Eschatology

Get Ready for the Great Reset (Part 1)

Have you heard about the Great Reset?

Well, you may not have heard of it, but its leaders certainly have an incredibly intricate plan for you and your future.

The Reset has been designed by the World Economic Forum for a number of years, and the term has been used specifically since at least 2017.1 The WEF was also preparing for “a very severe pandemic” since at least October of 2019.2

What is the WEF, you ask? According to an article from Forbes, these are “the people who nominally run the global economy.”3

The WEF was founded in 1971 by Prof. Klaus Schwab, who also serves as its executive chairman. Schwab stated this past year:

To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.4

He went on to say, famously:

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Are There Seven Problems with Pretrib?

Are there seven problems with pretrib? Some prewrath folk recently came together and contributed to a documentary highlighting problems with pretrib. My first thought was, “Only seven?” Of course I’m being sarcastic.

Incidentally, one of the gents involved produced a video ominously asserting that the pretrib rapture is dead! Apparently they’re still trying to kill it.

Thoughts on past interactions with prewrath

The system operates on a “catechism” often beginning with the phrase…after the tribulation. While proponents “compare Scripture with Scripture” their interpretation is filtered through this catechism. They seem obsessed with converting pretribs as if salvation may depend on it.

Note: One also hears the ubiquitous charge that there isn’t a single verse supporting pretrib. In fact all rapture timing positions are inferences drawn from many texts. The PW system is no exception.

What about the seven problems?

There’s nothing startling or new. The doco was a rehashing of grievances against pretribulationism. Of course this observation doesn’t make them wrong. In fact in one or two areas I may agree.

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Against Sawdust Theology

While I studied for a recent sermon, which was titled “Singing the Ballot Blues: What Should a Christian Think About Voting?” I browsed through some systematic theologies to read what they have to say about hope in the context of eschatology.

Hope in a better time. Hope in a better king. Hope in a better place. Hope in a better future. Hope in a restoration of all things. Hope in judgment, mercy and holiness.

Hope that there’s something better than this place, and the 2020 election.

I’m disappointed at what I find.

I generally find sawdust.

I find sterile treatises trying to plot the timeline of events in the last days. I see dry, scholastic discussions about eschatology. I see lots of dogma, but no heart. No soul. No excitement. I see academia at its worst, and no joy in the age to come.

Ironically, I find the most joy, the most hope, the most irrepressible, starry-eyed vision of Jesus Christ’s return in European theologians commonly considered “liberal” or otherwise “neo-orthodox” by many conservative evangelicals.

So, I shall quote Jurgen Moltmann for a taste of this joy and hope. I think you’ll enjoy it (The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology, trans. Margaret Kohl [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997; Kindle ed.], KL 67-97):

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Revelation 19:15 and the Coming Reign of Jesus over the Nations

I often have been drawn to Revelation 19:15. This verse comes in the middle of Revelation 19:11–21, a dramatic section describing Jesus’ second coming from heaven to earth. Concerning Jesus the verse reads:

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

4 Messianic Passages and Revelation 19:15

Note that the wording of Revelation 19:15 is closely connected to four Old Testament [OT] messianic passages:

  • Isaiah 49:2a: “And He [God] has made My [Servant’s] mouth like a sharp sword.”
  • Isaiah 11:4b: “And He [Messiah] will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.”
  • Psalm 2:9a: “You [Messiah] shall break them with a rod of iron,”
  • Isaiah 63:2-3: “Why is Your [the Lord’s] apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? ‘I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment.’”

Putting it together, the connection of these OT verses to Revelation 19:15 can be seen with the following:

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“The pace of social change is increasing, and with it the uncertainty. A lot of people are really, really angry. A great many are scared.”

"...within Christianity there’s always a subgroup of folks who are shouting that every headline is proof that The End Is Near.... I too hope the end is near, though I’m not much for 'proving' it from this or that headline." - Dan Olinger

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The Nature of Our Hope

What is the Nature of Our Hope? Is it not the redemption of our sick dying bodies and our wicked natures? And is not that hope found in Christ’s accomplished work on our behalf?

In Prayer and Spiritual Warfare (Saved in Hope), Charles Spurgeon wrote,

Our hope of being completely delivered from sin in our spirits and of being rescued from all sickness in our bodies arises out of a solemn assurance of our salvation. The revelation of Him who has who has brought life and immortality to light, bears witness to us that we also will obtain glory and immortality. We will be raised in the image of Christ and will share in His glory. This is our belief because we know that Christ has been raised and glorified and that we are one with Him.

So the nature of our hope is our conforming to Christ. One of my favorite verses is 1 John 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

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Ties of Fundamentalism and Premillennialism

Thomas Ice

Republished from Voice, Jan/Feb 2020.

While all fundamentalists have not been premillennial, the overwhelming majority have been. Premillennialism has been a historic staple of fundamentalism. It is often the case that when one abandons the fundamentals of the faith, they also abandon the premillennial hope. Why has that been the case in the past and why should it continue into the future, especially within the IFCA?

Post-Civil War Rise of Fundamentalism

Postmillennialism in America arose as the dominant eschatology in the 1720s as a result of the influence of theologians like Jonathan Edwards and dominated evangelicalism until a decade or two after the Civil War. Higher critical liberal scholarship began to cross the Atlantic and make progress in America by the 1880s, which lead to the rise of fundamentalism as a response by conservative evangelicals. “Dispensationalism, or dispensational premillennialism, was the fruit of renewed interest in the detail of biblical prophecy which developed after the Civil War,” observes George Marsden. “Rejecting the prevailing postmillennialism… dispensational premillennialists said that the churches and culture were declining and that Christians would see Christ’s kingdom only after he personally returned to rule in Jerusalem.”1

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Review: New Creation Eschatology and the Land, by Steven L. James

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This book provides an informative introduction and critique of the recent trend among scholars to stress earth-centeredness of the eschatological passages of Scripture rather than heaven-focused scenarios. The trend is most noticeable among amillennialists, especially since the publication in 1979 of Anthony Hoekema’s The Bible and the Future. That book called upon believers (especially Hoekema’s fellow amillennialists) not to spiritualize the OT passages that speak of a coming era of peace and righteousness on the earth. This planet, in its restored state, is the venue for the enactment of God’s eschatological promises.

The author, who serves as a Professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, examines the works of several prominent teachers of the “New Creation” eschatology; namely, N. T. Wright, J. Richard Middleton, Russell Moore, Douglas Moo, and Howard Snyder. Not all of these writers were directly influenced by Hoekema’s work. He notes that although they correctly stress the earth’s central role in our future, he argues (again correctly) that they ignore the specificity of the land promises to Israel and thus contain a major contradiction. The contradiction is this: how can the OT promises of restoration and renewal be taken literally and every mention of Israel or Jerusalem be treated as metaphorical? It is a very good question.

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