Revised: February 13, 2007
Copyright © 2007-2016 James D. Dwyer
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Modern studies of the geologic record (both Earth and Moon) do show that a collision event with a rather large asteroid (perhaps even a comet) has occurred at times in the prehistoric past. Some future collision event between the Earth and a large cosmic object seems almost certain.
Significant about the modern recognition of a possible doomday is that the Earth has recently been recognized as also being subject to destruction from processes occurring from outside of our planetary system. Concern here has risen from a study of galactic star formations and through the subsequent discovery (and observation) of supernova stars.
Modern astronomers were first able to view a supernova on February 23, 1987 near the Tarantula Nebula. The light from this event grew quickly in intensity before slowly declining. However, for a time span that lasted throughout several weeks, the light from SN 1987A became so bright that it could be viewed with the naked eye. Because SN 1987A was observed from a distance of about 170,000 light-years away, the respective supernova event inherently would have occurred some 170,000 years ago in terms of Earth history.
Supernova stars can be recognized to pose a menace to the welfare of those who live on this planet in regard that a close by event could conceivably produce enough radiation to harm (or even destroy) Earth's biosphere. To be more specific, a supernova that occurred closer to Earth than 10 thousand light years would almost surely threaten the perpetuation of life on this planet. Thus, a galactic event that occurred even thousands of years ago could yet still destroy life from this planet in the future.
Of additional concern about a supernova event is that any radiation produced would not travel through space any faster than the speed of light. This inherently means an event that occurred at a distance of say 5 thousand light years away would not be detected on this planet with any advanced warning. Doomsday may then have already been generated through a process that long-ago occurred... and the last day for staying alive could yet come unannounced.
The function of matter in the expanse of space and time thus indicates that life on Earth could be riding on nothing more than a temporary vehicle. In fact, the termination of our biosphere seems possible under anyone of several scenarios. If destruction doesn't first come to this planet by some other means, the odds indicate that doomsday will eventually come by way of cosmic interference (whether through burning heat from a galactic process, or through cataclysm following a collision event).
Priest-astronomers of the ancient past also predicted that "by fire" many on Earth will someday perish. Of significance concerning those dire predictions about a future time of burning is that similar prophecies have been delivered by even current astronomers (as cited above).
Early-written texts pertaining to doomsday are mind riveting in the regard that this kind of record is invariably attributed to a Divine Messenger. (For example, a respective priest-author may have written of coming into contact with an Angel, or with a Supreme Being).
Certain portions of the prophetic text are so very specific in detail that some considerable degree of awe and concern inherently comes to mind through the realization that the record could be authentic. In essence, a number of fully accurate (or authentic) doomsday scenarious can be recognized/recited from portions of the prophetic record.
Some of the most credible and specific predictions pertaining to a future day of burning can be recited from writings attributed to a Hebrew priest named Isaiah. The following portion of his book relays a significant warning message about the future coming of cataclysm on this planet:
"For a place of fire has long been ready; yes, it has been made ready... a stream of fire, puts a light to it" (refer to Chapter 30 of the BBE version).
This particular prophecy about a time in the future that comes with burning is remarkable in regard of the several facets of specific detail that attend the dire message:
"[In that day of burning]... great numbers [will perish]... the towers [will] come down... the light of the Moon will be[come] as the light of the Sun... the light of the Sun will be[come] seven times greater, as the light of seven days... [Destruction] is coming from far, burning... with thick smoke going up... like a burning fire... as an overflowing stream... shaking the nations for their destruction... " [The quoted snippets from Chapter 30 have all been borrowed upon the BBE translation.].
The detail of the cited message is unique and very unusual in the regard that the Sun and Moon are here described to increase in brightness by a magnitude several times greater. Destruction and burning are also described to accompany the respective time when brightness is increased.
"[The kingdoms will experience] the heat... and the flame of a burning fire; with a cloud-burst, and storm, and a rain of ice... (ibid)
The respective warning prediction of both brightness and burning has seeming significance because everyone of the several supplied details are recognizable in the context of a supernova event. For example, a nearby supernova process would inherently generate enough radiation to make the Moon and the planets brighter than they ordinarily appear.
A supernova that occurred within 4 or 5 thousand light years from this planet would probably appear brighter than the Sun when viewed from the Earth. The effects of radiation from this kind of process (intense light and heat) would be noticeable throughout our zone of the Galaxy for a duration of several weeks. It can be predicted many, or even all, life forms on Earth would not survive through the aftermath of a close by supernova.
The prophetic record of doomsday thus may pertain to a future day when the Earth will first begin to experience the consequences of a distant galactic process that was triggered sometime ago. Remarkable here is certain passages of the Bible that have detail of the coming of doomsday can well be interpreted/explained in the context of similar predictions espoused more recently by modern astronomers and physicists.
A very plausible scenario that can exactly account for all of the details contained in the "Angelic Message" is that at some time in Earth's rather recent history our planet has became subject to destruction from a nearby galactic process. This respective process (perhaps a supernova) now has the potential to soon convert our biosphere into a microwave oven. An awareness or cognizance of doomsday; uniquely held by the Divine Agency; may then have precipitated or motivated the deliverance of the early prophetic record. This primal prediction about a coming doomsday appears to have been announced only a few thousand years ago. The time frame in which this kind of prophecy was first delivered can perhaps be used as a measuring stick (or a gage) for determining/estimating how close to Earth a destructive cosmic process might have first been initiated. [Note the time travel of radiation emanating from a distant galactic event can perhaps be likened to waves generated by a stone thrown into the middle of a lake. Someone on shore wouldn't notice any energy change (incoming waves) until sometime after the process began.]
Predictions given by priest-astronomers about a future day of burning may actually be reflective of some advance news that isn't completely bad. A glimmer of good news can here be interpreted in that if the prophesied end of the world is destined to come by way of a natural process (or processes) then the ultimate destruction of life on our planet will NOT necessarily be wrought by forces that are Supernatural.
Bible prophecies pertaining to a doomsday event actually do predict that the human race WILL survive a coming period of cataclysm.
"[Wait], says the Lord, till the day when I come up as a witness: for my purpose is to send for the nations and to get the kingdoms together... for all the Earth will be burned up in the fire... " (BBE translation of Zephaniah 3).
It is here significant; rather than seeking to actively destroy mankind from the Earth; the Divine Agency is instead portrayed as willing to exert whatever degree of control and effort might be necessary to save a segment (or remnant) of worthy mankind.
"[There] shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world... nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24).
"[The Lord is] not willing that any should perish... but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up... [Look for] the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat... look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found... without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3).
"Immediately after the tribulation... the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken... [At that time] shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn... But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24).
"[Wonders will appear] in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day... whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered... " (AV translation of Joel 3).
In essence, those dire prophecies in the Bible that give horrible detail of a day of burning can be interpreted to also reflect a message of hope for survival. Some possible good news can here be recognized in that a Divine Plan for the preservation of life seems to be indicated.
"[At the time when] the Earth will be burned up... I will give the people a clean language, so that they may all make prayer... be glad and let your heart be full of joy... The Lord your God is among you, as a strong Saviour: he will be glad over you with joy, he will make his love new again, he will make a song of joy over you as in the time of a holy feast" (BBE translation of Zephaniah 3).
Even though the continuence of life on Earth may come to an impossible impasse, there is promise attributed to the Supreme Realm that the welfare of righteous humanity will be maintained.
"I will take away your troubles... I will give salvation... when I let your fate be changed before your eyes, says the Lord" (ibid).
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