Friday, January 26, 2007

Eschatology, darn it!

I have concluded that a Christian could have one of two relationships with prophesy. One is a patient hope for those things yet to appear and the other is a praising of God handiwork for those things which have already come to pass. I had always been nervous about those who would confuse the categories. Anyone who tells a future story based on prophesy is trying to match the given vision to a narrative, yes, but their narrative is, by definition, a fiction. The latitude of fiction is that I can make anything happen(such is the magic of fiction) and it can bear a wonderful similarity to the vision it promises to “fulfill”. These Bible teachers think that in this God is glorified. God is only glorified in His having accomplished His will in history in a way which follows a preexistent vision to one of His prophets describing the same. These teachers have tried to glorify when they should hope. How is what they do any different from a false prophet. Any false prophet has the same latitude if he can craft both a prophesy and write book on how it will be fulfilled.
The authority of the prophets of God by what has come to pass.
Deuteronomy 18
[20] But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' [21] And if you say in your heart, `How may we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'—[22] when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.”

The error of counting on the futuristic fictions is most evident in what the Jews were expecting in their Messiah. Even the prophets were limited in understanding, leaving the true knowledge to those who would see it occur.
I Peter 1
“[10] The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation, [11] they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. [12] It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

Even St. Paul recognizes the future is unclear to him about such absolutely important truths as our resurrection.
Romans 8
“[22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; [23] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. [26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. [27] And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Futuristic fiction is, by definition, impatient. It wants desperately to "see" and have others see the same way, be it premillenial or postmillenial.

The Oracle:
Be patient in hope, knowing we are blind to the future.
Glorify God in His fulfillments, knowing we have sight into the past.


Wolfgang Foxglove said...

Not bad, as a whole; I think you've contrasted nicely between the elegiac yet hopeful with the eschatologically ecstatic.

Best, &c.

Wolfgang Foxglove said...

Just realized that my last post makes much more sense without the word "Between." Whatevs.

The Anti-Darwin said...

Maybe it is only a few who ever catch on when certain prophecies of God are fulfilled.

"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing..."

If you care to enumerate them, which of God's prophecies, whose fulfillment many people are still waiting, have been fulfilled?

The Oracle said...

The Book of Daniel (whence comes the oft expected Tribulation) and most, if not all, of The Apocalypse of John. Also (another biggie) The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.

Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon!
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