Q: Do the end times have to do with the end of the world?
A: Yes and no. How can it be both? Many people picture a catastrophic “apocalypse” such as a nuclear World War III that destroys the earth. The Bible teaches that Israel will be invaded by a coalition of armies led by the Antichrist. This war will happen during the first 3 1/2 years of Christ’s millennial reign over the earth. Scripture calls this God’s vengeance against evil, and it will end with the great supper of God (Rev. 19:17), with the Antichrist’s armies destroyed.
In case you’re wondering, the Church is already seated with Christ in Heaven before all of this comes to pass. Together we execute the righteous judgment against evil. This is partly why we are raptured before the mark of the Beast and the worship of the Beast is demanded. The other reason is because Christ has promised that we will be delivered from that wrath.
As with the Old Testament Judges, Christ’s rule will be marked first by treading the enemy underfoot and then reigning (1 Cor. 15:25). What we think of as the “final judgment” comes at the end of Christ’s reign, when Jesus turns over the Kingdom to the Father.
Here’s where the plot twist happens. God creates a new earth and new heavens (the atmosphere around the earth). This is necessary because our current earth has been corrupted by the Fall of mankind when sin brought death and destruction to the earth. This “end” is a new beginning—eternity future. The Bible calls this unknown Day and hour the Perfect Day because there is no darkness in it. There is no night with this Day—for the Son of Man is its Sun!
The Jewish Feasts instituted in the Old Testament had an immediate meaning to God’s people in terms of their agricultural seasons and their relationship with God. They also serve as prophetic shadows of the Messiah, particularly Jesus’ finished work. The spring feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost—were fulfilled with Christ’s first coming.
The fall feasts—Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles—will be fulfilled with Christ’s second coming. This year the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) began this past Friday evening (Sept. 18) and lasts until sundown on Sunday (Sept. 20). It is followed by the days of Atonement, leading up to the Feast of Tabernacles (Yom Kippur), starting at sundown on September 28th.
For Christians, the fall festivals speak of the rest we have in the finished work of Jesus. He is our “Horn of Salvation.” The prerequisite for entering into this rest is to be yoked with Christ. “For My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). When we are walking in unison with Him by the Spirit, He keeps us in His path of righteousness and delivers us from our enemies.
The Feast of Trumpets is often associated with the believer’s warfare. Yet even this “warfare” is conducted from a position of rest in the finished work of Jesus. We don’t defeat Satan and evil in ourselves; Jesus already did that (Colossians 2:15). We simply stand and declare the victory.
A call has gone out to the Body of Christ to come together in the unity of the Spirit to pray for repentance in the people of this nation, for the upcoming election, and a renewed move of God’s power through the Church for a harvest of souls. A day of prayer has been called for Saturday, Sept. 26, followed by 40 days of prayer leading up to the election.
It is an opportunity for the Bride to use the two-edged sword given to us as part of our spiritual armor of Christ. Psalm 149:6 and Revelation 1:16 remind us that the high praises of God exalt His Word. He speaks (the first edge) and then we agree on earth as it is in Heaven (the second edge). When we pray, we need to make sure that we are declaring what God has spoken. The best way to do that is to let the Spirit lead you to the Word that needs to be spoken forth by your authority in Christ.
Check out Isaiah 54:17 and Colossians 1:13 for starters. We declare that the Word of God prevails. Let the words of the kingdoms of this world fall to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19), in Jesus’ name, the name above all names (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9). It’s time to practice our heavenly calling!
Q: What do we need to see in order to understand the times?
A: We need the full binocular view. A pair of binoculars, like our eyes, has two lenses. Each lens provides a separate field of vision. Our brain merges to two views so that we get a complete picture of the scene before us.
Not having this binocular view of the end-times is what has caused premature announcements of Christ’s return. So our next question is what view does each lens reveal?
The Bible answers that question for us. Two Greek words are used to describe two aspects of the end-time doctrine contained in God’s Word. The first, chronos, is where we get our English word chronology. It describes a specific set time period in terms of its length. The other word, kairos, describes the features or characteristics that distinguish the set time from other periods. The chronos gives us the quantity (the amount of time) while the kairos gives us the quality (the corresponding signs).
We can see these two views by picturing the birth of a child. A pregnant woman knows that there are generally nine months or 40 weeks between conception and birth. This is the chronos. The mother-to-be is also aware of the signs of her pregnancy, which include her swelling belly, food cravings, bouts of morning sickness, and eventually the contractions that begin when the child is about to be birthed. These are the kairos signs of being pregnant.
Even though she cannot predict with absolute certainty the exact date on the calendar for the birth, the chronos and the kairos together ensure that there is no surprise on the mother’s part when the baby is about to be born.
Previous announcements of Christ’s return have focused primarily on the signs, without the related chronos timing. Others have included a time element based on our human calendar, but that man-made speculation did not have the corresponding biblical kairos signs. No wonder the prescribed dates came and went without Christ’s appearance.
The Spirit-inspired biblical writers went to great lengths to record the details we would need to know to see the sacred chronology in God’s Word. And they gave us the one thing we need to know concerning God’s prophetic timetable for His plan of redemption—one Day in God’s sight is equal to 1,000 years in human time.
Since both the chronos timing and the kairos signs are given in the Bible, then we have to conclude that God expects us to consider both views. Together, they give us the complete view to understanding the times and what we are to do as believers.
Q: Okay, so the end-times are a basic doctrine of our faith. But how does it apply to me and all the stuff that’s going on in the world today?
A: Understanding what the Bible says about God’s prophetic timetable of the plan of redemption helps us to know what we ought to be doing.
When David took over as king of Israel, there was much turmoil. His kingship was challenged and there was division in the nation. Sound familiar? David took an inventory to see which tribes and their leaders supported him. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 it says that the “sons of Issachar [one of the 12 tribes of Israel] had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”
Human nature tends to react emotionally to circumstances. Too often we don’t take the time to see events in context, let alone how we got to this point. We need an understanding of the times in order to put circumstances into context. Doing so gives us the larger view.
When we understand the times as recorded in God’s Word, we get a greater perspective. Instead of reacting in the moment, we can respond with the larger view in mind. Ephesians 5:16 tells us to redeem the time because the days are evil. Colossians 4:5 add, “Walk in wisdom toward those are outside [not of the Christian faith], redeeming the time.
In order to redeem the time, we need to understand the time we’re living in. That understanding can only come from God’s Word, which gives us the chronos time and the corresponding kairos signs. We need both.
Together, the chronos and the kairos give us the assurance we need to stand firm in our faith, no matter what circumstances arise.