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Introduction

So, what is going to happen in the future?

This web site is about things that have happened already, not things to come. But to understand the prophecies of the past, it helps to distinguish them from the prophecies of the future. I will only discuss those points that are most clear and plain. I do not wish to risk being a false prophet!


The Second Coming of Jesus

The most important event is the Second Coming of the Lord - it's all explained in Revelation chapter 19, right after the fall of Babylon. Jesus himself made it very clear that no-one knows the day or hour of his coming, so all we know is it will be unexpected. He also made it clear that no-one will need to create a web site to announce his coming - it will be obvious to everyone who lives on earth. It will pretty much signal the end of the world as we know it. This is the main event. When it happens you and I had better be ready - it will be too late to repent.

Is this rational?

Some people like to scoff at the idea of a literal Second Coming, with all the signs described in Revelation. But it's quite believable if we remember three things:

The triumph of the saints

The first of the great "whole of world history" prophecies (Daniel chapter 2) ends with the kingdom of God filling the world. Lest we should misunderstand what this means, the next of the great prophecies (Daniel 7) gets more specific. The vision of the last days is ends with the horns of the last beast (i.e. modern kingdoms) being judged. The vision concludes with verse 27:

"the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

What is "the people of the saints of the most High" ? Well the most High is God, or Jesus Christ. "The people" who worship Jesus could also be translated "the congregation" or "the church". Since this prophecy did not apply to the church for most of its existence (it was promised just trials and hardships), we should really add "the church in the latter part of its existence". So the prophecy could be translated as follows:

"the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the church of saints of Jesus Christ in the latter days"

Does that church name sound familiar? But this should not be any cause for pride or conceit to members of that church. Quite the opposite. Jesus made it clear that the meek shall inherit the earth - simple church membership is only part of it.


The year 2000 and beyond

No-one knows the time of the Lord's Second Coming, but Revelation does give an indication of the date for the major event preceding it - the opening of the seventh seal. As noted elsewhere, the simplest explanation of the seals is that each seal represents a thousand years of history from a Biblical viewpoint. The simplest Biblical chronology puts the fall of Adam at about 4000 BC, so the opening of the seventh seal is around the year 2000. However, it is also possible that the seven seals are all in John's future, in which case we are just approaching seal three, and have another 3000 years to go. See Joseph Smith's commentary for details. So is the Second Coming within a few years or thousands of years away? The safest course of action is to assume that it is tomorrow and act accordingly (Revelation 22:20).

Note that the ancient Maya, who were obsessed with calendars, calculated that the world would end in December 23rd, 2012 (source: a Time-Life video, "Maya - the blood of kings"). Remember that their ancestors had access to Christian revelation that we no longer possess, although that does not mean that errors did not creep in over the centuries...

The world is not going to end in the year 2000!

If you are reading this after the year 2000, you will know this already. This deserves repeating. Even if everything on this page is right (and it might not be), the opening of the "seventh seal" could be decades - or even centuries - after the year 2000. The Church of Jesus Christ is not a doomsday cult!


The significance of 4000 BC

To understand the end, it helps to understand the beginning. If the Bible was right with one, it is more likely to be right with the other. In addition, the dates may be linked.

The importance of AD 2000 depends on a date of 4000 BC for the Fall of Adam. Archbishop Ussher famously calculated it at 4004 BC, and that date has been printed in many Bibles for centuries.This depends on a couple of assumptions about internal Bible dating. Some Bible translations put the Fall of Adam at a couple of hundred years later than that.

The fact is, we do not know the precise year of the Fall of Adam. All we can do is go for the simplest explanation. Since almost the entire world now follows the common calendar beginning at the birth of Christ, the simplest solution is to think of round numbers - 4000 years before Christ, and 2000 years after. That is why I go for AD 2000 as the opening of the seventh seal. A new revelation on the subject could of course change everything. I am not claiming to be a prophet, I am just making some observations.

Adam and Eve? Am I serious?

Absolutely. See the page on the fall of Adam for details.


Back to the plot: what will happen in the future?

As noted when we looked at the book of Revelation, the opening of the seventh seal involves seven plagues. These are described in Revelation chapters 8, 9 and 11, and again in chapter 16.

  1. Hail, fire and blood, burning up vegetation. Also described as a terrible sore upon those who have the mark of the beast. This is the only plague where the "trumpet" description is not the same as the "vials" description. Possibly this gives a clue to what it means - I like to think it refers to some environmental disaster(s) that causes economic collapse, but that is just a guess.
  2. A plague on the sea ("As it were" a burning mountain falling into it), destroying marine life and shipping.
  3. A plague on rivers, springs, and drinking water, caused by a falling star called "Wormwood" - perhaps simply meaning "bitter". The angels indicate that this is especially a plague on those who killed the saints.
  4. Sun, moon and stars partially darkened; men scorched with the sun.
  5. A star falls from heaven and opens the bottomless pit (sounds to me like just a memorable way of saying "Satan is let loose", but that is only my opinion). This hits at the heart of the beast's empire and especially hurts his followers. There is smoke and locusts. In Nahum 3:17, corrupt rulers (of Nineveh, a city much like Babylon) are described as locusts. If this holds, it would explain why they only hurt the followers of the beast, and not the earth in general. The description of the locusts suggests (to my limited mind at least) modern war machines.
  6. The battle of Armageddon. It involves vast numbers of people, takes place in the Middle East, and is inspired by the beast and the second beast. This is apparently the time that the two apostles preach in Jerusalem.
  7. Finally, thunder, lightnings, earthquakes, a great hailstorm, and the final end of Babylon. It is too late to repent. It is the end of the world as we know it. The plagues are over. The Second Coming is here.



What does this mean?

Theory 1: something entirely unexpected?

Again I must say, I am not the prophet for the world. Any interpretation I offer is simply how it looks to me. One explanation is that these prophecies will all be fulfilled in a very short time (a few months?) in some unexpected and dramatic way. But there are other possibilities...

Note that these speculations are coloured by the previous conclusions that the beast is the political system inherited from Rome (which does not care about the world), and Babylon is the cities within that system (which love money more than anything).

Theory 2: economic collapse?

It is possible to see the seven last plagues as a natural climax to processes we already see about us. They might refer to the collapse of the global economic system. It starts with failed harvests (plague 1 on vegetation). This leads to massive loss of financial confidence, riots, etc., and global trade breaking down (plague 2: over fishing, piracy, chaos for shipping). It continues to a breakdown in basic services (plague 3: the drinking water). This leads to riots and destruction (plague 4: smoke obscuring the sky), and this leads to wars around the world (plague 5), culminating in a war that John calls "Armageddon" (plague 6).

Theory 3: environmental degradation?

The seven last plagues might refer to environmental destruction. First John notes the general destruction of the biosphere (plague 1), then rising sea levels and the chaos that causes (plague 2), then pollution of drinking water (plague 3) and the hole in the ozone layer and general smoke, light pollution, etc. Remember that John is looking from the point of view of the ancient world, where so much that we take for granted (separation from the natural world, street lights obscuring the stars, etc.) would seem incredible. Once again, this can only lead to wars.

Theory 4: something worse?

There is one more theory that I will leave for last of all. It could be that the worst plagues in Revelation describe something that has happened many times before - but never in human history. We could not survive it without divine help.

Why are these plagues said to be most damaging to the followers of the beast?

If these plagues refer to global economic collapse, it will affect everyone. Or will it?

There is a church that teaches its members to store enough food for a year or two. There is a church that teaches that eventually it will issue a call to physically gather to one place geographically for safety. There is a church that has the world's largest non-governmental welfare system - it members know how to look after each-other when everything else fails. Members of that church will be largely able to ride out any crisis. But the rest of us? Revelation seems to says that the people who rely on the beast (the Roman-inspired system) will be most badly hurt. Is this is talking about you?

Let us hope that everyone always retains faith and confidence in the global stock markets. Let us hope that man's rape of the planet can continue forever with no disastrous effects. But what if...? Do you have a backup plan? I am not calling for people to store weapons (probably a bad idea), or to expect the imminent collapse of global society. But what if...?


More revelation

It's time to begin wrapping up this web site. It's time to get to the point. We have seen that Daniel gave us a general overview of all the main events in history from his time until the end. We have seen that Revelation, a few hundred years nearer to the end, gave us more detail about the principle issues. But now a further two thousand years have passed. We are nearer the end than ever before. Every indication is that we are within a single lifetime of the end of the world. Surely God would not leave us to guess - now of all times? Surely God would have provided another prophet, in this most important of all eras of world history, to give us more specific detail?

Well, the good news is that he has.



the bottom line

Out of the church, the future is uncertain. In the church, the future is good!

 

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