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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crucial Theology for Critical Times

Excerpts from Millennial Eschatology  by: Ron Merryman
The economic apocalypse in 2008 that collapsed banking systems and markets worldwide also prompted Americans to elect an administration that instituted a New Era of centralized power and big government.  After the election, the headline on Newsweek’s front cover (Feb. 26, 2009) read in 72-point Roman bold, WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW: The Perils & Promises of the New Era of Big Government!
        Western Civilization is moving toward a new world order.  Samuel P. Huntington, famous Harvard scholar with a remarkable grasp of contemporary global politics, wrote a classic on the subject in 1996 titled: The Clash of Civilizations & the Remaking of World Order.  What secularists like Huntington fail to recognize is that all such movements are simply preludes to that one world government of the Antichrist predicted in God’s Word.  But there is that which triumphs over the pseudo-kingdom promises of the Antichrist: indeed, it is the triumphant Mediatorial-Millennial Kingdom of our Lord, and is the subject of this book.
        It is time for Christians to wake up to biblical eschatology!  Christ’s Kingdom has too long been spiritualized and/or ignored.  The church has too long ignored or spiritualized the multitude of scriptural emphases on this subject.  There is more in prophetic Scripture on the triumphant mediatorial kingdom of Messiah than on any other subject!  We can thank Augustine of Hippo for spiritualizing Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom, the medieval Romanism for popularizing Augustine’s amillennialism, and the Reformers for not correcting the error; but dispensationalists are partially responsible for the current ignorance.
        Our emphasis is on the church and its eschatology, despite the fact that the predominance of eschatological Scripture is upon Messiah’s triumphant Kingdom as it relates to Himself and to Israel.  Perhaps, the stresses engulfing each of us in these perilous economic times will stimulate our appetites for these truths.
        The church is not the Mediatorial Kingdom of God; nor is the Kingdom the church.  The age of one is not the age of the other.  To confuse these distinctions is to confuse and misapply scriptures that lead to such disasters as the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,..…the witch hunts of Salem, Massachusetts, and more recent utopian schemes under the guise of “Christianity.”
        The church age is the period of time when God is calling out a people for His name; it is after this time that Jesus Christ will return and establish the Davidic-Mediatorial Kingdom.  In the meantime, the Mediatorial Kingdom is in abeyance.  This suspension was not revealed to the O.T. prophets, hence it is called a “mystery” by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 13 (and, in His own words, “kept secret from the foundations of the world,” Mt. 13:35).  But “delay” does not mean “cessation”: the kingdom is coming!
Ron Merryman
1.  The Mediatorial Kingdom has Jesus Christ as King; e.g., rule through legal government (external), (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 19:15; Daniel 7:14; Isaiah 9: 6,7; Luke 1:32,33; Matthew 2:2, 6).
The Church has Jesus Christ as head; e.g., rule through common life (internal), (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5: 23, 24).

2.   The Mediatorial Kingdom is universalRevelation 11:15: The kingdoms of this world (cosmos) become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever; (Revelation 12:5; Daniel 7:14, 22, 27).
The Church is limited as ecclesia, called out ones, implies: Called out from whom?...from other members of the human race to form a spiritual body.

3.  The Mediatorial Kingdom is to be established in and through the land of Palestine (geographical), (Joel 3:17-21; Isaiah 14:1, 2; 49:22, 23; 60:12-15; Jeremiah 23:5, 6; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 2:10-14; 14:9, 10, 16-17). Emphasis: Gentiles have a subordinate role to Israel in the Millennial-Mediatorial Kingdom.
The Church is seated and blessed with Christ in the heavenlies (heavenly), (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6).  The Church is never identified as a particular national ethnic group: it transcends nationalities, (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11).

4.  The Mediatorial Kingdom is set up or inaugurated by war and violence at the coming of the Lord, (Zechariah 14: 1-5; Joel 3:1, 2, 9, 10-16; Revelation 19:11-21).
The Church is never to use violence or arms in the propagation of its message nor is it to depend upon government assistance in that propagation, (Matthew 26:52; Romans 12: 17-21).  We are speaking here of Church responsibility, not the responsibility of members of Christ to their national governments.

Millennial Eschatology  – By: Ron Merryman

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