THE END TIMES AND THE BIBLE

A great deal of information regarding the end times and Jesus’ return to earth appears in Islamic sources. That being the case, the following question arises: Could the subject of the end times also be discussed in the texts of the pre-Islamic divine religions? Could God have given information about the events of the end times to the messengers who came before the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)? That is of course possible. It is very likely that the Torah and the Bible will contain references to the end times.

There is a strong likelihood that those references compatible with the hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the verses of the Qur’an are original. In fact, when the references in the Bible are examined it is indeed striking that there are indications regarding the end times, and that there are many parallels between these and those in Islamic sources. Some of these references are as follows:

Portents of the End Times in the Bible

The most distinctive characteristic of the end times is Jesus’ return to earth. A number of signs are provided on the subject of the events that will herald the coming of Jesus. Some of these signs may have occurred at various times. Yet for all these signs, in other words what we are told about the end times, to come together at the same time is to be regarded as a portent that the coming of the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is approaching.

As it will be seen in the other sections of this website, according to Islamic sources, the Mahdi must already have started his work aimed at bringing the moral values of Islam to prevail in the world. Since the Mahdi will prepare the ground for the Prophet Jesus and will act with him when he returns, the appearance of Jesus must be close at hand.

The Bible and Islamic sources have many similarities in a number of respects. Heading the list are the portents concerning the coming of the Prophet Jesus. These portents before the return of Jesus are described in the Bible in the following terms:

Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. (John, 13:19)

Now as He [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.(Matthew, 24: 3-14)

- The Spread of War:

In the Bible we can see a similar reference to the Prophet’s hadith concerning the appearance of the Mahdi in which he says, “The world will be in utter confusion.”

But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Luke, 21: 9-10)

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom... (Matthew, 24: 6-7)

- The Drying up of the Waters of the Euphrates, The Fire and Smoke That Burns

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Revelation, 16: 12-16)

Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million... A third of mankind was killed--by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. (Revelation, 9: 16-18)

We are told in the above verses that the waters of the Euphrates will dry up, that a great war will erupt in the place called Armageddon, and that most people will die from fire and smoke. These portents are also to be found in the hadiths of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). The drying up of the waters of the Euphrates, the fire and smoke coming from the east and burning people; all of these are examples of portents regarding the end times spoken by the Prophet.

- Natural Events (Famines, Earthquakes)

In the other sections of this website we have seen in some detail how extraordinary natural events will take place. Similar indications can be found in the gospels of saints Matthew and Luke. Two examples read:

...And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew, 24: 7-8)

Men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke, 21: 26)

In addition to the extraordinary natural phenomena on earth, other portents are indicated in the sky. Indeed, we have already looked at some signs concerning heavenly bodies.

The Bible makes reference to extraordinary natural events taking place in the skies. One of these takes the following form:

And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke, 21:11)

- There Will Be Signs in the Sun, the Moon and the Stars

We have already stated that there will be an eclipse of the Sun and Moon during the month of Ramadan, that Halley’s Comet and Hale Bob Comet will pass by the earth, and have looked at the interesting connections between these and the hadiths. The Bible also says that these phenomena in the sky will herald the end times:

And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke, 21: 25-26)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matthew, 24: 29)

- An Increase of Evil

Moral degeneration among people and the resulting loss of love and respect between them is shown as another of the signs of the end times. These also appear in the Bible:

And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another... And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew, 24: 10-12)

- Non-religious Life Will Spread

Religion’s ceasing to play a defining role in peoples’ lives is also shown as another sign of the end times:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2Timothy, 4: 3-4)

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith.... (1Timothy, 4: 1)

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2Timothy, 3: 1-5)

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew, 24: 37-39)

- Oppression

In many regions of the world people are regarded as a danger for saying “God is our Lord,” and are thus subjected to oppression. This danger awaiting believers is referred to in these terms in the Bible:

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. (Matthew, 24: 9)

Another reference in the Gospel of Saint Luke describes the oppression and torture awaiting believers thus:

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake... You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death... By your patience possess your souls. (Luke, 21: 12, 16,19)

- The Wealthy Will Become Wealthier

As poverty and famine prevail on the one hand in the end times, the goods and fortunes of the wealthy will increase still further on the other. In other words, the few wealthy people will grow even wealthier, and a huge chasm will emerge between people.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. (James, 5: 1-3)

- False Prophets Will Appear Most Will Claim to Be the Messiah

In the end times many people will emerge claiming to be Jesus and some will openly declare themselves to be prophets. The appearance of false Messiahs, described as a portent of the coming of the Mahdi in the hadiths of our Prophet, is also to be found in the Bible:

For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. (Matthew, 24: 5)

Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There!” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew, 24: 23-25)

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (Matthew, 24: 11)

And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.” (Luke, 21: 8)

- There Will Be Great Tribulations and Confusion in the End Days

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew, 24: 21-22)

"Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place"... For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew, 24: 15,21)

- Jesus’ Return to Earth

As we have already mentioned, Jesus’ return to earth is one of fundamental subjects in the Bible, which seeks to teach people by giving examples from his life. In addition, there are frequent references to the return of Jesus and all believers are called upon to be prepared for such a great event. Some of the references in the Bible to the coming of Jesus read as follows:

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew, 24: 30)

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts, 1: 9-11)

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus, 2: 13)

And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians, 1: 7-8)

So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Hebrews, 9: 28)

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him... (Revelation, 1: 7)

Therefore if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert!” do not go out; or "Look, He is in the inner rooms!” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew, 24: 26-27)

Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew, 26: 64)

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