Sunday, May 16, 2010

Apocalypse Soon has a Rapture Index which tracks how close we are to the end of the world by measuring such items as Oil Supply, Liberalism, Crime Rate, and Floods. Whoever runs this site obviously hasn't read the Book of Revelations. For one thing, the Rapture isn't mentioned anywhere in the Bible. Go ahead, check. Also, while antichrists appear in the Johannine epistles, there isn't actually an Antichrist in the Book of Revelations.

Each of the 45 categories on the Rapture Index has a rating between 1 to 5, but it's not clear how that rating is determined. Right now, for example, the False Christs category gets a 3 because "a gentleman in Florida has made news by claiming to be Christ." Financial unrest is at a 5 because "The U.S. dollar is down sharply, and gold is at a new high." The Antichrist gets a 3 because "The EU now has President. This office could be a precursor to the AC." Crime Rate gets a 4 because "Violent crime has dominated the news." I guess the author of this site isn't aware of the statistics that show that while news reporting of crime has increased dramatically, crime itself is actually on the decline.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about Revelations. For example, an email circulated about a year or so ago claimed that Barack Obama was the Antichrist because according to Revelations, the Antichrist was Muslim. Not only is Obama not a Muslim, but the Muslim faith wasn't even founded until hundreds of years after the Bible was written. Muslims aren't mentioned anywhere in Revelations.

It's easy to trick people into thinking something is in Revelations when it isn't because most people don't bother reading the Bible. To guard against this, I suggest you read Revelations. It's a short book, so it won't take too much of your time. To make it fun, I recommend reading it at,  which includes Lego reenactments.

All this has made me wonder, how many of the Biblical prophecies of the Book of Revelations have actually come true? I hereby present the only Rapture Index that's based on the Bible. Events that have already occurred appear in bold, events which have yet to occur appear in italics.

1. Every creature says "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Rev. 5:13)

2. One sitting upon a white horse goes forth conquering. (Rev. 6:2)

3. One sitting upon a red horse takes peace from the earth. (Rev. 6:4)

4. One sitting upon a black horse holds balances in his hand. (Rev. 6:5)

5. Death rides a pale horse and kills one fourth of the earth. (Rev. 6:8)

6. The sun becomes black, the moon becomes blood, the stars fall from heaven, every mountain and island is moved from its place. (Rev. 6:12-14)

7. Every man hides himself in the rocks of the mountains. (Rev. 6:15)

8. Four angels prevent wind from blowing by holding the four corners of the earth. (Rev. 7:1)

9. 144,000 male virgin Jews receive the seal of God on their foreheads.
(Rev. 7:4, Rev. 14:4)

10. Hail and fire mingled with blood burn up a third of the trees and all of the green grass. (Rev. 8:7)

11. A great mountain burning with fire is cast into the sea, a third of the sea becomes blood. (Rev. 8:8)

12. A star called Wormwood falls from the sky, a third of the waters become wormwood. (Rev. 8:10-11)

13. A third part of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened. (Rev. 8:12)

14. Locusts wearing breastplates with crowns of gold and faces like men, hair like women, teeth like lions, and tails like scorpions torture everyone without the seal of God on their forehead for five months. Their victims want to die, but death flees from them. (Rev. 9:3-11)

15. Four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates are freed and slay a third of all men. An army of two hundred thousand thousand kill by spewing fire, smoke, and brimstone from their mouths and by using their serpent like tails. (Rev. 9:14-19)

16. Two witnesses who breathe fire and have the power to stop rain, turn water into blood, and smite the earth with plagues prophesy for 1,260 days. They will be killed, lie dead for three and a half days, then come back to life and ascend to heaven on a cloud followed by a great earthquake which kills 7,000. (See Rev. 11:3-13)

17. The temple of God is opened in heaven accompanied by lightning, voices, thunder, hail, and an earthquake. (Rev. 11:19)

18. A red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns tries to eat the offspring of a woman clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars. The woman and her child are saved, and the dragon and his angels are cast out of heaven by Michael and his angels. (Rev. 12:1-9)

19. A beast with seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns rises out of the sea. The beast and the dragon are given power for 42 months. All that dwell upon the earth worship him. (Rev. 13:1-8)

20. A second beast with two horns like a lamb and speech like a dragon comes out of the earth. He tells the inhabitants of earth to make an image of the first beast, which he brings to life. He causes all to receive either the mark, the name, or the number of the beast (666) upon their right hand or in their foreheads. (Rev. 13:11-18)

21. One like unto the Son of man with a gold crown sitting upon a white cloud reaps the earth with a sickle. Another angel comes out of the temple of heaven with a sharp sickle and gathers the vine of the earth and casts it into a great winepress. Blood comes out of the winepress. (Rev. 14:14-20)

22. Men with the mark of the beast are afflicted with a sore. (Rev. 16:2)

23. The sea becomes like blood and every living soul in the sea dies. (Rev. 16:3)

24. Rivers and fountains become blood. (Rev. 16:4)

25. Men are scorched with great heat. (Rev. 16:9)

26. The beast's kingdom is full of darkness and they gnaw their tongues. (Rev. 16:10)

27. The river Euphrates is dried up. (Rev. 16:12)

28. Voices, thunder, lightning and the greatest earthquake since men were upon the earth. (Rev. 16:18)

29. Every island flees, and the mountains are nowhere to be found. (Rev. 16:20)

30. Hailstones the weight of talents fall upon men. (Rev. 16:21)

31. Someone named Faithful and True rides upon a white horse to judge and make war. The armies of heaven follow him upon white horses. He smites the nations with a sword that comes out of his mouth. (Rev. 19:11-16)

32. Satan is imprisoned for a thousand years, then set loose. He gathers together an army as numerous as the sands upon the sea which God devours with fire. (Rev. 20:1-8)

33. Death and hell are cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14)

34. The Lamb of God gets married to a city. (Rev. 21:9-10)

See? Nothing about increased crime rates or unemployment. In the interests of accuracy, the Rapture Ready people should really add fire and meteors to their rapture index and take away famines, droughts, floods, and volcanoes to put it more in line with what Revelations actually says.

OK, so let's add up the score:

1. While there are a few humans who praise the Lamb, we're far from every creature, so I don't think we can count this one.

2. While I don't know of any specific conquerer who rode a white horse, I wouldn't be surprised if there were dozens, so let's go ahead and count this one.

3. Not yet.

4. I've never heard of a rider upon a black horse carrying balances, but there's nothing stopping anybody from doing it, so if you send me a picture of someone riding a black horse while carrying balances, I'll count this one.

5. Not yet.

6. I don't think the sun becoming black refers to a simple eclipse, since eclipses happen all the time. Also, while the moon does sometimes appear to have a reddish tinge to it, I don't think you can count that as the moon becoming blood.

7. Not yet.

8. Not yet.

9. Not yet.

10. Not yet.

11. Not yet.

12. Not yet.

13. Again, you might say that a third of the sun, moon, and stars being darkened could happen during an eclipse, but given the other revelations, I don't think John of Patmos is speaking poetically.

14. Not yet.

15. Not yet.

16. Not yet.

17. Not yet.

18. Not yet.

19. Not yet.

20. Not yet.

21. Not yet.

22. Not yet.

23. Not yet.

24. Not yet.

25. Really depends on your definition of a "great heat." I'm thinking this is a heat so extreme we won't be wondering whether it's the predicted heat or not.

26. I don't think the darkness referred to here is simply night time. Besides, when have you ever known a large amount of people to all gnaw their own tongues?

27. While it's true the river Euphrates is shrinking, it hasn't completely dried up yet. However, this is certainly one prophesy to watch.

28. The greatest magnitude earthquake on record is the 1960 Chile earthquake. It registered a 9.5 on the Mw scale and a 8.5 on the Ms scale and caused tsunami damage in Northern California 9,000 miles away. As far as I know, it wasn't accompanied by voices, thunder, or lightning. However, it's possible the greatest earthquake occurred before we had a means of measuring it and it was accompanied by voices, thunder, and lightning. Unfortunately, that's too speculative to count this one.

29. Not yet.

30. How much a talent weighs varied in the ancient world, but among the Jews during the New Testament time, a talent weighed a whopping 129.6 pounds. The largest hailstone to date has weighed only a paltry 1.67 pounds. This prophecy still has a ways to go.

31. Not yet.

32. Not yet.

33. Not yet.

34. Not yet. Maybe this is why Christians are so afraid of gay marriage. If you allow gay marriage, who's to say legalizing city marriage won't come next? And then, before you know it: the end of the world.

Rapture Index is currently at 1 out of 34.

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