There are a myriad of End Times theories to be found among professing Christians today. There is Preterism, Amillennialism, and Dispensationalism, and then there are many sub-theories for each broad category. How do we know which one is correct?
One Christian told me that all the theories are from God. In short, he was implying that God originated all the theories so that He can chose which one works best when the time comes! What he was saying is that God Himself is not really sure which one He will use in the end, so he is leaving Himself some “wiggle room”, so if things don’t work out one way He will have another way out!
Let me ask you; Is this a description of the God of the Bible? Does God need “wiggle room” so he has a way out, in case things don’t work out right? Could God be behind contradictory theories? What does the bible say?
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. I Corinthians 14:33
The bible is clear that God had planned Salvation from long before He laid the foundation of the earth. (Revelation 13:8) He wrote our DNA at the time that he created man in the garden of Eden, and that DNA is only now beginning to be understood. When I say beginning, I mean that now, after some 6,000 years we have actually begun to scratch the surface of what DNA is, and what it does, but we are a long way from really understanding it.
God, however, spoke the world into existence, and He also spoke our DNA into existence, and long before he did that, He had a plan for Salvation and the human race. No. God does not need “wiggle room”. He has the power to bring about the end of History exactly as He had planned from the beginning. All the human, and angelic, plans aimed at thwarting God’s plan actually end up falling into God’s hands, and into His End Times plan.
So, back to my original question: How do we know which End Times theory is the one that will be carried out in the end?
The answer is rather simple, and yet incredibly complex; The theory that harmonizes all of Scripture is the one that God will carry out in the end.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:II Timothy 3:16
5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him Proverbs 30:5
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. Luke 4:4
Many today rebel at the thought that we ought to follow the bible, because they think that they are smarter, and privy to more information, than the authors of the bible. They tell us that God would change if He knew what we know today, making themselves wiser than God!
They have forgotten that the Lord exists outside of time, and sees all of history spread before Him like a book, or a mural.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6
Since God knows the end from the beginning, there is never the danger that He will come across new information! He knows it all before it happens!
8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. 9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:Isaiah 46:8-10
God knew the end from the beginning, and wrote it in His book. We know, therefore, that everything we need to know is written in the bible. The problem is that it is written in such a way that it can be easily misinterpreted. Why would He do it this way? I think there are a multitude of reasons, among which is His desire to trap His enemies!
He could engineer History so that everyone would come to Him for salvation. If He were to show His glory, we would all come to Him on bended knee and beg Him to save us. The problem is that many would come to Him only because of His power, and because they knew He was the only choice, NOT because they love His character or His person!
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matthew 13:14-15
Why would God not want them to be converted, especially when He says He is a God of love? I think it is because He is not willing to save anyone their own way. We come to Him His way, or no way. He does not desire to be used by religious men for their own financial benefit, or for their own gain. Men lift up themselves, but God lifts up Jesus Christ. His plan has everything to do with His character.
So which system follows the literal teaching of the bible the closest? The dispensational, pre-Tribulation rapture theory is the closest to the literal intent of the Author, in my opinion. I must add, however, that wherever dispensationalists stray from the literal interpretation they have made mistakes.
Many times dispensationalists have taken one verse and interpreted it based on their own understanding. When they have done this they have been in error, but this does not mean that the basic dispensational theory is incorrect.
When I was a youth I attended a Fellowship Baptist church in Barrie, Ontario. Our youth pastor, a dispensationalist, told us “Before Christ people were saved by keeping the law, but after Christ we are now saved by grace”. This teaching is common among dispensationalists, and is in error. I would hasten to add, however, that not all dispensationalists hold this view.
The New Testament is clear that keeping the law is impossible, and we are not able to save ourselves this way. Romans 4:21 is states emphatically that if it was possible that a law could have given us life, righteousness would have been by the law, and Jesus would not have had to die. As it is, Messiah had to die.
This being said, however, the bible does teach a pre-Tribulation snatch of the Church. Oh, but there will be hard times before the snatch. Times will be so hard that some will say “We are in the Tribulation!” Satan is working overtime to create a condition that resembles the Tribulation to a great degree. This is something that most dispensationalists have missed, although I understand that now some are coming around to the idea, that some of the Old Testament prophesied wars will occur during the Church age.
The Psalm 83 war and the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 are two wars that form the framework of a counterfeit Tribulation period. There will actually be several years between these events, which will form the time of peace spoken about in at the beginning of the Gog/Magog war in Ezekiel 38:8 & 11.
Satan needs to make you think that this time IS the Tribulation period, so that after it is over, and he introduces his Antichrist to the world, you will accept the Antichrist as “the Christ”, or at least as “a man of God”, and a peacemaker. I’m afraid that at this time, many dispensationalists will modify their theology thinking “We are in the Tribulation and the rapture has not happened yet, therefore the rapture must not be Pre-Trib”! This would be a mistake.
This is why I wrote The Spirit of Prophecy. It is to warn the world of Satan’s scheme to enlist professing Christians in his project to build the kingdom of the Antichrist. New Age authors have been outspoken in saying that the Christian Church would build the kingdom of “the Christ”, yet most pastors have missed this fact. When enemies of God say something like that, we ought to take notice. We ought to be watching to see what Satan is doing. As Paul said “we are not ignorant of (Satan’s) devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11), yet most Christian groups are blissfully ignorant of what Satan is doing in the world, and even in their church!
As it is Christian groups like Purpose Driven, Seeker sensitive, and Emergent Churches are marching in lock-step with these New Age groups. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that many otherwise conservative churches are not all that far behind! Because most churches, including Baptists, have an unbiblical leadership model, it only takes one man to lead the Church in the wrong direction!
So read the Spirit of Prophecy, but don’t trust me. Check everything by the Word of God. If I have made any mistakes, I would be interested in hearing about it, and why it is biblically incorrect. Use Scripture to back up your claim. Opinions have no validity, but Scripture is above all.
Up to this point a couple of readers have said they disagree with me, but both have failed to provide Scriptural evidence to support their point. Remember Christian tradition is still under, and subservient to, the Scriptures.