Article

"An Overview of Eschatology"
By GARRETT PAUL PARRISH
www.BibleProphecyFulfilled.com


(Timing, language, location.)

    When the Bible refers to the last days, the time of the end, and the end of the age, what exactly is it talking about? Is it the end of the world (Kosmos/Globe), the end of time, or the end of something else? I would like to suggest that it is referring to something else. 

    The three important points to consider when delving into eschatology are timing, language, and location. Timing is everything. Knowing this will get you in the right millennia. Prophetic and apocalyptic language in the New Testament is taken from such imagery as coming in the clouds, and the sun, moon, and stars being darkened, directly from the Old Testament scriptures. Knowing this will keep you out of jail and suicide cults. Such as has been seen with the likes of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson, Randy Weaver (inspired by Hal Lindsey), David Berg (Children of God.), Rollen Stewart, aka Rainbow man/John 3:16 man, Marshall Applewhite/Heaven’s Gate/Hale Bopp, and the Japanese subway bomber, to name a few. Finally, location, location, location will get you in the right hemisphere. Disciples (first century disciples.) are exhorted to flee Judea, not Jersey.

Does the physical earth end? Psalms 78:69, 104:5, Ecc.1:4, and Eph.3:21 all say, No! Even Jack Van Incorrect (Impe) understands this fact. However, it was only after a letter from David Chilton, that he learned of this reality. Matthew 24:3 refers to the end of the age, not of the “world/globe-“Kosmos,” and 2 Pet.3 is referring to the melting of the “elements.” {“Stoichelon”-Rudiments, principles and philosophies, also used in Gal.4:3,9, Col.2:8,20, Hb.5:12.} The New Heavens and Earth are referring to the New Covenant’s manifest establishment after the destruction of the Old Covenants headquarters, Jerusalem and the temple. (Gal.4:24-26, Heb.9:8) The destruction of the temple is the central theme of eschatology. (Mt.24:2,Dan.9:27, Rev.11:2) The last days were the last days of the Old Covenant system, which revolved around the temple. (Acts 2:16-21, Heb.1:2) The New Covenant temple of the body of Christ is clearly revealed after the Old temple is destroyed. (Heb.9:8) This New temple is the temple/tabernacle (Rev.21:3) of God described as a “New Heavens and a New Earth” (Rv.21:1), a New Jerusalem (Rev.21:2, Gal.4:26-New Covenant, Hb.12:22) and as a BRIDE (Rev.21:2, Rom.7:4, 2 Cor.11:2). The bride of Christ, which is His body/temple/tabernacle. (Col.1:24) God’s covenant people are the dwelling place of God from Heaven joined with men on the Earth. This is His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. (Mt.6:10) The Puritan theologian John Owen comes to this conclusion concerning the references in 2 Pet.3:7,10,12,13, to the Old, verses the New Heavens and Earth. He makes the connection with the Old Testament’s use of the terms in relationship to a covenant people. “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the HEAVENS, and lay the foundations of the EARTH, and say unto Zion, Thou art MY PEOPLE.” (Is.51:16) Moses addresses this Covenant people in this same way when he states, “Give ear, O ye HEAVENS, and I will speak; and hear, O EARTH, the words of my mouth.” (Deut.32:1) Isaiah does the same again when he says, “Hear, O HEAVENS, and give ear, O EARTH…” (Isaiah 1:2) This New Covenant has no end, it’s everlasting. (Heb.13:20) It is entirely impossible to force a last days in the phrase “Everlasting Covenant.”

There is no end to the physical earth, only an end to a vanishing Old Covenant system in the first century. (Heb.8:13) An end to the Old Covenant Age. Daniel refers to the “time of the end” of the Old Covenant. (Dan.12:9) He does not refer to the “end of time.” We have gotten so much of our eschatology literally backwards. Rev.10:6 refers to “delay” no longer, not “time” no longer. Even the former futurist George Eldon Ladd concedes to this concerning “time” no longer. It is simply communicating that there would by no more delay in unleashing the judgments determined upon the unholy land. Eschatology has to do with the last days, end of the age, and time of the end, all in relationship to the Old Covenant system. It’s not about Nukes and computer chips. When approaching Bible prophecy the single most important factor is timing. Timing is the key component in exposing falsehood and counterfeit prophecy. The following is a none exhaustive list of exact years, as to when the fulfillment of a specific prophecy would be fulfilled: 1, 3 ,31/2, 7, 15, 65, 70, 80, 100, 120, 400, 483, 490. We see the Bible being very specific and precise, and in no wise vague, in relationship to Bible Prophecy. God created time, and relates to man, whom He has placed in time, in this precise manner. When the Bible says that some things are “far off” (“Sealed up”, Ez.12:27, Dan.8:26,12:4,9), they are 'OT “at hand”, about to come to pass “shortly”, and “quickly” (Ez.12:23,25, Rev.1:1,3, 3:11, 16:15, 22:6,7, 10, 12, 20) When God considers 70 years to be a long time, He means long for man who is in time, not for Himself. (Jer.29:28)

Without these time indicators, prophecy can continually be pushed into the future with no more accuracy and precision than that of Jean Dixon. Deut. 18:21-22 and 1 Thes.5:20-21 are two scriptures, which lay out a standard for testing “prophecy.” This standard is weaseled out of by today’s pre-millennial prophets. They maintain that “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” This is God’s eternal perspective, yet He has set man in time, and relates to him in time. Prophecy wouldn’t mean anything, to anyone, if it were not specific in giving time indicators. Because premillennial time indicators have flopped, Israel in 1948 (The “last generation” seeing Jesus come in ’88, with a ’81 rapture), and Jerusalem in 1967, Bible Prophecy teachers are relaying more and more upon the “Thousand year model” of interpretation. If this model is to be taken in such a manner, then the reverse would be true as well, and the thousand year reign of Christ would extend for the duration of one day.

Further untimely ness exists as Daniels toes are growing to extend to thousands of years, from the first century Roman Empire, into a “Revived Roman Empire.” These disproportionate toes are extending longer than the height of Daniels statue/image. (Dan.2:31-45) Such a growing phenomenon is seen similarly with the growing noses of today’s pre-millennial Pinocchio Prophets.

A generation has passed, (40 years, Heb.3:9,10) since 1948, and Jesus did not “come back” in 1988, as Hale Bopp Hal assured us He would. Now, forty years have passed since 1967 with the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, and still nothing. Hal Lindsey gave permission to his readers to call him a bum, if his prediction failed. Why is no one heeding these words of Hal Lindsey. What generation did Jesus say would see His coming in the clouds of judgment? (Clouds of judgment- Is.19:1, Ez.32:7-9, 30:3, Mt.26:64) “THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Mt.24:34) THIS GENERATION is referred to by Jesus about 16 times, and once by Peter. It is always, no if’s, and’s, or butts, referring to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking to. The word generation (Genea) is used about 38 times in the New Testament and never once is it used in referring to a race, and is always speaking of the generation to whom Jesus is speaking to, unless other wise noted. Such as, in Heb.3:9,10, when it is spoken of as THAT past generation. “THAT” would be used for a future generation, if Jesus was referring to one other than the present one. Therefore, Jesus uses the clear phrase “THIS GENERATION” in the Olivet Discourse addressing the present one to whom He was speaking. The inconsistency to say that when “THIS GENERATION” is used in the Olivet Discourse (Mt.24, Mk.13, Lk. 21), it really means THAT future GENERATION, is obvious. They have to change the words, “THIS to THAT”, in order to force it into the future. They will be so blatantly inconsistent to even suggest that, “Yes, every time “THIS GENERATION” is used through out the rest of the New Testament, it always means the present GENERATION to whom Jesus was speaking. But, in the Olivet Discourse, the meaning changes, and there it really means “THAT GENERATION”, or a race. When no other time through out the entirety of the New Testament does it ever mean either. It has to have such a meaning here they insist, because if it doesn’t, their futurist model is dismantled. Here is a brief list of how GENERATION and THIS GENERATION is used through out the New Testament.

Mt.3:7,11:16, 2:41,42,45,16:4,23:33,36,24:34,Mk.8:12,38, 9:19,Lk.7:31, 9:41,11:30,31,32 ,50,51,17:25, Acts 2:40. I’ll write out a few of them, so as to see them laid out one after another communicating clearly who Jesus is addressing in each passage. “All these things shall come upon THIS GENERATION.”

“Whereunto shall I liken THIS GENERATION?” “Ninevaeh shall rise in judgment with THIS GENERATION.” “blood…shed… from the foundation of the world, may be required of THIS GENERATION.” “THIS wicked GENERATION.”

“THIS adulterous and sinful GENERATION.”

“THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

    A crucial point in understanding Bible Prophecy is the use of Old Testament, prophetic/apocalyptic language. This language is used throughout the New Testament. The first century Jew, who was reading the New Testament letters, would have understood this Old Testament language and imagery. References to COMING I THE CLOUDS, and the SUN, the MOON, and the STARS being darkened meant something entirely different to a first century Jew, than it does to a twenty first century westerner. The prophetic language and imagery of COMING I THE CLOUDS of judgment is used throughout the Old Testament.

Isaiah 19:1 speaks of a coming judgment upon Egypt. “The burden of Egypt, Behold , the Lord rideth upon a swift CLOUD, and He shall COME into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at HIS PRESECE (Parousia is the New Testament Greek word for coming, which means coming presence) , and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.”

Ezekiel 30:3,4 “For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a CLOUDY day; it shall be the time of the heathen. And THE SWORD SHALL COME upon Egypt. Ezekiel 32:7-9 “And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, a make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a CLOUD, and the moon shall not give her light.” It was lights out in this judgment, yet nothing transpired with a physical cloud. This last scripture also speaks of the SUN, MOON, and STARS to describe a coming judgment. As each ruled the day and night respectively, the language and imagery here relates the sun, moon, and stars to ruling authorities of nations. In judgment their light was to be put out and darkened.

Isaiah 13:9,10 is describing a judgment upon Babylon, to be carried out by the Medes. (vs17) “Behold, the day of the Lord COMETH, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the STARS of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the SU shall be darkened in his going forth, and the MOON shall not cause her light to shine.” Nothing physically happened to the sun, moon, and stars.

Genesis 37:9,10 uses this same language and imagery in Joseph‘s dream. “I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the SUN and the MOON, and the eleven STARS made obeisance to me.” Verse 10 interprets the SUN to be Josephs father, the MOON to be his mother, and the STARS to be his brothers. They were all placed in authority over Joseph, but the tables were going to turn, and Joseph would be in authority over all of them in his rule.

All of these Old Testament prophecies speak of a coming Judgment to make things right and put in order, in the lands of Egypt, Babylon, and Israel. The New Testament Speaks of the city where our Lord was crucified, Jerusalem/Israel as being THE GREAT CITY described as spiritual Egypt and Babylon. Connect Revelation 11:8 to Rev.14:8,16:19,17:1,5,18,18:2,10,18,19,21,19:2.

    The final point necessary in understanding Bible Prophecy is the all important issue of location. Where are the foretold events of Bible Prophecy to unfold? The book of Revelation often refers to a third of the “earth”, or simply a judgment striking the “earth” etc.. Never is the Greek word Kosmos/Globe used in these judgments. Some translations have corrected this and have used the word “land”. The judgments are coming upon the “land”, particularly the “land” of Israel, with the epicenter being Jerusalem and the temple. Jesus is very specific in the Olivet Discourse to use words such as “Oikumene” when saying that the gospel would be preached in all the “world”, and then would the end come.(The end of the Old Covenant age) (Mt.24:14) “Oikoumene” is defined as “land, the terrene part of the globe, SPECIFICALLY THE ROMAN EMPIRE, earth, world.” It is used in Luke 2:1 when a census went through out the empire, not the globe.

Jesus also gets specific as to where this tribulation was to take place when he exhorts those in Judea, not Jersey or Georgia, to flee to the mountains. (Mt.24:16) We’re taught today that Mt.24 is about a world wide catastrophe, nuclear war, and global annihilation. What good would it be to flee to Judea and find refuge in the mountains, if that were the case? Such fleeing would be meaningless against F-16’s and hydrogen bombs of our day. The next verse in Mt.24:17, Jesus exhorts those on their housetops to not go back into their house to get their goods first, but to flee immediately. Those in Jerusalem had homes constructed to hang out on the top of them. (Acts 10:9) Peter broke no tile on the housetop, as we would in our day. Mt.24 is speaking of their day, OT OURS! Location, Location, Location is central to understanding Bible Prophecy. The world’s most cataclysmic change of address occurred in the first century. The world wide headquarters for the presence of God and the worship of God was forwarding it’s address. It was now in the Spirit. (John 4:21-24) The city headquarters was no more to be in Jerusalem, but now in the Jerusalem that is above, the heavenly Jerusalem in the Spirit. (Gal.4:24-26, Heb.12:22) The physical Jerusalem, being the headquarters for the Old Covenant, was is bondage awaiting her destruction. She would face the judgments of judgments, as “the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of THIS GEERATION!” (Lk.11:50, Mt.23:35,36-38) Matthew 24 follows this same theme of the city’s, and it’s temple’s, destruction. The temple is the central theme. (23:38, 24:2,3,15) The dwelling place of God was moving to a new location. No longer in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48, 17:24, 2 Cor.5:1), but in a spiritual temple/body of Christ made up of living stones. (1 Pet.2:5) Their citizenship/address is now in heaven, the heavenly Jerusalem. (Phil.3:20, Gal.4:26, Heb.12:22, Mt.5:14) Citizens now “sit together (rule) in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph.2:6,1:3)

The first dwelling place of God, the first covenant and it’s temple and city, was about to be destroyed. (Heb.8:2,7,13) The Old Covenant was ready to vanish away. “Eggus” is the Greek word in Heb.8:13 meaning near, at hand (Rev.1:3, 22:10), nigh, ready. The true temple of Jesus Christ/His Body/temple could not be seen clearly as their was much murkiness as to who were the true son’s of God, who were the wheat and tares? Who were the sheep and goats? Was it the Old Covenant Jews, or the New Covenant Jews? “The Holy Ghost this signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” (Heb.9:8) The dwelling place of God, the temple, is once again the central theme to Bible Prophecy. The Old verses the New. The Old temple was pronounced “condemned” by one greater than the temple, the ew Temple/Body/Dwelling Place of God. (Mt.12:6) The new dwelling place is simply Jesus Christ. Many would say in our day as in that day, “No, being in Jesus Christ is not enough. We want a physical temple in Jerusalem.” Once the Old temple, city, and nation were destroyed, things became crystal clear as to who the true Jews were. (1 Pet.2:9, Mt.21:43, Rm.2:28,29, 9:8) The Old types and shadows had become relics and were destroyed. The New Dwelling Place of God became fully realized at that point. The consummation of Jesus and His Church/Body/Temple followed the legal contract of the cross. (Rev.21:2,3) In Jesus’ father’s house were many dwelling places (John 14:3). This new address is permanent, yet many would like to return to the middle east and establish that old dwelling place. They long to return to Egypt/Jerusalem (Rev.11:8) and it’s bondage (Gal.4:25). In so doing they will face the same end as the old temple, city, and nation. Their wood, hay and stuble will be consumed.