The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
 
 


12/21/12...Is this the End?
by Jim Josephsen

December 21, 2012. Does this day have any significance? To astronomers, December 21, 2012 will be the winter solstice; the day when the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky. Throughout history, December 21 has been a mystifying day, often a fearful day. Additionally, in many ancient pagan cultures, the winter solstice was a day of celebration; appeasing the gods, begging them to return the sun to its strength in the sky.

The crumbled remains of ancient temples and edifices give testimony of primitive religious practices associated with celestial activity, including winter solstice sun worship. Stonehenge is once again a site where modern pagans visit in celebration, on the winter solstice. The winter solstice and the saturnalia provide a strong connection to the modernized pagan celebration we today call Christmas. God Almighty, through the prophet Jeremiah, told the Children of Israel learn not the way of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain.

No doubt, you have heard, for the stories abound. An ancient Mayan prophecy predicts December 21, 2012 is doomsday, the end of the world. Cable TV programs like the History Channel have given this story coverage. Newspaper and magazine articles, local television news reports, talk shows and radio reports; all have given this subject exposure. Some reports have presented a humorous angle, while others have elicited a sense of fear.

Take a simple Google search and you will find hundreds of websites which discuss the Mayan calendar and the belief that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world. Spiritualists, Supernaturalists, calendar aficionados, mystics and the like all exercise their First Amendment right to utter their beliefs about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world. Survivalist websites provide you with all the sustenance and implements necessary for survival once December 22 arrives; all of course at a cost. What started as a fringe community has developed into masses of people across the world that tremble at the possibility of the world ending on 12/21/12.

There are many Mayan calendar ‘end of the world’ theories. Some of the more prevalent are: on December 21, a galactic alignment will produce a gravitational effect between the sun and a black hole called Sagittarius resulting in chaos on earth. Another theory finds that a polar shift will occur, resulting in the reversal of the magnetic poles. Simple science concludes these theories to be unrealistic. Others postulate giant meteors pummeling the earth. What great storylines for Hollywood.

Simple research reveals the Mayan calendar is not a single calendar like the Gregorian calendar that we commonly use today. The Mayan calendar is not like the Jewish calendar, which is a solar lunar calendar. The Mayan calendar was a complex system of three calendars all used simultaneously, centering on solar activity.

Mayan mathematicians formulated various calculations when creating the Mayan calendar. The Mayans calculated that August 11, 3114 BC (as correlated to the Gregorian calendar in use today) would be the date the calendar should begin, even though Mayan civilization did not commence until the 16th century BC. The Mayan calendar consists of a calculated Long Count, which has a duration of 5125.36 years. Additionally, the last day of the Long Count falls on the 13th Baktun, or 13.0.0.0.0. Both calculations for the 13th Baktun and the end of the Long Count fall on December 21, 2012. When all is said and done, December 21 2012, being the day of the winter solstice, happens to be the end of Mayan calculations for the calendar which is now so popular.

The Mayans never predicted an end of the world. In all reality, December 21, 2012 will be to the Mayan calendar and its people as December 31 is to those who commonly use the Gregorian calendar. To explain further, we will naturally see January 1, 2013 as the day following December 31, 2012. However, for the Mayans and the Mayan calendar, there will be no December 22, 2012. December 21, 2012 will simply be the day the Mayan calendar quits.

A recent Reuter’s survey found that “whether [people] think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason,” nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime. Ten percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012. Many also acknowledge the 16th century AD mystic Nostradamus, believing he predicted an end to the world in 2012.

End time scenarios are not at all uncommon. Once again, cruise through a Google search to find hundreds, if not thousands of web sites, blogs, tweets; the cacophony of opinions, ideas and speculation surrounding the concept – the end of the world.

There are those who believe Hurricane Sandy was a precursor to the Mayan end of the world prediction. Many believe the highly debated “fiscal cliff” is but a prelude to a global economic meltdown. Others look at the Middle East, convinced that Russia will step in once again, rising up to world power status and eventually fight Christ in the war of Armageddon. Some see China locked at war with Europe and the United States. Others see Islam rising up to conquer the world.

Only some 18 months ago, an evangelist from California predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011. Wrong about that date, he tried again for October 21, 2011. Of course, the results of those predictions – yet another false prophet was exposed.

Wikipedia, under the search title: “List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events,” reveals some 150 false predictions. There are hundreds of books available today, which take a cynical, supercilious look at the idea of the end time. There are books that take a comical look; and there are those, which take the end time seriously. Again, a Google search will avail much.

As related to eschatology, practically every culture and religion has its say as to end time events and the culmination of man’s history. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and of course Christianity, with their hundreds of interpretation; these all and others have a say as to what their god has communicated the end time to be.

You can rest assured the earth will still be rotating and the sun will rise on Saturday December 22, 2012, just as it did on December 21 and will do on December 23, 2012. The world will not end on December 21, 2012. However, don’t be fooled. There is more at work here than what meets the eye.

The hundreds of “end of the world,” “doomsday,” “end time” scenarios we have been subject to of late are only adding to the cynicism and disbelief so evident today. Whereas some 15 percent believe the world will end in their lifetime, a much larger percentage believe no such thing will ever occur. For most citizens of planet earth, to think that the world will end is pessimistic, foolish and simply a waste of time. Thinking of the end of the world is simply putting too much trust in the stuff of religion and God; and who trusts that anymore?

This recent Mayan calendar debacle has done nothing more but raise suspicion and scoffing. It is fantasy and another failed prediction, producing more doubt. It has yet again deflected from the actual truth of God; the actual realities God has declared will take place, relating to the end time and the last days. Hearing and reading from all the fools who, in their deception, declare their interpretations of the end of the world, we can understand why the Apostle Peter was inspired to write, first, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire.

The truth of God declares the reality of an end time or the last days of man’s governments, man’s religions and cultures upon the earth. The societies, cultures, governments and nations, economies, businesses and religions that we are accustom to will all soon cease.

As the Bible reveals, the end time will be so catastrophic and destructive, as mankind sets its course on total annihilation, that unless God steps in and intervenes to stop man’s insanity, there would be no one left alive. Rather than being a time of complete and cataclysmic destruction of the earth, with no life left; the time of the end will get mankind’s attention, stopping their foolishness in its tracks. God will intervene and the world will not be destroyed; all this done just prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ, to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth.

The end time is real and its countdown has already begun. Rather than depending on a Mayan calendar or Nostradamus, we must depend on the word of God, the very prophecies of Jesus Christ to know for sure, what to look for, signaling the end of this age, the end time, the last days.

The 24th chapter of Matthew bullet points some of the events to occur in the end time. In particular, Jesus Christ said when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the abomination of desolation will quickly follow. In conjunction with these events, once great nations like the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada and Australia will crumble by internal strife and economic collapse; eventually weakened by a nuclear war attack; the survivors subjugated to European nations, Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Once these events take place, you will know all things that were written in the Bible by the prophets are true and of God.

More than waiting with trepidation for December 21, 2012 only to realize the end has not come, you need to look at world events as Christ and His prophets declared they would occur. Look especially at the Middle East, Egypt and Jerusalem. Watch Europe and the rise of Germany, leading a desperate Europe. Given the tension rife within the Middle East, occurring even as you read, the evidence is clear, the writing is on the wall; armies can quickly encompass Jerusalem, Israel. Once that happens, watch how quickly a religious leader will sit in a newly constructed Temple, setting himself up as god, deceiving the world with lying signs and wonders.

War and armies surrounding Jerusalem and a religious holy man ruling from Jerusalem; watch for that. The reality of this happening is more certain than any Mayan predictions. When these things happen, then the end has come. Then Jesus Christ will return from His Father’s throne to save His creation from the absolute chaos and deception by which it is now held captive.
 

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Further reading:
Resources
2012 phenomenon in Wikipedia

Photo:
Left:  Mayan Long Count [calendar]

Right:  December 2012 calendar