(Matthew 24:36) But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.
I have met Christians with sharp minds but limited outlook who saw one truth and, being unable to relate it to other truths, became narrow extremists, devoutly cultivating their tiny plot, naively believing that their little fence enclosed the whole earth. An acquaintance with or at least a perception of the significance of what Kant called the starry heavens above and the moral law within is necessary to right thinking. Add to this a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, a good historic sense and some intimate contact with the Christian religion as it is practiced currently and you have the raw material for creative thought. Still this is not enough to make a thinker.
~ A.W. Tozer
Here’s a sobering thought: if Christ doesn’t know the hour or the day, then neither does Satan, which is why Satan has been raising up beasts in every era, hoping it would be the last. In his psychopathic delusion, he still thinks he can win, and, at the very least, take as many with him as possible. Is this the last era? The signs are strong but even so we cannot know. All we are given is what Jesus said:
(Matthew 24:13) But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. (24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.
This tells us two important things: first, we are called to endure to the end and, second, there is an end. Since we don’t know when that will be, we simply endure and find ways to encourage others to do the same. What else do we need to know, for sure, other than Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life, and died as the final sacrifice for sin, thus fulfilling the Mosaic covenant? Our call is to believe this and follow His commandments. There is no other doctrine that can possibly trump, improve or add to this.
I am not good at apologetics or debate. It’s not my thing. I am neither appointed nor anointed to preach or teach or try to convince anyone of anything. I have my gifts and I know where my place is in the Body of Christ and I have no desire to step outside of that. I do love to discuss and share though, particularly with someone who has insight and is not dogmatically inclined to bring me around to “corrected” thinking. I see the Truth (with a capital T) as small glimmering threads woven tightly among dull strings of misinterpretations, agenda-based skewed perceptions and outright lies introduced by Satan to lead astray.
Two years ago I set out on a quest for Truth. As I have read specific blocks of Scripture multiple times (try reading Revelation all in one sitting) and then researched Biblical history, first through records and then through other's interpretations, I found that every accounting had some or part of a truth, like pieces of a puzzle, but no one seemed to have all of the pieces to complete the picture. Secular accounts do not have the spiritual side and religious accounts often ignore the historical events in order to make doctrine fit Scripture. However, I did discover that Scripture aligns with history more often than dogma does.
How did I recognize this? One might ask who I am to determine what is true and what isn’t? I am no trained Biblical scholar. In every case, as I read and studied a particular point of view, even though it might ring true in part, more often than not I usually found a specific prejudice and perspective skewed by traceable doctrine-based eschatology. Sometimes I found profound and stunning rationale for disputing long-held dogma even as the same reasoning was abandoned when the interpreter was stuck on a Scripture that counters individual interpretation. In several cases I have found interpretations that fluxed back and forth between deep understanding and liberal interpretation (Spirit of the Word) of some Scriptures to rigid, legalistic (Letter of the Word) adherence to others as it better suited and fit an individual’s ingrained bias.
I am most certainly trained and hyper-sensitive to the persuasive art form of language, both secular and religious, written and spoken. No denying it, we all have some kind of bias; we all must deal with the limitations of our own flesh. Ultimately, we have to trust that God knows what He is doing and can and does use us, warts and all, as He sees fit. What I have concluded is that many people know some good things, some know many good things and the radiant threads of truth are often there though dimmed by being interwoven with the dull threads of personal perspective skewed by self-determination.
I have said many times that I believe what we need is the original thing not a “new” thing; the unadulterated simple Truth. The Truth that requires us to listen, obey and trust. The Truth that asks us to set aside “self” and fall into His will. If we could just grasp that, if we could finally understand that faith truly is trusting that which we cannot see, we would not only be better equipped to handle our daily tribulations, we could also allow Christ to shine out of us to others.
Here’s where I am at in my quest for Truth on the matter of the End Days: if Satan doesn’t know when the end will be, why would he wait to begin his campaign to destroy God’s own sometime in the distant future? My conclusion is that he’s been at it since the beginning, (Revelation12:17) And the dragon waxed wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus raising up Beasts with great delusional anticipation that the Beast of that era will be the last.
From this I can draw a conclusion that what we have been taught to believe about “End Of Days Theology” is more than likely a tangled mess of pure truth, half-truth, sort-kinda truth and out and out lies. If the prophets of the old testament were mostly preparing God’s people for the end of the old covenant and beginning of the new, is the book of Revelation a summary of that beginning and map through the coming ages that launched when Christ fulfilled and finished the era of the Mosaic Covenant?
I agree with the concept of types and shadows in prophecy but it makes perfect sense to me that the Apostles were speaking to those directly in front of them about what was about to befall them in their generation. Having said that, I also believe that it is as myopic to say that all of the book of Revelation is yet to come as it is to say, as some do, that it is history.
There is an absolute Truth buried somewhere in the jumble of dogmatic perception.
That’s what I am chasing.