THE CENTRALITY OF THE CROSS IN KINGDOM ESCHATOLOGY
Michael F. Blume
© 2001 Michael F. Blume
Much of popular prophetic teaching today robs the importance of the cross being the center of God's work in this world. Kingdom Eschatology points to the cross due to the rejection of Jesus as the entire reason for the repeated and heavy words of doom upon a certain "generation." One huge thing I noticed in contrast to the futurist claims was that Kingdom Eschatology always brought me back to the cross. Futurists unintentionally blaspheme the thought of Christ's sacrifice once and for all, for example. Had they realized this, I am sure they never would have proposed what implicates this idea. Some of the futurists teach that God will honour animal sacrifices again in Israel when the Jews build their temple and offer blood. They believe that God will recommence the clock counting the 70 weeks of Daniel, since the 70th week was put on hold when Christ came.
Also, the idea of a future tribulation steals away the truth of the worst punishment in earth being given to those who committed the worst crime in earth of crucifying the Lord who came to them, His own.
Deuteronomy foretold a time when Israel would turn away from God's law and thereby call upon themselves judgments in which women would eat their children. I was blown away when I saw that Kingdom Eschatology teaches this was fulfilled in the rejection of Jesus by the Jews. The cross is everywhere in Kingdom Eschatology. That is one big difference I saw in this teaching in contrast to the futurists. Leviticus spoke about the sin of disobeying God's Word and pronounced four sets of seven judgments [Leviticus 26]. These are seen in Revelations 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 thunders and 7 vials. And that was upon Israel in 70 AD when they rejected Christ. All goes back to the greatest event in history and the greatest crime in rejecting Jesus...the cross.
I was absolutely overwhelmed by the ramifications of Kingdom Eschatology in focusing my attention on the cross more than I ever did before! The very nature of Kingdom Eschatology causes one to do so. It stresses the truth over and again....all major prophecies of judgment pointed to the cross and the foreknown rejection of Christ by that generation of Jews. I immediately saw the futurist interpretation as pulling people away from the example of all examples to ever occur on earth regarding evil in the Hebrews crucifying Jesus.
The above is 70 AD through and through!
The reason so much prophecy is given to the 70 AD wrath against the crucifiers of Jesus was to set a precedent for all time regarding disobedience. Futurists have off-balanced the true picture by throwing attention on trouble that has not even come yet!
Our preaching of the cross in our teaching of prophecy contrasted to the cross' place in other interpretations outshines any them all, and glorifies Jesus to the utmost. That, above all, confirmed the teaching to me.
Futurists feel that a computer chip is coming upon the world's heads and hands. They only have interpretation as their grounds for that belief. Not scripture, but interpretation of what they feel scripture says. So their foundation for pointing to fulfilled prophecy is not even in existence yet. It is alleged by futurists that certain things are going to occur in our future, based upon their scriptural interpretation of their placement in time in relation to our present position in time. Since these things have not occurred yet, there is no proof to point to other than the method of interpretation you have used to say the scriptures taught it so. However, several scriptural texts are totally ignored by yourself in correspondence to others quoting Jesus.
I have Jesus' statements regarding the children and their mothers of his day (that generation) saying they shall cry for rocks and mountains to cover them, spoken by Jesus, that correlate with Revelation's 6th seal. Coincidence? Similarity?
I have statements made by Jesus that Jerusalem is guilty of all blood shed on earth, and found in Revelation in identical terms. Coincidence? Similarity?
I have Jerusalem labeled as THE GREAT CITY in Rev. 11:8, and later words in the same book referring not to any GREAT CITY, but particularly THAT GREAT CITY, in speaking of Babylon the great, indicating the "THAT" points back to a certain "THE." Coincidence? Similarity?
Peter quotes Joel's prophecy and says THIS IS THAT in reference to Joel's words "it shall come to pass in the last days". He refers to the Spirit outpouring and the sun's darkness and the moon's bloodiness, what we believe are events separated by only a generation, -- from Pentecost to 70 AD's holocaust -- as supported by Peter's words as follows:
He referred to the "this generation" cursed by Jesus due to its rejection of Him, in Matthew 23 and 24.
All the references to the apostles stating they were in the last days are passed off by futurists as being wishful, and healthy thinking that the rapture was imminent, when actually it was thousands of years away from their time. However, they forget that God inspired these men to say they were in the last days. And if they weren't in the last days, God would have in effect lied in inspiring those words. God does not deceive people into thinking they are in the last days only to healthily keep them saved and on the strait and narrow path, lest He fear they might stray should they learn the rapture is not for two thousand more years. INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES destroys that reasoning. The truth is they WERE in the last days of Jerusalem and the temple and that wicked generation.
I have these scriptures that complement one another, and you have scripture on one end that foretells, but nothing on the other end to show fulfillment of that prophecy since futurists feel the event has not even occurred yet.
If I was without scriptural indication of fulfillment, correlating the then-contemporary doom of Jerusalem with prophecies in Revelation futurists interpret are unfulfilled, then I would not have a leg to stand upon. But when I see specific statements made by Jesus regarding the temple and city destruction, later discovered to have occurred in 70 AD, 40 years later, and see the identical words brought forth throughout the book of Revelation -- words limited by Jesus to Jerusalem, since, for example, no other entity can be guilty of all the blood shed upon the earth except one guilty party, namely said to be Jerusalem, by Jesus -- then I am amazed I did not see this before, and that futurists cannot see the same truth now.
Also, the words of Jesus concerning the great tribulation indicate that it cannot occur at the end of time or end of this dispensation, because we read that not only was there never such trouble before it, but there never shall be such trouble after. This means there must be time -- and lots of it -- afterwards. Futurists feel that this tribulation will occur at the end of this "dispensation". If there is a millennium after this dispensation, then there would never be tribulation like the other afterwards anyway! So it is ridiculous to say there will never be such tribulation after the great one foretold by Jesus if there is only a millennium of peace after it.
Jerusalem's siege saw mothers fry and then eat their own babies! Lakes and streams were red with blood! Land was strewn with bloated bodies of men and women. Jews began killing each other in frenzy and madness! A million Jews were crucified across the land. A million more were sold as slaves to Egypt. What could be worse than that? Read Josephus' account of the time. Today's church is so uneducated and distanced from this travesty of history that its almost like it never even occurred. Believe me, when you study up on what occurred in 70 AD, and then remind yourself that the words of the apostles, concerning themselves living in the last days, were written before that fast approaching date, then you will realize these men were not speaking through their hats. They were inspired of God to say they were in the last days, for one thing. And they truly were in the last days of an age where the temple and law were still held by the very persecutors and slayers of the early church. With Jesus' words in Matthew 23 regarding Jerusalem's devastation in that generation in their minds, these apostles referred to nothing other than that fulfillment, for it had not yet come at the time of their writings... but they knew how long a generation was.
I see an error of interpretation made that parallels a futurist's words as follows. Notice how they contrast the inspired words of John the Apostle.
"The Apostles preached the coming of the Lord because they thought it was the last days. Two thousand years later I am preaching the coming of the Lord because it is the last days." [Rev. Nathaniel Urshan, The Coming of the Lord , The Pentecostal Herald, January 2001, pg. 5]
1 John 2:18
Which of these two men was inspired of God to say they were in the last days?
Jude spoke of those in HIS DAY who fulfilled Jesus and the apostles' words concern those who would be in the last days, as he wrote of the then-present evil men:
The men Jude already spoke of as living in his day were the THEY the Lord spoke about in referring to those people of the last days. Jude said, "These be they."
In our time, 40 years have already passed since Israel became a nation, thus destroying the prophetic interpretation by futurists that the generation Jesus spoke of was the one that started when Israel was formulated again in the last century.
The punishment must always fit the crime. If there is going to be tribulation as was not since the earth began and such as never shall be afterwards, what crime greater than crucifying the Lord will occur in our future that will deserve such unprecedented tribulation? Jesus said that Jerusalem would be left desolate due to their crime in crucifying and slaying those sent to her.
That includes Jesus' crucifixion, itself! What could be more worse than that?
I was halted up in a tradition that I now feel was not of God. Futurists have rehearsed this tradition so many times that, although they have shaky ground to stand upon, as far as scripture goes compared to Kingdom Eschatology and scripture, its easier to remain in tradition than to shake loose and follow God's revelation.
Dear reader, if this has not shed some light, then I agree that we will agree to disagree. In glory, I think I will be able to tell you, "I told you so.," though.
Michael F. Blume is a minister with RDTW and is Senior pastor at Breath of Life Church, Portage la Prairie, MB. His website's address is: www.mikeblume.com
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