It's March 2020 and I'm seeing scared christians posting all over the internet about the book of Revelations. I'm hoping this helps any of the people in my churchy past life who are crying in a closet clutching their cross necklace that they made at camp.
I know. Floods, fires, economic collapse, famine, false idols, disease, etc... Even locusts. LOCUSTS! (Africa got hit hard while our news was busy) The most specifically quintessential apocalypse trope. Actual locusts! I see your concern.
I was raised with a Biblical education. That ended for me as soon as I started studying history. But what I took from the combo is that some things are just natural truths. They get worked into literature and mythology. As we evolve, we need to learn to keep what's true and adapt what's obsolete. For example, I believe that Genesis describes evolution and relativity, but let's stay on track.
I'm not going to tell you the Bible is wrong (to the surprise of most people who know me). What's important to understand about those apocalyptic signs is that they happen right before any large system collapses or changes to a new system. It has happened countless times before and will happen countless times again. The bad news is that it always sucks and it's always for the same reason.
Without getting too specific...
FAMINE = too many people for the farms
DISEASE = too many people too close to animals
WAR = too many people for the resources (and enough people for massive armies)
ECONOMIC COLLAPSE = years of compensating for the above problems without actual solutions.
etc etc etc... There's too many people.
The Maya abandoned their cities due to the "curse" of all these same symptoms. The Trojan wars happened right after a supply chain breakdown of Bronze ingredients and that started a 300 year dark age. Rome collapsed under all these same apocalyptic symptoms (And Rome was the boss when the New Testament was written).
Writers aren't making things up. They're stating the obvious. "When civilization is abused, it ends and a new civilization will start". It's a prophecy that they KNOW will happen because of course it will. And if you're trying to get people to say "OH MY GOD('s son) YOU WERE RIGHT!" you would predict things that you know are going to happen. And the next systems (the Beast/Antichrist/2nd Coming) can move into power assimilating the prophecy. You never cancel a culture's beliefs, you just adapt them to fit the new king. So whoever is in charge now, we're going to call them the antichrist. And whoever saves us from that will be called the second coming of Christ.
Every generation claims to have its antichrist and its mark of the beast. Not because they're wrong each time. It's because there's always a strong figure leading us away from natural/spiritual health. Emperor Constantine was both "the beast" AND the second coming of Christ. Hitler was both, depending who you ask and when. And while you might be thinking about Trump in this paragraph, I'd like to direct your attention to Amazon (once again, something that can destroy and save us at the same time). I pay about $116 per year for my mark of the beast. LOL. Or is the Beast currency in general? Or FB? Or all these things? Probably. Yea. Sure. Why not?
So the Bible isn't wrong. It's happening. We've pushed civilization past it's limits and we're going to have to reinvent ourselves. The environment is beyond repair. The economy is a fragile board game. We're having a Mexican standoff with nukes. It's not that it's "finally" happening. It's just that it's happening "again".
Granted, we've never been global before (or at least not that we remember) and so this'll be a big one. It's not just "a flood" it's the oceans rising everywhere. It's not just "fires", its entire continents at a time. Diseases aren't confined to a hemisphere. And economic collapse is going to be a reset button for humans, not just Europeans or Mayans or whatever. And yea, we have leaders who are denying this because it lets them live like kings. So while the Bible said "the world", it was usually talking about Europe and the Mid East. And yes, a lot of us are about to die. This is the first time it's been accurate when it says "the world" and I understand why that's concerning to a Christian. It's concerning to me too.
But your response doesn't have to be strait out of The Book. You don't have to choose beheading instead of the mark of the beast. You don't have to believe that your soul lays in the balance. Scripture may have been written by people who understood history and humanity, but it was still a different time and language. And they had an agenda. I mean, locusts have a long hatch cycle. Talk about planting a fear bomb for future generations.
If you must consider this to be the prophecy, remember that that the identities of the next characters are not yet revealed. The beasts and saviors might be one in the same. Technology and medicine both caused this and will save us from it. Amazon helped to ruin our economy but will create the next one. Facebook divides us and keeps us connected. Artificial intelligence is not artificial.
False Idols aren't false while we worship them.
Try this on... Jesus said that when the time comes, look to the east and follow the water barer into the next house (I'm paraphrasing). But speaking of paraphrasing, the age of Pices (Christian fish logo) started 2000 years ago (baby jesus) and ends now as we are going into the age of Aquarius (water barer). What does that tell us? It tells me that Danial and all the authors of this part of the good book were pulling from ancient wisdoms that vastly outdate Christianity. Archeology shows that we've observed the same zodiac calendar for literally thousands of years before our earliest documented history. In short, if this is the end of a chapter, it's not the end of our story.