Paul Wilson (4 Oct 2011)
"Is Your Eschatology Showing?"



T. A. McMahon

When I became a believer, the most popular Christian book of the day was The
Late
Great Planet Earth, written by Hal Lindsey. It stimulated a great deal of
interest
in biblical prophecy and, in particular, in the doctrine of the Rapture of
the church.
Prophecy and the Rapture were two theological concepts that were foreign to
someone
like me, who had been raised in the Roman Catholic Church. I couldn't figure
out
what either one of them was about or what they had to do with Christianity.

As I grew in my understanding of the Scriptures, however, I began to get
very excited
about both doctrines. The idea that Jesus could be coming back at any time
to take
me to heaven to be with Him was indeed a blessed hope (Titus 2:12-13). Yet
only
a few years later I noticed that some of my evangelical friends (and just
Christians
in general) didn't share my excitement--or at least the interest in it
seemed to
be on the wane.

Enthusiasm appeared to be fading into a blasé attitude regarding the
imminent return
of Jesus for His bride. Great expectation wilted to a posture of
semi-confusion:
"He could be returning prior to the Great Tribulation," or "He may come back
for
us midway through the Tribulation," or "perhaps at the end of the
Tribulation."
To keep it from becoming a debate issue among evangelicals, some called
themselves
"pan-tribbers," meaning pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib--whatever panned out
would
be fine with them.

A number of things contributed to that attitude. It was recognized that the
timing
of the Rapture was not a doctrine that was essential for salvation, nor was
a belief
in it critical. It would take place for those who were truly born
again--whether
or not they believed that it would, and no matter when they believed it
would take
place. Thus the feeling among many grew that it was no big deal what one
believed.

Some were also intimidated by the rise of anti-Rapture teachers, who were
quite
militant and aggressive in their attempts to prove that the doctrine wasn't
in the
Bible or even that it was heretical. The problem with these objections is
that they
reflect the thinking of men rather than the teaching of God, something that
is always
a recipe for serious problems (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). This also raises a
question
(which for most evangelicals didn't seem relevant 30 years ago but today
begs an
answer) that is quite significant: Is your eschatology showing?

Eschatology is the study of what the Bible teaches about the End Times. It
considers
the events that will take place related to the Second Coming of Jesus
Christ: what
will precede His return, what will happen during His return, and what takes
place
following His coming back to earth. Obviously, since He hasn't returned yet
(though
some would dispute that), all of the related teachings make up biblical
prophecy.
So, eschatology has to do with what the Scriptures teach prophetically about
the
Last Days.

What, then, do I mean by asking, "Is your eschatology showing?"

Scripture tells us that the just (i.e., justified believers) shall live by
faith
(Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:7, Galatians 3:1, Hebrews 10:38). This means that
what
we believe must be lived out in order for our lives to be fruitful and
pleasing
to the Lord. If our understanding of what the Word of God says will take
place in
the future is not true to the Scriptures, our activities based upon that
misunderstanding
will be unfruitful and even spiritually destructive. I have given some
reasons above
why people avoid eschatological issues, to which I could add that some
regard them
as too far in the future to be of any practical concern or value in their
lifetime.
That's never been the case, and the practical realities of eschatological
beliefs
are becoming more evident every day.

The most prevalent eschatological teachings in church history are
Premillennialism
and Amillennialism. Premillennialism is the belief that Jesus Christ will
return
to earth in an event known as the Second Coming, which will be at the
beginning
of His thousand-year reign from Jerusalem. Then there is Amillennialism.
Amillennialists
do not believe in a literal thousand-year reign of Jesus on the earth;
rather, He
is said to have taken dominion over the earth right after His resurrection
and now
rules from heaven.

A somewhat related view is that of Postmillennialism, which declares that
Christ's
Second Coming will take place following His figurative millennial reign from
heaven.

Is the eschatological view of Amillennialism showing? Yes, and it has been
for millennia,
starting back in the fourth century. Augustine, the chief architect of the
major
dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church, is credited with introducing
Amillennialism
in his book The City of God.

To maintain some semblance of biblical veracity, Amillennialists must
spiritualize
nearly all of the prophetic scriptures related to Israel and the Millennium
because
a literal interpretation completely contradicts their eschatology.
Spiritualizing
is a process of interpretation that disregards the plain sense of the text
in order
to ascertain a "higher" meaning, especially one that reinforces one's
doctrinal
bias. That approach to interpreting the Word of God, however, has had
terribly destructive
consequences. For example, the prophetic scriptures that refer to Israel
have been
spiritualized by Amillennialists to apply to the church. That false doctrine
is
known as replacement theology, although in replacing Israel with the church,
those
who teach such things major on the blessings and rarely if ever apply to the
church
the curses directed at Israel.

Roman Catholicism started the Amillennial ball rolling, and it was continued
by
the Reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, with the difference, of
course,
being their belief that the Protestant church rather than the Church of Rome
had
replaced Israel. Among its other problems, replacement theology has been
instrumental
in sowing the seeds of anti-Semitism within Christendom. The Catholic Church
published
more than 100 anti-Semitic documents between the sixth and twentieth
centuries (see
A Woman Rides the Beast).

Luther, in particular, exemplified anti-Semitism among the reformers. The
vicious
diatribes in his writings such as On the Jews and Their Lies, although not
based
solely on his Amillennialism, were certainly dependent on it.

Calvin's Amillennialism was the basis for his attempt to create a Christian
utopia
in the city of Geneva, which he controlled. In the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries,
Amillennialism was the breeding ground for Preterism. During the
counterreformation,
Jesuit priest Luis de Alcasar interpreted the prophecies of the Book of
Revelation
as having already been fulfilled in the first century A.D. It wasn't until
the early
eighteenth century, however, that Preterism, the belief that most, if not
all, biblical
prophecies have been fulfilled, began to be espoused by Protestants.

That, of course, was then--but what about today? Amillennialism is the most
common
eschatological belief among professing Christians. It is the view of Roman
Catholics,
Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans,
Episcopalians,
the Church of Christ, some Independent Baptists, and most Calvinists (with
some
notable exceptions). In the last quarter-century Amillennialism has spawned
Christian
Reconstructionism/Theonomy, a latter-day attempt similar to Calvin's failed
experiment
to set up the "City of God" in Geneva.

The goal today, however, is far more ambitious as it seeks to take dominion
over
the world. The Reconstructionists, a.k.a. Theonomists, are all about setting
up
the Kingdom of God on earth through the implementation of the Old and New
Testament
laws and principles. An offshoot of Reconstructionism is the Coalition On
Revival,
or COR. This is a movement that made some headway in the decade of the '90s
through
the support of leading evangelicals and through the political activism of
the religious
right.

Its strategy is to make the Christian worldview dominant in all "spheres of
society":
education, science, politics, the arts, the military, and so forth. As the
name
more than implies, the eschatology of COR, or Coalition on Revival, is
focused on
bringing about worldwide revival, something that most Christians would find
favorable.
That may be the reason that some highly visible evangelical leaders who do
not hold
to an Amillennial theology--or its offspring--signed the original COR
Manifesto.
As one might expect, the Coalition On Revival is decidedly anti-Prophecy and
anti-Rapture.
The biblical doctrines of Prophecy and the Rapture do not support the
agendas or
goals of the Amillennial-driven COR proponents.

Though Christian Reconstructionism and the Coalition On Revival seem to be
past
their heyday of influence within Christendom, they are regarded by some as
nothing
more than a passing trend. I disagree. Trends such as the Manifest Sons of
God,
the Shepherding Movement, the Word/Faith teachings, the Church Growth trend,
the
Emerging Church Movement, and so on and so forth, come in waves much like an
ocean
wave, which approaches the beach, crests, and then crashes upon the sand,
dumping
whatever debris it carries. What's deposited by the wave sometimes sticks in
the
sand, while other flotsam disappears back out to sea. That's the way it is
with
unbiblical teachings and trends that have attracted large numbers of
Christians
throughout church history.

The Kingdom-dominionism of the Latter-rain, Manifest Sons of God movement
that I
mentioned earlier is a classic example. It started in Canada in the
mid-1940s,
and has ebbed and flowed throughout Christendom, particularly among
Pentecostals
and Charismatics. You can see its heretical teachings reflected today in
so-called
spiritual revivals and movements such as the Toronto Blessing, the
Brownsville Revival,
the Kansas City Prophets, the International House of Prayer (IHOP), and the
New
Apostolic Reformation.

Christian Reconstructionism influences and Coalition On Revival concepts are
also
making a modest yet effective return. There is a high-quality apologetics
series
produced by Focus on the Family titled The Truth Project(see TBC 9/11) that
has
been capturing the hearts and minds of young-adult evangelicals throughout
the
country. Significant doctrinal problems arise, however, because a major
"scriptural
worldview" of the series, albeit unstated, is Amillennialism. Some of the
key teachers
are Calvinists. Reconstructionism is never mentioned; nevertheless, the
central
teachings of Reconstructionism and Theonomy are apparent.

Scripture clearly rejects Amillennialism. The Bible foretells that the
imminent
Rapture of the church, the Great Tribulation, the Second Coming, the
Millennial
Reign of Christ, the Dissolving of Our Present Heavens and Earth, and the
Creating
of a New Heaven and New Earth, will all take place, in that order. That
prophetic
biblical scenario, however, does not fit with Amillennialism (or
Postmillennialism)
or any of the other attempts to usher in the Kingdom of God (See Whatever
Happened
to Heaven? Resource Pages).

The true scriptural view is that the biblical events that I just listed will
literally
take place and need to be considered in regard to any plans or agendas of
men or
ministries. We should not expect worldwide revival or a global Christian
transformation--not,
that is, until the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ, because the Bible
declares
that the Last Days will be characterized by great spiritual deception in the
world
and apostasy in the church. Does that mean that we should bail out on the
world?
No. But there is no scriptural basis for believing that the world will be or
can
be transformed through biblical law or biblical principles.

It should be apparent that one's Amillennial beliefs have practical
consequences
for anyone who lives those doctrines out in his life. However, the same is
true
for those who claim to be Premillennialists, who believe that Jesus must
return
in order to begin His literal one-thousand-year reign on this earth.

What does the Bible say regarding the living out of a Premillennial
eschatology?
First of all, the doctrine is characterized primarily as a believer's
"blessed
hope": "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the
great God
and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:12-13). Verse 12 indicates what our
lives
should be like as we are "looking for that blessed hope": "Teaching us that,
denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and
godly, in
this present world;" John, the beloved, and likely the last of the apostles
to go
to be with Jesus, gives us this exhortation, which no doubt he himself lived
out:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we
shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall
see him
as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even
as he
is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).

Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words" (John 14:23). And in
Luke
6:46, Jesus posed this question: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not
the
things which I say?" We need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the
faith,
once and for all delivered unto the saints.

Paul wasn't simply passing on some platitudes or a take-it-or-leave-it
suggestion
to young Timothy when he wrote, "But thou, O man of God, flee [sinful]
things; and
follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Fight the
good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also
called, and
hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge
in the
sight of God...that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable,
until
the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 6:11-14).

Our lives need to reflect what Paul wrote as we look forward to Christ's
appearing.
To that John adds, "...abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have
confidence,
and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (1 John 2:28). Peter not only
wraps
it up for us, he mentions the difficulties involved and then underscores
where
our hearts need to be as we look forward to an event that will be more
exciting
than anyone of us can imagine. He declares, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice,
though
now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold
temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that
perisheth,
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and
glory at
the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom,
though now
ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of
glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter
1:6-9).

I hope and pray that our true biblical eschatology is showing. Maranatha!
tbc

Quotable

Second Corinthians 5:10 assures us, "We must all appear before the judgment
seat
of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according
to
what he has done, whether good or bad." Do you really believe as a follower
of the
Lord Jesus Christ that there will be a day on which you will stand before
His throne?
We will each go one-on-one with the God of this universe. Can you imagine
that?
Do you think it will matter on that day whether you told a very lost and
dying world
about the only answer for a soul--Jesus? Yes, it will. It will matter
whether you
shared the most precious thing you have with everyone you could.

Mark Cahill, One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven

Q&A

Question: I just read about how Governor Perry's prayer meeting got started.
[I
had never] heard of the New Apostolic Reformation [NAR] but for the last two
years,
I have seen and felt the need for Christians to pray for the "church" to
come to
repentance....I do not see or hear any other "Christian Leaders" or shall I
say,
"Berean" leaders, taking the stand or sounding the trumpet in Zion. I was
blessed
by seeing such a diverse group of people coming together to call upon the
mighty
Name of our Almighty God, humbling themselves, fasting, repenting, praying,
asking
God to have mercy on our nation. If there was ever a time in history that
Christians
should be coming together and calling on God to have mercy upon us, it is
now!

Response: We couldn't agree more regarding the need to pray for the church
and for
God's mercy upon our country, especially as we see the church drifting away
from
the Scriptures and our country turning against the God of the Bible and His
truth.
However, our prayers will be futile at best if we are praying for something
that
is opposed to God's will, or with those whose objective is contrary to what
the
Bible teaches.

Governor Perry of Texas is, wittingly or unwittingly, participating in
prayer with
those who have a false biblical eschatology. The New Apostolic Reformation
preaches
dominionism. They believe that Christians must take control and establish
dominion
over this world before Jesus can return to this earth. It may be that Perry
is ignorant
of the NAR objectives and thought it good to pray for the well-being of our
country
with those whom he considers Christians, or his involvement may have been a
political
move to garner Christian votes. We doubt that he's a part of the NAR
movement, but
we don't know.

Much of what passes for prayer these days is an attempt to get God to do
man's will
and meet what many Christians believe constitutes success. More often than
not the
criteria is pragmatic and usually quantified in terms of numbers. That's not
the
biblical way: for 120 years, Noah prayed, preached, and warned of coming
judgment,
though in the end only eight people took shelter in the ark. According to
Scripture,
we are to preach the gospel of God's grace and bring people to a saving
knowledge
of Christ.

More than 50 years ago, A.W. Tozer wrote, "Pragmatism Goes to Church," in
which
he sarcastically stated, "It is useless to plead for the human soul, to
insist that
what a man can do is less important than what he is. When there are wars to
be won,
forests to be cleared, rivers to be harnessed, factories to be built,
planets to
be visited, the quieter claims of the human spirit are likely to go
unregarded.
The spectacular drama of successful deeds leaves the beholder breathless.
Deeds
you can see. Factories, cities, highways, rockets are there in plain sight,
and
they got there by the practical application of means to ends. So who cares
about
ideals and character and morals? These things are for poets, nice old ladies
and
philosophers. Let's get on with the job."

You ask, where are the legitimate ministries (Berean leaders) who are taking
a stand
for the Lord? They are individuals who are seeded throughout society. The
Christian
principles that influenced the founding of this nation did not come via
"Christian
activism" such as we're seeing today. On the contrary, it was the preaching
of the
gospel by Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, the Wesleys, and others, that
was
used by the Lord to redeem men and women, whose transformed lives impacted
society
in the Great Awakening.

Should a Christian participate in politics? As citizens of this nation, we
can affect
its course to a certain extent by prayerfully voting for the best candidate
we can.
As citizens of heaven, we realize that the only real hope for our nation
lies with
our Lord. We may become partakers of a politician's deeds because of the
effect
that his decisions and actions will have on our country. When a nation falls
into
captivity due to its evil behavior, all inhabitants are certainly affected
(Mt 5:45).
Our responsibility is to "preach the word; be instant in season, out of
season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine" (2 Tm 4:2).

Question: I have wondered about the "Queen of Heaven" (Jeremiah 44) that the
people
of Judah were burning incense to. Who was this "Queen" they were venerating?
I wonder
if they were putting her ahead of God? [TBC: Attached to this question was
an article
from a Catholic apologist disavowing any connection to Mary as the Queen of
Heaven.]

Response: Catholic apologists point out that the Jews (Jer 44) were
worshiping a
pagan goddess, while the Catholic catechism speaks of only venerating Mary.
Yet
the veneration of Mary, according to the Catholic Church, is termed
hyperdulia.
It is a special veneration of Mary as the holiest of creatures
(merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hyperdulia).
Catholic apologists will insist that no worship of Mary is performed, though
millions
of Catholics believe the apparition of Mary at Fatima who promised, "The
soul which
recommends itself to Me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish"
(Number
5 of "The 15 Promises of Our Lady to Christians Who Recite the Rosary," Our
Lady
of Fatima Online). Consequently, millions of Catholics are simultaneously
praying
to and venerating Mary, something that should only be accorded to deity.

Ignoring this, following the May 13, 1981, assassination attempt, Pope John
Paul
II was not praying to God or calling on the name of Jesus during the
ambulance
ride. Instead, he repeated over and over, "Mary, my mother!" (James
McCarthy, The
Gospel According to Rome, pp. 181-84; 199-200).

Though not "official" Catholic doctrine, the Vatican declared Alfonsus de
Liguori(1696-1787)
a "saint" and a "doctor of the Church." This founder of the Marianist
movement and
author of The Glories of Mary declared that there is no salvation outside of
Mary
(William Webster, The Church of Rome at the Bar of History, p. 87). Catholic
apologists
would say that his views are extreme and not representative of Catholic
Church teaching,
yet Pope Pius IX said, "Our salvation is based upon the holy Virgin...so
that if
there is any hope and spiritual healing for us, we receive it solely and
uniquely
from her" ("The Encyclical of February 2, 1849," cited in Donald G. Bloesch,
Essentials
of Evangelical Theology, Vol. 1, page 196).

Although many Catholic apologists deny that Mary is treated as deity, the
Catholic
catechism states, "God has exalted Mary in heavenly glory as Queen of Heaven
and
earth" (Catechism 966). "She is to be praised with special devotion"
(Catechism
971, 2675).

We have reported on the move to make Mary "Co-Redemptrix" with Christ. The
latest
figures we have seen cite 550 bishops, 43 cardinals, and nearly 7 million
ordinary
faithful from 157 countries in 6 continents who have signed petitions urging
the
pope to proclaim, as the Fifth Marian dogma, Mary as "Coredemptrix,
Mediatrix and
Advocate." (http://www.all-about-the-virgin-mary.com/coredemptrix.html).
Though
saying that this position is not equal with deity, they nevertheless admit
that
"Coredemptrix, therefore, literally means 'the woman who buys back with,'"
clearly
assigning Mary a role in redemption beyond simply being the mother of the
earthly
Jesus (Ibid.). This echoes the Douay (Catholic version of the Bible)
translation
of Genesis 3:15, which reads, "I will put enmities between thee and the
woman,
and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in
wait
for her heel."

It is instructive to consider the response of Jesus when someone exalted His
earthly
mother. Jesus replied, "Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of
God,
and keep it" (Lk 11:28).

Question: You and your people are by no means Bereans. You have taken away
very
important truths of the Bible and have replaced them with falsities. Let me
point
out that "faith without works is dead." A dead faith will get you nothing
from the
Lord. God is the "God of the living and not the dead." Eternal life is a
gift but
requirements must be met, such as: "Keep my commandments and live, saith the
Lord."
This is a requirement. Not by faith alone is one saved but by keeping God's
commandments.
If anyone of us wants eternal life we must "work" to fulfill our part of the
agreement.
We are saved by grace through faith. This grace is not given to anyone who
does
not keep our Lord's commandments. Grace is given to the obedient, not the
rebellious.
We must "work to show ourselves to be approved" just as Scripture
says....TheBereans
knew the Scriptures. You teach that faith is all one needs. Nowhere in the
Bible
is this taught....I hope this has helped you to see the light!

Response: We have addressed the question of "faith vs. works" on a number of
occasions
in past issues (see June 2010 TBC). That a person can only be saved by faith
and
not by works is both biblical and logical. Scripture tells us that all have
sinned
and that the penalty for sin is eternal separation from God. Consequently,
there
are no works that a person can do in order to pay the debt of that
never-ending
penalty. Only Jesus, who is God and the perfect Man, could--and did--pay the
eternal
penalty for everyone. The only way to receive the forgiveness of one's sins
and
Christ's gift of eternal life is by faith alone.

Some of the remarks in your letter clearly show that the biblical concept of
"grace"
is simply not understood. "Grace" has been defined as "unmerited favor," but
what
does this mean? The testimony of Scripture is unanimous in stating that
nothing
that involves "work" will "earn" you salvation.

Yet, you say, "requirements must be met....Not by faith alone is one saved
but by
keeping God's commandments." What are the commandments? The Lord gave many
more
than the 10 Commandments. Jesus spoke of "new commandments." How do you know
you've
kept all the "requirements?"

In blessed contrast, when the disciples asked, "What shall we do, that we
might
work the works of God?", Jesus replied, "This is the work of God, that ye
believe
on him whom he hath sent."

Again, the Scriptures unanimously present the same message of the grace of
God.
Going back to the passage in Numbers 21 concerning anyone bitten by "the
serpent,"
we find that "whosoever" looked at the serpent on the pole was saved.

The Israelites who died when bitten by the serpent were receiving the just
punishment
for their sin. There was nothing a person could do--no anti-venom he could
concoct,
no tourniquet he could apply, which might otherwise save him. God, in
"grace," however,
provided a remedy. Moses was told to cast a brass serpent and place it upon
a pole
that anyone who was bitten, when "he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived"
(Num
21:9).

The Lord Jesus utilizes this historical example and likens Himself to the
Serpent
on the pole, saying that "whosoever" believes will be saved (Jn 3:14-15).
Other
than to believe, where, indeed, is "our part" in the agreement? What do the
Scriptures
say? "But to him that worketh not..." (Rom 4:5). "For by grace are ye saved
through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest
any
man should boast" (Eph 2:8-9). "Not by works of righteousness which we have
done,
but according to his mercy he saved us..." (Ti 3:5). Three verses later,
Paul instructs
Titus to be careful to "maintain good works. These...are good and profitable
to
men" [our emphasis].

James 2:14-26 doesn't say "not by faith alone, but by works also." On the
contrary,
it says that works should follow faith: "I will show thee my faith by my
works"
(Jas 2:18). Faith in the grace of God must come first. This agrees with
Ephesians
2:10: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works"
[our
emphasis.] If we are truly saved by faith, there should be visible works
showing
that our salvation is real. Otherwise, "faith without works is dead also"
(Jas 2:26).

We would strongly urge you to go back over the Scriptures that you have
taken out
of context and see how the "light" you believe to present is in reality a
turning
away from the grace of God.

Question: The "Christian Identity" movement is huge in the United States.
It's a
"conservative" sway away from Scripture. They are using Scripture to say
that the
10 "lost" tribes of Israel are the "Aryan race," though they don't use those
words.
They also state that racism is acceptable. Could you please discuss this?

Response: The idea that Jews are not "Jews" but are actually descendents of
Russian
Khazars was answered in the November 1992 and May 1996 issues of the
newsletter
(See TBC Reprints).

Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazis, and individuals like Timothy
McVeigh
and the Atlanta Olympics bomber, Eric Rudolph, share some common ideas that
reflect
the small but growing influence from so-called Christian Identity. The
movement,
or "Identity," as it is known, has no central doctrine, though a fundamental
belief
is that Europeans are the true descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible. This
parallels
the teaching of British Israelism.

Elements of Dominion theology (see TBC 2/87, 3/87) parallel teachings of
Christian
Identity. Kingdom/dominion or "reconstructionism" can be traced back several
centuries,
but its recent promotion comes from the Latter Rain, or Manifest Sons,
movement
that began in 1948 in Canada. Its relationship to the "positive-confession"
and
"discipleship" movements is clearly established. By teaching that we can get
whatever
we confess, it's a short step to confessing healing and immortality and
peace and
prosperity and salvation for the world. This is, in fact, where the name
"Manifest
Sons" comes from: the last-days overcomers must manifest total victory over
all
foes in these bodies without a resurrection, even over death.

Christian Identity "has concocted a bizarre theological infrastructure to
support
a militant anti-semitic white supremacism....According to the Christian
Identity
[teaching], Adam was the progenitor of the white race; only members of the
white
race have a spirit: members of the lower non-white races are the 'beasts of
the
field' of Genesis 1:24 and they only have a body and soul but no spirit"
(Schultz,
"A Review of Soldiers of God: White Supremacists and Their Holy War for
America,"
August 1, 2003,
http://vantiltool.blogspot.com/2005/06/christian-identity-its-beliefs-are.html).In
stark contrast, the Lord says: "Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun
for a
light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by
night,
which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his
name:
If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of
Israel
also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever" (Jer 31:35-36).

TBC NewsWatch

Iran Signals MIDDLE EAST "PEACE"

YNETNEWS.com, 8/30/2011: Report: Israel sends 2 warships to Egyptian border
[excerpts]--Military
sources say Israeli Navy sent warships to maritime border with Egypt
following intelligence
indicating...that an Islamic Jihad terror cell has left the Gaza Strip and
intends
to infiltrate Israel through Sinai....

The security situation in southern Israel has been particularly tense
following
a series of terror attacks that claimed the lives of eight Israeli...[and]
five
Egyptian troops.... Israel and Egypt agreed to increase the presence of
Cairo troops...[to]
some 1,500 Egyptian soldiers deployed across Sinai....

Meanwhile, Iran's Press TV reported...that Tehran has decided to dispatch
the 15th
fleet [comprised of a submarine and several warships] to the Red Sea. Iran's
Navy
Commander...[said], "The presence of Iran's army in the high seas will
convey the
message of peace and friendship to all countries."

* * *

HAARETZ.com, 8/25/2011: Ahmadinejad: Iran is determined to eradicate Israel
[excerpts]--Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to eradicate
Israel,
ISNA news agency reported Thursday. "Iran believes that whoever is for
humanity
should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of
suppression
and discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese
television
network, carried by ISNA.

"Iran follows this issue (the eradication of Israel) with determination and
decisiveness
and will never ever withdraw from this standpoint and policy," the Iranian
president
added in the interview with the Al-Manar network.

Ahmadinejad on Monday said that Iranians and Muslim nations worldwide should
hold
Qods rallies and show their willingness to dispose of this "infectious tumor
and
this regime full of rascality."

* * *

DEBKA.com, 9/6/2011: Israel's Home Front chief's dose of reality flusters
defense
establishment [excerpts]--Home Front Commander Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg
warned Monday,
Sept. 5 of the increasing peril of a total Middle East war in the wake of
the Arab
revolts and Israel's rift with Turkey. His comments shocked Israel's
policy-makers
and defense establishment out of their placidity. The defense minister's
adviser
Amos Gilead, hurriedly denied this prediction. "Israel's security situation
has
never been better," he said insisting "The Arab regimes around us are
stable."
debkafile: The general's wake-up call was both apt and timely.

* * *

DEBKA.com, 9/5/2011: Iran runs nuclear missile payload tests, moves onto 60
pc fuel
enrichment [excerpts]--Iran's 20 percent enriched uranium production exceeds
its
needs. debkafile reports that this disclosure by Iran's atomic energy agency
head
Fereydoon Abbas enables the program to move into the production of 60
percent grade
fuel, one step before weapons grade. This progress plus the relocation to an
underground
location near Qom of accelerated enrichment brings forward to the spring of
2012
the potential completion of between two and four bombs and Tehran's ability
to
conduct a nuclear test.

CORRUPTING GOD'S CREATED ORDER

DAILYMAIL.co.uk, 7/25/2011: 150 human animal hybrids grown in UK
labs--Scientists
have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British
laboratories.
The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by
researchers
[allegedly] looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a
nightmare
'Planet of the Apes' scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes
too far.
[One] campaigner against the excesses of medical research said he was
disgusted
that scientists were 'dabbling in the grotesque'.

Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155 'admixed' embryos, containing
both
human and animal genetic material, have been created since the introduction
of the
2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology Act.

This legalised the creation of a variety of hybrids, including an animal egg
fertilised
by a human sperm; 'cybrids', in which a human nucleus is implanted into an
animal
cell; and 'chimeras', in which human cells are mixed with animal
embryos....Human-animal
hybrids are also created in other countries, many of which have little or no
regulation.

[TBC: The Chinese news agency, Xinhuanet, picked up this story, but omitted
the
reference to scientists being disgusted at institutions "dabbling in the
grotesque."
Instead, the Chinese media stated: "although the scientific sensation has
drawn
controversy...this kind of experiments [sic] are licensed in this country."
The
Chinese article included still images from the futuristic movie "Splice"
depicting
both seductive and horrific human-animal hybrids. Admission of such
experimentation
also provides fuel for speculation by some Bible prophecy scholars
concerning bizarre
demonic "hybrids" described in Revelation.]

"KINGDOM NOW"--OR PERSECUTION NOW?

Womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org, 8/31/2011: Personal Prison Prepared for
Forced
Abortion Opponents--Blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng and his
wife,
Yuan Weijing, will be transferred to a small prison built specifically for
them,
according to a Radio Free Asia report. Activist He Peirong stated that the
couple
will be forcibly removed from their home and transferred to a building
"which basically
amounts to a jail" so that authorities can "keep tighter controls on them."
They
will be separated from their five-year-old daughter in the move. Their young
son,
living with relatives, was reportedly strip-searched leaving the family
home.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, decried
this action.
"The Chinese Communist Party has already beaten and tortured Chen and his
wife,
denied them medical treatment, stolen their television, phone, computer and
books,
and appears to be slowly starving them to death. The couple is constantly
surrounded
by 66 guards and multiple surveillance cameras tracking their every move
inside
and outside their home. Why is the CCP so threatened by a blind, sick,
penniless
man that they have to build a personal prison for him? They seek to make an
example
of Chen, to demonstrate how they will punish anyone who challenges their
forced
abortion policies. But they are really making an example of their own,
shameful
brutality."

Bob Fu, President of China Aid, said "The treatment of Chen Guangcheng and
the torture
and disappearance of human rights lawyer GaoZhisheng, are unconscionable.
These
are not the acts of a government that respects the rule of law. Since the
beginning
of this year, the CCP has launched an offensive against human rights lawyers
and
activists, religious leaders, house church Christians and even dissident
artists.
We urge the release of those unjustly imprisoned, tortured and disappeared."

Chen was arrested in 2006 for exposing evidence that 130,000 forced
abortions and
involuntary sterilizations were performed on women in Linyi County, Shandong
Province
in a single year.

[TBC: Pregnant mothers denied alternatives to abortion. Children forcibly
separated
from parents over religious and education rights. Security agents touching
children's
'private parts' while parents are ordered to helplessly watch. Illegal
search and
seizure of homes and businesses selling raw milk and organic produce.
Confiscation
of business records and computers without warrant. Destruction of private
property
without remuneration. Unarmed farmers and their families held at gunpoint by
militarized
police in full riot gear. 24/7 audio-visual and communications surveillance
in private
homes, city streets, and public buildings.Persecution of "dissidents" who
oppose
the ruling party. Government schools indoctrinating children with evolution,
atheism,
and sex "education." Students, professionals, and factory workers denied
free speech.
Christianity banned from public places. Bible-believers arrested and
persecuted.
Is this Red China, 1971? U.S.S.R., 1981? No--these are all headlines in
America,
2011. See 2 Tim 3:1, 10-17, 1 Pt 4:12-19, Mt 5:38-48.]

Letters

Hi Dave,

I just wanted to express my gratitude for the work you have done in standing
up
for the truth. You have awakened in me something long suppressed...to be
more active
in my faith. Your books and their content are a wealth of knowledge and
encouragement.
I recently went through a tough time with Calvinism, and it was your
research and
passion and the grace of the Lord through you that has directed me to the
right
path. Thank you very much for making a stand for people to read their Bible
and
get back to Biblical truth and for encouraging the daily reading of the
Bible. Keep
up the good work. WB (email)

Dear TBC,

This month [May], I was blessed to see the topic pertaining to the book
Heaven is
for Real. I had recently been given a very similar book (another best
seller, ironically)
by a friend who highly recommended it. Upon review, I decided that although
the
story may be interesting and quaint, it was certainly extra-biblical. Amidst
my
busy schedule of home schooling mom and assistant pastor's wife, I had
decided this
book just didn't make the cut of something that would edify me in spiritual
growth
through Scripture. I appreciated the article, as it confirmed that I was
following
the discernment that the Lord gave, not just being a "stick in the mud." In
retrospect,
I had a similar affirmation of receiving Godly discernment after reading the
article
about Glenn Beck. I had enjoyed listening to his political commentary in the
past
but was becoming increasingly concerned with his spiritual dialogue. I am
grateful
for your willingness to bring the light to the areas that are often covered
with
shades of gray. MC (MA)

Mr. Hunt,

You came down pretty hard on the Masonic order in your [March] Berean Call.
It is
my understanding that the Masonic order is a fraternal organization, not a
religious
organization, even though it does believe in God. You mentioned that the
Masonic
order accepted all gods without distinction; however, I have not heard of a
Mason
being asked to accept the teachings of the Hindu gods, Buddhism, or any
other so-called
religious order. Mr. Albert Pike's reference to gods other than the
Christian's
God, in my opinion, alludes to the fraternity's worldwide membership, which
may
include people from other beliefs; however, it does not mean that Masons who
are
Christian have to embrace those religions in any shape, form, or fashion.
They
are free to honor Jesus Christ openly and without reservation. I inferred
from your
article that you were less than pleased that the founding fathers of this
country
had Masonic affiliations; however, from my reading of U.S. history, they
seem to
have done a good job in building this country into the powerful nation it
is, with
the right to worship as one sees fit and to speak freely about their
beliefs--which
you exercised in your article. That does not mean, however, that I agree
with the
politics that all of them practiced. GJ (email)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is a great blessing to have received your most recent newsletter....Wow!
God
is using you all in such a mighty way for He knows this is a necessity
concerning
these end times. Jesus has kept me afloat by His grace and mercy for 11
years of
being incarcerated. Much of that grace and mercy has been provided by Him
through
TBC. I praise God and I thank Him for all of you there. Don't give up my
friends!
Know that you are truly making a difference and an impact on many lives for
the
real gospel of Jesus Christ.... CW (NC, prisoner)

Dear Mr. Hunt,

Thank you for your message concerning psychology and inner healing. A
non-Christian
friend recommended your website, and I've been listening to your teachings a
lot
since then. I wish I knew all this, when I was 20 years old. I'm 50 years
old now,
and not knowing all of this [caused] me and my family a lot of pain. I was
depressed,
phobic, and suicidal but instead of helping me biblically, [my counselors]
offered
me inner healing--the Agnes Sanford way! I got memories of my mother trying
to abort
me and other weird stuff, but since it was during prayer...it had to be true
and
to doubt that was sin....I got married, was blessed with two children, but
the
depression hit again. My leaders took me to Toronto in 1995, and after that
things
got worse. I went to a Christian psychologist,...Nine years of therapy,
sometimes
I doubted my memories, but again--we were doing everything in prayer. "You
have
to believe; otherwise you'll give satan what he wants."

Finally [I] broke with therapy and drugs (prescription drugs, but
nevertheless drugs)
and the memories faded, the other personalities faded, and I knew I had been
suffering
from false memory syndrome. Long story!...The [reaction] I get the most
often is:
"It's impossible! God doesn't give a stone when we ask for bread. It's in
the Bible."...I
knew I was honest and really wanted to serve the Lord and they (the
therapists)
said I couldn't receive a stone, so all my memories were in fact "bread."
[Now]
I know the answer, we never really asked God. We were misled, we didn't
understand
how this works, how occult it is. But I was really trying to obey God. I
really
wanted to follow Jesus. But it backfired. Thank you for listening and for
keeping
the subject alive. SK (Netherlands)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I found your book, The Seduction of Christianity, in a thrift store and
started
to read it almost immediately. I believe that everybody who calls
him/herself a
Christian should read this book! Because the edition of the book is from
1986 there
was no website on it, but, thank God, I found it on the internet....I
certainly
want to use the information from this book to warn other believers! I want
to thank
Brothers Dave Hunt & T. A. McMahon for the intense studies they have done,
and for
sharing it with us/me! More than ever before we need discernment through the
Holy
Spirit to recognize what is going on! With great interest I will read your
articles
and newsletters! God bless you and your ministry! MD (email)

TBC Notes

Announcing TBC's 2012 Conference

Once again, by God's grace, we had a terrific conference here in beautiful
Bend,
Oregon. The messages, presented in an atmosphere of wonderful fellowship and
great
encouragement, were tremendously edifying.

Therefore, the Lord willing, we plan to do it again next year and have
already reserved
the Riverhouse Convention Center for Friday and Saturday, August 10-11. Our
hope
and prayer is that many of you will be able to join us.

T. A. McMahon

Executive Director

TBC Extra

Crucial Theology for Critical Times

fromMillennial Eschatology by Ron Merryman (Excerpts)

THE ECONOMIC APOCALYPSE in 2008 that collapsed banking systems and markets
worldwide
also prompted Americans to elect an administration that instituted a New Era
of
centralized power and big government. After the election, the headline on
Newsweek's
front cover (Feb. 26, 2009) read in 72-point Roman bold, WE ARE ALL
SOCIALISTS NOW:
The Perils & Promises of the New Era of Big Government!

Western Civilization is moving toward a new world order. Samuel P.
Huntington, famous
Harvard scholar with a remarkable grasp of contemporary global politics,
wrote a
classic on the subject in 1996 titled The Clash of Civilizations & the
Remaking
of World Order. What secularists like Huntington fail to recognize is that
all
such movements are simply preludes to the one world government of the
Antichrist
predicted in God's Word. But there is also a final World Order prophesied in
God's
Word. It is that which triumphs over the pseudo-kingdom promises of the
Antichrist:
indeed, it is the triumphant Mediatorial-Millennial Kingdom of our Lord, and
is
the subject of this book.

It is time for Christians to wake up to biblical eschatology! Christ's
Kingdom has
too long been spiritualized and/or ignored. The church has too long ignored
or spiritualized
the multitude of scriptural emphases on this subject. There is more in
prophetic
Scripture on the triumphant mediatorial kingdom of Messiah than on any other
subject!
We can thank Augustine of Hippo for spiritualizing Messiah's
MillennialKingdom,
then medieval Romanism for popularizing Augustine's amillennialism, and the
Reformers
for not correcting the error; but dispensationalists are partially
responsible for
the current ignorance.

Our emphasis is on the church and its eschatology, despite the fact that the
predominance
of eschatological Scripture is upon Messiah's triumphant Kingdom as it
relates to
Himself and to Israel. Perhaps, the stresses engulfing each of us in these
perilous
economic times will stimulate our appetites for these truths.

The church is not the Mediatorial Kingdom of God; nor is the Kingdom the
church.
The age of one is not the age of the other. To confuse these distinctions is
to
confuse and misapply scriptures that lead to such disasters as the
Inquisition
of the Middle Ages, the slaying of Servetus by John Calvin (wrong in his
application
of theocratic kingdom passages), the witch hunts in Salem, Massachusetts,
and more
recent utopian schemes under the guise of "Christianity."

The church age is the period of time when God is calling out a people for
His name;
it is after this time that Jesus Christ will return and establish the
Davidic-MediatorialKingdom.
In the meantime, the MediatorialKingdom is in abeyance. This suspension was
not
revealed to the O.T. prophets, hence it is called a "mystery" by our Lord
Jesus
in Matthew 13 (and, in His own words, "kept secret from the foundation of
the world,"
Mt.13:35). But "delay" does not mean "cessation": the kingdom is coming!

--Ron Merryman

[CHART GOES HERE!]

Dave Hunt Classic

THE LATE GREAT RAPTURE THEORY?

--by Dave Hunt

Excerpted from WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN?

It is an understatement to say that the winds of change are blowing at gale
force
through the hallowed halls of tradition. Scientific discovery is advancing
in quantum
leaps, computer technology is literally exploding, and...communications
networks
are bringing this rapidly expanding knowledge to the world with lightning
speed.
The inevitable result is a revolution in every field from physics to
medicine and
from economics to politics. That we currently face dramatic and accelerating
worldwide
change beyond present comprehension is sensed by almost every person who
gives any
heed to the contemporary scene. Nor is it possible to seriously doubt the
connection
between the quickening pace of high-tech's sensuous, self-centered living,
and plummeting
public morals.

Needless to say, the church has not remained untouched by these currents of
upheaval
and transformation. Influenced by the world as never before through the
subtleties
and persuasive power of modern media, Christians are being adversely
affected in
numerous and deceptive ways. The faith of many, particularly the youth, is
being
devastated by the challenge of "scientific" or "progressive" ideas which
also undermine
biblical standards of morality....

[As one symptom of "changing hope"] there are many Christians today (and
their number
is growing rapidly) who view the hope of an imminent rapture as the negative
product
of a defeatist theology. They sincerely believe that the expectation of
being taken
home to heaven at any moment undermines the "victory" they are convinced
could be
won by the church if Christians would only catch the vision of taking over
the world
and would unite to fulfill it.

On the contrary, there is a much more exciting and worthwhile hope for those
who
believe in the rapture. We will return with Christ from heaven in
transformed bodies
to reign over this earth with Him. That hope involves a truly new world
order far
superior to anything we could establish in these mortal bodies and without
His physical
presence on earth. Such a vision of the future helps us to realize that we
are not
part of this old world order and to make a clear break with it even now.

The ground is being laid for a major confrontation between those who long to
leave
this earth for heaven in the rapture, and others equally sincere who believe
it
is the Christian's duty to establish the kingdom upon this earth and that
only when
this has been accomplished by the church in His absence will our Lord at
last return....

Of course, there have always been diverse views of the Second Coming. The
amillennial
position, generally held by Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Catholics (among
others),
sees history moving on for many thousands of years with Christ finally
winding things
up at some indefinite time in the future and with prophecy having little if
anything
to say that would give us any hint of timing or events along the way.
Similarly,
the postmillennial view suggests that we are already in the millennium
(which is
not a literal thousand years but could be hundreds of thousands), that the
church
is gradually taking over the world and will eventually establish the kingdom
in
Christ's absence, after which He will return for the final judgment. While
there
is a general belief in the rapture, postmillennialism puts that event so far
in
the future that it has no practical motivating effect in one's life.

In the early 1970s the rapture was the most-talked-about topic in the
church. Lindsey
had captured the attention and imagination of his generation. Pastors
preached about
heaven and Christians eagerly anticipated being caught up at any moment to
meet
their Lord in the air. Even the secular world became familiar with the
concept.
There were movies, such as The Omen, about the end times. Radio and
television mentioned
the Second Coming frequently, and cartoons and bumper stickers also took up
the
theme. One of the latter solemnly warned: "I'm leaving in the rapture, ride
at your
own risk!"

All of that has changed. The bumper stickers have worn off, the movies have
lost
their appeal, and the sermons have gone on to currently popular themes. The
subtitle
of a recent article in Moody reflects present sentiment: "Hal Lindsey was
premature.
The earth is great, but it's too early to call it late."

Most Christians no longer know what they believe about prophecy and now
realize
that their previously held opinions must be given an honest and careful
review.
Many who were once excited about the prospects of being caught up to heaven
at any
moment have become confused and disillusioned by the apparent failure of a
generally
accepted biblical interpretation they once relied upon. Those who believed
in the
rapture because it was popular are, of course, abandoning it now that it has
become
unpopular. They never had a good reason for what they believed based upon
their
own carefully weighed convictions. It is sad that so few Christians know the
Bible
for themselves....

The church is now ripe for the developing views of history and prophecy that
either
downplay or eliminate the rapture and put the emphasis upon "Christianizing"
(in
contrast to "converting") the world. A new genre of books espousing the idea
that
"victory in Christ" means a Christian takeover of this world is coming off
the presses
and selling well. Such ideas are being successfully taken into mainstream
evangelical
churches by [groups] denigrating...the rapture."

Today, the once-bright hope of the church being taken home to heaven by
Christ at
any moment has become the butt of crude jokes and a common subject of
ridicule or
scorn even among many Christians. The initial ad for the Reconstructionist
Biblical
Blueprints book series derisively called the rapture "God's helicopter
escape."
Earl Paulk, founding pastor of the 10,000-member Chapel HillHarvesterChurch
near
Atlanta, and a popular Christian television teacher, calls the rapture "The
Great
Escape Theory."

Being taken to heaven in the rapture has been to a large extent replaced by
the
rapidly growing new hope that the church is destined to take over the world
and
establish the kingdom of God. The focus has turned from winning souls for
citizenship
in heaven to political and social action aimed at cleaning up society.
Scarcely
a sermon is being preached about the world to come. Attention is focused
instead
upon achieving success in this one. If we have a big enough march on
Washington
and vote in enough of our candidates, then we can make this world a
beautiful,
safe, moral, and satisfying "Christian" place for our grandchildren. This is
a very
enticing scenario. George Grant's appeal sounds logical and extremely
persuasive:

I became very disenchanted over time with the pessimistic mentality that the
purpose
of world history is to back the church into the corner and finally at the
last second,
right before the moment of absolute destruction, God snatches us into the
heavenly
realms and says: "Well, you lost the world, you lost your culture, you lost
your
children, you lost the schools, you lost all the unborn babies, you lost
South
Africa, you lost everything. Well done, my good and faithful servants." I
just couldn't
buy that. Reconstructionists say that's not the only view on how the church
is to
operate in the world.

The expectancy of the Lord's soon return which was so evident in the
1970s...has
all but vanished from the church.... There has developed a surprising and
growing
antagonism against eagerly watching and waiting for Christ's return, which
surely
was the attitude of the early church. The pendulum is swinging to an
outright rejection
of not only the pretrib but also the premillennium rapture....

The trend...has accelerated. We could cite the current struggle going on in
the
Southern Baptist Church as one example. It is the largest Protestant
denomination,
but is presently losing members at a surprising and growing rate to
independent
churches that deny the rapture, deny any place for national Israel in
prophecy,
and believe that an elite group of "overcomers" will soon manifest
immortality in
their bodies without the resurrection or the Second Coming, and take over
the world
for Christ. Only then will Christ return. Not to take His bride home to
heaven as
the Bible clearly teaches, however, but to reign over the kingdom that has
been
established by her for Him here on this earth. One of the leaders in this
movement
writes:

"You can study books about going to heaven in a so-called 'rapture' if that
turns
you on. We want to study the Bible to learn to live and to love and to bring
heaven
to earth."

Is this issue even worth discussing? After all, what does it matter when
Christ
comes or when or how the kingdom is established? Is eschatological debate of
any
significance? A partial answer would lie in the fact that "last days"
prophecy
is a subject that takes up about one-fourth of the Bible. How could we dare
to suggest
that the Holy Spirit would give such importance to something which, in the
final
analysis, really doesn't matter? Based only upon the amount of attention
given
to it in the Bible, when and how and why Christ returns must be of great
importance
both to God and to us. We need to seek to understand why.

One reason for the significance of this issue should be quite obvious. Paul
tells
us that Christ is going to catch His bride away from this earth to meet Him
in the
air-"and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess 4:17). Consequently,
those
who expect to meet Christ with their feet still planted on earth--a "Christ"
who
has arrived to take over the kingdom they have established in His name--will
have
been badly deceived. In fact, they could have been working to build the
earthly
kingdom for the Antichrist. Yet this teaching that we must take over the
world and
set up the kingdom for Christ has become the fastest-growing movement within
the
church today.

One of the key doctrines of this movement is the claim that the church is
now Israel,
heir to all of her promises, and that national Israel has been cut off from
God
and has no further place in the prophetic scheme. This new focus on an
earthly inheritance
for the church has further turned the hope of being taken to heaven in the
rapture
into an object of ridicule. It has also produced a drastic change in
attitude and
a serious reduction in the evangelical church's traditional support of
Israel, an
about-face which is being viewed with alarm by that tiny nation....

Speaking at Edmond near Oklahoma City on April 11,1988, Rick Godwin, a
long-time
associate of James Robison and popular speaker on Christian media, delivered
the
type of anti-Israel rhetoric that is becoming so typical in charismatic
circles:
"They [national Israel] are not chosen, they are cursed! They are not
blessed,
they are cursed!... The church--that's the Israel of God, not that garlic
one over
on the Mediterranean  Sea!" Earl Paulk's criticism of national Israel and
those
who look favorably upon her includes the ultimate accusation:

The hour has come for us to know...that the spirit of the antichrist is now
at work
in the world...[through] so-called Holy Spirit-filled teachers who say, "If
you
bless national Israel, God will bless you." Not only is this blatantly
deceptive,
it is not part of the new covenant at all!

Currents of change are sweeping through the world and the church. In the
crucial
days ahead, the evangelical church could well suffer a division over the
rapture
and the related issue of Israel comparable to that experienced by the
Catholic Church
as a result of the Reformation in the 1500s. Nor would it be surprising if,
in the
cause of "unity," the larger faction in Protestantism moved much closer to
ecumenical
union with Catholicism, which has been traditionally antisemitic and
discarded the
rapture about 1600 years ago. Some of the reasons why this could happen, and
the
likely consequences, should become clear in the following pages.... [See
resource
pages for details.]

We must beware that in our zeal to "change the world for Christ" we do not
become
so wedded to an ongoing earthly process stretching into the indeterminate
future
that we lose our vision of heaven. We cannot be truly faithful to the
totality
of what Scripture says unless we are sufficiently disengaged from this world
to
be ready to leave it behind at a moment's notice.

There is cause to be concerned that...kingdom/dominion advocates could be
fostering
a false conception of our earthly ministry--a conception which we must guard
against
lest we subtly fall into...[the] mistaken notion that mortal man can
accomplish
what only immortal Man, our risen Lord, and we as immortal resurrected
beings with
Him, can perform. We dare not settle for anything less than the fullness of
what
Christ has promised! The glory that He offers is light-years beyond
the...agenda
of Christianizing and taking over this present world in these bodies of
weakness
and corruption....

The joy and glory He has planned and in which He desires that we
participate--and the prospect of being caught up at any moment to see this
hope realized--are more than enough to excite and inspire and motivate us to
victorious living and witnessing.... We dare not, however, in the name of
unity and the avoidance of controversy, abandon the hope given to us in
[the] Scriptures (See 1 Cor 15:51-53, 1 Thes 4:16-18).

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