The quest for knowledge and knowing the future is not something that is new. Astrologers, fortune tellers, palm readers, tea leaf readers and even the dead, are among those who are consulted about the future.
For Christians, many are hooked on Eschatology. The study of Revelation and the end times. It’s a fascinating area to look into, and yes, you are meant to pay attention. Some of the things given in John the Elder’s vision are not clear-cut and things were described during a time without electrified technology, modern medicine, electricity, regular printing presses etc. If you look around your own home with your refrigerator, television set, book collection, smart phone, modern furniture, insulated walls and modern textiles and paints, you can tell that the world we live in would have been quite hard to describe for someone living within a century after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Imagine describing the flying birds, the electric and gas powered chariots and the motorized boats, or how about describing what streaming media is to someone who was living almost 2000 years ago. It would be kind of tricky. And so some of Revelation can be hard to interpret – it’s coming from a person and time who had no name for some of the things seen.
But with Christians wanting to discover what God has in store, some are going off on tangents.
First, start with God’s Word, which is the Bible. Study it. From there, you are encouraged to look at the world around you (not just in your immediate sphere of influence, but the big wide world). There are a lot of things happening in the world. Environmental and man-made disasters. Wars, rumors of wars, famines, viral outbreaks (plagues) and lawlessness…yes, it is as in the Days of Noah.
But I urge you, the End Times investigator, to be careful about what sources you refer to and even whom you listen to in addition to reading the Holy Word of God. Be cautious that you are not adding to, or subtracting from the Holy Scriptures. There’s a warning in Revelation about this!
I recently had the experience of attending a class on the topic of Revelation and while some of it was really good, I became concerned when a man’s name was repeatedly brought up. I wondered, who was this (apparently famous) individual. Without launching into a smear campaign against someone I know virtually nothing about, allow me to at least tell you this:
I did a search for them and found a video and barely after this man started talking, he made a reference to something that was inherently politically charged. It wasn’t spiritual, biblical and had no bearing on the topic of Revelation. It was loosely based on fact, but not one that is shared. It was a propaganda statement. When someone puts something out there in a way that it shows a political affiliation and to spread propaganda and ‘conspiracy’ and clearly showing a bias that discriminates in a way a former world leader has done, it should be enough to raise anyone’s eyebrows and start to wonder what part of this guy’s message may be completely wrong?
God is not a politician and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t favor one political party over another (I haven’t asked, so this is a thought, not a truth). This propagandizing was a red flag for me. Why would someone be so gung-ho about expressing something that was as charged as it was? (I apologize for my vagueness, but I am not seeking to run someone down, but use what I witnessed as an example to be wary). Also, the fact this individual was referenced over and over again in our Bible study gave me good reason to believe that a lot of the ideas coming through the class may be heavily influenced by this individual I have concerns about.
We are told to trust God. Humans are fallible. God is not!
We are supposed to ask questions. We’re intelligent beings. God gave us a brain! Yes, we are supposed to wonder. But many things in Revelation are still yet to come to pass. We know a few truths that are laid out pretty clearly. The mark of the beast. The Anti-Christ. The Return of Jesus, The Rapture. That near the end it will be very hard to come to God and many will be martyred in Jesus’ name. There are other things I haven’t mentioned and what I have mentioned aren’t necessarily in chronological order. But the point is, if there is an illustration, or presentation of something to come and it’s not crystal clear, it will be revealed in time. Pay attention to the events unfolding in the world and stay close to God.
The Internet is awash with conspiracy theory and while not all conspiracy is mere theory, there are a lot of stories circulating that are completely fabricated, or fit in with someone’s own ideas and have no good grounding in God’s Word. It’s worse when the information being fed almost seems right because some of it is supported by the Bible, but the rest isn’t. It’s easy to accept an entire message as being correct when only part of the message may be, or none of it all is. It is not disrespectful to question when humans make statements (but do so with courtesy).
Please be careful that you are not looking to become a fortune teller and be careful that you do not become a false prophet, or succumb to one (The Church of the Latter Day Saints focus a lot on Eschatology, so be wary of your sources, even if they seem right). If you ever have doubt about something you are being told, even as a hypothetical, investigate it. Question the origins of the idea and most of all, seek the Word and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance (I did and it was shown to me that the messenger was corrupted as soon I went to find out who this man was. I could have checked out a dozen different links, but I went to something that was recent to see what they were about and found out that they appeared to have an agenda).
Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. I cannot emphasize this part enough! It’s one of the spiritual gifts, but if you don’t seek the Holy Spirit and God’s Word for wisdom, don’t be surprised if you’re left in the dark and wind up making up stories.
The same goes for if you have a message to get out. Seek the Holy Spirit to ensure you are not passing on bad information and that you are not corrupting God’s word.