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The Pathfinder, Elwin & Margit Roach, PO Box 4004, Alamogordo, NM 88311-4004
When Prophecies Fail
"Charity never (1) faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall (2) fail..." 1 Corinthians 13:8 " (even in 2012).
Many people are in quite a stir these days. Calamities have been streaming through the nations that have left them more than a little unsettled. There have been earthquakes, a tsunami that caused thousands of deaths and three uncontrollable nuclear reactor melt downs, political upheavals and corruption everywhere, economic woes, nations going bankrupt, and immorality running rampant in all walks of life. Moreover, many believe that the catalyst for an imminent, worldwide meltdown has to do with the Mayan calendar that ends on this year's winter solstice December 21, 2012. There have been an unprecedented amount of prophecies, fearful predictions, and speculations concerning this upcoming date.
According to credible researchers, it is said that the Mayans studied the heavens extensively and were very interested in world ages. But they also say that the record has been distorted, leaving several possibilities open to interpretation. In the Maya Long Count calendar, the one causing so much consternation and debate, the previous world ended after 13 b'ak'tuns, or roughly 5,125 years. This means that the fourth world, or age, will also have reached the end of its 13th b'ak'tun, on December 21, 2012. In 1957, Mayanist and astronomer, Maud Worcester Makemson, wrote that "the completion of a Great Period of 13 b'ak'tuns would have been of the utmost significance to the Maya." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon.)
In 1966, Michael D. Coe wrote in his book, The Maya, that "There is a suggestion...that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the 13th b'ak'tun. Thus...our present universe would be annihilated in December 2012 when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion." (http://familysurvivalcenter.com/news.htm). I am trying to understand his reasoning in how such an Armageddon could differentiate between the good people and the degenerate; but I'll let that rest for now.
Coe's interpretation was picked up and repeated by other scholars that went through the early 1990s. In contrast, later researchers said that while the end of the 13th b'ak'tun would perhaps be a cause for celebration, it did not mark the end of the calendar.
Mayanist scholar Mark Van Stone said, "There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012. The notion of a 'Great Cycle' coming to an end is completely a modern invention."
In 1990, Mayanist scholars Linda Schele and David Freidel argued that the Maya "did not conceive this to be the end of creation, as many have suggested." Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said that "We have no record or knowledge that [the Maya] would think the world would come to an end" in 2012.
"For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle," said Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies. The 2012 phenomenon, she said, is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."
"There will be another cycle," said E. Wyllys Andrews V, director of the Tulane University Middle American Research Institute. "We know the Maya thought there was one before this, and that implies they were comfortable with the idea of another one after this."
Mayan elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun and Mexican archaeologist Guillermo Bernal both note that "apocalypse" is a Western concept that has little or nothing to do with Mayan beliefs. Bernal believes that such ideas have been foisted on the Maya by Westerners because their own myths are "exhausted." Mayan archaeologist Jose Huchm has stated, "If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn't have any idea. If they were told that the world is going to end, they wouldn't believe you. We have real concerns these days, like rain." It is not certain what significance the classic Maya give to the 13th b'ak'tun. Most classic Maya inscriptions are strictly historical and do not make any prophetic declarations. (http://2012thetruth.com/)
Several prominent individuals representing Maya of Guatemala decried the suggestion that the world ends on b'ak'tun 13. Ricardo Cajas, president of the Colectivo de Organizaciones Indígenas de Guatemala, said the date did not represent an end of humanity or fulfillment of the catastrophic prophecies found in the Maya Chilam Balam. Martín Sacalxot of Procurador de los Derechos Humanos (Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman, PDH) said that the end of the calendar has nothing to do with the end of the world or the year 2012. (http://www.sagecauldron.com/blog/?p=252)
With all this having been said, it is possible for an asteroid to hit the earth. It's happened before, a long time ago, and it is possible there is a planet headed our way that is on a collision course; but the astro-scientists refute this claim. There will certainly be wars, this is an ongoing given, along with pestilence and famines, maybe even here. For example, if Jerusalem was not spared from Titus and his army, why would this nation fair any better? Don't count on us as being such a blessed nation that God will turn a blind eye to our atrocious wantonness. We may see the mega corporation, Monsanto, gaining control of the world's food source and supply, as they are planning and in process of doing, and home gardening could be outlawed, but so be it! What does this have to do with an historical Mayan calendar, and as much as we all love home-grown tomatoes and our own canned garden vegetables, what does our well-being and survival have to do with our vegetable gardens? For man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and please know that His word will not give us the spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind, as noted in 1 Timothy 1:7. Therefore, are we fearful of what this year might bring? Does a date on the Mayan calendar cause fear, apprehension, trepidation? If so, that spirit did not come from God, but from the spirit of this world that controls people out of fear and lying promises. Whether it is the leaders of religious orders or whether of politics; control over the people is very often made when they create formidable enemies, and then promise to provide protection from the enemies they have created.
For instance, one political party will demonize the other, while the demonized side will paint the picture of total gloom and doom for the nation if their opponents gain power or have their way. The sad truth is, each party promises that they have the answers to the nation's ills and will bring heaven on earth when they rule, but they never do; for they are a major cause of the problems. The only heaven on earth we see is their own. It is certainly not that of the people, those who wantonly and ignorantly demand a king like the other nations. In so doing, they got their Saul, the king who has and will continue breaking their backs. Such is the life of Adam.
It is not a mystery that those in the arena of religion are guilty of the same, for man is man, and that is one of his character flaws. Surely, not all are guilty; but it is not uncommon for this to happen among those in religious ranks as well; for Adam will be adam!
Some of the most propagated of all enemies are the ones men have created, and which are clearly after their own hearts and image, that is, the devil and his dreadful kingdom called hell. Some churches are not so adamant about the vehemence of this place that is so commonly called eternal torment, so maybe we could call it heck rather than hell; for we all know that in the English cultures and language, hell is a much worse word to use in the common vernacular than heck; such as, if someone says, "What the heck" or "heck no," no one thinks a thing about it. Therefore, heck is not such a bad word, so a place of punishment that is not quite so severe as hell, don't you think, should be called heck rather than hell? Rather than the fabled prince of hell who supposedly has horns and wields a pitchfork, the prince of heck would have no horns and would tote around a big spoon. It only seems right, don't you think? For when such a supposed horrid place is cleaned up and made to be not so bad, spoons are not nearly as harmful as forks when it comes to inflicting pain. Sounds silly, doesn't it? And it is, but not nearly as silly as man's religious notions about the God of love and His plan for His creation. They are so ridiculous that it has become not only ludicrously silly, but pitifully sad with extremely cruel notions--par excellence!
Even so, what about today's predictions for this year, especially in the latter part of it? Some feel that Matthew 24 can be used to foretell the time and events of the last days that are supposed to bring and end to the world or the age. However, if we pay close attention we can see that Jesus was talking about the destruction of the Temple and the end of the world, that is, the end of that particular age; for those were two of the specific questions that were asked of Him.
Some take the question about the end of the world as the destruction of this planet; but with the word being aion, it becomes very apparent that it was the age wherein they all lived at that time. And those who heard His words were witnesses of that very end, the end of that age, even as He said they would be. Therefore, all that He foretold came to pass and now resides in the annals of history, not the prophetic future. We have covered this before; yet it seems needful to be said again.
When that season began to draw near, the apostle Peter prepared the believers for it by including in his letter: "...the end of all things is at hand" 1 Peter 4:7, and in his second letter, he said that the Lord would be coming as a thief in the night, and this coming would cause the heavens to be set on fire and pass away, and the elements to melt with fervent heat, the earth as well and the works therein would be burned up 2 Peter 3:10-12.
At hand implies fairly near, or close by in any language, not a couple of thousand years or so in the future. Therefore, we can conclude that his words were fulfilled while most of that generation was living. They saw Israel's heaven, their kingdom, judged by God who is a consuming fire. The Jew's authority and place in the empire went up in smoke. It passed away along with all the (3)elements of their government, their religion, their economy, and their way of living.
We can draw out spiritual truths from verses like these and others; but herein we need to know that Peter was speaking very plainly. He was warning the people of an approaching danger. He was not alluding to something that would take place thousands of years hence and required deep revelation to grasp. He was speaking plain enough for children to understand.
Very often scriptures have hidden messages that speak of spiritual things that will go unnoticed by the majority. We may see spiritual aspects in what Peter wrote that did not apply to that generation; however, when Peter said that the end is at hand, I believe he meant exactly what he said. Since he was first addressing that generation, he truly meant that the end of everything of that age was at hand. It was near. It would be coming to an end soon. It was close by. The hour was swiftly approaching. The end was on their doorsteps, and there would be no time to pack or call Allied Van Lines once the signs began to appear, and appear, they did just prior to the fall of an empire!
Jesus said that when they saw the sign of the son of man in the clouds of the heavens: "...let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." Matthew 24:16-18.
Various beliefs have contributed to the misunderstanding of what was meant by this term, "the end." One of the most popular beliefs has been that the world and everything in it will eventually be destroyed at least two thousand years from the time of the warning, and now the Mayan calendar is brought in to bolster support. Discounting the calendar, one factor for this belief is the idea that the "world" (aion sometimes cosmos) is the same as the planet called "Earth." This, however, has presented some problems; for instance, the earth was not destroyed shortly after Jesus spoke those words, and the earth has yet to be destroyed. Furthermore, it will not be destroyed. Therefore, by misunderstanding the scriptures and historical events that swept past them, it was assumed that everything was yet future. It was either that, or the apostle simply missed it.
Frankly, quite a number of scholars, both of the world and of the church, have said that the apostle misunderstood what Jesus had taught, and he did not have a clear picture of God's plan for the ages. Consequently, the truth concerning the end is seldom told, the error continues on as fact, and the false scenarios of Jesus coming soon and the heavens and earth being destroyed are never fulfilled. In light of the world of religion, Peter's prophecies, as well as those of Jesus, have failed, that is, according to their erroneous view of them. Since, they know that neither Jesus nor His apostles could have been wrong, they keep going back to recalculate and interoperate again the clear words they spoke.
As long as I can remember we have heard that "Jesus is coming soon!" And to date, He has never come in the manner in which most are looking. So many people have repeatedly said that He would be coming soon; but Jesus never came soon! That proclamation has been going throughout the world for a long time, for hundreds of years, and the soon coming Jesus has not made one of those appointments. He skipped them all; but the word continues to resound all over the world with as much fervor and excitement, no doubt, as feverous as the first time it was declared.
Surely, the majority mean well; but well-meaning people who are void of the truth do not produce fruit. Even so, once a belief takes root it can become a tradition, and traditions can be harder to break free from than Al Qaeda members held in the prison camp on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). With scriptures so plain that a child would not err therein, it is amazing to see the number is ever increasing who believe that Jesus is coming soon, and He certainly may. We don't discount this; but it will not be in the manner they imagine. And from what we have witnessed over the past forty years and more, they will surely continue imposing Maier's Law even when clear truth is presented to the contrary. Maier's Law says: "If facts do not conform to theory, they must be disposed of."
At times Jesus used analogies and parables when talking about things that would be divinely taking place, and they were not always easily understood. However, there were times when He spoke very (4) plainly. This, however, did not stop people from failing to see what He was saying. Without a clear vision, dates would then be set for the coming of Jesus and the end of the world, of course, with every one of them failing. How strange, Jesus just won't keep a date!
Regardless of how many will be disillusioned, He is not bound by their presumptions and vain expectations. What is amazing, it matters not to these prognosticators that when their prophecies fail, it's back to the drawing boards for new charts and dates. It is as if they are thinking, "With so many failures, we are bound to get it right one of these days." So once again, they mix their apothecaries potion--iron and clay (scriptures void of the Spirit and world events reported by NBC's evening news)--and lay in place their hallucinogenics as foundations upon which to build their latest predictions rather than by the Spirit of prophecy, which incidentally, will never come upon such stages. Please know, man's propaganda machines are not exactly the best sources from which to draw in order to unravel the mysteries of God. Houses built upon foundations like these will always fail by the testings of the sands of time.
If you should delve into eschatology, you will find that the teaching of "Jesus is coming soon" has been universally going on since the early days of the church. There were seasons in which certain church factions did not continually major on the subject. However, it would not be long before someone would pick it up again. After so many past failures you would think the idea would have been discarded altogether; but at best, they would only set it on a shelf for a time, or bury it in shallow archives only to be dug up and propagated again, and again. There has always been someone who would come along and perform their theological CPR and revive it by breathing their own life into the carcass. Even when their predictions failed, which was every time, they kept on preaching, professing, predicting, and prophesying new dates. The same thing would be repeated time and again. Over and over the same people said the same thing with nothing changing but the dates, and people kept on believing them.
For instance, there were pastors all over the country in 1988 who were predicting that Jesus would be coming in the mid part of September of that year to rapture the church. That which ushered in this false belief was the book, "Eighty-Eight Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in Eighty-Eight" by the late Edgar Whisenant.
Having been a NASA engineer and Bible student, he had the mathematical credentials for calculating dates, times, and seasons, so it is little wonder that rapture believing people trusted in his prediction that it would occur in September of 1988. Whisenant was so sure of it that he sent 300,000 copies of his 88 Reasons book, free of charge, to ministers across the nation, and 4.5 million copies were sold. He was quoted as saying, "Only if the Bible is in error am I then wrong; and I say that to every preacher in town"; and, "If there were a king in this country and I could gamble with my life, I would stake my life on Rosh-Hashana 88."
Whisenant's predictions were taken very seriously by more than a few. We know of people who gave away or sold everything they owed. Some maxed out their credit cards on the niceties of the world, and bought new Cadillacs, over-charged on their credit line, believing they would be raptured and wouldn't be stuck with their mountains of debt. Such just doesn't ring true to the Spirit of Christ; but neither do their "rapture predictions." Notwithstanding, as the day approached, regular programming on one of the Christian TV programs, the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN), changed from their usual programming in order to provide special instructions on preparing for the rapture. Why were we not surprised at that?
When the rapture predication failed, Whisenant followed up with books predicting various dates in 1989, 1993, and 1994. Even in the face of failure upon failure, he continued to issue various rapture predictions. His last was for 1997.
When prophecies fail, it is not uncommon for people's livelihoods, even some lives, to fail with them. Their faith will often fail as well, which is a good thing, and if they do not come to their senses of what is spiritual truth, they are destined to fall for the next sensational prophecy that comes along.
Here are a few samples of other books predicting the return of Jesus and the end of the world: "Watch and Be Ready! 1992 Millions Disappear" (D. A. Miller); 1994? (Harold Camping--he also predicted the same for May 21, 2011 and again for October 21, 2011); and "I Predict 2000," (Lester Sumrall). This page,http://www.raptureme.com/rr-date-setters.html, has a list of 63 date setters beginning with a Roman priest in 500 AD, and each prediction has, of course, failed! One of those failures was the 1000 AD prediction: "1000, this year goes down as one of the most heightened periods of hysteria over the return of Christ. All members of society seemed affected by the prediction that Jesus was coming back at the start of the new millennium. None of the events required by the Bible were transpiring at that time; the magic of the number 1000 was the sole reason for the expectation. During concluding months of 999 AD, everyone was on his best behavior; worldly goods were sold and given to the poor; swarms of pilgrims headed east to meet the Lord at Jerusalem; buildings went unrepaired; crops were left unplanted; and criminals were set free from jails. When the year 999 AD turned into 1000 AD, nothing happened." Moreover, as long as predictions are based on a rapturous flying away into the sky, they will continue to fail. That is my prediction!
Some have said that Jesus appeared to them in person and told them that they would not die before he came again to rapture them away; but to the dismay of those who believed them, many are presently laying dead in their graves, and Jesus did not come as "He told them." Apparently they lied; they had a dream that was influenced by their beliefs, or they were visited by a lying spirit posing as an angel of light. Or do you think Jesus might have gotten it wrong?
Every one of the date-setters of a soon coming Jesus Christ have been wrong, bar none. Every last one of them! Not one has been right. They have all been wrong! Period! You would think that after a lifetime of failure upon failure, and failure following fast on the heals of another failure that they and their followers would have learned better by now. But the spirit of religion is a strange thing. It is a hard adversary to overcome; for it has a way of blinding people to the obvious by making a lie believable, black seem white, good to appear evil and evil good, and this excites them. It seems that they truly don't want to overcome such an entertaining enemy. It is like a drug, making them feel good for a little while, but always letting them down. It is not long before they are again in dire need of another fix lest they languish and die.
There is no reason to believe things will change either, at least not until truth comes from on high like crashing thunder and shatters every false image. It is then we will see as it was with Israel: "...they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day 2 Kings 10:27. The Amplified Bible says, "...([forever unclean] a privy to this day" i.e. an outhouse. I mention this verse for one reason--for us to see the real worthlessness of doctrines that have a lot of hype and distract from the truth. They merit no more than being receptacles for waste. Perhaps we can now understand why it grates so grievous against us when people make statements like: "Jesus is coming soon! The rapture will be any day now!" "Are you ready?" And, "The end of the world is at hand!" Words like these are nothing more than building materials for outhouses. They are wasted thoughts, useless beliefs that will never be fulfilled.
On occasion people ask when do I think Jesus is coming. I generally say, "He has already come. He came to me in 1971, He came at Pentecost in the upper room to the 120, and He has continued to come to millions ever since." The common response is, "Oh, yeah, I know that; but when do you think He is really coming? When is He coming back to earth?" I will respond by saying that He has come back to earth in me and hopefully in you; however, if you are asking when will He be manifested in His many-membered body wherein every eye will see Him, I do not know; but I would like for it to be soon.
In Like Manner
The coming of the Lord in 70 A.D. was entirely different than His coming at Pentecost. His coming in Matthew 24 was fulfilled in 70 A.D., while that which Jesus told the twelve in the 14th chapter of John was fulfilled at Pentecost. That coming has been flowing since that wonderful day, a day that so many have failed to see as one of His comings. It is a mystery that the words of the two men in white apparel have been so routinely misunderstood, even though it is plainly stated how He would come again after He ascended:
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" Acts 1:9-11.
We question why Bible scholars of most all of the world's churches have not noticed the meaning of this term, in like manner. Terry Crisp has done the ground work that the university professors, seminary teachers, and other learned Bible scholars have failed to do:
"The main obstacle many have had with this approach presents itself in the words spoken in Acts 1:11. 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.' To those who are inclined to reading the scriptures with natural understanding, this disallows for any variance in the way we see Christ's appearing. But when we read that Jesus would return in like manner as He was seen going away, we find it necessary to ask the question, what is meant by 'in like manner'? Does it mean in the exact manner? Or does it mean in a similar manner? There is a big difference, you know. We would draw your attention to the fact that this phrase 'in like manner' comes from the Greek word tropos, and is also used by Jesus in Matthew 23:37... 'O Jerusalem...how often I would have gathered thy children together, even as (tropos) a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings....' No one in their right mind would assume that Jesus wanted everyone in Jerusalem to actually come under His outstretched arms, in exactly the same way that chicks seek refuge under a mother hen. That would be ridiculous. We understand that He was speaking figuratively here. In similar fashion, we could say that during His incarnation, Jesus came in like manner as the spotless lamb that was sacrificed at the Feast of Passover. It was similar to, but not an exact duplication of the prototype. After His crucifixion, we could say that He was in the heart of the earth three days and three nights in like manner as Jonah's experience in the belly of the whale (Matthew 12:40). We could also say that He carried out His duties behind the veil in like manner as the Great High Priest, not in an earthly tabernacle, as did the priests who came before Him, but into heaven itself, in order to make atonement for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-12, 24). Many examples like this could be mentioned, but this should adequately demonstrate the fact that in like manner does not necessarily mean in exact manner.
"...We could point out that in every instance where the coming of the Lord is mentioned in Scripture, and see it is not possible that they could all refer to the same event. The fact of the matter is, there are many different comings of the Lord, and six different Greek words which are used in the New Testament to describe those comings or appearings. A careful study of the original text will prove that this is so. Among these references to His return, some of them are applicable to a future event or events. Some of them have present-day applications, describing ways in which the Lord routinely comes to, with, and in His people. And some even refer to comings which have already occurred, such as His coming on the Day of Pentecost, and His coming in judgment to Jerusalem in 70 A.D." -- End quote. (http://www.goodseedpublications.com/ Zarah & Pharez Part X.)
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" Acts 2:1-4.
A cloud received Him out of their sight. Did this not happen in like manner ten days later? In like manner, but not exactly the same way, a cloud of 120 received Him in the upper room. And is it not the same today? A cloud of people in like manner received Him out of sight from those of the world. We, the cloud that resides in the heavens, have received Him; but He is not in sight of those of the world, and it is the same with those of whom we have been speaking. Are they not gazing stedfastly toward heaven, looking into the heavens, into the sky, for His coming?
But the clouds of the sky are not where He is found nor from where He comes. I do not think Jesus was seen as a flaming tongue of fire falling from the sky on the day of Pentecost, and streaming on through the open windows before baptizing the 120 with His Spirit. But He did, however, descend, was manifested from the heavens of the Spirit and suddenly appeared as cloven tongues of fire, and His cloud of witnesses received Him.
Remember? The two men in white apparel said: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
They did not say: This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in the exact same manner as ye have seen him go into heaven, but in like manner.
Again, in what manner was Jesus taken? Was it not by a cloud and into heaven? And was it not in like manner that a cloud of 120 witnesses received Him from heaven when Pentecost had fully come? He went up and came again in like manner. It was HEAVEN that He was taken into, and it was HEAVEN from where He came in like manner to fill the 120 in the upper room. A small cloud of about 120 first received Him, then 3,000, later on it was 5,000, and finally the receiving cloud grew so that it could not be numbered, of which we are members.
Even though the two men said this same Jesus shall come in like manner, it is not easy for some to equate the ascended Jesus as the same as the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Nevertheless, the two are the same, and Paul confirmed it: "Now the Lord is that Spirit..." 2 Corinthians 3:17. Moreover, let us not forget that Jesus said: "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also....He dwelleth with you, and shall be IN you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" John 14:3, 17-18,and He came as promised to those He was talking to, as well as the others in the upper room when Pentecost had fully come.
Jesus was speaking of something entirely different in John 14 ("I will come to you") than in Matthew 24 ("the end of all things" and "the end of the world"). He was letting them know that after leaving, He would return and become one with them; but the end of all things being at hand, and the end of the world had to do with the end of Jerusalem, the Temple, and their Kingdom. In John 14, Jesus spoke of coming to His own in the power of holiness; but in Matthew 24 He spoke of coming in fiery judgment.
Scholars have viewed certain scriptures as presenting irreconcilable problems. Such as, "...The end of all things is at hand 1 Peter 4:7," "...The Lord is at hand Philippians 4:5; "...the coming of the Lord draweth nigh... the judge standeth at the door James 5:8,9, etc. They assume that these verses speak of the final judgment of mankind, for which there has been no evidence; yet each one of those citations indicate it would take place during that generation's day.
These verses have been a challenge for ages, with some saying that the apostles were wrong, while others illogically reason that after they penned those prophetic words there was a break in time, a 2000 year fracture, and now they say that the coming of Jesus is really at hand, He is finally near, He is, now, truly at the door. Frankly, there is no justification to be found anywhere in the scriptures that God takes a prophecy and chops it up into segments of time; however, this is the only way some can make the scriptures fit their end-time beliefs and predictions. This has been an ongoing problem, and it will continue being a problem for them; for all the predictions and dates will fail, and the flow of events will never correspond to the misinterpreted scriptures that speak of our Lord's coming. The problem dissolves, however, when we understand that the time factor of His coming in Matthew 24 was for that generation and not ours. It was not for a generation 2000 years later. When the time-line of "this" generation is understood, mountains of eschatological illusions crumble, and men's paper castles go up in smoke as they are set ablaze by the word of truth. Every man's works will surely be tried by fire, and that which is not of God will be burned. I believe the smell of smoke is in the air!
Elwin R. Roach
1. faileth: Grk. ekpipto, "to drop away; specifically be driven out of one's course; figuratively to lose, become inefficient." Strong's Exh. Conc.
3. elements: Grk. stoichelion: something orderly in arrangement.
4. "And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables... that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." Luke 8:10.
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