Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eschatology, Reverse Engineering the End of the World!

Friends,

If the Bible (or the book of Revelation) can be thought of as a typical Hindi movie, the last 3 chapters of Revelation can be thought of as the climax and the denouement (final resolution) of it.
  • In Revelation chapter 20 we have the villain (Satan/Devil) destroyed.
  • In Chapter 21 we have the bride and the bridegroom united.
  • While it comes to Revelation 22 we look forward to see the final rolling credits and the message "they lived happily ever after". As we in India would say: All is well! 
All is well! Really‽

The very opening verses of Revelation 22, when studied analytically, rejects this All is Well feeling.

Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
If All is Well, then why do nations need to be healed? Did not Jesus tell us that it is the sick that need a physician?

Luk 5:31 ...Jesus ... said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick
If the nations are whole (healthy) will they ever need healing?

In Revelation 20 we are told:
Rev 20:10 the Devil leading them astray was thrown into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone,
In Revelation 21 we are told:
Rev 21:4 God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no longer, nor mourning, nor outcry, nor will there be pain any more; for the first things passed away

After all these, if the events in Revelation 22 has to happen somewhere in the future, how can there be nations that are not healed? Or will there be some sort of synthetic ailments/diseases that won't cause pain and death?

Things cannot get any more worse than this:

Rev 22:14 Blessed are the ones doing His commands, that their authority will be over the Tree of Life, and by the gates they may enter into the city.
Rev 22:15 But outside are the dogs and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone loving a lie, and making it
If all these sinners are just outside the gates of a future New Jerusalem, I do not think it offers some great prospect! With such evil people all around, can you call it the perfect peaceful Kingdom? If the narrative of Revelation 22 is about some future date, what way it is different from the present state of affairs that we see all around us?

Futurists turn a blind eye to these scriptures! If you insist, they would say that you lack the Holy Spirit guidance and discernment!


Wait a minute, is river of water of life literal? (Rev 22:1) 

If river of water of life were literal, the followers of Christ are in for real trouble! Jesus said:

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
I don't think the apostles who believed Jesus had some sort of literal river of living water flowing from their belly! Have you seen any believer who has river of living water flowing from his/her belly? (I don't think Jesus was talking about some medical condition).

If Joh 7:38 is not about some literal river, how can one prove that Rev 22:1, 2 is about something literal?


Who told you that New Jerusalem is yet in the future?

If your common sense permits you to believe that the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven (Rev 21:2) is the same thing as heavenly Jerusalem, it has been here since the first century. Can't believe me?

The author of Hebrews tells his first century audience:
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,...
The writer of Hebrews doesn't say "you will come" to the Heavenly Jerusalem! Instead he said: "you are come". Every standard translation render this passage in past tense or present perfect tense, none in future tense!

If the Heavenly Jerusalem were to come down some time in our future what sense the verse would have made to the first century addresses of the epistles? Was the author fooling or deceiving his readers?

(Was the epistle to Hebrews addressed TO you who live in the 21st century? Are you a Hebrew, by any chance?)


Who told you that you are living in the end days?

Whenever some natural calamity happens, wars break out, famines occur, we hear people saying: "these are the last days"! "we are living in the last days"! etc.

Yes, the Bible does say that in the last days there would be wars, earthquakes ... but it does not say whenever there is a war or natural calamity that is the end time!

If wars and natural calamities were the indicators of the end of the world, they were there even before the New Testament was written!

The author of Hebrews writes:
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds
Is there a means to prove that Jesus (the son of God) spoke to the author of the Hebrews and his audience in the 20th or 21st century? Was the epistle written in the 20th or 21st  century?

The time God spoke to human beings is called the last days, and it was not certainly the 20th or 21st  century!


The day of Pentecost was in the last days!

To the Jews who mistook the tongue speaking Jews are drunk Peter says:

Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy

Joel prophesied about the last days (afterwards) and Peter says that what the Jews are witnessing is the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Do you, me or your favorite preachers (on FB or YouTube) have the authority to reject the words of Peter?


John says his time is the last time!

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time
John does not say that whenever Antichrist comes is the last time, instead he says many antichrists are already present in his days and hence it is the last time.

While we say: "it is raining" do we mean that it will rain a few days or years later? Don't we mean that it is presently raining? In the same way, John says "it is the last time", because many antichrists are already present as he was writing these words.


The sacrificial death of Jesus was in the end of the world!

The most important verse regarding the end of world is:


Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world

Please note the Greek words used in this verse:

endG4930 of theG3588 world?G165 

Now we will see another verse where the same Greek words are used. (Please check with an interlinear Bible). If Mat 24:3 is about something that has to happen in the future, then that verse also has to point to the future.

Heb 9:26 For then must he (Jesus) often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself
Here are the Greek words used in Heb 9:26:

endG4930 of theG3588 worldG165 

Heb 9:26 says that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was in the end of the world. Can anyone prove that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is yet in the future?

Most of the modern translations render Mat 24:3 as end of the age, because the Greek word used there (aiōn) means age or an era. The discussion of Matthew 24 is the end of the age of Jews, as we will see soon.

Conclusion

Other than presuppositions and prejudices, there is not even a single scripture which says that the last days, last time or end of the world is in our future.

Yours in Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal.