"I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea.
The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the earth,"
declares the LORD."
(Zephaniah 1:2, 3)
of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive,
but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
(Matthew 24:21, 22)
1. The predictions of the end
The subject of the end of the world, which means the demise of the familiar world (the death of civilization, the destruction of the human species) for many years hasn’t come down from the pages of books, magazines, newspapers, cinema and TV screens, and currently also from the web pages of different forums. Over the past two centuries, astrologers, fortune teller, scientists and religious people predicted a large number of dates of the end of the world, the most famous of them are: 1833 and 1844, also the years 1900, 1914, 1943, 1988, and 1999-2001.
The theme of the destruction of mankind became especially popular in the twentieth century - the most militaristic century, which witnessed two world wars and when were invented nuclear weapons of mass destruction: the atomic and hydrogen bombs. Apparently, these circumstances, as well as close to the change of centuries, were caused by numerous predictions of doom, which will come in year 2 000 (version 2001). Or, in August 1999 when, according to the prophecies of Nostradamus, "come down from heaven, the mighty and the great King of terror ...". All the predictions haven’t come true again, which absolutely didn’t embarrass the predictors, who now already heralded some new dates.
In the twenty-first century, there was not even one year, without someone to predict the death of all things on earth. Today, 21 June 2008 has already passed, the nearest date of the end predicted on 21 December 2012. Total up to year 2020, according to various sources, there are expected no less than 12 (!) endings of the world. By believing the false prophet, some people live in a constant fear, waiting for the doomsday from minute to minute. Some even hide in underground shelters for a long time, as it was in Russia in 2008 in the village of Nikolskoye (so-called "Penza hermits").
You can laugh at these fears; you can shrug off the feeling of impending catastrophe, but better is ... to think. It is wiser to reflect over these three eschatological questions:
1) Will there be the end of the world?
2) If there will be, how will it happen?
3) If it will happen, then when?
2. Will there be the end of the world?
On this question all the "experts" who guess the future, from amateurs to professionals, all together reply: "Yes". After what, each unfolds a scenario loss of humanity. From such phantasmagoric as the invasion of aliens; unlikable, as the offset of the center of gravity of the Earth, the explosion of the Sun, a bad science experiment, to quite possible, for example, the changing’s in the Earth's magnetic poles or thermonuclear World War.
To the same question “whether there will be the end of the world?” many scientists, as strange as it is, also give an affirmative answer. Analyzing the current trends of development of society, they come to a sad conclusion: in the near future inhabitants of Earth will become extinct as a result of ecological disaster. Because of the negative results of human activity:
1) pollution (air, water, soil), toxic waste production;
2) destruction of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, which protects all life from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun;
3) carbon dioxide emissions and the increasing of the temperature of the troposphere (the so-called "Greenhouse effect"), that leads to melting of polar ice and other irreversible adverse climatic changes, including the established habitual movements of air masses and ocean currents.
The danger of climate change can be compared with the threat of global thermonuclear war. Climatologists believe: "Three to four decades climate change could destroy the ecological systems which are vital for people. In a worst-case scenario, which is called "Everything as usual", the environmental end of the world will happen by the year 2050.
Other scientists, advocates of the theory of catastrophes in the geological history of the Earth (proposed by Cuvier in 1812), believe that humanity will not become extinct gradually, due to the deterioration of the parameters of the habitat and depletion of natural resources, but will be destroyed very quickly, as a result of the next global Catastrophe. They claim that there already were from 3 to 7 of such tragic events, each of which killed from 20% to 95% of flora and fauna.
The cause of global catastrophes - some scholars see in the collision of our planet with large cosmic bodies, others - in supernova explosions or volcano, in the flood, in the changing’s of the Earth's magnetosphere, etc. People who are not scientists, but who have a philosophical turn of mind, made a reasonable observation: If there was the beginning of the world, there also will be an end.
3. How will it happen?
If we discard the fantastic and improbable hypothesis of the end of the world, then one of the most viable options, according to experts, is the collision of Earth with a comet or minor planet (asteroid, Fig. 1).
American scientists came to this conclusion in 1998 and prompted the U.S. government with NASA to create a group to study the risk of the NEOPO bombardment of our planet by asteroids with a diameter of at least 1 km (there are nearly 1 billion of those bodies in the solar system). This group, with the help of modern equipment and devices, is also coordinating the search, so-called "asteroids approaching the Earth" (around 2 000) and determines the trajectory of their flight.
Only in the twentieth century, our planet faced three relatively large cosmic bodies: In 1908, the Tunguska meteoroid (power of the explosion E = 10 -20 Mt), in 1930, another explosion occurred in the Amazon Basin (E = 1 Mt) in 1947 in the Ussuri taiga, dissolving in the air, dropped the Sikhote - Alin meteoritic iron body (initial weight about 70 tons). Although, even at the end of 18th century, some members of the Paris Academy of Sciences argued: "Dropping stones from the sky is physically impossible."
The reality of Earth’s collision with cosmic bodies confirmed by the presence on the surface of our planet about 160 well established astroblems (Greek "star wound") in diameter from 10-30 m to 340 km. For example, Meteor Crater has a diameter of 1 230 m (depth 175 m), astrobleme Popigaj (Russia) - 100 km, and Sudbury (Ontario, Canada) - 250 km.
Geophysical scientists believe that the Gulf of Mexico is a testament of the fall to the surface of the earth of a very large space body (diameter about 10 km). Explosion, with a capacity of approximately 70 x 10 ^ 6 MT, destroyed part of the continent, and Atlantic waters filled the deep basin (with a diameter of almost 2 000 km, a depth of up to 5 300 m).
The cause of the explosion in the collision of celestial bodies is the transition of the kinetic energy (moving bodies) in the mechanical (at the time of collision) and heat. The total released energy can range from 10 ^ 19 to 5 x 10 ^ 23 joules (in TNT equivalent, is 1.2 x 10 ^ 8 MT, which is a million times more than the most powerful thermonuclear bomb).
The explosion causes strong compression shock waves, moving in all directions from the point of collision. In the land of the same astrobleme formed in the center of which is a zone of evaporation of matter, where rocks are heated to several tens of thousands of degrees. Around this area there is a zone of melting substance (with a temperature of more than 1 500o C), and behind her - the zone of crushing rocks (with a temperature of tens or hundreds of degrees).
Products evaporate, melting and crushing volume in thousands of cubic kilometers (!), by the shock waves they are emitted into the atmosphere of our planet to a height of 10 to 100 km. With super-Impact (impact) some parts could even fly into outer space.
Space Studies have shown that Earth is not the only planet subject to regular bombing. For example, in July 1994 the comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 was faced with the planet Jupiter. And numerous impact craters on the Moon and other planets - are the most common geological structure in the solar system.
4. Authoritative source of knowledge
In addition to the views of modern scholars, astrologers, clairvoyants, is there any other independent authoritative source of knowledge which can help to definitively clarify the question of the end of the world?
Yes, there is – it is the Bible (in Greek "books"). It covers not only the beginning of our world since the creation (the Old Testament book of "Genesis"), but the end too (the New Testament book of Revelation "). So, from the 39 books of the Old Testament, 17 are prophetic, and contain revelations about the future, given to people by the Creator. New Testament (the Gospels and Epistles) is also filled with prophecies, especially the book of "Revelation" (Greek "Apocalypse").
Not only prophetic, but also other Old Testament books, written in about 450 - 1200 BC, contain some predictions of future events relating to the fate of both the world and the Jewish People. In total there are 6 408 Bible verses with prophecies, 3 268 of them have already been fulfilled.
For example, the following prophecies concerning Israel were all fulfilled: People moved to Egypt to live there for 400 years, they were enslaved, and then came out with great wealth, and all who refused to enter the promised land after 40 years of wandering in the desert died, people would reject a theocracy, they would elect a king, they fell apart from God , king of Assyria would destroy the Northern kingdom (Israel) And the southern kingdom (Judah) falls into Babylonian captivity for 70 years, the Jerusalem temple would be destroyed, then rebuilt and so on.
All historical predictions recorded in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, who are called "Minor Prophets" (750-450 BC), came true in due time, including all the biblical prophecies about the birth, life and death of the Messiah of Israel (Jesus Christ).
In accordance with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (written in the second half of the first (or 1st) century BC), the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus Christ were fulfilled with amazing accuracy: From the name of the city where he was born, to betrayal for 30 pieces of silver, the method of execution, His resurrection from the dead.
Therefore, there should be realized the numerous Old Testament and New Testament prophecies about the end after flooded history of mankind. After all, the Creator of our world, through the prophet Isaiah, says: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done..." (modern translation: "Long ago I talked about what today has not yet happened").
5. What does the Bible say about the end of the evil one of this generation?
Previous civilization, according to the book of "Genesis", was ruined by the Flood. Because it was a very strong corrupting people: "and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". A new genus, which originated from the surviving family of righteous Noah, now resides in such a vicious spiritual condition, because there is no fear of God, nor reverence for Him.
The only fundamental difference from the old, is that the current generation, besides the thinking of doing evil at any time, with increasing speed is destroying the environment of their habitat.
For these reasons, the evil one (evil, treacherous, envious), the human race will perish. (Does he mean to say the evil human race will perish?) Together with people, pets and animals, birds and fish will be consumed; consumed temptations???, together with the wicked, that’s what the prophet Zephaniah predicted.
At the time of death (the Old Testament "Day of the Lord"), nothing will help people, even a large bank account.
"Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." (Book of Zephaniah).
The prophet Isaiah sees traps placed everywhere: the horror, the hole and loop (snare). On this day, the one fleeing in terror with shouting will fall into a pit (the failure), and whoever scrambles out of the failure, will fall into another trap (snare), for the sky will split and the earth will open wide.
Isaiah predicts that only a tenth of his people will survive. The prophet Zechariah speaks of the death of two-thirds of Israelites, and the last third will be put into the fire and melted. The prophets Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah say: all of their land shall be desolate, many people will die, and only a small remnant will remain alive.
To the John the Theologian also opens the vision of the end of humanity (the New Testament "great sorrow"). From these revelations should happen next: one-third of the population of the whole earth will perish by fire, smoke and sulfur, the fourth part - from violence, hunger, epidemics and animals, many people will die from poisoned water.
Thus, the opinions of scientists on a high probability of death for modern civilization, is confirmed by biblical prophecies made 2 - 3 thousand years ago.
6. Cosmic crash
Many futurists believe that the end of the world will happen as a result of the global natural disaster. This view does not contradict the Bible, because the flooded world perished, in fact, as a result of such a disaster.
However, some scientists believe: that Catastrophe will carry a space character, caused by an asteroid a few kilometers in diameter (!) falling to Earth. Only a body with such dimensions could cause global destruction and catastrophic climate change. Surprisingly, this hypothesis is consistent with biblical eschatology (the doctrine of the last time), which was created before the scientifically research period of our history.
Thus, to the prophet Daniel was opened the secret of the death of the fourth kingdom on earth, which was symbolized by the statue’s feet, made of iron and clay. This kingdom will be destroyed by a stone (meteoric body), detached from the world (space) mountains without the help of human hands.
After flying through the air, a stone struck the feet of the statue and broke them. "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."(Book of Daniel).
Other authors of the Old Testament, call this inanimate object Leviathan (Job), morning star (Isaiah), Gog (Ezekiel), destroyer of peoples, devastating the mountain and burnt (Jeremiah).
In one of the revelations of John the Theologian sees a censer filled with fire, falling from the sky. For this reason, the ground will fall:
1) hail and fire, which burned grass and trees;
2) then, "as though a great mountain burning with fire" to overthrow the Sea (Oceans), because of what dies the third of sea creatures and the third part of the courts.
3) then, a star falls from the sky to land (an asteroid, Greek. "Star-like") and, in a powerful explosion, there will appear a bottomless pit (astrobleme depth of several kilometers), which will smoke (products IMPACT interaction). Prophet sees from the "fire, smoke and sulfur" one third of the inhabitants of the earth will die.
Jesus Christ, when speaking of the time when He will reveal Himself to the world, compares it with the Old Testament days of Lot. "But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Luke).
7. Asteroid Apocalypse
Surely as it is written in the Bible, that’s how it will happen. Devastators of our planet will be anthropomorphic biblical Gog and his multitude, asteroid meteor shower.
The astronomers believe that these aliens from outer space may be a very tenuous cloud of dust, sand, stones, small and large asteroids, 95-98% of the mass of which is concentrated in the central object (small planet). The length of such a swarm of cosmic bodies, elongated in the direction of motion, can be from 50 to 100 million km in diameter - 30-40 million km, and the speed from 100 000 to 250 000 km per hour.
Little planet, we will call it Gogh, appeared apparently as a result of catastrophic collisions and fragmentation of massive planetary bodies. As astrophysicists believe, after this type of destruction, as a rule, appears 7 major parts, many large and small debris, and a lot of dust.
One of the seven massive fragmentation products is likely Gogh (from the land of Magog). It is surrounded by many people, all sitting on horseback - "a great company and a mighty army", as it is spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel in the concepts, terminology and traditions of his time.
And John, for the description of Hamongog uses prophetic personalization, Mapping (indications) of animals and people on an inanimate object. Therefore, his great red dragon of the visions, the beast and the scarlet beast that ascends from the sea, has 7 heads (the Prophet explained: "The seven heads are seven mountains"), they are also seven kings, and 10 horns.
These ten horns, obviously fireballs, leaving after them long narrow traces of glowing gases, will have authority over the land like a caliph for one hour. They "and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire".
8. Leviathan Job
In the Bible (the Book of Job), there is still more ancient description of the alien invader from the abyss of space, because "there is no one on earth like him". This is a chthonic monster (dragon), according to ancient beliefs, living in the abyss (original chaos), whom the Jews called the Leviathan, Rahab, tannin, nahash. In Ugaritic and Canaanite legends this is Litan (Arshu) - winding seven-headed serpent, of which the prophet Isaiah and the psalmist Asaph talked.
By the image of the fairy-tailed dragon (often fire-breathing), which existed in the mythology of many peoples, lies a very real (but rare) event - the meteoric flight of the bolide - the fire ball, that can be seen even in the daytime.
The Old Testament, Job, based on his time’s understanding of the nature (all in the world alive together) leads, in particular, to such properties of leviathan. “Circle of his teeth - the horror of his sneezing shown the light of his mouth (bursting flame), pop fiery sparks. His breath kindles (Kindle) embers and from his nostrils goes smoke. There is no one on earth like him ".
If we use the modern scientific language, here we describe a powerful radiant meteor stream with the number of flashes per hour, not less than 10 thousand. This radiant - Job calls jaws, and traces of meteoric bolides - all around terrible teeth. From this pop micro meteors ( "fiery sparks") and blazing fireballs with long tails of smoke, like from the nostrils of a monster.
The bolide, as a rule, does not reach the earth's surface but explodes in the atmosphere (sneezing beast), which is accompanied by a bright flash ( "from his sneezing showing light") and the loss of small meteoroids ( "coals").
Compared to the Leviathan of Job, dreadful and terrible beast of Daniel, a great red dragon, the scarlet beast and the beast from the sea of John – are described not as bright, but than the consequences of their attack on Earth no less impressive.