FASCINATING "END-TIMES" BELIEFS OF FUNDAMENTALIST, "EVANGELICAL" CHRISTIANS - by Norio Hayakawa
One of the main characteristics of America's Neo-Conservative movement (although it seems to have lost its momentum these days) with the backing of Fundamentalist/"Evangelical" Christians, is their total support of Israel through the belief that contemporary Israel is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies and the the U.S. must continue to support the State of Israel, no matter what.
A large number of America's Fundamentalist Christians and "Evangelicals", therefore,
believe that we are living in the "end-time" period of God prophetic calendar. I think that it is important to point out some of the "end-time" scenarios as envisioned by the supporters of this view.
Here is the typical order of prophetic events to come, as outlined by many Fundamentalist Christians and "Evangelicals" who hold on to the so-called Pre-Millenial, Dispensationalist, Pre-Tribulation viewpoints.
1) THE EZEKIEL 38 SCENARIO
They seem to believe that this could easily begin with the escalation of the Middle East conflict, involving Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that Iran and Syria will play a major initial role in this scenario.
The Ezekiel 38 scenario includes the attempted invasion into Israel by all Islamic forces (led and orchestrated by the northern-most power, i.e., Russia) and will conclude with a miraculous Israeli victory.
They believe that it is suggested in the Bible that it will take 7 years to bury the dead from this unprecedented conflagration. (The U.S. could be involved, directly or indirectly in this conflagration, they explain).
2) THE APPEARANCE OF THE ANTI-CHRIST
According to their belief, the Ezekiel 38 scenario will conclude with the appearance of the Anti-Christ who will create a Peace Treaty between Israel and the Palestinians (and all Islamic confederation).
(It was recently reported that Iran's Ahmadinejad believes that he could be the one that could be welcoming the coming, long-awaited Islamic prophet, "Imam" - i.e., the "Anti-Christ", to the Fundamentalist Christians)
3) THE RAPTURE
They say that the Ezekiel 38 scenario could also conclude with the simultaneous disappearance of millions of people from this earth, which will result in total chaos, confusion and fear among the global populace. This, they say, is the "Rapture". It will be a mysterious, mass "evacuation" of the believers to meet the Lord in "mid-air". (The physical bodies will be mysteriously and instantaneously converted to celestial bodies). In other words, "born-again" believers will be translated from one side to the other side, i.e., from the earthly plane to the heavenly dimension and will meet Jesus in "mid-air".
The "Rapture" (from "raptare", to "snatch" away, as in the eagle "snatching" away her baby when danger comes and taking it away to a safer location, etc.), is a supernatural event clearly suggested in the Bible that has not happened yet in the history of mankind, but will be certain to happen, according to most of these pre-tribulationist/dispensationalist believers.
It will be an inexplicable, instantaneous disintegration of all atomic particles of each of our cells of our tissues, i.e., the instant conversion of our physical body into a spiritual, celestial "body" which will be swooshed up into "mid-air". In other words, they believe that "in the twinkling of an eye", our physical bodies will go through a mysterious sudden transmogrification (a favorite word used by John Keel) and will be lifted up to meet the Lord in "mid-air". Our entire physical bodies (the tissues, the cells will go through a sudden, inexplicable atomic fission-type transformation, they say.
They believe that the "Rapture" is a conduit prepared by God for us to escape the coming global wrath know as the Tribulation (comparable to the days of Noah, when God safely placed a few faithful believers in the ark first and then caused the rain to downpour thereafter).
Pre-tribulationist/dispensationalists believe that this unprecedented event will take place simultaneously with the appearance (the revealing) of the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ will not be able to come to power until the "body of believers" (together with the presence of the Holy Spirit) is removed from this earth. Only then, at that moment, can the Anti-Christ come into power.
The "Rapture" will literally be a celestial wedding, the union of the bride (the "church" or the "body of believers") and the Groom (Jesus Christ). This "wedding" celebration in the air will last for 7 days, which could be equivalent to 7 earthly years.
4) THE ANTI-CHRIST SUCCEEDS IN CALMING DOWN THE STUNNED, CONFUSED AND FEAR-FILLED POPULACE
When the Anti-Christ appears on global emergency TV news conference, many of these Fundamentalist Christians say that he would calm down the frightened people of the earth with his ingenious, well-calculated explanation regarding the sudden disappearance of millions of people from the earth; this could be when "UFOs" are brought up; the Anti-Christ could use some type of "extraterrestrial" intervention explanation. (By the way, in the U.S., the majority of the so-called Fundamentalist, Evangelical Christians hold on to the viewpoint that somehow the "UFO" phenomenon is "Satanic" or "diabolical". These groups seem to believe that "UFOs" will play a major role in these future biblical prophecies. Some theorists even believe that if a global government of some sort is to be set up intentionally (by force) in the future, there are several ways to accomplish it. Creating wars is one example, they say. Creating other series of "crises" is another, such as manipulating natural global catastrophes, or even creating artificial ones. We all heard of the "ORDO AB CHAOS" theory. They also point out that Henry Kissinger at one time suggested that should the world suddenly face an external threat (i.ei., from "outer space") whether REAL or PROMULGATED, it would accelerate a cry for a global unified government. They say that Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev also had allegedly made such similar remarks, that if the world is faced with such an extraterrestrial threat, we will all forget our differences and be united as one to defend this earth from such threats. Can the "world government" stage a deceptive, "alien-contact-landing" scenario? If the secret government were to stage such a fake, "extraterrestrial" type of event, it would definitely be beneficial to them if there remains an adamant element of society who have always believed in "UFOs" and "aliens"). In any case, Fundamentalist, "Evangelical" Christians seem to believe that somehow the Anti-Christ will come up with a brilliant, convincing explanation for the "Rapture" event and that somehow, (supernaturally) the world will have a sigh of relief by his explanation.
By the way, here is an interesting item regarding the concept of the "Rapture":
PROJECT BLUE BEAM and the coming GRAND DECEPTION
5) THE BEGINNING OF THE 7-YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD
That will be the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation Period (i.e., the "New World Order" of the Anti-Christ, the first half of which will be relatively peaceful, and the second half of which will be an iron-fisted rule of the Anti-Christ, who will declare himself to be God at mid-point).
6) THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON:
Towards the end of the 7th year, nations such as Red China (and the rest of the "Kings of the East") will challenge the dictatorship of Anti-Christ's Europe-based New World Order and will begin to cross the Euphrates and make a move towards the valley of Megiddo.
This battle, the battle of Armageddon, will be the final global battle.
During the climax of this battle, celestial forces led by Jesus Christ (and accompanied by those who had been "raptured") will descend and will destroy all earthly forces.
7) A THOUSAND YEAR REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST FROM ISRAEL
Jesus Christ will rule from Israel for a 1000 years. This is the Millenial Kingdom.
8) FINAL, MINOR REBELLION
At the end of the 1000 years, there will be a minor rebellion by the descendants of those who may have survived the Armaggedon and continued to procreate, thus having physical bodies. That minor rebellion will be crushed by God.
9) THE FINAL JUDGMENT
This is the gist of the events to occur in the near future, according to many of the so-called Fundamentalist, Dispensationalist, Evangelical, Pre-Millenial and Pre-Tribulational Christians.
Is this all wild, "science fiction"?
Maybe. But again, no one knows.
Does it hurt to believe in this "unbelievable" scenario?
These "Evangelical" Christians seem to say that it won't hurt at all to believe that such scenarios could come true.
They say that they have nothing to lose by believing in it even if it doesn't come true, but everything to gain if it indeed takes place, if one is a believer. Personally I subscribe to this viewpoint.
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