Doomsday cults, and doomsday predictors are everywhere. Some are Christian, but the end of the world is a big thing in most religions. The tradition in Islam is that Jesus will return and rule the world, and the teachings of the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are built around preparing for the end. Secular scientists have a Doomsday Clock, and climate change activists have their warnings about the end and our extinction.
- RELATED: The Doomsday Clock
It seems like we all believe, and that makes us targets for cult groups that can manipulate us and ruin our lives. One group from Korea recently moved to Fiji to escape the coming apocalypse and the leaders are accused of abusing their followers.
Note that the Korean group, like most doomsdayers, are concerned about en eco-apocalypse. They were hiding in Fiji, from a coming famine.
I have a serious warning for you: we all believe and we are all uninformed, and that makes us easy targets for abusers. The young Korean woman in the news story probably never imagined that she would be running down a road in Fiji, in her pyjamas. Belief without information is the breeding ground for abusive cults.
So how can we protect ourselves? We can learn; if we are informed, we can’t be fooled. That is why I recommend reading the book of Revelation. People everywhere are fed warnings about the future, by experts who know. You should listen to them as an expert who also knows. We have been told this for two thousand years: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
So let’s read.
The first six chapters of Revelation are familiar. Seven Christian churches are addressed and warned, and then seven seals are broken on a scroll, signalling the world spiralling out of control in warfare. Those two are easy to believe; that’s what we see in human history. For me, that is the main point of the apocalypse. Normal human behavior will go too far, and we won’t be able to fix the mess that we have made. There are no weird stories at the level of unicorns leaping through rainbows. There will just be us, doing what we always do.
The action in the plot is built around series of seven, the seven churches of Asia, the seven seals, the seven angels with trumpets, and the seven bowls of God’s wrath. There is also a secret series between the angels and the bowls, the seven thunders and we are not allowed to know their message. “The voices of the seven thunders spoke. And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”” (10: 3 and 4) Something big is going to happen, and we can’t know what it is.
Each series of seven is preceded by some preparation, which to me is almost like stage hands getting the props ready for the next scene in a play. I have already written about the churches and the seven seals, and the action pauses after that with a picture of God sealing, or saving, or comforting the people who follow him. Something terrible is coming to the Earth, the eco-apocalypse.
[Read Revelation chapter 7.]
The next series of seven are triggered by seven angels. Each angel steps forward in turn, to blow a trumpet, which triggers each event. Before the first angel blows a trumpet, a different angel throws a censer onto the Earth. That signals the beginning of God struggling against humanity, and permitting natural disasters, the eco-apocalypse.
For example: “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. (8: 8 and 9)” and “A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” (8: 11) and “a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” (8: 12)
Tell that to Greenpeace.
[Read Revelation chapters 8 and 9.]
In the end, it looks like God is wrestling with the human race, trying to convince us to change our ways.
The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. (9: 20 and 21)
Did you know, the book of Revelation is easy to read, and it makes sense when we compare it to human experience? From chapter 1 to the end of chapter 9, and atheist could agree with the Bible book of Revelation. The book only says what everyone is saying; we will bring destruction on ourselves.
What follows after chapter 9 is God’s intervention in this world. If you are looking for the Anti-Christ and 666, that follows the seven angels with trumpets. If I am able, I will write about some of those chapters soon.
If you read the book of Revelation as a book, it is easy to see that we don’t need to be afraid of God, we need to be rescued by God. We are the problem.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29: 11 to 13)
More in this series:
- Apocalypse 1: The boring part
- Apocalypse 2: Really, It’s their Fault
- Apocalypse 3: The Eco-Apocalypse
- Apocalypse 4: The Atheist Wars
- Apocalypse 5: The Final Occupation