THE NICOLAITAN EMPIRE
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. KJV
The righteous must live in a corrupt world. This is not about individuals whose faith is daily tested by the decisions they must make: this is about pulling down strongholds which allow false doctrine to rule the lives of mankind
As the U.S. Thanksgiving and Yuletide season draws closer (hoping by now you have forsaken Halloween altogether), it is important to show the fault line that became a rift, that has become a gaping chasm; even now, there is very little time left to decide which side you stand upon: I am not talking about the redeemed vs. the heathen here, but about what Jesus called the separation of the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32,33). Looking at Hebrews 9, this would appear to be a separation of the Church from Judaism; however, this was not what Jesus specifically referred to: He was speaking of those who helped even the least of His disciples, and those who did not.
LOVE is more than a syrupy card of well-wishing; sometimes it is trying to right a wrong that has been established in the tradition of centuries. Sacrifices of passive resistance often suffer violence, with or without supernatural miracles. Forerunners are unpopular just because they are different; their ways are strange to the status quo, so they are initially rejected. This is how change takes place, one person at a time; having the courage to believe that truth is more important than the comfort of compromising for an uneasy peace, a continued slavery: this is how the Kingdom of God is established.
Until now, I have not investigated Reform theology; but a quick, honest look at some of their doctrine has opened my eyes to much of the misunderstanding and controversy present in the modern Church. I did not understand why many people act the way they do until now; and, because it is impossible to enter this zone without some spiritual earthshaking, I will go there boldly.
The Puritans who began the Massachusetts Bay colony were Calvinists, and much of the belief system of the other colonies also was founded on this doctrine. In present terms, the Lutherans, Episcopals, and Presbyterians still by-and-large adopt this system, which, along with primarily Postmillennialism, form Reform theology. Wesley and Methodism, Baptists, Pentecostals, and some groups considered cults by mainstream Christianity started a bit later as movements, following the doctrine of Premillennialism. The difference was hidden from my understanding, not thinking that it was particularly important; but now I see that it explains a whole lot concerning why leaders act like they do; the way I was brought up is much more ingrained in how I see the world and Christianity than I could before imagine.
Basically, I believe Calvinism and Postmill is being taught to the clergy in seminaries, and Premill then being taught to the laity from the pulpit. This double standard can be attributed to the arrogance of professorship and so-called higher learning vs. the prejudged ignorance of the masses: simple people are taught simple things, controlled by those who know better. Occasionally, however, some leader will break out of the mold and wonder: perhaps it is the simple faith that will win out, after all?
The Calvinist doctrines of Election and Predestination allowed Christians to slaughter Native Americans, own slaves, and exploit workers without thinking twice about it; so I guess now suppose that two out of three improvements isn’t bad; the Reform doctrine of Postmillennialism places corporate managers in a scientific dream world that is always improving and making progress, even in the face of all evidence to the contrary. This is how our country is being led, both in government, and the Church.
There is no literal Revelation in Postmillennialism; everything is symbolic and already fulfilled; modern Israel is a fluke; the Tribulation is just a pizza nightmare. Doomsday prophets are to be pitied; prosperity will continue indefinitely, because we now are the chosen ones. Those who believe the Bible deserve to serve: God has now given all authority to the leaders; the Scriptures are now history, often just barely above hyperbole and myth. Jesus replaced the Old Testament; Paul’s epistles replaced the four gospels. This is what most of your leaders truly believe, be it government representative, local pastor, or national evangelist or prophet. Fundamental Zionists are to be ignored until they cause trouble, then ostracized or condemned; they are too stupid to really worry about. This is the state of our nation; this is the state of the world.
Because total depravity and the evangelism of the entire world into a blissful, materially prosperous kingdom can be merged into one, nearly any other doctrine, except loyalty to new political Israel, can be intertwined, also. Animal sacrifices are unacceptable even for a feast; kosher is taboo; going to physical Jerusalem is an abomination. We are spiritually elite and elect; the world is a marvelous, wonderful place; God smiles over us at all times. No wonder the poor, elderly, sick, desperate, and ugly are shoved under the rug; only the blessed healthy, wealthy, and productive really matter, anyway. The end justifies the means; it does not matter how many die, as long as there are elections.
God is in control; Satan is just a puppet; this is all just a little play. Turn off the T.V., and suffering and misery no longer exist. We are in; what does it matter if everyone else is out? We will preach the good news of our ruling power; if God has appointed you to listen, fine; if not, fine. Crying intercessors are a joke; helping the needy is an exercise in futility, because most of them have been preordained to go to hell, anyway.
Am I finally getting this right? Have I learned anything? I have watched you for years, wondering how you can preach Jesus, and do everything that you do. Now I think God has showed me your world: and I want you to know how putrid it really is; it is much worse than an open sewer; it is the everlasting stench of fire and brimstone.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. KJV
In Jesus’ love and name, in covenant with Him, Ron David Metcalf 10/26/05
From the tract, Another Gospel, by Rev. William MacLean, M.A.
Excerpts with comments
…all whom He purposed to save… salvation is of free and sovereign grace. The ninth chapter of Romans is the Holy Spirit's commentary on the eternal decrees of God… the passing by the rest of mankind has also its source in the unsearchable counsel of His sovereign will…. Reprobation implies that God simply passes by the sinner leaving him as he is. In election He makes choice of the sinner in His sovereign grace… as one who may have mercy on whom He will have mercy and harden whom He will…
COMMENT: Pharaoh hardened his own heart several times before God began to harden it. Even my teenage daughters know that “God is not willing that any should perish”.
Election sooner or later, is riveted in the hearts of God's people…The Arminians, on the other hand, hold and teach conditional election on a ground of foreseen faith. This is contrary to the Truth. As long as men are unregenerate, they are in a state of unbelief, without hope in God and without faith in Christ. When saved by grace, they have faith, but that not of themselves. It is not of their own power or free-will, but the gift of God through the efficacious teaching of the Holy Spirit. Faith, therefore, cannot be the cause of election. It is the effect of it and is insured by it.
COMMENT: According to Reformists, we have no part in our salvation, but God still condemns people to eternal judgment for their sins. According to them, being in a natural state of total depravity, we cannot possibly understand God’s free gift of salvation unless we have been preordained to do so. My answer is that God already knows, being outside of time, but we don’t; so, really, it is none of our business to judge who is worthy, and who isn’t. Without a heart of compassion, preaching the gospel is just an arrogant show declaration like the Pharisees, or perhaps worse.
'Not foreknowledge as bare prescience,' says Calvin, 'but the adoption by which God had always from eternity distinguished His children from the reprobate.' The Scriptures represent election as occurring in the past, irrespective of personal merit… If a man wants to enjoy a delightful prospect, and a mighty mountain lies in his path, does he commence cutting away at its base, in the vain hope that ultimately it will become a level plain before him? No, on the contrary, he diligently uses it for the accomplishment of his purpose by ascending it, well knowing this to be the only means of obtaining the end in view. So must we do; we cannot bring down the truths of God to our poor finite understanding; the mountain will never fall before us, but we can seek strength to rise higher and higher in our preception of divine things and in this way only may we hope to obtain the blessing." (From sermon on 'Jacob and Esau' by C. H. Spurgeon).
COMMENT: How many mountains have literally been blasted through during the last century to create our interstate highway system? “Faith that moves mountains” is not part of the Reform language; see how Jesus’ teachings have been replaced.
…how impious the cavillings of those who reject the doctrine of election, or explain it away by attributing it to the fickle will of man… Christ is not offered to you because you repent, but because you are a vile, lost sinner.
COMMENT: Then why were both John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ first messages: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”?
"No man," writes Christopher Ness, "may judge himself a reprobate in this life, and so grow desperate; for final disobedience (the only infallible evidence of reprobation) cannot be discovered till death."… ' Yea, in every degree of seeking Him, this reflection should encourage and lead to say, 'Blessed be God who has brought me thus far, further than others.' The doctrine as to practice should be applied to things past, and not to anything that is to come.
COMMENT: See how this parallels the theory of evolution: we are always better than, smarter than, more acceptable to God than any generation before us. By the Gentile way of thinking (including Catholicism, where the Pope is God’s sole representative), the current leader is always the best; better than before.
Arminians deny the total depravity of man, in that they hold that the will of man is free and has the ability to choose Christ and the salvation that is in Him. Such teaching is false and delusive… The "evangelism” of decisionism, coming forward to the front, or standing up to make a decision for Christ, or signing decision cards, is purely Arminian. It is not of God, but of the will of man and can only end in delusion and eternal despair. This "evangelism" of decisionism is based on another false and erroneous doctrine held and propagated by Arminians, that of a Universal Atonement. 'Christ died for all, and therefore for me; I believe this, and therefore I shall be saved,' are the short stages of an easy journey to the hope of peace.
COMMENT: So, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” is not valid? How foolish were these early disciples, not including the catechisms of the Church!
The Person, in all His power and love, is presented to me; and the authority of God shuts me up to the acceptance of Him, in order to my salvation. It is light, revealing the glorious person, the infinite merit, and the ineffable love of Christ, and a call requiring me to come to Him; and not any supposed reference of His death to me, that encourages me to receive Him that I may be saved."
COMMENT: Say what? Looks like you have to eat of the tree of knowledge quite a bit before you can really understand salvation.
Arminians on the other hand believe that man has the natural power of will to exercise faith on Christ. Sinners are therefore urged to make decisions for Christ. On this foundation of sand multitudes build their hope for eternity. The decisionist conversion is but the exercise of the unrenewed will. The faith in Christ professed is not the gift of God. The joy experienced is the joy of the stony-ground hearers. The hope cherished is not the good hope through grace, but the hope of the hypocrite that shall perish. All the religious activity which follows, is not of the Spirit but of the flesh.
COMMENT: This all reminds me of the Hindu karma system: either you are completely blessed from birth, or completely cursed, and you have no real say in the matter. This explains what leaders have been telling me my whole life: you are just a workhorse; don’t even try to open your mouth and say anything.
All who have no love for God's holy day, who are not grieved over how far short they come in keeping the Sabbath holy to the Lord and who are not wounded and grieved in soul when they see the Lord's day desecrated, whatever their profession, and whatever name they may have, they have but a name to live: they are still in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
COMMENT: I guess this includes Jesus Who said: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
Arminians hold that responsibility infers ability, and therefore maintain that when sinners are called upon to believe and to repent, that they have the power to do so. Such teaching is false to the core. The call given in the gospel, and given by all who preach the gospel in its fullness, to believe and repent is the outward call. It is the perogative of the Holy Spirit alone in His internal and regenerating work to make the outward call effectual. 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' Although man through the fall lost his ability, he is still responsible and accountable to God, and because responsible he is duty bound to make use of the outward means and ordinances appointed by God, and the efficiency of which is dependent alone on His power. God has established a connection between the means and the end desired. He commands us to use them, and He has promised to bless them. To separate the means from the end, which the Lord has ordained for the salvation of sinners is to be guilty of separating what the Lord has joined. A despising and a neglecting of the means is a despising of the salvation the means bring before us. 'And how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?
COMMENT: Let me try and interpret this correctly: we have a mandate to preach the gospel, even though it is not our responsibility if anyone is actually saved, or not. Therefore, having concern and praying for another is foolish.
Arminians believe in a Universal Atonement, that Christ died for all and every man alike, for Judas as well as for Peter, and in support of their view they appeal to certain passages in Scripture, which on the surface appear to teach that Christ died for the whole world of mankind. It is evident from Scripture that the term 'world' has a variety of meanings, and that it must always be interpreted according to the context in which it is found. This also applies to the word 'all.'
The texts used by the Arminians to support their theory of a Universal Atonement can all be explained in the light of the context as setting forth an atonement for all the elect and the elect only. They do not in the slightest way contradict the Scriptural and Calvinistic doctrine of a Definite or Limited Atonement -- limited in its design, limitless in its efficacy. According to the Word of God, Christ by His death infallibly secured the salvation of the elect, those chosen in Him and given Him by the Father before the foundation of the world. Those for whom Christ suffered and died are called 'His sheep' (John 10: 11, 15); 'His Church' (Acts 20: 28; Ephesians 5: 25-27); 'His people' (Matthew 1: 21); 'His elect' (Romans 8: 32-35). If Christ died for all, then all would be saved, for it is impossible that they for whom Christ died and whose guilt He expiated, should be condemned and lost on account of that guilt. !!!
COMMENT: The latter is the exclusive, rather than inclusive, definition of “world”: the closed country club, foreordained from birth. Jesus only died for certain people; everyone else is damned already; the only alternative, from Reform white-and-black thinking, is that everyone will get into heaven (think of the overcrowding!)
John Calvin says, "As ministers of the Gospel are messengers between God and men, the first duty devolving upon them is to make free offer of the grace of God, and the second is to strive with all their might that it may not be offered in vain."
COMMENT: This may be taken one of two ways: either keep trying to win someone to Christ in all your ability; or, go quickly to the next person, once the tract is in the previous person’s hand.
The warrant of faith which consists in assuring all men that Christ died for them, is, in view of the awful fact that all men are not saved utterly derogatory to the work of the Redeemer, as well as to the honour, the justice, and the truth of the everlasting Father. You will be led to conclude that the professedly unlimited atonement is really so limited as to be no atonement at all. The giving of such a warrant, in view of the unquestionable fact that millions of those for whom it is alleged the satisfaction was made, have perished, involves an impeachment of the love, and truth, and justice of the Father, or of the all-perfect righteousness of Christ.
COMMENT: Apologetics are a big part of Reform theology: defending God and protecting Him against all the bad savages.
Such a warrant of faith requires, as its background, either a special revelation in regard to the parties addressed or a universal atonement. Not being possessed of the former, the herald has endeavoured to find relief by adopting the latter. "The preaching of the gospel does not consist in the utterance of one or two laconic invitations to come to Christ. The object of preaching is to 'produce both faith and repentance, and such invitations are fitted to produce neither. . . . You are to expound and proclaim to all men the way of life, by exhibiting Christ in the infinite dignity of His person and grace of His official relations and work; you are to urge upon men the duty of accepting the salvation offered by God in Him, and of submitting to be saved in the way which, in the infinite mercy of God, has been provided.
In doing this, you are to ply those you address with all the arguments furnished by the worth of the soul, the bliss of heaven, the unutterable woes of the lost, the justice and wrath of God, revealed in His law and in the history of its administration, and by His love and mercy exhibited in Christ and His work. This done, you can assure them that all who obey this call shall be saved. This done, your work as an ambassador is done. You have said all you have authority to say. In the execution of such a commission, the question will come to you again and again -- Can these bones live? But in your felt incompetency to quicken the dead which strew the valley of vision into which the Head of the Church may carry you, call to mind the truth to which attention has been already directed; remember that you are a co-worker with God; that whilst you have charge of the external call, there is another -- an internal call -- given by the Omnipotent, life-giving Spirit, whose it is to shine into the hearts of men, and give them to behold that glory of God in the face of Christ which it is yours to display before the minds of men in their natural estate."
(Free Presbyterian Magazine, Vol. 37: 1).
COMMENT: Instead of embarrassing yourself by pleading for someone to come to Jesus, the noble alternative is presented: formally called a homily; in the vernacular, gobbledygook. This is the English equivalent of the Latin mass.
Arminianism was the false gospel of John Wesley and his followers in the eighteenth century, and of D. L. Moody in the nineteenth. It is the stock-in-trade of well nigh all the popular evangelists of this century from Billy Graham downwards. The gospel halls of the Brethren, Open and Closed, are nurseries of Arminianism. The active agents of the Faith Mission and the Salvation Army, notwithstanding the moral and social results to the credit of the latter, spread the plague on every side. All the sects which have sprung up in these latter times, however divergent in their doctrines and practices -- Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostalists, Mormons, Christadelphians, Cooneyites, etc., etc., have all in common, the fatal lie of free-willism. It is Satan's sovereign drug, which causes the soul to sleep in delusion, and the end of such delusion is death. "Free will," says Spurgeon, "has carried many souls to hell but never a soul to heaven."… What need there is for the 'denunciation' and the 'horror' the Rev. D. Beaton refers to, as the cloven-hoof of Arminianism is unmistakably seen far within the tents of the popular evangelical conventions, fellowships, and unions of our day! The Scripture Union, the Inter-Varsity Fellowship, the International Council of Christian Churches, the conventions of the Keswick fraternity etc., are all riddled with the cancer of Arminianism.
COMMENT: It is truly enlightening to find out that Billy Graham and the Salvation Army have been carrying the plagues of Satan all this time. Think of all the riff-raff who have been deluded to think that they are really worthy to go to heaven! Why, most of them don’t even know the paternoster!
…the return of Christ is to occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the "Millennium." It should be added that on postmillennial principles the second coming of Christ will be followed immediately by the general resurrection, the general judgment, and the introduction of heaven and hell in their fullness. The Millennium to which the Postmillennialist looks forward is thus a golden age of spiritual prosperity during this present dispensation, that is, during the Church age, and is to be brought about through forces now active in the world. It is an indefinitely long period of time, perhaps much longer than a literal one thousand years. The changed character of individuals will be reflected in an uplifted social, economic, political and cultural life of mankind. The world at large will then enjoy a state of righteousness such as at the present time has been seen only in relatively small and isolated groups, as for example in some family circles, some local church groups and kindred organizations. This does not mean that there ever will be a time on this earth when every person will be a Christian, or that all sin will be abolished. But it does mean that evil in all its many forms eventually will be reduced to negligible proportions, that Christian principles will be the rule, not the exception, and that Christ will return to a truly Christianized world…
In contrast with this, Premillennialism holds that the world is not to be converted during this dispensation, that it is, in fact, vain to hope for its conversion before the return of Christ. It holds rather that the world is growing progressively worse, that the present age is to end in a great apostasy and rebellion climaxed by the reign of the Antichrist and the battle of Armageddon, at which time Christ comes with sudden and overwhelming power to rescue His people, destroy His enemies, and establish a one thousand year earthly kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital. Many seem convinced that we now are in the last stage of the Laodicean apostasy, and that the end is very near. Premillennialism thus despairs of the power of the Gospel to Christianize the world, and asserts rather that it is to be preached only as a witness. Whereas Postmillennialism holds that Christ's coming closes this age and that it is to be followed by the eternal state, Premillennialism holds that His coming is to be followed by another dispensation, the Millennium, or kingdom age, and that the final resurrection and judgment do not take place until one thousand years later. It has also been a standard doctrine of Premillennialism in every age that the coming of Christ is "near" or "imminent," although every generation of Premillennialists from the first century until the present time has been mistaken on that point. Premillennialism, in its dispensational form, divides the second coming of Christ into two parts: (1) the Rapture, or His coming "for" His saints, at which time the righteous dead of all ages are to be raised in the "first resurrection," the righteous living translated, and both groups caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and (2) the Revelation, which occurs seven years later, at the close of the Great Tribulation, at which time Christ returns to earth "with" His saints, overpowers the Antichrist, defeats and suppresses all His enemies, raises the righteous dead who have died or who have been killed during the Great Tribulation, and establishes His Kingdom on this earth. At the close of the Millennium the wicked dead are to be raised in a final resurrection, and this in turn is followed by their judgment and the introduction of the eternal state. The Millennium in which the Premillennialist believes is thus a direct and personal rule of Christ over this earth…
Amillennialism, as the term implies, does not set forth a Millennium at all. Some Amillennialists apply the term to the entire Christian era between the first and second advent of Christ. Some apply it to a relatively Christian and peaceful era, such as the Church enjoyed after the bitter persecution of the first three centuries, at which time Emperor Constantine made Christianity the preferred religion of the Roman Empire. Others apply it to the intermediate state. The position of the Amillennialist does not necessarily preclude him from believing that the world may be Christianized before the end comes, but most Amillennialists have not so held. Rather they have preferred to say that there probably will not be much relative change. In support of this they cite the parable of the wheat and the tares, in which both grow together until the harvest. Historically the main thrust of Amillennialism has been much stronger against Premillennialism than against Postmillennialism, since it interprets Revelation 20 symbolically and does not believe that Christ will reign personally in an earthly kingdom…
In the book of Hebrews "Mount Zion," God's holy mountain, is spiritualized to mean the Church (12:22). Hence in this prophecy it must mean that the Church, having attained a position so that it stands out like a mountain on a plain, will be prominent and regulative in all world affairs… In the light of the New Testament we see that the final kingdom, represented by the stone cut out without hands, was the one that Christ set up, which indeed was set up while the Roman empire still was in existence. The Church, an institution not of human but of divine origin and therefore described as "cut out without hands," was destined to outlast and break in pieces all of the anti-Christian kingdoms, that is, convert and transform them, and so, figuratively, to become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, so prominent will it be in every phase of human life… In the New Testament we find the same clear teaching. At the Jerusalem Conference James cited the prophecy of Amos 9:11,12, that in the days to come God would pour out spiritual blessings on His people, "that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations that are called by my name,"--Edom here being taken as typical of Jehovah's enemies; and James, speaking by inspiration and quoting this prophecy, gives it a wider interpretation, saying that "the residue of men," and "all the Gentiles," are to "seek after the Lord" (Acts 15:17). This clearly implies the world-wide conversion of the nations… The parable of the leaven teaches the universal extension and triumph of the Gospel, and it further teaches that this development is accomplished through the gradual development of the Kingdom, not through a sudden and cataclysmic explosion…. Similarly, Christ teaches, society is to be transformed by the Kingdom of heaven, and the result will be a Christianized world. Premillennialists cannot admit this. To do so would contradict their whole system.
COMMENT: When everything is symbolized and spiritualized, any interpretation becomes valid. From this vantage point, Zion is actually the Church; Revelation is just John’s bad dream about demons roaming the earth, which have already been conquered. So, when the president of Iran calls for Israel’s destruction, many Christian leaders secretly agree; it is no longer really important; just a minor nuisance.
Premillennialists seize upon the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (King James Version), as proving their doctrine that the gospel is to be preached only as a "witness," or as a "testimony" (American Standard Version), and therefore that it is not intended to convert the world… Jesus Christ can never have any more power than He has now, for He now has all there is. Premillenarians put their confidence in some 'rod of iron' with which Christ will 'smite down all opposition' when He comes, but Christ now has omnipotence and has pledged it to the present work of preaching the gospel for the conversion of the world." He goes on to say that, "The Greek word translated 'make disciples of ' is a strong one, meaning not merely to 'preach' or 'evangelize' but to convert into disciples ... We have in this commission express and inescapable teaching that the gospel is preached not simply for 'evangelizing' or 'for a witness', but for the deeper work of conversion .. . These nations are to be converted into Christian disciples, and this work is not done but only begun when they are 'evangelized,' or simply had the gospel preached to them… To reduce this great commission to the premillenarian program of preaching the gospel as a witness to a world that is to grow worse and worse until it plunges into its doom in destruction, is to emasculate the gospel of Christ and wither it into Pitiful impotency. This is to send the gospel out into the world as a futile thing, foreordained to failure from the start. No, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and Jesus Christ, marching in the greatness of His strength, sends us on no empty errand of uttering a message that will die away in the air on an unheeding and hostile world, gathering only a few out of its innumerable multitudes and consigning the vast majority to destruction, but He sends us to 'make disciples of all the nations' and thereby win the world itself" (The Coming of the Lord, pp. 98-103). We find that Christ's work of redemption truly has as its object the people of the entire world and that His Kingdom is to become universal. And since nothing is told us as to how long the earth shall continue after that goal has been reached, possibly we can look forward to a great "golden age" of spiritual prosperity continuing for centuries, or even for millenniums, during which time Christianity shall be triumphant over all the earth, and during which time the great proportion even of adults shall be saved. It seems that the number of the redeemed shall then be swelled until it far surpasses that of the lost.
COMMENT: How did we go so quickly from “total depravity” to “conversion of the nations”? Despite loud denials, this closely parallels Catholicism. What has been inferred again and again, but not completely spelled out, is that the clergy, at least (and perhaps the laity also, though this is much more vague) is ALREADY in the millennium, and has been since the Church Age began! The elect live on some spiritual plane above the world; all you need is your ticket (or pedigree passport, perhaps) to get on board. The Bible is history, folks; it has all been written and done with, Genesis through Revelation; the real answers lie with your spiritual leaders now. Because the ignorant masses don’t know enough to understand this, they are still taught the Bible to learn to submit to authority; but seminary graduates are given the real secret to be able to rule the earth. Of course, if the Premillennialists by some microscopic chance proved to be correct, this would make this whole system the Whore of Babylon; so, they must be destroyed at the first opportunity. See how this quickly becomes much more serious than we have realized.
THE WORLD IS GROWING BETTER
The redemption of the world is a long, slow process, extending through the centuries, yet surely approaching an appointed goal. We live in the day of advancing victory, although there are many apparent set-backs. As seen from the human viewpoint it often looks as though the forces of evil are about to gain the upper hand. Periods of spiritual advance and prosperity alternate with periods of spiritual decline and depression. But as one age succeeds another there is progress. Looking back across the nearly two thousand years that have passed since the coming of Christ we can see that there has indeed been marvelous progress. This Process ultimately shall be competed, and before Christ comes again we shall see a Christianized world. This does not mean that all sin ever will be eradicated. There always will be some tares among the wheat until the time of harvest-and the harvest, the Lord tells us, is the end of the world. Even the righteous fall, sometimes grievously, into temptation and sin. But it does mean that Christian principles of life and conduct are to become the accepted standards in public and private life… We are confident that after the present season of criticism and testing of the foundations is over we shall have a grander and stronger edifice of theology than the ages have yet seen… When we contrast the rapid spread of Christianity in recent years with the rapid disintegration that is taking place in all of the other world religions, it becomes very clear that Christianity is the future world religion. There are, however, some who tell us in all seriousness that the world is getting worse. Surely they are prompted to do so only in defense of a theory that clearly is contradicted by the facts… The binding of Satan, described in Revelation 20:1-3, we now perceive to be not a sudden event, but a very long, slow process. It has been in process of accomplishment for more than nineteen centuries, and much progress has been made. But no time limit can be set as to how much longer the process may have to be continued before it is crowned with success, nor how long the era of righteousness will prevail over the earth before the Lord returns. The nineteen centuries that have elapsed since the Christian era began may well indicate that several more centuries, perhaps even millenniums, may be required, particularly if devastating wars yet remain to be fought, as is of course perfectly possible… This we can say: Postmillennialism does not despair of the power of the Gospel to convert the world, but holds rather that it cannot be defeated, that over the centuries it will win its way, and that eventually the goal will be achieved. In the light of these facts we face the future confident that the best is yet to be. Let Christians everywhere thank God for the progress that has been made and take courage, Their future is as bright as the promises of God.
COMMENT: Positive confession and prosperity faith teaching fit right in with these doctrines: just look on the bright side, and everything will be okay. This explains why leaders can have million-dollar homes and hundred thousand dollar vehicles without even questioning it, while most of their congregation is struggling to become up-and-comers like them. The real message: get on the bandwagon, or get lost.
The great material prosperity of which the Bible speaks as accompanying the millennial era will be, to a large extent, the natural result of the high moral and spiritual life of that time. These blessings too are from God. In numerous prophecies temporal blessings are expressly represented as following in the train of the new covenant blessings. Surely it need not be doubted that when the other characteristics of the millennial era are realized this material prosperity also shall find its place. Godliness and sober living in a real sense bring their own reward… In this connection David Brown quotes a writer of his day as follows: "We need not have recourse to the miraculous fruitfulness of the earth which Papias feigned, in order to fulfill this prophecy (Ps. 72). Plenty is the natural consequence of the moral change which takes place in the world at the millennium. The universal righteousness of that happy period will prevent despotism in government, anarchy in the people, as well as the devastations of war, by which the earth is left uncultivated, or its produce destroyed. The religion of that period will civilize savages, and destroy among civilized nations the numerous occupations that minister to the lawless passions of men; thus directing a great multitude of the human race to the useful arts of agriculture, who had been formerly idle and a burden upon the labor of others. The love universally felt and practiced in that period will lead those who have abundance to distribute cheerfully and freely to the necessities of those who may be in need" (The Second Advent, p. 400)… Man's proper management of the earth, the task assigned to him before the fall, will go far toward restoring a profitable plant and animal life. Remedy the sin condition in man and a marvelous transformation will take place in nature.… A revolution has occurred in transportation, communications, home furnishings, etc., within our own lifetime. Our modes of travel and transportation have changed more within the last 150 years than in the preceding 2,000. George Washington, using the horse-drawn stagecoach which was the best means available in his day, traveled in much the same manner as did the ancient Persians and Egyptians. The automobile, hard-surface highways, electrical power for lighting and other household uses, the airplane, radio, television, etc., are all comparatively new. And now the new sciences of atomic and solar energy with the prospect for extremely cheap power, and the whole new field of electronics, in which we have as yet hardly more than scratched the surface, give great promise for the future. A leading industrialist recently said: "America is about to enter a new golden age of prosperity which will hinge upon the harnessing of the atom, and the advent of the electronic age." One new discovery follows another, and we see more and more clearly the tremendous potentials that are available for good, potentials that through all these many centuries have remained largely unused… Similarly, the progress that already has been made in the fields of health and sanitation have raised the human life span in the United States from 32 years in 1750 until now it is just short of 70 years. Modern surgery and medicine have developed largely within the past 100 years. Medical practice has been changed from a mystic and superstitious procedure to an advanced science. The so-called "miracle drugs," including the sulphas, cortisone and antibiotics, date back only about 20 years, the sulphas having been discovered in 1935. It is not unreasonable to assume that with the continued advance of science, and particularly with the better modes of living that come with moral and spiritual advance, man's life span shall be extended considerably more… But no matter how marvelous this material prosperity may become, it will ever remain but the by-product of the moral and spiritual prosperity that already to some extent characterizes the partially Christianized nations. It is abundantly clear that these blessings do not originate under pagan religions. Many nations that are the victims of those religions have lain in their poverty and ignorance and moral degradation for centuries or even for thousands of years while making practically no progress. The progress that has already occurred, originating largely in the Protestant nations of western Europe and in the United States, has been achieved in connection with only a limited amount of progress toward the Millennium. What marvels must lie ahead when nations the world over are Christian -- when the Millennium becomes a reality! Thus Postmillennialism holds that Christianity is to become the controlling and transforming influence not only in the moral and spiritual life of some individuals, but also in the entire social, economic and cultural life of the nations. There is no reason why this change should not take place over the entire earth, with pagan religions and false philosophies giving place to the true, and the earth being restored in considerable measure to that high purpose of righteousness and holiness for which it was created.
COMMENT: See how this policy is now being carried out in Iraq; we are only evangelizing that nation! The end justifies the means; we are the New Crusaders. If you catch hold of this vision, you see that it is not a game; it is what has actually led the U.S. to this point in the Mideast; and, with all the irregularities, it is only defensible as a doctrine under Postmillennialism. Israel is an insignificant pawn in the game; the real prize is converting the oil-rich Arab nations to democracy! Now it all makes sense; now the actions of Christian leaders fall in perfectly with this line of thinking. Zion as presented in the Bible must somehow be erased; the laity will be taught, slowly but surely, that the Scriptures became obsolete 2000 years ago: that what matters now is what your leaders tell you. Those who consider this dangerous will be silenced.
In some Old Testament prophecies God's future Kingdom is described under the symbolism of a mountain. In these we have set before us the triumph of the now existing Church as it becomes prominent and influential in all phases of human life. No new weapons are needed for the conquest of the world, nor is there any change of dispensations. Says David Brown, "The Church is already all that she needs to be. She is complete in her living and ever-present Head, having 'all power in heaven and in earth' at her command, and getting it too at the destined periods, when 'the time to favor her is come, even the set time'" (The Second Advent, p. 342). Snowden expresses his idea of what the Millennium is in the following words: "The world is yet young. Humanity is in its infancy. The centuries stretch out before it in vast vistas. There is before it a prospect of hope and splendid opportunism. The future is rosy with morning light.... Truth shall be taken from the scaffold, and wrong driven from the throne. More and more shall He whose right it is reign and the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven. This will be the millennium. The visions of the Hebrew prophets of the Messianic kingdom shall be fulfilled in their true spiritual and glorious meaning... As we gird ourselves for the work of life we may look forward to the time when in the truest sense the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever, Kings of kings, and Lord of lords" (The Coming of the Lord, p. 275)… "What, then, is the difference between the present and the millennial state?" asks David Brown. "Just the difference," he answers, "between plucking more brands out of the fire than now -- between a less and a greater number of converted and holy persons. That is all" (p. 393). There will be no difference in principle between the teaching and preaching of the Gospel then and now. The difference will be in the extent to which it will become effective in the lives of the people. As Christianity is triumphant now in some family groups and local communities, so it will be then over the entire world. The Millennium, therefore, does not mean an entirely new and different state of things on this earth, but rather the elimination of the great majority of the evil influences that still are so prominent throughout the world, and a correspondingly higher moral and spiritual tone in the lives of the people. Thus, figuratively, the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together,-- things formerly antagonistic and hateful to each other will work together in one harmonious purpose. The desert will blossom as the rose -- literally, as economic and scientific conditions lead to the development of natural resources and generally prosperous conditions over the world, and figuratively, as moral and spiritual conditions are improved. Poverty and ignorance will be largely eliminated. Health and education will be the general rule, and wealth will be vastly more abundant and more widely distributed. In general, then, the Millennium will not involve any change in the nature of Christianity, but only its much wider extension. There will be no elements in it that are not now present on a smaller scale.
COMMENT: Remember, this is already the belief system of most ecumenicals and ecclesia, and evangelical leaders have already started to fall in line. I am by no means against the Christian missionary effort, but to wake up and say, “Hey! We’re in the Millennium because I declare it in the heavenlies, and what has already been done spiritually is now being done physically” is a pipedream; if Satan is already vanquished and Jesus already reigning on earth, then either the horrors happening everyday are just deceptive figments of our imagination, or there truly is no hope for this world. We play hide-and-seek with the truth so well that we can’t even find ourselves; no wonder most of the world shakes their head at us, and goes on about its business; or else, recruits us into Lucifer’s secular humanism.
The golden age of righteousness is, of course, not to be thought of as beginning suddenly, or on any particular date. It cannot be pinpointed on the calendar, for it comes as the result of a long, slow process… The coming of the Millennium is like the coming of summer, although ever so much more slowly and on a much grander scale. In the struggle between the seasons there are many advances and many apparent setbacks. Time and again the first harbingers of spring appear, only to be overcome by the winter winds. It often seems that the struggle has been lost and that the cold of winter will never be broken. But gradually the moderate spring breezes take over, and after a time we find ourselves in the glorious summer season… Only with the perspective of history can we look back and set an approximate date, perhaps within a century or two, as to when one era ceased and another began. So it is with the coming of the Millennium. Undoubtedly it will follow the law of all of the other great periods in the history of the Church, being gradual and uncertain in its approach. We find that time and again during the Church age there has been progress toward higher moral and spiritual standards, only to suffer tragic setback through a series of wars or retrogressions. Looked at from the standpoint of present day events it may not be possible to say which way the tides are moving. But over the centuries there is progress, great progress if we look back five hundred, or a thousand, or two thousand years. Certainly many of those who tell us that the world is getting worse would change their minds very quickly if they suddenly found themselves back in colonial days, or in the Dark Ages, or in the pre-Christian era…"The Church has become international. The international Church is very powerful; like a mighty army moves the Church of God!... The particularism of the Old Testament has made place for the universalism of the New. The Bible, just recently, was translated into its thousandth (!) tongue. The influence of the Gospel upon the thought and life of mankind can scarcely be overestimated. In some countries the blessed truth of Christianity affects life in all its phases: political, economic, social, and intellectual. Only the individual who lacks the historical sense and is, therefore, unable to see the present in the light of conditions which prevailed throughout the world before Christ's ascension, can fail to appreciate the glories of the millennial age in which we are now living. Truly, the prophecy found in Psalm 72 is being fulfilled before our very eyes" (More than Conquerors, p. 227)... We hold that Christ is not merely the potential victor, but the actual victor over sin. During the interadventual reign He is steadily putting into effect the victory that He has won, gradually overcoming the forces of evil, until all His enemies shall have been made the footstool of His feet (Acts 2:35). The dispensation in which we now are is a period of advancing conquest, so that when He returns it is to a converted world. Appropriate here are the words of Dr. Samuel G. Craig: "Certainly on the basis of Scripture we are warranted in looking forward to a period relatively golden as compared with that which we now enjoy. Christ is today the head of a kingdom, a kingdom that is not merely engaged in conflict with evil but that is triumphing over evil. We are today living in the midst of a period that is relatively golden as measured with the period in the midst of which the New Testament was written. Moreover, Christ is to go on conquering and to conquer until the kingdoms of this world shall have become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, until in fact the prayer He taught His disciples to pray shall have been realized, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth' " ( Jesus As He Was And Is, p. 278)…
COMMENT: From this perspective, any appeal to Biblical truth is futile: the leaders always know best! In their minds the Scriptures are a done deal; it is only their relationship with God as His personal representative that matters now. It is nearly impossible to reason with this theology: they always know everything; you always know nothing.
Similarly Dr. Abraham Kuyper says: 'The numbers and the indications of persons appearing in this book, are not actual numbers but figurative numbers. There were more than seven churches in Asia Minor. We are not to take the number 144,000 as if that was the number of a man, of those who were saved first. The 1600 furlongs of the stream of blood which reaches unto the bridles of the horses, is not a geographical designation. All these figures are to be understood symbolically" (Article, Chiliasm or Premillennialism, p. 28)… That Calvin understood the "thousand years" figuratively is clear beyond doubt. He dismisses the idea with one brief reference: "Not long after arose the millenarians, who limited the reign of Christ to a thousand years. Their fiction is too puerile to deserve refutation" (Institutes, Book III; Ch. 25; Sec. 5)… It is to be remembered in the first place that the Devil already is a defeated and fallen foe, and that he cannot tempt or injure mankind or do anything else except as he receives permission from God. Premillennialists have a tendency to underrate the power of God and to overrate the power of the Devil. Some talk as if the Devil were a formidable foe, "the god of this world" in a literal sense, contending on practically an equal footing with God, and winning many victories. We can never understand the course of this world's events unless we keep in mind that God is the absolute and unchallengeable Sovereign of all that exists, and that no event, good or bad, great or small, can take place without either His decretive or permissive will. That he does allow much evil that He could prevent if He chose, is an undeniable fact. But He limits it, controls it, and overrules it for His own glory and the greater good of His people. He often uses one evil person or power to punish another. The power that the Devil and evil men have in this world is like that which the cruel and arrogant king of Assyria exercised toward Israel, who, while pursuing his own plans, was in reality only the instrument of God for the chastisement of Israel (Is. 10:5-15). He was completely in the hands of God and could go as far as but no farther than God chose to allow him to go. This is the only adequate view of the course of history if we are to understand God's dealings with men… This final "war," of course, has nothing to do with military maneuvers or military weapons, or even with geographical locations. It is the last phase of the spiritual warfare that has been raging between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. It has been shown, we believe, that the great battle described in Revelation 19:11-21 is not a military but a spiritual conflict which rages through the centuries. The war against the saints in Revelation 20:7-l0 is of the same nature, although of much shorter duration… The regenerate souls in the true Church, as revealed in Revelation 7:3, 4, are sealed so that they cannot be hurt, that is, so that they cannot be led into apostasy by any of the Devil's works. No true saint apostatizes to the service of the Devil. All the time they are under divine protection, which is symbolized by the fire that comes down out of heaven and devours their enemies. The weapons used by Satan and his followers are false doctrines, heresies, lies, slander, etc., which are directed against the Lord's people. Those who are not born again Christians are easy victims of the Devil's wiles and become his followers. But true Christians are inwardly prepared and ready to meet any such attack and cannot be hurt by any of these things.
COMMENT: Postmillennialists believe there is no need for a Rapture; all the battles of Revelation are figurative and spiritual! The boogeyman never really comes; these are just fairy tales to scare disobedient children. To maintain these doctrines, history will have to be rewritten as the New World Order draws closer: Nazis weren’t all that bad; there isn’t nearly as much evil going on as is being reported; everything is going to be fine; trust us. We all would like to buy into this safe, sanitized version of the latter days; to accomplish it, the Bible will have to begin to be phased out, or else ignorant people will continue to believe it. Perhaps if we allow Islam and the Jews and their sympathizers to finish each other off? Get rid of the Koran and the Bible at the same time? Then there will be peace. This all looks great from the top of the corporate office; those in it, however, will be the last to feel the ground shaking beneath them.
To assume that at the end of the Millennium the vast multitude of the saints of God are literally shut up in the city of Jerusalem by their enemies and rendered practically helpless is to assume the absurd. We must ever keep in mind that this is symbolical language, that what we are seeing is not the reality, but a vision, a great pageant, and that the material symbols are merely used to set forth spiritual truth…"It is difficult for some to conceive of the nature of the opposition. The language is so vivid that it is hard for us to realize that this is not a battle of arms -- of sword and gun. Our Lord clearly implies that the battle for Christianity is not fought with carnal sword. It is a battle between the true Gospel and the false Gospel. It is a battle of truth against error. It is a battle of light against darkness. It is not a war against flesh and blood, 'but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places'... "To others this is the literal city of Jerusalem. Just a little thinking will show how impossible this is. Imagine all the armies of the nations of the world laying siege to one city in Palestine! And you must picture modern armies equipped with missiles, bombs, and planes. The land of Palestine could not contain all the armies of the world. This is figurative language. This is the language of the Old Testament to express the enmity of the world against the Church" (pp. 237-242). It is of further interest in this connection to note that Dr. Warfield believed there will be no resurgence of evil at all at the end, but rather that at the return of Christ the present Kingdom -- then perfected, with the conquering of the last enemy, death,-- will be merged into the eternal kingdom. He understood the section Revelation 20:1-10 to refer to the intermediate state, and he believed that the "thousand years" was intended to describe the heavenly bliss of the saints in Paradise, in contrast with which the trial time of the Church on earth is described by the term "a little time" (vs. 3). This view made it possible for him to hold that there is no apostasy or rebellion at all at the close of the golden age of righteousness and peace. As a Postmillennialist he believed that the world is to be converted to Christianity before the return of Christ, but he based his view on Revelation 19:11-21 and on the intimations in Romans 11 and I Corinthians 15 rather than on Revelation 20:1-10. He says concerning Revelation 20:1-10: "The picture that is brought before us here is the picture of the 'intermediate state' -- of the saints of God gathered in heaven away from the confused noises and garments bathed in blood that characterizes the war upon earth, in order that they may securely await the end. The thousand years, thus, is the whole of this present dispensation, which again is placed before us in its entirety, but looked at now relatively not to what is passing on the earth but to what is enjoyed 'in paradise.' This, in fact, is the meaning of the symbol of a thousand years. For, this period between the events is, on earth, a broken time -- three and a half years, a 'little time' (verse 3) -- which, amid turmoil and trouble, the saints are encouraged to look upon as of short duration, soon to be over. To the saints in bliss it is, on the contrary, a long blessed period passing slowly and peacefully by, while they reign with Christ and enjoy the blessedness of holy communion with Him -- 'a thousand years.'… We agree that Revelation 20:1-10 affords no real basis for believing that there is to be a final apostasy in the sense that a large proportion of earth's inhabitants turn against God, or that the safety of the saints is seriously threatened. Furthermore, after we have been shown in the Revelation 19:11- 21 how complete is Christ's victory and how thoroughly crushed are all His foes, we cannot believe that at the end God as the sovereign Ruler of the world… will suddenly and purposefully throw away that victory and permit the Devil a worldwide triumph even for the briefest time. Once the hard-fought battle is over and such a magnificent victory won, we may be sure that it will be properly safeguarded, and that the Devil will never again be allowed to rise as a serious contender against God…
What a Millennium the Premillennialist has! A thousand years of Jewish supremacy with Jerusalem as the capital, semi-heavenly and semi-earthly, saints in glorified resurrection bodies mingling with sinners in the flesh, a mixed state of mortals and immortals, and all of this climaxed by an unprecedented manifestation of evil at its close! Human life and the work of the world will go on during all that long period very much as now. Men and women will marry and children will be born; people with mortal bodies will live in houses and eat physical food and be subject to sickness and death although not to the same degree as at present. Conditions will be ideal but not heavenly; the earth will be abundantly fruitful; multitudes will honor and worship God while other multitudes will be sullen and resentful. Wicked men will be held in check by the rule of force. To a considerable extent Old Testament conditions will be re-established. "The middle wall of partition" between Jew and Gentile, which Christ has broken down "that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace" (Eph. 2:14, 15), is to be built up again and made higher and stronger, and the Jews re-established as the chosen people. Such a Kingdom must of necessity be far inferior in glory to the final Kingdom. Premillennialists insist that the latter part of Ezekiel, chapters 38 to 48, is to be taken with great literalness as having fulfillment in the millennial kingdom, and as foretelling a restored Israel in the land of Palestine. Thus the temple is to be rebuilt, animal sacrifices are again to be presented to make atonement for the sins of the people (45:15 -- 46:15), the priests will officiate (46:2), the people of the earth will go up to Jerusalem for the appointed feasts (46:9), and Christ personally present and visible only to a comparatively small number of people will enter the temple by the eastern gate as the priests prepare His burnt-offerings and peace-offerings (46:2, 3). Notice that if these chapters are to be taken literally they do not say, as Premillennialists attempt to make them say, that the sacrifices will be only memorial in nature, but that they definitely are called "sin-offerings," "burnt offerings," and "meal-offerings" (45:22, 25). A literalist has no right to give them any other meaning. We prefer to say that these predictions were fulfilled in part when Israel was restored to Palestine at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah and later, and that as regards any parts that did not find fulfillment at that time, Old Testament thought forms are employed to teach New Testament spiritual truths, truths which in that day could be expressed intelligently only through those forms with which the people were familiar. Frankly, we have no desire for such a state as Premillennialism sets forth, but prefer at death to enter directly into the heavenly Kingdom. Surely it must be evident to anyone that such a state, though for the saints it may be marked by holiness of life, nevertheless leaves much to be desired, and that such a lesser state of things prolonged for a thousand years becomes not an increase but a decrease of blessedness, restraining rather than promoting the coming of the Kingdom of God in its fullness. There is in fact nothing to justify the prolongation of such a futile interval. For the departed saints who have been reigning with Christ a return to earthly life and earthly conditions would be, literally and figuratively, a great "come-down," a serious restriction of the glorious life that they now enjoy. The Premillennialist makes no adequate allowance for the far superior and radically different type of life enjoyed by the saints in Paradise and that to which they would be subjected if brought back to this earth. And as far as those who still are in the flesh are concerned, surely the Lord's physical presence, visible to but a comparatively small number of His people, would mean less than His spiritual presence now experienced by all His people in all parts of the world -- unless we are to cease walking by faith and begin walking by sight. Again we say, What a Millennium the Premillennialist has! -- a Millennium preceded by seven years of unparalleled confusion and suffering and persecution during the "Great Tribulation" and under the reign of Antichrist, and ending with a universal revolt and war against which the saints and even Christ Himself seem to be helpless and from which they are rescued only by fire from heaven! We cannot refrain from asking, Does Christ desert His people at the end of the glorious millennial reign, that they should be shut up in Jerusalem and practically at the mercy of the enemy? Surely that cannot be! How is that strange turn of events to be explained? And we must ask further, why, if such an important earthly interval lies ahead, why did not Christ and the apostles clearly predict that the temple would be rebuilt, the Levitical sacrifices and rituals re-established, the Aaronic priesthood restored, the Jews again appointed to be a separate and especially favored people, and Jerusalem again made the center of the world's worship in a thousand year Jewish kingdom? There can be but one answer: Such a scheme formed no part of their belief. Far from localizing worship in a temple in Jerusalem, Jesus said, "The hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father... The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:21-24).
COMMENT: It would be nice to change the future simply by willing it so. See how imagination is being greatly encouraged in our public schools. “Name it and claim it.” Well, isn’t that what Jesus said to do? If Revelation is just a scary little book, then the whole Messiah story falls by the wayside; it was all a nice playtime, but it’s time to grow up and quit believing in Santa Claus. This is the inevitable place where all this must lead, but it leaves out one big problem: personal sickness and death; the unanswered question of ME. No social interaction or community programs are going to erase that lingering question; that awesome fear. Jesus is still the hope of many who have no other hope, who are not insulated by riches in the safety zone, spending every minute on busy little projects to avoid the looming empty void. Sometimes those questions creep in like a damp chill from outside; we simply must have more entertainment to keep the mind occupied every instant we are awake, and train ourselves to avoid the nightmares. Discipline- discipline! We will overpower pain and death with our superior intelligence, making sure it is all behind closed walls, until it simply goes away! Denial is the key here: but life is not a fantasyland. Denying the reality of the physical completely, claiming only the spiritual as our portion and reward, allows evil to operate unabated. This is the mark of the apostate whore.
Premillennialists place strong emphasis on literal interpretation and pride themselves on taking Scripture just as it is written. Post- and Ami1lennialists on the other hand, mindful of the fact that much of both the Old and New Testament unquestionably is given in figurative or symbolical language, have no objection on principle against figurative interpretation and readily accept that if the evidence indicates that it is preferable… That a great deal of the Bible is given in figurative or symbolical language which by no stretch of the imagination can be taken literally should be apparent to every one. We spiritualize these statements because we regard this as the only way in which their true meaning can be brought out… To spiritualize certain prophecies or other statements does not mean that we explain them away. Sometimes their true meaning is to be found only in the unseen spiritual world. Premillennialists often materialize and literalize the prophecies to such an extent that they keep them on an earthly level and miss their true and deeper meaning. That is exactly what the Jews did in their interpretation of Messianic prophecy. They looked for literal fulfillments with an earthly kingdom and a political ruler, and the result was that they missed the redemptive element so completely that when the Messiah came they did not recognize Him but instead rejected and crucified Him. The fearful consequences of literalistic interpretation as it related to the first coming should put us on guard against making the same mistake in regard to the second coming.
COMMENT: There is already a renewed effort to convert fundamentalists to the practical reasoning that the Bible doesn’t mean what it says. Christians are being bombarded with alternative views: surely you can’t believe that the world will really end? People are still dying everyday, however; their world has ended, at least temporarily, as far as we can see; yet, after all this time, the Church still refuses to understand the connection: when we die, the present world ceases to exist for us. No one wants to talk about this: let’s fight about what the Bible is REALLY trying to say, instead. We can spend our entire lives arguing over semantics, without helping another person in any way whatsoever. This is the real tragedy of the Church.
The general principle of rigid literal interpretation leads to the conclusion that when Christ comes again He will re-establish the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem, and that He will reign in an earthly political kingdom of Jewish supremacy for one thousand years. According to that view the Jews are again to possess all of Palestine and the surrounding areas and are to live there, the temple is to be rebuilt, and the priesthood, temple ritual, animal sacrifices, feasts and fasts are to be reinstituted. Premillennialists encounter real difficulty, however, and are forced to abandon their literalism when they come to the prophecies which predict that in the new kingdom all the nations of the earth are to go up to Jerusalem every year, and indeed every Sabbath; "And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles" (Zech. 14:16); "It shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Jehovah" (Is. 66:23); and, 'Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any foreigners that are among the children of Israel" (Ezek. 44:9). It soon becomes evident that such startling literalism goes a great deal farther than its advocates are willing, or indeed, able to carry it. Taken literally these predictions mean that the whole earth is to become one great Israelitish nation and Church, with but one temple, one form of worship, and one common law. Premillennialists do not want to acknowledge that weekly pilgrimages or universal circumcision is to become the rule during the Millennium. Since they cannot go through with the literal interpretation of their own millennial passages it becomes evident that their principle of literal interpretation is basically wrong… It would require a miracle of raising from the dead the nations referred to if these verses are to be literally fulfilled. We believe that George B. Fletcher gives the true interpretation when he says: "These verses are a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles (vs. 10), and of the return of the remnant according to the election of grace from among the Jews, that is, their return to God in Christ (vss. 11:16). This prophecy began to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when 'Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven,' were evangelized by the apostle Peter, and returned home to God in Christ, the mighty God. Under a figure of speech these Hebrew preachers are represented as flying from Jerusalem with eager activity upon Philistia to convert it; as an eagle pounces upon the shoulders of a sheep or other animal, its prey (see Acts 8:26-40, Philip's preaching to the Ethiopian eunuch; and 9:32-43, Peter's mission to Joppa)" -- Pamphlet, The Millennium, p. 30. This one point alone, that the nations referred to have disappeared from the face of the earth and so could play no part in a future restoration of Israel, should be sufficient proof that the literalistic method of interpretation cannot be defended. Rejecting the clearly enunciated Scripture principle that the Church has been established as the instrument through which Christ makes a spiritual conquest of the world -- He is to sit at the right hand of God where He now is, the position of power and influence, until His enemies have been made the footstool of His feet (Mark 12:36; 16:19; Heb. 1:13) -- Premillennialism substitutes the view that until He comes again the world is to grow progressively worse, and that at His coming He is to conquer the world and overthrow His enemies in the most gigantic and spectacular and sudden military conquest of all time. He is pictured as using overwhelming force in this conquest in that He rains fire and brimstone from heaven upon His enemies and thus utterly defeats Antichrist and all his hosts. Premillennialism seriously misunderstands the genius of Old Testament predictive prophecy in that it interprets in a literal, materialistic sense those foreviews of the Messianic age which can only be understood in a figurative sense. In the following passage material objects and familiar ideas of the Old Testament era are used to set forth spiritual truth and to describe an era that had not yet dawned and which therefore could be described intelligently only in the thought-forms and language with which the people were familiar. "And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem" (Is. 2:2,3). These words are fulfilled in that the Gospel took its course out from- Jerusalem as the disciples went under orders to evangelize all the world, with the Church over the centuries gradually coming into a position of world-wide prominence, gradually increasing in power and becoming more influential in the lives of men throughout the world until it stands out like a mountain on a plain. The attempt to assign specific meaning to each figure of the landscape not only mars the beauty of the picture but obscures the real meaning of the prophecy. When God says, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain," let not the reader absurdly imagine that He had in mind only that insignificant elevation called Zion, in the southeast corner of the city of Jerusalem. "God's holy mountain," which at that time was the site of the temple and the center of the true religion, is the familiar and endeared name for the Church or Kingdom in the present Messianic age. When we are told that God will "create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy" (Is. 65:18), Jerusalem, the center of the theocracy and symbol of Old Testament Israel, is used to represent the New Testament Church. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews spiritualizes these passages and shows that their true fulfillment is found in the Christian Church when he says of believers: "For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire... but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels and to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven" (12:18-23); "Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God" (4:14); and, "We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man" (8:1,2). Paul, too, spiritualizes the term Jerusalem when he says that, 'The Jerusalem that is above is free, which is our mother" (Gal. 4:26). Isaiah says: "He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked" (11:4). Similar language is found in Revelation 19:11-21, where Christ is pictured as the rider on the white horse, who slays His enemies with a sharp sword that proceeds "out of his mouth," that is, by the spoken word, the Gospel which is preached by His followers all over the world, and by which He makes a thorough conquest of His enemies. Isaiah says: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks" (2:4) -- fulfilled in the gradual elimination of wars as the world is Christianized and the energies and resources of the people are devoted to peaceful purposes. Again, he says: "And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them... And the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea" (11:6-9) -- that is, forces naturally antagonistic and at enmity with each other shall be gradually subdued and reconciled with each other in a new relationship so that they cooperate harmoniously in Messiah's Kingdom. A fitting example of the wolf dwelling with the lamb is seen in the change that came over the vicious persecutor Saul of Tarsus, who was a wolf ravening and destroying, but who was so transformed by the Gospel of Christ that he became a lamb. After his conversion he lost his hatred for the Christians, and became instead their humble friend, confidant, defender. The lion eats straw like the ox when men who formerly were strong and cruel and wild by nature are so changed by the Gospel that they become gentle, meek, humble, and feed on the word of life along with those who are members of Christ's Church. One writer has this to say about Isaiah's prophecy: "Since we have here a description of Christ's kingdom which is not composed of beasts, wolves, serpents, lions, etc., but of men, we must understand that 'in all My (God's) holy mountain,' that is, the Church of Christ ('Zion'), the peace that is to reign is of such a nature that those people who formerly were like wolves, bloodthirsty lions, insidious adders will by the grace of God put off their old nature, cease to harm one another, and peacefully dwell together as the lambs of Christ and feed on the green pasture of the Gospel. Of this change of nature St. Paul speaks in plain words (II Cor. 5:17), 'If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' Not only the ferocious persecutor Saul who became the Gospel-preaching, soul-seeking Paul is an example (I Tim. 1:13), but the entire history of Christian missions abounds with such examples" (L. A. Heerboth, booklet, The Millennium and the Bible, p. 12).
COMMENT: Allegory means: “the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human conduct or experience.” As a literary device, it is explained that this is how the Hebrews passed their stories from one generation to the next around nomadic campgrounds, until someone (from as late as the Babylonian exile) finally decided to write them all down. But the Scriptures as hermeneutics instead of the Word of God convey no means of salvation, no Spiritual insight. This is why many Reform theologians confidently assert that the Holy Spirit died with the last apostle; if miracles ever did really exist, they are now only the delusion of the ignorant. Because faith has been rejected as a doctrine (because only the elect can be saved) this only leaves the instruction of the Church as the sole means of proof; clearly paralleling Catholicism. So, it is seen how much of mainstream Protestant denominationalism is actually much closer to the Catholic idea of unity than to the rejected Premillennial doctrine of the absolute authority of the Bible.
We have indicated earlier that one of the errors of Premillennialism is that it fails to understand that the Church is New Testament Israel. It persists in thinking of "Israel" as composed only of the physical descendants of Abraham. Dispensationalism carries this principle to an almost unprecedented extreme, and insists that in all cases Israel must mean fleshly Israel, or the Jews, that it can never mean the Church, and that the kingdom prophecies of the Old Testament must be fulfilled to the Jews literally. And since some of these were not fulfilled before the nation of Israel passed out of existence, they tell us that Israel must be re-established in Palestine and these fulfilled in a future age. But the fact of the matter is that the spiritual relationship is more important than, and takes precedence over, the physical. Paul stated that quite clearly when he said: "Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham"; and again, "If ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise" (Gal. 3:7,29). And Christ himself placed the spiritual above the physical when he said, "Whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother" (Matt. 12:50). The Epistle to the Hebrews is one sustained argument that the old forms and ceremonies and relationships have passed away forever, and that all nations and races now stand as equals before God.
COMMENT: Israel “has passed out of existence”, along with the Father’s everlasting covenant, and perhaps the Father, also. It is interesting that the author of Hebrews (whoever he was, at whatever time and place) is a higher authority than Jesus Himself; it makes you wonder who is really Savior and Lord.
"Who would ever have expected that in the face of all this teaching and of these earnest efforts to rid the Christian Church of these old ordinances that had served their day as the withered and empty husk has served the corn, there would arise among believers in later times a school of interpreters who would teach that the whole Mosaic system, with its temple and central seat of worship and its seasons and feasts and sacrifices, its passover and its unleavened bread, its daily peace offerings and bloody burnt-offerings and sin offerings, its altar streaming with blood and its smoke and incense, was to be restored in Jerusalem after the second coming of Chris Who would have believed this incredible thing? And yet this very thing has come to pass and now is... "This doctrine is first rooted in the logic of the system. It is a cardinal principle of Premillennialism that the prophecies of the Messianic kingdom in the Old Testament apply, not to the first but to the second coming of Christ and to the millennial kingdom He will inaugurate. It is a further principle of this system that these prophecies must be interpreted in a literal sense in accordance with its teaching that the Bible means what it says, and to abandon this mode of interpretation in its application to these prophecies would be to concede the principle of figurative interpretation and this again would wreck the system."Premillennialism is therefore required by its own logic to take the prophecy of Ezekiel, chapters 40-48, in which an idealized vision of the temple is set forth, including the passover and all the bloody offerings which are expressly commanded (45:2l- 25), and transfer it bodily and literally to the millennial kingdom in Jerusalem after the second coming of Christ. And this system must do the same thing with all similar prophecies. Isaiah declares: 'And they shall bring all your children out of all the nations for an oblation unto Jehovah, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, as the children of Israel bring their oblation in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah. [Here we notice that the means of conveyance have long since been outmoded and belong to a distant age. Surely they would not be appropriate for the very advanced and prosperous kingdom that Premillennialists expect in the millennium]. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Jehovah' (66:20,23). Zechariah prophesies: 'And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations that came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the king, and to keep the feast of tabernacles' (14:16); 'and all they that sacrifice shall come.' "The inescapable logic of Premillennialism requires that all these and similar prophecies be literally fulfilled in Jerusalem. This is 'judaizing Christianity' with a vengeance. And this is revolting; and some Premillennialists do revolt at it. David Brown quotes Increase Mather, a premillenarian, as saying, 'And a most loathsome work they do perform, both to God and man, that dig up the ceremonies out of that grave where Jesus Christ buried them above sixteen hundred years ago'" (The Coming of the Lord, pp. 206-209). Let there be no doubt but that Dispensationalism does teach the re-establishment of Judaism following the Church age. Lewis Sperry Chafer, late President of Dallas Theological Seminary, says that after the Church age has run its course there is to be. "the regathering of Israel and the restoration of Judaism" (Dispensationalism, p. 40). And Merrill F. Unger, also of Dallas Theological Seminary, says; "At the second advent Christ will restore the Judaistic system with far greater glory and spirituality than it ever had in the Old Testament period until its complete dissipation with the destruction of Herod's temple in 70 A. D. The heart and center of re-established Judaism will be the millennial temple, in connection with which Judaism will enjoy its final state of development" ( Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan.-March, 1960). Only to a literalist does the re-establishment of the sacrificial system and temple ritual seem sensible. To a Post- or Amillennialist it is too materialistic. Premillennial logic, however, does not permit these sacrifices to be "spiritualized." To do so would remove a cornerstone from the system, and, if consistently carried out would lead straight to conclusions that they are most anxious to avoid… Those who are so insistent that "the Bible means what it says" cannot be allowed to "spiritualize and allegorize" statements such as these when found in sections which they themselves say describe the restoration of the Jews in Palestine during the millennial era. Ezekiel chapters 40-48 is at least twenty times more extensive and detailed than is Revelation 20:1-10, which Premillennialists say must be taken literally. So those who insist on literal interpretation find here a program for the restoration of the Levitical ritual and priesthood, despite the fact that Galatians and Hebrews each makes it plain that the temple, the human priesthood and the ritual have been abolished forever.
COMMENT: Reformists think they can completely dismantle Dispensational thinking, and thus all literal end-time judgment, by referring to the reemergence of the feasts in Ezekiel, as opposed to Paul’s arguments in Galatians and Hebrews (if he indeed wrote it). Most Premill preachers try and dodge this question entirely; but I’ve never been scared of it!
1) Who is your Savior and Lord: Jesus of Nazareth, or Paul of Tarsus (and whoever the unknown writer of Hebrews may be)? Why, then, are the apostles’ writings better than the Messiah’s, when He endorses the entire Old Testament in Matthew 5:17-20, Luke 16:17, and many other places? If it is true, by Gentile thinking, that whatever comes after must be better than what has gone before, are you willing to get up in front of your congregation, and declare that your words are better than the Bible’s?
2) Feasts are feasts. If meat is eaten, animals must die. Peter and John, having walked with Jesus directly, did not answer Paul’s charges in Galatians; but James did- do you recall that little book? Why don’t you put it directly next to Galatians, and see if it is not an answer? Paul not only gives us a totally different perspective in Romans (which you somehow have forgotten), but contradicts himself in Acts, when he has Timothy circumcised! Besides that, the argument about circumcision is invalid: it is not originally part of the Law, but the sign of the Abrahamic covenant! And, the revelation about Melchisedec (Greek spelling) does not make YOU the high priest: only Jesus, our Head! Or, do you want to bear the iniquity of the office (Numbers 18) so that YOU may receive tithes? Also remember that Israel is Father God’s covenant people forever and ever- that is, until you erased the Old Testament completely! They never accepted Jesus as sacrifice- so, they MUST accept Him as Messiah the Prince, Who performs the Old Covenant Law for them, until they finally believe! And, for the record, the last time I checked, Jesus and the Father are ONE! By simple logic which even you can’t spiritualize away, this makes Israel and the Church, God’s bride, ONE! This may be more meat than you can chew at one time: go wash it down with your chocolate milk.
Concerning the subject of animal sacrifices during the Millennium Allis says:"The thought is abhorrent that after Christ comes, the memory of His atoning work will be kept alive in the hearts of believers by a return to the animal sacrifices of the Mosaic law, the performance of which is so emphatically condemned in passages which speak with unmistakable plainness on this very subject. Here is unquestionably the Achilles' heel of the Dispensational system of interpretation. Its literalistic and Old Testament emphasis leads almost inevitably, if not inevitably, to a doctrine of the millennium which makes it definitely Jewish and represents a turning back from the glory of the gospel to those typical rites and ceremonies which prepared the way for it, and having served that necessary purpose have lost for ever their validity and propriety" (Prophecy and the Church, p. 248). Snowden's conclusion regarding this phase of Premillennialism is also worth quoting. He says:"Enough and more than enough has been said to prove that Premillennialism is a recrudescence of Judaism. It is Juristic in its method of establishing the kingdom, and above all, in its restoration of the sacrifices after the second coming of Christ. This is indeed renouncing the logic of Paul and 'turning back to the weak and beggarly rudiments' and putting our necks again under the Mosaic yoke of 'bondage.' This is turning the clock of religious development back two or three thousand years. It is putting the altar back in Jerusalem and going back to 'the blood of bulls and goats.' If any Premillenarians pause at this or say that they do not hold it, we must repeat that we are not dealing with individuals but with the logic and literature of the system, and there can be no doubt whither the logic leads and what the representative writers teach. "Truly old forms of religions die hard. Judaism has strange tenacity and still clings to the Christian Church... Judaism is a withered husk; the corn has gone out of it. Jerusalem is a splendid memory. The eagle, once it gets out, can never be crowded back into its shell. Christianity has taken its Height from Mount Zion and never will it officially be back there. Jesus Himself swept the kingdom off that mountain-top as its central seat and released it to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations that men everywhere may worship the Father in Spirit and in truth...
COMMENT: Worshiping in Spirit and truth does not mean we have been given the right to neglect everyone else on earth physically: that is Gnosticism; having preached to a crowd does not mean that we can then totally ignore them; that goes against everything Jesus taught His disciples; or, do we now follow Paul’s system (and, I will even include the other apostles here) of deacons and bishops exclusively? A royal priesthood and holy nation does not preclude or supercede discipleship as defined by Jesus of Nazareth; feeding the sheep was not an option given to Peter: it was a command.
It should be added that while the Church has debated and reached conclusions and has embodied these conclusions in her creeds as regards all of the other great doctrines of the faith, the subject of Eschatology still remains in dispute as to the manner of Christ's return and the kind of kingdom that He is setting up or will set up in this world. For this reason the Church in practically all of her branches has refused to make any one of the millennial interpretations an article of the creed, and has preferred rather to accept as Christian brethren all those who believe in the fact of Christ's Coming. Hence, while personally we may have very definite views concerning the manner and time of His coming, it would seem that our motto should be: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."
COMMENT: In light of all the conflict beforehand, the appeal to the unity of the Body seems a bit strange. Are the foretold events of the last days inconsequential and non-essential? Judaism and Islam also look to the Messiah’s return: are we now to embrace each other, along with all religions, as brothers and sisters in new age peace and harmony? The contradictions of Reform theology somewhat mirror the contradictions of the history of the U.S. herself: the harshness of early settler Calvinism; the scientific technological but decadent moral issues of the post-Vietnam era which have somewhat put the “high pulpit” denominations in a present decline. Because of the traditional nature of the Church in general, however, the leaders will probably be the last to recognize the change or understand the transition, because most have been thoroughly indoctrinated that they alone hold the keys to the whole truth.
We must keep in mind that it was the mechanical, literalistic method of interpreting prophecy that led the Jews at the time of Christ to expect a Messiah who would conquer their enemies and set up an earthly political kingdom in Jerusalem. Fastening their eyes on the very letter of Scripture, they became tragically blind to its real meaning and spirit, with the result that when Christ "came unto his own," "they that were his own received him not" ( John 1: ll), but rejected and crucified Him. This same literalistic principle can also have tragic results in our day, in that it arouses hopes that are false and disappointing. This is particularly true in regard to the view that the Jews still are to be looked upon as God's favored people, that Palestine belongs to them as a matter of Divine right, and that prophecy foretells a glorious kingdom for them in Palestine. It is productive of even more serious results in the Church when it is employed to teach that Christ is to set up a one thousand year political kingdom in this world, and so to divert attention from the real purpose of the Church, which is to evangelize the world during this present age. Nearly a century ago Dr. Charles Hodge warned against the unnatural insistence of Premillennialists on literalism as an ignis fatuus, as he called it, a false or misleading fire which "leads those who follow it, they know not whither." That method proved disastrous for the Jews who tried to predict the details of Christ's First Coming. Most likely it will not work any better for those who attempt to set forth in detail the order of events for His Second Coming… Another principle of interpretation is that when a prophecy or promise has been fulfilled once, there is no valid reason why it must be fulfilled again, or repeatedly. A present day condition involving this principle relates to the State of Israel. Some tell us that since Palestine and the surrounding lands were promised to Abraham and to the Children of Israel, and that since those lands never were fully occupied, or because they later were lost, they now rightfully belong to the Israelis. But in Joshua 21:43,45, we read: "So Jehovah gave unto Israel all the land, which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. ... There failed not aught of any good thing which Jehovah had spoken unto the house of Israel: all came to pass." In I Kings 4:21 we read: "And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought tribute, and served Solomon all the days of his life." And II Chr. 9:26 tells us: "And he ( Solomon) ruled over all the kings from the River unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt." Hence we conclude that those promises have been amply fulfilled, and that they do not apply to the present day State of Israel.
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COMMENT: Here it becomes glaringly apparent that Postmillennialism claims no loyalty to Israel as a sovereign state; in fact, somewhat implying that “Palestine” has the better right. That Hebrew PLSTN is the same as “Philistine” has no meaning to those who view David and Goliath as no more than Sunday School stories; the world has changed; the Jews usurped; and, as books of history, the Koran as valid as the Bible! These are the people we are supposed to unite with and claim our inheritance (taken forever from the Jews) in Christ. Where is the Foundation now? Only in leadership; only what these people say, as God’s supposed representatives on earth. Call them apostles if you want, even though they claim no supernatural power; I call them the apostate antichrist.
In Jesus’ love and name, Ron David Metcalf 10/26/05