Large parts of the eschatological scheme we end up with have to be taken with at least a little pinch of salt, since it's a diificult area.
True. It can make your head hurt after a while.
The "Four [or Five] Last Things" are non-negotiable however: the physical, visible, literal and personal Second Advent of Christ which I believe coincides with the End of the World and the beginning of the New Heavens and New Earth, the Resurrection of the Righteous and Wicked, Heaven, Hell, the Last judgment.
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Just remember when you have a "could be" with twenty other possibilities, every "could be" you add after that reduces the chance you've gotten it right by 1 over 20 times 1 over 20. So the first speculation gives you one chance out of 20 of being right, the second 1 out of 400, the third 1 out of 8000 and so on
I know what you mean.
Really, we were just studying and talking. No one (including me) has determined exactly how it all will unfold nor even supposes that we could. We weren't worried about getting it right, you know. Regardless of who we speculate will or won't be the Beast, where he's from, etc, it doesn't change how we are to live and serve the Lord.
Can't you see us in heaven sitting around saying "Hey, you know, my interpretation was in the top 8,000!"