Many Christians today believe we are in "the End Times."
They believe Jesus is coming soon to end the world.
Happily, they are wrong; tragically, they are numerous.
In reality, we are in "The Beginning Times," not the "end times." Jesus already came. The Advent of the Christ (the Messiah) is called "Christmas." Our prayer is now that God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and we're just getting started creating heaven on earth.
This blog, "The Beginning Times," believes human history is just beginning. We will succeed in our purpose: to transform the wilderness into a garden, also called "The City of God." Our future is just beginning, and stretches out farther than we can see ahead of us.
If you are already convinced that Jesus is not coming soon, please click here to join us in carrying out our great cultural commission.
If you believe it's heretical to say that Jesus is not coming soon, then keep reading. The writers here at "The Beginning Times" blog are not heretics. We are Bible-believing Christians. Just as a way of drawing a line in the sand, we are six-day creationists. We take the Bible very seriously. Our goal is to encourage and empower you to take the Bible far more seriously than you do today.
Does it bother you to think about the fact that for hundreds of years, Christians have been saying that "Jesus is coming soon," but Jesus never comes? They were all wrong, but they all thought they were most assuredly correct. They were passionately, fervently, dogmatically certain that Jesus was coming soon.
They were wrong.
He didn't come.
How many unbelievers chuckled, "Those dopey Christians." Here is an example from a famous atheist.
You are also sure that Jesus is coming soon.
You are also wrong.
Jesus is still not "coming soon."
A thousand years from now, Jesus will not be "coming soon."
Your great-grandchildren will look back at you and the preachers you listen to, and will add you to the centuries' worth of preachers and Christians who were wrong about the "imminent" "Second Coming."
Interestingly, most Christians are a lot like evolutionists. Evolutionists believe that there are billions of years of evolutionary history behind us, but the recent appearance of human beings is like a cancer that will lead to an ecological armageddon. We are in the end times. We need to exterminate a few billion human beings. Many Christians believe the earth is much younger, but they still believe we are in the end times, and they look forward to armageddon, and the slaughter of a few billion human beings.
The purpose of this blog is not to wag a finger at you, say "Nyah, nyah," and insult you and ridicule you.
Our purpose is to offer you a comprehensive Bible study program that will give you an entirely different worldview. Not only will your views on prophecy be changed, but your views on everything in the world will be changed. You will look at every area of life and every facet of human society in a different way. In fact, our goal is to change your views on prophecy and the future indirectly.
This isn't just about "the rapture."
Your ideas about "the Second Coming" are a product of the same worldview as your ideas about taxation. Consider this contrast:
- America's Founding Fathers created a "Novus Ordo Seclorum." These words, found on our national seal, are Latin for "New Order of the Ages." Very few Americans believed that Jesus was "coming soon." They believed their government would be an example for centuries to come. America, a City upon a Hill, created a new government without a king, to bring "Liberty Under God" to the entire world. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere protested a tax on tea of only 3 pence per pound. They said "NO" to a government they called a tyranny.
- You, on the other hand, do not protest taxes on a gallon of gasoline which are ten times higher than the tax on the tea that was tossed into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party. You don't expect your government to last for centuries. Nor should it. Your government is an atheistic tyranny that subsidizes homosexuality and the killing of the unborn. You think America is doomed, and Armageddon is just around the corner. You accept socialism. You tolerate sin. After all, it's just temporary. Jesus is coming soon.
These are all expressions of your worldview and that of your nation.
We're going to change your views on the Second Coming by changing your views on what the Bible says about government, war, education, and every other issue that human beings deal with, all issues which are authoritatively addressed by the Bible.
Probably the major point at issue is the nature of Christ's Kingdom: the kind of Kingdom King Jesus came to establish, and whether human governments have any obligation to be Christ-like. Should God's Will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Will it ever? When? Should we start now?
Jesus said (Mark 10:42-45) the kings of the nations love to be "archists" (that's the Greek word, transliterated into English). "Archists" love to conquer and control others. "Archists" love to impose their will on others by force. "Archists" are willing to violate the common sense boundaries the rest of us observe with our neighbors, as we refuse to threaten people with violence to get our way. Most of us practice a policy of non-aggression; we do not initiate force against others. Jesus said His followers are not to be "archists." Logically, that means we are to be "an-archists."
Ironically, most people think of "anarchists" as people who do not respect the private property or lives of others and are willing to cause riots, chaos and disorder. But scholars have shown that throughout history it is the "archists" -- the kings and governments of the nations -- that have killed more people, confiscated or destroyed more private property, and enslaved more millions than all the "anarchists" of the world put together.
From a Biblical perspective, the belief that "anarchists" are bad and "archists" are good is the biggest government lie in all of human history. The Bible says "archists" are bad. Here's how we'll prove this.
Down below is found an outline of our Bible Study program.
It's something that will be more effective if you do a little bit every day over 12 months.
For the first 95 days of this program, you'll be reading Martin Luther's 95 Theses, the debate propositions that were responsible for igniting the Protestant Reformation around the world, including America.
In the first 100 years after the Constitution was ratified, the U.S. Supreme Court declared several times that America was a Christian nation. But it was more specifically a Protestant nation. Roman Catholics were not allowed to hold office in nearly every jurisdiction, because they supported the kind of government the Founders rejected (monarchism [the pope]), and a foreign monarch at that. Even more specifically, America was a Calvinist nation, and the British (whose Church of England was refried Catholicism) called the American revolution "the Presbyterian junto." America and Calvinist churches both have Republican forms of government. So during the first 95 days of this program, we'll read 95 Theses on Calvinism.
Finally, you'll read a new set of 95 Theses on the "Vine & Fig Tree" vision in Micah chapter 4. This prophecy is on the right-hand side of this blog. These new 95 Theses will completely change the way you look at the Bible. They'll change the way you look at war, violence, and socialism in all its many forms. They will change the way you look at the past, the purpose, and the prospects for the redeemed human race.
Instead of converting the kings of the nations to Christianity, and abolishing the use of violence (beating our "swords into plowshares" and no longer training to be archists), many Christians today are sitting on their hands waiting for Jesus to return and become a global archist, setting up a top-down socialist empire just like the pagan archists of the nations of the world, with Christians "ruling" over unbelievers with swords and rods of iron. The Jews of Jesus' day made this same mistake.
Jesus is not "coming soon" to be a socialist dictator.
Jesus is not "coming soon" to set up a coercive political bureaucracy.
Erroneous views of prophecy are simultaneously erroneous views about government.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully you're getting a glimpse at the issues, and how your views of government and the Kingdom of Christ relate to your views of prophecy and the Second Coming.
Beginning on day one, we'll start reading the Bible in chronological order, for about 11 minutes a day. As we read through the New 95 Theses, we're going to add four other books to our reading list. By the time the first 95 days are over, we'll be reading the 5 most important works in the history of Western Civilization.
These are the five books you'll read during the next 365 days:
1. The Bible
The Bible is the most important book in the history of Western Civilization. It is also the book more people own but have never read. Yet these same people have dogmatic opinions about the nature of the Bible and what it says. Because you are a victim of educational malpractice, and lack a colonial American education, you may have erroneous pre-conceived ideas about the Bible that close your mind to the conclusions to which we are trying to lead you. You may doubt our credibility and reliability to the point where you will not be persuaded by anything we say about the Bible. Therefore we will require you to read four (4) other works which are widely regarded as being among the most important in the history of Western Civilization. Reading these four works, in addition to the Bible, will re-create a colonial American education in just one year. These four credible, reliable, and time-honored works will abundantly confirm our "anarchist" interpretation of the Bible and the human condition. We will show you how to download these works for free from the Internet.
Success experts like Brian Tracy say you should read for an hour each day in your chosen field to be successful (that's more than a dozen books a year). George Washington read the Bible for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Your "chosen field" was chosen for you by God: to be an extraordinary human being. If you can't read just four of the most important books in the history of Western Civilization next year, you'll never be a success in the human race.
2. "The Westminster Standards"
At a time when the total population of America was only four million people, it is estimated that some five million copies of the "Westminster Shorter Catechism" were available in the colonies. Historian Richard Gardiner writes:
The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism. Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.
It takes approximately 11 minutes per day to read through the Bible from cover to cover. It only takes a couple of minutes to read through the Westminster Catechisms and Confession. They were written around 1645 and the drafters unequivocally opposed "anarchism." But they believed that God is God, and denied that the State is God, a necessary first step on your road to becoming a "Vine & Fig Tree" anarchist.
Many people today believe that the government produces wealth. Others want the government to redistribute wealth ("spread the wealth") to special interests (such as themselves). These people wouldn't even entertain the idea of abolishing all archists, much less actively working toward that goal. "The government can give us whatever we want if we just vote the most generous and compassionate politicians into office." Adam Smith would be appalled at such ignorance and immorality. Smith taught ethics at the University of Glasgow and wrote a Theory of Moral Sentiments. In the same year as the Declaration of Independence was written (1776), Adam Smith wrote a book entitled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations, widely regarded as the first treatise on capitalism. Capitalism is unquestionably one of the most important features of Western Civilization. Capitalist nations enjoy health and prosperity. Capitalism is the opposite of socialism. Socialist nations can't spread the wealth, they can only spread the poverty. Socialism -- government intervention in the economy -- is not just inefficient and wasteful, it is immoral.
Smith's book is not easy reading. A more recent treatise is also more readable: Capitalism by Prof. George Reisman. We will assign Reisman's text. Not because Reisman's work is acknowledged to be one of the most important books in the history of Western Civilization, but because Capitalism is one of the most important concepts, and Reisman's book is the most comprehensive exposition of capitalism.
Consistent socialism is maximum government. We believe consistent capitalism is anarchism, the absence of all coercive government regulation. Prof. Reisman disagrees with us (he believes we need a small number of archists in society to maintain order), but his book will help us prove our point with credibility and impeccable logic.
The only word more hated than "anarchism" is "Theocracy." Today the word "theocracy" conjures up images of Islamic terrorists and mullahs. People think of "theocracy" as a police state governed by priests. This is inaccurate. The word "theocracy" comes from two Greek words, theos, meaning "God," and a Greek word meaning "rule." A "theocracy" is a nation ruled by God.
But not a nation under Osama bin Ladin's god. America became the most prosperous and admired nation in history because it was a nation ruled by the God of the Christian Bible. In short, America was always a Christian Theocracy.
But there are good theocracies and there are bad ones. A nation can be attempting to be a Christian Theocracy and do a very poor job of it. We do not believe that a good Christian Theocracy is a police state. We believe a good Christian Theocracy is one where all the priests and princes have resigned and gotten real jobs where they serve others in a Free Market.
People who believe Jesus is "coming soon" believe He will return and set up a perfect Theocracy. These people believe they will get to be the Theocracy Police after they're raptured out from under the tyranny of a Revived Roman Empire. Perhaps this is why they don't oppose the Empire in our day: they look forward to trading places with the unbelievers, the oppressed oppressing the oppressors.
Americans today have been misled by the myth of "the Separation of Church and State." This mythical idea -- not found anywhere in the Constitution -- has come to mean the separation of God and State, with God being separated into the private world of fantasy and imagination, and the State having omnipotent power in public, "the real world."
A Christian Theocracy seeks to give God all the glory. It's hard to see that God rules when the State claims to be the Messiah and imposes its rule over every area of life, relegating God to the deep recesses of our heart.
Notice the dramatic shift in thinking, which accompanied the growth in Christians waiting for "the Second Coming of Christ":
• In 1892 the United States Supreme Court unanimously declared that America was "a Christian nation." The Court went back to the discovery of North America by Columbus, and traced the Christian history of America through all the official legal charters and documents that acknowledged the government's duty to God and created the American Theocracy, the most prosperous and admired nation in history. • In 1989 a now-atheistic Supreme Court said, "This Court squarely has rejected the proposition that the First Amendment is to be interpreted in light of any favoritism for Christianity that may have existed among the Founders of the Republic." May have?" America is no longer a nation under God. As a result, America -- once prosperous and admired -- is now bankrupt and despised. The great conflict in Western Civilization in 2011 is whether our world will become
• an Islamic theocracy,
• an atheistic theocracy (where man thinks he is his own god, but the omnipotent secular State wields total, crushing power),
• or whether America will once again be a "City upon a Hill," persuading the world to become a peaceful, global Christian Theocracy -- the kind described by the Prophet Micah.
The fourth reading assignment will be the history of Christian Theocracy and "Western Civilization" (which is actually Christian civilization). Hundreds of years before Christ, the prophet Daniel spoke of the first Christmas, Christ's coming in the days of the Roman Empire. That empire was destroyed, as Daniel predicted, and Christian Theocracy began growing. The Emperor Justinian began Christianizing the Eastern Roman Empire, and in the West kings like Alfred and Ethelbert made the 10 Commandments the basis of new legal systems. The "Common Law" began, with a Christian foundation, and eventually found its way into the Constitution of the United States, "a Christian nation." No one book adequately chronicles this history, so we will read from a number of books that try:
Excerpts from these books are freely available on the Internet. Only one of the authors agrees with our "anarchist" conclusions, but their arguments lead to our conclusions if consistently held. There are two stories that need to be told:
The first is how Christianity destroyed the slavery and paganism of the Roman Empire and initiated "Liberty Under God," the foundation of "Western Civilization" (476 A.D.- 1517 A.D.).
The second story is the story of America, and how
• Calvinism created America (1517 - 1787)
• America apostatized into an atheistic empire (1789 - 2011)
• and -- hopefully -- how America repented and became an anarchist-theocracy (2011 - ????).
To begin this second story, we will assign the reading of the Supreme Court's opinion in the 1892 Decision Holy Trinity Church vs. The United States and all the historic legal documents cited by the Court. They refute common misunderstandings surrounding the myth of "separation of church and state."
This blog was created because the most popular objection to undertaking the task of abolishing an atheistic dictatorship by working to persuade archists to repent (resign) is the belief that Christ is going to return "any day now," and "you don't polish brass on a sinking ship." Christians are soon going to be "raptured," many believe, so why work against the tyranny of "The New World Order" or invest energy in a defense of "Liberty Under God?" Why worry about the conditions our great-grandchildren will be living in?
Optimism concerning the future of human progress is a fundamental idea of America and Western Civilization. In the long run, Christian civilization is not possible when the majority of Christians believe in what we might call "pessimillennialism."
The final text we'll be reading is an 1876 book entitled The Parousia:
Parousia is a Greek word that often refers to a "coming" of Christ. This book is simply a catalog of all New Testament prophecies concerning a "coming" of Christ. The result of looking at all the Biblical evidence will be a "paradigm shift." When you look back at what you believe today, 365 days from now, you will be astonished.
And you will be grateful.
In order to succeed in the program, you must agree to give up 1 hour of "the mainstream media" each day:
- 1 hour of "American Idol," or
- a half-hour of the CBS Evening News and a half-hour reading the sports section of your favorite newspaper, or
- 2 half-hour sit-coms, or
- 1 hour of escapist fiction, romance novels, or
- 1 hour of computer games, off- or online, or
- 1 hour of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or other "drive time" radio as you commute to work (Those enrolled in the Full Coaching Program have access to MP3 downloads of this home-study program to burn to CD so you can listen in the car while you drive to and from work), or
- any combination of 1 hour's worth of the mainstream media each and every day. Cut it out.
You will substitute in its place 35-45 minutes of our daily reading program, 5 or 6 minutes answering no-trick questions, and a few minutes of prayerful thought.
• 20 minutes in the morning, 20 in the evening.
• 15 minutes for breakfast, 15 minutes at lunch, 15 minutes after dinner.
• Any way you choose.
We unconditionally guarantee that this program, if diligently and consistently applied daily over the course of 365 days, will totally change the way you look at the future of the Gospel on planet earth.
Daily is a key. Letting each lesson percolate for 24 hours before working through a new lesson is essential for assimilation and transformation.
In fact, if you will comment on every single lesson and post your comments on Facebook, and you can still say that your understanding of the Bible and your purpose on earth has not been radically changed after completing all 365 lessons over the course of no less than 365 days, we will give you double your money back. No other Bible study program makes this guarantee.
It's free if you need it to be. If you pay for it, you'll value it more, and get more out of it. It's always good to "count the costs."
Sign up below and get started. You can unsubscribe in one click. Your address will not be rented, sold, or traded. No spamming. If you're still on board in 30 days, we'll talk about your payment or your scholarship, and your double-your-money-back guarantee. The important thing now is not the payment, but your commitment. Get started reading the Bible and the four other most important works in the history of Western Civilization. Get started today with your Biblical worldview makeover.
The sign-up box is at the very bottom of this page.