The great strong delusion that is encompassing Christendom at present as the world draws to its close is its fascination and intrigue of the end times. It seems as if mankind is programmed to search high and low to know the mysteries and secrets of eschatology. Anything that has secrets, code words, layers of allegorical meanings draws the human mind as does a honey pot to the bees.
D*n B****s books and others are a galloping success with huge figures of readers worldwide. For it seems that not only are Christians captivated by secrets but so to is the world.
I was surprised and taken aback the other day as I did a Google search on eschatology theories to discover that there are at least twelve separate ideas listed on that one site. The Wikipedia site listed five competing views.
Let me tell you a personal story. Not long after I was baptized in the spirit which preceded my call to the ministry I had become fascinated and obsessed with 'end time' charts and predictions, to the point that I had drawn up my own unique time table. Every waking moment I was sucking up like a vacuum more books and theories on the end of the world. One day as I was studying books and the books of Daniel and Revelation I was overwhelmed with a strong impression from the Lord to quite my hunger for eschatology's secrets and begin to thirst for the living water; Christ himself. So real was this impression that I fell on face in repentance and vowed to seek Christ and his righteousness as my sole aim.
I have not forgotten this visitation from the Lord. Therefore my heart grieves and weeps as I sense the running after 'godless chatter' concerning end times that has so deluded many believers.
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 1 Timothy 6:20 NIV
As I see it the endless speculations concerning Christ's return is nothing but profane and idle babblings that are not worthy to be call revelations. Chasing after dates and signs in the heavens etc appeals to the 'soulish' part of our being. If they appeal to the soul they only tickle the fantasies of the mind. If they are resonating with the mind they are rightly labeled as 'Gnostic' thoughts, which are not revelatory insights. It is as if people are trying to join up scriptural dots but in doing so they are making a great 'hash' of joining; for the dots cannot be seen clearly and it is as if they are at a party playing, pin the tail on the donkey. Any so call spiritual insight which makes its home in the soul is not from the Holy Spirit. True spiritual wisdom revealed by the Holy Spirit resonates with our spirit first and then travels into the soul. Truth revealed by the Holy Spirit cannot travel from the soul to the spirit for there is only a one way bridge between the two.
So, the soulish man is not in harmony with the Spirit. He cannot receive the things of the Spirit; he cannot understand them. You can talk to the most highly educated eschatology person and they have no ability whatever to understand the things of the Spirit, because they are operating in the realm of the soul/mind.
Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. James 1:15 NIV
Gods word speaks that there is a wisdom that desires to be called spiritual but it is not, for it is earthly then unspiritual and finally demonic. I see the fixation with end time theories as befitting this wisdom. Soulish thoughts are earthly thoughts that do not come from the Father of Lights who dwells above in the heavens.
There is a verse in Daniel 12:9 which I believe is over looked and miss understood that should be at the fore front of every believer who has a desire to uncover the secrets of Daniels' and Revelation's eschatology.
Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end NIV
The person who has rolled up and sealed these words will be the one who will reveal them in His time and method. We may look at the rolled up scroll but we cannot unroll it for only God has the key.
When Paul came to the church in Corinth he made a remarkable statement which I believe is all the more relevant now than ever.
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2 NIV
To know nothing but the crucified Christ has been my motto and with the grace of God I desire to let go all my earthly, unspiritual wisdom that does not come from above. By keeping the cross central in our theology we are aligning ourselves with the pure word and hence we show that we are lovers of the word.
By being fascinated with charts and blood moons, code words and mysteries hidden in the sacred text proves that the cross is not always central in our thinking. Sure we can look forward to the return of our King but to be obsessed with this or that theory is not scriptural and certainly not walking in the light. We are called to fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith and to run with perseverance the race set before us.
This is our calling; this is our walk; this is our commission, this is our holiness; this is our faith.
New International Version®, NIV 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Italics are mine for emphasis
Been there done that, as my comment on bibleguy's 2nd in his series stated....I still can't wait!
Thank you wmj for the personal part of the story relating how the Holy Spirit placed the key focus of our life on this earth as walking in the life of Christ through Him while proclaiming the Kingdom available to all through Christ.
We live and share the gospel while God takes care of the rest.
I have a relative who has fixated on this for many years. She goes to one conference after another and is always talking about the latest speaker, newest theory about a prophecy or the latest book.
I believe we need to pay attention to the signs God has revealed to us but like you, I think we need to keep our primary focus on the task at hand.
I don't know if it is because I've had life-threatening health issues or what but I don't think much about the rapture and other such things. I tend to focus on today and what am I doing.