The End of Days (not the arnold schwarzenegger movie) or the End Times are associated with the end of the world. The end of the "age" is often depicted as a time of tribulation that precedes the appearance or the return of the Messiah; this one figure will usher in the new age or the kingdom of God in order to bring an end of the evil and suffering.These concepts can be found in most major religions around the world, and also in the mythology of many ancient cultures. It's interesting to consider the similarities between some of the end time scenarios of different religions/cultures.
In Judaism, the phrase "End of Days" appears several times in the Tanakh, which is the Jewish Holy Scriptures. In Jewish though, the return of the messiah is not necessarily a pre-determined event but rather it is an event that is brought about by faithful religious observance and good deeds.
Some Jewish thought holds the belief that the Messiah (the anointed one) will be an actual person; one who has descended from his father through the Davidic line of King David; he will lead the Jews back into the Land of Israel and usher in a new era of peace; while other Jewish beliefs holds that there will be a messianic age of peace but no particular one person who will bringing in the era or lead at that time
In traditional Judaism there is a firm belief in an afterlife but the primary focus is on life in the here and the now; but there is a belief that the Resurrection of the dead while be a sign of the end times. In Orthodox Judaism there can be several diverse beliefs about death and the afterlife; from the righteous awaiting the messiah or ascending to heaven, or even reincarnation of the soul and also self created "hells" where the wicked are tormented. Events described in the scriptures of the old testament describe the creation of a new order in which God is universally recognized as the ruler over all of His creation.
The final battle of Armageddon and the new era of peace
In the end times, the Jewish Messiah will become the one anointed King of Israel. He will divide the Jews in the land into their original tribes. During this time, Gog, king of Magog, will attack Israel. Magog will fight a great battle but God will intervene, fight the final battle with His enemy, and the Jews will be saved; all evil will be banished from human existence and an era of worldwide peace will be brought forth; all people will know God directly. This age of tranquility and spirituality is called the Olam Haba ("Future World") and according to the Jewish calendar will not occur until the seventh millennium (after the year 6000).
Rabbi Moses ben Nachman
Views on death, mourning and the resurrection, Commentary on the Torah, and more.
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. One part of this text states that the current world as we know it will only exist for about six thousand years. The Hebrew calendar begins at the creation of the primordial man, Adam. Ancient Jewish teachings consider these years to be literal, consistent throughout time, and not symbolic; there are 24 hours per day and an average of 365 days per year; leap years are considered according to the lunar and solar cycles. According to the present day Jewish Calendar the year 2009 equals 5769 years since the creation of man. According to this calculation, the end of days will occur on or before the year 2240 (the year 6000 in the Hebrew calendar).
The Book of Revelation, (Revelation to John /Apocalypse of John / Revelation of Jesus Christ) is the last canonical book of the New Testament in the Christian Bible which mainly describes the apolcalyptic and end times scenario through the visions of the author(s).
The visions describe the "end of the world" scenario which is often thought of as "the end of the age"; Satan will rule through Man but will later be defeated by the Messiah or the "son of man". The events to occur are referred to as: the Great Tribulation, the Campaign of Armageddon, the Second Coming of the Messiah who will bring in a new age of peace to the earth during his 1,000 year reign, the imprisonment against Satan (portrayed as a dragon) until the final rebellion, God's final judgment over Satan, the Great White throne judgment, and the ushering in of the New Heavens and New Earth. According to the Preterist theory, the events of the latter part of the Apocalypse of John are interpreted as being fulfilled by events in the 1st century. - Book of Revelation
In Christianity, the Second Coming refers to the return of the Messiah Jesus from heaven to the earth, according to the prophecy, the dead will be resurrected and the Final Judgment will take place at this time; the kingdom of God will be established here on earth ( the Messianic age/era and the Reign of God). In Christian thought, there are several different veiws of the end of days scenarios.
The Christian Holy Bible makes several references to these end times; The second coming or return of Jesus Christ/The Saviour is referred to as: "the day of the Lord", "the day of Christ", "the day of the Son of Man", "the last day", "the Epiphany", "the Appearance"... The actual phrase "Second Coming" or "Second Advent" is not directly used in the Bible; but the life or incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth may be considered his "first" coming" to earth.
The Tribulation is prophesied to occur on the Earth before the Second Coming of Christ. The prophetic times that are referenced in the New Testament also mirror the Old Testament concerning the Tribulation. In the New Testament, Jesus refers to this time as the "Great Tribulation", "Affliction", and "days of vengeance." New Testament References to Old Testament Scriptures
The event known as The Tribulation or "Great Tribulation" is referred to in the New Testament. Some futuristic views of this Christian concept considers the Tribulation to be a short period of time where people who follow God will experience worldwide persecution and be purified and strengthened by it. The Tribulation is generally thought to occur before the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of the world.. In the Christian preterist view the Tribulation took place in the past when Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70, and it affected the Jewish people rather than all mankind. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribulation
The second coming is often considered the last coming because of the biblical references that describe him as the "First and the Last", "The Beginning and End", "The Alpha to Omega"; Christ's coming can also be considered an ongoing process the does not necessarily need to be defined by a set number. Alpha and Omega
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men?s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:20-33
The Bible offers several examples of Jesus referring to himself as the Son of Man; or describing the role of the Son of Man who is to come in "glory" or in "his kingdom"; Jesus foretells of his own impending execution, and the persecution of his disciples.
In Daniel 7:13-14 a dream reveals a vision of the "one like the Son of Man" or a human being who "came with the clouds of heaven", and came to the "Ancient of days" or the "Ancient One" and was presented before him;to him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.
The Eternal One or Ancient One
In the Kabbalah, "Ein Sof" (or Ayn Sof) is describing "Infinite Divinity" and means "unending", "no end". Ein Sofis is the Divine Origin of all created existence; the Ancient of All Ancients. The Ancient of Days is the manifestation of the Ancient of Ancients in space and time.
The Rapture The Rapture refers to the end times event when all true believers/followers of Jesus Christ who are still alive will be transformed into their spiritual bodies , taken from the Earth by God and brought into Heaven; The non-believers will be left behind during the tribulation period as the Antichrist prepares to take his place as the Beast. The tribulation period will last for about seven years, the final seven years of this age. The, the final seven years of this age, until Christ returns to set up his earthly kingdom. The term "rapture" is not found in the Bible and the theory is firmly based on Scripture.
There are other variations of the Rapture in which Christians will remain on the Earth as witnesses during the seven year tribulation period, (until the end of this age); believers will either be removed or protected from the wrath of God that is predicted to occur toward the end of the seven years Another view holds that Christians will be taken from the Earth to be in Heaven with God at some point during the middle of the seven year period of tribulation. A Brief History of the Rapture.
The Book of Revelation also refers to the apocalyptic battle of Armageddon; Armageddon refers to the site of the final battle/campaign between God and Satan (the adversary or the Devil). Satan will operate through a person who is the "Beast" or the Antichrist. apocalyptic catastrophe.
More about the Armageddon
In Catholicism there is a somewhat literal interpretation of the Bible in regards to the end times; some Catholics believe that Jesus foretold of signs which would indicate that the "end of days" was near. Some of these signs include earthquakes, natural disasters, civil problems, 'wars and rumors of wars', and other catastrophes; the end of days will come like a "thief in the night."
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." - Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 24, Verse 36