I've had an interest in the Eschaton for a long time.  It may have been embedded in my Pentecostal upbringings.  From my earliest remembrances there has been a place of longing for the coming kingdom to be realized fully with all its power, glory, peace, and security.  Among the works I've studied is Hans Schwarz, professor of theology at the University of Regensburg in Germany.  I don't line up with him identically, I sense trace residue of Tübingen's higher criticism, intended or not, nestled in the pages of his Eschatology.  However, I love his emphasis on the Lamb's victory at the end of time.  The Judeo Christian approach to a forward progression of time is responsible for eschatological teaching entirely.  Before the advent of Israel most religions viewed time encyclically.  One hoped to be reincarnated, as a human, if good enough, but most likely as some type of insect.  The Egyptians to the south followed the practice of some type of judgment; but it was to be mastered and manipulated through magic.  The Mesopotamians to the north believed you died and that was it, life ceased.  It was the Israeli influence that led the world to understand there is something more after life.  How ironic that Iran (Babylon) had its part to play as an incubator for such thought!  Life doesn't cycle back around; life doesn't end, kaput! No, there is a wonderful age, lorech yamim, eternity, forever.  It is the age of ceaseless peace, the era of unending rule by Christ.  We long and ache for the Eschaton.