By Terry James

The 2012 Prophecy
 
Ominous sounds of the approaching year 2012 rumble in the ears of this generation. The thunder comes from constant media mantra-meanderings about the end of days as foretold by the Mayan calendar hundreds of years ago. Is this generation looking the end of the world squarely in the face on December 21, 2012?
 
Suddenly it is as if those of the news and entertainment world have forgotten that prophecy is, at best, fodder for fun-poking, and now have a date that they believe is genuinely filled with foreboding. They often snicker at Bible prophecy and those who bring it into public discourse; they aren’t snickering at the foretellings left us by the long-since extinct Mayans. Something of catastrophic nature, they are fearfully conjecturing, might be about to change life forever on Planet Earth.
 
But, with news and entertainment producer types, you never know. Could be they seeing in the 2012 “prophecies” a chance for numerous remunerative documentaries and films that appeal to the always-lucrative fright flicks, thus the genuine tone of reverential fear for the Mayan holy men and their prognostications?
   
Why the Hoopla?
 
The Mayans were absolutely brilliant in every area of science and mathematics, if you ask those who are giddily wrapped up in studying the calendar the Mayan shamans left for future generations.
 
Here’s what a blog devoted to the Mayan prophecy has to say, in part:
 
“The Mayan civilization was extremely advanced in mathematics, engineering and astronomy. They also had an incredible understanding of time and space. Various calendars were in use to track time in linear progressions within cycles. The 'Great Cycle' of the 'Long Count' calendar equates to 5,125.36 years. The current Great Cycle is due to be completed on the winter solstice of 2012, December 21. So, it has been interpreted that on this day, the Great Cycle ends, time ends, so the Earth must end as well” (2012endofdays.org).
 
They are no more in existence as a civilization, so one must wonder what did they know, really. The end for them came hundreds of years ago–not in that 2012 future time. Yet people who are mesmerized by that defunct society/culture see in the “prophecies” the end of the world, or at the very least, a cataclysm of some sort that will change life on Planet Earth in major ways.
 
The mindset that seems to cling so heartily to the prognostications of the Mayans are strongest among those who reject the Old and New Testament prophets, most all of whom were Jews.
 
Of the two peoples, again we must scratch our heads and ask which are more believable based upon the facts.
 
Let’s see…
 
The Mayans went out of business as a civilization/empire/culture, it is estimated, around 900 A.D. This is acknowledged by historians for the most part. The Hebrews–Jews—Israel went out of business as a nation after Roman emperor Hadrian caused them to scatter following the insurrection he put down in and around Jerusalem in 135 A.D.
 
The facts are that:
 
1) The Mayans are still out of business–except for their calendar, which promises, the excited Mayanists of our day extrapolate, something profound will happen in the year 2012. Beyond that, so far as I can tell, soothsayers of that era made no predictions that have come to pass--at least none that can be looked at historically, pointed to, and verified as in fact having eventuated.
 
2) The Jews are back from their diaspora in the second century A.D. They are back, under the same name as a nation–Israel. They were reborn as a nation in one day, just as one of their most famous prophets–Isaiah—predicted (read Isaiah 66:7-9). Israel again has its own language. The Jews have blessed the world with some of the most profound inventions, discoveries, and other achievements that have furthered mankind’s progress. They are surrounded by ancient enemies and are the center of attention, making them a worrisome nation-state for geopoliticians because of the nuclear option they hold in their weapons repertoire. This is precisely the situation their prophet Zechariah said would be the case as the end of days approach.
 
The first part of the Jewish foretelling is as follows: “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people
of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech. 12:1-3).
 
The second part of the foretelling speaks to what seems eerily like the description of the effects of nuclear impact upon flesh: “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14:12).
 
To reiterate, the Mayans simply left us some pronouncements by their shamans, their veracity as predictors of the future without historical proof. The Jewish prophets gave us prophecies that have proven true to this point. The Jews are in the land with a nation in their ancient homeland; they have the whole world of diplomats tightly cinched in angst, searching for peace those same Hebrew prophets said will not be forthcoming until Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, stands on that final day atop the Mount of Olives on the same spot from which He ascended nearly 2000 years ago.
 
To be fair, there are differing opinions about what the Mayan calendar verbiage indicates for the future. The blog about the Mayan calendar and the date 2012 continues:
 
“…However, there are different opinions on what this end date really means.
 
As mentioned, some believe cataclysmic events will take place in 2012 with the ultimate destruction occurring on December 21, 2012. Others believe that the world will not end, but instead humanity will enter a new age, marked by significant changes physically and mentally.
 
Hopefully destruction will not occur and it will be just another day. Maybe there will be some cosmic transformation. Anything is possible…"
 
The blogger then explains the mechanics of the Mayan timeline.
 
The Mayan Calendar
 
The Mayan calendar is not actually a single calendar that westerners are used to referring to today. It is actually a complex system of multiple calendars. The explanation is quite difficult to follow; to be honest, it's beyond my capability to follow, so I will include only the details around which I can sort of wrap my thoughts. You can, of course, go to the referenced website if interested beyond what is included here. As a matter of fact, even the blogger in that extended explanation admits it is too difficult to follow and recommends the reader go to other sources to get the full explanation.
 
“December 21, 2012 marks the end of the Long Count and Precession Cycle. A fascinating astronomical occurrence will take place that day. The sun will be seen in a conjunction with the crossing point of the galactic equator and the ecliptic which is referred by the Mayans as the Sacred Tree. Since this is due to take place on the winter solstice, this should provide clear evidence that the proper end day of the Mayan calendar is December 21, 2012. Some say December 22nd, 23rd or even other dates. However, the solstice was an important day to the Mayans and it is logical to think that they would conclude their calendar cycle on this day, coupled with the fact of the rare astronomical occurrence set to take place that day…” (2012endofdays.org).
 
World Without End
 
The Hebrew prophets gave no dates for the end of the world. Actually, the Bible says the world will never end. It will be remade by holy fire.
 
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:13).
 
Paul the apostle and prophet gives us a look at the ultimate fate of Planet Earth: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:21).
 
No Dates
 
There is strong biblical prescription against date settings, whether involving days, months, years, or even seasons. When talking about the time of His return to earth while He was still here in the flesh, Jesus said, But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
 
Jesus gave this warning to all people, urging them to be spiritually prepared for His sudden return, the time of which no human being or even angel in Heaven knows. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 25:13).
 
Christ’s coming for believers in the rapture of His Church–which God likens to Christ’s bride—is imminent. That is, the event can happen at any moment. No calendar–Mayan or otherwise—can predict that stupendous event.