My Thoughts. . .
Riots happen. Covid-19 is imported. People are infected. Deaths end life. Inflation soars. Workers are absent. Costs increases. Shelves are empty. Crime is rampant. Businesses are closed. Tempers flare. Inconsistency is worn by Politicians. Preachers write and sell books on The Last Days. Believers’ empty bookshelves. Fear explodes. Expectations renew. The end is near. Revelation is being fulfilled! THE day is at hand!
It is an old, old story. Some believe the current events prove that this time, Jesus is finally going to come! It took 2,000 years but after being disappointed time and time again, mankind believes the last days, the Rapture, Jesus’ appearance, and his 1,000-year reign is ready to bless the faithful. Am I poking fun? No, too many others have already filled that position. They have given their empty, failed prophecies which disappointed their followers and revealed to the world what God said false teachers would do.
It is sad when people believe they are being led by God to inform the world of the exact time Jesus is going to return. Those who follow such soothsayers end up being disappointed. Some shed tears because they allowed their prophet to make fools of them. Some quit and renew their friendship with the devil. Some renew their search, building a stronger faith which will lead them to the right prophet. Some decide to never listen to anyone who claims God speaks to him. Some see it as a way to make money while building people’s hope, even if it is false.
I do not know the number of book written about the return of Jesus to establish his kingdom. I’ve lived long enough to see several failures. Some apologized, then re-figured and sell more books to gullible disciples. Some get comfortable on their house tops and patiently wait. They are sincere, honest people who think they are blessed with the special knowledge of “when” it will happen. There are at least two positions taken concerning the return of Jesus and the fulfillment of the events in the book of Revelation.
1). The book was fulfilled in the first century with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Roman army. Jesus’ return is tied up in the old Jerusalem being destroyed and the new Jerusalem, which is spiritual, being established by God’s Son. Salvation will be given to those who place their trust in Jesus.
2). The book is a progressive one with events being fulfilled over a period of 2,000 plus years. The first five chapters were fulfilled in the first century. The prophecies continue to be fulfilled during the span of that 2,000 years. The final fulfillment is close for Jesus to appear and establish an earthly kingdom which will endure for 1,000 years.
3. The number 2 explanation has multiple facets on when each event will take place. The Rapture is moved around. The battle of Armageddon is also placed at different end times.
What if the progressive fulfillment is completely wrong? Those reasons are manipulated to fit in each authors view and timetable. When the return of Jesus is given a date, failure always follows. Some readers may not be aware, but the time of Jesus return has been set at 1914, 1917, 1942, 1985, 1992, and 1995. That does not include prophecies made prior to 1914. Despite the number, all daters have been disappointed. All authors that have given us dates for the return of Jesus were disappointed that the Lord did not return. Their disappointment should have been spent on themselves. Each century produces those who are new at guessing. Is it not strange that even Jesus does not know the specific date? Yet, some feel they have special knowledge of that “when.”
Although most will ignore what I write, I continue to invite the reader to examine the first several verses in the beginning and end of Revelation. Who is writing the book? Who is he writing to? Is an individual named as the receiver or is it to several churches? Do those churches have a location? Are they real places which existed in John’s day when he wrote the book of Revelation? Does the writer at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the book indicate his audience is living prior to 2021 or existing after the twentieth century? If he was addressing someone in 1821, he would readily be referred to as a false prophet. Why? Because nothing described in the book took place in that time period. Does he say he is writing to folks who will live 20 centuries later? Does he use descriptions which show the book will have a very late fulfillment or one that is to be fulfilled “soon” or “at hand”? If we allow the writer to use words that referred to his day and time, what words would he have used so those people would think its fulfillment was in their time period? If I said to the reader, “I’ll call you tomorrow,” would you think I was saying I’ll call you in 2,000 plus years? What would that phrase mean to you?
The book begins with John writing, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:1-3 KJV).
The books ends with the following.
“. . .the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. . . .And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. . .And, behold, I come quickly;. . .He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:6-7, 10, 12, 20).”
If you received these words from Jesus in the first century, would you think he was talking about a time period in 2021 rather than something that would happen in your lifetime? Would words used by the Holy Spirit such as “time is at hand,” “quickly,” and “shortly” not be better understood by first century recipients than false teachers who lived twenty centuries later setting dates that were lies?
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