Get Ready for the Great Reset (Part 4)

In our first three installments on the Great Reset—proposed for the world by the global elite, including politicians as well as many influential corporate leaders—we have looked at some of the basic concepts involved in the Reset, as well as two extremes to avoid when evaluating it from a Christian perspective.

We need to move on from there to discern how we should properly evaluate these global trends through a Biblical lens (to use a phrase made popular by Ken Ham)—yes, even through the lens of Biblical prophecy.

But before we deal with that specifically, let’s take a moment to reflect and remind ourselves where we are today—and just how far we’ve come in the past 12 months.

We’ve all seen how governments across the world have instituted sweeping new regulations in the wake of a pandemic. Here in the United States—where, perhaps, we assumed that such measures would be untenable—much of the country continues to struggle through imposed shutdowns or other severe restrictions. Yet major questions remain as to both the Constitutional authority to mandate such policies as well as the scientific evidence supporting their efficacy.

The physical, emotional and spiritual effects of these policies have, however, been enormous. This is not to mention the financial ruin suffered by many. One might think that there would be a robust public debate regarding all of this cultural upheaval.

And while there has been much vibrant discussion, we have also learned in the past year how powerful forces can act efficiently to shut opposing viewpoints down. The technological giants which now oversee almost every sector of life have given a new connotation to the term canceled. This frightening concept can relate not only to one’s inability to send a message out across social media, or media in general, but can even pertain to one’s ability to communicate at all, or to access something as necessary as a bank account. Once a person has been canceled in this fashion, other forces may then attempt to destroy the victim’s career, professional standing and livelihood. Were you under the impression that doctors, scientists and lawyers would always have the freedom to share a reasonable point of view? Think again.

Then, in the wake of a chaotic national election in November, and a disturbing and highly suspicious riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, cancel culture seemingly has free reign. Anyone who even thinks there might be some potential alternative explanation or response to the many troubling events of the past year is in real danger of having at least some part of his or her life turned upside down.

But all of this was just prelude. Here in the United States, we face the imminent passage of the Equality Act. This bill, the culmination of at least 50 years of Leftist political trajectory (if not fantasy), would be horrifically destructive, especially to women and girls. But it has equally chilling ramifications for the church, and will ultimately impact every aspect of life.

And, in the midst of such an amalgamation—almost as if these events were coordinated—the Great Reset is emerging. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, which is the leading proponent of the Great Reset, has notoriously stated:

… the pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.1

However, almost two years ago, before anyone suggested that a pandemic was headed our way, he had already proclaimed the following:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a combination of technological [unclear word], which will completely change business models, society, economies. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming with enormous speed and will change, not only what we are doing, but who we are.2

Such talk sounds eerily similar to a future world leader who “shall intend to change times and law” (Dan. 7:25).3

If I had written any of this 10 years ago—or told you it was coming—you may have questioned my sanity, unless you thought I was attempting to write a dystopian novel. Yet students of Biblical prophecy should rightly be less shocked than others. Our surprise may relate to the fact that such things are happening now, and coming together so quickly—rather than to the mere fact that they are happening. It seems that the world is now being prepared for the events of the tribulation—the coming seven-year period of fulfillment of Biblical prophecy through the outpouring of God’s wrath—in terms of both technology and psychology.

There appears to be ample evidence that history is moving directly toward the ending that God has ordained for it, as revealed in His inspired Word. We will continue this series by considering exactly how we should evaluate and define such evidence.

First, we will remind ourselves of some overarching themes related to the character and purposes of God, which should govern our lives, our perception and our pursuit of this very subject, at “such a time as this” (Esth. 4:14).

Notes

1 Klaus Schwab; “Now is the time for a ‘great reset;’” World Economic Forum; 3 June 2020; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/; Internet; accessed 25 February 2021.

2 Klaus Schwab; in “Wait Just a Minute: Klaus Schwab;” Chicago Council on Global Affairs; 5 June 2019; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuWzy9woghU; Internet; accessed 25 February 2021.

3 Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Paul Scharf 2019 Bio


Paul J. Scharf (M.A., M.Div., Faith Baptist Theological Seminary) is a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, serving in the midwest. He also assists Whitcomb Ministries and writes for “Answers” Magazine and Regular Baptist Press. For more information on his ministry, visit foi.org/scharf or email pscharf@foi.org.

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TylerR's picture

Editor

The genre of Paul's writing is the kind of preaching some older saints in the congregation where I serve really want to hear. One man exclaimed this past Wednesday, "we never hear anything about eschatology!" The irony is that we're preaching through Zechariah on Sunday mornings! What the man really means is that he doesn't hear the specific kind of eschatology genre he'd prefer. He would love Paul's writing, which perfectly reflects what he's looking for.

I am not attempting to malign Paul's series; I already apologized for my strident tone in his first installment. I'm just remarking about how this kind of writing and preaching is such a specific Christian genre. There's really no other word for it. It's remarkable. Paul mentioned in another thread about how he was taken early on with the ability of some famous dispensationalist scholars to weave scripture and current events into material. My assessment is that Paul has mastered this specific genre.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jeff Howell's picture

What is your current approach regarding the role and teaching of eschatology currently in your ministry there? Does your partner have the same view as to how to approach and teach it?

TylerR's picture

Editor

I may say more later. But, I'll simply say I don't declare "we're living in the last days!" or identify current events with end-times prophecy, or identify contemporary people as the antichrist, or believe the modern State of Israel has anything to do with anything in Ezekiel 37. 

In short, I don't connect dots in the fashion analogous to the genre Paul demonstrates for us, here. Note his citation of Dan 7 in reference to the WEF head, in the article. 

It's that genre some older people want. They want the tea leaves read and interpreted for them. I don't believe that's usually an appropriate way to treat prophesy in general, and apocalyptic in particular.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Paul J. Scharf's picture

TylerR wrote:

... But, I'll simply say I don't declare "we're living in the last days!" or identify current events with end-times prophecy, or identify contemporary people as the antichrist, or believe the modern State of Israel has anything to do with anything in Ezekiel 37. 

In short, I don't connect dots in the fashion analogous to the genre Paul demonstrates for us, here. ...

Tyler,

First, thanks for the kind words in your first post above.

Second, with regard to the sentiment you have expressed here, you are not alone! Younger pastors are on this track in droves.

And, you may remember, I am no stranger to this line of thinking. It is very much akin to the spiritualizing amillennialism in which I was raised in a confessional Lutheran church and school. (Although I also do not "identify current events with end-times prophecy, or identify contemporary people as the antichrist," as those are straw men.)

As I struggled to come out of that system, I remember having a conversation with my mother. She agreed that first-century people who took such an approach could well have used it to reject Jesus as the Messiah, as "the Pharisees and Sadducees" did—for which Jesus rebuked them in Matt. 16:1-4. (This will be the subject of a coming article, Lord willing, on "signs of the times.")

So my question to you—if you claim to be premillennial—is: What precautions do you see as necessary to safeguard that premillennialism from the inherent dangers of the interpretive dynamic that you have adopted?

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

TylerR's picture

Editor

I'll be brief. I see my approach as safeguarding the dangers explicit in your perspective. Here are my answers keyed to the excerpt you quoted:

  1. I don't claim "we're in the last days" because I believe the usual evidence offered for that perspective is heavily America-centric in general, and filtered through an inaccurate conservative political lens in particular. In short, it's predicated on a myopic and ill-informed reading of history. Things have been plenty worse. I suggest the mid-14th century in continental Europe was quite a bit worse (the Black Death, anyone?), yet we're still here nearly 700 years later. So, I do not make pronouncements along this line. I do decry the state of our culture, but that far from a prediction of the "last days."
  2. I don't identify current events with end-times prophecy because nobody can ever know if the event in question is, in fact, a fulfillment of end-times prophecy. I stay with generalities, because the bible doesn't name names. I give you as Exhibit A Charles Dyer's silly little book The Rise of Babylon, in which he suggested Saddam Hussein was going to usher in the last days because he was re-building Babylon. Suffice it to say that this prediction ... did not pan out.
  3. Even the most explicit timeline-ey passages in scripture (2 Thess 3 and Dan 9:24-27) are not specific enough for dogmatic interpretations of current events.
  4. I do not identify contemporary people as the antichrist because the bible does not name names, along that line. I will refrain from listing all the dogmatic suggestions Christians have made for the identity of this fiend. All of them have been wrong.
  5. I do not believe Ezekiel 37 has anything to do with the modern State of Israel, which is why I do not make that suggestion.

However, the most basic reason why I don't engage in what I consider to be sensational and irresponsible rhetoric with eschatology is because that approach (as it's done in practice) betrays an eschatology of macabre pessimism. People often wish to hear these "predictions" to confirm their suspicions (already primed by conservative media propaganda) that the world is going to hell. They enjoy hearing about it.

This is an eschatology of despair, not one of hope, wherein the implicit desire is to jump in the Jesus escape pod and leave sinners here to burn. It does nothing to encourage brotherly love, nothing to encourage evangelism, nothing to encourage devotion to the Lord.

When eschatology is in the text, I deal with it. That's about it. I covered Mark 13:1-27 in one sermon last year.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Paul J. Scharf's picture

... you went to Chicago and back, but did not deal at all with my question to you in my last post.

In fact, you're back to lumping me in with lots of fringe ideas that I am nowhere close to promoting.

The Black Death was used by God in an amazing way in setting up the Reformation. God was at work in history.... But, the last time I checked, they did not have smartphone apps to check and control everyone's movement, access to banking accounts and travel, etc.

You keep going back to Dr. Dyer, who is an amazing, multi-talented scholar and minister (for those who may not know him). He is also one of the kindest men I have ever known. Have you actually read his book? By the way, the U.S.' tangle with Saddam changed the dynamics of international affairs for the foreseeable future. Maybe he was on to something?

I enjoy going back-and-forth like this, to some extent, because I honestly want to know what people think of my writing, and I desire to improve.

But I think we have gone as far as we can without digging a rut, as I said to "T" last time. I would really like to read what some others think, as well ... be it good, bad or indifferent!

Blessings!

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

TylerR's picture

Editor

You asked:

What precautions do you see as necessary to safeguard that premillennialism from the inherent dangers of the interpretive dynamic that you have adopted?

I did answer your question insofar as I think there is nothing "dangerous" about the "interpretive dynamic" I employ. On the contrary, I believe the cautious approach is prudent, for reasons I briefly explained (above).

Regarding Dyer and his unfortunate book, you wrote:

Have you actually read his book? By the way, the U.S.' tangle with Saddam changed the dynamics of international affairs for the foreseeable future. Maybe he was on to something?

Oh, Paul ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

JDen's picture

A few quotes from Brother Scharf in this thread:

Quote:
Such talk [referencing Klaus Schwab, head of WEF] sounds eerily similar to a future world leader who “shall intend to change times and law” (Dan. 7:25).

You may only mean that X and Y are similar in certain respects, but many will read this as X may equal Y.

Quote:
I also do not "identify current events with end-times prophecy, or identify contemporary people as the antichrist," as those are straw men.

Quote:
You're back to lumping me in with lots of fringe ideas that I am nowhere close to promoting.

I think that you are closer to identifying contemporary people as the antichrist than even you realize. Your identification is still only at the level of possibility. But the danger is that others won't take such cautions and will use you as their authority that X is Y.

pvawter's picture

JDen wrote:

A few quotes from Brother Scharf in this thread:

 

Quote:
Such talk [referencing Klaus Schwab, head of WEF] sounds eerily similar to a future world leader who “shall intend to change times and law” (Dan. 7:25).

 

You may only mean that X and Y are similar in certain respects, but many will read this as X may equal Y.

 

Quote:
I also do not "identify current events with end-times prophecy, or identify contemporary people as the antichrist," as those are straw men.

 

 

Quote:
You're back to lumping me in with lots of fringe ideas that I am nowhere close to promoting.

 

I think that you are closer to identifying contemporary people as the antichrist than even you realize. Your identification is still only at the level of possibility. But the danger is that others won't take such cautions and will use you as their authority that X is Y.

Since he explicitly said those things are "similar," I think he answered your question before you asked it. 

As I have observed this discussion on Paul's series, it occurs to me that for many there seems to be no way to even try to draw attention to things going on today which may or may not end up being related to biblical prophecy without being a kook. Is there not any middle ground here? 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Tomorrow, I'll post a short excerpt from my sermon scheduled for tomorrow morning. I'll be preaching from Zechariah 4. This will provide a concrete example of how I handle prophecy in a real world context. Some people may find it helpful to see a real example of the approach I've written about. At the very least, I hope it can prevent us from inadvertently talking past each other.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

dgszweda's picture

The problem with trying to drum up fear that we are in the end times and we must think at how to respond is:

Quote:
We’ve all seen how governments across the world have instituted sweeping new regulations in the wake of a pandemic. Here in the United States—where, perhaps, we assumed that such measures would be untenable

We saw many of the same regulations during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.  The impact has not been as great as everyone shouted the restrictions would be.

Quote:
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a combination of technological [unclear word], which will completely change business models, society, economies. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming with enormous speed and will change, not only what we are doing, but who we are.

The author fails to discuss the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Industrial revolutions.  All of which had enormous impacts to society and some bringing together the forces needed to create America's Civil War and some World Wars.  Yet here we stand.

Quote:
Our surprise may relate to the fact that such things are happening now, and coming together so quickly—rather than to the mere fact that they are happening.

Christians who were fixated on end times prophecy said the same types of things during the creation of the UN, the election of JFK, the creation of the EU...  In fact just the noise created when JFK was elected was huge in the end times circle.

Quote:
There appears to be ample evidence that history is moving directly toward the ending that God has ordained for it, as revealed in His inspired Word.

Scripture gave ample evidence in the beginning of the first century.  I have talked to some of the relatives who are over 100 years old and they will tell you the same story just repeats itself.  That is not to say that we shouldn't be concerned about what is taking place in the world, but to try to align the "ample evidence" that Paul outlines in his article is misguided energy in my opinion.  Our reaction to what is taking place today is the same that it was in the last 2,000+ years.  The purpose of prophecy is to give us hope.

Paul stated in his article, " It seems that the world is now being prepared for the events of the tribulation". If I had a dollar for every time I have seen this statement in Christian literature over the last 150 years, I would be a rich man.  The patriarchs, the priests, the kings, the prophets, the disciples and even the apostles while standing in the presence of Christ with the entire prophecy of what was taking place before their very eyes held in their very hands in the OT were unable to perceive how the prophecy would be fulfilled or how it was going to take place.  This should give us serious pause before we begin to try to tie today's events to specific prophecies with warnings to the church.  If the very apostles in the presence of Christ were so blind to miss it, why should we have such a high opinion of ourselves that we will be able to figure out future prophecies.  This is the very mystery of God.  Actually my hope is much stronger and my attitude much more positive when I loose myself of these chains, don't worry about the things taking place round me and keep my hope in Christ just as I did nearly 50 years ago.

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Here is the excerpt from my sermon on Zechariah 4. It faithfully captures the theology of the passage and what God wanted the Israelites to DO with what He was saying, and it appropriately translates it into concrete action in 2021 for our congregation's context.

I imagine it is different than Paul's approach, but I may be wrong. At any rate, it demonstrates what I believe to be an appropriate and edifying use of prophecy. For greater context, of course, you'll have to view the whole sermon (available at the link).

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

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