To say that the shelves of the average so called "Christian bookstore" are awash with books on Bible prophecy and guides to end time events would be a gross understatement. Most modern day believers (if asked) would be quick to label the book of Revelation as a book which was written to "reveal" cataclysmic events and amazing occurrences which are yet to take place in the earth. Now we would be the first to admit that we are not certain how many if any of the events described in the book are still yet to occur. However, we are quite certain that the theme of the Book is not primarily written to "reveal" these future events but to "reveal" the magnificence and glory of JESUS CHRIST the LORD unfolded in HIS redemptive work as the SAVIOR of sinners.
The unfolding of mysteries and prophecies is a sure way to gain a following and sell books and trinkets related to such. For many modern day "prophets" this formula is like the goose that laid the golden egg. They write one book abounding with explanations of the hairs on the horses tails, the spots on the frogs nose, and the names of the nations represented by bears and lions. Then they follow it up with a sequel going even deeper and with great technicalities explained and interpreted to the amazement and awe of their readers.
Ghost stories and mysteries have mesmerized men in all generations. When you mix that in with a few Bible verses and claim to be an expert on these matters you have a winning combination that cannot fail, especially when you interject that into a religious world which is almost bereft of sound doctrinal teaching concerning CHRIST and HIS redemptive work. Most who call themselves Christians are easily impressed and swayed by these "medicine men" Paul's fears are somewhat realized. "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph 4:14)
The predominant teaching of dispensational pre-millennialism, over the last 100 years, replete with its diagrams and flow charts has so permeated the minds of the average "evangelical christian" that it is very difficult to find those, who call themselves believers, whose minds are not somewhat influenced by it. Though we do not ascribe to the tenets of that type of eschatological interpretation, we are not on a mission to wage war against its adherents. We confess that we are not "experts" on these matters. All of the major theories about end time events have some merit in their proposals since they all are to some extent arrived at through a study of the scriptures. However we do find ourselves at odds with any scheme of prophetic interpretation which shifts the viewers eyes off of the glories of CHRIST and onto such things as the mark of the beast and the whore of Babylon.
All of the scripture from beginning to end is not written primarily for mans enlightenment on world events or proper conduct in the midst of it. The primary purpose of the Bible is as a text which testifies of the LORD's purpose to redeem HIS people out of every tribe, kindred, and tongue on the earth. This redemptive work has always been present in the types, foreshadows, and prophecies found in its pages. However it has not always been clearly revealed as to who this ONE was who would be that REDEEMER. "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." (Heb 1:1-2)
JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth has come into the world as the revealer of those mysteries which had been hidden from the beginning. "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:."(1Co 2:7) Those to whom GOD is pleased to manifest this knowledge can now rejoice in HIM as their HOPE of glory. "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious." (1Pe 2:7)
The apostle John saw the sons of GOD in his vision. HE describes them as "with" CHRIST. This is a glorious revelation to the sons of men. GOD has always seen HIS elect as "with" CHRIST and always shall see them as such. It has pleased HIM in the proclamation of the gospel to reveal this same grand truth to those whom John describes as :
CHOSEN. The doctrine of unconditional election is one which will always bring consternation to natural men. Man naturally hates it because he believes that he can do something to make himself acceptable to GOD and he rightly views this doctrine as that which would be contrary to such a notion. He has no problem believing that GOD should save men but he does have a problem with GOD choosing who HE will save. The man who is not acquainted with his own corrupt nature and innate inability to seek after GOD will rail against GOD's sovereign election of some. Yet those who know themselves to be lost and undone, with no ability to do any thing to bring themselves into favor before his face, will ultimately rejoice that it has pleased GOD to save some when HE should have destroyed us all. A man in such a condition cannot bring any accusation against a HOLY GOD but can only say "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Mat 11:26)
CALLED. Romans 8:30 says, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."Many people confuse predestination and election. They are indeed closely related because the same GOD who does one also does the other. GOD's election (for our understanding) precedes HIS predestination, in that HE chose a people in CHRIST and then foreordained (predestinated)them that they would be conformed to the image of CHRIST. To fulfill the purpose of that predestination HE has called (shall yet call some) them unto HIMSELF. Now we are quite certain that this "calling" has already taken place even before they were born as to the certainty of it, but the "calling" which the scripture has reference to in Romans is one which occurs in time. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."(1Cor 1:9) That salvation which the LORD has accomplished for HIS children HE has also determined to make known to them. "Beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom 1:7)
FAITHFUL. The FATHER judges HIS elect faithful because HE sees them in HIS SON who is that ONE whom John was privileged to see, saying; "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Rev 19:11) HE who is FAITHFUL has trod the winepress of GOD's wrath in their behalf, HE has waged war for them and has triumphed.over all of their enemies leaving none who can bring an accusation against them."And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Col 2:15) "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Rom 8:31-34)mam