Apostolic Council on Eschatology, NAR Preterism, and Another Gospel

A day after C. Peter Wagner died, I noticed a Facebook post by Jim Wies.  Here is what it said…

“At the apostolic summit tonight, the spirit of prophecy filled the place in a profound way, and the Lord declared that on this day when Dr. C. Peter Wagner passed on to his reward, God has raised up a theologian to carry on the legacy of shaping the theological perspective of what Dr. Wagner declared to be the New Apostolic Reformation. So then leadership blessed Jonathan Welton and prayed for a new mantle.”

And then there was a picture of Jonathan Welton surrounded by others, being prayed for.

Read my blog to find information on Welton and his teachings…but first let me give you a quote from Jonathan Welton’s FB page from yesterday,

“You are an ambassador and citizen of heaven. You have the fullness of the Godhead in you. You are not to live merely as a human. Yet we must not forget that we live in an active warzone with a rebellious defeated enemy that won’t quit fighting.”

Combine that with what I wrote about last week (here is the quote from his book Understanding the Whole Bible) and what do you get ??

“Clement of Alexandria, one of the early Church fathers, described the atonement this way: “The Logos of God had become man so that you might learn from a man how a man may become God.” Similarly, the third century theologian, Origen, wrote, “From Christ began the union of the Divine with the human nature in order that the human, by communion with the Divine, might rise and also become Divine.” Athanasius, a significant father within the Eastern Orthodox Church, had a grasp of the incarnation and an understanding of God apart from the Platonism that muddled Augustine’s thinking. About the incarnation, he wrote, “The Word was made man so that we might be made God.”

Quotes like these can sound scary to a lot of people. It sounds too much, perhaps, like claiming to be God. However, our participation in the divine nature is really important to our identity as the Bride of Christ, because Christ needs to marry an equal. This, of course, does not mean we become God. The Trinity, the Godhead, is uncreated divinity, self-existing, eternal, always omnipresent and omnipotent. The Godhead is unique and will never be replicated. However, as the Bride of Christ, we become “created divinity”. God incarnated to help humans become incarnate…”

I don’t have much to say about Jonathan Welton anymore.  He says enough on his own.

There are other members of this Apostolic Council on Eschatology that is propelling Jonathan Welton into the position of theologian for the NAR.

Martin Trench is on the council. (please see my post Victorious Eschatology An Example of Roots or Results) New Age guru and professional in building mega-churches.

Joe Mcintyre is on the council.  Here is part of a Facebook post he put up today…

“There is no gospel of salvation. Salvation is just one aspect of the Kingdom. Father is not trying to get us to heaven, He is determined to bring heaven to earth.

God has demonstrated His power in raising Jesus from the dead and enthroning Him with all authority in heaven and on EARTH!

The gospel of the kingdom is not about getting to heaven. It’s about demonstrating the goodness of God to the inhabitants of this earth and inviting them to accept our King.”

Matthew Hester is on the council.  Check out his Dominion Mandate/Manifesto on his DominionChurch.net site…Here is a small quote on his beliefs…

“The word “eklessia” means “those who are called out to rule!” This describes who we are. Theologians differ over how much of the planet will be totally subdued before the Lord comes back. That should not be our concern. Our concern should be that we are headed in that direction, flowing in our dominion assignment, knowing that He is coming back to a battle-tested, obedient Bride (Rev 19:6-7). When He comes we will become immortal and remain on the earth to rule and reign with Him. Until then, we have work to do. Psa 110:1 and Acts 3:21 tells us that we are to subdue the enemies of Christ and present them at His feet to be His footstool!

Our Dominion Assignment addresses 3 major areas of human life:

  1. We are to bring the Gospel to fallen individuals
  2. We are to bring redemption to fallen institutions (family, church, economic order, civil government)
  3.  We are to bring rebellious spirits under  Christ’s authority. This will happen city by city and nation by nation.

J.D. King is on the council.  Here is an excerpt from his October 18th blog.

“If men are by essence evil, then Jesus who was without sin was not really a man. The Bible declares,“it was necessary for Jesus to be made in every respect like us” (Hebrews 2:17). Some overleverage the Lord’s virgin birth to solve this conundrum. Their argument is that since Jesus’ humanity only stems from Mary, He avoided the imputation of sin – because it is supposedly passed through the earthly father. I certainly adhere to the truth of the virgin birth, but I think that it’s sometimes twisted to make Jesus into a different sort of man. It’s difficult to argue that Jesus genuinely represents humanity if He wasn’t truly like us in every way.

Let me get down to my underlying point. We live in a desperately fallen world where there is a vicious propensity toward sin. With the single exception of Jesus, everyone ultimately becomes the embodiment of this corruption. However, that is not because of biology or ancestry. It is because of our own deplorable choices.

Nevertheless, sin isn’t our essence. It is a tragic degradation of God’s design! It is the failure to live up to who we were made to be. Through our own foolish acts of defiance, we have fallen short of the glory (Romans 3:23).

Keep in mind that the problem is not with Adam. It’s with you.”

There are other members. You can check it out here. http://www.endtimecouncil.com/

I am worried about where this is going.  It is not good. Sound the alarm.  There is a connection between preterism/partial, and its teachers, and  the “heaven to earth” message and the NAR.

The sad part is how many people just accept stuff.  Don’t say a word. Never protest or check.

Are we asleep ?  or do we just not care anymore ?

 

 

 

 

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Victorious Eschatology …An Example of Roots or Results?

I can’t tell if partial preterism – the victorious or optimistic view of the end times- is the starting point of false teaching, the magnet which draws false teachers, or a little bit of both. I am finding eye-opening things concerning the sources and methods of its teachers.

Harold Eberle teaches that God is not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. He only takes the Bible “seriously”. He is not a “strict” creationist and examines theistic evolution in his NAR systematic theology. Also, man is not that bad and man is not separated from God due to Adam’s fall.

Jonathan Welton teaches that Jesus did not die in our place as a substitute, He did not pay the penalty for our sin, and did not receive the wrath of God. He believes in “created divinity”.

Both Eberle and Welton lie and distort the historical record throughout their books.

And now we come to the third host of the partial preterism virus…Martin Trench.

Read the following.  Add it to what we know about Harold Eberle’s and Jonathan Welton’s teachings and let me know what you come up with. Feel free to contact me if you need more information on these books or authors.

Here are a few examples of what Martin Trench Teaches. Mr. Trench is the co-author of Victorious Eschatology A Partial Preterist View. Harold Eberle is the other co-author. I don’t know what to say other than…stop listening to these guys. Period.

“In Revelation, as well as the constellations previously mentioned, we see this picture of the “heavenly Jerusalem” and it has “twelve gates” (the twelve gates or houses of the zodiac) and each gate is a pearl (symbolizing the moon, who passes through each gate), there is a river of life (Aquarius), and there are twelve foundation stones – the same twelve stones that were in the High Priests breastplate – the 12 birth stones of the zodiac, and they are listed in reverse order from the usual order – that’s because they are symbolizing the Ages, which happen in reverse order to the monthly/annual order of the zodiac (that’s why its called the “PREcession of the Equinoxes and not the PROcession, because the zodiac go in a cycle one way each year, with each constellation providing one month, but they go through the Ages of the Great Year in exactly the opposite order) – that’s why we know for sure it is speaking of the Ages.

“Genesis speaks of Joseph having a dream of a ladder to heaven in which “the angels were ascending and descending”. To the ancients, each of the stars were represented by an angel (or vice versa). In one if CS Lewis’s Narnia books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustice meets an angelic-like being who is a “star”; “In our world,” says Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.” Even in your world, my son,’ (says the Star), that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of.” – that is an idea from the ancient world. Stars are personified. The angels ascending and descending symbolize (at least in part) the constellations of the Ages ascending and descending. That sheds a bit more light on what Jesus meant when he said “you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:51) meaning – “it is with me – in my ministry, life, death, and resurrection – that one Age will descend, and a new Age will ascend – this is the cusp of the Ages, and a new Age is being born”.

Allegories are shown, like Jonah being swallowed by a “great fish” (Pisces) and kept in its belly for three days and nights, before being spat onto the land to bring God’s message to the people of Nineveh (non-Israelites) who then repent and receive his message – this is a foretaste of the Piscean Age, which was birthed in the death and resurrection of Jesus: “No sign will be given to this generation, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights”, (Matthew 12:40), and which leads to God’s word being preached to all nations, (not just Israel) who will gladly accept the message. (Notice that it is the “sign” of Jonah – the story contains a “sign” a “symbol” an “allegory” in picture form).”

“Another allegory is seen in Jesus telling his disciples to “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters”. (Luke 22:10). It was very unusual to see a man carrying a bucket of water – it was a chore or job that was normally, in that culture, given to women and children. All through the Bible we see stories of women going to a well to fetch water. But they would see a man carrying water (symbolizing Aquarius) and they were to “follow him” and he would take them to a “house” and when they went, they entered an “upper room” where “everything will be prepared”. This allegorically and symbolically speaks of Jesus sending us into the Aquarian Age to be taken to a higher place to enjoy God’s feast which is prepared.”

The last 2,000+ years have been the New Covenant Age, or Age of Pisces. To be honest, the term “New Covenant Age” is the wrong way to put it – because although the Old Covenant came to an end in 70AD, the New Covenant continues on forever, even though this Age will come to an end. The New Covenant lasts forever because it is mediated by Jesus, who lives forever (Hebrews 7:25). But certainly, the current Age, (the Age of Pisces) does come to an end, and the New Covenant continues on in expanded growth into the next Age, because the New Covenant ushered in the “Kingdom of God” or “the reign of God’ or, as one translation puts it, “God’s New World and New Way of Living” (Good as New Translation).

God is progressively creating this new world and new way of living, and he is doing it through people. As people change, as people embrace God’s new world and new way of living, and come into greater and greater harmony with how things are truly supposed to be, so they become a positive influence upon their world, and like a small piece of yeast put into some dough, it gradually spreads with a life of its own and “leavens the whole batch” (Luke 13:21) or like a tiny seed planted in the ground, it gradually grows and becomes a fruitful tree and provides shelter for others, (Matthew 13:31-33). Just as the Universe continues to expand at the speed on light, so God’s kingdom continues to expand as his light shines forth more and more in and through the lives, beliefs, behavior, and influence of more and more people. We are collaborators in creation.

“Isaiah 9:7
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end

So, the term “New Covenant Age” is a misnomer, but the Age of Pisces will end, the Age which began with, and will culminate in – a miraculous catch of “fish”. We are living in a time when the Age of Pisces is descending and the Age of Aquarius is dawning. I have already pointed out (here) that Ages overlap for quite some period of time and it is difficult to put an exact time on when one Age has started and when the previous Age has finally, fully passed away, but by circa 2150AD, the Age of Pisces will have fully passed away and the Age of Aquarius will be the only ruling Age – however, Pisces is already “descending” and Aquarius is already “ascending” – changes are underway. So what does this next Age look like? As God’s kingdom continues to advance, and as more and more people are influenced by God’s new world which is emerging in our midst and his new way of living revealed in and through Jesus, what does it blossom into? There is much talk about the coming Aquarian Age both inside the Christian church, and outside of it in alternative spiritualities, in other religions, even in the secular world – everyone has their own take on what the coming Age looks like, and to be honest, some of those ideas have very little to do with Jesus, the scriptures, or the true nature of God. Some ideas are positively occult and superstitious – I’m not talking about those kind of ideas. I don’t see the coming Age as one where the streets will be full of occult bookshops and crystal ball gazers, all claiming to be part of the Aquarian Age.

I see the coming Age as one where all superstition, (including religious traditions which make the true message that Jesus brought of no effect – Mark 7:13) is laid aside and where people start to let God’s new way of living truly work in their lives – transforming, growing spiritually, becoming the people they were created to be – fully alive, fully loving, fully ‘human’, fully living out their true nature as image bearers of God, living by the meaning and spirit of the message of Jesus, and in so doing, changing the way they relate to the world around them so that this “new way of living” truly promotes the emergence of a “new world”. Imagine a world where it is common place, almost normal and taken for granted for people to have faith in an unconditionally loving, omnipresent Papa God, follow the teachings of Jesus regarding loving God and loving others, grow healthily in every way – physically, mentally, and spiritually, discover their gifts, talents and abilities and earn their living and live their life doing the things which make them come alive, where violence is seen as a primitive horror from the past, where all culture and styles of life are valued, (not a one-size-fits-all culture), and where God is honored, Jesus is followed, and people are loved and blessed in multiple ways, where businesses and politics and economics are run honestly and ethically, where ecology is valued, where the Sermon on the Mount is lived out. None of this is done by force, or by law, or certainly not by violence and war – its not one religion or one culture forcing itself on others and seeking to stamp all others out; rather, it is one presence (God) gradually changing lives and working in and through ALL cultures and people. However, I do also admit quite freely that God is the God of all creation. That he is at work in all the world, speaking to people from all backgrounds, beliefs, cultures and understandings and pushing all things towards a desired goal. There are many people and groups outside of the Christian church who do have some very accurate insights into the changing seasons and the coming Aquarian Age, and providing we stay grounded in a proper interpretive framework, we can and should listen to what people are “seeing” and use those insights as bridges to teach or introduce a deeper, more fuller, more Christ-centered understanding of these things. It seems to me that many Biblical prophecies point to what the condition of the world be be (still within time and space, not in some ‘eternal state’) as the kingdom of God continues to advance and expand – it indicates a time of universal fullness of the Spirit, peace, health, longevity, harmony and happiness:”

If our eyes were opened, to quote Elizabeth Barrat Browing – “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries” – we would see that “ever bush is ablaze ” – Moses eyes were opened. He saw the blazing glory of that other world shining and burning in a non destructive way through the bush. But one day it will be as if heaven and earth merge into one – the whole universe suddenly evolves into an upgrade, as it is visible, tangibly, eternally infused with the life-force of God’s very self – the whole of creation is divinized, it becomes timeless, no longer subject to decay, because that is only a phenomena of time. And what about us? We have had this wonderful “Age-enduring life” in our “spiritual bodies” expressing our individual separateness still, to a certain extent. But now, we all become fully divinized as well. I don’t image that we will “lose ourselves” in God, but I think we will be fully God-realized, for want of a better term. I suppose there is a better term in theology, it called Theosis – the experience of being divinized by being so full in union with God, that the two are one – not just it principle, but in experience. That is when “the end shall come”.

Remember “the beginning, God”? Well, that was the start of time and the Ages. Now we are at “the end” and what will happen is that “God shall be All in All”. I just think that is absolutely mind boggling and fantastic. It’s like the ultimate happy ending. All is well that “ends” well – and all shall be well, because it will end well. Everything and everyone in all of creation will be alive and fully animated with the very presence of an unconditionally loving, joyfully peaceful, blissful Father God. For “then comes the End, when God shall be All, and in All”.


And so, in the Bible we see a plan – that All things originate in the One Eternal Original Source – God himself. And All things shall return to that Source, when God shall be All in All. And in between “Eternity Past” and “Eternity to Come” we see the creation of mater & time (and the Ages), God gradually and progressive working out his “Plan of the Ages”, God’s ever-advancing Kingdom growing and spreading until it culminates in the return of Jesus and the final judgment (final, because there is no more judgment, thereafter), or for those of us who die before that “End”, we immediately face out final judgment (Hebrews 9:27) bringing “Age-enduring life or Age-enduring punishment”, however that final “End” ushers in the Conclusion of the Ages, when time is no more, when the “eternal now” infuses and is experienced by all creation, and “then God shall be All in All”.”

The end.

 

 

Harold Eberle, Jonathan Welton, the NAR….and another Jesus

Here are a few quotes from Harold Eberle’s book Systematic Theology for the New Apostolic Reformation An Exposition in Father-Son Theology..

“Instead of identifying my use  of the Bible with either inerrancy or infallibility, I will use terminology that has recently become popular among Bible teachers who hold to the validity of the Scriptures. I take the Bible seriously.”

“…I am well-acquainted with creationism, but today I am not a strict creationist.”

“We will see human nature in a more positive light than Classical/Reformed theology teaches. Coming from the perspective of Father-Son theology and wanting to correct some errors of Classical/Reformed theology, I can say, “People are not that bad.”

“Humanity is not eternally separated from God because of Adam’s sin.”

Jesus emptied Himself. This does not mean that He ceased being God. Paul explained that Jesus continued existing in the form of God. However, while being God, He emptied Himself.

This truth, that Jesus emptied Himself, has profound implications upon how we should live. This is because if Jesus laid aside all of His divine attributes, then He lived without using His own divine power. This means Jesus had to depend upon the Holy Spirit to work in and through Him. Since Jesus lived successfully and powerfully depending upon the Holy Spirit, then we can live successfully and powerfully depending upon the same Holy Spirit.

To see this more clearly, envision how Jesus would have lived if He had maintained and used His own divine powers. If Jesus resisted sin and worked miracles out of the power of His divine nature, then we have no reason to think that we can do what He did. We are not divine, so we should not expect to live successfully or powerfully.

On the other hand, since Jesus truly set aside His divine powers, He succeeded at living without sin and working miracles without depending upon His divinity. Since we have the same nature that Jesus took upon Himself, then we should be able to do what He did.”

“In summary, we can say that God is neither timeless, nor impassible, nor omniscient, nor sovereign, nor totally self-sufficient, nor invulnerable….because He is relational, He is Covenant-Maker, and He loves us. “

“The Classical/Reformed idea that God is wholly other is not in the Bible.  The overall message of the Bible is not that God is different and unreachable to humanity.  The Bible actually emphasizes how humans are like God.  Adam and Eve were created in His image and likeness.  God breathed His own spirit (ruach, in Hebrew) into humanity (Gen 2:7).  In Acts 17:27, Paul explained that God is very near to every

“Immutable, impassable, perfect, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, self-sufficient, transcendent, wholly other, immanent, unknowable and incomprehensible…..The only characteristic in the above list that can be supported by Scripture is God’s immanence.”

Rather than totally rejecting the concept of evolution, Bible-believing Christians should, at the very least, note the God-given ability of plants and animals to adapt to their environment and change within their own kind. Note, however, the source of the power causing the change.  According to the theory of evolution, all changes that happen to plants and animals are due to chance mutations followed by natural selection.  It is believed that natural selection allows the beneficial mutations to continue and, therefore, be passed on to offspring.  This understanding does not recognize any force pushing living things in a positive direction.  Instead, only chance mutations, selected through the survival of the fittest are assumed to move organisms forward.

In contrast, all Christians who believe the Bible should recognize a God-created force moving living things in the direction of survival and advancement.  Not only is there the possibility of change through mutation and natural selection, but there is also a positive force predetermined by the word of God.  He commanded life to come forth, and He blessed all living things.  Life will do whatever it takes to fulfill God’s command.  Scientists may have identified a force and a direction for life, but they cannot tell us why this force exists or from whence it comes.  Only theology can give the answer: plants and animals evolve because God has spoken.”

 

Here are a few Jonathan Welton quotes from Understanding the Whole Bible and Raptureless

“In summary, the one view of the atonement that fits the biblical pictures is that Jesus fulfilled the types and shadows by becoming a covenant sacrifice to make a new covenant. Much of what the Church has believed in recent years regarding the atonement is wrong:

  1. Jesus did not die in our place as a substitute.
  2. Jesus did not pay the “penalty” for our sin.
  3. Jesus did not receive the wrath of God.

“Clement of Alexandria, one of the early Church fathers, described the atonement this way: “The Logos of God had become man so that you might learn from a man how a man may become God.” Similarly, the third century theologian, Origen, wrote, “From Christ began the union of the Divine with the human nature in order that the human, by communion with the Divine, might rise and also become Divine.” Athanasius, a significant father within the Eastern Orthodox Church, had a grasp of the incarnation and an understanding of God apart from the Platonism that muddled Augustine’s thinking. About the incarnation, he wrote, “The Word was made man so that we might be made God.”

Quotes like these can sound scary to a lot of people. It sounds too much, perhaps, like claiming to be God. However, our participation in the divine nature is really important to our identity as the Bride of Christ, because Christ needs to marry an equal. This, of course, does not mean we become God. The Trinity, the Godhead, is uncreated divinity, self-existing, eternal, always omnipresent and omnipotent. The Godhead is unique and will never be replicated. However, as the Bride of Christ, we become “created divinity”. God incarnated to help humans become incarnate…”

Many people are fearful of this idea because of the imbalance and heresy that has at times risen around it. It is always important to clarify. We are not God. But He has made us partakers of His divine nature. He has implanted in us, and in the same way that Jesus is God incarnate, we are to become incarnations of God in this earth. Because of the incarnation, God lives in us. We are His temples, His presence-carriers on the earth, because we died with Christ and were raised with Him into divine life.”

“As citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20), and as ambassadors of heaven (2 Cor. 5:20), we are here with a mission. Jesus is not coming back until we finish the “Apostolic Mission” the mission of the Apostolos, to implement the Culture of Heaven into the Culture of the Earth.

Yes, someday the Church will have completed this mission. Sons and daughters of King Jesus will know who they are and will live out their identity as righteous people. Suffering will be brought to a minimum in the earth realm. Sin will have been massively decreased. The sex industry will have collapsed and broken families will be restored. People will live longer, healthier and more joy-filled lives. There will be no more orphans, no more starvation, and sickness will be rare.

All the enemies of God will bow under Jesus’ feet until finally death is put under His feet as the last foe (1 Cor. 15:26). All other foes will be subdued as we put them under our feet (Romans 16:20).

The day will come when the culturing of the Apostolos has completed the Apostolic Mission. On that day, Jesus will be able to touch His toe to earth in physical form and finally say as the Roman Emperor’s did in days past, “This place feels a lot like home!”

 

 

Now I want to end with a few more quotes.

This first quote is from Max Muller, who influenced Theosophy, Spiritualism, and Neitzsche (and others) in the 1800’s.

“Christianity is Christianity by this one fundamental truth, that as God is the Father of man, so truly, and not poetically or metaphorically only, man is the son of God, participating in God’s very essence and nature, though separated from God by self and sin. This oneness of nature between the Divine and the Human does not lower the concept of God by bringing it nearer to the level of humanity: on the contrary, it raises the old concept of man, and brings it nearer to its true ideal. ”

Berkhof shines more light on the philosophical antecedents of Kenosis when he writes: “The theory is based on the pantheistic conception that God and man are not so absolutely different but that the one can be transformed into the other. The Hegelian idea of becoming is applied to God, and the absolute line of demarcation is obliterated.”18 The theologians who concocted this heresy were German scholars steeped in the insidious philosophy of Hegel, the forerunner of both communism and fascism.”

” Menken’s Pietism abandoned the traditional emphasis on the doctrine of original sin as the imputation of Adam’s guilt to his descendants, and taught only that all human beings inherit the tendency to sin. Inasmuch as sin became less radical in its effects, a less radical salvation was required, and Christology underwent a certain modification. Menken interpreted the concept of self-emptying, or kenosis, in the Epistle of Philippians in terms of a complete laying aside by Christ of his divine attributes…Menken’s kenotic ideas were carried further by Gottfried Thomasius (1802-1875)…(Thomasisus) taught that the divine Logos laid aside all of the attributes of deity incompatible with humanity, especially his omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. This view was developed by Bishop Hans Martensen…(this) new kenotic theory appears to apply to deity the limitations of humanity. Rather than stressing that God became incarnate in one man, Jesus Christ, with all of the conceptual problems such a doctrine brings, this new view suggested a kind of dialectical humanization of God…”

My point ? The NAR and its “theologians” have more in common with Max Muller, Hegel, and Thomasius than the Bible. The image of God is being perverted and the image of man is being exalted. Those connected to the NAR, whether it’s Bill Johnson or Harold Eberle, MUST answer these issues.

Church – speak out and demand change and call for repentance before it is too late !!

 

 

Jesus Christ Lord God Almighty

A Creed of Christ’s Pre-eminence  by Bishop H.G.C. Moule  Colossians 1:15-17 Meditate on His Greatness

Who is image of God,

 the Unseen God;

 whether in the heavenly world,

or in ours,

 it is in Him that the Father is beheld as He is;

 Firstborn over all creation,

 Himself

 “not created but begotten”,

 the SON,

 the HEIR of all things,

and thus eternally antecedent to all contingent and created being;

 as is seen when we ponder His relation to it;

 because in Him were created,

constituted in existence,

 all things that are-yes,

 “in Him,”

as the Effect is in its Cause;

 in Him lay eternally the power and the law

 of their becoming and being;

all things, I say, in the heavens and on the earth,

 that is to say,

 in all regions of created existence,

the visible things and the invisible,

 alike worlds and personalities,

and now particularly the personalities of the superhuman sphere,

whether thrones, or lordships,

 or governments, or authorities,

whatever be the ranks and orders of the hierarchy of the Unseen,

and whether they be the powers who stood,

or the powers who fell from “their first estate”;

 all things that are stand created,

constituted in existence,

by means of Him as the sublime Agent of the Father,

and unto Him

so that their final cause is to serve His will,

 to contribute to His glory;

 He who is their Creator is also their Goal.

 Their whole being willingly or unwillingly, moves that way-to Him;

 whether, as His blissful servants, they shall be as it were His throne;

 or, as His stricken enemies, “His footstool.”

And He,

He in emphasis ,

 is before all things;

 IS,

 not only was;

with a being before because above all time;

 and these “all things” in Him are held together;

 He is not their Cause only, in an initial sense;

 He is forever their Bond,

their Order,

their Law,

the ultimate Secret which makes the whole Universe,

 seen and unseen,

 a Cosmos,

not a Chaos.

 

An expanded translation/version by H.C.G. Moule D.D. Cambridge University

Jonathan Welton and Preterism… Making the Bible Great Again ?

The  following is from Understanding The Whole Bible by Dr. Jonathan Welton (from pages 431-434)

What do you think ?

What spirit is behind this ?

Is he truly making the Bible great again ?

 

“Heaven certainly exists as the abode of God and believers after death (and after the future final return of Christ). Yet this passage does not describe only something in eternity but something we can experience right now. It is the “age to come” the Jews believed would replace the present evil age. Following are nine evidences that Revelation 21-22 is not a description of heaven but a description of the new covenant world:

  1. The water of life (see Rev. 22:1). This represents God’s offer of salvation.  Jesus spoke about it in John 4 with the woman at the well.  He also spoke about it at the feast in John 7.  We are invited to come to Him and drink.
  2. The twelve foundations with the apostles’ name written on them (see Rev. 21:14).  Paul also wrote of the Church being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets in Ephesians 2:20.  That is not just for the future but for the present.
  3. The heavenly Jerusalem as a cube (see Rev. 21:16).  The city is described as a cube, with each side measuring 1,200 stadia, which in modern terms is approximately 1,400 miles.  If we were to measure from Rome to Jerusalem from the East to the West and from the northern edge to the southern edge of the Roman Empire of that day, it would add up to 1,400 miles by 1,400 miles, with the Isle of Patmos exactly at the center of that measurement. 99 So the world of the new covenant at the time was 1,400 miles by 1,400 (or 1,200 stadia), with John on the isle right in the center of the whole thing.  Is also stretches out toward heaven, which makes it a cube.
  4. The absence of the temple in the New Jerusalem (see Rev. 21:22). The temple does not exist in the New Jerusalem because the work of the cross has removed the need for the previous temple.   We are now temples, according to First Corinthians 3 and 6.
  5. The nations will walk by its light (see Rev. 21:24). This suggests that nations still exist as separate national entities, which leads us to conclude that this is a present condition, not the eternal, heavenly condition.  Jesus also referred to the Church as “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).
  6. The gates never close (see Rev. 21:25).  This illustrates the present ongoing work of evangelism.
  7. The unclean practice abomination and lying (see Rev. 21:27). Here again we see evidence of pre-final judgment setting.  Heaven will not include people of this sort.
  8. The tree of life has leaves for the leading of the nations (see Rev. 22:1-2).  This statement indicates the nations have not yet been healed.
  9. Sorcerers, immoral people, murderers, idolaters, and those who love and practice lying are outside the gates (see Rev. 22:15).  These people are right outside the open gates and may come in at any time.  This shows our present reality, not life after the final judgement.  Following the final judgement, these people will be sent to the lake of fire.  But that is not the picture we see here.  Instead, right outside our open gates live all kinds of scoundrels, and the doors remain open so they can come in at any time.

What we see described in Revelation 21-22 is the new covenant world, with the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, the new heaven, and the new earth, and the new temple.  All of these describe the new covenant world we live in right now.

The fact that Revelation describes events that happened in the past does not make it less relevant for us. After all, the other historical stories of the Bible-such as Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection- still have relevance for us these many years later. The Bible is full of relevant information for us, even if most of it is not in our future. The relevance does not change just because Jesus’ prophecies have already been fulfilled. The opposite is true. We get to live in the wonderful result of those fulfilled prophecies-the new covenant world with an open door to salvation that all may enter.”

Partial Preterism Virus (Raptureless Again)

“So many have held up persecution as a saintly quality in the Christian’s life, but let’s think about it in light of the growth of the Kingdom of God. If our prayers are effective and if Jesus is answering them, then this world will become “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10), which would certainly include a lack of persecution. We can pretty safely assume no Christians are being persecuted in Heaven.  Logically, if the Lord’s Prayer is being progressively answered, the outcome should be that earth becomes more and more like Heaven.  Thus, the more the Kingdom expands on this earth and the saints mature into their calling as ambassadors of that Kingdom, the less persecution Christians should face. “

From Raptureless Third Edition (pp 181-182) by Dr. Jonathan Welton

I had written pages about the pride that exudes from this paragraph….and about the connection between the “heaven to earth” message and partial preterism (and for that matter NAR/Kingdom Now/Dominionism) but something came across my desk that I wish to share instead….

“This week, Hungary, which has during the past year come under pressure for its handling of Europe’s mass migration crisis, has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.

Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four of them are Christians,” Catholic News Agency (CNA) quoted Hungary’s Minister for Human Capacities, Zoltan Balog, as saying. “In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.” (http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/hungary-opens-first-ever-office-to-tackle-christian-persecution.html)

This virus of pride, delusion, and philosophy is spreading.

Do you see what it leads to?

Do you see what it denies?

Partial Preterism is a Virus; The Raptureless Strain

Here is an example of partial preterist teaching.  This virus is running rampant in many popular churches.  The following is  from the book Raptureless by Jonathan Welton. Words in bold are Dr. Welton’s. ”

 

“Many Bible verses speak of the early Church’s experience of persecution, but we must be careful to read these verses in their historical context.  We must not apply the historical reality that they faced to all generations, for all time.  Following are some passages that speak of persecution:

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt 5:10-12)

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:43)

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do (Luke 12:4)

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.” (John 15:18-25)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”(Acts 5:40-41)

We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22)

“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2  Timothy 3:10-13)

This passage could easily be misinterpreted as applying to all Christians for all time.  However, the context is clearly the last days of Jerusalem (AD30-70), as Second Timothy 3:1, nine verses earlier, makes obvious.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2)

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (1 Peter 1:6)

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12)

When considered in their historical context and with the understanding that most of the “endtimes” events prophesied in the Bible happened in AD 70, we can see that these verses were written regarding only the earliest period of Church history (AD 30-70)….

The New Testament was written regarding first-century realities.  It does not teach an expectation that all Christians are to suffer persecution for all time.  Even Jesus wasn’t persecuted as much as some with the persecution mindset say Christians should be…

Jesus was beloved of sinners, and even the government leaders found no fault in Him (see Matt. 27:23-24)…..”

Chapter Points

The New Testament verses about persecution applied to specific people and circumstances historically, and they are not to be read as statements that apply to all people for all time.

In their historical context, these verses tell us about the intense persecution Christians faced leading up to the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.

Though persecution has always existed, we should not expect it, call it evidence of the radical Christian life, or believe it is the “seed bed” of Christianity.

Much of the persecution that Jesus and the early Church experience happened at the hands of the religious leaders.

When Jesus said to deny yourself, He was talking to potential converts (not believers), telling them about the cost of being His followers and the scorn it would bring upon them in that day.

Taken from pages 177-182 Raptureless Third Edition by Jonathan Welton

Do you see it ?

Does this bother anyone else ?

The more I investigate preterism….the more I see how destructive it is to the very foundations of the faith.  It is a virus that eats away at the Word of God and the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  It minimizes the nature of the Word and exalts the mind of man. We need to start holding these teachers and supporters of preterism accountable for their man-centered philosophies and intellectual exercises. Do you agree ?