Today few Christians take the time to ask what their end time beliefs are based on. As they watch their leaders stressing over the identity of a future antichrist, Christians don’t ask, “Why does everyone think an antichrist is coming?” Instead they say, “Gee, the antichrist is coming. I’d better be on my guard.” But no, all of this hoopla over an antichrist is a colossal waste of time because the antichrist being described in Revelation was a specific Roman emperor who has been dead for centuries. Because you aren’t stopping to ask why all of your leaders have decided an antichrist is on his way, you just hop aboard their train of fear and you get all anxious whenever some politician with a sour disposition gets promoted to a high office somewhere.
Today the usual crop of Christian prophet posers are all going spastic over what will happen to Israel when the guy who they think is about to be the American president gets into office. But why are Christian leaders so obsessed with Israel? She’s just one of many nations. If you live in Israel, then naturally you’d be interested in her politics. But if you don’t live in Israel, then why are you talking like that tiny dot of a country is the most important nation in the world? Do you understand why Christian leaders today are so off on Israel? It has to do with how they are interpreting the book of Revelation. They’re interpreting it all wrong, of course, but do you ever stop to consider this possibility before you just hop aboard the pro-Israel train?
If you’re like most Christians, you don’t think, you just believe whatever rubbish gets thrown at you. If your leaders label some human as the antichrist, then you fear him. If they call the man a savior, then you love him. You don’t think for yourself, and you don’t ever ask God for His input—you just hand your brain over to some irreverent fool who can’t tell the difference between his own indigestion and a Divine revelation. If you go into the end times with this kind of approach, you’re going to end up on the wrong side of God’s wrath. To help you stop revering people who are shamelessly manipulating you, we’re now going to explain why so many Christian leaders are singing the same wrong song about the end times. And—as is so often the case—the trouble begins with the Church’s idolatrous love affair with a book.
For centuries, the Church has relied on the Bible to shape her expectations about the end times. Is this a smart choice? No, because the Bible doesn’t address the concept of the real end times. Suppose you want to take a drive through the state of California, so you go out and buy a road map for the state of Texas. Then you get in your car and start to drive. How well is this system going to work? Not well at all, because you’re using the wrong map. For a fellow who wants to drive through Texas, your map is quite handy. The map has great value when it’s used in the right context, but when you use it in the wrong context, all you do is end up confused.
Now in this metaphorical situation, how long is it going to take you to admit that you’re using the wrong map? Suppose you refused to admit this? Suppose you insisted that your road map of Texas was intended for use in California? How can you even make yourself believe such a nutty theory? It would take a whole lot of denial and some pretty absurd games. You could tell yourself that your map really is describing California roads, only it’s in code. Then you could spend countless hours trying to crack the code to figure out which road on the map of Texas really represents the road that you’re driving on in California. But why would you want to play such an absurd game? No matter what you tell yourself, your map of Texas will always be of Texas—it’s never going to morph into a map of California. As long as you refuse to face this reality, you’re going to remain very confused, and you’re going to waste a ton of time and energy trying to crack a code that doesn’t exist.
This hopeless situation is where the Church is at today regarding the end times. None of the information in your modern Christian Bible was ever intended to be used as a guide for the real end times. But today the Church insists that the Bible is meant to be used this way. She opens up the book of Revelation and insists that the whole thing is a clever, coded message for us modern day believers. She then spends vast amounts of time and resources trying to crack a code that doesn’t exist. What modern day leader does 666 refer to? Who is the modern parallel to the famous beast and antichrist? What about Gog, Magog and Babylon? Surely these must be sly references to modern day nations. This is what the Church says, and yet she’s utterly delusional, because Revelation isn’t really some clever coded message.
Suppose your aunt sends you an email about how to bake a cake, but we intercept that email and insist that your aunt was really sending you instructions on how to build a bomb. To make our accusation fly, we’d have to come up with some pretty ridiculous lies, many of which really wouldn’t sound right. When your aunt tells you to use “2 cups of flour,” we try to say that she’s telling you to use 2 packs of dynamite. Who would believe our absurd claims? Only people who really need our accusation that your aunt was sending you bomb instructions to be true.
Today Christians are taught to view themselves as desperately depending on the Bible to guide them in spiritual matters. Not just some spiritual matters—but all matters. While Christian leaders take every opportunity to undermine your confidence in God’s willingness to personally lead you in life, they teach you that your Bible is the only hope you have of understanding God’s will for your life. Once you accept such a destructive lie, then of course you’re going to cling to the book as your spiritual lifeline. And once you get into that mentality, you’ll need to believe that the book addresses every topic that you need it to address. The concept of God shutting down the planet is a pretty frightening idea. Where would we be if the Bible didn’t address such a serious matter? The Bible must address it, because it’s not like we could ever count on God to supply us with help should it turn out that the end times really were to start in our lifetimes. God is useless—the Church accepted that theory long ago—therefore she insists that we must find some other source of guidance which we can rely on.
This is the mentality that fuels the Church’s insistence that the Bible addresses the real end times. Since she has no faith in God Himself to guide her, the Church has decided she must come up with her own source of guidance. So when she opens up the Gospel books and finds Jesus talking to a few Jewish men 2,000 years ago about the end of the world, she decides that whatever Jesus said to them must apply to modern day believers as well. And yet what kind of absurd logic is this? Since when are the ancient Jews the only people God has ever spoken to? Since when is God such an indifferent Creator that He wouldn’t bother to give humans a heads up when something as epic as the end of the world is about to begin? Doesn’t God want us to succeed with Him? Yes, He does. And doesn’t He understand how frail, ignorant, and easily confused we are? Of course He does, which is why He is talking to us about the real end times now that they are finally going to happen. And when He tells us about them, He doesn’t just quote a bunch of irrelevant verses from the Bible. Instead, He speaks to us plainly in ways that we can understand. He describes actual events that are really going to happen—He doesn’t just wax on with metaphorical imagery that we’re bound to misinterpret. You see, God is far more helpful than the Church makes Him out to be. He hasn’t just abandoned us with some pile of old documents and gone off to have lunch in another universe.
The Bible doesn’t come close to being all you need to understand who God is and what He wants from you. The Bible was never intended to be the glue that holds you and God together. Is it useful? Certainly. Can it be a big help to you in your personal walk with God? Yes, at certain times, if He should choose to use it that way. But if you never read the Bible, you wouldn’t be at some terrible disadvantage.
When the Church tells you that you can’t get far with God without reading the Bible, that’s like you telling a married couple that they can’t possibly make their relationship last unless they constantly read books about how to handle married life. In this world, plenty of people read self-help books about relationships only to remain terrible at relating. Others develop very good relationship skills without ever reading a single book on the topic. You see, doing a relationship is quite different than just reading about it. You can memorize a lot of great quotes and guiding principles, but all of that head knowledge won’t do you any good unless you learn how to properly apply it. At the same time, there are a thousand ways that God can teach you something—He isn’t limited to only being able to teach you through reading. In this world, plenty of humans are maturing without the help of any reading materials because God is coaching them in other ways. At the same time, many humans are absorbing a lot of good information through books only to remain stalled in immature stagnation.
Your relationship with God is a relationship—it’s not an accumulation of head knowledge. To get somewhere with God you need to personally interact with Him, not just read material that other humans associate with Him. You also need to start treating God like a God—and that means acknowledging that the same Being who is capable of creating whole universes is quite capable of teaching you without the aid of the Bible. When you have a problem with God, you need to talk to Him directly, not just read ancient documents in which He’s talking to other people. You need to be putting your faith in God Himself—not in the accuracy of a book or in the reliability of human teachers. What the Bible does or doesn’t say or what your pastor personally believes isn’t what matters: what matters is what is going on between your soul and God. Reading the Bible isn’t going to magically morph you into a mature Christian. Spiritual maturity is acquired through engaging with God Himself: through being honest with Him and being willing to wrestle through your many doubts about who He is and how He views you. It’s God who you’re supposed to be pursuing in life, not extensive knowledge of the Bible or the approval of the Church.
So then, if it’s really true that God has chosen to have you alive on the planet when the end times begin, what should you make of that? Should you view it as some fluke or rotten luck? No, you should view it as a very intentional act on God’s part and a very personal invitation from Him to you. We all have different experiences in life, but sometimes God arranges for large numbers of us to go through an experience which is particularly intense and traumatic. Consider the millions of folks who ended up as prisoners in Nazi concentration camps during World War 2. That was a very unique situation: it’s not every day that such imprisonment occurs on such a massive scale. It’s not every day that so many nations in the world are engaged in the same war.
Each chapter of human history has different challenges, and when God places us on this planet is just as critical as where He places us. Those who lived through America’s Great Depression had a different experience of life than those who participated in her Civil War. Each chapter has its own challenges, and yet every challenge is an exciting opportunity for growth. Once the end times begin, many of us will find ourselves suddenly getting thrust into a new kind of challenging situation. As the end times drag on, more and more of us will get pulled into that same situation until the entire world is involved. What will you personally get out of the end times? Will you thrive or will you languish? Will you pursue opportunities for growth or will you just sit around griping about what’s going wrong?
As horrendous as the Nazi concentration camps were, not all of the survivors came crawling out as broken, bitter people. Those who made wise spiritual choices in the midst of their trauma actually came out better for having gone through the whole ordeal. No matter how grim a situation is, there are always ways to spiritually benefit from it, and we can count on God to lead us towards those positive gains when we are willing to embrace His priorities for us. In your life, God is constantly leading you in very direct, personal ways—He’s not refusing to talk to you until you crack open your Bible. Asking Him to help you get better at recognizing His leading in your life is a much more useful prayer than asking Him to help you decipher Bible codes that don’t exist.
THE MILLENNIAL REIGN
Now if we look back over centuries of Christians arguing about how to interpret biblical teaching about the end times, we can see that most of the theories fall into one of four main camps. Christian theologians have assigned very long names to each of these four camps, and the names can sound intimidating. To understand where the fancy terminology comes from, you have to start with one particular teaching from the book of Revelation: that of a millennial reign of Christ.
There are many concepts in Revelation—things like the antichrist and 666—which Christians have chosen to especially obsess over. One of these concepts is the famous millennial reign of Christ. This concept comes from Revelation 20, where we find John describing a series of visions that he had:
Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of Yahweh. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of Yahweh and of Christ and will reign with Him a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4-6)
So what we have here is a bunch of Christian martyrs suddenly rising from the dead and getting to reign with Jesus over the world for 1,000 years. During this 1,000 year period, this special group of favored humans gets to play the part of little kings in Heaven. They’re co-ruling with Christ. They get to judge everyone else. They each have their own thrones in Heaven, and they get to really bask in the glory for 1,000 years until their time of exaltation finally ends and Christ decides to deal with the rest of the dead.
Now imagine that you decide to obsess over this one passage of Revelation. You’re so obsessed that whenever you talk to other Christians about their view of Revelation, the first thing you ask is: “How do you interpret that passage about the 1,000 year reign? Do you think it’s literally going to happen? When do you think it’s going to happen?” Over time, you find that people give you the same four answers, so you decide to name their whole view of Revelation based on how they respond to your question about the 1,000 reign. This is what happened in real life: Christian theologians decided to name the four main interpretations of Revelation based on how people interpret the 1,000 year reign passage. It’s this obsession with the millennial reign that has resulted in such long titles for the four most common interpretations of Revelation.
In English, when you put an a on the front of a word, you mean “no” or “not.” The term atypical means not typical. In the same way, the amillennialism interpretation of Revelation says that there will be no millennial reign. Instead, it interprets the 1,000 year reign described in Revelation 20 as metaphorical imagery which really refers to Christ reigning in the hearts of His followers. In other words, the “millennial” period began with the first Christian, and it’s still going on today. But wait—John saw folks who were ruling from heavenly thrones, and today we Christians aren’t ruling over anyone. And what John saw in Revelation was not all believers reigning, but only some of them—just the folks who had been beheaded for promoting Christ and Yahweh in the anti-Christian climate of the Roman Empire under Emperor Domitian. Look at this very specific description:
And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of Yahweh. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were completed. (Rev. 20:4-5)
So according to this, you have to get your head chopped off to receive an invite to this heavenly exaltation of martyrs. It’s quite significant that John should be this specific, because he lived in a time when the Romans were employing a variety of execution methods, with crucifixion being one of the most gruesome. Once you’ve personally witnessed beheading and crucifixion, you don’t get these two methods confused with each other. They are radically different experiences, and because of this, we can’t reasonably argue that John meant “all martyrs” when he made a point to use the term “beheaded.” John’s wording forces us to conclude that he saw only beheaded martyrs who had refused to publicly waver in their loyalty to Christ get invited to reign during the 1,000 years. And notice how John says that “the rest of the dead” were left to rot in the dirt until after the headless crew were done basking in glory. You shouldn’t just gloss over these kinds of details, because they are vital to you interpreting Revelation correctly.
Let’s now practice some discernment by thinking about what this imagery is implying about God. According to what John saw in Revelation 20, God is less pleased with martyrs who died with their heads on than He is with those who had their heads removed. Of course getting beheaded is a much better way to die than getting crucified. So are we really to conclude that God ignored those who suffered more hideously for His sake while He favored those whose deaths were swift? And since martyrs rarely get a say in how they are executed, what we have here is a picture of God rewarding certain souls for things which they had no say about. Well, that’s as ludicrous as saying that God rewards people just for being of Jewish ethnicity when He knows that they had no control over what chromosomes they would receive. Oh wait—Revelation does depict ethnic Jews as being more favored by God than non-Jews. In fact, the Revelation Heaven is one big shrine to the Jewish ethnicity. Does this sound right to you? It shouldn’t.
Suppose your friend Sam is always talking about how much he loves being a dad and how glad he is that he has both sons and daughters. You and Sam work together, and Sam is always telling you stories about adventures he’s had with all of his kids. You can’t count how many times Sam has said, “I just love the variety, you know? Having both sons and daughters—it’s so great.” But then one day a new coworker says to Sam, “Sons are better than daughters, don’t you think?” Much to your surprise, Sam says, “Oh, yes, sons are the best. I wish all my kids were boys, but I’m stuck with some girls, so what can a guy do?” What would you make of Sam making such a comment? Because you know Sam personally, you know that this really isn’t how he feels. He’s clearly lying to the new coworker and just telling the man what he wants to hear instead of telling him the truth.
To properly interpret Revelation or any other book in the Bible, you have to go into it understanding a few basic facts about God. God loves all people. He delights in variety. He does not accept or reject people based on earthsuit characteristics—things like gender, skin color or ethnicity. He judges us by our soul’s response to Him—not by our earthly circumstances or by how other people attack our earthsuits. Once you understand these basics facts about God, it should become quite obvious that God is not telling John the way things really are in Revelation. Instead, He’s just telling John things that He knows John wants to hear.
THE IMMATURITY OF JOHN
The apostle John wrote Revelation after he wrote the epistle of 1 John. In 1 John what we find is an apostle whose ego had completely run amuck. John declares himself to be personally inerrant and sinless in 1 John. He promotes himself as being loyal to Christ at the same time as he says no true Christian could even desire to sin (see Salvation According to 1 John). Then he instructs people that if they want to be able to tell truth from lies, it’s simple: anyone who disagrees with John and his fellow apostles is an obvious liar (see Spiritual Discernment According to John). You have to understand what a pompous fool John had become by the time he received the Revelation visions. This man was nowhere near spiritually mature. Instead, it seems all of his years of being worshiped as a miracle performing apostle had gone to his head.
Back in the Gospel books, we read that John and his brother James were so greedy for power that they tried to get Jesus to promise them the seats of highest honor in His kingdom.
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to Him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want You to do us a favor.”
“What is your request?” He asked.
They replied, “When You sit on Your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to You, one on Your right and the other on Your left.” (Mk. 10:35-37)
This was in the days when human kings sat on royal thrones in glorious royal palaces. Often those kings had absolute power, so to be invited to sit beside their throne was a great privilege, and such seats were reserved for the most powerful officials in the king’s government. James and John are not just asking to share the spotlight with Jesus, they’re asking to rule with Him. They’re asking for the highest positions of power that they can imagine being available to humans on the other side. Some favor.
The fact that John made this request of Jesus demonstrated a major lack of humility plus a lack of respect for who Jesus was. A good servant waits for his master to promote him, he doesn’t try to claim dibs on the master’s stuff while his fellow servants are distracted.
Now we all start off immature, but after several decades, we’d like to see some indication that John made some progress in his own character development. What we find instead is a bunch of arrogance permeating his writings. In his own gospel book, John pompously refers only to himself as “the one who Jesus loved,” while referring to everyone else by their regular names. Then in 1 John, we find John exalting himself as an inerrant wellspring of truth who only the servants of Satan would dare to oppose. Then we come to Revelation: a book in which Yahweh and Jesus spend a lot of time telling John what They know John wants to hear. Beheaded martyrs reigning in glory while everyone else is stuck in the dirt? John would be all over that imagery. At the time John received the Revelation visions, he had been exiled to a Roman prison island called Patmos. Getting beheaded would have felt like a very real possibility for him, so Jesus and Yahweh showed John imagery of beheaded Christians getting extra privileges in Heaven. The imagery of getting to co-reign with Christ for 1,000 years perfectly fits with John’s lifelong lust for power and an extra helping of glory on the other side. And of course John wants to imagine that he’ll judge other humans—he’s already judging them in his writings by clearly defining who belongs to God and who is just a child of the devil.
It’s because They know that John personally views himself as sinless that Jesus and Yahweh depict only the sinless getting into Heaven in Revelation. It’s because They know that John thinks ethnic Jews are superior to all other people that They show ethnic Jews getting special attention in Heaven. It’s because They know that John thinks he’s playing some critical role in saving the world that They show John a picture of his own name inscribed on one of Heaven’s foundation stones—the clear message being that John helped build the place. You see, Revelation isn’t within a million miles of trying to literally depict anyone’s future—not John’s, and certainly not ours. Instead, it uses the concepts of Rome falling and the world ending as a context to teach many important spiritual lessons. Its main lesson has nothing to do with prophecy, and everything to do with the woes of making the kinds of choices that the apostle John did. When we decide that we are perfect in God’s sight, and when we declare ourselves deserving of the greatest glory on the other side, we end up discovering the terrible truth of Jesus’ warning that “the first will be last” (see Applying Revelation: Its Warning for Modern Day Believers).
FOUR VIEWS OF REVELATION
Now of course no one today is going to face what’s really going on in Revelation. So instead Christian “experts” tell you that the whole thing is some vital prophecy about what’s coming in your personal future, then they send you down some road of foolishness as they try to force symbolic imagery to have relevance for modern day Christians. The amillennialism folks tell you that Revelation 20 was a sly reference to Christ reigning in the hearts of His followers, even though this is utterly absurd.
Postmillennialism is a second way to interpret Revelation. This group says that the 1,000 year reign in Revelation 20 is really referring to a period of peace that will occur after the Gospel reaches all people. Talk about stretching things to the point of ridiculous. Revelation 20 doesn’t have bumpkus to do with the spread of the Gospel—it’s about beheaded Christians getting to act like little kings over everyone else.
Historical premillennialism is a third view which says that first there will be a terrible tribulation, then Christ will return and reign over the world for 1,000 years. This view was the popular one in the early days of the Church, which makes sense, since back then many folks were expecting John’s visions to be literally fulfilled.
After historical premillennialism (HP) came postmillennialism (PM), followed by amillennialism (AM). As more time passed without the predictions in Revelation coming true, people kept stretching their imaginations about how else the book could be interpreted. The important point for you to understand is that the way Revelation is being interpreted today is not how it’s always been interpreted. It wasn’t until around 1860 that dispensational premillennialism (DP) began, and this is the view that’s being promoted today in books and movies about the end times. This fourth theory really departs from the other three in that it is the only theory to say that the modern nation of Israel is going to be a significant player in the end times. DP is also the only theory which views the rapture as a separate event which happens years before the Second Coming of Christ.
According to DP, a period of terrible tribulation is coming which will last 7 years. The rapture will either occur just before the tribulation starts (a pre-tribulation rapture) or it will occur halfway through (a mid-tribulation rapture). Either way, Christians will get an early ticket out of here while everyone else has to grind through the rest of the tribulation. After the tribulation is complete, Christ will return in His famous Second Coming, and He will then reign over this world for 1,000 years. So according to DP, there will be a literal 1,000 year reign, but not until after a rapture, a tribulation, and the Second Coming.
So which of these theories do we personally align with? None of them. We’re not basing our end time teaching on the Bible, but on new information which God is providing to modern day people about what they should expect in their modern day lives.
DP’s OBSESSION WITH ISRAEL
Now the DP group says that God is going to expand the modern nation of Israel’s territory to match the region of land that King Solomon ruled over at the height of his reign. Why choose Solomon? Because Solomon’s kingdom was the largest in Israel’s history. Solomon was Israel’s third king, and he benefited from a bunch of territory seizing that happened under his father David’s reign. After Solomon’s reign, God split Israel into two warring kingdoms and that was the end of her glory days. Of course things would have gone differently, had the Jews decided to not continuously rebel against Yahweh. But since she couldn’t be bothered to respect Him, He refused to make her nation thrive.
If you’re going to have a God-honoring attitude about Israel, you need to get a few facts straight in your head. First, there was no rule that said God had to hand the Jews a bunch of territory. He decided to do that voluntarily. He also said from the beginning that the land was His property and that the Jews were just tenants who He was letting use the land. He also said that He’d take the land away if they were punks to Him…which they were…but of course no one wants to talk about how things really rolled out between Yahweh and Israel in the Old Testament.
Today you hear incessant whining from both ethnic Jews and Christians about how Israel has a Divine right to occupy certain territory. But does she? No, she doesn’t. In the same Scriptures which everyone is using to try and defend Israel’s right to land, we find Yahweh saying over and over again that He is going to rip Israel’s inheritance away from her and plague her with problems if she doesn’t respect Him. Does Israel respect Yahweh today? Not hardly, hence she’s having endless problems. You see, it really doesn’t work to try and use the Bible to argue that Israel is entitled to land, because this is not what the Bible says. Instead, according to the terms of the Old Covenant (which is the same Covenant that modern followers of Judaism claim to be living by), Israel should be a persecuted mess due to her foul attitude towards Yahweh. But according to the New Covenant (which is what Christians claim to be living by), the Old Covenant has been thrown out, along with the whole concept of Yahweh favoring one particular nation. Under the New Covenant, we’re supposed to be worshiping Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and we’re supposed to be viewing all ethnicities and nations as equal in God’s eyes. This really isn’t a shocking change—even under the Old Covenant, Yahweh said all ethnicities were welcome to come to Him. You only think He loved the Jews more than everyone else because of the way the Jews so intentionally ignored Yahweh’s command to treat all people the way they’d want to be treated.
Today the modern Christian views Yahweh as some kind of racist who thinks Israel is the best nation in the world. Well, no, He doesn’t, and if we were to actually read our Bibles instead of just quoting a handful of verses out of context, we’d learn that Yahweh has never held the attitudes that we imagine Him having today. When you rely on humans and historical documents to shape your view of God instead of talking to God directly, you’re guaranteed to end up with a warped view of reality.
Now today you’re taught to blow off Israel’s long history of spitting in God’s face and celebrate her entitled attitude as a wonderful thing. Even though Yahweh has thrown out the Old Covenant and the whole concept of Him favoring a particular nation on earth, today you’re taught to get all bossy with God and act like He can’t take His own property back from humans who are trying to use Him as an excuse to trash others. Today you’re taught to cheer if an Israeli soldier carpet bombs some other nation who is infringing on Israel’s so-called “inheritance.” Today you’re taught to be all for ethnic Jews treating non-Jews like sub-humans while you act like the troubles of an ethnic Jew are far more important than the troubles of a non-Jew. Well, no, this whole mentality is garbage. God commands us to love all people, not just some people. He calls us to treat others as we’d want to be treated. Do you want to be carpet bombed? Do you want to have your home ripped away from you because someone is claiming Divine rights to your land? Do you think it’s right that the Church is promoting racial attitudes and acting like any carnal agenda or atrocious crime is perfectly okay as long as an ethnic Jew is the one doing it?
Ethnic Jews have never had the corner market on suffering in this world—some of them just think they do because they’re so used to discounting everyone else’s problems. But the truth is that plenty of non-Jewish ethnicities have been the targets of systematic extermination efforts, racism, territorial invasions, and tyrannical rulers. The point is that when you accept a dispensational premillennial interpretation of Revelation, you end up embracing a lot of the rotten attitudes that come with that package, many of which come from the belief that ethnic Jews are God’s favorite people. Your rotten attitudes then end up getting you in trouble with God, which is why it’s time for you to ask God what He thinks of dispensational premillennialism.
Now once you decide that Israel taking over a certain amount of territory is a key sign of the end times, then it’s a huge deal for you that Israel became a modern state in 1948. If you’ve been wondering why so many Christian leaders can’t give it a rest with maps that show Israel slowly expanding her borders, you now understand why they’re so obsessed: they’re dispensational premillennialists. To them, Israel ripping land away from others is a sign that we’re all inching closer to the return of Christ, therefore we Christians should be all for Israel kicking other nations in the head at every opportunity. Oh, but wait, no we shouldn’t, because despite Israel’s lust for more land, God commands us to love all people, and that really doesn’t leave any room for us to be promoting racist attitudes. The next time you hear Christian leaders telling you how you ought to view some new agenda that Israel has come up with, remember that there are two sides to every story and ask God what He thinks of the situation. Politics are messy, military ventures are often motivated by carnal agendas, and every nation on the planet has done their share of jerky things.
Today scores of Christian prophets are eagerly anticipating how a change in the American presidency will result in a stronger bond between America and Israel. And yet why are so many Christians invested in America supporting Israel? Well, once you decide that Israel is God’s favorite child, you figure that by snuggling up to her, you’ll get blessed by association. It is a greedy lust for Divine goodies that is motivating so many Christians to support every plan Israel cooks up, without giving any thought as to what God thinks. Of course our carnal reasons for fawning over Israel are not missed by God. Meanwhile, both Israel and America are doing an abominable job of respecting God, so how stupid are we to imagine that He’s viewing either nation as deserving of some great reward? As Israel chucks mud in God’s face, America gets in line and says, “We’re with her!” and vice versa. And then both of us demand to be rewarded for our behavior. Are you seeing the problem with claiming to be pro-Israel for God’s sake? Pleasing God has nothing to do with it—you’re just trying to personally profit from some ancient promises that you’ve decided are still active.
When you put your faith in the things false prophets say, you only end up in trouble with God. Without bothering to appreciate the complexity of the carnal mess that is going on between Israel and her neighbors, Christian leaders swiftly condemn anyone who refuses to blindly support everything Israel tries to do. And yet blindly supporting humans is never a wise choice. If we were serious about pleasing God, we would be asking Him to guide our political views. We would stop trying to use statements He made in the past to control His behavior today, and we’d remember that as God, He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants without any permission slip from us.
It’s a privilege when God gives us a heads up about upsetting things that He’s about to do. Today He is generously giving us warnings about what the real end times will be like. It won’t be at all like we’re expecting—and if we know God, we shouldn’t find this unusual. God likes to surprise us—especially when we get cocky about being able to predict His next move. No one can predict God. We can only be humbly grateful for any advance warning He gives us, and use those warnings as guidelines for how we can please Him with our response to His actions. It is pleasing God that matters—not seeing glimpses of the future or being able to say “I told you so.” Prophecy will never help us until we get our priorities right, and once we are living for the right priorities, our obsession with prophetic messages will cease.
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Navigating the End Times Without the Bible: Yes, It Can Be Done
Correcting Your End Time Theology: Revering the God of Satan
Christian Prophets Explain the Mechanics of Prophecy: Don’t Just Believe What We Say