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intro End Times

Introduction Synopsis

 

In John's apocalypse, the book of Revelation, he refers to the "unveiling" or "revelation" of Jesus Christ as Messiah.

This term has been downgraded in common usage to refer to the end of the world. But it is more accurate to interpret the term "end of the world", as we see in the King James Version of the Bible, as the "end of the age". The word translated as "world" is actually the Greek word "eon" or "age".

The eschatological pictures of the end of the age as books of the Old Testament were images of the judgment of the wicked, as well as the resurrection and glorification of those who were given righteousness before God. The dead are seen in the book of Job and in some of the Psalms as being in Sheol, awaiting the final judgment.

The wicked will then be consigned to eternal torment in the fires of Gehinnom, or the Lake of Fire mentioned in Revelation. In John's apocalypse, the book of Revelation, he refers to the "unveiling" or "revelation" of Jesus Christ as Messiah. This term has been downgraded in common usage to refer to the end of the world.

But it is more accurate to interpret the term "end of the world", as we see in the King James Version of the Bible, as the "end of the age". The word translated as "world" is actually the Greek word "eon" or "age". The eschatological pictures of the end of the age as books of the Old Testament were images of the judgment of the wicked, as well as the resurrection and glorification of those who were given righteousness before God.

The dead are seen in the book of Job and in some of the Psalms as being in Sheol, awaiting the final judgment. The wicked will then be consigned to eternal torment in the fires of Gehinnom, or the Lake of Fire mentioned in Revelation.

The New Testament letters written by the Apostle Paul expand on this theme of the judgment of the wicked, and the glorification of those who belong to Christ or Messiah. In his letters to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians Paul expounds further on the destiny of the righteous. He speaks of the simultaneous resurrection and rapture of those who are in Christ, (or Messiah). This is a combined apocalyptic event that comes at the end of this age and before the coming Millennium.

Throughout Church history, the kings and princes of Europe had traditionally viewed with extreme disfavor the idea of a judgment at the end of this age and a Millennium to follow. King Henry VIII was very angry when he heard that his subjects were reading smuggled copies of William Tyndale's New Testament. Upon hearing that they were discussing the judgment at the end of the age, he flew into a rage.

Archbishop Wolsey was summoned and questioned about this matter. A series of events then led to William Tyndale being hunted down, captured, condemned, and burned at the stake. Preaching or teaching on end time apocalytic themes in the "Three Self" government church in China is strictly forbidden.

Modern Christian movements in the 18th and 19th Centuries were characterized by a rise of Millennialism. Christian Apocalyptic eschatology was a continuation of the same two themes referred to throughout all of scripture as "this age" and "the age to come". Evangelicals have been in the forefront in rediscovering and popularizing the biblical prophecy of a major confrontation between good and evil at the end of this age, a coming Millennium to follow, and a final confrontation whereby the wicked are judged, the righteous are rewarded and the beginning of Eternity is viewed.

Most evangelicals have been taught a form of Millennialism known as Dispensationalism, which arose in the 19th century. Dispensationalism sees separate destinies for the Church and Israel. Its concept of a special Pre Tribulation Rapture of the Church has become extremely popular. This is the central thesis of the Left Behind books and films.

Dispensationalist interpretations find in biblical prophecy predictions of future events: the various periods of the church, for example, shown through the letters to the seven churches; the throne of God in Heaven and his Glory; specific judgments that will occur on the earth; the final form of Gentile power; God' re-dealing with the nation Israel[30] based upon covenants mentioned in the Old Testament; the second coming proper; a one-thousand year reign of Messiah; a last test of Mankind's sinful nature under ideal conditions by the loosing of Satan, with a judgment of fire coming down from Heaven that follows; the Great White Throne Judgment, and the destruction of the current heavens and the earth, to be recreated as a "New Heaven and New Earth"[31][32][33] ushering in the beginning of Eternity. A differing interpretation is found in the Post Tribulation Rapture.

One of the most complete exegetical works on the meaning of the Book of Revelation was written by Emanuel Swedenborg called the Apocalypse Revealed, first published in two volumes in Amsterdam in 1766. A more current book, utilizing the literal method of interpretation, is "The Revelation Record" by Henry M. Morris.[50]

 

 
 
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