New Age (in church) explanation of End Times
I knew this was coming. In
fact, several New Age pagan writers have toyed with this, among them, Ruth Montgomery
and Marylin Ferguson. So, here it comes into the church house, courtesy
of many slick flakes. Beware. You may become very lonely as the days
go by, that is, if you stay with the old Black Book.
"The Belfast Berean" email@example.com
Berean Newsdesk" firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NEW ESCHATOLOGY (March, 1991)
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE NEW ESCHATOLOGY, (written March, 1991)
IS ALREADY EMERGING IN THE PUBLIC DOGMA OF CHRISTENDOM. THIS "NEW EXPLANATION"
FOR HOW THE AGE OF THE CHURCH ENDS IS EMERGING SPONTANEOUSLY, AND WITHOUT FORMAL
PRONOUNCEMENT, IN EVERY DENOMINATION AND OUTPOST OF INSTITUTIONAL CHRISTENDOM.
IT IS THE PRODUCT OF NECESSITY; IN WHICH THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST MAY BE ANTICIPATED
WITHOUT SIGNALING THE DESTRUCTION OF CIVILIZATION BY APOCALYPTIC WARS, NATURAL
DISASTERS, AND COSMIC CATACLYSMS.
1. THEY WILL SAY: NO APOSTASY.
It will be argued that The Church has always been "more or less" apostate,
and that a total failure by Organized Religion is prevented by Matthew 16:19.
The prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 will be interpreted as a "rebellion" AGAINST
the Institutions of Christendom; and NOT as describing a final failure and apostasy
BY Christendom. This view presumes that God sees NO clear distinction between
the multitudes of professing Christendom, and the minority of True Believers that
dwell among them.
2. THEY WILL SAY: NO RAPTURE
will be pointed out that the doctrine of The Rapture is a "recent innovation",
and that it was first taught by "disreputable persons". 2 Peter 3:15-16 will be
presented as evidence that the "false doctrine" of The Rapture was anticipated
in prophecy. We will be reminded of all the unfulfilled predictions by "fools
and fanatics" about the year and day of The Rapture. Rapture Believers will be
challenged to provide a clear and specific proof-text for The Rapture that will
answer to all the apparent difficulties involved with reconciling a "Rapture"
to other End Times Prophecies. Rapture Believers will be UNABLE to provide any
answer that will satisfy their critics or win public support.
WILL SAY: NO GREAT TRIBULATION
It will be demonstrated by elaborate
argument and exhaustive historical evidence that the prophecies describing The
Great Tribulation apply only to the Jews, and were fulfilled by the destruction
of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Evidence will also be produced to prove that the events
described in Revelation, chapters 5-18 are PAST history; and that Revelation chapter
19 is the final triumph of Christendom over the world under the leadership of
The Christ, who has already returned, and who leads them to a military victory
over their adversaries. The use of the word TRIBULATION will be confined to describing
the historic persecution of the Jews; the trials faced by individual believers;
and the challenges and dangers that have confronted the Bureaucratic Institutions
of Christendom throughout history.
4. THEY WILL SAY: NO ANTICHRIST
We will be reminded that references to "an antichrist" are NOT consistent:
sometimes a "he", sometimes an "it", sometimes a "beast", and sometimes a "THEY".
Elaborate arguments and exhaustive historical evidence will be presented to prove
that all prophetic references to SPECIFIC "antichrist-type-persons" were fulfilled
in the past by people like Antiochus Epiphanes and Nero.
We will be
given a NEW DEFINITION for the "final, end-times antichrist" of prophecy derived
from 1 John 2:18-19. People who depart from or DENOUNCE Organized Religion will
be labeled INDIVIDUALLY and COLLECTIVELY as the "End-Times Antichrist" of Bible
5. THEY WILL SAY: CHRIST RETURNS SOON
without ANY previous signs, such as The Apostasy, The Rapture, or The Great Tribulation.
He will be proclaimed as the rightful King of Israel, and WARMLY WELCOMED by most
of the leaders of Organized Religion. Any person or group that protests against
The New Eschatology or intends to defy their "Christ", will be labeled as "Antichrist",
and will be overcome quickly.
6. THEY WILL SAY: A NEW MILLENNIUM
A New World Order of "peace, prosperity, and progress" under the "coming
Christ" will be proclaimed, and begun with a POLITICAL AGENDA; which when finally
headed up by the "coming Christ" will have speedy and remarkable success in resolving
the world's major social, racial, economic, and military problems.....for a while.
This NEW ESCHATOLOGY will gain public
acceptance and prevail over all other theories, regardless of source or past popularity
for these 3 reasons.
1. NO EFFECTIVE ARGUMENT CAN BE MADE AGAINST
An enormous mass of apparently confirmatory evidence for THE
NEW ESCHATOLOGY can be produced from the historic writings of the Church; including
the Church Fathers; who usually referred to the return of Christ as a simple event.
The fact that the Church Fathers rarely if ever went any further than simply asserting
that Christ would return and establish His Kingdom, will be offered as evidence
that they knew nothing of "Raptures", "Apostasies", or "Tribulations". During
the 1800's, many well respected Protestant authors offered commentaries on the
Book of Revelation which attempted to demonstrate that chapters 5-18 were fulfilled
in the history of the Church. I have read several of these "Historicist" commentaries,
and they are quite convincing. Every attempt to hinder public acceptance of The
New Eschatology will be ineffective. Past popular teachers of the Pre-Tribulation
Rapture like Scofield and Dake will either be discredited, or "forgiven" for being
carried away with the "errors of the times".
2. ALL SECULAR POLITICAL
AND SOCIAL AGENCIES WILL FAVOR IT.
A theological premise called
"Reconstructionism" (also called Dominion Theology), underlies and supports The
New Eschatology. In this view, The Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20) is understood
as a mandate for The Church to gain social and political dominion over the whole
earth. They understand Romans 13:1-7 as establishing the divine authority of The
State in all matters, including religion. The laws of The State are regarded as
equal to Divine Commands, as long as they do not intrude on the prerogatives or
property rights of Christendom. When The State is seen to act contrary to the
expansion and influence of Christendom; this is regarded as a Divine Judgement
against the Church for failing to "take over" in the first place. Reconstructionists
understand "evangelism" to include SOCIAL ACTIVISM and POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT.
Their goal is to harness the power of The State, for the enforcement of "decent
morality", and for the suppression of "false religions". This premise sees the
Church and The State as "cooperative agencies", that ideally, WORK TOGETHER to
achieve an orderly, productive, and morally upright society. Any professing Christian
that will not help them GAIN CONTROL is accused of being lazy, selfish, and ungodly.
Those who openly denounce their political and social ambitions will be labeled
as renegades. Their goal, is in fact, to return to the social and political circumstances
of The Holy Roman Empire: in which the Church and The State are seen as "two legs
on the same man"; and those who resist either the Church or The State will be
equally accounted as criminals.
There is coming a NEW INQUISITION,
and those who resist or denounce the pretensions of Apostate Christendom will
find themselves fulfilling John 16:2.
3. IT LEAVES ALL THE EXISTING
RELIGIOUS BUREAUCRACIES IN PLACE.
Because The New Eschatology
has NO "Great Tribulation", their "Christ" will arrive to a relatively stable
world, in which ALL the present religious and political bureaucracies are still
in power. As long as the leaders of The World's Religions cooperate with The New
World Order, and SUBMIT to their "Christ" when he arrives, they will be permitted
to continue. I refer you again to what I said before: that this New Eschatology
is the product of NECESSITY; in which the return of Jesus Christ may be anticipated
WITHOUT SIGNALING THE DESTRUCTION OF CIVILIZATION by apocalyptic wars, natural
disasters, and cosmic cataclysms.
When their "Christ" arrives, Every
eye shall see him (Rev.1:7), because this "Christ" will undoubtedly make his public
debut on TELEVISION. "The Christ on TV" will become the image of the beast (Rev.
13:14-15), to which everyone is required to do homage. This "Christ" will perform
miracles over the TV just like our modern Televangelists. The abomination of desolation
(Matt.24:15) may well be nothing more surprising than a television set on the
pulpit in the Jewish temple or a Christian church.
When The Rapture
happens, it will be "explained" as a cleansing of the world from a certain kind
of "spiritual vermin", among whom I expect to be classified by those who hate
this book. (March, 1991)
They will have their "proof text" of course,
but I have told you ahead of time; that they are going to quote Matthew 13:41-43,
saying, that now that these "bad influences" are gone, "the righteous" shall finally
be able to shine forth in the kingdom of their Father. No account will be taken
of the fact that this is said to take place at the "end" (Grk. SUNTELEIA) of this
world: NOT in "The Last Days" of this age. Neither will they care that the word
SUNTELEIA does not refer to any point in time at all: but means, "the consummation",
"the entire completion", or as we say in modern parlance: THE WRAP-UP. But....I
am aware that there is a hole for every rat, and that every rat can find a hole.
So even if I were to answer astutely to every single objection that anyone can
raise against a Pre-Tribulation Rapture; it wouldn't make any difference to them
anyway. Very few people, and NONE of the world's big-shots are going in the Rapture,
so it won't turn the world upside down when it happens. The "Christ on TV" is
going to be the PAROUSIA (presence) of The New Eschatology.
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