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Are we really in the end times?
Well, we don't claim to have the answer to that, but what we can do is look carefully at the evidence and then form possible conclusions. Before even starting, however, it is worth mentioning that every generation in history has thought that the end times were going to happen in their lifetimes, but the earth is still turning and we are still here. Having said that, with all the catastrophic events that have befallen us since the year 2000, the amazing acceleration of technology since 1900, and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius right now, we do indeed have compelling reasons for looking very carefully at what is happening at this particular time in history with regard to end times.
The Bible is full of end-time information. A survey taken in 2002 revealed that 59% of Americans believe that the description of end times in the Bible will come to pass. Many believe that it is happening now, although there is hot debate about particulars, especially as to the identity of the Antichrist, if he is already here. Below is one of many relevant Bible excerpts that I have encountered repeatedly in my research regarding end times....
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth the distress of nations, with great perplexity, over the sea and the roaring of the waves." Luke 21:25
This actually says quite a lot. Let's imagine for an instant that we are living a couple of thousand years ago and are writing prophecies for end times for a generation that we see existing thousands of years after we are gone. How could we tell them what to look for? We can't write it on paper because paper deteriorates or is lost, and languages change. We can't use an earth feature such as a mountain or body of water because earth features change drastically over thousands of years. We would have basically two options - write it in stone, or use the one other thing that stays relatively stable - the night sky. Or maybe both! We know that the ancients understood and mapped the night sky pretty much from the beginning of time. We also know that the night sky led the three wise men to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, arguably the most significant event in the history of mankind so far. Virtually all the sacred ancient monoliths and monuments in existence today are related somehow to the heavens. Many pinpoint the spring equinox, when the sun rises directly in the east and the days and nights are equal, but others target very specific stars. The Giza pyramids in Egypt even appear to be arranged purposely to mimic the well-known stars of Orion's belt. It seems that the ancients utilized both ways to relate messages to us thousands of years later, and did a good job too - other than we are not advanced enough to decipher the true meanings!
Although the Bible comes first and carries the most weight in any end-times discussion, there have been many other prophecies from people and civilizations throughout history - and many of them have proven bogus. Following is a brief list of well-known end of time dates:
Mayans - December 21, 2012
Great Pyramid - September 17, 2001
Sir Isaac Newton - 2060
Date corresponding to Mark of the Beast - 666 - 06/06/06 or 09/09/09
Nostradamus - June 21, 2002
Another important thing to consider is that we are on the cusp or have already entered the Age of Aquarius, one of the 12 Great Ages. Each age lasts approximately 2160 years. There is no agreement on the exact date of the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, but it is generally accepted that the transition time out of an old age and into a new age is about 100 years, and that we are somewhere in the transition stage now The Age of Aquarius comes at the end of the Age of Pisces, which is believed to have begun within about 100 years either way of the birth of Christ.
Briefly, Pisces is a water sign, and the overriding feature of water signs is security and spirituality. The Age of Pisces, from the birth of Christ to somewhere around the beginning of the 1900's, was all about these things. Consider the Bible stories - multiplying the fishes to feed the crowd, parting of the waters, baptism, changing water into wine, etc. The Age of Pisces gave rise to most of the major religions in the world, and indeed the Catholic Church is often portrayed by the symbol of a fish. New trade and new lands were discovered established by exploring the oceans, and people either flocked to religion or flocked away to avoid religious persecution.
Aquarius is an air sign, and if you doubt that we are entering a new age, just look at the way our terminology has changed in the last 100 years. Airlines, airwaves, on the air, air force - none of these terms were even coined at the beginning of this century. We are exploring space and seeing farther and farther out every day. In most countries, religion and government are now totally separate - a definite departure from the Piscean Age. We are interconnected like at no other time in history through the internet, telephones, and televisions - through the air basically. Aquarius is all about learning and enlightenment for all.
Having said that, if there really is going to be second coming of Christ, an ascension, or a new dawn in which there are no wars and we all work for the common good, it would make sense for it to happen during an age ruled by an Air sign. Unfortunately, with all the scientific progress and the innate potential for misuse, we are just as likely to create our own catastrophe that ends the world without any help at all from God or any other Divine Being. Although history is rife with disasters, it does seem that we have had a string of big ones since the year 2000. We had 911, the Indonesian earthquake, the biggest power outage in history, and the virtual destruction of New Orleans all in 5 short years. There is growing concern about the polar ice caps melting due to global warming, and we are decimating our rainforests at an alarming rate. We also have atom bombs and hydrogen bombs that could do the job nicely. Society is rotting from within all over the world due to drugs and lack of basic values, and we are at war in the Middle East - the hotbed of the beginning of the end according to the Bible. In short, as it stands, we are a disaster waiting for a time to happen with or without the Bible prophecies.
But I digress - back to the Bible and astronomy. The Bible says that we will see signs in the sun and stars, etc. Whether we will actually see it or not, there is one big event pertaining to the earth and our galaxy, the Milky Way, that will occur on December 21, 2012. On that day, our sun will cross the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy, an event that only happens once every 25,800 years. Recent research indicates that the center of the galaxy contains a giant black hole. No written records are around from 25,800 years ago, so we really don't know what the significance of this alignment will be. Other than that, there are no truly unique configurations that will happen in the stars that don't happen on a regular basis all the way up past the 2020's. Unless the black hole stirs up our sun in ways we don't anticipate, we are probably safe for the time being unless a visible star explodes into a supernova or something similar (an event which incidentally is long overdue). The pyramids and other monuments around the world are trying to tell us something with their dimensions and orientations, but as of this writing, nobody has really come up with any answers that ring completely true. It is interesting that the pyramids themselves emphasize the constellation of Orion, which is probably a big hint. The pyramid builders didn't do all that precision work for nothing. One theory suggests that when the sun moves into the outstretched hand of the mythical hunter in Orion, that will be the sign. This seems a little obscure to us because that is something you cannot actually see because you can't see the sun and stars at the same time. The Mayans on the other hand based their calendars largely on the Pleiades constellation and a 26,000 year cycle, ending their Calendar at the well-known December 21, 2012 date, after which they believed would be a "new world age" or "new creation." Knowing all this, it seems most likely that encoded in the Bible and in the pyramids and other ancient manuscripts and monuments are clues written in obscure code that would give us the answers if we knew how to decipher them. One thing for sure, all these things are definitely interrelated.
So basically as far as end times, in our humble opinion, don't max out the credit cards just yet. We are indeed entering a new age and it's going to be a bumpy ride, and some of the signs prophesized in the Bible do seem to be coming to fruition, but many more are not. We haven't seen any likely candidates for the Antichrist so far, and that's a big one. And no, it's not President Bush or Obama - they just don't fit for various reasons. This Age will last 2100 years, so there's plenty of time for the end times during that period, but the I think we are safe for the time being. We shall see as life unfolds!
As I sat around the house watching the tube and enjoying the long New Year's weekend, , I saw an apparently brand-new, somewhat disturbing commercial put out by the US government about being prepared for disaster. It is being given considerable air time, at least on the channels I watch. It talks about being ready for a disaster and points you to a website named ready.gov. The website itself suggests that in a disaster event, help may come slowly and we will have to take responsibility for the survival of ourselves and our families. It gives suggestions for packing an emergency kit and gives common sense advice on surviving disasters, detailing many disaster scenarios that might occur, such as earthquakes, terrorism, hurricanes, etc.
Now, there's nothing wrong with a website like this, and in fact it gives good advice that we should all consider implementing. The timing of the creation of the commercial and website bothers me a little though. Here we are going full-force into the unknowns of the year 2010 and starting the countdown to 2012, a year with a giant scary question mark attached to it. Nobody knows exactly what the government knows about end times. One has to wonder why they would choose to start a media blitz on this particular subject at this particular point in time. They didn't do it after Katrina, after the Indonesian earthquake, or after 911. Instead, they rolled it out on or around 01/01/2010 during a relatively quiet news period. One has to wonder if there is something significant about 2010 and beyond that the government is aware of.
One thing for sure, if the government was aware of something disastrous about to happen, they wouldn't tell us directly about it for fear we would all go nuts and chaos would ensue. But they might put out a TV commercial and website with advice on how to prepare without specifying what we should be preparing for.
For the first time, I am starting to feel a little uneasy.