Eschatology is the branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind.
For many centuries, people have been predicting the year, the month and sometimes the day when:
> A violent and sudden end would terminate all life on earth;
> Major social and political upheavals would occur around the world;
> The war of Armageddon would take place in the Middle East;
> God would pour horrendous wrath on most of humanity; and/or
> Christ would return in what is referred to as the second coming.
Here are a few such prophesies, some of which have already overshot their expiration date to no effect, and some of which are still to arrive.
500 CE: This was the first year-with-a-nice-round-number-panic. The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about this year.
968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.
992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3 moons were fighting. There does not appear to be independent verification of this remarkable event.
1496: This was approximately 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. Some mystics in the 15th century predicted that the millennium would begin during this year.
1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death between 1669 and 1690 to protect themselves from the Antichrist.
1970’s: The late Moses David (formerly David Berg) was the founder of the Christian religious group, The Children of God. He predicted that a comet would hit the earth, probably in the mid 1970’s and destroy all life in the United States. One source indicated that he believed it would happen in 1973.
1991: Mother Shipton, a 16th century mystic predicted the end of the world: “…The world to an end shall come; in nineteen hundred and ninety-one.”
1992-OCT-28: Lee Jang Rim, a Korean Christian pastor, taught that the Rapture would occur on this date, at 10:00 AM EST. It didn’t happen; many of his followers allegedly committed suicide.
1997-NOV-27: The Sacerdotal Knights of National Security report that “A space alien captured at a UFO landing site in eastern Missouri cracked under interrogation by the CIA and admitted that an extraterrestrial army will attack Earth on November 27 with the express purpose of stripping our planet of every natural resource they can find a use for — and making slaves of every man, woman and child in the world!”
1997: Superdave the Wonderchemist took the magic number 1331 and added it to 666 the “Number of the Beast” from the Book of Revelation to get the year of the arrival of the Antichrist and the end of the world.
Sometime in 2000: Many Christian individuals and groups have long anticipated that Christ’s return would happen in 2000 CE. Many of them believe that this event would be preceded by a 7 year period called “The Tribulation.” They expected that this interval would start in 1993 and that 42 months into the Tribulation, terrible things would occur. However, that time passed and the anticipated events did not happen.
2000-MAR: The numbers of solar flares on the surface of the sun goes through an approximately 11 year cycle. This number reached a peak around 1999-MAR. It was suggested that this peak might cause electrical power failures, which might trigger other disasters. It didn’t.
About 1999: Orville T. Gordon (a.k.a. Nodrog) leads a Texan group called “Outer Dimensional Forces.” He expected that UFOs would come from outer space, remove the ODF groups from earth, and destroy the United States with a great flood. It is not clear where all the water would come from.
1999-JUL: Nostradamus predicted that a great king of terror will come from the skies. This has been interpreted by some as referring to a nuclear missile strike: “The year 1999, seven months, From the sky will come a great King of Terror: To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols, Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.”
Recent Past: James Kingsley predicted that:
“To the chosen of the Most High ‘The Christ’ will soon be made known, though many who see (and have seen) the ‘Signs in the Heavens’ will not believe. Those ‘Chosen’ will be given an intense impression (possibly even visually, or heard in music) of where they must go to be saved from the upcoming ‘End of Days.’ These will be few (144,000 persons) and many will be falsely told that they are following the ‘Antichrist.’ This is untrue as the ‘Beast’ is later realized to be ‘George W. Bush’… the ‘False Church’ is ‘materialistic capitalism’… the ‘False Prophet’ is the ‘European Union’ and the ‘Daughter of Babylon’/’Whore of Babylon’ is the ‘United States of America’.”
End of World Theories waiting to happen if we survive 2012:
Before 2019: Tathagata predicted in 1999 that the end of the world as we know it will happen within the next twenty years. an imbalance in gravity will cause the disappearance of all civilizations by a 1000 meter high tsunami, as well as earthquakes, volcanoes and “crustal formations. … Most of creatures are to be exterminated.”
2023: According to Clarence D’Souza, Daniel 12:12-13 predicts the end of the world and of the Universe during this year.
Before 2038: The environmental group, Greenpeace, predicts massive starvation due to uncontrolled population growth. Global warning will melt the polar ice caps and cause massive coastal flooding. Thousands of plant and animal species become extinct.
2047-SEP-14: According to The Church of !BLAIR!, the human race will probably be terminated at 3:28 AM (Soho, UK time). The church teaches, with tongue firmly in cheek, that if the human race does not discard their plastic conformity, then the Gods will withdraw their protection. The Gods don’t want us to worship them; they don’t want sacrifices or even offerings. They just want us to rid itself of our excessive “Normalcy”. At that time, Astro-Lemurs (extra-terrestrials similar in shape to lemurs, but with rainbow colored bodies) will attack the entire human race and beat them to death with gigantic burritos. You have been warned.