50. TRUTH ON THE END TIMES.

Have you as a believer ever heard a message on the END TIMES which you know in your heart is the TRUTH? ...the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Since becoming a believer in 1976 I have listened to possibly hundreds of messages and teachings and read numerous books and watched quite a few movies about what the end times will be. However ALL of these have seemed in my heart to miss the truth of the scriptures and leave more questions than they ever answered.

 

After being challenged one day more than a year ago in regard to the accuracy of Jesus prophecies about the end times, I started on a quest to unwind the false assumptions and confusing morass of half truths on which my understanding of this topic was based. I then examined all the scriptures I knew about the end times.

And then I read some history...The Wars of the Jews by Flavius Josephus.....and spent a couple of months looking into the alternate views of eschatology (from well respected proponents rather than from their opponents only)

And then slowly but steadily came the LIGHT and REST which only TRUTH brings to the heart of a believer.

 

IF you are looking for a view which ties with all the scriptures from Genesis to Revelations ...and IF you want to see if there is another viable 'End Times Theology' then I would encourage you to examine the following sections 51 - 64.

 

IF however, you feel your view off the end times is clear and cohesive with the scriptures and recorded history then feel free to ignore these sections as I believe they are not an essential part of our theology. There are so many different positions held in churches ...from amillenialism, pre-millenialism, and pre-tribulation or post-tribulation pre-millenialism, and pre-tribulation or post-tribulation post millenialism, along with dispensational or covenant theology. Most christians do not even know about these variations. I personally know that I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit for many years before I heard about these teachings. After many years I found myself drawn to and defending the 'pre-tribulation premillenial position but always with a significant degree of 'confusion' remaining. This confusion was a result of KNOWING that I was not taking the scriptures on eschatology as seriously as I have always taken those on salvation.

 

If you have an enquiring mind and can weigh up the clearest alternative which I believe the scriptures actually teach in open simplicity (2 Cor 11:3) ...please proceed with an Berean mind.

 

So where should we actually start?

 

The starting point for most believers who are wanting to study 'Eschatology" is usually the Olivet discourse of Matthew chapter 24. This is a misleading start however because as we examine Jesus teachings on this subject the assumption is then made that they were 'NEW' revelations when He gave this teaching in AD33. Jesus as a Jew however was simply expounding what Moses and the prophets had all taught previously regarding the end times judgement which was to come on Israel. This can be simply proven by examining the passages which Jesus and the apostles quoted from which almost all came out of the Old Testament (the Tanakh). Peter confirms this for us..

 

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.  23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'   24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these daysNKJV  (i.e. the days in which THEY lived ...or THE last days of Joel 2:30 which Peter referred to in Acts 2:16-40) 
 

These end time prophecies from Jesus and the Apostles all link back to a series of events which were all to happen at the end of the age of the LAW, which included a falling away by Israel, a time of persecution, the vengence for the martyrs innocent blood, the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the Lord coming on clouds or the Day of the Lord, the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment where the good were rewarded with eternal life and the wicked with destruction by fire.

 

When we look at the entire subject all the way through the Sciptures from Genesis to Revelations a very different picture is revealed which is a bit like working your way through a 1000 piece puzzle. Lay aside your pre-assumed completed image which will cause you to spend time forcing pieces (or scriptural passages) together which you know in your heart do not fit. Allow the scriptures to reveal the truth.

The vast majority of believers do not read the Old Testament (other than perhaps the book of Daniel) in regard to eschatology. It is important at least to read and understand the context of the scriptural passages that Jesus and the apostles referred to about what was to occur as part of the end times promised to ISRAEL rather than assuming that the New Testament alone gives us the full picture. The Jews in AD 33 listening to Jesus KNEW that the context of many of the verses Jesus quoted were that of the JUDGEMENT which was about to come on THEM. (Luke 20:19).... and not future nations who had not betrayed their covenant with God.

 

The framework of our understanding should address all the component topics individually of the 'end time'...and also will show how they are interwoven as part of the redemptive plan of God spoken of throughout the Old Testsament and revealed as in the New Covenant.

 

I would suggest that the beginning is the only appropriate place to start....

 

51. Were men and women created as eternal beings? Do we have to do something to get eternal life or do we all have it already?

52. Where do we go when we die? Is this not different for the new testament believer who is joined to Christ?

53. Is there a Hell which is a place of eternal torment for ALL who do not believe?

54. Is there going to be an END of the WORLD?

55. What are the ages which the scriptures speak of as ages past, this present age and the age to come?

56. What about all the scriptural references to the END of the age being IMMINENT or near, at hand, soon and in 'this generation' etc? 

57. Who do the scriptures say would be judged at the end of the age?

58. What does the 'day of the Lord' or the tribulation refer to?

59. What does the destruction of the temple in AD 70 demonstrate about God's judgment?

60. What was the timing for the second coming of Jesus on the clouds and the reason for it?

61. What was the timing of the resurrection of the dead?

62. When was the judgment of the sheep and the goats or wheat and tares to take place?

63. When were "ALL THINGS which are spoken of in the Law and the Prophets concerning Jesus" to be fulfilled?

64. How should we then LIVE our lives?

 

 

As you start to ask questions and examine the scriptures in a new light...one which Jesus clearly taught, you will find yourself being challenged by 'orthodoxy' and your own churches views. To give yourself the freedom to progress, say to yourself "I will not change my belief UNTIL I understand how this all fits together...and until the Holy Spirit confirms it to me as truth". Beware because your seach will cause some to challenge you as a heretic.

So, how on earth can examining the scriptures in order to obtain a clear understanding what they actually teach result in being regarded as 'heresy'?  ... (while absolute nonsense and date setting speculation which proliferates today about a rapture and a still future 'great tribulation' and a milleneum and a new temple in Jerusalem remains suspiciously unchallenged?)

 

YES, some preterists (i.e. those who believe that all things Jesus and the scriptures promised were fulfilled WHEN they were promised to happen) hold to a universal salvation belief. But so mistakenly do some evangelicals and some catholics. How does that make all evangelicals and catholics heretics? YES, I believe that some of the scripture's promises which are believed by many to be physical, HAVE BEEN spiritually fulfilled just as JESUS PROMISED and clearly taught! BUT I do not (like the vast majority of 'futurists') blindly pretend that those events which HISTORY independantly records as having been fulfilled in AD 70 just as Jesus promised, HAVE NOT OCCURRED. 

YES, I believe that Jesus DID what HE promised HE would...and that He did it WHEN He promised ...Don't you?...Are you not a Believer?

My 'resurrection' ...was done for me by Jesus when I was regenerated. Will I be raised at my physical death? ... Jesus tells me emphatically that I as a believer will NEVER DIE (Jn 11:26). I know that this means I will never be separated from Christ (Rom 8:35-39) ...and at the same time I know I will die physically by departing this mortal body. The glory of the full revelation of Christ at this time and my seamless transition to my new immortal body will certainly be to me like I HAVE NOT DIED.

Condemnation and Judgment... these are totally in the past for me from the moment when Jesus death on the cross was applied to me BY GOD at my rebirth (Jn 5:24 "Most Assuredly I say to you he who hears my word and HAS everlasting life, and SHALL NOT come into judgment but HAS passed from death into LIFE." (see also Rom 8:1, Rom 8:33-34)

Rewarding of believers with ETERNAL LIFE ... I have the fullness of this reward already (according to Jn 3:16-21) (1 Jn 3:2) (Jn 1:16)

A physical 'heaven based on earth and located around physical Jerusalem in the distant future' .... to this my reply is "What have you been smoking?" Do you not believe Jesus when HE says the 'Kingdom is within you' (Luke 17:21)...only those who are 'born of the Spirit can enter or see the Kingdom of God' (John 3:3&5) ... 'My kingdom is NOT of this world' (John 18:36) ... 'I am not of this world' (John 8:23)

A physical man called Jesus who supposedly now still sits next to God on  physical throne in heaven? ... to this I ask "Have you been born again of the Spirit?"... because all I can see is a 'natural mind trying to limit our God who IS SPIRIT (Jn 4:23-24) ...to a physical reality HE has cannot be contained within! 

1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  NKJV
 
Who is the Jesus that Paul encountered on the road to Damascus? (Acts 9:3)...who is the Jesus the apostle John saw in Revelations? (Rev 1:10-17) ...certainly not a mere 'man'. Who is the Jesus you encountered when you came to faith? 
 
But brethren, the scriptures grant believers more than membership of any church or earthly organization EVER can. It is the promise to all believers who have sought for and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill them...and because they are submitted to the Word of God ... that the Holy Spirit of God HIMSELF will lead you into all TRUTH as YOU look at Jesus words in the scriptures. ... (Jn 14:26, John 16:13)
 
1 Cor 2:15 ...But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. NKJV
 

 

I would describe myself as a christian who is a charismatic, non-universalist, preterist ...one who beileves 'Jesus' real name is Yeshua.

My passion is to KNOW the truth about the God who saved me... rather than the doctrines of men.

 

How do you describe yourself?....

 

 

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