THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST POSTED ON AUGUST 17, 2018 IN THE GERMAN LANGUAGE. It has been updated since. This is the first English release.
Eschatology is the study of last things, the end of things, the end of an Age or the end of the world. It is also that part of theology dealing with death, judgment and the ultimate destiny of the soul/spirit and humanity .
On this subject, I used to just parrot what I had heard from other ministers over the years. At the time, I had no reason to question their message. This was the mainstream doctrine of end-time theology known as dispensationalism. I really had little interest in the subject of the end times. I used to say 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 out to the people”.
I had no idea how ignorant that statement was until I thought about the subject and realized something extremely important;
“Your expectations of the future affects how you will live today”.
It will affect your current outlook on life in general.
A correct understanding of eschatology determines how we live our lives and whether we plan for the long term, build a legacy, and how we 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 a so-called antichrist.
Fact: Your eschatology determines your soteriology. Soteriology is 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 don’t end up in hell, you will have less of an expectation that you will have grandchildren, great-grandchildren or even great-great-grandchildren. No need to be responsible and build a better society because Jesus is coming back soon anyway (?)
Some Eschatological views teach that we are currently living in the “Church Age” and that the kingdom of God will arrive in the near future when Jesus returns. The notion of “Church Age” has its roots in dispensationalism and is only about a 200 year old concept projected onto interpretation of Scripture. However, it is not a Biblical teaching. Those who believe that the kingdom of God is yet to come also often do not believe in the supernaturally manifested power of God. This is because the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit are the obvious sign that the kingdom of God is here now. All of the miracles that Jesus performed were done as a sign that the kingdom of God was near or in or among the people to whom He ministered.
Many Christians don’t want to hear about Eschatology. It’s like they’re afraid they’ll get the cold shoulder if they learn something that doesn’t agree with the teaching of their current fellowship or Christian friends.
Recently a Christian brother told me that he is not really interested in the Eschatology of future expectations or historical fulfillment. He said, “What about the here and now? What matters is how you live your Christian life now”.
I totally 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 about Eschatological events as described in nearly two-thirds of the New Testament.
Many of the messages coming from the pulpit today reflect this confusion and ignorance. It is important that the Gospel and New Covenant message be established on the foundations of solid Eschatology.
Realizing the importance of getting to grips with the sound of Biblical Eschatology, I decided to dedicate my efforts to obtain a greater insight into the subject.
It must have been around 2001. No matter how challenging, I decided then that sound Eschatology would be critical to my overall understanding of the Gospel. Since then, my view of end-time theology has greatly increased my overall comprehension of the Gospel truth.
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—fits into God’s plan of eternal redemption.
Bad eschatology will keep a student of the Bible and Gospel largely ignorant of this big picture.
To get to grips with eschatology, we must delve into serious theology. We must advance our study. This article will be the first of many on this topic, as there is a lot of material on the subject. I will do my best to be to the point as much as possible, but I must provide extensive background information and make numerous references to Old and New Testament verses.
Studying this subject is probably the most difficult of all theology subjects, but also one of the most rewarding. When it all gets too much Stop reading and come back another time when you’re ready to pick it up again. I can predict that you can at first say, “Oh no, that’s boring”. Then, when you’ve read through some of the material, you might not want to stop reading. At least that’s how I experienced the study end-time theology. As time went by, I couldn’t wait until the next opportunity to continue my studies again.
Word of Advice: I will begin by explaining what the current major Eschatological views of most Christian groups are. Consider that there are approximately 41,000 registered Christian denominations worldwide. The consequence is that there are many different views. Many of their expert theologians exercise their apologetics against each other, creating a quagmire for the lay-person to be drowned in overwhelming amounts of conflicting information and resource overload.
As an (unknown) banker once said, the best way to tell real money from fake money is not to study fake money, but to become as familiar with genuine banknotes as much as possible. Once you are familiar with the real, as soon as you come across fake money you will recognize it immediately.
Therefore, I will not spend too much time on what I consider to be teachings that are not in harmony with Scripture. As always, I want to make every effort to be 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 give a basic overview of the current eschatological views of organized Church groups or denominations. This is so that you have at least a brief reference and are able to identify what you have learned or the Eschatological view of the Church group that you or a friend or family member is involved with.
So let’s get started.
Introduction to the main eschatological views of mainstream Christianity.
I would first like to clarify that I have a view that differs from most of the current views below. In this blog, I argue for a Full-Preterist Eschatological view.
Like the colors of a rainbow flowing into each other, there appear to be about seven current Standard Model Theological paradigms in modern Christianity and each one overlaps the other to some degree.
I would describe them as Legalism, Futurism, Literalism, Dualism, Historicism, Idealism and Preterism. With the exception of preterism, the other six perspectives view eschatology primarily from the approach that most end-of-time prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. 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 looks at 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 in things like storytelling. However, literalism does not seem to apply this understanding when we read the Bible and treat it as if it were a scholarly treatise or an encyclopedia. We would never read a book of songs or a book of poetry or a book of parables/allegorical stories as if they were speaking of literal historical events. The Bible contains all of these types of literature, including historical factual accounts. We need to know the writer’s original intent and be able to correctly 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 where all of the prophecies such as Daniel’s prophecies, Jesus’ End Times – “Olivet Discourse” on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and the Book of Revelation are yet to fulfill in our future.
Christians seem utterly enthusiastic about futurism and anticipating catastrophic events in our lives or in our near future. On the other hand, if you believe that the “last days” were fulfilled in the past then we must now be living in the “beginning days” of the New Covenant, and you will have a very different perspective on life, faith, and God and the world. Proper Eschatological perspective lets us see that we are not living at the time of the end of the world – but at the beginning of a whole New Era for our World!
Dualism is the way superstition creeps into the Christian faith. Dualism is basically the belief that there are two opposing forces in the universe – one good and one evil. It stems from Gnosticism and similar spiritual traditions (including Zoroastrianism). It may refer to certain scriptures that make 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 means that our bodies, our natural appetites and all things physical are bad, but everything spiritual is good.
For example: Secular music and movies are bad, but Christian music and movies are good! (I find that the opposite is often the case). Worshiping God during a Church service is fine, but going to a soccer game and cheering for your team is worldly, unspiritual, and sinful. Dualism is a belief that evil and good exist in equal proportions, like “God and Satan” or “the kingdom of God and a fallen, sinful world”. Many Christians would claim that they do not believe this, and Ministry organizations have often printed in their statements of faith that they believe that God is omnipotent.
However, the way they pray, preach and interpret Scripture implies that they believe that “Satan has been tempting them all week” and “we must pray against the forces of darkness” and “we are located in a spiritual war with the world”. These are all signs that their true worldview is dualistic.
Historicism is a view held by many well-known preachers before the 18th century. Some Christian denominations hold this view. The idea is that the book of Acts and Revelation converge, so to speak, from the time of the first-century Church. Then, as history progresses, we move further down Revelation and may find ourselves somewhere in chapter 14. This means that some of the bad things recorded in the book have already happened, but there are still a lot of bad things that need to happen. This view also allowed unrestrained liberty to determine who the Antichrist was or who the beast of revelation would be. Some historicists claim it was Napoleon Bonaparte, more recent views claim recent American presidents or popes are the Antichrist.
Idealism, also known as the spiritual view, tends to explain everything in the Bible in overly allegorical and metaphorical terms. The Book of Revelation then turns into the story “The Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” with deep spiritual messages.
Preterism is explained below.
Futurism has been the popular eschatological view for most modern Christian denominations from the mid-1950’s to the present day. In the Eschatological Views of Futurism there are currently 4 main views. They are;
3. Pre-millennialism with progression into dispensationalism
4. Partial Preterism
Preterism considers both a literal and an allegorical approach to interpreting Scripture including the book of Revelation.
The word preterism means: past. To make this even more labyrinthine and perplexing, preterism can be full-preterism or partial-preterism. The Full-preterist view is sometimes referred to as hyper-preterism.
The Full-Preterist interpretation of eschatology asserts that New Testament Bible prophecy was completely fulfilled by the end of the first century, particularly by the events of AD 64-70, when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans. This includes the resurrection of the dead from Hades as prophesied by Daniel, the coming of Christ in judgment upon the nation of Israel and Judea during that period, the end of the Old Sinaitic Covenant, and the beginning of the Messianic Age (The New Covenant and The Kingdom of God).
“Heresies”, “Heretics” and “Heretics”
Mainstream Christian denominations have overwhelmingly adopted an eschatological view known as dispensationalism. This development only first originated about 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 stands in clear 180% contrast to Dispensationalism.
In most groups, the default is to reject any message that doesn’t fit the general consensus. Just because the group is the majority doesn’t make them right. It is difficult for people to recognize and accept the truth when they have already identified with a particular teaching/narrative. When priests and ministers amplify the mainstream message, rejection threatens anyone who disagrees.
Einstein said: “Absolute belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth”.
Therefore, mainstream Christianity currently considers preterism to be heretical. Perhaps this is mainly due to the warning in,
2 Timothy 2
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 is an ignorant conclusion of today’s Church groups.
The Books of Timothy were written well before the outbreak of the Jewish War, which took place between AD 66-70. According to the scriptures, both Old and New, the dead had not been raised from Hades until the coming of the Lord (the Parousia) and the sounding of the last trumpet. Hades was the realm to which those who died before the Day of Resurrection would go. It was a repository for the disembodied human spirits until the great day of resurrection. The resurrection took place at the time of the Parousia (The coming of the Lord in power and judgment) when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Roman armies. Although the dead in Hades had been forgiven since Christ’s resurrection, they could not be resurrected and enter the heavenly holy of holies until Christ would appear again in judgment to close the Sinaitic Age AD 66-70. Read *Article on the resurrection of the dead.
However, Hymenaeus and Philetus told the Christians that the resurrection of the dead had already taken place even though the Apostle Paul clearly taught in his letters that this event was ahead of them. Although Paul emphasized that the resurrection and coming of the Lord would take place in their lives, he anticipated his contemporaries would eventually see how it would all unfold. The resurrection of the dead was the great hope they could look forward to and it was expected to occur soon during their lifetime. 1 Cor 15.
Hymenaeus and Philetus claimed that the resurrection had already taken place, but if that were so nothing had changed after the event. If that were so, it would mean that all the warnings and teachings of Christ and the Apostles did not come true and Christians’ hopes of the expected “coming Messianic Age” and the anticipation of being delivered from “the coming destruction” would have been utterly disappointed. This would have had the potential to destroy their faith.
Pre-Millennial Dispensational Eschatology
Christian denominations over the past 200 years have been heavily influenced by a pre-millennial dispensational eschatology (futuristic view of the end times). As a result, they seem to be less known and trained in Preterist theology and tend to be quick to judge it as heretical. This is typical group psychology when faced with something 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 a person or others a heretic. The word “heretic” means: A person who holds an opinion contrary to what is generally accepted. So it could refer to someone willing to think outside of the status quo. So, many Christians who, over the course of their years as believers, changed their belief systems and moved from one Christian camp to another Christian camp could have been branded heretics by those they left behind. This is not a bad thing when believers’ understanding of the Gospel has deepened.
We should be open to the Lord and His Word, always ready to see things in ways we have never thought of before. In the narrowest sense, a heretic would be a person who disregards the essential Bible truths at all and contradicts what Christ accomplished through his death and resurrection and through the fulfillment of all prophecies. And if so, then perhaps much of mainstream Christianity is indeed guilty of heresy?
Slightly more acceptable to much of the organized Church is Partial Preterism, which proposes the same thing as preterism, except that the resurrection of the dead and the second coming of Christ are still considered future events.
Although the Partial Preterists believes that the book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century, they will argue that some of the prophecies and writings of the Old Testament have yet to be fulfilled in the future. There are some who acknowledge the apocalyptic event in AD 70, thereby fulfilling prophecy, but see this as a shadow of what the future holds and would still be a global and cosmic event, to eventually complete the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation.
Just for a little clarity then:
The Full Preterist believes that all prophecies were completely fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. This has also been called the “AD 70 Doctrine”. Full 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. Partial Preterists believe only some of the prophecies were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
In my understanding of eschatology so far, I tend uphold a strong Full Preterist view, but I am not a cessationist. I have seen the Lord perform many wondrous miracles and the Holy Spirit working through people, including myself. There is more than enough Biblical evidence and 2000 years of testimonies from numerous people receiving healing and miracles. I believe that the influence of the kingdom of God on earth will forever progressively increase.
The kingdom of God has come and is here in the spiritual realm. You cannot see it with your physical eyes. Just as you can’t see the wind, but you can see its results when things are blown in a certain direction. (John 3:8) So there are signs and wonders and manifestations of the Holy Spirit showing the power and authority of the kingdom of God. Whoever believes in the Gospel has taken on the responsibility of an ambassador. 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 on the basis of the promise of the coming Age of God’s kingdom. Jesus performed many miracles and taught that the kingdom of God was near and in and among them. At the advent of Christ AD 66-70, he came with 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.
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.
If you want to learn more about it, read; “The Holy Spirit and the Spiritual Gifts”.
The word millennium is derived from two Latin words, mille, meaning thousand, and the word year. Hence the literal meaning is thousand years.
The prefixes Post-, A-, and Pre-, as used with the word millennium, denote the Eschatological view of Christ’s millennial reign.
Despite the different views on the Millennium and Partial Preterism, what they all have in common is the belief that one day, sometime in the future, Christ will return to judge evil and establish His glorious kingdom with His redeemed ones. Their hope is that the world will not continue forever in its present state when one day Christ will come and establish his everlasting kingdom where death and sin will be no more. This is seen as “the great hope” projected by many Christians as an event in the future. Hence they are futurists in their eschatology.
Much like “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the majority of Christians who follow futuristic eschatology mistakenly believe that the kingdom of God will be established as a physical kingdom on earth.
Never mind that Jesus said:
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”)
• Postmillennialism tends to take a simpler, allegorical approach to interpreting Scripture and the book of Revelation.
• This is the view of the last things referring to the millennial reign (the millennium) will be ushered in when the world is evangelized and there is peace throughout the world.
• The kingdom of God is now in a spiritual form and is expanding in the world through the preaching of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the millennial reign, 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 is improving.
• That the second coming of Christ (in the future), the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment will occur at the end of Jesus’ millennial (thousand year) reign.
• A-Millennialism claims that the Bible does not predict a millennium or period of worldwide peace on this earth before the end of the world.
• It teaches that there will be a parallel and simultaneous development of good and evil in this world – God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. This battle will then continue until the return of Christ.
• At the second coming of Christ (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 no suffering or death.
• Catholics generally follow the teachings of “Saint Augustine” and accept A-millennialism. However, they do not generally use the term. They expect Jesus to come back to earth and gather the church together. But they don’t generally use the term “rapture” either. The Catholic Church has rejected the pre-millennial position, which is sometimes curiously referred to by them as “millennialism”.
• Pre-millennialism tends to take a more literal interpretation of Scripture and the book of Revelation.
• Pre-millennialism teaches that the second coming of Christ, the last judgment (time in the future), will be followed by a time of world 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 reign as King on this earth from the city of Jerusalem. (If you want to see him then you might need to make an appointment with his secretary. Sorry I couldn’t help cracking a little sarcastic joke)
DlSPENSATIONALISM: is an evolution of premillennialism.
• Dispensationalism also takes an almost extreme literal approach, [yet selective and inconsistent upon closer study] to interpreting Scripture and the book of Revelation and believing in a future final judgment.
• It teaches that there are seven major periods known as dispensations. The distributions begin in Genesis, each covering a period followed by the next. They are understood as different periods in the history of God’s dealings with man.
The Age (dispensation) of innocence
The Age of conscience
The Age of Human Government
The Age of Promise
The Age of the Law
The Age of grace – or the time of the church age
The Age of Christ’s millennial kingdom
As for the last two dispensations, we are supposedly living in the dispensation of the Church Age as we move toward the next one.
Here is a brief summary of this end-time Theology:
• We are currently living in the last days, pending the destruction of the world on a global scale.
• Jesus can come back at any time.
• Wars and catastrophes in the world are signs of the end times
• In the twinkling of an eye, Christians are suddenly taken off the face of the earth. This is called the rapture.
Ironically, among dispensationalists who believe in a future rapture, there are different views of when the rapture will take place. These views are designated by their prefix “pre, mid, or post”, tribulation – rapture. The most common and popular view is that the rapture will take place just prior to the revelation of the Antichrist and the seven-year tribulation period.
• 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 contract sealed with a blood sacrifice) with the Jewish nation of Israel. At first they will believe that he is the 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, no one can trade, during the time of tribulation on earth unless they have “the mark of the beast.” Either on their forehead or her right arm. Many Christians believe that this is a chip that contains all of 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 and they will then suddenly realize that he is not the Messiah but the Antichrist. Then follows the mass persecution of Jews and those who turned to the Christian Faith.
• 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 from the city of Jerusalem.
DISPENSATIONALISM = SENSATIONALISM or SENSATIONALITY
Does this all sound like a Hollywood horror sci-fi movie? A very bleak expectation for the near future. Maybe ok for a devout Christian who knows they’ll be raptured off the earth before the s..t hits the fan. Still, a very selfish doctrine, to say the least, when you know that billions of people are going to go through terrible times of suffering. It’s a very clever yet inconsistent compilation of verses in the Bible that produces a very strange doctrine. I call this theology of dispensationalism, sensationalism.
Dispensationalism holds the view that the apocalyptic event described in the book of Revelation is soon to be fulfilled. The signs of the times as Jesus described them in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:1-15, Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-36) are interpreted by futurists as signs that are happening all around us now.
Every time disaster or war breaks out, it’s another sign of the times that seems to fulfill a prophecy. This type of Biblical Exegesis (Exegesis – critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially Scripture) is more of a TV News exegesis.
I ask you how many US Presidents and/or Catholic Popes have already been suspected of being the Antichrist? Or type “the end of the world” into a YouTube search and you will see an enormous multitude of video clips with strange and scary predictions and messages.
Throughout the history of the Church over the past 2000 years there have been numerous movements that predicted the return of Jesus Christ and each time proclaimed that the end of the world would occur in that time period. Never mind the fact that they were wrong every time.
In March 2020, the British government imposed the first lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic declared by the WHO (The World Health Organization). This has led to one of the largest waves of teaching and messages in support of dispensationalism within the Christian Church. The great reset that Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, writes about in his book; their annual meetings with world leaders in Davos, Switzerland; their alliance with the UN (United Nations) and the ultra-rich elite discussing their sustainable development agenda 21/30; the promotion of a global internationalist vision for trade, banking, agriculture, technology, military, judiciary and court, the propagation of a one world order to be implemented by many governments of nations in the world has certainly given Christians many justifications and provided further arguments to reignite their “last days” eschatology.
Regardless of whether the WEF, UN, WHO are actually participants in and the front lines of a much deeper and ancient conspiracy to stage a coup d’état for world dominance and confine humanity to a digitalized system of totalitarian control, this is still not a fulfillment of the prophecy.
I am convinced that all of Jesus’ prophecies in His Olivet discourse of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 were fulfilled when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70. Notwithstanding that the manifested fulfillment of these prophecies in contrast to the unfolding current events, which are not of a prophetic design, exhibit a pattern not dissimilar to these prophetic events fulfilled long ago. This is because Satan has always worked through humans with intent to gain control of the world’s population. Throughout the Bible we read of his many failed attempts, from the Tower of Babel, the Nephilim giants, the Assyrian invasion of northern Israel, the Babylonian invasion of Judea and Jerusalem, the Roman Empire, until Christ came and through his death and the resurrection restored man’s sovereignty on earth to rule himself as a free man. Since then, Satan only gains influence on earth through the consent of a free man/woman who can use their free will and choice to allow that influence. Satan’s desire to take control of mankind has never changed, and since his great defeat at the death of Christ, he has continued to lead people to embrace his Luciferian philosophy. Those who conceived this delusion throughout history have been the instigators and engineers of hierarchical power structures in society, wars, famines, poverty, divisions, the fall and rise of governments, communism, fascism, racism, disease and the list goes on.
Just because these people knowingly, willingly, and many others unknowingly offer themselves as agents spreading this ancient globalist ideology, does not mean that this is the Book of Revelation being fulfilled before our eyes. It means Satan is still doing his best to get what he always wanted. Dominance of the earth, with man acquiescing to his tyrannical rule. There are still people today who will try to do whatever it takes to bring the population of this world under their ultimate control, with the aim of handing everything over to their supreme leader, who can then be incarnated by Satan himself, and become their Luciferian god. All of these efforts have long been undertaken and planned to please Satan’s ancient vengeance against Yahweh, to prove that he should not have been cast out from his original position and that man is not worthy of the love and value that God places on them.
Do Christians really accept the dispensational view that just before everything is destroyed here on earth, we will be raptured to heaven? This escapist mentality is not only selfish, but fatalistic by definition. It means there is no real point in standing up for the future of our world. Why should we when all this is the fulfillment of God’s Word? No, Christ won the greatest victory over Satan by dying on the cross and establishing the New Covenant of forgiveness, thereby removing Satan’s legal grounds to accuse us before God. Born a new creation by the resurrection life of Christ, our sovereignty is now established in and through him. We have been given the responsibility to stand up for the truth of the Gospel, to stand up for the people for whom Christ died, and to rid this world of the evils carried out by an evil cabal. (A cabal is a group of people united in a narrow scheme, usually to further their private views or interests in an ideology, state or other community, often through conspiracy, and machination usually unbeknownst to those outside their group) When those sold to their Lucifer are removed from their positions of influence, the world will begin to experience the true freedom for which Christ set us free. We have a tremendous responsibility and the grace and power of God to fulfill our contribution to deliverance from tyranny.
1. Important Notice; DISPENSATIONALISM evolved out of pre-millennialism seems to have become the dominant eschatology of the Evangelical Church groups across the world. These include: the Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Charismatic, Word of Faith and also most of the Grace Churches.
Pastor John Hagee of John Hagee Ministries and Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, USA can be regularly viewed on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and other Christian television channels. He is just one of the main proponents of dispensationalism. In his series, entitled The Four Blood Moons, he made predictions about something terrible to come in 2015. It’s catchy material. The stuff of sci-fi horror movies. What’s so wrong with things like this 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 powerfully about the doctrines of hell and eternal damnation, a coming judgment, a division between the saved (Christians) and the lost (the rest of the world, the sinners), and most of all the message that Christ has redeemed us, but His Grace can be rejected by the individual’s unbelief. The result of rejecting Christ being eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.
John Hagee’s trademark is his shaky and trembling Pentecostal preacher’s voice. Mr. Hagee is my brother in Christ like everyone else. Is he wrong on the above issues? Oh yeah. Are these teachings destructive? Certainly. Is he wrong in everything he teaches? Most likely not. Does he perhaps also present good Biblical messages? Possibly yes.
Solar Eclipse Lunar Eclipse Miracle
For many years I traveled as a Christian preacher and teacher in the US, Europe and parts of Africa. I ministered in all sorts of Christian groups. I can say that despite what people claim to believe about eschatology and any of the above teachings, I have experienced the wonderful manifest presence of God in most of their meetings. Just because the teaching is not correct in all areas does not mean that these people do not really experience the presence of God. Disappointingly, experiencing God’s presence is perceived as though God is confirming their doctrine as being right. This is not the case. Even if your son or daughter holds an opinion about something, which you consider absolutely ridiculous, you would still love them. (By the way, your children may be right in some cases and you need them to guide you. Lol) God always wants to lead us to a better comprehension of his truth. He has more patience than we do. The things I have come to believe now have developed over a period of almost thirty years. If only someone would have taught me the true Gospel when I first began my journey of faith, I could have avoided many heartaches over the years. So, no, I’m not happy with some of the absolute nonsense that preachers spread across the world. Especially on topics like eschatology. Today, however, more people are sharing the truth than ever before. More and more preachers and theologians who conduct honest, open-minded research are jumping off the Futurist ship. They leave the dispensationalist camp realizing that the only eschatological system that makes sense is full-Preterism. It is only a matter of time before this theological view becomes generally acknowledged and accepted.
2. Important Notice: What is often not realized among Christians is that the doctrine of dispensationalism is a fairly recent doctrine. These striking views were first made known by John N. Darby, a leader of the Plymouth Brethren group in England, in the 1830’s and was later in the footnote commentary of the Scofield Reference Bible. It was after his death, C.I. Scofield published Darby’s ideas in the annotated Scofield Reference Bible in 1909. Dispensationalism was later popularized by Protestant conservative Christian preachers across the world.
Could it be that many who are now inclined to follow dispensationalism would not have become victims of this theological system if they were better informed about the system, its history, and theological roots with the doctrinal errors that arose from it? I think so.
Pertaining to end time theology; Dispensationalist ministers seem to constantly point to world events, political developments, catastrophes, wars, and now pandemics and climate change as signs of the times and evidence of Christ’s imminent return and judgment to come. The fact is that when you determine the fulfillment of Bible prophecy by watching the news, the first rules of Bible interpretation are neglected.
A) The Scriptures of the Old Testament are all about Jesus
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 the generation living today. The absolute theme in the Old Testament scriptures leading into the New Testament is Christ and what He accomplished for all mankind.
B) The linguistics of the Old Testament Scripture is Hebraic. It is a record of the Old Testament covenants and historical events from Adam to Abraham, the nation of Israel through the Age of the Sinaitic Covenant with Law of Moses, with the prophets foretelling’s of Yeshua Hamashiach, His death and resurrection, and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The prophecies of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Himself speak of the end of the Sinaitic Covenant with the law of Moses and the priesthood, the utter destruction of the kingdom of Judah in Judea, the city of Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70, with the arriving of the kingdom of God at the coming of Christ in His glory in the first century.
Matthew 24 Revised Geneva Translation
34 Truly I say to you that this generation shall not pass until all these things are done.
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 spoke about the generation of Jews who alive at that time. It was that same generation who were alive when Jerusalem was destroyed. The high priest Joseph Caiaphas was still alive when he saw his whole world collapse. Important note: The Biblical time span for a generation is 40 years. From the cross to AD 70 is 40 years. Therefore, Biblical eschatology is not our eschatology related to the end of our world in the near future. It’s Hebraic eschatology. Biblical eschatology is the study of the end of the Kingdom of Judah, the end of the Sinaitic Covenant Age, and the establishment of the New Messianic Age, the Eternal New Covenant, and the kingdom of God at the coming of Christ in His glory.
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 1500 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.
What are the types of Literary Genres in the Bible? The Bible is ancient scripture containing many different types and styles of literature. It has law, history, wisdom, poetry, the epistles of the apostles, prophecy and apocalyptic literature. Take poetry for example.
To literally interpret poetry will cause problems most of the time.
Poetry is full of figurative language. Historical records can be taken more literal. Wisdom literature like proverbs will be full of metaphors and sometimes taken literally. Biblical prophecy and apocalyptic language is replete with hyperbolic, symbolic, and cosmological language, and sometimes literal references. In ancient times, people didn’t have televisions that displayed moving images backed by spooky music playing in the background to emotionally draw people into the story and sway their imaginations. That is why the Hebrew writer used great fantastic words.
The book of Revelation was a book for the first century Hebrew Christians. The writings of this book are full of extreme attempts to stir the imagination of the Hebrews who lived during that generation, only a few years before the Day of the Lord (AD 66-70).
Let us also emphasize that much of the language of the Old and New Testaments gives us insight into the cosmology of the people then. The Biblical Hebrew concept of cosmology reveals the reality of our physical cosmos, the universe, the earth plus several levels of heaven in the invisible realm and the realm known as Hades or Sheol. (remember the apostle Paul speaking of the third heaven)
D) When studying any part of the Bible, we need to ask the following questions: who wrote it, what was their intention in what they said or wrote, who is being addressed, when it was written, where, in what country, and location was it written, what was the cultural and political setting at the time. The Old and New Testaments address the Hebrew people 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 in a Hebrew frame of reference. The first Church group in Jerusalem were Jews who believed in Christ. It took between 10 and 20 years for the Gentiles to be reached primarily through the ministry of the apostle Paul. The letters of the apostle Paul are aimed at a mixture of mostly Jewish Christians and Gentiles (non-Jewish) Christians. Paul’s main task in the beginning was to reach out to Jews living outside of Israel. Eventually his focus turned to the Gentiles (Acts 18).
Therefore, as we read the Bible, we must imagine putting ourselves in the life of a Hebrew, to whom the Scriptures were addressed, who lived in that time and were familiar with their customs and religious traditions. A very powerful example is the Book of Revelation. The writing style is Hebraic and can only be understood that way. It is very similar to the Old Testament books of Daniel and Ezekiel, also purely Hebraic in writing. We must avoid to be quick to try and apply the Bible prophecies, teachings and parables of Jesus to our lives today. We should first learn to see how they were understood by the generation of that ancient time. This is the only way we can fully grasp the realistic context of the scriptures when drawing applications for our generation today.
Trying to live up to Old Testament prophecy in today’s setting is forcefully taking everything out of context. It is a kind of theological distortion to try to fit “time verses” into our modern Western doctrines.
For the past few hundred years, Bible scholars and ministers have applied a Western approach to our interpretation of Scripture as opposed to the interpretation of Scripture from its original location in ancient Asia Minor. With our Western (US, Canadian, British and European, including all countries of the Commonwealth) mindset, the Bible has been viewed almost exclusively as a legalistic document. This Western approach has its roots in penal law, which is based on ancient Roman civil law. This is one of the reasons that Western Christian teaching is very focused on sin and punishment of the wicked. The ancient Hebrew view of Scripture lies 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, nor in the New Testament either, do we find any evidence of eternal punishment after a judgment on physical life here on earth.
1 Corinthians 5
5 be delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved on the Day of the Lord Jesus.
Paul seems to be pointing out precisely this point. There are those who are so hardened to the voice of the Holy Spirit that they do not see the need to turn to Christ. No matter how many times the Lord reminds them of His love for them, they persist in their atheism or their wicked works. Eventually their wickedness returns upon their own heads. Under the Old Sinaitic Covenant, this meant that God’s wrath would come upon them. Under the New Covenant administration, this means they simply reap what they sow, (by the universal law of action, reaction, cause and effect, and at times the justice systems of the respective country) but it is not God punishing them. In any case, it is their sin that can lead to death or loss of life.
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of that field.”
The coming of the Lord on a cloud always portends judgment. Check for yourself in the Old Testament. Here Jesus foretold His coming to judgment on apostate Israel for breaking the Old Sinaitic Covenant, suppressing the truth of Christ’s resurrection, and persecuting believers. This judgment took place between 67 and 70 AD. It was the day of the Lord, just as the apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 5:5. Could it be that the 1.3 million Jews who died in the Great Jewish War of which the historian Josephus wrote about died physically, but their souls/spirit’s were delivered from Hades (the realm of the dead) at the resurrection?
This coincides with the correct translation of the word “eternal” from the Greek word “Aion”, which does not refer to the meaning of a perpetual everlasting state, but more specifically to a limited period of time. As explained in other articles, an Aion’s time is determined by what the word is connected to. Like the “height” is determined by the measure of the height of a person or the measure of the height of a building. Aion connected to God or life in Heaven is perpetual never ending.
29 “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Ghost,
shall never have forgiveness; but is culpable of eternal damnation.”
For the record, the words “shall never” are not in the original Greek. They should be the words “shall not”.
Unforgiveness because of defiance of the Holy Spirit’s gentle persuasions meant that their sin would lead to death, that is, physical death. Christ came to His own people and told them that if they believed in Him as their promised Messiah, they would not perish physically (John 3:16). Only the Holy Spirit can give revelation to the seeker of truth. But resisting the Holy Spirit meant they could not perceive the truth. In the case of that rebellious generation who died in the fires at the destruction of the Temple where judgment had to begin first, they went through a period or time of “crisis,” which is the original Greek word for judgment, from which we now have our word crisis. But as brutal as that judgment and as severe as their time of crisis was, should they have risen from the dead at the resurrection? Was their spirit saved because of what Christ did on behalf of all mankind? If so, then Roman civil law, with a Western penal system projected into the interpretation of Scripture, as suggested by St Augustine, one of the chief proponents of the doctrine of hell as a place of eternal punishment, is alien to the true message of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Even God’s judgment in the case of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 becomes restorative in the end.
I will now end this first article with a verse from the very last chapter of the book of Revelation, which can be considered the culmination of God’s work on earth, as a result of the cross and AD 70 the day of the Lord.
1 And he showed 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 the Tree of Life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits and gave fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree served to heal the nations. 3 And there shall no longer be any 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 each side represent the Jews on one side and the Gentiles on the other. The tree of life, which against nature has its roots on both sides of the river, symbolically refers to Jesus who out of the two Jews and Gentiles made one new man. A righteous brand new creation.
The fruit of the tree of life (Christ) is healing to the nations of our world for all time. Although there is much pain and suffering in the world, there is also healing in the hearts of the people. If people stopped preaching law and judgment and instead proclaimed the Gospel, there would be a tremendous increase in healing among all the people of all nations.
The evil forces of this world, which for millennia whispered their dark wisdom into the ears of those devoted to their cabal, always operated under the premise of “divide and conquer”. The doctrine of the “lost and saved” created an “us and them” mentality among Christians and rendered the Church weak and ineffective in reaching the world with the true Gospel. The very moment when we recognize that eternal salvation is a reality for all, and we need to tell them they have been forgiven, are redeemed and will go to heaven and there is no such thing as “us and them,” we revive the true power of the Gospel.
14 Yes, Christ himself is our peace. He overcame the dichotomy and made a unit out of Jews and non-Jews. He broke down the wall that stood between them and ended their enmity. Because by giving up his own life 15 he overrode the law with its numerous commandments and ordinances. His aim was to make Jews and non-Jews a new person through connection with himself and in this way to bring about peace. 16 By dying on the cross, he reconciled both Jew and Gentile to God and united them into one body, the church; by his own death he ended the enmity thereby.
We are one