2012 … The End Of The World?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
2012 … The End Of The World?
This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” (Luke 21:25)
The year 2012 is lining up as a uniquely pivotal year in many respects. Aside from the fact that some futurists are predicting world wide food and job riots by then, and the two most powerful thrones on Earth (US and UN) will be up for election, there is a never before seen confluence of signs in the heavens due to arrive then. In case you’ve been visiting another planet for the past couple of years, here they are.
Mayan Calendar Ends. Dec.21, 2012
By way of introduction, somehow the Mayans knew that the Sun travels in an orbit through the galaxy just like the planets of our solar system travel in an orbit around the Sun. They calculated that it requires 25,625 of our years for the Sun to complete one circle, called a galactic day. The Mayans divided this day into 5 cycles of 5125 years each. According to their calendar the current cycle, which is the 5th, will end on the day we know as Dec. 21, 2012, the winter solstice.
The Mayan Calendar does not necessarily predict the world will end on that day, as some think, but they did believe that the Sun, having reached the exact center of the galaxy, would receive and emit a powerful surge of light from this alignment and would reverse its polarity. This would cause a great cosmic event on Earth and result in the end of life as we know it. Below are some modern confirmations that will demonstrate how startlingly accurate the Mayans were. They lend more credibility to the view that the influence of the Nephilim with their supernatural knowledge might have been much more widespread than previously thought. Hints of their meddling can be seen world wide.
According to the Mayans, the effect of all this will depend on our reaction to it. If, as a civilization, we try to cling to our current ways we’ll suffer chaos and destruction. But if we change to become united in one positive consciousness and stop fighting each other and poisoning our environment we’ll enter our Golden Age. Sounds straight out of the New Age, doesn’t it?
Magnetic Polar Reversal, Earth And Sun Combined. 2012
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (Rev. 6:12-14)
Over the past few years the magnetic North pole has been drifting across Canada and is headed for Siberia. Also, the Earth’s magnetic field has weakened noticeably when compared to its strength when scientists began measuring it in 1845. Based on these findings, some scientists are now convinced that a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles is underway. They’re predicting that in 2012 the magnetic field will be at its weakest and a polar reversal could suddenly and dramatically take place with the North pole having the polarity of the South pole and vice versa.
In 2012 the Sun will also experience a polar reversal producing radiation emissions at their strongest levels in 50 years. Although the Sun’s magnetic poles reverse every eleven years, in the memory of man the Earth has never experienced such an event. While no one can predict the outcome of this double shift, it could produce massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of a magnitude that could actually cause a measurable continental shift.
A study by the National Academy of Sciences released in early 2009 indicated that a “solar storm” like this could also cause catastrophic damage to the power grid and other communications as well, knocking out satellites, phones, and computers. They confirmed that the 2012 event would be more severe than others we’ve experienced in the past.
If this reversal caused the magnetic field around Earth to collapse, the effect would be even more severe. According to some projections, the electromagnetic energy released from the sun during a polar reversal could cause Earth’s upper atmosphere to “erupt in flames” if our magnetic field isn’t there to deflect it. Was John referring to this in saying the sky vanished like a scroll being rolled up? No one knows. We can only imagine what a sudden reversal of magnetic poles would do to life on Earth. Predictions range all the way from a temporary increase in the frequency and severity of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes to a worldwide disaster of “Biblical proportions.”
Galactic Alignment. Sun At The Center Of The Milky Way. Dec. 21, 2012
Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.(Rev. 8:5)
The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. (Psalm 114:4)
In December 2012 the Sun will reach the exact center of the Milky Way Galaxy, as the Mayans predicted, with all the planets lined up in their orbits behind it, like little chicks behind their mother. Some scientists believe this will amplify the Sun’s gravitational pull on Earth causing increased instability in its inner core. They say the increased gravitational pull combined with increased radiation from the twin polar reversals will heat the Earth’s molten core and cause it to spin faster. This could result in anything from more frequent and more powerful earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, great tsunamis and even displacement of the Earth’s crust.
Planet X Returns To The Solar System. 2012
The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The 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- 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. (Rev. 8:8-11)
Planet X has been the subject of much debate among scientists, both as to its actual existence and its name. Some refer to Planet X as Nibiru, a large planet listed in 5000 year old Sumerian tablets, but missing from the Solar system today. Others say it’s Rahab, the ancient seat of Satan, hinted at in Job 9:13 & 26:12, Psalm 87:4 & 89:10, and in Isaiah 30:7 & 51:9. Those who advocate for its existence say it’s been privately tracked by NASA since the 1980’s and both the New York Times and the Washington Post have speculated about its appearance in the sky. Documented naked eye sightings from the Southern Hemisphere are also claimed.
The name Rahab appears in the Old Testament a total of 11 times. Five times it refers to the Rahab of Jericho who hid the 2 spies, was the mother of Boaz, and appears in the Lord’s genealogy. The other six times, listed above, it does not. Some believe these other references are to a planet that was once part of our Solar system and that Satan and his followers inhabited along with Earth and Mars. These people disagree as to whether it was originally our 5th or 6th planet, but supposedly these three planets were judged at the time of Satan’s rebellion in the gap between Genesis 1 :1 & 1:2 . They also disagree as to whether it was completely destroyed leaving only the asteroid belt as a memorial, or was sent spinning out into the far reaches of the universe, or some combination of the two. Proponents of the partial destruction theory say that the remnant of the planet Rahab can now be seen again, and that God will use it to effect some of the judgments of Revelation.
To many, this idea of Satan’s Kingdom planet re-entering our solar system is wild conjecture. After all, they say, it was developed out of a study combining the apocryphal Book of Enoch with the application of ELS (Equi-distant Letter Sequencing), commonly known as the Bible Codes. But if we’re as close to the end as I think we are, it won’t be long until we know whether the Rahab theories are truth or fiction. For what it’s worth, some believe Nostradamus predicted a comet/planet coming in 2012.
In any case, whether you call it X, or Nibiru, or Rahab, there are some serious people who believe it’s headed our way and will at least come dangerously close to Earth in 2012, showering us with the asteroids it has captured and causing great damage on Earth.
What’s The Point?
The short answer to the title question is, “No. 2012 will not bring the end of the world.” But without attempting to tie these predicted events to specific prophecies, I think it’s interesting to see how similar the Biblical descriptions of end times judgments are to the scientific view of possible coming events. Due to the nearness of 2012, I only used verses from Revelation that describe judgments during the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week , before the Great Tribulation even begins. After that it gets much worse very quickly.
See, the day of the LORD is coming -a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger- to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. (Isaiah 13:9-13)
So what will the 2012 disasters accomplish? I believe 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 8:20-21). And at the beginning of the Millennium God will proclaim, “I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5)
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 ¼ 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.
You and I will view all of this from the mezzanine during our time of repose with the Lord. On Earth it will be the beginning of the most terrible time known to man.
Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD ? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light-pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (Amos 5:18-20) You can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah (08-29-09)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Israel's unexpected gas bonanza gets bigger
TEL AVIV — Israel has reported an expanded offshore natural gas reserve.
A prime contractor in a consortium to search and develop gas reserves reported that Israel's Tamar well contained 16 percent more energy than in previous estimates.
Noble Energy said reserves at Tamar were estimated at 207 billion cubic meters rather than 178 billion cubic meters.
"There is already enough Israeli-made natural gas to provide the country's needs for years to come, and we plan to determinedly seek out additional reserves in our many licenses along the coast of Israel," the consortium said in a statement on Aug. 11.
Delek Group president Yitzhak Tshuva, a member of the consortium, said Tamar could fulfill Israel's gas requirements for up to the next 25 years.
Other consortium members were identified as Isramco Negev 2 with 28.75 percent, Avner Oil Exploration with 15.625 percent and Dor Gas Exploration with four percent.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The Third Temple
According to 2nd Thessalonians 2:4. in the last days, the antichrist will desecrate the Third Temple which Paul calls, "the Temple of God." Is the Third Temple legitimate? How does that square with Church Age doctrines of salvation by grace through faith?
The Thessalonians were in the grip of a heresy spreading through their church to the effect that the Day of Christ [the Rapture] had come and gone and they had been left behind.
Paul sought to reassure them by giving them a series of signs that will precede the revelation of the antichrist. Paul said that before the antichrist would be revealed, there would first come a great 'falling away' from the true faith.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, (Gk apostasia)and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
So there is general 'falling away' or apostasy. We saw an example of that in Obama's Cairo speech where it was all about religion and God and faith and peace and love.
As he wound it up, Obama admitted that HIS real faith is in human beings, not in Yahweh, Jesus or Mohammed, although he invoked all three names throughout his speech -- and nobody blinked an eye.
Obama has made much of his alleged Christianity, but the world-wide apostasia is so pervasive I don't think anybody even noticed there's a difference between faith in Christ and faith in humanity.
I've been paying attention to the reaction to the Cairo speech, as I am sure most of you have been as well. Obama didn't catch it. His speechwriters didn't catch it. His fact-checkers didn't catch it. He delivered it as written and nobody that heard his speech caught it either.
At least, nobody noticed it that I am aware of -- a textbook example of the world-wide apostasy of the last days.
Paul says that this 'falling away' is so grievous that nobody will notice how wrong the antichrist is until he "as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
Exasperated, Paul asks, "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?"
The resumption of Temple worship and animal sacrifices during the Tribulation has no saving value. Nobody will be saved because they brought an unblemished lamb to the Temple for sacrifice.
Salvation is and always has been an outpouring of God's grace by faith from every Dispensation.
Among the great heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 are Abel, the world's first murder victim; Enoch, the first person to be Raptured; Noah, who was faithful to build the Ark; Jacob, who blessed the sons of Joseph; Abraham, who was willing to offer Isaac; Moses, who led the children of Israel to the Promised land.
And just to prove God is no 'respecter of persons' when it comes to salvation, the writer of Hebrews included Rahab, the harlot, as one of the great heroes of faith, who "perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." (Hebrews 11:31)
What is my point? Not one of these heroes of the faith lived in New Testament times. Not one of these heroes of the faith had yet seen their sins paid for at the Cross. Still, they were saved by grace through faith.
There is a reason why the Third Temple is consecrated and a reason why Paul calls it the "Temple of God" instead of just 'the Temple'.
First, if it weren't consecrated, it couldn't be defiled. You can't defile something which isn't holy in the first place. The abomination of desolation would neither be an abomination nor could it make the Temple desolate unless the Temple itself were legitimate in the first place.
Secondly, God isn't going back to an "old system" because salvation is not a product of the Temple system, as we've already seen. The Age of the Law had yet to run its full course when it was interrupted by the Age of Grace.
Daniel notes that in the 69th Week, the "Messiah is cut off, but not for Himself"; the Temple is destroyed by the people of the coming prince (antichrist) and then there is a temporal disconnect when Daniel's clock stops for the Church Age.
The Age of Grace concludes with the Rapture and Daniel's clock restarts on the final week, the reasons for which are clearly outlined in Daniel 9:24.
It isn't a re-institution of the Age of the Law. It is the resumption of an unfilled Dispensational Period for which there is a definite purpose.
So, then, what is the purpose of the Law? Why did God give Moses the Ten Commandments?
According to the Apostle Paul, the reason for the Ten Commandments was to prove we couldn't keep them and to point out our need for a Savior. That realization is offered to both Jew and Gentile. BUT, says Paul;
"I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
The 'fullness of the Gentiles be come in' is a reference to the conclusion of the Church Age, which ends when the last Gentile who is going to accept Christ does so. Once the Body of Christ is complete, the Rapture takes place, and God turns His attention back to Israel.
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." (Romans 11:26-27)
The 70th Week of Daniel is also called "the Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7) because it is set aside for the judgment of the Gentiles and the national salvation of the Jews.
To summarize: the purpose of the Tribulation is two-fold. First and foremost, its purpose is to effect the national reconciliation of the Jews and their salvation -- as a nation.
The unbelieving Gentiles have already had their chance and rejected it. Revelation Chapter 7 tells of 144,000 Jews who will be 'sealed' with the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The Jews of Israel aren't saved during the Tribulation by the Temple practices or law. Zechariah 12:10 makes it clear that the Jews of Israel during the Tribulation are saved the same way we are -- by grace and supplications (prayer).
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
It is the Temple desecration that causes the Jews to turn their backs on the Antichrist and turn towards Christ.
Secondarily, it is a time set aside for the judgment of a Christ-rejecting world (the Church having already been judged at the Cross.) The Age of Grace is over, but salvation by grace through faith is still extended to the Jews.
The 144,000 are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which gives them the power to share the Gospel and enables the hearer to be regenerated spiritually. Without the active indwelling of the Holy Spirit within these 144,000 Jewish evangelists, nobody could be saved.
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1st Corinthians 2:14)
Finally, David's question, by its very nature, establishes the fact that the Church cannot be present during the Tribulation Period. If it were, then the sealing of the 144,000 Jews with the Holy Spirit would be meaningless.
They would be able to get their infilling of the Holy Spirit the same way that we do now. There would be no need for an angel to come down and give them the Gospel and seal them with the Holy Spirit.
During the Church Age, that is the job of the Church. God does not impose His Spirit on Jews during the Church Age. First they come to Christ, then the Holy Spirit comes to them.
According to Revelation Chapters 7 and 14, during the Tribulation, the Holy Spirit comes to the 144,000, and then they come to Christ. After that, they go out and lead others (the "Tribulation Saints") to Christ.
(If there were no distinction between the saints of the Church Age and the saints of the Tribulation, then why does the Bible reference "Tribulation Saints" separately?)
So, the chronology is like this. The Age of the Law wasn't replaced by the Age of Grace, it was interrupted by it. The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. Then the Age of the Law is resumed for one final week of years to effect the national redemption of Israel in fulfillment of the promise of Romans 11:26-27.
The Age of the Law concludes with the 2nd Coming of Christ to usher in the final Dispensation, the Millennial Kingdom, which is also part of the promise to the Jews. (Isaiah 60-66)
After that comes the new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22, 2nd Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1) and eternity future.
But first, the Rapture!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Will children be raptured?
One of the most frequently asked questions coming into my Inbox involves the role of children in the Rapture. Will children be raptured? What about babies? The unborn? That question can extend as far as covering anyone who is mentally incapable of making a decision to accept Jesus as Savior.
In essence, the question extends even further, for the ultimate destination of the Rapture is Heaven, and people are wondering about the eternal destiny of these tender people if they die, regardless of the Rapture. Even graver, hanging onto the answer by a thread are people's views of the justice and loving nature of God.
I admit I wince every time I'm asked if children will be raptured. It is a question that hits very close to home for me.
You see, my youngest boy has autism. At age five Zachary still does not speak. While his gross motor skills are almost olympic in stature, he lacks the finest motor skills to put even his hands together to wash them. The simplest concepts grasped by a one year old seem to be beyond him. And certainly, there is no way that he could comprehend his need for a Savior, much less understand the words that explain that concept. Unless his brain is miraculously healed, Zachary will never "confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead," and so be saved (Rom. 10:9).
The question asked of me about whether children will be raptured translates in my mind every time to, "Will Zachary be going to Heaven?"
What the Bible Says
While the work of salvation was wonderfully completed by Jesus sacrificing Himself for our sins and overcoming death by His resurrection, people in turn must accept that salvation in order to be saved from judgment and its sentence of Hell. The decision to repent of our rebellion (sin) against God and in faith accept Jesus as Savior is therefore an act that requires a mental understanding and a decision made (Jn. 1:12; 3:16,36; Acts 2:21,38; 3:19; Heb. 11:16; 1 Jn. 5:5).
It does appear that Jesus teaches that children have and are exempt until an "age of accountability," when they can make their own decision to accept Jesus as Savior.
A verse commonly used in support of a child's age of accountability is Matthew 19:14, "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" Jesus also said in Matthew 18:3, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
The concept of the age of accountability can be verified by events in the Bible as well. King David recognized this when his baby born of Bathsheba died (2 Sam. 12:23). David responded, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
And so, while the Bible doesn't clearly state whether children will be raptured, or that children who die automatically go to Heaven, the Bible does imply that children who have yet to reach the age of accountability belong to the Kingdom of Heaven.
The underlying theme, still, is the ability to accept Jesus and His salvation, so the line of reasoning is that the mentally disabled and the unborn will also never reach the age of accountability, and so also belong to the Kingdom of Heaven.
While those who die before the age of accountability belong to Heaven, the Rapture is a promise to the Church, and minor children who have not accepted the Lord are not members of the Church. While all the little children are destined for Heaven, they may not be destined for the Rapture and so will have to endure the Tribulation — a horrifying thought!
Should that be the scenario, at the time of the Rapture the wombs will not be emptied nor all the children and mentally disabled be taken away with the Church. But (and it's a big "But"), the Bible does shine some hope upon the families of believers; for the Bible indicates that children who have a believing parent are especially protected.
Verses that support parental protection are like 1 Corinthians 7:14 which reads, "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy." Proverbs 14:26 also provides support. "He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge."
This concept is substantiated when God saved not just the righteous Noah, but also all his household when He destroyed the Earth with water. Likewise, God saved not just the righteous Lot but also his two worldly daughters when He decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Pet. 2:4-9).
While my salvation cannot be my children's salvation, God may have extended his grace further (as He always does) by covering a believer's child and including them as an honorary member of the Church, and therefore be included in the Rapture.
While the Bible makes it clear there is an age of accountability and that as a believer my children are protected, the children of the world may not be part of the Rapture. They may have to grow up some through the Tribulation before they can make a decision on their own. That's hard and painful to think about.
The answer I give people who ask me "Do children go to Heaven?" never fully satisfies them. Quite frankly, it doesn't satisfy me either. Too much is inferred and not directly stated on this subject.
In the end, though, I have to leave my questioning and doubts behind and trust in who God is. As 1 John 4:16 explains about God's love, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." God is also inherently righteous in His judgments. As Romans 1:17 proclaims, "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"
And so, I will live by faith, trusting that God loves Zachary more than I can ever love him, and that by His wonderful righteousness my boy will be with me forever and whole in Heaven.