End Times Speculation - A Different View

Thought we could discuss this topic in the Non-Catholic Forum as there is much written on this subject in many other Faiths.

This thread - forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=904823&highlight=End+Times+speculation Has now reached # 19 which means it has now had over 19,000 replies.

My first thought is that what are we looking for as to “End Times” and what are other Faiths actually waiting for. For instance one branch of Islam is also awaiting the 2nd Comming of Jesus the Christ!

God Bless all and Regards Tony

In the sunni school of thought, we’re waiting for the appearence of Imam Mahdi, a pious leader who will fill the earth with peace, as well as the return of prophet Jesus [peace be upon him], who will destroy the false messiah and the armies of Gog and Magog. After the Dajjal, and his minions are gone, there will be an age of prosperity, where trees will grow to huge heights and people will refuse gifts because everyone will be well off. God-consciousness [or ‘taqwa’] will fill the world, so all the false religions will be no more.

The shias believe that Imam Mahdi was already born and that he’s in a state of occultation, which means that he’s invisible and undetectable to our natural senses, but still knows what’s going on in the world. That’s why they often pray for the re-appearance of Imam al-Mahdi, as opposed to the appearance. Shias often refer to him as the Twelfth Imam or the Hidden Imam. Beyond that, I don’t know much about their understanding of Imam Mahdi.

In Judaism, for the most part, we are awaiting the coming of the Messiah for the first (and only) time. One of the main goals during the Messianic era is peace and harmony among all the nations of the world, which derives from the realization of the existence of G-d, the worship of G-d, and the absence of sin. However, it is not necessary to convert to Judaism. The Torah will be studied and practiced more profoundly than ever when the Messiah arrives and, some believe, the Temple will be rebuilt. This is what the Hebrew Bible means by the new, that is, renewed covenant.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pretty interesting.

*"674 The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel,” for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus.569 St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”570 St. Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?”571 The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles,”572 will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” in which “God may be all in all.”573 (840, 58)

The Church’s ultimate trial

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.576 (769)

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatalogical judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,577 especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.578 (2425)

677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world."*

(CCC, par 674 - 677)

The Buddha is also going to return - I copied a couple of very interesting quotes from this link - iawwai.com/BuddhistProphecies.html

‘People will no longer have any religion to which they can turn for solace or liberation: the doctrines of materialism will overwhelm their minds and drive them to struggle for their own selfish ends. The lust for power and wealth will prevail over teachings of compassion and truth’ - The prophecy of Shambala ( Buddhist, BEF 700 CE )

‘I am not the first Buddha awakened one ] who has come upon the Earth, nor will I be the last. In due time another Buddha will rise in the world, a holy one, a supreme enlightened one, endowed with auspicious wisdom embracing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a ruler of gods and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths, which I have taught you. He will establish his law Religion ], glorious in its origins, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a righteous life wholly perfect and pure, such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands, while mine number many hundreds. He will be known as Maitreya.’ - Buddha Gautama

‘The banner of Shambala shall encircle the central lands of the Blessed One. Those who accept him shall rejoice, and those who deny him shall tremble. The decriers shall be given over to justice and shall be forgotten. The warriors shall march under the banner of Maitreya.’ - The prophecy of Shambala ( Buddhist, BEF 700 CE )

‘In those days, brethren, there will arise in the World and Exalted One named Metteya. He will be an Arahant, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher of gods and men, an Exalted One, a Buddha, even as I am now. He, by himself , will thoroughly know and see, as it were face to face, this Universe, with its worlds of the spirits, its Brahmas and its Maras, and its world of recluses and brahmins, of princes and peoples, even as I now, by myself thoroughly know and see them. The Law, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, will he proclaim, both in the spirit and in the letter; the higher life will he make known, in all its fulness and in all its purity, even as I do now. He will be accompanied by a congregation of some thousands of brethren, even as I am now accompanied by a congregation of some hundreds of brethren.’ - Digha Nikaya iii.76, Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutanta

‘Listen attentively with one heart. A man whose spirit shines brightly, a man whose mind is completely unified, a man whose virtue excels everyone - such a man will truly appear in this world. When he preaches precious laws, all the people wil totally satisfied as if the thirsty drink sweet drops of rain from heaven. And each and everyone will attain the path of liberation from struggles.’ - Sutra of the Great Accomplishment of the Maitreya

They are great Prophesies!

God Bless and Regards Tony

They cannot all be “great Prophecies”, Tony. They conflict and contradict each other.

The “messianic hope” of the Buddhist is that “each and everyone will attain the path of liberation from struggles.”

The “messianic hope” of the Baha’i is peace, equity and justice for all in a one world government under the auspices of the Universal House of Justice.

The “messianic hope” of the Christian is eternal life with God through Jesus Christ; quite beyond this world. The second coming of Christ will be the end of human history. Read, once again, the words of the Catholic Church, which I believe addresses both the Buddhist and Baha’i faiths in that the “messianic hope” they offer is to take place in history:

“The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatalogical judgment.”

Truth must be discerned within each religion, and each religion certainly possesses truth. The truth they possess is acknowledged and embraced by the Catholic Church and, it seems, this is where the Church prefers to place its focus. But it cannot and will not accept the errors that are also contained within certain doctrines, beliefs and practices of non-Christian religions. It is an objective truth that at most, only one religion can possess the fullness of truth. Those that are false are neither great nor a prophecy. How is one to discern truth when we cannot name error? Unity can never trump truth. That is really what it boils down to.

God bless.

Steve

Steve - That is just it, they could indeed be all right, each could be telling of the same Future event but from the Message given by the Prophet to the people it was revealed to at that time!

The events that are to Happen tie into each other in complete Harmony

Baha’u’llah has Written

"It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of Being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendor! Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: “I am the return of all the Prophets,” He, verily, speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established…. " reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-22.html

God Bless and Regards Tony

End times is not for us to know but be ready it will happen. What we shouldnt be doing is frightening people with things NO ONE knows when. Love God with all your mind, heart and soul and your neighbor without proselytizing and making people paranoid.

Pray and Love continually. Ask for the Grace to be ready and teach your children well and don’t confuse them because the Kingdom of Heaven is for those such as a child. :slight_smile:

MJ

Dear Friend there are no truer words than those :thumbsup::wink:

God Bless and Regards Tony

Tony, did you read anything that I posted? According to Christianity, the second coming of Christ will be the end of human history. This world will pass away and be no more. This directly and unambiguously contradicts the idea of some earthly utopia in which all mankind lives together in peace and harmony under the direction of an enlightened human government.

Either Christianity is correct on this or it is not. But it certainly does not tie into the other ideas “in complete harmony”. It is, rather, a complete contradiction.

Dear SteveVH - Yes dear Friend I am aware and did read what you posted, I am giving you the alternate view of what is currently thought.

Consider you are not the Only Church or even Faith with an Idea about end times, it is written in many scriptures and is interpreted in many ways - This is undeniable.

This thread is to examine all the views, Baha’i included. Over time I will post from Other Christians and Other Faiths on this issue.

In the end we all learn from this experience and if it is all to end, then do not worry as this post is as useless as the world apparently is to all that thinks it needs to be destroyed!

Was it man that erred or was it this poor Earth and its creatures that we happily destroy? I know what I would consider God has to send His wrath and Justice upon?

God Bless your searching Heart with Clarity of Vision and Love - Regards Tony

And I have never denied that. I agree completely. My objection is your assertion that all the faiths “tie into each other in complete Harmony”. They objectively do not. Why this is so difficult for you to admit is beyond me.

No thread has to be useless if we can all be intellectually honest. Pretending that all beliefs somehow swirl together in a unified belief system is not being honest. A great part of discerning truth is recognizing error.

Man didn’t just err, he knowingly sinned against God and all of creation was changed. Sickness, death and decay entered into the world through the sin of man. It is this world which will pass away. Jesus makes all things new.

I am, however, interested in just who you believe God should send his wrath upon.

Steve

Dear SteveVH - All of us dear friend in God, all of us :blush:

Thankfully we can all Humbly submit to God, ask forgiveness and be assured of His Love, Bounty, Compassion, Grace and Mercy.

We do not deserve to live on this Planet, Thankfully and most fortunately we have God that created us, Loves us and will continue to guide us.

God Bless and Regards Tony

:thumbsup: Very Catholic!

God created man to have dominion over the earth. Yes, this is abused by many, but we more than deserve to live on this earth. God created it for us and when he created man he said it was good, even “very good”.

Amen.

Why did you not address the rest of my post?

SteveVH - I did not comment on the rest of the post because of time limits, I did this prior to work this morning in the land down under :wink:

I can agree that God Gave us this Earth and all its Fruits for our benefit and use and Yes it is Good, very Good. My comment is that we do not deserve that bounty for what we do with it. Now if we follow Gods Law and treat Gods Creation how it should be treated, then slightly different story could be told.

I will revisit you previous post Dear SteveVH - God Bless and Regards Tony

:thumbsup:

SteveVH - It is because I am looking at this a different way dear friend. The Harmony ties into the Pure Word, that is the Pure Word without Interpretation.

We are also told that the Main Message Does not Change, but the Laws do. Thus it is to the Main Message we look for the Oneness, not the Law aspect of revelation as this does change from age to age.

For instance the “Golden Rule” aspect of the Word this is the same in all True Faiths.

Also the Love of God and submission unto His Will not our Will.

SteveVH - These are my thoughts and are not from the Baha’i Writings - IMHO If the Physical World as we know it is to end, then imperfection is already an issue. It would have been destroyed before the animating creative force of Love is fully manifested within Creation. Science will tell you that this world is very very old and yes in the far distant future it may indeed be no more. But by that time the Earth would have Produced the Fruits of God in absolute Perfection. Mankind will have also moved further towards what is destined by God for Man.

Now if the End of the World (This word could be Times or Era) is mainly a spiritual happening, then this is reasonable. Imagine the Muslim Faith for Instance. It has formed into mighty Nations spanning a large portion of the Earth. It has been the way of man for many hundreds of years.

Then God sends a Man and Invests Him with the Holy Spirit and he rends that Nation asunder. Is this not the end of Times or an era or the world as it was known?

We are told look back in time, what is left of Great Civilizations, what do we now know of them! Some a little most we know not a thing about. Their World Ended, but the Earth is still here in all its Perfection.

Dear SteveVH - Yes all things can be made new. There are many stories of heroes of Faiths that were made new and the Earth is covered with the blood of these Souls.

Just because things are made new does not mean that there is still not decay present.

Good example of this is a logged Forrest. The Old Growth is entirely cut down and a new Forrest is planted and blooms into growth Meanwhile it is still apparent that some old Stumps, discarded foliage and root structures remain which disintegrate over time as the All things made New Flourish.

Dear SteveVH - I love the Catholics, they diligently serve their Lord and I thank God for your new Pope :thumbsup: :wink:

God Bless and Regards Tony

In other words, from your point of view, we should ignore the contradictions. But I cannot understand how error has anything to do with the Pure Word. For instance, Christ, the Pure Word, claims that he rose bodily from the grave and emphasized this by inviting one of the Apostles to touch the wounds in his hands and side. Islam, and by extension, the Baha’i, believe that Christ did not rise bodily from the grave. Objectively, both of these positions cannot be correct. If one is true the other must be false. Whichever one is in error cannot harmoniously tie into the “Pure Word” in which there is nothing false.

Are you speaking of God’s law or human law? God is not inconsistent. His laws remain forever.

Not at all. The return of Christ means the complete defeat of evil and sin and their consequences. It is only then that the creative force of Love will be fully manifested. It cannot be accomplished, fully, by human beings who are, by nature, flawed and imperfect. Christ has already accomplished this through his life, death and resurrection. It has not been fully realized in time, but has rather been suspended until the conversion of Israel.

How do you know this? In many ways, there are a lot of people who are straying further and further from the Word of God as time progresses. You are assuming that time will take care of these things, but we have no evidence that this is true.

It is both spiritual and physical.

I have no idea what relevance this has to the discussion. Maybe you could explain further.

No, the world has not ended as anyone can plainly see. Neither has evil and sin. The end of the world is not some allegory, but a real event in time when the enemy of our souls is defeated forever. It will be a cosmic upheaval.

There is an organization that has outlived every king, kingdom, ruler and nation on earth. That organization is the Catholic Church, which we have been promised will never end or suffer defeat. So far Christ has kept his promise. The “age” has not ended. We are still in the same battle against evil as we were since Adam and Eve, the victory of which will only be realized when Christ returns. When that happens all of creation will change. No more sin, suffering, sickness, disease, or death. It is not only a spiritual renewal, but physical as well.

Not in the Baha’i paradigm. But it means exactly that in the Christian paradigm. Sickness, disease, death and decay are a direct consequence of sin. When sin and evil are defeated, once and for all, these consequences of sin will not exist. It will be as God originally intended it to be; perfect. All things will be mad new.

Peace.

Steve

Tony,

If I may, can you please explain the Baha’i position concerning the reality of Satan in our world? I think there is a fundamental breakdown of communication between us concerning the issue of the presence and purpose of evil in the world and its consequences on all of creation.

Thank you.

Steve

SteveVH - I will answer this in context of the End Times Speculation as it does indeed tie into the subject. I may also further clarify the “End of the World” view of the Baha’is.

Baha’u’llah has said that there is no independent Force of Evil and that Satan in Scriptures refers to the lower Nature of Man. This is a topc within itself so I will use an example how this is so. If one contemplates this example then it can be seen how this is so.

It can be said with all honesty that Darkness does not exist. Darkness is not an independent force by itself. Darkness only exists because of the absent of the Animating Force of Light. If one was to elevate themselves above this earth, they would forever more be bathed in nothing but light. It is only when the Source of that light is obscured, that we then have darkness.

This is the case of Evil. Thus Satan or the lower side of man only manifests when mankind using His Free Will Obscures the Animating Force of Light, the Love of God.

It is this gift of Free Will that allows us to comprehend the full scale of Positive to Negative. God could make us all believe, but this would take away from what is Pure Love and dear friend in God, God made us in His Image. (The non existence of the Negative Force is in all things, ie Love - Hate only exists because the lack of Love etc etc)

Thus God does not have to Destroy a part of His Creation, that is the Earth to bring about the end times.

That is where each individual now has to consider what is the End of Times/Era/World.

God Bless and Regards Tony (P/S That is all the time I have before work dear Friend)

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