Differences in the King James Version Editions

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Christ will sit on the throne in his capital city of Jerusalem in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. At the end of the years reign, Satan will be set free and will lead a short-lived rebellion which Christ will put down. Then the Final Judgment will take place and the everlasting Kingdom will begin. This view is sometimes known as Historic Pre-Millennialism. There was a further development of this view during the 19th century. It was such a significant development that pre-millennialists become divided into two camps, some holding the older view and others the newer view.

This newer view was developed in England and spread through the English-speaking world in part by the popularity of a study Bible called the Scofield Reference Bible. This view introduced the concept of two comings sometimes three of Christ. He would come in the air not all the way to earth for his church and take it out of the world, leaving behind only non-believers. This is called the Rapture. With the removal of the church there will be a seven year period of worldwide, unprecedented time of trouble, called the Great Tribulation.

It will involve times of plague, pestilence, and persecution. During this time Israel will at last recognize that Christ is their Messiah. Also, there will be Gentiles, left behind, who will turn to Christ and ally themselves with the Jews and Israel. The Anti-Christ will arise and create a great alliance of nations against Christ and Israel and believing Gentiles. All this will come to a climatic end with the Battle of Armageddon. At this point what will follow is along the lines of the pre-millennial view described in the previous paragraph.

The Church of Almighty God claims that you can never understand a new work of God from the old Scriptures, because they always refer to a previous era or dispensation. When discussing page of their sacred book, they even say we should follow rather than investigate God. However, in this article we are not investigating God, but certain doctrines regarding God.

We should never have to choose between following God and investigating doctrines.


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On the contrary, God has given us a mind in order to discover falsehood. It is true that the Old Testament is mainly a reflection of the work of God in creation and in the giving of the law. It is also true that the New Testament is mainly a reflection, written after the facts, of the work of the Messiah and his first disciples. Both Testaments, however, are also connected and looking forward. The Old Testament contains many prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah and the New Testament contains information about the second coming and the completion of the Kingdom of God.

Sure, God is not bound by any record of his deeds or interpretation of his words, but it would be very strange if He were to act out of harmony with his own promises and warnings, as communicated by the prophets, the apostles and Jesus himself. Other translations speak of the whole counsel , the whole purpose or the whole plan of God. The Old Testament already speaks of the new covenant which would become a reality through Christ. Which is not to say that grace was absent from the Old Testament.

It is therefore incorrect to distinguish three isolated earthly time periods, one of the Law, one of Grace and one of the Kingdom. It is true that the Bible cannot start or end an age, but that is no proof that a new age has started or will have to start before the completion of the Kingdom of heaven. But let us take a closer look at this third, supposedly present, period of the Kingdom. First of all it is strange that the period of the Kingdom only started in , while Jesus clearly said the Kingdom was near. So what does the cult say is actually happening in this new period?

Four things supposedly started to happen around The first of them is the eradication of the sinful nature of true believers. Although the New Testament has many references to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, this process did not start as late as the 20 th Century. Christ himself told his disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit, who would teach them not some future generation everything. The apostles made sure that new Christians were not only baptised in water, but also with the Holy Spirit. Just as Christ, the disciples received power to heal body, mind and spirit, as well as to experience this healing for themselves.

So progress is possible and has already taken place.


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However, texts like 1 John also make it abundantly clear that, in this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over sin. I myself have had some bad experiences with people who claimed to be directly instructed by God and behaved as if they were morally superior. This is also a well-known danger in some charismatic circles. The second aspect of this new age is supposed to be judgement. They are forced to believe this, as Jesus himself claims in Matthew 25 that when He returns , He will judge the nations. Compare Rev.

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So how can this be watered down so as to make it seem that this judgement has already started? At first all those are welcome who are longing for the return of Christ, but when they find that the new Christ is a carefully hidden Chinese woman with strange teachings which may even come from a different source and reject her, they are considered condemned. This is then supposed to refer to mainstream churches in this new time period. However, the context as well as corresponding texts clearly refer to all kinds of trials Christians may experience at any time in history.

Hades-people are the worst and were never meant predestined by God to be saved. In Calvinism it would not be possible to be predestined and still be lost. But either way, we are stuck with a category of people who, in the eyes of this cult, are completely beyond salvation. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. The third aspect is salvation by new words. In spite of the belief that the judgement has already started, certain vital mysteries are supposedly only now being revealed.

One wonders how people were ever saved without those revelations.

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It reminds me very much of the Three Angels Message of Seventh Day Adventism, which were only properly understood, or so they said, when reading the works of Ellen G. Without blinking an eye, the Church of Almighty God, however, turns their new revelations into the standard by which the Bible is then judged. Although this in itself is quite serious, my main problem is that this kind of salvation relies heavily on words, and not on the Christ, who, already during his first coming, secured our salvation, apart from any difficult doctrines, but simply by faith in him and his sacrifice for us.

God also gave us his Spirit to grow into maturity and distinguish truth from error. Yes, discernment of spirits is one of the gifts of the Spirit! The Holy Spirit should not be equated to a new book, no matter how many lofty or mysterious pages it contains and no matter how many bad things are said about ordinary Christians. They already have the truth, or so they think. Like virtually all cults, they equate loyalty to God to loyalty to the organisation. This is often expressed in jargon. The final aspect of the new age is persecution.

I myself am not a great fan of the Chinese government with its combination of highly central leadership and capitalism, and the way they treat minorities like the Tibetan Buddhists and unofficial churches. The dragon is indeed a prominent symbol in China. And, although the primary meaning of Revelation is obviously related to the first coming of Christ, prophecies often have multiple applications, so the Chinese government could be one of them.

However, the irresistible temptation for cults is always to consider persecution as part of the proof that they are right.

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Conservative Seventh Day Adventist even consider the expectation of being persecuted by Sunday-worshippers as part of the proof that they are right. So this is not limited to a particular Christian denomination. Matthew and Luke state that persecutions will be because of the name Jesus Christ. There is an indication, though, in John , that believers of different faiths will turn against each other.

But this is not new, either. It is what you get when believers consider their specific teachings as more important than the simple gospel of a loving God, as taught and lived by Jesus. This is what makes certain cults more dangerous than they perhaps wish to be. I was not surprised that the idea of a second incarnation of Christ arose in Asia.

After all, the idea of repeated incarnations of the same soul is already generally accepted there. A new form of syncretism mixing of religions and cultures was perhaps to be expected. However, we cannot dismiss a new religious expression on this basis only. We should compare the most important claims to what God has previously revealed to us, while praying for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us.

What does the Church of Almighty God say?

Also held by most groups that are labelled Fundamentalists. The more politically active sections within this eschatological view often strongly support the Christian Zionism movement and the associated political, military and economic support for Israel which comes from certain groups within American politics and parts of the Christian right. This view is also held in a modified form by groups such as the Latter Day Saints , Christadelphians and Adventist splinter groups such as the Branch Davidians.

Engineering the second coming of Christ

One of the main tenets of Dispensationalism is the strict dichotomy that dispensationalists claim exists between Israel and the New Testament Church. Covenant Theologians would claim that some of the prophecies pertaining to Israel are, will, or may be fulfilled in or by the New Testament Church.

Hermeneutics : The Bible may or may not be factually accurate but is designed to teach spiritual lessons through allegory and myth. The Bible is more literary than historical. Typically, this stance is taken by churches and individuals who do not place significant emphasis upon eschatology at all. Adherents : Held by some Christian groups ranging from those who are Biblically inerrant to those who do not believe in Biblical inerrancy , including liberal scholars who mostly belong to mainline Protestant denominations.