Sunday, April 22, 2018

Mentoring Moment – April 22, 2018 - Christian Action Project – Notes and asides - #5 - THE ESCHATOLOGY OF DOMINION: A SUMMARY

In Note #2, I introduced the book “Paradise Restored” written by David Chilton. It is one of the two books that I consider foundational for us as Christians to understand our role in the modern world. Combined with Gary North’s “Unconditional Surrender”, it is the ’what’ of the story of the Bible. Gary North’s book is the ‘how’.
Most of us like to have a quick overview or listing of points from a major work of writing. David Chilton has done exactly that in this summary. Here it is for your study. 
(If this is your first exposure to CAP Lessons, you can backtrack the thread from here.)

For those who like their eschatology wrapped up in a neat package, I have listed 45 of the major arguments of this book, in the general order in which they were presented (chapter numbers are in parentheses). The reader should consider each one in the light of the Biblical arguments in the text of the book. Following these "Theses on Hope" is a brief section answering some of the common misunderstandings of the eschatology of dominion.
Theses on Hope
1. The Bible teaches us to have hope, not despair; to expect victory and dominion for the gospel, not flight and defeat. (1)
2. Biblical prophecy is written in both literal and symbolic language. The choice is not between "literalism" and "symbolism," but between a Biblical and a speculative method of interpreting the Bible. (2)
3. Salvation is re-creation. In redemption, Jesus Christ restores man to the image of God. (3)
4. Salvation and its blessings are presented in the Bible as definitive, progressive, and final. (3)
5. We are not saved out of our environment; rather, salvation works to restore the earth as a whole. God's Holy Mountain (the Garden) will grow until it fills the entire world. (3-7) 6. God blesses obedience and curses disobedience; this pattern will become dominant as history progresses. (3-7) 7. Through generations of obedience, the godly will increasingly become competent and powerful, while the ungodly will grow weak and impotent. (3-7)
8. The wicked are "raptured" first (i.e., driven out of the earth and disinherited), as the righteous increasingly come into possession of all things. (6)
9. Jesus Christ came as the Son of Man (the Second Adam), to set up God's Kingdom on the earth. (8)
10. The Biblical prophecies that Christ would reign as King were fulfilled in Christ's enthronement at His Ascension. (8)
11. Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man "coming in the clouds" was fulfilled in the Ascension of Christ. (8)
12. Jesus Christ definitively defeated and bound Satan and the demons in His Atonement, Resurrection, and Ascension. (8)
13. The Kingdom was established during the First Advent of Christ (including the Judgment Of A.D. 70); it is now in progress and will increase until the end of the world. (8-16)
14. Ethnic Israel was excommunicated for its apostasy and will never again be God's Kingdom. (9, 14)
15. The Kingdom is now made up of all those (Jew and Gentile) who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ. (9)
16. The Church is now the Temple of God, having been indwelt by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and fully established at the destruction of the old Temple in A.D. 70. (10-13)
17. The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) is not about the Second Coming of Christ. It is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (10-11)
18. The Great Tribulation took place in the Fall of Israel. It will not be repeated and thus is not a future event (although Christians in every age have had to endure suffering for the faith). (10-11)
19. The Bible does not prophesy any future literal Temple or sacrificial system to be set up in Jerusalem. The Biblical prophecies of the Temple refer to Christ and His Church, definitively, progressively, and finally. (10-13)
20. Although Israel will someday be restored to the true faith, the Bible does not tell of any future plan for Israel as a special nation. (14)
21. The Biblical language of de-creation (the "collapsing universe") is symbolic of God's judgment, especially reminiscent of the Flood and the plagues on Egypt at the Exodus. (15)
22. Antichrist is a term used by John to describe the widespread apostasy of the Christian Church prior to the Fall of Jerusalem. In general, any apostate teacher or system can be called "antichrist"; but the word does not refer to some "future Fuhrer." (12-13)
23. The "Great Apostasy" happened in the first century. We therefore have no Biblical warrant to expect increasing apostasy as history progresses; instead, we should expect the increasing Christianization of the world. (12-13)
24. The Last Days is a Biblical expression for the period between Christ's Advent and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70: the "last days" of Israel. (13)
25. Before the Second Coming of Christ, the vast majority of Jews and Gentiles will be converted to the Christian faith. (14)
26. All of Christ's enemies are gradually being subdued under His reign from heaven. He will remain in heaven until all enemies have been defeated. The last enemy, Death, will be destroyed when He returns. (16)
27. Jesus Christ will return on the Last Day, when the Resurrection and the Last Judgment will take place. (16)
28. The Rapture and the Second Coming will occur together. (16)
29. There will be one Resurrection of all men; the righteous will be raised to everlasting life, and the wicked will be raised to damnation. (16)
30. The primary concern of prophecy is ethical conduct: obedience to God's commands. (17)
31. The Canon of Scripture was closed in A.D. 70, when the Old Covenant passed away. (18)
32. The Book of Revelation is not to be interpreted "futuristically"; for its first-century readers, its message was contemporary, and the time of its fulfillment was "at hand." (18)
33. The "Beast" of Revelation was a symbol of both Nero in particular and the Roman Empire in general. (20)
34. The "False Prophet" symbolized the Jewish religious leadership. (20)
35. The "Harlot" symbolized apostate Jerusalem, which had ceased to be the City of God. (21)
36. The "Millennium" is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which He established at His First Advent. (22)
37. The "First Resurrection" is a Spiritual resurrection: our justification and regeneration in Christ. (22)
38. The "thousand years" of Revelation 20 is symbolic for a vast number of years—most likely many thousands. (22, 24)
39. All Christians are priests in this age; all Christians are now seated in the heavenly places in Christ. (22)
40. The New Creation has already begun: The Bible describes our salvation in Christ, both now and in eternity, as "a new heaven and a new earth." (23)
41. The "New Jerusalem," the City of God, is the Church, now and forever. (23)
42. The center of the Christian reconstruction of the world is the Church. The essence of Biblical religion, and the source of Christian culture, is the worship of God. (24)
43. The Church's worship and government are officially recognized in the heavenly Court. When the Church pronounces lawful judgments, they are executed on earth, in history, through God's providential administration of the world. (24)
44. The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God's law. (24)