Biblical Theology 3: Inaugurated Eschatology 3

According to Beale, eschatology is the chord that pulls all the doctrines of scripture together. Eschatology makes sense of all other teaching. 

The use of the phrase 'latter days' in the NT inside of Paul
  • 1 Cor 10:11-These thing happened as an example on whom the ends of the ages have come'
    • The end of the ages have come on the Corinthians
  • Gal 4:4 'but when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son..'
    • Eschatology can refer to the past
    • Jesus is THE son who has perfectly fulfilled what a son should be. Adam was God's son (end of Luke 3). 
  • Eph 1:10
    •  'making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth'
    • To sum up means to rule and organise it- Jesus will manage humanity like no-one else 
    • God's household is in disorder and Christ will come back and put it in order
    • Not just the future because v22 'he put all things under his feet'- past tense. The victory is won and the mopping up operation continues and will be completed. 
  • 1 Tim 4:1 
    • In latter times some will fall away from the faith such as people forbidding other to marry and abstaining from certain foods. 
    • 6:3 if anyone does not agree with sounds words he is conceited and understands nothing, supposing that godliness is a means of gain. 
    • The false teachers from 4:1 are described in 6:3 therefore 'latter times' refers to the present. 
  • 2 Tim 3:1 
    • 'in these last days, difficult times will come'
The NT use of this phraseology shows that...
  • the promised messiah has come at last (Psalm 2, Dan 9)
  • the promised reign of God along with the Davidic King has begun and that the enemy has been defeated
  • the time of tribulation has begun- deception, false teaching, persecution. This is the tribulation promised to Israel. 
  • it's the time of Israel's restoration. Acts 2 is launched from the question in Acts 1:6 'is this the time that you will restore the Kingdom to Israel?' 
    • The Spirit given is the answer to the question. It demonstrates that he is the messianic King. 
    • Jesus resurrection represents Israel's rising to restoration
  • the time of the new creation has come
    • 2 Cor 5:17 'old things have passed a way and new things have come
    • the new creation started at Jesus' resurrection
  • it is the time of the Spirit, temple and restoration
NT theology, therefore, is essentially end time theology. The NT writing breath eschatological air and write eschatological truth. 

What changes Paul? The Damscus road experience which is a eschatological appearance. 

Other eschatological references: texts that talk about this age and the age to come
  • Mark 10:30
    • 100 times as much as this age and eternal life in the age to come
    • Mark 10:30 refers to the not yet age to come
  • Luke 18:30
    • talks about people committed to Christ who will be blessed in this age and in the age to come
  • Luke 20:34-35
    • this age and the age to come with a mention of the resurrection- 'those that are worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection'
Jews living at the time of Jesus believed that everything happens at once when prophecy was fulfilled eg Spirit comes, new creation comes, great tribulation etc
But the NT talks about an overlap of the ages. The age to come has penetrated into the present through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit. It causes the age to come to break in. The new creation is being inaugurated. 

Most inaugurated references to the latter days are in the plural when singular mentions are talking about consummation. Eg 'the last day' is the definitive end which is singular. 

Eschatology is the foundation on which all NT theology develops. 

Key example of inaugurated eschatology: John 5:25 'an hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the Son of God and live'

The Great Tribulation: when does it begin and what difference does it make?
  • Most Christians believe that the GT is something yet to come
  • The killing of God is equal to the devastation described in Revelation
  • Daniel is the most important OT eschatological book. 
    • Some deny Daniel's authorship but Jesus calls Daniel a prophet
    • Daniel 2:28, 10:14 are key verses
The use of 'hour' in Dan 8-12 and 1 John 2:18
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. This is how we know it is the last hour.
  • Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21- Jesus speaks about the end of the age and refers to Daniel 7-12
  • The abomination of desolation is something the anti-Christ does. 
  • John teaches (1 John 2:18) us that Daniel's prophecy is starting to be fulfilled through false teachers
    • the Spirit of the anti-Christ is deceiving false teachers and he will be made manifest at the end of the age
  • Daniel 8-12
    • 8:17- an angel appears to Daniel and speaks to him about a vision about 'the time of the end'
    • 8:19 'appointed time of the end'
    • 8:23-24 destroys people at ease, persecuting
    • 7:25 he will speak out against the most high and 'wear them down' (greek OT)
    • 10:14 hora in Greek OT which John picks up
    • 11:35 'to come at the appointed time' is 'to come at the hour'
    • 12:1 ' a time of distress' uses the same word hora
  • Hora or hour signifies
    • a time of deception
    • a time of persecution of the saints
    • a time of opposition to God (anti-Christ)
    • a time in which the enemy has some success (covenant disloyalty)
    • a time for the judgement of the enemy
    • a time for the resurrection of the saints


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