End Times (Eschatology)
is the end of the world." (Matthew 13:39)
Unfortunately that is a faulty translation. What Jesus
actually said in this parable is, "The harvest is the
end of the age." His point, and ours also, is that we
are to look for an age to end, not the end of
life on earth!
study "end-time" prophecy in the Bible, we quickly learn
that it has no resemblance to the sensational fantasies
that have come out of dark-ages theology.
Unfortunately, those concepts are tenacious enough to
retain adherents in our day. Modern series of books and
movies implant fears of being lost, left behind, etc.
fairy-tales (or demon-tales!) which play on
superstitions and residual fears of this poor tormented
world in which we live. Pompous apostate Christianity
loves to gloat as to how it is favored, will be saved,
and will somehow be satisfied as the rest of unbelieving
mankind is lost. Blasphemy!
these lies about the end of time, the destruction of the
earth, etc., are the reassuring words of prophecy: "The
earth abideth forever;" "The meek shall inherit the
earth;" "The earth shall yield her increase;" "The
whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth
into singing;" "The government shall be upon his
shoulder; ...of the increase of his government and peace
there shall be no end;" "The earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea;"
"The earth is my footstool...and I will make the place
of my feet glorious;" "God himself...formed the earth
and made it; he hath established it; he created it not
in vain; he formed it to be inhabited;" "Thy will be
done in earth." This list only samples the hundreds
which make the point: the earth will be a glorious
place forever! (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Matthew 5:5; Psalm
67:6; Isaiah 14:7; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah
66:1 and 60:13; Isaiah 45:18; Matthew 6:10)
is meant by "the end of the world"? There is no
denying that prophecy makes many references to such
things as "the time of the end," "He that shall endure
unto the end," "The day of the Lord...in which the
heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also
and the works that are therein shall be burned up," "The
first heaven and the first earth were passed away."
(Daniel 11:40; Matthew 24:13; II Peter 3:10; Revelation
The fact is
that the Bible is full of symbolisms. Learning to
distinguish between plain, literal statements and highly
figurative language is a time-consuming and prayerful
endeavor. But it can be done successfully with
satisfying, reasonable results. (We recommend "How To
Study the Bible and Have It Make Sense"óavailable
through this website.) Anyone with impartial reasoning
capabilities can see that the Bible would be a
self-contradictory book of confusions if we took it all
as literal statement. Once we discern its symbolism
secrets, however, it becomes a very reasonable teacher
of what is to come.
First World War broke out, President Woodrow Wilson
exclaimed that "The World is on fire!" Everyone knew
what he meant. When the Apostle Peter prophesied the
same events with the same words, somehow no one seems to
know what he means! The Lord has blinded the eyes of
mankind so that they cannot see until it is His time for
them to see. (John 12:37-40)
and simplify the Biblical testimony about "end-times,"
it is important to realize a few basic concepts:
prophecy is not about the end of the physical earth or
the end of time.
prophecy deals with the TRANSITION PERIOD between the
previous 6000 years of suffering, sin, and death and the
incoming age of righteousness, life, and happiness.
WILL END is the dying process in mankind as well as the
old, selfish, corrupt social-political-ecclesiastical
systems of doing things.
WILL BEGIN is Christís Kingdom of righteousness which
will allow the earth to supply all of manís needs,
desires, and comforts for life everlasting.
transition also will mark the end of the development of
Jesusí church who will all be raised as spirit beings to
be with him as the new heavenly government for earth.
It also will mark the beginning of the raising from the
dead of all of the rest of humanity to enjoy the earth
for which they were created.
prophecies deal primarily with four groups:
nation of Israel (symbolized as a fig tree or as
Jacob). See Doctrinal Kernel on ISRAEL.
Apostate Christian Church
(symbolized as Babylon, a harlot, a false prophet,
tares, the vine of the earth, the heavens, etc.) See
Doctrinal Kernel on MAN OF SIN and May 2008
Article of the Month on
WHEAT AND TARES.
True Christian Church
(symbolized as the first-born, wise and foolish
virgins, a bride, the New Jerusalem, wheat, etc.) See
May 2008 Article of the Month on
WHEAT AND TARES.
Social and Political Systems
particularly of the Western World (symbolized as the
dragon, the earth, the devil, etc.) See October 2008
Article of the Month on
It also is
helpful to realize that Biblical prophecies of end-times
span a large amount of time. The period which Daniel 11
calls "The Time of the End" began, according to Danielís
prophetic chronology, in 1799. Since then, a number of
significant Biblical dates have come, each marking the
beginning of a new phase of end-time events. The
"harvest" (of which Jesus spoke in the text at the head
of this article) began in 1874. The beginning of
Christís thief-like parousia also begins at this date.
(See article on LORD'S RETURN.)
Prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel to its
homeland date from 1878. (See article on
ISRAEL.) What Jesus calls the end of "The
Times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) came in 1914.
History since that point has been heavy with
fulfillments of various prophecies.
also is important here to note that we do not subscribe
to the end-time theories of the seven years of
tribulation involving the "rapture" and man-of-sin
prophecies. To our understanding, those presentations
are spectacular corruptions of prophecies of Daniel,
Thessalonians, and Revelation.
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