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12-21-12 – It’s not the end of the world!

I have continually been surprised at the amount of media attention that the Mayan calendar phenomenon has been getting. What is even more surprising is the number of Christians who are able to somehow connect a misinterpreted pagan artifact to biblical eschatology.

But don’t be misled! Tomorrow is not the end of the world.

Since 1989, when I first began studying biblical eschatology, I’ve become increasingly convinced of the historic view of the church prior to the 1900s. This view, which can be described as either amillennialism or postmillennialism, states that the millennial prophecy of John in Revelation 20 is realized. A minority of Christians in history prior to the last century held to a classical premillennial view that put a literal one thousand year reign of Jesus Christ in the future.

In 1830, J.N. Darby, a former Anglican priest who became involved with the “Brethren” movement in northern Ireland, proposed a system that became known as “dispensational premillennialism.” This view was popularized through C.I. Scofield, a pastor from Texas. The Scofield Reference Bible appeared in the late 1800s and helped to spread dispensationalist teaching worldwide in the 20th century.

In general, dispensationalism is a comprehensive theology that counters the covenantalism of the Reformers and contradicts many orthodox teachings of the Church throughout history. The errors of dispensationalism run from teaching that there are two people of God, Jews and Gentiles, with two ways to salvation – to frequent date-setting for the Second Coming by many of its proponents. Of course, this is in direct violation of the Lord’s command in Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”

The historic view is that most biblical prophecy had audience relevancy. The immediate hearers understood the time frame for fulfillment. The timing for the Second Coming, however, is hidden. We are told exactly why in the next verse, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The tenor of Luke’s account of Jesus’ ascension as well as the rest of the Mount Olivet Discourse in Matthew 25 deals with the concern Jesus has for his servants to fulfill the Great Commission through evangelism and advancing the kingdom of God into all areas of life.

If we view John’s “thousand years” described in Revelation 20 as a metaphor for the kingdom of God, then we will begin to see that the millennium, far from being a future event, is here among us. The kingdom is “already/not yet.” The kingdom of God was on earth when Jesus first began to preach that it was “at hand” (Matthew 3:2). The kingdom of God is violently expanding throughout history (Matthew 11:12). The kingdom of God is also like a mustard seed that grows gradually and won’t reach it’s fulfillment until the Second Coming when Jesus returns to reward the righteous and punish the wicked (Matthew 25:1-46).

The “thousand years” of Revelation 20, is simply John’s way of expressing a very long time period in which this kingdom expansion takes place. Christ is pictured seated on a throne in heaven ruling over the nations with a rod of iron (Psalms 2:9; Revelation 19:15). At the end of the millennium is the Second Coming, the General Resurrection and the Final Judgment. So while Christ is already ruling over the nations from heaven, His reign won’t be realized in its fulness until He returns.

Unfortunately, some Christians wanted to predict the coming of the millennium as occurring in 2000, for no other reason than (according to the Gregorian calendar at least) it was a big round number year. Then we heard predictions of the Second Coming on 7/7/07 and now 12/21/12.

In 1999, at the height of “millennial madness,” I produced a video entitled, The Beast of Revelation: Identified, which presents the postmillennial preterist interpretation of Revelation chapter 13 as well as a few other key passages of scripture.

A couple of years after that, I co-authored a book, The Four Keys to the Millennium, in which I presented the postmillennial position and rebutted three other authors who took the amillennial, classic premillennial and dispensational premillennial viewpoints.

I’ve also written a commentary on the prophetic chapters of Daniel entitled, In the Days of These Kings … The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective. Here I lay out the case that most of the prophecy of Daniel is fulfilled. A correct understanding of Daniel is the key to interpreting both the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation. I hope to expand this work and publish it in the future as a paperback and downloadable e-book, but for now the separate parts are available at our website.


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Comments

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Great Article thank you for posting it!

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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