Approaching asteroid ignites end-times talk
In the end times, the skies will be filled with portents and terrors. Massive objects will fall from the heavens and wreak destruction on the Earth.
Now, one rabbi says that may not be that far away at all.
The asteroid Apophis, named after an Egyptian god of chaos, is poised to make a near miss of Earth on April 13, 2029.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, of King David's tomb on Mount Zion, said the surge of concern over celestial events, particularly heavenly objects that could hit Earth, is a sign of the imminent coming of the Messiah.
Quoting Numbers 24:17, Rabbi Berger claimed the Bible speaks of a star that will accompany the Messiah, an interpretation expanded upon in the writings of Maimonides and in the Zohar, the foundational work of Kabbalah.
While Christians obviously believe Messiah has already come and heavenly signs would herald his return, some experts argue the rabbi is fundamentally right about how the last days will be marked by dangerous astronomical events. Mark Biltz, who rocked the Christian world with his discovery of the "Blood Moons" phenomenon, quoted Isaiah 13:10, which states: "For the stars of the sky and its constellations will not give their light. The sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine."
Biltz also cited Revelation 8:10, which states, in part, "And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water."
Biltz argues this refers to the world being struck by an extraplanetary object and argues the last days will be marked by strange events in the heavens.
"According to the Book of Revelation, it definitely sounds like an asteroid!" exclaimed Biltz. "I see the possibility of even more than one, or many meteors hitting Earth as well."
Biltz strongly believes heavenly events are signs from God, a concept he explains in several of his books, especially "Blood Moons: Decoding The Imminent Heavenly Signs."
Registration still is open now, but it can't stay open forever, for WND's 2017 Alaska Cruise this fall, with Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, founders of WND, and Mark "Blood Moons" Biltz, one of the leading teachers in the Hebrew roots movement.
In his latest book, "God's Day Timer," Biltz also explains how the events of prophecy, including Christ's return, will be linked to the biblical feasts established in Scripture.
And with unusual events in the skies increasing, including a solar eclipse that will traverse the continental United States next month, Biltz is urging believers to make sure they are solid in faith.
"I recommend believers unite in fasting and praying for our nation," he advised. He also urged Christians to not panic about such events, but take comfort in the knowledge God has a plan.
"I do not overreact to such things as unusual events in the heavens," he said. "When it happens, there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We are not to live our lives in a state of fear or panic. We must live our lives consistently as we do not know the number of our days that God has given us. If it is not my time to die, it's not going to happen, and if it is my time, there's nothing I can do about it. So I live every day to the fullest in joy and in love to all around me."
Carl Gallups, author of the end times examination "When The Lion Roars," agrees heavenly signs will be an indication of Messiah's Second Coming.
"The Bible is clear that in the last days, before the return of Jesus Christ, there will be sensational astronomical occurrences that will mark the beginning of 'those days,'" he told WND. "The prophecies speak of the nations being 'perplexed' by them, and they declare the fact that those who don't know the Lord will hide in terror as those specific prophetic events unfold.
"There are several passages that speak of 'stars falling from heaven' or a 'mountain' thrown into the sea (presumably from above) - followed by great destruction. These clear proclamations of biblical prophecy cannot be denied; however, there are myriads of 'interpretations' of exactly what the unfolding of those prophetic utterances might actually prove to be when they are finally fulfilled."
However, Gallups notes the occurrences that will truly mark the Second Coming will be extraordinary, not simply another eclipse or a near miss of an asteroid.
"It would appear from the Scripture that whatever happens to mark those portentous days, astronomically speaking, will be unique - and not a mere repeating of astronomical occurrences of the past," he opined. "These will be manifestations that will send the nations into a frenzy and will cause mass destruction and chaos. The world will not 'miss' those specific signs, nor will humanity be able to thwart them."
Gallups also says there is nothing humankind can do to prevent such occurrences.
"The bottom line is this: Those astronomical events that are to occur as 'signs' of the soon return, or at the actual return of Jesus, will happen - regardless of humanity's vain attempts to prevent them from doing so," the pastor declared.
Biltz argued if Earth is fated to be hit by an asteroid, the human species will not be able to prevent it.
"Science can never alter what God has predetermined to have happen," the pastor intoned. "I would never depend on science to solve this problem as they have a bigger problem to solve which is how will they answer to the One who sent it!"
But NASA is planning defenses against extraplanetary threats. The space agency announced plans to divert the Didymos asteroid system in October 2022 before it is projected to pass by Earth.
An incredible story about finding God's light in a time of darkness. Don't miss this testimony about faith in the midst of the Holocaust. "Trapped In Hitler's Hell," now available as a book or documentary now in the WND Superstore.
The strategy is to use a refrigerator-sized spacecraft to slam into one of the asteroids in the system approaching Earth. Over time, the collision's small impact on the asteroid's velocity and flight path will ensure the objects miss Earth by a far larger margin than they would have if left undisturbed. If it works, the plan would serve as a proof of concept for a defense against an asteroid that is actually projected to hit the planet.
Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries suggests Christians seeking to interpret such events should only limit themselves to Scripture. However, she also believes the Bible indicates there won't just be extraordinary events during the Tribulation, but in the time immediately before - including some people may have already seen.
"The Bible does talk about end-time celestial activity," she told WND. "A great deal of it will be during the Tribulation, but before that I believe there will be signs in the sky that are simply a herald of His coming. Is this what the blood moons were? We don't know, but probably.
"The time known as the Tribulation, and even more so the Great Tribulation (second half), will have activity that is beyond our imaginations. The fact that asteroids could be hitting the Earth is likely a given. But I don't think that unsaved rabbis have any special insight. All we really need is the Bible which talks about the Seals, Bowls, and Trumpets of the Tribulation. They foretell a time of trial upon the Earth that will be unprecedented and unspeakable."
Markell also urges Christians not to trust science will automatically be able to prevent apocalyptic events if it is truly the last days.
"If these are Tribulation events, no science will save any man," she said. "That is why it is important to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ today, while there is still time. Many will wait and it will be too late. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). No one is guaranteed tomorrow."
Given such confusing and chaotic times, pastor Carl Gallups urged a balanced approach for Christians. He argues the world is in the "most prophetic time since the first coming of Jesus Christ" and believers should keep that in the forefront of their consciousness. However, overreaction can be just as dangerous as complacency.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong for Christians to 'examine the times,' and to be ever watchful for the potential indications of the Lord's coming - however, we must be very careful not to make every astronomical occurrence or 'close call' to be a definitive marker of prophecy," he said. "In so doing, we risk the danger of being like the boy who cried wolf - and, in effect, render the lost world even less attentive to the actual markers of the prophetic times in which we are now living.
"Ever since Israel returned to the land 70 years ago next year ( a fulfillment of a 2,500-year-old direct prophecy), the world has been in the midst of more than a dozen convergent and clear prophecies of last days' proportion. There can be no doubt that we are now living in the most prophetic times the planet has ever known - however, not every astronomical event is meant to be interpreted as a 'this is that' from biblical prophecy."Prophecy, End Times, Signs, Near Miss Universe, WOnders, Terrors, Rabbi