Monday, December 14, 2015

End-Times?

CAVEAT ALERT! This piece will have something to do with religion(s) and so people such as atheists and agnostics who for any reason impute no importance to faith (supernatural beliefs) are forewarned concerning time wasted. The emphasis herein will have most to do with the Judeo/Christian God and biblical references to same, as well as with Islam and its holy book, the Koran.

This is not a scholarly approach, just observations concerning elements in both Christianity and Islam having to do with the “end- times.” Some scholars consider end-time prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments, especially in the books of Daniel and Revelation, respectively, to be in process. There's no argument with that though it's unacceptable to believe that God knew everything that would ever happen before the Creation. One simple reason for disbelieving in predestination/foreknowledge is that there would be no need for prayer, since God has already mandated the answer.

It needs to be understood that the Bible is neither myth—any of it—nor a figment of imagination. Just the historical accuracies are enough to prove that its origins reach back farther, even, than the written record. The Koran is a creature of Mohammad, who hijacked a good bit of the Bible in its composition in the seventh century. Mohammad was the Jesse James of Arabia, attacking caravans for his livelihood and that of his 14 wives and families, one of which wives he took to bed when she was ten.

In both Christianity and Islam, there's an end-time scenario, with the Islamic one probably influenced by the Bible. Scholars disagree on interpretations but generally agree on the main points. The Antichrist of Christianity is reflected in Islam by the Dajjal, both of which command and subdue huge armies in bringing on the final things.

The Antichrist is to arise as a world figure, an icon at first of tremendous attraction gathering power among the nations followed by uncomprehending fear as he rules well for 3.5 years, then in chaos and war for 3.5 years, after which Jesus Christ, with an army from Heaven will subdue Antichrist, his henchman, the false prophet, and the army, setting up a thousand-year reign of peace, followed by an eternity of some sort (Heaven).

The Dajjal can come to power only after some entity or entities stir up enough chaos to foment a war. He and his army will subdue all peoples, either putting them to the sword or enslaving them except for Jews, who will be killed. Then the Twelfth Imam will arrive and dispatch the Dajjal, who will have one eye and a terrible scar on his face, and set up a kingdom of indefinite length with infidels either being killed or paying the tax, though Jews will be summarily killed.

Anyone trying to specify an end-times schedule is on a fool's errand, as many would-be prophesiers have discovered. However, particularly with the bloodshed, uncivilized treatment of innocents, and all around chaos connected to ISIS and the attempted structuring of a worldwide caliphate, Muslims may have reason to rejoice at the coming of the end, Dajjal taking over the whole ISIS enterprise.

Indeed, could al Baghdadi, ISIS strongman, be their Dajjal? Probably not, unless he loses an eye and is wounded facially, as was the recently departed Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban and terribly wounded battling the Soviets in the 1980s. He might have qualified. For Christians, Israel as a nation is the main qualifier to bring on the end.

Christians have only to look at the pathetic conditions in the world and wonder if evil has become so powerful that only God can redeem his creation for the final time through the advent and defeat of Antichrist and the resultant events. The ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ created the redeeming vehicle (the atonement for mankind) for the final action. It remains for a “unifier” to arise as Antichrist. Is there one on the horizon?

When he was Iran's president, Ahmadinejad had $17 million set aside for the building of the the mosque for the Twelfth Imam in Jamkaran, just south of Tehran. In his 2004 UN address, he prayed for this man, also known as the Mahdi, to return, puzzling everyone.

None of this is to be construed as more than just a mention. However, both the U.S. and the rest of the world are in such immoral or amoral morasses, that one wonders if God could be fed up.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

P.S. This subject comprises much of the material used in my novel The Biggest Con, a brief description of which is found in the right margin. The time-frame for that novel is 2001-02 and has to do with events leading up to 9/11, the defeat of the Taliban, and events leading up to Saddam's agreement to re-allow WMD inspectors in late 2002.

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