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As one begins to study end-time events it is evident that a majority of the prophecy teachers tend to teach compatible views and interpretations. There are several basic interpretational slants which affect each teacher's views.
Pre-Millennial : Christ's Bodily Return before the establishment of an Earthly 1000 year Kingdom of God. Cotton Mather . This view increased in popularity after the Civil War among fundamentalists.
Post-Millennial : Christ's Bodily Return after the establishment of an Earthly 1000 year Kingdom of God Typical of 17th century Scottish Presbyterians who brought it to America. Jonathan Edwards
A-Millennial : The 1000 year Kingdom of God is mainly spiritual without literal time. This was popularized by Augustine's, City of God. 16th Century Protestant Reformers, Martin Luther. Catholics.
Preterists tend to believe that the end-time prophecies in the Bible have happened already and have found their fulfillment with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Thus the book of Revelation is basically a pastoral letter of John written to the churches in Asia minor in his time (chapters 1 to 3) and it's prophecies deal exclusively with the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, in their view, verything has been fulfilled, with the "bad Israel having been done away with while the Church has become "the good Israel" which is always basically good and which therefore unanimously and automatically becomes the creating agent of a better world.
A new version of it has emerged as a peculiar "Kingdom now" teaching which is in the process of becoming the most predominate eschatology among charismatics. It denies a bodily return of Christ to earth, first in the heavenlies to rapture the true saints and secondly to earth to judge and govern it. Christ is bodily present on earth through his Church and there is no supernatural rapture, no supernatural millenium in the future.
Dispensationalism is the most popular endtime interpretational framework today. Scofield's notes in his Scofield Reference Bible and the futuristic Left Behind Series are good examples of dispensational endtime interpretations of Bible Prophecy. The majority of us whose roots are found in Fundamental, Evangelical, and Pentecostal ministries are well acquainted with endtime dispensational eschatology, …doctrine of last things. It's been the most popular, preaching and teaching platform over the last century.
Dispensationalists tend to be Pre-Millennial and Pre-Tribulational and believe:
Who Suffers in the Great Tribulation
From this rises the debate over who will be persecuted in the Great Tribulation. The dominant pre-millennial view says that the born-again Christians will be gone, secretly taken away by Christ in a secret rapture event; thus the Jews suffer the tribulation. This is the dispensationalist view.
The A-Millennialists say no. It is the Christians who will suffer the persecutions; …not the Jews.
A passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 by Apostle Paul is used to defend this popular view. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Throughout most of church history this passage was linked to the final judgment and resurrection of saints. It was not until sometime in the early 1800's that it became associated with a pre-millennial, pre-tribulationists Rapture. (Rapturecomes from the Catholic Jerome's Vulgate Latin Bible which is a translation of the greek N.T. word "harpazo - seize, pluck, or catch")
Protestant fundamentalists who were Dispensational popularized it in the latter 1800's. J. N. Darby and C. I. Scofield were most instrumental with Darby's Translation and Scofield's Bible Notes. It appeared formally in the Bible footnotes of the Oxford University Press's popular Scofield Reference Bible of 1909. It has sold over 5 million copies and for over 90 years has defined protestant pre-millennial pre-tribulational dispensational fundamentalism.
Does A Label Work for You?
What are you? What am I? We like Labels. They help us organize and catalog information.
Pre- , Post - or A-Millennialist?? Pre- , Post-- or Mid-Tribulationist??
A Preterists ?? or A Dispensationalists?? A Literalists?? Or A Spiritualists??
Dominion Theology?? Kingdom Now??
What do you or I believe??
How can we tell whether God wrote it literally or spiritually (symbolically / allegorically)??
Is stammering lips and another tongue Spiritual or Literal ??
Is Jesus Returning Bodily or Spiritually (in his people) ??
Is Jesus the Literal or Spiritual Lamb of God, Spiritual or Literal ??
Is the Seal of the Holy Ghost Spiritual?? Or Literal??
Is the Mark of the Beast Literal?? Or Spiritual??
Theological Systems Fail
The Spirit of Jehovah God wrote the scriptures in such a manner that bible school mental frameworks may assist us when God has spoken in a literal manner, but they fail when Christ speaks spiritually. But, how can we know. You Can't! It simply comes by revelation. Not by theological Bible study. How can you get the revelation?? You Can't. If Christ doesn't tell me. I can't know. Degrees. Grammar Study. Interpretation Methods. Each of these have their place. But not in the Heavenly Realm. Only the Holy Spirit knows what he said and what he meant. Did he mean it allegorically?? Literally?? Only He knows. Upon the rock of revelation he builds his church.
Theologians want a logic system to follow. But the children of God walk by the Spirit and not by the Natural Mind. No one system or method of interpretation works. We must listen to what the Spirit has to say unto the church. I also believe that the Holy Spirit does not tell any one person everything?? No one knows it all, …but Him. He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the church.
Endtime Restoration & Revelation
The present popular interpretations of endtime prophecies are built upon the framework of bible scholars developed prior to and out-side of the twentieth century out-pouring of the Holy Ghost Restoration. The majority of Pentecostal ministries retained their 19th century interpretations of scripture and the endtime. Many failed to realize that the Holy Spirit restored not only a scriptural born-again experience but also in teaches us "meat in due season" endtime understandings with more clarity than those of previous generations were given.
My personal philosophy is that the endtime Holy Spirit was poured out to lead us in every facet of our lives. Let's not ridicule nor minimize the experiences and truths of those who have gone before us in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are closer to the dawn and the coming Day than they were, thus the light should be shining brighter unto us than those of centuries before.
We owe it to ourselves to open our hearts to more fuller revelations of Christ and his work in the earth. We wish to provide you with an Endtime Prophetic Alternative to what the majority are saying. You get to decide which path to follow. I am leary of following the endtime doctrines of those who still reject the last day out-pouring of the Holy Ghost.
The Spirit of Christ has been talking to members of His body who have had ears to hear and who he chose to give understanding. He has called and chosen them to walk with Him outside of the Camp. He has given revelations of His purposes, His will, and His life so that we may walk and give light unto this generation. Listen. He is talking to you. He desires for you to come away and walk with him. Millions are. Yet they are a remnant.
I have been privileged to have been given a different exposure and different look into the mind of the Holy Spirit. Please don't mis-understand. It is not a comprehensive look ?? No. Just a little look. Just a small piece of the pie. Just "meat in due season" for this season. Just a small piece of the puzzle. Others have seen it, too. Follow on. We can SHOW YOU THE WAY.
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Landmark Church of Jesus
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