Both books that I am reading (here and here) made mention of this particular verse, which for the life of me, and my (re)reading of Amos time and time again, I never noticed:
“Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?” declares the LORD. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? Amos 9:7 NASB
“Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians? ” asks the LORD. “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir. Amos 9:7 NLT
Read the first few chapters of Amos and you will note that God is speaking against several neighboring nations of Israel, but He focuses on Israel, it is in the different way. It is harsher and the list of crimes longer and more personal. In fact, as Stark points out, Israel’s uniqueness comes in the system of Justice which it adhered to. This system was given by God. But, here, Israel’s great and powerful exodus from Egypt is given no higher place than the other ancient migrations of even some of Israel’s worse enemies.
What really begins to separate Israel is not heritage, but its premise which is that under the One True God of Heaven, these people alone could show the world what awaits in the Kingdom of God. How radically different is this picture of eventual inclusion than what we see in Ezra-Nehemiah. How beautiful the picture of Israel then which erupts as one who is given the uniqueness not of special divine status due to birth or parentage, but because it knew of the justice and equality expected by God.
In the back of my mind is the remembrance of being told that somewhere someone once said that we will be judged out of our own mouths.
I’m simply not going to post every article that he writes in this series, although admittedly, Christian America and the Kingdom of God radically changed my viewpoint on how to approach terrorism and what it might mean to actually be a Christian country. This week, he is posting a series of essays which looks at the Christian Right, in context.
Thirty-five years ago, in a time that seems like ancient history to most young people today, the eminent social critic Robert N. Bellah wrote a book that illumines the current American crisis with devastating precision.
I do not use the phrase, “American crisis,” casually. All Americans, whether on the right, the left or in between, understand that the nation is now in a crisis of significant proportions. But most Americans fail to grasp how deeply that crisis runs.
Liberals and conservatives alike seem to think that the core of the American crisis stems from a flagging economy and the threat from Islamic terrorists.
But the American crisis runs much deeper than that. Ultimately, the crisis is a religious one, and that is the point that Bellah’s book, The Broken Covenant, helps us to see.
The Christian Right stands at the heart of our current crisis since, for 30 years and more, the Christian Right has so successfully eaten away at the core, bedrock values that shaped this nation at its founding.
To advance this argument, of course, is to advance an irony, since the Christian Right has claimed from its inception that others — especially liberals, secularists and humanists — were eroding the values of the nation that they sought to affirm and protect.
And precisely in that claim we find the seeds of the current American crisis.
In today’s world, there are elements of ‘Christianity’ which believe that through violence of some sort, they can bring on the Kingdom of Christ. Whether through the violence of election which mandates conversion or through some terrorist act which consumes the Dome of the Rock, thereby paving the way for a Third Temple, people believe that these things will bring about the Second Coming of Christ. Yet, this dominionism is not prevalent in the earliest Christian writers.
2nd Clement, one of the earliest post-NT sermons, preached that the kingdom of God will come when there is equality…
Let us wait, therefore, hour by hour the kingdom of God with love and righteousness, since we know not the day of God’s appearing. For the Lord Himself, when he was asked by someone when his kingdom was going to come, said:
“When the two shall be one, and the outside like the inside, and the male with the female, neither male nor female.”
Now, ” the two are one” when we speak the truth among ourselves and there is one soul in two bodies without deception. And “the outside like the inside” he means this: “the inside” signifies the soul, while “the outside” signified the body. There just as your body is visible, so also let your soul be evident in good works. And by “the male with the female, neither male nor female,” he means this: that when a brother sees a sister, he should not think about her as of a female, nor should she think anything about him as of a male. If you do these things, he says, the kingdom of my Father shall come.
The above is from Michael W. Holmes‘s book, noted above, which includes the Apostolic Fathers in both English and Greek. It is a very good translation, which includes notes and cross references to track quotations from the Fathers of the Scriptures.
Holmes, and others I am sure, note that the author is pulling from the Gospel of the Egyptians which is different from the one found at Nag Hammadi, but assumed to be of a different sect of early Christianity which rejected marriage. While that may be the case, we do know that this version of the Gospel was never fully accepted while sayings which may be found in the Egyptians’ Gospel remain. Possibly, that instead of accepting the Gospel of the Egyptians, said Gospel shared a common Oral Tradition of sayings of Christ which are not found in the canonical Gospels. This is not uncommon, even in Canonical sources, in that Paul relayed words of Christ which are not quoted by the Evangelists.
I am not sure that the author is meaning a pure eschatological Kingdom here, but more probably, the full realization of Christ’s Kingdom on earth; however, eschatology plays a part, at least in the end, in that the author throughout the sermon urges his audience to remain ever vigilant in their lives so as to be pure when God appears. How interesting in the debate though, of the role of women, that this early sermon which teaches against separation based on gender was so readily beloved by early Church historians and collectors of valued documents that it was preserved and attached to the traditional successor of Peter.
Is it me, or is it that since the election of President Obama the New Apostolic Reformation has become trigger happy?
Theresa Phillips, courtesy of the Elijah List, has given a ‘word’ which tells us that God is going to physically take over a earthly kingdoms.
Advance and Subdue Kingdoms
It is within the power of a King to set forth decrees and rule in the land and protect His subjects. The Government of this Kingdom is being loosed into the earth (tangibly) to move forth His realm. Revelation of a mighty Kingdom is being captivated by the hearts of man.
“For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”—1 Corinthians 4:20
“This Easter season will be like none other,” says the Lord. “I will have Me a people who will stand as a shield and become one. I will raise up a nation within a nation to advance and subdue kingdoms with My Kingdom, for My Kingdom is not of world but of power,” says the Lord.
“Keep your heart,” says the LORD. “Keep your heart! I am raising up men in the nations who will be the extension of My own Kingdom. They will not build their own kingdoms, but will build Mine. They will advance in ranks and power. This Kingdom will subdue many kingdoms and will not be silent.“
It is always a season for them – always a seaon of change – but this season seems to start on Easter, in which God will suddenly decided to phyiscally take over the World, moving from His ‘Realm’ to gather another people. You notice how these false prophets always have God having to find something new? Another people, another seaon, another word.
Allow for the moment, that these people do not believe the Left Behind hype, but instead demand that the Church be in control of the planet before Christ comes back. Reread it if you have to. She is careful to point out that these new people will not be warriors by ambassadors.
Rebuild, Repair, Repent and Rejoice
He that has an ear LET HIM HEAR what the Spirit says to the churches. “Yes,” says the Lord, “I will have Me a people who will judge rightly and justly. I will have a people who will stand in the gap and rescue many who are fallen. The Tent of David has fallen and I have heard the cry and I will act,” says the Lord. “Rebuild, repair, repent and rejoice, for I AM with you.”
Here’s the deal – she is referring to the prophecy of Amos in chapter 9 of his work, but James in Acts 15.16 says that the Tabernacle has already went back up. The Tabernacle is the Church. Did Christ lie in Matthew 16.18? Has the grave overtaken the Church?
Read the rest, if you want, and see what kind of lies are being told.
Dominion Eschatology is the examination of future events through the lens of the dominion mandate in Genesis 1:28 and in Matthew 28:19-20.
It assumes the influence of the church will increase on earth until Jesus returns. This view stands against some opposing views which see the influence of the church waning in the last days. It does not intend to imply absolute dominion, as in a sinless earth, but a preparatory dominion, as in the earth being prepared for the return of the King.
This idea alone should worry most of those that even purport to hold to the gospel message.
In Genesis, Adam and Eve were told to subdue the earth. This was before the Fall – before sin and the separation between God and Man. In Matthew, what is known as the Great Commission, we are told to go into all the world, but they seem to reinterpret the passage in militaristic terms, in order to make a preparatory dominion for their king. We are told, in the bible, that the love of man will grow colder, and that the spirit of God will be withdrawn from the Earth in the final days (Genesis 6). In 2nd Thessalonians 2, we learn that a great apostasy will happen, and that the very Thing (the Spirit of God) which prevents the adversary from sitting in the temple of God will be withdrawn. These few verses are in opposition to Joel’s Army. The only king, I fear, that they are preparing for is the one which is spoken of in 2nd Thessalonians 2.3-4.
Mark goes on to list three bullet points to solidify his argument:
God’s covenant people taking dominion of the earth has been the main theme of every covenant that God has ever made with mankind. The New Covenant for the church is no different with its expectation of dominion by making disciples of all nations.
The Dominion Process is two-fold. First, human beings are blessed by God. Secondly, these blessed human beings are given a mandate to take dominion of the earth for the purpose of blessing it.
The first advent of Christ was for the purpose of creating a blessed seed upon the earth – the church. The second coming of Jesus will take place after this blessed seed has completed the Dominion Process upon the earth by making disciples of all nations.
Actually, the idea of Land was important to Israel, as a means of keep God’s people safe from the outside world. The Church is land herself, and should seek disciples. If you notice one thing first, you will notice that there is no scriptures mentioned. Second, you will notice that these points are militaristic in nature. They see to establish a dominion on earth for Christ
We do not have time to go through every detail, but here are a few highlights:
The term, Dominion Process describes the process by which God uses mankind to extend His kingdom rule on the earth and take dominion of it. It is a two-fold process. First, God creates and redeems a blessed seed. Then He uses His blessed seed to extend His kingdom rule on the earth when they take dominion of it.
The first part of the Dominion Process happens by God’s initiative in a moment of time. The second part happens by man’s efforts over a course of time. The first part happens when God declares the word of righteousness over His subjects. The second part happens when His subjects proceed to subdue the earth and take dominion of it. God takes responsibility for the first part. Man takes responsibility for the second part.
Mark quotes several verse in which to point out that God actually needs our help in establishing the kingdom on Earth.
The ultimate purpose of the Dominion Process is to create a blessed and redeemed people who can bless and redeem the earth. Although the first part of the process happens in a moment of time, the second part of the process takes place over an extended amount of time.
Again, they are making preparation for the return of God – contrary to what Scripture actually says about the Church waning in the last days.
Next, we will examine their scriptural foundations.