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Q. Do you think there's any real threat from the year 2012? I've been reading a lot about it on other websites. Is it possible for a Christian to be forewarned of specific dates like this for which we should prepare? (J.M., Mt. Vernon, WA)
Fascinating and timely question. It will resonate with a lot of our website readers.
Like clockwork it seems we become paranoid about the end-times every decade or so. The Y2K threat is a good example. Many of us completely "bought into" that one and spent huge amounts of money on storage foods and water, basic emergency kits and supplies.
Learning about Y2K preparation wasn't completely useless, however. After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina we learned just how fragile our systems really are. Air traffic can be disrupted instantly. Banking can close down without warning. Water, food and prescription drugs can become unavailable.
We learned about potential terrorist attacks and the need for each of us to be prepared for a number of emergencies. That was probably a good thing teaching all of us that wise people store basic necessities for possible emergencies.
Even the Bible says, "There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise. But a foolish man swallows it up" (Proverbs 21:20). In other words, store up provisions for the future.
I am aware of the 2012 Mayan prophecy about some sort of catastrophe occurring on December 21 of that year. But, I'm not sure we can say it means the end of the world. My understanding is that we can't even clearly decipher Mayan hieroglyphics yet.
Star charting became a worldwide practice among certain tribes as early as 680 B.C. They were accustomed to tracking the winter solstice in order to successfully plant and harvest crops. Early on the Mayans worshipped the sun as a god and believed our galaxy to be like a "Sacred Tree" which served as a gateway to the afterlife.
Mayans noted Earth Wobbling
By 335 B.C. they used their observations and mathematical skills to note the earth's wobbling as it spins on its axis through the galaxy. This alone was a sophisticated calculation. They surmised the wobbling rotation causes the patterns of stars to drift gradually - a "precession." It occurs in 5,125 year cycles - the next cycle ending in 2012 to complete the 25,625 years for our Sun to complete a galactic day (Kelley 2009). Some scholars think the Mayans determined this particular date to portend a new age.
A few Christian scholars speculate that the unusually smart, ancient Nephilim may have taught this to humans such as the Mayans. It's possible, given that the Mayans practiced brutal, bloody human sacrifices to their sun god. The Nephilim also committed evil atrocities. While Mayans were great mathematicians they were also primitive tribesmen who thought human sacrifices empowered the sun.
Book of Enoch
Who knows? The apocryphal Book of Enoch teaches that 200 "watchers" (or fallen angels) descended to earth and corrupted the human race during ancient times. Chapter 7 tells us they "took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in to them, and mixed with them, and taught them charms and conjurations, and made them acquainted with the cutting of roots and of woods" (Book of Enoch 7:1).
It sounds much like modern day witchcraft, black magic or earth worship. It also repeats much of what Genesis 6 teaches - that angels cohabited with earthly women and bore children to them. It was the half-breed offspring of "watchers" and human females who may have become the infamous Nephilim.
Chapter 8 of the Book of Enoch informs us that these teachers taught "conjurers and root-cutters," the "loosening of conjurations," the "astrologers," about "signs," "astrology," and the "course of the moon." (Enoch 8:3).
J.R. Church says, "When we come to chapters 72-82, entitled, "The Book of the Courses of the Luminaries," we will find a long and tedious account of the course and movements of the sun, moon, and stars, respecting which, the angel Uriel, "who is over them," was the instructor. As we shall see in chapter 9, Uriel was upset with the perversion of God's astronomical message to the human race" (Church 2009, 36).
So yes, the intelligent but evil Nephilim might have taught mankind astrology and earth worship which later became a common practice among groups such as the Mayans.
Other 2012 Prophesies
Yet, it isn't just the Mayans who predict problems for 2012 earth dwellers. Supposedly, the Ancient Chinese I Ching predicts doomsday for 2012. The ancient Romans thought 2012 could be a horrific year. The English prophetess Mother Shipton in the sixteenth-century predicted history could end at that time.
Magnetic Pole Reversal
As if that isn't enough we find that the earth's magnetic field is dwindling - about 10% to date. This could portend a pole shift where the North and South magnetic poles reverse polarities.
Lawrence Joseph says, "Russian geophysicists believe that the Solar System has entered an interstellar energy cloud. This cloud is energizing and destabilizing the Sun and all the planets' atmospheres. Their predictions for catastrophe resulting from the Earth's encounter with this energy cloud range from 2010 to 2020."
Joseph also points out that "The Yellowstone supervolcano, which erupts catastrophically every 600,000 to 700,000 years, is preparing to blow. The most recent eruption of comparable magnitude, at Lake Toba, Indonesia, 74,000 years ago, led to the death of more than 90 percent of the world's population at the time. …Have a nice day" (Joseph 2007, 16-17).
("Have a nice day, indeed"…)
Restoration of the Earth
Jack Kelley makes a conjecture that "God will use these and other End Times judgments to begin putting the Earth back into the condition it was when He gave it to Adam. Remember, Jesus called the Millennium the time of restoration of all things (Matt. 19:28) and Paul said the whole creation has been groaning in anticipation of being liberated from the bondage it was subjected to (Romans 8:21-21). At the beginning of the Millennium God will proclaim, 'I am making everything new'(Revelation 21:5)."
Kelley continues, "Since the creation, mountains have been pushed up and valleys made lower to contain the enormous amounts of water generated in the Great Flood. The protective water vapor canopy that permitted long life spans in pre-flood times collapsed at the time of the Flood. Earth's land mass has been pushed apart to form the current continents and islands, the Earth's orbit has been extended by 5 1/4 days, and its axis tilted by 23.44 degrees. All this and more will have to be fixed in order for Earth to once again be the paradise it was created to be" (Kelley 2009).
Yet, should Christians become worried or upset over 2012 doomsday predictions?
No, I don't think so.
Like Y2K we should probably become more prepared for disasters in our lives - from power failures to earthquakes. But, we cannot prepare for deadly events such as the tribulation period.
Major Evacuation Coming
Besides, for those of us who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church, we gather from 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that Christians will be evacuated off of the earth just before the horrific tribulation period. This does not mean that the Church will not suffer tribulations and persecution as it has down through the centuries, however.
The Great Tribulation period is not just a series of earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. This tribulation consists of extinction-level events of a cosmic nature.
They may take the form of things like asteroid hits or the earth being knocked off of its usual axis. It is described in detail in Revelation chapters 6-18 and from the book of Isaiah chapters 24:1-27:13. Be sure to read it for yourself. Isaiah even mentions something that could be the earth's coming unstable "wobble!"
"The earth is broken asunder. The earth is split through. The earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard. And it totters like a shack…" (Isaiah 24:19-20).
Beaming Christians off the Planet
We won't be here to live through this disastrous period, though. The Bible promises that Yeshua is going to return for us and "beam us up" off the earth: …"Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
A Tension between Knowing or Not Knowing
There has always been a tension between Christians understanding that we cannot know the exact hour of Jesus' return (Mark 13:32) and yet the fact that we are expected to know the signs of His coming (Matthew 16:2-3).
The Master Delays His Return
Nevertheless, many of the parables taught by Jesus express themes of a Master returning from a trip much later than expected. For example, we have the parable of the Ten Virgins where many came late, unprepared to meet their Master (Matthew 25).
Peter warns that even some church believers will "mock" us saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:4). These are linear thinkers who don't believe anything will change in their lifetimes. Not a smart move…
It's Later than we Think
Still, we can expect that whatever dates we guess for the Lord's return will probably be later than any of us think. Peter tells us "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
Thank goodness for the slow return of our Master. He will be late because He loves you and me and all those whom He wants to come to salvation between now and the Apocalypse - 2012 or later.
So don't worry about it. If you are a true believer you won't be here to experience the worst disaster ever forecasted in the history of the world.
But, if you're not a believer, then be afraid…be very, very, afraid…
"For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will" (Matthew 24:21).
Our Real Concern
Our real concern while we wait for our Lord's return must be to do His will here and now. We need to be about God's Kingdom on a daily basis. This means that we are to actively work in the Church and our community and to be serious about taking care of God's people. We are to work at becoming good servants of the King.
Church, J.R. 2009. The ancient book of Enoch. Prophecy in the News Magazine. 6 February. Available from:www.prophecyinthenews.com.
Hitchcock, Mark. 2009. 2012: The Bible and the end of the world. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
Joseph, Lawrence E. 2007. Apocalypse 2012. New York: Morgan Road Publishing.
Kelley, Jack. 2012…The end of the world? Available from: http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/2012-the-end-of-the-world/ (accessed 8/31/2009).
Van Impe, Jack. December 21st. 2012. (DVD). Available from: www.jvim.com.
Postscript: Jeffrey L. Mays, the author of this fascinating question, passed away on 2/7/10. In all he contributed at least forty thought-provoking questions to Remnant Report. The lesson is clear. Never put off issues of life, death or salvation. Tomorrow may be too late.
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