130) Eschatology – 1 – An Introduction

This article was first published in the German language, August 2018.  

Eschatology from the Greek word “Eschatos” is the study of last things, the end of things, the end of the age or the end of the world, that part of theology that deals with death, judgment and the ultimate destination of the soul / spirit and humanity.

On this subject I used to just parrot what I had heard from other preachers over the years. At the time, I had no reason to question their message. Most notably, this was the popular doctrine of the end-time theology of dispensationalism. I really had little interest in the subject about the end-time.
I said things like: “Who cares when the rapture comes, I’m not interested in the intricacies of end-time theology, what matters is getting the good news to people”.

I had no idea how ignorant that statement was until I thought about it and realized something extremely important; “your expectation of what the future will be like affects how you will live today. It will affect your present general outlook on life”.

A proper understanding of eschatology will determine how we live our lives and whether we plan for the long term, build a legacy, and prepare our children for a life of service to the Lord. A correct view of the end times frees us from fear. It will cause us to have a renewed passion for Jesus instead of being obsessed with something called an antichrist.

Fact: your eschatology determines your soteriology. Soteriology is simply the theology on salvation. If you believe that Christ is coming soon and that we need to reach as many people as possible so that they do not end up in hell, you cannot believe that you will have grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or even great-great-grandchildren. There is almost no need to be responsible and build a better society because Jesus is coming back soon anyway (?).

Some eschatological views teach that we are now living in the “Church Age” and that the Kingdom of God will come in the future when Jesus returns. The concept of the “church age” has its roots in dispensationalism but is after all only an idea which is barely 200 years old but has been projected onto the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. However, it is not a Biblical teaching. Those views that say the kingdom of God is yet to come often also do not believe in the supernatural manifestation of the power of God either. This is because the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit are the obvious sign that the kingdom of God is here now. All the miracles that Jesus performed were performed as signs that the kingdom of God was near or in or among the people with whom he spoke.

Many Christians do not want to hear about eschatology. It is as if they are afraid that were they to learn something that is inconsistent with the teaching of their current fellowship or their Christian friends they might be given the cold shoulder.

Recently a Christian brother said to me that he was not really interested in eschatology in terms of either future expectations or historical fulfilment. He then said, “What about now? The important thing is how you live your Christian life now ”.

I absolutely understand why he said that. But the sad reality is that his understanding of the Gospel and the New Covenant is overshadowed by his confusion over eschatological events as described in nearly two-thirds of the New Testament. Much of the teaching that comes from the pulpit today reflects this confusion and ignorance. It is important that the Gospel and New Covenant messages are established on the foundations of solid eschatology.
Once I realized the importance of getting to grips with insight into sound of Biblical eschatology, I decided to make the effort to take a better look at the subject.

It must have been around 2001. No matter how difficult it was, I then decided that healthy eschatology would be critical to my overall understanding of the Gospel. Since then, my view of end-“time” (time referred to as meaning Age) theology has greatly increased my overall understanding of the Gospel.
It has given me a fuller picture of the various covenants and a better understanding of where the work of the cross – the death and resurrection of Christ – fit into God’s plan of eternal salvation. Bad eschatology will keep a student of the Bible and the gospel largely ignorant of this big picture.

To get a handle on eschatology, we need to dive into serious theology. We need to move our study forward. This article will be the first of many on the subject as there is a lot of material on the subject. I will do my best to stay on point as much as possible, but I need to provide extensive background information and numerous references to Old and New Testament verses.

Studying this subject is probably the most difficult of all theological subjects, but it is also one of the most rewarding. When it all becomes too much. Stop reading and come back another time when you’re ready to continue. I can now predict that you might first say “Oh no, that’s boring”. Then, once you’ve read some parts, you may not want to stop reading. At least that’s how I experienced the study of Eschatology. Over time, I couldn’t wait until the next day to continue my studies.

Word of Note: I will first begin by explaining what the current major eschatological views of most Christian streams are. Remember that there are around 41,000 different Christian denominations worldwide. The consequence is that there are many different views. Their theologians being the experts who practice their apologetics on one another, creating a swamp for the layperson who is drowned in information overload with overwhelming amounts of conflicting ideas.

As one (unknown) banker once said; “the best way to determine real money from fake money is not by studying fake money, but to become as familiar with real money as much as possible. Once you are confident with what is the real, when you run into fake money you will spot it right away”.

Therefore, I will not spend too much time on what I consider to be teachings that are inconsistent with the harmony of Scripture. As always, I aim to make every effort to remain faithful to the Scriptures in the Old Testament and the revelation of the gospel in the New Testament and to the general rules of hermeneutics.

I will only provide a basic overview of the current eschatological views of organized churches. This is so that you will have at least a brief reference and be able to identify what you have been taught or what the eschatological view is of the Church group you or a friend or family member is a part of.

So, let’s get started

Introduction to the main eschatological views of mainstream Christianity.

First of all, I want to make it clear that I have a point of view that is different from most of the current views mentioned below. In this blog, however, I present a full preterist eschatological view.

Like colors of the rainbow which flow into one another, Modern Christianity appears to have about seven current overlapping standard model Theological paradigms. I would describe them as legalism, futurism, literalism, dualism, historicism, idealism, and preterism. Except for preterism, the other six views view eschatology primarily from the perspective in which most prophecies remain to be fulfilled at the end of time, i.e. our future. Therefore, these six all fall into the category of futurism.

Legalism comes from reading the Bible and explaining the Christian faith through the lens of the Old Testament Sinaitic Covenant. But we don’t live under that covenant. Legalism views eschatology from the wrong side of the cross and resurrection.

Literalism is a modern, western phenomenon. We understand the different types of literature and the use of idioms, symbols, and metaphors in our everyday language including things like storytelling. However, we do not seem to apply this understanding when reading the Bible and treating it as if it were a scientific treatise or an encyclopaedia. They would never read a songbook or a book of poems or a book of parables / allegorical stories as if they were talking about literal historical events. The Bible contains all these types of literature, including factual historical accounts. We need to know the writer’s original intention and be able to properly determine whether something is allegorical, historical, or even both.

Futurism like literalism is a Western worldview and has taken the Christian scene by storm over the past 200 years. It is an eschatological view that all prophecies, such as that of Daniel, Jesus’ eschatological speech on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and the book of Revelations, are yet to be fulfilled in our future. Christians seem totally excited about futurism and the anticipation of catastrophic events in our lives or in our near future. On the other hand, if you believe that the “last days” are behind us and we are now living in the “new days” of the new covenant, then you will have a completely different attitude towards life, towards faith and God and the world. The right eschatological perspective lets us see that we are not living at the end of the world – but at the beginning of a whole new world!

Dualism is the view in which superstition creeps into the Christian faith. Dualism is basically the belief that there are two opposing forces in the universe – one good and one bad. It comes from Gnosticism and similar spiritual traditions (including Zoroastrianism). It may refer to specific passages in the Bible, which makes it sound Biblical, but the overall view of God, creation, and humanity is definitely not Biblical. Dualism teaches that there is a constant conflict between the physical universe (which is evil, or at least “fallen” and negative) and the spiritual world (which is good and pure). This leads to a conclusion that our bodies, natural appetites, and all things physical are bad, but everything that is spiritual is good.

For example: Secular music and films are bad, but Christian music and films are good! (I find the opposite is often the case). Worshiping God in church is good but going to a soccer game and cheering on your team is worldly, unspiritual, and sinful. Dualism is a belief that good and bad exist in equal proportions – “God and Satan” or “the kingdom of God and a fallen, sinful world”. Many Christians would claim that they do not believe this and have even stated in their statements of faith that they believe that God is Almighty.

However, the way they pray, preach, and interpret the scriptures implies that they believe that “Satan has tempted them all week” and “we must pray against the forces of darkness” and “we are in a spiritual war with the world”. These are all signs that their true worldview is dualistic.

Historicism is a view held by many prominent preachers just before the 18th century. Some Christian denominations hold to this view. The idea is that the books of Acts and Revelation converge with hsitory, so to speak, from the time of the first century Church. Then, as history progresses, we keep moving down Revelation and we may currently find ourselves somewhere in Chapter 14. This means that some of the bad things have already happened, but there are still many bad things that need to happen. This view also allowed freedom to determine who the Antichrist was or who the beast of Revelation would be. Some historians claim it was Napoleon Bonaparte; more recent views claim that the latest American presidents or popes were the antichrist.

Idealism, also known as the spiritual view, which explains everything in the Bible in an exaggerated allegorical and metaphorical way. The book of Revelation then turns into the story “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” with potential deep spiritual messages.

Preterism is explained below.

Futurism has been the popular eschatological view for most modern Christian denominations from the mid 1950’s until today. There are currently four main views in the futurist eschatological studies. These four views are all a type of Millennialism

1. Post-millennialism
2. A-millennialism
3. Pre-millennialism with further development to dispensationalism
4. Partial preterism

PRETERISM

Preterism takes both a literal and an allegorical approach to interpreting Scripture, not excluded the Book of Revelation. The word preterism means past. To make this even more labyrinthine and startling, preterism can be either full-preterism or partial-preterism. The full preterist view is sometimes referred to as hyper-preterism.

The full preterist interpretation of eschatology claims that all New Testament Bible prophecy was fulfilled by the end of the first century, and particularly through the events of AD 64 to 70, when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans. This also includes the resurrection of the dead from Hades as prophesied by Daniel, the coming of Christ in judgment over the nation of Israel and Judea during this period, which became the end of the Old Sinaitic Covenant Age, and the beginning of the Messianic Age (The New Covenant and The Kingdom of God).

“Heresies”, and “Heretics”

Mainstream Christian denominations have largely adopted an eschatological view known as dispensationalism. This development only caught on around 200 years ago. By the time we were born into this world and joined a church group, this type of eschatology was already the popular view. Full-preterism is in a clear 180% contrast with dispensationalism.

In most groups, the default setting is to reject any item that does not fit the general consensus. Just because the group is the majority doesn’t mean they are right. It is difficult for people to see and accept the truth when they have already identified themselves with a particular doctrine. If priests and ministers reinforce the mainstream message, rejection threatens anyone who disagrees.

Einstein said, “Absolute belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth”.

Hence, mainstream Christianity has viewed preterism as heretical. Maybe that’s mainly due to the warning in 2 Timothy 2: 17-18  
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

However, this only reveals the lack of knowledge of today’s many Church groups. The books of Timothy were written long before the outbreak of the Jewish War, which took place between AD 66-70. According to the scriptures of both Old and New Testament, the dead were not raised out of Hades until the coming of the Lord (Parousia) and the sounding of the last trump. Hades was the realm to which those who died would go before that day of the resurrection. It was a repository for the disembodied human spirits until the great day of the resurrection. The resurrection took place at the time of Parousia (The Coming of the Lord in Power and Judgment) when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Roman armies. Although the dead at Hades had been forgiven since the resurrection of Christ, they could not be raised and enter the heavenly Most Holy Place until Christ would reappear in judgment to end the Sinaitic Age in AD 66-70. See: Article on the resurrection of the dead.
However, Hymenaeus and Philetus told the Christians that the resurrection of the dead had already taken place despite Paul having clearly taught in his letters that this event was before them. Although Paul emphasized that the resurrection and coming of the Lord would take place in their lives, he explained that his contemporaries would eventually be able to see it all beginning to unfold. The resurrection of the dead was the great hope to look forward to and was expected to occur soon in their lifetime. 1 Corinthinas 15.

If, from what Hymenaeus and Philetus claimed, that the resurrection had already taken place, and nothing had changed. If that were so, it would mean that all the warnings and teachings of Christ and the apostles did not come true and the hope of Christians in the expected Messianic Age and prospect of being delivered from the coming destruction would have been utterly disappointed. This would have had the potential to destroy their faith.

Pre-Millennialist-Dispensationalist Eschatology

Christian denominations over the past 200 years have been heavily influenced by a pre-millennialist-dispensationalist eschatology (futuristic view of the end times). As a result, Christians appear to be less known and trained in preterist theology and are quick to judge it as heretical. This is typical group psychology when faced with something that is different from their norm. [cognitive dissonance]

Side note: It is an interesting and ironic example of “the pot that calls the kettle black” when religious groups or organizations declare one person or another a heretic. The word “heretic” means: a person who has an opinion which contradicts what is generally accepted. So, it could refer to someone willing to think outside of the status quo. So, many Christians who have changed their belief systems over their years as believers and moved from one Christian camp (Church group) to another Christian camp could have been branded heretics by those whom they left behind. Surely this is not a bad thing when believers improved their understanding of the Gospel.

We should be open to the Lord and His Word and always ready to see things in ways we have never thought of before. In the strictest sense, a genuine heretic would be someone who has moved away from essential Biblical truths and having completely disregarded them to then contradict what Christ achieved through his death and resurrection and the fulfilment of all prophecies. And if this is so, is mainstream Christianity then maybe guilty of heresy?

Partial Preterism,

Seems slightly more acceptable to much of the organized church. This is a kind of preterism which like full-preterism proposes the same points, except that it excludes the resurrection of the dead and the return of Christ and considers these events to still be future events.

Although partial Preterists believe that the book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century, they will argue that some of the prophecies and scriptures of the Old Testament still have to be fulfilled in the future.

There are also those who acknowledge the apocalyptic event in AD 70 and as fulfilment of prophecy, but they see the fulfilment as a shadow of what the future holds and that there will therefore still be a global and cosmic event, as a final fulfilment of the book of Revelation.

Just for a brief clarification then:

The full preterist: believes that all prophecies were ultimately fulfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70. This has also been called the “AD 70 Doctrine”. Many full of preterists also often believe in Cesationism (termination doctrine). The word cessationism has the meaning of ending or stopping.

Cessationism is the teaching that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, and healing ceased at the end of the apostolic age of AD 70.

The partial preterist: believes that some of the prophecies were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

The doctrine of Cessationism

In my current understanding of eschatology, I tend to have a strong full preterist view, but I am not a cessationist. I have seen the Lord perform many miraculous miracles and the Holy Spirit work through people including myself. There is more than enough Biblical evidence and 2,000 years of testimony from numerous people who received healing and miracles. I believe that the influence of the kingdom of God on earth will increase forever.

The kingdom of God came and is here in the spiritual realm. You cannot see it with your physical eyes. Just as you cannot see the wind, you can see the results when things are blown in a certain direction. (John 3: 8) So there are signs and wonders and manifestations of the Holy Spirit that show the power and authority of the kingdom of God. Those who believe in the Gospel have taken on the responsibility of Ambassadors. They represent the kingdom of God and the power and authority of the kingdom of God, and Christ our King works through us.

God performed many miracles in the Old Testament. However, the power of God then worked based on the promise of the coming age of the kingdom of God. Jesus performed many miracles and taught that the kingdom of God was near and in and amongst them. At the coming of Christ in AD 66-70, He came in the power and glory of the Kingdom of God. Now that the kingdom of God has come, we should see more signs of His power and presence, not less.

Isaiah 9: 7 King James Version
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

For more on the topic of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.

Millennialism

The word millennium is derived from the Latin, “Mille”, which means thousand, and the word year. Hence the literal meaning is thousand years. The prefixes Post-, A- and Pre, as they are used with the word Millennium, denote the eschatological view of the millennial (thousand year) reign of Christ.

Despite differing views on the Millennium including partial preterism, what they all have in common is the belief that one day, still in the future, Christ will return to judge evil and establish His glorious Kingdom with His redeemed. Their hope is that the world will not continue forever in its present evil state when one day Christ will come and establish His everlasting kingdom in which death and sin will be no more. This is seen as “the great hope” but projected by many Christians as something to realise in the future. Hence, they are futurists in their eschatology.

Much like the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, many Christians who follow a futuristic eschatology mistakenly believe that the Kingdom of God will be established as a physical kingdom on earth.

Does it not matter that Jesus said (?):

John 8:36 King James Version
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

POST-MILLENNIALISM: (Also known as Christian Reconstruction, Kingdom-Now Theology, and Dominion Theology.)

• Post-millennialism tends to take a simpler, allegorical approach to interpreting Scripture and the book of Revelation.

• This is the view of the last things which says the millennium will begin when the world is mostly evangelized and there is relative peace in the whole world.

• The kingdom of God is here now in a spiritual form and is being expanded in the world through the proclamation of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the millennium, the kingdom of God will be established as a physical kingdom on earth.

• That the world will eventually turn to the Christian faith, and despite setbacks, the world as a whole will significantly improve.

• That the return of Christ (in the future), the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment will take place at the end of Jesus’ millennial reign.

A-MILLENNIALISM

• A-Millennialism claims that the Bible does not predict a millennium or a period of world peace on this earth before the end of the world.
• It teaches that there will be a parallel and simultaneous development of good and bad in this world – God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. This struggle will then continue until the return of Christ.

• At the second coming of Christ (some time in the future) the resurrection and final judgment will take place, followed by the eternal order of things – the absolute, perfect kingdom of God in which there will be neither suffering nor death.

• Catholics generally follow the teachings of “St. Augustine” and accept A-millennialism. However, they generally don’t use the term. They expect Jesus to come back to earth and gather the Church together. But they generally don’t use the term “rapture” either. The Catholic Church has rejected the pre-millennialist position, which they sometimes oddly enough call “millennialism”.

PRE-MILLENNIALISM

• Pre-millennialism tends to interpret the Scriptures and the Book of Revelation more literal.

• Pre-millennialism teaches that the second coming of Christ, the last judgment (sometime in the future) will be followed by a time of worldwide peace and justice before the end of the world called “the Millennium” or “the Kingdom of God ”,“The millennial reign of Jesus Christ”, during which Christ will personally rule as King from the city of Jerusalem on this earth. (If you want to see him, you may need to make an appointment with his secretary first. Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself from making a little sarcastic joke)

DlSPENSATIONALISM: is a further expansion of Pre-millenialism.

• Dispensationalism also has an almost extreme literal approach, [Still selective and inconsistent on closer study] to interpret Scripture and the Book of Revelation and to believe in a future final judgment.

• It teaches that there are seven major periods of time identified in the Bible known as dispensations. The first dispensation begins in Genesis, each of which covers one period, followed by the next. They are understood as different periods of time in the history of God’s dealings with mankind.

The dispensation of innocence
The dispensation of conscience
The dispensation of human government
The dispensation of Promise
The dispensation of the law
The dispensation of grace – or the dispensation of the church age
The dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ

As for the last two dispensations, we are supposedly living in dispensation or the time of the Church Age as we await the next dispensation to commence.

Here is a brief overview of the dispensationalist end-time theology:

• We are currently living in the last few days until the world is destroyed on a global scale.

• Jesus can come back anytime.

• Wars and disasters in the world are signs of the end times

• In the blink of an eye, Christians are suddenly taken away from the earth. This is called the rapture.

The Rapture

Again, among dispensationalists who believe in a future rapture, there is a difference in their view of when the rapture will take place. These views are distinguished by their prefix pre, mid, or post, – tribulation – rapture. The most common and popular view is that the rapture will take place shortly before the revelation of the Antichrist and the seven-year tribulation.

• Immediately after the rapture, the Antichrist, a world leader, will reveal himself. He will rule for seven years. He will make a covenant (a binding treaty sealed with a blood sacrifice) with the Jewish nation of Israel. They will at first believe that he is the promised Messiah. (To this day, Jews in the modern religion of Judaism believe that the Messiah is yet to come) No one can buy or sell during the time of tribulation on earth, no one can trade unless they have “the mark of the beast” on their forehead or right arm. Many Christians believe that this is a chip that contains all your personal information with a unique barcode.

In the middle of his reign after three and a half years, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel after which they will realize that he is not the Messiah but the Antichrist (Anti-Messiah, Anti-the Anointed One). This is then followed by mass persecution of Jews and those who have converted to Christianity.

• At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the armies of the world will surround Jerusalem and be ready to destroy it in an end time battle called Armageddon, but Christ will return just in time to prevent this and establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth and rule out of the city of Jerusalem.

DISPENSATIONALISM = SENSATIONALISM

Does all this sound like a Hollywood horror science fiction movie? A very gloomy expectation for the near future. Maybe okay for a devout Christian who believes they’ll be raptured from the earth before the shit hits the fan. A very selfish doctrine nonetheless, to say the least, knowing that billions of people will go through a terrible time of suffering. A very clever yet inconsistent compilation of verses in the Bible that gives rise to a very strange doctrine. In my view this theology of dispensationalism is more like sensationalism.

Dispensationalism believes that the apocalyptic event described in the book of Revelation is soon to be fulfilled. The signs of the times as described by Jesus in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24: 1-15, Mark 13: 1-37 and Luke 21: 5-36) have been interpreted by futurists as signs which are all happening now.
Every time a disaster or war breaks out, it’s another sign of the times which apparently fulfils a prophecy. This type of biblical exegesis (exegesis – critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially scripture) is more like a kind of a TV news exegesis.

I ask you how many US Presidents and / or Catholic Popes are suspected of being the Antichrist? Or type “the end of the world” into youtube, rumble and bitchute and you will be able to view a never-ending multitude of strange and scary end-time predictions and messages.

There have been numerous movements in Church history over the past 2000 years which foretold the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, each time proclaiming that the end of the world was about to happen in their time. Never mind that they were wrong every time.

[This original article was first published August 7, 2018, in the German Language. Since March 23, 2020 the UK government imposed the first lockdown due to the pandemic of Covid-19 declared by the WHO. This has given rise to one of the biggest waves of teachings and messages in support of dispensationalism within the Christian Church. The great Reset of which Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum writes in his book, their annual meetings with world leaders in Davos, Switzerland, their alliance with the UN, and ultra-rich elite discussing their sustainable development agenda 21/30 promoting a global internationalist vision for commerce, banking, agriculture, technology, military, justice and court, propagating a one world order, and implemented by many of the governments of nations in the world has certainly provided many justified arguments to Christians to support their last days eschatology. Irrespective of whether WEF, UN, WHO, are in fact participants and the front of a much deeper and old conspiracy towards a coup de tat power grab to then confine humanity to a digitalised control system, this is still not fulfilment of prophecy.

It is my persuasion as per precise study of scripture that all prophecies of Jesus in His Olivet discourse were fulfilled in the first century by the time the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. But we must distinguish between the manifest fulfilment of Prophecy as opposed to unfolding current events, which have no prophetic design but do display a pattern not unlike prophetic events which were fulfilled a long time ago. That’s because Satan has always worked through people with the intention to get control of the population of the world. Throughout the Bible we read about his many failed attempts, from the Tower of Babel, the Nephilim giants, the Assyrian invasion in the North of Israel, the Babylonian invasion in Judea and Jerusalem, the Roman Empire, until Christ came and through His death and resurrection restored the sovereignty of man on Earth to govern himself as a free man. Since then, Satan only gains influence in the earth by the consent of a free man/woman who can use their right of choice to allow that influence. Satan’s desire to usurp control over people has never changed, and since his major defeat through the death of Christ, he has continued to trick people into adopting his luciferin philosophy. Those who bought into this deception throughout history have been the instigators and engineers of hierarchical power structures in society, wars, famine, poverty, divisions, the fall and rise of governments, communism, fascism, racism, sickness, and the list goes on.

Just because these people knowingly, willingly and many more unknowingly lend themselves to be the minions for the promotion of this ancient old lie, does not mean that this is the book of Revelation being fulfilled before our eyes. It means that Satan is still trying his best to get what he always wanted. Control of earth with man consenting to his tyrannical rule. There are those even today who will do all they can to subject the population of this world to their ultimate control with the goal to hand it all to their supreme leader incarnated by Satan himself, their luciferin god. All of this effort has been long made and planned to please satan’s ancient vendetta against Yahweh to prove that he should not have been cast from his original position, and that man is not worth the love and value God places on people.

Are Christians honestly going to accept the dispensational view that just before everything goes to pot here on earth, we will be raptured into heaven? This escapist mentality is not only selfish, but fatalistic by definition. It means that there is no real point to intercede for our world. Why would we if this is God’s word being fulfilled? No, Christ won the greatest victory over satan by dying on the cross and establishing the New Covenant of forgiveness, and by doing so stripping satan of all grounds for accusing us before God. By us having been born a new creation by the resurrection life of Christ our sovereignty is now established in Him and by Him. We were given the responsibility to stand for the Gospel truth, to intercede for the people for whom Christ died, to set this world free form the evils executed by an evil Cabal. (A cabal is a group of people who are united in some close design, usually to promote their private views or interests in an ideology, a state, or another community, often by intrigue and usually unbeknownst to those who are outside their group) When those sold out to their lucifer are removed from their position of influence the world will begin to experience the real freedom for which Christ set us free. We have a tremendous responsibility and the grace and power of God to fulfil our part in the liberation from tyranny.]

1. DISPENSATIONALISM as a descendant of pre-millennialism appears to have become the predominant eschatology of Evangelical Churches around the world. These include: Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Word of Faith and also most of the grace Churches.

Example: Pastor John Hagee of John Hagee Ministries and Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, USA, can be seen regularly on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and other Christian television channels. He is only one of the many main proponents of dispensationalism. In his series, “The Four Blood Moons,” he made predictions about something terrible that was to come in 2015. It’s catchy material. The stuff of horror films. What is so wrong with such things is that when their predictions don’t come true, they don’t apologize and admit they were wrong. They just keep going and the blind sheep just keep following. He preaches equally passionately on the teachings of hell and eternal damnation, a future judgment, a separation between the saved (Christians) and the lost (the rest of the world, sinners), and most importantly, the message that Christ has redeemed us, but His gift of grace can be refused by the unbelief of the individual. The result of this would be eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

John Hagee, along with many other known names such as Henry Drummond (1851-1897), Jack van Impe, Hal Lindsey, appear to have a large following in the United States. John Hagee’s trademark is his wobbly and trembling Pentecostal preacher voice. Mr. Hagee is my brother in Christ like everyone else. Is he wrong about the above topics? Oh yeah. Are These Teachings Destructive? Definitely. Is he wrong in everything he teaches? Most likely not. Does he perhaps also present many good or beneficial Biblical messages? Possibly yes.

Man recognizes error in that all the world shares it. Jean Giraudoux

Years ago now, I used to travel as a Christian preacher and teacher in the US, Europe and parts of Africa. I preached in all sorts of Christian groups. I can say that despite of what they claim to believe about eschatology and any of the above-mentioned doctrines, I have seen the wonderful presence of God in their meetings. Just because the teaching is not correct in all areas does not mean that these people are not really experiencing the presence of God. Experiencing God’s presence is sadly perceived as a confirmation that their doctrine is correct. This is not the case. Even if your son or daughter’s opinion were ridiculous, you would still love them. (By the way, in some cases your children may be right, and you may need them to guide you in some matters of life. Lol) God always wants to lead us into a greater understanding of his truth. He’s more patient than us. The things I have come to believe now have evolved over a period of nearly thirty years. If only some people would have taught me the true Gospel at the time I began my journey, it would not have cost me all the heartaches and struggles throughout the many years. So, no, I am not happy with some of the absolute nonsense that many preachers are spreading around the world. Especially on topics like eschatology. However, today many people are sharing the truth more than ever before. More and more preachers and theologians conducting sincere, open-minded research are jumping off the futurist ship. They are leaving the dispensationist’ camp and are realizing that full preterism is the only eschatological system that makes scriptural sense. It is only a matter of time before this theological view is a general understood concept again.

2. What is often not realized among Christians is that the doctrine of dispensationalism is only a very young, existing doctrine. These striking views were first made known by John N. Darby, a leader of the Plymouth Brethren group in England, around 1830 and was later published in the footnotes and commentary throughout the Scofield Reference Bible. After his death, CI Scofield published Darby’s ideas in 1909 in this renowned annotated Scofield Reference Bible. Dispensationalism was later popularized by Protestant Conservative Christian preachers around the world.

Could it be possible that many who are now inclined to dispensationalism would not be victims of this theological system if they were better informed about the system and its history – its theological roots and the doctrinal errors that resulted from it? I believe so.

Regarding end-time theology; Dispensationalist preachers seem to constantly refer to events in the world, political developments, disasters, wars, and now pandemics and climate change as signs of the times and evidence of the imminent return of Christ and the coming judgment. The fact is that in determining the fulfilment of prophecy in the Bible by watching the news, the first rules of Bible interpretation are being neglected.

A) The scriptures of the Old Testament are all about Jesus

Luke 24:44 King James Version
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

We are not the subject of the scriptures. They are not about this generation living today. The absolute theme in the Old Testament scriptures which then lead into the New Testament is Christ and what He accomplished for all of humanity.

B) The main language of the Old Testament scriptures (the Tanakh) is Hebrew. It is a record of the Old Testament covenants and historical events from Adam to Abraham, the nation of Israel during the time of the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets which all culminate in the life of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The prophecies of the prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus speak of the end of the Sinaitic covenant with the law of Moses and it’s priesthood, the complete destruction of the Kingdom of Judah in Judea, the city of Jerusalem with its temple in AD 70 with the coming of the kingdom God.

Matthew 24:34 King James Version
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

When Jesus spoke these words, He was not speaking of a generation that would live 2,100 years later. He wasn’t talking about you and me. He was referring to the generation of Jews who were alive then. It was that generation who were mostly still alive when Jerusalem was destroyed. The high priest Joseph Caiaphas was still alive when he watched his whole world collapse.
Important note: The Biblical time span for a generation is 40 years. The period from the cross to until AD 70 covers an approximate 40 years. Hence, Biblical eschatology is not our eschatology referring to the end of our world in our near future. It’s Hebrew eschatology. Biblical eschatology is the study of the end of the Kingdom of Judah, the end of the Sinaitic Age, and the establishment of the Messianic Age, with the eternal New Covenant of Peace, and Kingdom of God at the coming of Christ in His glory in the first century.

C) The type of literature determines the interpretation. The Bible is not a single book; it is a library of sixty-six books written by many different authors over a period of more than 1,500 years. These authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit in their thinking and writing. It also has the human touch from its authors. Paul is different from David, who is different from James or Moses. Their style and personality are reflected in their writings.

Literary genres

Consider the types of literary genres in the Bible? The Bible is ancient literature which contains many different types and styles of literature. It has law, history, wisdom, poetry, prophecy, the letters of the apostles, and apocalyptic literature. Take poetry, for example. Literally interpreting poetry will cause problems most of the time. Poetry is full of figurative language. Historical records can be understood more literally. Wisdom literature like proverbs will be full of metaphors and are sometimes taken literally. Biblical prophecy and apocalyptic language are full of hyperbolic, symbolic and cosmological language and sometimes literal references. In ancient times, people didn’t have a TV displaying moving images supported by scary music in the background to get people emotionally involved in the story and sway their imaginations. That is why the Hebrew writer would use great fantastical words.

The book of Revelation is a book for the Hebrew. The scriptures of this book are full of extreme attempts to stir the imagination of the Hebrews who lived during that generation in the few years leading up to the Lord’s Day, AD 66-70.

Let us also emphasize that much of the language of the Old and New Testaments gives insight into Hebrew cosmology. The Biblical-Hebrew concept of cosmology reveals the reality of our physical cosmos, the universe, the earth and additionally several levels of heaven in the invisible realm (remember the apostle Paul, who spoke of the third heaven) and the realm of the dead, known as Hades or Sheol.

D) When studying any part of the Bible we must ask the following questions: who wrote it, what was their intention with what they said or wrote, who is addressed, when it was written, where, in which country and location was it written and what was the cultural setting at the time. Consequently, the Old and New Testaments addresses the Hebrew, and later the Christians in their cultural and religious paradigm. By the time we come to the New Testament, the four gospels are still set within a Hebrew frame of reference. The first Church group in Jerusalem were Jews who believed in Christ. It took between 10 and 20 years to reach the Gentiles mainly through the ministry of the Apostle Paul. The apostle Paul’s letters address a mixture of mostly Jewish Christians and Gentiles. Paul’s main task in the beginning was to reach out to Jews living outside Israel. Eventually his focus was set on the Gentiles (Acts 18).

Therefore, in reading the Bible, we must spiritually or mentally transpose ourselves to whom the scriptures were addressed, in the life of a Hebrew who lived then, familiar with its customs and religious traditions. A very powerful example is the book of Revelation. Though we only have the Greek manuscripts the writing is in strict ancient Hebrew style and can only be understood that way. It is very similar to the Old Testament books of Daniel and Ezekiel, which are also in purely ancient Hebrew in writing style. Nor should we try to immediately apply the Biblical prophecies, teachings, and parables of Jesus to our present day lives. We must first learn to see how they were understood by the generation of that ancient time. This is the only way we can really grasp the impact, and the applications it may hold for our generation today.

Trying to match Old Testament prophecies in today’s setting is forcefully pulling everything out of context. It is a theological twist to try to fit the “time texts” verses into modernised Western doctrine.

Western theology

For the past few hundred years Bible scholars and Preachers have applied a Western approach to our interpretation of Scripture as apposed to interpreting Scripture from it’s original setting in ancient Asia-Minor. With our western (US, Canada, UK, and European) mindset, the Bible has been used almost merely as a legalistic document. This western approach has its roots in the penal system based on old Roman Civil law. This is one of the reasons that Western Christian doctrine is very focused on sin and punishment for the wicked. The ancient Hebrew approach to Scripture resides in a matrix more conducive to the goal of Restoration. Yes, the Hebrew scriptures of the Tanakh clearly speak of judgment and vengeance on the wicked. Yet, nowhere in the Old Testament scriptures and neither in the New Testament do we see any proof of an eternal punishment after a judgment on the physical life here on earth.

1 Corinthians 5:5 King James Version
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Paul seems to indicate exactly this point. There are people who harden themselves to the voice of the Holy Spirit to such a degree, that they can’t see the need for them to turn to Christ. No matter how often the Lord reminds them of His love for them, they persist in their atheism, or evil works. By doing so their wickedness returns upon their own heads. Under the Old Sinaitic Covenant this meant that God’s wrath would come upon them. Under the administration of the New Covenant this means that they simply reap what they sow, but it’s not God punishing them. Either way it is their sin that could lead them unto death or loss of life.   

Mark 13:26 King James Version
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

The Lord coming on a cloud always indicates judgment. Check for yourself in the Old Testament. Here Jesus foretold His coming in judgment upon apostate Israel for the breaking of the Old Sinaitic Covenant, the suppressing of the truth of Christ’s resurrection and the persecution of believers. This judgment took place between 67 and 70 A.D. It was the Lord’s Day as the Apostle Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 5:5. Could it be that the 1.3 Million Jews who died in the Great Jewish War the historian Josephus wrote about died physically, but their spirit’s were saved at the resurrection out of Hades?
This would suggest that the correct translation from the Greek word Aion is not referring to the meaning of a perpetual everlasting state, but more accurately a limited period. As explained in other articles, an Aion’s length of time is determined by what it is associated with. Like how high the “height” is determined by the height of a human or the height of a building. Aion associated to God or life in heaven is “forever”.  

Mark 3:29 King James Version
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never (not) forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal (Aionos, Aion) damnation.

For the record, the word “never” is not in the original Greek. It is the word “not”. Not forgiven because of defiance against the gentle persuasions of the Holy Spirit, meant that their sin would lead unto death, that is physical death. Christ came to His own people telling them that if they believed on Him as their promised Messiah they would not physically perish (John 3:16). Only the Holy Spirit could give revelation to the seeker of truth. But resisting the Holy Spirit meant that they could not perceive revelation knowledge. In the case of that rebellious generation who died in the fires at the destruction of the Temple where judgment had to begin first (1 Peter 4:17) they went through a time of “krisis”, which is the original Greek word for judgment, from where we get our word crisis. But as brutal as that judgment was and as intense as that period of crisis was upon them, were they to raised from the dead at the resurrection? Were their spirits saved, because of what Christ did on behalf of all of humanity? If so then the Roman Civil Law with a western penal system projected into the interpretation of scripture, as was first suggested by Saint Augustine, one of the main proponents of a doctrine of hell as a place for eternal punishment, is foreign to the true message of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Even God’s judgment in the case of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. becomes restorative in the end.       

I now close this first article with a verse from the very last chapter of the book of Revelation, which can be regarded as the culmination of God’s work on earth, as a result of the cross and the day of the Lord in AD 70.

Revelation 22:1-3 King James Version
1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

We see here a wonderful example of the use of the symbolic, hyperbolic, and figurative language of this book. The river of the Holy Spirit of God flows from his throne. The banks of the river on either side represent the Jews on one side and the Gentiles on the other. The tree of life, which has its roots on both sides of the river, which is not natural, symbolically refers to Jesus, who made a new man out of the two Jews and Gentiles. A righteous brand-new creation.

The fruit of the Tree of Life (Christ) is currently healing in the nations of our world. Although there is much pain and suffering in the world, there is also healing of the hearts of nations. If people stopped preaching law and judgment and instead preached the Good News, there will be a substantial increase in healing among the nations.

The evil forces of this world who for thousands of years whispered their dark wisdom in the ears of the those pledged themselves to their cabal, have always operated on the premise of “divide and conquer”. The doctrine of “the Lost and Saved”, generated an “Us and them” mentality among the Christians, and it made the Church weak and ineffective in reaching the world with the Gospel. The moment we realise that redemption is a reality for all but we must tell them that they were forgiven, that they are redeemed and they will go to heaven, and there is no “Us and Them” we once again tap into the true power of the Gospel.

Ephesians 2:14-16 King James Version
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

We are ONE.

Go to Article 133) Eschatology – 2 – The End of an Age