This great divide is between two different understandings of “the end of the age”,
For many hundreds of years, Christians have been expecting great world-changes based on the prophecies in Revelation.
More recently, people have begun expecting great world-changes in connection with the now notorious date 21/12/2012.
If there are two sets of expectations about “the end of the age”, then clearly there’s a strong temptation to merge the two, or at least find
connections between them.
I’ve seen websites focussing on “2012” which profess to include the book Revelation among their sources of information, along with the Mayan
calendar, the Hopi prophecies, and Terence McKenna.
Speculation finds points where the two sets of beliefs might converge (“Nibiru could be Wormwood”).
Nonetheless, there are good reasons for people who take Revelation seriously to keep themselves detached from the second set of expectations.
The first reason is that there’s no information in Revelation directing us towards 21/12/2012
(or any other date, for that matter, but let’s not start that discussion again).
Those websites I mentioned, appealing to Revelation as one of their sources, can’t point to anything specific that supports their interest in that
date. Their argument is, roughly; “Disasters are expected in 2012 and predicted in Revelation, so they could be the same disasters”. The exact
connection between them is left vague and undefined.
In any case, nobody who studies Revelation could expect the fulfilment of Revelation prophecy and/or the Return of Christ by the end of this year,
because there simply isn’t enough time for everything that needs to happen.
“Nibiru could be Wormwood” is typical of the kind of interpretation that takes place when casual readers of Revelation pick out isolated details
and try to match them against current events or popular ideas.
But Revelation is an event-filled narrative. The sequence is not clear, but there is a sequence, and interpretation is not best served by taking
things out of context.
One prominent part of the story is that there is a world-dominating power which effectively declares war on the Biblical God and the church. The
catastrophic events that follow are presented as God’s response.
All these events to be fulfilled by the end of the year?
The world-dominating, persecuting power isn’t even in place yet!
Realistically, the development of the events described would need a much longer time-span than the proposed date would supply.
(I will have people rushing forward to press on me their favourite candidate for “the Beast”. But nobody can point to any current power that is
BOTH dominating the world AND putting Christians to death for being Christians. No, the situation that dominates nine-tenths of the book Revelation
hasn’t arrived yet.)
But the most important reason for keeping these two expectations apart is that they belong to different, non-overlapping, belief systems.
The source of the Revelation expectation is the collection of experience and teaching that has given us the Bible.
The expectations revolving around “2012” have a variety of non-Biblical sources, such as the Mayan calendars, the Hopi prophecies, and the books
of various “new age” prophets.
The events described in Revelation are ultimately attributed to the action of the Biblical God, carrying out his intentions for the world he
The events expected for “2012” are attributed to a variety of different causes, depending on the theory that is being followed. They might be
caused by the natural forces of the earth, the spiritual development of the human soul, the return of an evil planet, or the progression of a
Timewave. In the case of believers in the Mayan calendar, the events appear to be caused by the fact that a date has arrived.
Finally, Revelation has an expected outcome appropriate for a Biblical God- the “new Jerusalem” described in the final chapters.
The “2012” expectation has a variety of different outcomes which are incompatible with this Biblical outcome- and also, for that matter,
incompatible with each other. There could be a pole-shift or the ominous arrival of Nibiru, at one end of the scale of happiness, or the possibility
of “Ascension” or “Disclosure” at the other end. The conclusion of the “Timewave” could be at either end of the scale- I don’t think
anyone is quite sure.
The followers of “2012” like to make a virtue out of the fact that the information comes from different sources- “If so many cultures are
predicting this, it must be true”. The problem is that they are all saying different things. In a court case, it would not be enough to summon a
crowd of witnesses. You need the testimony of witnesses who can agree with each other. If one witness says the victim was killed by Colonel Mustard in
the conservatory with a dagger, a second that he was killed by Miss Scarlet in the kitchen with a candlestick, and a third reports that it was
Professor Plum in the study with a revolver, nobody is going to be impressed by the fact that they have managed to agree on the date of the murder.
So it is with the case presented by the “2012” movement. Not only do the witnesses give different reasons why
the date is going to be
significant, they cannot even agree among themselves on whether the outcome is expected to be good or bad.
So that is the great divide. On the one hand, the Christian expectation embodied in the book Revelation.
On the other hand, a mixture of contradictory beliefs, where the only common factor is that people have agreed to pin their hopes or fears on a
On the one hand, the Biblical God, who has instructed his people not to mix religions;
“You shall have no other gods but me”.
On the other hand, a sort of coalition of other gods.
Therefore the most appropriate Christian response to the speculations of the “2012” movement is to disregard them, refusing to be drawn into that
belief system and waiting patiently for a completely different expectation.
edit on 19-3-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-3-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)