End Time MythsBro. Ron Rupé
4/1/2001 6:00 PM
A myth is something that isn't true, but people believe it anyway. This lesson will expose some commonly taught doctrines as false doctrines. These are beliefs about the end time that are contrived by a misinterpretation of the book of Revelations. It is taking a symbolic or figurative passage and interpreting it literally. The Revelation book is not meant to be interpreted literally.
This is a vision that John had. It was a vision of seven candlesticks, and a man standing in the middle of it - clothed in white with white hair, eyes like fire, feet like brass, holding seven stars in his hand, with a sharp two-edged sword in his mouth, his countenance as bright as the sun. If we saw something like that, we would probably react like John did.
John fell down as one dead. The "man" lifts him up and explains the vision. Jesus (the man) tells John what he saw was a vision and was meant to be symbolic. (7 Stars = 7 Angels (the ministry), 7 Candlesticks = 7 Churches).
This is just an example to show us that Revelation is a spiritual, symbolic book. Many religious people read this book literally. Let's look at another book that shows us that Revelations is a symbolic book...
Revelation 17:3, 4, 12, 15, 18
This woman was sitting on a beast with 7 heads. This is figurative - not literal. The 10 horns on the beast's heads are 10 kings. The water mentioned in verse 1 represents "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues." The woman represents a great city. People take many of these symbolic things and make them literal.
- The Rapture:
"Some day all the saved will be caught up (raptured). The sinner will be left behind to carry on as they can in the great tribulation, then a great battle where Christ will triumph and set up a millennial (1000 year) reign." This doctrine strikes fear in the hearts of people and "Christians." The Bible never speaks of a rapture, but does speak of the resurrection.
When Jesus comes the second time there will be a resurrection of both the saved and the lost. "...all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." This doesn't speak of a rapture or a great battle or any of that, but of a resurrection to an eternal reward.
1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17
The Lord will begin to descend with a shout and all will hear his voice. The saved that are dead, and all that are alive will be caught up together, and "so shall we ever be with the Lord." The Lord will not come again to earth and after we go to be with him - we are going to go with him and we are going to STAY with him. We will receive our eternal reward. When the last day comes there is nothing beyond that, but our eternal reward.
- The Battle of Armageddon
Some day in the future there will be a literal fight between Satan and his kingdom, and Christ and his kingdom. This is a "physical" fight according to this doctrine.
The literal battle will never happen. Why?...
Paul tells us the battle we (as Christians) are in is not a physical battle. Our battle is not wrestling against other people. It is against spiritual wickedness and the battle is going on right now. Every time we are tempted and fight against it, we are fighting the battle of Armageddon - the battle of right and wrong.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
We are pulling down things that would tempt us using our spiritual weapons. The only battle you find in the New Testament scriptures are spiritual battles. Paul says our weapons aren't carnal (or literal). So, what are our weapons?...
- Truth - "having your loins girt about with truth..."
- Righteousness - "having on the breastplate of righteousness..."
- The Gospel of Peace - "and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace..."
- Faith - "taking the shield of faith..."
- Salvation - "take the helmet of salvation..."
- The Spirit or the Word of God - "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..."
- Prayer - "Praying always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching therunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..."
Jesus said his kingdom has nothing to do with this world. It is not literal - "else would my servants fight." If his kingdom was a literal one, his servants (disciples) would have fought to keep him from being crucified.
- The Anti-Christ
One person in the future who is filled with all evil and will rise to be a world dictator and if you don't accept his mark you won't be able to eat, work or participate in society. This is a fearful thing. There is a true anti-Christ, but it is now, and not in the future. Let's see what the Bible says about the "anti-Christ"...
1 John 2:18, 22
John says that there were MANY anti-Christs in HIS day. People are looking in the future, but John said the anti-Christ was already there, in his time, and that there were MANY ... not just one. Verse 22 tells us what "anti-Christ" is. The "anti-Christ" is anyone that does not believe that Jesus is the son of God. It is anyone who is "anti-Christ". This means that we have already run across or into the "anti-Christ." Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, they are an "anti-Christ." Anti = Against John had run across many who were against Christ.
1 John 4:1-4
This scripture shows us that the anti-Christ is a spirit, and has existed for quite some time. This spirit works on people and influences people to be "against-Christ." You could be completely alone and encounter the anti-Christ because it is a spirit. Thoughts could come to mind: "Aren't you tired of church? Why don't you just give up?" We have to fight against the spirit of anti-Christ and win the "battle of Armageddon" whenever the thoughts would come. If we are of God, we can overcome. God has given you the weapons to overcome.
- The Millennial Reign
Some day in the future Christ will come back to earth and establish a literal kingdom, one made of bricks and mortar that you can touch.
This is false. There will not be a literal kingdom.
Paul said he had ALREADY been put in God's kingdom. That he had been delivered from the kingdom of Satan and put in Christ's kingdom when he got saved. This is what happens when you get saved. It happens NOW, not in the future.
The kingdom is not physical things - not things you can touch - it is something spiritual: righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. If Paul heard this millennium doctrine - he would be astounded - and would admonish them to realize that the kingdom of God is SPIRITUAL, not literal.
Luke 17:20, 21
"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or Lo, there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." The Pharisees were looking for a future, literal kingdom. Jesus told them his kingdom wasn't one that could be pointed to, but a spiritual one.
Matthew 11:12, 13
These myths are a concern because they will cause people to miss the very thing they are looking for. The kingdom exists now, and those that enter in are the ones that fight the battle of Armageddon NOW. These other doctrines cause people not to enter in. The doctrine of the rapture or a future kingdom give people the false hope of somehow having a second chance. If people can't resist temptation now, how can they hope to stand for Christ in a literal battle? People looking for a literal battle are casualties of the true battle of Armageddon - the spiritual battle. The ones looking for a literal "anti-Christ" are falling prey to the spirit of anti-Christ today. The ones looking for a future kingdom will miss it - because the kingdom of God is NOW.
By: D. O. Teasley
Matthew 24:44 ~ Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.
Would you flee from sin and serve the Lord? Be ready when he comes;
He will soon appear with his reward, Be ready when he comes.
It is not his will that you be lost, Be ready when he comes;
Would you save your soul at any cost? Be ready when he comes.
Do you know the end of time is near? Be ready when he comes;
Can you live and die in sin's career? Be ready when he comes.
There is awful danger in delay, Be ready when he comes;
Will you cast your only hope away? Be ready when he comes.
Be ready (when he comes) Be ready (when he comes) Be ready when he comes.
Be ready (when he comes) Be ready (when he comes) Be ready when he comes.