Everyone’s familiar with the classic nativity play with the donkey and the three wise men gathered at the stable on a beautiful “Silent Night ♫”. Fewer are aware that the donkey is never mentioned in the gospels, nor is a stable, and we don’t know how many wise men there were, but they brought three gifts. These are reasonable elements of artistic interpretation. I understand a very different scene, with thousands of King David’s descendants camped out in the tiny village square like refugees overwhelming the local populous. The wise men were certainly not present at the birth, but they came to the house where they were staying, probably months later. I’ve seldom heard included in the beautiful Christmas story, of Herod’s massacre of all the little boys after Jesus’ family had fled to Egypt.
In a similar manner, the end-times story is cluttered with other traditions, which have been influenced by various speculations over the ages. Other ideas have been introduced to distract from appearing as the villain. And other ideas avoid the atrocious calamities that will obliterate most of the world.
When we consider the gross inaccuracy commonly portrayed of Jesus’ birth, which is well-documented history; this should make us wary to focus on what the Bible says about end times. This becomes particularly problematic when people act upon incorrect interpretations. Such interpretations lead to various forms of xenophobia – other cultures, other churches and other moralities. Out of angst, people forget and neglect to love the whole church and love the people around them, and God – our core commandments.
Common problems are:
things to begin right now
and forgetting the past 100 generations thought the same
- A European
The Bible describes a Mediterranean one
- A gradual,
subtle degradation into the tribulation
The Bible describes sudden global catastrophes
(The Battle of Gog of Magog, the Restrainer being taken away, the Rapture)
- Distinguishing between the Beast, the Antichrist, the False Prophet and the great Prostitute
It’s really important to look at all the relevant scriptures, and put aside commentaries we’ve previously received, which may bias our interpretation.
It’s really important to be humble and understand we all have a partial understanding. We certainly mustn’t attack those who have a different point of view.
As I put together my book on this topic, I hope to expose some of these unbiblical assumptions and share my understanding of as much scripture as I can. So far, I’ve gathered 40 A5 pages of scriptures relating to end-times – 80% outside of Revelation.
I pray God would richly bless you as you seek his truth.