Do you remember 2012, or more accurately, the decade or so beforehand filled with prognostications of the coming apocalypse? Obviously, the world didn’t end. But failed doomsday predictions have never stopped new ones from being made.
So take heed: You don’t want to make plans, tell everyone you’re coming, and get dressed up to the nines, only for the apocalypse to hit, leaving the world devoid of life and you red-faced with embarrassment. Knowing how much time humanity has left to exist is crucial for planning your social life, so here are ten dates to keep clear in case all life on Earth is annihilated.
10 The Great Tribulation
According to the Bible, the Great Tribulation will be the worst period in the history of mankind and will immediately precede the end of the world. For Christian doomsday theorists, all signs point to fall 2017 as the start for this seven-year period of excruciating torment.
It took a lot of people and a lot of long, complicated Bible verses and calculations to arrive at this date, but the theory basically revolves around significant dates concerning Jerusalem. In 1217, a rabbi by the name of Judah Ben Samuel made a number of predictions regarding Jerusalem and the end of the world. First, he claimed the Turks would control the area for eight Jubilees. (A Jubilee is a 50-year period that culminates in forgiveness, erasure of debt, freedom, and God’s mercy.) According to the rabbi, 1217 was the start of a Jubilee cycle, as was 1517, the year the Turks invaded Jerusalem, 300 years after his prediction. In 1917, eight Jubilees later, the Turks were driven out of Jerusalem on Hanukkah.
Ben Samuel then predicted that the city would be a no-man’s land for the ninth Jubilee, which is when the city was under a British mandate, during which time they suggested corpus separatum (separate body), which would have made Jerusalem an international territory in its own right. The city was then split between Israel and Jordan in 1948, before it came back under total Israeli control in 1967, the end of the ninth Jubilee.
2017 marks 50 years since Israel took back full control of Jerusalem, making it the final year of the tenth Jubilee. According to the rabbi, this is when the Jews would rule over Israel, and the end of days would come. 2017 also marks two Jubilees since the Balfour declaration, which stated the intention to create a homeland for Jewish people, as well as 70 years (one biblical generation) after the adoption of the UN’s Partition Plan for Palestine.
9 The Ninth Prediction
The Hopi are a Native American tribe based in Arizona. With a reservation of 6,557 square kilometers (2,532 mi2) and a population of 19,327 people as of 2010, the Hopi tribe is one of the largest in the US. And with this sizeable culture comes a whole lot of history.
Like many Native American tribes, the Hopi faced threats of violence and oppression from Spanish conquistadors, although they did enjoy significant victories in 1542 and 1680. They were eventually granted their reservations by President Arthur in 1882, but they had been in communication with the US government for years prior. One of the more notable of these encounters was that of minister David Young and Hopi elder White Feather in 1958, in which White Feather gave Young a number of ancient Hopi predictions.
The first two predictions were of white-skinned men and spinning wheels filled with voices, which the Hopi say were the arrival of Europeans and their conquest of the Americas. The next told of “a strange beast like a buffalo” overrunning the land, which was a warning against the scale of modern cattle farming. The next three predictions were for snakes of iron, a giant spiderweb, and rivers of stone: railways, telecommunication wires, and roads.
These six predictions had already been fulfilled when given to Young in 1958. The final three were not.
White Feather’s first prediction of the future was that the sea would turn black, causing death to the things inside it. Many have attributed this to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which was the fifth-largest spill ever, although only half the size of the 1910 Kern County spill. The next prediction told of long-haired youth yearning to learn the Native American ways, which could reference the hippie movement. Then there is the ninth prediction:
You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the Earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease.
The most immediate assumption to make is that a comet will crash into the Earth, and while many believe that this is the warning of the prophecy, others believe that the term “blue star” could point to something else. Tiangong-1 is a Chinese space laboratory that lost all communications with Earth in 2016. Right now, it is orbiting the planet and will do so until it has lost enough momentum that it will crash into the Earth. Could this blue satellite be the star in White Feather’s prediction? Could there be an experiment on it that could spell doom for humanity? We’ll just have to wait until October 2018, when the lab is expected to reenter our atmosphere. If we’re still alive then, we can start waiting for the comet.
8 The Second Coming
In the psychic community, Jeane Dixon is considered one of the most important figures of the 20th century. In addition to working closely with Presidents Nixon and Reagan, Dixon had a syndicated newspaper column and wrote several books, including one on horoscopes for dogs.
In 1973, Dixon published her most famous book, The Call to Glory, which her followers believe to this day predicts the end of the world. In it, the Catholic clairvoyant claimed that the beginning of the end would come in 2020, starting with a voice heard all around the world saying, “It is done.” This would signal the Second Coming of Christ, who would battle with Satan until the end of the world in 2037.
Fortunately, like most other psychics, Dixon had a habit of predicting things incorrectly. Unlike most other psychics, the phenomenon of ignoring the wrong stuff was named after her and is now known as the Jeane Dixon Effect. Dixon claimed that the information she received was always good; she just misinterpreted it.
7 The Second Coming (Again)
If you don’t trust psychics and prefer to get your information on the apocalypse directly from the Bible itself, then F. Kenton Beshore is the man for you. President of the World Bible Society, Beshore is convinced that Armageddon will occur by 2021 “at the latest.” One of the main reasons for this is down to his interpretation of the parable of the fig tree.
If you don’t know the parable, it basically goes like this: A farmer is angry that his fig tree hasn’t given him any figs in three years. As he is about to cut it down, a farmhand rocks up and says, “Chill, leave it with me for a year before you do that.” Most interpret this as God preparing to smite infidels but Jesus giving them a second chance.
However, since the fig tree is often a metaphor for Israel, Beshore and others believe that the parable means something different entirely. In his book When, Beshore claims that it means Jesus will return one generation after the founding of Israel, which he says will occur in 2028. Since Jesus will have to fight Satan for a while before he can rapture all the good guys, this means that the actual chaos and anarchy will have started by 2021.
6 World-Killing Asteroid
The Messiah Foundation International was founded in 2002 and acts as a sort of spiritual leftover casserole. The foundation appears to believe in all theistic religions, but it is mainly a blend of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.
According to the Messiah Foundation, scientists are well aware of a gargantuan asteroid hurtling toward our planet, on course to collide in 2026. But although these unnamed scientists believe we will have the technology to destroy it by then, the foundation disagrees. The asteroid will mark the end of days.
The foundation claims that when this happens, the awaited ones will return and save everyone worth saving. Needless to say, Jesus is one of the awaited ones. The Messiah (for those who believe it wasn’t Jesus) will also make an appearance, as will the Mahdi (the Islamic Redeemer) and the Kalki Avatar (Vishnu’s final incarnation). Conveniently, His Sublime Eminence Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, who founded the Messiah Foundation, is also one of the awaited ones and will also return, despite not being dead yet.
5 Newton’s Prediction
When you think of Isaac Newton, you probably think of science and reason, but it turns out that the man who documented gravity may have needed to be brought down to Earth a little himself. It’s no secret that Newton was a firm believer in God, but few remember that his belief in the Bible was as steadfast as his belief in science. He even believed the Bible contained clues to the end of the world for those looking closely enough to spot them.
Newton’s calculations are long and complex, but essentially, he believed that the end of the world would come after a long period of corruption in the Catholic Church. Working backwards, Newton believed that the year 800 marked the beginning of this corruption and of the pope’s supremacy. The Book of Revelations mentions “time, times, and the dividing of time,” which is interpreted to be mean one year, two years, and half a year, or 3.5 years in total. It also mentions 42 months. Both 3.5 years and 42 months add up to 1,260 days in the old Jewish calendar, and since days often represent years in the Bible, Newton concluded that the end would come in the year 2060.
Newton did qualify this by saying that while the world may end later than 2060, he saw “no reason” for it to end sooner. Ironically, he hoped that his prediction would help “put a stop the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end.” We all know how well that worked out.
4 Islamic Second Coming
Before the creation of comic books or movies, the only overlapping expanded universes were those of religion. Technically, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God. These faiths, along with a few smaller ones, are known as the Abrahamic religions and account for over half of believers worldwide. So if Christianity is the sequel to Judaism, then Islam is the spin-off, where Jesus makes a cameo as a well-respected prophet but not the Messiah. It’s sort of like Iron Man appearing in the new Spider-Man movie.
According to a number of Islamic hadiths (sayings), the apocalypse will not be a single-day event but something that occurs over time. It will begin with the world becoming a place of war and oppression against Muslims, which one could easily argue is taking place today. In response to this, the Madhi, the awaited one, will unite all Muslims and set the stage for the return of a prophet, which many believe could be Jesus. This is due to a hadith that says the son of Mary will break the cross and kill the swine. Breaking the cross, of course, means tearing apart Christianity, which they believe has gone in a direction Jesus did not intend. Killing the pig means reinstating the rules of Judiasm that were abandoned by Christianity, such as those concerning eating pork.
Said Nursi was a Muslim scholar who studied these hadiths and believed that he had figured out the timeline for these events. According to his interpretations, the world will end with earthquakes, fire, and a one-eyed beast battling the Messiah as Gog and Magog descend upon the Earth. Gog and Magog appear in the Torah, the Quran, and the Bible, sometimes as humanoid beings, other times representing hostile nations. Whoever or whatever they are, Nursi believed that this would all take place in the year 2129, so most of us will probably be watching all this unfold as we burn in Hell anyway.
3 Messiah Clock
One of the most easily identifiable beliefs of Judaism is that they are waiting for the Messiah. It should come as no great surprise, then, that some have tried to pinpoint when exactly he will be arriving. Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna was an 18th-century scholar who developed a clock (not a physical one but a method of timekeeping) to count down to the arrival of the Messiah. Psalm 90:4 states that every 1,000 years for us is but a day in God’s eyes, so Eliyahu applied this to the six days of creation. This makes the seventh day, the Sabbath, the time when God will rule over us forever, also known as the Messianic Age.
Hebrew days work slightly differently than those in the Gregorian calendar, with new days beginning at sunset rather than sunrise. So it is not the year 7000 as you may think but the year 6000 that the Messianic Age is believed to begin. The year 6000 will kick off at sunset on September 30, 2239. According to this belief, the Messiah must actually appear before the Sabbath, so that is the latest possible date of his arrival, although he could appear any time before then to help us prepare for his new kingdom of Heaven.
Unfortunately, although the eternal Sabbath will bring about total peace and harmony, it will only be for those who actively prepare for the arrival of the Messiah. Even if you are a practicing Jew, you won’t be allowed into the party if you don’t help set it up.
2 Quran Code
Rashad Khalifa was an Egyptian biochemist and divine messenger of God, according to himself. In the late 1960s, Khalifa began using computers to look for mathematical codes hidden in the Quran. By the mid-1970s, he was claiming that he had found them. His research looked at the frequency of words, letters, verses, numbers, and so on and stated that the number 19 was the key to unlocking the secrets of the ancient text.
Some evidence of this is that the first verse of the Quran has 19 letters, as does the first verse of the last revelation. The number of chapters between the famous “missing statement” and the extra statement is 19, with these edits being made by scholars 19 years after the death of the prophet. When the name Rashad Khalifa is treated geomatrically (where A=1, B=2, etc.), the numbers somehow add up to 19, revealing him as the seer of the apocalypse. There are many more of these supposed pieces of evidence, but you get the gist.
The Quran, like most holy books, gives us a few things to look out for so that we know when the end of the world is coming. These include the splitting of the Moon, which believers say is when humans took back Moon rocks; the discovery of the secret code, the aforementioned code 19; and the creature “made of the Earth” that will enlighten us to the existence of our creator, aka computers.
Using these codes and clues, Khalifa deduced that the world would end in 2280, so we still have a fair bit of time left on Earth. When the end comes, a horn will sound, and Earth will be “crushed, utterly crushed,” as will the heavens. Fortunately, a second Earth and Heaven will form for believers.
The problem with mathematical codes is that it’s pretty easy to make them fit your prediction. Most of the evidence for this involves pointing out things such as how the total number of verses in the Quran, 6,346, is 334 multiplied by 19. So perhaps the most compelling case for this prediction is a criminal one: Khalifa’s murder. Khalifa was murdered by an ex-student in January 1990. Nineteen years later, the killer was extradited from Canada for trial and was ultimately convicted on December 19, 2012.
1 Sermon Of The Seven Suns
Of the roughly 4,200 known religions we’ve had throughout human history, Buddhism is one of the most widely tolerated and respected by those outside the faith. But apart from their policies of peace and self-reflection, the only things most people know about Buddhism are the belief in reincarnation and that joke about the Dalai Lama asking a pizzeria if they can make him “one with everything.” So, how does a religion of serenity and rebirth think the world will bid its final farewell?
To understand how Buddha claims the world will end, you must first know that the Buddha who founded Buddhism on Earth is just that of our world, Siddhartha Gautama. Gautama Buddha lived from 563 to 483 BC and claimed that his teachings would be forgotten 5,000 years after his death, or around AD 4517. By this point, we’ll all be living selfish and sinful lifestyles. Another Buddha, Maitreya, will descend and revive the religion sometime in the following 80,000 years, which is how long people will live by then.
After this, the sermon of the Seven Suns will move forward. The first is our Sun, which will see all plant life “dry up, wither away, and cease to be.” When the second sun appears, all animal life will die. The third, fourth, and fifth suns will dry up the rivers, lakes, and oceans, respectively, while the sixth sun will usher in an era of violent volcanic destruction.
Finally, the seventh sun will appear and cause the Earth to burst into flames and burn away into complete and utter nonexistence. One could easily argue that the suns are used to measure time, but it seems that believers in this religion generally take them as literal suns either entering our solar system or going supernova. Fortunately, anyone is free to avoid this fate by simply achieving enlightenment and Nirvana, which should be doable if you have a Buddha and 80,000 years to live.
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