Charlotte Observer: Three decades after his PTL empire near Charlotte crumbled amid financial and sex scandals, Jim Bakker is back on TV with a different, darker message:

The Apocalypse is coming and you better get ready.

Ready to be judged by God, sure. But the main mission of “The Jim Bakker Show” – broadcast from a Christian compound deep in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri – appears to be to sell you fuel-less generators, doomsday guidebooks and freeze-dried food with a shelf-life of up to 30 years. more …

Opinion: I have often wondered if those Christians who embrace Amillennialism or Post-Millennialism, or Preterism, have a garage full of what Bakker is selling. I picture personal mini-warehouses just loaded with tribulation gear, despite the preponderance of Scripture that indicates the Church of Jesus Christ will not be on earth when it happens.

Post-Millennialists and Amillennialists have no place for a rapture, as described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, 1:10, 5:9. Many who adhere to these doctrines believe the final war of Armageddon has already occurred (Preterism).

“Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, ah, ah, ah, ah,” Bakker’s daughter, Tammy Sue, now 47, sang on one show as her dad promoted buckets of long-lasting emergency food. That day’s “Staying Alive” special: Ten buckets, with 2,410 servings, for a $600 donation plus shipping.

To be sure I have had several debates on this website with Post/Amillennialists. I find that in most cases there is a misinterpretation of Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”

A careful reading of Matthew 24, however, will reveal that Jesus is speaking to His Jewish disciples and that the church is not in existence, which becomes clear in Matthew 24:15-16:

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

The Jews are in Judea – not the church.

For some reason, some Christians just cannot wrap their mind around a literal rapture despite at least 5 references to types of raptures in both the OT and NT:

  • Enoch: Genesis 5:21-24
  • Elijah: 2 Kings 2: 11-14
  • OT Saints: Matthew 27:51-53
  • Church: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
  • Two Witnesses: Revelation 11:11-12

And even more evidence that the bride of Christ is absent from the trial comes from Jesus Himself:

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from (Greek ἐκ ‘out of’) the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 3:10

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  1. Postscript:

    BTW, author, your opinion is a great thumbnail sketch of the millennialism issue! I have a tendency to bloviate too much. :l

  2. Christians who find themselves still caught up in amillennialism or postmillennialism have not been good Bereans (Acts 17:11) in finding the truth for themselves. They rely too much on what their church pastor, local seminary, or what their denominational doctrine dictates. These two “millennialisms” are a hermeneutical issue in properly interpreting the OT Covenants, Christ’s kingdom message, and the apostle’s message that the theocratic kingdom was offered by Christ to His people. But when they rejected Him, He delayed the establishment of His kingdom until He first comes back again, then He will establish His earthly kingdom for 1000 years- premillennialism.

    Amillennialism and postmillennialism are a result of Origen and Augustine, through their works De Principiis (Origen) and The City of God (Augustine,) who read in Greek Gnostic thought (through the use of the allegory) into the Scriptures as it relates to prophecy. Very few “scholars” have taken the time to vet these two church father’s work, therefore, much of the church today is still “Augustinian” in its view of Christ’s return and the the kingdom. The apostles and the early church were premillennial in their view of the second coming to establish the postponed kingdom. This view changed when Origen, and later Augustine resorted to the allegory – a hidden meaning hermeneutic – to spiritualize and ignore much of the OT, particularly, prophecy regarding the Jews and Israel. Jim Bakker, sadly, falls into this realm of poor scholastic due diligence.

    We may see some of the early prophesied apocalyptic events (Psalm 83) but when the day of the Lord begins (2 Thes 2:5-7) we will be “out of here!” If the more than 350 prophecies of our Lord’s first coming were literally fulfilled, why shouldn’t the more than 1800 prophecies of His second coming be literally fulfilled also? The church is NOT now the kingdom existing on the earth. If it is, are you impressed? If the church is the kingdom, where is the Son of Man ruling with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9 and Rev 19:5), and why is He allowing horrific stuff like the scourge of Islam, school shootings, abortions, and corrupt politics, just to name a few?

    In addition, it could very well be that “Dandy Jim” is still very much the huckster of old, just repackaged.
    [For a good early church father read, get a translated copy of “Against Heresies” by Irenaeus (AD 180). He uses the word “dispensation” over 45 times]

  3. I have never trusted any television evangelist. Every single one of them have proven themselves to be scandalous and extremely deceptive businesspeople. None have been qualified to wash the feet of another, let alone be trusted with God’s word. Yes, “all have sinned … ” but every one of these people have been proudly living the lifestyle of deception. Serving God is not what they do. The word “God” is on the dollar bill, and that is all they care about. And they do not target non-believers. Their main target is the average Christian. A real evangelist is someone who goes out on the street and preaches to those who have not heard. It is not someone who hides behind a team of people in large stadiums, or beams themselves onto millions of television screens in people’s homes.

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