In the Fullness of Time

FullnessOfTimeby Deana Chadwell    5/15/14
These days the onslaught of news stories feels like we’ve been caught in the midst of an out-of-control fireworks show – rockets and cherry bombs and roman candles going off every which way, and in such quick succession they seem almost simultaneous. We do our best to look to the past for help in discerning what will explode in the smoke-obscured future, but all the old patterns look shaky at best.

True, midterm elections are usually bad for the party in power – but if the party in power has managed to skew elections through a combination of media bias, IRS intimidation, and voter registration manipulation, all bets are off.

But “that” can’t happen here – a statement we hear a lot, but the bets are off there as well. Our society is no longer controlled by the integrity of the individual citizen; the Constitution is no longer the law of the land. We send cases off to the Supreme Court and it feels like a crapshoot – no telling which way the bottle rocket will head. All we can do is duck and hope the decision doesn’t explode too close to home.

The Russians are running amuck, and Islamic extremists always run amuck and seem to be lighting more fuses – kidnapping nearly 300 little girls?! But we’re not supposed to call them terrorists.[pullquote]Our society is no longer controlled by the integrity of the individual citizen; the Constitution is no longer the law of the land. We send cases off to the Supreme Court and it feels like a crapshoot – no telling which way the bottle rocket will head.[/pullquote]

A plane disappears, just vanishes, and does so in a world that’s supposed to be watching everyone everywhere. North Korea feels like a bottle of nitroglycerin that’s been shaken too hard. And meanwhile our president is playing golf, our first lady is posting selfies and our schools are brow-beating our children with impossible exams. The FBI, IRS, EPA, and all the other alphabet bureaucracies are arming themselves to the teeth and going after cantankerous ranchers.

Meanwhile, we are trying make sense of it all. One concept that helps a little is the cyclical view of history – i.e. that the past seems to cycle through periods of great upheaval about every 500 years.  So half a millennia ago the world was reeling through the Renaissance and the Reformation. Five hundred years before that the feudal system was reorganizing all of Europe and fighting off hordes of Islamic extremists. Five hundred years before that the world was still staggering from the fall of Rome. Five hundred years before that – the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ flipped the world sideways.

OK – so we seem to be on that schedule. The pattern is interesting and may be a valid way to see history, but the only thing that it tells us about the future is that we have a 50-50 chance that things will eventually settle down, but it tells us nothing about what they will settle down to. It’s little comfort.

We do have biblical prophecy – which is of comfort to those of us who see its patterns appearing and know enough about eschatology to understand what we’re seeing. Biblical prognostications can be taken seriously only because all the prophecies that could have taken place by now, have – and in great detail. Just read the book of Isaiah and compare what he said would happen to the Messiah with the gospels and the non-biblical accounts of Christ and be amazed. Even the tiniest details are accurate. And we have copies of Isaiah amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls dating back 150 years before Christ was even born.

So? So, it may be worth looking at; a great deal of biblical prophecy is still to happen. We can’t use prophecy to know what will happen at 3:30 next Tuesday, but we can tell that the end of the world as we know it is at least 1007 years in the future – one of the many reasons why all the global warming hype is just that – hype.

Just suppose for a minute that God, who is omniscient, knows all that could and would happen. Suppose He wanted to let us in on the parts we needed to know and used the Bible to do so. If that’s a given then we should pay attention.

So, what does the Bible foretell?

That Israel would re-gather as a nation. Check. This happened in 1948 and Jerusalem came under her control in 1967.

That surrounding Arab nations would attack her. Check. Psalm 83 appears to be forecasting another such event in the near future – likely, if the astronomical events of the next two years are of actual importance, then possibly within that time frame. Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 and 39 make it clear that Israel will triumph.  From the sound of it, this war will involve nuclear weapons.

It seems likely that before this occurs or shortly thereafter the church will leave this world, the apostacia, the departure, will take place. This seems farfetched, but here’s the challenge: either Christianity is just a fairytale, a lie, that weak people lean on, and, conversely thousands of people have died for, or it’s solid reality. One or the other – I can’t find a middle ground that I can stand on. If it was true enough for the people who were there to see it all happen, so real that they were willing to die horrid deaths over it, then I’ll stand with them. So where does that leave us today?

It leaves us smack in the middle of the Judeo-Christian drama. The show’s not over yet, and from the looks of it, when the smoke clears a little now and then, the news is looking more and more like the movie of a book I’ve read. The book of Revelation tells us that men will have identifying numbers on their hands or foreheads and that will be the only way people will be allowed to do business. I’m sure that sounded like nonsense to Augustine, but it seems not only likely today but imminent. One-world government in which the entire earth will be divided into 10 regions now seems both possible and likely, given 21st century communications and the popularity of the idea. Will Iran, Russia, Turkey attack Israel? That’s certainly possible and becoming more likely as each day goes by. In short, none of the predictions sound preposterous.

Does the Bible tell us when such things might happen? No. There is some controversy in the Christian church about the order of events – will the removal of the church happen before, during or after the 7-year Tribulation? I side with the before crowd because it makes more theological sense, but how far into the future we can’t tell and we have no date. What we do have is the certainty that it will happen. And we can, given the power of biblical prophecy, be certain that after that will come the 7 years of the Tribulation explained so thoroughly in Revelation, and after that the one thousand years of the Millennium.

Amidst the constant barrage of exploding new stories we can watch as the unfolding events slip into the biblical patterns and be calmly aware that all is going according to plan. It is sobering to realize that the United States is not mentioned in these prophecies – will we have melted away entirely? Could the Rapture of the church have such a devastating effect? Possibly. Could Obama and his leftist minions succeed? The odds seem to be in his favor.

But the world has a purpose and it will continue until that purpose is fulfilled – of that I am certain. And when we arrive at that point – over a thousand years from now – a new, perfect world will replace it. This will all happen, regardless of the chaotic news reports, all in the fullness of time.
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Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. • (893 views)

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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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5 Responses to In the Fullness of Time

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    You might be interested in Joel C. Rosenberg’s books, especially The Ezekiel Option, as well as Dean Koontz’s The Taking. (For that matter, many might find C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength very accurate today, with modern liberalism taking the role of NICE.)

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I was just having a conversation with a friend who told me how corrupt America has become. That’s why the pull-quote I did for you is there. It rings so true.

    As Dennis Prager says, what separates America and the West from some African tin-pot country isn’t necessarily our abundant natural resources. After all, Japan and Israel are rather short of these things. What makes the third world the third world is the systemic corruption, top to bottom, in the government and then in the people. You literally can’t get anything productive done in such places.

    Those kinds of obstacles are being thrown up by Obama and the Left in the name of “equality,” “racism,” environmental-wacko-ism, or some other excuse, and they’ve been doing that for decades now. The Democrat Party is a party that depends upon corruption and upon corrupting people in order to gain power.

    When the American character is corrupted, as is happening now, there can be no America — the land of the free, home of the brave, and hotbed of innovation, creativity, and production.

  3. glenn fairman says:

    My father- in – law just passed away from cancer and God help me but I find myself envying those who have passed on to the other side……. seriously. Living in this technological utopia has its advantages in some ways; but in others it takes on the form of a grotesque monstrosity. Is it possible to live in the world and not be contaminated by the filth that pretty much permeates existence? I try as often as I can to write about the beauty that underlies man’s smarmy template, but it is getting increasingly more difficult to do so without either revealing oneself to be a fool, an ideologue or a liar. Pray for clear vision, prepare for judgment.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Is it possible to live in the world and not be contaminated by the filth that pretty much permeates existence?

      Glenn, I don’t think I’m fully conscious of all the reasons I chose the name for this site. (Although I am certainly a big fan of John Adams.) But after reading what you wrote, I know that one of the reasons is just to carve out a little space of sanity (note, I did not say “reason”) in a world that is increasingly insane…and perhaps always has been.

      Western Civilization, despite all its faults, was a somewhat self-conscious attempt to live above the law of the jungle. But the Left is returning us to that jungle. Obama and the Democrats increasingly are molding this country into a corrupt banana republic and the ideology of the Left (Cultural Marxism) sees no true brotherhood of man under God (or under anyone else). And they certainly do not honor man’s ability to create and excel. We are all being divided into grievance tribes, living life more and more as an animal, not a noble human being who is (is is said) made in God’s image.

      Current man is apparently made in DC or Marvel’s image, gauging by all the comic-bookish tattoos. Only the Left’s vision of utopia, and of their propensity for exuberant moral exhibitionism, blinds them from the rotten thing they are becoming.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Interesting point there. Hobbes famously observed that life in nature was “nasty, brutish, and short” — and that we have governments to prevent that. Life under IngSoc was also nasty and brutish, and I suspect much shorter than under Western civilization at its best. And since liberalism uses IngSoc as a role model . . .

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