November 15, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
As we draw nearer to that famous or infamous date of December 21, 2012, it seems that interest in what that date could hold for the world has grown and is showing no sign of waning anytime soon. As I write these words just last night Syfy channel had an almost three hour special with various guests on discussing, you guessed it, 2012. Also as of this writing was the opening week-end of the special effects thriller titled simply, 2012. As of this morning it had already grossed $65 million dollars! It is clear, inquiring minds want to know what the future holds in store for them and this planet.
And I really can’t say that I blame them. Theories and predictions concerning this date seem to range from utter annihilation of earth and 99% of her population, to a beginning of a new era of enlightenment and evolution for human beings, perhaps even a race of super human beings emerging on the scene. In the morass of opinion and prediction how can one know whom to trust? I submit to you that there is but one reliable source for learning what the future holds, and that is the Word of God, the Bible. Most who read after me probably expected me to say that. However, I believe I will demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of my statement.
I want to examine the major sources of information that people are looking towards to arrive at their position on what December 21, 2012 will hold for the world. I realize there are many voices out there, but these to which I will refer seem to be the most often quoted sources. First,
- THE MAYAN CALENDAR:
The ancient Mayan civilization was the subject of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, but their origin is really shrouded in mystery. Some have said that the Mayan lineage stretches back some 2,000 years. We know that the Mayans occupied eastern Mesoamerica, which today is the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, extending down into modern Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. Mayan cities were large population centers. Tikal, a Mayan city in what is now Guatemala, had a population of about 50,000, had more than 3000 buildings, and covered an area of six square miles. While much of the information concerning the Mayans is shrouded in uncertainty, one thing we know for certain is that they were sky-watching timekeepers.
It is important to note that the Maya weren’t just interested in time, they were obsessed with it. The Mayan calendar keepers painstakingly charted the cycles of the moon, the sun, and Venus. Their uncanny accuracy was not duplicated until modern times. Lawrence Joseph notes, “Without telescopes or any other apparatus, Mayan astronomers calculated the length of the lunar month to be 29.53020 days within 34 seconds of what we now know to be its actual length of 29.53059 days. Overall, the 2000-year old Mayan calendar is believed by many to be more accurate than the 500-year old Gregorian calendar we use today.”
The Maya didn’t keep track of time for just a few years, or even a few decades. They kept track of time for centuries, even millennia, up to 26,000 years. Like most pre-modern cultures, the Maya viewed history not as the linear passage of time but a series of cycles that repeated over and over again. For them, it was all about numbers and cycles. Their calendars meticulously measured cycles. The Mayan obsession with time can be seen in the fact that they developed approximately 20 different calendars. While all of them are fascinating, the Maya relied upon three main time-tracking calendars – three calendars that are most relevant to the 2012 date. A) The solar calendar, or vague year calendar, B) The ceremonial or sacred calendar, it was related to Venus’ cycle, and C) The long count calendar.
The long count calendar was used to document the “world age cycles” that repeat over and over. This calendar was divided into five units that extended forward and backward from the mythical creation of the Maya, which they believed was August 11, 3114 B.C. That date is represented on the Mayan long count calendar as 0.0.0.0.1 (Day One). The fifth cycle is supposed to end on December 21, 2012 or 188.8.131.52.0 (Day Last). The day after that will be 0.0.0.0.1 (but many don’t believe that day will come). According to the Maya, all five great cycles will end in destruction. The year 2012 is the year that the fifth great cycle is supposed to end. This is the genesis of the belief that the end of days is 2012.
The second oft quoted source of 2012 prognostication are the writings and so-called prophecies of Michel de Nostredame better known as, Nostradamus. He too looked ominously at the date of December 21, 2012. We will take a look next time at some of the things he had to say about what he believed was coming in 2012.
The Weekly Word is found in Matthew 24:25 – 27. Here the Bible says,
25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “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. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. [Matt. 24: 25 – 27 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson