A Revolution in the Realm of Eschatology


I belong to a Facebook group called “Charismatic Preterist Movement,” led by my friend, Maurice Perry. The purpose of the group is “bringing charismatic saints together who hold a fulfilled (preterist) eschatological position.” Yesterday Maurice highlighted the group description. I love the way it’s worded, and, for the most part, it resonated so much with my own outlook that I’ve decided to re-post it here:

Once again, it’s time for reformation in our church. For far too long, the seduction of dispensationalism and the futurist eschatological viewpoint has held the church captive in a state of fear, escapism, and lack of zeal and compassion for missions, ministry, evangelism and reaching the lost.

The Charismatic Preterist Movement (CPM) is a company of Christians that is dedicated to promoting Sola Scriptura, proper exegesis and hermeneutics in an effort to dismantle every lie and strong delusional tactic constructed by Satan to keep the corporate Body of Christ in a state of slumber, inactivity and perpetual hope deferred. CPM also believes that the same Holy Spirit that moved in power, signs and wonders through men and women in the 1st century church can, will, and desires to do the same today through yielded human vessels that have compassion for the lost and those that are bound.

What Do We Believe?

1. Everything Jesus said would happen, happened exactly as and when He said it would — within the lifetime of his contemporaries.

2. Everything every New Testament writer expected to happen, happened exactly as and when they expected it would — within their lifetime — as they were guided into all truth and told the things that were to come by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).

3. Scholars across a broad spectrum are in general agreement that this is exactly how every NT writer and the early Church understood Jesus’ words. If they were wrong on something this important, how can we trust them to have conveyed other aspects of the faith accurately, such as the requirements for salvation?

4. No inspired NT writer, writing twenty or more years later, ever corrected their Holy Spirit-guided understanding and fulfillment expectations (John 16:13). Neither should we. Instead, they intensified their language as the “appointed time of the end” (Daniel 12:4; Habakkuk 2:3) drew near — from Jesus’ “this generation” (Matthew 24:34), to Peter’s “the end of all things is at hand” and “for it is time for judgment to begin” (1 Peter 4:7, 17), and John’s “this is the last hour . . . . it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).

5. God is faithful (2 Pet. 3:9) and “not a man that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19). Faithfulness means not only doing what was promised, but also doing it when it was promised.

6. 1st-century fulfillment expectations were the correct ones and everything happened, right on time — no gaps, no gimmicks, no interruptions, no postponements, no delays, no exegetical gymnastics, and no changing the meaning of commonly used and normally understood words. Such manipulative devices have only given liberals and skeptics a foothold to discredit Christ’s Deity and the inerrancy of Scripture.**

7. What needs adjusting is our understanding of both the time and nature of fulfillment, and not manipulation of the time factor to conform to our popular, futuristic, and delay expectations.

8. The kingdom of God was the central teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a present but greatly under-realized reality, and must again become the central teaching of His Church.

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**As an example of point #6 above, the famous author, C.S. Lewis, taught that Jesus meant for His disciples to believe that His eschatological predictions would take place in their own time, but that He didn’t know what He was talking about:

“The apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else. This is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” (Essay: “The World’s Last Night” (1960), found inThe Essential C.S. Lewis, p. 385.)

I appreciate a lot of C.S. Lewis’ writings, but this quote is tragic. Jesus wasn’t wrong. He told the truth. He kept His word. He did what He said He would do within the time frame He set for Himself to do it. The church is overdue for a revolution that makes it clear this is our common position.

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Leviticus Required the Temple in Jerusalem to be Torn Down


Today I learned something very interesting from a portion of Gary DeMar’s book, “Last Days Madness.” Gary demonstrates from the book of Leviticus why Jesus, as our great High Priest, was qualified to pronounce the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. This is a fascinating connection, and brings added covenantal meaning to the words Jesus used in Matthew 23 and 24:

The Jews of Jesus’ day had turned the temple into a “house of merchandise” (John 2:16) and a “robbers’ den” (Matt. 21:13). When a priest inspected a house and found it leprous, the house was to be torn down (Lev. 14:33–47). Jesus, as the High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6), inspected the temple twice, found it leprous, and issued His priestly evaluation: “And Jesus came out from the temple” (Matt. 24:1), as the priest “shall come out from the house” (Lev. 14:38), and declared it “desolate” (Matt. 23:38), as the priest declared a leprous house to be “unclean” (Lev. 14:44).

A leprous house could be cleansed in only one way: “He shall therefore tear down the house, its stones, and its timbers, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall take them outside the city to an unclean place” (Lev. 14:45). When Jesus’ disciples pointed to the temple buildings after hearing of its desolation, Jesus answered: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down” (Matt. 24:2).

-Gary Demar, Last Days Madness, 1999, page 108

Second Temple

SOURCE

The collapse of the temple was most devastating to the Jews of that day who didn’t believe in Jesus. The Jerusalem temple was not only considered one of the great wonders of the world, but it was seen to be God’s central dwelling place. For the people of God, thankfully, God’s temple was already established in His Son, Jesus, and those who belong to Him:

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” (I Corinthians 6:19)

For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'” (II Corinthians 6:16)

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Israel Is God’s Chosen People – What Does That Mean?


Two days ago Andrew Strom, a well-known minister from New Zealand, created a firestorm with his post, “Replacement?? – Israel & the Church.” I personally agree with about 90% of what he wrote. As expected, there have been many responses, some very emotional. There are nearly 350 comments under that post, as of last count, and they address so many different aspects of this topic (and beyond) that it can make the mind spin. I’m very interested in what some have to say, but quite baffled at what others say. I’d like to get feedback, if possible, regarding one baffling statement that appeared repeatedly in that forum, one which I’ve heard so many times before:

“Israel is God’s chosen people.”

For those who say this and believe it, what does that mean? Does it mean that all citizens of Israel are God’s chosen people? At face value, that’s what it seems they would mean. Somehow, though, I get the impression that people mean Jews only, when they say this. Did you know that there are roughly 1.6 million Arab citizens in Israel? According to this Wikipedia entry, that’s the case. Are they also among God’s chosen people, since they live in Israel?**

Others claim that all ethnic Jews are God’s chosen people, and I also completely disagree with this idea. Scripture teaches that only those who belong to Jesus are God’s chosen people. In I Peter 2:4-10, for example, those who belong to Jesus are chosen to be a royal priesthood, to receive mercy, to be a light in the darkness, etc. This is true of those who belong to Christ. It’s not true for those outside of Christ, even if they happen to be Jewish. For a deeper discussion on this topic, please see this post:

http://kloposmasm.com/2010/09/23/who-are-gods-chosen-people-and-why-are-they-chosen/

However, I’m even more baffled by the claim that the nation of Israel is God’s chosen people. It makes no sense Scripturally, and it doesn’t even make sense politically. What are your thoughts on the claim that “Israel is God’s chosen people”?

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**I believe that some Arab citizens of Israel actually are among God’s chosen people, but only those who belong to Christ. And some of them do – praise God.