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Survival Guide to the Biblical Apocalypse

by smart

[Music] the apocalypse doomsday the end of the world it’s a gloomy subject that many world religions have approached in christianity the last book of the bible the book of revelation contains a frightening vision of cataclysmic events demonic horsemen and even a few multi-eyed bible accurate angels for good measure this book is without doubt the strangest and most disturbing book in the whole bible so naturally it’s a topic i had to cover on this channel you may have heard of the book of revelation but may not be so familiar with what actually happens in the book for example where does the number 666 fit into all of it if you’re looking to learn more about the biblical apocalypse well you’re in the right place i’ve crafted together this handy introductory video you never know when you might need it before we start it’s worth noting that i’m going to examine the book of revelation from a secular non-religious perspective the book is highly symbolic and probably not meant to be taken literally so at occasional moments throughout the video i’ll explain what some of the symbolism may mean using the interpretations of biblical scholars disclaimer out the way bring on the apocalypse the word apocalypse itself comes from the greek and it literally means to uncover something that’s actually why it’s called the book of revelation it’s all to do with something being revealed in this case the end of the world there’s a rich history of these apocalypses in the old testament but they don’t necessarily have anything to do with the end times sometimes they’re just these startling visions of the otherworldly like a glimpse of god’s throne in the book of ezekiel or a dream featuring four strange beasts in the book of daniel the book of revelation is from the perspective of a guy called john we don’t know much about this character it’s not the same john who baptized people in the jordan nor is it the same person who wrote the fourth gospel no this is an entirely different john it turns out that there’s a lot of people called john in the bible in fact some scholars believe that this particular john might not have existed at all like most books in the bible the book of revelation was written and edited by anonymous authors and so john may have been a pseudonym scholars say that the oldest part of the book was probably written around 65 ce during the reign of emperor nero and may have reached its final form at around 95 ce during the reign of emperor domitian both of these emperors particularly the first one emprenero were known for their brutal persecutions of early christians a significant detail in order to understand the worldview behind the book of revelation it was written in a frightening time for these first christians and their anxieties were captured on the pages containing a frightening collection of visions about the end of the world let’s turn to the contents of the vision itself we start off in the idyllic greek island of patmos where our main character jon has been exiled behind him he suddenly hears a booming voice calling his name he turns around only to see a spectral figure bathed in bright light surrounded by seven golden lamp stands this unnamed person who some believe to be jesus himself has a very strange appearance he is enrobed in white with eyes like fire and protruding from his mouth is a sharp two-edged sword yes this description is in the text and trust me it’s not the strangest we’ve yet to see this strange figure tells jon to write to the seven churches dotted across the mediterranean to give them a heads up about what’s about to go down once he does so jon is immediately whisked up into heaven from there john gives a spectacular account of everything he sees in front of him is a giant throne with 24 smaller thrones surrounding it the central throne is so bright glistening like many precious stones that he can’t actually make out the figure sitting on it but we can safely assume that it’s meant to be god himself but his attention is quickly drawn to four strange multi-eyed beasts that are floating around near the throne although the bible calls them simply living creatures you may already be familiar with them as bible accurate angels good friends of the channel at this point here’s a description he gives of them around the throne and on each side of the throne are four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind the first living creature is like a lion the second living creature is like an ox the third living creature with a face like a human face and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle all four living creatures each of them with six wings are full of eyes all around and inside day and night without ceasing they sing a very strange description indeed a winged lion ox humanoid and eagle covered in eyes from head to toe and singing praises to god eternally but this point you may have already watched my video on bible accurate angels and you may be familiar with these creatures in the book of ezekiel in the old testament they feature in a magnificent vision the hebrew prophet gives of god’s heavenly throne in that video i suggested that they likely developed from the mesopotamian cherubim known as lamasu sadly however there are none of those wheels with eyes known as ophenim to be found in this account not much else is said about these four eldritch hybrids other than this although some have interpreted their multi eyes as a symbol of god’s all-seeing nature others see it to be deliberately creepy now i don’t know about you but i certainly see why they think this after his description of the four living creatures next before jon comes another strange beast it is described as looking like a lamb although it has seven horns and seven eyes because of course it does it also looks like it’s been slain because of this many associate this being with jesus who is sometimes called the lamb of god whatever it is the lamb creature holds in its hooves a large scroll with seven wax seals with this the apocalypse is truly underway when the first seal is broken out comes a man on a white horse wielding a bow and wearing a crown this is the embodiment of conquest the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse seal two is broken and out comes a horseman a strider red horse holding a large sword this is the horseman of war kinda similar to conquest in my opinion but whatever cl3 is broken and out comes a rider on a black horse holding weighing scales this is the horseman of famine finally the fourth seal is broken and out comes a rider on a pale horse the embodiment of death itself with four of the seven seals broken the lamb creature hands the four horsemen a quarter of the earth’s population to destroy either through violence famine pestilence or death okay so there are three seals left and three unpleasant events left to transpire luckily seal five is a bit of a dud nothing really happens other than the souls of the martyrs are given nice white robes and told to wait around a bit for the final judgment but when seal six is open things get really nasty for people on earth no sooner than the seal is broken and there is a giant earthquake an earthquake so large that quote every mountain and island was removed from its place if we take this literally this kind of earthquake would far surpass the magnitudes of the biggest recorded earthquakes like the 1960 valladiva earthquake in chile that measured 9.5 on the richter scale such a large earthquake would be particularly bad news for anyone living on tectonic fault lines as well as a cataclysmic earthquake the sixth seal would also make the sky turn black were it to happen perpetual darkness would be devastating for earth especially for plant life which requires sunlight to perform photosynthesis interestingly such events have actually happened before and are often caused by major volcanic eruptions in 536 ce during a period of european history aptly known as the dark ages a giant volcanic eruption believed to be from indonesia triggered what is known as a volcanic winter this is when vast quantities of volcanic ash enter the atmosphere dimming the sunlight and causing rapid cooling writing from constantinople in 536 byzantine historian procopius wrote that quote during this year a most dreaded portent took place for the sun gave forth its light without brightness and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse for the beams it shed were not clear other contemporary writers as far away as ireland have attested to the same extreme weather indicating that this phenomenon may have been widespread at the time and that the earth was indeed in a volcanic winter if giant earthquakes and volcanic winters were not enough the sixth seal also describes how quote the stars of the sky fell to earth now if an actual star collided with the earth then that really began over as earth would be engulfed into a much larger ball of flame and plasma it is more likely therefore that the author is referring to a meteor shower often these are quite harmless earth orbits through many space rocks every day resulting in beautiful shooting stars things get dangerous however when these rocks are big enough to not fully burn up in the atmosphere one such occasion was the tunguska event in 1908 where a meteoroid of an estimated 100 meters landed in eastern siberia flattening the surrounding forest of up to 2 100 square kilometers that’s 830 square miles being in siberia the land was sparsely populated so only three people were believed to have been killed had this landed on a city in 1908 then it would have been truly catastrophic seal six is pretty brutal mega earthquakes perpetual darkness and meteorite impacts but there is one more seal left the seventh seal fortunately just like seal five seal seven doesn’t bring too much calamity the book simply says quote there was a silence in heaven for about half an hour perhaps the multi-eyed living creatures from earlier can finally get a break from singing god’s praises you would have thought that the seven seals were enough to end earth more bad things are on the way almost as soon as the seventh seal is opened out come seven angels holding seven trumpets now you’ve probably noticed that the number seven appears quite a bit in the book of revelation seven golden lamp stands seven seals now seven trumpets the number seven is a significant one throughout the bible for example in the book of genesis it reportedly took seven days to create the universe in the ancient world this number seven was often regarded as the number of completion the idea that the number seven was a special number carried on into later christian tradition where you also get the seven deadly sins which by the way is another topic i’ve covered on the channel forget what you’ve seen about cute angels with sweet little trumpets these seven trumpets are about to destroy the earth it’s about to get dark and in the case of trumpet fall quite literally let’s quickly rattle off what each trumpet does trumpet one causes fire and hail to rain down on the earth wildfires soon rage on the planet and a third of earth’s vegetation gets burnt up trumpet two sounds and a great mountain-sized object falls into the sea turning a third of the oceans into blood it also kills a third of the innocent sea creatures which is pretty sad trumpet three plays and a star falls from heaven and lands onto the earth’s rivers the star is even given a name wormwood this is actually a type of semi-poisonous herb also known as mugwort which makes sense in the book of revelation because wormwood contaminates all the world’s fresh water supplies making it bitter and toxic trumpet four toots and the third of the sun goes out shrouding the planet in darkness we seem to have already had this one already back in the sixth seal this discrepancy has led some scholars to suggest that a different author is writing here perhaps unaware of the previous destruction wrought by the seven seals trumpet five in my opinion is the strangest of them all an angel descends to earth with a big key the key opens a large trap tall to a bottomless pit and out of the pit comes a thick black smoke that eclipses whatever sunlight was left then out of the dense fumes emerged giant locusts that swarm and cause plagues all over the earth now these aren’t just any giant locusts they are book of revelation giant locusts and so they’re given a very disturbing description here goes they have human faces and long flowing hair they wear armor and have little crowns on their head oh also they have lions teeth and giant scorpion stingers because again why not these creatures are given the instruction to sting people but not enough to kill them in fact it says that people will be unable to die during this time no matter how much they might wish to this is absolute nightmare fuel but there are still two trumpets to go trumpet six is sounded and four angels are released to kill a third of humankind all of whom helped to exterminate a third of human’s population the final trumpet trumpet seven doesn’t cause any destruction instead there’s a little hymn for those in heaven and a few flashes of lightning here and there but no major destruction on earth at this point i’d imagine that the world is practically unlivable i’m starting to think that calling this video a survival guide might seem a bit pointless the water has turned into blood things are on fire there’s no sunlight anymore and there are giant manticore looking locusts stinging people the book of revelation has really gone to town in painting the most disastrous picture possible believe it or not there are still yet more troubles to come but in the form of three giant monsters up first is a giant red dragon with seven heads and ten horns so two of the seven heads have two horns each the ten of the dragon is so large that when it sweeps it apparently casts a third of the stars down we find out that the red dragon is satan himself who is suddenly attacked and defeated by the archangel michael dragon satan gets booted out of heaven and throws down to earth and the land swallows him up after this strange little episode comes the main attraction the two so-called beasts the first beast comes out from the sea this first beast has the shape of a leopard it’s got feet like a bear and a mouth like a lime it’s got multiple heads and no surprises that there are seven of them like the dragon it’s got 10 horns with a diadem on each of those horns one of the heads however looks to be wounded once coming up from the sea this beast goes around bad-mouthing god and saying all kinds of blasphemies the survivors on earth and yes apparently there are survivors all start to worship this monster then suddenly the earth opens up and another strange beast comes out from the ground compared with the first beast the description is lacking a bit all we get is that it has two horns like a lamb but speaks like a dragon and that’s really it this beast goes around telling the inhabitants of earth how great beast number one is and performs a bunch of magic tricks to prove it’s legit the character is later known as the false prophet although you may be familiar with the name used for it in other christian texts the antichrist literally meaning the anti-messiah so should you choose to believe in this monster it’s bad news for you this beast goes around and writes a specific number on the four heads of idolatrous the famous mark of the beast the number 666 what is significant about this number 666 well many biblical scholars have suggested that it’s a code for the tyrannical emperor nero you see in the classical world there was this practice of assigning letters to numbers it’s known as gematria hebrew letters had this system too and if you spell out emprenero in hebrew they add up to the number six six six some of the oldest versions of the book of revelation like this papyrus manuscript found at oxyrinkus in egypt have the number 616 gemitrius still works here just for a different spelling of nero’s name interestingly the book of revelation says that in order to buy and sell things you need to show the mark of the beast as with today’s currencies roman coins often featured the head of the head of state in this case the emperor so in order to barter and trade you need to show the mark of the beast i.e the emperor nero’s face on coinage this interpretation is further supported by the greek word for mark as in mark of the beast which is haragma and it’s most commonly used to refer to the imprinting of coins what’s the emperor nero got to do with the beast well empreniero who ruled from 54 to 68 ce was responsible for a number of infamous christian persecutions early christians refused to worship the emperor who in the imperial cult was a divine figure instead they held that their exclusive belief was in god the god of israel this enraged many a roman emperor especially nero who attempted to persecute them out of existence he even blamed the great fire of rome on the christians and contemporary writers wrote harrowing accounts of all the suffering this emperor inflicted such as throwing christians to lions as a result nera especially became a symbol of evil so when the book of revelation is talking about people worshiping the beast it refers to the practice of worshiping the emperor all this is done in code those who bear the mark 666 in other words nero will be condemned to suffer for all eternity whilst the earth is under the dominion of these strange beasts slash roman emperors up in heaven the angels are preparing the final phase of destruction we’ve had seven seals seven trumpets and now we’ve got seven bowls these bowls are said to be full of god’s wrath whatever that entails either way the bowls work in a similar way to the seals and trumpets when they’re poured onto the earth bad things happen here we go again final one this time bowl one is poured onto the earth and painful swords and boils form on all the people who wear the mark of the beast on their forehead bowl two causes the whole sea now to turn into blood no longer just a third of it bowl three causes all the fresh water the lakes and the rivers to turn to blood yep lots of blood in this passage balfour causes the sun’s heat to intensify scorching people on earth badly bowl 5 causes the kingdom of the beast to go dark and political instability ensues some have seen this as a reference to the fall of the roman empire bowl six causes the river euphrates that’s in modern day iraq to dry up later the world’s armies all assemble and do battle at a place known as armageddon fun fact the hebrew word for armageddon is ha megiddo referring to mount megiddo in northern israel over time ha megiddo shifted to armageddon and because of the book of revelation it became another name for the apocalypse bowl 7 is your classic book of revelation business lightning hailstones and a massive earthquake which destroys the city of babylon however where babylon was the great city of evil in the old testament by the time of the new testament being written the city of babylon had long been deserted having been conquered by the persians some 500 years before so instead many believe that babylon is a reference to the capital city of the empire rome again it’s another example of the book of revelation speaking in code after a third and final round of devastation which seems to me a tad excessive the vision in the book of revelations begins to near its end in fact the whole thing wraps up pretty quickly without much of a struggle the first and second beast are captured by the armies of god and are kicked into quote a lake of fire that burns with sulphur which is probably a reference to hell then the giant multi-headed dragon which is satan is locked up in the pit too and is sealed for 1 000 years in this intermission jesus comes down to rule the earth until things pick up again well time flies 1 000 years pass and satan is released it’s now time for the epic final showdown or biblical proportions however the serious finale of the bible is a bit anti-climactic all that happens is a shoot of fire zips down from heaven and engulfs the evil army satan and all his monsters are cast into the lake of fire and sulfur to join the beasts and his evil influence finally comes to an end the book of revelation draws to a close and we get the bible’s happy ending a vision of something called the new jerusalem it’s a description of a wondrous new city made of solid gold our protagonist john goes to great lengths to describe its dimensions and it turns out that the new jerusalem is one giant cube its length width and height are 12 000 stadia which is 2 220 kilometers that’s 1 380 miles in this city god jesus all the do-gooders and all the multi-eyed creatures live in perpetual harmony it is this vision of a strange sci-fi construction that the book of revelation closes with and with it the entire bible comes to an end so without a doubt the book of revelation is the strangest book in the bible finishing it off in a maelstrom of fire earthquakes eldritch creatures chaos and calamity if such an event were to take place it looks to be a pretty unpleasant affair in such a complex and intricate book of the bible i haven’t managed to explore everything this strange book has to offer just the main story beats if you’d like me to cover any aspects that have interested you in this video do write them down in the comments below a theme across this book and many other new testament texts is that jesus will return and bring with him the second coming and a fiery cataclysm the very first communities of christians believe such an event would happen in their lifetime but when it never came to pass the hope was transferred to generations after them and so on until the present day throughout history theologians and everyday folk have attempted to figure out when the apocalypse will happen and whether there’ll be any warning signs that hint that is on its way often as in always they get it spectacularly wrong and occasionally embarrass themselves in the process just like pope sylvester feared that the year 1000 would mark the end of the world some worried that the year 2000 would too in fear of the y2k where computers would cease to function causing a global technological meltdown more recently 2012 was seen as a good year for the apocalypse misplaced fears about the mayan calendar led some to believe that the earth was on a collision course with the fictitious planet nibiru just as the mayan calendar continued the gregorian calendar continued and we’re still here today to my mind i doubt that anyone can ever predict when the end of the world is going to happen so for now we can relax people have got it wrong in the past so let’s hope they’ll continue to get it wrong in the future hey thanks for watching this video really hope you enjoyed this one is an absolute blast to make if you like this kind of stuff especially this longer form video when i subscribe a like and a comment also go a really long way after a bit of pause and uploads to finish off my university dissertation i’m glad to say that i’ve graduated thank you all for your patience more videos to come i promise i have plenty of videos that i’ve been itching to make anyway i look forward to seeing you next time [Music] goodbye you


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Survival Guide to the Biblical Apocalypse
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