CURRENT Predictions Nostradamus Predictions
This blog explains interpretations of Nostradamus related to current evolving events in the Middle East, North Korea and the third antichrist, global warming, New Orleans, Osama bin laden, the current world-wide economic crisis, and his prediction on The Apocalypse and The Second Coming.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Witnesses Of The Apocalypse And Of The Second Coming

The long awaited Apocalypse, otherwise known as Revelation, and the Second Coming[1] are currently materializing. Although during the last twenty centuries these events have been discussed and elaborated innumerable times, they were constantly subjected to a variety of interpretations and illusionary expectations. Those of us who are living through the current evolving events related to the Middle East and Osama bin laden, global warming, North Korea’s intransigence, and the world-wide economic crisis, are witnesses of the upcoming Apocalypse. All these events were predicted by Nostradamus about four-hundred and fifty years ago with the outmost precision of a brain surgeon. In Century X, quatrain 74, he tells us that as of August 2008 we have entered the period of the Apocalypse. The question is, “Has anyone noticed it?”

My initial intent was to post this paper after North Korea’s predicted nuclear attack, and that is the reason why I purposely withheld posting on my website all recent interpretations on this subject. I did not want to publicize this subject-matter and later on be accused of making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, after looking at the many predictions Nostradamus has given us on the subject of the North Korean nuclear attack, I decided to publish it now. Nostradamus has covered the subject of the North Korean nuclear attack extensively in more quatrains than any other subject in his entire book. This is somewhat unusual. Maybe he did it on purpose. Maybe he wanted to alert us to the impending Armageddon because this prediction could have been avoided. There is no question that he is deeply concerned about the fate of mankind.[2]

One of the main purposes of Jesus Christ's coming to this world was to tell us, and explain to us, that God is a Spirit, or more appropriately, an Infinite Intelligence, and to teach us to love each other, to love our neighbors because we all belong to one universal spiritual brotherhood. Saint John, in chapter 4, verse 24 tells us: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth;” and, Saint Mark, in chapter 12, verses 29-31 tells us “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” And Saint John, in chapter 15, verse 12 says: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

The confirmation of what Jesus taught us two thousand years ago about God being a Spirit is being manifested to us through Nostradamus’ current evolving predictions. God's existence as a Spirit entity has now been proven beyond any doubt. God's eternal presence and power is irrevocably confirmed. If God didn’t exist, Nostradamus would not have had his predictive (or prophetic) abilities; and, he would not have been capable of predicting such critical events with the utmost precision and apocalyptic detail four hundred-and-fifty years ago. His predictive abilities were possible only because of God's Divine gift of prophecy. If The Spirit did not exist, the Old Testament prophets would not have existed as such. If The Spirit did not exist, the other God-loving and revered Prophets like Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, and others who were selected and inspired by our Creator to spread His Divine Word, would not have existed as such. They were all selected and inspired by The Spirit for a specific divine purpose, namely, to spread the Divine Word.

The Apocalypse or Second Coming constitutes an axiomatic confirmation of God's eternal presence around us and within us. There should be no more skepticism, lingering doubts, or questioning as to whether God exists or whether He is a white, black, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or a ... God. The religious divisiveness, which has recently been deteriorating by the day, is not an inherent attribute of God-loving religions. This is certainly not what our Creator wants. But, this is precisely what happens when religions are allowed to be politicized, or manipulated and distorted by unethical, unscrupulous, or self-serving politicians and/or religious leaders.

Are you still wondering why the world conditions are in such a mess, partitioned into a multitude of religious adversarial groups, divided by racial and ethnic biases and social intolerance, and governed by intransigent and self-serving political leaders? Are you still wondering why we just entered a protracted period of world-wide economic semi-depression that will bring about enormous suffering throughout the world? Well, well! Our trials and tribulations are just beginning. Some of you may have not yet been directly affected by the current economic events. Just wait. There is more to come. The future will become clearer after we look at a few more of Nostradamus’ predictions. I trust, after we are through examining various passages from the New Testament, you will have a better appreciation as to why the Apocalypse had to happen. We needed a wake-up call to put some sense into our heads. We needed a wake-up call to stir us in the right direction. We surely needed a spiritual awakening, and this is precisely what we are about to get.

Nostradamus refers to the Apocalypse/Second Coming metaphorically as "When the dead will come out of their graves". This expression is compatible with what is written in The New Testament. But how could that be so? The dead are dead. How could the dead come out of their graves? Herein lies the essence of the miracle of the Apocalypse, the Second Coming. The purpose of the event is perfectly clear. All the facts are in front of us. There can be no doubt about it. All the evidence is in the New Testament. We merely have to open our eyes to see it. We merely have to free our minds from the prevailing religious traditions ingrained in our minds over the centuries, generation after generation, by “organized religion” – and I use this term generically, for the interests of religious theocracies may not necessarily reflect the true interests of what Jesus Christ and the other revered Prophets taught us.

In this posting we will examine what the Apocalypse/Second Coming we are witnessing symbolizes spiritually. We will also examine what it means not only to those who call themselves Christians, but to all God-loving people in the world, no matter what the name of their religion may be. After all, our God is one and the same for all of us; don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.

To fully comprehend the scope and spiritual, as well as theological, importance of the Apocalypse/Second Coming, we will review, assess, and delve into the substance of what The New Testament tells us. We have to get into the very essence of the messages the New Testament gives us. It will be only through this utmost scrutiny that we can reach a reasonable conclusion that, indeed, we are witnessing the Apocalypse/Revelation, or Second Coming. We can't afford to go on for more centuries misguided and confused. This is not what God wants us to do. This is certainly not what Jesus Christ and all the other God-loving Prophets had in mind.

In order to recognize and accept the Apocalypse or Second Coming as an event that, indeed, is taking place, we need to understand its purpose and its very essence. We need to understand the “Why it had to happen”. And, we also need to understand the interrelationship between the First and Second Coming, for the Messiah’s First Coming and the Apocalypse/Second Coming are closely interrelated. The Apocalypse/Second Coming had to happen – not only in order to fulfill the prophecy in the New Testament, but to also confirm the very purpose of the Messiah’s First Coming; namely, to validate that Jesus Christ’s resurrection did indeed take place. Therefore, we need to examine, scrutinize, and understand what the New Testament tells us about the Messiah’ First Coming, and to delve into the events of Jesus’ resurrection and immediate appearance to His disciples. If we understand what "really" happened during Jesus Christ's lifetime, as well as, understand the experiences Jesus Christ went through, it will clarify the task of accepting why we are experiencing the Apocalypse/The Second Coming.

An effective way to understand Jesus Christ’ experiences and frustrations, and I repeat frustrations, is for us to visualize ourselves in his position. Imagine yourselves living in his time period and assume you are Jesus Christ. We know from The New Testament that Jesus made many miracles. In fact, during His entire life He must have made a lot more miracles than what The New Testament tells us. He healed a lot of sick people. He resurrected Lazarus from the dead. He read people’s minds. He repeatedly demonstrated His genuine love, understanding, and compassion for all people around Him; and He demonstrated impartiality to all people He interacted with, Jews and non-Jews. His teaching was always inclusive. He repeatedly made it absolutely clear that He was sent to us by His Father, our God – our Father. He never took credit for anything He did, and constantly praised God. And, He preached a spiritual awakening and spiritual enlightenment which was contrary to the ongoing adherence to meaningless religious traditions and rituals.

A critical question to ask at this point is, if you were Jesus Christ, lived such an exemplary life, and did all those miracles, day-after-day, wouldn’t you expect to see a more positive reaction, a more positive acceptance from the people in the area? With all the good deeds you did throughout your lifetime, wouldn’t you expect to have a rather strong following of supporters? You certainly wouldn’t expect to be crucified! Take a few minutes and think about it. Don’t just think about the individual parables. Look at the overall contents of The New Testament and consider the interrelationship of events and the prevailing religious mentality. But you also need to recognize and consider the perceived fear of the people. For, there is a definite sense of fear throughout The New Testament, which is both obvious and implied. It is the power of agonizing fear, exerted by religious traditions on the minds of people, creating social intolerance and taboos, superstition, a false sense of religious righteousness, and a variety of other deleterious results.

This fear is a critical attribute. But there is also another fear The New Testament tells us about. This is the fear of the Sadducees and Pharisees – the religious hierarchy – that Christ’s influence may eventually undermine their self-serving political and financial interests. For, their personal interests were to keep the minds of the Jewish population subjugated to the opium of their religious traditions. Saint Mark, in chapter 11, verses 17-18, tells us “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, ...”.

Let us now look at what Saint Matthew is telling us. His message is covered extensively. Obviously, he must have considered it to be very critical and relevant to The Messiah’s First Coming. He is not only covering this message extensively, but it is also worded strongly, very strongly. Could Saint Matthew’s message, quoted in the following two paragraphs, also be critical and relevant to the Apocalypse/Second Coming? As you read his text, it is important – indeed, it is very important – that you should be thinking about the possible relevance of Saint Matthew’s text to the post-Jesus Christ period. Does what Saint Matthew tell us about the Sadducees and Pharisees during Jesus’ period, in one way or another, continued to apply in the Christian organized Church in the post-Christ period? By the same token, could the same conditions be relevant to other, non-Christian, theocratic religious organizations?

Let us see what Saint Mathew is telling us in chapter 23, verses 13-33 “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte , and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven , sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you scribes, and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

And in Chapter 23, verses 5-8, Saint Matthew says “But all their works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”

The subject of the Sadducees and Pharisees is also covered by Saint Mark in chapter 12, verses 38-40, “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”

There is no point discussing the above quotations. It should be perfectly clear what they say. It is critical, however, that we consider the implications of what Saint Matthew and Saint Mark is telling us. Are we still questioning and wondering why Jesus Christ had such a hard time putting His message across? Do we now realize why the Jews had that lingering doubt in their mind as to how Jesus could do all those miracles and whether He represented God and not the devil? Do we now recognize why the Jews displayed such intolerance and bias towards the Samaritans and others? Can we now recognize why, even His twelve disciples, the people who were so close to Him, the ones who witnessed His miracles and felt His love and compassion day-after-day for years, behaved with such lingering disbelief? Obviously, the prevailing religious traditions had such a powerful and profound impact, such a stifling influence in the minds of the Jewish people, that their thinking process and moral principles were distorted. Let’s look at some other passages in The New Testament to validate this postulate.

In chapter 7, verses 5-9, Saint Mark says “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written. This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own traditions.”

Doesn’t the above text tell us clearly that the influence of the religious traditions was so pervasive that the Jews could not perceive the meaning and the essence of Jesus Christ’s spiritual message? Doesn’t the text also tell us that the Pharisees and Sadducees were promoting their own agendas? But, how could the Jewish people comprehend and appreciate Jesus’ spiritual message when they had been emotionally and mentally programmed by the Pharisees and Sadducees to be so biased and intolerant of anything different from what was ingrained in their minds? Look what Saint John, in chapter 4, verses 7-9, tells us “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away to the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”

Doesn’t the above quotation describe precisely the extent of the bias and intolerance the religious traditions exerted in the minds of Jews? The Samaritans knew that the Jews had not accepted them as equals. Now, let us look what Saint John tells us in chapter 4, verse 27 “And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet, no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?”

The disciples marveled! They were surprised! Obviously, they too were making distinctions! They were pondering, how could our Master be talking to a sinner, to such a low and unworthy creature? This is what they were thinking. Can you imagine, Jesus’ disciples, these people who had witnessed so many miracles, who were Jesus’ constant companions, yet they behaved the same way as the other Jews? But, unfortunately, this text has a much more serious connotation; because, this text tells us, loud and clear, that the influence of the religious traditions was, indeed, so pervasive, and that it exerted such a powerful negative influence on the minds and attitude of the Jewish people, that even Jesus Christ’s disciples were affected. It was that bad. And this powerful “religious opium” was spread in the name of God.

We can also confirm the above intolerance and bias in the parable of the Good Samaritan, but before we address that, you may wish to ponder if our present religious practices are exerting the same destructive influence? Are today’s Sadducees and Pharisees (and I use the terms generically) repeating the mistakes and misconceptions of the Sadducees and Pharisees during Jesus’ time? And, is today’s Christian religion (or other religions) based on a bona fide spiritual awakening, or is it based on superficial and meaningless religious traditions and practices, devoid of spiritual substance? If Jesus were to return to earth today, would He describe many of the Christian religious leaders the same way as He did the Pharisees and Sadducees two thousand years ago? Would He refer to them as “hypocrites”? Would He refer to them as “agents of intolerance”? How do you think He would react to the issue of spiritual succession and theocratic empire-building that divided The Lord’s house into a multitude of competitive religious enterprises? Think about it. It is all in The New Testament. You only have to read the texts and compare them with what has been going on all-around us.

Let’s us now examine the text on the Good Samaritan, Saint Luke, chapter 10, verses 25-37, “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him , and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed merci on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

The basic objective of the parable was to clarify that we are all neighbors and we should love each other. But, the parable also demonstrated the aversion of Jews towards Samaritans, and this aversion was demonstrated in more than one way. For example, when Jesus asked the lawyer “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”, the lawyer replied “…He that shewed …”. Obviously, the lawyer, himself, was so biased against the Samaritans, that he didn’t even want to mention the name “Samaritan”, and he referred to him as “he”. We can also see this bias in Saint John, chapter 8, verse 48 “Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” The above needs no commentary. The text speaks for itself.

Throughout The New Testament we see examples of Jesus’ disciples being unable to comprehend and/or accept what Jesus was explaining to the people, or to themselves. In spite of the close association the disciples had with Jesus, they still could not fully grasp the meaning and the essence of Jesus’ spiritual message. There was an obvious disconnect. It wasn’t that they didn’t love their Master. They surely did. They may have been torn between the influence of their religious traditions and the new message they were hearing. They were unable to fully accept Jesus’ teachings in terms of the physical world they knew. Their faith was questionable.

There are three more noteworthy texts which describe the disciples’ state of mind at the time of His crucifixion. All three texts merit our attention because of their relevance to both, the resurrection and the Apocalypse/Second Coming. They are as follows: The first relates to Apostle Peter; the second relates to Jesus’ appearance following His resurrection, and the third relates to Apostle Thomas.

Saint Luke, in chapter 22, verse 34, describes an event that took place at the time of Jesus’ apprehension: “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.” And in verses 61-62 he tells us “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out and wept bitterly.”

Saint Mark, in chapter 16, verses 10-14, tells us “And she (referring to Mary Magdalene) went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” (The words that merit our attention are “…they believed not them which had seen Him…”.)

And Saint John, in chapter 20, verses 24-25, tells us “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

There is a purpose in pointing out these texts. In all of the above three texts we observe the disciples’ lingering doubts and questionable faith. For, if we fail to recognize the high degree of disbelief and lingering doubts that existed in the disciples’ minds at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and death, we cannot possibly comprehend their sudden change that took place following Jesus Christ’s resurrection and appearance to them. It is this combination of the two – the resurrection and His appearance – that changed them. For, had Jesus resurrected and not appeared to His disciples, they wouldn’t have experienced the manifestation, the miracle of the resurrection. In fact, even after Jesus’ resurrection, when the disciples heard from others about His appearance, they demonstrated total disbelief. The disciples refused to believe their own close friends that they had seen Jesus! Apostle Thomas went so far as to declare that he had to touch Jesus’ wounds in order to believe that His Master had indeed been resurrected.

The disciples’ questionable faith at the time of Jesus’ death is a very important point. It is the prima facie[3] evidence of the resurrection. Their questionable faith and lingering doubts validate Jesus’ resurrection because, immediately after Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to them, the disciples’ attitude changed dramatically and instantaneously. They underwent a complete metamorphosis. They no longer doubted and questioned Jesus’ spiritual message, but were willing to sacrifice their lives to spread His message. In fact, later on, we also observe this sudden metamorphosis and dedication to Jesus’ spiritual message with Saul (Apostle Paul), an individual who was an ardent persecutor of the Christians.

What happened and suddenly we see such a change? It certainly had to be a serious – a very serious – emotional and spiritual experience. After all, if Jesus Christ had been crucified, died, and buried, the logical aftermath of his disciples, who were already occupied with lingering doubts and questionable faith, would be to give up Jesus’ spiritual message, to disperse, or return to their families. If His disciples had consistently questioned Him and had lingering doubts when He lived among them, they would certainly have had no reason to pursue His spiritual message after His death. But, their sudden metamorphosis makes it utterly apparent that immediately after Jesus’ crucifixion, something totally dramatic took place that changed their doubtful attitude and lingering faith into a complete dedication to the cause, to the point they were willing to sacrifice their lives. They were willing to become martyrs!

The miraculous event that changed their attitude and built their faith was Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance to His disciples. His appearance convinced them, beyond any doubt, that He was indeed what he said He was, and that His message about God being a Spirit was true – it was proven beyond any doubt. There can be no other logical explanation for their sudden metamorphosis and acceptance of martyrdom.

This metamorphosis, this extraordinary emotional and spiritual experience of the disciples, is vividly described by Saint John in merely five words. In chapter 20, verse 28, Saint John tells us that when Jesus appeared to Apostle Thomas, Apostle Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God”. Obviously, Jesus’ appearance instantaneously convinced him that Jesus was indeed divine. What a scene that must have been! Here we have an individual, who, one or two days before – or maybe a few hours or minutes before – adamantly questioned Jesus’ resurrection/appearance and sought irrefutable tangible evidence, but Jesus’ unexpected appearance spontaneously converted him into a complete antithesis. “My Lord and my God” he exclaimed. What a beautiful expression it is – full of love, respect, devotion, and penitence! The genuineness of Apostle Thomas’ expression is attested by the very fact that he died as a martyr.

For those who live, or lived, centuries after Jesus’ death, the proof of Jesus’ resurrection should have been this sudden and miraculous change in the attitude of His disciples. His appearance to His disciples and acquaintances must have been an eye opener. And, they, immediately, without any hesitation or trepidation, embarked on their missionary journey to spread His spiritual message. They were no longer concerned about what may happen to them.

A question to keep in the back of our minds is, “Those of us who call ourselves Christians and frequently visit our respective house of worship, who pray, and claim to believe in God, do we all believe in Jesus’ resurrection, or do we periodically have the same disbeliefs and lingering doubts as Jesus’ disciples did?” Do we believe in a spiritual God or in a religion full of traditions and rituals? Do we believe that our salvation is dependent on adherence to questionable religious traditions, or is it a personal matter, requiring each one of us, as individuals, to find God within us, and in the process recognize and accept our universal spiritual brotherhood? Is it by pure coincidence that the author of The Da Vinci Code has done so well financially, or is his success due to our lack of faith because we started to believe that the resurrection “maybe” never really happened, and all these stories about Jesus Christ are fairy-tales? I am raising these questions because by now it should be obvious to the readers why the Apocalypse/Second Coming had to happen. Now let us go back to the disciples.

A crucial – indeed, a very crucial and pertinent – question we now need to ask ourselves is, what do we think the disciples’ message to the gentiles would have been after Jesus’ appearance to them? Would they have journeyed to all those places in Asia Minor, Athens, Corinth, Macedonia, and Rome to teach irrelevant and questionable religious traditions that detracted attention from Jesus’ message, or would their catechism been strictly on religious spirituality, the need for a spiritual awakening and enlightenment, and personal salvation? Would Apostles Peter and Paul have gone to Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire and tried to set up a theocratic religious organization? Their epistles are their de facto evidence of what their intentions were; they are the prima facie evidence. Furthermore, is this the way Jesus and His twelve disciples interacted – as a theocratic hierarchy?

Where did we go wrong? When did we start to gradually deviate from the Messiah’s spiritual message? After all, wasn’t the basic purpose of the First Coming of The Messiah to explain to us our spiritual affiliation with God and with each other? Did we forget that this was His basic message? Or, did we gradually go astray like the old Sadducees and Pharisees and built one layer after another of religious traditions and rituals, and in the process we lost focus of the “real” objective, the need for personal reconciliation with our Creator and recognition of our spiritual brotherhood? Saint John, in chapter 4, verses 23-24 says “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” The message couldn’t be any clearer.

I will now discuss the Apocalypse/The Second Coming. The first question to be addressed is “Why now?” The second question that will be discussed is “Why is it happening?” The first question will delve into the timing of the event, for the timing is an integral part of the “Why is it happening?” We won’t be able to understand, recognize, rationalize, and accept the Apocalypse/Second Coming unless we delve into why it is taking place now. The event represents a historical and religious milestone. We need to understand the meaning and the essence of this milestone. These two topics will be addressed in this order. In doing so, the hope is that the readers will be able to accept the event as a fait accompli without any lingering doubts. The Apocalypse/Second Coming has a purpose, and its purpose is crucial to mankind’s survival. It is that simple. Future living conditions will be a radical departure from what we have been accustomed to up-to-now. In order to comprehend the essence of the Apocalypse/Second Coming, we need to take a glimpse at what is waiting for us. Only then we will appreciate its relevance to our spirituality and need for genuine faith.

A North Korean nuclear attack could indeed be a major catastrophe, a true Armageddon. Equally important are the subsequent events it could unleash throughout the world. Governments will weaken and become unstable and ineffectual. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will become uncontrollable. Use of weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical, and/or nuclear), whether they are used as strategic or tactical weapons, will adversely impact all aspects of our living conditions. Terrorists, criminals, and other opportunists will flourish. Civil disobedience and domestic violence will increase (in most countries). World trade will be replaced by protectionism and xenophobia. Energy and food prices will increase and they will require a higher percentage of disposable income. As the cost for food and energy increases, the consumer discretionary sector will shrink, thus seriously affecting the labor markets. Monetary liquidity will be a thing of the past. Ruined economies and property loss will create unemployment and desperation. Competition among nations for natural resources and commodities will become fierce. Retention of property values will become problematic and erratic. Business risk and market volatility will skyrocket. Thus, social order will change constantly. People will face constant turbulence and unpredictability. The personal safety of the rich and powerful will no longer be a given. The fundamentals for a stable social environment will weaken.

Furthermore, based on what Nostradamus has predicted, the North Korean nuclear attack coincides with global warming. Global warming will, as a minimum, impact the climate, the weather, the ecology, and the land-area currently being occupied by, at least, fifty percent of the population. About fifty per cent of the populations in several countries live in coastal areas. Can you imagine the impact of a sea elevation twenty-plus-feet above the current level? Can you visualize the implications of a large-scale migration and/or relocation of people to other countries or to higher elevations within a country? Can you imagine the impact to the industrial infrastructure located at coastal areas being submerged? This is a lot of land to lose! Loss of land to the sea will increase the population density (assuming enough people will survive), and it will also eliminate existing agricultural areas and industrial facilities (e.g., chemical and oil refining facilities, LNG facilities, port hubs, nuclear power plants, etc.). In addition to climate changes, radioactive contamination from potential future hostile actions may bring about additional large-scale migrations, not only to adjacent countries but to other continents. Aquaculture will also be impacted, which, in turn, will impact the food supply chain. Changes in rainfall patterns will impact the availability of drinking and irrigation water, creating serious domestic, as well as geopolitical problems. In some areas water shortage is already a problem. Changes in the ecology may bring about mutations, new diseases, the proliferation of insects, and new medical challenges.

Do you now recognize why the Apocalypse/Second Coming is happening now? Do you now recognize that under these conditions, mankind’s survival will have to depend on something much more meaningful than religious traditions and rituals, especially if, in the near future, we are forced to live under denser population conditions and with a greater mix of social/ethnic/religious diversity (i.e., densely-populated multicultural centers)? Do you also understand why it is important for all of us to recognize and accept that the God we all believe in is one and the same and that the spiritual objectives of all God-loving religions are “fundamentally” the same? Can you now recognize why mankind must liberate itself from the religious dogma, the divisiveness, prejudice, self-righteousness, and intolerance, some of these religious commercial enterprises have ingrained in our minds over the centuries? Can you now accept why religious divisiveness, extremism, and fanaticism must be replaced by religious harmony and cooperation? If you still cannot understand the message, go back and re-read Saint Matthew and Saint Mark. I will now discuss “Why is it happening?”

In the preceding paragraphs there was extensive coverage of the impact of the Jewish religious traditions on the people’s attitudes, perceptions, and thinking. By now many readers are probably already blaming the Jews for Jesus’ crucifixion. But, should we be surprised by the readers’ reaction? Isn’t it how we, ourselves, have been programmed by our own Sadducees and Pharisees to think? Haven’t our own religious institutions – tacitly, passively, or actively – in the last twenty centuries, generation-after-generation, entrenched into our thinking that it was the Jews’ fault that Jesus was crucified? Didn’t Pope John Paul II, just before he passed away, visit Israel and exonerated the Jews for Jesus’ crucifixion? But why exonerate them? What did they do? Why now – two thousand years later, after the inquisition, after the holocaust, and after numerous unnecessary persecutions? The Jews were not responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion any more than you and I are. In fact, they, themselves, were victims of the religious poison fed to them, generation after generation. There was nothing for Pope John Paul II to exonerate. But, the real issue is that the Christian organized religion found it beneficial to passively or tacitly blame the Jews, instead of the Sadducees and Pharisees – thus diverting the people’s attention from them.

There is a reason for bringing up in the previous paragraphs the subject of the “influence of religious traditions” on people’s minds. It relates to the First Coming of the Messiah and it also relates to the Apocalypse/Second Coming. In fact, there are several reasons, but I will focus on the main one. The main reason is to point out the bitter truth, namely, that if religion is distorted and manipulated to fit self-serving interests of a religious group, theocracy, or politician, it can be more harmful than beneficial. To put it bluntly, it can become the opium of the mind. It can program our minds to filter objectivity, love, truth, tolerance, etc. It creates a false sense of self-righteousness; it serves as a filter against our salvation; and it hinders our ability to attain spiritual awareness and spiritual enlightenment.

Two important questions to ask at this point are, “How many Sadducees and Pharisees are in this world?”, and the other pertinent question is, “What should we do to avoid them?” What is your reaction when you see the picture of a high-ranking member of a religious organization, on one hand holding a Kalashnikov (AK-47), and in parallel, claiming to be a religious person and preaching God’s love? Isn’t this hypocrisy? Is this what Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, and the other beloved Prophets preached? What about our own religious people in our back yard? Are they less hypocritical? Aren’t some of them also preaching the death of others? Christians are appalled by the intolerance and hostile attitude of the Wahhabi and Shiite theocracies. But, aren’t the Wahhabi and Shiite theocracies behaving the same way as the Sadducees and Pharisees or the Christian religious theocracies did in previous centuries? Who promoted the crusades? Who issued the Papal Index, and who, methodically, organized the Inquisition? What about the Gnostics in the Byzantine Empire who were hunted down like animals and killed, one by one?

Doesn’t this look like a very close repetition of the Sadducees and Pharisees Jesus faced two thousand years ago? Aren’t all these Sadducees and Pharisees, old and new – under the guise of religion – committing the worst possible atrocities in order to maintain their political and financial power? Isn’t it all about money and power? Isn’t it hypocritical to solicit God’s help to kill our spiritual brothers, any spiritual brother? God is one and the same for all of us. He created all of us. We are His children. Part of Him is in each one of us. He doesn’t want anybody to kill or harm “his/her neighbor”. Genuine love and devotion in God transcends national, racial, and religious boundaries. All this hatred, divisiveness, and intolerance we are experiencing around us are not part of the spiritual message Jesus Christ and all the other beloved Prophets left with us. I am sure you get the picture. Now, I will proceed to the Apocalypse/Second Coming to address the issue of the spiritual portion of “Why is it happening?”

The “Why is it happening?” provides us the spiritual reasons why “It had to happen”. To understand the Apocalypse/Second Coming we need to revisit the period of Jesus’ crucifixion.
I would like to revisit the paragraphs with the three texts about Apostle Peter denying three times that he knew Jesus Christ, the second one about Apostle Thomas saying that he won’t believe that Jesus is back and alive among them unless he puts his own finger in Jesus’ wounds, and the third one about Mary Magdalene and the others that had initially seen Jesus Christ but when they mentioned it to the other disciples, the others did not believe them. You may want to go back and re-read the original texts.

Ponder the meaning of these three texts. They provide us a treasure of valuable information. What does the New Testament really tell us? It tells us a lot. These texts are priceless. Don’t accept what I am writing here. Question me. Question yourselves. If necessary, go back and read the three texts again. Don’t the three texts tell us, loud and clear, that the disciples were normal individuals, that they were logical, and that they were realists?

Don’t the two texts on Apostle Thomas and Mary Magdalene tell us clearly that the disciples were not about to believe something without proof? Don’t these two texts demonstrate clearly that Jesus’ disciples were not about to believe even their close friends, unless they had visual evidence that Jesus was there? They were surely demanding tangible evidence! What impression does Apostle Thomas convey? He surely was a realist. He behaved like a modern research scientist. He demanded validation of the information given to him. He relied on tangible and irrefutable proof. He wanted to put his finger in Jesus’ wounds. Is there any better proof than this? And the rest of His disciples, they undoubtedly believed in Jesus’ resurrection after He commingled with them – just like the good old days.

Doesn’t the text referring to Apostle Peter’s denial that he knew Jesus tell us, beyond any doubt, that he didn’t want to die? That’s right. All the disciples wanted to survive – every one of them. They wanted to live. They didn’t want to risk their lives. Apostle Peter’s denial that he knew Jesus Christ tells us very clearly that he wanted to live; he wanted to survive. He didn’t want to die. The New Testament tells us that he didn’t deny Jesus Christ once; he denied Him three times – three times within a twenty-four hour period. What does this tell you? He surely wanted to live! Isn’t this the obvious logical conclusion?

Now, what any logical human being would be curious to confirm is, if the disciples were logical and pragmatic survivalists, why all of a sudden were they willing to sacrifice their lives? If they behaved like modern scientists, demanding tangible proof and validation of facts and events, why would they suddenly be willing to risk their lives without the validation that Jesus Christ had indeed been resurrected? We are not dealing with one or two individuals who may have been imagining things. There were, at least, a dozen people who saw the resurrected Jesus on three different occasions. The logical conclusion is that the resurrection did indeed happen, as cited in The New Testament, and it was that ensuing zeal that propelled them to their missionary journeys. Even if an individual were to question the veracity of the resurrection itself, one cannot question all these other interrelated events that support the resurrection’s veracity. This explains and confirms Jesus’ resurrection, but “Why did we need to have the Apocalypse/Second Coming?”

Saint John, in chapter 20, verse 29, tells us “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Following the journeys of the apostles into Asia Minor, Macedonia, Athens, Corinth, and Rome, Jesus’ spiritual message spread. The success of the Apostles’ message could only be due to their dedication, genuine catechism, and obvious love for others resulting from their personal experiences and deep spiritual convictions. Unfortunately, over the years, the spiritual message got buried deeper and deeper into religious traditions and rituals, to the point that nowadays many individuals are questioning Jesus’ resurrection, claiming that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and even had a kid. In other words, we are now in the same mental predicament as the disciples were just before seeing Him (after His resurrection).

We are having lingering doubts. Our faith is losing ground. Not only Christians question the resurrection, but they are questioning Jesus himself. But the problem goes much further. When individuals question Jesus’ basic purpose for coming to us two thousand years ago, they also question God’s purpose. Do you now realize why the Apocalypse had to take place? It is now, our turn, to have a manifestation, a wake-up call – just like the disciples had theirs two thousand years ago. It is our turn to experience the tangible validation that Jesus Christ’s spiritual message is true.

Nostradamus’ predictions clearly confirm the existence of an eternal spiritual world around us and within us, and in tandem they validate Jesus’ spiritual message about God, about our spiritual nature, and about His teaching for personal salvation. Nostradamus’ predictions reveal and validate the existence of our Creator as a Spirit – hence, this event is referred to as Apocalypse, the Greek word for Revelation. The Spirit has indeed revealed itself to us; it has also appeared to us (παρουσία); it has confirmed its “presence”. There is no way of denying it. But, some readers may say “This is not the Second Coming because Jesus didn’t come in person”. This is all a matter of personal interpretation. The original New Testament (which is written in Greek) does not refer to a “Second Coming” but to a “Second Appearance”, which has just taken place. Jesus already told us He is a spirit and He resides in the Father and in each one of us. The Revelation/παρουσία confirms that He exists as a Spirit. Therefore, His appearance has not been “physical” but “spiritual”. Saint John, in chapter 15, verse 4, tells us “Abide in me, and I in you. ...”. The message could not be any clearer. He didn’t come because He is already here. The Revelation/παρουσία validates that He is here, within us. We merely need to reach within our higher God-self and find Him.

Furthermore, in chapter 12, verse 27, Saint Mark tells us “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living; ye therefore do greatly err.” Isn’t this exactly what we are witnessing and confirming? Isn’t this precisely what the Apocalypse/παρουσία is validating, namely, that there is a spiritual world and the “dead have symbolically come out of their graves” because their spirits are not dead but alive? Doesn’t this validate Jesus’ spiritual message?

If we look at the various God-loving religions, we will see many “common grounds” which clearly confirm that, with the exception of traditional practices, rituals, and differences in dogma, the “spiritual” objectives of all religions are basically the same; there is “love” and “goodness” in every religion. Furthermore, the Muslim Sufis, the Buddhists, the Hindu, and many of the Christian groups have recognized, long ago, that we can only attain spiritual awareness and God-consciousness through our individual efforts. All of these religious groups have recognized that spiritual awareness, spiritual progression, and enlightenment, can only be attained through a deliberate and genuine prayer in the silence and tranquility of your own temple – and this is the temple of your body in which your soul resides. This is the only way to attain God-consciousness and personal salvation.

This new geologic[4] time period we have entered will be full of turbulence and unpredictability. Nostradamus tells us in very precise and descriptive terms that global warming is irreversible. Global warming will present the most serious, direct and indirect, challenges humanity has ever faced. Living conditions will change radically. Mankind will struggle for survival. What will sustain us is the spiritual support we will receive through genuine faith and prayer, and through a deliberate effort to attain peace and tranquility within us to help us bridge the gap between us and our Creator. It won’t be religious traditions and rituals. It has to be something of greater spiritual substance. Furthermore, what we do to improve our religious perceptions and attitude towards our universal spiritual brothers and sisters is no longer a matter of choice. It is a matter of mankind’s survival.

Visit your respective house of worship, but seek your religious leaders carefully, very carefully. Yes, there are religious hypocrites, and it is these hypocrites that have created divisiveness, intolerance, fanaticism, and many of the evils that beset our societies. It is these hypocrites, who – for self serving purposes – buried “spirituality” into the trivialities of religious traditions, instilled dogmatic rigidity, and nurtured animosity and dissension. These “pious” hypocrites will always exist, and their main agenda will always be their own personal interests. But, let us not forget that there are also millions of genuine, God-loving and highly dedicated, members in all of these Christian and non-Christian religious organizations. You just have to separate them from the Sadducees and Pharisees.

Bless you.

[1] In the original Greek text of the New Testament there is no reference to a Second Coming. The Greek text of the New Testament uses the term Second “Parousia” (παρουσία), which in Greek means “appearance or presence”. By the time you finish reading this document, you will see that the Apocalypse and what we have erroneously been referring to as “The Second Coming” are one and the same.

[2] Note that the History Channel (channel number 269 on DirectTV) has a program titled The Lost Book of Nostradamus. Their conclusions on the Nostradamus interpretations are very similar to what I have. The only differences are: they do not have anything on Osama bin laden and North Korea. Their interpretations on Armageddon and Apocalypse however are basically identical.

[3] Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning "on its first appearance", or "by first instance". It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident from the facts. In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence that (unless rebutted) would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact (copied from Wikipedia).

[4] In a few years we will have ample evidence that the earth entered into a new geologic time period like the Pleistocene, Pliocene, etc. It may very well end-up to be similar to the Permian period, which was distinguished by the largest mass extinction.