End Times

We are in the end-times. If you think about it, we have been in the end-times for the last two thousand years, ever since the crucifixion. The end-times does not mean that we are approaching the end of the world but the end of this present age or the world as we know it. We are fast approaching the time that we will be entering into the kingdom of a thousand years where there will be a new heaven and earth. Here there will be righteousness, peace, justice and mercy, no oppression, no extortion or robbery, all tears shall be wiped away.

The final battle at Armageddon, with its worldwide famine and pestilence, is no imaginary illusion of the evil to come, but the logical consequence of an ongoing crisis, which will bring the whole world under the judgment of God. What happened at the cross is in a very real sense the beginning of the end of natural human history. Our understanding of eschatology derives from the central significance always attributed to the saving event of Jesus' death and resurrection, the words of the prophets from the past and present and the witness of the Holy Spirit. We can only really understand these things as we come closer to the end time.

Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till He have performed the thoughts of His heart: in the Latter Days, you shall consider it perfectly.

The life of Jesus will parallel our lives as His spirit leads us in these last days and come closer to His Second Coming. In many ways, the suffering and rejection of Jesus while He was here on earth will also be what we will have to go through. Luke 17 tells us that "first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." The Day of the Lord is quickly coming upon this generation, the escapist notion that the church will not be here for the sifting and purging is not based upon scripture.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:6-8.

Jesus did tell His disciples that it was not for them "to know the times or the seasons" and has been used to suggest that these words are meant for our generation as well. There are many competing voices in these last days clamoring for an equal voice. Basically what these discussions are about are to bring these voices into the open and try to harmonize them according to the spirit of truth. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:33, "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." The sun will be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven, the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, there will be earthquakes, wars, the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. We may not know the hour but we should be able to know when the hour is near. The Lord reveals things to His prophets before He does them, our generation should be no different. God told Daniel to "shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days," but then told John to "seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand."

I have come to the same conclusions concerning the end-times and that it is in the future that many of you do. Although many Bible prophecies have in fact been fulfilled, this is just more reason to believe that God will be faithful to bring all things to pass. I believe that the first trumpet has been blown, in fact it is one of the premises that I had agonized on with my site before I had the courage to even bring up the idea. On my front page I make the statement that "The first trumpet is being blown. The door in heaven is being opened to call church leaders away from the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and lay their crowns at the feet of Jesus' throne. Jesus is calling His Bride. It's time to get serious." This was very much a direct result of one of our discussions on Revelation the 4th chapter.

As to all mysteries being revealed, I still look toward that day. Although I know that God's spirit has truly been given to all flesh (we only need to accept it), I also know that there will be a day when it will come in a fullness that will surpass anything that we have ever seen. There is "the perfect" coming that will show the world that we are a holy bride, there is a great army coming and now being mobilized that will show the world that the Lord has sent us. There is a harvest coming, a world wide revival, miracles, signs and wonders. I understand that these things have always been here but the world still has not yet come to the conclusion that we are sent by Him. That takes a church that it completely sold out to Him in love, obedience and unity.

The book of Daniel belongs to the apocalyptic genre: "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." There will of course be a rapture or the catching away of the saints in the air of I Thessalonians 4:17, the controversy lies in when. The reason that these things are so difficult to understand is that much of what we have been taught on these subjects have not been thought out enough. As we discuss more and more, we can understand but it is still the idea that the fulfillments are the best interpreter and that takes time. Still, we can get that revelatory knowledge that unfold these mysteries but to try to explain them to others is impossible without the same revelation given to all of us in the same way. And that has not been the case.

Seeking out signs of the times is a characteristic feature of any eschatological religion and a favorite division of evangelical sects today. Their treatment or maltreatment of the Bible and quoting passages out of context to support their arguments for believing that their version of particular events foreshadow the end of the world is not a spiritual act but rather fleshly delusions to support their false end-time doctrine. Their hatred of other branches of Christendom binds them to the very Babylon that they accuse others of belonging to. It is in love and truth that will show who the true disciples are, not the allegiance to a sanctimonious religious or political system. And each day approaching the end will show more Holy Ghost power through His people and expose those that are not ready.

We can accept the Bible message as being true and infallable but then if our understanding of the Bible is faulty, then so is our interpretation. If we would continue with end-time discussions, and I hope that it is the Lord's will that He does unfold some of these mysteries to us, then it must be in the attitude of prayer, humility and a desire to get something done. Since none of us have all the answers, I know that I don't, we need more discussion to bring up some concrete ideas based upon what the bible teaches and not from our own pet eschatological opinions that has gotten us all mixed up in the first place. We do not have to be absolutely right to come up with the truth, dialectic is putting away with what is false one by one until we come up with the truth and that will not happen until all voices are heard and we are humble enough to admit what is false. We are in a unique situation of being able to have the desire to know and listen to the Lord enough to realize that we are gifted in these areas of revelation knowledge. So as for me, I am going to take these questions to the Lord. I have already admitted my ignorance.

If this discussion is to produce fruit and be the type of dialogue that is life-changing and profound and revelatory ground-breaking, there has to be a lot more enthusiasm and interest in exactly where it is that we are going with it. There are a lot of people that bask in the light for a season and then go on to business as usual as if we are nothing. There are a lot of people that have a part of the discussions until their own pet bias is challenged and then they back off as if they are punishing us with their silence. It is childishness for sure but then if we are perfect, we would already know it all but we aren't, so we need to all deal with it. If we are to be the people of God that come together in love and unity like we are supposed to be, we could move in a mighty way. My part in the discussion will continue regardless because I know that God has anointed a ministry that is more interested in His truth than our own. That's why when people's enthusiasm goes cold, there are always new ears that hear and voices for God to speak through that come and contribute. Pride is a real killer but if we could just do our best to put it away and get down to some serious business, we could get a lot of work done for the kingdom.

The centrality of apocalyptic writing was that God would redeem and vindicate his chosen people and avenge them against the nations that had oppressed them. This would be in the coming of the kingdom of God. We must realize that the kingdom has been ever present with us for the totality of the Christian era as well as a kingdom to come. Most take the last days message and apply it to the nation of Israel, be that as it may regarding the prophecies applying to Judah, Israel in prophecy corresponds also to the Christian Church and is to be identified with the present and the coming kingdom of God that Jesus is setting up. The present world system will come to a catastrophic end and there will be a final separation of the good from the wicked. Leading up to this time would be a period of perfecting for the church and a Union with the Spirit with those that have overcome evil and prepared themselves for the marriage of Jesus and His sanctified church. This is a remnant seed, not merely from those called to it but of the chosen that have truly separated from the false religious, economic and political world system doomed to perish.

The evangelical message today, is creative only if it is apocalyptic, that is, only if it makes us believe that the eschaton has arrived. Eternal life truly begins in us now, not in the after-life. Only then is the death and the resurrection of Jesus truly present in us. This is the eternal life in the kingdom of heaven which at last has begun. "For the created universe waits with eager expectation of God's sons to be revealed." At this time, the universe itself is freed from the shackles of mortality and enters upon the liberty and splendor of the children of God.

What we have learned is that there will be heresy in the last days, it has been with us from the beginning and we are told that many false prophets will arise to deceive many, if possible, even the elect. We are in the age of apostasy now. Paul wrote to Timothy that in "the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils," that has been true throughout church history but Peter tells us "that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts." We should not be surprised when we see these things but we must be alert. At the same time, none of us have all the answers so latitude should be given.

Pere Teilhard writes: "As the gospel warns us, it would be vain to speculate as to the hour and the modalities of this formidable event. But we have to expect it. Expectation - anxious, collective and operative expectation of an end of the world, that is to say of an issue for the world - that is perhaps the supreme Christian function and the most distinctive characteristic of our religion." He says elsewhere that "Christ will not be complete until the end of the evolution of the universe." This is the fullness of time when all things are completed. When Jesus has assimilated all things, He will deliver His mature and completed body in to the hands of the Father. Wow, that is so profound because it is us as His Bride that will come to completion and perfection. "As the end of time approaches, a terrifying spiritual pressure will be brought to bear... the earth divided by a profound schism."

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:7-8.

The political aspect of eschatology is an ever-present theme in the theology of liberation. Watchman Nee tells us that "We are living in the end-time, a time when a spiritual power has been let loose which is driving men on, whether they will or no. So the question today is not so much one of sinfulness as of worldliness... There was a time when the Church rejected the world's ways. Now she not only uses them; she abuses them." Whitewashed sanctimony will not be enough, it is requisite for us to be detached from the political system or take its mark. For those with ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the churches, it is easy to comprehend the end time scenario of America becoming an island of relative affluence surrounded by hundreds of millions of starving people. America, with her opulence and immorality is hated and despised by the rest of the world for good reason. What the rest of the world sees is an America trying to use her wealth and military might to police a starving world in order to maintain her privileged position. Salvation does not consist in the absence of sin but in the fullness of life. We must seek the kingdom of God and the creation of a new man on a redeemed earth as the eschatological sign of something that is yet to come, but is already present and working within us. It is a new thing of love, social responsibility and separation from Babylon.

We are taught that there are dual fulfillments in that the Old Testament is given as examples for us. The feasts of Israel represent Christian experiences: the Passover in salvation, Pentecost in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Feast of Tabernacles to come to unify us. And what of Elijah? Jesus told us that there was a dual fulfillment in the coming of Elijah. He told us that "Elias truly shall first come, (future) and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already" (past) in the form of John the Baptist. There will be a forerunner in the second coming as well as in the first.

David Wilkerson wrote some years ago: "I believe judgment is suspended over the world at this very moment and will fall suddenly in a series of 'black days.' Society has developed a death wish. We are committing moral suicide. We are the authors of our own destruction. Our wounds are self-inflicted and the result is moral madness..." Now we are now into those black days, what are we to do about it.

And sent his servant at supper-time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

[81, 92, 102, 126, 128, 172, 179, 181, 185, 189, 198, 304, Jeremiah 23, Daniel 12, Mark 14, Acts 3, end-time thinking was a topic of the latter rain discussion list]

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