“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:16)
Recently, family friend Carol, a retired professor, sat with my sister Marilyn and I. She described the available sources for uncovering our ancestors. This was interesting, but I realized I wasn’t there to learn about my great-great grand-uncle. God wanted me to receive an insight into prophecy.
When Carol, cautioned not to trust every leaf of information, I leaned forward. “I’ve found out the hard way people can enter wrong data,” she said. “I may practice due diligence, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does.” Her next statement startled me: “You have to develop critical thinking skills! Though a credible source may pass it on and many others accept it, it is possible that it’s not true.” Our mentor added, “Two things have served me well: I have a detective mentality plus I’m trained in history and geography.”
I was struck by the connection between ancestry and prophecy. “Critical thinking”, “due diligence”, “credible sources presenting false leads” are concepts I use to discover future events.
Most likely, we have a “doctrinal” family tree. It descends from our teachers. We may be Pre-millennial, viewing prophecy literally, because our tutor was a literalist. Perhaps our Amillennial pastor gave a convincing argument why Bible prophecy should be treated as allegory. In fact, we may have adopted their “Preterist” belief that all prophecy has been fulfilled.
Pre-Millennialism and Amillennialism cannot both be right. We must do our research. Trace your branch as far back as it will go. Regardless how esteemed our Christian mentors, only one position leads to the root of God’s Word. Amillennialism can be traced back to the notable St. Augustine. It stops with this 4th century theological giant who was sold on replacing Israel, the people, with the Church. Pre-Tribulation Rapturism’s branch (PTR) is very popular. This, despite historical evidence its leaf suddenly appears in the early 19th century. (See Lifesaver, #22, “Charge!”)
My branch is Pre-Wrath Rapture (PWR), an end-time doctrine expounded on by Van Kampen and Rosenthal. My detective work and knowledge of history and geography has removed doubts. PWR descended from the prophets and apostles. What does your research tell you?