Mayan, Mahdi or Messianic - Don't Ask the History Channel by Rev Michael Bresciani, April 1, 2010
Television is inundated with dark portents of the planet's future. In a sweeping smorgasbord of choices we are warned of asteroids, nuclear war, worldwide epidemics and a Pandora's Box of wild possibilities about the end of the world. Confused yet? Is judgment day an equal opportunity employer?
Beware the hype of TV's offerings of major disaster gobbledygook and the list of secret organizations that are furtively seeking the subliminal subjugation of all the poor unsuspecting souls of the earth. Which is it, the Illuminati, the Masons, the Rothschild's or the neighborhood bowling league; who should we watch more carefully?
Starting with the secret organizations already mentioned do we think that the fate of six billion people will be decided by a few people clandestinely meeting under the banner of secret symbols, ancient knowledge and a nefarious hidden agenda? This is where we might want to come down out of the clouds generated by the television world of exasperated exaggeration and take a gander at the voluminous warnings of the scripture.
Judgment in all of its detail and description comes to the planet not for what is done in the meetings of secret organizations but rather for what is done in the worldwide public arena. In ancient times God could raise up neighboring nations and use them as a sort of whip to chastise those who had passed over the mark. In the last days when the aspirations of ancient Nimrod are again revisited and finally succeed in a one world government God has run out of whips. He enters into judgment himself.
In the Apostle Paul's long list of behaviors that will be prevalent just before judgment falls he doesn't mention secret organizations but rather he provides a list of personal sins that belong to everyman in those times. The greatest seems to be that men give up faith in God and simply become lovers of "their own selves." (2Tim 3:1f) They are the generation that fulfills Solomon's prediction that there would be "a generation that is pure in their own eyes." (Pr 30:12)
The prophet Daniel warned that in the approach to the last days man would see an exponential increase in knowledge, he made no promise that wisdom would parallel that increase. If wisdom is the ability to successfully apply what knowledge we have regardless of how much we possessed then it is easier to understand Paul's addition to the subject spoken almost 800 years later. He said man would be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2Ti 3:7)
Horace Mann said that man could avoid all the pitfalls of falsehood by just getting a better education. Paul said the one thing man could not avoid is the pitfall of pride. If a little knowledge goes a long way then we can see how our scientific discoveries have brought us to the place we have decided that omniscience belongs to man rather than God. When Paul said "the foolishness of God is wiser than men" (1Co 1:25) he was not inferring that God and man were in a contest but only that God's omniscience lacked the one element that man cannot dispense with for trying: pride. Thus Paul concluded that "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." (1Co 8:1) Love, Paul said, is far superior to knowledge, but in the last days even that would come at a premium according to Christ. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Mt 24:12)
In the face of thousands of new discoveries that support intelligent design and in the blaring and continued absence of the untold millions of missing links to prove inter species evolution, we still insist that we are the progeny of apes and monkeys. Could it be that there is a little pride involved here? When the founders of modern education told us to question all authority did they forget to include themselves? Evolution is the crown jewel of modernity's system of education and knowledge but so far all it has served to prove is that pride still rules in the hearts of men; real evidence and real knowledge notwithstanding.
So the picture of the last days is one of increased knowledge, decreased love and a time of immorality unprecedented in the in the entire course of human history. This is what precipitates judgment, intervention and the final consummation of the will of God. A few people gathered in dingy halls adorned with walls full of secret symbols will decide nothing.
One often overlooked but very important theology might be called the judgment before the final judgment. It is summarized in this passage penned by Paul. "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." (Ro 1:28)
Reprobation is fundamentally simple. It is the inability to discern between what is actually good or evil. It is the mushy middle ground where all that can be accomplished is judging between the lesser of two evils. It is what makes us think that it is OK to expose elementary grade students to the gay agenda at the same time we gather to protest Ronald McDonald's influence on the obesity of children. It is what makes clowns of us all. It is the very definition of the word, lost. Being "given over" as Paul says is a place where recovery is next to impossible. It is an inner light that has finally burned out.
What about the Mahdi will he appear alongside Christ in the Parousia or second coming? Should we worry about the obscure Muslim belief that half of Islam disregards and is not mentioned once in the Koran? That can be answered by the fact that there are no co-redemptive's appearing at the second advent along with Christ. He alone comes in victory to subdue a world that has begun the worship of man (the antichrist) and he alone leads in the battle of Armageddon.
He alone will deal with the hordes of armies gathered 55 miles north of Jerusalem in the Valley of Jezreel. He alone will set his feet on the Mount of Olives from where he ascended.
Unlike the long list of despots, dictators, religious figures and wannabes before him he alone is chosen to appear in victory because of something he accomplished completely alone many years before. He alone spoke the words of life, he alone died for the sins of the world and he alone conquered death and the grave. In the final day he also stands alone as "the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." (Rev 19:16)
What about the Mayans and the new interest in the Mayan calendar that assigns a date in December of 2012 to the end of the world? First, the bible clearly tells us that the return of Christ is not the end of the world. After removing the antichrist he will take over the rule of the entire earth and will continue to rule for a full one thousand years. (Rev 20:6)
Secondly Christ strictly warned that no man would know the day or the hour of his return. (Mt. 24:36) If the second coming does fall in or around that date it will be a matter of pure coincidence and nothing more. Even at that it is hard to deny that after weighing all the signs and fulfilled prophecies of our day it does seem that the period known as the tribulation looks like it may begin just about that time.
That period will be preceded with a relative calm in the world as the nations rejoice over the man they think is going to lead them to a wonderful utopian world of brotherhood and prosperity. Halfway through that seven year long period he will show his true colors and begin the systematic destruction of Christians and Jews. He will bring down direct intervention from God and cities will be flattened, mountains moved and death will ensue on a scale never imagined by anyone. We are talking about billions not millions of deaths and no one will dare say it is Mother Nature gone wild.
Most of these portents are seen in the book of Revelation but about one quarter of the entire bible is on the subject of Christ' return and final rule. Oddly, the book of Revelation is the only book in the Bible that comes with a strict warning. It says that to add anything or take anything out of it will lead to a serious judgment for anyone doing so. (Rev 22:18)
In conclusion should we be bothered with Mayan calendars, the Mahdi, meteors and asteroids or should we acquaint ourselves with the promises, and full descriptive of the last day's events as spoken to us by the one who conquered death? I will let him answer that for himself.
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev 22:16, 17)
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