Isn't the degree of Postmillennialism this ministry espouses just one more of today's "tower of babels"?
#1. There's nothing about the tower of babel incident in the book of Genesis that can be applied to modern Christianity.
#2. Godliness isn't measured by the degree of separation from one another that exists in the world. That's merely circumstantial and subject to change.
#3. Genuine oneness coming into the world through Christ Jesus could never be said to be the tower of babel incident revisted, otherwise most of the Apocalyptic expectations of Christans everywhere regarding the return of Jesus would be subject to this accusation of being "new world order" "tower of babel" heresy!
#4. 1Timothy 1:8 talks about using the Torah lawfully. Nothing about the Tower of Babel incident is applicable after 70AD to anything anywhere in the world. Those who apply it to anything around the world, whether godly or ungodly are using the Torah unlawfully.
#5. The Mosaic Law is no longer applicable in the ages we're living in today. St. Paul is clear about that in his epistles about that being taken away in Christ: Christ is the end of the law for those who believe. The Bible simply says that those who don't believe the law has ended don't believe.
#6. Certainly when the Bible speaks of the end of the law in the Gospel ages of ages, it's not referring to the 10 Commandments, though those are referred to as the ministry of condemnation by St. Paul in 2Corinthians 3 (i.e. the only portion of the law written on stone), because some version of nearly every one of the 10 Commandments is used repeatedly throughout everything written after the book of Acts in our New Testament. This however doesn't mean that what is viewed as the other moral precepts of the Mosaic Law are applicable to today. I see people all of the time, who are the holiest amongst us, who wear garments with multiple types of cloth which is forbidden by Moses. Some of our males in the Body of Christ aren't circumcised. et. al.
#7. While all historical incidents in the Bible have lessons they can teach us today, not all of them are warnings about today. The Tower of Babel incident isn't applicable to our day, because it's part of the destruction portion of Jeremiah 31:27-28 rather than what Ephesians 1:8-10 and other passages of the Bible indicate that God is doing today! Jeremiah 31:27-28 and many other similar passages in the Bible make it abundantly clear that the Tower of Babel incident will never again have the same type of outcome. Book of Enoch indicates people at that time were freely using mercury, lead, and other things we know to stay completely away from in our world. What part, if any, those toxins would have had in bringing about the confusion of tongues and of souls that occured at the Tower of Babel incident we could only speculate, but those toxins very likely played a role in the decrease of the lifespans of human beings to the less than 200yrs old that's most common today. People went through very radical changes after the worldwide flood (i.e. worldwide whether or not it was global).
#8. The Bible is clear that the Tower of Babel incident was a defiance of having a global perspective, which is counter-intuitive to those who oppose globalism, but reread the text on the Tower of Babel incident very carefully and notice that it was rebellion against filling the whole earth. If anyone were guilty of a similar charge to those at Babel, today, it would clearly be the Dispensational Premillennialist, [or any type of Premillennialist,] who builds up their theological walls against having to actively, daily engage with the whole world.
Does this ministry believe in the Evangelical basics of the faith?
While there are multiple statements of faith in the basics woven across several of our writings on our website, I'll provide a brief one here:
We believe in: the virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23), sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), resurrection of Christ in the most literal sense (Luke 24:46), the redeeming power of the Blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1:7), the nonnegotiability of Jesus as Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:9-10), and the profitability and unique qualification of the God-inspired Judeo-Christian Bible for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2Timothy 3:16) so that disciples of Lord Jesus may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
What do you believe of Biblical basics?
Some of the truths that we affirm around here:
1. We believe in the Matthew 1:23 virgin birth;
2. We believe in the Hebrews 4:15 sinlessness of Lord Jesus;
3. We believe in the Acts 10:38 anointing of Jesus;
4. We believe in the Luke 24:26 suffering of Christ and that He entered into His glory;
5. We believe in the Romans 1:4 physical, bodily resurrection of Christ Jesus;
6. We believe in the John 3:36 wrath that abides on unbelievers;
7. We believe in redemption through the Blood of Jesus, according to Ephesians 1:7;
8. We believe in the 1Thessalonians 4:1-8 commandment to abstain from sexual immorality;
9. We believe in the Luke 24:47 Great Commission;
10. We believe in the Colossians 3:16-17 & 1John 2:5-6 commandment to operate as Christ Jesus on a solid New Testament foundation!
How would you describe your eschatology?
We would describe our eschatology as a tediously, hair-splitting Scriptural version of "Absolute Postmillenialism."
In Christian end-times theology, (eschatology), postmillennialism is an interpretation...which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after (Latin post-) the "Millennium", a Golden Age in which the Great Commission prospers...
There are a minority of postmillennial scholars, however, who discount the idea of a final apostasy, regarding the gospel conquest ignited by the Great Commission to be total and absolute, such that no unsaved individuals will remain after the Spirit has been fully poured out on all flesh. This minority school, promoted by B. B. Warfield and supported by exegetical work of H.A.W. Meyer, has started to gain more ground, even altering the thinking of some postmillennialists previously in the majority camp, such as Loraine Boettner and R. J. Rushdoony.
Since this ministry tends to divide nearly all of the traditionally understood "Second Coming Scriptures" between Jesus' High Priestly Ministry and the ministry of fully spiritually matured sons of God, do you believe the Bible indicates the Second, bodily return of Jesus, since in your views even Acts 1:11 fits into these two categories I've just mentioned?
Yes, we believe that the personal second, bodily return of Jesus Christ is indicated by Acts 3:20-21 and 1Corinthians 15:25,28. When He returns, He's subjected Himself, and all of the Creation, to the reign of His Father and is no longer in the position that Joseph was in, with regards to Pharoah, during the 14yrs that Joseph was 2nd in charge of all of the regions that Egypt ruled over in the closing chapters of the book of Genesis, though Lord Jesus will always obey His heavenly Father's further requests of Him.
What do you believe the Bible has to say about the death of Christians? Do you believe they enter heaven to receive praise and reward?
We believe that that's conclusively handled by Luke 17:7-10 (Cf. Matthew 13:38) although Lord Jesus contradicts 99% of what's preached in Christian Evangelical circles by saying so:
7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
Matthew 13:38 says that in Jesus' parables that "the field is the world." Why wouldn't coming in from the field indicate the death of the plowing servant or the one who was tending sheep in this world?
What do you believe Matthew 24:14 means?
For those unaware, Matthew 24:14 says:
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
What's important to bare in mind with a passage like this is the overall sense of the rest of the Word of God and how that applies to the context of this passage. We don't believe the chapter is a series of predictions, but an outline of the age they were asking Him about. The end that would come would be of all of the calamities described in that chapter involving nations, earthquakes, pestilences, famines, and every other diabolical thing mentioned in that chapter. Matthew 24 goes on to say that when He, as High Priest, catches believers [faithfully] dispensing the food of the Kingdom, viz, the teaching of the Gospel, that He'll make them rulers of all He has. So He's among us in blessings, as our High Priest, when:
the nations are being subdued before the Gospel and their thoughts are consistently being brought captive to the obedience of Christ,
you see the Creation entering into peace/prosperity through the preaching of the Gospel and isn't trying to cast out it's inhabitants for not walking in His Spirit and Word,
faithful teachers of the Gospel are progressively ruling more and more of His goods, until they ultimately rule all of His goods, as Matthew 24 bares out,
meaning that their corporate and personal prosperity is growing by leaps and bounds and is knowing no end in sight as they ride the crest of the wave of the knowledge of the glory of God into the Isaiah 11:6-9 world. Perfect peace for every Creature, whether human or otherwise, will likely come in waves (1Corinthians 15:23-27) in the entire multiverse, the further and further ministers of the Gospel are progressing in materializing dynamic physical expressions of His governance, His principles, His prosperity, including financial, and are taking every soul hostage for His glory and making them His disciples.
The Book of Joshua really is to be understood as the pattern of the heavenly things we're bringing as ministers of the Gospel, though we're killing and uprooting false paradigms rather than ever physically harming idolaters that we're instead converting to the Gospel and bringing to renounce their evil ways, their evil idols, and their evil traditions.
It's to be understood in terms of progress towards, [rather than lump sum pay out,] the way some have previously preached it who didn't know the Scriptures regarding the seed and regarding the righteous being recompensed in the earth! [See the question in this f.a.q. about failed prophecies.]
What do you believe about prophecies that haven't been fulfilled, or worse yet, about prophecies that appear to be in error when it's extrabiblical and things we speak among ourselves with varying degrees of confidence about the centrality of the one God saying them through us to each other?
Matthew 22:40, 1Corinthians 13, and Ephesians 3 say that all prophecy is dependent upon walking in godly love, and where love is lacking, prophets/tongues cease, knowledge passes away, and what was given in part never reaches it's expected end of fulness. That's true whether you're talking about the Ephesians 3 declaration of Gentiles being fellow participants in the Covenants of Abraham WITH Jews, whether you're talking about 2nd Coming prophecies, whether you're talking about personal destiny prophetic words, or any other matter of Kingdom or personal significance where the prophetic is involved. Passionate godly love is the great qualifier and to backslide from that, even merely in jest, is to forfeit the crown of righteousness and the crown of life that God had for individuals, families, and nations FOR THIS LIFE and the life He wanted impending [or forcefully advancing] upon this one. Walk in the counsel of the ungodly in any way, whether it's television or in some other way the advice acted upon, the principles followed, and the steps taken and every single promise you were guaranteed from God is a noisy gong or clanging cymbol because James 3:16 says where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil work are there. Every evil work is the opposite of love and fulfilled prophecy, whether it's Biblical prophecy or a personal promise from God. It is the default choice when passionate godly love and self abandon to the purposes of God is abandoned. Most Christians don't want to deal with the fact that an unconverted world and the lack of passionate godly love among Christians is the Scriptural reason why Lord Jesus hasn't achieved all of His objectives and subjected all things to God, as 1Corinthians 15:28 says is the joy CURRENTLY set before Him.
What do you believe about the Lord's Table?
After careful prayer to be lead into all truth and careful examination of every Old and New Testament passage on the topic, believing the Scriptures to strictly be true, we must lean towards transsubstantiation because we've come to the conclusion that as Passover is a re-living of the first Passover for the Jews, so is the Bread and Cup a meditative re-living of all Jesus went through for us. It is very valuable for the edification, instruction in righteousness, sanctification, and claiming of every Scriptural redemptive privilege that's ours by God's grace.
It's not that mankind is ransomed again by our receiving communion, any more than Jews re-living the Passover forces Moses to smite Egypt each year for as long as Jews are re-living the Passover. But the Bread and Cup of Christ is a Scriptural participation in His nature and sufferings, and Scripture's warning against lightly esteeming it, receiving it flippantly, or receiving it ceremonially without a deepening personal conviction of it's meaning and His experience wouldn't have the element of sternness that it has in 1Corinthians chapters 10 and 11, and elsewhere in the Bible, if there weren't something holy there on par with Scripture. Hebrews 13:10-21 appears to contrast it with the animal sacrifices of the Jews in the first century. It doesn't contrast it with merely the writings in the Torah about the sacrifices of the Jews, but it contrasts it with what was their daily religious expression in the first century and we don't believe that that's without significance to the whole issue!
What do you believe about the person of Jesus?
While believing Jesus is the Son of God, come in human flesh, born of the virgin Mary, who lived a sinless life, tempted in all points as we were, yet without sin, was crucified, buried, and arose the third day, according to the Scriptures, was seen of over 500 and ascended to the right hand of God proving His ascension by pouring out the Holy Spirit, we are predominantly Non-Chalcedonian Christians. Though Christian culture in the United States, particularly on television and radio, is saturated with Chalcedonian Christians and we might not always achieve our objectives of staying clear in our Scriptural stand in absolutely all of our writings, we endeavor to stay clear of descriptions of Jesus that come from the earliest centuries of Western Christianity, [when it was discarding so much early Church doctrine,] that are essentially Greco-Roman descriptions of the Greco-Roman deities that had two natures in one. Our belief is painstakingly, hair-splittingly as close to the Scriptures as we can possibly come, as far as the Spirit of the Scriptures from cover to cover.
We believe in the emphatic oneness of the human and divine nature, the hybridization of God with man where all of the fullness of God and all of the fullness of man is who we'd know as our Lord Jesus. The technical term for our belief is "Miaphysitism." We reject Chalcedonian Christianity as not in keeping with the New Testament. We believe this has fundamental, crucial Scriptural baring on the meaning of the new birth for Christians and that the belief in the two natures theory, [as predominantly taught in Western Christianity,] causes them to stagger at the promise of the Gospel of their own divine nature, through Christ. The divine Nature and Person was conceived in the virgin womb of their spirits by the Holy Ghost as they believed the Gospel and it is to grow up in them after the pattern of Him, [Whose they are and Whom they serve,] following after the pattern of the life of Christ Jesus in Luke 2:51-52 as they become skillful in the Word of righteousness, according to Colossians 3:12-17, Hebrews 5:12-14, 1John 2:5-6, etc..
The glorious news for each Christian is that the divine nature and person that was conceived in them when they first believed the Gospel is every bit as much THEM as their renewed minds would be their own and not someone else's. Too many Christians unconsciously view their participation in the divine nature to be separate from and distinct from the real them, or if they wouldn't put it that way, then they view it as separate and distinct from what's yet being sanctified in them and overcome by the Scriptures they've made their daily habit and habitat. Thus, moral failings among Christians are rampant and the root to this particular fly in the ointment is the two natures, hypostatic, heresy that they're abiding in about Christ Jesus, since their righteousness can't rise above it's source and the belief they have about it's expression and functionality in His earthly walk. If He was merely a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that never allowed His Mr Hyde out of the cage, rather than one person who was wholely human and wholely divine, then we'll allow ourselves to be trapped by what we perceive as a hypostatic union in ourselves 'til the resurrection and each of us never rises above, and at best, beyond the level of the Greco-Roman half divine and half human characters in their pagan literature; we'll excel in a particular gifting rather than in His own perfections with such a belief!
What do you believe about the Cross? Do you believe it satisfies the claims of justice?
We believe justice to be the pagan deity that Acts 28:4 says it is, and that it's no part of a Christman's life except to the extent that they are just in their dealings with others through the power of the Holy Ghost. We believe the Cross ransomed all of mankind in it's entirety from the Devil, to whom it was subjected in the Garden of Eden. Only sin and the death of the sinner could satisfy the law if the law is the knowledge of sin rather than of God's righteousness and if it's wages are death and self-righteousness since the law would be sin's hourly wage and the gloat of hypocrites in St. Paul's understanding. We believe the Cross ransomed man from the law, from sin, from death, and from the penalties due the author of sin.
If you don't believe the Torah is binding on Christians but is amended in some aspects and canceled out in other aspects by the Cross of Christ, why tithe?
Besides every other principle we explore on this website, the New Testament encourages us more than once to be followers and imitators of Abraham's faith, and certainly his tithe to Melchizedek wasn't a part of his sin nature or bondage to religion! Incidentally, we reject the later Jewish tradition that Melchizedek was Shem because it's not Biblical and would nullify the superiority of the Messianic priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, mentioned in Psalm 110, and would merely make the Messiah contenteous with the Levitical priesthood, from a position of carnal ego, rather than genuinely Biblical superiority to it. Argue from absolutely nowhere in Scripture that Shem is Melchizedek and since Abraham is descended from Shem and the Levites are descended from Abraham, then we already have the Melchizedek priesthood mentioned in Psalm 110 through the Levites, [without the Messiah,] though the Christians that have adopted that Rabbinical fable have never thought it through Scripturally, since there's nothing in the Scriptures nor implicit in the Hebrew text to make that claim from. It's a later tradition that has no Biblical support!
Does this ministry condone what some animal rights activists would call "direct action," but which a number of governments call "animal rights terrorism," such as with the Animal Liberation Front?
We don't endorse or promote such actions and would promptly fire anyone from our employment who had been conclusively proven in a court of law to have been involved in Animal Liberation Front activities. Where possible, however, we may assist in their legal aid until proven guilty. We do condone such actions, wholeheartedly, but we won't let the lines get blurred as they have for some who regard PETA as the monied arm of A.L.F.
We would never turn anyone in for such actions, however such actions are to be kept separate and clearly distinct from our ministry that has a focus larger than the Animal Rights movement and Veganism. What we acknowledge is that the Animal Rights movement is a civil rights movement acknowledged by the prophets of the Bible, and historically such movements and rebellions against slavery have had their violent components.
We view it as a godly attribute to not be able to stand, idly by, in the face of such horrendous suffering on the part of hundreds of billions of animals. While the animal holocaust is going on, people are bound to get creative, in protest. However, we function as New Testament priests of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant and not as the warrior class that take up arms. We endorse and promote a more diplomatic and Biblically prophetic approach, relying on a higher power to give these animals fairness and common decency.
We'll never condemn any action taken in the behalf of shutting industries down that are built on destroying the lives of animals, [who had done them no harm,] but our task is clear with developing Christians that prize the Biblical truths of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant, as they prize every other revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of David.
Why does this ministry emphasize Purim since we're not under the law in Christ?
Purim was never under the Mosaic Law. Whereas the Feasts of the LORD that are in the Mosaic Law teach about Christ Jesus, Purim is specifically about the overcoming of believers and doesn't need to be cleverly re-engineered to actually teach that! Because the Gentiles are told to rejoice with God's people in Romans 15:7-12, Purim is easily a Biblical version of St. Patrick's Day; it's easily a Biblical version of Valentine's Day because of the PROBABLE marriage that began, real marriage, between Esther and her king as a result of the circumstances that make up the story of Purim; it's easily a Biblical version of Easter because it's a Biblical remembrance of great fertility of the Biblical faith; it's easily a Biblical version of Halloween because of the costumes that are often traditionally worn for Purim that are meant to convey God working in the unseen to bring about His purposes, and it's a type of Halloween in the sense of the banishment of Haman, Haman's 10 sons, and all who likewise hated Israel in their midst.
It's a feast of the nations because the 1st verse says that the context for this story was 127 provinces of the Persian Empire that stretched from India to Ethiopia and Esther 9:27-28 say that it's for all who have joined them in a Biblical faith. It's clearly got the merging of Jew and Gentile that Ephesians talked about because of Esther 8:17 where the type of conversion to the God of the Bible [that was available BACK THEN] was in full revival. So, it's a remembrance of revival, the faithfulness of God even when He's not visible in His deeds for His people, and though it's considered a minor festival among Jews, Biblically since at least the time of Isaiah to the present day there's been a tendency among Jews to do what we tend to call today "majoring on the minors, and minoring on the majors!"
It's not a festival of the Bible whose message or requirements have become antiquated by the coming of Christ Jesus, such as with lambs no longer needing to be slaughtered at Passover, bulls and goats no longer needing to be sacrificed at the Day of Atonement, it's after the Mosaic Law, not forbidden by either the Mosaic Law or one line in the New Testament, and there are hints of it's themes in the New Testament with very careful readings of it. Whereas a few of the things above can be said about Hanukkah, we don't have very much Biblical text regarding it. Since the first month, Biblically, for the Jews is the month on which Passover begins and Purim is the very last month of the Jewish calendar that was Biblically given by God, then as Jewish days are from sunset to sunset, evening to morning, rather than the way they're thought of in the Western world, then Purim, since it does have a massive revival theme, would unquestionably be the Biblical time of the latter rain, [prophetically,] regardless of whatever the Rabbis have had to say about it, or well meaning Christian pastors who've taught on the festivals, because it doesn't get any further latter than the last month of the year that was prescribed by God in the Bible for their calendar!
The confusion on this matter likely comes from Jewish calendars beginning Septemberish, though God said what He said about the month that Passover would be in. Former rain would be during the fall feasts, because it's the evening of the year, i.e. the 6pm of the year, while the latter rain would have to be around the Spring, even if Purim is almost never in the Spring according to a solar calendar. It's still the end of the year, religiously, prophetically, and shows a vibrant, international faith that's not dependent upon worshipping on a particular mountain, because they had their spiritual Jerusalem. It's probably safe to say that all of the Feasts of the LORD given by Moses are "former rain," while Hanukkah and Purim are latter rain, though Hanukkah's difficult to get into without extrabiblical, Rabbinical materials, and I've found over the years that Christians that get into the leaven of the Pharisees tend to come to us with really strange doctrines that don't establish the heart with God's grace, so I'm leery of messing with anything Rabbinically-related. People don't tread softly enough on re-interpreting the Bible with that stuff! But when it comes to Purim, yes, there are many fun traditions that are fun to participate in, but the Book of Esther is 10 chapters that you can use to seek Him about absolutely all of it with!! The individual Mosaic Feasts that people spend the vast majority of their time on, in terms of Biblical feasts, don't have anywhere near the BIBLICAL MATERIAL devoted to them! Passover perhaps comes the closest, but that's about it, without relying on the very folks Christ Jesus said DID NOT HAVE IT TOGETHER for the rest of it! Why do we do that with relying on so much extrabiblical material on multiple subjects and leave a subject largely ignored that the Bible will give us 10 chapters on??
Additionally, God had been dealing with the leadership of this ministry since the 1980s about Purim, in particular, in our own personal lives, so coming into this 2nd decade of the 21st Century we finally purposed to only emphasize what our heavenly Father was emphasizing. While that's the goal of all Spirit-filled Christians, ordinarily, there's a tendency that when a particular Biblical feast of the LORD starts to come up, then we stuff our plates further than He asked us to, whether in the name of trying to be balanced, or wanting to take in more with our eyes than He's calling on us to do at the time, or just our own thinking creating confusion about wanting to tie this with that and this with that 'til we don't even know what we're talking about any more! We finally decided if God's saying "Purim," then when He's saying THAT, He's not meaning Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, et. al.!! Doesn't mean the other things we could find Vegan ways of exploring, in our own personal practice, aren't valid, beautiful, originally given of God, etc. If God wants to emphasize His most evangelistic feast in the whole Bible, besides Passover, perhaps, then who are we to emphasize the other things He's emphasized in the past when we've got something clear in our heart?
This move of God impacted 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia! And we're mouthy about Egypt and Babylon, or even Rome, or even Jerusalem, majoring on the minors!! This may have been the biggest conversion of the nations that Israel ever experienced prior to the New Covenant, and it's filled with many gems for New Covenant living! THE KNOWN WORLD, [ALMOST IN IT'S ENTIRETY,] BUCKLED UNDER THE WEIGHT OF GOD'S FAVOR TO HIS OWN and we're counting omers, basically, with where we spend the majority of our time when trying to bring new out of the old! That's the first time in the Bible that lots were cast for the clothing God had given, figuratively speaking! (Esther 3:7; 9:24) How is this not New Testament doctrine, for those who know their New Testament? Both times had repercussions for many nations! Lots were cast regarding what belonged to Christ Jesus, and as with the first time a public spectacle was made of principalities and powers that were triumphed over -- though in His case, He did take the spoils that Isaiah 53 says He divides with us! Holy Spirit undoubtedly put His stamp of approval on Purim in His composition of the 22nd Psalm, since the casting of lots would finally have a very rich meaning for Jews, centuries later, that when it was done against the righteous, it meant the downfall of the wicked! It can't be by accident that Purim is weeks prior to Passover, so that the story of the casting of lots would be fresh in the minds of the Jewish people, when Christ Jesus took the known world as His as a result! I'm certain someone somewhere has all of these pastries available not only Vegan, but also with Stevia instead of sugar, perhaps even gluten-free for those of you who can't go through gluten-rich foods!
Fountain of Gardens Ministries P.O. Box 470581 Fort Worth, Texas 76147-0581
For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2