Prophecy - Signs
Thursday, January 05, 2017
You are reading a series of 66 books and manage to stay interested until the last book of the series. You begin to read the Prologue; and in the very first paragraph of the last book, the author writes this:
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Would that get your attention, or would it be something you would just scan and keep on keeping on?
That is what I did the first few times I read the Book of Revelation. I wanted to get into the meat of the book and kind of drifted right past the first paragraph.
Now that we have journeyed into 2017 (5777 by the Jewish calendar), will more churches emphasize the first paragraph of Revelation? Will events that occur in 2017 encourage people to read that first paragraph on their own? Blessed are those who read this book.
A lot of exciting stuff happens in Revelation, much of which is unpleasant until you get to the final two chapters.
Climate Change will not be nearly as subtle in the last days. The sun is to get seven times brighter and the moon is supposed to appear as bright as the sun. Sounds like warming, and probably a good time to be in the sunglasses business. And air conditioning.
But a hotter sun is not all that will be going on. Revelation speaks of all kinds of climatic disasters: Exploding mountains, earthquakes like Earth has not seen before, drought and fire, flooding and tsunamis and hailstorms with hundred pound hailstones. Imagine that, 100-pound pieces of ice falling from the sky.
When all this happens there will be a world leader that comes on the scene who works miracles and does wonders that will impress his fans of which there will be many, and scare his enemies. He will take a failing and war-mongering world and turn it around, bringing peace. Briefly.
From 81-96 A.D., Domitian was the emperor of the Roman Empire. He was not a nice guy and carried out what became known as the Second Persecution of early Christians. He killed his brother, then killed the Roman Senators he didn’t like and demanded that all descendants of King David be eliminated. There was a new law of the land:
"That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion."
If Christianity was not denounced and Domitian proclaimed god, the penalty was death; and death was not pretty: crucifixion, burning, boiled in oil.
Proclaim Emperor Domitian as god, reject Christ and you lived. Sounds a lot like the choices that will be given in Revelation and the mark of the Beast. Or the choices now given to Christians in some Islamic countries.
A leader coming to world power and demanding worship or death is not that far-fetched. Look at present-day North Korea and the Japanese emperorship of World War II.
The Book of Revelation is a roadmap of the final, future events of this era. What happens is spelled out in a vision to John the Apostle and authored by Jesus the Christ. The vision is bizarre to say the least, tragedy abounds but the ending is good for those whose name is “written in the book of life.”
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 NIV
Speaking of a lake of fire, a story this week out of Italy on CNBC, January 2, 2017, reports there is a large volcano rumbling under Naples. The caldera (crater) at 7 miles, is so large Campi Flegrei is called a supervolcano. There are several supervolcanoes on the planet, but this is the one that’s rumbling.
Italy is prone to earthquake and volcanic activity. Pompeii and Herculaneum were wiped out in a day from the eruption of Vesuvius, 79 A.D. The past summer has seen a lot of activity north of Rome.
Campi Flegrei is situated directly beneath the city of Naples. Unlike volcanos one sees in the movies, supervolcanoes are not shaped like a cone and is often barely visible. Nearly flat, the caldera’s are many miles wide and towns and farms reside over the invisible field of magma. It is believed that with supervolcanoes, before there is an eruption, the ground begins a slow rise as the pressure of the red, hot magma begins to push upward. This is happening, and Naples has 500,000 people.
According to the CNBC article this week:
There have been some reawakening signs in Campi Flegrei since the 1950s, from some low earthquake activity to hydrothermal degassing, with a pause in early 2000s. But in 2005, there were new uplifts and further activity has been recorded.
Whether these uplifts and the continuing earthquakes are a sign of an imminent super-eruption, a minor eruption or no eruption, no person knows.
According to ancient-origens.net:
Some researchers speculate that when Campi Flegrei, which translates from Italian as Burning Fields, erupted about 39,000 years ago it may have wiped out the Neanderthals. Although there is no definitive evidence for this, the fact that the caldera has the potential to devastate a large region of Italy and could even cause volcanic winter worldwide is not in question.
The Book of Revelation starts out advising that the readers of the prophecy would be blessed. It ends up stating that anyone who changed the wording or expounded upon the prophecy would suffer all the tragedies described in the book.
There is this certainty:
If a supervolcano anywhere on Earth has a major eruption, we will believe the end is definitely near. And it only takes a minute. This could be an interesting year; 2016 certainly was.
Have a great New Year.
About J.L. Robb
Last week: United States Betrays Israel: Why?
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