle East, more and more countries work feverishly to develop devastating weapons of mass destruction. Add to that the expanding threat of terrorism and unpredictable dictators such as Saddam Hussein, and the potential for the outbreak of war exists in nations, kingdoms and places across the globe.
(While what the authors of this site tell us is perfectly true, we’re also always inclined to blame the people in Middle East for death and terrorism, we seem to forget what and who created dictators like Saddam Hussein in the first place.)
As white, Christian farmers are driven out of Zimbabwe in increasing numbers, and foreigners move in to replace life-sustaining crops with poppies that now supply 25% of the world’s drugs, famine spreads across the African continent. The undernourished are not limited to Africa, however. A large portion of the world’s 5 billion people suffers from a shortage of food.
(As the great Turkish leader Ataturk asked the English waiter who claimed not to like the Turks because his father was killed during Gallipoli Campaign, “why was his father there in the first place?” I’d like to ask “some” white Christian farmers what they were doing in Africa and other places far from Europe, or Western world in the first place, driving the native population out of the continent as slaves. The truth is that man always persecuted the man, and let’s be frank, the whites – no offense, just a historical fact, and certainly not nominative, just a generalization – were the ones to do that mostly to others. At the other hand, as a Biblical sign of the end times, yes, I agree with the authors.)
The number and intensity of earthquakes this century is at a level higher than any other time in history. A staggering number of seismic events occur around the world daily. The earthquake seismic monitor IRIS shows all major earthquakes for the last year. Indicated by yellow and red circles, the seismic events of the last 15 days provide strong evidence of the fulfillment of Matthew 24:7 in our day. By contrast, in the years from 1890 to 1900 there was only one major earthquake in the world.
(No comments about this, because it’s a something we all already must be aware of.)
“But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of my name.” (Matthew 24:8-9)
Christians are under attack throughout the world today. In the United States Christians still enjoy freedom to worship God without suffering much more than ridicule, hatred, or discrimination at work and school. However in many other countries such as China, Sudan, Africa, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Russia, and many Muslim nations, Christian suffer much greater persecution and often times death for their faith. During the tribulation this suffering will be worldwide and will continue even to the point of martyrdom. These first 5 signs will increase in intensity and severity as the tribulation approaches, much like the birth pangs or contractions of a pregnant woman worsen as the delivery time approaches.
(Now, there’s something interesting and – to me – quite strange here. The fact is that the members of other religions say the same thing for the Christians all around the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Muslims are right, Christians are wrong, or people of other religions don’t know what they say, etc. What I see here is that all the religions blame others vice versa, whereas the religions should be the core of worldwide love, peace, harmony, and understanding. Instead, they keep accusing each other of persecution, and claim “ours is right, yours is wrong!” I always say this when it comes to the religion differences all around the world: “I think Heaven must be empty, because people of every religion send others to hell, so Hell must be overcrowded with religious people who believed in life that theirs was the only truth.” Joke aside, I sincerely don’t believe that God cares of such discrimination at all; instead, I believe He looks into the heart and soul of a person, not the way of how he or she worshipped while alive. Frankly, when you look at the core of every religion, in the most basic foundation, you find the same message: “Be a real human, live like a real human, and respect the creature for the sake of Creator!”)
– Godlessness in the last days
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (II Timothy 3:1-5,7)
For anyone who has watched television, read a newspaper, lost a retirement to corporate greed and corruption, or just walked outside their front door, it is obvious this prophecy has been fulfilled by our generation. Our leaders are often corrupt; our cities are filled with crime, brutality, and neon signs proclaiming our sinful, godless nature. The New Age Movement brings in increasing numbers of mystics who claim to be the enlightened ones. They are some of the most educated and influential people in our societies, and yet the most lacking in real truth.
(Yes, we can never object something that’s obviously in front of us, as long as we follow the principles of logic, so I agree with this one, too. Plus, whereas I don’t believe everything about The New Age Movement at face value, I don’t think the teachings of organized religions should be accepted at face value, either. I’m not saying that not everything these books say is true, but I doubt that we understand the messages the way we should. It’s same for every religion, every book, and every teachings from Christianity to Islam, to other religions, and also, of course, to New Age Movement. As huma
ns, we should always use our own brains to think over something, and base our deductions to everything we know and learn from science and logic to religions and philosophy. What a bigot priest or imam says about something is no different for me than some New Age ravings that’s not based on solid grounds.)
There are many more signs that are described at this site, and you can check it if you’d like to find out more on the subject. Once again I’d like to emphasize that I’m not an expert on theology, or history of religions, but I’m a free person who has a free mind, and I read and learn a lot due to my profession, so I’m just sharing my own ideas on the topic. I have no intention to insult anyone, any religions, or any beliefs at all, but just thinking out loud, and share it with readers of this blog.
From Islamic point of view, there are many that are called as minor signs, which appear to be almost paralleled to the ones described in Christianity. However, there are also ten major signs that are described as the precise signs, which are told by Muslim scholars, carried through the time since early days of Islam.
Here they are, and what I – personally – think about each of them:
– Mahdi will come
His father will be Abdullah, and mother Amina, or other names in other languages with the same meaning. There will be a cloud aligned with the head of Mahdi, and an angel from that cloud will command the mankind: “This is Mahdi; obey him!”
(There are many theories about if Mahdi will or has come, and who he is or who he will be. Recently, I even read an article online where the author says Mahdi was born in 1971. What I believe is that, whatever his name is or will be, someone very special and unique will come to change the worldwide order, because due to the natural law, I believe the injustice that is dominant today can’t continue for long. But did he arrive? Well, I don’t think anyone even knows it yet.)
– The Antichrist will come
The Antichrist is a liar. He will want to lead Islamic world to evil ways, and he will claim to be God. Whoever beli
eves him will lose faith. Antichrist’s right eye will be blind, and it will be written “blasphemer” between his two eyes. He has no kids. He can’t enter Madinah, neither Mecca (or has never set foot in these cities). He will stay in the world for 40 days, and during this period, he will carry out some supernatural works. Then, as one of the major signs for Armageddon, Christ will come back to the world, and will kill the Antichrist.
(What is said about this one in Islam goes almost parallel to what is said in Christianity. However, as it is with the first one above, we don’t know if he arrived or not yet. At the other hand, I have a problem about this term of “day” in scriptures, because I don’t think it’s same with what we call as “day.” It might mean a period of time that we don’t know how long, due to the fact that scriptures are written in allegorical style.)
– Christ will come back down from the skies
Before Armageddon, Christ will come down from the skies, then invite the mankind to Islam, and kill the Antichrist.
(In Christianity, it is also believed that Christ will be back from the skies, and kill the Antichrist. However, in Islamic belief, it is believed that He will invite all the mankind to Islamic belief. Again, He’s not back yet.)
– Gog and Magog will come out
Before the Armageddon, two communities with unknown origins will come out and “create defeatism all around the world.” They will spread the world, smashing the great wall into the ground, attack the peoples, and destroy the cities. In some tales, this wall is named as great China Wall.
(In some documents, Gog and Magog are mentioned as two monsters that live undergrounds. However, I always believed that “monster” is just a metaphor for an extremely progressed civilization.
(At the other hand, this item reminds me of two great civilizations from more than 10,000 years ago: Lemurians and Atlanteans. While it is mostly believed that such stories about these two civilizations, and the lost continents, there are lots of people everywhere who believe in their existence, and also there are many theories about their hiding undergrounds, very deep into the core of the planet, which I don’t think as utterly illogical at all. From many geological findings, historical theories – and again from my own logic and senses, even if just personally – it’s not hard to believe that they might be somewhere down there, and that they might come out during the End of Days.
(Secondly, when I read this one, I thought of the Chinese, too. Frankly, I always had a question in my mind about their origins, because they don’t look like other peoples. This is same for all the Far Eastern nations, I believe. Also, there’s a great wall involved here, too. At the other hand, I don’t think the Chinese will grab their guns, tanks, and bombs to destroy the world’s cities and countries; after all, it’s more logical and smart to use other peoples as greater markets, isn’t it? If we consider the fact that modern wars are not carried on with guns, but economies, I think what I mean with this becomes clearer. What do you think?)
– Daabbt Al Ardh will come out
This are the creatures that are believed to come out before the Armageddon. It means “earth animal.” There are many hadithes on this topic, and one says: “Daabbt al Ardh will touch the believer with its scepter, and he gets written ‘This One For Heaven’ on his forehead, and his face shines with a Godly light. If he is an unbeliever, it’s written as ‘For Hell,’ and his face becomes pitch black. Believers won’t have to be afraid of it.”
(While there are a lot of articles on it, this one is quite ambiguous, actually, mainly due to the fact that it’s obviously told allegorically. Frankly, I don’t think it’s something as how it sounds.
(At the other hand, this – again – may be about Gog and Magog, if we consider them as two civilizations living undergrounds, because Daabbt Al Ardh – Dabbet’ul Arz – means something like “those who live [in – or – with] the earth.”)
– Sun will rise from the west
The most important sign of Armageddon is the sun rising from the west.
Seeing this occurrence, people will become believers suddenly. However, faith of such late believers will be no use for them.
(As I mentioned in first part of this article, there’s a belief that the poles will change. And this item reminds me of that, because if it really happens, it means the planet will rotate in opposite direction, so sun may rise from the west literally. There is also another item that supports this one, numbered as 10 in this list. Keep reading, and look below.)
– A fire will burn
A great fire that begins from Hedjaz will drive people away. It will be a fire so great that it will illuminate the camels in Basra.
(This is an item that I remember from my childhood. I heard about this sign when I was 9 or 10 years old, and I remember it was said as “a great fire in the east” – not Hedjaz – and “will be seen from all around the world.” As a matter of fact, I believe this sign has already come to pass during Gulf War I. Because, if we don’t take it literally, but metaphorically, I’m sure many people will remember how Saddam burnt the oil-wells around the gulf, driving people away along with the occupying forces. Moreover, it was observed completely and in details from all around the world, thanks to the television and satellite technologies. And most interesting part is that this happened exactly near Basra.)
– Smoke will rise up
Smoke is another major signs of Armageddon according to Islamic belief.
Before the End of Days, a smoke cloud will cover all around the world, and stay for forty days and nights; believers will feel like as if they got cold, and infidels as drunkards.
(If, again, we consider the fact that it was observed from all around the world through televisions, it can be said the fire and smoke “covered” all around the world, especially thinking the term “coverage of a story” in media terminology.)
– Earth will collapse
In the east, in the west, and in Arabian Peninsula, great areas of earth will collapse as another major sign of Armageddon.
(I don’t know anything about this, but it reminds me the story of Atlantis. What do you think?)
– Kaaba will collapse
During Armageddon, planet will go out of its current orbit, and jump to another one. Then mountains will be scattered about, and everywhere will be leveled.
Buildings, skyscrapers, palaces will be ruined.
As world goes ruined as such in material, it will be same as spiritually.
(This item also reminds me the talks about photon belt – we will discuss this in more details in the third part of this article – and what kind of an effect this occurrence may create along with the polar change.)
So I shared the theological data I collected on the subject, and shared them with you along with my own opinion about each of them which were shaped through the years. Lastly, I will approach the topic from spiritual – or New Age – point of view in the third part of this article soon enough.
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