“End time” predictions are not the subject of blockbuster films. Indeed, end time sign forecasters have been doing a great job at creating havoc, panic and feelings of impending doom. Almost every year, as the clock ticks by, people wait for the predicted hour the world will end and Jesusas would return to save them. And when the world does not end, questions are raised. What is the true significance of the return of Jesusas and how can everlasting peace on earth be achieved? Did Jesusas ever discuss the destruction of the world as “Armageddon?” Did Jesusas ever actually predict the Rapture? In this article we will explore what the “end times” predictions refer to in relation to the Second Coming (advent of the messiah).
What do “End times” Refer to?
“End time” signs and theories are predominant amongst many Christian denominations around the world, which believe that, “there are a series of events (the Rapture, the tribulation, the rise of the Antichrist, Armageddon etc.) that will lead up to the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, known as the second coming.” Over the last century many biblical pastors, missionaries, and ministers, especially the Evangelists, have been preaching and teaching about “end time” signs and the return of the Messiah.
The Rapture Doctrine
The concept of “the Rapture” is that all believers will be instantly elevated to the clouds to meet Jesusas upon his return. Many people literally believe that if they are selected, they will be beamed up into the sky when “the Rapture” occurs.
Is the Word “Rapture” in the Bible?
The word “Rapture” is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. It actually originates from the Latin rapere, translated as ‘caught up’ in the following verse:
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The Greek word harpazo is also translated as “caught up” in the following verse:
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
Bizarrely, according to evangelical preachers and authors of the book Are You Rapture Ready? the word “rapture is taken from an obsolete French word that means abduction or to carry off.” The evangelical preachers further state that, “though Greek scholars may not use ‘rapture’ to translate harpazo, it is not difficult, nor is it doing a disservice to God’s word, to connect the two terms.” But the fact that even Greek scholars do not translate harpazo to “rapture” seems to show how people have put their own interpretations on this word.
It is believed that, “the Rapture doctrine was originally the invention of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). By 1860 the rapture had made its way to the United States. Today, prophecy pundits and end-time revivalists preach the Rapture as if it were established dogma from the time of Christ until the present.” In other words, the biblical preachers and teachers of the last century invented the concept of the Rapture.
Did Jesusas speak about the Rapture?
It is clearly evident that there is absolutely no biblical evidence of the Rapture and if the Rapture was an actuality, then surely Jesusas would have mentioned it? Indeed, the connotations of the word rapture have changed, “During the past century or so, many fundamentalist/evangelical Christians have come to use the term to denote Christ’s carrying off his true church from earth to heaven as the end times approach.”
What is Armageddon?
Apart from the rapture, many Christians are also awaiting an “Armageddon” that will occur during the end times. Most Christian denominations believe that Armageddon will be the last, climactic battle to be fought on earth between the powers of good and evil after the coming of the Messiah, and then eternal peace will be established. “According to many interpreters, the unknown author of the last book of the Bible (Revelations) is describing events leading up to the last battle of the World, which ends with the coming of a ‘rider on a white horse’. The rider’s name is ‘Faithful and True,’ and he defeats the armies of the antichrist in the climatic battle of history that takes place in the valley of Megiddo, an immense plain in Israel.”
There is no biblical reference to the word “Armageddon” or of any battle of Armageddon following Christ’s return. There is only one mention of the word Armageddon in the entire New Testament:
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
Armageddon is derived from the Hebrew words Har Megiddo, or “Mountain of Megiddo.” Armageddon is a place mentioned in the Bible, but it is not referred to as an event or a battlefield.
Did Jesusas Speak About Armageddon?
Armageddon gained huge popularity because of Hal Lindsey, one of the most influential Christian evangelists, and a writer and Zionist in the 20th century. It was Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth, which “marked the beginning of the modern-day evangelical Armageddon craze that culminated in the Left Behind series of books by Evangelical writers Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. It sold over 65 million copies and remains one of the best-selling fiction series in print.” Ironically, in spite of predicting numerous failed apocalyptic and Second Coming prophecies over forty-four years, Lindsey continues preaching and hosting TV shows and many still follow his lead.
It is evident that Jesusas did not teach or preach the Rapture or Armageddon prior to his return, but he did foretell many other things in relation to it. The disciples specifically questioned Jesusas about the end times:
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
Jesusas Warns About False Messiahs & End Times
Jesusas clearly warned his disciples:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
This verse prophesied that many false claimants would come in Jesus’as name and would deceive his followers and thus they were warned not to fall prey to these false prophets.
Sadly, this is exactly what has occurred over the last two thousand years. Many false prophets, preachers and teachers have misinterpreted biblical prophecies and have invented concepts such as the rapture, Armageddon and the end of the world. The appearance of a messiah has metamorphosed into a supernatural, mythical second coming. Astronomers, fortune-tellers and other religious groups also predicted the ending of the world and the return of Jesusas on specific dates or within a designated time frame. These predictions include those made by Mark Biltz & John Hagee in 2015, the Mayan Prophecy that the world would end in 2012, and others made by Ronald Weinland, Harold Camping and Herbert Armstrong. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have also made these kinds of predictions and there have been many more dating back to 1033. Every single prediction has failed.
Doomsday “preppers”—people preparing for this supposed Armageddon—gave up their jobs, homes and everything else, believing the world’s end was imminent. Millions around the world anticipating the return of the Messiah were let down and misled because they fell prey to the deception regarding which Jesusas had clearly warned.
When will Jesusas return?
No one knows of the exact time of Jesus’as return as the New Testament mentions,
“But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
It is clearly evident that biblical preachers and teachers falsely predicted the second coming only to gain popularity and fame. How could they have accurately predicted the specific dates for his return, when Jesusas himself said that even he did not know when the Second Coming would occur?
How will Jesusas return?
Many Christians believe that the second coming of Jesusas would be a glorious event with the Messiah descending from the clouds,
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
The words “and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,” means that when the true Messiah would be identified and people would come to know about the evidence which will invalidate the beliefs of Jesus’as as God, his death on the Cross and his ascension, then all the nations of the earth would mourn. This means that once they recognised the true glory and coming of the real Messiah, they would be grief-stricken at how the false preachers of biblical prophecies had depicted the second coming of Christ to earth as a glorified event.
How will the Awaited Messiah be Recognised?
Jesusas stated a very important point in Matthew 24:4-5. Jesusas indicated in that verse with the words, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many,” that historically prophets have always been normal human beings. They did not descend from heaven like the supernatural heroes of mythical legends. They have always suffered trials and tribulations. Their followers gained glory through persecution and perseverance. The verse also indicates how many people will fail to recognise the true Messiah.
All Prophets and Reformers Are Initially Rejected and Persecuted
Studying history, one can clearly see that all prophets were initially rejected and persecuted. Jesusas was also amongst the persecuted and the Jews did not accept him because they were expecting a glorified descent of the second coming of Elijah, which had already been fulfilled:
“Elijah does come and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the son of man will suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.”
Just as the Jews rejected Jesusas as the Messiah because he did not come to earth in the glory that they envisaged, likewise, many Christians missed the return of Jesusas as the Messiah. This was because he did not descend from the sky in glory, as they had erroneously believed he would.
The Awaited Messiah Has Come
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas (1835-1908), the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, claimed to be the awaited Promised Messiah.
There are a multitude of prophecies made by the Promised Messiahas. These prophecies refer to a variety of diverse topics. These include political, physical and social changes, cosmic signs, religious matters, intellectual activities, relations between nations, rulers and their subjects, and the ultimate success of his mission. Many of these prophecies have been fulfilled but evidently they cannot all be mentioned here. So we will focus on the signs that relate to the second advent of the Messiah.
Signs of the Second Advent
Jesusas mentioned signs related to his second coming. He was to tell his disciples:
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
The Promised Messiahas gives us a synopsis of the fulfillment of the prophecies:
“In my age only, in the month of Ramadan, eclipses of the sun and the moon occurred; in my age only, in accordance with the authentic sayings of the Holy Prophetsa and the Holy Qur’an and earlier Books, there was the plague all over the country, and in my age only, a new mode of transport, namely railways came into existence and in my age only, as per prophecies, terrible earthquakes came. Does not then righteousness demand that one should not be bold in denying me? Look! I swear by Almighty God and say that thousands of signs for establishing my truth have been manifested, are being manifested and will be manifested. If this were a man’s plan, never would he have enjoyed such support and help.”
Many Bible teachers and preachers have misinterpreted the prophecies, which is the reason why people have looked for other signs like the Rapture, the apocalyptic ending of the world and Armageddon, as they missed the arrival of the true Messiah.
This is an extensive topic which cannot be covered in detail here. The antichrist is also associated with end time signs. Regarding the dajjal or antichrist, the Promised Messiahas explains, “the word Dajjal has two connotations: First, it signifies a group, which supports falsehood and works with cunning and deceit. Secondly, it is the name of the Satan who is the father of all falsehood and corruption.”
According to Christians, antichrist refers to “the archenemy and the ultimate opponent of the Lord Jesus,” By proving that Jesusas did not die on the cross, the Promised Messiahas has in fact fought the antichrist by honouring prophet Jesusas. This he did by proving that Jesusas did not die an accursed and shameful death, a most humiliating and degrading form of public death.
“And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” 
St. Paul said,
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” 
Bible commentators interpret this as, “the way in which the curse of the Law fell upon Christ was through His death. The ignominious death by which He died was one to which the curse of God specially attached. The Law expressly declared that that criminal who died upon the cross or gibbet was an object of divine wrath. Christ died as such a criminal and so came under the curse.”
The Promised Messiah’sas mission of defeating the antichrist is continued today through his followers. Ahmadi Muslims around the world are continuing to remove the blasphemous accusations meted against Jesusas; that he was an impostor, liar and that the cause of his death on the cross was a consequence of his illegitimate birth. They also strive to remove the erroneous views that Jesusas is the Son of God, God Himself, and that he sacrificed his life on the cross for the salvation of mankind.
Gog and Magog: A Fight Between Good and Evil
When the Messiah came, it was prophesied that there would be two powerful nations in the earth and man would not be able to defeat them. The same peoples are described in the Holy Qur’an as perpetually fighting with each other. They are known as Gog and Magog. The Promised Messiahas explained:
“Yajuj [Gog] and Majuj [Magog] are two peoples who have been mentioned in earlier scriptures. The reason why they are so called is that they make extensive use of Ajij [fire], and would reign supreme on earth and dominate every height. At the same time, a great change will be ordained from heaven and will usher in days of peace and amity.”
He also said:
“I have also proved that it is essential for the Promised Messiah to appear at the time of Gog and Magog. Since Ajij, from which the words Gog and Magog are derived, means ‘fire,’ God Almighty has disclosed to me that Gog and Magog are a people who are greater experts in the use of fire than any other people. Their very names indicate that their ships, trains and machines will be run by fire. They will fight their battles with fire. They will excel all other people in harnessing fire to their service. This is why they will be called Gog and Magog. These are the people of the West, as they are unique in their expertise in the use of fire. In Jewish scriptures, too, it was the people of Europe who were described as Gog and Magog. Even the name of Moscow, which is the ancient capital of Russia, is mentioned. Thus it was preordained that the Promised Messiah would appear in the time of Gog and Magog.”
Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmadrh, the Third Khalifah to the Promised Messiahas, also mentions this:
“The Promised Messiahas also prophesied that a Third World War of even greater proportions would follow the Second World War. The two opposing camps would clash with such suddenness that everyone would be caught unawares. Death and destruction would rain from the sky and fierce flames would engulf the earth.
The colossus of modern civilisation will tumble to the ground. Both the communist and the opposing blocks will perish in the process. Russia and its satellites on the one hand and the U.S. and its allies on the other, shall be destroyed, their might broken, their civilisation ruined, their systems shattered. The survivors shall stand aghast and amazed at the tragedy.”
The destruction would be so cataclysmic that even Prophet Jesusas spoke of the turbulent times ahead.
Prophet Jesusas Refers to Turbulent Times
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, 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. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.”
Most Christians believe that there would be a rapture, an apocalyptic ending of the world or Armageddon, followed by the appearance of the long-awaited Promised Messiah. They do not perceive that he has already come.
The prophecies mentioned in this article point to the fact that a cataclysmic time in the world was inevitable. Current world events are clearly indicating that we are literally on the verge of a catastrophic nuclear World War. God forbid that when the world should face the devastation of nuclear explosions, the survivors will stand witness to the fact that there will be no “Rapture,” there will be no apocalyptic “Armageddon,” and no glorious descent of the messiah, who they will be looking for in the skies. Indeed, he has already come. The only steps towards true salvation now are by accepting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas as the true Promised Messiah, and helping him in his divine cause to attain true peace on earth.
Imposters do not Flourish
According to the Holy Qur’an, false prophets do not escape divine punishment:
“And if he had forged and attributed any sayings to Us.”
“The argument is to the effect that even if the Holy Prophetsa (of Islam) had been a forger of lies against God, God’s strong hand would have seized him by the throat and the Prophet would certainly have met with a violent death: his whole work and mission would have gone to pieces, because such is the fate of a false prophet.”
The book of Deuteronomy also tells us the fate of false prophets, “But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.”
“The Promised Messiahas claimed to receive divine revelations from the early seventies of the 19th century till his death in 1908, a period of thirty years. Not only did he not suffer any divine punishment but he achieved glorious successes in all his endeavours. He seemed to enjoy divine help to an extraordinary degree and claimed that Allah Almighty had given him a divine guarantee of security. His opponents declared him an infidel and an apostate from Islam and plotted his assassination.”
The Messiah and His Followers are Persecuted
From the time of the Second Advent of the Promised Messiahas to the current day, Ahmadi Muslims around the world have endured bitter persecution, severe enmity and have witnessed countless martyrdoms. However, the Promised Messiahas and his successors, the rightly guided Caliphs, guide us to keep vigilant but above all to pray and persevere. The Promised Messiah’sas intention was never to gain political or territorial powers. The Promised Messiahas was a champion of peace, peacefully fighting the real battle of establishing good over evil upon earth. Regardless of the persecution, Ahmadi Muslims continue to flourish. They can now be counted in their millions around the world.
The Real Peace on Earth
“The proof of the authenticity of the Promised Messiah is that he would not wage religious war.” He only directed his followers to a Jihad by the pen. This was striving to propagate the true teachings of Islam through study, logic and prayer.
Currently, the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, is continuing the mission and work of the Promised Messiahas to achieve world peace. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba is also bravely fighting a battle to combat extremism whilst facing bitter persecution. He has embarked on a global mission, reaching world leaders across the continents, in order to establish lasting peace and save the world from nuclear devastation. He desires that we have true peace in the world, just as Jesusas foretold that this would be achieved through the Promised Messiahas. I invite every seeker of the truth to examine the prophecies and signs about the claim of the Promised Messiahas and I request all seekers of the truth to pray to be shown a personal sign regarding the validity of the Promised Messiah. As followers of the true Promised Messiahas, it is incumbent upon us to disseminate the message that the Promised Messiahas has come, and to invite all to join us in the battle against extremism and the establishment of world peace.
The Promised Messiahas says:
“I tell you truly that those who were revived by the Messiahas [Jesus] are dead, but he who will drink of the cup that has been bestowed upon me will never die. If there is anyone else who can also utter the life-giving words that I speak and proclaim such wisdom as I do, then you are at liberty to conclude that I have not come from God Almighty. However, if this wisdom and understanding—which serves as the water of life for those whose hearts are dead—is not procurable from any other source, then you have no excuse for the crime of having rejected the fountain that has been opened from heaven. No one on earth can stop it.”
- Bryan P. Mistele, The Truth About Prophecy In The Bible. (Redmond, WA: Beyond Today Publishing, 2005), 15.
- 1 Thessalonians, 4:17 (King James 2000). Accessed at http://biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/4-17.htm.
- 2 Corinthians, 12:2 (King James 2000). Accessed at http://biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/4-17.htm.
- Todd Strandberg and William T James, Are You Rapture Ready? (New York, NY: Dutton, 2003), 30.
- Jim Willis and Barbara Willis, Armageddon Now, (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2006), 343.
- Jim Willis and Barbara Willis, Armageddon Now, (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2006), 39.
- Revelation, 16:16 (King James 2000).
- Jim Willis and Barbara Willis, Armageddon Now, (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2006), 41.
- Matthew, 24:3 (King James 2000).
- Matthew, 24:4-5 (King James 2000).
- Matthew, 24:36 (King James 2000). Accessed at http://biblehub.com/matthew/24-36.htm.
- Matthew, 24:30 (King James 2000).
- Mathew, 17:10-13 (King James 2000).
- Matthew, 24:6-8 (King James 2000).
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Haqiqatul Wahi, p.45; Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 22, p.48. Accessed at https://test-review-of-religions.pantheonsite.io/12092/the-promised-messiahas-imam-mahdi.
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 22, 326.
- Mark Hitchcock. Who Is The Antichrist? (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2011).
- Deuteronomy, 21:22-24.
- Galatians, 3:13.
- Accessed at http://biblehub.com/commentaries/galatians/3-13.htm.
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Lecture Sialkot, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 20, p. 211.
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Ayyam-us-Sulh, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 14, p.424-425.
- Matthew 24:19-25.
- The Holy Qur’an 69:45.
- http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=2680®ion=E1&CR=EN,E2 note 4363.
- Deuteronomy, 18:20.
- Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, The Promised Messiah And Mahdi, (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 1996).
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, “Lecture Sialkot,” Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 20, p.36. Accessed at https://www.alislam.org/library/books/ludhiana/LectureLudhiana.pdf.
- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 3, p.104.