Monday, August 30, 2010

Signs Truly of the (End) Times

“Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”

~Daniel 12:10 (NIV).

I am not very passionate about eschatology (i.e. concern for the last things). I accept God’s will for these times and events, those coming or to come; that’s my general position.

I believe that what should be everyone’s position is to simply become and remain aware; so we can focus on living alertly, awake to what God might be doing (Matthew 24:42f). God wants our minds open and our hearts clean, always. God does not want us stuck in one paradigm—any paradigm—because plainly we’d be closed, then, to whatever we do not understand.

Let’s accept this: we will not understand many things—for instance, end times—and this is perfectly fine. (In fact, accepting that we do not understand the mysteries of God qualifies us for salvation. Those who think they know exactly what God’s doing—certainly as far as the end times are concerned—are ‘qualifying’ themselves as the false teachers the Bible warns us not to listen to.)


Now, the signs above call forth the nature of life as we’ve known it since the Fall. Perhaps we’ve been in “end times” since then.

What Daniel 12:10 Means for How We Are To View Life

The wicked will go on doing what wicked people do; they have no recourse to God in this life. For those of us who have responded to God, trying to live aright, contending with those who reject the things of God makes life for us in some or many ways an abhorrent experience—yet we’re called by God to persist to our call; to persevere beyond the will of the ungodly. We do this in faith that God’s will is finally to be done.

Here we’re blessed to accept what we cannot change—that is the ‘will to power’ of those who’ll never come to God, for as it’s always been many will not turn. Yet, it’s not for us to predict who will or who won’t.

What This Means for Evangelism

Good evangelism is wise evangelism.

It directs its thought and effort to the ones most likely to receive the Word and Spirit of God, but in ways all can hear, if they want to. It’s those humble individuals we’re careful to minister to... the types Jesus ministered with and for.

Satan loves nothing more than godly people chasing their tales. And, still, out of all this, God is patient. And God wants us to be eternally patient too. We will chase our tales every now and then, in our quest for souls to enter the kingdom of God before it’s altogether too late.

It’s up to God and the movement of the Spirit at the end of the day.

Be encouraged—wickedness may reign in certain envelopes of life, but it will not have the final say. We’re to be focused on our own purification, and to the augmentation of the purification—so far as we’re concerned with them—of those others who seek God who are near us.

WARNING: This is a warning to all of us. Something grips me chillingly when I get ‘mail’ or other feedback from false teachers—many of whom sit squarely in the end times set.

There is a horrible feeling inside as if the Spirit within is ringing the alarm bells. It doesn’t feel like God at all. It’s as if the Spirit is fleeing, fast and away from these ‘preachers’ as we’re ‘present’ with them. We should be quickly wary of anyone who has an unbalanced, unpracticed or impractical (from the lived sense) theology.

We don’t listen to them and we run the other way.

Could it just be that the “wicked” proclaimed in Daniel 12:10 (and elsewhere in Daniel) are categorically the self-proclaimed scholars who are frightening the gullible believer with lies about the end times?[1]

About End Times – Circumstances and Timing

We’re blessed to do our research, investigating in places like Daniel and Revelation, but we must always balance our views with the rest of the God-scape... it’s not all about end times.

And as far as the circumstances and timing are concerned...

God knows. Only God truly knows. This is an exhortation to trust God and only God; a reminder never to place our entire faith in a teacher—any teacher.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] John Phillips, Exploring the Book of Daniel – An Expository Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2004), p. 221.

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