This article is about the deception that I submit is clearly characterizing these last days and the view that we need to read and understand our Bibles LITERALLY to understand the end times in which we live. Allow me to explain how the title and subtitle zoom in on how these objectives inter-relate: “Are you building your ark yet?” Imagine for a moment what would have happened in Genesis 6:13-18 had Noah refused to understand God as literally saying He was going to destroy the earth with a literal flood and that God wanted Noah to build a literal ark of certain specified literal materials and dimensions??? What would have happened to the human race??? What would have happened to Noah when the first drops began to fall and he shouted into the rain, “I thought this was all just an ALLEGORY!”
The allegorical method (essential to Amillennialist and Postmillennialist interpretation) has come to dominate so much of the “Christian Church’s” understanding of the Bible. So first of all, allow me to define “allegory” with a few online dictionary definitions:
- The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.
- a poem, play, picture, etc, in which the apparent meaning of the characters and events is used to symbolize a deeper moral or spiritual meaning
- a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for ideas about human life or for a political or historical situation
Is that what the Bible is? Seriously? Is THAT all your Bible is? NOT.
Now allow me to present a very different method of interpreting the Bible:
Billy Graham said in one of his televised Crusades that as he began his ministry, he struggled deeply with the question as to how he would present the Bible: would he make his ministry about trying to argue the truth of the Bible, or would he simply state it as the Word of the Living God? He chose the latter path – and I would argue that his powerful ministry as the greatest evangelist in the history of the world after St. Paul bore out that fact. If we just allow the Word of God to speak for itself, it has power that can change the world. If we impose our human unbelief upon it, it has no power for it is no longer the Word of God at all, but only the perverted word of men.
What does the Bible say about itself? And how should we receive it?
- Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2
- The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. — Psalm 19:7-9
- Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. – Psalm 119:11
- Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. – Psalm 119:70
- Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. – Psalm 119:89
- Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105
- These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. – Deut 6:6
- The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever – Isaiah 40:8
- Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, A people in whose heart is My law; Do not fear the reproach of man, Nor be dismayed at their revilings. – Isaiah 51:7
- And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. – 1 Thessalonians 2:13
- and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:15-17
- For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. — Hebrews 4:12
- We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:19-21
- Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. – Jude 3
- He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. – Daniel 12:9-10
The last days are coming, and “deception” will be THE factor that will plunge most of the world into hell. One of the things that we learn about Satan and the coming Antichrist who will be personally indwelt by Satan is that the coming political Antichrist will be a master of deception. Both Daniel and the coming Antichrist are given “wisdom” in terms of “mysteries.” Daniel used his gift to untie or untangle mysterious visions so that the truth could be clearly revealed and understood. Antichrist, on the other hand, will use his wisdom in the exact opposite way of Daniel: he will be able to so entangle the truth into so many knots with his words that no one will be able to understand the truth from his lies and what is right and good from his deceitful framing of all the narratives that he will present. Antichrist’s goal in twisting the truth with his rhetoric is clearly displayed in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation chapter 13: he will present a narrative that we care clearly seeing today, that Christians are “intolerant” and essentially the bogeyman and that THEY are the source of all the problems. We’re already increasingly seeing this – but all too soon it will lead to the most vicious and terrible wave of persecution in the history of the world as Antichrist begins his mission to murder every single believer on earth. The last days are upon us and everyone who has the spirit that Daniel described in Daniel 12:10 can clearly see it. Today we live in a world of “spin.” And I submit that many “good people” are simply flat-out deceived politically and culturally be a tsunami of lies that have engulfed the world. The spirit of antichrist is already here.
Christianity is slipping away in America, there is no question about it. In 2012, 75% of Americans identified themselves as “Christian,” versus in 1990 – when that percentage was 86%. I submit that the decline of Christianity in America has a very great deal to do with “deception.” It has to do with the fact that something watered down and perverted has been substituted for “Christianity” and more and more people are rejecting a “Christianity” that has NOTHING to do with Christ or His Word. But think of it this way: given that 3 out of every 4 Americans still call themselves “Christian,” HOW IS IT that many of these same Americans now support homosexual marriage and abortion??? I defy anybody to explain to me how anybody could open up a Bible and say, “God approves of homosexual marriage.” Just read Romans chapter one, if you don’t like Leviticus 18:26. How can anybody read Psalm 139:13-16 (eg., “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb“) and explain to me how God has anything other than abject horror for the abortion mindset that has now consumed over 55 million innocent babies in America?
For the record, 58% of Americans support homosexual marriage. And how can that be when 75% of Americans call themselves “Christians”??? When the Bible denounces homosexuality as an “abomination” (Lev 18:22) and a “detestable act” (Lev 20:13) and when the Bible says that homosexuality is the lowest moral point a culture can degenerate to resulting in the full wrath of God (Romans chapter one, especially 1:26-27)?
I survey the demise of Christianity in Western Civilization and particularly in America and I think of the words of King Theoden in Lord of the Rings as he surveyed the world where evil had nearly completely consumed what little good was left: “The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?“
How about this as moving toward an answer to that question: only 19% of CHURCHGOING CHRISTIANS even SAY they read the Bible every day. And 57% only read their Bibles four times a year or less. How about what a Gallup survey said: that only 22% of those calling themselves “Christians” believe the Bible is fully inspired by God Himself.
How about this? “35% of “born-again Christians” do not read the Bible AT ALL.” And “among those who say they read the Bible, the vast majority only read it during the one hour they attend church each Sunday morning.”
I completely agree with this statement from Ron Rhodes, President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries: “such statistics make it more than obvious why many Christians are easy prey for spiritual deception. The level of biblical illiteracy among Christians may be one reason why many believers hesitate to stand for Godly values on the public scene.”
The next two paragraphs of the same article:
“Recent studies by The Barna Group and the Gallup Organization conclude that any reasonable understanding of biblical facts and truths is seriously lacking among Americans. Today, basic Christian truths are virtually unknown to a majority in this nation.
“American Christians are biblically illiterate. Although most of them contend that the Bible contains truth and is worth knowing, and most of them argue that they know all of the relevant truths and principles, our research shows otherwise. And the trend line is frightening: the younger a person is, the less they understand about the Christian faith.” —Barna”
I want to begin by exploring that question: “How did it come to this?” How is it that 75% of Americans say they are “Christian” even as a majority of Americans say, “I’m a Christian, and I believe that God smiles down every time a mother has her own baby ripped apart in her womb.” “I’m a Christian, and I believe that God loves homosexuality.” How is it that WE have voted for these things, and considered ourselves good people and even good CHRISTIANS as we did so??? How is it that we call ourselves “Christians” and blatantly ignore the blatant point of Romans chapter one and so many other Old and New Testament Passages??? Note: I pick these two topics because they ought to be OBVIOUS to anyone who reads the Word of God; and if we can’t even understand the obvious, how can we understand anything at all???
Today, the Anglicans, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, and numerous other denominations, have actively supported homosexual marriage as a union celebrated by God. Many of these churches are celebrating homosexual unions and celebrate the fact that they have openly homosexual bishops. And we just witnessed the new Catholic pope join them as he undermined Christians who would have the politically-incorrect gall to condemn gay marriage.
Deception, indeed. It is all around you. And statistically speaking, if both the people sitting next to you aren’t deceived, then YOU ARE.
Here’s a survey of Bible passages that I believe help to explain what has happened (in scriptural order):
- The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. – Genesis 6:5
- “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the LORD” – 2 Chronicles 19:2
- You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. — Psalm 52:3
- But he who sins against Me injures himself; all those who hate Me love death — Proverbs 8:36
- A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left. — Ecclesiastes 10:2
- Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20
- For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth – Romans 1:18
- Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools – Romans 1:22
- They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. — Romans 1:25
- In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of the Messiah, who is the image of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:4
- I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! — Galatians 1:6-9
- Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron — 1 Timothy 4:2
- But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. — 2 Tim 3:1
- They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. — 2 Tim 3:6-7
- For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. — 2 Tim 4:3-4
- “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” — Rev 3:15-17
“How did it come to this?” Let me explain. Because the answer has EVERYTHING to do with understanding Bible PROPHECY and with having a LITERAL interpretation of the Word of God.
This terrible spiritual sickness of Christian thought began in the 5th century through the teaching of a brilliant theologians named Origen of Alexandria (A.D. 185 to circa 254) and Augustine, bishop of Hippo (354 – 430 AD). These two thinkers introduced and systemized an “allegorical” view of the Bible. See here (http://www.lastchanceministries.com/Origen.htm) for more. Basically, these two men were looking at a world that no longer had a literal, physical, national Israel – which had been destroyed by Rome in 70 AD (just as Jesus literally prophesied in passages such as Matt 23:37-39 and 24:1-2, 34). And that fact of a “missing Israel” warped their understanding.
There are so many Bible prophecies that center around a literal, national, Israel existing in the last days that I literally cannot list them all. But consider Ezekiel chapter 37 – the prophecy of the dry bones that come to life prior to the last days war of God and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39. Consider the numerous references to Israel in the Book of Revelation (ex. Rev 7:3-8; 11:1-2; chap 12). (See http://israelect.com/reference/WillieMartin/Israel_in_Revelation.htm for more). And consider that the Messiah of ISRAEL in the Old Testament Messiah (See http://israelsmessiah.com/prophecy/messiah/Y%27SHUAH.htm). The Old Testament Scriptures tell us that this Messiah would, for example, sit on the throne of King David of Israel in Jerusalem and rule with a rod of iron. Why would Messiah sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem if Israel were no more??? What people was David king of???
You should begin to see Origen’s and Augustine’s dilemma: national Israel needed to exist for the Bible to be right, but national Israel had been wiped off the map and there was no sign on earth that it was coming back. They could either a) read the Bible literally and believe in faith that God would one day regather Israel as His Word says or b) create an entirely new system of interpretation that turned the Bible into allegories/metaphors rather than literal truths.
Tragically, they chose the latter approach. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the theology they created rather than the actual Word of God. They allowed their human minds – partially due to their lack of faith and partially due to their intellectual arrogance – to triumph over what God prophetically foreordained would LITERALLY happen in the last days. And in their error they replaced Israel with the Church (the allegorical approach known as “replacement theology”).
Allow me to present a champion of Amillennialist thought in the words of Covenant theologian Oswald T. Allis to describe premillennialsm:
“One of the most marked features of premillennialism in all its forms is the emphasis which it places on the literal interpretation of Scripture. It is the insistent claims of its advocates that only when interpreted literally is the Bible interpreted truly”
As a premillennialist, I completely agree with Allis’ characterization. Yes, that’s right; whatever you do, don’t be like those wicked premillennialists and actually try to interpret your Bible THE WAY GOD DELIVERED IT TO US.
What are the consequences of the Amillennialist “allegorical” approach to “understanding” the Bible. Try this question from Pew: “Do many religions lead to God and eternal life?” 79% of Catholic Amillennialists and fully 83% of Protestant Amillennialists said YES. Amazingly, amillennialist Catholics (79%) and amillennialist Mainline churches (83%) were the most likely of ALL respondents to abandon the orthodox Christian confession that only Jesus Christ gives eternal life. And while their are many strong and staunch Christians who embrace amillennialist theology, once you embrace a hermeneutic approach that encourages highly allegorical interpretations of Scripture, you open the door wide to abandoning the doctrine of the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement and the bodily Resurrection. All of these abandonments of genuine and orthodox Christianity have been done by the opponents of dispensationalism. Whereas a literal interpretation of the Bible guarantees against such radical departures from the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
Allow me to provide a personal example: I am somewhat directionally impaired, certainly in comparison to my dad who has an incredible intuitive sense of direction. Imagine my dad gives me directions to get me somewhere that I really need to get to. He tells me which streets to take and which way to turn. But I don’t take his directions “literally.” Instead, I decide to “interpret” them in our classic Origen/Augustine allegorical approach. Where will I end up??? NOT WHERE I’M SUPPOSED TO END UP, THAT’S FOR SURE.
And so beginning in the fifth century, allegoricalism won, literalism (and TRUTH) lost. Nothing needed to mean what it actually said; anything could merely be an allegory or a metaphor that stood for something else. Except, that is, for God’s remnant who ALWAYS rightly believed that one day, God would fulfill His literal Word LITERALLY. There were always Christians who joined Jews praying for Israel’s regathering.
God’s Word only makes sense when we let the Scriptures say what they literally clearly MEAN rather than whatever passes our fancy. Want some examples? Consider Zechariah 12:2-3 and 8-11:
“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves… On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.”
Also consider passages like “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” – Psalm 83:4
How many nations have experienced more rabid hatred than Israel? How many peoples have experienced the hatred of the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews (that’s the entire Jewish population of Israel TODAY) were murdered in a campaign to systematically wipe out an entire race? How many cities on earth are the holiest site of the three major world religions? How many cities are as torn by demands to be the capitol of two different peoples? What other city today is more likely to be “a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling” than Jerusalem??? When “Christians” assure us that “Israel” is just an allegory/metaphor for “the Church,” that ITSELF is hatred for Israel.
It is impossible for me to understand how somebody can read such passages and say that these prophecies aren’t being literally fulfilled in our time before our very eyes. Just as it is impossible for me to understand how somebody can read about God being pierced and tell me that that wasn’t a literally-fulfilled prophecy of Messiah Jesus.
How about this one;” A NATION SHALL BE BORN IN A DAY.” I read Isaiah 66:8 and all I can say is a miracle literally prophesied by God occurred on May 14, 1948. I read Jeremiah 30:1-3 and Isaiah 43:5-7 which prophecy the regathering of Israel in the last days and I see literally fulfillment of God’s Word. Most of all, I see the prophecy of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14 and I KNOW that God literally brought Israel to life from a state of death that had lasted for two thousand years.
What about this one: as the Book of Acts begins, and the disciples of Christ - soon to be His apostles – ask Jesus one last question before He ascends into heaven they ask:
”Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)
And I want you to carefully note here that Jesus most certainly does NOT say, “What are you talking about? How have you missed the entire point of my Amillennialist teaching?!?!?” Yes, ultimately the CLEAR LITERAL FACT OF SCRIPTURE is that God WILL restore the kingdom TO ISRAEL. In fact, the entire MILLENNIUM is ALL ABOUT God fulfilling His promises to Israel. Because He is a faithful God who fulfills His Word.
There are SO MANY prophesies just like these. The Bible makes sense when it is allowed to simply speak for itself. It becomes incomprehensible gibberish when it is defiled by man to say anything else.
Remember, there are two major views today: there is the amillenialist view, which is based on an allegorical interpretation of the Bible, and there is the premillenial view, which is based on a literal interpretation of Scripture. There used to be another dominant view that has lost most of its credibility: it was called Postmillenialism - and it was also based on an allegorical approach. According to Postmillenialism, the millennium was not a future state, but began to exist when Christ established the Church through His Twelve Apostles (i.e., the Book of Acts). And according to Postmillenialism, the world was going to become better and better as the Church evangelized the world, until finally the world would be in a state of perfect Utopia. And then – after the Church had made the world perfect – Jesus would come and usher in the eternal state. Well, there were a few problems with that: the first was that it was human-centric rather than God-centric because it was not Jesus Christ saving the world for the Church, but the Church saving the world for Jesus Christ. Do you see the problem? The second problem was little things like the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, etc. You have to be a true ideologue to believe that the world is becoming better and better when in obvious fact it is clearly becoming worse and worse (as Premillennialists predicted would happen before the coming of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation, for the record).
Too bad the Postmillenialists refused to read 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and understand it LITERALLY.
What’s the problem with Amillennialism? As I described, it is basically the position formulated to explain a world where Israel did not exist (as the Bible said it had to in the last days). And so the first Amillennialist interpreters assumed an allegorical approach to interpreting the Bible so that it did not have to mean what it said (and therefore couldn’t be wrong just because it wasn’t literally true). With Israel out of the picture, the 1,000 Millennium in Revelation 20 was meaningless – because the purpose of the Millennium is for the Messiah of Israel to literally fulfill every prophecy given to Israel and the Jews. For instance, there are prophecies that state that the Messiah of Israel, the Son of David, would rule and reign with a rod of iron on the throne of King David in Jerusalem. There are prophecies that state that the entire world would worship the Messiah of Israel, and would come up to Jerusalem to do so. There are prophecies that state that Israel would rebuild the Temple. And there are MANY OTHER such prophecies. But if there is no Israel, and Israel is merely an allegory representing the Church, well, those prophecies are merely allegories representing something else, too. As is the Millennium itself.
You run into huge problems. Beginning with the fact that all the things the Premillennialists said would happen (e.g., the literal rebirth of national Israel, the literal preparation for a last days Temple in Jerusalem, the rise of a unified Europe so that Antichrist could seize control, the rise of Russia as Gog and Magog, the rise of China as the kings of the East (as per Rev 16:12, Rev 9:13-16), as well as many other things, such as the rise of technology to make the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-18) possible. I mean, Amillennialists have been mocking literalist Premillennialists – particularly Charles Nelson Darby – for 150 years. They don’t bother to struggle with the fact that all the stuff the man said would happen ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Just as he said it would because he was just teaching what the Bible literally said would happen.
Here’s another example of how this terribly flawed allegorical approach leads astray: Read Isaiah 65:20: “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” What period does this refer to?
Let’s look at another problem with the denials of Amillennialism: the denial of the Millennium itself.
Edward J. Young is a widely respected Amillennialist, and takes the ridiculous position that Isaiah 65:20 describes the eternal heavenly state. He has to do that, keep in mind, because he denies the literal 1,000 year Millennium reign of Christ on earth. And in his well-known and influential commentary on Isaiah, he accordingly interprets “the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed” as meaning – and I quote – “Thus one of the blessings of the new age is that of longevity” (vol 3, p. 515). But let me ask you a simple question: how old do you think you’ll be when you die in heaven??? This passage OBVIOUSLY does not refer to the eternal state, but rather to the Millennium. The Book of Revelation mentions the Millennium ["Mille anum" = "thousand years"] SIX TIMES in Revelation 20:1-7. But Young cannot consider the Millennium at all because as an Amillennialist he has decided that all the passages in the Book of Revelation that refer to the thousand years of the Millennium are all “allegorical” and there IS no Millennium because there is no reason to have a Millennium because they have interpreted Israel and the eventual fulfillment of prophecies made to Israel out of the Bible. So all that’s left is heaven. And he is therefore forced to take an absurd conclusion. The sad fact of the matter is that the Bible doesn’t drive the Amillennialist’s theology: his Amillennialist theology drives his world rather than what the Bible teaches.
Let me point out again just how incredibly foolish this passage becomes in the words of another top Amillennialist scholar J.G. Voss describing his Amillennialism:
“Amillennialism is that view of the last things which holds that the Bible does not predict a ‘Millennium’ or period of worldwide peace and righteousness on this earth before the end of the world. Amillennialism teaches that there will be a parallel and contemporaneous development of good and evil — God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom — in this world, which will continue until the second coming of Christ. At the second coming of Christ the resurrection and judgment will take place, followed by the eternal order of things — the absolute, perfect Kingdom of God, in which there will be no sin, suffering nor death.”
But again, THERE IS DEATH in Isaiah 65:20. WHERE DOES THIS PASSAGE FIT INTO THE WORLD? There is only ONE possible time period that makes any sense whatsoever: the Millennium. But the Amillennialist denies the Millennium as any kind of literal time period (of one thousand years as the Bible tells us SIX TIMES in just ONE chapter) and is therefore reduced to idiocy simply because he refuses to believe the clear LITERAL truth of Scripture.
But the worst thing of ALL about Amillennialism – as I believe I have shown - is that the same hermeneutic that is used to justify the same theology that allows you to replace Israel with the Church allows you to replace marriage with homosexuality and precious babies with abortion. Yes, these things are an abomination if you read your Bible literally. So more and more “Christians” are saying, “Well, let’s just not read it literally then.” That way we can have all the benefits of Christianity and all the benefits of secular humanism all at the same time.
Let’s make Christianity compatible with what the secular humanists and the atheists teach. That way we won’t have any culture wars, you see.
Dinish D’Souza in his great book, “What’s So Great About Christianity” makes this point when he writes, “Unfortunately the central themes of some of the liberal churches have become indistinguishable from those of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, and the homosexual rights movement. Why listen to Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong drone on when you can get the same message and much more interesting visuals at San Francisco’s gay pride parade? The traditional churches, not the liberal churches, are growing in America.” [pg. 4]
D’Souza in his previous paragraphs had documented all the statistics to prove that “fundamentalist” denominations and churches were EXPLODING not only in America but all over the world while mainline liberal denominations were shrinking and dying away.
THAT’S why “Christians” call themselves “Christian” while supporting one thing the Bible decries as evil after another. And THAT is why fewer and fewer people are identifying themselves as “Christian” in the first place, as the mainline churches that still wield vast institutional influence in both wealth and media coverage die out while the Christianity they used to teach devolves into political correctness and secular humanism. And the reason that the actual New Testament Christianity that takes the Word of God seriously is exploding around the world is because the Spirit of God is still at work in these last days just before the rapture and the beast of Revelation.
Check out the membership of the wicked Jesus Seminar: Robert Funk is Disciples of Christ – one of ‘the Seven Sisters” of mainline Protestant liberalism. John Dominic Crossan is a Catholic. Marcus Borg is an Anglican. You go down the list of members and without fail you will find mainline liberal denominations that embrace allegorical Amillennialism or Postmillennialism and despise literalist Premillennialism as its members. These are people who allegorized the Bible in order to accommodate the Word of God to their own massive unbelief – which as I’ve described was how allegoricalism began in the first place.
What has happened is that – without fail – the allegorical non-literal denominations have allowed, enabled and in fact ENCOURAGED their members to deny every key doctrine of the Christian faith.
Christians should be under the Bible as the Word of God to us. Who is Jesus? He is who the Bible says He is. It is as simple as the song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.” And it is a result of abandoning the Bible as the literal Word of God that these denominations have increasingly abandoned the Christian faith altogether.
There’s a great metaphor to end on: the violin that was played as the Titanic sank just went for auction for the price of $1.5 million. The last song played as the ship plunged into its icy grave was “Nearer My God To Thee.” We can read this and understand that just as there are no atheists in foxholes, THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS ON SINKING SHIPS. But look at it this way: the Titanic is an appalling example of stunning human arrogance and ignorance and the resulting refusal to understand clear literal warnings of impending doom. Here’s a stat: they had 20 lifeboats for 1,178 people but they had 2,435 passengers and 892 crew (for a total of 3,327 souls). Do the math. And as those heedless people perished after putting their trust in fools, they blithely played “Nearer My God To Thee.” And what I’m saying is that THAT is what the Church is largely like today and it is what most Christians are like today. The last days are upon us and they couldn’t be more ignorant or more deceived. DON’T BE LIKE THAT.
I urge you to read the Bible. And I urge you to simply let the Bible be the Word of God and allow it to speak to you as it was written to speak to you.