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Peppered with case studies from the past and present, the program shows the extent to which conspiracy theories have accompanied us for decades and tried to lead us astray. Be it the moon landing, which was allegedly re-enacted in a studio, or the death of Lady Diana, which is said to have been murderous intent, or the death flights of September 11, 2001, in which Microsoft allegedly played a role – the conspiracy theorists always find evidence which are intended to underpin the bold theses that have been put forward, even if this apparent evidence mostly turns out to be naturally explainable or sometimes simply to be false. And the supporters find prominent backing. Well-known personalities from the TV world or the music scene, for their part, help to stir up the fire of false beliefs and incite the supporters to rise up against the targets of “elite and government”. What consequences this can have is illustrated by the example of the so-called Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In this context, representatives of the Jewish population were accused of striving for world domination – with fatal consequences.
The Corona crisis calls end-time specialists on the scene. There is speculation in blogs and internet forums whether the coronavirus is one of the end-time plagues from the Book of Revelation. Conspiracy theories are circulated and connected in an unreflective manner with eschatological statements in the Bible. Governments ordered the lockdown to find out how easily the masses could be manipulated in the end times. Epidemics would increase dramatically worldwide. Economic crises as a result of the corona crisis could lead to wars and famines and thus fulfill the end-time speech of Matthew 24-25. The situation will get out of hand for the governments. The Corona crisis could pave the way for a unified world government under the leadership of the Antichrist, of which the Revelation of John speaks.
It is nothing new that end-of-time scenarios are making the rounds in times of crisis. In connection with the Corona crisis, end-of-time timetables that were already popular in the middle of the 20th century are being reactivated. This was the last time during the two Iraq wars and before that during the Cold War. (1)
Is the Corona crisis a sign of the end times? Can current events be associated with biblical prophecies? With the following remarks I would like to offer a biblical orientation.
Do the prophetic statements in the Bible predict future events? Again and again one encounters the belief that through intensive preoccupation with biblical prophecy, end-time events can be brought into a chronological sequence. Is there an eschatological „timetable“ in the Bible?
It is not uncommon for biblical prophecy to be equated with „predicting the future“. This leads to a hasty connection between prophetic statements in the Bible and current events.
Biblical prophecy is multifaceted. The main concern of the Old Testament prophets was to lead Israel back to God. They acted as mediators to enforce the covenant God made with Israel at Sinai. (2) Their main task was to be foretellers of God’s will for the people of their time. Some of the prophets were commissioned by God to be predictors of the near and distant future. They spoke of the coming of the Messiah, his dealings with the people and the end of history. Forward-looking prophecy is only one aspect of what we commonly call prophecy. So prophecy cannot simply be equated with “predicting the future”.
When and how a prophecy will be fulfilled is more difficult to pin down than many assume. Often it is only in the light of fulfillment that it becomes clear how a prophecy is fulfilled. This happened to the disciples. They believed in Old Testament messiah prophecy. But only when they stood in the light of fulfillment and Jesus opened their eyes to the Scriptures after his resurrection did they understand the prophetic promises of the Old Testament. (3) Linking current events with individual biblical prophecies usually fails because the Bible is interpreted from a limited historical point of view that may be obsolete tomorrow. Prophecy is not given to satisfy our curiosity. Rather, it wants to shine as light into the present and encourage action.