The Study Of Prophecy
Eschatology is derived from the Greek words (pronounced) eschatos, meaning last, and logos, meaning (in this usage) an ordered statement. Eschatology is the term that some theologians use for the study of all of the many end-time and future events described in the Scriptures (e.g. The Return Of Jesus Christ, the Resurrections) and all of the great amount of Prophecy that leads to them and from them. It is widely found throughout the Old (see Old Testament Fact File) and New (see New Testament Fact File) Testaments.
Examples Of Eschatology In The Old Testament
Although many regard the Old Testament entirely as Bible History, a very large portion of the events described in the Hebrew Scriptures are yet to happen. Examples:
"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last He will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25-26 RSV)
"On this mountain The Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined. And He will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death for ever, and The Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces" (Isaiah 25:6-8 RSV)
"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3 RSV)
"You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces; then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:31-35 RSV) (see Daniel's Statue)
"It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of The Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of The Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways and we may walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of The Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Micah 4:1-3 RSV)
"On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day, it is known to The Lord, not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter. And The Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day The Lord will be one and His Name one" (Zechariah 14:6-9 RSV)
Examples Of Eschatology In The New Testament
The New Testament has a great amount of eschatology throughout its entirety, some of which is paralleled by the Prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ summarized much of what will precede His Return:
"As He sat on The Mount Of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the close of the age?"
"And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. For many will come in My Name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs."
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My Name's sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come."
"So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, let the reader understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if any one says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand."
"So, if they say to you, 'Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken [see Signs In The Heavens]; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:3-31 RSV)
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