In light of my posts about preparation for the Millennium and unity in the Church, I would like to make some limiting remarks in order to show the context in which I hold those beliefs. I am a premillennialist (though not a dispensationalist). I believe that Christ will rule on earth for a thousand years following His return. I believe that He will return following the rule of the Antichrist. I do not subscribe to Dominion Theology and I am not an adherent of the New Apostolic Reformation (“NAR”).
I believe that revival should be built on the twin pillars of the Spirit and the Bible. Any revelation that is received should always be submitted to the authority of the word of God. If it does not align with what Scripture teaches, then it is to be rejected, no matter how ecstatic we may feel about it. I also believe that the Bible teaches general principles, which we may apply in our lives, but also must be understood in its proper context.
The Church must be led by the Spirit, but the Church has been given teachers, pastors, and scholars, who are the legitimate organs to explain the use of history, archaeology, textual analysis, and other disciplines to help us understand the development of the Bible, and the world in which it was written. True Christian philosophers and theologians can help us navigate the spiritual truths taught by the Bible and the process by which we interpret the Bible – their work can be invaluable in keeping Christians on the path of exegesis and away from the snare of eisegesis.
I stand by my statements that Christians are seated in God’s Divine Council now, that they will rule on earth with Christ during the Millennium, and that they can exercise influence in this world now in a variety of ways. There are even Christians in Parliament. However, I do not wish to be understood as holding the view that Christians will somehow conquer the earth and hand over its rule to Christ when He returns. I rather think the opposite is true. Like Pope Benedict XVI, I echo Christ’s question about finding faith on earth when He returns.
I do not wish to diminish the wonderful things that God is doing right now, especially in the Muslim world (see, for example, the work of Hormuz Shariat). Nevertheless, we should not lose sight of the fact that the world is a dark place and that those Muslim nations are, by and large, ruled by governments unsympathetic to Israel and the West or else largely ineffective in curbing the excesses of Islamic zealots. In Europe hedonism, abortion, financial misfeasance, suppression of free speech, and cultural relativism continue apace. While the question of whether the final beast empire is a revived Roman empire or an Islamic empire continues to be discussed in eschatology circles, it is certainly reasonable to see Europe as a problem zone in the end times rather than a place that will entirely resist the Antichrist.
Lastly, we should all be wary of false unity, a unity that tries to prevent Christians from asking legitimate questions and consulting the word of God. Christ did not forbid His disciples from asking questions, and neither did the Apostles forbid the Church. St John told his congregations to test the spirits, to determine whether they came from Christ or the dark side. Christ warned us about false prophets in the end times. We would be wise to read this statement in conformity with the Apostles’ warnings in their letters to the early Church. In other words, these prophets can take the form of people claiming to be Christian, not only of proponents of other religions.
If I can give one piece of advice in this post, it is to stay with what you know and trust. If you are genuinely seeking God in your private life and the congregation you attend, God will lead you into the plans He has for the end of the age. Central to this move should be worship, prayer, and study of the word of God.
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5, Berean Study Bible