THE PERCEPTION
  OF ESCHATOLOGY

  By Michael Danforth



Over the years it has become more and more evident that most people prophesy or make reference to the future according to their eschatology. When I speak of eschatology, am speaking of a theological term that designates the study of what will happen at the end of history, in this case, ours. This is particularly true concerning the event of the "second coming" of Christ. As I have watched international events unfold across our nation; I have listened to and read many responses. Some of these responses have come through strong prophetic utterances or simply words of wisdom and understanding.

There are those who look to prophets and such hoping to get some spiritual insight on present day events as they continue to unfold. Since there's so many that lack the inability or relationship to hear God for themselves, it seems their only recourse for any clear understanding is via prophet, prophetess, or anyone else that has the ability to perceive the outcome of tomorrow. Since we live in a time when the maturity in the body of Christ is strongly lacking, we are truly thankful for those that God has ordained for such at time as this to hear His voice above the clamor of our own humanness.

Yet, I do believe that there is presently an acceleration of tremendous growth occurring within the corporate body of Christ, more than any other time in our history. No doubt, there are those that would theologically debate the quality of that growth.

Right now there are various public figures within the corporate church that if, for no other reason, feel the pressure of giving an account or explanation for all that is happening right now in the homeland security of the United States and the world abroad. And rightfully so. After all, wisdom and counsel of the spirit of God in times likes these is not an unfair request for those who consider mature Christian leaders to be the comforting or insightful voice of the God's spirit.

However, I do think in all fairness that the eschatology of those who are speaking should be a strong consideration concerning the validity of that which is being said. Those who might be putting a large amount of their trust in those they believe to be the most anointed or in tune with God's voice need to consider the eschatology of such.

For example, if someone believes that we are on a road to ultimate chaos and destruction; and that our only salvation in the end is to be "raptured out"; then there is a very strong chance that their ability to hear God is going to be framed within their perception of their definition of the end times. There are many anointed leaders that believe that gross darkness is unavoidable, and the best that we can do is hold down the fort until Jesus comes. Therefore, most of what God speaks will be interpreted through the lenses of a final battle, Armageddon theology. I know there are theological terms that describe most of what I am writing, but for the sake of those that might not be as astute, such as myself, I would rather keep it within a layman's format.

Another example would be those that perceive the end times to be ever increasing rather than decreasing. There are those that see everything within the context of the body of Christ becoming stronger and not weaker. They see that the kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdoms of God. They are not looking for a way out of this world, they are looking for a way into the revelation and power of God's kingdom. They believe that in the end, those who are in Christ will be the prevailing force in the earth.

These are just two small examples of a much larger view that it is presently out there today. So, before you embrace the words that are coming forth in this hour, via the holy spirit, it would serve you well to know from whence eschatology it comes. No matter who this man or woman might be, how anointed or how gifted, let there be no doubt that their perspective of how God's will is purposed toward the final outcome on earth, will bear a great influence upon their ability to interpret their dreams, visions and voice of God.

It would also serve us to remember that the office of the prophet was not part of God's initial plan for the people. Is the office important? Certainly! As well, every other office and function of the spirit is important. And yet, as important as all this may be, there must come a time when the corporate body of Christ matures enough to hear God for themselves. As long as you are dependent upon hearing God through someone else, your life is at a greater risk than hearing Him for yourself.

Thank God, we have medical physicians that are qualified and capable of helping those who cannot help themselves. And yet as wonderful as the medical field may be, it is an alternative of God's original design. His primary intent is for all to walk in a faith that reveals His healing power in our lives.

In the meantime, may we see and listen with great discernment to that which is of the spirit and that which is of the flesh. "Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-"(Eph 4:13-15)

Blessings,
Michael Danforth