Articles


The End of this World, When?

Chapter 1

Take heed that you be not deceived (Luke 21:8)

 

1 In popular tradition, the term “end of the world” is understood as a series of catastrophic events, leading Earth and humanity to destruction. Since ancient times, this idea is suggested in most religions, but is also considered in mythological narrative and in science fiction stories. Men are curious about their origin, purpose and future, and their search has led them to develop all kinds of theories and speculations.

Even if in our days most people believe that the world will go on until when, in a remote future, a great cataclysm causes the destruction of the planet, history reveals a surprising amount of doomsday predictions, proclaimed by spontaneous prophets, churchmen, astronomers, mathematicians and science men, who inspired by unusual cosmic events, or important social changes and turbulent disorders, develop a personal interpretation of the situation and even of some Scripture fragment, and in their search of prominence, do not hesitate to seduce others with the purpose of gathering their own followers. (Click here to consult list)

Failed predictions bring confusion, but also cause skepticism about the prophecies and promises of Scripture. Today, most people are refractory to any prediction regarding religion, and since the Bible contains so much prophetic revelation, some consider it as a source of fanciful statements, even if so many of its prophecies proved to be fully reliable, as those about the fate of some ancient nations, or those about the birth place of the Messiah, the time of the beginning of his preaching, the events of his life and the circumstances of his death, and also the prophecies of Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem.

However, there are still many prophecies to be fulfilled, as that of the words of Jesus to his disciples, when on the Mount of Olives, they asked him: “Tell us… what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)

 

2 In answer, Jesus spoke about the signs that would precede his return, and said for his disciples of all times: “Take heed that you are not deceived, for many will come in my name saying... the time is near. Do not follow them!” (Luke 21:8) “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines up to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man”. (Matthew 24:27 and Luke 17:24) To avoid being misled by wrong predictions, all who believe in the words of Jesus must seek to discern the signs of the time he described, keeping in mind his warning; for he said: “If anybody tells you: «Behold! Christ is here», or «Behold! He is there», do not believe it, because false anointed (christs) and false prophets shall rise and perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect”. (Mark 13:21...23) If the moment of the return of Christ and of the end of this world could be calculated, Jesus would not have said: “As for that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son; only the Father”, (Matthew 24:3) but then “I will come like a thief, and you will not know when I come”. (Revelation 3:3)

 

3 In regard to the return of Jesus, Paul writes: “Christ, having offered himself once forever to abolish the sins of many, will manifest a second time, and not about sin, but for those who expect him, to be saved. (Hebrews 9:28)

The return of Christ is a true and comforting event that Paul calls it “the happy expectation”, (Titus 2:13) because it does not mean the end of all things, but the beginning of a new world under the rule of the Son of God. However, the systematic reports of date for his return and of doomsday, together with the rise of countless religious sects, really favor the much desired confusion by those that Paul calls “the evil spiritual forces which dwell in the heavenly regions”; (Ephesians 6:12) and from this viewpoint, the improvised religious prophets really “disguise themselves as apostles of Christ”, just as “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”, (2Corinthians 11:13...14) and their vain foretelling gives way to the derision predicted by Peter when he writes: “Know first, that in the last days shall come scoffers, of those who walk according to their own desires, and they will say: “Where is the promised presence of Him? Because from the day our ancestors died, everything goes on as in the beginning of creation”. (2 Peter 3:3...4) Faced with so many lies, most people behave like the shepherds of Aesop's fable, who got used to the frequent cries for help of one of them who shouted “to the wolf!” for joke, so when the wolf really came, all of them ignored him and lost their sheep.

 

Chapter 2

 

4 These are two declarations of the self-proclaimed prophets, which are opposed to Scripture:

Before the end of the world the Antichrist will come.

Christ is already reigning over the Earth, but his presence is invisible.

 

Antichrist and Apostasy: In regard to the appearance or the rise of the Antichrist, here are some common wrong interpretations found on the Internet:

«Who will precede the second coming of Jesus? It will be preceded by the Antichrist, which is to be revealed»

«The more significant event preceding the return of Jesus will be the appearance of the Antichrist»

«It was later clarified by his disciples, that the reappearance of Jesus was to be preceded by a mysterious figure, an emissary of Satan, who would lead the fight against the Messiah and his followers, and for this reason was called Antichrist»

«Continuing our consideration to try to understand what possible future awaits the world in the coming years, we will stop briefly in a thesis, now quite debated among the experts in prophetic revelations, which would consider near the time of the Antichrist and the return of Christ»

We also find in one Bible version, a subtitle added on the 2nd chapter of the second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, which says: «The return of Christ will be preceded by the manifestation of the Antichrist».

There is also who understands the word Antichrist as “before Christ”, taking the prefix “anti” con “ante” or against as “ante” or before. On the Greek text we read ἀντίχριστος (antichristos), a word composed by ἀντί (anti), meaning opposition, and χριστος (christos) or anointed.

Furthermore, some identify wrongly the Antichrist with the symbolic wild beast of Revelation, but this is impossible, not only because of the time of its manifestation, also because of the fact that the beast represents an absolute power, united by a single thought and purpose, while the members of Antichrist are many and self-directed, following their own interpretations and doctrines.

 

5 Both Paul and John, deny the interpretation of those who want to place the rise of the Antichrist in a time close to Christ’s return; Paul writes: “This unknown offender is already at work, but as soon as that which retains him is removed, then will be revealed the offender, which the Lord shall declare spiritually dead and will annihilate at the time of the manifestation of his presence”. (2Thessalonians 2:7...8)

The Apostle wrote these words around 65 AD, so in his day, the Antichrist that he calls “unknown offender”, was already secretly “at work”, but could not have the chance to take hold until what stopped him was withdrawn, that is, until all the apostles of Christ with their authority over doctrine, were dead. Besides, when Paul says that the Lord would declare him spiritually dead, and that he would destroy him at his return, predicts that the Antichrist would remain active for a very long period.

In harmony with the words of Paul, John wrote: “Dear sons, this is the last hour; and as you heard that the Antichrist must come, many antichrists have already appeared, by this we know that this is the last hour. They came up from us, but they are not of us”, (1John 2:18...19) So the coming of the antichrist is by no means restricted to a short time before Christ’s return, for in the days of the apostles there already were “many Antichrists”, whose only obstacle was the apostolic authority.

Paul calls them “superlative apostles”, (2Corinthians 11:5) and writes to the congregations: “I am afraid may be that as the serpent deceived Eve through his cunning, your thoughts might be led astray from the sincerity and the purity in regard of Christ, because when someone comes and preaches another Jesus of he who we preach, or about receiving a different spirit from the one you received, and accept a different gospel of that you have accepted, you listen willingly”. (2Corinthians 11:3...4)

 

6 The way taught by Jesus to his disciples is simple, they ought to “walk by faith, not by sight”. (2Corinthians 5:7) After the New Covenant, holocaust and temples were no longer needed; honoring God's name only required a deep desire to do His will; and this means to become familiar with His will and purpose, to follow the way of Jesus, and to put faith in His promises and in His redemption through Christ.

But some who considered themselves superior to the apostles in education, wanted to interpret the simple apostolic doctrine through the philosophy and mysticism present in the cults of the nations, disregarding the guide of whom at Pentecost, had received from God His holy spirit, as an acknowledgement of authority and truthfulness.

The death of the apostles made possible the rise of the Antichrist, which Paul calls “the adversary who exalts himself over anything considered divine or object of reverence, and taking seat in a divine place, holds divinity”. (2Thessalonians 2:4)  The apostle had already warned the disciples about his works, saying: “do not be confused ... by statements allegedly inspired or by any letter attributed to us,  which says that the Day of the Lord is imminent ... because it cannot arrive before apostasy before the manifestation of the man of sin, the son of destruction, the adversary...” (2Thessalonians 2:2...3)

After three centuries, the Antichrist or Apostasy had taken seat in a divine place, and the apostolic teaching had been obscured and adulterated by the concepts espoused in Christianity. So when John wrote: “this is the last hour”, it really was the last hour for the genuine Christian congregation, which after many persecutions, descended symbolically into Hades or grave. However, Jesus said: “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it”, (Matthew 16:18) because he will raise it up at “the time of the manifestation of his presence”, which as Scripture says, will be preceded by an “Elijah” who “must come to restore all things”. (Matthew 17:11)

 

7 What is the meaning of the word apostasy?

The Greek combined word “ἀπoστασία” (apostasy), comes from “απο”, (apo) meaning “distant, aloof, out of...”, and from “στασις” (stasis) meaning “position or situation”. In the Greek world, this word meant to take distance or to separate.

In a restricted sense, it is used to refer to a change of opinion or belief, in particular, to the rejection or criticism of the own religious doctrine.

The writers of the New Testament identify as apostasy any religious doctrine opposed or strange to Scripture, even when endorsed by tradition. It is therefore clear that the Apostasy or Antichrist integrates all those of whom Paul writes: “The time is coming when they (the Christian disciples) will no longer endure sound teaching, and according to their own desires, will surround themselves with teachers to hear what pleases them. They will no longer listen to the truth and shall turn aside to false stories”. (2Timothy 4:3...4)

 

8 In harmony with these words, we read: “many deceivers have come out to the world, which do not acknowledge publicly that Jesus came in the flesh. This is the Deceiver and the Antichrist”. (2 John 1:7)

In what sense does the Antichrist deny that Jesus came in the flesh?

Here are the philosophical theories concerning the nature or “flesh” of Jesus, sustained by Christendom:

Docetism emerged towards the end of the apostolic age and developed after the death of the apostles. It was a Christological doctrine concerning the nature of Christ. Its name comes from the Greek verb δοκεῖν (dokein), which means “to seem” or “to have an appearance of”, because it claimed that Christ's flesh was pure appearance as that of a specter or a ghost, and held that the suffering and humanity of Jesus were not real but apparent, since he only was God. (Jesus was not human) Among the main docetites were Simon Magus, Basilides, Valentinus and Marcion.

Apollinarianism held that Jesus was not fully human, but he was God. (Jesus was not human)

Nestorianism stated that Jesus was both God and man because he was two beings joined together. (Jesus had two natures at once, so he was not really human)

Bishops Eutyches and Dioscorus, claimed that Jesus was both God and man, but that they made up a single being, and his humanity was absorbed in the divinity. (Jesus had two natures at once, so he was not really human)

Monophysitism (from the Greek μόνος, “monos” or one, and φύσις, “physis” or nature) is the term used in the Catholic theology and in Western historiography, to indicate the type of Christology formulated by the Patriarch of Constantinople Eutyches, who stated that Jesus' human nature was absorbed by the divine, so that he was only present in the divine nature. (Jesus was not really human)

325 The Council of Nicaea established that Jesus was both God and man. (Jesus had two natures at once, so he was not really human)

451 The Council of Chalcedon established that there were two natures in Jesus, one human and one divine, united in one only divine person. (Jesus had two natures at once, so he was not really human)

The Catholic Christology recognizes in the person of Jesus the two natures, human and divine, as defined dogmatically in the Nicene Creed, which is the result of the development of the early ecumenical councils, principally the Council of Chalcedon. They decided that in Jesus, the divine nature and the human nature are united in the one person of the Word, which already existed, therefore, not in a moral-accidental union, but in a physical-substantial (hypostatic union) on the person. (The same theory of the two natures at once, but expressed in a more ambiguous and complicated way. It really denies that Jesus was a man like his brethren, because no man has two natures.)

This is the Christology currently accepted by the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and many Protestant churches.

 

Chapter 3

The man Jesus Christ

 

9 The much controverted philosophical theories adopted by Christendom in the course of the four centuries that followed the death of the apostles, misrepresented the true nature of God's mediator, depriving of sense the value of his redemption.

But which was the apostolic teaching about the nature of Jesus?

Paul writes: “For God, there is only one mediator between Him and mankind, the man Jesus Christ, who at the established time, gave himself as a ransom for all”. (1Timothy 2: 5...6) Jesus “is not in care of angels but of the progeny of Abraham, for this reason he had to be like his brothers in all aspects, to become a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, and able to expiate the sins of the people. And precisely because he suffered in person and was put to trial, he is qualified to help those who are being tried”. (Hebrews 2:16...18)

Another important fact is that Jesus was born as a Jew, and therefore was circumcised and bound to obey the Law given to Moses, that remained in force until the New Covenant. He himself declared: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Verily I say to you: until heaven and earth shall pass away, not even an iota (the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet) or a bit of the Law shall pass away till all be fulfilled”. (Matthew 5:17...18) Now, according to the Law of Israel, any person fallen under slavery could be legally redeemed by a man belonging to his same family, a brother or a relative, but nobody else had the right to do it. This means that in order to redeem the human family from slavery to sin and death, the nature of Jesus could only be one, human, because if he had not been born as a man like his brothers in all aspects except for sin, the law that he must comply to the smallest letter, would not have granted him this opportunity.

Paul says: “We do not have a high priest who cannot understand our weaknesses, on the contrary, because apart from sin, he found himself in our same condition”, (Hebrews 4:15) and “in the days of his life as a man, he offered prayers and supplications, invoking intensely with tears Him who could save him from the power of death, and was heard because of his respectful fear of God, for though he was a son, he learned obedience by the things he suffered, and having been made perfect, he became the agent of eternal salvation for all who obey him”. (Hebrews 5:79) Because “as through the transgression of one man, many were made ​​sinners, through the obedience of one man, also manycould be made ​​righteous”. (Romans 5:19)

 

10 However, Jesus said to some Pharisees who wanted to discredit him: “truthfully, truthfully I say to you: before Abraham came to be, I was”. (John 8:58)

What does this mean?

His words confirm that before he voluntarily gave up his life, and this means his divine nature, to be born on Earth, he was known as the Firstborn of the divine sons of God, and as his spokesman or Word, as a correct translation of the words beginning John’s Gospel, assert: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (ho theos) and the Word was divine (theos)”. (John 1:1) This is the only true and proper translation of the words of John, because when the Greek word “theos” is not preceded by the definite article “ho”, the meaning is not God but divine, and Scripture applies it to the angels and even to the judges of Israel, because of their responsibility to judge Israel through the Law that God gave to Moses.

The accuracy of this translation is further confirmed with these words of Jesus while praying to God: “Now you, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had at your side before the world came to be”. (John 17:5) It is worth stating that Jesus says: “the glory I had” and not “the glory I have”, because this excludes again the fact that he had two natures at once.

Scripture discloses the personality of God’s Firstborn, when personifying Wisdom, he discloses himself in these words of the book of the Proverbs: “Yahuh created me as the first fruit of his way, before his most remote works. I was established from aforetime, from the beginning... when He set the heavens, I was there, when on the face of the abyss He outlined a sphere... when He established the foundations of the Earth, then I was an architect at his side… rejoicing for the conditions of His Earth. And my delight was with the sons of man”. (Proverbs 8:22...31)

Paul quotes Psalm 40, assigning to Jesus these prophetic words: “When entering the world, (when Jesus goes to John for baptism, as an acceptance of God’s design for him) Christ says: «You were not pleased with sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared for me a body. You did not accept burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin; then I said: Look! I come, in the scroll of the book it is written about me, to accomplish, oh my God, your will»”. (Hebrews 10:5...7) The will of God was to redeem mankind from sin and death, and only a man as any other in all aspects but sin, like the first man was until he committed transgression, was qualified to carry out His purpose.

 

Chapter 4

The invisible presence of Christ

 

11 What can we say of those who assert that the return of Christ was announced by the First World War of 1914, and that Christ rules on Earth since then but his presence is invisible,?

In 2009, the defenders of this statement distributed pamphlets that said:

Lasting Peace and Happiness Just Ahead!”

“Besides wars, from 1914 onward, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, and violence have escalated to an unprecedented degree worldwide. Sadly, in spite of advanced science and technology, mankind is totally helpless when it comes to solving these difficult problems. All of this proves beyond any doubt that since 1914, the sign Jesus gave regarding the time of the end is right before our eyes. Jesus Christ has begun ruling in the invisible heavens. The world has entered its time of the end!

It is important to bear in mind these words of Paul for the disciples of Christ: “learn from us the principle of not going beyond what is written, so that no one feels superior to others”, (1 Corinthians 4:6) and pay heed to Jesus' warning: “Take heed that you be not deceived...” (Luke 21:8) “If someone then says to you: «Look, the Christ is here or he is there!» do not believe it, because there shall arise false anointed (Greek: christos) and false prophets, who shall show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elected. Behold, I have foretold it! Therefore, if they say to you: «He is in the desert» (a distant or hidden presence), do not go out; «He is in the inner rooms» (a concealed or invisible presence), do not believe it. For as the lightning that comes from the east, shines to the west, so shall also be the coming of the Son of man”. (Matthew 24:23...27)

 

Wars and Conflicts

 

12 Could a great war be a sign of Christ's return?

The world has undergone several major wars and conflicts since the words of Jesus, but some dare to say that before 1914, “the world enjoyed of peace and of general security”, forgetting the wars, some of significant consequences and with millions of victims, which reduced the population of their time in an even larger percentage than the modern world wars, and together with the great epidemics, eradicated more than half of the European inhabitants, and entire populations in Asia and Africa.

The fact is that the terms used by Luke when referring to wars, do not exclude at all the world wars, as some pretend, because the Greek terms “πολέμους, (polemous)” and “ἀκαταστασίας, (akatastasias)” are applied to all wars and conflicts, independently of their length, of the number of victims and nations involved in them, and because of this, the Great War of 1914 cannot be prophetically significant.

This is a brief report of some major conflicts since 1000 CE:

 

♦ The Hundred Years War, (1337-1453) was essentially a power struggle between the kingdoms of France and England, even if it involved other nations. France began the conquest of the British territories on French soil, and the battles went on for 116 years. Slowly, the French armies conquered the British possessions, the last ones were the territories of Normandy in 1450, and of Aquitaine in 1453. This year has been considered the end of the war although no treaty was signed. The estimated number of deaths caused by the war was 3,500,000, an enormous havoc if we consider the European population at the time.

 

♦ The Thirty Years War was a series of armed conflicts that devastated the European continent since 1618 to 1648. The fighting began in the central territories of the Holy Roman German Empire, and later involved many European countries. Thus, during the second half of this period, the war spread to France, to the Netherlands, to northern Italy and to Catalonia in northern Spain. This war was one of the most destructive conflicts in the European history until then, with more than 4,000,000 deaths.

 

♦ The War of the Spanish Succession was an international conflict fought between 1701 and 1713, when the treaty of Utrecht was signed. It was originated by the death without descendants, of King Charles II of Spain, the last representative of the House of Habsburg. The succession to the throne confronted France, Bavaria and its prince Maximilian Emanuel II, and the Archbishop of Cologne, with England, Austria and some other states of the Holy Roman Germanic Empire, united in the so-called Grand Alliance or Imperial Alliance. In Spain the war developed into a civil war that lasted until 1714; its main result was the introduction of the House of Bourbon, with King Philip V. The estimated number of combatants who died in the confrontation is of 1,251,000.

 

♦ The Seven Years War was a conflict in the years 1756 to 1763, which involved the major European powers of the time, including Great Britain, Prussia, France, Austria and the Russian Empire. Winston Churchill defined this war as the true “first world war”, as it was the first conflict that not only was fought on European soil, but also in every place where the European countries had colonial possessions. The number of combatants that died was estimated in 1,358,000.

 

♦ The American War of Independence was also called “American Revolution”, and confronted between 1775 and 1783, the thirteen American colonies that subsequently formed the United States of America, with the Kingdom of Great Britain. During this war, the European powers fought on different fronts and the conflict spread to the West Indies, India and the European countries. France, Spain and the Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands, were in favor of the rebels, while Hessen and Hanover favored England. The death toll in the conflict was about 620,000 men.

 

♦ The French Revolution in 1788 to 1799 was a period of utter convulsion, social, political and cultural, which resulted in a death toll ranging from 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 people. Its main and most immediate consequences triggered a change of scene in the history of the Western world.

 

♦ The Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) constitute a set of conflicts in the period of the rise, rule and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. These wars confronted France with several nations and coalitions of European states. The number of combatants and civilians, who died because of these wars, has been estimated in 9,746,400.

 

♦ The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861 and ended on April 9, 1865. It was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America, a political entity resulting from the confederate union of the secessionist states. The estimated number of victims in the four years of war was of 617,528.

 

♦ The War of the Triple Alliance (1865-1870), also known as the Paraguayan War, was a conflict between Paraguay and three allied nations, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. This war was the bloodiest conflict in the history of Latin America. The death toll was at least of 1.100.000 people.

 

♦ The First World War, also called the Great War and the War of the Trenches, was the largest conflict fought until then and distressed the world between July 28, 1914 and November 11, 1918. Twenty-eight nations participated in it, confronting in two large coalitions: the Allied Powers of Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the U.S., and the Central Empires of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. The estimated number of deaths was 26 million people.

 

♦ The Russian Revolution was the result of a series of social, economic and political events, which gave the Bolsheviks the rise to power. Between 1917 and 1959, the first forty-two years of Communist rule, the human losses caused by the repression, the deportation to death camps, the forced labor sentences, the mass shootings and by the food shortages created by the deportation of millions of farmers, are estimated in more than 60 million people.

 

♦ The Second World War (1939-1945) was a conflict that confronted the Axis Powers: Germany, Italy and Japan, with the Allies: France, Britain, the United States and Soviet Union. The total number of victims is estimated at 53,547,000 people.

 

♦ The Chinese Revolution led to a political upheaval that in 1949, brought to power the Communist Party. The revolutionary process began in 1920 and ended almost thirty years later with the defeat of the Nationalists, and the Communists' victory that gave rise to Mao Tse-tung. The balance of the deaths related to the political, religious and intellectual repression exercised during the years of his rule, is estimated in almost 80 million people.

 

Chapter 5

When you see all these things

 

13 According to the words of Jesus, wars between nations would not signal the return of Christ or of the end of this world; in fact, he declared that wars and conflicts “must happen first, but the end is not imminent”, (Luke 21:9) besides, when he spoke to his disciples of the things that would precede his arrival, he did not say that the signs would mean: “he is already here” or “he is invisibly present and already ruling”, as some who consider the Great War as a signal say. He told them this parable: “Now understand this comparison with the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you shall know that he (the Son of man) is near, at the gates. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:3236)

What are all these things that the disciples of Jesus are to see happen at the same time to indicate the closeness of his presence?

Jesus said:

 

“…nation will rise against itself and kingdom against itself…”

 

14   Let us consider Luke’s Gospel, chapter 21, verses 10 and 11.

Interlinear translation:

Literal translation:

Literal translation:

That time, he said to them, nation will be incited against nation and kingdom against kingdom; there will be major natural disasters, and in various places there will be epidemics and famines”. (Luke 21:10…11)

Emphatic translation: “That time, he told them, nation will be raised against itself and kingdom against itself, there will be major natural disasters, and in various places, there will be epidemics and famines”.

But why do we translate “nation against itself and kingdom against itself”?

In Luke, chapter 11, verses 17 and 18, and in Isaiah 19:2, we find a similar statement to support the accuracy of this translation.

Interlinear translation:

Literal translation:

Literal translation:

“Every kingdom against itself divided shall be desolate, and house against house falls down, and if also Satan is divided against himself, how will he maintain standing the kingdom of him?

Emphatic translation:

“Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate and a house against itself falls down; and if also Satan is divided against himself, how will he keep his kingdom stand?

We find another confirmation in one of the prophecies of Isaiah, when he describes the situation on the last days of this world. He says:

Interlinear translation:

Literal translation:

And I set Egypt against Egypt, and they fight each one against brother of him and each one against fellow of him, city against city, kingdom against kingdom”.

Emphatic translation:

And I will set Egypt against itself, and each one will fight against his brother, each one against his companion; town against town, kingdom against itself”.

 

15 Besides, when John sees the second of the four riders who travel over the Earth before the Great Day of God's indignation, he says: “And out came another horse, bright red; to its rider was permitted to take away peace from Earth, so that men should slay one another, and he was given a huge sword”. (Revelation 6:4)

So, the prophetic message of “The revelation that Jesus Christ received from God, to show his servants the things that will happen in rapid succession”, (Revelation 1:1) the prophecy of Jesus on the Mount of Olives and Isaiah's prophecy concerning the end of days, convey a similar message, and even if the prophecy speaks of Egypt, the reference to the “great city symbolically called Sodom and Egypt”, (Isaiah 11:8) in prophetic Scripture, commonly represents the world and its human society.

So Jesus made a difference between the wars and conflicts that would occur over time and a situation of general instability within nations themselves, at the time prior to his arrival. He said to his disciples: “As in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man…” (Luke 17:26) And what was the situation in the days of Noah? “At that time the earth was corrupt before God and filled with violence. God looked at it, and, behold, it was ruined because humanity had corrupted its way. Then God said to Noah: «The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence because of them, and behold, I will destroy them with the earth»”. (Genesis 6:1113)

So the main troubles for nations will not come from foreign aggressions but from inner divisions, political strife, anxiety and restlessness motivated by the general immorality and corruption, will of national disintegration, and a growth of violence and delinquency.

 

Chapter 6

 

16 Jesus went on to say:: “…

σεισµοί τε µεγάλοι καὶ κατὰ τόπους λοιµοὶ καὶ λιµοὶ ἔσονται

“… seismoi te megaloi kai kata topous loimoi kai limoi esontai”,

“… major natural disasters in different places, and famines and epidemics

 

major natural disasters in different places

 

Why translate the term “σεισµοί” (seismoi) as “natural disasters” and not simply as “earthquakes”? The reason is that in the common Greek (Koine) of the writings of the New Testament, this word is applied to any natural disaster, earthquakes, tempests, and other. We find it translated as tempest or storm in Matthew 8:24 were we read:

καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισµὸς µέγας ἐγένετο ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ

kai idou seismos megas egeneto en tęi thalassęi…

and behold, a great tempest broke out at sea…

We often hear of serious natural disasters around the world, and the fact is that over the last decades, the disasters attributed to nature have visibly increased; earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and cyclones are now common news, even in those places where they had never been seen. As many scientists and researchers say, in the recent years these phenomena have been increasing exponentially, both in frequency and destructive power.

The secretary of International Strategy for Disaster Reduction of United Nations, stated on the 2012 report that in the last twenty years, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and avalanches, and extreme temperatures, caused the death of millions. The number of people affected by natural disasters from 1992 to 2011 is: by flooding: 2,437,000; by drought: 1,141,000; by hurricanes: 628,000, by earthquakes: 759,708, by extreme temperatures: 156,770.

Daniel Sarewitz, professor of science and society at Arizona State University, declared: “The world has seen a marked increase of these natural disasters, from about 100 a year in the 60s, to about 500 per year in the early 2000s”. And Omar Dario Cardona, professor at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and Director of the Center for the Study of Disasters, said to the BBC in answer to the question of whether in the future could be expected an increase in natural disasters: “We do not only expect an increase in the phenomena that cause natural disasters, but also an increase in their frequency”.

 

...and famines

 

17 Among the population of the world, one person out of eight suffers from hunger. This is what FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) says on the world hunger report “SOFI 2012, of the Agency State of Food Insecurity in the World, written by the WFP (World Food Program) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). This report shows that worldwide, the number of undernourished people is 870 million and that 200 million children under five suffer from malnutrition, a situation responsible for one death in every three children.

According to the United Nations, thirty-six million people die of hunger every year, and this means 100,000 per day or nearly one per second. The director of the WFP representation in Geneva said at the seminar “Fighting Hunger Together”: «Hunger kills more people each year than the virus that transmit AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis».

In 2011, the FAO report of the Brazilian Agency of FAO and WFP, informs the international community about the alarming and dramatic conditions of the hunger in the world, conditions that have worsened with the rising of food prices, which increase with the aggravation of the international economic crisis, and with the annual population growth of nearly eighty million new mouths to feed.

Besides, the frequent and unpredictable meteorological phenomena caused by global warming and climate changes, devastate in the agricultural regions, the crops vital to the world.

According to the briefing note of the World Food Day, Tele Food 2011, “Between 2005 and 2008, the world prices of basic foods have reached the highest level of the past 30 years. In the last eighteen months of the period, the price of corn has risen 74%, while the price of rice has almost tripled through a combined increase, in a 166%”. The book of Revelation says: “...a voice among the four living creatures said: «A measure of wheat for a denarius and three measures of barley for one denarius...»”. (Revelation 6:6) These words indicate that in the described period, a small amount of basic food will cost the equivalent of a day's wage, which at that time was one denary.

 

... and epidemics ...

 

18 The word “epidemic” (from επί-δήμος: epi-demos, that literally means “against the people”), is used to describe a disease that infects a large number of people. In public health, this term defines all infectious diseases that affect a community, producing more cases than those considered as “normal”.

Despite the great advances in medicine, the fact is that infectious diseases like AIDS or malaria, as well as tuberculosis, which was thought to be practically eradicated, are the cause of countless deaths in all places on Earth. Besides, the diseases associated to allergies and autoimmunity are also growing rapidly, and so does cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The WHO (World Health Organization) reports a considerable increase in mental and neurological problems, which affect about 450 million people. In fact, neurological problems and chronic diseases have created an emergency in the global health system.

Professor Alexander Tomasz of Rockefeller University in New York, stated after collecting a large amount of data, that we are on the threshold of the post-antibiotic era, in which diseases considered unimportant today, could become lethal. He stated that many scientists predict for the coming years “a true and proper medical health catastrophe”. The resistance to antibiotics developed by infectious diseases in recent years has assumed a great importance, and the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Control) argues that this fact represents the greatest threat of the future.

All these things are in harmony with the words of the prophecy of Jesus to his disciples, and with the revelation received by John, who writes: “and a pale horse appeared. It's rider's name was «Death» and «Hades» was following close. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, deadly plague, and wild beasts of the earth”. (Revelation 6:8)

 

Chapter 6  

 

19 When Jesus speaks of the signs to precede his arrival, recalls a prophecy of Daniel that through prophesied historical events (see the article Daniel and Times of the Nations), sets the time of the cleansing of the Sanctuary or Heavens. (Revelation 12:79 y 12)  A correct interpretation of these events provides the possibility of a more or less approximate calculation of this future event, which does not seem too distant. If it is so, many of the things that we actually see, could be indicating that also Christ “is near, at the doors”, however, it is important to remember that calculations and speculations on the precise time of his arrival, are useless, for as Paul says: “You know very well that the day of Yahuh comes like a thief in the night”. (1Thessalonians 5:2)

Jesus, after repeatedly warning his disciples that they would not know the moment of his arrival, told them: “it is not for you to know the moment that according to his authority, the Father has established”, (Acts 1:7) but “stay very attentive that your hearts are not dulled by feasting, by drunkenness and by the anxieties of this life, and that day comes upon you suddenly, like a trap, because it will befall on all those who inhabit the face of the whole Earth. Watch and pray at all times, that you may have the strength to escape all that must happen, and stand before the Son of man”. (Luke 21:34...36)

 

20 When the time for the end arrives, will someone still stay alive? Jesus answered to this question when he said: “Then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor will ever be again. If those days were not shortened, no one would be saved, but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened”. (Matthew 24:21...22)

So the end of this world will not come as the result of a nuclear war but of a great tribulation that includes, not Armageddon, which is only the name of a place, but “the war of the great Day of the Almighty God”, (Revelation 16:14...16) and this war will not destroy the Earth and will not mean the end of all mankind.

John writes that after this, all the princes of heaven will bow down before God, and paying Him tribute, they will say: “We thank you Yahuh, God Almighty who is and who was, because exercising your great power, you have established your kingdom. The nations became irate, but your indignation arrived, and the time to judge the dead, to give reward to your servants the prophets and the saints, and to those modest or powerful that show respect for your name, and of destroying those who are destroying the Earth”. (Revelation 11:16...18)

 

21 Since ancient times, God announced time after time through His prophets, His purpose for Earth and for mankind,. Many of them described an Earth where peace would reign, and on which the righteous would dwell; an Earth from were those who choose evil and injustice, would be removed and destroyed forever.

Prophet Isaiah recorded these words from God: “Behold, I am setting up new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come up to the heart”. (Isaiah 65:17) In keeping with these words, in the book of the revelation to John, he writes: “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: «Behold, the Temple of God is with mankind and shall stay with them for they shall be his people. God himself will intervene on their behalf and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, death shall be no more, nor mourning or crying or pain, because the former things passed away». And he who sat upon the throne, said: «Behold, I make all things new»; and went on to say: «Write, for these words are trustworthy and true»”. (Revelation 21:3...5)

King David, who was also prophet, writes: “Yahuh loves justice and will not forsake His faithful; they will be protected forever and He will eradicate the seed of the impious. The righteous shall inherit Earth and dwell forever on it... Trust Yahúh and follow His way, then He will lift you up to inherit Earth, and you will see when He destroys the ungodly”. (Psalm 37:28...29 and 34) and Solomon wrote: “Righteous men shall dwell on Earth, men of integrity will remain in it, but the impious shall be cut off and disloyal men will be eradicated from it”; (Proverbs 2:21...22)

And Jesus declared to the multitude that followed him: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the Earth in heritage”. (Matthew 5:4)