Knowing that that there is not going to be a God ordained prophesied and foretold global catastrophe that would end all life on earth, allows us not to dread but be confident about the future. At least if pandemics, wars, and catastrophes happen, we can confidently say this is not God’s doing. What is more is, that if they do happen, we know that God is with us, and for us, and we have access to His authority and power to confidently pray His will over the situation.
Catastrophes have come and gone, and humanity has so far caused most of them. Many people, including the media have used the word “apocalypse” flippantly to refer to major catastrophic incidents. However, realize that the word Apocalypse is Greek for Revelation. It is the name of the last book in the Bible. When people make statements like “the apocalypse is coming”, are they saying that the book of Revelation is coming? What about the statement; “this apocalypse will be of Biblical proportion”, they usually mean that the said event will be as horrific as described in the book of Revelation, i.e. dramatic, intense, and horrible and usually on a global scale. Religious people tend to see catastrophes as the literal unfolding of the book of Revelation. References are made to the Antichrist, the Beast and the False prophet and make statements like; “this is all happening in our world right now”.
Here is a serious paradoxical fact: For those who are paying attention to the current situation in our world but are willing to look beyond the surface of appearances, they might be tempted to feel even more confirmed that a Dispensational-Eschatology is unraveling before our eyes. Especially now as the fears of a pandemic and economic unrest spreads around the world. The decades of planning of a handful behind the scenes, and some openly foretelling doom and gloom, with the beast of a new one-world-order that they’ve build underwater for many years, is now beginning to emerge it’s ugly head from the sea. I cannot blame any Christian for assuming the great tribulation is about to begin. Are all soon to be forced to take the mark of the beast or else we cannot shop for food? Now if your are to take the Dispensational view serious then you must know that Revelation 7 also declares that the servants of God were to be sealed in their foreheads to protect them, before the angels could pour out the wrath of God.
Oh no, wait, the seal was for the 144.000 so maybe that’s not such a good assurance.
Here is what is the matter. The dispensational view is seriously flawed and does not hold up to accurate hermeneutical discipline when interpreting scripture. Not even close.
The Eschatological prophecies of the last things were fulfilled in the first century. The dragon or the devil was cast out and holds no ground and cannot get any footing in this New Covenant age. He was bound, that is, his potential to influence became restricted. But that does not mean satan is not going to try. He has been working behind the scenes for hundreds of years, trying to get people to speak his plan into the earth.
Remember this is a spiritual law. Before he can do anything in the physical world, he must get people to announce his intentions. If only he could get millions of Christians to believe, preach and herald a version of eschatology that allows him to influence our modern world to move towards his agenda. This is what you see happening in the world. The fruit of our words. When we realize that the Eschaton, the last things of the Old Covenant Age were fulfilled in 70 AD then we can effectively and boldly pray to break down and stop whatever is going on in the world. Remember we wrestle not against people with luciferian doctrines who conspire to take over the world. We wrestle against,.. well read Ephesians 6:12
Ephesians 6 King James Version (KJV)
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Now, the theme of the book of Revelation is not the revelation of the Antichrist, or the Beast, a False prophet, or a One-world-order and mass surveillance by means of a chip injected with vaccines to stop global pandemics.
Revelation 1 King James Version (KJV)
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
It is even clearly stated in the first verse. The revealing, the disclosure, the unveiling, the revelation of Jesus Christ.
As we continue to read throughout the book it becomes clear that its main theme is the revelation of Christ at His coming in judgment upon the historic apostate ancient Israel of the first century. The book is the dramatic pictorial depiction of the Parousia of Christ in judgment to the abolishing of the Old Covenant, the deliverance of the believers, the ushering in of the Messianic New Age of the eternal New Covenant, the restoration of all things, and full arrival of the Kingdom of God. In short Revelation is the dramatic account of the change of Covenants. A Biblical understanding of the last days being fulfilled in the first century certainly allows for a settled sense of peace knowing there is no prophetic fulfillment and judgment hanging over our heads for tomorrow.
This full-Preterist view of Eschatology marvelously explains scriptures, designated by the discipline of hermeneutics as “time texts” and answers a whole bunch of questions, which dispensationalism fails to do. If we maintain “audience relevance” when reading through the Bible we will unavoidably and repeatedly stumble upon the at least two thirds of the New Testament scriptures, which futurists have erroneously projected into the future for their fulfillment.
Using words like, Preterist, Futurist, dispensationalist, and many other such assignments are labels by which we identify Theological views. People tend to categorize people with these labels into certain groups. I prefer to simply be a believer of the Gospel, no more and no less. Yet we use these label-words to codify, identify and describe distinctions and can for that purpose not avoid these labels. Labeling only becomes a problem when the categorizing is used to determine whether someone should be considered as inside or kept outside the group with the “right doctrine”. That is a mentality, which belongs with the insecure and immature persons. It does not tend to attach itself to those who know who they are in Christ and see everyone else as one in Christ as well. For those the labeling is purely a means to aid the study and comprehension of sometimes complex Theological concepts.
I did not always hold to the Full-Preterist view. The truth is, there was a time when I did not even know there was such a thing. This is the issue really. Right now, most honest, and genuine Christians in the world do not know there is an option. Many Christians within the wide range of Church groups around the world have been exposed to only one perspective on Eschatology, i.e. premillennial – dispensationalism. If people have come into their respective Church group and for decades long only kept hearing about the soon coming rapture, the Antichrist and the number of the beast in a Bar-Code on goods in a store, how can they be expected to know anything different if there never was another option. Unless someone applies a healthy level of critical thinking, they will never question the messages they hear in their Church. Depending on the concentration of sectarian characteristics and the group dynamic of their local Church group, the Herd mentality determines how people can be influenced by their peers to unquestionably adopt certain beliefs on a largely emotional, rather than rational basis. The fear of being marked, branded, and ostracized as a heretic is certainly not an encouraging environment for asking healthy questions within the group.
Dispensationalism as an Eschatological view only found footing in the United States with the Scofield Reference Bible, when it was introduced in the early 1800’s. Most Eschatological studies before that period were leaning more towards a Preterist (Past-Fulfillment) view of Eschatology. Fact is that today more and more Christians and Ministers around the world have been getting concentrated exposure to Preterist Eschatology and are jumping from the Dispensational ship because they now have an option. Though, choosing between options by itself must not be a matter of subjective preference but be based on the scriptural accuracy of the option available.
The true conquest for the Christian should be the comprehension of scriptural accuracy not primarily the conformity to doctrine for acceptance into the group and their Ministry leaders.
We are on an evolutionary journey discovering truth. Holding a Theological view must never be a static construct of believes with no room to grow deeper insight. Within the established Christian doctrines there are widely accepted “essential doctrines” and the more “non-essential doctrines”. No one seems concerned when an inquisitive person wants to know whether the 2000 demons were inside or outside the demoniac of the Gerasene’s. It would not be essential what a person might believe about that. But never mess with the “essential doctrines”, i.e. the Virgin Birth, The Trinity, The Hypo-static union, et cetera. For the record, as much as I can understand them, I believe these doctrines to be true. Yet, I want to keep an open approach toward the same doctrines to allow for deeper insight, with context and comprehension.
Someone might say, “well, Jesus is the truth”, quoting John 14:6, and I agree. The ancient koine Greek that was used in Jesus’ day only had one word for this word “truth”. It is our word “reality”. The Strong’s Concordance translated the word “truth” as “truth corresponding to reality”.
John 14:6 King James Version (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus did not just teach truth; He is the truth and He perfectly expresses the truth, the reality of God the Father.
Hebrews 1:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person
Those words “express image”, meaning; the exact expression of any person/thing, precise reproduction in every respect i.e. facsimile
Jesus is reality, the truth, exactly corresponding reality. What He said and taught perfectly corresponded reality, what He did perfectly corresponded reality. This would include what Jesus in His pre-incarnate existence said through the Holy Spirit to the Prophets of old. It also includes what He said post-ascension through the Holy Spirit, to the Apostles. The Word of God exactly corresponds reality. The corresponding of reality/truth by the Word of God, applies when we interpret God’s Word accurately. Take verses out of context from the original intention of the one who said it, it no longer corresponds to the intended message.
We can accept information as true because it is presented as Biblical accuracy, Scientific evidence, Expert advice, or it is elementary to the consensus of the general public.
Yet Bible teachers have been found to have changed their view on Theological topics, Science keeps updating outdated erroneous findings, expert advice sometimes doesn’t apply to the circumstances. However, for the person who really wants truth, reality is available.
At the time of writing this article the world is facing a global pandemic. Our News channels are flooded with the advice and directives from experts and are telling us they are science led. Yet, everywhere I speak with people, they tell me that what they are being told by the News seems counter-intuitive in their perception. It has not been uncommon to hear some say, “something is not completely right about all of this”.
I ask you. How many times in your life did you have a sense about something, but you ignored it? At a deeper level you really knew, but you reasoned it away, and continued as usual. As time went by, eventually the truth caught up with you, and you go, “I knew it all along”. You see the truth is in you. Reality is in you. Listen! Watch! Realize!
Colossians 2 King James Version (KJV)
2…and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
And Christ is in you.
For weeks now my prayer has been that God will help us all to know the truth. Many may not be ready for the truth and are not capable to accept the truth. Some may need to be eased into it. Therefore, I also genuinely pray the God will help us all digest the truth once we do see it and when reality hits it will not be a shocking or traumatic “breakaway out of the Matrix” experience.
John 18 King James Version (KJV)
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
It seems Pilate understood his own inability to identify absolute reality and that his own sense of truth was subjective as opposed to the objective reality of all things.
Christ provides Pilate with an option to perceive reality, but he was clearly not ready for such a bold step. Pilate represent the frustrations of many.
Without God’s Word humanity has been like a sailor at sea without a compass by which to discern truth from falsehood.
What we claim to be reality is mostly the internal mentation of data and information. Our sense of reality is made up of mental constructs. They are the re-presentations of internal VAKOG (internal five senses) visual, auditory dialogue, kinaesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory known as sub-modalities. The human mind, therefore, by virtue of its innate structure, as per Descartes’ res cogitans from res externa i.e., mentalizations about the seeming appearance of reality versus the reality as it actually is, is captured in Korzybski’s statement; “The map is not the territory”, which metaphorically illustrates the differences between belief and reality.
Throughout life we develop our world view in an ever-growing internal map of the world, God and life in general. If you go on google maps to plan a route before your travels, you are well aware that your looking at a map on scale representing the reality, but that the map is not the actual reality of that route. It is a representation of the real route. Therefore, in our study in Theology, i.e. the logic and nature of Theos (God), we should avoid becoming rigid and inflexible as though our collated information about God is the ultimate reality. No, we have developed an internal map about God. If we are flexible, we can adjust more easily to the changes of our internal paradigms. A religious self-righteous mindset does not allow for such flexibility. Even with much revelation of God (and the things that belong to God), we must stay willing to allow our view to be broadened and learn more and new ways of looking at the same truth. In fact, I would suggest that true revelation is a living present tense disclosure and unveiling of reality. The moment we put the revelation of reality into a format which holds no opening for further growth, the revelation stagnates into mechanical information. We see this when someone spearheads a movement of God, and the next generation turned the revelation truth of it’s leader into a religious formula. The fact is our views and insight need constant expansion. Our maps and satnavs need regular updates. However, Jesus’ satnav never needed any updates. His whole being perfectly corresponds reality. He walked in the perfect revelation of reality.
Since the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil humans have learned to construct a self-made image which they mistakenly perceived as their identity but is nothing more than the ego. The ego is a phantom mentation of who a person thinks they are. Unless a person has a revelation of their true identity, they will by default be vulnerable to be driven by the self-centered need of the ego to survive and maintain this illusory self-image. The ego is an illusion, a fiction of the mind, and attracts further illusions in the form of views, opinions and beliefs about the world, God, others, etc. Therefore, any revelation of reality, contrary to beliefs about reality may pose a threat to the false sense of identity, and the ego may kick into survival mode. This is the reason why sometimes even the kindest religious person can switch into a vicious hostile individual when their cherished illusions are chattered by the light of truth. An illusory belief about reality is really ignorance.
For example, the believe that we lack and are unworthy before God and must do and perform our religious rites to obtain anything from God is an illusion. The reality is that God has already blessed us with every spiritual benefit in Christ apart from our lifestyle or beliefs. That reality is staring us in the face. Yet, people always want something. As they grow up, they want an education, then they want a job, then they want a partner, then they want a house, then they want retirement, they always want something. What if you were already given it all, what would you want then? Maybe finally just stop striving and just look. Look at everything, now, be present, be…, rest in Christ, observe enjoy reality. Striving to become to earn status with God is ignorance. Ignorance is the greatest evil in the world. It gave birth to a religious self-righteous ego. It is what the Bible metaphorically describes as outer darkness. Remember that just as darkness is only the absence of light, so is illusion (falsehood) is only the absence of our view of reality (truth).
Life is marked by ever learning. The more established a person is in their true identity the more they will welcome learning, growth and change, even if it means letting go of previously held ideas.
The discovery of any new truth of real significance will normally first provoke query and doubt. The normal response to this discovery is disbelief, followed by paradigm shock, but then curiosity prevails. Truth that conflicts with personal beliefs are best handled by viewing such information as a ‘possible alternative’ rather than as ‘I am wrong’, which automatically summons up ego protest or even indignation. Paradoxically, protest is often a confirmation that a nail has been hit on the head. Although people generally like to believe that they are ‘of course’ dedicated to truth what the mind sub-consciously really seeks is confirmation of what it already believes. The ego is innately prideful and does not welcome the revelation that much of its beliefs are merely perceptual illusions. Some research analysis suggests that, only 35 percent of the public is interested in truth for truth sake.
If we as believers of the Gospel consider that the Word of God exactly corresponds to reality, then we are saying that the scriptures give us insight into reality. We cannot take the scriptures and make them say anything. The scriptures are the words, which form a window through which we can behold reality.
Are we believing truth or falsehood? The scriptures are the criteria and our heart attitude towards truth will determine whether we will accept truth or hold on to illusions. Are we willing to accept truth because it is true, or will we hold on to ideas that will stunt our growth? Obviously, I am basing this rationale on the principle that God’s word represents a view into reality whilst we are in this physical existence. The battle for control of human consciousness has always been about truth Vs falsehood.
Emotionally painful reactions are, usually sub-or unconsciously personally determined by one’s inner positionalities and belief systems. They are not necessarily ‘caused’ from without or by exposure to new information. I believe the Gospel truth can alleviate much of the suffering of humanity by virtue of replacing falsehood with truth, and a revelation of reality in Christ.
Scripture can serve as the healing leaf’s for the nations as well as the individual. What if we exercise humility and drop whatever conclusion we have drawn about anything, even if only for a moment and allow reality to shine through. I believe it is possible to let the light of the glorious Gospel shine in our heart and what we then see to perfectly correspond with reality. This is our attitude when we approach different Theological studies. If you are an academic you know you can join debate groups at your university and presentations may be delivered in a non hostile environment, even when the presentation is borderline ludicrous. Yet no one needs to fear excommunication. How is it that only in religious Church groups it is next to impossible to introduce healthy debates. The reason why is partly that, for years people have gone to church hearing only one Theological view on anything with no knowledge of the existence other perhaps more scriptural accurate views.
On the topic of eschatology, I have had the privilege to have had an option at one point.
I was exposed to books and teachings on Preterism. I probably first resisted and rejected the notion of first century fulfillment. Yet my heart cry has always been “God show me the real Gospel”. Even in the presence of a multitude of fortified ideas about Eschatology, even one scripture highlighting the reality of past fulfillment caused the house Dispensational cards to fall and crash.
The right kind of Prayer
The Apostle Paul understood that for the willing seeking heart the right kind of prayer could be of significant value to help someone become established in the truth. In his time believing and following Christ sometimes meant they had to let go of their whole way of existence. The first Christians were predominantly Jews. They had to let go of the Old Sinai-tic Covenant. They had to let go of the annual sacrificial system. This was not a mandatory requirement. Many Jewish Christians in Jerusalem still daily attended the Temple. What was different was their identification with the Old Covenant. They understood that they were no longer required to keep the law. They kept the law so not to raise offence with the Jews who did not believe in Christ. Yet, the Jewish and Gentile Christians ended up being persecuted by Jewish, and Gentile non-believers all over the Roman empire. When a believer was water baptized, they were openly confessing Christ as their Lord, and immediately risked excommunication from the synagogues if they were a Jew, and worse case scenario they could be martyred for their faith. Do we have such a hunger for the truth and reality even it means that we may have to let go of some old ideas and experience some level of rejection?
For Ministers, Preachers and Pastors who receive a salary, accepting the truth can be very tricky if that truth conflicts with the tenets of the denomination or organisation they work for. They could risk losing their post. What if a Pastor has taught the people of his church one view of Theology and his/her persuasions have transformed over time?
If that Pastor introduces new ideas, to their congregation they better make sure they have the wisdom of God when they do.
Paul prayed this prayer for the people he ministered to. You can pray this for yourself and the ones you reach out to. The “revelation” in verse 17 is a give away. Notice Paul is not asking for more things from God. He is asking for revelation to come forth. It is like the Mayor in town has just arrived to perform the opening ceremony of a new building. The local artist has made a sculpture and it stands erected at the entrance of the building but is covered with a large veil. The mayor cuts the string and veil falls off, and the sculpture that was already there is now revealed to the public. Though before hidden before their eyes, they can all now see the reality of what has been there all along.
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give (to call forth from within) unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation (apocalypse) in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.