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5 Perils of Denying Jesus' Future Reign - By Jonathan Brentner - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/09/08/5-perils-denying-jesus-future-reign-jonathan-brentner/
I could not have written this article several months ago. Although I had no doubts about the biblical truth of premillennialism, I did not fully comprehend the perils of denying Jesus' thousand year' reign over the nations of the world as described in Revelation 20:1-10 and Zechariah 14. The denial of Jesus' rule over a restored Israel is known as amillennialism.
When I heard a popular prophecy preacher refer to amillennialism as a "false teaching" and a "doctrine of demons" (Tim. 4:1), I shuddered; I was not sure I agreed with him. Now I know he was correct.
What made the difference? In conversations with those who deny prophecies related to Jesus' future reign, I listened as they overlaid prophetic portions of Scripture with perspectives foreign to those biblical authors at the time they wrote. And, I cannot accept any teaching that downgrades much of the book of Revelation to allegory in a way that undermines integrity of the entire book.
The harm amillennialism does to believers, however, put me over the top. I see five perils of denying Jesus' future reign during the millennium that not only undermine the integrity of biblical prophecy, but also dim the hopes of those who ascribe to such errant teachings.
1. Amillennialism Negates the Original Intent of Scripture
First, amillennialism negates the original intent of the authors of Scripture. As I discussed this matter with one amillennialist, I showed him passage after passage that promised a future restored kingdom for Israel. However, it seemed as though he could not see the words of these texts, but overlaid the verses with his own understanding of the words, one quite foreign to the text.
When I read Acts 1:6-7 to him, he laughed and ridiculed the disciples for asking about a restored Israel. Jesus, however, did not deny the anticipation of the disciples, only its timing. Jesus did not laugh.
Over and over again he asked me to see something that neither the original authors nor their initial audience could have envisioned. I cannot accept such a view of God's Word; its meaning does not change like shifting sand with the passing of time.
Why is this so harmful? If one applies a foreign interpretation to prophetic passages in God's Word, does this not diminish the integrity of other passages? If Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah's future place on the throne of David does not mean today what it meant in the prophet's day, does this not damage the reliability of Scripture in other places? Yes, it absolutely does; how can it not?
2. Amillennialism Strips the Book of Revelation of its Hopeful Message
The book of Revelation starts with these words: "The revelation of Jesus Christ." From beginning to end, the book contains Jesus' final revelation to us, His church. Yet many today treat the book as an allegory from which they can pick and choose what is symbolic and what is not. The figurative interpretations of those who assign chapters 6-20 to metaphor often contradict Jesus' very own words in chapters 1-3, yet they persist in making these chapters subject to their own understanding.
Yes, the apostle employs symbolism and imagery in relating Jesus' message. His clear intent, however, is to reveal future events as well as the words of our Savior.
John's choice of words refutes the allegorical approach of the amillennialists, those who regard John's description of the tribulation and Jesus' millennial reign as symbolical, nothing more. The apostle uses the word "saw" 44 times by itself and 12 times with the word "looked." He uses the word "heard" 30 times to indicate he was writing down words he heard. John tells us in no uncertain terms that he is writing Jesus' revelation to us, whether directly or through visions of the future.
John does not employ the language of allegory but rather that of someone communicating God's message given to him through word and future events.
The amillennial approach to the book of Revelation strips it of significance and hope for us. If chapters 6-20 are allegory (or previous history) as these naysayers claim, does this not reduce our confidence in the last two chapters that describe our glorious future in the eternal state? Isn't it natural to assume that Revelation 6-22 is either all literal or all symbols? The amillennialists pick and choose what they regard as allegory, and they often disagree.
Can you see the peril for believers in such an approach that relies solely on human wisdom to select what is future and what is not in the book of Revelation? What does it do to our precious hope of no more tears, pain, and death (21:4) if most the book of Revelation is allegory?
3. Amillennialism Opens the Door to Greater Heresies
History demonstrates that over time, amillennialism leads to a further erosion of faith and opens the door wide to heresy. It has done so in the past; it will certainly do so again.
To maintain an amillennial belief, one must relegate all Old Testament prophecy regarding the future of Israel to allegory as well as much of the book of Revelation. But who decides which prophecies convey symbolism and which ones reveal God's message for us today? And if we depart from the plain meaning of a passage or the author's original intent as do the amillennialists, who decides what the allegory means?
This explains why amillennialism easily morphs into heresies such as preterism - the belief that Jesus returned to earth in AD 70 and in doing so fulfilled most, if not all, of future biblical prophecy. The only difference between preterism and amillennialism consists in how much of Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation one relegates to symbolism (or previous history) and what interpretation one assigns to the symbolism of prophetic passages that refer to Jesus' kingdom.
Dominion theology also has its roots in an allegorical or non-literal approach to biblical prophecy. Those who hold to this belief falsely assert that the church will win the world to Christ and thereby take control of it, thus ushering in the millennium, and that Jesus does not return until the end of the church's reign over the world. The key difference with amillennialism is that those who espouse dominion theology base much of their teaching on new revelation they mistakenly believe God is giving to the church today.
Can you see the many dangers in traveling down the road of amillennialism? It takes one further and further away from the truths of God's Word and starts a sure and predictable descent into more false teaching.
4. Amillennialism Blinds Believers to the Signs of the Times
One peril of amillennialism that particularly grieves my heart is that it blinds believers to the signs of the times that abound all around us today.
In Matthew 16:1-3, Jesus chastised the Pharisees for not recognizing "the signs of the times" that their Messiah had come. The Pharisees should have recognized this based on Old Testament prophecy, but remained blind to it. The amillennialists of today make the same mistake as did the Pharisees in Jesus' day.
Those who teach amillennialism blind believers to the many signs of the times pointing to the approach of the tribulation. They themselves remain blind to the major prophetic implications of Israel's rebirth and the Lord's gathering of His people back to the Land. As a result, they do not teach that we live in the last days.
Because they deny all Old and New Testament references to the tribulation, a veil shields their eyes from seeing the multitude of signs shouting that this time is rapidly approaching. I find it difficult to understand how they cannot see how quickly our world is moving toward the coming day of the Lord.
It's vital we recognize the signs of the times and not let those who deny these things put us to sleep with their distortions of current events that lack any reference to prophecies found throughout God's Word concerning the last days.
5. Amillennialism Redirects the Hope of Believers to this World
Amillennialists believe the next prophetic event is Jesus' return at the end of this age to wrap things up, judge humanity, and initiate the eternal state. They give lip service to the imminency of Jesus' return, but neither they nor those listening to them believe this could happen in their lifetime or during that of their grandchildren or great grandchildren.
As a result, the amillennial mindset focuses people on the things of this world rather than on eternity. Why watch for Jesus' return if it's still centuries away? Why adopt an eternal outlook on life if I expect to live a lengthy life and then go to be with the Lord after I die.
In stark contrast to such a mindset, the biblical perspective conveys a message of imminency regarding Jesus' appearing. New Testament saints waited for Jesus' appearing with great eagerness (1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20-21). They watched for Him to come (1 Thess. 1:9-10) just as the Lord told His followers to do (Matt. 24:44, 25:13). The Apostle Paul believed Jesus could return for him in his lifetime (1 Thess. 4:17).
As I have written in other posts, this sense of imminency carried over in the early centuries of the church where they regarded Jesus' return as something that could happen at any moment.
I know some amillennialists maintain the Apostle Paul's two-world perspective of 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. They are the exception, however, rather than the norm. Their teaching shifts the attention of believers to the things of this world, wherein lies another significant danger of allegorizing biblical prophecy.
It might seem as though I am overly harsh on amillennialists, and perhaps I am. My objections to this teaching have grown over the years and increased in intensity during the past several months because of the reasons I have cited in this article. Amillennialism not only denies clear biblical prophecy regarding Israel's restoration, it harms all those who sit under its teaching.
My conversations (e-mail and in person) with those who deny the tribulation and restoration of the kingdom to Israel have significantly increased my confidence in what I believe. These discussions have also led me to the conclusion that amillennialism is a false teaching because of its denial of clear biblical prophecies.
Furthermore, it harms those who sit under its teaching.
Jesus is coming for us soon! Stay focused on our Savior and our eternity with Him!
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Recent Events - By Daymond Duck -
I will be away from my computer for a speaking engagement this weekend, so this article is being written early and is lacking some of the very latest news.
First, a second round of elections was held in Israel on Sept. 17, 2019, but they didn't settle anything.
There are 120 members in the Knesset, and a candidate must have 61 members (more than 50%) on his team to form a government.
The nation is divided, and no one received enough votes to secure 61 members.
Israel's Pres. Rivlin must now select one of the top vote getters to try to form a 61-member coalition.
It is Rivlin's job to select the one that he thinks has the best chance to do that.
He has a few days to make the decision, but may speed it up; and it is rumored that he intends to push for a unity government.
As I understand it, Prime Min. Netanyahu has the best chance, but anything can happen, and there will be a lot of horse trading in the next few days.
One man, the former Defense Min. Avigdor Lieberman, seems to be in the driver's seat.
It looks like he will win eight seats, and that is enough to throw the election to the man of his choice.
He seems ready to do that, but he is making demands.
He wants Israel to allow civil (non-religious) marriages; Israel to provide a public transportation system; Israel to allow businesses to be open on the Sabbath; the Israeli schools to provide a secular education; the Israeli Arabs and the ultra-orthodox Jewish parties to be excluded from the ruling government; religious students forced to serve in the military; the Israeli army to invade Gaza and kill or jail all terrorists, and more.
If Mr. Lieberman gets his way, Israel will be a secular nation (not a religious nation); and the next time a rocket is fired at Israel, the nation may go to war.
This election has turned into a spiritual struggle for the future of Israel, and it could spill over into all-out war.
A unity government would probably ignore many of Mr. Lieberman's demands.
Mr. Netanyahu, in a unity government, would be an important step toward Israel being a religious nation because the religious parties support him, and he has promised not to form a unity government without all of them.
A unity government could actually turn out to be a good thing for Israel because it would be a stronger government, and there would be less division in the system.
Second, regular readers of these articles will remember that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz visited Israel in May of this year, and they wrote a prayer on a piece of paper and inserted it in a crack in the Wailing Wall.
The prayer of both men was that Florida would not be hit by a hurricane this year.
Hurricane Dorian was bearing down on Florida, but it turned away.
Hurricane Humberto started bearing down on Florida this week, but it turned away.
It is going to be interesting to see if this keeps happening.
Third, for years, some prophecy writers have suggested that world leaders will try to explain away the Rapture by saying Christians were removed by aliens because Christians were standing in the way of world government and world peace.
In mid-Sept. 2019, the U.S. Navy admitted that three videos that were taken by Navy aircraft of UFO's are real.
According to the U.S. Navy, the videos do show "unexplained aerial phenomena," but there is no proof that the UFO's were piloted by aliens.
Fourth, the State of California has passed a resolution calling on pastors to embrace LGBTQ issues, and churches in China's central province are being forced to replace the Ten Commandments with quotes from Pres. Xi Jinping.
Fifth, Satellites and the Internet are being used to increase knowledge all over the world. Whereas most websites once posted information in one language, they are now posting apps that translate the information into many languages.
This is making it easier to spread the gospel around the world in many languages.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
The Iranian Axis: Israel's New Existential Challenge - By Gershon Hacohen/The Algemeiner -
The creation of an Iranian military/terrorist axis along Israel's northern and southern borders, comprising Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, lays the groundwork for the long-term multi-frontal attrition of the Jewish state.
The Arab upheavals of the past decade, especially the Syrian civil war, have given Israel a much-needed strategic respite, leading many Israeli security experts to the conviction that the Jewish state no longer faces an existential threat.
But as this war draws to a close, a new existential challenge is rapidly emerging along Israel's northern and southern borders: a military-terrorist axis led by Iran.
For the first time since the conclusion of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Israel faces the realistic likelihood of a simultaneous multi-frontal conflagration -- from Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip (as well as the possibility of terror attacks originating from the West Bank). This old-new existential challenge includes three main operational components:
1. Full-scale threat of unprecedented proportions from advanced precision rockets and missiles. This massive arsenal is organized in offensive operational outlines that have already been set up to target strategic and infrastructure sites deep inside Israel, such as air force bases, military headquarters, power stations, airports, and population centers.
This threat sees Israel flanked on all sides -- from Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip, as well as, more recently, a Shiite militia base in Iraq.
2. A new terrorist front on the Golan Heights comprising Iran's Quds Force, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias.
3. Clear and present danger to Israel's towns and villages along the Lebanese and Gaza borders from commando forces well-trained for ground incursions into Israel.
Many in the Israeli military/security establishment downplay these threats. In the recent words of former prime minister Ehud Barak: "The external threats are many and evolving, and must not be underestimated; but I assert with all due responsibility -- and not just as a political position ... [that] none of them pose an existential threat to Israel's future, power, and sovereignty."
This depends of course on the meaning of "existential threat," which is largely a context-related concept that is open to different interpretations.
To be sure, Israel does not face the same existential threat of an all-out Arab invasion that it encountered upon its proclamation in May 1948.
But Hezbollah, Hamas, and even Iran do not seek Israel's destruction in one fell swoop (though Iran's desire for such an outcome could change once it has attained nuclear weapons). Rather, they seem to be following the graduated, attritional strategy used by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the October 1973 war.
In the words of his directive to the Egyptian armed forces: "The strategic goal ... is to undermine Israel's security doctrine through military action, which is commensurate with the capabilities of the armed forces and which will inflict the heaviest casualties on the enemy and convince it that the continued occupation of our land will exact a higher price than it can afford."
This is, by and large, the strategic rationale underlying the Iranian-Hezbollah-Hamas strategy. By surrounding Israel with military-terrorist infrastructure along its northern and southern borders, this axis can disrupt the Jewish state's living routine at any given moment.
It can thus create a balance of terror based on a credible rocket/missile threat that would force Israel to avoid, as far as possible, retaliatory actions beyond the (tacitly) mutually accepted containment threshold.
Over the long term, this state of affairs is bound to have a continuous attritional effect, like an immune system failure, that will curb Israel's advancement and successes, and erode the hope of the Jewish people for a secure and prosperous homeland.
Israel Watch: Sometimes They're Relevant - Jim Fletcher -
Some interesting stuff happened this week regarding Christian Millennials opposed to Israel. I've written about them a lot.
First, there was the jolting news that Relevant magazine founder and publisher Cameron Strang is stepping down from his role. I would guess it's temporary, but we'll see. Strang's "downfall" came, ironically, because he wasn't Woke enough for some of his radical staff.
You see, because certain young people have been allowed to get away with nonsense like "gender equality" and "racism behind every bush," they are emboldened. The very community Relevant publishes for-young Christians-has now turned on Strang due to alleged racist statements and his creation of a "toxic work environment."
I have no idea about the internal stuff at the magazine, although my interactions with Strang after his 2014 cover story, "Blessed Are the Peacemakers" indicated that he was stubborn and arrogant in his worldview.
Where this is "relevant" for Israel is to see if the magazine will continue in its animosity to the Jewish state, or whether it will chart a more balanced course. Again, I don't believe Strang is gone for good.
But as I looked at the latest issue, I saw a tiny glimmer of hope. Titled, "Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context," writer Thomas Turner took Christians to task for appropriating an Old Testament verse meant for the Jews. Turner writes:
"Like any author worth his salt, the writer in Jeremiah begins by stating the subject of the passage: 'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon ... ' (Jeremiah 29:4).
"This verse, quoted to countless individuals who are struggling with vocation or discerning God's will, is not written to individuals at all. This passage is written to a whole group of people-an entire nation."
Wow, this sounds like something David Lewis would have written! Bravo!
Turner then goes on to explain that the verse was meant as a comfort for the Jews exiled after the Babylonian invasion in the sixth century B.C. It's quite an amazing article, given Relevant's embrace of Palestinian faux-history. I'm hoping it's a sign of things to come.
I also reflected this week that many of the people who were running interference for the Palestinian Authority's official version of the conflict-among American evangelicals-are now sidelined. No doubt some simply went "underground," but many have been neutralized by the spotlight on their work. I hope in some way this is reflective of Strang as well. For different reasons, Strang, Donald Miller, Lynne Hybels, and Mae Cannon no longer are active publicly in defaming Israel. I think the public didn't appreciate their propaganda efforts.
The Relevant magazine situation is one to watch in the coming months. When/if Strang reappears, we'll see if he is contrite enough to admit fault where he should: bashing Israel.
Daily Jot: The prophetic case FOR impeachment - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Before you hit the unsubscribe button, the prophetic case for impeachment isn't what you think. While it is appalling to witness yet another flimsy attempt to remove a duly elected president, perhaps the best way to end these shenanigans is to let it play out. There are people who believe they know better than voters and they are intent on proving it no matter the consequences for the nation, no matter that their demagoguery imperils the very freedoms they claim to uphold. They accuse others of exactly what they do as an attempt to cover up their own dirty deeds. The more they are brought to light, the more these injustices and intrigues will be exposed. They are going to do it anyway. Let them all expose themselves.
John 3:20 says, "For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." Ephesians 5:6-13 says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not therefore partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever does make manifest is light."
This impeachment inquiry and subsequent trial will expose many dirty dealings and unfruitful works of darkness to the light. Just as the Mueller investigation into whether the president colluded with the Russians to undermine the 2016 election, this impeachment process will prove who is involved in the wrong-doing and expose evildoers, their machinations, their intentions, and their lies. Yes, this impeachment is a distraction from working on the real problems faced by this country, and it will come at a tremendous divisive expense. Nonetheless, it may be a terrible necessity to show Americans the facts, if not the truth, and how those who seek to deceive with vain words interpret and twist facts.
Hear this: I am not advocating impeachment. I am advocating exposing these dark, visceral, divisive intrigues to the light. The injustice here is not only against one political party to another. The injustice is not only toward politicians per se. The injustice is not only against you. Christ said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me." This injustice against truth is against the very core of our Christian faith. Let us not suffer in anger. Let us not allow ourselves to be in a constant state of anxiety. Let us embrace truth, because in truth we also embrace Christ. These deceivers and evildoers will expose themselves by their own efforts to accuse others of exactly what they do. Let them do it. Watch and pray. The Lord's will be done.
Daily Devotion: The Importance of a Good Example - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.-Matthew 5:16
Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider developed a close relationship with Johnny Cash and his wife June during filming of the movie Stagecoach, and was especially impressed and inspired by their strong Christian faith.
"I lived with Johnny Cash for a year, and if somebody as rough around the edges as Johnny could say that Jesus was his Savior, there had to be something to it," Schneider told writer Tammy Leigh Maxey of Pivot Point Magazine in 2011. "If Johnny Cash felt the need to keep a Bible in the trunk of his Mercedes next to his fishing pole, there had to be something to it."
Neither Johnny nor June ever preached to Schneider, but the way they conducted themselves, interacted with each other, and made God a daily part of and partner in their lives led him to follow suit.
"It was Johnny who led me to Christ," Schneider said. "He was so different from many of the other Christians I'd seen, and he didn't fit the stereotypes I had of guys in argyle sweaters happily dancing through the flowers with big smiles on their faces because life was so perfect. I just watched as Johnny's and June's lives were held together by the love of Christ.
"Johnny and I would be fishing, and suddenly he'd look at his watch and start heading back to the house, saying something about needing to spend some time with the Lord. It intrigued me that this rough man's man would have these priorities, and pretty soon I was asking questions, wanting what he had. Johnny and June kept circling and trying to talk sense into me, without being sappy. And it worked. They understood that I had to be ready; so they waited patiently. That was very different from anything I'd seen before."
Johnny understood the importance of being a good example.
1. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can't be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8 NLT)
Has your example ever sparked the interest of others? Are people curious about God because of what they see in your conduct and priorities?
2. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV)
What is the ultimate goal of your good example and witness for Christ?
3. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35 NKJV)
Love is a key component of your conduct if you want to be a good example for Jesus. Is God's love apparent in your life?
FROM THE HEART
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