THE GREAT PLANETARY TRANSITION
In revelation we are told that our planet will experience a great geophysical transition from one rotational position to another. That such possibility exists is indicated in The Urantia Papers.
This world has never seriously or sincerely or honestly tried out these dynamic ideas and divine ideals of Jesus' doctrine of the kingdom of heaven. But you should not become discouraged by the apparently slow progress of the kingdom idea on Urantia. Remember that the order of progressive evolution is subjected to sudden and unexpected periodical changes in both the material and the spiritual worlds. The bestowal of Jesus as an incarnated Son was just such a strange and unexpected event in the spiritual life of the world. Neither make the fatal mistake, in looking for the age manifestation of the kingdom, of failing to effect its establishment within your own souls.
When dissected this revelation can diverge our thought in several curious ways.
First we see that mankind has never been serious or sincere or honest concerning Jesus' doctrines of the kingdom of heaven. That is really a profound indictment in one sentence.
Further, Jesus' doctrine of the kingdom is based on dynamic ideas and divine ideals. Dynamic ideas are not those treated in a theological dissertation from some dusty university professor. They are living expressions from the swell of mankind. Divine ideals are those carried forward by God for the benefit of his creation. We have failed on both of those.
But we should not become discouraged by the apparently slow progress of the kingdom idea. It will yet find expression among mankind. The manner of this development will be through the order of progressive evolution, subjected to sudden and unexpected periodical changes.
While the bestowal of Jesus as an incarnated Son was just such a strange and unexpected event in the spiritual life of the world, how was that periodical? It was unique, and one of a kind, to never happen again.
On the other hand, we have a wealth of information from our planetary
past which shows that the world has been subjected to sudden and unexpected
material changes of a periodical nature. This knowledge is currently limited
to fringe social groups, but mostly mythological, and not part of the mainstream
of planetary thinking. The philosophy of the current godless social order
is based on principles of smooth evolution from one state to the next.
Revelation contradicts such godless view.
I shall show the foundation for such revelation from two main elements. The first will be the statements given us by Melchizedek in his collaboration with the prophets and seers of Israel. From this evidence we shall see that our planet is imminently destined for a sudden and unexpected change in the material world. The second will be from the planetary record, showing how past material changes were not only sudden and unexpected, but of a periodical nature.
The Melchizedek Revelations
One of the more outstanding revelation elements is in Isaiah 24:1.
"Behold, the LORD will lay waste the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants."
Clearly, this is a cosmic event. The entire planet will twist. The inhabitants will be scattered because of dramatic changes in the geological features of the world.
Why would God do this?
He openly stated his indictment against us.
"The earth mourns and withers, the world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left."
The earth, the oceans, and the atmosphere suffer under the burden of pollution which assails it today. We transgressed the laws. We neglected care for our beautiful home. We violated the mandates for a bountiful earth. We broke the covenant assigned to Adam. Thus a curse devours the earth. Now we suffer for our guilt. Nuclear devastations will scorch the earth; few men will be left.
Later in this same chapter we are told:
"For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again."
Well, I am sure it will rise again. We may see poetic emphasis in this remark.
If you were off in space gazing down when this event takes place you would see the earth wobble violently in its rotation. The hard mantle of the crust will twist and distort. The globe will flip on its axis.
This will cause major tectonic disruptions. John was presented with visions of this event. Although his work is heavily corrupted by an early Christian editor, important revelation remains in surviving fragments.
Rev 6:14 -- The sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Rev 16:20 -- "And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.
Plainly, this cannot be literally accurate. Perhaps the statements reflect editing by that early Christian. Mountains and islands will remain, although greatly modified from the present configuration.
A highly graphic revelation is contained in the book of Zechariah.
Zech 14:4 -- "On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward."
This is a scientifically accurate geophysical description of the great changes coming to the Holy Land, showing how tectonic plates will slide past one another when God will return with all his holy ones.
Jerusalem now sits on that great geological crustal fault. This fault comes up out of Africa, through the gulf of Aqaba, through the Dead Sea, up the Jordan River, and on northward into Turkey. When the events of Isa 24:1 take place, the great shaking of the globe will cause breakup of the Mount of Olives. One part of the earth crust (tectonic plate) will shift northward, and the opposite tectonic plate southward. This will create a very wide valley. You can imagine what will happen to all buildings, roads, and so on.
But even more. Verse 10 tells us that the whole land will be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon. (From south of the present day Jerusalem northward to Lebanon.) Thus, the present mountain system will also be transformed.
As a result of this great geophysical event the present river and lake systems will be destroyed. Verse 8. A huge source of water will develop in this region. Half of the waters will flow to the "eastern sea" and half to the "western sea." These seas will also be dramatically different from what we know today. Attempts to assign these new river directions to present sea locations would be fruitless.
The waters flowing out of this New Jerusalem are also described in Ezek 47. You may note the width of the river. It will be more than two miles wide.
If such dramatic geophysical changes will take place in the Holy Land, equivalent dramatic changes will take place all over the globe. We can see from revelations on the modern land of Babylon that large land masses will sink beneath the ocean.
In that final act of the age, when the planet twists in the throes of
the birth of a new age,
Great Babylon shall sink beneath the waters of the ocean.
Jer 51:42 --- The sea has come up on Babylon; she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
Jer 51:64 --- Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the evil that I am bringing upon her.
Rev 18:21 --- Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and shall be found no more."
Jesus warned us of these great geophysical changes to come at the end of the age.
Luke 21:2526 -- "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken."
These unimaginable physical events will be accompanied by equivalent meteorological and biological changes.
Verse 6 in Zechariah 14 tells us: On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. Verse 8 says that it shall continue in summer as in winter. In other words the seasons as we know them today will disappear. The atmospheric temperature will become equable; our descendants will never again have to worry about crop loss to the weather.
Isa 32:15 -- ". . . until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest."
Isa 35:12 -- "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God."
Ezek 47 further describes the new biological order which will prevail over all the earth. Great trees shall grow on the banks of that huge river, with "all kinds of trees for food" (v 12), their leaves will no longer wither and fall off as now occurs for our deciduous varieties, and they shall bear fruit from month to month without ceasing.
We just cannot comprehend that which will spring forth in the new world.
Causes of the Great Geophysical Changes
A momentous question faces us. What would cause such cosmic alterations in the physical planet?
I have been unable to isolate anything in revelation that addresses that question, except for one remark in John's Apocalypse.
Rev 8:89 -- "The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships."
This could denote a large meteor which would, indeed, wreck havoc with the planet, destabilizing its rotation, and causing it to flip on its axis.
I was reluctant to accept this brief remark because of the great corruption which exits in John's text. For many years I thought this might be further description of nuclear warheads falling from the sky, but I had trouble reconciling the size with the descriptions he gives elsewhere.
Rev 8:7 -- "The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Rev 16:21 -- "and great hailstones, heavy as a hundredweight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague."
Clearly, separation of John's descriptions are difficult.
The Age of Light and Life
After the coming Millennium, and further geological changes, the planet will witness the onset of the age of Light and Life.
Isa 35:58 -- "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein."
As part of this new world system, there will also be great changes with respect to light. Verse 7 in Zechariah 14 says, And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.
Isa 30:26 -- "Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the LORD binds up the hurt of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow."
At that time the LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one and his name one.
And it shall be inhabited, for there shall be no more curse. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
The Periodical Planetary Changes
What did the revelation mean by "periodical" changes in the material realm?
Prevalent among the myths of people from around the world is a theme of great world changes in times past. These myths were well known to Greek and Roman writers.
As Plato wrote in the Statesman:
"There is a time when God himself guides and helps to roll the world in its course; and there is a time, on the completion of certain cycles, when he lets go, and the world, being a living creature and having originally received intelligence from its author and creator, turns and by an inherent necessity revolves in the opposite direction."
Plato went on:
"I mean the change in the rising and setting of the sun and the other heavenly bodies. In those times they used to set in the quarter where they now rise, and used to rise where they now set. The revolution of the heavens is sometimes in its present sense, sometimes in its reverse sense. So it must needs be that in the cosmic crisis there is widespread destruction of living creatures . . . and only a remnant of the human race survives. For when the whole order of things has come to its destined end there must needs be universal change once more. Now the pilot of the ship of the world lets go the handle of its rudder. A shudder passes through the world at the reversing of its rotation, checked as it seems, between the old control and the new impulse. The shock sets up a great earthquake which causes . . . destruction of living creatures of all kinds."
Compare this with the statement from Isaiah 24:1. Compare also with the great crustal changes described in Zech 14.
Ancient Egyptian documents make similar assertions on the motions of the earth. The Ipuwer Papyrus states that the Earth turned upside down. The Ermitage Papyrus in Leningrad states that a catastrophe had turned the land upside down; happens that which never had happened.
Many of the world mythologies believed that the earth went through four or five major cycles (ages).
In the mythologies of the Hindus Brahma lived one hundred days and nights. Each night saw the dissolution of the world; each day saw the renewal of creation. One day and night of Brahma was equal to 1,000 periods, and each period had 12,000 divine years. Each divine year was equal to 360 human years. Therefore, one day and night of Brahma was equal to 4,320,000,000 human years. One hundred days and nights of Brahma were equal to 432 billion human years!
Every period of 12,000 divine years was divided into four ages. The age of Krita was equal to 4,000 divine years with additional 400 divine years each of morning and evening twilight. The age of Krita was followed by the age of Treta with 3,000 divine years and morning and evening twilight of 300 years. This was followed by the age of Dvapara with 2,000 divine years and 200 years each of morning and evening. Lastly came the age of Kali with 1,000 years and 100 years each of morning and evening.
In the first age men were noble and spiritual. They held to the four virtues of truthfulness, kindness, devotion, and charity. They were contented, kind, amiable, mild and possessed selfcontrol and forgiveness. In that age there was no buying or selling; the fruits of the earth were obtained merely for the taking. There was no disease and no decline of the body through aging. There was no malice, deceit, weeping, pride, contention, hatred, cruelty, fear, affliction, jealousy or envy.
Each age experienced a decline from the previous, until this last age. Only one fourth of the virtues remain, and even this small quantity disappears as vices rapidly increase. Men are wicked, unkind, quarrelsome, deceptive, idle, slothful, full of malice. They highly prize what is low and degraded. Women become shameless, overbold, and lascivious. Cities are filled with thieves and vicious men. Merchants are low and deceitful. Kings become oppressive. Droughts and floods devastate crops; wars and famines depopulate the earth. The earth becomes so depraved wise men pray for the arrival of Kalki, the Destroyer. We now live in that age.
For references see "Classical Hindu Mythology," C. Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1978, and "Epics, Myths, and Legends of India," P. Thomas, D. B. Taraporevala Sons and Co., Bombay, 1961.
The four ages were characterized by colors: white, red, yellow and black respectively.
According to the Puranas this age will witness Vishnu, the Creator god, who will appear as Kalki, an armed warrior mounted on a white horse with wings and adorned with jewels, waving over his head with one hand the sword of destruction and holding in the other a disc. (Compare with descriptions in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 6.) In the Bhagbata we are told that the age of destruction is so horrible that during it the clouds never fall on the earth as drops of rain for one hundred years. The people find no food to eat and being terribly oppressed by hunger they are compelled to eat one another. Compare with Lamentations 2:20ff.
In other places in the Hindu writings a universal cataclysm is predicted in vivid detail. After a drought lasting for many years seven blazing suns will appear in the firmament; they will drink up all the waters. Then wind driven fire will sweep over the earth, consuming all things . . . Afterwards many colored and brilliant clouds will collect in the sky looking like herds of elephants decked in wreaths of lightning. Suddenly they will burst asunder, and rains will fall incessantly for twelve years until the whole world with its mountains and forests is covered with water.
While these tales are grossly embellished, they carry the tone of great cosmic upheavals.
Across the world the ancient Toltecs and Aztecs retained folk memories of four great ages, known as the four "Suns." The world and men were created by a supreme god who was the Creator of All Things, Lord of Heaven and Earth. Atonatiuh, the Sun of Waters, was the first age terminated by a deluge in which all creatures perished. Tlalchitonatiuh, the Sun of Earth, was the age of giants that ended in a terrific earthquake and fall of the mountains. Ecatonatiuh, the Sun of Air, closed with a furious wind which destroyed buildings, uprooted trees, and even moved rocks. Quetzacoatl, the great white teacher, appeared during this age, teaching the way of virtue and the arts of life, but his doctrines failed to take root. He departed to the east and promised to return in another day. With his departure Tlatonatiuh, the Sun of Fire, began. This is the present age; it will be destroyed by fire.
Other versions of the Mexican myths exist. In some Quetzalcoatl is known as the Creator. The first Sun ended with a flood. Ocelotonatiuh, the Jaguar Sun, was the epoch of giants and of solar eclipse. The third age, Quiyauhtonatiuh, was the Sun of Rains which ended with a rain of fire and redhot rocks. The fourth age, Ecatonatiuh, was the Sun of destruction by winds, while the fifth age is the Sun of Earthquakes, Famines, Wars, and Confusions. The account of four Suns passed and a present fifth Sun, bringing the destruction of our age, seems by most authorities to be the orthodox version.
To the north of the Toltecs and Aztecs the Navahos also believed in four ages. In the Age of Beginnings man emerged through four worldstories from the Underworld to the Earth. In the second Age of Animal Heroes the earth was set in order. In the third Age of the Gods the giants were slain. In the fourth Patriarchal Age the Navahos grew into a nation.
Navaho traditions of color were more distorted than those of the Hindus or the Toltecs. The four world stories through which they traveled were red, blue, yellow, and multicolored. But the four gods of this world were White Body, Blue Body, Yellow Body, and Black Body. These gods created the first man (Atse Hastin) and first woman (Atse Estsan) from ears of white and yellow corn respectively. To this pair were born five sets of twins.
The five sets of twins reflect a similar tradition from Plato, who also described five sets of twin sons, born to the mating of the god Poseidon and Clieto, the earth mother. They were representative of five great earth dispensations. In the Bible similar folk memory is reflected in the genealogies of Adam, with ten generations in Chapters 4 and 5 of Genesis.
South of the Toltecs the Maya believed in four worlds. The first world was inhabited by dwarfs, the saiyam uinicob, or "adjuster men." That world was ended by a universal deluge, the haiyococab, or water over the earth. The second world was peopled by the dzolob, or offenders. The third world was populated only by the Maya, the common people or mazehualob. Both of these worlds also ended in floods. The present world is peopled by a mixture of races and will also end in a flood.
Back across the Pacific Ocean the Chinese had folk records of five world eras but their distorted accounts, euphemized by their ancient scholars, do not portray them as world ages. Instead of gods they had sages; instead of divine rulers they had earthly emperors; instead of ages they had dynasties. Three periods are given for the earliest men. The first was known as the Lords of the Bird's Nest. In those days people lived in bird's nests to avoid danger on the ground. The second was known as the Fire Driller Lords. Until this time the people ate raw food but the sages (gods) taught them how to make fire and to cook. The third period saw the Deluge of Kung Kung, a king. Following the third period came a golden age which saw the rule of ten emperors. The golden age also ended in a flood. Together these periods make up four world ages; we now live in the fifth.
The Chinese also have stories of ten suns in the sky, (two suns each for five periods). In the mythologized stories a certain Yi shoots down each of the suns except one, which now moves in the heavens. If he had not done so the world would have been destroyed by intense heat and fire from the suns.
The Chinese call the perished ages kis and count ten kis from the beginning of the world to the time of Confucius. Each of these occur with great convulsions of nature; the span of time between two catastrophes is called a Great Year.
If we turn to the classical Greek and Roman worlds we also find traditions of a Great Year. This Great Year was associated with the mythical Phoenix bird which died at the end of each period in blazing fire. From the ashes came a worm that grew into another Phoenix bird and another Great Year. Classical writers variously ascribed the Phoenix with different life ages: 500 years, (Herodotus, Ovid), 540 years (Manilius through Pliny, Solinus), 654 years, (Syncellus, Suidas), 1000 years, (Martial, Pliny, Lactantius), 1461 years, (identified by Aristides and Synesius with the Egyptian Sothic period), 7006 years, (Chaeremon), and, in the most ancient of the references, 972 human generations, (Hesiod).
Van Der Broek, in The Myth of the Phoenix, demonstrates that many of these periods are distorted memories based on Babylonian sexagesimal mathematics and other ancient methods of reckoning time. 540 from Manilius (X 60) equal to 32,400 years, which is the same as a generation of one third century of 33 1/3 years, (X 972 generations) from Hesiod, again equal to 32,400 years.
Other ancient writers also recognized the Great Year as a long span of time. Plato, in his Timaeus, described the Perfect Year when all the heavenly bodies would come into alignment in the heavens. From Tacitus and Servius we know Cicero equated the Great Year to 12,954 ordinary years, while Cicero stated elsewhere that the time between the alignment of the planets was a matter of controversy. According to Censorinus, the Greek philosopher, Aristotle believed the Greatest Year was one in which the planets were all in alignment. This Greatest Year was thought to have a winter culminating in a world flood, and a summer culminating with a world conflagration. According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, a Babylonian priest named Berossus, writing in Greek, stated that if the sun, the moon, and the planets all came into alignment under the constellation of Cancer the world would burst into flames. If the heavenly bodies came into alignment under Capricorn the world would be inundated by water in a great flood.
The Greek name for the great winter was kataclysmos while the name for the great summer was ekpyrosis. Hesiod, in his Works and Days, wrote that four ages and four generations of men had passed and that we were now in the fifth age. Each generation of men were destroyed by the wrath of the planetary gods.
The ancient Sumerians preserved lists of kings which go back more than 300,000 years. Before the Great Deluge these kings lived about 30,000 years each! On different lists eight or ten kings reigned, split into pairs, who represent the world wide tradition of four or five great cycles of time. One king ruled when the world was up, a following king ruled when it was down.
A statement is made in The Urantia Papers which alludes to these ancient records:
When archaeologists dig up the claytablet records of the laterday Sumerian descendants of the Nodites, they discover lists of Sumerian kings running back for several thousand years; and as these records go further back, the reigns of the individual kings lengthen from around twentyfive or thirty years up to one hundred and fifty years and more. This lengthening of the reigns of these older kings signifies that some of the early Nodite rulers (immediate descendants of the Prince's staff) did live longer than their laterday successors and also indicates an effort to stretch the dynasties back to Dalamatia.
Unfortunately, this statement is misleading to all those who reject the necessary homework. The and more means up to 1500 years after the Flood and, as I said, 30,000 years before the Flood. The significant remark is at the end. The records going back 300,000 years was an attempt to stretch the dynasties back to Dalamatia.
But those ancient Sumerian records are even more remarkable. The supposedly mythological kings represent great geophysical cycles of the planet. Our modern scientists used samples of deep sea cores to measure the temperature cycles of the earth. These cycles also go back more than 300,000 years. Astoundingly, the dates of the Sumerian kings correlate one-for-one with modern scientific dates of cold and warm periods of the earth.
We know the cycles as ice ages. The last ice age began about 30,000 years ago, reached its maximum about 17,000 years ago, and went into an abrupt decline about 10,000 years ago. 30,000 years have passed since the beginning of the last great cycle. We are due for another great swing in the planet.
Whether an ancient Chinese hero shot the Suns out of the sky, or the Maya called them the Water, Earthquake, Hurricane, or Fire Suns --- the myths show that the earth experienced dramatic changes which led olden people to believe that a different sun was in the sky at each renewal of the earth.
Other tales in the folklore of people from around the world tell of great changes in the earth. We can see from this brief survey that different peoples remembered differently, that the ages of the earth are confused, and that the geophysical mechanisms leading to these great events are not understood.
Thus we can arrive at a better understanding of the Revelation which says that the world is subject to sudden and unexpected periodical changes.
For details on the ancient records see The Legacy of Adam and Eve.