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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:30 am 
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Comparing Abrahamic 'End Times' Prophecies

I'd like to nail down, if you will, all 3 of the Abrahamic (Jewish, Christan and Islam) 'end times' prophecies so that we may know them and compare them. This discussion might be considered Eschatological.
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Eschatology:

1. The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind.

2. A belief or a doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second Coming, or the Last Judgment.

http://www.reference.com/browse/Eschatology

Eschatology

A Brief History of the Apocalypse

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"People who are obsessed with end times have never learned from history. They've been 100 percent wrong, 100 percent of the time."

-- Hank Hanegraaff, CRI

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:52 am 
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Islamic eschatology

The Islamic eschatology has been very distinctly and vividly documented in the sayings of Prophet Muhammad regarding "the signs of the Hour". Prophesies of the Prophet have been traditionally divided into major and minor signs. He spoke about several minor signs of the approach of the Hour; that is, the ending days of the life on earth. Describing the minor signs he said, "People would follow a way of life other than mine and give guidance other than mine”, “I fear for my people only the leaders who lead men astray”, “Before the Last Hour there will be great liars, so beware of them”, “When the most wicked member of a tribe becomes its ruler, and the most worthless member of a community becomes its leader, and a man is respected through fear of the evil he may do, and leadership is given to people who are unworthy of it, expect the Last Hour”.

Regarding the major signs, we have a Companions narrating: Once we were sitting together and talking amongst ourselves when the Prophet appeared. He asked us what it was we were discussing. We said it was the Hour. He said: It will not be called until ten signs have appeared: "Smoke, Dajjal, the Animal (that will speak to the people), rising of the sun from the West, descending down of Isa (Jesus), appearance of Yajuj and Majuj, and three sinkings (or caving in of the earth): one in the East, another in the West and a third in the Arabian Peninsula. The last (sign) will be that of the Fire that will start from Yemen and drive the people towards the place of Reckoning."
http://www.reference.com/browse/Eschatology


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_eschatology

http://www.apocalypse-soon.com/islamic_eschatology.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:55 am 
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Christian Eschatology

"The Bible describes a terrible period of tribulation in Revelation chapters 6-18. Will this Tribulation be preceded by the Rapture, will it conclude with the Rapture, or has it in fact already occurred? ...

... A key verse on Eschatology is Titus 2:13: "we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."
http://www.gotquestions.org/Eschatology.html


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The return of Jesus Christ is the most important eschatological event.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_ ... ond_Coming


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05528b.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:09 am 
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Mashiach/Messiah

The Hebrew word Mashiach (or Moshiach) means anointed one, and refers to a mortal human being. Within Judaism, the Mashiach is a human being who will be a descendant of King David continuing the Davidic line, and who will usher in a messianic era of peace and prosperity for Israel and all the nations of the world. The job description, as such, is this:

* All of the people of Israel will come back to Torah
* The people of Israel will be gathered back to the land of Israel.
* The Holy Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt.
* Israel will live free among the nations, and will have no need to defend herself.
* War and famine will end, and an era of peace and prosperity will come upon the Earth.

http://www.apocalypse-soon.com/jewish_eschatology.htm


MESSIANIC JEWISH ESCHATOLOGY
http://www.messianic.com/articles/eschatology.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_eschatology

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:10 am 
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Muslim, Jewish, and Christian End-Times Prophecy Comparison

All three major monotheistic religions have teachings regarding the end-times. The following chart reveals some of the similarities and differences in the eschatological prophecies of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

http://contenderministries.org/prophecy/eschatology.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_time

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:21 am 
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Christianity

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The word "rapture" comes from the Latin verb "rapiemur" which means "carried off" or "caught up". It was used in the Latin Vulgate (about 405 A.D.) translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which is the primary biblical reference to the event in question.

The Rapture is a term most commonly used to describe an event in Christian eschatology (study of the end times) whereby all true Christians are taken from Earth by God into Heaven before other events associated with the end of the world take place. In Christian circles this is known as a pre-trib doctrine, because the rapture rescues the faithful from Earth before the tribulation, rather than after (post-trib), as some other Christians believe. According to the doctrine, the resurrection of the dead will occur at the same time.

The popularization of the term is associated with teaching of John Nelson Darby and the rise of premillennialism and dispensationalism in the U.S. at the end of the 19th century.

This teaching revolves around the scripture passage in Matthew 24:40-41 which explains that "two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left" (compare Luke 17:34-36), and also 1 Thessalonians 4:17 which teaches that believers will "be caught up together...in the clouds to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air").

In Corinthians 15:51-52, the Apostle Paul writes: "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

In Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul writes: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

In Philippians 3:20-21, Paul writes: "For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
http://www.apocalypse-soon.com/rapture.htm


Quote:
The Tribulation is generally thought to occur before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the end of the world. Some Christians believe that it will last seven years in all, usually divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. Others believe it is for only a 3.5-year period. The time period for these beliefs is based on the phrases found several places in the book of Daniel, "time, times, and half a time," interpreted as "a year, two years, and half a year," and the book of Revelation, "a thousand two hundred and threescore days" and "forty and two months" (the prophetic month averaging 30 days, hence 1260/30 = 42 months or 3.5 years).
http://www.apocalypse-soon.com/tribulation.htm


Quote:
Revelation 16:16 "Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon."

It refers to the battle which will be fought in the area at the head of the plain of Esdraelon or Megiddo, southeast of Jerusalem, when Antichrist will gather his armies there to destroy Israel.

Jesus Christ returns at Meggido in Israel, with his saints, the armies of Antichrist have gathered, a two hundred million man army is marching in from the East, crossing the Euphrates. This battle is supposed to end with the visible return on earth of Jesus Christ and the complete annihilation of these armies. At this time, both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be captured and cast alive in the Lake of Fire.
http://www.apocalypse-soon.com/armageddon.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:41 pm 
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Here's a quote that fit's in here because what most don't realize is that the ideas that we find in the three popular Abrahamic traditions arise from Zoroastrian doctrine. Zoroastrianism created end times belief's in Judaism which were used to create Christianity, which, several hundred years later, were used to create Islam:

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"Zarathustra's influence on Judeo-Christianity and all of western civilization is little known but should not be underestimated. His life and words changed the nature of civilization in the west, setting it on a course that departed from the static cultures of the ancient Middle East. Without his impact, Judaism would be unrecognizable, and Christianity would probably have never existed.

Western civilization owes mainly to Zarathustra its fundamental concept of linear time, as opposed to the cyclical and essentially static concept of ancient times. This concept, which was implicit in Zarathustra's doctrines, makes the notion of progress, reform, and improvement possible. Until that time, ancient civilizations, particularly Egyptian, were profoundly conservative, believing that the ideal order had been handed down to them by the gods in some mythical Golden Age. Their task was to adhere to the established traditions as closely as possible. To reform or modify them in any way would have been a deviation from and diminution of the ideal. Zarathustra gave Persian (and through it, Greek) thought a teleological dimension, with a purpose and goal to history. All people, he declared, were participants in a supernatural battle between Good and Evil, the battleground for which was the Earth, and the very body of individual Man as well. This essential dualism was adopted by the Jews, who only after exposure to Zoroastrianism incorporated a demonology and angelology into their religion. Retroactively, what was only a snake in the Genesis tale came to be irrevocably associated with the Devil, and belief in demonic possession came to be a cultural obsession, as amply reflected in the Gospels.

Zarathustra claimed special divine revelation and had attempted to establish the worship of one supreme God (Ahura Mazda) in the 7th century B. C., but after his death, the earlier Aryan polytheism reemerged. Many other features of his theology, however, have endured to the present time, through the religions that eventually superseded it.

The Babylonian captivity of the 6th century B. C. transformed Judaism in a profound way, exposing the Jews to Zoroastrianism, which was virtually the state religion of Babylon at the time. Until then, the Jewish conception of the afterlife was vague. A shadowy existence in Sheol, the underworld, land of the dead (not to be confused with Hell) was all they had to look forward to. Zarathustra, however, had preached the bodily resurrection of the dead, who would face a last judgment (both individual and general) to determine their ultimate fate in the next life: either Paradise or torment. Daniel was the first Jewish prophet to refer to resurrection, judgment, and reward or punishment (12:2 ), and insofar as he was an advisor to King Darius (erroneously referred to as a Mede), he was in a position to know the religion thoroughly.

The new doctrine of resurrection was not universally accepted by the Jews and remained a point of contention for centuries until its ultimate acceptance. The Gospels (Matthew 22:23 ) record that the dispute was still going on during the time of Christ, with the Sadducees denying and the Pharisees affirming it. It may be a mere coincidence, but note the similarity between the names Pharisee and Farsi or Parsee, the Persians from whom the doctrine of resurrection was borrowed. In addition to incorporating the doctrines of resurrection and judgment, exposure to Zoroastrianism substantially altered Jewish Messianism as well. Zarathustra predicted the imminent arrival of a World Savior (Saoshyant), who would be born of a virgin and who would lead humanity in the final battle against Evil. Jewish Messianism grafted these conceptions onto their preexisting expectations of a Davidic king who would redeem the Jewish nation from foreign oppression.

It was at this time, as a response to their captivity, that the era of 'apocalyptic literature' commenced in 'Judaism', based on Babylonian models and patterned after their symbology. This was to have a strong influence on later 'Christian thinking'. With the key elements of resurrection, judgment, reward or punishment, a Savior, apocalyptism, and ultimate destruction of the forces of Evil, it can be concluded that Jewish and Christian eschatology is Zoroastrian 'from start to finish'.

The similarities don't end with eschatology either. A lot of the tradition and sacramental ritual of Christianity, particularly Catholicism, traces back to Zoroastrian precursors. The Zoroastrian faithful would mark their foreheads with ash before approaching the sacred fire, a gesture that resembles Ash Wednesday tradition. Part of their purification before participating in ritual was the confession of sins, categorized (as Catholics do) as consisting of thought, word, or deed. Zoroastrians also had a Eucharistic ritual, the Haoma ritual, in which the god Haoma, or rather his presence, was sacrificed in a plant. The worshipers would drink the juice in expectation of eventual immortality. Finally, Zoroastrians celebrated All Souls' Day, reflecting, like the Catholics, a belief in intercession by and for the dead. We should also note that the story of the Magi, who were said to have visited the newborn Jesus, resembles an earlier story of Magi who looked for a star foretelling the birth of a Savior, in this case Mithras (The Sun!). Magi were not kings but Zoroastrian astrologers, and the birthday of Mithras on December 25th was deliberately appropriated by the church to be that of their Christ, whose actual date of birth is unknown and undocumented.

Christianity may also have borrowed the story of the temptation in the desert, since an earlier legend placed Zarathustra himself in that situation. The principal demon (Ahriman) promised Zarathustra earthly power if he would forsake the worship of the supreme God. Ahriman, like Satan when tempting Jesus, failed.

A final interesting parallel is the three days that Jesus spent in the grave. This concept may have been derived from a Zoroastrian belief that the soul remains in the body for three days before departing. Three days would have established death yet left his soul in a position to reanimate his body. As a Messiah, Jesus functioned purely along Zoroastrian lines. While purportedly of the Davidic line, he offered only redemption from sin, rather than national salvation for the Jews. He was a world savior rather than a Jewish Messiah. Jews did not recognize him as their Messiah, and in a real sense he wasn't. Their Messianic expectations, which preceded any foreign influence, went unfulfilled; in fact, their nation was ultimately destroyed. Neither did Jesus effect a final triumph over Evil. This has been reserved for a second coming in conjunction with the last judgment and the rewards and punishments of either Heaven or Hell.

Although Zoroastrianism is almost extinct today, it lives on in its spiritual descendants. Zarathustra, a prophet beyond any in the Old Testament, still speaks today, unrecognized by his children.

"Let us worship Zarathustra,
Just the way we used ta.
I'm a Zarathustra boosta--
He's good enough for me."
(Joseph Campbell, with a tongue-in-cheek parody.)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:52 pm 
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There are certain striking similarities between the Hindu god Brahma and his consort Saraisvati, and the Jewish Abraham and Sarai, that are more than mere coincidences. Although in all of India there is only one temple dedicated to Brahma, this cult is the third largest Hindu sect.

In his book Moisés y los Extraterrestres, Mexican author Tomás Doreste states,
Voltaire was of the opinion that Abraham descended from some of the numerous Brahman priests who left India to spread their teachings throughout the world; and in support of his thesis he presented the following elements: the similarity of names and the fact that the city of Ur, land of the patriarchs, was near the border of Persia, the road to India, where that Brahman had been born.

The name of Brahma was highly respected in India, and his influence spread throughout Persia as far as the lands bathed by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The Persians adopted Brahma and made him their own. Later they would say that the God arrived from Bactria, a mountainous region situated midway on the road to India. (pp. 46-47.)

Bactria (a region of ancient Afghanistan) was the locality of a prototypical Jewish nation called Juhuda or Jaguda, also called Ur-Jaguda. Ur meant "place or town." Therefore, the bible was correct in stating that Abraham came from "Ur of the Chaldeans." "Chaldean," more correctly Kaul-Deva (Holy Kauls), was not the name of a specific ethnicity but the title of an ancient Hindu Brahmanical priestly caste who lived in what are now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Indian state of Kashmir.

"The tribe of Ioud or the Brahmin Abraham, was expelled from or left the Maturea of the kingdom of Oude in India and, settling in Goshen, or the house of the Sun or Heliopolis in Egypt, gave it the name of the place which they had left in India, Maturea." (Anacalypsis; Vol. I, p. 405.)

"He was of the religion or sect of Persia, and of Melchizedek."(Vol. I, p. 364.)

"The Persians also claim Ibrahim, i.e. Abraham, for their founder, as well as the Jews. Thus we see that according to all ancient history the Persians, the Jews, and the Arabians are descendants of Abraham.(p.85) ...We are told that Terah, the father of Abraham, originally came from an Eastern country called Ur, of the Chaldees or Culdees, to dwell in a district called Mesopotamia. Some time after he had dwelt there, Abraham, or Abram, or Brahma, and his wife Sara or Sarai, or Sara-iswati, left their father's family and came into Canaan. The identity of Abraham and Sara with Brahma and Saraiswati was first pointed out by the Jesuit missionaries."(Vol. I; p. 387.)


When looking at the Abrahamic traditions it seems logical to point out the origin of the character Abraham in the bible because whatever the implications of Abraham turn out to be, turn out to be the implications all the way down the line from Judaism, to Christianity, to Islam.

So Abraham appears to be a take on the mythological Patriarchal deity "Brahma" which had been ingrained into Persian thought as well. This adds to the Zoroastrian influence. When considering that the Biblical apocolyptic literature began after the Jews had been in Babylon and subject to Zoroastrian doctrine, a people who claimed to have a Patriarchal founder called Abraham, it seems pretty clear that Abraham, just like Noah, and Moses, was based on earlier mythic stories from the surrounding high cultures that had been fashioned into the Jewish mythology and then all of this carried over to the creation of Christianity and then to the eventual creation of Islam.

Now, here we are today having people carry on about the end times, and the end of the world, and using this apocolyptic literature as their basis without ever realizing that they're merely promoting Zoroastrian "fallen nature" theology all the while. One major implication is that this makes apocolyptic literature a pagan based belief system, because the Persian, Babylonian, Indian, and Egyptian religions are considered pagan religions. So anyone concerned with the "end times" is concerning themselves with pagan concepts operating under the guise of these certain monotheistic traditions of the west. :shock:

How then can someone be anti-paganism and yet pro-apocolypse?

Only by remaining ignorant to world history and religion, that's how. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:03 am 
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Tat Tvam Asi
Quote:
Now, here we are today having people carry on about the end times, and the end of the world, and using this apocolyptic literature as their basis without ever realizing that they're merely promoting Zoroastrian "fallen nature" theology all the while. One major implication is that this makes apocolyptic literature a pagan based belief system, because the Persian, Babylonian, Indian, and Egyptian religions are considered pagan religions. So anyone concerned with the "end times" is concerning themselves with pagan concepts operating under the guise of these certain monotheistic traditions of the west. :shock:

How then can someone be anti-paganism and yet pro-apocolypse?

Only by remaining ignorant to world history and religion, that's how. :wink:


Tat and Freethinka,

How come you guys have not considered the end times described in Hindu Puranas? It does exist but not in the same manner as in the Abrahamic faiths, in the sense there is no judgment of people. There is only a total dissolution of universe only to recreate it elsewhere in another time frame and space.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:31 am 
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We were just going over the western ideas.

But, as we can see, the western ideas have merely come from the Zoroastrian ideas which have a lot of Hindu influence coming from before them. So it does stem to consider the Hindu ideas when reflecting on the evolution of apocolyptic literature from this perspective.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:24 pm 
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Balu "How come you guys have not considered the end times described in Hindu Puranas? It does exist but not in the same manner as in the Abrahamic faiths, in the sense there is no judgment of people. There is only a total dissolution of universe only to recreate it elsewhere in another time frame and space."

By all means Balu, jump in and share the end times prophecies as described in the Hindu Puranas for us...

I've just been swamped with so many other things...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Quote:
Balu "How come you guys have not considered the end times described in Hindu Puranas? It does exist but not in the same manner as in the Abrahamic faiths, in the sense there is no judgment of people. There is only a total dissolution of universe only to recreate it elsewhere in another time frame and space."

By all means Balu, jump in and share the end times prophecies as described in the Hindu Puranas for us...

I've just been swamped with so many other things...


Will tell the story in a few days FT. Festival season here and Wishing you all a Happy Diwali. You are supposed to buy gold this week.

Considering the way the global economies are melting it may not be a bad idea at all to stack up some gold. :wink:

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Just as milk is of only one colour though obtained from cows of different colours so also the peculiarities of different religious thoughts lead to the same one ultimate truth - Mahabharatha


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:37 am 
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Washing across the Islamic world is a growing wave of grim and gory literature predicting the aher al-zaman, the Arabic concept for apocalypse that literally translates as the "end of time."

Quote:
The Rise of Apocalyptic Islam: Causes and Implications

"On October 29, 2008, Jean-Pierre Filiu and Mehdi Khalaji addressed a Policy Forum luncheon at The Washington Institute. Mr. Filiu, a former French diplomat and ministerial advisor, currently serves as a visiting professor at Georgetown University. Mehdi Khalaji is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.

Jean-Pierre Filiu

Washing across the Islamic world is a growing wave of grim and gory literature predicting the aher al-zaman, the Arabic concept for apocalypse that literally translates as the "end of time." This genre is both ancient and modern, as it revisits historic Islamic narratives and incorporates newer, non-Islamic elements. Three trends of apocalypticism have emerged from this literature, making it difficult to assess the implications for foreign policymaking.

Both Sunni and Shiite Islam contain traditional narratives about the end of days. In the Sunni narrative, Jesus returns to fight the anti-Christ in Damascus, defeats him in Lud, and leads the army of the faithful at the end of time. In the predominant Shiite narrative, the occulted twelfth imam, also referred to as the "Hidden Imam" or Mahdi, will appear in Mecca and lead the Mahdi's Army, defeating the unbelievers. In contrast to these old narratives, the current wave of apocalyptic literature draws heavily from non-Islamic sources. This heterogeneous genre follows the approach of its founder, a minor Egyptian journalist whose 1986 book The Anti-Christ incorporated Biblical revelations, Nostradamus's prophesies, anti-Semitic propaganda, and Protestant evangelicalism.

As the majority of its readership does not interpret apocalypticism literally, the genre's rise does not represent an immediate political threat. Instead, apocalyptic literature is a coping mechanism for day-to-day frustration. It helps "compensate" for the current economic and social crises by associating them with the foretold decline of Islam before the end of days. Without motivating the reader to any particular action, it promises retribution against the perceived evildoers and a post-apocalyptic recompense: the rise of Islam, justice, and peace.

Despite the predominance of apolitical apocalypticism, two smaller trends use this same propaganda for political gain. "Apocalyptic opportunism" is embodied by militia leaders like Muqtada al-Sadr and Hassan Nasrallah. These leaders lack strong religious credentials and may not be Mahdists themselves, but they use this literature to challenge established religious authority and reach out to the Mahdists for political support. Although more commonly affiliated with Shiite Islam today, this opportunist use of apocalypticism has been a characteristic of both Sunni and Shiite insurgencies in the past.

The third trend, "apocalyptic vertigo," poses the most direct political threat, as it employs apocalyptic literature to support violence. It is visible at the margins of al-Qaeda, especially in the agendas of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Musab al-Suri, whose publication, The Call for a Global Islamic Resistance, includes a hundred-page apocalyptic tract. The most cohesive and clearly apocalyptic movement is the Ansaar al-Mahdi militia in Iraq. Their leader, Sheikh al-Yamani, claims to be the vanguard of the Mahdi and has demanded allegiance from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad. Even after losing its strongest supporters in a 2007 bloodbath in Najaf, Ansaar al-Mahdi remains a serious threat. The mutual rejection of these two movements and Ansaar al-Mahdi's extreme anti-Iranian stance diminish the likelihood that a combined apocalyptic movement will form.

Mehdi Khalaji

Ahmadinezhad is responsible for much of the rise in the apocalyptic trend's popularity and visibility in Iran. Prior to his election, Iranians knew very little of Ahmadinezhad's religious mindset, and he never mentioned Mahdism during his campaign. After taking office, however, he began supporting institutes working with the apocalyptic ideology and included prayers for the return of the Hidden Imam at the beginning of every speech. Still, Ahmadinezhad's apocalypticism is a greater threat to the religious establishment of Iran than to the West or Israel.

The apocalypticism of Ahmadinezhad and his close circle is distinct from the narratives of traditional religious authority. Ahmadinezhad's primary influence is Ahmad Fardid, an Iranian philosopher who attempted to reconcile Islamic concepts with Martin Heidegger's philosophy. Some of the hardliners in Ahmadinezhad's group are direct transfers from Fardid's circle, while others are German-educated intellectuals and activists with connections to the neo-Nazis. This group rejects outright the authority of traditional clerics and does not include any prominent clerics among its ranks. However, as university graduates who are ignorant of the methods of Quranic interpretation and exegesis, they rarely express their radical apocalypticism publicly.

With the failure of Islamic ideology to respond to social needs, apocalyptic ideology appealed to Iranians. Suffering from economic, social, cultural, and political crises, religion became the people's only refuge. After thirty years of revolution, many Iranians were tired of the Islam associated with the clerics and the government. Instead, they sought a simple, ritual version. Apocalypticism became a form of political resistance.

This context explains the recent popularity of religious sites such as Jamkaran Mosque near Qom. A hundred years after the Hidden Imam appeared in a dream and ordered it built, it remained a simple one-room mosque. With the rise of Mahdism in the last decade, however, it has become very important. A reported 16 million Iranians visited it last year, even more popular than the Imam Ridha shrine in Mashhad, the mosque of the eighth imam. During the same period, the number of people claiming association with the Hidden Imam has increased, signaling both widespread social frustration and a desire to capitalize off of these feelings. Before Ahmadinezhad's presidency, contact with the Hidden Imam was personal and private; now, it has become socio-political and public.

Ahmadinezhad's rejection of clerical authority and the rise of a new apocalypticism prompted a strong response from Shiite clerics and Iranian politicians. Former Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami, prominent cleric Dr. Hassan Rowhani, former Speaker of the Majlis Akbar Nouri, and others have rejected this popular apocalypticism as dangerous and non-Islamic. Two months ago, Supreme Leader Khamenei condemned these trends, citing the prohibition on claiming credit or benefiting from contact with the Hidden Imam. Khamenei follows the anti-apocalypticism of the Iranian Revolution, which rejected the need to wait for the Mahdi before establishing an Islamic government. His attitude toward Ahmadinezhad is complicated; he wants to maintain executive control and pacify the clerics, but he cannot allow Ahmadinezhad to collapse. The "sky of Iranian politics should [only] have one star," but political instability would harm the Islamic Republic's reputation.

Despite Ahmadinezhad's threats, Iranian apocalypticism should not be of major concern to foreign policymakers. Ordinary Iranians are largely unaware of the Mahdist trends in Iraq, so it is improbable that a concerted apocalyptic effort will form. Ahmadinezhad's increasing radicalism and disastrous economic policies have eroded his popularity and political power. Artists and intellectuals despise him for controlling the cultural machinery, and the Majlis has started to interfere with his political appointments. Apocalyptic political trends are in decline, and even Ahmadinezhad has tried to disassociate himself from these trends and deny his previous statements. "

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/temp ... p?CID=2956

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:26 am 
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Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
By all means Balu, jump in and share the end times prophecies as described in the Hindu Puranas for us...

I've just been swamped with so many other things...


Here, the end times are a-approaching. Brace yourselves

Quote:

PARÁŚARA.--THE dissolution of existing beings is of three kinds, incidental, elemental, and absolute. The incidental is that which relates to Brahmá, and occurs at the end of a Kalpa: the elemental is that which takes place after two Parárddhas: the absolute is final liberation from existence.

MAITREYA.--Tell me, excellent master, what is the enumeration of a Parárddha, the expiration of two of which is the period of elemental dissolution.

PARÁŚARA.--A Parárddha, Maitreya, is that number which occurs in the eighteenth place of figures, enumerated according to the rule of decimal notation. At the end of twice that period elemental dissolution occurs, when all the discrete products of nature are withdrawn into their indiscrete source..................................



........... The nature of this dissolution is very fearful: hear me describe it, as well as that which takes place at the elemental dissolution, which I will also relate to you.

At the end of one thousand successive periods of Chatur yugas, (the four ages = 4.32 billion years) the earth is for the most part exhausted. A total dearth then ensues, which lasts a hundred years; and, in consequence of the failure of food, all beings become languid and exanimate, and at last entirely perish. The eternal Vishńu then assumes the character of Rudra, the destroyer, and descends to reunite all his creatures with himself. He enters into the seven rays of the sun, drinks up all the waters of the globe, and causes all moisture whatever, in living bodies or in the soil, to evaporate; thus drying up the whole earth. The seas, the rivers, the mountain torrents, and springs, are all exhaled; and so are all the waters of Pátála, the regions below the earth. Thus fed, through his intervention, with abundant moisture, the seven solar rays dilate to seven suns , whose radiance glows above, below, and on every side, and sets the three worlds and Pátála on fire. The three worlds, consumed by these suns, become rugged and deformed throughout the whole extent of their mountains, rivers, and seas; and the earth, bare of verdure, and destitute of moisture, alone remains, resembling in appearance the back of a tortoise. The destroyer of all things, Hari, in the form of Rudra, who is the flame of time, becomes the scorching breath of the serpent Śesha, and thereby reduces Pátála to ashes. The great fire, when it has burnt all the divisions of Pátála, proceeds to the earth, and consumes it also. A vast whirlpool of eddying flame then spreads to the region of the atmosphere, and the sphere of the gods, and wraps them in ruin. The three spheres shew like a frying-pan amidst the surrounding flames, that prey upon all moveable or stationary things. The inhabitants of the two upper spheres, having discharged their functions, and being annoyed by the heat, remove to the sphere above, or Maharloka. When that becomes heated, its tenants, who after the full period of their stay are desirous of ascending to higher regions, depart for the Janaloka. Vishnu, in the person of Rudra, having consumed the whole world, breathes forth heavy clouds; and those called Samvartta, resembling vast elephants in bulk, overspread the sky, roaring, and darting lightnings. Some are as black as the blue lotus; some are white as the water-lily; some are dusky, like smoke; and some are yellow; some are of a dun colour, like that of an ass; some like ashes sprinkled on the forehead; some are deep blue, as the lapis lazuli; some azure, like the sapphire; some are white, as the conch or the jasmine; and some are black, as collyrium; some are of bright red, like the ladybird; some are of the fierceness of red arsenic; and some are like the wing of the painted jay. Such are these massy clouds in hue: in form some resemble towns, some mountains, some are like houses and hovels, and some are like columns. Mighty in size, and loud in thunder, they fill all space. Showering down torrents of water, these clouds quench the dreadful fires which involve the three worlds, and then they rain uninterruptedly for a hundred years, and deluge the whole world. Pouring down in drops as large as dice, these rains overspread the earth, and fill the middle region, and inundate heaven. The world is now enveloped in darkness, and all things, animate or inanimate, having perished, the clouds continue to pour down their waters for more than a hundred years.



WHEN the waters have reached the region of the seven Rishis, and the whole of the three worlds is one ocean, they stop. The breath of Vishńu becomes a strong wind, which blows for more than a hundred years, until all the clouds are dispersed. The wind is then reabsorbed, and he of whom all things are made, the lord by whom all things exist, he who is inconceivable, without beginning of the universe, reposes, sleeping upon Śesha, in the midst of the deep. The creator, Hari, sleeps upon the ocean, in the form of Brahmá--glorified by Sanaka And the saints who had gone to the Janaloka, and contemplated by the holy inhabitants of Brahmaloka, anxious for final liberation--involved in mystic slumber, the celestial personification of his own illusions, and meditating on his own ineffable spirit, which is called Vásudeva. This, Maitreya, is the dissolution termed incidental, because Vushnu, in the form of Brahmá, sleeps there, as its incidental cause.





When the universal spirit wakes, the world revives; when he closes his eyes, all things fall upon the bed of mystic slumber. In like manner as a thousand great ages constitute a day of Brahmá, so his night consists of the same period; during which the world is submerged by a vast ocean. Awaking at the end of his night, the unborn, Vishńu, in the character of Brahmá, creates the universe anew, in the manner formerly related to you.





Final Dissolution
Quote:
I have thus described to you the intermediate dissolution of the world, occurring at the end of every Kalpa. I will now, Maitreya, describe to you elemental dissolution. When by dearth and fire all the worlds and Pátálas are withered up, and the modifications of Mahat (Primary matter) and other products of nature are by the will of Krishńa destroyed, the progress of elemental dissolution is begun.


First, the waters swallow up the property of earth, which is the rudiment of smell; and earth, deprived of its property, proceeds to destruction. Devoid of the rudiment of odour, the earth becomes one with water. The waters then being much augmented, roaring, and rushing along, fill up all space, whether agitated or still. When the universe is thus pervaded by the waves of the watery element, its rudimental flavour is licked up by the element of fire, and, in consequence of the destruction of their rudiments, the waters themselves are destroyed. Deprived of the essential rudiment of flavour, they become one with fire, and the universe is therefore entirely filled with flame, which drinks up the water on every side, and gradually overspreads the whole of the world. While space is enveloped in flame, above, below, and all around, the element of wind seizes upon the rudimental property, or form, which is the cause of light; and that being withdrawn, all becomes of the nature of air. The rudiment of form being destroyed, and fire deprived of its rudiment, air extinguishes fire, and spreads resistlessly over space, which is deprived of light when fire merges into air. Air then, accompanied by sound, which is the source of ether, extends every where throughout the ten regions of space, until ether seizes upon contact, its rudimental property; by the loss of which, air is destroyed, and ether remains unmodified: devoid of form, flavour, touch, and smell, it exists unembodied and vast, and pervades the whole of space. Ether, whose characteristic property and rudiment is sound, exists alone, occupying all the vacuity of space. But then the radical element egotism devours sound, and all the elements and faculties are at once merged into their original. This primary element is consciousness, combined with the property of darkness, and is itself swallowed up by Mahat, whose characteristic property is intelligence; and earth and Mahat are the inner and outer boundaries of the universe.



In this manner, as in the creation were the seven forms of Prakriti (nature), reckoned from Mahat to earth , so, at the time of elemental dissolution, these seven successively re-enter into each other. The egg of Brahmá is dissolved in the waters that surround it, with its seven zones, seven oceans, seven regions, and their mountains. The investure of water is drunk up by fire: the stratum of fire is absorbed by that of air: air blends itself with ether: the primary element of egotism devours the ether, and is itself taken up by intellect, which, along with all these, is seized upon by nature (Prakriti). Equilibrium of the three properties, without excess or deficiency, is called nature (Prakriti), origin (Hetu), the chief principle (Pradhańa), cause (Kárańa), supreme (Param). This Prakriti is essentially the same, whether discrete or indiscrete; only that which is discrete is finally lost or absorbed in the indiscrete. Spirit also, which is one, pure, imperishable, eternal, all-pervading, is a portion of that supreme spirit which is all things. That spirit which is other than (embodied) spirit, in which there are no attributes of name, species, or the like--which is one with all wisdom, and is to be understood as sole existence--that is Brahma, infinite glory, supreme spirit, supreme power, Vishńu, all that is; from whence the perfect sage returns no more. Nature (Prakriti), which I have described to you as being essentially both discrete and indiscrete, and spirit (which is united with body), both resolve into supreme spirit. Supreme spirit is the upholder of all things, and the ruler of all things, and is glorified in the Vedas and in the Vedanta by the name of Vishńu.


Works, as enjoined by the Vedas, are of two kinds, active (Pravritta) and quiescent (Nivritta); by both of which the universal person is worshipped by mankind. He, the lord of sacrifice, the male of sacrifice, the most excellent male, is worshipped by men in the active mode by rites enjoined in the Rik, Yajur, and Sáma Vedas. The soul of wisdom, the person of wisdom, Vishńu, the giver of emancipation, is worshipped by sages in the quiescent form, through meditative devotion. The exhaustless Vishńu is whatever thing that is designated by long, short, or prolated syllables, or that which is without a name. He is that which is discrete, and that which is indiscrete: he is exhaustless spirit, supreme spirit, universal spirit, Hari, the wearer of universal forms. Nature, whether discrete or indiscrete, is absorbed into him, and (detached) spirit also merges into the all-diffusive and unobstructed spirit.


The period of two Parárddhas, as I have described it to you, Maitreya, is called a day of that potent Vishńu; and whilst the products of nature are merged into their source, nature into spirit, and that into the supreme, that period is termed his night, and is of equal duration with his day. But, in fact, to that eternal supreme spirit there is neither day nor night, and these distinctions are only figuratively applied to the almighty. I have thus explained to you the nature of elemental dissolution, and will now expound to you which is final






There are 4 kinds of Pralaya or dissolution as we call end times. One is the Daily, which refers to the daily deaths of lives which itself is a process of the creation-sustenance-dissolution function of the trinities. The Second is the Naimittika or the Periodical dissolution which destroys the universe from the solar system upto the Polaris. The third is the Grand Dissolution whereby the entire universe is withdrawn into the Primordial Being. The fourth is the spiritual dissolution which each soul has to strive to reach a stage beyond existence.

I have given the second and third kinds only from the Vishnu Puran. :lol:

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Ekavarnam yatha dugdham binnavarnasu dhenushu | tataiva dharmavaichitryam tatvam ekam param smritam ||
Just as milk is of only one colour though obtained from cows of different colours so also the peculiarities of different religious thoughts lead to the same one ultimate truth - Mahabharatha


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Very interesting Balu!

I'm just doing a drive by to share these links real quick on "Rapture" since they give so many biblical passages and other relevant links on this issue -

Quote:
Pre-Tribulation:

The Pre-Tribulation rapture is the view that the rapture will occur before the beginning of the Tribulation period. According to this view, the Christian Church that existed prior to that seven-year period has no vital role during the seven years of Tribulation, and will therefore be removed. Many people who accept Christ after the rapture will be martyred for their faith during the Tribulation (Rev 20:4). Saint John the Divine, which some believe is the apostle John, is seen in Revelation 4:1 as representing the Church caught up to Heaven. John hears the Trumpet and a voice that says, "Come up hither", and he is translated in the Spirit to Heaven and then sees what will happen for those left on earth. The Pre-Tribulation rapture is the most widely held position among American evangelical Christians. It has become popular in recent years around the world and through the work of dispensational preachers such as Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Tim LaHaye, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Chuck Smith, Dr. Chuck Missler, Jack Van Impe, and Dr. Grant Jeffrey.

Some who believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture warn that the rapture is imminent, saying that all of the prophecies concerning the latter days have been fulfilled to the extent that the rapture could take place at any moment. Others suggest that certain requirements must first be met before a rapture can occur, such as these:

1. The nations of the world must unify their currency onto a universal standard.
2. There will be peace in Israel (Ezekiel 38).
3. There will be a one-world government, to correspond to the 7th beast of Revelation, prior to the Antichrist's 8th beast government.
4. The Jewish temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt in its original place.
5. Observance of Old Testament commandments concerning animal sacrifices must be reinstated.
6. There will be a great falling away and the Antichrist will be revealed.

http://www.reference.com/browse/rapture?qsrc=2890

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Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
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